The Endeavor System is Discouraging Returning Players - Please Nerf

rck01
rck01 Member Posts: 808 Arc User
Dear Devs,

As a long-time player of STO (Joined in Feb, 2012), I've had the privilege of meeting some truly excellent people. And as is the case with any long-running MMO, many of these players have come and gone as interests and real-life situations change/evolve. However, with the advent of the COVID-19 crisis, I've seen a resurgence in interest in the game, especially among veteran players who may have been away for a few years. And while many are initially excited by the numerous changes to the game meta and the related options such updates bring, they all inevitably get discouraged when they encounter the Endeavor system.

In fact, I believe the time-gated nature of the Endeavor system - where you must play for YEARS with no way to accelerate the process regardless of how hard you grind - has become the single biggest obstacle to new or returning player participation in STO. The discovery that there exists a massive, unassailable skill divide between yourself and others who have played the game longer or more consistently is killing interest in the game and keeping veteran players from coming back to the STO community.

Given the above, I propose the following simple modifications to the Endeavor system:

1. Remove the time-gating and instead tie the system to the Experience mechanic.
2. Modify the "Exp Bar" rewards for players who've reached Level 65 so that each "pass" through the bar provides an option to receive *either* a Specialization Point or an Endeavor Point (or Dilithium, assuming the maximum number of Spec points has been obtained).

Note: By tying the Endeavor progression into the Exp system, Cryptic will increase the demand for Zen-store "XP Boost" items and related promotions, thus providing a potential revenue channel for recouping the (likely) minor investment in code re-engineering that the aforementioned tweaks would require.

Bottom Line: The above modifications would go a long way towards making the game more approachable to new players and encourage veteran players to return to the game and potentially open their wallets and purses while increasing overall participation in events and seasonal activities.

Thank you for considering my proposal.

RCK01 - a.k.a. "Evul Jacob/Cuddly Jacob" - Hax Pandas/Sad Pandas PvP
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Comments

  • questerius
    questerius Member Posts: 7,783 Arc User
    edited May 2020
    If the endeavor boosts were actually necessary to complete normal or advanced elite content i would be inclined to agree, but since the endeavors are merely an extra i fail to see the benefits of tying it into the experience system...
    This program, though reasonably normal at times, seems to have a strong affinity to classes belonging to the Cat 2.0 program. Questerius 2.7 will break down on occasion, resulting in garbage and nonsense messages whenever it occurs. Usually a hard reboot or pulling the plug solves the problem when that happens.
  • seaofsorrows
    seaofsorrows Member Posts: 10,889 Arc User
    questerius wrote: »
    If the endeavor boosts were actually necessary to complete normal or advanced elite content i would be inclined to agree, but since the endeavors are merely an extra i fail to see the benefits of tying it into the experience system...

    Agreed, the Endeavor system is completely optional and in no way required for any content. This fact alone renders the entire suggestion moot. The system is there to encourage people to login daily since daily login is an important metric in online games. This system is designed to give players that do this a reward over players that leave for years at a time. The reward is not a requirement however, so it doesn't exclude either player from any game content.

    The system is surprisingly well thought out and working as intended.
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    Discovery is good, it's you that sucks.
  • rck01
    rck01 Member Posts: 808 Arc User
    OK, well let me put this in terms that the "DPS League" might understand:

    1. Without Endeavor progression: Normal Damage/CrtH/CrtD
    2. With Endeavor progression: up to 30% higher Damage/7.5% Higher CrtH/30% higher CrtD

    I'm not going to bring up issues like Hull Cap or Healing since they mean nothing to your crowd. But no matter how you slice it, for truly competitive players the above disparity (and similar Endeavor perks) represents an impassible chasm that discourages them from ever taking up the game in the first place.

    Give us an option to bypass the time-gating - even it's just a P2W Zen store buyout.

    RCK01 - a.k.a. "Evul Jacob/Cuddly Jacob" - Hax Pandas/Sad Pandas PvP
  • coldfog#4821
    coldfog#4821 Member Posts: 1 Arc User
    not a good idea to put "pvp" at the end of your messages jacub as that will trigger the olde forum clique like a prison alarm, for any attempt at balancing that will affect their 1-shotting of mindless npc's in ISA for the sake of playable pvp will be met with assured hostility. not that this is the direct point of the thread, but it is implied, and so the thread shall not prosper.
  • rck01
    rck01 Member Posts: 808 Arc User
    Not all competition is PvP-based. Even the "DPS League" (note the word LEAGUE) must recognize the advantages of an extra 30% damage, for example, when trying for that ultimate, chart-topping ISA run. Or for when "[email protected]#725528" wants to solo an entire side of the map (including probes) in Khitomer Space in record time.

    Yes, competition comes in many forms. The fact that I - and others like me - choose to participate in the ultimate form of it within STO (swing by Ker'rat some time) does not diminish my argument that the Endeavor system is discouraging new and/or returning players from taking the game seriously.

    RCK01 - a.k.a. "Evul Jacob/Cuddly Jacob" - Hax Pandas/Sad Pandas PvP
  • eazzie
    eazzie Member Posts: 3,252 Arc User
    Nope, nope, NOPE the system is perfect the way it is. In fact if any changes were made to it I think it would drive people away. The system is an optional extra, you either do it or don't, it is not a necessity. Just leave it be. As the saying goes. If it ain't broke don't try to fix it.
  • eladonwarps#6040
    eladonwarps#6040 Member Posts: 231 Arc User
    If anything, I could make the opposing argument. A player who completes a few easy tasks once daily but doesn't drop tons of space-currencies on lockbox gear and Epic-Everythings still has just as much a chance at participating in most all of the content if they build up a few perk points. The rest of the game is not scaling in the background to keep up with the current Max Perk Point players. The result is that it actually lowers the participation threshold to something easily attainable.
    Call me "El," she/her only. I love my wife and I don't care who knows it!
  • ltminns
    ltminns Member Posts: 12,481 Arc User
    Those perks don't even affect what you are seeing in your Ship Stats. To a regular person those perks are invisible. The extras will not have any affect over other players in PVE as you don't shoot them.

    If someone is returning to this game or newly starting for PVP purposes then they picked the wrong game.

    If it to be an exalted one to get to the top of a list, that kind of record will not go on your tombstone anyway.
    'But to be logical is not to be right', and 'nothing' on God's earth could ever 'make it' right!'
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    l don't know.
    l really don't know what l'm about to say, except l have a feeling about it.
    That l must repeat the words that come without my knowledge.'
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  • foxrockssocks
    foxrockssocks Member Posts: 2,479 Arc User
    Both things are true. The system isn't required, but it absolutely does discourage some players from returning because there is no way to play catch up. This is true of many MMOs with similar systems that expect daily participation over a very long time period in some capacity.

    You can't help it if this is a block to you. No matter how much you tell someone they can just play and go at it, the fact is every day they miss is a day they are behind the curve. I suspect the reputation system can be a similar block for some people, because if there is so much backlog to take care of, it just becomes too much to bother with.

    I came back from a long break from STO and had a massive amount of new reps to deal with, AND tier 6 of all the old ones on almost 15 characters at the time. That was daunting, physically painful due to the ridiculous amount of clicks involved in the rep system, and almost made me quit again rather than put in the effort. Ultimately I made it work because I chose to just focus on a few characters at first just to explore the new reps and new STFs, and managed to space it all out.

    Call it some form of OCD or whatever, the fact is it does exist in people and will stop people from playing when they realize how long it will take to catch up, especially because there is no accelerated catch up mechanic. Time gating sucks and is the bane of fun in most games.

    However, what needs to be said, what is being missed here, is the fact is that there are so many perks in the endeavor system, it isn't actually as hard as it seems to catch up in a few limited categories like damage, crit chance, critd. Those I maxed out a long, long time ago as every time I got the choice to invest in one, that is where the point went. That much would take a few months, yes, but your +15 phaser resist perk isn't important to catch up on any time soon, and if that takes you years to max out, no one cares. That is what you should try to impart on those returning players, that it isn't nearly as bad as it seems.
  • jonsills
    jonsills Member Posts: 9,725 Arc User
    Oh, yeah, there's an Endeavor system, isn't there? Barely notice it myself, except for my amusement at the fact that since I have a couple of different weapon types on the Lorna Wing, I managed to fulfill two of the Endeavors yesterday. There were apparently rewards or something? Honestly, I don't know for sure what it's supposed to be all about.
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  • seaofsorrows
    seaofsorrows Member Posts: 10,889 Arc User
    edited May 2020
    rck01 wrote: »
    Not all competition is PvP-based. Even the "DPS League" (note the word LEAGUE) must recognize the advantages of an extra 30% damage, for example, when trying for that ultimate, chart-topping ISA run. Or for when "[email protected]#725528" wants to solo an entire side of the map (including probes) in Khitomer Space in record time.

    Yes, competition comes in many forms. The fact that I - and others like me - choose to participate in the ultimate form of it within STO (swing by Ker'rat some time) does not diminish my argument that the Endeavor system is discouraging new and/or returning players from taking the game seriously.

    RCK01 - a.k.a. "Evul Jacob/Cuddly Jacob" - Hax Pandas/Sad Pandas PvP

    First of all, I don't speak for the entire STO League. My opinions are mine and mine alone, so if you want to address my points specifically, please do so. Please do not imply that my views are the views of the entire DPS League, I am just a part of it.. and a very small part at that. I'm small potatoes in the DPS League and not an admin so I am not speaking for them. I speak only for myself and no one else.

    With that being said, your core issue with the Admiralty system is your own perceived sense of competition as opposed to any real competition that is actually part of the game. The core of your issue is that you're upset that I do 30% more damage then you do even though if we queue for content we're on the same team. My extra damage helps you, but it doesn't seem to matter, what matters to you is that I have something you don't.

    I have played this game nearly every day since the Admiralty system began. I have logged in every day and done my daily tasks. From the game perspective I have 'earned' those rewards. I understand we could argue back and forth over the effort and what 'earned' really means.. but for the sake of staying on topic lets just save that for another thread. The point is, I have been here every day doing the tasks and getting the rewards. Why exactly is it 'unfair' for me to have more then the guy that has been gone for 2 years and just came back yesterday? Is it so inconceivable or so awful that the players that have been here doing these every day have an actual reward over those that don't even play the game?

    You and I are not in competition. What I have should not matter to you, as what you have doesn't matter to me. When we're teamed, we will work toward the same goal and I will gladly do what I can to assist those on my team. We are not in competition, and the heart of your request comes from the fact that you perceive a competitive nature between us and other players that simply doesn't exist. I have my rewards because I did what was required to earn them. I have been doing these missions daily for going on 3 years now. If you want the same rewards, then cool.. but you're going to have to put in the same time I did.

    Your argument is about being 'fair,' well.. fair cuts both ways.
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  • keepcalmchiveon
    keepcalmchiveon Member Posts: 3,984 Arc User
    im with most here as its working as it should. im a returning player as well from a long break, went through some of the huge challenges as some have as well, but got past most of it, however, i am still trying to catch up in all actuality.
    but for the system as it is, it works. its not forced upon you to get anywhere, and you actually get stuff for it. EC, Dill, mats, etc.
    if its something i am doing, or on the way to do, then fine. otherwise i dont go out of my way to complete them - for the most part.


    meh

  • seaofsorrows
    seaofsorrows Member Posts: 10,889 Arc User
    if its something i am doing, or on the way to do, then fine. otherwise i dont go out of my way to complete them - for the most part.

    This really is the attitude to have with the Endeavor system. To me, I occasionally parse my runs (not as much as I used to, but still try to push myself on occasion) so I want those extra percentage points. If you're not trying to push your parsed damage or improve your 'personal best' then the Admiralty System is just an insignificant part of the game that you could happily ignore.

    I was smashing my way through story content and queues long before the Admiralty System was a thing and many players still do that very thing without a care in the world. Perfectly reasonable.
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    Discovery is good, it's you that sucks.
  • questerius
    questerius Member Posts: 7,783 Arc User
    questerius wrote: »
    If the endeavor boosts were actually necessary to complete normal or advanced elite content i would be inclined to agree, but since the endeavors are merely an extra i fail to see the benefits of tying it into the experience system...

    Agreed, the Endeavor system is completely optional and in no way required for any content. This fact alone renders the entire suggestion moot. The system is there to encourage people to login daily since daily login is an important metric in online games. This system is designed to give players that do this a reward over players that leave for years at a time. The reward is not a requirement however, so it doesn't exclude either player from any game content.

    The system is surprisingly well thought out and working as intended.

    In addition, the daily nature of the endeavors works like a spotlight for different content/places
    rck01 wrote: »
    OK, well let me put this in terms that the "DPS League" might understand:

    1. Without Endeavor progression: Normal Damage/CrtH/CrtD
    2. With Endeavor progression: up to 30% higher Damage/7.5% Higher CrtH/30% higher CrtD

    I'm not going to bring up issues like Hull Cap or Healing since they mean nothing to your crowd. But no matter how you slice it, for truly competitive players the above disparity (and similar Endeavor perks) represents an impassible chasm that discourages them from ever taking up the game in the first place.

    Give us an option to bypass the time-gating - even it's just a P2W Zen store buyout.

    RCK01 - a.k.a. "Evul Jacob/Cuddly Jacob" - Hax Pandas/Sad Pandas PvP

    I'm as far from the DPS league as you can imagine, but i will respond regardless.

    If your intend is to level the playing field between player who remained and those who took a leave of absence i regret to inform you that adding the endeavors into the experience system will actually hurt whatever remains of the PVP community.

    The difference is there and allowing for faster boosts by tying the endeavor system into experience will only allow those with a head start to reach the finish line faster. it will also make the game a lot less attractive since people will revert back to the most XP efficient content.

    A harsh as it may sound, if you had a solid PVP build one year ago then it will still be competitive for PVP content today.
    Maybe some of the casual players got a bit more survival, but if you're remotely skilled you can get around that.

    If a PVP player just wanted to go for ambush OHKO runs and left for a year then that player may be in a world of hurt, but not because of the endeavors but because of some of the new T6 reputation gear which will take a fair amount of time to grind out.
    This program, though reasonably normal at times, seems to have a strong affinity to classes belonging to the Cat 2.0 program. Questerius 2.7 will break down on occasion, resulting in garbage and nonsense messages whenever it occurs. Usually a hard reboot or pulling the plug solves the problem when that happens.
  • davefenestrator
    davefenestrator Member Posts: 9,788 Arc User
    a) Approximately no one plays PVP
    b) Endeavor is not needed for PVP, "git gud"
    c) Endeavor is a fun optional activity for the 99.9% of us who just play PVE
  • rck01
    rck01 Member Posts: 808 Arc User
    I now see why Attack Pattern BETA is so popular in this game. Just...sad. B)

    RCK01 - a.k.a. "Evul Jacob/Cuddly Jacob" - Hax Pandas/Sad Pandas PvP
  • spiritborn
    spiritborn Member Posts: 3,575 Arc User
    I don't do endeavors that often due to being that busy in real life most of the time that I simply don't have the time for it, that said I don't feel at all like I'm "left behind", I can queue in even elite content and not get AFK, there's no real sense of me being objective "too bad for the content" because I didn't do endeavors daily. Are the there players who do more DPS then me, yeah, so what as long as I do at least 1% and I feel like I'm having fun only person whose DPS should matter to me is myself and even then only as curiosity.
  • thegrandnagus1
    thegrandnagus1 Member Posts: 5,103 Arc User
    questerius wrote: »
    If the endeavor boosts were actually necessary to complete normal or advanced elite content i would be inclined to agree, but since the endeavors are merely an extra i fail to see the benefits of tying it into the experience system...

    /\ This. The only area this might actually matter is PVP, but for better or worse I don't think the number of people doing that are significant enough to actually matter (sorry, but probably true).

    The-Grand-Nagus
    Join Date: Sep 2008

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  • ucgsquawk#5883
    ucgsquawk#5883 Member Posts: 279 Arc User
    rck01 wrote: »
    I now see why Attack Pattern BETA is so popular in this game. Just...sad. B)

    RCK01 - a.k.a. "Evul Jacob/Cuddly Jacob" - Hax Pandas/Sad Pandas PvP

    My apologies if that line was supposed to be clever in some way...it really wasn't.
    The simple fact is you seem to feel that because you can't easily get something that other players have been working towards for years then that means that all new players and returning players who wouldn't have even heard about it would be turned off from playing?
    From your own logic this means that players who see you have to get to level 65, or want to work up to MK XV weapons or reputation equipment won't play either unless they get all that? Correct?

    How is the fact that I've built up my characters with good equipment any different from having built up my endeavours? It's still not something you will get right away, you have to get the weapons, the reputation gear and upgrade, craft etc.

    Your system would have all players have the exact same access to everything instantly rather than simply having to play for it. For me at least, the fact you described coming back as a physically painful grind suggests that perhaps you take this game a bit too seriously. To click the mouse until you're in pain (maybe a new mouse that isn't as hard for you to click?) suggests addiction level competitiveness, maybe a PVP game with more even sides right out the gate would be more your style...have you considered checkers?
  • grancommes
    grancommes Member Posts: 57 Arc User
    It didn't discourage me, and I took a hiatus around the time endeavors were introduced.

    I like the extra boost to my characters.
    I like having a reason to visit places I normally wouldn't.

    Disagree with the OP vehemently.
  • rattler2
    rattler2 Member Posts: 55,529 Community Moderator
    The Endeavor System is purely optional, designed to get players to venture into areas not normally frequented. For example if you're an avid AP user... maybe you'll try a basic Phaser build for an Endeavor. Or maybe you haven't been to Nimbus in years, and you have an Endeavor to kill X Gorn in the canyon.

    On top of that... when you DO get a perk point... the options available... ARE TOTALLY RANDOM. The other day I had a choice of 3 ground perks. Nothing space. It happens. And while the perk points are account wide... I don't see it as a wall for anyone. Honestly it gives players a choice of things to do for some further growth outside of the spec trees.

    BTW... I think we might be due for a new Spec Tree honestly...

    STO doesn't have the VAST amount of stuff other games like FF14 has for players to do. So we'll take whatever we can get to play more, and maybe visit a corner of the game we haven't been in for a long time.

    Sorry OP, but I'm with everyone else. You're argument sounds more and more like "I want what you have, but with less effort, or if I can't have it no one should". You're making an unreasonable demand for a benefit you didn't put the work into and rationalizing it as a balance pass for PvP, which is frankly a dead horse and has been for a LONG time.

    I don't even do the Endeavors every day. Mostly just do them if I can do them easily, and I actually refuse to do certain tasks like Lukari and Herald TFOs or massive amounts of Hur'q kills. I only have a couple areas maxed out, mostly I think resistances and maybe close on crit chance, and that's despite the fact I'm not doing all the Endeavors every day, and the random nature of which options are presented to you when you DO get a point.
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  • tagen
    tagen Member Posts: 458 Arc User
    I like Endeavors as they are. It is a small account-wide buff that I can work toward over time, gives me specific goals to try for each day/week, and as far as I understand it points are capped anyway.

    Turning it into just another must-have min-maxer stat tied to regular experience gain would be more likely to drive me away as a new player than what we have now.
  • husanakx
    husanakx Member Posts: 1,218 Arc User
    I'll add my too cents.

    Endeavor was a bad idea from the start. After 10 years this game has enough grinds... that returning players are almost always instantly turned off and leave.

    I have had hundreds of game friends since launch... and almost none are players that have been around since launch. Over the last 4 or 5 years I have seen many old friends return, and in almost all cases I end up saying see ya around perhaps in another game within a month.

    I consider the state of the PvE game to be very good... missions are good, some of the stories are no doubt as good as anything Trek has had on the screen for a long time. The reason most leave. (and I fully admit that most of my game friends are some level of PvP lover) is the amount of grind required to feel like your somewhat current with the game again is extremely daunting. I know most of the time gates like reputation ect are not terrible... a month or two of doing a few Mark collection runs every day or two isn't that bad.

    The thing is the game has multiple systems... reputation, specialization trees, fleet holdings, weapon upgrading, ship set and upgrading those, large cost unlocks like ship trait / space-ground trait unlocks, Ship trait collection (Involving zen store purchases, mudd store/phoenix reclaims for events they have missed, lobi ships. lock box... and worse promo ships).

    Now I know most people will say ya ya you can play the game without 90% of that stuff being complete or ideal... you don't have to have billion EC promo ship traits to play the game. Problem is a lot of returning players when they left... left because they where likely bored and had little to do in the game. They had more then likely had everything the game had at the point they left maxed. I don't think anyone returning expects to come back and being back to nothing to do status in a day... however leaving and feeling like you had mastered the game only to come back to feel "you know nothing john snow" for days, weeks or months is frustrating.

    The endeavor system is the worst offender. Not because it offers the biggest reward. But rather because it is the a system that stands out... its on every returning players bar. Reminding them that they are level 0 or 10 or 20.... while they few people they knew still playing the game are 160, and enjoying 7.5% more crit chance or 30% more crtd or 15% more hull. Some of these are very sizable bumps. When it comes to PVP they matter a lot... and yes we all know PvP has been inaccessible for new and returning players for years due to PvE power creep, this one is worse.

    The reason for Cryptic too look at changing this has nothing to do with PvP (sure it is one of many systems not helping any potential PvP growth) however its also costing them paying PvE customers. The amount of grind compound.

    I didn't mean to write a book on this subject... I would like to leave here though with one potential FIX that could go a long way to promoting STO for all the returning (and perhaps new) people playing right now. (also considering we may be looking at further circumstances in the fall that drive player numbers up) Cryptic should consider a new recruit event. Create the event so everyone has a reason to roll a new toon. Instead of rewarding big dill pools... focus on reputation marks and Endeavor points. I don't think it would be so bad if Cryptic offered returning and new players a month or so long new toon grind that ended with a reward of 50-100 endeavor points. People that have been playing every day since its start would still be happy to get more points.... but for those with low numbers today bumping them to the 120-150 range after a month of playing hard might keep a few more returning faces around longer then a few weeks.
  • ucgsquawk#5883
    ucgsquawk#5883 Member Posts: 279 Arc User
    Nothing wrong with having an opinion on what's going on ^

    For me though, any player who was in a position having felt they had mastered the game and leaves for a number of years then comes back, really shouldn't expect to be caught up anytime soon.

    Now, if you had left for two years and had the game mastered then, well you are going to be just fine going forward certainly not being stuck with nothing. You'll have a huge jump on your build/equipment/ etc.

    Any player gone for 3+ years will still have an advantage if they were truly all maxed out and mastered, they'll have a grind to get everything caught up, but they certainly won't be in a position of starting from square one either.
  • questerius
    questerius Member Posts: 7,783 Arc User
    To be honest i strongly disagree that the endeavor system was a bad idea from the start.
    In fact, due to it (re)introducing players to previously unknown or forgotten content/play styles it is one of the charms/lifelines of the game.

    The whole argument seems to stand or fall with the assessment that one "needs" MkXV golden/epic gear and an almost filled out endeavor system to be able to play any sort of content. The contrary is true. There is little content in the game which cannot be finished with Common (white) mark X gear.

    Everything above that is optional.
    This program, though reasonably normal at times, seems to have a strong affinity to classes belonging to the Cat 2.0 program. Questerius 2.7 will break down on occasion, resulting in garbage and nonsense messages whenever it occurs. Usually a hard reboot or pulling the plug solves the problem when that happens.
  • westmetals
    westmetals Member Posts: 8,235 Arc User
    ltminns wrote: »
    Those perks don't even affect what you are seeing in your Ship Stats. To a regular person those perks are invisible. The extras will not have any affect over other players in PVE as you don't shoot them.

    If someone is returning to this game or newly starting for PVP purposes then they picked the wrong game.

    If it to be an exalted one to get to the top of a list, that kind of record will not go on your tombstone anyway.

    That's not true. They do get folded in to ship stats. For example, the crit hit and crit severity very definitely do. (if you have crit hit maxed out you can get to something like 20% with just traits and SROs).
  • gaevsman
    gaevsman Member Posts: 3,181 Arc User
    edited May 2020
    I'm level.. i dont know.. 15 maybe?, and i still melt everything that is on the screen, so, no, Endeavors are not that great.. i dont even do them, only if it happens to be related to the content i'm doing at the moment, i do not one shot everything, but i one shot and a half stuff, so yeah, not a big loss or gain... so they are more like "nice to have" but not essential..
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