The review seems somewhat more acrimonious than I think is called for, but I definitely agree with several of the criticisms leveled at the game, especially the references to the notorious "autofire issue" (or "button-mashing syndrome" if you prefer).
This and similar missteps poison the game environment in a way it really doesn't need, and hinders the acceptance of a game that has genuine potential for greatness.
While I'm sure there are reasons for things being the way they are, I'm hopeful Cryptic will listen to its customers and smooth out some of these core issues sooner rather than later.
We're out of beta now, and that argues against drastic changes, but then again, when the feedback is so overwhelming and unmistakable, leaving it hanging tends to look more like institutional paralysis than reasonable deliberation.
One thing he does have spot on is the incessant spam of the spacebar. One of his longest gripes is the stupidity and pain we go through to continue firing our ship phasers. We've been complaining about wanting autofire on all beam weapons since the earliest stages of beta.
It would be nice if they listened.
You know, I always wondered how much of a concern this really was. Then I got myself a heavy cruiser, and my GOD... so much micromanagement and spacebar mashing.
"Rather, it's overly simplistic, devoid of depth to such a degree that success is all-but-guaranteed in spite of the absurd web of incomprehensible numbers and terminology attached to every item, skill, and ability. Accessibility is one thing; shallow is something else entirely."
"Star Trek Online's appeal is classically conditioned. Trek fans are meant to salivate at the sights and sounds of their favorite universe made manifest, like a dog hearing the chime of a chow bell. And publisher Atari is banking on the hope that -- like Pavlov's pups -- consumers will be content with the same ol' kibble day after day. The result is a shallow, poorly paced, and repetitive game..."
Pretty spot on in my opinion. I think he was right on with his 2/5 as well ... I said that we were were talking about G4's 3/5.
The game is just starting to become "shoot yourself in the head" repetitive. I had a blast in Open beta, I was having fun at head start ... but the game is already becoming a grind .... and that grind combined with all the glitches, and the horrendous effort it takes to keep a group together for missions and PvP, the lack of any crafting system, the lack of any reason to have a fleet, the lack of anything remotely resembling "exploration", and every one having figured out the "I win" combo of gear for PvP .... its generous to give the game 2/5.
And I'm not even getting into the incessant lag, rubber-banding, inability to log in at times, and persistent server crashes .... I'm just writing that stuff off to it being a new game (for now).
And where are the Dev's? Anyone notice that Zinc, Rekhan, Emmert ... they've all disappeared. The only one still putting himself on the firing line is Gozer (thank you Dan) ... and even he looked like a Deer caught in the headlights in the latest STOked episode.
I agree with much of what the reviewer said, but as others have noted, he seemed somewhat bitter.
One great point -- he wrote how the "art team clearly cares for the source material," but how the overall experience is dampened by how uneven the rest of the game is.
I feel the same way, because some of the environments are beautifully done on the art side, but painfully implemented by the level designers. At Commander, I've already seen hundreds -- if not thousands -- of crates in the missions so far, and while the environment and terrain graphics on away team missions can border on spectacular, it's nearly ruined by the fact that none of those maps feels alive. I'd say 90% of the away-team planets I've been on feature the mobs we have to kill, and nothing else.
This has been a complaint from early on -- where are the civilizations? Where are the colonists? Do any of these planets with apparently breathable atmospheres have any indigenous animal life at all?
The gameplay complaints are somewhat less founded in reality. Being outfitted in top-of-the-line gear definitely does make a big difference between wearing Mark I "common" gear, especially since ground abilities are directly tied to kits and weapons. But the reviewer makes a good point in that there's absolutely no imagination in how the gear is named, which in turn detracts from the fun of upgrading that gear.
I'm sure some people dislike the space combat, but that seems to be one of the few areas of the game where it feels like Cryptic got things right, and I've seen more people praise it than whine about it.
But people tend to forget that other MMOs haven't exactly taken revolutionary steps in combat either. Combat in LoTRO and Eve was basic and repetitive, at least in the low- to mid-levels as I experienced them. And let's not forget that WoW was four years old and at the end of its first expansion cycle before Blizzard finally gave some classes and specs more to do than simply spam two buttons.
You know what I'm talking about: If you were an Elemental Shaman, you spammed Lightning Bolt and a shock. If you were an Affliction Warlock, you employed two or three standard dots and just let them tick away. And Hunters and Paladins are famous for being "face roll" classes you can control with single-button macros.
And while STO's crafting is pitiful, its system of obtaining gear is actually welcome -- you get gear from missions and drops, obviously, but there's already a multi-tiered system in place to fill in the gaps, with several different options for going about getting that gear. You can PvP, you can do exploration missions, you can spend merits...but you are not at the mercy of raid bosses that drop four pieces per 25 people, from a random and often-stubborn drop list. People forget that the concept of badges wasn't implemented in WoW until almost four years after launch, and even then the grinds are a lot longer, it's the only alternative, and itemization continues to be an absolute mess.
So while I think there's a lot of truth to this review, I don't think it's fair to view games like WoW, or other MMOs, through rose-colored lenses when in reality nostalgia and a generally warm, fuzzy feeling toward Blizzard are primary reasons people remember WoW as better than it actually is.
What I hope is that Cryptic will see these reviews and make some serious decisions about dedicating more resources to this game. Bad word of mouth from the get-go is not good for any MMO, as we've seen time and again, and Cryptic needs to make some major changes if it doesn't want STO to be the next ***, SWG or MxO.
imo .. sto needed a lot more development. I know it's not fair to compare it to wow, but wow does have so much more content , better servers that run well , and while playing it you're not constantly feeling as though the game itself is unfinished.
sto to me feels as though it was thrown together as cheap and as fast as possible on a crappy engine that doesn't quite work right for a star trek game. pathing problems , limited movement arc in space flight , and ground movement of your char and bo's just feels wrong . the fact you can't control anything from your bridge just amazes me ... why couldn't they let you at least plot your course on the bridge and fly through sector space looking at the view screen instead of that 3rd person view of the ship. sector space is a joke. I feel as though the only thing holding subs is the fact it's star trek.
The total amount of content is so small when compared to other big name mmo's I can't understand them wanting to charge 15 bucks a month.
I don't understand why they couldn't have taken a page from eve in their system setup .. in eve you can hit a system ... pull up a very detailed map and literally fly to each planet in that system (though to do so would prolly take yrs without warp) without running into an invisible wall. Now that would have let them incorporate a warp feature in missions. instead we get 'full impulse" and it trips me out you can't go full impulse while in battle yet in the shows and movies they can even fire while in warp.
I know more content is getting added soon but really ... do you think it will be enough to get that 15 bucks a month from you on top of the 50 bucks retail price?
Sadly I think I felt some of the bitterness that seemed to come off from this reviewer in my own STO experience. I had really high hopes for this game, since I am a lover of Star Trek. Unfortunately, I don't have any hope that the game is going to improve for me personally. I understand that they may add more content but I agree with several reviews that I have read. The content so to speak is not the problem, the core game design and the god aweful engine this game is built on is what bothers me. I started to hate the mission types and the way Champions Online worked but thought maybe there was something different they could do with Star Trek. It didn't happen. You can keep adding more content but what you'll end up with is a game that's a mile wide and an inch deep. Add in the same lack of community interaction that's indicative of a heavily instanced game like CO and I just can't keep playing. Fyi, the community had the same issues in Champions Online and Age of Conan which were 2 of the most heavily instanced MMORPG's I had ever played.
I personally feel Cryptic that you need to scrap this game engine. People don't want to pay $60 for a game along with $15 a month for something this shallow, at least not for long periods of time. I don't know who did the business modeling and thought this was a good idea but as long as you follow it you're going to be sitting on the fringes of developing mediocre games. I don't know the Devs personally but I would bet a year's worth of wages that your goal isn't to be half *ssed and mediocre game developers. Realize, this system is fail and develop something that appeals to the gaming community as a whole.
Spot on review, pretty much mirrors everything I feel about this game.
STO is stupendously boring. There is no challenge except in figuring out how to not get carpel tunnel. The missions are lame and pointless. The fights so extremely easy that knowledge of all the various subsystems is totally unnecessary.
Just bash your space bar endlessly and circle in place forever -- that is STO's gameplay. Pathetic.
The game does have "potential" (THAT word again..) but only because the basic technology seems solid. I don't get random game crashes and the bugs seem to be very minor. Unusual for a new MMO. So they have the framework for puting interesting content in. But I'm not holding my breath for that.
I already cancelled. I've played most of the MMO's, this is the first one I cancelled withing 2 weeks of launch. I usually play at least 3 months before deciding, but STO sucks so bad I have to force myself to log in.