Update: we’ve added a disclaimer regarding EC costs as Cryptic has lowered the R&D material requirements for crafting. The number of upgrades and the dilithium costs remain unchanged. A revised graphic is underway.
The following infographic is designed as an overview of the costs associated with Delta Rising. Thanks to everyone who participated in the initial survey that enabled the creation of this graphic.
If any element of this infographic appears to be incorrect, please use the contact us form on our about us page.
Why did we make the Infographic?
Recent changes to mechanics of the game left many paying players with a bad taste in their mouths. This infographic provides an overview to the total cost and commitment necessary to take a formerly ‘elite’ 50th level character to being competitive in the new difficulty dynamic.
What’s the big takeaway? EC is now the most important currency in the game.
Dilithium is no longer the major time gate to players advancing. Prior to Delta Rising access to new and more powerful gear required was exclusively tied to reputation. Players would have to commit to fixed time and costs, usually in the form of reputation marks and a limit to how quickly they could develop.
DR represents the single largest advancement in capability, while removing time gates entirely in terms of upgrading weapons and gear through crafting. If you have the cash, you can instantly go from XII to XIV, no waiting required.
The EC issue is also a massive distraction.
By changing the difficulty, and limiting the VR materials to advanced and elite queues Cryptic has effectively forced players to buy what they need to compete. In-game options to acquire what they need through R&D assistance, or through doffing doesn’t come close to the players requirements.
There’s nothing wrong with Cryptic making money. But they’ve pushed the goal posts so far that many are not willing to even try.
It’s a No-Win Scenario.
F2P players can’t participate in advanced STF’s, because they don’t have the appropriate gear. Because they can’t participate, they cannot earn the VR materials needed to craft the weapons and gear necessary to play in the first place.
Skills do play a huge role. But not everyone is an elite player, and they can never hope to compete if they cannot acquire the gear.
Upgrading a F2P character, with a full set of reputation space gear, weapons and 4 consoles would take 186 hours of grinding and still cost them 55 million EC. Without doing that basic upgrade, they have no hope – and no incentive – to continue playing STO.
And to be honest, while watching an elite player thumb his nose at the dev’s with a 100K ISE run may encourage some to do better, it is equally demoralizing for many who can’t even compete in an Advanced run.
Players who have cultivated multiple gear sets have no hope to upgrade even one set to be competitive, let alone a dozen alts.
And it’s killing the game.
There is a simple solution, and it’s designed to build business. .
- Make R&D materials more accessible. Add a chance for VR’s to normal STF’s. XIV weapons and gear are a basic necessity now. Ultra Rare and Epic quality is something people will happily grind months for, or drop even more money.
- Bring back micro-payments. Give players the option to buy game cards in values of $10, $25 and $50 – even if they don’t make much money due to operational costs. Keeping players in the game will ultimately increase your revenue.
- Fix the shit you’ve broken. If we can’t play because my load-outs drop each and every time I switch a map, what’s the point of spending money with you?
- Roll back the difficulty on Advanced. I’ve earned the right to still have fun.