Cryptic still hasn't really stated how they're deciding what gets developed for STO. I've heard rumors that of the 45-day patch, 20% will be Klingon, while the remainder is slated for the Feds. If that's the case, it won't bode well for Klingons, as far as the faction retaining its \numbers. And our numbers aren't anything to boast about as it is.
Cryptic has said they're going to develop the game as their player base wants it. So, who exactly is the 'player base'? The entire group as a whole, or is there consideration for factions as representatives of that player base? If it's just a case of percentages for Cryptic, well then, the Klingons are royally screwed. Right now, I'd say Klingon numbers amount to no more than 10% of the entire population. That means 90% of STO is Federation.
Then again, Cryptic did decide to make a separate Klingon player faction, and was quite adamant about it being part of the game at launch. It may have been as empty as a 'cracked planetoid' (whatever the hell that is), but it was there at launch. So, why go to all that trouble to make Klingons playable? Or was that the focus, to make them 'playable'? Not so much a player faction, as playable. This undoubtedly leads to an old argument, but one of digression as well. Fact remains, however, that Cryptic view the Klingons as a player faction, so its players have a say in the process of MMO development. But at 10% of the whole population, just how much of a say?
Relative to the Klingon faction, the Federation faction is an embarrassment of riches in terms of game play and content. It would seem that as factions go the Klingons would be up on the list for massive development in both departments, but if Cryptic are only seeing the Klingon faction for its player percentage, then just how much worth is 10% of the whole? Not a whole lot by most standards.
That's the crux of it really. Does Cryptic see us as a faction in need of desperate development, or as a component to the overall design that has proved more trouble than its intended worth?
I'd hate to say it, but they're putting their money where their numbers are. Giving us content, however much we need it, would come at the cost of less content for feds, whom have more numbers, which means less people playing, less money for the devs, less people employed to make content. Not really a winning system.
Developing pvp would boost both fed and klingon. E.G Loads of good and unique gound environments have been created for 'exploration'. The few players who bother with exploration see once for five minutes. Some of these could easily be adapted as pvp maps, that a lot of the player base use a lot. Same with some of the space environments.
Giving some of the npc costume options to Klingon players would also help. Maybe make them unlockable for pvp rewards. Allowing Gorns to use gorn ships, orions to use orion ships etc would attract people to the dark side.
Employing a few people to design missions in Cryptics generic mission designer, maybe two or three a week, on top of whatever they already plan to add, would help sort the faction out.
I cant see it happening, though. Doing these sort of things would show a titchy bit of managerial skill. Something Cryptic does not have. Nope, this game is going to go the way of CO.
My problem to all this is why did Cryptic even bother to make a Klingon faction playable? It's really not a surprise that the Fed would be so large as a percentage of the player population. Dealing with the number discrepency is not that big a deal either. For example, if you are going to make Klingon PvP only, then make the NZ sector blocks open PvP. Allow all tiers of Klingons to flag in these PvP maps, but only allow the last or last two tiers of Feds to do so. Allow for some buffing defensively for the lower tier Klingon ships, but otherwise let it be. This way numbers are a lot more manageable overall.
All it takes is a little thought and some idea of what the theme is.