Just got done with the free demo, thought I'd give everyone a heads up before they take the time to clear their drives and make the 8.5 gig download.
They basically let you do the tutorial, then they give you one mission. Can't PvP, can't even explore. Your basically restricted to the starting area.
Couple of questions about the game since the demo literally shows you next to nothing.
1. Is the entire game this linear? I mean, is it mission to mission in a specific order or is there leeway to explore and do quests/missions in other sectors? Either way is fine but I'm just curious, and the demo doesn't really give you a feel for progression.
2. I've heard a lot about the PvP areas (which you can't enter in the demo) having problems with evening out the players, and not allowing you to exit when you're alone in the field. Has this been corrected? Or is not that big a deal and not worth worrying about?
3. Is there any information on skill distribution as you level up? You'd think they would explain some of the skillpoint allotment in the "tutorial" part of the demo, but it's really not addressed. Some kind of game guide maybe?
4. Will a buddy key allow me full gameplay? Or is it the same deal... Restricted areas, no PvP, no progression... If it allows you to see more of the game, anybody have a spare? At this point I'm 90% into getting it but wouldn't mind giving someone the referral points.
Thanks for any input. I'd really like a chance to get the feel of the game, or some idea the direction it's headed.
1) The tutorial is quiote linear to help you learn the basics of the game. That a good thing. Listen and read everything. The game is linear in the sense that you gradually move to different sector blocks, and sectors as you gain levels (i.e. grades) for the patrol and episodic missions. Its to help having to travel all over the place all of the time.
However you can travel just about anywhere at any time. There is one area that is level locks which the the big Transwarp Gate in the Risa sector. Read Admiral/3s and higher only. If you want to visit K7 or Deepspace 9, you can' Just be wary of the wandering Deep Space Encounters. If you get sucked into one, you will probably be severely out of your league.
2) There have been some issues with getting balanced teams in the PvP queue system. It's continuously being worked on. I can't comment on the last state of PvP as I don't PvP myself all that much. And there leave map buttons for PvP are disabled for now in anticipation of a Leaving early PvP penalty. It's being worked on.
3) In game explainations the skill system is the not very good. They are making great improvements with the skill training window. I would advice looking at the numbers skills guides and wiki sights for more insight. A LOT of very good information and links are in the stickied threads at the top of the Starfleet Academy Section.
4) There are very few restrictions with buddy keys. They allow full play as far as I know. I do know that the trial type accounts are limited in how you communicate. They are limited to only chatting with your players on you friends list. (STO has very bad issues with Gold Sellers spamming the zone chat and private /tells with advertisements. Things have greatly improved. And I believe trial accounts can't join Fleets (i.e. Guilds) as well.
And welcome to the game. I hope you like it enough to stick around.
Edit: The game's direction well you can see for yourself. The Engineering Reports in the forum section of the same name details what they are testing, are developing and have under review. And they have a Calaender on the front page detailing their planned release dates of upcoming updates. And they are making big strides in opening up comminucations between the players and the devs. Oh, and they have polls asking players their input on certain things such the most important aspects as ship's interiors or what the next playable faction should be.
1: Most of the game is linear, though you can go into various areas and do Exploration mission. A Diplomacy system is also in the works. You can check out the Engineering Reports section to see what's forthcoming in the next few months.
2: I believe that was corrected in yesterday's patch.
3: No Skill specific guide that I'm aware of, though there might be on made by a fan on the forum.
4: I believe the Buddy Key allows you to go to Level 15 without major restrictions.
Thanks for the quick replies guys. I appreciate any info on the game I can get. At this point I'm around 90% sure I'll buy it, was just kind of upset with the seriously limited content that the demo offers... since I kind of had specific issues I wanted to check out.
I guess I can understand with the threats of gold spammers and 3rd party invasion lol. If anyone has a spare key I'm probably good for some referral points. I'll check the links too for info on the skill system.
1) The game is linear in the sense that most single-player RPGs are linear. You have a main story line that can branch into side quests, so to speak (meaning exploration missions, defend X sector block missions, patrol missions). This is what the Federation side gets. Currently, Klingon players don't have the patrol or main storyline missions, but that should change with Season Two (coming, tentatively, in July).
It's an open game in that you can pretty much drive your ship anywhere, but each "zone" or sector block has a level range where it would be safe to fly around in. Also, some missions require other missions to be completed before you get them, but I'm not sure which ones as I usually do them in the order I get them.
2) Not a huge PvPer here, so I'm not quite in the know right now, but the devs are planning on implementing a "quitter's penalty" so I believe they currently have the "Exit to Sector Space" button disabled.
3) Yeah...the skill system leaves a LOT to be desired. It's in dire need of a revamp. Not the skill structure itself, but the popup tooltips. Each skill pretty much tells you (in VERY vague terms) what they do and give a couple example of bridge officer skills that they affect, but they aren't very clear about it. There are Web sites that either give good tips on skill builds or have a character builder that you can mess around with.
With the exception of the ground skill tree, all captains get the same skills to pick from. Each "tier" of skills is unlocked once you advance in rank (i.e. Tier2 skills get unlocked when you get promoted to Lt.Commander) and the cost to purchase skills increase in rank as well.
4) As far as I'm aware, buddy keys give you access to the full game for a limited period of time before you have to purchase a copy of the game and start subbing. I don't really know since I never used mine.