That's what I'm thinking as well. "Eh, it's only Tier 2 and the PvP queues are dead, so why not".
The Rhode Island is just the first ship on the line, I believe it's a total of 16 that will come out, IIRC. (Tier 2 to Tier 4). So it will be an issue from Tier 2 to Tier 4. And if works well financially, I see no reason why Cryptic would absolutely stop at Tier 5. I mean, they have gotten a lot of negative feedback on this (am I one of the biggest Cryptic "fanbois" on the PvP forums, and they are ****ing me off?) one.
They are pushing the boundaries of what "no game changing items in the C-Store" means to them. The next boundary seems to be: "Well, we'll create an ingame resource you can also get via C-Points, replacing the old Marks and Badges, and then put up superior stuff for that item." So It's clearly a "pay-for-an-advantage" scheme by then.Sure, you can get this advantage without spending money, but it takes more time - and time is hardly something you get from Tier 2 to Tier 4. So we'll have to get accustomed to a different level of PvP - where the inexperienced noobs get into with underpowered ships, fighting against experienced players with Tier 5.5 ships.
That certainly will help PvP a great deal. Let's just hope this mysterious in-game resource (Dilithium the current name) will also be earned via PvP, and it won't be another PvE fest to earn this stuff.
But that is just the distant future. In the meantime, we'll have class and faction imbalance, as these ships won't be rolled out at once, but one by one. Maybe that's irrelevant, because no one PvPers at the lower tiers. This sure won't help it. It will become relevant once we get to the tier 5.5 ships.
On the other hand, the members of the community that want to keep flying their lower tier ships at endgame are still unheard. Will that help in any way to minimize the Star Trek theme park feel of the game? I doubt it, we still got a trillion of uniforms, existing retrofits, and the borg set.
So it's ultimately really just a money grab. I don't mind Cryptic making money, not even from me by making me want to buy stuff from the C-Store. But they could have done a lot better job here. I kinda hope that not just the forum feedback, but also the sales, leading to a better model. But that might be too optimistic. And it's kinda not optimistic, because less money for Cryptic from STO means less development for STO. Of course, if they come up with a better model, the money will hopefully flow again. Unless they ****ed too many people off.
Given the Devs comments regarding the Rhode Island, I think it's a clear they aren't going to back down.
But like I said on in the discussion forum is why are they making better ships when it clearly imbalances all across the board? PvP is an obvious thing, but they are making PvE too easy. We all know how easy Space PvE is.
So Cryptic is not in a good situation here in dumbing down PvE more and more with the current lack of content, its like they are purposely rushing people to boredom and have them go to the next game. That to me sounds like bad business practice. They have to either give up in making better ships or down the road they have to tweek PvE to have a greater difficulty curb to keep people interested.
That's what I see 6 months from now.
Of course, lets not factor out Cryptic going into a panic with the flood of players going to TOR. Which seems that's on their agenda based on the schedule on the Ask Cryptic and Enter the Hive being saved for December (which is expected to be TOR's release date).
Right now, Cryptic needs to get consumer confidence back and not alienating their current subcriber base.
The Champions Store kinda has "Pay-To-Win" items in the store- heals and energy fills. They don't work in PvP. I had the impression that Champions Online is much more challenging than STO ever was, but I could just be a bad and inexperienced player (the latter is a given). Maybe adding more Pay-To-Win options will ultimately lead to Cryptic increasing the challenge of its missions, to encourage people buying better ships? Tier 2 to Tier 4 ships might be best suited for this, actually - because that's where players are the least inexperienced and are more likely to struggle. Getting a better ship might be very tempting. Even if you never use it again...
Because nobody plays PvP at lower Tiers anymore doesn't mean we should pretend it doesn't exist.
BTW, it just occurred to me something nobody has mentioned yet regarding the Rhode Island - ship slots. Very clever, Cryptic. Instead of being "pay to win", its a sneeky way of getting people to buy ship slots.
In a way, they are already the tier 5.5s. Just look how many people fly the older ships compared to the Refits.
in the case of the mvam to AE a good portion of those are still RA AEs, with console.
But in any case they aren't quite tier 5.5 they are lacking the extra boff power. (I suppose a 5.5 tier AE for example would either have 2 cmdr tacs, or a cmdr tac, lt cmdr tac, lt cmdr sci for example)