Firstly, thank you for all the butt busting you’ve put into the game to have it ready for F2P prior to the Jan 17th launch date. I’ve played many MMOS, and none of the companies developing these games have shown the dedication to players’ requests like Cryptic has. I’ve been playing since ‘Headstart’ and have invested countless hours developing and refining my characters and feel my opinions may be of value to you. Since the launch of Season 5, I’ve notice several issues that need “tweaking” prior to the launch date that may help to keep free players interested in the game.
First: the flow of the main storyline missions is out of sync.
1) “Ghost Ship” (Romulan-lvl30). This mission is the first storyline introduction of the Devidians as a new threat to the Federation; however, Season 5 injects (5) Devidian feature episodes during the Klingon storyline (lvl13-lvl16) prior to Ghost Ship being unlocked, thereby, throwing the storyline askew. Also, I feel that ending the final combat act with ‘Hunters’ instead of Romulans (although we’re in Romulan space) will bring closure to the mission and make the storyline flow better.
2) Devidian Feature Episodes (Klingon-lvl13-lvl16). I feel these episodes will fit better as subquests placed after the “Ghost Ship” mission, but preferably before the “The Vault” (Romulan-lvl35 Reman feature episodes) for a smoother storyline transition.
3) Breen Gear Set. The Breen gear set will benefit new/low-level players more if the missions were placed as subquests after the Klingon missions rather than after the Borg storyline where it must compete with (2) far superior sets – the craftable Aegis set and the collectable Retro Borg set. I feel that allowing the rewards from the Breen missions (i.e. the Breen gear set and the Rapid Reload Transphasic Torpedo Launcher) to ‘rank’ up with the player would eliminate the need to replay the missions to keep the gear and weapons current with the mobs they’re facing. Also, the Tactical console for Transphasic projectiles should be available around Lt. Commander or Commander ranks (to correlate with the Breen episodes and receipt of the weapon).
Second: load screen congestion. Originated at ESD, has now travelled to DS9. Allowing more bases to carry all the services offered at ESD and DS9 would greatly reduce the congestion at those bases. Allowing transwarps to all bases to be unlocked via player rank instead of leveling diplomatic missions (the low Diplo XP discourages players from completing those missions) should hopefully ease the congestion that leads to load-screen lockups.
Third: probe farmers. Red Alerts are fun to play and a nice distraction from storyline missions; however, the accolades regarding Borg ship kills have created “probe farmers” that interfere with the successful completion of RAs as well as take away from the enjoyment of participating in them.
Fourth: crafting fees. Crafting fees should not be Dilithium or C-points.
1) Most new players don’t have these resources readily available and it puts undue hardship on the fleets to have to use their personal non-tradable Dilithium/C-points to craft items. In other words, the crafter must supply every material at their expense. Why not use energy credits for crafting fees?
2) Example of excessive crafting fee: I needed an Engineering console (Field Generator MK XI). My crafting character converted all available Dilithium to C-points, not knowing it was required as a crafting fee. As I result, I had to spend 17 C-points to retrieve enough Dilithium to buy the necessary crafting items. I crafted the console with those items and data samples I had in stock only to find out I crafted the wrong item. My mistake. Now, I had to spend another 17 C-points to buy the necessary crafting items as well as energy credits to buy the second set of data samples to craft the correct console. I’m not asking for my C-points back, however, the crafting fee makes even the smallest mistake a very expensive venue. It makes me leery of crafting.
Fifth: Becoming a Fleet Admiral Restrictions. I believe fleet creation should be more restricted or tougher; perhaps a mission that needs to be completed before the ability is unlocked. It is unfair for active fleets to compete against dead or dying fleets that flood the fleet rosters and spam recruitment ads in general chat.