Wednesday, 15 August 2012 Written by 

Learn about an exciting new set of Starfleet technologies: Patterns!

Special Technologies come in many flavors in Fleet Operations. There are disabling weapons, synergies between units, and area of effect negative effects - just to name a few. In Star Trek too, we often hear captains talk about abilities - and in particular - special maneuvers. One of these classic Star Treky maneuvers has been the “insert Greek words” - Pattern. You’ll hear Sisko yell at his redshirts to implement “Attack Pattern, Alpha Delta Epsilon 9, GO!”. Consequently, one unique Federation feature is the idea that certain specific abilities act as Patterns. We hear of Defense Patterns, Attack Patterns, and Evasive Patterns plenty of times on the shows and movies - and these same names and roles make a strong appearance in Fleet Operations’ Federation.

In Fleet Operations, Patterns are simply any ability that carries the name “Pattern”. This terminology allows us to create unique synergies and requirements for synergies that are readily apparent to a player. The Federation from the shows and movies has always been about communication and letting other captains know what tactics you will be using. Many Federation abilities thus generate additional effects when nearby vessels have active Patterns. Consequently, learning to activate some Pattern technologies, prior to using other Federation technologies that synergize with Patterns is crucial to getting the most out of your fleets.

Furthermore, this allows us to scale certain abilities over the course of a match. For instance, a regular ability might work with 2 normal vessels, but also work with 2 additional units with active Patterns. That allows a player to get increased effects as he or she adds on expensive researches in the later stages of a game. Patterns of course are useful to the vessel which engaged them, but they get more or different use when synergizing with your fleet!

Talking about Patterns gives us the perfect opportunity to discuss one of the Federation’s earliest units: the Intrepid. Nearly as fast as the Monsoon, the short ranged Intrepid is a heavy Photon Torpedo wielding unit. This makes it ideal for dealing with enemy Defensive units (as the basic Torpedo never misses these units). The Intrepid also can quickly demolish structures. Do not underestimate the Intrepid's capabilities at raiding mining stations (though not freighters) and getting out quickly. As an Allround ship, it is more supply efficient and more resistant to disabling effects than other vessels. It takes reduced damage from medium ranged warships with its Autonomous Defense AI passive, yet does reduced damage to Support vessels.

Evasive Patterns is the Intrepid’s only researchable Special Technology.

supportThis research allows the Intrepid to expand its utility and survivability immensely. Against fleets with large numbers of Offensive units, Evasive Patterns from many Intrepids can be activated at once to simply reduce the amount of area damage firepower they will take. Evasive Patterns also act as a catalyst for other abilities which require an active Pattern. Evasive Patterns is a long lasting Pattern, which makes it easy to micromanage in these situations.

Evasive Patterns also has implications in single usage situations. When activated, the Intrepid drops in hostile targeting priority, which helps to retreat heavily damaged Intrepids while engaged in fleet combat. Similarly, while on the move, carefully activating Evasive Patterns for Intrepids that are taking fire allows you to divert enemy firepower to less damaged vessels and thus the Intrepid can keep fighting. A mixed fleet without Defensive units can use front-line Intrepids to take weapons fire, shifting it to undamaged units with the activation of Evasive Patterns.

In new newsposts we'll introduce additional Patterns and move into discussing how these abilities interact - 'till next time!