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Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,496
I don't know why but i feel the need to share my feelings about the Reputation System.

things i like:

- it gives me SOMETHING to do... while i wait for the next big thing
- i very much like that it gives your character new abilities and i think that is the only reason i actually am playing it, no matter what items the Rep Systems might reward.

things that are odd:
- Eppoh tagging:
#1 complaint: why do we have we gotten a "Eppoh" breeding game, when all we ever wanted was a TARG breeding game? You know, the thing the Dev's are teasing us about forever now, something unique to the KDF... COMBAT Targs... nope KDF you get nothing and you will like it! Go hunt romulan rabbits!

#2 complaint: it is a silly activity that would in any mmo at best be a tutorial exercise, but in Star Trek Online it is "Endgame Content". So in the tutorial i shoot Borg and then Klingons, but at Endgame i run in circles pressing F tagging rabbit thingies... i think the Game Designers of STO got their gameplay experience reversed a bit here? Or maybe i'm just not the Target audience for this specific quest.

#3 The Winter Event Eppohs provided easily enough Romulan marks to get me through the complete Romulan Reputation System, 50 Rom Marks per eppoh would have been enough to start a days projects, no we get 200, enough for 4 days!

- Borg Conversion Crate: first it was supposed to unlock at the end, then tier 3 then instantly -> i don't know what the hell the Dev's were thinking here... makes no sense to me.

- the frequent changes at the start when Reputation Projects were changed from 2 to 1 day and the requirements cut by half. To me that felt like rushed design, either it wasn't ready when released or the Datamining showed very negative results so it was made easier.

all of these things scream rushed design and re-design decisions to me to the point of damage control, and i find it confusing when things change that fast, it looks to me like the designers have no real idea what they are doing, what their goals with the system are etc. or like they had an idea and then got negative feedback and were forced from above to change it.

things i do NOT like:

- i do not like the waiting part of the entire Reputation System, if it is a grind, then LET ME GRIND!
I have enough resources by now to just hammer in the buttons and get on with it, but every button press takes 20 hours. Artificial Delays / Timegates / Cooldowns, call it what you want it is annoying like hell.

- i do not like that all the Reputation XP projects are the exact same, there is no Gameplay consideration to earning these XP, it is just a 3 types of currency sinks, Marks, eXPertise, and EC.

- i do not like that Hypos are one of the things i have to slot, it messes around with my powertray,

- buying stacks of 20 is annoying LIKE HELL, i have 10 Characters so i have to buy 500 Hypos, 500 Shield Charges and 600 Regenerators every day... in STACKS OF 20!
That results in 80x buying a stack of 20, doubleclick the item, drag the (very thin) Slider to 20, press buy. ...80 times! Then put it all in the maxed out account bank (my Ferengi is buying at discount!) about 30% of it fits in there, let my various chars grab the items... relog 2times to the Ferengi and fill it up again...

micro management .... micro management .... micro management .... DAILY!

my next Logitech G700 is better be paid for by dStahl he already broke 2 of them by this mouse clicking madness.

It is annoying like hell, it requires a crazy amount of inventory / bank slots, you can't even buy them in mass and bank a few stacks because even with maximum Bank slots purchased it still fills up everything.

next point:

- i do not like that Romulan Marks REPLACE dilithium on the reward table, dilithium is the "spend time in game"-currency, if i spend time and dont get dil for that time then that is not what was advertised to us when F2P was in the making.

- i do not like that Romulan and Omega Marks are MARKS, they should instead be XP.
Marks are a currency, later when i do not need it anymore because i'm done with it and got all the gear i need from it, i will need to convert that currency, extra clicks, extra micromanagement, extra limitations.
Why not just make it XP and reward dilithium directly from the missions, i don't care if you then change Romulan/Omage XP into expertise...
with more reputation system there will be more Marks, more reasons to convert stuff around... it will soon get cluttered again in the currenies tab of the inventory, just like it was before Dilithium was a thing.
And the Dev's don't learn, they keep doing it over and over again, everytime new content is introduces they add some obsolete new currency to it to make us play it.
Newsflash: we want to play new content because it's NEW and FUN, not because some Number on a screen tells us to do 3 more to get X !

- i do not like that there are unlocks for items in a shop, that only means i have to pay twice for the same item, and i can't even properly preview it inside Holodeck (not everybody has access to Tribble), i can't see the pricetag of the item before i unlock it, if i decide it's too expensive i already waisted currency for the unlock.

- i do not like that the Shop Unlocks are inside the same category as the XP projects, there is a upgrade slot that is not used 99% of the time, let me slot the shop upgrade projects in the upgrade slot! then i can unlock stuff while i wait for XP projects to finish.
The XP projects are running 24/7, i do not want to waist time unlocking Shop Unlocks, in particular not any that are below Mk XII, instead i just do the XP projects until i unlocked Tier 5, then i will maybe bother with the shopping stuff,
Mk X and XI is obsolete by then.

The Reputation System is completed so fast and easy that there is no point in waisting time with low level X+XI items, either make them cheap like the temporary gear that it is, or get rid of it, it is just UI spam as far as i'm concerned.

- There should be a cancel button!
i can cancel DOff Assignments and get my items back, the same should be possible for the Reputation System, probably could use the same code with a few adaptations.

Final Word:

All of that is mechanics and micromanagement.
That stuff needs to be there to function, at worst it can be annoying like the Hypo replicating or the artificial (20 hour) delays, but in any case it does not provide any gameplay or fun. That is what the missions are for.
But the missions do not feel rewarding, not if EliteSTFs keep you going for 2 days in the System and if one purple Eppoh puts more currency in your account than running Minetrap 15 times.

All of this is content that is done in groups of 5 or 20, yet there are very low amounts of Fleetmarks awarded for it, the KDF base of our Fleet pretty much stopped any progress by now, because everybody concentrates on Fed side more than KDF anyway and now most of us are busy with the Rep System, the Fleetbase mark grinding felt like an MMO thing, we worked together on building something. The Reputation system distracts from that and feels like i'm now just doing stuff for myself again.

The reputation system is BORING.

I had hoped for something FUN, i don't know, a list of Accolades/Achievemts/mission Goals to reach to get the XP instead of this simplistic currency grind might have been fun.

- Kill 500 Salt Vampires
- Destroy 50 Tholian Web Weavers
- Complete Hive Space Elite without getting destroyed

stuff like that would mean a direct impact on gameplay, it be like Achievements to hunt for, only with a reward attached to it.

I don't care how time intensive or hard to achieve it is as long as it's FUN (just nothing impossible please.)

The thing is... it's not a grind, for it to be a grind it would require me to actually grind, but i can't because of the delays. If it is something to grind, then LET ME grind.
Instead it is just... well a reason to log in and do something for half an hour.
If i want it to be a grind i need 10 Characters to keep me busy... and i still run into the Timegates.

So it is, but it is not a grind.
It is, but it is not a gameplay challenge.
If it is anything then it is character progression, but with only 2 Choices, that are the same for every TAC/SCI/ENG profession! And only ONE choice at Tier 5, it really is nothing to customize one's character, it is just an ability that soon everyone will have and i don't want to miss out on it.

ok... that pretty much sums it up.
i don't love it, i don't hate it, it is just something on a checklist to get done.
it's not exciting, it is not boring... but it is something to do.

also i do not see this Reputation System as the final incarnation.
STFs have changed their rewards and how they play 3 times already, i have no reason to believe that this Reputation System is the final version, all it takes is a Dev with a new idea or some piece of tech and inspiration or an order from above and the whole Reputation System will be turned into something else again.

And to be honest, it is not awesome enough to be the final incarnation of STO's reward system. It is good enough for now, it does what it is supposed to do, but that is just it, and thats why, at some point in the future it will be replaced by the next best thing.

- STF changes

I mean just look at the whole EDC / Slavage / Tech System, that was planned out, a huge UI and drop system was build around it... and they just scrapped it for this new System that isn't that much better. It is still confusing (what do i get out of it? when? what does it cost? what can the items do?....)

All that was needed for STFs was to add the old XII sets for EDC, and the new ones as random drops. Add the Dilithium cost to the items and all would have been fine as far as i am concerned, of course many would have been angry about the dilithium cost, but we all knew it was coming sooner or later. Now the same change is just neatly packeged in a new shiny Reputation System ...that also makes you wait for it.

The old system awarded you for activity, the new system awards you for... patience?

....oh god, what a text i've written again
anybody reading this? lol