Figured I would repost my impressions of the game so far.
After 2 weeks of beta testing & the HeadStart, here are my thoughts and helpful suggestions:
Understand I posted this in the beta forums before HeadStart - but want to make sure it gets maximum Dev exposure.
I know this might be long but I think its worth the time to read.
Give us 2 viewing options to choose from - Sector Space and Just Space. I understand Sector Space might help some people navigate easier, but give us advance players the option to turn off the grid and change it to actual Space... get rid of of the generic system place holders and actually put actual details of planets and Sun(s) in its place.
Example - Sol System: Show detail of the solar system - all 8 1/2 planets and if possible:the asteroid belt. Doesn't have to be TO scale while in Sector Space, but doing this wouldn't make it look the same as every other system. This would help with immersion.
This is an "MMO" per your game description. When grouping or doing Fleet actions - it doesn't feel like an MMO, just feels like an online combat space sim like XvT or XW Alliance - you die, respawn and just rejoin the battle. If the respawn was disabled until the battle was over and the group actually wiped and had to start over again - we wouldn't be as careless and would actually TRY to employ the mechanics of tanking, Crowd control and healing etc.
If the above was looked at then obviously you would have to look at group mechanics closer and make adjustments for better survivability. Tanks actually able to take a beating - last long enough for Science ships to be helpful and keep the group up. Fleet actions is close - just need players to understand their role better. But 5 player groups - it just all out DPS on battles - some players with Science ships might heal here and there - but most of them just dish out the damage.
Ships - I hear some people complain about this or that about their ship class - like Cruisers - they turn to slow - my own opinion - the turn rate is fine, your a Cruiser not an Escort, your there to take a beating, you have Fore and Aft weapons, so turning is just a mechanic to get damage of 1 side of shielding and onto another side. Cruiser was my main choice in Beta and I loved it.
It turned good enough with my BO abilities - like emergency power to shields, or my ability evasive maneuvers - with all the abilities - it compensated for the slow turn. Again this an MMO - we have to balance out classes. If you give a Cruiser faster turning - then escort would need adjusting and so on.
With the slower turning in a Cruiser it should have better survivability, and with the BO abilities and personal abilities - its almost there. Other ship classes - I can't comment too much on them - never really gave them enough attention. I fell in love with Cruiser and never looked back =).
I'm sure this is already being looked at - but just incase it isn't - here ya go: Fix your group instancing. Make it where the game automatically puts you in the same instance as your group. Instead of us trying to figure out where everyone is.
Brilliantly done for the most part. This feature really shines for me and seperates STO from the rest of the MMOs out there.
Exploration - What we have now is almost too linear.
The following suggestion was posted in beta forums - so I realize they are at least fleshing out the Sol System in a content patch later - but here is my original suggestion:
My suggestion goes hand-in-hand with Sector Space comments above. When entering a system, have the whole solar system laid out for basically a free-style exploration. Give us the option to fly around the system on impulse or have the option to warp to areas or planets. Example: Sol Solar System - when you approach - give us the option to enter it at any planet and from there we can fly around on impulse to anywhere - like entering at Saturn and if we so choose to - fly to Earth and Spacedock on impulse if we want to waste time =). Or if we decide we are in a hurry again - click warp to Earth etc.
Side note: While in the solar systems and we decide to warp to another planet or mission area - instead of loading screen - have the ship auto-navigate to the destination at a very very high speed so it takes about the same time a load screen would take (to help with immersion with stars and planets etc zipping by at high warp).
This enhancement right here is the meat of Star Trek - exploration. If you could implement this - then you would have ground work for Mission Hubs and Away Team missions on class M planets or space stations. We beam down to a civilization and have a mission hub available for away teams or space missions in the system itself.
The genesis system - I understand what it does and its a good idea - but it can be implemented so much better - the current system just doesn't give me the "exploration requirement" I crave. I think the genesis system should be use in conjunction with my suggestions above with in place systems created by the Devs - it could help create basically endless missions in that system after you've completed whatever the Devs have created.
I think the exploration enhancements would go along way in improving away team missions
The current death penalty just isn't good enough - loss of crew?? Thats it? I think in conjunction with my above suggestion of no respawn until the group wipes is added incentive not to die. Of course no respawn wouldn't really affect Solo play too much.
This suggestion would affect Solo Players at least: Add a Space Dock requirement after so many destructions - the hull gets degraded to a point where the crew repairing isn't good enough anymore.
Example would be this: Lets say your ship hull is 25k - after each death that goes down - to a point where a Space Dock is needed to get a new hull to max it out again - of course this would cost energy credits
For the most part its decent. You need better tooltip descriptions. Being able to customize locations of UI windows is nice. Its just the skills section that really needs attention. Need better ideas of what we are spending our points on when we increase a skill. Yes, some are explained sufficiently and some are not - just need this looked at, to better enhance it.
PLEASE PLEASE put a Skill Template on the website so we as players can project a career path for our avatar since we have a skill cap (of which I am in total agreement with). Also do the same for BOs? A template for them as well.
I understand how your server system works and don't mind it for the most part. The only change I would make is to have 2 seperate servers, maybe 3 - 1 for Roleplay, 1 for NON RP and 1 for possibly Open PVP.
In summary - Cryptic has laid down very good ground work for this IP to build on. Am I expecting for Cryptic to implement WHAT I WANT? No, but I would hope they listen to OUR feedback and see that whats currently in place won't cut it 2-3 months from now, for me at least. I'm not saying in 2 months major changes HAS to take place, but for me to stay a paying customer, I need to feel that Cryptic's plans for this game is just as grand as mine would be if I had control.
So Cryptic - please keep us updated as to what you want to implement in this game in the immediate and far from now future - no communication equals a MMO ghosttown.