I played SWTOR for a month, and then got tired of the WoW-ness of it. Yes, the story and characters were really good, as was the voice acting, but I judt don't dig the generic MMO mechanic. So, STO will continue to get my money because it's not your ordinary MMO.
I kinda regret quitting when I did those years ago, but my entire fleet quit basically so seemed like the thing to do.. Anyway, It is much improved from those days indeed. one of the first things I noticed when catching back up on things, the music in the Breen episode was actually pretty damned amazing compared to previous soundtrack work, I honestly wish as it is now they would release the whole soundtrack to purchase
I could go into a long winded post about the various game mechanics and things that are the same, that are better, that are worse, but I think, in general, these things are already beat to death on these forums (much like every other forum in every other game) but the single most important thing that has made me decide to stay this time around is simple.
On the inside I can feel one thing that was sorely lacking in beta and early on finally starting to creep into this game, even if slowly. I can feel the spirit of Star Trek rising! You can see the Federation is still not slipping into a mad war crazed group of tyrants, not compromising the spirit of discovery and exploration even in the face of armageddon. Yet still working to keep itself safe from outside evils. THAT is the Star Trek I love, THAT is the Star Trek I want to see, the Star Trek Online I want to be a part of.
The design of the Odyssey proves this by itself. It sickens me to see the amount of people crying it is not a warship the equivalent of the Bortas, I am quite thrilled the ship of the line is a ship of exploration agian. The Sovereign* and the Typhoon** are quite worthy vessels of battle and I love them both for that purpose
People have lost touch with what the spirit of Star Trek is because the caretakers of the franchise in general have failed to keep in touch with it themselves since the movie Insurrection, That is truly the saddest part of it all.
*And accompanying variants ** final judgment pending an actual player release
I was there for beta and launch and quit after the first month.
Now I am happy to be back because of:
* added cutscenes and more cinematic feel (like in Diplomatic Orders)
* added department-specific choices (like in Azura) that make your dept feel like it matters
* non-combat activity: scanning minigame
* non-combat activity: duty officers <<-- big one
* Memory Alpha crafting
As you can tell, what attracts me to a game is everything *else* than combat. I feel like STO is a much better game in non-combat respects than it was two years ago and that's why I'm back. The single biggest attraction to me right now is the duty officer system which makes me feel like I can actually do Star Trek stuff all day instead of killing people over and over again!
STO is definitely unique compared to those games - in a good way. One thing I would love to see in the future to really shape the game is dramatically improved deep space Exploration with no star charts ... one day ...