Initial thoughts on the Agents of Yesterday Expansion

Benjamin_Sisko_toasts_the_good_guys

This is still developing… more to come.
I love the ships.
Hints at the new content.
But has it come at a price?

Like many of you I was initially stunned at the choice for the next expansion of Star Trek Online. I wasn’t kidding when in my first Twitter comment I added the line ‘processing… processing..’ . What was the driving decision behind looking back to classic Trek, over say adding the Cardassians as a playable race?

And the ships: from Matt Jeffries-inspired classic designs, to the line of T6 ships that look to be predecessors to the Enterprise J; there is a lot to consider.

(I’m prepping a separate post for the ships – coming soon)

What expansion would be perfectly timed for the 50th anniversary? I thought we might see the Borg as both a revised adversary AND a playable faction through the Cooperative. The more I look at this announcement, and the more I calmly I look at it from a marketer’s point of view – What better way to appeal to new players than to give us a new look with the classic vibes?

My gut tells me this expansion isn’t targeted to existing players. It’s for new players. It’s for fresh eyes looking for more of the same Trek we all grew up with. And what better way could you achieve it by picking up the story where classic Trek left off as a doorway to over a hundred years of storytelling? It’s a ballsy move and as with any Star Trek discussion, it’s not without it’s share of detractors.

Let’s start by acknowledging the elephant in the room at first glance this is exclusively a Federation update. Over the past six weeks we’ve been getting hints from the usual suspects that the Federation were getting the bulk – if not all – of the new ships. While not entirely surprising given that most of the players are Feds, there was some hope that we’d hear about Temporal ships for the KDF and the Romulan factions as well. What is surprising – and these are early days – there’s no mention of how the new Temporal Specialization tree will impact these factions. If you buy either package the new character benefits appear to be Federation only.  The ships themselves have variants in Tier I through IV – so they should be playable by all factions.

As for the Specialization packages and upgrades “It unlocks for all TOS and Federation characters on an account.” Whew. That’s telling.

The truth is at the moment we don’t know what else is coming. A lot more information has yet to be released. If this plays out in a similar way to Season 7 and the addition of the Romulans as a faction, likely they held back something to include later to build interest.

The fan angst over the lack of anything Romulan or KDF has been huge.

I think player attitudes are best summed up by an exchange I had with balloon99 on Reddit:

It’s just that they must know that, objectively, the reds and the greens are less well served. And that their adherents will parse any new announcement to see what crumbs they’re getting from the main course.

When you’re as hungry as the reds and the greens, the prospect of even a crumb is important. If there is no prospect, then put us out of our misery. Knowing you’re going to be hungry a bit longer is more merciful than hoping for a crust tomorrow that never comes.

Eloquently put.

So while I hold out that more is coming for all factions, I’m also bracing myself for the idea that the Reds and Greens may be in for a major disappointment. But I might be okay with that if it means we bring more players into the game.

(In my best Oden/Sisko voice)

THIS is a HUGE victory of the GOOD GUYS.

This may be the turning point for the ENTIRE Temporal cold war.

There is even a ‘Welcome to the Fight’ party on r/sto.

So. I bought the full pack. I read between the lines. I offered bribes to find out more. I am an accessory to grammatical murder.

But the most damning thing of all, I think I can live with it.

And if I had to do it all over again, I would.

Ballon99 was right about the Reds and Greens, but I believe a guilty conscience is a small price to pay for the security and growth of the STO player base.

So I will learn to live with it.

Because I can live with it.

I CAN live with it.

 

*thoughtful pause*

Computer, erase this entire personal blog entry.

My Two bits,

Lootcritter.

10 thoughts on “Initial thoughts on the Agents of Yesterday Expansion

  1. TOS doesn’t have aesthetics I love. TMP does, however.

    There’s this big period of time that between TMP and TNG they could have explored – in tandem with the 2017 star trek series which, from what I heard, is supposed to do exactly that.

    But instead, they went for clunky economy-prop-budget TOS.
    And making us a campaign – new content – dedicated to going in that dated era rather than letting us focus on the character we already have, whom are supposed to be becoming time travelers.

    This makes me rather disappointed. Mostly at the disconnect between kind of what I was expecting from STO and what the Devs actually made of STO. It makes me feel they don’t know what I want. Or course, that’s an arrogant thought… perhaps based on my wanting to be be a special snowflake, but it disheartens me a lot as far as my eagerness for STO’s future.

    Not to mention that I’m kind of incensed by their priorities. They make entirely new ships and give them T6 refits, but we still have ships from as far back as the game’s launch whom have yet to receive anykind of endgame refit. Of course, my perspective rests on the Fed T5 RSV/DSSV as I’m mainly a science captain player.

    Al Rivera said on a Priority One preview that during the Delta Rising expansion, the Nebula and Luna classes were going to get some love. Well, the span of that expansion is obviously coming to an end, and after five years, I’m still waiting. Adn then -this-.

    Ugh. I’ll live, and this is just a game… but -ugh-.

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  2. So will we get two new character slots or just one, as I understand it the new TOS captains and the Temporal Agent Recruitment system are separate right? If it’s just one that leaves me in a huge Delima on if I’ll try TOS or not.

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    1. In all likelyhood:
      – playing the TOS faction is free
      – the TOS faction characters gain access to free ships at every tier until level 40.
      – We don’t know what the free ships are yet. The Temporal pack offers the Z-Store ships only.

      That’s the way it was for the Romulan and the Legacy pack. No reason to expect otherwise for this one as well. So, ther’es no dilemma on whether you’ll get to play the TOS campaign or not – you will. If you will do it with all the cashshop perks, that’s what the temporal packs are about.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ll preface this by saying I’m, at best, meh about this “expansion.” I admit that I am….less than pleased about the information we’ve received. That being said:

    Should some kind of network upgrade not have been a higher priority, if the goal is to draw players in? I can see the new person in zone chat saying “is it always this laggy?” Followed by a mixture of “LOL [insert obscenity here] Cryptic,” various juvenile barbs directed at Cryptic, and “Yes.” Maybe some people poking fun and saying “it’s just you.”

    What is the likelihood that person will stay? Would you?

    And, as far as the expansion itself- I’m very, VERY (probably times eleventeen) disappointed that- no matter how you slice it, it’s obvious that they would rather create ANOTHER FEDERATION FACTION (read those caps again, for even more emphasis!) than attempt to try and salvage what’s going on with non-Federation players. To be honest, at this point, it’s mostly “LOL Cryptic hates KDF/Roms/PvP/Grandma” instead of repeating the same Oliver Twist “Can we have some more, please?” request another 15-50 times.

    Could they have added the extraneous “Federation2: Electric Boogaloo” and still had a TOS event for all factions? Of course. Even when no ill intent is intended, after a while, it is perceived. Don’t even get me started about cross faction, cloaking raiders with the state of the “LOL Kor.”

    Even using the excuse that it is to draw in new players, what happens when one asks about Red/Green side? If the devs think the vitriol is bad on the forums, let them ask that in-game, using an anonymous account. Yikes.

    I was excited. I wanted to believe that “OK, DR is doing this, next time the KDF and Romulans will have their day.” Or even anything that -wasn’t- “Here’s another Federation faction. Make a Fed or a nuFed. See? No bias!”

    I like Star Trek. I like TNG, and even TOS, to an extent. Loved DS9. STO doesn’t have the same character development that made those interesting. It can’t. It’s an MMO. Pewpew. Makes more sense to me from the other side (well, that, and I never liked Federation ships, save the Defiant).

    Just my unsolicited 2 cents. Sorry for the rambling.

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  4. Have to agree with Lootcritter that this “expansion” seems aimed at A) new players and IMO B) those obnoxious, obnoxious players that DEMAND a T6 Connie in 2410 (2245 was when the class was launched).
    This might be fun to play, but I think there should’ve been several FE arcs and some new ships IN CONJUNCTION with expanded content for the current universe, especially for the red and green factions. Giving more to the the red/green sides didn’t need to go deeper into the Temporal War, but it could’ve buffed them out more (and even shown the blue side some perspective on several centuries of contact with them.)

    It mainly seems like a nostalgia grab, and possibly some manner of supporting the new movie (which we haven’t heard a PEEP about since the 1st trailer dropped 4+ months ago) in the JJ-verse. I get it, TOS was excellent and started it all (and I love it), but it’s been 50 years and we should be looking forward to the “future” and deeper into the existing timeline for Trek.

    I can get much, much better content in the Trek novels (I’d recommend the Vanguard series of novels and the Searcher series) which each take place during the TOS-period if you want well-written and interesting Trek. No, I can’t play a game in them, but I can enjoy great stories that Cryptic isn’t ever going to match, because they simply can’t.

    (And I’ll briefly blaspheme here and mention that SW:TOR has put in expansion content for post-65 level toons, released in Chapters. It may be uneven in content writing. where it puts your character in that milleu, and a bit grindy, but they’re at least taking a strong direction and giving you regularly released content you can play in. Something to think about.)

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  5. One of the problems of aiming a Federation faction only new content at new players, you are now limiting even further access to grow the Reds and the Greens. Even less likely. Especially if all they do is buy this new pack that has zero content that is not Fed. This isn’t a win for me, I don’t play as a Fed. This just makes it that much harder for me to get content I would actually use. And as the Fed numbers go up, it just means that future story arcs will be increasingly more just fed content that my Romulans and Klingons get the displeasure of playing, that will lack any kind of recognition of my factions, and races.

    Two, these two ships that are factionless at T6, I see this as the beginning of the end for the other factions. The Feds will get ships that probably have things that the KDF or Rom’s only had, and it’s okay, it is faction agnostic! It’s not a /fed/ ship, it’s a future everybody ship!

    I bought the DR pack, I won’t buy this. I am not going to buy 20+ things I don’t want to get 2 ships I hate by principle, that I won’t buy from the C-store either, because I will not help them get the numbers they will use to justify this again in the future.

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  6. As a major KDF/Romulan supporter (my main Rom is KDF, and at one point I had every cstore ship up to T5 excluding the flagships… I hate those multi ship packs) it is very disappointing not to have content for both factions. I would’ve loved a K’tinga with a bird of prey painted on the bottom, or AT LEAST the female TOS KDF uniform. I still hope we get to use the TOS Gorn skin on our hideous Godzilla wannabes.

    That being said, the entitlement and QQing of a lot of sto players over the content being from TOS is insane: “those obnoxious people asking for the Connie” = “people who don’t like what I like…. and if I don’t like it, you can’t have it.” The “it’s too old, wah” argument went out the window years ago with the T5 K’Tinga, the Xindi ships and the T6 T’varo… and even if it hand’t, since when does Cryptic use logic in their ship choices? We shouldn’t be able to play cross-faction ships either.

    Delta rising was based on Voyager and “looked forward”. And it stunk. I doubt Johnny Sci-Fan was chomping at the bit to jump in to missions that included the Vaadwaur, the convoluted Iconian War and the Kobali. Hell, I wasn’t interested, and I’m a lifetime sub. Am I going to bitch and moan because Voyager fans got theirs? No. I’m simply stating that I wasn’t interested at all, so I stopped playing. And I wasn’t alone. And I doubt Cryptic got a multitude of new players over it, “Delta Rising is the best expansion ever and the playerbase loves it! (TM)” notwithstanding. TOS is great, the favorite era for a sizable chunk of people, and it’ll bring new players in. So much so that they didn’t make it a separate game for fear of losing STO regulars in favor of that one. And at the end of the day, whether you like it or not, we’re getting it. Deal with it. I truly hope Klingons and Romulans get a bone, but the past has taught me not to expect it.

    Complaining about not getting the Cardassians/Borg is not learning from the past. The Romulans are easily my favorite race, and they’ve been handled worse than the KDF. Another mini faction that won’t get ships or costumes or content? No thanks. What makes people think they’d be treated as anything but an afterthought?

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    1. One of the things I’ve had to come to terms with is that Star Trek means many different things to many people. For as many who wanted to see something new and forward thinking, there is still a large contingent that lives in TOS. They believe that anything other than TOS is a sham, or a poor representation of what Star Trek could be. I’m in the middle – love the past, but look forward to something new. For me Star Trek is about exploration where the ship is as much a supporting character as the cast.

      I have more congratulatory tones about the expansion than I do concerns. More on that in an upcoming blog post.

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