Choosing What You Play: Hard Decisions, and Then Some Easy Ones

It seems we have a prophet among us, Lore Hounds. Your fellow viewer, Nextgener was spot on when he said:

you’ll be back.

they always come back.

And so I will. After being dumped like a sack of maggot-ridden potatoes, STO lost its new car smell; not to mention its reason to be played. Many issues surrounded the intense, and once highly desired, relationship I had with my fellow Trekkie. Sadly, it ended a month later. In that time, I at the very least, was able to glimpse more into the newer IPs of the MMOG market.

I am back, and in full force. I have 33 days from now, to get my Kingslayer title. I’m after it. That is my Prime Directive (ha, ZING!) to bridge the gap between expansions. My agenda later then follows:

  1. Attempt to finish up Loremaster. Though, this probably should be at the bottom of the list of “most likely achievable”.
  2. Get spec / items in order on my alts to level them up in Cataclysm
  3. Pre-Cataclysm events.

You didn’t think I’d let you go with just a quick recap, would you? No! I had plenty to gripe about with Cryptic Studios on their recent venture into MMOGs. First and foremost:

  • Boring, static gameplay.

After about level 11-15 (Lieutenant, Rank 1-5) you’ve seen the type of missions you’ll get until around 25-35 (Lieutenant Commander, Rank 5 to Commander, Rank 5). From the easiest (and dumbest) mission of just running around scanning items, to near death 5-8 minute fights, you seem the same set, just jumbled up depending on the mission line and/or the area you are doing them in.

From said range, it then barely gets new twists and slightly more engaging combat / lore.

  • Combat

Apparently, from what I’ve heard from other players, the combat system is better than it used to be. Still isn’t there for me. Ground combat is a joke at the level I’m at — protip: make your medical officer a healer.

Space combat? Just Min-Max like you do on WoW. You always win. Dieing is barely a setback in space — it just resets your enemies health/shields and their location.

  • Payment choices

STO’s subscription fee is $15 USD, the same as WoW. It does not, however, deserve that fee. Nor does it deserve to have the micro-transaction be on top of this subscription model. Looking at what others get from the store, and what I get for choosing not to buy anything, I feel restricted. There is the ability to customize your clothes — a daily activity I enjoy (usually) — but you get no options unless you buy more sets of clothing.

  • Exemption of free items

There’s always some weird rule or loophole that you earn an item from the C-Store (Cryptic Store) for free, while others don’t. They don’t have a set standard that works.

Example 1

When people buy the pre-order from GameStop from the original release, you received the TOS starship as a playable ship of your own; but a year later and people who just bought the game still qualify, while those who actually bought the PO do not.

Example 2

The other issue is when they’re giving away limited edition items for free, only to find out it’s only free to some people. All in all, it’s highly discouraging to want to buy anything.

I don’t know. Perhaps, given its stable fanbase of Trekkies, Cryptic Studios will remain standing to give them the chance to fix these issues. However, unless they switch to DDO/LotRO/Vindictus’ model, or remove the C-Store, I doubt I’ll ever consider going back to STO.

In an unrelated note: Keep an eye out, Lore Hounds, for an up-coming contest in which the reward is a well sought after piece of yearly BlizzCon delicious goodness. More info will be available this weekend.


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