Alright, the STF/Dilithium fiasco clearly shows there's an issue here, and I think I've found where the problem lies: perception.
Suppose you were playing a regular RPG. Level is everything; if you don't raise your level, you won't survive in new areas, get better gear, advance the story, etc....but the only way to earn XP is to run the same small set of repeatable missions over, and over, and over again. Sure you can run side quests to improve certain aspects of your character, but you don't get XP for them. And then there's the quests that advance the story, which give nothing but the occasional unique (but not really valuable) gear...and if you should actually WANT that gear, you frequently have to repeat those quests to get properly outfitted. But essentially, they serve as distractions to what consumes the bulk of your time playing the game: repeating the same small set of quests that grant XP.
Would you play that game? I sure as hell wouldn't.
Dilithium first entered the game to replace a myriad of other currencies, most of which were deprecated as the player leveled up. Since the introduction of dilithium, STO has been busily extending its importance, putting dilithium costs on everything in the game. DOffs, reputation, ships, crafting, gear, fleet holdings...if you're not earning dilithium, you're stagnating. However, because it was extended rather gradually, the devs have missed an important, fundamental change in how dilithium operates in the game:
Dilithium is NOT a currency now; dilithium is the XP of the endgame.
Going forward, if dilithium is to be kept from triggering more riots and destroying the game, there needs to be a fundamental change in how dilithium is given out, and/or how it is spent.
If dilithium is to remain a currency, it needs to be given a purpose, and dilithium costs withdrawn from anything that doesn't match that purpose. Look to the EDCs, Omega Marks, Romulan Marks, Fleet Marks, etc. for inspiration; you would earn dilithium for doing something related to its domain, and spend it for items related to its domain.
If dilithium is to truly become the endgame XP, then its earning needs to be extended to EVERYTHING. Story missions, patrol missions, fleet actions, STFs, EVERYTHING that earns you XP (well, I'd leave out enemy kills, but....) should earn you some level of dilithium. The missions should be analyzed to give dilithium rewards corresponding to time invested, which will truly make dilithium the time-investment-based currency the devs have stated they want it to be. (You could also look at adding small but appropriate CXP rewards to missions while you're at it.)
I suspect that of the two courses, STO would be better served by the latter, especially considering the link between dilithium and Zen. Making dil rewards based strictly on time invested in missions, along with the refining cap, should continue to protect the value of Zen on the market; with plentiful dilithium sinks already in place, and certainly more to come, there should always be a certain demand for Zen to be sold on the exchange for dilithium.
It would also make the story missions much more replayable than they are now. Right now, even if you really like a story mission and feel like replaying it, or want to help a fleetmate through it, you can't really afford to take the time away from grinding marks and dilithium to justify it; but if they gave dilithium as well, then there's no penalty in taking an hour to replay a mission you enjoyed, which makes the story missions more than just a ladder to level 50.
(Also, I would strongly recommend AGAINST just adding "wrapper missions". They're cumbersome for the player, and forces the player to repeat the same TYPE of mission (three foundry missions, three exploration missions, etc.); we're trying to move AWAY from grind, and that's counter-productive. Additionally, y'all seem to have this bizarre NEED to put cooldown timers on the wrappers. Look, if you have to do it to get this into the game quickly, fine, but it should only be used as an interim while the missions are being reviewed for time vs reward.)
I haven't really been in the game since Season 7 launched because of how the dilithium economy is being handled, and I probably won't be for some time thanks to this. But I think that, with the mindset of "dilithium is the endgame XP", the game can go back to providing Star Trek-esque content instead of endless grinds.
For me, it's an issue that all the things I've enjoyed in this game (particularly the STFs and their rewards) are being monetized whilst things that I'd genuinely be happy to pay for with Dilithium are nowhere to be seen - for example:
Why can't I buy Mk XII weapons and consoles with Dilithium?
Why can't I use Dilithium in the crafting system to upgrade and improve items rather than it being the 'tax' it is now?
Why can't I use small amounts Dilithium in the Doff system to increase my chances of success or a crit?
Why can't I exchange Dilithium for Fleet Marks or Rom Marks or Omega?
And why can't I earn Dilithium by just playing the game? Why do I have to do stuff I don't want to do to unlock stuff I do want? I find the New Romulus stuff incredibly tedious but I want to unlock the rep system so I have to play it.
In Season 6 things were more or less balanced (from my perspective anyway) - the one big request from the community was an increased refining cap - instead, they've shifted the focus for earning Dilithium and Fleet Marks and STF rewards around, added a bit of Dilithium and added some big new Dilithium sinks.
you know...at max level the xp you would get just gets changed into boff xp, so you get double that. I'd love to see the xp be converted into dilithium for max level toons. Almost all MMO's convert xp at max level to what ever form of currency that's in that game.
that would also eliminate people like me who literally have 10 mill boff xp between my 6 toons and will never have to actually earn it for the rep/starbase sinks. I would have rather had most of that in dilithium anyway.
Personally, I think they need to remove the use of dilithium entirely. its pretty rare in ST canon (so rare they actually figured out how to reconstitute fractured crystals), and its not used as anything more then a barter item. the only universal currency in canon is Gold Pressed latinum. I say replace STO's dilithium with GPL.
Last edited by vikingraider; 11-20-2012 at 06:43 AM.
This is an interesting point. I think the furor over STF dil rewards might've been partially due to the fact that you needed BOTH dil and Omega Marks to get STF gear under the new system. If STF gear ONLY cost Omega Marks, it might not have mattered as much.
In a more general sense, I agree that the preferable solution is to leave dilithium as the primary endgame currency, but add even more ways to get it. Adding it to Fleet Actions was a good start. I think we need to add a bit more to those since that is supposed to be their primary reward. Other types of missions should also kick out a bit as well, like the Fleet Mark and Romulan Mark missions. There is a frustrating competition to where I spend my limited time now, running the daily dilithium grind or getting the marks I need for Fleet and Rep.
So, while I think redistributing where dilithium is earned was an admirable goal for S7, it needs to be taken a bit further.
I was under the impression that the objective of the mark system was to slow things way, way down. If they just charged dillithium, then it wouldn't be slowed.
The only thing I don't understand is why it needs to be slowed.
Personally I think it should be that if dilithium is a currency, then if I give dilithium away, I should get something tanagable (as much as can be in a video game anyway) in return. So I should have to pay dilithium for consoles, and weapons, things I put on my character or my ship. But I should not have to pay dilithium to get access to the store for those things.
So, I believe that dilithium should be removed from all starbase projects, and all progress and store unlocks in the rep system. The tier projects that give you the captain's power can keep the dilithium, since they give you a power. Likewise, you can keep the dilithium in the set unlocks projects, since they give you something. And this would leave the marks of various sorts at the end game XP, while leavig dilithium as the end game currency. And if you want the best gear, you still either have to grind dilithium, or buy it.
And as an aside, crafting should keep dilithium in it, but only if there is a way to give dilithium to people in game without them having to buy it with zen, and only if the costs in dilithium are balanced to other gear, and I mean really balanced, not saying something costs x amout in the dlithium store and ignoring that you can get the same thing for play time in a mission.
Great post. Dilithium is becoming more and more difficult to get a hold of every day, and yet its uses are becoming more and more plentiful every patch. I just did the new Tau Dewa sector patrol and Tholian Red Alert and only got 480 Dilithium TOTAL. That's pathetic. I won't be doing them again. Fleet Actions give pitiful Dilithium, as do STFs (you'd have to run 9 Elites a day to max out on ONE character).
If this is a PWE tactic to try and get more players to buy Zen and use it to buy Dilithium from other players, then it's (once again) pushing me closer to uninstalling the game.
Original Username - njdss4 - Original Join Date - July 28, 2008 (Official Forum Launch Date)
Actually thinking about it more, I wish that Cryptic would do more of a EvE Online or World of Tanks thing, and not have the current system of earning real money for STO in game, or at least making it so that it is reletively one way.
So, something like offer everything in the C-Store for real money only. Period. And everything in the game is only for in game currency period. Take out all dilithium from the game, replace it with some ammount of EC, or just remove it totally. Then, in the C-store, offer one month of Gold subscription for a bit over 15 bucks, and let it be so that you can take an item representing that time in game and sell it on the exchange. And you can't get this with zen points, it has to be cash. Then people with money coud buy this game time and sell it in the exchange, and people could farm EC or whatever the in game money is for buy it and get gold status for the month, including the stipend. Though for this to really work, there would have to be a better perk for gold players, that would be worth the ten or so extra bucks that is over the stipend. Maybe all gold players can level characters twice as fast, or get X amount of something else free each month (gold phaser blasts or something I don't know), or get twice as much XP for everything (I think World of Tanks does this).
Please note I am not including LTS in this, since I don't think LTS should get this. This should be pure gold, and if LTS want this, they should have to shell out some cash for it each month, otherwise, they're not adding to the profit of the company. Also note that I'm LTS, and yes, I'd like this for free, but I'm trying to make this a good sell for Cryptic. Adding this to LTS would mean that after 20 months, those with LTS would not be giving any money to the game.
I really think that this would be the best system, in that it gives Cryptic sources of repeatable income in addition to lock box keys and pure subs, and it gives all players a clear option, if its in game, you use in game money. If its in the zen store, you use real money.
Of course, neither Cryptic or PWE are going to do this, but a guy can dream.