The problem with the question though, is that our empathy is only limited. We chose to get the lifetime subscription for a reason. If the lifetime option were out of the equation then I suppose I'd probably still be paying monthly, but given that the lifetime option is out, to me its a no-brainer.
The game keeps improving. More STF's are continually unrolled. Its a NEW GAME. I can recall when other MMO's were new, and they've grown a lot over the years. This game is no different. Add to this that our own learning curve has to develop. I have 5 admirals (all captaining different ships) and I'm still learning all kinds of little things about the game. When it ceases to be fun I guess I'll take a break - great thing about being a lifer. Reality is even on break I'd still hop in and play though, just with relaxed fervor. I think that's healthy though.
To answer your question perhaps more to what you want to know: For me personally I have a lot to look forward to, but I'm looking at the game from a longterm perspective. There is teamwork to build, all kinds of equipment to assemble, for all kinds of Captains that I have. Would I like them to improve and change some things? Sure. One thing I must say though, is that they've done quite a lot and seem to be listening to us as a playerbase.
I chose the lifer sub because, I enjoy MMORPG's for the social-teamwork aspect. I think that's a huge part of it. I like the idea of flying a spaceship, and shooting laser beams. If they come up with some more complex puzzle-solving stuff I think this game would be off the hook. Finally, STO does not involve wizards in robes, and at least the space elves don't run around in the forest and play on a flute all day. (They will shoot you with plasma torpedoes though, or their cousins will give you a lesson on logic.). I love the fact that its a high-tech themed game, which is a far cry from most of the competitors I'm not interested in out there.
So it goes back to each individual really what they like. Do they like Laser beams? I do. Do they like Robots? Yep. Spaceships? Check. Teamwork? Check. Enemy Vaporizations? You Betcha!
Every game I've seen has its load of complaints from the playerbase. The key question is whether your enjoyment outweighs the complaints and whether you beileve the game designers are doing their best to allay your concerns. Also, realistically people need to recognize that a lot of this stuff doesn't happen overnight. We as players want to and definitely should lay down the pressure for gameplay or cosmetic elements that would make our experience more enjoyable. No doubt about it. Its in Cryptcs interests and most certainly ours that we do so. After all, we're the ones enjoying the game, we know best what we like... and ultimately its their job to entertain us. That being said I think some people get too melodramatic on the forums and that's all that concerns me here.
If someone wants to take a break from the game, ride it out a few months, then come back when they get the itch to blow up a Romulan Warbird again, I say more power to them. Its their dollar. Sorry for the longwinded approach to the question, but I just felt it should be said.
Actually this is quite an interestign question, I dare say Cryptic may well be interested in the various answers too.
For myself in all honesty after playing my first 30 days I already had 3 RA5's and had nothing lest but dailies and a klingon I couldnt rank up without pvp'ing which I don't care for. So in all likelihood I probably would only have played my first free 30 days and then left it there. Probably returning once Klingons got a storyline or when Romulans or Ferengi were added as a playable factions.
However considering the IP were talking about here STAR TREK..there really wasny ever any chance I wasnt going to buy a lifetime.
I don't really see the game as being bad or Cryptic as having failed, but I do think it was rushed out before it was ready. For people like me who have been here since day one, you really only have to look back at the posts, interviews, discussions etc we had with cryptic prior to release and look at what they said the game was going to be like and then compare that to how it was a release to see SOMETHING had happened to make them rush it out the door before it actually became what they described.
I suspect that was likely a global recession, rapidly vanishing cash and Atari wanting some return on thier investment..but whatever the case the RUSH undoubtedly hurt the game and Cryptics reputation, especially on the back of a practically identical blunder in the same respect with Champions Online (another game I am a lifer for).
However gloomy the picture is, however. I have, and remain impressed by Cryptics willingnes to listen and make right what is wrong. They are committed to giving us the game we want even if they didnt do it right out of the door..
So for that reason, and that alone I persevere and overlook the issues "for now" in order to give them the chance to deliver.
I didn't comment on this earlier but I have to agree with the sentiment that the game did push out with a few parts untouched likely because of a global recession. It is a wonder at all that new business is being created by anyone. We really shouldn't forget that either. I supported them in large part because I wanted the game to stay alive. They now have reams and reams of commentary from the players and I suspect they intend to use that. They also seem to have a lot of work and high hopes themselves for what they wanted to do with the game, and for me that speaks volumes. This thing will take time to develop. I'm a City of Heroes player as well, and love it also. I never bothered with Champions Online, in large part because I love CoH and have a lot of old characters invested into it. My only wish is that I could get a lifetime sub with them as well. Granted, I wish I could apply my 'backpay' into the game or get a reduction in that case.
That said, My hope is that a lot of people get some perspective here. Star Trek Online is a new venture. Its really cool, and they really are doing a lot to listen to the playerbase. I guess at times I wish players would be more appreciative of that fact. That is all.
If you were a lifer (having bought the sub during OB) would you even care that STO charges the standard $15 a month sub fee? Or would you just consider the life-sub an investment and are now waiting to see if it pays for itself or not?