Prometheus-class mechanics concept for NX (feedback welcome)

Post ideas and suggestions on new features or improvements here.
posted on June 9th, 2017, 11:12 am
I had a sudden brainstorm moment (I do that sometimes) about the Prometheus-class, the Fed ship with MVAM, which I recall the devs were a little unsure of. I quite liked how the ideas for the ship and the special ability sounded in my head and thought I'd post them up, to see what people thought about it and take any feedback people might have on them. I'm doubt my idea for the MVAM is possible in A2 but NX might be able to handle it.

The Ship & It's special:
The Prometheus-class appears in the episode of Voyager (here's a YT I found with some clips if interested) to be smaller than you see in some mods, more like a cruiser than a battleship. I would imagine it being weaker than say a Descent or Sovereign, but it's tactical nature and advanced systems likely make it decent for it's weight class. Starfleet rarely develops pure warships, so I'd vouch the few they do they spare no expense on (it is likely an expensive ship).

Without using MVAM, it is a primarily phaser-armed ship with perhaps a torpedo, and it's multiple cores and engines do mean it has an impressive top speed (this is a heavy cruiser that can likely keep up with destroyers). Used like this the ship is okay and zippy, but not really impressive and lacking in any real speciality... until it uses the MVAM.

I'm imagining the Prometheus of FO as in fact having a wider armoury spread around it's trio of modules (either equally or variably, like having one module more torpedo-focused and the others focused on pulse and phaser) that are normally offline. This includes pulse cannons, torpedoes (possibly up to tricobalt) and also several passives like Tactical Weapon Arrays, Defense AI, etc; an arsenal far too large for the Prometheus to power up all at once and one that would likely conflict with itself if the ship ever managed it.

The reason for this is when MVAM is engaged (by the player clicking and then clicking an enemy ship) it is specified a target which the ship analyses. While the ship is separating (and long process but one during which the Prometheus can move and still fire phasers) the computer is actually configuring each module to bring certain weapons and systems online and deactivate others (maybe even lowering it's speed, sensor range etc to free up power). In effect the ship modifies itself to maximise its effectiveness against that specific given target. The ship completes separation and the parts are locked in that configuration until the player tells the ship to deactivate MVAM (un-clicks the ability) and the ship recombines.

Unlike saucer separation, MVAM is built around the modules working in tandem and they move and fight as such; the close proximity allows their computers to rapidly communicate, co-ordinate attacks (one module rips a hole in a shield, other module fires through hole, etc) and provide one another ECM cover. The calculating multiple attack vectors is simply the foundation of a far more complex system that can adapt and react to it's enemy and what they do mid-battle.

As a result a Prometheus in MVAM mode gains a significant boost to Offense and Defence stats, but also means the modules are not truly autonomous and need to remain within a degree of proximity (think like fighters to carriers). Outside of a battle (as in outside the game) yes the modules (baring some possibly lacking some areas such as sickbay) could operate as independent ships for something like an evacuation or searching an area, but in battle they are only effective working as a team or combined into one ship and so gameplay-wise will never stray from one another.

Strategies:
Beyond being a particularly fast cruiser handy for surgical strikes, the ship's role in FO is to be a customisable (and to an extent reactive) counter, very useful against fleets that focus on a specific ship class or switch their production half-way through a fight. Say a dominion player relied on swarms of A-20 destroyers; you send a Prometheus (or two), click MVAM, select a bug, and your fleet suddenly has a strong counter against A-20s. If you saw they were changing to Escort cruisers later, re-combine and then select an E-2; you've gained the counter. The ship can be used to mow through enemy swarms of smaller ships, or sent to intercept specific large ships that are core to an attack.

The weakness I had in mind, in addition to the Prometheus being rare (definitely a map-only, avatar-only or experimental warp-in) is the ship can only calibrate to suit one enemy and MVAM takes a long time to activate and deactivate; if that same Dom player sent a combined fleet of different ships (say A-20s escorting V-13s) the Prometheus wouldn't have time to re-combine and reconfigure half-way through, so will need to pick one class to counter and rely on allies to tackle the other (and the passives it's MVAM has given it may even make it vulnerable to that other ship class).


I welcome people's thoughts or ideas on this (and pardon the loads of text). If the devs see this and like it by all means it's yours to use/build on. I doubt A2 could handle a special weapon that completely changed what it did depending on what was targeted (and it would likely need a bazillion Prometheus entries too) but I thought NX might be able to implement this, and feel it might solve the issues the devs were feeling about the class being in-game.
posted on June 11th, 2017, 3:52 am
i like this idea, i think it stays true to the original idea of the Prometheus, although in the show, it can select targets and attack patterns after separation, i still agree it should be part of the separation skill.

the Prometheus really strikes me as something to take out bigger targets with smaller resources. say someone has a flagship of some sort, normally a target that could wreck several defiants, and probably hold its own against a sovereign or a decent class. to counter a big target like this with your own big target would be a bit of a gamble, as it could come down to who got reinforcements first, or who shot first. assuming both ships had equal stats.

now the prometheus on the other hand, seems specifically strong at precision strikes. it stands to reason, that she should be excellent at dealing with a single target, but not so great against a fleet.

but thats just my theory to simplify the implementation of this ingame.
posted on June 13th, 2017, 11:56 am
In a (comparatively very limited) way specialization upon seperation is alrady possible. You can make two or three different replacement weapons and call them something like "Attack Pattern α" and "Attack Pattern β" and each results in a different trio. Maybe the ODFs for pattern α have a special counter against capital ships, while those for β give them multi-targetting phasers to deal with a fleet of smaller ships. Then it depends on you how many different specials it is supposed to have, but I guess too many variations could also become to much after a long row of special weapon buttons for α, β, γ, δ, ε, ζ, η, and θ ;)
posted on June 15th, 2017, 4:01 am
So, for something that people could actually program into the game and use...

Separation into 3 parts:

1st part has a special (or just its weapons) that disables weapons
2nd part has a special (or just its weapons) that disable engines
3rd part disables sensors or life support, or both

Use all 3 on a single target and you have it dead. In a bigger battle, the combat stats are relatively low so it isn't too effective

Your original idea is also possible, it's just a lot more work to create. When I mod the game, I spend a lot of time just thinking about what is easy and what isn't.
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