Hello, computer (and players)! It is often said that the voices of the gaming community are some of the loudest, and most passionate, around. This is especially true within the Star Trek Online community. While some may see particular posts made in Cryptic's forums as trolling or whining, others see passion and dedication for making the game they love the best it can be. There is no denying that there will always be those who love to hate and hate to love, but there are also community members out there who are the voices of reason -- they take their time to carefully examine something and provide appropriate and well-thought feedback on how to make something better.
As STO is preparing to re-launch with its F2P model, many changes are being pushed to the Tribble test server for players to playtest and provide feedback on. Before the test shards ever open, debates based on the patch notes begin. After a few hours of testing on Tribble, players make their feedback posts public in hopes that developers notice and hear their opinions. The great news here is that the developers are reading each post and have vowed that feedback does not go unnoticed. Since I have been following this feedback closely myself, I thought I should share some of it here.
Ensign, warp 10! Let's share some recent community feedback on two of the hottest topics out there...
Note that this feedback has been taken directly from the official STO forums, specifically the Tribble feedback forum. The authors of these posts have taken the time to share their opinions and are as entitled to them as we are to ours.
Most likely, anyone reading this column knows about the update to the Tribble server that includes a revamp to the entire economy of the game. For those of you not in the loop about the changes, we made a post about it last week. Like many of you, I am afraid that the current implementation is flawed and should not go into effect on the live server, Holodeck. There is merit behind the idea of what the developers are trying to accomplish, but much will need to be changed to make this a change for the better. While I am waiting to see what the next set of changes brings before providing my own ideas on how to "make it work," I would like to share a few posts that have gained quite a bit of attention in the forums.
The.Grand.Nagus, one of my column's loyal readers and a long-time forum community member, recently made a post with his ideas on how to solve the dilemma. Interestingly, he suggests that paying members (Gold members) should earn a token to claim a ship at every rank while F2P members (Silver members) should incur a little bit more grind to earn their next tier ship. I am also in agreement with him that the daily refinement amount should be increased to allow for a "less of a grind" feeling when we're procuring endgame items and ships.
ArtemisA0K, who recently posted feedback on the matter, doesn't "see the point in switching from the current economy" but "can understand [that] consolidating badges" is needed for the rarer items. He suggests that ship requisition should remain the way it is but that dilithium could be used to procure better ships with unique abilities. While I think this idea has some merit, I can see how others might see an unfair advantage for those who do not have the time to "grind" for better ships. But as with many things in real life, the more effort and time you put into something, the better you can get.
Another hot (and taboo) topic lately is the current C-Store implementation. As this is the first time that the C-Store has ever been unlocked on Tribble, the goal of this test is to see what players think of the new pricing and what items are going to be purchased most often. To help test this, players who have an active test character will receive weekly stipends of test points to spend. Players who also buy C-Store points for the Holodeck server will receive the same number of testing points as a bonus.
BrokenMirror, a lifetime subscriber to the game, posted his thoughts on the current pricing structure. While he mentions that "2000 [points] is too high to pay for certain ships," he does feel that the Dreadnought Cruiser (Galaxy-X) is perfect at this pricing tier. He proposes the following pricing structure: tier 1 ships, 200 CP; tier 2 ships, 400 CP; tier 3 ships, 600 CP; tier 4 ships, 800 CP; tier 5 ships, 1200 CP; tier 6 ships (the 3 VA ships, MVAM, Excel, Nebula, and all new ships to come), 1600 CP; and tier 7 ships, 2000 CP (when Crypic starts adding them).
While I think this pricing structure would be fair, Primus01, who responded to BrokenMirror's thread, thinks that "no ships should be more than $5 worth of C-Store points" and that "smaller transactions are more likely to get people to spend money." I do think $5 is a bit low for some of the available ships, but I agree that smaller amounts will most likely mean more frequent and long-term purchasing habits.
Well, Captains, we have come to the end of this week's log entry. As you can see, there are quite a few opinions out there (and by "few" I mean "thousands"), and all should be evaluated or at least considered. The devs have said multiple times that the current Tribble build will not be the final build destined for Holodeck and that many, if not most or all, things will change based on the feedback we provide. Next week, I am going to be livestreaming STO on Tuesday, October 18th, at 7 p.m. EDT, so I hope you tune into our Livestream channel as I team up with some fleetmates and check out the newly remastered STFs that are available to playtest on the Tribble test server.
Until next time, let me know your own opinions by commenting below or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Computer, terminate recording.
Boldly going where no one has gone before, Brandon Felczer transmits Captain's Log through Subspace right to your PADD every Thursday. Join him as he discusses the latest news, gossip, and dev interviews about Star Trek Online. Hailing frequencies are always open to his bridge through email@example.com.