I was one of the guys who played Closed Beta, Open Beta, and almost a month at launch. I bought the "lifer" sub on the premise that beta players were not seeing the entire game but sadly asked for and received a refund on that lifer sub. The guy on the phone listened to my reasoning, didn't argue, was very polite, and just refunded my money. (something I just wasn't all that used to as I've played SWG for over 6 years) I did say in my "goodbye" post that the best thing this game had in it was the Cryptic Developers that seemed to be interested, listened, and didn't just come off with "take it or leave it, we couldn't care less, we did it, we think it's great, and your opinion just doesn't matter". (again, SWG vet and Blixtev for case in point)
However, I did keep cking back in. I guess it's the IP and the Developers that caused this and I'm really pleased to say that Cryptic has added enough in the last year to regain my interest. I have closed 3 accounts over at SOE/SWG, another 1 going down soon, and re-bought the "lifer" here. There is enough now to keep my interest with, as it looks like, a Dev team that is really dedicated to the sucess of this game and activly looks for player feedback and developes accordingly. Crafting re-vamp is very nice. Bit of a timesink but I would expect that. Nice job, Cryptic!
Credit where credit is due, here I guess. I also got involved in a "fleet", what I used to call "guild", (I ran a guild in SWG for many years) The "106th Fleet" (shameless, cheap, plug) and that community is really an asset to ST:O also. They were more than happy to accept an "Old Noob" who just thought he knew about the game, help with builds, run the new guy thru some instances, and start the "noob" in some PVP. Great bunch of people there.
I still see some things tho that could help the game. Some of this is already being talked about, via Cryptic and players so this could already be on the "white boards" down at Cryptic.
1, Ground combat. It appears the engine is limiting the ability to fire specials, animations, movement, etc. Expecialy in instances where many NPCs are used in development. It looks like the engine gets behind in processing and the special your trying to fire "gets in line" for the processor and waits till it's time in line is up to fire. "Server lag". I'm playing on a Alienware Area 51, dual quad core, 2 1 gig video cards, 7200 RPM hard drive, with 12 gigs of ram, on a dedicated T-1 line so ISP/home processing issues are few and far between for me. Maybe a reduction in the amount of NPCs might help here to keep some of the server lag down to a minimum. This is not only in STFs it is also in the standard "borg" missions where wave after wave comes out.
2. Borg in general. It looks like when some1 designed the borg, they took 52 "holds", 110 roots, and gave them 100,000 hit points, each, and said to themselves, "this'll make em die". The fun in a game, for me at least, is not diffuculty developed to the point that you will die, it figuring out how not to die. It amazes me sometimes how devs think that dieing is fun. Too, easy, is just as bad. But, I want to be able to go back, after a respawn and figure out where I made the mistake not just chalk it up to development where there was no chance. Fine line to walk here, I guess.
3. Balance via PVP. I've seen it in my own guild. It seems the "alpha" build is now a cloaking escort in space PVP and ev1 is acting accordingly and moving to an escort. 1 vs 1, I've seen very few crusiers stand on their own merits, so far. Altho, I have just came up with yet another build for a crusier and we'll see how that goes.
1. Some "sandbox" might go a long way in ST:O. I'm never been one to level a toon up, delete that toon, and start all over again just to have story and content. (WoW is not the game for me) I still just have 1 character the same as I had my main over in SWG (with alt accounts to buff/craft for the jedi). End game can be very important for player retention. Jack Emmerit did say, way back a year ago, that he would like to add some "sandbox" to ST:O and I would agree whole heartidly.
2. If the engine would allow, deco and placement for ship interiors/bridges would be a nice touch. They would become a form of housing and different, unique, deco designs would be a reason to accept an invite to some1 elses interior. Different shipside computer consoles, "screenshot" paintings (as Cryptic's art dept has always done a nice job), etc. This had became a complete mini-game/end game content in SWG, for collectors, and would be a nice touch here also. And, devs, you can add rewards for new quests, etc without affecting in game balance issues. A painting never OPed a ship, build, nor affected PVP in the least.
3. Still say a "Harry Mud" crafter profession would be a nice touch also. Maybe crafting for some of the above deco items. You already have animations for mining stations, etc in the game to reuse here for resoucing. And playing a crafter alt is a nice change from when you just don't want to "pew pew" tonight.
All in all, it appears it's been a decent 1st year post development, for me at least. Cryptic, you got my money again, (I even went to the C-Store and bought something and I NEVER did that with SOE's "The Card Game"), the game gets my time (and I tend to spend way too much time in an MMO), and the 106th gets my membership and any controbution I can make to the community. Again, "Nice job, Cryptic"!
Great post! If I recall season 4 has a huge combat overhaul. They're introducing third person shooter mechanics and quite literally redoing every weapon. It should be pretty good, at least that's what I heard.