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Cruiser Commands and Player Roles

Captain's Blog Stardate 91388.82

With the release of the Avenger Class we get to see a new feature called Cruiser Commands. Right now it's only available on the Avenger but it will soon be given to all Cruisers. What these commands do is allow players to improve their team mates ships in space. Each command does something different and only one can be activated at a time. This essentially puts Cruisers in the role they were originally meant to be, a support ship.

This brings me to what I want to talk about, ship roles. Generally speaking Cruisers are supposed to be support ships, Escorts are supposed to deal damage, and Science Vessels are supposed to heal. I don't think many players follow this unwritten guide and they tend to solely focus on causing damage despite the ship they are using. Cruiser Commands seems to be changing that, and if I recall correctly Science Vessels are going to get a similar update.

To me, this seems like a way for Cryptic to sort of push these ships into the roles they were originally designed for. The four commands for Cruisers allow them to boost flight speed, shields, and weapons of nearby allies or attract more attention to the Cruiser. If Science Vessels get a similar update and it has commands as well, the chances of those commands being focused on healing seem to be pretty good.

This also makes me wonder about Escorts. These little ships can already cause massive amounts of damage without any support. Is Cryptic going to leave them alone or add a similar feature to these ships as well? Do Escorts even need a similar feature? I would like to see something just so these ships stand out as Cruisers and Science Vessels currently do. While Science Vessels don't have any special commands, they have an innate ability to target subsystems.

What are your thoughts on this? Is it a nice addition for Cruisers? Does Cryptic need to push these roles on players? Should Escorts get some unique feature as well? What about on the ground? Engineering, Tactical, and Science have the same roles but players don't follow them. Perhaps on the ground we should get similar features? Let me know your thoughts.

Written by Attilio on October 13, 2013 at 10:17 pm


Sheva (Guest) said...
October 14, 2013 at 05:23 pm

Sorry, attilio, I like your blogs, appreciate all you do here and on CS, but I don't view the role of the mighty sci captain as a mere healer as you do. As a longtime sci player, my job in a sci ship is crowd control and debuffing along with supplemental dps in both PvE abd PvP gameplay. Granted, I could focus on heals, but a cruiser engineer could do the job a lot better while my ship and the escorts take the heat off him. Cryptic just recently restored the power and glory of gravity well and tykens rift, so might as well cc. In Crystal Castatrophe, I typically get first or second place with my Vesta using beams and torps, and sometimes get highest damage score in pvp, even above minmaxed escorts.

As for the new sci ship mechanic, I believe CaptGeko mentioned in an interview that the plan was a secondary deflector system. Whether this means a new deflector item slot, or a set of abilities like the new cruiser commands, that remains to be seen. If it helps make my cc powers more annoying to prima donna escort captains, I'm all for it. ;-)

Reply to Sheva
Attilio (Owner) replied...
October 14, 2013 at 07:29 pm

Fair enough. I hadn't planned on going into too much details about each ship's role. In all fairness all ships can deal their fair share of damage (I've used all three kinds) but there are unofficial roles.

The Cruiser can be a tank/healer/support ship. The Science Vessel can be a healer/buffer/debuffer/support ship. The Escort can be a damage dealer/tank.

I mainly use an escort and have found myself being able to tank, heal, and cause damage if the needs arise. So it really depends on how you use the ship. They can all fill multiple roles.

Reply to Attilio
Camden (Guest) said...
October 14, 2013 at 05:48 pm

What I am thinking is does this mean cryptic is soon going to allow you to command a fleet of ships captained by your bridge officers I was reading the wiki and it said something like that in the season nine release. As a tactical officer myself it would be awesome if escorts got commands like that I.E. Crippling Fire or something that provides a defense against the Borg Kinetic cutting beam. Either way I cannot wait till cruisers get these commands I am adapting my Odyssey for a Tact officer. SO these commands will be very helpful in stfs.

Reply to Camden
Attilio (Owner) replied...
October 14, 2013 at 07:32 pm

You're talking about the Fleet Admiral rank. Cryptic hasn't worked out details for this yet and nothing is official. They've mentioned some ideas but that's all. One idea is that Fleet Admirals will have an ability to call in some of their other ships possibly captained by a bridge officer which you promote to Captain.

My guess is that the boff that gets promoted can't be used on your ship or away team anymore.

I'll also assume that this will work similar to the Nimbus Distress call, Photonic Fleet, and that other distress call ability we all have.

Reply to Attilio
tc10b (Member) said...
October 15, 2013 at 02:56 pm

The only reason science is portrayed as a healer is because Engineers are rated so poorly in PvP for their lack of force multiplication skills.

The argument is that a Sci in a healer ship such as a cruiser can do the same if not better job than the equivalent engineer and bring more things to the table such as the all powerful Sub Nuke as well as Sensor Scan and the Scattering Field all of which are more conducive to team play especially in PvP which is why you rarely see engineers there.

It should also be noted that Engineering is based around healing, which is why, paradoxically the "best" science ship healer builds (Wells, Nebula etc) are Engineering heavy and light on science.

You also seem to forget that Science ships "gain" subsystem targeting because they lose weapon slots and tactical consoles so the features they have are there to offset that disadvantage.

These new cruiser skills bring force multiplication powers to the Engineer in the cruiser to make that role more viable than previously and I think the idea behind the cruiser commands is to give the cruiser more relevance and standing in the game beyond being A2B exploit boats.

Escorts have more than enough fun and shiny already and don't need anything extra added to them which is why they have recently had things like Beam Overload hit hard with the Nerf hammer.

Reply to tc10b

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