I am writing this post to offer some constructive feedback regarding the reward structure in Season 7.
Ok so there are now 4 major rewards people want from a mission: Dilithium, Romulan Marks, Omega Marks and Fleet Marks.
Stahl stated that the reason they introduced Dilithium rewards for the fleet actions was because nobody was running them. This is a problem with a lot of missions in the game because there are better ways of getting Dilithium / Marks. There is also the problem that because different missions award the same rewards people are just repeating the easier one. For example, why do KASE when ISE gives the same rewards and is a lot easier?
I believe the key to getting people to run different kinds of content is not to bribe them into running them with better rewards but to normalise the reward system so that no one mission is significantly better to run than others.
To do this we need to decide what we are going to base rewards around. The most logical thing to base rewards around is time required to complete the mission / event.
Now we need to establish a base line reward. Because STFs are harder than normal content I'm not going to use them as a base line. Instead I'm going to use the following: Starbase 24, Azure Nebula Rescue and Federation Fleet Alert. All 3 of these missions take approximately 15 minutes.
Using these 3 missions as a standard we can see that 15 minutes is worth 480 Dilithium or 18 Marks.
I feel that is a reasonable base line to work from. It can of course be adjusted to suit the devs will.
Now, the problem is that missions that take different amounts of time are awarding the same rewards. Starbase 24 is a 15 minute mission. Klingon Scout Force is significantly longer. Closer to 30 minutes on average. Gorn Minefield is also closer to 25 minutes than 15. In order to normalise the Dilithium reward for these missions the rewards for the latter need to be increased to the following (forgive me if my times are not accurate i'm working of gathered data, not first-hand experience for some missions):
Starbase 24 = 480 Dilithium
Gorn Minefield + The Big Dig = 670 Dilithium
Klingon Scout Force + Breaking The Planet = 960 Dilithium
Now people can run whichever they like and get the same level of return for their time.
The next thing to look at is the missions that award Fleet Marks. The balance here is actually pretty good already. Colony Invasion and Federation Fleet Alert are both quick, 15 minute missions. Colony Invasion grants about 29 Marks (during bonus hour and with the monkey kill) and takes slightly longer while Federation Fleet Alert grants about 22 Marks (during bonus hour). Starbase Blockade is slightly longer with rewards scaling depending on how well your group does, as does Starbase Incursion. I don't feel these missions need their rewards changing significantly except in a way I will explain later.
STFs. The hard things to balance rewards for. For the purpose of this discussion I will assume everyone is familiar with abbreviations.
ISN +CSN + KASN + HON = 480 Dilithium (20 marks base)
ISE + CSE + KASE + HOE = 960 Dilithium (60 marks base)
However ISN is a quick 10 minute mission. KASN is not. It probably takes at least 20 minutes.
These rewards too need normalising to the same level as the Fleet Events.
That would make the following (open to a little interpretation):
ISN = 320 Dilithium OR 15 Omega Marks OR 15 Fleet Marks
CSN = 480 Dilithium OR 20 Omega Marks OR 20 Fleet Marks
KASN = 640 Dilithium OR 25 Omega Marks OR 25 Fleet Marks
HON = 800 Dilithium OR 30 Omega Marks OR 30 Fleet Marks
IGN = 480 Dilithium OR 20 Omega Marks OR 20 Fleet Marks
CGN = 640 Dilithium OR 25 Omega Marks OR 25 Fleet Marks
KAGN = 640 Dilithium OR 25 Omega Marks OR 25 Fleet Marks
ITHN = Unknown (I haven?t run this)
Bonus Marks to be awarded at +10 per optional objective.
Elites are harder, require better co-ordination and better gear. However they do not always take substantially longer than their normal versions. As such I think a 10 minute addition is fair for Elite.
ISE = 640 Dilithium OR 30 Omega Marks OR 30 Fleet Marks
CSE = 800 Dilithium OR 40 Omega Marks OR 40 Fleet Marks
KASE = 960 Dilithium OR 50 Omega Marks OR 50 Fleet Marks
HOE = 1120 Dilithium OR 60 Omega Marks OR 60 Fleet Marks
IGE = 800 Dilithium OR 40 Omega Marks OR 40 Fleet Marks
CGE = 960 Dilithium OR 50 Omega Marks OR 50 Fleet Marks
KAGE = 960 Dilithium OR 50 Omega Marks OR 50 Fleet Marks
ITHE = Unknown (I haven?t run this)
Bonus Marks to be awarded at +15 per optional objective.
All mark values are prior to the reputation event modifier.
Borg Red Alerts = 480 Dilithium OR 25 Omega Marks.
By allowing the player to choose between Dilithium and Marks as a reward you encourage a wider variety of played missions depending on the amount of time said player is willing to play for. There is, despite the player outrage, no real reason STFs should grant Dilithium AND Omega Marks. However the choice should be available to the player to decide which they would prefer.
Using these figures pulled from current game content we can see that a player should expect to earn just under 20 Marks of one type in a 15 minute session. This means the rewards for all missions that award marks should be adjusted to accommodate how long they take. Including ground missions on Defera / New Romulus.
(Note I am aware this may seem like a subtle request for higher mark earning power but its not.)
Easy Missions take between 10 and 15 minutes and pose no real challenge. They should award 10 marks OR 240 Dilithium.
Normal Missions take between 15 and 25 minutes to complete solo or with 1 other player. As they are advertised as recommending such, these should award 15 marks OR 360 Dilithium.
Hard Missions are not possible to solo but should be expected to take about 10 minutes. Due to the nature of these missions they should award 20 marks OR 480 Dilithium.
This would mean a substantial increase in the marks awarded by the Deferi Missions as well as potential Dilithium earning power. The reason these figures do not directly follow the numbers used in STFs is that they can be completed with less than 5 people and require less specialised gear / tactics.
New Romulus. First off lets me say I like it. The zone that is. The missions a little less so for the reasons that will soon become clear.
There are a number of different types of missions available on New Romulus. My personal favourite is the Radiation Sample gathering. Why? Because it grants the best return of marks on time invested. Obviously. 15 minutes gathering Radiation samples and you get 300 easy, meaning 30 Romulan Marks.
If however you spend 20 minutes running around any one of the zones scanning things or poking pink blobs you can expect to be rewarded with a mere 10 Romulan Marks.
Gathering Resonating Stones / Glowing Plants, while clearly not intended to be an actual missions, requires 10 for a single Romulan Mark. Not even worth the inventory space.
To normalise these missions the following changes need to be made.
Radiation Samples need to change from 8/18/30 to 5/15/20 for 100/200/300.
Aiding an area missions should award 20 Romulan Marks
Resonating Stones / Glowing Plants missions should be worth 10 Romulan Marks.
With the 2 space events that grant Romulan Marks both taking about 15 minutes and awarding about 20 Romulan Marks OR 20 Fleet Marks these numbers make sense. Both missions should have the option of choosing the marks or an amount of Dilithium depending on optionals / success the same way the below fleet events do.
While I understand the patrol the sector mission for the Romulan contact that grants 60 marks is a special case, I would recommend it be reduced to 40 to maintain balance with these new rewards.
Federation Fleet Alert = 25 Fleet Marks OR 320 Dilithium
Federation Starbase Blockade = 20-30 Fleet Marks OR X Dilithium (X = 30 x number of saved)
Starbase Incursion = 25-40 Fleet Marks OR Y Dilithium (Y = variable based on objective success)
Colony Invasion = 25-30 Fleet Marks OR 400 Dilithium + 20 Per optional at 3/3 + 20 for Monkey
Again, by allowing the players to choose between Fleet Marks and Dilithium you open up these missions to players who are not part of a fleet and to fleet members who do not require marks but wish to accompany players who do.
The purpose of the above changes is to normalise the rewards for all the missions in the game that award Dilithium and Marks. This is necessary to ensure that people can play any content they prefer / avoid any content they dislike and not be penalised for it. It also grants players the ability to play the content they prefer and gather resources currently not available from running that content i.e. getting Fleet Marks for running STFs. The current mentality is to bribe players into playing the unpopular content. This is not a valid solution. My suggestions move away from this idea by making all content equally attractive to the player out to get their daily Dilithium.
I believe the above changes would strengthen the game considerably. They would remove a lot of the feeling that the game has turned into a grind by allowing players to gather the resources they want while running a much larger variety of missions. Don't like STFs? Fine. You can get your Omega Marks on Defera or in Red Alerts. DO like STFs but want some Fleet Marks? Now you can.
I grant you that this would add a lot more Dilithium to the game, something that I know the developers are cautious about. However I believe for the greater good of the game the above changes are necessary. If the devs are worried about the impact these new sources of Dilithium would have on the Dilithium Exchange I would remind them that they set the current limits for the exchange of 25-500 Dilithium per Zen and could quite easily change it if they so wish.
Thank you for reading and I look forward to your feedback.
Last edited by seekerkorhil; 11-16-2012 at 07:37 PM.
I like the way you're thinking, OP. Very good ideas here. Since dilithium is a reward for time spent in the game, you've suggested a good system which I really would like to see implemented. But then, I am the heretic in the bunch who thinks STFs and MACO gear are badly overvalued by a large percentage of the player base. The only time I am ever actively dilithium harvesting is when I want a specific item and I fully expect harvesting the required amount to take more than five seconds or two clicks of the mouse.
A lot of people aren't looking at the time investment first, they are looking at the amount of dilithium awarded per event. No matter how Cryptic adjusts dilithium awards someone will be unhappy about the change. Because what most people want is a one click mission which awards 8,000 dil per and has a 1 second cooldown. Then, they will complain about how long the queue takes for them to get into the mission and how long it takes to load said mission. The No Win Scenario is live in the Real World. By this point, no matter what Cryptic does, people will see it as wrong. The worst part is Cryptic has done this to themselves by developing the habit of not really listening to their customers until the customers rise up en masse against whatever change this week has the Body STO all riled up.
Awards in STFs and Fleet actions should be performance based. This is my idea and I think it dovetails perfectly with yours, OP. If one does more in assisting the team's successful accomplishment of the mission, then one ought to get a bigger reward. If one does nothing more than AFK or spawn camp, then there should be zero reward. The amount and quality of this reward ought to directly reflect how much of the task one did or how many people were saved by someone using Engineering Team III or a Critical Regenerator just before one of the team was about to visit Respawnville again. People should be rewarded not for just doing their job, but doing it well. People riding the clock should be encouraged to do more than just sit back and let others do the task for them.
Save the loot drop for the Optional. Successful completion of the Optional awards a chance at a loot drop which should either be a set amount of dilithium or an item. This drop should be accessible by only the people whose performance during the mission was in the upper half.
Another change I think would be good is setting dilithium up on a timer while leaving EC, Marks and Zen permanent. If Cryptic wants people to spend dilthium and not hoard it, then Cryptic has to give people an incentive to do so. Give it a sixty day expiration date and adjust all the dilithium prices downward enough to reflect this. By making dilithium purchases less expensive, people lose the incentive to play the game solely to harvest dilithium. By putting it on a timer people lose the incentive to hoard it. With dilithium costs reduced, sixty days ought to more than enough time to save enough to purchase that new Super Duper Ship which does everything.
I realize some reading this post will call me names and tell me how dumb my ideas are. To these people I say, "Your opinion of me is irrelevant. You are irrelevant." These are suggestions only. I doubt anyone at Cryptic with any decision making power ever reads anything posted here. STO is supposed to be a PC game played for entertainment. Which is what I do with it. When it gets to be too dull or time consuming I can always go outside and play. If you've centered your entire life around acquiring imaginary shiny rocks to buy other imaginary shiny items for sale in an imaginary world based on a 45 year old US television series, which one of us really has issues?
hi first !congrat new rumulus is awsome, i like most of the mission on ground, and in space to. But one aspect of the new system bugs me,i like to upgrade my doff tru reassignment in sfa but the price as gone way up now it's 250 dilithium to get 5 commun duty officer for 1 uncommun,2500 dil to get 5 uncommun for 1 rare and 5000 dil to get 5 rare for 1 very rare, considering that reward on al mission have gone down i dont understan wy it whent so high to reassign doff ,price should have stay the same , plase cryptic give us a break
I doubt anyone at Cryptic with any decision making power ever reads anything posted here.
I really hope this isn't true. How else can we submit solid, well thought out changes to the game that will improve it.
While I'm sure the big wigs don't spend time monitoring the forums, I hope the community moderators know a good thing when they see it and pass it up the chain until it eventually reaches the eyes of the people in charge.
Thanks for your post. I'm not sure how well performance based rewards would interact with normalising rewards based on time it should take to perform the mission but I guess that is where optional objectives come in.