I played the closed and open beta for some hours. Was not terribly happy with it.
bought the game at release cos I owed it to myself since I've been waiting for this game since 2004.
- I had "specific" expectations for this game (being a star trek game, I assumed exploring the endless vastness of space and encountering the unexpected PLUS beaming down to surfaces whenever you'd fancy - for battle, exploration or just to hang out would be the essentials of a star trek online concept)
- I have very little experience with the MMO genre. (although i played EVE for 6 months, and *** for 2 weeks, tried WOW 4 times and stopped after a day cos i hated the graphics). So "grinding" mechanics are still new to me (exception: EVE)
heres the "impression part". feel free to skip to the "feedback/suggestions" part ;-P
after 40 hours+ of STO (LT10):
- Its not Star Trek enough.imho.
visually: the convergence of TNG/DS9/STV with the "new" Star Trek didnt go too well, i had the impression. -
- The environmental scaling is horrid. and probably the sadest thing in the entire game (for me right now). destroys the starfleet/federation feeling completely. better on the klingon side though.
- its rather empty: nobody talks. NPCs just stand around. space station level design looks very randomly generated.
- quests are a little simple minded (shoot 10 of this, collect 20 of that). however, theres potential for easy improvement. the mechanics seem solid and flexible enough.
- no death penalty: takes away the thrill of challenge or doing anything at all: some overpowered enemy? who cares, you can grind him down by endless, immediate respawning.
- way too easy on ground combat: you have the possiblity of team tactics etc. but you never have to bother about your team anyway, or your own weapons/equipment. I died once in 40 hours of playing, and I still use the start weapon from the tutorial. a waste of potential imo.
- sector map is an immersion breaker /visually).
- the crafting system and economy system seem a little unfinished still.
- the team aspect seems a little shady and "unripe". (especially with all the instancing)
its quite addictive nevertheless (so far).
- the ground combat maps are quite diversive (and if theyre randomly generated, then they did a good job on that i think). mostly pretty to look at as well.
- ground combat has great potential. the team strategy component could become something truly challenging (if it werent so redundant right now).
- PVP is impressive . ground PVP seems unbalanced, but fun nonetheless (reminds me of "ds9 the fallen" combined with "ST:voy elite force". )
- space battles never get old. though repetetive, the presentation is impressive. tactical variety (especially in pvp) is satisfying.
- fix the scaling to cater to the trekkies /= the main customer base i assume. (unrealistic probably: requires extensive grafics redesigning.). scaling up all caracters 100% should do the trick probably. is the furniture a seperate asset? could the furniture /consoles be scaled 100% as well without rearranging too much ? at least in bridge view please. having a proper galaxy class bridge cant be a problem.
- put in some voice overs for NPCs. at least SOMETHING. a "hello" a "Sir!", Anything.
- make ground combat siginificantly harder (very easy to implement: balancing)
- death penalty (easy to implement)
- keep the content coming
- give us an option to switch off sector grid grafics (mainly the grid itself) (makes sector space look more like "space" and less like a chessboard. = easy to implement, no balance breaker.
- a little more persistency please: yesterday i "found" a random planet with some scan this mission, but GOD it was beautiful. I really like to go back there again, but i just cant. planet deleted after you leave.
- option to beam down to ANY /t'random/ planet for no reason (=exploration) whenever you like,. like risa for example.
all in all i think the mechanics are solid and easily improvable.
even the sector map could easily be converted to resemble vast space, by simply deactivating the grid and scaling the whole thing 400% - it would take half an hour to get anywhere, but hey, isnt space supposed to be enormous? you could spend an entire week of (interesting) gaming time in one sector alone. THAT would make STO a truly epic environment.
even though i really wanted to hate the game after the beta, I still find it quite addictive, (SO FAR).
i assume the fascination will wear off once i reach the later stages of leveling, but thats what a subscription is for, no? to have them feed me content all the time.
PS: I went through the motions about cryptic and "what they have done to star trek" etc myself.
after a week of fever I'm over it now, and I wont be bashing cryptic as there is no point to it anyway.
in conclusion I think they did well for such a short develpment time. (they had no other choice but to recycle CO anyway.)
however: they are clearly not "Trekkies". and considering this is a "Star Trek" game with a harshly defined IP and fierce fanbase, they should have focused on the IP more (or at least hired some die hard trekkies to get the "flavour" right)
Impressive I like this feedback its nice. How did you feel about the episodiness of the game? That is something that I feel kills the casualness of it. I play another game that has an epic storyline off to the side the quests for that are seperate from the regular quests that you do normally so it is nice that way but the episode thing I feel is not a very good mechanic at the moment because it sets up an expectation that there is more. Well once you hit admiral it sounds like everything comes to a grinding halt. I like the idea I could go from system to system with possible missions or some sort of terminal I could get a mission from then do my mission and go someplace else if I want to.
@PJOTR - I just want to say well thought out and fair conclusions. Very nice suggestions but I would also amend it to include that the open vastness of space should also have some random events like distress calls, random wormholes, killer mechanized hamsters etc.
@whiners and cryers - Please pay attention to this post...this is called constructive criticism. Notice how there are no 4 letter words. Notice how the OP shows the pros and cons of the game and offers suggestions on improvement for both. Notice how he gives his opinion on the game and does not try to impose that opinion on anyone else. Please follow these guidelines and you may get what you want from this game or even more.