Vicious Circle - The Sustainability of Lockboxes
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Survivor of Romulus
Join Date: Nov 2012
03-03-2013, 05:23 AM
The bug ship is a game breaker? PvP is why most people play? Lockboxes are the root of all evil in the game?
The bug ship (aka Jem'Hadar attack ship) is a super glass-cannon. It's got no crew, only one science console, and no sci BOff slots. And yes, I know it has higher HP, turn rate, inertia and impulse modifier than other escorts, but with a crew of only 50 you only need to get caught by one full volley from any other ship, and you're boned. What do you spend your sci console on? Biofunction monitor to try and keep your crew alive so you have a chance to repair some HP, or an emitter array/field generator/shield emitter amplifier so your shields don't evaporate quite so quickly? And yes, you've got two universal BOff slots, but if you've got any sense you'll give one to a sci anyway, so where do you put the other? Tac doesn't need any more powers (HY torp, torp spread, cannon scatter, cannon rapid fire, tac team, 2x attack pattern should be more than enough - if you have beams, swap torp spread for FaW, and lose an attack pattern for beam target shields), so do you want to double your sci powers, or add to the eng powers and match survivability with the four eng consoles? The bug ship can break your game, but if you know what you're doing, you can break it's game just as easily.
As for PvP - nope. I don't know about the statistics for take-up of the scenarios, but I personally have never played PvP beyond the tutorials, and I never will. And when I take a new toon through them, the queues always take a long time to fill. I've had shorter waits to start Cure Ground STFs, and since the reputation system came out those have been
Now for lockboxes - I agree that PWE are bringing them out at too high a rate to be sustainable (one new lockbox per season would probably be better). But the concept and execution is otherwise sound. Each lockbox has contained something that I really would have liked to get my hands on, whether it be the CXP/skill bonus pools, the D'Kora Marauder, the point defence/isometric charge consoles, the space/ground warfare specialists, the mirror heavy raptor/Vo'Quv carrier, or the phased tetryon/polaron weapon packs. And whether [generic] your tastes are simpler (you open them for the DOff packs) or expensive (you want the ships), there will always be people willing to buy the keys and take their chances to open them. And that is what PWE want, a steady, regular stream of income. They don't care if lots of people make $10 purchases, a hundred people buying 10 master keys every three months is a more guaranteed income than ten people paying $25 for a new ship or $50 for a ship pack in the same time period. As you point out, sooner or later they're going to run out of canon ships to release, and if PWE want to maintain their income rates without lockboxes,
keep STO F2P, they would have to release Z-store ships at a much higher rate than they do now, and would probably need to make them character-specific rather than account-wide. We don't want that.