By admin @ December 21, 2011 at 5:46pm
Ground Skill Revamp on Tribble
The ground skill revamp is ready for testing and went up on the Tribble test shard today. There are a lot of changes, and we are looking forward to getting your feedback. There are even a few minor space skill changes to balance the system as a whole.
We plan to leave this on Tribble over the holidays, and collect your feedback (most of us will be out of the office for the holidays, but we will be checking in on the forums to see how things are going). After the holidays, we will make changes based on your feedback, and try to get those changes to you as quickly as possible.
Before going into the actual skill changes, you should know that we adjusted the scale for Skill Points throughout the game. All of your previously earned Skill Points have been multiplied by 5, and all Skill Points earned from this point forward will be multiplied by 5. For example, if you might earn 30 Skill Points from an action on Holodeck today, you will earn 150 Skill Points from that same action on Tribble.
Essentially, this is just a UI change. No players will lose any Skill Points, and the relative value of Skill Points earned is the same as before. Scaling up the skill points made it easier to balance the skills and makes game play feel a little more rewarding. In any case, you should not be surprised to see Skill Point values being much larger than they were before.
The ground skill revamp follows a similar scheme to the previous space skill changes. This is the first iteration, and definitely subject to change. Here are the highlights:
- As with the space skill revamp, this change will come with a mandatory resetting of all your skill points, so you will need to spend them once again.
- There are now 5 skills that are shared by all careers and 5 career (class) specific skills.
- The shared ground skills are all new. They are similar to some of the new space skills in that they just add a bonus, like bonus Shields, or improve armor. There was no reduction in base Shields, armor, HP, whatever. These skills just add to the old values.
- For each rank (Lieutenant, Commander, etc), there are now a total of 9 skills to choose from between space and ground.
- Every ground ability is still modifiable by a skill.
- All training nodes were retained. All career specific ground skills unlock a Bridge Officer training node at Rank 3 and 6! Space training nodes continue to unlock at Rank 6.
- The Space Attack Patterns skill was moved to Lieutenant rank. It was replaced with a Space Threat Control skill that increases your Threat while attacking, and grants a slight increase in Damage Resistance.
- A new Engineering Lieutenant skill was added – Driver Coil. This skill increases your Sector Space Warp Speed and Turn Rate, increases your Full Impulse Speed, and reduces the power drain to other systems when you engage Full Impulse.
- Away Team Leader skills have been removed. Instead, these were essentially given away for free. All Bridge Officer passive stats and abilities will now simply improve with your level.
- Before season 5, there were 86 skills. Now there are 45.
- The update comes with an enhanced skill tree UI.
We changed the cost of skills at each rank. The current costs on Holodeck are 150, 300, 450, 600 and 750. The new costs are 1000, 1500, 2000, 2500, 3000. Note that these are on the new scale that is multiplied by 5, and that to compare with Holodeck you can use 200, 300, 400, 500, and 600 as the comparable values. So the Lieutenant rank skills increased slightly relative to your overall skill points, the Lt. Commander skills are the same, and the higher rank skills were reduced in relative cost. This will give players a lot more buying power with the higher end skills.
The Skill Point requirement for Vice Admiral went up a tiny bit to work with the new Skill Point cost and avoid any remainders. It was changed from 72,750 to 73,200. With the Skill Point scaling, the new max will appear as 366,000. Any player at the max will be automatically bumped to this new max and retain their Vice Admiral rank.
We also split space and ground skill points. The ratio is 75% Space/25% Ground, with a small percentage of the points that can be spent in either ground or space. For example, if you have 10,000 Skill Points, you will be able to spend up to 7,500 in Space skills and 2,500 on Ground skills.
This change is being made to help prevent players from putting all their points into space skills, and then not being effective on the ground (or vice versa). It also helps make PvP more accessible to casual players by leveling the skill point playing field — players who split their skills because they play ground and space could not compete with a player who put all their points into space or ground alone.
Although you have to split your Skill Points earned between ground and space, there is a significant reduction in the number of skills to purchase. This is further aided by the reduction in cost for higher tier skills. For instance, previously, it could hypothetically cost you 47,250 Skill Points to buy every Admiral Space skill (an impossible task). Now it will cost you 37,800 (this is not considering the 5x multiplier). That’s 80% of the previous cost. So even though you can only spend 75% of your skills in space, the total cost for Admiral Space skills is less.
Here is a complete list and description of the new Ground Skills…
Lieutenant: Weapon Proficiency – Buffs ranged weapon damage.
Lt Commander: Personal Shield Generator – Buffs Shield HP.
Commander: Threat Control – Increased Threat when attacking. Adds some Damage Resistance.
Captain: Willpower – Resist all control effects (hold, disable, slow, knock, repel, confuse, placate).
Admiral/General: Combat Armor – Improves Armor.
Lieutenant: Grenades – Improves Grenades.
Lt Commander: Combat Specialist – Bonus weapon damage (stacks with Weapon Proficiency) and weapon secondary effects; buffs melee damage (armed and unarmed); Bonus Crit Chance and Crit Severity.
Commander: Special Forces – Improves tactical self buff abilities, including Power Cell Devices.
Captain: Squad Command – Improves tactical “buff others” abilities.
Admiral/General: Advanced Tactics – Improves Debuff abilities.
Lieutenant: Demolitions – Buffs explosives damage, including Orbital Strike.
Lt Commander: Repairs – Improves Shield Heals and Repairs, including Shield Charge Devices.
Commander: Generators – Buffs placed generators.
Captain: Turrets and Drones – Buffs pet damage.
Admiral/General: Modification Specialist – Improves buffs and debuffs.
Lieutenant: Medic – Improves all heals, including Hypo Devices.
Lt Commander: Physiology – Improves buff abilities.
Commander: Scientist – Improves debuff abilities.
Captain: Probability Logistics – Improves control abilities.
Admiral/General: Particle Physics – Improves Science Damage abilities (not weapons).
That’s about it. I hope everything was clear. Again, remember nothing here is necessarily final. We anticipate tuning and fixing and look forward to having you be a part of that.
Al “CaptainGeko” Rivera
Star Trek Online