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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
After reaching current maximum level with my Tactical Officer, I decided to make a new toon and try again this time, trying to see how a totally brand new 'non-beta' player will see the first few hours of the game, and to be honestly, there are going to have a really rough time of it, general chat will be ablaze with 'Please help me' messages. I'm attemping to make this post from a potential new players point of view for the first 3 hours of play. Granted some of what I am about to post hopefully should not happen in general release since I kept running into bugs, especially with the Orion Patrol Missions that became un-completable.

After creating your character, and go through the tutorial instances which are all fine, introduce each aspect of the game, its pretty fast paced and will 'wow' a lot of new people, however once you enter the main game, things actually go way down hill fast, read on.

First off, you'll get the first couple of missions such as SS Azura and the first patrol mission. SS Azura difficulty level is fine, that'll cause no real problems as long as no one rushes the mobs after you talk to the captain. The real problems will begin with space combat missions such as Patrol Kei System (2), facing off one big group of 2 corvettes and 2 brigand cruisers at roughly level 2 in a Miranda? Even a seasoned veteran can't pull that off, so people say? Find a group....what if there are no groups available? I attempted this mission and gave up because its impossible and no one was in the queue, and you think I'm going to bother chat with 'please help me complete a mission' come launch, expect this one alone to cause big whine posts, the brigands needs to be separated so each one is a single encounter not just one big cluster.

Secondly, another issue is with the big nerfs to Secure Sirius Block, since that mission before catered to a larger group, many would afk during that and get some easy exp, however because of the nerf its now useless to a new player, even though its supposed to be a level (4) mission, and everyone here knows its crawling with Negh'Vars and Raptors, which will just laugh at newbie players in Mirandas, heck even with a highly-co-ordinated group it'll be rough, and add in the death penalty at launch?

Not to mention some missions like the Lost Miner unless fixed will annoy a lot of people, in the 'state of the game' notes, there was mention of scanning ability to at least figure out where to go, hopefully this will also work in missions like this, because honestly....escorting that slow freighter to the station is boring, slow and tedious and made even worse if you don't know where to go! And newbie players will not even have a clue.

So with that, I attempt to do try to figure out what a newbie player would do, and that would be to attempt a different patrol mission, I picked the secure Una system, after destroying the first 3 birds of prey which was tough, I then barely destroyed a k'tinga and now I'm pitted against a Raptor which again, was a tough fight something a newbie will have alot of problems with, and onto the next battle with was another set of 3 birds of prey who alpha strike killed me pretty in one shot, even with power systems set to defensive. Time to respawn, and try again....this time I kill them only because of surviving the alpha strike, and yes the devs DO know this is a major issue and they are working on it....onto the final part of this another set of 3 BoPs but I defeat them and complete the mission and warp out to sector space and discover the mission didn't register 'as complete' so forced to do the mission again...'yeah a bug which hopefully shouldn't happen in general release' (In fact, mission has become completable now for me, even if I go back into the zone, and Sulu comes up with 'impressive work' definitely an error here, but continuing on as 'if' that completed normally. Chat error msg for Una system is "ZONE_Kfr_system-6577" is too long.

1 hour 40 minutes into the game

So looking at the episode log, I head for the Sirius sector block, and warp into be immediately attacked by 2 Negh'Vars, luckily I don't die because at least there are two Teir 2 escorts here, and looks like 1 afker...after first round being easy because of the teirs 2s here, I leave for another instance to try to find something that would be simpler to what to expect at launch, I find an instance with fellow Miranda's and everywhere you look, groups of Negh'Vars after everyone dying a few times, either due to someone getting close to another group and pulling, or having groups spawn too close, it really became obvious that at launch, this zone needs to be looked at, no seriously it does. After 40 minutes of doing the mission, and 4 deaths I was rewarded with 2 drops, one being dual disruptors and some photon mines which obviously are a huge upgrade to the starting setup, and quarter of a level up. With my new upgrades I decide to go back and try Kei system...this time its easy since for some reason its groups of Corvettes instead of cruisers..go figure?

2 hours 20 minutes into the game

Few choices of missions available, Starbase 24 - Several Patrol Missions or Diplomatic Orders. Obviously, this sounds like the next step so we head to P'jem....arrived on planet as a ship..(yeah its beta ) and we continue on, I have no problems with P'jem, ground combat was correct difficulty, and I had no problems with the dreadnought in the final phase, because I've already done it before. However, the entire episode took just slightly over an hour and the XP reward felt kinder low for the time spent, at least the shield reward was a big upgrade..

Summary over the first 3 hours of gameplay.

After the quick and dramatic tutorial/intro to STo, the player enters the main game with probably high hopes that that pace continues, unfortuntely once you enter the secure/patrol parts of the game, it quickly becomes tedious and slow with very little rewards for time spent, in fact some of the patrol missions themselves are far harder than they should be, this could be attributed to bugs though, the good side of things here is that the main plot missions themselves seem fine and for the most part ready to launch, however the patrol missions and the secure sector missions need some looking at.

Nerfing Sirius to allow for 1 group is a bad mistake, its not really stopping the afkers, there just hiding much further out and having Mirandas face off multiple groups of Negh'Vars and Raptors, especially if the starting equipment is terrible is a BIG, HUGE error. There needs to be some more starter missions that can at least upgrade your Mirandas basic firepower because standard equipment will not cut it period, and come launch everyone who will head straight into these encounters will be in for a nasty surprise.

I suggest the devs look into adding more missions/episodes for the starter levels that reward the player with some basic upgrades from the starting gear. Especially weapons, piloting a Miranda is bad enough, its moves like a cow stuck in the mud and twice as weak, so anything that'll upgrade it will help new players out no end.