So, the servers are down and I've been reading through the posts and I see lots of topics where players are stating that "space doesn't feel big enough" or the like. It occurred to me, its obvious that those players have never seen an episode of Star Trek! Feel free to follow me on this ride.
In Star Trek, those races that are advanced enough are blessed with the Warp drive. This wonderful invention allows intergalactic explorers the opportunity to cross vast amounts of space in no time at all. The Warp drive is not unlike the first trans-continental railroad. Before the rail-road, it took months to travel from one coast of North America to the other. But you know what? With this new-fangled Iron Horse, the vastness of the country was diminished. It was the same with the invention of automobiles. You could now jaunt across town for milk and eggs in no time versus spending all day in town to go to the market.
How could the dev team change the way space is illustrated to the player to make it feel larger? Lets see!
1. Real-Time travel - "What's that Ensign? 3 days at Warp 7 to get to DS9" *sigh* "Engage, see you all on Thursday!"
2. No Inter-System player controlled travel - Why bother with sector space at all? I've got a Warp drive! Plot a course and instantly arrive in another star system.
You know what? No thanks. I like being able to fly around between systems (when your ship is technically "in-warp"). It lets me explore. It gives me an opportunity to engage with other players. It lets me get into skirmishes with enemies.
If you feel that the concept of space in STO is too small, try bringing your ship about while in-system. Stare at the blankness of space beyond the planet you're orbiting. Pretty boring stuff really considering you could point your ship arbitrarily, jump to warp, and not run into anything for years. Yeah kids, sorry to disappoint, but real space, I mean REAL Outer-friggin-space is big. Big and mostly boring. The devs have given us the ability to move between the exciting parts quickly, but with a sense of scale. I for one think they thought out the space travel really well.