Having spent a day on the Tribble server - all of the attention paid to season 8 seems to be paying off. Rather than 'redevelop' the game every 16 months, these new additions can provide the game with longevity and a way for it to grow. I get it now, and I like it.
New Romulus is AMAZING. I spent hours checking every nick and cranny for stuff - surprises after surprises. I can see myself spending a lot of time here. Multiple levels of backstory and missions - can't wait until I get to level 2 rep. All I did was one 'section' adventure and set up my transporter trace in the system. That 'set-up' albeit sounds lame, was fun as it introduced me to the entire map.
The map appears to be the beginning, with new accessible regions as you level up. Nice.
One word of advice to new players - pick up the bug repellent. Sounds stupid but it really added more 'Star Trek' back into the game. Exploration, science, diplomacy and good old battles with bad guys.
I wasn't thrilled with the original announcement, but having visited new Romulus and seen how the reputation system spaces out my enjoyment over time (neat way of handling it), I can see myself becoming more active spread out through the month.
The reputation system isn't as bad as it was made out to be. It's easy to get the marks and complete the missions. I've just finished the first level, and TBO it was a lot of fun. Most of the people ingame shared the same feelings. THIS ISN'T ANOTHER DEFERA.
The improvements to STF's go beyond the UI (very nice, although I want to see pending players) with some minor changes in game. I found the newbie level substantially easier... have yet to play Elite.
They've changed a few names for the STF's... the channels will need to adjust short codes for sure.
I have a few beefs - but they are minor in terms of game play. The rewards for the radiation mini-game need to be improved slightly. WOW the Tal'Shiar are dammed evil and hard to kill... surprised me a few times. I'm not used to dying in ground missions The Patrol missions are a step up in the danger department - continuous waves of enemies with no chance to take a break. Reminded me a lot of the newer fleet STF's, with wave after wave of engagements.
Getting to test how to attack a Starbase was a lot of fun. Finally got to see what 200 Photon Torpedo in building our Starbase was used for. NOT a good sight when it's coming straight at you. I DEFINITELY WANT A STF ATTACKING A STARBASE. THIS IS A MUST ADD.
I get there's more tweaking to come. So far, this is the best addition I have experienced in my 300 days