*sigh* Okay. I'll be the first to admit that with the introduction of dilithium and the new "CP rush," that I myself have frequently used the famous "Broken Console," and other similar Foundry exploits. Anyone out there using Foundry to get their daily out of the way insanely quickly knows exactly what I'm talking about.
I do the same thing. I can't help it. Afterall, it all comes down to REAL money now.
I feel guilty about it every darn time though. There are so many incredibly talented authors out there in the STO community, and it feels incredibly unfair that "Broken Console" and others like it should continue to get a 5 star rating and a rediculous amount of daily hits, while other, far more worthy projects become burried and knocked down the popularity list.
Rating is not the main issue for me though. My real problem is the fact that a player is rewarded so much more for so little effort, as opposed to the player who takes about 3 hours to complete and read every detail of an incredibly well-written episode. I can't count the number of times I've felt almost forced to opt out of playing a really great story, simply because of the age-old appeal of instant gratification.
I DO have a solution though. As I said, I'm just as guilty, for I exploit those missions just as much as anyone else. That being said, I'm not looking to take away any rewards from anyone. What I propose instead, is a unique and simple way of balancing it out.
With the exception of duty officer assignments, right now dilithium rewards always come in two packages depending on the length of the mission. The single, "quick" dailies (such as the trivia mission and Drake's satelite repair), give out 400-something....I don't recall the exact number. The longer missions always give out 1000-something. I only mention this aspect in regard to the 400 bit, which I'll explain in a moment.
Here's what I propose to the developers:
1. Change "investigate daily officer reports" to only ONE Foundry mission instead of 3.
2. Develop a TIMER for all Foundry projects.
3. The length of time it takes a player to complete a Foundry mission directly impacts their dilithium reward.
4. The absolute smallest reward is the 400 bit...no different from running to the academy to pick up your quiz.
5. Starting from the 400 mark, the player will be rewarded more the longer it takes them to complete the episode.
6. The reward cap should be GREATER than what players currently get for the "daily officer report"...(more than the 1000-something.) I would suggest even going as high as 4000-5000 depending on the length of time taken.
7. To prevent exploitation of this system, the timer is RESET whenever the player goes idle, logs out, etc. Note, I say reset and not "paused." A bit harsh perhaps, but it gives it that added layer of annoyance to those who would try and exploit. Additionally, I suspect that would be much easier to code for.
So that's pretty much it in a nutshell. My goal is to encourage people (including myself) to play these amazing stories that are out there...while still being fiscally rewarded for their time and indulgence.
While I'm on the subject, I would also LOVE to see dilithium rewards introduced to regular Cryptic-made episodes....both the special featured ones AND the "normal" ones. I've been really itching to go back and play through all the old episodes all over again, and the only thing stopping me is the requirement for dilithium farming. I simply don't have the time or the drive once my dailies are finished, and I'm simply "worn out." At that point, I don't even feel like playing anymore. I'm sure others can attest to that.
So in conclusion...this is for YOU, all the wonderfully tallented authors out there. Thank you for what you're doing, and for sharing your time with us. And to the exploiters and the exploit creators...well, I simply don't have a leg to stand on. I ALSO appreciate your missions as well, for the simple fact that Cryptic's system created the necesity for it. I'll try not to flame you on the reviews so much from now on, but in all honesty...you know this can't last forever. It isn't balanced, and it just isn't right.
The 500+ hours I've spent helping out the Deferi have taught me a thing or two about that.