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What Happened to STO?

Captain's Blog Stardate 93380.6

I'm tired. How many more battlezones can we have? How many more ships do they expect us to fly? How much more equipment do we need to grind for? How many more grinding features do we need? When does it end? Warning, this blog contains whine.

I want to log into Star Trek Online and play through a story that is compelling and fun. Maybe it is just me but I can't do another PvE queue mission. Now we're getting the Badlands Battlezone which sounds like fun but I'm probably not going to play it. So what is a guy to do?

Yes, there are some stories coming soon including the remastered DS9 storyline, but is it enough? There also Foundry episodes, but how do you find the good ones and not the "kill for an accolade/loot" ones? Where is the Star Trek in Star Trek Online?

About the ships, are we seriously going to start getting all of these old ships released as Tier 6? We have the Dreadnoughts being re-released. I know it's a way for Cryptic to make money, but maybe just release new ships and give us ways to upgrade our old ships to Tier 6 for FREE because we actually paid money for them.

Believe me, I understand that Cryptic is a business and needs to make money. No money equals no Star Trek Online; however there needs to be some sort of balance. We go from extreme to the other. Release a whole a bunch of old stuff to resell under a new name, then release a bunch of new stuff to get back old customers so they'll buy the old-new stuff. It doesn't make sense.

Here's an idea, keep releasing new episodes as your primary objective to keep players interested. You'll end up with a large community who feels the game has significant value and will be more inclined to spend actual money on additional content. If players don't feel the game has value, they won't support it. Game's have value because they allow people to be immersed in them. The reason Solitaire used to be extremely popular is because as simple as it was, players were still immersed in it.

Enough of my complaints. Share your feelings whether you agree or disagree. I'd love to hear everyone's opinion.

Written by Attilio on October 11, 2015 at 10:05 pm


Uli Kusterer (Guest) said...
October 11, 2015 at 10:16 pm


not sure I agree on the ships with you. As far as the work Cryptic puts into them is concerned, they are completely new ships. A new T6 build (slots, special console etc.) and a new, nicer-looking model. I'm actually happy they in most cases decided to let the original buyers use the new, updated model for free, as a second variation of the ship parts.

Also, I *wanted* to fly some of my ships as T6 and am happy they're coming back. Still no D'Kyr though :'-(

As to battle zones and grinding ... yeah, I'm not gonna play all of them, but it's nice to have different options, one of them may be right for me. And it's physically impossible to have a new mission every time people want to play (making a mission always takes longer than playing it), so if we're realistic, that's all we can expect. And we are getting a new episode ~ every 5 weeks, it's nice to actually be able to schedule my free time for that.

So, I don't know, in my book Cryptic are doing pretty well. And I'm curious what the added exploration they've announced will be like. It's an Action-RPG, but I'd like some calmer stories, maybe missions mixed up from randomized elements so even replays are slightly different? (That was awesome about the Delta Recruit event for me)

Reply to Uli Kusterer
Katou (Guest) replied...
October 12, 2015 at 10:36 am

You didn't mention how long that you have been playing Star Trek Online...I have been playing since day 1...I am a Lifetime Sub. If you had been playing as long as we have you may have a better understanding of why we feel the way that we do. We have bought several ships and when Cryptic comes out with T6 ships that we are supposed to buy again, it stings, it wouldn't if they would give us an avenue to upgrade the T5 ships that we have already paid for and not the upgrade to T5U, they are not the same and I look at it as Cryptic in the back room made the decision to not let us have a reasonable upgrade to T6 so that we would be forced to buy all new ships, more money for their coffers. I haven't played the game now in about 10 days, I have gone back to Star Wars The Old Republic, I didn't want to but, Cryptic has pissed me off enough and the lack of any thought of their player base, not to mention that customer support is non-existent or so bad you just forget about filling out a ticket and live with whatever is messed up. I cant tell you how much that I have put into STO but it has been a lot and I know people that have spent thousands of dollars on STO. When is enough? For me I think that the time has come to take a break and hope that someone at Cryptic gets the message before its too late and there is no STO to go back to. I could rant on..I have ranted here before and the Captain's Blog pretty much sums it up for me as well.

Reply to Katou
pmanhart (Guest) said...
October 12, 2015 at 10:58 am

I couldn't agree with you more Attilio.

I'm a pre day 1 (beta) player who dropped the game about a year or so ago due to the new business model, though I've kept receiving your newsletter precisely because I wanted to know what was still going on with STO.

We in the community knew this was going to happen when the game went F2P. Cryptic promised that the game wouldn't turn into a grind-or-pay scheme for subscribers, that PvE content would keep rolling out on a consistent schedule. That hasn't happened. As soon as they completely revamped crafting into a grind-or-pay fest, I knew it was time to go so I cancelled my sub and haven't re-subbed since.

I still have STO installed and log in time-to-time to fly around my Dreadnaught, and it nice to see they are remodeling it. However, like you, I don't think they should be making us pay to move them up a tier.

I honestly don't see much future in STO, as sad as it makes me.

Pre-launch, Day 1, abandoned Star Trek fan - signing out.

Reply to pmanhart
Samueldavidson1701 (Guest) said...
October 12, 2015 at 12:54 pm

I agree with a lot that been said I barely sign in once in a while and turn my zen into dilithiam for my gaming guild to use into there fleet projects. I have little to no interest in playing Sto any more. I got tired of getting more ship's, uniform's, star base redesign, we keep asking or begging for more story content, or at least better foundry tools for us to make stories with but got nothing. any people I know uninstalled STO and plan to never return. I feel Cryptic is killing the game by ignoring most of it's users. I started with this fleet in the day and keep reading the news letters in hope Sto did something to make me want to play it again so far nothing Cryptic done has done that. sign Sam. a long time fan

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horvastus (Guest) said...
October 12, 2015 at 04:13 pm

I have been playing STO since 2011 on a sub then went lifetime about a year ago. I have to agree with what has already been said; I have gotten tired with the lack of a clear, well thought out and written story. I am now logging in occasionally to fly my Intrepid and doff but have renewed my sub for WoW; at least it feels as if I am making a difference in the game world and I can explore without always having to kill something.

Reply to horvastus
tc10b (Guest) said...
October 12, 2015 at 09:12 pm

I feel I reached this point about a year ago, I lost interest in the game and cancelled my subscription.

I came back briefly to make a Delta Recruit as I hoped this would have introduced more new story content than it did, but in the end it wasn't really enough.
The recent Iconian war storyline has been appalling too and has been barely playable.

Many, including myself, have said these exact points on the forums only to be denounced as haters and now the game is the way it is.

I'm taking an extended leave, maybe I'll come back when they offer me a tier 9 ship for free as recently happened and was a complete slap in the face.

It will only get worse from here on I'm afraid, welcome to the dark side and congratulations on your promotion to the rank of Bittervet.

Reply to tc10b
cmdrscarlet (Member) said...
October 12, 2015 at 09:24 pm

Interesting thoughts. I think it's a matter of perspective. One day I was playing a game while my baby son waddled around his floor mat. It had walls, but he found a way over them. I happened to look over my shoulder and averted an accident that could have been extremely serious. Since that day, as obvious as it seems to the rational person, I stopped playing online games for the next thing off a list or to "collect" anything. It's all just code, and when the game shuts down, it's all gone.

Having said that, if you (or anyone) is going to devote time to this game, then it's not Cryptic's duty to entertain you every time you log in. They provide options, only you decide how to use them.

So, you've already said it, "Star Trek" really is in the Foundry (other than the episodes, which I actually think are *very* Star Trek). How to filter good from crap? There some dedicated foundry groups, StarbaseUGC comes to mind. Yet, I think there is a reddit devoted to Foundry building and stories. For my part, I just go in and play: the ones that are over 30 minutes tend to be the better ones because the grind-for-loot missions are typically designed for players who want in-and-out (its why Argala was so popular, imo).

As for ships, it's easy for me because I don't care what Cryptic does with the ships. I have picked my one ship and can easily stick with it because I love it's look and how it plays in my hands. So I'm not spending money there: I'm not suckered by flashy graphics or stats (ok, except the Arbiter, that was a moral obligation).

On battlezones, I avoid them unless I have to go in. For me, it's that simple. I'd rather grind a single mission that play in BZs because PUG team play in STO is ... crap. It's a chick or the egg in that in order to do well in the BZ I need to know the BZ, but I need to play the BZ in order to be good at it. I guess I need to join an active fleet ...

I don't mean to sound self-righteous about this topic or to suggest anyone with a problem needs to go fly a kite (although outdoor time is important for anyone). I do hope New Dawn is really that because I really DO want to think my avatar has done something. I don't need her to save the galaxy, just something more than pew-pew and ordering officers to save the galaxy one for me.

Reply to cmdrscarlet
bogdan (Guest) said...
October 13, 2015 at 12:30 am

From my, absolutely subjective perspective, STO is an extremely extensive grinding machine. It is neverending grinding. No fun at all... I admire all the players that still can play it.

Reply to bogdan
Art G (Guest) said...
October 13, 2015 at 07:49 am

I left STO over two years ago. I keep up some because of your great blog. It simply just isn't that much fun anymore. Foundry missions have kept it alive longer to its credit, but except for the overall look, it just isn't Star Trek anymore. I would much rather see an outstanding stand-alone Trek game, but unfortunately the last stand alones have been average to poor. I am a die hard Trek fan from the original show and have loved every series (except Enterprise). I still enjoy going back and watching an episode of TOS, TNG, DS9, even Voyager once in awhile. The bummer is except for a brief comeback of the recent ST movies, Trek is at an all time LOW and has faded away to a great extent from TV to movies and games and now even STO. Paramount, Cryptic and others don't take it seriously anymore and the Star Wars universe has eclipsed it into nothingness. I really enjoy many things about Star Wars, but I have always held Trek above all others. It was great when they co-existed, but now Trek is ever more disappearing into the black hole and at least leaving good memories, but not much else.

Reply to Art G
Myrddnn (Member) said...
October 13, 2015 at 08:35 am

As a person living on a very limited income, just paying the subscription is a major deal for me. The constant cost of upgrades, for new ships, or whatever, has been a major problem as well. The game play itself is hit or miss, with BZs becoming almost unplayable as cmdrscarlet said, with the need to know the BZ to play the BZ and being called a newb for not already knowing everything about it on your first run. Foundry tools need improvements as well.

The biggest thing that bugs me is this. If I'm paying a subscription, why do I have to pay for ships etc.? Why aren't there ways to earn these ship in game? I could see spending time to EARN the ship and would play just to do that, but when anyone with the funds can just plop down 60$ or whatever and be right where I am after a half a year of grinding, makes my efforts seem worthless. If the subscription isn't enough income for them, they have a bad business model.

Reply to Myrddnn
cmdrscarlet (Member) replied...
October 13, 2015 at 09:01 am

Worthless? Heck no because you spent time and effort to *earn* that ship: it's an amazing show of patience only you can enjoy. Everybody else (myself included) went the lazy and fast way by buying the ship. It's very true that this game is absolutely free to the players. Cryptic is tapping into the greed in all of us, to "have it now".

Keep in mind, with a subscription you get Zen! That's the fast way to "earn" a ship. If you pay long enough subbers get the Chimera - that's a ship no one playing for free can have.

So, it's not a bad business model because Cryptic must stay profitable. This is done by selling a very important component to this game: ships.

Reply to cmdrscarlet
tewalker11 (Member) said...
October 13, 2015 at 10:17 am

I agree Atillio (and pretty much everyone else)

I was a beta tester and have a lifetime so it doesn't cost me anything to play. I actually have a rule that I don't pay anymore money to play this game.

I'm dissapointed that after 5 years we have what 7 story arcs? That's just not good enough, and there's no reason to play them over.

Star Trek is great because of it's story and it's message, character development and hopefulness for the future. STO's msg is mostly grind this system and War, so much war.

As a player I want story not grinding.

It stopped being Star Trek a long time ago... in a galaxy far away?

Reply to tewalker11
Your187 (Guest) said...
October 13, 2015 at 06:18 pm

I agree with atilio. I paid for the federation ships. Then the t6 started coming. I bought the excelsior way back. Upgraded to fleet now bought the t6 version. They did the same with the galaxy and intrepid. It IS the old ships being rebadged with new skins. Boff station don't really do too much. So WHY do I have to pay so the SAME if not MoRE than I originally paid???? How is that fair and keeping folk happy??? Give them t6 ships at a discounted rate. Or offer upgrades for those that already have them. Cryptic, If you read this blog (and you should, you may learn something). Please stop taking the piss with us and give better content. Or we will go to a different game!

Reply to Your187
camvan1954 (Member) said...
October 13, 2015 at 08:06 pm

What was just stated in the blog is what I have been stating since T6 starships became available for purchase. I ran around STO with my baby, the Avenger Class Battle Cruiser for almost two-years. Only to my surprise it practically became obsolete. It was replaced with a "new" ship that had better console slots and base stats and that was about it. I have been playing STO for the better part of 3 years. The update I was most excited about was the Dyson Sphere update. I loved being able to fight the Voth in space (as laggy as it can be) and on the ground. When I heard about the level increase I was excited, then I remembered the amount of grinding I did to get to the point that my main toon was at before the Delta expansion. Don't get me wrong I love Star Trek and Star Trek Online, but to be honest I have lately lot the incentive to play. There is such a thing as dumping content on players so fast that they have little time to actually enjoy it. Another thing is IS THERE A POINT TO TIER 5 AND TIER 5 FLEET SHIPS ANYMORE if you can access Tier 6 ships at VA 50 then whats the point in owning Tier 5 ships. They pretty much just become another nostalgic ship that sits in the C-store never to be used. Does anyone remember when the newest thing was to go to New Romulus or The Dyson Ground Battle Zone and run around trying to get the opportunity to kill a Voth T-Rex? That was when STO hit its Golden Age for me. To be frank I have lost much of my original interest in STO (partially thanks to my computer committing suicide on me).

Reply to camvan1954
camvan1954 (Member) replied...
October 13, 2015 at 08:17 pm

FYI when I said three years to give you a rough estimate I started around the same time as the release of the Season 6 update.

Reply to camvan1954
Gojored (Guest) said...
October 14, 2015 at 03:49 am

I heartily agree with the author and several others here
Newer pay or non pay gimmicks just don't interest me anymore. Refreshingly original and In-depth content would.
I'll stil login and talk to my mates, but not much else.

Reply to Gojored
dunebat (Guest) said...
October 14, 2015 at 09:54 pm

I wholeheartedly agree. Star Trek has always been about story and characters. We're the characters, so that's that; how about story?

"Come for the story, stay for the ships and mad loot" should be the tagline, not the other way 'round.

Reply to dunebat
knowles2 (Guest) said...
October 15, 2015 at 06:22 pm

Well I haven't as much as some people have.

Do we really need remastered stories. Nope, we want knew stories.

The badlands battlezone will get boring pretty soon, just like every other battlezone has.

Personally I would be pretty happy if cryptic shut down the game due to lack of money and let someone else have a crack at the franchise.

Reply to knowles2
ShadowGirl (Guest) said...
October 18, 2015 at 10:06 pm

Lifetime sub, started since before release, and I read this blog entry because I feel the same. It's hard for me to come back to this game because the fun is sucked out and replaced with gambling/grinding. *shakes head* This money won't save the game if all the players stop coming back and lose interest, and its not because of lack of ships or content, but because of lack of consideration to players.

Reply to ShadowGirl
dbudzik (Member) said...
November 12, 2015 at 11:52 am

Star Trek Online should be about what made the shows great: exploring the unknown. Unfortunately, there are three things that make that exceedingly difficult to do:

1) This is an MMO, which means there are certain tropes it has to follow.
2) Exploration means the developers are going to have to be constantly creating new stuff, just to keep up with players expanding the boundaries of the known, and that pace means quality will suffer as will originality.
3) The developers are further hampered in their efforts by the owners of the franchise (NBC) telling them what they can and can't do.

In the old days, at least we had randomly-generated exploration and diplomacy missions. Let's find a way to bring those back and make them more varied and lengthy. Then, add a marauding mission generator for the Klingons.

Not sure I understand the objection to a new battlezone. It's just a way of grinding marks and dilithium for the new reputation. And if you don't like the new reputation, don't do it. In my opinion, every reputation should have a battlezone. Getting the daily mark reward is nice, but if you're willing to put in the time to grind out the marks, battlezones make more sense than PVE, because you can do it by yourself without having to wait for anyone.

Reply to dbudzik
Chris R. (Guest) said...
January 02, 2016 at 03:44 am

I'm rather late to this thread. Thus, I cannot add much to what has already been said; however, the fact that I have decided to contribute to it ought to stand as a reminder that little if anything ever changes regarding this game - especially in the realm of opinions.

My feelings towards the game began to change with the elimination of accolades. I have always played the game for three reasons: to get my dps to 100k, friends, and accolades. With the elimination of the last and my achievement of the first, all that keeps me logging in are the friends I have made. Indeed, to remind myself of this I need only to look at the accolade for NWS which won't be satisfied anytime soon if at all. This game ought to be adding content, not taking away.

With the elimination of some accolades came the feeling that Cryptic wanted to make the game less competitive - less show-off-esque as it were. Suddenly, a massive power creep occurred in which the gap between the top dps players and the bottom dps players began to close and is doing so to this day. Exacerbating the situation was the introduction of free traits boosting dmg, crit chance, and crit severity. In a word, the thrill of chasing deeps grew less and less thrilling. Evidence of all this is present in the dps channels wherein often times - sometimes even in 50k - basic questions are asked i.e. "is the leech necessary." Regardless, the channels are friendly and the question will be answered by experienced players. However, those same players must stop and ask an important question to themselves: "how are you in 50k and asking such a question."

The answer, invariably to the above question, is that Cryptic has diminished the field of competitiveness. Games on an intrinsic level must present challenges thereby giving players an obstacle to overcome and thus feel satisfied at overcoming that obstacle. When challenges no longer exist what is left cannot be called much of a game. Vis-a-vis this course of action, Cryptic has placed the top-tiered players in a position to either carrying casual players or becoming disinterested in the game altogether. It should be noted that the former sometimes leads to the latter.

With the formula of GOTE=fun in the context of a game where g equals goals; o equals obstacles; t equals tactics; and e equals expectations - the removal or diminishment of any one of these at any time can spell disaster for the game. This is not a slippery slope nor independent of one another, but, rather, taken on the whole is what has exactly happened to Star Trek Online.

I digress. The OP asked a relevant question that deserves a relevant answer. That answer inexorably is: we don't know and won't know until it happens. What can be surmised is that whatever does happen will be swift. An example to turn to is Star Wars Galaxies which bled players slowly over its eight year run but never enough to warrant what happened in July 2011 when it was revealed that the game would end in December of the same year. I surmise the same will happen to STO. If anything is telling of this it's the lack of 'upcoming content' on the wiki.

Without a Star Trek theme this game would and should have died ages ago. Given the lack of content, the power creep, endless grind, dil. sink madness, an unpredictable economy, nerf after nerf, and lack of direction there is little else bringing players like me back to the game except the friends I have made.

I'll never forget this: a week into Delta Rising a number of members of our fleet including me agreed that if our fleet leader decided to create a guild in another mmo we would follow him there and reestablish ourselves. The future of STO for me is wherever my friends are. I made that promise to my fleet leader then and I still honor it. That is how little I think of this game.

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