Opinion: The Trouble with (and a Solution for) Public Queues in Star Trek Online

Untitled-2

The queues have been in terrible shape since the launch of Delta Rising back in October of 2014. A confluence of game changes hit the F2P community hard, resulting in among other things, a massive drop in the number of players in the public queues. While we can argue where they went and why (or if the numbers reported are even accurate), the bottom line is that the public queues offer only a fraction of the numbers of players pre-DR.

The original queues were part of the fabric of the community. As I learned how to play on my own, the queues offered a place to learn with the community as a whole. Some players took the opportunity to teach others; others took a more vocal view on those who didn’t pull their weight in a run. Regular players used call-signs to identify themselves (LF4M Stark Powered ISE), and those private queues filled in seconds. At the end of the day the queues – both public and private – were active and full of regular players. It was not uncommon to see 400 players in ISE alone on a Friday night, back when ISE was actually a thing you could play. Today you’re lucky to see 20 in an ISA, let alone 100 in all of the non-event queues combined.

I’m not saying that the public queues are dead – many players still use them and have fun. But the queues today are a shadow of what the game once was.

What happened?

The players who stayed with the game after Delta Rising began to congregate more and more into private chat queues. With fewer public queues active, the chances you’d have to carry 3 out of the 4 players was much higher. Playing with like-minded players was easier and in a game where the grind is optional – why waste your time?

Where a public queue would start in minutes (or seconds), you are more likely to see a queue start and then immediately fail when the selected players don’t start it.

Being invited into private queues were to a certain extent a badge of honor, and you knew that you would be playing with people you didn’t have to carry. They were willing to pool their knowledge to make themselves better.

This exodus of the DPS-capable meant that fewer players were helping the general public. This isn’t to say that players stopped training others, or that you couldn’t at certain times get into a game, but the number of active runs dropped significantly. Coinciding (ironically) with this move to private channels was a rampant and unabated increase in potential DPS. I’m not suggesting that the increase to DPS was to offset the difficulty but it further developed the divide between the haves and have-nots.

Yes DPS isn’t everything, but having knowledgeable players available in public queues certainly is.

The community was shrinking. Fewer skilled players in the public queues made them more difficult; higher instances of griefing and leeching were recorded, and with the added changes to ships and gear – the problems with the public queues metastasized. The shrinking queues further drove players into factions.

What were the queues good for?

Originally the STF queues were integral parts of each seasons releases. In some ways these STF’s were the penultimate battle in a story line, or a key event which could sway (in principle) the outcome. They also acted as a way for players to ‘play the game’ for rewards while waiting for the next episode. Three levels of difficulty and potential rewards increased the number of times you’d be willing to play it.  They were a clear requirement for the best gear, and then they became integral for the reputation system. Over time players developed strategies for winning and shared those through YouTube and websites, and as we became elite-capable, more channels evolved specifically to cater to this growing audience.

STF strategies were taught at all levels. Any player could with the right coaching make it through even the toughest of queues. No Win Scenario carried with it the ultimate visible badge of honor – ‘Kirk’s Protege’ – something many players yearned to earn. I was one of them and proud of earning that title in the days before FAW spam became the norm.

STF’s were a major – if not the most important part – of the community.

Post DR the queues became even more mechanical – how quickly can I complete this for the maximum reward. Difficulty was raised to a point where no-one would play. Additionally Star Trek Online reduced the rewards, only to reinstate most of it later after we vented our frustrations. They cut the harder ‘Elite’ content for fine-tuning, only to have that content languish in the Twilight Zone. The reversions were too little, and they came too late. The experienced community left the public queues to seek dps-jamaharon in privacy with like minded players and while we struggled to grind our way to XIV, the public queues slowly began to dissolve.

Discussing Solutions

How do you fix something that technically isn’t broken, but rather a victim of overall changes to the game itself? Unless you’re running a special event like the recent ‘The Breach’, or it’s a new STF connected to the most recent season, players are simply not queuing up publicly in the numbers they were before.

Part of the problem is that we’re not seeing active players like we were in 2014. I don’t have the quantitative numbers to support that comment – just screen shots of the queues themselves. If you’ve been a player over the past 5 years – you know what you have experienced.

Each quarter, the topic of STF changes are discussed, the most recent interview on Priority One with Captain Gecko is a great example. Reducing the number of queues, increasing rewards temporarily, or pulling them as regular content with the intent of bringing them back seasonally have been openly discussed. Where and when such changes appear are anyone’s guess as it doesn’t appear to be a priority with Star Trek Online. What’s more problematic is that any changes appear to be thought out as what improvement can be made with the minimum amount of effort?

The Breach – An Experiment

By their own admission, the return of the Breach was an experiment.

For the casual weekly player the mission offered a decent return in reputation marks. For the regular daily player there was an added bonus at the end in additional dilithium AND an Admiralty card. For players with 1-2 characters it was a workable promotion with a decent outcome.

I certainly hope we’ll see it again in the future.

One thing The Breach forced me to do was rethink my ships layout. I had become complacent, not looking at what I could do better, or what skills I could utilize to be more effective. And it’s in that aspect of The Breach that I am very thankful and excited for the upcoming skills revamp. Change in STO can be good and this major effort has involved fans and devs at a level we’ve never seen before.

For some of us it was also an act of self-induced grind. We didn’t need to run all 11 (or more) alts through it. I did, and yes I played more STO daily than I have in months. The rewards were worth it. I had the time available, although it took a scheduling sheet in excel to chart my progress. The downside is that I really never want to do it again. No matter what the rewards may be in the future, the day of me doing everything on every alt is officially over.

But – that grind was my choice, and not a requirement to play the game. Time was always an issue for me. Other players found holes and used these to shave off 2 minutes at the start. Even after fixing the map in the last week, new opportunities cropped up to shave off additional time. As the entire team benefited, I’m hesitant to call it an exploit. I certainly didn’t mind saving the time due to someone else and the mission was no-less difficult. But shaving 2 minutes per run saved me a half hour a day 😉

After 160-odd runs I came to the conclusion that leeching was still a very real problem, that inexperienced players tried joining advance and elite runs with NO knowledge of what to do far more often than before, and that regardless of the quality of the STF (The Breach is amazing), people will do ANYTHING to save time.

My only real complaint? Add a fracking CD timer.

5 things that would help improve public queue participation:

1.) Add Accolades that MUST be accomplished before you can access the next difficulty level for that STF.

NormalsMust be completed 10x with all the optionals before you can cue up to Advanced. At the 10x completion you’ll get a bonus amount of dilithium and an accolade. This would allow you to reintroduce accolades that have gone missing over time for things like costume alternatives for reputation gear. It would be viable for regular and occasional players while forcing players to become aware of how to complete them successfully.

Advanced – Must be completed 20x with all the optional requirements before you can queue up to Elite version of that queue. You’ll get an additional dilithium reward, a special Admiralty Card and a title of ‘One of the Elite’

Completing 5 different STF queues at the Advanced level will open up all Elite queues automatically. This will get you an additional dilithium reward, and the title of ‘Survived with Sisko’

2.) Make Elites rotate – but not as special events, but as a ranking system earned only through PUBLIC STF’s.

The only way you get into an Elite is based on whether you’ve successfully completed the previous requirements and accolades at normal and advanced.  All elites open – regardless of previous STF choices once you successfully complete five different STF’s at normal and advanced.

Basically: You earn the right to play an Elite.

After beating a PUBLIC Elite STF for the 20th time – you gain a unique star beside your name. Completing 5 different Elite STF’s (20x each) you would max out as a 5-star elite player. Playing Public Elites would HAVE GAME VALUE beyond grinding, and give those players who could/can do them a title not necessarily driven by DPS but by skill and experience in playing the game.

Heck – we might even differentiate between ground and space.  “Thrax is a 5-Star stf’er in space, a 3-star stfer on the ground…”

Yes, you could still make private matches for Elites for the regular rewards – but for ranking (getting the stars), you must use the public queues.

Two Elites will be offered weekly – and for one week only – to be replaced with another two the following week. Schedule these in the calendar. Each time you successfully complete 5 that week, add a dilithium bonus and a random item drop.

Suddenly the public queues become something of value to every player.

3.) Continue giving us Breach-like special events. Yes, this was a great idea. But I would say extend this treatment to ANY STF that requires more than 10 players as well.

The larger team STF’s have always been fun when the player base was larger.  There was a time when The Big Dig had 3-4 running at the same time!  By making these STF’s event driven, you can run 1 per month or quarter without STF-grind fatigue and encourage players to come back.

4.) Add an in-game client-side parser that displays your total dps, broken down by weapon and heals. Make it’s public view optional.

Cut the bullshit – If you’re going to place an emphasis on escalating damage potential, we should have at least a standard method of measuring it in-game WITHOUT being forced to download a third party program.  Make it easier for everyone involved!

Heck  – go one step farther and add a ‘ build-test’ STF.  No rewards, but a way for players to test and retest their builds against a variety of opponents.

Third party apps would still have their place and purpose for the DPS leagues.  I’m not suggesting that the in-game parser would replace them.

5.) Add back the No Win Scenario – not technically as a STF – but as a requirement to advance in your promotion to the next rank.

If you’ve read thus far – please hear me out on this idea. It’s a doozy. This would only be enforced with new characters. Existing character could still run it for the rewards and accolades.

At each rank level increase, players would have to complete a ‘graduation test’. Upon reaching the next rank they would return to Starfleet Headquarters to run a version of the No Win Scenario.

The new ‘No Win Scenario’ would come in 6 versions, and would encompass historical events on both the ground and in space. Each would be designed to be completed with the equivalent level of gear and ships provided.

  • Lt: Atmosphere: Fighters are chasing escape pods in the upper atmosphere. Rescue the escape pods before time runs out. Choose who lives or dies.  Accolades for saving everyone before you die.
  • Lt Commander: Ground: Relive the Battle for Kamtchaka 3* – you’re overrun by Jem Hadar soldiers – hold your position or die.  Accolades based on your tactics chosen.
  • Commander: Space: The classic rescue of the Kobiyashi Maru. Seriously why haven’t we added this already?  STO feels empty without it!
  • Captain: Ground: Historical re-enactment of the taking of P’Jem Monastery. Stop an Andoran attempt to take the monastery, or help them uncover Vulcan treachery.  Offer two different accolades based on the direction you choose.
  • Admiral: Space: Borg Hive – still scary after all these years 😉
  • Vice Admiral: Diplomatic No Win Scenario – negotiations with ground and space elements.  Stop the second invasion of Bajor by a Joint Cardassian / Breen invasion.  Contain ground elements, force back an orbital bombardment, and finish the mission with a successful negotiation on DS9.

Completing each would allow you to proceed to that rank. It can be completed with or without help. All of these missions would be available as STF’s as your rank improves so that you can practice and improve.

*pulled Kamtchaka 3 name out of my ass – no idea if it’s a real event. Sounded cool.


My goal with this post is to see how something (STF’s) that is so integral to the game can be improved without necessarily rebuilding it from the ground up.  To build value in using the public queue system without forgoing the private missions, while extending a helping hand to new players.  And most importantly – provide a means in game to build on your personal reputation in a visible way.

A lot of these ideas have been discussed before on Reddit and in other channels – If I’ve stolen your idea – leave me a note in the comment at the bottom and I’ll happily give credit 😉 I will however claim The No Win Scenario idea I first suggested in the State of the Game twitch cast a month ago, and I’ll happily suggest the hell out of it

My Two bits

The Lootcritter

 


Updated: added abbreviation chart below.  For a full list of STF abbreviations – please visit Reddit for more guides 😉

  • CD Cool Down timer for abilities, and missions
  • DPS Damage Per Second, in thousands for space, in hundreds for ground
  • DR Delta Rising, season name
  • DS9 Deep Space Nine
  • F2P Free to Play
  • ISA Abrev for Infected, Space, Advanced
  • ISE Abrev for Infected, Space, Elite – currently no longer available in-game.
  • LF4M Looking For 4 More (players)
  • Lt.Leutenant
  • NWS No Win Scenario – no longer in the game
  • PESTF Public Elite STF – a channel to help organize STF runs
  • Stark Powered A shameless plug for a player no longer in the game
  • STF Special task Force
  • STO Star Trek Online

 

 

23 thoughts on “Opinion: The Trouble with (and a Solution for) Public Queues in Star Trek Online

  1. Re: *pulled Kamtchaka 3 name out of my ass – no idea if it’s a real event. Sounded cool.

    Your idea for that mission actually bears a strong resemblance to DS9 episode “The Siege of AR-558” (the one where Nog gets part of his leg blown off). It could just be a re-enactment of that. Hell, they could even bring Aron Eisenberg back in to voice Nog.

    Like

    1. 1. Less or No rewards for private ques. – Dont want to carry scrubs? Tough. Share your tribal knowledge with the community or be prepared to carry others with your p2w cookie cutter lazy, boring faw boats.

      2. Remove the Group Finder Window. – Nothing says: This game is totally dead like seeing a string of Zeros in the qued/playing columns of 79 different ques. If I see zero, I don’t bother queing. I don’t bother playing. I uninstall, because the game is clearly dead.

      3. Move the Combat Log to server read only. – FACE IT: the combat log parsing is what has ruined the game. I am all for parsing, and using the data to improve and perfect, but the impact it had on this game over the last 2 years has been… catastrophic. Nothing good has come of it, save for the advancement of a the people who play their vaunted cookie cutter DPS FAW boats . This game will not survive being about competition and performance, it will survive by celebrating the legacy of the IP on which it is based.

      It is funny how in every game the combat log parse is posted in chat after the run it is posted by the ‘top performer’ – When my combat log parse puts me on top I have never once in 2 years seen someone post about it.

      [Lootcritter here: I generally don’t edit or allow for overly divisive reply’s, however in this case he does have a few points. While I don’t agree that DPS/parsing alone is alone responsible for the MANY problems seen in the community, ignoring systemic problems isn’t helping either.]

      Like

  2. Some good ideas in there.

    Although, there’s another aspect – the community itself. People often would rather berate a less developped player (=newbie) than to help them out. Through my time, I’ve seen it happen even on normal difficulty of queues. This is something we, the community should address among ourselves – because the game is largely what /we/ make it. The developpers essentially just provide the tools; as to how the atmosphere will be in the game and with our community – up to us.

    Back when I was still pugging, I offered help to people who struggled and often remained in the STF even when it was failed; and went lenghts to explain it & help in any way I could. The reason I don’t pug anymore personally – two reasons. No Borg Elite STFs. The challenge is missing. And, the aforementioned hostility, that when you say merely ‘hi’, partially to be sociable & partially to know if people read team chat, in case anyone would need pointers – and in better cases, there was no response or worse, people were outright rude.

    My point is – I’m not sure if dividing the community more, with the necessary of completing Normal & Advanced, to get into Elite, will solve the problem entirely. I’m thinking it may, in fact divide the community further. In my opinion, we need a small jolt, to bring people together, not separate them further, this time by actual restrictions.

    As for your other changes – I’d say, if you necessarily needed to differentiate players & their earned Stars. Make it 3-stars for one completed area (Ground or Space) or five for both. Don’t make one or the other feel ‘lesser’.

    Need more coffee… thoughts not flowing as clearly. My 0.2 Darseks.

    Like

    1. You’re right – it won’t solve things on its own – but it’s a step, and a start of a much much much needed conversation. I think – I hope – that the recent level of communication might spark a broader conversation where our ideas might drive a better overall community.

      I want to expand our community. I want to bring players back. This is Star Trek! (imagine a good impersonation of Leonidas).

      I know that you personally are not thrilled with the changes coming soon in 11.5 – but you’re one of the active players who keeps the wheels turning. While small but important issues seem to be overlooked for the ‘easy way out’ – we keep the irons in the fire to remind the team at Cryptic we’re more than customers. We – Reddit, The Show, and even Priority One – want whats best for the game. And yeah – there’s some serious love needed in all of the areas you touched on tonight.

      My point: Keep that fire burning.

      I have tempered my view somewhat in the past year. Part of that comes form understanding that (1.) this is a business, and (2.)what the team at STO does is pretty amaze-balls given the limitations of budget and the like. They have limitations – but they still manage to produce some great stuff.

      With the 50th Anniversary coming it’s a limited window where the world might get introduced to STO. They can leverage that – and our game gets a new lease on life 😉

      Have a good night Jan.

      Lootcritter

      Like

  3. Captain: Ground: Historical re-enactment of the taking of P’Jem Monastery. Stop an Andoran attempt to take the monastery, or help them uncover Vulcan treachery. Offer two different accolades based on the direction you choose.

    ~

    You’ve done a Pretty good job of making it not Faction Specific, except for this one.

    So my thought is something that has a plot similar to the Escorting/evacuation Scenes from Insurrection, and some of the gameplay from Mine Trap. (A Fleet Favorite)

    ~~First you Beam down to the (pre-warp) Planet with your Team, and Head over and Evacuate the Crew and Equipment from the “Duck Blind”.

    ~~Then you all head down to the Village and Wake up everyone in the Village. Knock on all Doors/Windows and Tents. (Some Villagers put up a melee fight)

    ~~Then once all the Villagers have Gather in the Town Center you must Call for a “Shuttle Rescue” This will assign one of 3 Beam out Points. (The Whole team will head to the same point, but we need randomization)

    ~~ You must escort them to the point, Some will get tired, some will stop for breaks, oh…. and during all this… The Elachi Ships are starting to Arrive overhead (Same as the early Rommie Mission, cause it was just F’ing Awesome)

    ~~Now you have to Escort them, Motivate them, and SHOOT Elachi Fliers out of the Air, and off villager’s Faces.

    You are Graded these ways.

    ~~Amount of Crew/Equipment Saved
    ~~Amount of Vilagers Woken Up
    ~~Amount of Villagers Successfully Escorted.

    (Optional- No More than _____ Villagers Captured/Killed by Elachi)
    (Optinoal- Do Not lose the Entire Team)

    Like

  4. The enormous power gap between Admiral level players is the Achilles heel of STO. Going into a pug only to realize it’s going to take anywhere up to ten times as long to complete because of underpowered/inexperienced teammates only makes players like me resolve not to queue those events in the near future. Not playing content I want to play because it has become a frustrating chore/is a dead queue has killed a lot of my love of the game. I’m pretty sure that’s the pattern of thought that’s running through a lot of the STO community and because of it there is a whole heck of a lot of STF content that is now going to waste. I like that you’re spitballing solutions and they sound like a lot of fun, but I would like to offer a more streamlined solution: a test event to see if reforming the way we PUG STFs is popular and viable.

    Tour of Duty Event
    Features:
    – 3 randomly chosen, stripped down STF maps played in succession.
    – Each map has a 5 minute timer.
    – If the map is completed in time the player can choose to Continue or Leave the tour.
    – At the completion of each map the player can choose a reward package.

    Stripping Things Down.
    The event would require taking a number of STF maps we already have and stripping them down. eg. Take Infected Space: remove the second generator so now the players deal with the opening cube, the guardian cube over the generator, one generator, and spheres coming through the gate. Once the generator blows, a feedback pulse destroys the gate. Players then mop up the remaining spheres – Done. Keeping it this simple means a bad team won’t grind on you so bad. (Sounds way too easy? You belong in a higher difficulty, dude.) Not knowing which maps your team will be dealt keeps things fresh and interesting.

    5 minutes.
    If the primary map objective isn’t completed in 5 minutes then your team doesn’t graduate to the next map. Simple. This gives players incentive to play at the difficulty level that is appropriate for their skill.

    Continue or Leave?
    Proud that you beat the timer but hate that you carried the team? Click Leave and you are mercifully released from the Event and can go try your luck with a new group if you like. In fact, if one player opts out the entire group disbands. This too gives players incentive to play the appropriate difficulty for them.

    Map Rewards.
    Because the maps are randomized players will need to be given a choice of marks. You should get slightly more marks for choosing the type appropriate to the map you just completed, but if you want to sacrifice those 10-20 marks to claim a daily bonus box from a different rep you should have that option.

    Tour Completion.
    Completing a 3 map tour should carry the incentive of a bonus award box with a random bonus award. Marks? Dil? Upgrades? An ultra-rare chance for a spec point? An Annorax Science Dreadnought and Jem’Hadar Attack ship bundle? (I can dream…) A random bonus box of some sort would give players incentive not to abuse the Leave option at the end of earlier maps.

    Boss.
    If it’s the last map of the 3 the players should get a nice boss battle to end things on a more challenging note, because every journey needs a dramatic climax.

    The Tour of Duty Event’s purpose is to see if it alleviates the stresses of drawing a mismatched random team, and if players enjoy playing the game more when exposed to the variety that exists in the wealth lot of content which is currently going to waste. Whatever the devs do, both boxes need checking if we hope to stand a chance of boosting the player base back to healthy levels. (Oh, and if by some miracle they try something like this and it works, by all means, make it a permanent option!)

    Like

  5. Nice blog, though I don’t agree with the STF’s being hidden behind Accolades, as we already have too much of an elitist community in STO.

    If the devs want the public queues to be active again, then they’re either going to have to reduce the difficulty, bring in a minimum dps requirement via a gear point’s system or just remove private matches altogether.

    (That last one isn’t really an option, but it would force players back into the queues)

    The devs need to solve the average player being able to compete in an STF, in order to get players like myself and you back into the public queues.
    The devs cannot rely on the average player to do this, as we wouldn’t have this problem in the first place…

    Like

  6. All good Ideas but let’s face it: Star Trek is a big franchise and i’d go as far as saying that everyone probably knows it or has at least heard of it. many people have played it since it was f2p and was cool on the sci-fi side. most ppl i knew before the exodus enjoyed the ship battles more than anything else ingame. but here’s my point.

    not everyone is such a big trekkie that he stays with the game no matter what. some ppl just wanted to have fun but did not really care about star trek as a whole. the rest of us who stayed with the game are probably HC Trekkers or at least close to it.

    I’m with the game since beta and got me a lifetime the day it was available and i know how it was back then. player population was super low and the game almost died on us until they re evaluated the game and made it f2p which was a godsend to all of us. DR hit the game hard population wise and if they don’t find a way to pull in fresh players or make the old ones who left return, i don’t think anything will change.

    we will rot in our holes (private channels) not realizing even more ppl left the game until it will be too late. i know Cyptic felt good about a lot of f2p leaving the game who never spend a dime. great for them, less ppl putting strain on their systems. what i wonder is when so many ppl left the game, why hasn’t the networking improved? we still get sh**oads of SNR’s and sorta. whatever u can think of but that is another story.

    What i want to say is that f2p games have one advantage. you can fill your ranks with ppl that wouldn’t play otherwise since they are not willing to pay. i’ll leave the why to your imagination but personally i know a lot of ppl who don’t have the money to spend it on a game when they have more important RL things to deal with. they need to find a way to pull in more ppl or i think (Oh noes that again, i know) it will be just one of those games whose devs reacted too late when ppl started to leave the sinking ship. Do not get me wrong on this! I do not want to see the game go away.

    But even in a business capitalistic world you have to realize you can’t leave the social aspect out of a social game. we need fresh blood over anything else and grinds like the breach (ugh, i did it on 9 toons so i know how you feel,… don’t even ask my wife,… god know’s i love her for coping with my trek habit! 🙂 ) will not make it better. with so many systems in place nowadays the game is uber complex which is great if you are looking for diversity since you can do so much else in game if you feel bored over one specific part.

    Fjust take admiralty. great system as a whole. i love it but i was here since day one and got my hands on a collection of event/zen/dil ship cards that i can flourish with no problem. i can easily fill the assignments 3 times a day when i get the time to do so. but by the look of it, this system was purely catered to vets like me who have a metric shitton of ships they weren’t using anymore since we reached endgame and T6 is now the new shiny.
    Plus if you compare it to Doffing as a system it is way easier to get new doffs than ships. Just think of Fleet Doff requisition… why can’t we get ship cards via Fleet holdings? Maybe one time use cards like consumables. That wouldn’t hurt, would it?

    They need to improve on their system somehow. lots of ppl I knew in game left because they felt left behind. If they want ppl (maybe they don’t even want to and feel happy about the current player base) to come back there has to be an incentive to do so. This is a walk on a razors edge and no easy task. I just hope they figure out something that doesn’t turn out to be DR v2.

    this game has other issues than accolades. i hope they find a way to fix them before we get to the point of no return.

    Sorry for the long comment, but I felt like adding something to the discussion.
    🙂

    Like

    1. Agree, so many things came out that hurt F2P and casual player base to the point they just don’t bother and left.
      Most ppl play the games for fun, and current model heavily lean towards no pay no fun. Pay your $5 toll for respec or develop a business plan to play exchange, farm the que for 50 hr a week, engage in high risk private trading, contraband and human trafficking, blah blah blah, then maybe if you have spare time, you can enjoy the space fight only in normal que, since you still grinding to get that 100 billion ec ship that you just need for its trait, so you can do 500 million DPS to beat the doom timer in PUG, or everyone will report you as afk.
      This year and next it’s the perfect time for player base expansion. If they can’t efficiently utilized the chance, really thoughtfully adjust the system for REAL new players. Well, I’d save funds for either STO 2 or some other games…

      Like

  7. I’m against a return of the No-Win-Scenario. Ever since I first set my foot (or should I say nacelle?) into one, I came to hate them with a passion. Why? Because it’s the embodyment of that f’n crazy DPS-race that has become the bane of the STFs. The only way to win it was pure DPS. Healing that freighter as you should be able to as an engineer in an eng-heavy cruiser? Not an option, the heals are way too tiny to make any difference. Crowd Control as a sci officer? Bwahahaha, good luck with that, way too many hostiles. Don’t even bother bringing a ship that doesn’t have at least one LtCmdr Tac boff slot, or you’ve already lost as you lack the skills needed (Scatter Volley or FAW next to Tac Team and Full Spread) to even stand the slightest chance to stop the side you got assigned to.

    No, imo NWS should stay where it currently is: in the trash bin, never to see the light of day again.

    Like

    1. It was certainly one of the most difficult things I’ve ever done – but with four fleetmates – most of whom was doing 15K – we did it.
      It wasn’t about DPS – it was about planning and practice, practice, practice.

      Like

      1. I watched a video of how a fleetmate of mine did it with a couple of friends. They just parked their 4 escorts so they each faced towards one of the spawn points and afterwards it was just spamming Scatter Volley/FAW and Full Spread with the occasional Tac Team and Self-Heal. So yeah, NWS was all about the DPS…

        Like

  8. Yes – that eventually became one method – but there were hundreds of players who successfully did it before the power creep, and without the benefit of the cheese. Suggesting that NWS was only about your one experience is a non-starter.

    Like

      1. Completely agree – in the end, the simplest, most efficient way is what the player base will embrace. I just long for the day when we still had to figure it out 😉

        Like

  9. The BIGGEST thing you left out that could improve the queues is completely the responsibility of the players, and that is bad attitudes. Nobody seems to care that someone may not know the criteria to be successful, so rather than give constructive advice and be encouraging they rather try to rip you a new asshole. This is one thing that could change queue attendance rapidly. It is partially something that could improve with the right voices giving weight to it.

    Like

    1. I don’t think you’re ever going to completely eliminate bad apples in any MMO, unless you get a reporting system like LoL (or whichever one has it – I forget) and that has some abuse potential AND you need Dev/Community management to ride herd on it.

      The TOR systems of “Social” and “Valor” are a version of a process to “encourage” people to team, but I don’t necessarily think it actually encourages people to talk to each other. It also locks content behind those two progress bars (whether that content is valuable is up to you), so I don’t know if that’s worth it either.

      You could possible take a version of the idea someone listed above and make tutorials for each of the FE’s and encourage or force people to go through them once per account so they understand the event – give out a cheapo accolade for it and people can choose to be trained or not. It could also be a way to gate the content; choose not to run through the holodeck tutorial on this mish, then you don’t get to PUG (because the game philosophy is assuming you can’t be bothered to create a positive experience for others, blah etc.).

      I got burned early on in STO as a Lifer trying to play the PvE queues and not being perfectly specc’d 4+ years ago, I clicked on the wrong loot button ONCE, etc.; I can deal with the non-Elite PUGs, but I don’t even bother to try Elite because I know who runs them like hamsters on a wheel and how they behave – just not worth it to me.

      Like

  10. I’m glad this is something the community is discussing. What mainly keeps me out of Elite practicing is the often encountered and much noted hostility. I learned long ago to not let MMO player abuse get to me–but Inget tired of seeing other and potentially newer players beaten up by keyboard warriors. I find advanced rolls more smoothly but I’ve even heard the abuse in Normal where it certainly should never be. So, I support heartily all the comments about bringing the community together more. I see a lot of the elite problems as the massive disparity in end-game power levels. There needs to be an alternate challenge for the players who like the numbers — a way for them to feel fulfilled in their game play that doesn’t lead to abuse of those who are still learning, practicing, and improving.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s