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Topics - dgs6686

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Suggestions / Skills Rework - Remove/Rework OP & Necessary Skills
« on: August 25, 2019, 12:46:58 AM »
I will preface this by saying that I know a skill rework is coming, but I wanted to give some personal feedback for the current skills system as well as some suggestions for the upcoming changes. There are a number of skills that I think should be removed, reworked, or relocated to different areas - either for balance reasons or, quite frankly, because they just aren't fun.

I think we would all much rather be putting our limited points in to combat skills rather than necessary quality of life or fleet-wide improvements, even more so once we are limited to 15 points.

Combat

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In general I don't think any of these are strictly overpowered on their own but the quantity of them makes the difference. Fortunately(unfortunately?) there are so many other necessary skills that the player must pick up that we can not really get all of these. I think this area of the skill system has the most fat that needs to be trimmed as there are many bonuses that are a bit redundant

Combat Endurance - Not really sure what to say about this one, the tier 3 15% combat readiness is OK but there are better things to spend your points on. After the first few battles I never have issues with fights taking so long that peak performance becomes an issue. Personally I feel like the combat readiness bonus could be rolled in to either character level, an added bonus for spending points in the combat tree, or another combat skill... Helmsmanship maybe?

Missile Specialization - Overall this seems good. I think it would feel better if the tier 3 increased the # of missiles instead of giving a damage bonus.

Ordinance Expertise - The bread and butter of the tree. faster projectiles to make it much easier to land shots and increased damage... something we all want.

Target Analysis - Adds extra damage against specific things. seems fine I guess - I mostly pick it up for the 15% increased damage to shields since this makes winning trades that much easier. Not really a fun skill, but it's something

Damage Control - The bonuses this skill provides seem pretty weak overall. Having your ship be recoverable is a great thing but fleet logistics does the same thing and more. 25% Hull and armor damage taken repaired after combat, well Field Repairs does 50% for all of your ships, and lastly 25% less hull damage taken and overload time - well if you got to the point that this has any significance in combat then it's probably not going to help you.

Impact Mitigation - More damage reduction. It's hard to tell how much any of this matters but as I said in the beginning I am sure all of these %s add up to mean way more than they sound like. I don't usually pick this up since points are so limited but I'm sure it's good on an officer in an onslaught.

Defensive Systems - All of these bonuses are great. Probably a little too good overall. You can definitely tell when a remnant AI ship has hardened shields as 20% less damage taken is big.

Advanced Countermeasures - I have never really bothered with this skill as it makes your defenses better against the things they are already good against. The last bonus of 50% damage to fighters and missiles seems like a good bonus but really fighters and missiles die so fast already that it seems unnecessary.

Evasive Action - 50% maneuverability bonus feels so necessary, but also a little out of place here with the other 2 bonuses. 50% reduced weapon and engine damage as well as 50% armor for damage reduction calculation. These both sound more like they belong in Damage Control and 50% maneuverability in Helmsmanship.

Helmsmanship - Very small bonuses overall, but it feels nice to have the acceleration at least. 10% top speed is vastly overshadowed by Coordinated Maneuvers and the 0 flux speed boost working at up to 1% is a novelty at best in almost all cases.
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Leadership

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Command & Control - Command points are almost never an issue once you realize that it only takes 1 point no matter how many orders you issue at a time, as long as you don't leave the tactical screen. 5% more Electronic Warfare and Coordinated Maneuvers bonuses are just overkill and not at all necessary to spend 3 points on to get. Maybe you could simply get more command points by leveling up, investing in the Leadership tree in general, or through story points.

Officer Management - With how powerful officers are, and since you are already devoting 3 points in to rank 3 Leadership, this seems like a no-brainer. Is it fun? Not inherently something I enjoy spending points on but definitely powerful. I think this would be a great candidate to transition to a story point sink. One additional officers per story point spent, up to a maximum of X. I personally think 10 is too high of a maximum.

Fleet Logistics - Fairly powerful, but not fun in any meaningful way. Having ships not be lost with an officer in command is fine, but there is a combat skill that does this also that they can get and makes much more sense as such. 25% reduced supply just makes life easier but very irrelevant late game. Lastly, 15% increased combat readiness for all ships. This is equal to the tier 3 Combat Endurance but for ALL ships, making it very over-tuned. If this remains it seems like the bonus should be lowered to maybe 5% and Combat Endurance tier 3 buffed to 25%.

Coordinated Maneuvers - This skill is drastically overpowered but in some ways feels necessary to help with cleaning up stragglers that draw out battles. 10% movement speed to all of you ships for 1 point. at 3 points it is 20%. To compare it to Helmsmanship tier 2 just highlights how ridiculous this skill is. I think a good place for this ability to come from the "Operations Center" hull-mod and it should be limited to 5-10%.

Fighter Doctrine - Another powerful fleet-wide buff that seems too good for 3 points when compared to Carrier Command. gives basically 75% of what
Carrier Command gives

Carrier Command - An overall buff to fighters. seems alright as long as you don't compare it to Fighter Doctrine.

Wing Commander - Seems reasonable and strong as is. I think I would like to see a specialization for fighters/interceptors (Wing Commander) vs bombers (Strike Commander)

Strike Commander - Basically missile specialization but for fighters/bombers. Seems fine.

Planetary Operations - Not really sure why anyone would ever pick this up in the current version of the game. Ground operations are already very easy and you can just use alpha cores for your planets.
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Technology

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Gunnery Implants - I really don't like having increased weapon range as a skill. Accuracy and recoil are one thing, but increased range leads to some problems where enemies are just not allowed to fight back. Combine this with Electronic Warfare and you have scenarios where if both player/officer and enemy are equipped with 700 range weapons the player has 805 range and the enemy has 560. This is before factoring in Integrated Targeting Unit which you likely will have while enemies do not. Maybe the tier 3 could be increased fire rate and / or decreased flux from firing?

Power Grid Modulation - Overall seems fine the way it is. 10% is tame enough but definitely gives you an edge.

Electronic Warfare - This is the skill that caused me to decide to write this whole post. 20% reduced enemy weapon range. This is a completely unfair and not at all fun skill that makes the combat way too easy. If it weren't for the remnant ships having ECM and some random enemies I would never pick this skill up because it completely destroys the combat balance. Combine this with Gunnery Implants and enemies can not even fight back as you savagely murder them. I think this effect should be limited to the 'ECM' hull-mod and be limited to -10% weapon range.

Load-out Design - Not a "fun" skill to pick up but very powerful - a must have. With story points being able to permanently add hull-mods on to ships I wonder if this is needed anymore?

Sensors - Picked this up one time because I thought the neutrino sensor sounded cool and I was trying to find a pirate space station... only to try and activate it to be told I need volatiles. I don't really use the go dark ability after the first 45ish minutes of the game probably but 25% increased sensor range is a nice quality of life thing. Maybe sensor range could be increased via story points?

Navigation - Seems like another one you really just pick up out of necessity. 25% less fuel used and +1 maximum burn are both very nice and traverse jump is great. Probably fine the way it is?
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Industry

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I am a little torn with how I feel about these skills overall. When it comes to the colony management stuff it really isn't worth spending limited points on those when you can just use an AI core. Perhaps story points could be used her to make this a little less cluttered? Such as spend a story point to be able to personally govern another colony.

As for the resource and salvaging stuff, I really just pick these up because well, getting loot is fun, so who doesn't like more loot. However these points do not feel very tangible at all and more-so feel like something the loot-*** side of me tells me to get.

Safety Procedures - This skill just doesn't really seem to do enough to justify taking it. 50% less effect of D-mods is nice but not really enough to warrant using the bad D-mod ships. I was thinking maybe it could allow you negate 1 D-mod from each ship, but not remove it so the ships will still sell for less.

Recovery Operations - I usually pick this skill up but after reading it I'm really not sure why. 25% higher chance to recover weapons is alright early on but totally pointless overall. 25% higher chance to recover disabled ships that are loaded with D-mods seems rather pointless, and lastly, recovered ships have less D-mods overall... well I guess they all would have had 4-5 instead of 2-3 but unfortunately 2-3 is still rather unusable.

Field Repairs - Nice quality of life skill. Not sure what more to say about this one.

Salvaging - First skill I pick up as the loot from derelict ships and research stations are one time and limited. Not really sure what to say about the skill, I like stuff... it gives me more stuff.

Colony Management - Again, alpha cores do this job at the expense of no skill points. Seems like colonies would be better off having administrators vs player characters governing them.

Industrial Planning - One more, Alpha cores do this just fine... though it seems extremely unnecessary with the amount of money colonies already produce.
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Hopefully, if nothing else, this can start some discussion for the upcoming skill change! I apologize if it got less coherent as it went. I wrote this over the course of several hours and was distracted throughout some of them  :)

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Fighters seem to be in a strange spot in the game the way it is. From what I have seen, their defensive stats are too high for PD weaponry to really have any effect which makes you rely on your main weaponry to hit them when they are approaching which just seems extremely unrealistic. My suggestion would be to make fighters only be able to be hit from weapons fired by PD labeled weaponry such as light / heavy machine guns, flak cannons, and PD Lasers, but in exchange greatly reduce their toughness.

Likewise it seems a little silly that you can simply shoot down missiles with your regular weaponry, and in larger battles most missiles will simply get shot down by the vast amount of projectiles being thrown around. With the limited number of missiles most ships can carry they often end up feeling pretty useless later on unless it is a 1v1 situation.

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