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Reader Comments (73)

Posted: Sep 9th 2010 3:04PM jmerriex said

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This article started scandalous but ended awesome! Kuddos! I've put a limit on the number of games I play in one month and with LoTRO just going F2P, STO just missed out. Though it is likely to take WoW's spot come the 27th when my sub runs out.

Posted: Sep 9th 2010 3:18PM Deadalon said

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I played STO trial but desided I was not gonna buy this product.

Few of the key reasons can be seen below.

Its not "my version" of Star Trek - For example where has the "On screen" and the importance of the bridge gone to? Key features for me.

Game engine is clunky - way to much instancing

Combat with multiple and very badly controllable NPCs is just ... bad.

There should have been alot more voiceovers in the game - for example the mission logs and the lacking "on screen" msg should have been full voice over.

Overall - To many negatives to ever make it a positive. But this is exactly what happens when a company takes an IP and doesn't do things properly. And I think everyone agrees that Cryptic did NOT do their job properly when it came to STO. So let me put it this way...

(On screen) - "Yes - Cryptic betrayed the spirit of StarTrek"
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Posted: Sep 9th 2010 11:36PM Devilstower said

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Ihate to be one of those downers, but despite a love of both ST and MMOs, and despite putting out for the collectors edition and really looking forward to this game... I don't like it. In fact, that's putting it mildly.

This is simply a poor game. The quests are shallow and repetitive with very little change in approach. Behavior of enemies is interchangeable. The crafting is worse than any mmo Ive tried, the economy is an afterthought, the skill level scales so poorly that you can solo to admiral without ever being challenged -- unless you're unlucky enough to end up with allies.

There are a few bright moments -- the time travel sequence actually has a compelling enough story to make you want to see what's next -- both those bright spots are few along a trek to nothing to do.

Serously, I'd like to like this game. I paid for it and stuck with it for six months. But it's become clear that Im never going get out of this platform a good space mmo, much less good star trek.
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Posted: Sep 9th 2010 3:11PM toychristopher said

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Your article didn't convince me of anything. Star Trek Online really doesn't have much to do with star trek. The very premise of the game is just wrong for Star Trek. If the game wasn't called Star Trek Online no one would even find it reminiscent of anything Trek, and I also bet no one would be playing it either.

Posted: Sep 9th 2010 10:40PM (Unverified) said

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I would have to agree. I love Star Trek (in all its variants), but this is just the wrong medium for it. This IP would make a kick-ass RPG because you could fix everything that it fails at as an MMO... Star Trek has always been about story and character development at its core--not really mindless combat (though those are some of the more fun episodes!).
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Posted: Sep 9th 2010 3:13PM (Unverified) said

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Exploration! You've touched on the central point of the problem. There is nothing, absolutely nothing to explore in STO. Nothing permanent exists beyond your ship, and the temporary nature of everything you see is painfully obvious.

You boldly go onto the next solar system, the next randomly created planet, knowing exactly what you'll find, because it's all made from a lego kit of the same dull parts. STO is the worst of the modern mmo distilled in this respect - it's a loot only game. The only permant thing is loot - your equipment, bridge officers and ships. The Federation is all about aquisition, which is a terrible betrayal of the lore.

The ship combat is, in short, sublime. It's everything I ever wanted from a Star Trek space combat game. Except for the music. Where's the thundering iconic score from the movies as a bird of prey descends on my ship? Where, in fact, is any of the signature star trek music once the character creation screen is done with? Putting your own distinctice twist on it would have been one thing, but it's completely absent here. I want my iconic musical accompaniment!

Posted: Sep 9th 2010 3:15PM Kcirrot said

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"You know how they kill Khan at the end of the movie? "

Umm... Khan committed suicide by arming the Genesis device in an attempt to take Kirk and his crew with him. Kirk could have blown up the Reliant, but attempted to take Khan and his crew into custody.

In STO, you just blow crap up, because trials and war tribunals are for sissies.

Posted: Sep 9th 2010 3:33PM Interitus said

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Ironically they get Khan by moving vertically up, something you can't do in the game. (not easily anyway)
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Posted: Sep 9th 2010 3:41PM RyanGreene said

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Oops! Good call, Evil. I meant "they kill Khan" as in "the folks crafting the Star Trek universe aren't afraid to resolve conflicts through violence and suchlike," but it turned out as a poorly written sentence all around. Sorry for the confusion.
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Posted: Sep 9th 2010 3:14PM doublerainbow said

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You should have left this alone Mr Greene. Now we have to find you, and flog you! The International Union Of Trolls Anonymous will not stand for this kind of talk.

It isn't just the game btw, but how they do things in general with their games that ticked off so many. Lately however it seems that the higher ups really have listened and agree with many about what needs to change in this game. The head honcho even came out in an interview and admitted they rushed out this title as well as CO.

Posted: Sep 9th 2010 3:21PM Deadalon said

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Yes - its Cryptic in general that is not doing their job properly. Not just with STO but with other games. Not to mention their Store system that takes those few that otherwise might play over the edge.
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Posted: Sep 9th 2010 6:22PM hansh0tfirst said

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@Deadalon

Are you under the impression Cryptic had a bottomless well of cash, capital and resources to draw from?
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Posted: Sep 9th 2010 3:20PM dudes said

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Been to STO's forum when in the heat of rant's before they are deleted by mods? It's like world war 3 in fonts.

Cryptic's rep is diminishing per game. It's nice to see an article here that feels like the 'glass is half full' but is it worth it when reading how people suffer on the STO forums, official and otherwise? To get like that means there are major issues and problems and how long do you think it will be before things get so bad the powers that be make the game free to play to keep players interested or at the very least, coming back or to sign up in the first place?

Posted: Sep 9th 2010 3:38PM macallen said

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Yes, STO "betrayed the spirit of Star Trek" on every possible level. It has absolutely nothing to do with Roddenberry's dream or the Trek we grew up with.

One of the devs was quoted, in the pre-release marketing garbage, that STO captures the true essence of Star Trek...Epic Fleet Battles!!!" In over 200+ movies and episodes, there are 4 "epic fleet battles". In almost 30% of the episodes, there is absolutely no combat at all, and the vast majority of combat is ship-to-ship, 1:1. That, in and of itself shows that Cryptic had absolutely no clue how to make a Star Trek game.

Then we get to diplomacy. Diplomacy, the absolutely CORE of Star Trek, to "new life forms, new civilizations"....and blow them away to get their phat lewts! Diplomacy has been slapped on after the fact, an after-thought to appease the whiners, when it should have been the core of the game. PvP should have been an after thought, it's that much less important than Diplomacy.

And to those who tout "but it had to be fun", if they'd taken their time, they could have honoured the spirit and still made a fun game, but the fast money's on cheating.

That's how it betrayed the spirit of Trek, now lets discuss why it sucks as an MMO, in general:
- 2 month beta, if that? SWTOR's looking at a 7 month beta at minimum. WoW's beta was 6 months, EQ/EQ2's were 6-7 months each. It takes a LONG time to balance a game. The 2 month beta made it perfectly clear, "we need to slap this out in whatever condition it is to make cash, we'll fix it on the road."
- Horribly simplistic and repetitive missions, makes WoW looks simplistic. I don't hate WoW at all, but some of their ealiest quests were more than a little simplistic.
- Horribly implemented space combat, especially stacked up against games like Eve. Hello, I'd like to point my ship up. It's space. Nope, I can only turn. The whole "z minus 1000 meters and wait for my mark" from Wrath of Khan? Not possible in the game. It's not a space game, it's Pirates of the Federation.
- Double dipping. Hi, we're Cryptic, we want you to pay by the month to get into our game, then we'll put cool stuff on the store and make you pay more for them.
- Selling lifetime subs, then going free. Seriously? LOTRO did that, what, 2-3 years after starting? STO's not even a year old and they're screwing the lifers hard core.

Posted: Sep 10th 2010 7:12AM (Unverified) said

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Sounds like you would all prefer a game like SEED. How quickly everyone forgets SEED. Look it up. It was an MMO than never made it out of beta, a non-combat co-operative MMO where people spent time repairing a space station and socializing. It sounds like that is what you want from a Star Trek based MMO.
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Posted: Sep 13th 2010 12:37PM (Unverified) said

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You know, I never really could put my finger on why I find space combat annoying until now.

Its that you almost never fight just 1 on 1 ship battles (esp in the random missions in star clusters) but ALWAYS have to go through 3-5 waves of ships. This is probably why I hate space combat missions so much. If most were just 1 on 1 battles I could probably loterate them much more.
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Posted: Sep 16th 2010 5:27PM (Unverified) said

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The STO OPEN beta was only 2 months, including closed beta, the total time was more like 6 months. Yes, at launch it was more than a bit rough around the edges, but then again what MMO launch isn't? Heck what Star Trek series was actually -good- during the first season? It takes some time to work out the kinks in everything. The game hasn't been abandoned by any stretch, and it is clear that it has been worked on constantly the entire time to make it a better game with more timely content updates and bugfixes than any other game Cryptic has put out.

I definitely would like more diplomacy options in STO, I will agree that that is definitely lacking there, although it is getting better (abet slowly).

In regards to the repetitive mission gripe, yes there are some repetitive mission types, but I would argue that in my experience with MMOs it handles them better than most other ones on the market.

Space combat: Yes, I would like to see a full z-axis implementation as well. That said, given the setting of war, I have no problem with the multiple ships in any given space combat, but it seems a bit off when a Miranda Class can take out a squadron of warbirds on it's own.

In regards to 'Double Dipping" it's not really anything new anymore, and downright expected for many genera of game these days. The only reason people are really upset about it with Cryptic's games is they are doing it with a play MMO. That said, GET OVER IT. Seriously, all they are selling in the C-Store for any of their games is COSMETIC. Really, it's just costume pieces and/or little things that follow you around and don't do anything else. Okak, I was wrong there, there is three sections of things you can by in the C-Store that have a gameplay effect, Races, a tribble and End Game Ship Refits. Even so, all you get in with a race is maybe a 2 point bump to a skill, so instead of having a warp theorist, you have someone with dumb luck. It makes a minimal difference at best and you find tribbles as loot EVERYWHERE, just not that particular color. The Refits let you use iconic ships like the Enterprise-D with saucer separation, or the Intrepid with Defiant with it's cloaking device, or 2 other such vessels. Okay yes, that can have an effect on gameplay, but really? Is the ability to buy 4 ships in the end game with special abilities that don't actually change things much that big of a problem?

I can definitely understand the worries about lifetime subs. Yes, the game could move to a F2P model, or shut down even and you are out that money. It is a gamble with every game. That said, I am not seeing how lifers are being screwed by cryptic. We bought a game and decided to pay an up front amount to be able to play it whenever we wanted until the game shut down. they even gave us some in game bonuses for it. Okay, I don't see the problem with it.
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Posted: Sep 9th 2010 3:38PM (Unverified) said

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The concept sucks. 99% of the game is combat, battling away enemies with blazing phasers and additionally its always the same repetitive way you do this. There is way too few bandwidth when it comes to diversity of the missions, be it in space or on ground. Scan five of this, kill five of that. That is neither STAR TREK nor is it creative or entertaining for longer than four or five weeks.

If you look at the last 30 years of gaming development one can clearly see how easy it would be to integrate creative, challenging and fight-free missions into a ST-MMO. Cryptic just did not do it and does not do so with the weekly episodes wich are AGAIN all abaot blasting away the breen. I can only speculate that the game engine (quickly adapted from CHAMPIONS) is not up to the task to create something more interesting than blasting and scanning. And - no - just answering multiple choice questions in a conference room are no entertaining "diplomatic" missions at all. Again they obvioulsy went for the quick fix.

A pity. This could have been one hell of a game. In it's state it is only a bad joke. And I do not see that changing in the future.

Posted: Sep 9th 2010 3:45PM NeoWolfen said

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Ive played it since beta through to the present day. I like STO but it isn't immersive, it isn't aomethign that holds your attention for weeks.

Instead it is very much something that you go to for a day or two of fun then put it aside for a week its that kind of game, which I guess for soemthing relating to the STAR TREK IP is what disappoints people.

They created a Star Trek experience but it is one which misses the point almost as much as it gets it.

Firstly they made what is basicallt "just" a straight out arcadey combat game, you could easily miagine popping quarters into a machine to play this and go button bash mad.. but then you look at the additions they have been making recently and you can see that they ARE taking in what people have said and with what limited resources they have they are trying to make it more what people want.

Cryptic themselves are someone at times you find it hard to feel sorry for because they cause as many of these problems themselves as they fix. For example many of the HUGE sticking points (klingons for example, lack of non combat play, poor crafting, ship interiors) etc. were things which we Beta Testers flagged a lot at the time and they ignored us until after release where they pretty much got community bashed over those issues into sorting them (with varying degrees of success).

SO is it a good STAR TREK experience, I wouldn't say no.. but it is definitely a work in progress. If it survives a few more years I have no doubt it will be far more what people wanted from the get go. And you pretty much have to give them credit for that, they didn't ignore thier customers they listened, they sucked it up and they started to do something about it and its hard not to respect them for that.

Posted: Sep 9th 2010 3:50PM (Unverified) said

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Cryptic could perhaps solve a lot of these problems with "h8ers that gotta h8" if they went to a subscriptionless model for CO and STO. Certainly the amount and quality of content they put out for those games would have been better tolerated under that model. Hopefully they have been paying serious attention to current trends in that direction.

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