I would like to share my experiences of STO thus far, since I have endured the uneasy time from the beginning of open beta to this very day in headstart and beyond. To best lay this out in an eye pleasing manner, I'll seperate my experiences from my suggestions and label them.
The first thing I must say is the level of visual and audio polish on this game is quite impressive, it looks and sounds like trek should in the way I believe at least. Ultimately I believe this does not feel like Star Trek however, as even though Picard, the Enterprise, the Borg and such all exist, having them in a game setting lessens their impact somehow. A good example of the lesser impact is in the Federation introduction. The Borg are meant to be a unified, terrifying force of which the greatest mercy is death, a mercy they show in even more rarity than negociation. While they most certainly do not try to negociate with you in the tutorial, the concept of weak, disconnected drones slapping your face with their sexy cyborg arms for very little damage does not instill much fear. While I know that introductions and tutorials are meant to be easy, to use the Borg in such capacity only makes me sigh. Players of other Star Trek games may know what I mean by the lessening of impact, so I convince myself that this is ~a~ Trek, not ~the~ Trek.
Controls for the game were very fidgety to me at first, so I had to redefine a majority of my keys, something I would rather I would do anyway, since such redefining of keys helps me to learn their function. Utilising the controls was another matter entirely, which I had found to be rather satisfying as they were responsive and within acceptable bounds. I had felt that I could take cover behind an object by moving behind it, similarly, I felt that I could jump ontop of the very same object, should my jump be high enough. The only limitations to my movement I had felt were through percieved physical (ironic to say physical for a virtual world, eh?) means, not invisable walls or waist high fences. Space movement was somewhat different, I had got a mixed feeling from manuvering my Miranda, which I'll go into more detail as I explain combat.
Combat in STO has thus far been interesting in both ground combat and space, with both being unique from eachother. Technically, both use the same concept, expose and exploit, as well as the importance of positioning. On the ground you tend to get along quite well with the locals when you shove a rifle up their bums, prefarably from behind, all other abilities only make the shoving easier, or funnier, as was my experience with Mines. In space you tend to have individual shields for each part of your ship, which can be reinforced at any time by draining other shield facings, or using abilities to give one time bonuses, resistances, or regen. This means that to win a space engagement, you have to continually headbutt a single shield facing untill it collapses, then make sure you kick your opponent ship in the nads before they can turn to a stronger shield facing, or regen the damage you just did. Ironically NPCs are far, far better at defending their weaker shield than players are, since the AI never panics, nor does it ever double over after being kicked in the nuts.
Space movement during combat is slow and lumbering, unless you pile all your power into engines, then its a case of who can regen faster, your DPS rate or your enemy's shield, since your own shields will be doing very little regenerating. Why space combat is slow and lumbering is something that is a little lost to me, while i am certainly not a theorist of space vacuum, endlessly showing my indominable intelligence by accurately predicting how much force is required to throw a rock to the moon and back, I do think that piloting a huge submarine armed with lazor beamz is rather.... well.... friction maybe? I simply cannot think of the words, any intelligence I possess is not as indominable as the space travel theorists.
Then, i remember how fun it is to fire my lazors, oh yes, I am charging them and firing them quite nicely, along with a cool screen shake effect, only thing left is a torpedo up the backside and my enemy is through in style.
These guys are otherwise known as the overpowered Fed-Ballers that have all the PVE content, this is unfortunately true, I could spit out some half chewed statistics about how 78% of all players are currently in the Federation, or how the Federation currently has eight times more PVE content, or how federation players can access an aweful lot for content in alot more sectors than any other faction, of which there are only two, counting the Feds. Ultimately, any half-baked statistics are pointless, this is a Trek game and everyone is a captain of a ship, and that ship will most likel- nay, it will most definately be the U.S.S N.X Enterpr1s3-1337, savior of the Zeta quadrant, ultimate master-and-commander admiral of starfleet and bane of the borg, glory be to the humans of ultimate awesome diplomatic lazor beamz of mercy and enlightenment.
Otherwise, the content for the Feds is engaging and constant, although I personally prefare to lazily drift around the Genesis powered exploration sectors.
I feel sorry for these guys, compared to the Feds, they have waaaaay less content and freedom of movement within sector space, indeed, I had attempted to drift my way into fed space in my Bird of Flimsyness recently, only to be told by my equally as lazy helmsman that I was not allowed to enter. Indeed, I had then commited to a three minute long yawn, spending that entire time at warp 7 against an invisable sector wall. I found it amusing, how could the laziness of my helmsman, who didn't even bother to take me out of warp, deny me the right to warp lazily into fed space, even though my ship, the I.K.S LazyPerson, Lazily kept warping in that direction, only to lazily never enter it? Lazy, I say.
I must say though, the equipment buying systems for the Klingons satisfied me a hell of alot more than the buying systems for the Feds, in fact, considering that money is abolished for the almighty federation, why must you 'pay' for weapons and Equipment? Why is energy used as the currency? Why is Merit, or Honor, also used as a currency? Is the officers of the Federation so fickle as to tarnish your reputation every time you train one of your officers? Is the KDF so decietful to consider you less honorable when you request a new officer to replace that idiot Gorn Tactical officer who keeps on blowing himself up on his photon grenades?
STO has some of the best combat and random generation systems I have seen, clearly someone was awake when pirates of the burning sea implemented their systems, I can only hope STO continues to develop all of this further. The level of polish even at this stage is impressive too, hope that continues to improve as well.
Finally, Star Trek Online has frightening potential, so I'll be watching to see if and when it gets screwed up.
It is the moment you have been waiting for!
Considering that STO is advertised to have an Open PvP system, this is definately something I have to offer to suggestion. Right now the PvP system is exactly the same as World of ********'s, which most players will identify if they have experienced such a thing. That of course does not mean that there is not Open PvP content, it just means that the majority of the current PvP content happens in closed Arenas, this is not open PvP and the frag happy players who measure the value of their lives by their kill to death ratio's will rage, and they will rage hard.
I would offer my suggestion that limits on sector travel be removed, any players of any faction, current or future, be allowed to go anywhere at any time. This also can translate into invading any instance at any time should an aggressor feel it prudent, the only requirement that they be close to the instance sector area. Of course limitations can be put onto this, a setting for the client for example, which could turn off PvP intrusions into their instances, effectively making them immune to PvP attack. I do not believe that it should be possible to pull players into combat on the sector map however, since I have an awful preconception of warp speed and that it is not meant to be interruptable. I could be wrong, however.
Other PvP content I am sure devs are working on and I need not tell them how to do their job, fear not.
I have a love for subordinates, yes I do, I love little things to command, which is why I am so interested in the Klingon Carrier. Something that escapes my logic though is the use of runabouts. Right now you have the boarding skill, which launches shuttles at a target ship.
Launches shuttles at the target ship? So, they are like reusable torpedoes the-... no, wait, they go to the target ship then disappear... Eer, disappear? no exploding, no returning... what do they do, crash into the enemy and become one with it?
This makes no sense to me, all those ships firing shuttles at the enemy must be such a massive drain to the resources of the Federation, since I've never seen a runabout return, or be used for anything else, other than in the intro mission at least.
My suggestion for runabouts is to make them work in a similar fashion to the Klingon Carrier's fighters, although as shuttles they would have far less weapons and specialise more on debuffing and repair. I could go a step further and suggest a dedicated runabout screen with maybe some special equipment you could put on your special little support ship. Ultimately this is my want for spacebound AI subordinates speaking however.
That is about it for now, I am too tired to think of anything else. Byeee.