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    * SKILL SYSTEM REVAMP *

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    Pyriel32
    Director of Intelligence

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    Name: Pyriel Danto

    * SKILL SYSTEM REVAMP *

    Post by Pyriel32 on Fri Feb 19, 2016 11:51 am



    As you gain levels and ranks in Star Trek Online, you are exposed to a vast array of choices in how you progress your character, and how you choose to improve your effectiveness. The core way this is accomplished is by improving one of the many, many Skills made available to you.

    For some time now, we have been looking to improve this progression system. We know that new players often have a difficult time coming to understand the many options presented, what they do, and what the “right” choice for them might be at any time. And, even more fundamentally, mechanics such as the Ground/Space point split ratio and what controls when each Tier of skills unlocks, have never been thoroughly understood or explained.

    When faced with the daunting task of overhauling and improving such a core aspect of the Star Trek Online experience, it was important to carefully decide what we wanted to accomplish. What we arrived at were the following guiding principles:

    Simplify / De-Mystify – More detailed tooltips, better mechanic explanations, and fewer mysteries.
    Eliminate Sub-Optimal Choices – Where possible, prevent players from making bad choices, and raise the performance “floor.”
    Players Lose Nothing – As much as possible, everything available in the current system will be made available under the new system, and investments in equipment and ships retain full value.


    With those concepts guiding the way, we have set out to create a more streamlined experience that makes gaining levels and skills more enjoyable and impactful.



    Core Mechanic Changes

    To facilitate the new process of leveling up and purchasing Skills, we started with simplifying some core concepts of the game.

    First, we are eliminating the idea of “Skill Points” as the numeric you earn from completing actions. In its place, the standard RPG numeric of “Experience Points” will now be given out. This change makes it more obvious that what you’re earning is attributed to increasing your Level, and not your Skills.

    Players will no longer earn bits and pieces of progression by gathering small chunks of Skill Points which are then spent on a granular progression system. Instead, new Space Points and Ground Points are earned at the time you gain a level, emphasizing that earning a level is a momentous event.

    While the current system includes 315 different skill ranks that can be purchased, for costs that vary from 1,000 to 3,000 Skill Points each, every single one of the 50 ranks that exist under the new system cost either 1 Space Point or 1 Ground Point to purchase, with entirely separate Skill Trees and costs based on region. No more feeling as though you’re forced to sacrifice performance in your Starship for the sake of Ground Skills, or vice versa!

    We are also introducing the concept of both Active Progression and Passive Progression. Active Progression is earned by the act of choosing where to spend your Space Points and Ground Points, and purchasing abilities, while Passive Progression is slightly different in Space and Ground.

    Passive Progression in your Space Skills is tracked by a series of Unlock tracks, separated by skill category (Engineering, Science, or Tactical), offering additional passive benefits based on the number of points spent within that category. For example, Active Progression via the purchase of a skill under the Science Category will apply Passive Progression to the Science Unlock Track.

    If a player invests at least 25 of their Space Points into a single profession-themed category of Skills (Engineering, Science, or Tactical) they will unlock a new “Ultimate” ability. These powerful new options offer additional tactical choices during combat situations, without overriding or replacing your existing suite of abilities, and are presented as additional incentive for those players interested in spending deeply in a single thematic category of Skills.

    Ground Skills don’t have separate profession-themed categories, and instead present only a single Unlock Track. However, each Unlock presents a choice between two options, allowing every Captain to progress in their own way as they gain levels.



    Lost, But Not Forgotten

    But, if 315 skill ranks are becoming 50… what happened to ‘Players Lose Nothing’? Well, I’m glad I asked.

    We had a difficult time arranging a new Skill Tree that would eliminate sub-optimal choices, re-balance the skills offered by all 3 different profession categories, and still keep all options available to players. In the end, the answer ended up being a combination of Skill/Mechanic Consolidation and moving some Skills into the Unlock paths, rather than having them cost Space Points or Ground Points to purchase.

    A list of Skills that were turned into Unlocks includes:

    Batteries
    Perception
    Driver Coil
    Threat Control
    … and more!


    The most notable example of old Skills that received a consolidation come into play in the Science category, with the creation of two new Skills:
    Drain Expertise and Control Expertise

    Drain Expertise combines the mechanical benefits of what used to be Flow Capacitors, Power Insulators and Subsystem Repair. In other words, this single Skill now oversees both the offensive potential, and the player’s resistances to, all Shield Drains, Energy Drains, and Subsystem Offline effects. A potent combination!

    Control Expertise plays a similar new role, combining the previous mechanical effects of Graviton Generators, Countermeasures, Subspace Decompiler, Inertial Dampers and Sensors. With investment into a single Skill, players can become a Control powerhouse. Ignore the Skill at your own peril, lest you remain vulnerable to these same effects!

    Ground Combat has also received a significant streamlining through the introduction of a powerful new consolidation of existing skills: Kit Performance

    Kit Performance, simply put, takes the place of all of the profession-specific skills that used to improve different kit modules in different ways. Now, investment in this single skill has the same effect as previously spending in all of your profession-specific skills would have had. The skills being replaced by Kit Performance are:

    Engineering: Demolitions, Repairs, Generators, Turrets & Drones and Modification Specialist
    Science: Medic, Physiology, Scientist, Probability Logistics and Particle Physics
    Tactical: Grenades, Special Forces, Squad Command and Advanced Tactics


    The new skill behaves the same as the old ones did, except that you no longer have to make the choice between improving the duration of your Weapons Malfunction debuff vs. the amount of Shields your Phaser Turret has, or the damage of your Chroniton Mines.

    One profession-specific skill missing from the above lists is Combat Specialist, which is getting a slightly different treatment. It will be granted automatically to all characters (not just Tacticals), but no longer improves critical hits. Its effectiveness has been restricted to melee combat.

    Other consolidated Skills exist, such as combining both existing “Weapon Specialization” skills into superior choices that improve both Energy and Kinetic weapons, rather than encouraging players to ignore one or the other.

    In the end, the list of Skills that ended up on the cutting room floor is extremely short:

    Attack Patterns:
    All abilities that previously benefited from this Skill have been re-balanced to behave as if the player had fully invested in the old Attack Patterns skill.
    Threat Control (Ground):
    We recognize that Threat Control has been a poorly understood skill option for some time, and most players did not invest in it. While cutting skills was something we tried to avoid in this revamp, we felt that removing this particular option could make room for more potent options that can have a more understandable impact on gameplay.




    But Wait, There’s More!

    With all of this consolidation occurring, there must be empty places in this new Skill Tree that require filling in, right? Of course you’re right!

    New options are being introduced that will allow players to invest in Skills that will increase Shield Hardness, Hull and Shield Regeneration, Armor and Shield Penetration, or provide cooldown reductions for certain Bridge Officer Abilities.

    We are also introducing entirely new mechanics as options players can purchase from their Skill Tree:

    Coordination Protocols

    This 3-point Skill allows players to increase the effectiveness of their Hangar Pets, by gaining passive bonuses to their hull capacity, shield capacity, damage output, damage resistance, defense and accuracy.


    Shield Mastery

    Purchasing the first rank in this 3-point Skill allows you to automatically negate the damage from one incoming Critical Hit every 20 seconds. Additional investments can be made to also have this negation trigger a Shield Heal and/or Reflect the damage back at the attacker.


    Long-Range Targeting Sensors

    Each rank purchased in this 3-point Skill will reduce the damage penalty experienced by being far away from the target of your energy weapons.


    With these new options spread across all Engineering, Science and Tactical sections of the Space Skill Tree, we anticipate players feeling many compelling reasons to step outside of their usual comfort zone and perhaps even exploring new ways of progressing their captain and starship.



    In Summary…

    We are extremely excited about the changes we’ve made to leveling up and earning skills by overhauling this core feature. With strong guiding design principles and a thorough understanding of how our players interact with the existing system, we believe that progressing your character is going to become a far more enjoyable and interesting experience for all of our existing players, as well as removing a significant barrier to entry that previously existed for new players.

    Obviously, with such an enormous amount of change happening simultaneously, it would be hard to imagine that everything involved is seen as perfect by everyone, or meets everyone’s needs and expectations. So get your feedback heard early! We will do our best to answer further questions as they arise within the community, and provide more detailed explanations of any mechanical changes, in an effort to keep everyone well-informed and excited about this revamp.

    We’re also going to be keeping a very close watch on feedback from our Tribble Test Server over the coming weeks, while this new system undergoes its final tuning and tweaking. We greatly encourage all existing players to try out the changes, both with new and existing characters, and offer whatever feedback you can before the new Skill System becomes a permanent part of the Star Trek Online experience with the launch of Season 11.5 later this Spring!

    Discuss in the forums

    Ryukotsu
    Head of Engineering

    Fleet Rank : Flag Captain
    Intel Department Rank : INT Captain
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    Number of posts : 300
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    Ship Name : U.S.S Serenity
    I.S.S Serenity
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    (Alternate) NX-94011
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    Mobius Temporal Destroyer
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    Name:

    Re: * SKILL SYSTEM REVAMP *

    Post by Ryukotsu on Fri Feb 19, 2016 12:32 pm

    Guess Ill be on tribble for a whie lol


    __________________________________________________________
    ("Now you turn your back on, All the things that you used to preach, Now its let him live in freedom,If he lives like me"=-jim Croce)
    "Patron: That girl is a witch.
    Mal: Yeah, but she's our witch. [cocks gun] So cut her the hell down. "

    Seeker
    Director of Search and Rescue operations

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    USS Seaquest
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    Fleet Division : Science/Medical

    Main RP Character Profile
    Name: Dekkar Martle

    Re: * SKILL SYSTEM REVAMP *

    Post by Seeker on Fri Feb 19, 2016 12:40 pm

    they do this like 3 days have i spend zen on a skill respec token


    __________________________________________________________

    Ryukotsu
    Head of Engineering

    Fleet Rank : Flag Captain
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    Engineering Dept. Rank : SED Captain
    Number of posts : 300
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    Ship Name : U.S.S Serenity
    I.S.S Serenity
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    (Alternate) NX-94011
    Ship Class : Wells temporal Science vessel
    Mobius Temporal Destroyer
    Fleet Division : Intel/Special Ops

    Main RP Character Profile
    Name:

    Re: * SKILL SYSTEM REVAMP *

    Post by Ryukotsu on Fri Feb 19, 2016 12:45 pm

    I had no idea about it either till last night. With these changes it will for a change to traits as well and will most likely lead to an increase in game difficultly


    __________________________________________________________
    ("Now you turn your back on, All the things that you used to preach, Now its let him live in freedom,If he lives like me"=-jim Croce)
    "Patron: That girl is a witch.
    Mal: Yeah, but she's our witch. [cocks gun] So cut her the hell down. "

    Stravik
    FMC Delta Squad Commander

    Fleet Rank : Rear Admiral
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    Main RP Character Profile
    Name: Stravik Jensen

    Re: * SKILL SYSTEM REVAMP *

    Post by Stravik on Fri Feb 19, 2016 12:56 pm

    Most likely will get a free respec token. So Chief looks like you got some homework ahead of you cuase I know I'm going to look at you with the deer in headlights look when this rolls out.


    __________________________________________________________
    I Choose Death before Dishonor

    [u]Smiley: That Cruiser has us in weapons range. Do we make a run for it?
    Sisko: We run alright, right at it!
    Smiley: Ahh! Pattern suicide.
    [/u]

    HareBrained
    Flag Captain Alpha Squad
    Flag Captain Alpha Squad

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    Main RP Character Profile
    Name: Ellen Hare

    Re: * SKILL SYSTEM REVAMP *

    Post by HareBrained on Fri Feb 19, 2016 4:47 pm

    Well, I'm very glad of the prospect of a new and easier skill system myself - because I never learnt to understand the old one, so maybe I'll be able to do this one. ;-) Well, not QUITE that bad, but nearly. I'm pretty sure most of the skills I'd ranked up were the wrong ones. Downside, no chance of using the STOAcademy Skills Calculator (or whatever that website was called, exactly), because they'll presumably have to redo that from scratch now!


    __________________________________________________________

    Pyriel32
    Director of Intelligence

    Fleet Rank : Fleet Admiral
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    Main RP Character Profile
    Name: Pyriel Danto

    Re: * SKILL SYSTEM REVAMP *

    Post by Pyriel32 on Thu Feb 25, 2016 10:46 pm



    Last week, we announced the upcoming Skill System Revamp that will be available in Star Trek Online's next update. As with any new system and updates going to Tribble, we received a ton of questions from our players regarding the details of the system and how you would interact with it. Jeremy Randall, the designer behind the Skill System Revamp, took some time to answer the most frequently asked questions below.


    Q: Why is the Skill System receiving a Revamp?
    A: Time and again, we have received feedback from our players that the Skill System is unusually difficult to understand, and has done a poor job at helping players master the combat mechanics involved in Star Trek Online. In fact, even a basic level of understanding required a good amount of research and “tribal knowledge” that was difficult for players to obtain through game experience alone. For both the benefit of existing players, and to lessen the barrier to entry for new players starting their Star Trek Online experience, we felt it was necessary to simplify the system, improve the leveling experience, and de-mystify many of the underlying combat mechanics.

    Q: When the Revamp hits Holodeck, will players have to re-spend their Skill Points, or will they be automatically updated?
    A: All characters will have the entirety of their purchased skills refunded automatically, and will need to spend their new Space Points and Ground Points to purchase skills under the new system.

    Q: What will happen to any unspent Skill Respec Tokens that I currently own?
    A: Nothing! They will still be available for use under the new System.

    Q: Will the existing pricing of Skill Respec Tokens remain unchanged?
    A: To help celebrate the launch of Season 11.5 and the Skill Revamp, we will be holding a promotional sale at that time to reduce the price of Skill Respec Tokens. The exact pricing will be announced at a later date.

    Q: Will I be able to replicate my existing build under the new system?
    A: As much as possible, we have taken pains to ensure that players will be capable of replicating existing skill layouts in the new system. There are going to be edge cases where a new build isn’t quite what it was before, but we’re doing as much as possible to minimize those.
    The one place this will not be true for most players will be Training Manual availability – it’s probable that not all characters will have the same access to Training Manuals that they had under the old system.

    Q: I currently have an [Item, Trait, Set Bonus, etc.] which improves one of my Skills. What is happening to that with this Revamp?
    A: The vast majority of these are being translated 1:1 over to new Skills with no change in their functionality. For example, if you have an item that currently improves your Graviton Generators skill, that item will be automatically updated to improve Control Expertise, which serves the same purpose(s) in the new Skill System. There are very few bonuses currently available to players that cannot be translated directly, and even in those few cases we will instead translate the bonuses to something that remains relevant under the new system.

    Q: Will this affect our Specializations in any way, and if so how?
    A: This revamp does not include any alterations to how existing Specializations function. Any abilities you have purchased/unlocked from Specializations will remain yours, and any unspent Specialization Points will also be untouched.
    There is a UI adjustment being made to where your Specializations are now located. Instead of having their own tab across the top of your Status Window, they are now a sub-tab located within the Skills System. In this way, we hope to reinforce the fact that both are progression systems used to improve your character as they level up (and in the case of Specializations, far beyond level cap).

    Q: Did I hear something about “Crew” being removed? What happened to my Crew?
    A: This is a mechanic that never worked well in Star Trek Online, and needlessly confused some systems (such as Hull Regeneration). Rather than try and improve a system that added complexity to an already complex game, we decided it was time to retire the mechanic as a whole. As a result, you will no longer see a Crew meter in the HUD, and all existing mechanics that relied upon Crew have been changed so that they behave at all times as if you had 100% of your available Crew.
    -
    Any items/traits/etc. that improved Crew Regeneration have been changed to improve Hull Regeneration.
    -
    Any items/traits/etc. that improved Crew Resistance have been changed to improve resistance to Subsystem Offline Durations.

    Q: What is this new “Threatening Stance” ability? Where did “Abandon Ship” go?
    A: We have abandoned “Abandon Ship” – this ability was never very useful, and primarily only utilized to grief other players. We decided to remove it entirely, and replace it with the new ability: “Threatening Stance”
    By toggling on this new ability, the player may choose at any time to begin causing additional Threat to any enemies they are in combat with. Threat is what determines how an NPC foe chooses their target – the more you generate, the more likely they are to attack you.

    Q: I am a Science Captain. Can I purchase Tactical and/or Engineering skills?
    A: Absolutely! Just as it is true with Skills currently, any character can purchase any of the same skills as any other Captain. This did not used to be true of the Ground Skills, but these have been standardized with the new Skill Revamp so that all characters have access to the same Ground Skills.

    Q: I heard mention of an “Unlock Path” – what is that?
    A: Every time you spend a Space Point to purchase a Skill, you will also earn progress on the Unlock Path associated with the Skill you just purchased – Engineering, Science or Tactical. After earning specific amounts of progress on an Unlock Path, additional bonuses will be made available to you. Many of these will present you with a choice, and you will able to decide how you would like to further customize your character’s progression.
    All Ground Points spent earn progress on the same Unlock Path for all characters, but every node on the Ground Unlock Path is a choice.

    Q: How will I earn access to new Training Manuals in the revamped system?
    A: Training Manuals are no longer directly tied to Skills, but are instead now one of the many types of bonuses that can be earned via progress on the new Unlock Paths.

    Q: When will the Skill Revamp arrive on Holodeck?
    A: This feature is planned to be part of our upcoming Season 11.5 release. The release date for that update has not yet been announced. Keep an eye out here for more details in that regard!

    Discuss in the forums

    Talaina Kazzur
    Done the Impossible

    Fleet Rank : Vice Admiral
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    Re: * SKILL SYSTEM REVAMP *

    Post by Talaina Kazzur on Fri Feb 26, 2016 9:41 am

    Interesting. I look forward tos eeing how this plays out.

    And it's good, as I really didn't know what I was doing when making Stunshock's skills, so they can become something better balanced.


    __________________________________________________________
    Previously known as Stunshock

    Dragokiller

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    Re: * SKILL SYSTEM REVAMP *

    Post by Dragokiller on Tue Mar 01, 2016 9:28 pm

    i'm not sure i like this new change seems like there will be less free chose in this new way but then  I've played on and off from launch

    greendragon4444
    Browncoat

    Fleet Rank : Commander
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    Re: * SKILL SYSTEM REVAMP *

    Post by greendragon4444 on Wed Mar 16, 2016 6:50 pm

    Here's hoping it doesn't suck. Smile

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