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Recently leveled a new character: Thoughts

foxrockssocksfoxrockssocks Member Posts: 665 Arc User
My lobi had been (slowly) creeping up to the point where I was in the range of getting another lobi ship, especially if they had a flash sale, but I couldn't decide which character should fly it. I ultimately decided to make a new character purpose built for it. Now I started on this before the lobi sale surprised me, having expected to want to have it done by Thanksgiving at the latest, so I sped up my efforts since suddenly I have a new Maquis raider that needs a captain and crew.

In any case, spending that time on leveling this character has given me some insights/feedback, etc. to share in no particular order. This is a KDF character which is important to note for story progression issues. Also, for reference, I haven't leveled a character since the original delta recruit event.

1. Leveling up with a T6 ship via the story episodes will not get you the trait before 50 (when you can actually use the trait.) You'll get maybe tier 3 by then. At that point I personally started on the reputation grind because you can random queue at that point, if you end up wondering why I will refer to level 50 a lot.

2. Combat is really easy till captain, then suddenly it starts getting real. Basically up till captain rank, every fight you get in barely tickles. Then at captain everything starts doing real damage that you have to worry about healing. You generally didn't have to do anything in combat besides point and click up till then. The second problem with this, though, is that you don't have a lot of expertise to be spending on Boff powers that you don't necessarily know what to do with at lower levels. By captain you have enough to spend, but you probably haven't done anything with BOFF training, especially if you don't really like the default BOFF crew you're given and would rather spend it on a better crew.

3. New Romulus story missions don't give any XP for completion. I didn't notice this at first, but it was quite annoying to go through these and get no completion XP like every other story mission. Further, the way they are setup is poor. You need to take two missions, one that is the mission itself, then a second one to get the cutscene thing. Forgetting to do this means you have to do the mission twice to get back to the point where you can get the cutscene. Also the various area missions like tagging Epohhs and other stuff are completely unavailable until 50ish. All you can do at the level you get to New Romulus is run through the storyline missions that were originally unlocked with reputation progression.

4. This new character is KDF, and there's not enough story and XP there to progress to the levels you should be. I should first note I skipped all the missions that wanted me to queue up for STFs, but I don't think that accounts for more than a couple levels at best. So just following the story I ended up flying around the Dyson Sphere battlezones at level ~35. These do not scale you up, only down so I was fighting ships 15 levels above me. This led to a lot of warp core explosions on my part and would likely frustrate new players who have no business being there at that level and don't understand why its so hard. Ultimately I was leveling through the Delta quadrant missions to finally get to 50.

5. I actually forgot to do Nimbus until after the Dyson Sphere because its not in the mission journal. This offered some very welcome levels getting me into the 40s, but at this point I realized I was missing Specters, Cold War, and Lost Dominion. These would have been great to do and offer some much needed XP that just isn't there. I did some searching and learned that this was changed so that they won't even show up until level 65. This is absurd and should be changed again. Had I not remembered to look for these other missions (and only found Nimbus) I suspect I would have nearly finished the Delta quadrant story before hitting 50.

6. Frozen in the Vault/Hakeev story line is bugged, impossible to complete, and has been for some time.

7. The new patrols really SUCK for a fresh character with a build in progress, no rep gear, no rep traits, and likely a mix of consoles/gear that are not even mk 12, much less the kind of equipment you want, especially for the House Mokai centric patrols. They love to all torpedo spread you at once when the next group spawns in. Boom. And if its not the torpedo spreads its the warp core explosions everywhere. This is without mentioning the frustration of repeated evade target lock stuns and the viral impulse bursts. The revamped delta patrols are also bad with Vaudwaar and their endless artillery barrages if your ship isn't fast enough, or because its a forward facing cannon build, you get constricted from behind. So once I got to the point of wanting to push ship mastery XP, Sentinels and Argala were the only two good choices there, as well as rolling the dice on Ninth Rule.

8. While this doesn't really apply so much to new players, for old ones like me it is an annoyance, but I have to go to a bunch of different places at least for various account items. Ships in the event store, ships in the zen store, some legacy unlocks in a different zen store tab, some other things in the dilithium store, and then the delta recruit awards at an NPC who I completely forgot even existed, and I'm pretty sure I'm forgetting something else I might have access to.

9. Leveling didn't take that long, actually. Maybe 15 hours to level 50. I didn't actually time it, or check /played, but it couldn't have been more than that. Mind you, once I sped up my efforts I didn't read anything or watch the cutscenes, having seen most of it before, so perhaps 30 hours at maximum if you are reading and watching everything.

10. The Kor Bird of Prey is insanely fragile. It has the weakest hull and shields of any T6 ship I think. It also has one of the most desirable cannon traits, Withering Barrage. I forgot why I stopped flying this ship on the character that originally flew it, but I remember now! There just isn't much you can do to improve its survivability, and given how the game has changed since it was first implemented, enemies only hit harder, especially with torpedoes. And again, this is especially bad on a fresh character without enough good gear to really tweak its survivability upwards.

11. Mission rewards don't level with you but missions do. If I were to say take a mission at level 10, but not do it till level 20, I'd get scaled down rewards for the mission in terms of XP and the like for turning it in, but the actual mission itself would play at level 20. This is silly, really.

12. I already mentioned the issues of getting New Romulus and Dyson sphere stories pre-50. To make it clear, the problem with this is chiefly story. Obviously we can just skip past them, run to the Delta quadrant or many other missions and continue leveling before returning to them, but storywise it makes absolutely no sense and shouldn't be setup that way. There are very few missions that stand alone well after that because of how it calls back to something previously in the story, some character or event that you're assumed to have already done.

13. KDF's little special missions aren't obvious. This is referring to B'eta's missions and the old marauding patrols. Now not only are they something you have to check for in the available tab, but I believe they don't actually open up until you've done the warzone tutorial mission (Ker'rat/N'vak). The old missions to Defend the Empire against X are still there too, but still its not apparent that one ever should need to check the available tab.

14. Transwarping everywhere is nice, except when it doesn't work. This probably shaved several hours off my leveling time. Low level ships fly VERY slow through sector space.

15. Doffing becomes an afterthought with transwarping everywhere. Of course sector space is still messy beyond belief for Doffing, but when you don't even fly through it, you have to consciously remember to find something to do with DOFFs.

16. Admiralty you don't unlock until 52. However, as a veteran player one of my first instincts on making a new character and getting them setup in their first ship is... unlock all their admiralty ships. I got halfway through before I realized I wasn't getting admiralty cards. I didn't care I wouldn't be able to use them, I just assumed they'd unlock and be hidden away till then. Nope they don't even get granted until 52.

Now some of you may think so what? I see this as a database access thing. Every time I create a ship its going to get written into the database, then it gets deleted as I delete it to make room in the roster. If I'm doing it pointlessly for admiralty cards I can't get yet its wasted energy and processing time (and I'll just be doing it again after 52.) How often will this affect things? Not often, but maybe by the time I create my next character I'll have forgotten this and do it again.

I'd suggest you just give out admiralty cards at any level for the ships because I know you already can and do (Time and Tide can be done pre 52 and once you get to 52 the admiralty card is there just like it should be.)

17. Admiralty cards don't always issue when claiming a ship (post 52 of course.) I noticed this on older characters claiming my Romulan ships, but it happens frequently when you have even more than that to go through and are claiming them quickly. Now the workaround is simple you just claim another ship and as long as the other ship is still in your roster you will get the admiralty card. If it isn't, though, you won't get it, so you have to watch it carefully when you do it so you don't dismiss ships that bugged and didn't give you the admiralty card yet. I think it might be nice to have a claim admiralty cards button somewhere so you don't have to claim/delete all kinds of ships, and hopefully it would be less buggy and less intensive on the servers. Afterall I'm never actually going to fly most of the ships I claim on any given character.

18. I could be missing something here, but is there no way to save settings and import them for a new character? Things like keybinds and options seem to need to be set up independently on each character. That's fine I mean maybe some characters you do want them setup differently, but importing options should be possible.

Comments

  • redeyedravenredeyedraven Member Posts: 846 Arc User
    edited September 30
    Not much to say tbh.

    The general experience is the same it has been since mastery and so on became a thing, with just the added option of using a T6 from the get-go. I didn't get my mirror-crossfield's trait before Level 50 either and it's deliberately done so that you acquire mastery slower before hitting level-cap.

    For admiralty-cards; whenever I claim a ship (admiralty needs to be unlocked beforehand), I typically see the pop-up for the card being added when I talk to the ship-selector afterwards. If it doesn't, you either have the card already or there's lag and you might want to try switching instance.
  • somtaawkharsomtaawkhar Member Posts: 6,575 Arc User
    edited September 30
    3. New Romulus story missions don't give any XP for completion. I didn't notice this at first, but it was quite annoying to go through these and get no completion XP like every other story mission. Further, the way they are setup is poor. You need to take two missions, one that is the mission itself, then a second one to get the cutscene thing. Forgetting to do this means you have to do the mission twice to get back to the point where you can get the cutscene. Also the various area missions like tagging Epohhs and other stuff are completely unavailable until 50ish. All you can do at the level you get to New Romulus is run through the storyline missions that were originally unlocked with reputation progression.
    But they do? Not a lot, but they do.
    Staging Area
    https://sto.gamepedia.com/Mission:_Staging_Area
    945 EXP

    Hidden Camera
    https://sto.gamepedia.com/Mission:_Hidden_Camera
    472 EXP

    Warehouse
    https://sto.gamepedia.com/Mission:_Warehouse
    945EXP
    8. While this doesn't really apply so much to new players, for old ones like me it is an annoyance, but I have to go to a bunch of different places at least for various account items. Ships in the event store, ships in the zen store, some legacy unlocks in a different zen store tab, some other things in the dilithium store, and then the delta recruit awards at an NPC who I completely forgot even existed, and I'm pretty sure I'm forgetting something else I might have access to.
    This was changed several weeks ago when they introduced the Mycelical Event, and the new event UI. If you open up the new event tab, all of the rewards you have previously earned from events should be there. They did it specifically to eliminate needing to go to the event store in the rep menu, the dil relcaim store, and the weekend event store, to get all of your stuff.
    11. Mission rewards don't level with you but missions do. If I were to say take a mission at level 10, but not do it till level 20, I'd get scaled down rewards for the mission in terms of XP and the like for turning it in, but the actual mission itself would play at level 20. This is silly, really.
    You do know you can just drop the mission and pick it up again in order to get level appropriate gear/EXP?
    14. Transwarping everywhere is nice, except when it doesn't work. This probably shaved several hours off my leveling time. Low level ships fly VERY slow through sector space.
    What transwarps aren't working for you? I've never had a problem with the transwarp to mission function.
  • leemwatsonleemwatson Member Posts: 3,430 Arc User

    In any case, spending that time on leveling this character has given me some insights/feedback, etc. to share in no particular order. This is a KDF character which is important to note for story progression issues. Also, for reference, I haven't leveled a character since the original delta recruit event.

    1. Leveling up with a T6 ship via the story episodes will not get you the trait before 50 (when you can actually use the trait.) You'll get maybe tier 3 by then. At that point I personally started on the reputation grind because you can random queue at that point, if you end up wondering why I will refer to level 50 a lot.

    4. This new character is KDF, and there's not enough story and XP there to progress to the levels you should be. I should first note I skipped all the missions that wanted me to queue up for STFs, but I don't think that accounts for more than a couple levels at best. So just following the story I ended up flying around the Dyson Sphere battlezones at level ~35. These do not scale you up, only down so I was fighting ships 15 levels above me. This led to a lot of warp core explosions on my part and would likely frustrate new players who have no business being there at that level and don't understand why its so hard. Ultimately I was leveling through the Delta quadrant missions to finally get to 50.

    11. Mission rewards don't level with you but missions do. If I were to say take a mission at level 10, but not do it till level 20, I'd get scaled down rewards for the mission in terms of XP and the like for turning it in, but the actual mission itself would play at level 20. This is silly, really.

    17. Admiralty cards don't always issue when claiming a ship (post 52 of course.) I noticed this on older characters claiming my Romulan ships, but it happens frequently when you have even more than that to go through and are claiming them quickly. Now the workaround is simple you just claim another ship and as long as the other ship is still in your roster you will get the admiralty card. If it isn't, though, you won't get it, so you have to watch it carefully when you do it so you don't dismiss ships that bugged and didn't give you the admiralty card yet. I think it might be nice to have a claim admiralty cards button somewhere so you don't have to claim/delete all kinds of ships, and hopefully it would be less buggy and less intensive on the servers. Afterall I'm never actually going to fly most of the ships I claim on any given character.

    I have heavily cut down your points as most of them are not really relevant.

    1) No faction gives you enough story missions to achieve full mastery before level 50. You cannot activate ANY Starship Traits before Level 50 anyway.

    4. The KDF has the second largest selection of 'faction' unique missions by far, next to the Romulans, but as I say, refer to point 1.

    11. The lesson here is don't pick up missions till you need to do them, as the rewards DO scale correctly to when you pick up that mission. No reprogramming is needed, just drop and pick up the mission again....problem solved.

    17. Actually, the quick and most simple workaround to this issue is to just open up the Admiralty menu and any ship that hasn't registered will do so 100% of the time automatically. It's just stuck in the queue to be acknowledged by the Account Server. You don't need to claim another ship or try any other trick and you will most certainly 100% get the Card.
    "You don't want to patrol!? You don't want to escort!? You don't want to defend the Federation's Starbases!? Then why are you flying my Starships!? If you were a Klingon you'd be killed on the spot, but lucky for you.....you WERE in Starfleet. Let's see how New Zealand Penal Colony suits you." Adm A. Necheyev.
  • mustrumridcully0mustrumridcully0 Member Posts: 12,582 Arc User
    Very interesting. I didn't realize for example that KDF players would have trouble levelling due to the missions that moved from the mission jouirnal tot he available tab and their new level requirements..(I wonder if this is really unique to KDF, though - it might actually be a thing for everyone, since there were also several Fed missions that got put there. (Isn't the entire B'Vat storyline now in the available tab?)

    I hope @ambassadorkael#6946 is taking notes. Or, better yet, Cryptic is already working on dealing with this. (After all, they removed the missions with an end goal in mind. I guess the immediate goal was to hide lower level quality mission and consistency issues from new players, but they said they had plans to revamp/overhaul those missions, too.)
    Star Trek Online Advancement: You start with lowbie gear, you end with Lobi gear.
  • somtaawkharsomtaawkhar Member Posts: 6,575 Arc User
    edited September 30
    (Isn't the entire B'Vat storyline now in the available tab?)
    Uhh no? The only things in the available tab are the 2800, Breen Invasion, Wasteland, and Specters, arcs. Many missions with B'vat in them were removed from the Klingon War arc for polishing, but B'vat himself is still in the game in one or two of the remaining missions.
    but they said they had plans to revamp/overhaul those missions
    The only missions I recall them saying they would revamp are the B'vat missions, and that they were doing a VA/cutscene revamp for all of the Romulan faction missions.
  • davefenestratordavefenestrator Member Posts: 7,301 Arc User
    I've never had level issues with characters, but:

    - I start doffing once I'm able to, though I don't go out of my way to do it. I can see transwarps cutting into time in space and making it easier to skip.

    - I have the 5% XP boost from the Lifetime Subscription.

    - It's been months since I leveled my latest (Liberated Borg Romulan) so there might be less episodes on the main track now thanks to shifting them off to "available"
  • foxrockssocksfoxrockssocks Member Posts: 665 Arc User
    I'll try to reply to everything here.

    I'm quite sure the New Romulus missions, at least some of them, gave no XP, just dilithium and some marks. This may be a consequence of doing them before 50, even though they did still give marks. New Romulus was obviously created at a time where you couldn't do it unless you were level 50 and I'd say previous iterations of the game didn't have you getting to NR before then either. It may tie into the mission scaling issue from a code standpoint.

    Yes I know the level scaling of missions can be worked around by dropping it and picking it up again, but why should you have to? This is an artifact from the days before mission scaling existed and enemies were a fixed level for a mission so the reward should be too. Those days are over, though, and it is the sort of thing that would undoubtedly burn new players.

    For the event store, yes I know it works to have dilithium reclaim and event reclaim now, and that's a good if small change, but there are still others like the Cstore legacy tab and of course all the ships in the store (really just their admiralty cards) and recruitment guy (and I still go to dilithium and event stores out of habit anyway.)

    Non working transwarps were the one to the Vault mission, and another one to one of the Cardassian missions which put me in a dead zone, some weird invisible sector space box I couldn't escape from. I relogged which fixed the weird Cardassian one and just flew to it normally after, so it may have just been a rare server issue. Obviously I didn't do a comprehensive testing of all of the missions though.

    For ship mastery, I'm not saying it SHOULD give enough to max out a ship, I was simply noting that it didn't. Of course with much fewer missions it seems like that should be expected. However you have to consider the story perspective, if you've been fighting in a ship since you were a little warrior, going through several tours of duty against all kinds of enemies of the Empire, from traitor houses, to Federation dogs, to honorless Romulans, the implacable Borg, and the deceptive Undine, yet you still have no idea how to best use your ship, that is a strange thing indeed. Frankly it makes more sense the old way of getting a new ship at every rank, but yes I do appreciate it is a way to jump start mastery on a new character, so its really not a complaint, just an observation.

    Good note on the admiralty tab. I'll try that next time I have the issue.

    I suspect the Romulans might get through the story closer to 50, as they seem to have the most missions, the Fed I haven't looked closely at, but yes they really need to do something for the leveling. The chief issue as I see it is getting to New Romulus and the Dyson Sphere where you're not able to even do everything on NR and you are forced to fight level 50 enemies in the sphere, while also getting reputation marks you can't do anything with. Obviously bringing back the old featured episodes would help tremendously, but they can also shift some things around as necessary. The discovery stuff doesn't fall into line with anything storywise, and most of the yesterday's war arc stands outside the timeline as well (Har har), I think.

    Doffing in general would help with leveling if I had spent more time on it and didn't rush through the game as I did. Someone reading the story and not skipping cutscenes is going to take a lot longer, so if they Doff, they are going to get several more days of completed doff missions compared to my rush through. Of course, you start out with a ton of white doffs and they like to fail miserably at things. I do recall leveling an older character primarily on lazy Doffing, but one of the best ways to Doff is during the traveling from A to B, which is gone now.
  • leemwatsonleemwatson Member Posts: 3,430 Arc User
    You're actually not in your ship that long. You are in your ship approx 18 months in the game's timeline. After numerous years in the same ship, the Enterprise, Voyager and Defiant all didn't 'improve' that much and they were still 'learning' and adding new tech etc at the end of their runs. Don't forget that levelling your 'space' stats of your character is improving your ship also. Most people just don't make the link.
    "You don't want to patrol!? You don't want to escort!? You don't want to defend the Federation's Starbases!? Then why are you flying my Starships!? If you were a Klingon you'd be killed on the spot, but lucky for you.....you WERE in Starfleet. Let's see how New Zealand Penal Colony suits you." Adm A. Necheyev.
  • somtaawkharsomtaawkhar Member Posts: 6,575 Arc User
    edited October 1
    leemwatson wrote: »
    You're actually not in your ship that long. You are in your ship approx 18 months in the game's timeline. After numerous years in the same ship, the Enterprise, Voyager and Defiant all didn't 'improve' that much and they were still 'learning' and adding new tech etc at the end of their runs. Don't forget that levelling your 'space' stats of your character is improving your ship also. Most people just don't make the link.
    Its 18 months from the game's start to the end of the Breen/Borg arcs. Everything after that is post 18 months. Datalogs from ViL seem to suggest we are in 2411, putting us at over two years in command of a ship.

    Chronologically its
    2409
    -Romulan tutorial
    -Fed/KDF tutorial
    -Klingon War(Fed)/Empire+Warzone+Fek'Ihri Return+Vigilance(KDF)/From the Ashes+Allies+In Shadows(Rom)
    -Wasteland
    -Romulan Mystery(Fed)/Vengeance(Rom)
    -Cloaked Intentions(Fed+KDF)/Freedom(Rom)
    2410
    -Cardassian Struggle
    -2800
    -Breen Invasion
    -Borg Advance(June 2410)
    -New Romulus
    -Solanae Dyson Sphere
    -The Delta Quadrant
    -Iconian War
    -Yesterday's War
    -Future Proof
    -New Frontiers
    2411
    -New Frontiers(after Beyond the Nexus)
    -Gamma Quadrant
    -Age of Discovery
    Post edited by somtaawkhar on
  • foxrockssocksfoxrockssocks Member Posts: 665 Arc User
    I now realize have definitely overlooked a major point and need to add in: Reputation.

    Now I could complain about the grind, it is what it is though. The real problem with Reputation is that if you do them dutifully and expediently, you are going to end up with ~500k unrefined diltihium sitting waiting to be refined once you hit tier 5 Rep.

    What is the issue? You have 500k dilithium to refine. At 8k per day, it is 63 days to do it, but it is longer than that as you still plod away at the Rep system to tier 6, which will earn you at least another 30 days of 340 dilithium across 13 reputations which is netting you just under 132k more and another 16 days of refining. On top of that you may well hit the level 10 tours of duty for KDF and Ferengi admiralty at least once in that time for another 60k.

    Math aside, you're looking at 3 months of refining if you do virtually nothing else but login and do what you can without moving. You therefore have the choice of shelving that character to do that refining or playing and adding to the neverending pile of unrefined Dilithium.

    I don't see a real way around this because the exploit potential for anything else is obvious, but from my perspective, I was looking forward to playing a new character in a new interesting ship, and after some initial fun I will basically have to ignore them for 3 months to do refining to get to a point where dilithium is manageable again. It is a buzz kill.
  • davefenestratordavefenestrator Member Posts: 7,301 Arc User
    Yes, if you level up all reps at once (possibly with boosts from Temporal/Delta/Gamma recruit boxes) then yes you get a huge bump in dil at the end. It's a nice problem to have.
    I will basically have to ignore them for 3 months to do refining to get to a point where dilithium is manageable again. It is a buzz kill.

    No you don't. You can play that character every day, just possibly for less time and/or spending more time on story episodes than on TFOs and Admiralty. As long as you don't keep earning another 8K dil every day the excess dil will take care of itself over time.

    If a character isn't fun for you unless you do 8K dil grinding every day, then yes you do have a problem but I don't think it's a typical one.
  • chipg7chipg7 Member Posts: 1,475 Arc User
    I now realize have definitely overlooked a major point and need to add in: Reputation.

    Now I could complain about the grind, it is what it is though. The real problem with Reputation is that if you do them dutifully and expediently, you are going to end up with ~500k unrefined diltihium sitting waiting to be refined once you hit tier 5 Rep.

    What is the issue? You have 500k dilithium to refine. At 8k per day, it is 63 days to do it, but it is longer than that as you still plod away at the Rep system to tier 6, which will earn you at least another 30 days of 340 dilithium across 13 reputations which is netting you just under 132k more and another 16 days of refining. On top of that you may well hit the level 10 tours of duty for KDF and Ferengi admiralty at least once in that time for another 60k.

    Math aside, you're looking at 3 months of refining if you do virtually nothing else but login and do what you can without moving. You therefore have the choice of shelving that character to do that refining or playing and adding to the neverending pile of unrefined Dilithium.

    I don't see a real way around this because the exploit potential for anything else is obvious, but from my perspective, I was looking forward to playing a new character in a new interesting ship, and after some initial fun I will basically have to ignore them for 3 months to do refining to get to a point where dilithium is manageable again. It is a buzz kill.
    STO is an MMO. Grinding currencies is part of the end-game of most MMOs.
    NYODh6y.png
  • foxrockssocksfoxrockssocks Member Posts: 665 Arc User
    Yes, if you level up all reps at once (possibly with boosts from Temporal/Delta/Gamma recruit boxes) then yes you get a huge bump in dil at the end. It's a nice problem to have.
    I will basically have to ignore them for 3 months to do refining to get to a point where dilithium is manageable again. It is a buzz kill.

    No you don't. You can play that character every day, just possibly for less time and/or spending more time on story episodes than on TFOs and Admiralty. As long as you don't keep earning another 8K dil every day the excess dil will take care of itself over time.

    If a character isn't fun for you unless you do 8K dil grinding every day, then yes you do have a problem but I don't think it's a typical one.

    No I don't do grinding at all for dil. Rarely do I get 8k dil a day on any character normally, and I like it that way. So you're right I could just continue to play them, but its going to stretch out the time to zero the balance by a large amount.

    And sure I do like the problem of having that much, but I also like to be able to shelve a character for a while at times to focus on others, and I can't do that with 500k dilithium sitting there. They have to be logged on every day. Its like a daily quest. Believe me I hated it for RnD too, to max out my crafters.
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