Lootcritter here: I have my own feelings about the amount of content poised for release with Agents of Yesterday. As information drips slowly out for us to dissect, rearrange, speculate and then vivisect (yes, a dead horse reference) – the STO fandom in general is both confused and concerned, and for some super happy at the thought of a TOS expansion.
What I do know is that this release is unlike anything we’ve seen in the past. The quality of the missions are top notch – and I’m not even ‘that much’ a fan of TOS when compared to all other Star Trek series. We’ve only seen a mere sprinkling of what’s to come, and I have put aside my usual snideness ’cause I’ve had a smallish glimpse of the future. Yes, Captain Gecko did say this was a ‘new’ faction. I think that while his use of the term is accurate from a content volume point of view – for most players the thought of a faction comes with certain expectations.
SirBoulevard is back to offer his opinion on the matter. What started as a ten-page explosion of consciousness has evolved as we find out more, and we’ve decided to offer his views in bite sized chunks 😉
SirBoulevard is a prolific foundry author, co-leader of the E.W.O.C. fleet, he’s a guy who thinks he can build a canon build and DPS at the same time. We might be concerned about his mental health, but luckily the voices in his head have some good ideas.
“Only Six Missions” – Faction Parity, Disgruntled Fans,
Lost Direction, and Years of Built of Tension
THERE ARE SPOILERS FOR AGENTS OF YESTERDAY ON THIS PAGE AND GENERAL SPOILERS FOR STO IN GENERAL.
If you’ve been anywhere near STO lately, you know about Agents of Yesterday. You may have also heard the fandom cry: “There’s only six missions!” This is because when playing the new TOS faction on Tribble, at level 9 in the sixth mission, the player is dumped into the 2410 ESD and gets promoted to level 10. The cries went rampant with rage, even on more even keeled players. I will admit, myself, I found myself frustrated by this choice (though how we got there in the story was freaking awesome). However, we were promised there was more.
And there was. On June 1, we got our next mission added: “The Core of the Matter,” a mission on 23rd Century Galorndon Core, explaining why the planet is a complete nightmare in the 25th Century. I did play the mission on Tribble and it is amazing. If there is one thing I can say to the average player about Agents of Yesterday, it’s going to be an amazing expansion for the mission quality alone. However, there is one problem:
“This mission will be available to all players at level 19 and above once Agents of Yesterday launches.” – STO Dev Blog Galorndon Core
Allow me to demonstrate the reaction of everyone:
Ok, first, before I say anything: This is not meant as a personal attack on ANY of the Development Team either at Cryptic Studios or at Perfect World Entertainment. I’ve had tons of great conversations with several members of the team and I do consider them wonderful, hardworking people with great senses of humor. However, now, I have to do the criticism part. The argument people brought up wasn’t “there are only six missions in Agents of Yesterday.” The criticism is: “There are only six TOS FACTION EXCLUSIVE missions in the game.”
Now, we’ve had some further clarification from Al “Captain Geko” Rivera, during an interview with the G&T Show, that the rest of the TOS story chain, while shared, has different dialogue to differentiate. And while that’s laudable, this leads to why this series of articles is about to kick off.
We need to talk about what makes a faction in STO. Because very very clearly, the development team and the community have a massively difference perspective on it. Technically speaking, in all the backend stuff, the TOS faction is considered a faction. However, I also know, based on Al “CaptainGeko” Rivera’s interview on Priority One some weeks back, that some of the marketing people were hesitant to label our new TOS Feds as a faction. And now I see why. And that’s the player’s perspective on what a faction is.
So what from a player’s perspective, makes a faction?
- Provides a unique gameplay and/or storytelling perspective from other factions in the game.
- Roughly 20-30 levels minimum exclusive gameplay story missions (aka episodes)
- Unique Character creation and customization exclusive to this faction, while still faithful to on-screen canon
- Has unique ships indicative of a faction’s unique space faring military organization (I use this term because it’s the best all encompassing one)
We see a faction as a separate player organization to which you are aligned at character creation, which has at least 25-30 levels of unique story content, and has its own ships during level up and factional flavor. As of right now, the TOS faction has very little of this. Allow me to give the run down on the TOS faction:
- Unique Gameplay and Storytelling perspective based around time travel
- Has 10 levels of unique content not shared with other factions, before being shunted into a shared storyline.
- Starting at Tier 2, shares all available ships with the standard Federation characters (this makes the Pioneer-class the only TOS-faction exclusive starship).
- Has restricted Character Creation to keep “TOS immersion” that lasts for only the first 10 levels of the game before being shared with the rest of the community.
Now, we’re not getting into all of this today. Those of you who follow on twitter may know this was intended to be a one-shot article. Said article in first draft was 10 pages long, single spaced. And with information changing on a day to day basis, I can’t keep this relevant for more than a day at present. So, we’re ending this today with the announcement of a format shift. This is going to be a start of a series that will run until the content being discussed has been fully covered, and this time we’re going deep into the world of what makes what content what, executive decisions, community relations and dialogue, community vs dev perspectives on content, and the general cluster Agents of Yesterday and the 50th Anniversary represents.
So please, stay tuned for the next piece in this series: Only Six Missions – TOS Federation: Faction or Fraction?