I'll preface this by saying I very much enjoy this game. It's not perfect, it still needs work, but I'm having fun in STO and plan to keep playing for a good while -- or I certainly wouldn't waste my time posting this.
Now, on to the feedback...
One issue I keep seeing so far is lack of information in-game. I'm not talking about the "Where is Sulu?" sense, where anyone who actually opens their eyes, reads, and looks around could figure it out. But in the actual game mechanics way. Memory Alpha research ("crafting.") How abilities work. How skill-points actually boost abilities. What exactly X piece of equipment does.
Much information in this game is not transparent to the average player. Even the very informative posts by some of our wonderful members come across as being the results of much research. Kudos to them for helping us all out, but really, it shouldn't take research to figure out some of this stuff. A lot of people just want to log on, play for a couple hours, and not have to do homework to figure out what things do.
Skills Part 1 - Sure, once someone tells you, "Most skills boost abilities by a %," you can go off of that. But then there's that "most" part. Implying that perhaps not all skills boost abilities by a %. Then what? And why should the average player even have to ask or come to the forums to know that? This should be apparent in-game, in the tool tips. Adding little % signs after the +# that are applicable would help.
Skills Part 2 - Many people don't seem to understand until they read on the forums or pester the channels that they, as an engineer, can't personally train their tactical bridge officer in X ability after putting 9 points into Y skill. Some people put 9 points into a skill with the intention of doing just that. Only to find out they can't. Then they feel they wasted skill points. There needs to be something in the skills window to tell folks this. Perhaps a simple "if Tactical Captain" added to the tool tip. Something.
Memory Alpha - After much experimentation and discussion, folks finally figured out progress seems to be tied to the worth of the items you purchase. That's after many, many people wasted many, many data samples under the idea that it was based on number of data samples. First, there's nothing to indicate that it's the cost of items that counts, and second, there's nothing to indicate progress in working through a tier. Your average player is not going to break out a calculator and spreadsheet for crafting.
Honestly, a progress indicator somewhere, whether though a quest or a new UI window would pretty much solve this. People in-game could at least then figure out that hypos only give a little progress and phasers give a lot.
Abilities Part 1 - ALL ability tool tips across the board need to state which systems and such affect which abilities (ie. Sensors, Deflectors, etc...) Some do (those in the Powers window), some don't, (those in the Utility tray.) Too many times I've seen people ask what affects which ability, and they had to be told to go look in the Powers window, because apparently, many people naturally look to their Utility tray when checking their abilities. Consistency is needed here.
Abilities Part 2 (and weapons/kits) - Some abilities, weapons, and kits are simply vague or lacking much information at all in their tool tips. Torpedo: High Yield, for example, doesn't indicate in any way just how much it boosts the next torpedo shot. Ground turrets and shield generators, both ground and space mines, and other such things don't indicate how much damage/benefit they offer. They list a level instead. The damage/benefit should be shown in the tool tips. Target Subsystem abilities don't show how much they debuff, etc... This is actually an issue with many of the science abilities.
Equipment - Like skills, some equipment items don't specify exactly what they offer. +7.5 to deflectors. 7.5%? 7.5 points? 7.5 on some hidden scale? And no, I'm not asking for an answer. I'm just pointing out what I keep seeing people asking. Again. Better. Tooltip. Information.
The thing is, overall, there are so many options and possible builds in this game. This is great. But for the average player to make a somewhat educated choice without having to do a bunch of homework like the more hardcore players, we need more information available in the game itself.
Anyways, thanks to the devs for all the hard work so far, and I look forward to future improvements.
I feel that your points are valid... the only thing I would add is that you cannot see "debuffs" that are on you... it would be nice if you could see that your weapon systems had been taken out... or that you were caught in a tractor beam etc. rather than just guessing at what is happening.
fantastic post. my biggest complaint about the game so far (I'm Lt. Cmdr 2) is the (sorry devs) awful tool tips and info given for items. I heard the info was much less ambiguous at one point during OB but then went to the more ambiguous state that it is now.
Not sure why devs made the change.. whether to curb min/maxers, to add mystery, whatever the case, IMHO the game is worse for it. I fully get into the atmosphere of the game, read every mission text and generally enjoy playing in Star Trek. But at the same time I would very much like to know if, of the four rewards I am being offered, there are clear advantages to one over the other. I'd like to know if none of the four are a direct upgrade for the item I'm currently using, then is there a chance that one could be a side-grade alternative or I could use one to change my playstyle.
For instance, + to starship sensors says "example skills include tachyon beam, tractor beam, etc" (probably not, but just a rough example). Well CEARLY starship sensor gives a bonus to a skill/attribute that both tachyon beam and tractor beam use.. So why not just tell us that tachyon beam and tractor beam use the starship sensors attribute and +15 starship sensors is +15% to skills that use starship sensors?
And I know this stuff is in the game. I know it's dicussed on the board and some wiki sites.. the point is we should be able to glance at this stuff after completing a mission and say "ok, this is clearly an upgrade" or "ooh, this would be a good alternate action choice". Without being a seasoned veteran possibly already having been through the game once before this is nearly impossible to do right now.