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Why I'm starting to dislike the starbase system

momawmomaw Member Posts: 0 Arc User
In a single phrase: duty officers.

A fleet is a social entity. The ships and equipment earned by advancing the starbase is only a tiny incremental improvement over things that we can get on our own, between random drops from STF missions and C-store vessels. People make fleets because they want other people to play with, people that they can come to know, respect, smacktalk, boast, and hang out with. The end goal is not to own a weapon that is 0.1% better than something that requires minimal effort, it's to own a weapon that is 0.1% better and being able to stand with your friends and say "Yeah, we did this".

Duty officers have zero social aspect whatsoever.

When you make every project require dozens of duty officers, time-gated by recruitment missions and made annoying by having to play "doff roulette" for hours trying to get the kind you need, that is all individual time. My fleet mates can't help me grind for doffs. The social aspect of starbases is the fleet marks, awarded for completing and doing well on team-based missions. But every single project we've had, we've finished out the fleet marks requirement and thrown some cash at the batteries or whatever it needs, in a single evening... and then the project lingers for days while we tortuously search for the duty officers we need. 30 quartermasters? Seriously?!

Starbases should require more resources that are gained by playing with your fleet than they require resources which are all personal. I can't speak for every fleet, but for us, we don't even bother with fleet activities unless we need the marks and that lasts for all of an hour or two and then it's back to grinding for doffs. Playing the missions is more fun than grinding for doffs.

Ideally, projects should be an either/or proposal where you can use either resources gotten through group activities for fleets with really active members, OR resources gotten through individual play for fleets with more casual/timezone-challenged members.
Post edited by momaw on

Comments

  • nikkyvixnikkyvix Member Posts: 241 Arc User
    edited August 2012
    There are a plethora of threads with many testimonials on why we dislike X about the Starbase Progression system. Thing is, nothing can be done about it unless we try to help devs in giving them workable feedback and ideas they can potentially pursue to improve it. Whether they listen or not, it is at least better than just opening threads to kvetch. With all due respect of course; it's important to complain because complaints are a way to get things changed.


    So how can we promote a feasible modification (or alternative) to the individual DOff grind that (A) injects a social aspect into the fleet progression system, while (B) ensuring it does not become too fast and easy, which is the reason I believe why the DOff bottleneck exists: To artificially expand the duration of projects and ensure we are forced to take it slow and easy no matter our grinder tendencies.

    We're clever folk, we should be able to brainstorm solutions. I'd just like some of these threads to become more about finding ways to solve the problem rather than re-covering what we already dislike. :)
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    The Artist Formerly Known As Nikotaka ][ Join Date: Jan 2010
    "Can anyone remember when we used to be explorers...?"
  • thecosmic1thecosmic1 Member Posts: 9,365 Arc User
    edited August 2012
    Fleetbases, at their core, are meant to be time-sinks - as are DOFFs and Crafting. They are supposed to be ways for players to fill X number of hours per week doing something in-game that doesn't require new Mission Content.

    A group of Devs can work a couple of weeks on a new Mission. You will complete that Mission in 10 to 30 minutes and then be demanding more new Mission Content. The same group of Devs can put the same amount of effort into a Fleetbase project and it will keep a player busy for a week or more trying to complete it.

    So yes, you're supposed to take time grinding Dilithium, grinding Fleet Marks, hunting for commodities, earning and cycling DOFFs, etc. But the smart players are doing it as a side project rather then the sole reason for playing. As I've said many times over the last couple of months: if you make it your sole focus you're going to burn yourself out.

    It would be nice if there were more Fleet/social things to do - and there might be in the future - but ultimately it's really just a time-sink.
    STO is about my Liberated Borg Federation Captain with his Breen 1st Officer, Jem'Hadar Tactical Officer, Liberated Borg Engineering Officer, Android Ops Officer, Photonic Science Officer, Gorn Science Officer, and Reman Medical Officer jumping into their Jem'Hadar Carrier and flying off to do missions for the new Romulan Empire. But for some players allowing a T5 Connie to be used breaks the canon in the game.
  • syberghostsyberghost Member Posts: 1,711 Arc User
    edited August 2012
    Here's why they're a social tool:

    Right now, you can do things together to run STFs, level, PvP, and that's about it. The fleet projects give you one more tool to have your soloing activities be coordinated for the good of the fleet. People are going to be doing these solo activities anyway; but now, you can use your fleet forums to coordinate doing them for your community.

    Not to mention what all these nice additions to your fleet base do for encouraging your fleetmates to do their "just hanging out" in your base, and what they do for fleet pride when you gather for meetings. You do gather for meetings, right? If not, you should start; it's huge for morale and community building.
    Former moderator of these forums. Lifetime sub since before launch. Been here since before public betas. Foundry author of "Franklin Drake Must Die".
  • bloctoadbloctoad Member Posts: 660 Arc User
    edited August 2012
    Actually creating a game with two playable factions of content would have been "huge for morale and community building." That said, we all knew the starbase system would be nothing but a huge time sink and gimmick meant to distract players from the overall lack of new, meaningful content.

    Season Six: Buy More Zen!
    Jack Emmert: "Starfleet and Klingon. ... So two factions, full PvE content."
    Al Rivera hates Klingons
    Star Trek Online: Agents of Jack Emmert
    All cloaks should be canon.
  • agentexeideragentexeider Member Posts: 180 Arc User
    edited August 2012
    thecosmic1 wrote: »
    Fleetbases, at their core, are meant to be time-sinks - as are DOFFs and Crafting. They are supposed to be ways for players to fill X number of hours per week doing something in-game that doesn't require new Mission Content.

    A group of Devs can work a couple of weeks on a new Mission. You will complete that Mission in 10 to 30 minutes and then be demanding more new Mission Content. The same group of Devs can put the same amount of effort into a Fleetbase project and it will keep a player busy for a week or more trying to complete it.

    So yes, you're supposed to take time grinding Dilithium, grinding Fleet Marks, hunting for commodities, earning and cycling DOFFs, etc. But the smart players are doing it as a side project rather then the sole reason for playing. As I've said many times over the last couple of months: if you make it your sole focus you're going to burn yourself out.

    It would be nice if there were more Fleet/social things to do - and there might be in the future - but ultimately it's really just a time-sink.

    True, but you would think that the devs would take the opportunity of the time gained by the time sinks to start actually making mission content to get back on track, not seemingly sit on their collective butts.

    The last few patches have been bug fixes (which hey, I'm not complaining this game needs to be fixed.) and the occasional costume, and throw in the next lockbox for good measure. So what are the devs actually doing.

    I remember when they were kicking out a new ship in the C-store a week, when the game was naturally flowing from one FE to the next. and so on.

    As far as your "crying for mission content" isn't that what the foundry is for, weren't the Devs supposed to "Cherry Pick the best missions to be included in the game." to quote Dan Stahl. So why aren't the Devs Cherry picking, more over why have they shifted focus AWAY from FEs, when that IS STO's bread and butter, Star Trek was all about the episode of the week, the Arc of the month or months, and the beauty was as it went on some later arcs would refer to or be sequels to the earlier ones.

    I would say if anything the DEVS need to transfer work towards MORE FES or even one shot missions, but only after Fixing crafting and some of the more serious bugs.

    creating more missions, especially missions that are afactional (meaning playable by ANY faction.) would help out with the long term Major complaint about Klingons, which is......drum roll, No missions content.

    -
  • thecosmic1thecosmic1 Member Posts: 9,365 Arc User
    edited August 2012
    True, but you would think that the devs would take the opportunity of the time gained by the time sinks to start actually making mission content to get back on track, not seemingly sit on their collective butts.
    As they are currently making a whole new Zone for Season 7 it would seem they are taking advantage of the Season 6 time-sink project to make upcoming Mission Content. :)
    STO is about my Liberated Borg Federation Captain with his Breen 1st Officer, Jem'Hadar Tactical Officer, Liberated Borg Engineering Officer, Android Ops Officer, Photonic Science Officer, Gorn Science Officer, and Reman Medical Officer jumping into their Jem'Hadar Carrier and flying off to do missions for the new Romulan Empire. But for some players allowing a T5 Connie to be used breaks the canon in the game.
  • skyranger1414skyranger1414 Member Posts: 1,785 Arc User
    edited August 2012
    thecosmic1 wrote: »
    As they are currently making a whole new Zone for Season 7 it would seem they are taking advantage of the Season 6 time-sink project to make upcoming Mission Content. :)

    Wasn't something similar the mantra during the content draught? " They're making lots of content for f2p", which then became "after f2p launches its gonna be content content content!", and now its "base grind IS content! and as a bonus you can pay us for character specific ships!"

    Seeing is believing.
  • thecosmic1thecosmic1 Member Posts: 9,365 Arc User
    edited August 2012
    Wasn't something similar the mantra during the content draught? " They're making lots of content for f2p", which then became "after f2p launches its gonna be content content content!", and now its "base grind IS content! and as a bonus you can pay us for character specific ships!"

    Seeing is believing.
    I never remember anyone saying anything about them making content for FTP - outside of changing the Tutorial. We didn't even know they were converting the game to FTP for most of the year of the content drought - that information was accidentally leaked out at a PW investors' broadcast. We assumed they were just working on Mission Content when, in fact, they were working on FTP.

    And we do know from the radio interview, STLV, and Ask Cryptic that they are working on a new Zone for Season 7. Heck, last month Dstahl even made a little joke about the Ambassador and Wells class that was recently confirmed - the Wells, anyway - as being real when the Wells was accidentally put into the Spawn Database and leaked into the Holodeck.
    STO is about my Liberated Borg Federation Captain with his Breen 1st Officer, Jem'Hadar Tactical Officer, Liberated Borg Engineering Officer, Android Ops Officer, Photonic Science Officer, Gorn Science Officer, and Reman Medical Officer jumping into their Jem'Hadar Carrier and flying off to do missions for the new Romulan Empire. But for some players allowing a T5 Connie to be used breaks the canon in the game.
  • momawmomaw Member Posts: 0 Arc User
    edited August 2012
    nikkyvix wrote: »
    There are a plethora of threads with many testimonials on why we dislike X about the Starbase Progression system. Thing is, nothing can be done about it unless we try to help devs in giving them workable feedback and ideas they can potentially pursue to improve it.

    As per original post:
    projects should be an either/or proposal where you can use either resources gotten through group activities for fleets with really active members, OR resources gotten through individual play for fleets with more casual/timezone-challenged members.

    If it were possible to spend fleet marks instead of duty officers, this would immediately shift the focus back into playing missions with fleet members to complete starbase projects, for those fleets with the time, members, and inclination to farm the fleet marks.

    My point here is that starbases are supposed to be a group activity, and the thing that is constantly bottlenecking us isn't a GROUP limitation, it's a stupid arbitrary limit imposed on us by the speed with which we, individually, can get the correct duty officers. People can talk about "taking it slowly" as much as they want, but reality is that unless you're doing all these solo recruitment missions and compacting and trading doffs, you will NEVER make any progress no matter how socially active your fleet is.

    I want to play the game with my fleet mates and have that time mean something with regard to our starbase, but we play ten times more STF type missions than fleet missions because the things our starbase needs aren't available through fleet missions.
  • majesticmsfcmajesticmsfc Member Posts: 1,401 Arc User
    edited August 2012
    bloctoad wrote: »
    Actually creating a game with two playable factions of content would have been "huge for morale and community building." That said, we all knew the starbase system would be nothing but a huge time sink and gimmick meant to distract players from the overall lack of new, meaningful content.

    Season Six: Buy More Zen!

    Couldn't have said it better myself. The one thing people want is the one thing we didn't get. That being missions, KDF ones more so but missions none the less.

    I like many players are not liking where STO is heading and if Season 7 isn't fantastic with a KDF full campaign and more missions for the Federation (to satisfy those who only play that faction) then I guess Cryptic better pack up shop and move on as there won't be enough players remaining or playing long enough or putting much money into this game to keep it going.

    Invasion Zones aren't the answer nor is this Starbase system which wasn't even implemented correctly to scale determined by the size of the fleet. I've heard that some fleets are already at tier 4 or 5, really no fleet should be past tier 2, it's meant to be a slow progression not a month of work and then you're finished.

    Anyway, I agree with the OP, common duty officers I can accept, brings some sort of value to them but to ask for rare or very rare ones is a joke, not only are they insanely expensive but not very social which I thought the Starbase system was supposed to be about.
    Support the Game by Supporting the KDF, equality and uniqueness for all factions!
  • eurialoeurialo Member Posts: 667 Arc User
    edited August 2012
    I Think I will stop building the base:

    1) it is too expensive
    2) it is too long
    3) it is too boring

    weapons, ships and everything else the base can give me is definitely too expensive (too much dilithium, too much time)
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]

    Playing STO spamming FAW is like playing chess using always the computer's suggested moves
  • thecosmic1thecosmic1 Member Posts: 9,365 Arc User
    edited August 2012
    momaw wrote: »
    My point here is that starbases are supposed to be a group activity, and the thing that is constantly bottlenecking us isn't a GROUP limitation, it's a stupid arbitrary limit imposed on us by the speed with which we, individually, can get the correct duty officers. People can talk about "taking it slowly" as much as they want, but reality is that unless you're doing all these solo recruitment missions and compacting and trading doffs, you will NEVER make any progress no matter how socially active your fleet is.
    And the above is exactly what makes it a time-sink.

    You can still do all the Missions you want with your Fleetmates. Heck, I set up 2 Fleet activities to do with my Fleetmates every week - and I have been doing that for over 2 years now. One doesn't necessarily equate to the other. IE, having a Fleetbase doesn't equate to how much time you will spend with Fleetmates. What Fleetbased offered me is a larger variety of Missions to do with my Fleetmates. I still need to be willing to do them together, though.
    STO is about my Liberated Borg Federation Captain with his Breen 1st Officer, Jem'Hadar Tactical Officer, Liberated Borg Engineering Officer, Android Ops Officer, Photonic Science Officer, Gorn Science Officer, and Reman Medical Officer jumping into their Jem'Hadar Carrier and flying off to do missions for the new Romulan Empire. But for some players allowing a T5 Connie to be used breaks the canon in the game.
  • phyrexianherophyrexianhero Member Posts: 768 Arc User
    edited August 2012
    Due to the last week's fleet doff debacle, I've made a concerted effort to do missions with minimal and generic doff requirements. It is the responsibility of those managing the starbase projects to choose those that can actually be completed in a timely fashion (read: don't do operational asset projects) since you can see the requirements before queuing the project (or you could see them here).
    Playing since January 2010. STOwiki administrator. Accolade hunter.
    My STOwiki page | Reachable in-game @PhyrexianHero
    Fed Armada: Section 31 (level 730, 2700+ members)
    KDF Armada: Klingon Intelligence (level 699, 2100+ members)
  • palpha2clearancepalpha2clearance Member Posts: 432 Arc User
    edited August 2012
    I feel like it is kindergarten busy work to keep me distracted enough to keep me out of my teachers hair
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
  • tebsutebsu Member Posts: 372 Arc User
    edited August 2012
    good thing would be to add pve?s for 2 and/or 5 player that can only be accessed by other fleetmates, not with random people. i say 2 and/or 5 because i know about some smaller fleets where that could be difficult to get 5 people at the same time.
    What ? Calaway.
  • nikkyvixnikkyvix Member Posts: 241 Arc User
    edited August 2012
    momaw wrote: »
    ... the thing that is constantly bottlenecking us isn't a GROUP limitation, it's a stupid arbitrary limit imposed on us by the speed with which we, individually, can get the correct duty officers ... I want to play the game with my fleet mates and have that time mean something with regard to our starbase, but we play ten times more STF type missions than fleet missions because the things our starbase needs aren't available through fleet missions.

    I can agree with that, and would welcome reusing a convention that Cryptic has already done in order to encourage people to invest time in the Foundry: Mission-wrappers, accomplishing 2 or 3 official STO missions or dailies, individually or as a team, to reward fleet marks and/or DOffs. There's still tons of content to replay; if we're going to gnash Fleet Starbase Incursion or Blockade from now 'til eternity anyway we might as well widen the pool of repeatables for fleet marks and other necessary base-builders.

    All of Cryptic's campaign missions are doable in a team setting*, so performing them with friends for fleet-centric rewards would (A) promote more teaming in the game, (B) get more focus on their existing content without making people focus so much on the new shiny Nukara and Fleet-events (which most people are now saying have lost their luster), and (C) ensure people are occupied, playing (as most missions aren't a simple finish) and spending time to get rewards. Those of us who like playing missions instead of grinding the same thing over and over are rewarded.

    There's no repeat-incentive currently to replay campaigns. I can replay S'harien Swords for...what, a Gravitic Engine I'll just sell at a vendor for ECr? A lockbox I trash by the dozens from the STF-grind? Some kind of reward wrapper, or the addition of a minor fleet DOff package, dilithium, or mark reward option to the end of those campaign missions, would expand options and get people replaying those oldies. I know I'd gladly replay 'Doomsday' or 'City on the Edge of Never' with fleetmates if a fleet-centric reward were at the end.



    * Barring bugs that remain, or appear with the march of patches...like 'Boldly They Rode' borking on the entry into Ops if one person in the team takes explosives and others do not; results in a hard-to-break zoning and cutscene loop. But that's a whole 'nother topic...
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    The Artist Formerly Known As Nikotaka ][ Join Date: Jan 2010
    "Can anyone remember when we used to be explorers...?"
  • hasukurobihasukurobi Member Posts: 1,421 Arc User
    edited August 2012
    momaw wrote: »
    In a single phrase: duty officers.

    A fleet is a social entity. The ships and equipment earned by advancing the starbase is only a tiny incremental improvement over things that we can get on our own, between random drops from STF missions and C-store vessels. People make fleets because they want other people to play with, people that they can come to know, respect, smacktalk, boast, and hang out with. The end goal is not to own a weapon that is 0.1% better than something that requires minimal effort, it's to own a weapon that is 0.1% better and being able to stand with your friends and say "Yeah, we did this".

    Duty officers have zero social aspect whatsoever.

    When you make every project require dozens of duty officers, time-gated by recruitment missions and made annoying by having to play "doff roulette" for hours trying to get the kind you need, that is all individual time. My fleet mates can't help me grind for doffs. The social aspect of starbases is the fleet marks, awarded for completing and doing well on team-based missions. But every single project we've had, we've finished out the fleet marks requirement and thrown some cash at the batteries or whatever it needs, in a single evening... and then the project lingers for days while we tortuously search for the duty officers we need. 30 quartermasters? Seriously?!

    Starbases should require more resources that are gained by playing with your fleet than they require resources which are all personal. I can't speak for every fleet, but for us, we don't even bother with fleet activities unless we need the marks and that lasts for all of an hour or two and then it's back to grinding for doffs. Playing the missions is more fun than grinding for doffs.

    Ideally, projects should be an either/or proposal where you can use either resources gotten through group activities for fleets with really active members, OR resources gotten through individual play for fleets with more casual/timezone-challenged members.

    I had not honestly considered the social aspect like you did but upon reading your post I find myself in total agreement. You are quite correct. I have enjoyed the new fleet mark missions quite a bit. They are something we can get better and better at (like STF's) as a Fleet and we can all talk about how we did and what worked and what did not. They are a great social activity for the fleet but the DOFFs and Creds tend to be more of a solitary thing that can be rather dull and disappointing.

    Good post.
  • sweetboobsnsweetboobsn Member Posts: 36 Arc User
    edited September 2012
    Starbases should require more resources that are gained by playing with your fleet than they require resources which are all personal. I can't speak for every fleet, but for us, we don't even bother with fleet activities unless we need the marks and that lasts for all of an hour or two and then it's back to grinding for doffs. Playing the missions is more fun than grinding for doffs.

    Grind for doffs? If you have to grind for doffs you are in a maze and turned the wrong way. Our fleet doesn't grind for doffs because we don't pick crazy hard doff missions. We pick the dilithium ones which are faster to fill. The good doff including project missions have a generic engineering or operations and give a whopping 1000 XP ...... the others that require a more specific doff we steer away from. We are having alot of fun talking about the new base system and seeing our base grow in front of our eyes. Good management is key in base building and I have a good grasp on which missions to take and which to leave alone.
  • capcushcapcush Member Posts: 0 Arc User
    edited September 2012
    Yea i know right now the market has worked its self out for a lot of the low level doffs i think the trouble is a lot of fleets are running out of Dylitium and thats where they find the wall. i personally don't like the fact that you have to drop almost 300K Dylithium between a special and 2 normal builds
  • szimszim Member Posts: 2,444 Arc User
    edited September 2012
    Sorry to say this but so far the starbases have been a huge disappointment. It's just a new set of doff missions nothing else. Every single starbase looks exactly the same. There's no option to "personalize" it. Not even a variety of starbase types to chose from. And there's hardly anything you can do on fleet starbases that you cannot do everywhere else. I'm a member of a fleet with 500 people with a very active core and I hardly ever meet anybody on the fleet starbase. It's just something you go to look at once in while.
  • l0cutus359l0cutus359 Member Posts: 0 Arc User
    edited September 2012
    szim wrote: »
    Sorry to say this but so far the starbases have been a huge disappointment. It's just a new set of doff missions nothing else. Every single starbase looks exactly the same. There's no option to "personalize" it. Not even a variety of starbase types to chose from. And there's hardly anything you can do on fleet starbases that you cannot do everywhere else. I'm a member of a fleet with 500 people with a very active core and I hardly ever meet anybody on the fleet starbase. It's just something you go to look at once in while.

    I agree... other than the Fleet Stores and the DOFF ATM, there is not much else at the starbase.

    Hopefully the starbase content will expand in Season 7, etc

    Thx!
    Locutus

    Delirium Tremens
    Tier 4 Starbase, Tier 3 Embassy
    http://dtfleet.com/
  • treffelltreffell Member Posts: 247 Arc User
    edited September 2012
    star bases should attack each other

    or at least like klingon vs fed

    instead of taliking about a console obtained, somethng like
    "we blew the TRIBBLE out of the Lore station and had them crying home to mama"
    would be a more interesting converstaion to me
  • szimszim Member Posts: 2,444 Arc User
    edited September 2012
    treffell wrote: »
    star bases should attack each other

    :D Oh yes that would be fun!

    "Captain, enemy starbase warping in! Watch out for the enemy transwarp gate and the industrial fabricator. They are heavily armed and approaching at high impulse" :D
  • dradymdradym Member Posts: 38 Arc User
    edited September 2012
    or just have all the starbases on one map and have a big ol' free pvp area
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