This is my view of STO so far. I know I haven't maxed level yet, but I have been playing MMO's for a long time. This is just my honest review. I hope Cryptic takes notice. This game has a great future ahead of it if it is handled correctly. If I had to give one piece of advice to Cryptic where many MMO games have failed, is listen to the player feedback.
1. It is to easy to avoid teaming with players in this game. I know the "single player" mode works for those that have time issues or like to play that element style of game, but this is an MMORPG. It is to easy not to work with others.
2. Make sure to stick to the true nature of the Star Trek universe when adding content and features.
3. The repetitive nature of the quests needs to be improved or long term players are going to get burned out fast. Have quest lines that complete and finish, moving players out of congested zones for progression. Make planets where ground quests and activity is more abundant. Many quests have had some fun to them so far, just don't let players get caught in an endless loop.
4. Gold spammers need to be brought under control. It has only been 2 weeks and items on the exchange are already reaching 500,000 credits+ to buy. Cryptic, do a game check, if a level 1 player has a million credits, that should raise a red flag. A bad economy in any game is not good. New players will be turned off real fast from this.
5. Travel and mapping needs to be improved. This is the Star Trek universe, every ship has a "computer". Quest points and objectives need to be more clear for traveling. Unknown sectors are designed for "exploring" and "investigating", but if Starfleet gives you an objective, it should be easily reached by warping. Set course and go!
6. Exploring is very limited and lifeless. There are barren planets with no life forms, empty pockets of space, useless planets, etc. Where is the NPC MMO activity? Ground bases? Lairs? Dungeons? Hopefully this is all coming.
7. Ships need to have more activity and features, this can include the bridge and other areas.
8. PvP is mainly a que system. Space has a good active element, but ground feels rushed with no real objective, its more like an Unreal shooter. Their needs to be objectives in this game that are fought over in sectors of space, like outposts or star bases. You need to have player interaction on this level. Keeping all PvE activity separate from PvP activity is very unrealistic in a universe that is at war. If you give players a reason to fight, you add more depth to the game. Zone control with the history of this game would be a huge hit. The epic space battles or ground sieges would be talked about endlessly! Imagine logging in and seeing in zone chat: "Starbase 25 has just been taken over by the enemy, they just set up defenses, lets go get it back and retake the zone!"
Just my honest opinion and review so far. If those improvements are made, along with a handful of other minor tweaks, STO will excell.
Gold spammers are a huge problem. Other gaming systems have had their economies virtually destroyed by them. Unfortunately, I have no idea what can be done but I trust this must be a hot issue for the designers to address.
You are also "right on" with the quests and open pvp suggestions. My Fleet has run a few of the "Hallmark" quests together, (Like City on the Edge of Never) but there was really no reason other than the fun factor.
As for PVP, there should be areas where both Federation and Klingon (And maybe Romulan in the future?? ) can freely engage each other in both space and ground combat. I would incorporate special PVP quests in those areas. Give players a reason to go there other than just arena style PVP.
Here are a few issues I would add to the list:
There is nothing more annoying than sitting in space and grabbing a soda only to come back and find you have been sucked into a fleet action. I would suggest that when your ship comes in contact with a random enemy contact, your Bridge Officer relays a distress signal to you giving you the option of dropping from warp and joining the fight.
This one is very minor, but a major annoyance. For those who paid for a pre-order, (or I am guessing from the C-Store in the future) to get special uniforms for their character, PLEASE let us put them on our Bridge Officers! Nuff said about that.
This may be coming already, but why is it you have to click "Info" on a person to see what Fleet they are in? Would it be that hard to put the Fleet name under the ship name when looking at another person as they fly by?
In the end, this is a good game simply because of the addition of the "tactical" combat as well as the quest lines, but that will only carry you so far.
Good review and I'm just a newb. A lot of the repetitive nature of quests is a Cryptic thing for sure. If you ever played City of Heroes you'll find it similar. Missions are awesome at the beginning. Each one that is new is really cool. Then you hit the same mission again but just a tad different 'Find 10 X of something' instead of 5. Minimaps are the same for buildings, etc.
You can only expect so much but it's one of those things they need to keep on top of otherwise you get burnt out.