The curse of the MMO
I'll reserve final judgement on the release-worthiness of this game until Tuesday, the ACTUAL release of this game. However, some things do make me apprehensive
Not worth discussing. It's a major no-no and the guys at Cryptic should be savvy enough to already have this at the top of their priority-list and they'll get it sorted out. For their sake, I hope sooner rather than later cause nothing gets you shouting for a refund at the game-store like an unplayable game.
A lot of stuff still feels confusing to me. I may be dim, but at Lieutenant 10, I still have a hazy idea at best about the various skills and how they work. Still trying to figure out if they can be reset or if I have to steel myself for the fact that I'll be forced to re-roll down the line just cause I spread my skills wrong.
I still have a very vague idea about what fleet actions are. Apart from that one Admiral whatshisface that you can talk to, there is no info to be had. Incidentally, that particular dialogue is one of the more annoying bugs as it keeps popping up for no apparent reason at the most inopportune times (like when I'm getting hammered by 6 klingons at once from every direction).
Memory alpha. So, do you increase my standing with them by buying a bunch of crap from Commander whatshername to get access to the other venders there? Or is it something else I need to do? Would be nice to know before I start squandering all my materials on stuff I don't want.
Tooltips that make no sense. Like a tactiacal console with "Phasors +5". Plus 5 what? Damage? Accuracy? Range? Color-hue? And what does "Accuracy +0.1" mean for that matter? How is it even calculated?
Maps crashing when zoning to a system, not even being able to enter a system, no timeout when server stops responding in ground-missions, I could go on.
The point is, all who've played any other MMO game from the start knows that this is "to be expected" and that all of these games have glitches that they are eventually hammered out, some more quickly than others. The reason I put this in quotes is that just because we've come to expect this doesn't mean it's OK. And any player new to the genre definitly won't accept it. They will compare this with a console adventure game that works out of the box and say, "this is a joke, I want my money back. This isn't even working".
I think game-makers should take heed and examine some of the poor showings of later-years. Warhammer, Pirates of the Burning Sea, Age of Conan, Champions Online (yes Cryptic...) etc - I dear say a lot of the recent MMOs failed to take off based to a large part on failure to meet expectations in terms of quality (too many bugs), clarity (confusing mechanics) and accesability (queues, downtime, crashes).
Now, since you should always end on a positive note I'll say this: All you guys at Cryptic, awsome game! After seing it in action in open beta and head-start I'm loving it. Graphics are smart and pretty, gameplay and space-combat are all really fun and the mechanics with officers and stations feels both fresh and natural. Gameplay also feels smooth and the interface is (mostly) responsive. The reason I say mostly is due to ground combat that i feel has received less polish than space-combat. Not to say it's not good, just that the space-part of the game is better. I'm also anxious to get deeper into the game and to figure out all those things I still dont understand and to explore the team-oriented mechanics and roles in more detail.
And because I'm one of those poor sods who knows to "expect" a rocky launch, I'll definitly stick around a while with the conviction that bugs will be fixed, glitches sorted and issues solved :)
With one caveat - if the queues still remain after launch, I'll be gone like a pay-check on the first friday after pay-day. That is totally unacceptable.
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