I play for the friendships and for the social aspect of the game that I enjoy so much. Sure the fact that its Star Trek helps, and I do enjoy the game play experience. But really if not for all the friends I play STO with, friends that I?ve met playing this game, I probably would have moved on a long time ago. Instead, I bought lifetime and have personally underwritten a Team Speak Account and a Website for our Fleet.
This letter is not a threat of me leaving. Or complaint from changing how one earns dilithium from the Officer Reports or Explore Missions. In fact, I was generally excited for Season Seven coming into Tuesday. I loved that there was finally going to be some legit rewards for running the great missions that so many foundry authors labored on. And the new Romulan content looks like a lot of fun and I can?t wait to waltz through the new sector block.
But the changes to the STFs, specifically as it pertains to no longer getting dilithium as a rewards, really concerns me and I am afraid of what will become of just not my fleet, but also of those friendships formed.
The group I run with loves the challenge of STFs, of going for the optional, of trying new tactics when taking down a boss. We loved running new fleet mates through those missions, showing them the strategies and helping them on their ship and character builds. WE LOVED going from a bunch of low DPS noobs to 8k average DPS beasts once we realized that we could be better players if we just worked at it. We loved the joy of getting, or seeing a friend, getting that one desired piece of prototype tech they have been hunting for.
And now? Why run them? Or more appropriately, can we run them? Can we complete our Starbase? Can we complete the new Embassy? Is it possible to get a character?s reputation up in Omega and Romulan?
As of last week from what was indicated on Tribble and personally addressed to the forums by members of the Development team, this was very much possible. By still getting dilithium from STFs, even at the reduced amount of 980 or so per elite run, we could work on both the Omega Reputation system and earning dilithium. At the same time, we could continue to have fun. We could continue to play STO for what it is. A game.
But now that the dilithium reward from STFs have been dropped? Can we afford to run missions that, while the ones we like playing, do nothing to directly support anything outside of the Omega Reputation system?
In order to complete our Starbase/Embassy and all of the reputation stuff we have to grind. The Season Seven Developer Blog #17 stated that it would take 4 hours of grinding to hit the 8k dilithium cap. But in order to do so, we have to give up on running the things we like to run ? STFs. We have to focus on missions that do nothing to directly support our Fleet. We have to focus on missions that do nothing to directly support our Reputation advancement.
And we have to focus on missions that are not social or challenging in anyway.
To be blunt ? Fleet Actions are NOT challenging nor are they social. The go by really fast and require no thought. There is nothing challenging about Starbase 24. There is nothing challenging about Gorn Minefield. There is no strategy or heck even common sense involved in completing those missions. Just run on in and fire away. The same goes for the Fleet Mark Events. You go in, you shoot, you leave.
Even the communication between PUG teams is different. It is possible to meet a lot of people in STFs, people who eventually become friends and fleet mates. Sure there are times were an STF team chat is ignored or becomes a place for troll mongers and fools , but at the very least you could count on a ?gg? after a match. Fleet Actions? I?ve posted ?hi? and ?gg? in those team chats and never once got a response. Friends? I?ve never left a Fleet Action with new Friends in my Friend?s List. The bulk of my current Friends List was built from STFs. Ditto new recruits for our Fleet.
So the question I would like to ask ? what now? Where can a player and his friends go in Star Trek Online and find a challenging and social experience? Will my friends leave out of boredom from grinding dilithium day after day? How about my two friends who have no job at the moment, and earning dilithium allows them to get better gear so they can own me in a PVP or steam roll the Borg in an STF? How about my friends who are in college and only have one hour or so a day to play the game, if they are lucky? How about my friend that loves everything about the Romulans, but with his 2-3 hours a week he can afford to play he?ll be able to do nothing short of sitting in our embassy?
And what about me? Will I still be playing with all of my friends months from now fighting the Tholians and stopping a *potential* temporal war? Or will I be sitting next to holographic Morn at an empty starbase while all my friends have moved on to other games?
I'm a fleetmate and friend of @wmcarson, or as we call him in fleet, my son (we're not related, but Starfleet Reserve is quirky in that way).
I've run with William / Shelana / R'owua-sek in a variety of scenarios, including Special Task Force missions, since February. In the time I've known him, his take has generally been one to find the broadest point of appeal in anything the game has to offer, and promote that point to others.
I believe him to be a reasonable and level-headed representative of our fleet, most of the time (kidding aside). And this is one of those times.
Why am I posting?
First, to support @wmcarson's assertions about the future of Star Trek Online. He's right about how STFs shape the game, and have become the focal point for fleet development in endgame content. STF missions are the most-challenging content in the game.
Second, to point-out this:
When a representative of Star Trek Online, or Perfect World Entertainment, LIES to the public, misrepresents a point, or says anything in ANY WAY which rings untrue, it reflects VERY POORLY upon ALL representatives of Perfect World Entertainment.
And, a dev said that Dilithium would not be stripped as a reward for STFs.
What does this mean?
When someone makes a fraudulent statement, it's almost as bad as...
When devs manipulate the currency exchange to keep the Dilithium / Zen costs at an "acceptable" (to PWE) level.
When devs manipulate the EC costs in the (woefully non-transparent) Exchange, to keep costs of key items near a fixed price-point, and misrepresenting it as being market-based pricing.
When devs attempt to manipulate public opinion using non-dev player accounts, as is currently happening BOARD-WIDE, with ALL of the positive commentary regarding Season Seven's release.
Hey players... did a few of you not-quite realize this was going on?
Devs... did none of you realize we figured this out?
I'm not really into caring a whole lot about what PWE thinks I want, or what PWE
wants for me to have.
At this point, it's crystal-clear that PWE doesn't care what we want out of STO. Not even in the loosest, commercial-interest-driven way.
I'm pretty certain I speak for everyone who plays, when I say that NOBODY PLAYING cares what PWE wants us to have, or thinks that we want, if we can't find something of interest in STO.
If we can't find what we want in STO, we'll find it elsewhere.
If PWE doesn't start taking an active interest in meeting player expectations, I am certain I'll find better uses for my time and money, and PWE will fold Star Trek Online soon thereafter.
Platitudes from Brandon don't mean squat, when the game doesn't meet the meat of the replies.
When Dan Stahl says, "X will not happen," X had BETTER not happen.
Let the developers commentary follow.
Last edited by dreamspider; 11-13-2012 at 09:21 PM.
I am one of @wmcarson's friends and fleetmates. I agree with everything he said and everything @dreamspider said. In fact, I am one of those college student gamers who only has a few hours I can put in a day, if that. I am terribly afraid of what is going to happen to this game and how I will be able to keep playing it with as much fun as I have had in the past. I really enjoyed running STFs with the fleet, and I can tell a huge difference in the team and friend dynamic between those STFs and the Fleet Actions.
Further, having shared many an Elite STF run with some awesome fleetmates, I can say that I am sorely disappointed in Cryptic's changes to dilithium and STF rewards. I always felt that the dilithium and other STF rewards were a great way to reward teams and players that worked well with other players. But with the latest actions taken to drop dilithium from STFs, I feel that Cryptic is trying to punish fleets, friends, and social gamers. Removing dilithium from the STFs makes 0 sense by DStahl's and other dev's own rationales:
1. Players aren't maxing out their daily dilithium conversion... so we're going to remove ways to get dilithum to refine.
2. The Mk XII MACO/OMEGA/HG sets are there to reward players who invest the time and energy to play STFs... so we're going to make it nearly impossible to get them by just running STFs (high dil costs and you need the BNPs for them too so you can't convert the BNPs to dil).
3. We want to make it accessible to all players, even ones who don't play at the elite level... so we're going to take them out of Normal and Elite STFs and punish elite players. (Also contradicts the idea of having the Mk XII sets be rewards for players who don't play elite level).
4. Dilithium is supposed to equate to a time investment in the game... so we're going to remove it as a reward from some of the most time intensive activities (STFs) and beef them up on the 1 minute fleet actions. (Also no dil on Romulan or Omega missions, yet that is where they want us to invest our new time).
5. Reputation costs have been designed around a casual player playing 3-5 hours a week... so we're going to make anything above T5 cost 20 hours a week!
Elite STFs are supposed to be a challenge and a huge investment of time. No dilithium makes it totally not worth it to play them. That is where a lot of team fun is had. You are creating disincentives to run them. Finally, devs had said time and time again that you would have dil in STFs, and they were in STFs on Tribble. Now dilithium is not in STFs, meaning you lied to the player base consistently and repeatedly.
Finally, the time issue. If I can only get on an hour or two a day, how will I be able to have fun with my fleet? How will I ever get reputation or dilithium? I will have to pick between grinding Omega Marks, grinding Romulan marks, or grinding dilithium. I would never be able to do them all, and meanwhile, my fleet loses out, because I either can't contribute to the starbase, or I can't get the stuff I want on my character.
I hope the STO development team takes these issues seriously and takes to heart the outrage and sense of betrayal that has been aired on the forum and not simply take the good comments from the dev-alt player accounts as "constructive criticism" and proof of success and all the negative responses as "unfounded personal attacks." I want to keep playing this game and having a great time with my fleet and friends, but as things are currently going, it's looking more and more like a hopeless goal.
"That hurts worse than the uniform." - Dr. McCoy on the Vulcan salute
"On Vulcan, the teddy bears are alive. And they have six-inch fangs." - Spock on sehlats