With the latest January Ask Cryptic and the mention of additional TOS-style designs potentially finding their way to the game, I've been doing some thinking (damaging to the brain, I know). Most of what I had to say is probably past-tense now (as the game has passed the point at which this could have worked) but I suppose there is always hope that the game can move on and restructure at a later date.
Anyway, in short, I think it would be ideal to have the game centered more around time than a single year (2409). We should always start in 2409; that is the main setting of the game and I wouldn't wish to change it, but TOS-style ships along with TMP-style and even the ENT-era designs should have forever remained specific to those time periods.
Firstly, we'd have more time-travel orientated campaign episodes; something that allows travel from the future and the past. If needs be, a 30th century assistant could pop in occasionally to give you select missions. We could revisit some incidents from Trek past, retell some stories or, if the creative department is up for it, introduce new stories. We could always find ourselves having to change the past in order to save the past (how that would work, I don't know; time travel is a tricky thing, just as the Doctor).
Furthermore, if you're a tactical captain and jump back to the early 23rd century, you find yourself in a 23rd century tactical vessel rather than a standard cruiser. Lets argue here that the Miranda would serve for Tactical players, the Constitution for Engineers and the Oberth for Science players (just as an example so you know what I'm getting at). Obviously this would be the FED setup. KDF players would get a Raptor (Tac), D7/K't'inga (Eng) and... Bird of Prey? for Sci/Uni. I suppose the only problem here is that those ships are already implemented as 2409 Tier 5 designs.
In addition, we could have had era-specific PvP and PvE content. Select an era, each era having 4 - 6 ships specific to a skill (Tac/Eng/Sci) and weapons etc to suit. Remove STF's against the Borg, have them against the Tholian or something instead? ENT-era STF's could be against the Xindi? TMP could be against the Klingons (and Federation if you are playing as a Klingon). Not only would this break the game up a bit, but it would also have older ships being used where they belong; in the past. They'd be top of the range (tier 5) in the past, but obviously not on par with the 2409 ships. Such a time jump-feature could easily be another one of those things that you unlock once you hit level 50 too.
Whether this (or something like it) can ever be made to work, I don't know, but it would have been interesting if something like this had been thought of right at the start.
This would never be done because Cryptic have this awful thing with wanting our money and if they made the game more time centered in the ?TOS era as you suggest. Cryptic will then have to remove a lot of ships from the C store (Dreadnaught, Oddysey etc) Now I wish the game was more TOS myself as I would love to team up with the original TOS crew. However it will never happen and it is unlikly that we will also have a tier 5 connie in game.
So to summarise it would not be financially Viable for Cryptic to make the game centered to the TOS timeline
To be honest if Cryptic begins releasing "DLCs" which ACTUALlY had story content, maybe new ship commissions, more stf sort of stuffs, increased level cap - all that for a reasonable price for maybe around 10$ (like how the other games have) - I will happily buy that stuff.
Whether that DLC is a TOS era episode, or whatever really. If it's good, people like me will buy it and thats what Cryptic needs to up their game first. Make things "good", "more story content" - if they satisfy these basic things, no one will criticize them I think no matter what the zen store rates are.
And if they lack imagination or creativity, they need to straight up open a forum topic "Guys, give us suggestions or comments with what you'd like to see in the next dlc or episode release" - I'm sure half of the community would type in with flooding ideas really.
This has been said millions of time, but I'll say it again anyway. This game has HEAPS of potential - but Cryptic/PWE need to know that only if they take advantage of that, make good story filled content and not just grinding - they will rock. They know this somewhere but still each season ends out to be a grinding one. It's time to bring back those episodes people, even if it means bringing back in form of DLCs.
All joking aside, Cryptic cannot manage to release anything other than grindfests for the 2409 period. What makes you think they would do any better with ENT-era, TOS-era, TNG-era and 2400s-era pockets...
They can't even be bothered to complete the KDF faction in terms of content.
I'm not really a John Galt,
but I play one on the forums...
Cryptic has made it clear that they will never charge for mission content. It's the only declarative statement about the game's development that they actually seem to be upholding.
So DLCs with stories and missions? Not going to happen. It would mean that they would really have to work to get their money rather than relying on the Gotta-have-it crowd to buy fluff from the C-store and buy keys on the C-store for the chance to unlock more fluff.
I like the non-subscription option that Funcom has adoprted for The Secret World: Buy the game at retail, play the core content for free, purchase content packs as they are released for a price based on size of the pack, or subscribe and receive a stipend of points each month that is guaranteed to be enough for any single content pack.
Cryptic could do this. But then, content is not as important to Cryptic as it is to Funcom.
I think that Season 6 and 7 has established the direction they are going to be taking STO from now on. Content spread out for an entire season through Dilithium and Mark gated costs. Minimal content production for maximum potential bucks.
I'm not really a John Galt,
but I play one on the forums...
I think those ships will be for time travel content and foundry missions not for our own personal use. For example, make a foundry mission about a 23rd Century ship coming to the 25th Century and it is your job to send it back without revealing information about the 25th Century. Creating time periods seems to be too much work for Cryptic.