I've been pointing out those discrepencies in the star rating for some time now, DesConnor. I agree with you that we have a lot of overrated and underrated abilities on that list.
I did this once before, so I may as well do it again. This a second opinion (mine) on the star ratings. To reiterate my criterea for each rating:
- awesome; top-of-its-class, the stuff dreams are made of
- great; not necessarily the best, but definitely a strong pick
- average; nothing to scoff at, but not going to change the world
- below average; probably not worth your time in most cases
- bugged or useless
For the most part, these abilities will be analyzed on their best-case scenario. After all, you wouldn't pick jam weapons if your opponent isn't using strike craft. However, there are a few exceptions that are notorious for being overly niche, such as "ressurrection" of the Progenitor. Sometimes that ability can change the course of games, other times you never get an opportunity to use it at all.
Like before, I'll only list abilities that I disagree with SageWon on so we can focus our discussion on those:
Kol (2-3 stars):
Gauss Rail Gun (**): Too little damage, too much antimatter cost, not enough redeeming qualities.
Adapative Shield (***): Great for keeping the Kol alive, but highly limited in effect otherwise.
Sova (4-5 stars):
Rapid Manufacturing (**): Just does too little for an ultimate ability, especially for a capital ship that doesn't scale well into the late game.
Akkan (4-5 stars):
Ion Bolt (*****): Lethal capital ship killer; in the age of carrier caps (nanos isn't nearly as threatening to a kiting target) this is easily the most dangerous capital ship killing ability out there.
Targeting Uplink (***): Requires careful planning or the right circumstances, limiting its utility, but awe-inspiring in the right situations (20% damage boost in asteroid belts? LRM's attacking starbases from outside retaliation range? Stabases that outrange Ogrovs?)
Armistice (*****): Potentially gamebreaking if used skillfully, but very difficult to apply well.
Dunov (1-2 stars):
Shield Restore (***): Not enough shield restored, but anything that can keep capital ships alive longer is good in my books.
Magnetize (**): Glorified disabler ability; doesn't bring down enough strike craft to be significant.
Flux Field (****): Great ability, but only as good as the other abilities you have on hand. For late-game TEC, that's unfortunately a very short list.
Marza (3 stars):
Incendiary Shells (*): Damage is largely negligible. Even when maxed out, one extra frigate deals more.
Missile Barrage (****): Great damage output and deadly if used in the right situation, but too many ways to counter it.
Radiance (3 stars):
Animosity (*): Not useful to begin with, and can be overriden by a new attack order. For a faction with the guardian, it's completely unnecessary to begin with.
Absorptive Armour (***): It's passive, which is nice, but it's on a capital ship that doesn't need much antimatter to begin with. Still, Advent need every point of armour they can get their hands on.
Cleansing Brilliance (***): SOOOO hard to get a clean shot with this, and since the malice nerf it's not really that powerful anyways.
Rapture (2-3 stars):
Vertigo (****): Brutal ability due to its lack of a target cap. Cutting a LRF swarm's DPS by 30% is absolutely godly in the late-game. Unfortunately, it's quite antimatter hungry.
Vengeance (***): One of the few abilities in the game that actually punishes focus fire. I love it, but unfortunately it's easily countered by attacking something else.
Revelation (1-2 stars):
Guidance (*): Seriously, most capital ships have antimatter issues, not cooldown issues. This ability just lacks purpose.
Provoke Hysteria (***): Great for sieging 6000 hp planets, but honestly if there are more than a couple of those you'll be investing in siege frigates anyways.
Kortul (4 stars):
Jam Weapons (****): In the age of carrier capital ships that can replace strike craft before you can blink, turning off their guns is actually far more effective than killing them. Particularly against large late game swarms, this ability is utterly invaluable.
Skirantra (5 star):
Replicate Forces (**): Not so much that this ability has gotten worse, but there are SO many better ways to spend antimatter on this ship now.
Jarrasul (4 star):
Nanos (****): As a rule, capital ships kite these days. The idea of getting something to sit still so you can shoot nanos at it is a laughable prospect. This ability just isn't what it used to be as a result.
Antorak (1-2 star):
Distort Gravity (**): Speed is nice, but on the faction with phase stabilizers totally unnecessary. Bypassing phase jump inhibitors is nice, but a few squads of bombers can have the same effect.
Subversion (**): Much too niche and specialized to be of wide-scale use.
Vulkoras (3 star):
Phase Missile Swarm (**): Crap ability, deals way too little damage to too few targets.