I love STO! I've played the game since it started, two years ago. I've seen almost all of the developments and improvements that have been made since launch. I have'nt always loved the scheduling (considering nothing has really happened in the game from the last anniversary to a month ago). Coming back, and playing when the F2P update first came to the holodeck for testing, two things need to change and be implemented in order for this game to be both successful and just a fun game to play.
1) Weekly Episode Series every month!
Weekly Episodes was the best idea to ever have come to STO. They are incredible. They are what keeps bringing back old and current players every week, en masse. They are what keeps the community alive and happy.
We don't neccesarily need new features or amazing new technologies added with each episode (maybe one or two new ones per series) but just new content. The Foundry is fun but not replacement for the weeklies. Before and since the Romulan Weeklies, I had never felt more apart of the community. We should'nt have to wait a year for new episodes. Weeklies are really what are keeping this game alive, and you are trying to make the production quality way above what your team seems to be able to handle (and the team does amazing work).
It should'nt take a year to make a new one. Right now STO has been almost totally revamped, stop focusing resources on revamping and focus on new episodical content!
2) Restore the old Skill point/ leveling system !
I'm going to put it simply. Progressing in STO is too easy! Progressing in STO is too fast! With the old system, a power leveler can beat the game in a week or less. Now, in a day or two! The three complaints about STO have always been that it's too easy, too short, and there is'nt enough content.
I know the reason for doing this is to creat the illusion that there is an endgame, but you don't. In fact it's rather disconcerting when you can be promoted from ensign up to captain rank in one day of doing ten missions, ten patrols, and all on top of the extra SP from the DOFF system, dailies, and other events.
The old system was perfect. You got the right ship at the right time. It's not a bad thing for it too take a while to reach max rank. But If you played a lot on the old system, it would'nt take too long at all. This new system makes me feel like playing the demo of a game.
In the end this new system only makes it more aggravating to play because I'm the kind of player who likes to really enjoy a game and take it slowly. This is'nt even possible anymore.
#1: Cryptic doesn't have the manpower to get out content on a regular basis. The recent update from Steven said Cryptic is shooting for 2, and possibly 3, FEs in 2012 - and that we shouldn't expect any other mission content.
#2: Cryptic wants people to level fast so that it seems like there are a lot of missions to keep playing even at VA. It's how they're dealing with lack of content updates.