They took some of the good aspects from other systems. It's impossible to make something perfect that everyone will like, though. I can't say it's "the best" yet, but I do agree that's it's one of the better.
I do like that I haven't had to spend an hour looking for my 60th level 6 Grumpy Old Klingon so I can shoot him and finish my collection of 20 gold nose rings, so I can get the next quest in a chain, though. I was so worried I'd have quests like that.
And the space quests and space combat are loads of awesome.
Because Cryptic's engine CANNOT handle Flora&Fauna appearently.
Dunno about fauna, but there's flora. The early mission that takes place in a monastery is quite lovely, although certainly not up to the graphical standard of recent land-based games, poly count wise.
I think there are some scripted missions and chains that are quite good and well fleshed-out, and others that play like very generic random missions.
I would have to agree, though, that the thing that is missing... is a static world... where you can potentially explore the whole thing, go back to your favorite places later, and generally have a feeling of continuity, like you get in land-based MMOs (and single-player open-world RPGs). Having places you can ONLY go on a mission, that go poof when you leave, kinda ruin the idea that you're in a real, persistent universe.
I'm going to disagree with some of the later posters. I think exploration/Genesis is pure genius.
Every MMO is full of meh grinding. That's what they do. It's all the same, every time, eventually. Unless you go for PvP in a big way, in which case there's Eve Online, or are a major Star Wars roleplayer, in which case there's SWG (Starsider), every MMO ends up with meh repetitive grindygrind.
And all those awesome landscapes? Most folks see them once and never look back. There are entire regions in many MMOs that are ghost towns because everyone's outlevelled them. Nobody goes back and thinks "Woah, this place is so nice I'll sit around and stare at it again just like I did for those two weeks I had to grind here."
Genesis takes many disparate graphical elements and fuses them into distinct entities. While not every combination is breathtaking, nor should they be or this whole game would look far too silly, some are. There are times I'll just look around at stuff and have my mind blown. Then, ten minutes later or so, I'm gone and on to something new.
Repetitiveness isn't just about mission types. It can also be an aesthetic thing. Doing the same missions, against the same villains, in the same warehouses over and over in City of Heroes was a million times more dull and with less variation than what we have in Exploration here. Hell, try doing anything in SWG that doesn't involve lots of pointless grinding in the same place, against the same mobs, for hours on end (or in LoTRO for that matter).
Any sane person, at least of the casual gamer variety, who knows there are other MMOs out there and has actually played them has to jump up and scream "Thank you Cryptic!" for Genesis and Exploration missions. I just hope they keep adding more variety into the system. Most of us are going to be spending most of our time in there - if not now, certainly once we've burned through all the scripted content.
And unlike other PvE elements, nothing you put into Genesis is ever obsolete. The more you add to it the better everything works. It's exponentially more than the sum of its parts.
The BIG difference is, that all the other MMO's have nice interesting zones, full of life, where you quest in.
You stumble on all kinds of stuff. Lot of quests lead you into dungeons. You stumble on other people. Etc.
Cryptic's mission maps are all generic and the same. Lifeless with static objects. They just spawn some interactable mission objects and a bunch of mobs on top of it, for you to blast away. And that's it.
That is my MAJOR gripe with this game. That everything feels so bland, generic and lifeless.
This game has just 2 sets of cycling maps. 1 set is Space Station maps. The other set is planet surface maps. That's it.
I mean... sure, some planets are dead rocky surfaces. But plenty of planets have flora and fauna. With populations and animals and plants. Etc. But NOT in this game. Because Cryptic's engine CANNOT handle Flora&Fauna appearently.
EXACTLY!!! That was my exact gripe about City of Heroes. I played City of Heroes for about 6 months and got tired of repeating the SAME thing, with the SAME mobs, with the SAME map, with the SAME graphical layout and the SAME environment and SAME scheme at every turn. It was bland and boring and not imaginative whatsoever. I quit CoH after 6 months and discovered World of ******** and played that game straight for over 5 years.
I'm a bit disappointed so far with STO because it's just CoH re-packaged in spaceships. All the graphics are the same, the models, the environment. I fear people will burn out on it very quickly.