Hey guys, after running Night of the Comet with the gf today, I thought I would post about my experience.
I'd already run this mission with a group a few days ago, and I wanted to catch her up. I'm a VA and she's a mid level commander. We grouped up in Eta Eridani, and while I invited her to join the group first, I promoted her to group leader before we entered the system to begin the mission (she had it and didn't share, I was able to enter anyway). I figured I'd be OP for the mission and since we were playing on normal difficulty
So far so good, we do the slingshot after one failed attempt, get to old Drozana, board the station. This is where things start to get wonky. Even though it's just the two of us, her character starts to get cut down rather easily, and we both die a few times when fighting the groups of Devidians. Even though it's on Normal, it's not toooo big of a deal, so we push through with our whole group only wiping once. The puzzle game with the drink was a bit on the silly side but it broke up gameplay nicely.
Then it's back out to space, facing that eventually huge group of D7s and B'vat. This is where things get more... not so good. I decide to take on the ships first so she can go after the comet. I'm an escort so I get hammered pretty hard, and eventually get destroyed. Her commander level ship gets destroyed within seconds of being targeted. We respawn and go again, and are destroyed again after barely opening fire on the comet. Then destroyed again. And again. We try different tactics to get to the comet without coming into much contact with the klingon fleet (we aren't expert mmo players so we couldn't kite that well) but nothing ends up working.
It was about here that I started sensing something was very wrong. We were playing on normal, and even though she was the group leader, my difficulty showed as Normal too. However, she finally notices that the comet fragments are +27 to her. So naturally I check too. 0 for me. The game had adjusted the mission to my level even though I wasn't the group leader and didn't have the mission! Baffled, I finally had her swap the group leadership back to me and matched my level, then went after the comet again. I get destroyed in the process, but at least we polished off the rest of the core fragments.
Needless to say that this mission wasn't a very good experience for myself (a bigger gamer, something of an mmo vet) or her (more casual, limited time to play, "ooo looks pretty!" type of player). Of course, getting destroyed repeatedly was hugely damaging to overall enjoyment, especially when the destruction only takes a few seconds. I'm not sure how most players would react to this... they might not even realize that the auto difficulty was acting strangely or incorrectly (hell, it might have been working right for all I know, and I was just misusing it somehow). But if I were not so heavily involved in the game (yes, I do like it. Gasp!), she would have absolutely stopped paying for the game right then and there.
I'm not sure how important this sort of target demo is for the game, but I'm posting here anyway in the hopes that someone will read this. I feel like this sort of subscriber is exactly the sort of customer STO should be looking to hold on to, and destroying their like of the game with a mission (on top of featuring it in a weekly mission!) like this is ABSOLUTELY NO BUENO.