I play because it's fun. That's all I demand of any of my games - entertainment. Should it ever cease to entertain me (which it hasn't yet), I will stop playing. And should that ever happen, I won't angst about it, and I probably won't post anything - it's not like I went onto the WoW forums and started spamming them with "I quit!" posts when it started to bore me.
Now, if you're looking for deep, thoughtful exploration of the human experience, my best suggestion is to pick up a good book. This is, after all, just a game...
------------------------------------------- I'm old enough not to care too much about what you think of me --
But I'm young enough to remember the future, the way things ought to be... - Rush, "Cut To the Chase", Counterparts
Whilst I quite like the concept of MMOs I do prefer those that have some sort of existent background rather than just a cloned fantasy setting..
I gave up with LOTR - it doesnt feel like anything to do with LOTR in atmosphere - in fact it resembles every other fantasy MMO but worse..
Tried SWTOR .. I think they really missed the boat with this one.. The old republic setting doesnt work for me -surely the point of setting a game within a licenced product is to play with that setting and invoke its atmosphere; but setting it before the events of the films (in fact way way way before) just makes it another MMO with SW. Quite like the way the story elements are handled though..
I think in a fashion this is where STO actually gets it right.. There are tips of the hat to items, characters and settings from the films and the TV episodes.(If only it had more voice acting sections)
So I prefer STO for its atmosphere, however like every other MMO it still has all the faults that seem to be the Norm now.. Namely the grind end game and no real direction..
I understand your point as I was reluctant to enter the world of MMORPG's a couple of years ago for the same reasons. With STO there are some differences, however. It is true that there is not that much compelling in the Fed story line. The new Klingon content is MUCH better, IMO, but does "lame out" a bit about halfway thru. The new Romulan story line is excellent and very replayable. There is also the Foundry. By far some of the best content in the game is found in the Foundry and new material is always being added. Beyond that there are social aspects that you can't find in a stand-alone game. Although those aren't nearly as important to me as they are to many others they are nice and can add a touch to the game that can't be found going solo. In short any MMORPG is what you make of it... STO especially.
ADDED: The word from "on high" is that there are plans to revamp the Fed story line to be more compelling and absorbing. It also helps to realize that STO, like most MMORPG's, is very much a "work-in-progress" so you never know what the future will bring.
ZOE: "Sir! You paid money for this?... on purpose??"
KIRK: "Excuse me... what does God need with a starship?"
I mostly play because there are no Star Trek games appearing other than the mindlessly boring and generic Abrams nonsense to cash in from the equally terrible movies. Since Birth Of The Federation isn't looking to be remade any time soon, if ever, then STO is pretty much the only choice left.
And it's nice to be able to play as female for a change, so few games allow for such a thing, and even nicer to actually be able to clothe female characters unlike most MMO's where the developers seem to think that chain mail bikini's are the most clothing that a female ever needs.
I play because I love Star Trek and I love computer games although this was my first and only MMO. Been playing a long time now and the end game to me is about the fleet I founded and participating in events with my friends and indeed family (1 son and two daughters play).
I have lots of FP shooter games which I will never play again, at least not without a significant gap between plays, maybe a couple of years and some I would never do again because whilst good I know what's going to happen. STO is continually evolving and the fact you are playing with real people who are unpredictable, make you laugh, make you mad, etc, these are what bring me back day after day.
The grind sometimes gets to me but I only usually grind rep for one or two characters at a time, I'm in no hurry. I spend plenty of zen mostly for my fleets but also because I know that's what keeps this game going.
There are many things I would change but I am sure glad it isn't my decision to make. I just feel lucky this game exists and that I have a fleet full of great people with delightful insights such as that shown by our fleet member in the OP.
This may or may not be helpful to the discussion, but I'll tell you the sole reason why I am playing this game still:
I have a lifetime account.
It's just that simple. I've actually stopped playing my other MMO (The Old Republic) I canned the first since it was like STO, but without the lifetime benefits of 500 points a month and 'normal' access to the game, without having to pay for daft things like titles, and normal equipment useage!
Back to the subject. I'm one of those rare one character-only players. (Everyone complains about the grind, yet they're willing to do it umpteen times with different characters?REDUNDANT anyone? Aye, you are.) I just log in here for an hour or so a day with my character. I do some grinds for fleet marks and the new faction one, then log off. It's just a mechanical aspect to the game, that's keeping me here. In fact, I don't even consider this Star Trek anymore. It's just...some neatly drawn sci-fi game with space ships, with Captains that have to do everything (are they control freaks? That's a bad captain who does everyone's job on a starship.) And a character that simply shoots things and ignores what the word 'Uniform' means anymore.
I'll just say what I've said for last few years. I really did wish the vapour-ware that was the original concept for this game (ie: Perpetual's screenshots and writing) was the actual gameplay. Everyone feeling like they had a part to play on a starship, working together. Solving problems that didn't always require a phaser and all your red shirts. Something that the players could make last, with their own interactions, as well as the base game elements. (You know what had a better crew, interior? Mass Effect. Just think of the Normandy and you'll think of Joker, laughing it up, till his bones literally crack. Garrus, always 'calibrating something'. That kind of thing. The little character details that added up in the game, and the interactions going on. Granted you were the leader...but imagine just playing that game without the crew and the personalities? Would you still have loved it so and being inside your ship? It's a shame that, Mass Effect 2 for example, had a deeper system for planetary sensors/probes...wait the fact they even had it, and this game doesn't! No exploration! That could have been just one aspect of a science officers duty on a ship. And I mean a real science officer. Not these three 'classes'.)
If I knew how to make a game...I would. But I can't. So to be fair, I'll play this one. But if I could snap my fingers and make 'my vision', well it'd be different from this.
Our characters would have started at the Academy, during our final days there, and picking our field out of more than three options (Command, Science, Medical, Operations, Engineering, Security, Tactical, Navigation, etc). Maybe even be given the Kobayashi Maru-like sim, where there is no right/wrong answer...only facing that life and death situation. That's the best place to learn the ropes, and it gives the place meaning, to start.
After that, everyone would start out as a fresh-faced Ensign inside a ship. Where it goes could be player-made (like a foundry?) or part of the game's randomized travels. Players would then have to earn their ranks, and let's face it...some of you should NOT even be considered to be a Captain, in the first place. Maybe you're the Scotty of the game, or the Dr. McCoy? What matters is your character and interactions, not your rank. Somehow I'd make that the main element of the gameplay. Your character (when logged in), doing things to help the ship the crew and the mission. And of course I would have went with some of those mini-games, like diagnostic repairs, using the astrometrics lab for a system survey...allocating the allotted power for each department, ship equipment at Ops. Flying at the helm. Whatever. And of course you'd have to have reviews of your personal file. Did you earn any commendations? Are you recommended for a promotion, or a position? Did you be a complete arse and get yourself court-martialed, because you forgot you were in Starfleet, and not the Klingon Defence Force? (As a way to remove troublesome players who don't fit in.) All of that scored and kept track of by the game and your actions of course.
Maybe there would be a grind of sorts...but it would be a living, breathing starship. And in turn, those starships and crews could go on in actual task forces and fleets to do things. (Imagine four starships, with say 10 players each on average, attempting a patrol or first contact mission in their sector?) That could play out any number of ways...and take any amount of time...for just that! Random events could enter into play, on the ship. Those good old holodeck malfunctions? Check. Some unknown life form attempting communication, or help? Or maybe they're dissecting the crew? Check. Investigate. Play. Be part of a team. Solve problems. That's what I miss about Star Trek and TNG.
Don't even get me started on the ships themselves. Get rid of the three 'classes' again. Ships are defined into scouts, frigates, destroyers, cruisers, battlecruisers, battleships, dreadnaughts, etc (no matter if they have more weapons, vs advanced sensors, or a larger crew than normal). There would be more equipment of course. (After all, sickbays are ALWAYS equipped with biobeds. You have to have inertia dampning, or you're all going to be chunky salsa when you go to impulse, let alone warp. EPS conduits are standard. What happened to the neural bio-gel pack relays? Did they get an upgrade, like the old Isolinier chips were to that? Who's maintaining the computer system?
Upgrades, refits, repairs would occasionally mean a trip back to a Starbase, drydock. Heaps of time to go back to the home systems and check-in. Take some shore leave?
I'd give up a lifetime sub, just to get some of this.
Alright, this was a wall of text. Apologies. Went everywhere but to the point eh. Again: I'm just logging in to be a solo bot for a time, then going back to single-player games like Dragon Age, Mass Effect, Skyrim, Fallout, and Baulder's Gate. STO just...well, it's like going to work for an hour, than taking the day off. I really wouldn't make a fuss if it went under and we all got sacked from it. But I'm still playing along. We're all still playing, who post here, eh. Just be honest to yourself, and your reasons for logging on. That's all we can hope for.
. I really wouldn't make a fuss if it went under and we all got sacked from it. But I'm still playing along. We're all still playing, who post here, eh. Just be honest to yourself, and your reasons for logging on. That's all we can hope for.
You know I liked so much of your post, I think the prevailing frustration is in what the game could be instead of a dps/kill fest.
Your quote struck me that I have wondered if I would be all that upset if/when sto servers go offline. I am pretty sure I would be ok too. I have a LTS as well and without it I would have left a long time ago, i don't really feel like renting games.
In the end I enjoy star trek stuff and my friends, but if they changed games I would too.