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Ensign
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 8
I came back to this game for season 6, having last played at the end of the Season 5 FEs. My freinds and I have played STO on and off together since the beta, and we have a little fleet together. We've spent money on C-Store items in the past, season 6 has gotten us spending a bit more, and could keep us doing so.

But it won't.

I can't speak for our entire group, but I know I'm not alone in having gotten quite excited about the starbase. I never expected to have access to all the goodies right away, but I figured we could steadily play a couple of fights a night and slowly get somewhere. And at first that was the case! We've gotten three starbase upgrades completed and are still pushing for more. We've enjoyed all the new fleet content and have even revisited the STFs here and there. But as we tier up our starbase, the grind is exploding, and looks to continue to do so. Trying to scrape together the resources to do anything is becoming increasingly tedious, and entirely not fun.

The worst of it is the rewards for fleet advancement have so far been lack-luster. The promise that maybe the later gear will be better has thus far kept us going, but taking a look at what we've unlocked so far has really taken the wind out of my sails, and made me very strongly doubt that the designers know enough about what the players want to design a satisfying progression anymore, and looking at the fleet ships only reinforces this feeling. But that's only tangentially related to my main point, which I will get back to now.

One of the problems is the double curving of starbase experience. As you rank up a tier, the experience required to get to the next tier is greater than it was last time. That's not unusual, and it's not a huge problem. At the same time, the projects that yield that experience get more expensive. Either one of these facts alone would be fine, but together they combine to be absurd.

Even this wouldn't be the worst thing, but some of the commodities you have to feed in are insanely hard to grind up. To get to tier 1 in a category requires 179 common duty officers of that type. Getting to tier 2 from there needs 640 duty officers. Going from there to tier 3 takes over 2760 duty officers! How are we supposed to get that many of the guys? To advance even one step along the path we need a total of 120 duty officers. If we're doing all the recruitment missions at our disposal as fast as we can, continually logging in to see if the invisible cooldown timers are finished, I'd say we might get up to 1 duty officer of the right type per day per character. with ten characters that's still over a week before we can take one single step along the road. That's probably our best rate we can manage, unless we're furiously grinding energy credits to buy them off the exchange at every balloning prices. We have to do that 23 times to get to the tier 3 experince threshold. That's over nine months of CONSTANT GRIND. Even if we pay real money the return on investment is going to be so low that we'll have to spend a fortune to put any dent in that number.

I'm okay with the road being a long one, I really am, but this is absurd. From what I've read the enemy types are gated by starbase level, so we're not only cut off from the resources of a higher tier starbase, we're cut off from one of the things that MIGHT make the grind bearable, enemy variety. We are already sick to death of fighting klingons, gorn, and orions in the fleet events, and it's going to take us literally months of grind to unlock the next set?

Putting in item sinks for things that were piling up is great, but the effort to drain the economy of these overabundances has succeeded, and now attempting to continue at the same prices is terrible. And some of the requirements are terrible from the start. Practice Tactical Exercises II takes, if STOwiki is accurate, 100 photon torp MkIIIs. You need to run that mission 23 times if you're going for tier 3 without doing any provisioning. That is going to the vendor and buying the launcher, two clicks per torp, 2300 times. Yes, it's spread out over time and a fleet, but give me a break. My RSI is bad enough from my Pavlovian need to hammer spacebar even with autofire turned on, I don't need this too.

I don't really believe there's a chance of a price revamp here, but I'd be overjoyed to see one. While you're at it, you could make fleet leadership a bit more interesting. Make there be real tradeoffs in the advancement. For example, and I'm just spitballing here:

Lower the prices of all higher level category XP assignments, and if you feel that makes it too possible to ram down them for big fleets, raise the levelup thresholds. Add missions that allow you to advance faster down a track but are less resource efficient, especially in dilithium. Let people keep the progress they have, but change future progression.

The DOff prices are the biggest offenders though. If they're going to remain at their current curves, common DOffs have to be more easily attainable. For god's sake, if you're going to monetize this game to hell and back, just add C-store department themed doff packs that are guaranteed to give commons. I bet they'd sell like hotcakes.

TL;DR the explosive DOff grind is starting to kill my small fleet, and I expect it to do so for large fleets sooner or later.

Last edited by eatthepath; 08-01-2012 at 03:19 PM.
 

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