Ask Cryptic: September 2012
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Cryptic Studios Team
Join Date: Jul 2012
09-10-2012, 06:49 PM
It is interesting to see all of the responses in this thread about the feature options for 2013. It is clear that the game has a lot of room to grow and over the next year it is going to be our goal to tackle as many of the features on that list as we can.
When it comes to "factions", one concern I share is that when it comes to Star Trek fans, it is predominantly made up of "Federation" fans. No matter how many other races or factions we consider, the Federation will always be the most popular because they have the "leading role" in the TV shows, Movies, and most Games/Books.
There is also the concern that players have put a lot of effort into their existing characters and fleets. It wouldn't necessarily be a healthy choice to introduce a 3rd faction that has its own fleets, duty officer system, ships, and bridge officers because it would be disruptive to the fleets and friendships you've made in game.
All of this is above and beyond the question of whether or not there would be enough "missions" for a faction to have a solid game experience.
Whenever I think of Federation and KDF mission equality, it reminds me of the challenges we had before we launched the game. There was a drive to get "X hours of mission gameplay" into the box before it shipped. This resulted in a decent amount of episodes and a large amount of lesser quality patrol missions.
Since then we recognized that we wanted to make higher quality episodes AND add KDF as a full PVE faction. What we've been doing over the last two years is adding premium new high quality episodes playable by either faction because it was hitting two birds with one stone.
Add in all of the STF changes, the new Fleet Actions, the DOFF system and now we have a situation where there is almost TOO much leveling content on the Fed side and a decent amount on the KDF side. After looking at a lot of data, it is clear that Fed characters that use the duty officer system and run queued event outlevel the patrol and episode content to the point where most players hit max level before completing the Romulan episode series. In our goal to introduce more quality episodes, we now have a leveling curve that is very fast for the FED side.
When I think of creating "Parity" for the KDF, the goal would *not* be to get KDF to the same place as the FED, because the fact is, the FED curve is too fast. In addition to adding just a few more Episodes for the KDF, we need to weed out some of the less important FED patrols from the leveling path. That is what will get both factions to 1-50 leveling curve parity.
When it comes to a Romulan faction, the question still remains, would it be healthy for the game to introduce an entirely new faction that is now in the situation we just worked to solve? More than likely, if we were to add the ability to play as a Romulan, we would want to make it so that they could have their own experience, but ultimately fit somehow into the confines of our two faction game. Whether or not this means Romulans ultimately having to choose between which faction they support or something else entirely, the idea that Romulans would be a 3rd unique faction unto itself is a road STO may not take, if only to ensure the future health of the game.
Please don't mistake any of this as the "plan of record" but instead me sharing my thoughts on the poll results and what it might mean for STO in 2013. Anything can happen and plans can and do change, but it is fun to discuss and get your feedback when it comes to these ideas.