Economy Improvement Suggestions - R&D

novin7 Member Posts: 12 Arc User
edited September 2021 in Duty Officer System and R&D
Greetings. As an STO player of about 8 years, I've greatly enjoyed the game and have watched as the price of Dilithium for Zen has shifted from under 100-per back around 2013 to the "Unavailable even at 500-per" that it is today. Since open attempts to address this issue have been posted by Cryptic (but do not seem to be working), I'm offering the following series of suggestions to help out with the situation. Note that these suggestions incorporate the fact that Cryptic needs to make money by selling Zen - so each one is targeted at balancing the demand for Dilithium while not interfering with, or even increasing, the demand for Zen. Also, having a background in software, the suggestions will be tailored to avoid things that would be particularly difficult to code and implement.

The last update to the R&D system was exceptional! I really enjoy having the ability to craft items for every aspect of the game, and the unique craft-only modifiers and items are both well-balanced and implemented. However, one aspect of the newer R&D system is askew when compared with another good system that has been added in - Phoenix Boxes.

Because of how the Phoenix boxes work, players are dumping in tons of dilithium in order to purchase them. However, you are not noticing a dilithium sink effect from this happening because when combined with Tech Upgrade Weekends, it is ruining another of your dilithium sinks - R&D tech upgrades.

The tech point value of a Phoenix Box Tech Upgrade token relative to the dilithium cost to obtain one is such that all of the R&D tech upgrades are inferior by comparison. Further, the R&D tech upgrades scale negatively so that only the Superior ones are even worth making - the "Basic" and "Improved" variants are extremely wasteful/inefficient and so using them is avoided even when they are awarded for free during missions.

However, it would be reckless to suggest changing the Phoenix box dump because that system is a useful dilithium sink in its own right. Instead, we should revamp/update the R&D one to be competitive in another way so that it is once again functional. I propose the following:

First - flatten the dilithium cost of Basic, Improved, and Superior tokens so that they are all equally worthwhile to use. Then, create a new type of token at each level, which costs significantly more dilithium and energy credits but the dilithium cost is paid at the time you craft it, not at the time you apply it. This would make it so that wealthy players who are sitting on a mountain of dilithium can shoulder the cost of producing tech upgrades for their friends and fleet members. It'll soak up dilithium, provide increased demand for R&D materials, and create another path by which veteran players can help introduce new people to the game - all good things! It would also, to a lesser degree, create a new Exchange item that is consumable which can help increase demand for/redistribute Energy Credits as well - potentially helping the EC economy too.

I hope these suggestions are helpful in brainstorming a way to both improve the value of the R&D system in Star Trek Online, as well as providing a lasting resolution to the economic issues facing the Dilithium/Zen market.
Post edited by novin7 on


  • borg0vermind
    borg0vermind Member Posts: 489 Arc User
    The modifications you say will not make a big difference. There are costs that need to be balanced.
    There are also many items that are not at gold level (like fighters, some kit modules) - now this would be an opportunity to consume more dil.

    Upgrades should take dil to produce, not to apply. Pheonix at any time kindof hurt the STU upgrades.
    We should be able to produce gold-grade ones somehow.
  • trillbuffet
    trillbuffet Member Posts: 861 Arc User
    You have to look at the business platform to diagnose the core problem because all these magical good ideas people have been never going to accomplish anything. The only way to fix the problem is adapting to the current development of the franchise and moving from a time where there was no new content to work with to having 5 new series to pull from. Their customer satisfaction and perception are very poor. There is no motivation behind a low % drop rate for one ship that only one character can use. It's like they are trying to put a rock on a rat trap and try to catch that rat. There is just this mentality that you keep content out of players hands because if they don't, they won't have any cards left to play. However, the truth of it all is that it's a game so you need to play that card and give people reasons to spend money on it. I'm not a developer or financial wizard but when I know I could run everything better myself with the knowledge I have it speaks very poorly to those managing this game.
  • rattler2
    rattler2 Member Posts: 55,513 Community Moderator
    *casts Holy Photon Torpedo*
    Please be aware that the majority of the forums has a Necromancy Rule stating that, unless a pass is given or it is a bug report, threads that have not been posted in 30 days are considered dead. It is an attempt to keep information relevant to the current state of STO. Therefore it is preferable to start a new thread on the subject rather than use necromancy to revive old, dead threads when possible.
    I can't take it anymore! Could everyone just chill out for two seconds before something CRAZY happens again?!
    The nut who actually ground out a Delta Pack, Temporal Pack, and Gamma Pack
    The resident forum voice of reason (I HAZ FORUM REP! YAY!)
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