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-   -   Why Fleet Starbases could keep me playing, but aren't going to. (http://sto-forum.perfectworld.com/showthread.php?t=337401)

eatthepath 08-01-2012 02:47 PM

Why Fleet Starbases could keep me playing, but aren't going to.
 
I came back to this game for season 6, having last played at the end of the Season 5 FEs. My freinds and I have played STO on and off together since the beta, and we have a little fleet together. We've spent money on C-Store items in the past, season 6 has gotten us spending a bit more, and could keep us doing so.

But it won't.

I can't speak for our entire group, but I know I'm not alone in having gotten quite excited about the starbase. I never expected to have access to all the goodies right away, but I figured we could steadily play a couple of fights a night and slowly get somewhere. And at first that was the case! We've gotten three starbase upgrades completed and are still pushing for more. We've enjoyed all the new fleet content and have even revisited the STFs here and there. But as we tier up our starbase, the grind is exploding, and looks to continue to do so. Trying to scrape together the resources to do anything is becoming increasingly tedious, and entirely not fun.

The worst of it is the rewards for fleet advancement have so far been lack-luster. The promise that maybe the later gear will be better has thus far kept us going, but taking a look at what we've unlocked so far has really taken the wind out of my sails, and made me very strongly doubt that the designers know enough about what the players want to design a satisfying progression anymore, and looking at the fleet ships only reinforces this feeling. But that's only tangentially related to my main point, which I will get back to now.

One of the problems is the double curving of starbase experience. As you rank up a tier, the experience required to get to the next tier is greater than it was last time. That's not unusual, and it's not a huge problem. At the same time, the projects that yield that experience get more expensive. Either one of these facts alone would be fine, but together they combine to be absurd.

Even this wouldn't be the worst thing, but some of the commodities you have to feed in are insanely hard to grind up. To get to tier 1 in a category requires 179 common duty officers of that type. Getting to tier 2 from there needs 640 duty officers. Going from there to tier 3 takes over 2760 duty officers! How are we supposed to get that many of the guys? To advance even one step along the path we need a total of 120 duty officers. If we're doing all the recruitment missions at our disposal as fast as we can, continually logging in to see if the invisible cooldown timers are finished, I'd say we might get up to 1 duty officer of the right type per day per character. with ten characters that's still over a week before we can take one single step along the road. That's probably our best rate we can manage, unless we're furiously grinding energy credits to buy them off the exchange at every balloning prices. We have to do that 23 times to get to the tier 3 experince threshold. That's over nine months of CONSTANT GRIND. Even if we pay real money the return on investment is going to be so low that we'll have to spend a fortune to put any dent in that number.

I'm okay with the road being a long one, I really am, but this is absurd. From what I've read the enemy types are gated by starbase level, so we're not only cut off from the resources of a higher tier starbase, we're cut off from one of the things that MIGHT make the grind bearable, enemy variety. We are already sick to death of fighting klingons, gorn, and orions in the fleet events, and it's going to take us literally months of grind to unlock the next set?

Putting in item sinks for things that were piling up is great, but the effort to drain the economy of these overabundances has succeeded, and now attempting to continue at the same prices is terrible. And some of the requirements are terrible from the start. Practice Tactical Exercises II takes, if STOwiki is accurate, 100 photon torp MkIIIs. You need to run that mission 23 times if you're going for tier 3 without doing any provisioning. That is going to the vendor and buying the launcher, two clicks per torp, 2300 times. Yes, it's spread out over time and a fleet, but give me a break. My RSI is bad enough from my Pavlovian need to hammer spacebar even with autofire turned on, I don't need this too.

I don't really believe there's a chance of a price revamp here, but I'd be overjoyed to see one. While you're at it, you could make fleet leadership a bit more interesting. Make there be real tradeoffs in the advancement. For example, and I'm just spitballing here:

Lower the prices of all higher level category XP assignments, and if you feel that makes it too possible to ram down them for big fleets, raise the levelup thresholds. Add missions that allow you to advance faster down a track but are less resource efficient, especially in dilithium. Let people keep the progress they have, but change future progression.

The DOff prices are the biggest offenders though. If they're going to remain at their current curves, common DOffs have to be more easily attainable. For god's sake, if you're going to monetize this game to hell and back, just add C-store department themed doff packs that are guaranteed to give commons. I bet they'd sell like hotcakes.

TL;DR the explosive DOff grind is starting to kill my small fleet, and I expect it to do so for large fleets sooner or later.

ferdzso0 08-01-2012 03:27 PM

when they said that small fleet will have a chance at leveling their base, I thought the requirements will be dependant on the fleet's membership count (but to my knowledge a 5 men fleet has to contribute the same stuff as a 500 men fleet).

also the problem is, that many stuff that is needed for the leveling of the starbase was not even that common before S6. while there are many things that we had a load of, and we still have, because we still cant spend it on starbases (for example the boff skillpoints -I dunno the new name-, all of us have millions of it, yet one lvl requires around 12000, maybe double of it...).

imo the prices should change, or at least should be tradeable (uncommon doffs should worth 2-3 common ones).

eatthepath 08-01-2012 04:06 PM

I never expected prices to scale based on fleet size, and don't really want them to. The provisioning system already does that, and could be made to do so harder to slow down large fleets if that was desired.

We're told there are doff down-trading assignments coming. I think this is a band-aid, it'll help us for a little while and then our ships will be entirely abandoned and we'll be almost back where we started, except without anyone to do Doff assignments with, or only the barest skeleton crew.

fiberteksyfir 08-02-2012 03:16 AM

Have to agree a few adjustments are needed. Add FMs to all PvE/mission content, and for the love of god do something about the DOFF requirements. My fleet has had that 30 sensors/30 energy weapons assignment active (cant even trash the thing because there's no options to cancel an assignment or switch between active and queue'd) for over a week now. Sensors officers are getting just plain stupid on the exchange, over 1mil each. Most of my fleet has EC laying around, but we're just not willing to dump over 20mil for one part of one assignment.. we just assume sell the doffs and make more EC to buy stuff that's actually better than the fleet equipment.

reyan01 08-02-2012 03:39 AM

I have to admit, the novelty has worn off now - the grind is tiresome.

suricatta 08-02-2012 03:49 AM

I'm really really struggling to keep motivated now. For the last half year or so, the only thing that kept me in STO was the DoFF system. I'm now finding that only a month into this season I'm just logging in to do my DoFF missions and nothing else. I enjoyed Nukara, but after doing it several times its just getting boring, the same as the other fleet mark events, there simply isn't enough variety to keep me interested in grinding these events back to back.

I think what is worse in all of this is that the items that you recieve from the fleet starbase system have been purposely designed NOT to be as good as STF loot. I persoanlly don't really enjoy the STF's (I've done them far too much with no luck getting gear) and thought that the fleet system would finally allow players to get decent gear that was comparable to STF's via the huge contributions we have to donate. To find out this is simply not the case has really put o huge downer on me, also the fact that you have to buy the items with fleet credits 'and' dilithium after all the donations to unlock them does not sit well with me either. I've basically emptied alot of my huge stockpile I've ammased since I started playing STO into the fleet starbase system and to be honest, the rewards just feel like a kick in the face for what players are expected to do. I want my Fleet Defiant (got the modules off the exchange for EC), but to be honest, I have no idea what I'll do with it once I have it, because I really can't be bothered with the current fleet mark grind events anymore. :-/

Ah well, SWTOR is going F2P soon, I might just head back over there :-/

ryanev 08-02-2012 04:05 AM

I'm also disappointed by the uber grind required even in mid levels.
I can live with the increasing number of marks required and the increasing amount of experience required to get to higher tiers, but from what i see on Wiki and in my own fleet,
the amount of stuff that must be invested to get to the next tier quadruples with each tier.
so the trend 12(0)-30(1)-60(2) doffs per assignment will continue into up to 240 doffs per assignment at tier 5 and will require about 150 of those to get to tier 5. And doing the 500 XP missions that require more dilithium and less doffs also scales badly from what I see.


As a result it looks like that getting to tier 5 will be impossible for small fleets despite what the devs said. And in the end most bases will be developed up to tier 3 at most and then abandoned with the majority of players will join a few uber fleets so that about 500 players working together may be able to fully develop few bases into tier 5.

mattjohnsonva 08-02-2012 05:20 AM

I have to agree with all the comments here. The whole concept is terrific, at the start we were all going crazy and contributing all we had. We are now almost to tier 2 and the cost of the DOFFs is beyond belief. Yesterday I spent 22 million buying 12 common sensor officers, a very rare maintenance officer and a very rare quatermaster. Now I sink real money into this game, I buy zen and then sell fleet modules and other stuff to get the EC to buy the Common Doffs that are unavailable anywhere else apart from a random drop here and there.

Whilst I understand this is the long haul we are aiming for the cost to benefit ratio just doesn't add up. My 230 man fleet is now starting to lose interest, nothing is progressing much, we are all out of EC and DOFFs, and the FM events reward so little that the grind is becoming incredibly tedious, even STFs are more fun.

Cryptic, great idea, poor implementation, I for one cannot afford a single penny more for our starbase, I have spent over ?100 on zen, maybe more, just to get the things we need, I can't keep doing it, I have a real life with real bills. I estimate it will take probably a couple weeks now to reach tier 2, then about 3 months to tier 3, another year to 18 months to tier 4 and about 5 years to tier 5 by which time everyone will have long ago forgotten about the starbase system.

Cryptic, for the love of Q make it more accessible and cheaper, much much cheaper, or your flagship season six will soon be floundering on the rocks just before it inevitably sinks.

sollvax 08-02-2012 06:13 AM

we need fixed price doff sales
FIXED immutable permanent prices payable in dilith or EC
and the doffs on the exchange pattern mapped to it (max price 1000 dilith 30,000 ec per doff)

tinead51 08-02-2012 06:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by mattjohnsonva (Post 5091961)
I have to agree with all the comments here. The whole concept is terrific, at the start we were all going crazy and contributing all we had. We are now almost to tier 2 and the cost of the DOFFs is beyond belief. Yesterday I spent 22 million buying 12 common sensor officers, a very rare maintenance officer and a very rare quatermaster. Now I sink real money into this game, I buy zen and then sell fleet modules and other stuff to get the EC to buy the Common Doffs that are unavailable anywhere else apart from a random drop here and there.

Whilst I understand this is the long haul we are aiming for the cost to benefit ratio just doesn't add up. My 230 man fleet is now starting to lose interest, nothing is progressing much, we are all out of EC and DOFFs, and the FM events reward so little that the grind is becoming incredibly tedious, even STFs are more fun.

Cryptic, great idea, poor implementation, I for one cannot afford a single penny more for our starbase, I have spent over ?100 on zen, maybe more, just to get the things we need, I can't keep doing it, I have a real life with real bills. I estimate it will take probably a couple weeks now to reach tier 2, then about 3 months to tier 3, another year to 18 months to tier 4 and about 5 years to tier 5 by which time everyone will have long ago forgotten about the starbase system.

Cryptic, for the love of Q make it more accessible and cheaper, much much cheaper, or your flagship season six will soon be floundering on the rocks just before it inevitably sinks.

Costs are spiralling out of control,I can see many starbases being ghost towns sooner rather than later.My fleet has around 140 peeps,if yours has 100 more I forsee doom on the horizon.

Cryptic,get a grip before it becomes a huge white elephant... :o


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