I wanted to post some feedback that I hear in our fleet from those that don't normally enter the forums. We all know that forum users are a tiny percentage of the playerbase so their opinion is often excused as not entirely valid.
As someone who is now leading a medium sized fleet of 75 members I have a lot to deal with, I didn't join wanting to be in this position but here I am. When I hear of fleet member's concerns about the changes I have no positive answers to give them.
At the start of season 6 we'd have over 20 members on at a time, up to 30, by the end of season 6 the number was down, to be expected, to around 10 or so average but still peaking over 20. During season 7 so far it is 4-5, except for the first night but they dropped like flies early in the night.
The fleet is very average, we try to increase members skills but many are just very casual players. Over the time I see nearly all of them playing STFs and none are doing older fleet actions, we often play together on STFs, fleet actions for marks, and other activities. I do like to think our fleet is special, we have a lot of close people, and we play together frequently, it isn't just a chat room, we work together and achieve goals.
The comments I see from PMs and in fleet chat are like this....
New Romulus comments
"New Romulus is gorgeous but there is nothing to do. "
"New Romulus is boring, what a waste"
"Whats the point of New Romulus?"
There are a dozen variations on this, why so much development time if there is no content here?
The most concerning comments are:
"I already have a job, I don't want another"
we got one last night "well this looks like it for me, this isn't even fun anymore"
"This feels like I'm working"
Basically, people don't want to work, then come home to relax and have to work again. This is a game not a job, but S7 really has turned it into a job. I am not having any fun either, which means as a company you have failed.
"They took stuff away from everything I like to do"
"I don't want to play fleet actions"
"I don't understand the reputation system"
"Why don't I get any loot?"
"What is a reputation system?"
The average player has no clue WTH happened in S7. They are annoyed and frustrated.
Our starbase is nearly T4, we have been making steady progress, about 1k xp a day on average weekdays and 2k on weekends. Thats over. We don't get enough marks for one project a day now. Our fleet use to run Defera nightly in groups to get some marks, but now we are getting 60% of what we used to there, so that is basically out. Officer Reports is gone so those marks are out for the very casual players who used to be able to contribute a little, now can't contribute anything. This makes people feel useless.
So 3 days in, and we have already instead of a player increase, we are down 50% active, I'll admit my time in game is at 50% as well, I'm saying to myself "Whats the point?" We have players, good awesome people, so down by the changes they are leaving. We have a lot of players on the fence, there are so many complaints that the game feels like work and they don't want that stress, I know we'll lose more.
So what mistakes were made?
New Romulus - Gorgeous but pointless, its vast, its empty, its boring. So many hours put into creating something that just isn't worth it. It can be fixed..
STFs - Other than the crazy difficulty change, whats the point for having 8 different missions now? Its all bland, its the same thing. Lockboxes sell because of gambling, STFs were played because of the same reason, now there is no real point. Bring instant gratification back, make people EXCITED again. The vault wasn't played before because it was a low quality grinding reward, don't turn STFs into the same thing.. well you already did, but don't keep it that way.
Dilithium and marks - Obviously changed to make the game more profitable, it will undoubtedly backfire and create fewer players, these things tend to chain react. You made the game into a resource grind, its a job, you need to grind onto every resource there is to get less than before. It isn't fun, its work. Here is some news. The people that pay your bills are the mature working class, this is a lot of our fleet, we have income to spend on fun games. What people don't want is to come home from work, to unwind by working harder on a game. If you lose the people that pay, the F2P will not have ways to earn their money.. its a balance all F2P games need.
I have a feeling most of the resource removals are based on the multi character exploits. It would have been wiser to remove the ability to transfer huge amounts of dilithium across characters instead of penalizing every player in the game. You made the wrong decision, it will cost you. It was probably easy enough to do, create a 2nd style of zen where once its been converted once it can't be again and gets character bound on the dil exchange.
Reputation system - The casual players are completely clueless what this is, how to use it, that it even exists. What a terrible non-introduction.
Removal of efficiency - Sometimes its OK to have time limited missions to gain things faster than other ways. By removing B'Tran and the console clicking you essentially killed off the ability of the casual player to log on, spend less than an hour online and get stuff done. This complaint is 2nd only to the "feels like a 2nd job" complaint, and directly tied to it. Whats the big deal if every 24 hours someone could double up on a single dilithium mission? Its not even a 20 hr daily, its 24 hrs which means you are going to miss the recycle time and push it further back each day missing some. When progress feels lost, people quit games, not just here but everywhere.
Ultimately, I doubt I'll get a response to this, I doubt it will affect anything. I love change, but this wasn't a good change. I do really want to keep playing, to have our fleet online and having fun again, working together to achieve goals; but the morale after just 3 days is frightening.