Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by dstahl View Post
...I can assure you there are no restrictions on content access, including future Feature Series. In addition, subscribers should notice little to no change. As far as I've seen, any changes in price will be to lower prices on some items.

That aside, if you don't like the game, you don't like the game. The entire concept of F2P is that you don't have to pay for the game. You can play it for free and if you like... {Source}
The above quote is from the, at the time, Executive Produce of Star Trek Online, Dan Stahl (posted Sep 1, 2011), in an attempt to calm the masses that things weren't going to be so bad come STO: Free-to-Play. This "subscriber" would like to make the following list of "little" changes that I happen to notice. (And yes, I know Dan is gone, but his words still matter.) Some of the items on this list may be "forward thinking", but most are on Tribble now.

Negative Changes
* No VA Ship Token:
Originally all ship tokens were removed from the game. Cryptic restored subscriber Ship Tokens for ranking up through Rear Admiral, but they have not restored the Vice Admiral/Lieutenant General Token. You want a new ship for your End Game? C-Points Only. Details:
http://startrekonline.com/node/2654 (About Ships/Tokens).
http://forums.startrekonline.com/sho....php?p=3806649 (Why VA is gone.)
http://forums.startrekonline.com/sho...d.php?t=239471 (Token = Vet Reward.)
http://forums.startrekonline.com/sho....php?p=3845135 (My response.)
http://www.startrekonline.com/node/2678 (New Blog)
http://forums.startrekonline.com/sho....php?p=3852908 (Latest response)

* Dilithium Added to Crafting:
Uncommon and rare even-mark gear, and all very rare items require a dilithium fee. The current fees are high and not much lower than regular vendors, even though the player still needs to also include standard crafting material (anomalies and schematics). There has been much gnashing of teeth on this one from the playerbase. Cryptic, has said they're looking at it, but Dil is here to stay. Details:
http://forums.startrekonline.com/sho...d.php?t=237412
http://forums.startrekonline.com/sho...d.php?t=239471 (Latest response)

* In-Game Ships Removed:
The T3 Nebula and T3 Excel are no longer purchasable via Energy Credits, and the Delta Flyer can no longer be crafted. Also, in addition to the VA/LG tokens being removed (see above), the Fed VA Retrofits, D'Kyr, Nebula, and their KDF counterparts are no longer even grindable via an in-game currency. All these ships are now C-Store only (but see below about Exchanging for C-Points).

* C-Store Prices got Jacked-Up!
Roughtly 80% of the items in the C-Store had their prices raised! I thought paying $15 for a ship on the C-Store was bad. I mean at 1200CP that's a month's worth of subscription fee for the whole game for just one ship. Now those same ships are 1600CP (or $20).

* The Relentless Nerf:
The Relentless vet reward has been Nerfed. After paying for 500 days, a player would be gifted 250 Emblems as part of his Veteran Reward. That portion of the reward has been removed. We're told that Cryptic is "working on something else to fill in that spot" with something that they are "looking at", and "currently exploring the possibility" of, but "nothing is set in stone yet." The VA Ship Token got added here. It's unclear if this is a separate add/fix for pulling the Token in the first place or replacement for the Emblem Nerf (or both). Relevant quotes/my further opinion/thoughts are here:
http://forums.startrekonline.com/sho....php?p=3787572
http://forums.startrekonline.com/sho....php?p=3796966
http://forums.startrekonline.com/sho...d.php?t=239471
http://www.startrekonline.com/node/2678 (New Blog)
http://forums.startrekonline.com/sho....php?p=3852908 (Latest response)

* Time-Gated Currency/Conversion:
Regardless of how the numbers are tweaked, I don't think subscribers should be subjected to a time-gated currency conversion process. If a player pays $15 a month and wants to spend 10 hours on a Saturday, earns 40,000 Dil, then he should get to spend it right there on whatever shiney new toy he wants. He should not have to wait 5 days to refine it. They want to time-gate Silvers? I got no problem with that.

Further, I am very against the fact that when Holodeck characters are moved to F2P Land, some currency we have already earned may be given to us as Ore, meaning it's being restricted from our use for a time. Details/rant here:
http://forums.startrekonline.com/sho....php?p=3818473

* Bind-on-Pickup Dilithium Items:
On Holodeck now, Badge and Emblem items are Bind-on-Equip. This means I can spend my time earning these tokens and sell the resultant spoils to other players for EC. Also, and more importantly to me, I'm a player who likes lots of characters (I have 20 now, only 8 are at End Game). As I level-up new alts I can buy gear for them from my main characters, this especially being true with Emblem gear. When my new toons reach VA/LG, I do not have to grind with them. I can >poof< give the Alt any Epic Gear they need.

With Dilithium replacing all the "good gear" currencies, and Dil items beign BoP, I won't be able to do either of these tasks I can now do with my sub. I can see that Dil is a "time currency" that's related to money that Silvers aren't paying in subs, so they want each player to have to grind... But to get the Dil to begin with, the time has already been spent by me. In game I may be nearly two-dozen people. In real life, I'm only me. I can only grind so much. Perhaps they can allow inter-account trading, at least for Gold members.

* C-Store items become Single Purchase:
What was originally discovered and justifiably raged-over has been cleared-up. Existing players' account-wide unlocks of already purchased/awarded items will be grandfathered-in. Still, I think new C-store items (like pets, tribbles, etc.) being per-item single-purchases is not a wise idea, so I'm leaving this in the "bad" area.
http://forums.startrekonline.com/sho....php?p=3837437 (How it "works.")
http://forums.startrekonline.com/sho....php?p=3839578 (Stormshade explains/apologizes.)
http://forums.startrekonline.com/sho....php?p=3839654 (New characters retain unlocks.)
http://forums.startrekonline.com/sho....php?p=3839727 (Ships to remain account-wide.)
http://forums.startrekonline.com/sho....php?p=3840094 (Geko's addional info.)
Positive Changes
* New Content:
DOff System/Assignments, STA "Particle" Game, Mirror Event, "rebooted" STFs, Tour the Galaxy, Borg Ground Event (So far, unreleased), etc. These are great. It's too bad Cryptic has intentionally witheld the release of some of these for F2P Launch, making the Holodeck Drought even longer, but once things go live, hopefully we'll get a lot more content down the line. (Not holding my breath.)

* 400CP Monthly Stipend:
This would be especially full of win if it wasn't for the fact that the C-Store prices got jacked-up (see below), effectively nerfing this out of the box. Still, ultimately it's a boon.

* Modular Ship Powers:
Some ships with special powers got those powers removed from the generic UI and turned into a "console" that can be added or removed as the player would like. Many (most?) of these are useable on other ships of the same class (Escort, Cruiser, Sci, etc). Most ships that got their power "consolized" also got an extra slot to put it in resulting in a net loss of zero to keep your power. I like this idea of modularzation and the variety that it brings to the game. Still, it's not perfect. I much rather these were quest rewards, crafting items, or otherwise in-game unlocks. Instead they are C-Store purchased and there is debate about this (see "Pay-to Win" below), also in the process they Nerfed the T5 Excel (see below).

* Klingon Academy:
It's long overdue, but it's pretty cool. Nothing much to do there yet, but a mini-game similar to SFA is supposed to be coming soon.
(Now continued in the next post...)
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
10-19-2011, 05:05 PM
(Continued from post #1...)

Uncertain Changes
* New Economy:
This should be good a good thing. I love the idea that all those miscellaneous badges, marks, medals, emblems, etc. have been condensed into a universal currency. This reduction in complexity should be great! However, as things are shaping up now, it's becoming the opposite.

For starters, Dilithium this isn't a single currency. There is Ore (which is unusable, and what you get from most missions, rewards, etc.) and Refinded (the version you can actually spend). The two are fully under a Cryptic-controlled, time-gated, limiting process called Refining that converts "bad" Dilithium Ore to "good" Refined Dilithium. Subscribers should not be time-gated (see above).

Dilithium is looking like it's going to be uber-grindtastic and all around Bad. Especially the way Dilithium is insinuating it's way into every portion of the game. Cryptic is locking away all the good stuff behind the Dilithium key, and each player must pay the piper individually. You can't craft around it (again, for the better items), and even the formally BoE Emblem Gear is now BoP (see above).

The currency unification has been further muddled by the new STF "currencies" - Where we used to simply have Marks of Valor we now have a plethora of "tokens" that are exchanged for "requisitions" to "buy" ("craft"?) the awesome new STF gear. I love the choice this allows, but so far feel it's implementation is confusing and overpriced (ie grindy). (Details here and here.)

Anyway, I'm going to leave the Economy under the Uncertain section, because I want to hope it all won't be so evil as it feels now. Maybe when the dust settles, Cryptic gets their test data, tweaks the numbers, etc. Things will be fair and reasonable. Yeah. It might happen... Anyway, here's a Dev blog on the subject:
http://www.startrekonline.com/node/2638

* The Dilithium <-> C-Point Exchange:
Instead of buying C-Store items (ships, etc.) with saved-up Emblems or Badges, the "in-game" method for buying C-Store items will involve a special Exchange whereby a player can somehow trade the in-game Refined Dilithium currency for the out-of-game C-Store C-Points.

This is not in Tribble yet, so details are sketchy. The jist is that you can buy other players' purchased/stipend CP that they are selling (at an unregulated/market-controlled rate) with your Dilithium. My gut feeling is this will also be Bad, at the very least it won't be a "sure thing" like grinding for 500 Emblems, but I'm trying to reserve judgement and be hopeful. Some interesting/related links:
http://forums.startrekonline.com/sho....php?p=3808687
http://forums.startrekonline.com/sho....php?p=3808600

* Respec Purchases:
Subscribers still get Respec Tokens from ranking and Vet Rewards. These should be plenty for most players. However, some people really are into tweaking, and the in-game method to buy additional respects via Merits (or Honor) has been removed. I do not believe an alternate currency can be been used (such as Dilithium or EC). So if you run out of the freebies you have to buy from the C-Store (at nearly double the pre-F2P price). I'm not yet sure if this is working as intended, nor exactly how it would affect game play either way. Personally, now that I know how the skill system works, it's pretty easy to get the character I want within one or two adjustments, which I'll get for free. YMMV.

* Pay-to-Win:
The New Wave of C-Store ships (and potentially other items in the future) are Tier +1, they "are typically slightly stronger in some way, and they include a valuable piece of gear that is only available with that ship." - This is known as "Pay-to-Win" (P2W). I know most people consider this a negative, and on some levels I do too (my rant/thoughts here (link coming soon)). But there are others that don't. Not to mention this has been going on more and more in the game for a long time, so it's not really a "change" and I could accept it they don't take away what they sell you (see Excel Nerf, above). For now, I'm going to leave this squarely in the Uncertain section. Related link:
http://startrekonline.com/node/2654

* Forced Mission Progression:
On Tribble you're forced to perform the Story Missions in a particular order. You can't skip one if it's broken or say if you're on a duplicate character and you simply don't like a particlar episode. This has even caused problems where VAs can't get to Borg Space because they've not got to the mission that sends them there. I don't like the Forced Progression, but have put it in Uncertain because the EEPH has said it's bad and it will be changed.

* Klingon Faction Reorganization:
The Klingon Faction used to be unlocked once a player's first character completed Lieutenant 5, reached Lt. 6 (Level 6), and achieved the Blood of the Warrior accolade. Any new Klingon Defense Force (KDF) character created after this would start at Lt. 6, but then be able to level-up from there. When F2P goes live, the KDF will now unlock and start at Lt. Commander 7 (Level 17). Cryptic has starved the KDF faction to such a point that they finally had to admit it's only a half-faction (at best), and they are trying to compensate for that. I know many players are upset by this, and I can understand why.

Cryptic says they want a strong faction and in the future they'll relaunch the KDF as such. We all know the many broken words Cryptic has said about the KDF going back to STO Beta (those who don't know can click here). I'm only "reporting" the (still) current state of things. Suffice to say, I'll believe it when I see it. I too feel the pain of my Klingon Brethern, so please let us not use this thread to devolve into another KDF rant. (I thank you for your restraint.)

However... Like it or hate it, it's true there really isn't enough KDF content at this time for a full game play experience, so maybe this isn't really that bad of an idea. I'm putting this in Uncertain, as only time will tell. Details on the new Half-KDF:
http://startrekonline.com/node/2637
Revoked Changes
* T5 Excel Nerf - Fixed
10/31/11 Update: The Excel is being reverted to match Holodeck (11/04 Fix is made). On 10/20 the T5 Excel on Tribble was given a nerf, which included some console switch-a-roo non-sense and the loss of 1/3 of it's TW powers. This is great news!
History: Original Nerf Release Notes, Comments: [1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6].
I will try to keep up with changes as they occur. I welcome your on-topic posts and comments. If you notice a change in the game I haven't mentioned, please post that too.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
10-19-2011, 05:21 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatricianVetinari
* No VA Ship Token:
Originally all ship tokens were removed from the game. Cryptic restored subscriber Ship Tokens for ranking up through Rear Admiral, but they have not restored the Vice Admiral/Lieutenant General Token. You want a new ship for your End Game? C-Points Only.
Details: http://startrekonline.com/node/2654
I would argue that "VA" ships are no more "End-game ships" than the ones you get at level 41. They're still Tier 5 ships, but they have also always been "+1 ships" because the main difference from other ships in their class stat-wise is that they all have a special ability. So you do get a non-C-Store "End-game" ship, as you always have. At level 41.

EDIT: Also, you put in the C-Store Prices and Time-Gated Conversion in the Negative changes category when it's based on the changing Economy, which you have stated yourself is an uncertain change. So you do understand that this system is in flux and is still undergoing changes, but you're still going to make a blanket good/bad statement on it?

The same goes for the "Relentless" nerf. You've acknowledged that you know they're still working on it but you've went ahead and declared it a negative when you don't know what the results will be.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
10-19-2011, 05:21 PM
You missed the forced episode chaining, which I think the majority sees as negative.

Quote:
I would argue that "VA" ships are no more "End-game ships" than the ones you get at level 41. They're still Tier 5 ships, but they have also always been "+1 ships" because the main difference from other ships in their class stat-wise is that they all have a special ability. So you do get a non-C-Store "End-game" ship, as you always have. At level 41.
The VA ships have never been +1 ships. They were always arguably balanced by the loss of a console slot for their ability. Some of those powers offer very questionable balance, certainly. However, they were far closer to balanced than the true +1 ships which get an extra BOFF slot, extra console slot, and a power to put in that extra console slot. There is no semblance of balance to those ships.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
10-19-2011, 05:29 PM
I consider VA ships endgame because they are a "Reward" for attaining the rank of Vice Admiral.
And what Cryptic is doing now is depriving us of our rewards for future characters and nerfing the benefits of leveling up to VA.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
10-19-2011, 10:56 PM
Nice summary, but I would argue some of your negative points:

* No VA Ship Token:

While you indeed not get a token anymore, you gain dilithium during leveling and if you have a subscription you gain teh above mentioned 400 cp per month. Hence, as a subscription player there is most likely no limitation in getting a VA ship when you rank up (if you do this optimised for the new rewards).


* C-Store Prices got Jacked-Up!

Your example is the 1600 cp ship that was 1200 before, which in the end is actually a 0 increase for players with subscription, since tehy get 400 cp now (each month) and did not get any before. Considering that some other items kept the price or actually got cheaper the statment that C-Store Prices got Jacked up is not generally correct.

In any case, if I look at the balance sheet I am so far linking most of the changes. The most critical imbalance is with Dilithium and Dilithium prices for items to my mind.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
10-20-2011, 01:15 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatricianVetinari
* Respect Purchases:
We still get Respect Tokens from ranking and Vet Rewards. However the in-game method to buy additional respects via Merits (or Honor) has been removed. I do not believe an alternate currency has been used (such as Dilithium or EC). So if you run out of the freebies you have to buy from the C-Store (at nearly double the price). I'm not yet sure if this is working as intended, nor exactly how it would affect game play either way.
Not that I want to seem like the grammar/spelling police, but I think you mean "Respec" (or Captain Retrain) tokens.. Nobody can buy Respect. It has to be earned (and not with Merits either).

However, Respec tokens do tie in with the Dilithium/C-points Exchange, since it's theoretically possible to get the C-points for a Captain Retrain token from the Exchange of currency.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
10-21-2011, 03:36 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Direphoenix View Post
<Re: VA Tokens>
Part of the "pact" with the players back around S2 was that these C-Store ships would be available in game and as a sort of "halfway meeting" each character would get one of these ships for free as part of their subscription upon reaching VA1. There opposite side of he deal were drawbacks, like you couldn't discharge/reclaim it, and if you wanted more than one of these T+1 ships you had to grind 500 Emblems to unlock another single copy, or pay the C-Store Piper. I have always felt that was an eloquent solution.

Taking this option away from Subscribers is removing something that was previously a part of the subscription. Personally, I think it should be part of the Gold-Only part of the game to encourage Subs. Silvers are welcome to use C-Store only.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Direphoenix View Post
...you put in the C-Store Prices and Time-Gated Conversion in the Negative changes category when it's based on the changing Economy...
Yup. I read a post (can't find atm) where the C-Store prices were said to be near stable. When we were told the "plan" was no price changes (or to lower), then any hikes are deemed bad, much less ~80% of the items going up a lot.

Regardless of the numbers, I don't think subscribers should be subjected to a time-gated currency conversion process. If a player pays $15 a month and wants to spend 10 hours on a Saturday and earns 40,000 Dil he should get to spend it right then and there on that shiney new ship part, not have to wait 5 days to refine it. They want to time-gate Silvers? I got no problem with that.

Edit: I reworded/added the above to the OP.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Direphoenix View Post
The same goes for the "Relentless" nerf...
Yup. I added another link that explains further about how I feel, but in short, they're talking about a BO. I can't imagine any BO (or really anything) will replace the value of 250 Emblems worth of End Game items in terms not only of playability, but also saved Grind Time. Thanks for your thoughts Direphoenix.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Foxrocks View Post
You missed the forced episode chaining, which I think the majority sees as negative...
Thanks, I did forget about that, and yes it's negative, but I added it to Uncertain for reasons listed above.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wulfman View Post
While you indeed not get a token anymore, you gain dilithium during leveling and if you have a subscription you gain teh above mentioned 400 cp per month. Hence, as a subscription player there is most likely no limitation...
If I'm a subscriber and I level three toons to VA in one month, I should get my pick of three of those VA ships the token used to be good for. 400CP/Mo will not cover one toon to pick a ship, much less two or more, for many months. I call that a limitation.

Dilithium gained through leveling can not buy C-Store ships. There's going to be a Dil<>CP Exchange, but we don't know much about it except there's no set price, it's not like I'll know 500 Emblems will get me a ship, and I have to hope there's even CP available. When compared to a VA1 Token, that sounds like another limit to me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wulfman View Post
Your example is the 1600 cp ship that was 1200 before, which in the end is actually a 0 increase... Considering that some other items kept the price or actually got cheaper the statment that C-Store Prices got Jacked up is not generally correct.
Hmmm... Last time I checked (10/06/11) the MVAM Escrot went up 800pts. That's more than a wash. But ok, many items do break even. I comment on that in the 400 Stipend Positive part. The fact that ~20% of the items are priced equal to or less than before pales in comparison to the ~80% that went up. That qualifies correct as a "general" upward jacking.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wulfman View Post
In any case, if I look at the balance sheet I am so far linking most of the changes. The most critical imbalance is with Dilithium and Dilithium prices for items to my mind.
And you're welcome to that opinion (no sarcasm intended). Thanks for posting wulfman!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Destinii View Post
Not that I want to seem like the grammar/spelling police, but I think you mean "Respec" (or Captain Retrain) tokens.. Nobody can buy Respect. It has to be earned (and not with Merits either).
"Everybody run! 5.0 is rollin' up on our grammarz and spellinz!!" lol

Thanks Destini, I corrected my mistake.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Destinii View Post
However, Respec tokens do tie in with the Dilithium/C-points Exchange, since it's theoretically possible to get the C-points for a Captain Retrain token from the Exchange of currency.
Sure. And a Captain Retrain that used to cost $5 in CP (and I think was too expensive then) is now $9.75 (when last checked, 10/06/11). Nearly $10 to reboot my character's skills? Wow!

New items on the list:
Besides the aforementioned Forced Mission Chaining, I added the T5 Excel Nerf, KDF Academy, and Dilithium Crafting.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
10-21-2011, 03:48 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatricianVetinari
Thanks Destini, I corrected my mistake.
"Destinii" has two i's... Book him, Dan-O!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
10-21-2011, 03:53 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatricianVetinari
* Forced Mission Progression:
On Tribble you're forced to perform the Story Missions in a particular order. You can't skip one if it's broken or say if you're on a duplicate character and you simply don't like a particlar episode. This has even caused problems where VAs can't get to Borg Space because they've not got to the mission that sends them there. I don't like the Forced Progression, but have put it in Uncertain because the EEPH has said it's bad and it will be changed.
[/indent]
Could you link this post. I have been trying to find a dev talking about the locked story progression for some time now.

Thanks.
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