Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,020
# 2531
02-20-2013, 02:39 PM
Originally Posted by hfmudd View Post
I submit that this thread has run its course and another (possibly more than one) should be started to discuss specific issues arising from it. My intent is not to stifle discussion, but to redirect and focus it. My hope is that those responsible for leading the discussion in the last few (dozen) pages will undertake this.
Given that this thread hasn't really achieved anything, starting up another one would rather seem to be a waste of everyone's time and energy.

I'm still quite disgusted by the manner in which this has been handled and intend to continue to peacefully protest Cryptic/PWE's inept handling of this IP. It certainly hasn't done anything to make me reconsider investing any money in STO.

I still believe a window of opportunity exists to turns things around, but Stahl has made it painfully clear that the opinions of his customers are irrelevant. Any moves made to resolve this situation are going to have to come purely from the players.
Please join our peaceful protest to help make STO a better game
Proudly not contributing to PWE's bottom-line since October 2012
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,207
# 2532
02-20-2013, 02:42 PM
This latest tribble patch notes do not indicate that Cryptic is fixing any of the underlying issues that STO has due to the current design direction and totally detatched attitude that they have developed since PWE took over. But it is a solid step in the right direction by addressing the damage that their last patch caused.

On that front, I give them props. What would really go a long way in showing that they really care is if they will then examine the issues we have raised in this thread beyond the issue of Fleet Marks. Not only examine them but also RESOLVING them.

This game still has a lot of potential to be fun and exciting. And it also has a lot of potential to make a LOT of money for Cryptic/PWE, if they adjust their design direction towards giving their customers what they want, within reason. There are so many areas that could be improved upon. This is not a generic MMO, and PWE must understand that. It has the Star Trek IP attached to it. And for a lot of people that should mean more than just endless grindfests and running full tilt on a hamster wheel. This needs to be one of their titles that they give special treatment to, not just put it out of sight and out of mind, except for the fact that its revenue helps keep the company in the black.

They REALLY need to untie the developers hands and let them actually DEVELOP this game the way we know they can and surely want to.

I still maintain my belief that Cryptic's design direction is dictated by PWE, and the reason why Dan would not elaborate on the changes was likely because he wasn't sure that PWE would let them go in. He likely had the patch notes posted the moment he was granted permission. Perhaps PWE has been monitoring this and realized that if there are 2000 posts all in agreement with each other, then it's more worth it to concede a little bit to hold onto a lot.

Let's keep it real, keep it respectful but blunt, and perhaps more can be accomplished.

The ball is, as always has been, in Cryptic/PWE's court.
I'm not really a John Galt,
but I play one on the forums...
Career Officer
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 243
# 2533
02-20-2013, 02:44 PM
Tribble Notes:

This should placate the masses while directing attention away from all the other problems eh?

I hope everyone's not falling for this...
“The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it.” - Norman Schwarzkopf
Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 203
# 2534
02-20-2013, 02:46 PM
Originally Posted by thisisoverlord View Post
A critical review of the systems and game-play in Star Trek Online

Before I begin I'd like to address the recent posts and response from Dan, firstly this goes beyond Fleet Marks and poor communication from the developers the recent dissatisfaction is merely the expression of long standing disenchantment by a number of players.

I'm not going to give figures or estimates of just how many players feel this way, it is likely several factors more than those that are actually posting about it.

With regards to Dan's statements in the past few pages the failure to communicate honestly is shown once again. I understand it's difficult; businesses usually do everything they can to put up walls to stop customers from knowing the true workings of the organisation especially if the truth might be less than savoury. I also understand Cryptic as a subsidiary organisation may not have the kind freedom required to make changes that even internally they may want. The following is not an attack on the team or Dan personally but an honest assessment of the state of the game by many of us players.

So let me start by saying that this review is about a problem many players perceive with the way the game currently is. Many of us feel that it is no longer enjoyable to play. We may all be from a similar demographic or perhaps not but I know as a person who works hard and has family commitments that ultimately I may only be able to play every few days. On the weekends I have more free time and in Season 6 I really enjoyed spending a large chunk of my weekend playing, the game was fun and I made a lot of friends. I didn't really feel corralled into doing things I found boring.

On to the analysis:

Some argue the number of currencies in game is a problem, perhaps it is but for most of the reality is the problem is to do with volume of currency available divisible by the amount of time it costs to acquire them and enjoyment of the tasks that we have to do get those currencies.

Most of us are time limited, as you will know a large proportion of your premium demographic are in their middle-age usually work full-time and have a family. This makes them grind averse and consciousness of gameplay that feels unrewarding for the time spent.

I'm going to treat Dilithium separate from the other currencies as it's unique in its form in comparison to the others. For now let us look at the various marks in the reputation systems for personal and fleet.

The main issue with the Mark currencies at the moment is a triangle of desperation, at one point we have lack of supply, at the next boring repetitive and buggy content that must be grinded to achieve the Marks and at the final point; unbalanced and overly expensive inputs that magnify the problems of the first two parts to create a perfect triangle of despair for players.

With the personal reputation systems we can also add in the extra element of time gates and other expensive item inputs that require EC farming.

Whilst I understand that the development team is small and there has been little in the way of story content and what I would call deep level content (especially in comparison to other big franchise MMO's) I do not believe you have got the balance right. We understand that because you have a low content game you want to elongate the content you do have so players don't get bored too quickly equally if you make the game to much of a grind without a good reward or enjoyment factor then players will also leave from grind fatigue.

You have failed to get the balance right across all areas of the end-game content. As a result many of us find that the few areas of the game that we do enjoy have to be sacrificed if we wish to progress through the grind. The result of this is that when it comes to the weekend and I have free time instead of associating STO with fun and enjoyment I associate it with tedium so I no longer log on. This is the case for a great many of us and the underlying issue is a lack of supply, over demanding inputs and boring repetitive content. Indeed this is why exploits have arisen (though I would call them player developed fixes for unbalanced game mechanics) like the auto farming on the foundry.
Dilithium is also something that needs to be addressed because frankly for a currency based on time it is unacceptable that there is no automatic timed rewards, so if you play for an hour you get say 250 Dilithium, it also suffers from the issues that the other currencies suffer from.

So for us players who have lives and are often cash rich and time poor the game is horrifically unbalanced.

Alongside the lack of balance is the lack of enjoyable content in game. As it stands the game feels very beta still, with large areas of the game effectively not fit for production, an example being both the KDF faction and PVP. These are two areas in which players could find an opportunity to enjoy refreshing gameplay and stave off game fatigue but both are woefully undeveloped.

Game fatigue and apathy would also be greatly reduced if the missions that have to be grinded were more enjoyable, the old STF's both ground and Space are fine, but the Fleet Mark missions are seriously poor and boring to play, also with the 20 man space event the lag is usually unbearable and for 30 minutes of play time the rewards for that very boring event are pitiful. The Romulan Mark missions also suffer from element of boredom but the most shocking issue with them is also the pathetic amount of currency that is rewarded for completion of them.

Alongside this we have the compounding issue of the development team offering no real compelling content for a long time. New Romulus as it stands is really part of the game that is a sandbox for children the mini-quests like tagging and the like are not fit for endgame players and I perceive the way it is currently structured to be a huge waste of potential for an adventure zone. There is so much that could be done with New Romulus and more importantly other planetary destinations like Andoria for example. Once again a whole portion of the game which frankly feels and practically is alpha release content.

The lockboxes are clearly no more than a way for you as a team to acquire sales in a quick and easy way playing on human nature and addictive personalities. While in the short run this may be of great financial benefit if you continue in the current development style this game will become less and less appealing to more and more of your core demographic.

Finally, there a several UI issues that makes this game less enjoyable than it ought to be and they are easily fixable. Firstly and I cannot stress this enough we need to be able to save ship layouts in a reliable way so that when I play Temporal Ambassador for example my tray isn't ruined by flying the Enterprise C. That was the main reason why I only played that mission once that and the belt was terrible, especially the laziness of having a federation belt as a Klingon reward.

Secondly the fact that we do not have greater searchable metatags in the exchange and foundry makes both an annoyance to use especially when searching for traits or powers with boffs on the exchange.

Then there is the whole issue with fleets and your current system which kills small fleets and hurts the game in more ways than you can imagine. I was feeling a bright future in Season 6 and has set up a fleet and was in the process of building a website and advertising my fleet. I felt this was the next step up for my end of game content a whole new area to progress in. Season 7 killed my fledgling fleet and scattered its members to more advanced fleets or out of the game completely. Such was the lack of balance in the game that now T1 and T2 fleets find it practically impossible to attract players. This situation is clearly unacceptable. You must find a way to make starting a new fleet attractive and to give some positive encouragement and help to small fleets especially as many out-game friend groups tend to create small fleets that they don't want to enlarge. It is unacceptable that nearly all other MMO's cater to that guild style and you have not found the creative ability to incorporate this into your game.

Thus in closing you can see that practically every area of the end-game and many other parts of the game are unbalanced, half-finished and have fast lost the fun factor especially after the last round of unbalancing in the horrific Season 7 changes.

Alongside the glaring problems with the game we have the attitude and you the developers towards your customers. The way in which you treat your customers is frankly distasteful, often condescending arrogant and dismissive of people who are in reality your best tool for improving this game by using our feedback and time that we freely spend quality testing your product, especially in lieu of the fact that you have no Q&A department at all.

Simply put your communication is appalling and your ham-fisted attempts to foister unpopular and damaging changes to the game on a population of players who are keen to ramifications on their free time and in-game enjoyment have in the 8 months that I have been playing left me with a view of the company and game that ranks you well below your peers like Turbine (Who may I add employ in game GMs and have a good a customer support division unlike PWE whose current online ticket system has been broke since I started playing and STO that has no in game GMs)

Overall my experience in game and out of game has been steadily getting worse and I believe my opinion is echoed by others here. Despite all this there are parts of the game that I enjoy and I love Star Trek and those things have kept me coming back but honestly there are just to many negatives outweighing the positives at the moment that my time in game is incredibly diminished.

How do you fix this? Simple, solve bugs, add in-depth content, fix those half-finished parts of the game, design more enjoyable PVE grinds, increase rewards and freeze or lower input costs, fix the UI and above all take on the advice of your players and offer us the basic respect we deserve for having invested time and money into your game and your wallets.

Executive Summary (tl:dr)
  • Increase supply of currencies
  • Fix legacy bugs and sort out major bugs
  • Ensure boring content is updated or that we have grind less of it to get rewards
  • Freeze or decrease currency input costs
  • Fix several UI issues
  • Ensure lockboxes are ancillary to the aim of developing real content
  • Fix the major issues with small fleets and fleet scaling
  • Treat your players properly

That should bring back the fun.
This post is the best post in the thread and deserves to be read.
Originally Posted by tacofangs View Post
We planned on doing it next weekend, but then we saw your post and were like, "Dude, we should totally move that up a week! Tee Hee!"
Career Officer
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 953
# 2535
02-20-2013, 02:47 PM
Originally Posted by thebumble View Post
Tribble Notes:

This should placate the masses while directing attention away from all the other problems eh?

I hope everyone's not falling for this...
No if anything it's galvanized me to push ahead with organizing ourselves and getting our ideas and criticisms out there.
Career Officer
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 953
# 2536
02-20-2013, 02:49 PM
Originally Posted by jam062307 View Post
This post is the best post in the thread and deserves to be read.
I will in the near future create thread that incorporates a slightly more polished version of this statement, but I really want to get as many of you other guys on board so we have one dedicated thread to identifying issues and offering solutions. Which is why I want people to PM me with thoughts and ideas.

Even if we get ignored it will at least help us to focus our attention.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,112
# 2537
02-20-2013, 02:51 PM
Originally Posted by boglejam73 View Post
Yes, but using a system that the devs themselves implemented despite being warned it would lead to exactly what it led to is hardly a player exploiting something, is it?

I can only play in the sandbox they give me to play in.
Well, yes and no.

It's not necessarily wrong to expect a community to police itself when something is clearly broken. The accusation made by the devs was entirely correct, considering that we failed to display any sort of gaming morality.

None of that excuses the heart of that problem, of course - they put in something they knew was bad, instead of waiting for scaling rewards tech like they have now. I'm just saying, it was obviously an exploit. Getting offended because the devs called it what it was, when we knew what we were doing was clearly broken, is kinda hypocritical.
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 36
# 2538
02-20-2013, 02:56 PM
Originally Posted by thisisoverlord View Post
No if anything it's galvanized me to push ahead with organizing ourselves and getting our ideas and criticisms out there.
Originally Posted by thisisoverlord View Post
This thread has nothing to do with fleet marks,

Please refer yourself to post #2311

And if this thread is closed I will just press ahead with opening one dedicated to identifying the issues with the game and solutions players put forward for them. Indeed I think this is probably the best thing to do in the future anyways.

For me this increase in FM rewards in other areas is meaningless due to the destruction of small fleets by Cryptic.
Originally Posted by thisisoverlord View Post
I will in the near future create thread that incorporates a slightly more polished version of this statement, but I really want to get as many of you other guys on board so we have one dedicated thread to identifying issues and offering solutions. Which is why I want people to PM me with thoughts and ideas.

Even if we get ignored it will at least help us to focus our attention.
I am glad you thought of collecting the ideas from this very thread into one neat place. I just had that idea as I read your post.

It is unsurprising that people see this thread and say 'TLDR but everyone here is just flaming/whining.' Complaining about the poor state of the game is NOT the same as whining, whinging, flaming, etc. Just because you are happy with mediocrity does not mean everyone else should be.

Anyway...Power to the People! Keep fighting the Good Fight!
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 43
# 2539
02-20-2013, 02:57 PM
Originally Posted by wolfpacknz View Post
There is one, give me the solution I screamed for when the Probe Farmers came out in the Borg Red Alerts, FRIENDLY FIRE. Blow them to hell when they are just AFK and when that happens they get nothing for contributing nothing.

Failing that, just implement a simple counting code that monitors their firing and/or healing rates, if they are not doing anything, they get nothing...

2 very simple solutions...
I prefer the vote to kick method. Works well in other games.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 104
# 2540
02-20-2013, 02:58 PM
Originally Posted by izdubar2 View Post
I prefer the vote to kick method. Works well in other games.
Could it be as simple as this?

Taken from a forum not related to STO

AFKing can be stopped with little coding, just auto-kick if AFK in actions. It really is that simple, all group content just replace 'Marked_afk' call to 'leave_scenario=yes' call return... This with auto leaver penalty would drive them out.

Combine this with a 'suspend_leaver_map=arena_penalty' call+return, then any short handed active players can quit out without penalty and re-enter the arena. Those marked as AFK should receive double arena entry penalty. (Suggest an automated IGM msg if AFK in 3 arenas, plus 24 play hrs arena ban)

After all PK is PK not AFK.


This is from a much older and simpler game that never made it beyond Beta due to finances. There is more somewhere but it's deeeep in the archives along with a heap of code.

I know STO is more complicated and that its code levels are far deeper, but the basics of 'IF' 'OR' 'THEN' 'AND' 'ANDOR' are still there. Aren't they?

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