System's been out for about a week and a half now and we've already seen some nice fixes to issues and have more in the pipeline so I thought it might be a good idea to bring some focus to the Reputation Store and some problems it has.
First, I'll go after general stuff that applies to both systems:
1) Timers on unlock projects - with the time it takes to run the experience projects now cut in half the 40 hours timers on the Reputation Store projects are now just one more reason to burn through the reputation tiers by running only experience projects and not running any of the store unlocks until T5 has been reached and all the Mk XII unlocks are available skipping over the Mk X & XI unlocks.
Suggested fix: reduce timers to at least 20 hours but chopping them even further and making them 10 hours would probably be better.
2) Lack of transparency with Ground Store projects - When I first ran the unlock for the Mk XI Romulan Assault Weapons back on Tribble I was expecting a full selection: Pulsewave, Blast, and Minigun. Instead I only got the Minigun. This lead to more than a little fear that the space weapons were going to be likewise stunted and that only a small selection of them would be available instead of all of them. I was pleasantly surprised upon unlocking Tier 2 to see that each of the projects listed the weapons types (beam arrays, turrets, dual heavy cannons, etc) that would be unlocked with the completion of that project. I had hoped that, that meant that the build released to Holodeck would have a similar level of transparency added to the ground weapon unlocks. It did not and does not.
Suggested fix: Add a list to each project displaying what that project will make available in the store.
The following are specifically for the Omega Reputation
1) Unlocks at Level 50 - The problem with Omega unlocking at Level 50 is two fold. First of all is that Omega Reputation contains Mk X weapons and equipment. While the space equipment does have some use at Level 50 the ground equipment is obsolete before you can get it. Not only this, but with all the rewards tied up in the reputation system there's no real incentive to run STFs before reaching level cap even though players gain the ability to run STFs at level 44.
Suggested fix #1: Drop the Mk X Ground store and possibly ground set unlocks. Suggested fix #2: Allow Omega Reputation to be accessed at Level 44 alongside Normal STFs.
2) Lack of space weaponry - When this was originally brought to the players attention we were told that it was because the [Borg] modifier had never worked as intended and that that one of the new captain abilities would do what the [Borg] modifier had been intended to do only for every enemy. At the time I, personally, had no problem with it as I preferred to use equipment obtained elsewhere, but I had also expected that the Omega Reputation store would eventually have all the same weapons the old STF ground store had. As it appears to only have unlockable anti-proton weaponry I'm a bit less satisfied now.
Suggestion: Add Anti-Proton space weaponry. To make it "special" add an anti-proton* DoT proc.
*I assume the ability to do this is already in game as the disruptor residue burn proc on Romulan disruptor weapons does anti-proton damage.
Well, that's all for now, thought I had more than two points for the Omega Rep specifically, but I ended up folding most of them up in the one about the Omega Rep only being available upon reaching level 50.
While I'm hoping for a Dev response to this I'm interested in seeing what other people think and where they agree or disagree with me. Please keep the discussion civil though I don't want to have to call the fire department at 1:00 in the morning
I like the option of having Omega open earlier-but I'd say even EARLIER than Level 44. Level 40, or thereabouts seems more appropriate to me, becuase at L40, MkX gear's GREAT, but by 44, it gets really, really, long in the tooth and is verging on obselete, by 45, Mk XI gear is GREAT, but MkX is something that, when it drops you either put on the exchange, or into the recycler depending on how bound to you it is. (Sometimes you pass it to a new Alt who's levelling, but that's again a matter of bound status and usefulness BY said Alt).
"Omega" gear is, by contrast, CHARACTER bound, so once it drops off being an advantage, into the cycler it goes.
The ROMULAN side, on the Other Hand (the "Gripping hand", maybe) is NOT END GAME CONTENT. It may be gated to Level 50, but the quality of the content is more in line with Levels 21-30, with the sole exception of the Tau Dewa Borg/THolian alerts. New Romulus is a very pretty map, stocked with incompetent peasants, cute animals, easy tasks, and menial activities more suited to what you assign a Pfc or Corporal, than activities appropriate to a battle-hardened general or admiral.
IMHO, there should be four Rep paths minimum-Omega, that only opens as you pass beyond "Captain's rank", given that the Borg ARE the primary accessable baddies you can fight in tandem with those warriors/Starfleeters on the other side, and three regional rep systems geared for levelling toons that are exclusive to quest lines, exclude one another until L50, and provide mainly the 'passive' abilities you may want to diversify your toon from, say, every OTHER toon of the same class and level.
Romulan: as it exists currently, but gated to a lower entry level, with New Romulus/Tau Dewa sector fully opening at the completion of the Romulan Mystery, expand some of the patrol missions into full episode content, emphasis on the Tal'Shiar and Iconian threat, add some minor Tholian issues at Level 34 or 35, (probably can find content on Foundry for this, or just ask for it and vet for the best examples), add gear at 30 and again at 40(when the MkX stuff opens up), and Romulan/Tholian STF material including Nukara at 45.
DS9/Gamma Quadrant: Open it at L20 with some basic missions leading UP to the 2800, and add some activities on Bajor and Cardassia similar to New Romulus, with maybe some missions into the Gamma Quadrant. True Way, Dominion, and Breen missions go here, with this path leading the most directly from 30 to 40 toward the Omega path.
War Zone: Klingon/Federation war exclusive, a Rep path based in PvP and more "Political" missions for both Klink and Fed, run parallel to Romulan Mystery, passives should focus on tactical abilities that really aren't all that useful for PvE, but are VERY useful for PvP against your opposing side. Expand on the House of Torg situation and the Undine infiltration of both sides, incorporate missions like "Krios Falling" from the Foundry to provide content past the Fel'Khri for Klinks, etc. etc. When toons hit 40, they gain the ability to switch to an "Omega" path, and enter into the Borg front via the gateway. Five levelling missions per faction here, from 40-45, then into the "End Game Content" STF missions.
Now, this all looks like a lot of work, but the basic coding is already there, as is a lot of useful content that, under the EULA for Foundry, is already Cryptic's property to use, edit, and alter as necessary.
Benefits: Making a new alt, at present, means going through the same recycled content, or grinding Mirror/minefield missions endlessly. The straight-line nature of the current episodes means variation is practically nil, and everyone does the same things, fo the same rewards, in roughly the same order-which is boring as hell.
OTOH, a branching 'bush' of storylines, where even shared content may not appear in the same order or for the same levels, with divergent character boosts means someone could pop up with their L30 Engineering officer, and BE a badass...in ways that an Engineer who, say, levelled in a different quest line, isn't-even with the same skills, race, etc.
A DS9/Omega vet at L45, for instance, may be rocking the defensive boosts, but have a really different fight against a L45 Romulan front vet, and neither of them will have the same passives that a L45 veteran of the Klingon/Federation War or Fel'Khri incursions will have, but at L50, when all three paths are theoretically open in addition to Omega, an existing toon COULD work the grind and get all four...eventually.
Variation would offset the feeling of costly grind, rewards and content scaled closer to the actual level it's theoretically appropriate for, and happier gamers (and happy gamers tell their buddies, who then come to see what the fuss is about!)
Since I made my initial post for this thread I've had the Mk X Assault Weapons project finish and am both pleased and disappointed at what I found.
First, what I liked:
The revamped anti-borg modifier is now a +10% damage to Borg (dealt as Kinetic damage). I like this much more than the old +15 Kinetic damage.
What I didn't like:
Lack of Blast Assault and Pulsewave Assault weapons and the inclusion of the Full-Auto Rifle under the Assault Weapon umbrella (though it is one that I've come to expect).
One of the things that I felt made the old STF store so awesome was that no matter what your preference in weapons and damage types there was a gun there for you. The narrowing of the focus in the new Reputation Store to just anti-proton weaponry does make sense on one level, but completely removing certain weapons doesn't. Especially since there's nothing to indicate that these weapons have special visiuals instead of the standard look for ground AP weapons.