Captain
Join Date: Apr 2013
Posts: 905
# 1 Why do I / you play STO?!
06-22-2013, 05:07 AM
I've been playing this game for roughly 4 month now and I am starting to question myself why. I am, however, not talking about bad customer service, lags, disconnects and an abundance of bugs.

The issue I have arises when you compare STO to a regular game. Let's take the Deus Ex series for example (sorry to everyone who'll reinstall it now). Installing any of the games brings you 20-40h thrilling gaming experience. Once you're done you're left with a satisfying feeling. This goes for most normal computer games. What's special about Deus Ex is that you'll find yourself thinking about the storyline. You'll replay the game to find more details. You'll find yourself googling passwords used in game (e.g. panopticon) and reading about the philosophical background of the game. In short, this game literally expanded my horizon and thinking.

Now I know that such an experience is much to ask for. As a matter of fact I was not expecting this of STO, which is my first MMOG anyway. What I am really missing though is this feeling of being done. You never are. There's always a way to find more upgrades. A new ship, better weapons, and so on. I wouldn't mind this that much if there was a point to having those things. But there is not. You don't need any of this gear to finish missions, or anything on the PvE queue. Heck it doesn't even make much sense vor PvP since it's going to take you month or a lot of money to be competitive. At the same time, I really don't find myself fascinated by the missions. I haven't played the Romulans yet but on the Fed side they are ok. But that's it. I can still vividly recall the story of many games that are over ten years old. I cannot do so for STO (Fed). So I don't feel like replaying it. So all that's left is grinding for gear that you don't need anyway. All motivated by this feeling of "not being done yet". You could say, go play the Rom campaign. Yes I could, but once I'm done I'm left with the same issue. Maybe this is a personal thing, maybe I'm not made for an MMOG but I am really looking for some more depth. Some purpose. I am missing it.

Well you might think I am complaining about the grind now. Sort of yes, but I mean something else. The actual problem I see with STO is the product it sells. A normal computer game you buy, you pay once and you get content. STO on the other hand does not sell you content. You can achieve everything for free. The way STO, or Cryptic in this case, makes money is by selling you your own time. Everything you can buy in game is for the sole purpose of shortening the amount of time you require to get to it. I installed STO because I am a fan of Star Trek and always dreamt of just taking a ship for a spin. STO certainly delivers on that. It does however fail at keeping me fascinated with content and experiences. If you want people to stick to something there is a point were you have to offer more than better and better items for no purpose. The reason why this is being done is because it's the one way to sell us our own time. So in essence the problem lies at the core of the business model. Take the dilithium mine for example. It doesn't really deliver new content but just brings endless possibilities of selling time. The weirdest thing is that people actually beg for more and more grind items to be added. It's like a hamsters wheel. However I believe that more and more a realizing how empty this actually feels. Nevertheless, everything that is added to this game has to be made with reference to this business model and I believe that's an issue. If Cryptic were to sell actual content, and not just things that shorten the time to get there, they would actually have to concentrate more on making good content so that people are motivated to buy it.

I know a business model can't be changed over night and if you want to stay f2p you can't stop with selling time, but how about adding some content that has to be bought? Such as well made special missions for 10-50 zen that you play for the content and because it might even get you thinking (no new items!)? Or competitions? Or more missions that you are summoned to randomly such as the New Romulus ones? Or a more player driven environment? Or some special summer event missions? Or a museum were you can walk through all the historical ships* of the tv series? You could even have holographic McCoys etc. guiding you around and telling you lots of anecdotes. You could also add a museum holodeck were you can replay the series missions and have to make some own decisions.
Or in short: Things were the focus is not on a reward in terms of marks, dilithium, EC, Lobi and items but the experience itself! Start charging for experience, not items and time!

So what do you guys think? Why did you start playing STO and most of all why are you still sticking to it? What ideas for actual content without grind do you have?



*As a matter of fact you could start programming some specific interior for the ships you actually bought and paid for! My defiant interior looks the same as a full blown cruiser and I was pretty disappointed by that! It just stands for how much emphasis is put on time rather than content.
Survivor of Romulus
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,094
# 2
06-22-2013, 05:14 AM
one of the things i like about the game is there is something new to do every few months or every day when new foundry missions are being posted but its swioched off at the moment
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Lieutenant
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 50
# 3
06-22-2013, 05:24 AM
Perfect World Entertainment runs the show, not Cryptic Studios. CS just adds new content, by the direction of PWE.

And on that side, new content is as it is; that business model you are talking about, it comes down to a statistical possibility that a player will "shorten" its gameplay by purchasing in game items when a new content is released. For that reason no new content, without possibility to sell the product, will be introduced. It will, at some degree.. And that immersion you are talking about, it's not quite achievable in F2P game models; as you stated, it is not about that, it is about turning out a profit. It is a business, game industry, and there are a few companies that actually value the experience of the game as opposed from just earning a profit and return sales. And I am talking solely about MMOG, with F2P models. Other games may or may not have the same problems.

And to answer the question; it is the only game of it's kind, and I can live with this model. It is, after all, free. You can buy anything for free, if you have enough patience.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 5,589
# 4
06-22-2013, 05:33 AM
I Started playing STO because I wanted to test out a MMO, but dislike the lame variants like LoR or now Neverwinter (Mid-evil fantasy worlds are kinda boring) or EvE where the primary goal of all players seem to be to scam, cheat or kill the others.

Recently, I am here more to spend time with my fleet, than an actual interest in the game... If my fleet leaves, I am fairly sure there will no longer be a reason for me to log on.
My name may say "PWE member", but I will never be.
-NEVER Forget the Screwups and ignorance made towards the people who supported the game through 2011
Don't look silly, don't call it "Zen-Store" - Don't waste devs time, Post proper bug-reports
Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 2,976
# 5
06-22-2013, 06:04 AM
I log in more to chat with people but to get interested in the game again they would have to revert everything to season 5 as that was where my interest peaked but that will never happen... back then there was less profit to be made
Survivor of Romulus
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 989
# 6
06-22-2013, 07:00 AM
I was ecstatic about LoR to the point I spent money on STO for the first time in a good long while. But here I am experiencing that "I'm done" feeling the OP is talking about. I got through the content--which was great--but here I am once again at "end-game," shrugging my shoulders and wondering what it was all for.

I don't think I will ever understand the grind mentality--the process of grinding through repeatable missions for gear so that you can do those same repeatable missions in less time. It just doesn't make sense to slog through content to earn the stuff you wanted to play with during that content in the first place; you burn yourself out chasing the carrot for so long that the journey itself becomes loathsome.

MMOs really need to figure out how to make the end-game as exciting and fresh as the journey to get there. That or simply do away with the dinosaur concept of an end-game completely. It's silly.

What it boils down to is that I think I'm simply done with this game. Every big update looks like it's going to come dripping with new grinds all geared toward getting you pissed off and impatient enough to spend money.

Thank the Maker I'm not stupid enough to fall for it anymore.

Last edited by purplegamer; 06-22-2013 at 07:02 AM.
Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 2,976
# 7
06-22-2013, 07:19 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by purplegamer View Post
What it boils down to is that I think I'm simply done with this game. Every big update looks like it's going to come dripping with new grinds all geared toward getting you pissed off and impatient enough to spend money.
Exactly this, it would be nice if the content designers would come down here and ask us what WE want and what we would LIKE to spend our money on rather than boring us to the point we spend money because the alternative is more boring.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 140
# 8
06-22-2013, 07:27 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by vocmcp View Post
So what do you guys think? Why did you start playing STO and most of all why are you still sticking to it? What ideas for actual content without grind do you have?



*As a matter of fact you could start programming some specific interior for the ships you actually bought and paid for! My defiant interior looks the same as a full blown cruiser and I was pretty disappointed by that! It just stands for how much emphasis is put on time rather than content.
I have strated playing less and less. Due to the abundance of bugs, lack of customer service and just complete disregard of the STO fans that this game has built up over the years.

PWE/Cryptic has become nothing more then a money grubbing company. Yes they have to make money, but not nickel and dime you every chance they get. I have canceled my Gold sub due to this, and will no longer be getting anymore Zen.

I will only continue my Gold if any only if they start caring about their customers, and improve their customer service team. And lower the insane pries on the Zen store, sorry 300 -500 Zen for costume unlocks, and respects is asinine. Not to mention the fact that bugs they just won't fix, and tickets never getting answered, like mine. It's been now almost 2 months and I have had the same bug on my character.

I gave up complaining or reporting it because people say it's my fault, so okay if it is, no more money for PWE and no more Gold.

If this game gets taken over by another company that actually cares, then I will take the plunge again, but at this point I am playing less and less, and just starting not to care.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 186
# 9
06-22-2013, 07:40 AM
To be quite honest I agree with many of the OP's points.

Currently I'm grinding through Omega/Romulan Rep and I ask myself, am I purely getting gear for the sheer sake of it? Am I getting Borg, Klingon Honour Guard and Omega tech simply to make my life easier to grind through even more STF's to get the next level of shiny gear thats on offer?

If you look at it objectively you have to ask yourself WTH are you doing with your time?

So yes OP, there is no actual goal to the game, no accolades or "Well done Admiral you saved the Universe" shiny cutscene at the end. But thats an MMO for you. Expect lengthy grind and nothing more.

Why do I play the game? For the simple reason its Star Trek and sure its not brilliant and somewhat rough around the edges but the game can have its moments of greatness. Teaming up with friends for PVE can also be a lot of fun in this game.

Its interesting the OP uses Deus Ex as a comparison. Great game certainly the original and the most recent one too but they're single player games that you complete in 40 hours and may replay eventually.

STO by comparison I have sunk 100's of hours into. Sure it has no end goal but thats why people come back to it because it never ends. Grindy it may be at times but at least its free, its up to the individual how much of their own personal budget they want to invest into it and to be fair it offers a lot of entertainment.

Sure I'd like to see more content but I accept the game how it is. When it becomes too repetitive I just take a break and play something else anyway.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 5,036
# 10
06-22-2013, 07:51 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by anazonda View Post
I Started playing STO because I wanted to test out a MMO, but dislike the lame variants like LoR or now Neverwinter (Mid-evil fantasy worlds are kinda boring) or EvE where the primary goal of all players seem to be to scam, cheat or kill the others.

Recently, I am here more to spend time with my fleet, than an actual interest in the game... If my fleet leaves, I am fairly sure there will no longer be a reason for me to log on.
you know what eve stand for in the name??????? Everyone versus Everyone = eve
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