I posted my desired vision for STO a year plus ago but here's the short scoop:
I would love to see more environments on the planets. I'd like to have a reason to explore the ground areas, collecting biological samples from various plants, animals, bacterial cultures, ocean creatures, etc.
I'd like to have something viable that I can do with all of those samples, either being trading them in some kind of merchant-triangle for collectors, and researchers and crafters.
I wish there was some kind of randomized patrol system that I could just check in, get a random patrol pattern (investigate these 5 systems or something like that) and then other missions might pop up along the way.
I wish that I had access to all of the planetary systems that I've already visited, and that the diplomatic system related to actions in these systems. For instance, if I fly into a Romulan system and the Romulans there are being attacked by Borg, if I join in on the side of the Romulans and fight against the Borg, I should get extra credit for that in some way, and then my relationship with the Romulans in that system (and perhaps other systems) would be affected. If I fly into that Romulan system and instead I end up helping the Borg to destroy Romulans, or do something in violation of the Romulan orders, then I wind up with a negative diplomatic score and perhaps the next time I enter that system they attack me without question.
I wish there were extra minigames that we could engage in, such as some planets where you can't beam down, and have to take a shuttle. Then you have to manually descend through the atmosphere, using scanners to check out turbulence pockets and avoid them, or avoiding magnetic storms in the atmosphere so that you can land safely without destroying your shuttle. Shuttle gets destroyed, you start over and try again.
I wish I could become a smuggler or a trader, and purchase a trading vessel that would let me fly between systems and some sort of a varying commodity system (related to randomized missions) that lets you profit by buying low and selling high. And yes, even the chance of smuggling contraband. Perhaps it's just devices like those eye-beam games that were taking over the Enterprise in the ST:TNG episode "The Game". I should be able to find my own trade routes that maximize profit and run them as I wish, but having to fight off Klingons and other pirates that might try to take my hoard.
It'd be cool to have a PVP system where if I am running as a trader, other Fed ships in the area can stop me (if I haven't been stopped recently, on some kind of cooldown, say once every 5 minutes or 10 minutes) and there was a competing minigame where on their side, they were trying to scan my ship, and on my side, I was either moving contraband around or doing my best to shield it from being detected. If I win, I get away, and if they win, I get "busted" and can't trade for a certain amount of time, and perhaps they get to confiscate the contraband and turn that in for a mission reward.
Finally, I wish there was some alternate main line content for my characters to go through. After having played SWTOR, the differences in the storylines are amazing, and much more robust than what I get going through as Engineer, Tactical, and Science officer. I always figured once I got my Engineer toon to VA that I'd level my other characters, but I just haven't been interested. Every time I go through missions, it's the same missions I've done before, and the only variation are a set of computers or a set of goal points in the same mission that I can access, being a different class. It just isn't enough for me.
Thankfully, I got the LTS when the game launched, so I don't have to subscribe and can come and go and enjoy the content as it comes. But honestly, that's all I'm doing at the moment. When a new Featured Episode is released, I'll play it. I'm here playing Q's Winter Wonderland just on the off-chance I'll get a sweet reward. But otherwise, there's nothing much to do for me. I don't like the crafting system and it doesn't interest me in its current state. I don't feel like churning product through the Exchange just to make credits. And I can't really bear running the same daily missions over and over again.
Oh well. I was a Star Wars fan before I was a Star Trek fan, so I'll play both, checking back with STO every now and then to see what's new. Hopefully some of those immersive mission generators and such and more expansive ground territory with some reason to explore them will be added in at some point.
PvP Content and Balance
Balance: Split the rules between PvP and PvE. I am tired of the fighting between PvEs and PvPers because of ners that are just needed for PvP, and I don't see Cryptic being able to revamp their NPC AI to be more challenging and more power-using.
Content: New game modes, Leaderboards, A Sector Block with Open PvP Territory Control
Lots of them. Make them weekly or bi-weekly.
Make it actually feel like exploration, expanding the known universe.
I would like to make a few comments regarding STO & the direction its going:
The thing about STO in my opinion is that there will be little new content from here on out. The reason behind this view is that Cryptic has to focus on ways to maximize profits for their parent company PW. The way to maximize profit using the Korean P2W style is to use prolong methods such as grinding, tricks that cheapens the game like the Gift box sales in the CStore, and lastly the focus on the Pay to Win model.
If you closely examine the seasons they were mainly huge patches that enhanced the game visuals and interface, and offered little to no new game content at all. The only true game content that was offered, and were the highlight of STO, were the Featured Episodes, which in my opinion were few and far between.
Serious Problems that plague STO:
The Game is literally incomplete: for starter the game since its inception felt incomplete in regards to game content. The two main factions are the Federation and the Klingons, with the focus given to the one faction (Fed), while the other is literally left to rot.
(A) Klingon side quickly set you up at a higher rank when you roll a new Klink toon, this is due to lack of true content.
(B) The Klingon storyline is nonexistent and ship variety availability is scarce (Only recently they made some additions - 5 seasons too late).
(C) In regards to the nonexistent storyline in the Klingon Faction side, Cryptic studio decided to play this off by focusing the Klingon faction towards more a PvP direction, sadly they failed to realize that not all players like to PVP. (See the PVP Queues)
(D) The design of this game is not a true MMO in a traditional sense, but more of a single player game with a chance to party with people in an instance ala Guild Wars. The elements are completely wrong.
(E) True content is also measured by expansion packs, this is true in regards to a true MMORPG - Games like LOTR, WOW, GW, etc... to name a few - shows us what true MMO's can bring. STO has not brought a single expansion pack since its 2 years of its existence, not one. (though I still question if GW is considered to be a true MMO because of its game mechanics)
(F) A simple sign of incomplete programming - (Though not a priority - There are NO, and I mean NO FEMALE ALIEN BO's in STO of the uncommon, rare, and very rare types.) <-- small things like this shows how incomplete the game was during its launch.
(G) The game is going F2P a little over a year since its launch - Its a huge sign of its struggle and ailing economic health.
(H) I was hoping for the introduction of a third Faction (Wishing Rommies here,) but hopes to see a 3rd faction such as the Romulans or Cardassian are now dashed due to the P2W model - DO NOT Expect a 3rd Faction (IT IS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN) --> limited staff and resources (Profit comes first)
There are a ton more problems this game has, despite the few good things it has going for it. The majority of its fanbased are either diehard Trekkies/Fan Boys, fans of Star Trek, and the occasional Trekker. However; I will garauntee that STO will not appeal to the casual RPGer (we'll see coming this Feb.) - It will attract the curious for a few months, but due to the overall structure of the game and its LACK of depth in its skill mechanic, skill visuals, and overall game mechanics may turn many prospects off.
Will STO survive in the upcoming year? Probably, but will struggle
Will it severely struggle? Yes, I see hardship in the long run with little to no new true content - Most of what we'll see are nitched grabbers such as new weapons, cool shiny outfits, a new ship or two to appease the hungry fanbase, while throwing the occasional featured episode bone to calm the angry fanboy mobs.
I know I paint a gloomy picture, and in truth I hope I am DEAD WRONG - but the signs that are given does not bode well for STO. There is going to be a huge dent on the STO population once TOR comes out. I am not defending the purchase of TOR (Thats another story for another game.) - however; I know there are many talks on ESD, DS9, among peers, and among Fleeties that a departure will occur.
The main reason for this departue is the way STO is turning out and the direction the game is going.
If Cryptic did some sort of complete turn around and gave ST the same level of respect Bioware does SW i would sub both, as the game is now it doesn't deserve to use the name. But lets face it, subs don't matter anymore, grab bags makes them money and nothing is going to change.
My preorder for TOR arrives December 20th, this will be my new main sub MMO. STO will be my back up casual game that will be played once or twice for an hour or so during the weekdays. My weekends will be dedicated to TOR from sunrise to sunset .
STO lacks greatly in true content and expansion packs, and its now far too late for them to do so, since the Cryptic team will be too busy concentrarting on how to make a quick profit using PW tactics.
I wouldn't maind an open exploratin system. Head off into the unknown, the further away from charted space you go, the harder the random missions. Star Fleet could setup a transwarp condiut to the "frontier"
I want the follow up story to the events pertaining to the Undine infiltration. We know the Iconians are behind it all, we know that Starfleet has Undine infiltrators in it, and the KDF might have some as well. We've been promised the continuing story since Season 1 ended.
I'd also like to see:
More 5+ Man content, aka, raids. More missions, plz.