Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 47
# 21 In my opinion...
09-19-2012, 11:24 AM
The current goal of STO is to expose as many players as possible to as many C-Store items and Lockboxes as possible. Cryptic will do anything they can to achieve that. That's why the game changed the way it did.
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The poster formerly known as LordOfPit, and his blog.
* Dec 2007 (CO)
* Oct 2008 (STO)
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 4,650
# 22
09-19-2012, 11:28 AM
In the last Ask Cryptic thread, Dan Stahl mentioned that the leveling to VA was too fast.

I expect they're going to do something about that.

Personally, though, I spread out my time among several alts and that helps to slow me down a bit.

I have three level 50 characters, and I'm mainly doffing with them. I'm gradually refitting each of their builds for social play.

My Caitian Tac officer just hit RA and I'm consciously trying to use him for doffing less than I do other characters.

My Ferengi Sci officer is still sitting at Captain and is mostly leveling exclusively through doffing.

I've got an Engineering officer still sitting at Lt. Commander because I'm intentionally not leveling him. And when he hits Commander, I'll probably strip all his resources and restart him.

I've got a KDF Tac officer I'm using as a packrat until I make up my mind whether or not to reroll him. He's not really leveling either.

I'm still debating about whether to start a new KDF character. I've been wanting to roll a Gorn, but I'd like to figure out where the 1-20 progression falls on Cryptic's schedule first.
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Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,978
# 23
09-19-2012, 11:56 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by kirksplat View Post
What is the incentive for playing what is left over? Is it any different from playing Foundry content? Once the xp is added for Foundry content, will it just make things worse, or will it make it better, since the 15 hour journey to VA can be an entirely different experience each time?
Tnhe only reason to replay a Dev Storyline episode at this point is if it awards some special gear or item you want at MkXI level; meaning the most content that is replayed are the various FE episodes that have been integrated into the storyline progression.

What I will NEVER understand is: All throught the F2P conversion testing one of the Devs stated puposes was to slow down the levbeling speed of players (there's the famous Stormshade quote of: "Players can get to Level 50 in a weekend with a 6 pack of Red Bull..."); YET - withj the addition of the Doff system, Leveling became even faster. Many pof us mentioned this fact to the Dev team (and heretic did severly adjust Doff system EXP rewards for 'Critical Success' as in F2P beta, I made two levels crit successing on just 3 assignments.)

I also have to wonder just how many members of teh STO Dev team hop in and play like an actual player (which I honestly think should be a job requirement from time to time); because to me, it's obviouis DStahl actually does not, as he made a commentn that he was 'surprised' how fast it appeared players could level characters (again, something that we as players have been commenting on since the F2P changes.)

I was also dissapoint with how the 'storyline' was implement for F2P as, as the game gets oldwer, I always felt it would be nice to have 'branches you could pick (IE places when the story diverges into one or more sub paths, eventuially rejoining the 'main' line again at some point, and branching again later); as this would allow you to have multiple alts, yet have a slightly different leveling experience for each one, while still making sure the character experienced the same storyline overall.

I find it a bit sad in that I am leveling an ALT specifically to be used in amax PvP premade team; and I thought I'd try playthiough the main story; and I'm finding they have fixed and improved a lot of the progonal mission content (there's still the 'stinkers' here and there), but mechanics wise they have new graphic and ship assests, and the 'bad guys' are motre varied, etc.

In the end, I also find it interesting that (IMO) STO pushes player AWAY from doing the main storyline content - and instead pushes us all to do the more 'grindy' and easily repeatable content (and the Doff system) BACAUSE thb overall rewards ARE SO MUCH BETTER than the rewards given by the main story content.

Sorry, but who wants to spoend 30 minutes for some EXP and a green Mk VI item when via the Doff system and stuff like the Mirror Event; you can level faster, or canned Exploration, and earn enough dilithium to just buy what you want from the Dilithium store? I will NEVER understand WHY main storyline missions rewards reward ZERO Dilithium (and that's been a question and pet peeve of mine since the F2P conversion was started.)

But in the end, essentially, yes Kirkfat, you have it right.
Formerly known as Armsman from June 2008 to June 20, 2012 http://sto-forum.perfectworld.com/image.php?type=sigpic&userid=91861979000&dateline=  1340755546
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Ensign
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 20
# 24
09-19-2012, 11:59 AM
I like the new fast levleing to 50. I really enjoy the story missions, both STO made and foundry made. And I enjoy my endgame ship, so I get to play most of the story content in the endgame ship. So for me, the quick leveling has been a real improvement.

The level up process makes sense, because you need to learn your powers, and it makes sense to give them to you one at a time and give you a few missions to get used to them. I don't think they intended the level journy to be quite as fast as it is, but I was never particularly driven by leveling, personally. I know that others are.

Perhaps they are attempting to get rid of endgame complaints by making Level 50 the "Natural state" of players. And building content to that natural state, rather than having to scale it up a level chain. And looking at all the activities in the game as a buffet, rather than a sequence. So you can do any of the things in the game that YOU like. So you will keep coming back and spending money.

That puts Story missions as one of the possible meals on the buffet, rather than the hoops you have to jump through to enjoy the other parts of the game, assuming you like PVP, or coordinated high end raiding or whatever... you can more quickly get to the variety... and if you like doing missions, they are one of the things a level 50 can do.

Part of my theory is that this approach was a change in mid stream, probably as part of F2P. So they are still working on the Buffet model as a retrofit.
Super Moderator
Join Date: Jun 2012
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# 25
09-19-2012, 11:59 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by crypticarmsman View Post
....
Sorry, but who wants to spoend 30 minutes for some EXP and a green Mk VI item when via the Doff system and stuff like the Mirror Event; you can level faster, or canned Exploration, and earn enough dilithium to just buy what you want from the Dilithium store? ....
People that want a story and not just a quick xp grind?
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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 236
# 26
09-19-2012, 12:08 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by askray View Post
People that want a story and not just a quick xp grind?
While that is true, there is absolutely no reason the 2 should be mutually exclusive. You should be able to play a lengthy mission whose story you enjoy AND get rewarded based on the amount of time you just spent in a comparable way to spending it in other ways. NW's foundry is already going to scale mission rewards based on average mission time, and STO's should too.
Lieutenant
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 84
# 27
09-19-2012, 09:12 PM
Also - I might be nit-picking here. . . but it's a bugbear of mine to see every ship flying around with a captain with the rank of Vice Admiral!

But just how many Vice Admirals can there be in Starfleet? Can you imagine watching TNG, "This is Vice Admiral Picard" - LOL!

Last time I checked, the usual rank of ship's Captain was either Commander or Captain. Admirals are supposed to sit behind desks

Here's my radical solution - Although I fear too radical to be implemented:

You get your first ship at Ens. not Lt.
Add the rank Lt. Jr. grade
Level 50 should be CAPTAIN
Then perhaps have a level 51, which is very, very difficult to get and takes many, many months of hard work, where you can then become an Rear Admiral . . . 52, Rear Admiral Upper - and then, perhaps, after year of solid play get Vice Admiral.

Then, most ships flying around will have a captain with the rank of captain and only players who've really earned the title of admiral should be awarded it.

I doubt my idea would go down very well.... would certainly be more in line with Star Trek cannon though?

Seriously though - Starfleet with more admirals than captains?!
Admiral Tuwud - High Commissioner, UFP Peace Corps Sigma Red
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 6,440
# 28
09-19-2012, 09:30 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by kirksplat View Post
What is the incentive for playing what is left over? Is it any different from playing Foundry content? Once the xp is added for Foundry content, will it just make things worse, or will it make it better, since the 15 hour journey to VA can be an entirely different experience each time?
Just because faster leveling creates a problem doesn't mean it doesn't SOLVE a problem or that the problems it creates can't be fixed by better incentivizing mission play and replay at endgame.

The problem before is that most people quit about 15 hours in but players who reached endgame tended to have exponentially better retention AND generate more revenue, even with a dearth of content.

Besides which, I'd imagine that they needed to focus on endgame retention for the people who had been there a long time and couldn't ALSO focus on leveling content, which means they needed the playerbase to all be where they were going to focus. The alternatives would be de-leveling everyone forcibly (unrealistic) or getting everyone to endgame.

The game was initially marketed as level-less and I think probably should have been, with non-level based progression.

In any case, 40 hours is too long for a modern MMO. The trend has been towards 15-25 hours. What's needed is more engaging endgame and alternatives to leveling.

I think rep and DOffs are two approaches. DOffs will be niche, unfortunately, as long as they are not graphically represented.

In a sense, for the whole plan to become apparent, they would have needed to suspend F2P for an additional 12+ months.

Instead, what they did was drop a plan that had problems (which I'm sure they were aware of) but which had more financial benefits than drawbacks (endgame player with nothing to do is still dramatically more retainable and profitable than a level 15 player with plenty to do). And they did that, aware that it created some issues but calculating that the issues were worth it, with a longterm plan to address the new issues through fleet progression, rep, Foundry incentivizing (which has gotten delayed with Neverwinter), and mission replay improvements (see: rep).

If you can break one thing and make three things better that matter more, you deliberately break that one thing and start drafting fixes for it.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 6,440
# 29
09-19-2012, 09:37 PM
Incidentally, the big albatross I see in terms of story and progression was tying rank to level.

It never made sense with leveling.

I've said before, they should have tied YEAR to level and had 50 or so missions progress over 10+ years with lore updates.

In turn, rank should have been a parallel advancement track... and I still think if they're smart that they will use the work on the rep system to rip rank from level and make rank a reflection of home faction rep, divorced from level.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,094
# 30
09-20-2012, 01:08 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by kalecto View Post
The only reason I can think of for a player to craft, is just so they can say "Done that, next!"
Well there is still the option to craft items such as AEGIS bits or MK X Kits .
Some would still prefer to do that (either for themselves or for their Fleet) instead of going to the exchange for those items .
Also , those who do craft and sell those items get some EC in return .


Quote:
Originally Posted by kirksplat View Post
What is the incentive for playing what is left over?
Well , there is the incentive of playing the FE's at least , as at times Cryptic re-runs the "special awards" for those , and it's much easier to get those when all you have to replay is one specific mission to get the award instead of doing all the FE's in 7-10 days on several toons at once (which can get to be a pretty boring race) .

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