PLEASE READ before continuing:
The following is based on the federation campaign from levels 1-45. It does not take into account PvP or the klingon campaign which i have yet to play properly. All of what I say here is my opinion which people are welcome to disagree with. My aim is to highlight some of the main issues which i feel need to be addressed in order for it to have a long happy life.
I would also like to say that I like STO very much and have enjoyed playing, but im hoping some of these issues will strike a chord with other players. Also i am trying to address some of the major debates, smaller things such as bugs and the market with not be covered here. One final note is that im sure some,if not all of the issues i talk about here have been talked about already, im just giving my thoughts on the subject.
This is probably my biggest beef with STO and my biggest disappointment. Throughout the game we are sent to nebula's for a "randomly" generated mission, to meet new life and so on. I have several problems with this. The 1st being why is everything in a nebula? We are thrown into this soup of colours which is all very pretty, then we have "explore unknown system" inside a nebula which in itself makes no sense. Ive seen threads about the missions themselves which are also very repetitive, dull and often focus on combat. With the federation at war with pretty much everyone i was hoping the exploration side to be a break from combat so i cud fill the role of the explorer. Linked to the nebula issue, is how limiting space feels to me. Now i know that EVE and STO are totally different, but they are both set in space and one thing that EVE nailed is how big space is,and how little everything else is. I dont mean the 234 jumps it takes to get across EVE,i just mean when you are in space it feels BIG. that what i want STO to feel like. I want to head out into the big black void and see whats there. Space just feels to small, and there is no big black void. everything is filled with stuff. When a person says to you "what do you imagine deep space to look like" you will say "big, black and empty, a place where i can explore and see whats there" . I know this a probably a hard thing to do in an MMO but EVE got it spot on in that department.
1. Character classes
Bare with me on this one its kind of hard to explain.
Ive played only a small amount of other MMOs, but my main one was cryptics city of heroes. A great game (which i kno has been out for a long time) that lets you take on the role of super heroes. I bring this up because one of the things that it did very well, was let you choose a character and fill a role within the game environment. Im sure in games like guild wars and WoW you have the same thing. In city of heroes (CoH) if i picked defender (healer/buffer/de-buffer) then i knew what my job was, i filled a role, i had a purpose. In STO the difference between the classes is non-existent. I dont mean the fact there are just 3,thats not a problem, its the fact that apart from a few skills and kits a tactical officer can use just the same equipment as a science officer. this issue mostly refers to space combat, where you spend around 75% of the game. Every class can fly every ship which is nice to play around with, but knowing that anyone can fly anything just means that i dont get that role satisfaction of choosing a certain class. I know you can put skill points into different things but the skill trees for all 3 types should be different to give that feeling of uniqueness. In CoH as a defender i knew if i went into combat alone, then id die. But as a science officer in STO i can just jump into an escort and kill everything.The engie is supposed to be the tank but has no aggro grabbing powers. The engie in space should have a taunt power to grab the enemy attention it could be for example:
Tricks enemy sensors into thinking you are dealing more damage than you are, therefore making them target you.
another solution could be to limit each class to their specific type of ship. Then you'd be choosing a role of ship when you make your character. How ever this leads me onto the next issue:
Now dont get me wrong, the ships look awsome, space combat rocks and its nice you can mix and match what they look like. But its a bit too much form over function. In the game when you rank up cryptic say you have 3 choices of say cruiser for example. this is not the case, its one. the only difference is that you can change the way it looks. wouldn't it have been better to make it a 3 way choice and have different stats for each ship?? one could have better hull for tank, one better weapons and other better speed. Thats only a very basic concept and you could expand that a lot more. You slightly get this with the choice in rear admiral ships- assault cruiser/ star cruiser for example so why not do it across the board?
Ive been playing for less than a couple of weeks, and i have the best ships, best equipment (minus a few purples) and over 30 thousand BO points saved up. This is a short point but an important one- its all to fast. sure you can put that down to me playing a fair amount but believe me, i played CoH a lot more and it took a long time to level up which was a good thing. It kept me going, gave me something to aim for.
If you have made it this far then thank you kindly for reading. Things like ground combat have not been covered here as even i know that one has been done to death, and my issues probably have as well. I would again like to say that i really do like this game and i want it to have a long life which with care i believe it will have. All of the above is based on my own experience which people are welcome to disagree with, i dont claim to be right or know all of the solutions, im just giving some thoughts. Thank you for your time
may STO live long and prosper
I agree with some of your suggestions. I particularly like the idea of ships being more varied. It could een go one step furrther (but would be hard to implement) which s when you are 'requisitioning' your ship, you get to modify the layout slightly, so YOU can choose which stations it has room for, and how many by sacrificing some space for either weapons or cargo or life support etc... In order for that to mean somehting they would have to redesign quite a bit though so they may think it is un-doable, but in this age of computers nothing is impossible.
I agree that characters could have a little more refinement rather than predetermined set of stats etc. A player should have more input in customising his captain in the same way to customise his ship. I dont mean just asthetically, but also in functionality.
I expected the ships to have a more specific storage aspect to it, and that could come into play for transport missions etc. It is completely crazy that , for example, 24 cannons wont fill a cargo hold, but 30 tribbles will.
Anyhow, this game is still a work in progress so loads more content will (hopefully!!) be added over the coming months. It would be nice if we, as gamers were asked a little more about what we might like to see. You never know - we might know what we are talking about? And even make the game better with implementable suggestions?
That is because people are playing...which is a good thing!
Yes the clusters are a bit lacking, but they were meant to be relatively unexplored, so it made sense to use these areas as exploration points. I would like to see more exploration and diplomacy here than combat though. Some combat is fine, but lets get creative and put some quality first contact missions here!