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Current State of the Game:
Most of the things I am going to talk about have been batted around several forums now and I guess I am putting my two cents worth in now. Currently you can play the entire Star Trek Online game in 3 weeks. If you decide to level all three Federation classes about 8 weeks, now if you want to play on the Klingon side of things be prepared to play lots of PvP action and while you can level at a fair rate in PvP, and you can survive the repetition of the grind then you are all set.
Mostly the game is a breeze to play with little to no complexity, if you need directions, look at the map or read the quest. In truth you go from system to system with little to know surprises. The sector blocks have huge bill boards telling you where you are and where you can go, the sector blocks in space have massive grid lines to make sure that you don't get vertigo and don't get lost. Don't kid yourselves, this in not exploration no matter how you spin it.
Let's say that many of the basic things in the game are awesome, like the graphics, space and ships and toons are incredible, or should I mention the size scaling issue here? The artists and designers can be proud of the work they have done. The weapons and particle effects are as good as any game on the market today. The space scenery is outstanding! Although the corkscrewing flight system is totally stupid and it looks like there is no room for a joy stick leaving everyone I know wondering what happened to space flight in the last several hundred years?
However, the new raids are good and challenging, requiring both team work and planning, more please!
What would be incredible would be a 5, 10, 15 and 20 man scalable raid system.
Fleet actions are fun and challenging more please! Except for the Crystalline Entity which is a total failure in how it is done, find a different way to kill it the current method is not viable.
Diversity is a huge problem in the game. Exploration clusters have few differences, and while they give needed badges for ship upgrades, they do not provide enough satisfaction in the area of exploration. If you repeat the same cluster quest with a random selection of at least 6 or 8 types of quests and these are space sample retrieval, scanning miscellaneous items on the ground, ground fighting, space fighting, computer scanning, ship defending in space and base defending in space, these come with postage stamp planets the ground missions are put on, run here, scan or kill, run there, scan or kill. How about a picnic or a holodeck adventure.
I wonder if the mandate for Star Fleet is really travel to strange new places never seen before and kill everything. I did my B'Tran Cluster dailies this morning and they where all space confrontation missions. Each of the ships were cruisers of at least 500 personal each, and doing 3 missions that's 18 ships at around 500 people a kill 500(18) = 9000 people in one morning. No survivors, I am a killing machine with no remorse or hesitations. Is this the Star Trek I remember? Is this a representation of the future that I want to be a part of? Kill kill kill?
What is missing from the Game:
Exploration is not part of this game. Everything is easy to find and there is no surprises waiting on the other side of the planet because there is only a small postage stamp of land and the rest is, well, just not available. I would have like to find each system with scanners and probes and chart everything on my own or in a group.
Many things seemed to have been left out of the game, crafting, actual planets and complexity. Is this by design or by time constraints? I do not know or care. Of course there are many other things left out of the game, things like being able to explore large planets, asteroids, nebula clouds, stars, gas giants volcanic or ice planets or any actual sized planet. I can only point my tricorder at so many things before I just want to throw my tricorder and everything. Hey! I just broke my tricorder can I take to a craftsmen and get an upgrade or mod or maybe some cool new one that makes different beeps and noises when I find something different?
Where are the plants and animals, could we clone them, breed and train, buy and sell? What about mining for minerals, for crafting, trading, selling, or chemically treating and processing them for better configurations and products for armor, weapons and space ships? Everything in the game could and should be made by the players. What about plasma production, plasma mining, buy and selling? Bio-genetics, growing specimens for study, for medical harvesting, for making better pets or mounts or perhaps even parts for vehicles?
What about the ship internals? All internal ship activities must be integrated in to the ship no instance hoping. I want to be able to go to my shuttle bay and get in my shuttle then fly to an asteroid and take up mining or take chucks of rock off it or melt it in to a ball and tow it back to my ship. I guess that would bring up that size scaling issue/feature again.
How long can we keep playing the game?
There are quests in the game that you show up and kill and blow up and destroy without even bothering to look for survivors or escape pods or taking prisoners. Another one is you go kill a bunch of ships with people on them, looking for some type of mineral to find out the asteroids don't have the minerals you want and all the ships with people on them you destroyed for nothing. What ever happened to negotiation and diplomacy, getting mining rights and make some cash for both parties. I was not aware of the gunboat diplomatic corps in Star Fleet.
Why can't I just click on a chair and sit down?
As RA 5 my biggest thrill in the game is to fly in circles around my target using my thumb to repetitively push the space bar over and over and over until I almost fall asleep or my opponent explodes and I wake back up... well to be honest my Bridge Officers do have specials that I must use to survive with and they are helpful most times. Do we really need BO's any way?
Why in the instance of the Borg Hunt map there are Sphere's Probe's and Cube's stuck in the encrypted Nods all the time? Why not just put turrets in there instead? Or is this a bug that can't be fixed or did I mean feature?
I never expected to get to RA 5 in two weeks. I usually take my time and hopefully in 6 months or a year I get to max level and have tons of fun doing it. This game is fun for 2 weeks then there is nothing much else to do but grind dailies for badges, do some raids, help some Fleet members that have not quit the game yet.
There are no presets, like “Standard Orbit Mr. Sulu.” and the ship goes to a standard orbit on a planet, or combat sets or ground combat sets.
As a Star Trek fan for more than 40 years I am not sure how much more simplicity of this game I can take, my 8 year old nephew is all ready bored and is going back to WoW.
What could be next?