Cryptic’s Space Rebalancing took care of some long-time balancing problems, but ended up introducing a wad of new ones that, unfortunately, still haven’t been resolved. Some of the more prominent issues include the reversal of usefulness between Gravity Well (specifically, GW I and II) and Tyken’s Rift: the former has been nerfed to uselessness, while the latter is now overpowered. These two need to strike a better balance so both can be viable options, and you would think this shouldn’t be hard for Cryptic to do.
But the worst one yet? It’s the Dyson Reputation Science Console – Shield Refrequencer.
This piece of seemingly harmless gear received a substantial boost during the Rebalancing — I am hoping it was unintentional — I don’t even remember how many of these I received while leveling the Dyson Rep and sold as trash to the vendors.
The problem lies in the Protonic Energy Stabilizer Module: when using Exotic Damage and Shield Drain abilities, 10% change of dealing X Proton Damage (100% Shield Penetration). Now, 100% Shield Penetration is very powerful in any engagement, Proton damage is difficult to resist, and if you put this thing on an Exotic/Drain platform, you have a lot of opportunities to proc this effect. Of course, looking at that tooltip, 584.1 Proton damage is laughably small to even worry about…. until you realize that this Proton damage does in fact scale with EPG and Aux setting. All of a sudden, this innocent little filler gear turns into a raging monstrosity.
I took this from a German player’s post on Arc Forum, but you don’t need to speak German to see what’s going on here (kinda funny how the whole tooltip is written in German, except the bits on Protonic Energy Stabilizer Module). At Epic level and high EPG/Aux, the Proton proc now deals 34050 damage. Quite an upgrade from the base item, isn’t it? Once again, remember that this has 100% Shield Penetration and irresistable Proton damage…. and compare that to the hardest-hitting ship weapons you remember seeing.
Oh but this gets worse. Evidently, “Exotic Damage” and “Shield Drain abilities” that proc this thing include a whole suite of not just Science, but also certain Engineering (such as Acteon Beam) and Temporal abilities, as well as set and assorted items (such as Isokinetic Cannon, Heavy Graviton Beams etc.). It’s still not entirely clear what does and does not proc this, but people cataloged close to 30 abilities/effects at last count.
Certain folks have been filling Science Vessels with these things, and with five Epic consoles your chances of a proc just went up five times. People have been reporting that there is a FURTHER bug with this console: apparently they discovered that when ONE of these things proc, ALL of the others also proc. Needless to say, this thing has been a runaway train in terms of overpowered-ness, and is currently one of the worst game-balance problems.
Just for fun, I got one of these so that Heidy can slot it on her Exotic-Torp boat, just to test this console for myself. I took her out on three quick queues: A Borg Red Alert, a Tholian Red Alert, and a CCA. Unfortunately, out of the three runs this console never once procc’d for me — and this is with Heidy using seven-eight abilities that can trigger it (four of which with relatively short CD that are used repeatedly). Is it just my rotten luck? Perhaps having more than one of these consoles will be a better test, but I am fully expecting a correction at some point, so there is no way I am investing a lot of resources in it.
Since then Cryptic did issue a patch that supposedly fixed the “proc frequency” of this console — but not the damage levels nor the huge list of abilities that proc it. My recollection is the feedback from the playerbase seems to indicate they haven’t really noticed a marked difference. Is Cryptic going to take a closer look at this and fix it? I sure hope so. This is clearly a case of something not working as intended, but sometimes Cryptic’s priorities are a bit confounding.