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Returning player: A few questions

althinaalthina Member Posts: 0 Arc User
edited June 2015 in The Academy
First off, thank you for even opening this thread. :D

I've played STO in 2011/2012 and recently I've gotten the urge for more Star Trek. I've rewatched the entirety of TNG, DS9, VOY and all movies (excluding the new ones beacause... well, subjecting my eyes and mind to those movies just once is enough, thank you very much) over the last two/three months. Looking over the massive amounts of changes to the game, I decided I wanted to return to get my dose of Star Trek.

Now, I won't ask about ships or even game mechanics, because there are already enough threads/blogs/guides/Reddit entries/etc about that for me to read up on. :P

That being said, I really couldn't find answers, only partial answers or outdated answers to the following questions;

1). Is the game still solo friendly? I ask this, because I will only play this game for it's story content and general Star Trek feel. I don't care about PvP and group content is something I only do if I happen to meet some friendly people (no way in hell am I pugging anything in any MMO).

2). How much of the content is hidden away in group content? I don't mind that a part is hidden behind this type of gameplay (its an MMO after all), I just don't want to play and find out that the latter half of all storylines can't be solo'd.

2). Is the Foundry still an active part of the game? I really, really enjoyed some of the content from the Foundry last time I played. :)

3). I've seen some people saying that end-game (or 50+ content) requires cash investments. Is this true for someone who simply wants to see the story content (excluding group content)? Note that if I end up really enjoying the game I might spend some cash in support of the game, I just don't want to be forced to do it. I also don't mind that if I decide not to buy anything that the difficulty will go up, as long as it's not impossible.

4). Is linking my old Cryptic account worth it? I have a digital deluxe version and some goodies on my old account, but I hate having to deal with customer support of any kind. Haha.


Also, it seems I've missed a fun and good catch-up event. But hey, I don't mind going slow and taking my time to enjoy all that the game has to offer.

Any insight will be much appreciated! ;)
Post edited by althina on

Comments

  • ussbridgeburnerussbridgeburner Member Posts: 28 Arc User
    edited June 2015
    althina wrote: »
    1). Is the game still solo friendly? I ask this, because I will only play this game for it's story content and general Star Trek feel. I don't care about PvP and group content is something I only do if I happen to meet some friendly people (no way in hell am I pugging anything in any MMO).

    2). How much of the content is hidden away in group content? I don't mind that a part is hidden behind this type of gameplay (its an MMO after all), I just don't want to play and find out that the latter half of all storylines can't be solo'd.

    2). Is the Foundry still an active part of the game? I really, really enjoyed some of the content from the Foundry last time I played. :)

    3). I've seen some people saying that end-game (or 50+ content) requires cash investments. Is this true for someone who simply wants to see the story content (excluding group content)? Note that if I end up really enjoying the game I might spend some cash in support of the game, I just don't want to be forced to do it. I also don't mind that if I decide not to buy anything that the difficulty will go up, as long as it's not impossible.

    4). Is linking my old Cryptic account worth it? I have a digital deluxe version and some goodies on my old account, but I hate having to deal with customer support of any kind. Haha.

    1. the game is extremely solo friendly. All storylines can be solo'ed.

    2. the foundry is still there. There is a feature that was new to me too when i just returned after 2 yeatrs of absence. If you pass by a star in the sector map it shows the highest rated foundry mission in that system if there is one.

    3. No cash investment required, almost everything can be bought by ingame means, even cash curreny can be bought by ingame means if you are patient enough. The business model involves you being impatient at some point...which you will become. But spending some kind of money on a game if you are committed - and face it if you play 50, you LIKE the game. If you start from scratch in fact I strongly suggest checking out if you like the current pace and content of the game and after a few levels make a subscription for a month or so and benefit from subscriber status while leveling, you get tons of free stuff.

    4. I don't remember how that went ... but it must have been smooth without any problems otherwise i WOULD remeber. I hate customer service interaction as well.
  • bendalekbendalek Member Posts: 1,781 Arc User
    edited June 2015
    1. the game is extremely solo friendly. All storylines can be solo'ed.

    2. the foundry is still there. There is a feature that was new to me too when i just returned after 2 yeatrs of absence. If you pass by a star in the sector map it shows the highest rated foundry mission in that system if there is one.

    3. No cash investment required, almost everything can be bought by ingame means, even cash curreny can be bought by ingame means if you are patient enough. The business model involves you being impatient at some point...which you will become. But spending some kind of money on a game if you are committed - and face it if you play 50, you LIKE the game. If you start from scratch in fact I strongly suggest checking out if you like the current pace and content of the game and after a few levels make a subscription for a month or so and benefit from subscriber status while leveling, you get tons of free stuff.

    4. I don't remember how that went ... but it must have been smooth without any problems otherwise i WOULD remeber. I hate customer service interaction as well.


    This pretty much sums it up. Only things I will add:

    1) There is the Reputation System for various NPC goups, all of which require specific "marks" or tokens to upgrade and use. These 'Reps" usually require 5 players group missions (or STF's as they are known) to attain the "marks" needed. However they do offer some very good, and unique weapons and equipment, so hey are worth looking into.

    2) The Foundry offers some really excellent content from some outstanding missions authors. You can use your journal to see what Foundry missions are popular, or as mentioned just fly past a planet, and any missions will show up.

    3)DO NOT believe ANYONE who tells you this. The game is totally and completely playable without a single $ being spent. Having said that, this game IS designed in the usual Free to Play MMO style of "inconvenience them enough., and they'll open their wallets" but without that, we would have no game at all, so a spending even a small amount helps us all.
    Oh, hoho hohhhhh, Oh,, hoho, hohhhhh
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  • norobladnoroblad Member Posts: 2,624 Arc User
    edited June 2015
    Adding 2 cents..

    1) the majority of the game can be soloed as stated but a lot of the best gear is going to take at least minimal group work. If you want to get by on moderately good gear without that, its doable but you will need to study the game mechanics to get more oomph from weaker items.

    2) all group content gives you are tokens for reputation gear and fleet store access (which you can get in a fleet without doing group content, but you do have to work with other people to be in a fleet, to some extent). Reputation marks are unfriendly to earn solo (marks/hour and not sure all reps have a soloable option at all?). Reputation is not "content" its a grind / busywork mechanic for "earning" gear.

    3) foundry is alive and well.

    4) dunno, it depends on what you have unlocked. if you paid for veteran access or have some ships bought or something, it might be worth it? I would go ahead and do it... you can start over all day on an old account and get your free stuff and paid for old stuff etc but a new account is a total do-over and loses it all. There is no gain to make a new account.
  • tiriusavarotiriusavaro Member Posts: 92 Arc User
    edited June 2015
    Others provided some excellent answers above, but here's a bit more:

    1. As a rule of thumb, anything that's not under the queued events tab can be run solo (there are a few exceptions, the game will tell you so).

    2. Nothing to add to the above.

    3. The reason you might have heard this "pay to win" argument is that the difficulty scale between levels 50 and 60 is a bit different from the one below 50. Some people feel that one needs either a tier 6 ship (either Z-store or special event reward only) or an upgraded tier 5 ship (upgrades cost zen on most ships) to complete these. However, most PvE content is fine in a regular tier 5 ship so long as you take some care with which items and powers you use and how you fly your ship. If you do want to try getting a tier 6 ship, the upcoming summer event is a good option to get one for free.

    4. Your old account should still work, but I'm no expert here. All I know is I've been away for over a year once too, and everything was still as I left it. You might find some items are no longer working (old crafting materials for example), but the rest should be fine.

    As for missing the Delta Recruitment event... it was fun, but there were only a few unique rewards not found elsewhere in the game. So no worries. :)

    A final tip: a good point to start would be playing the new story missions (in order) from where you are now. That should help you familiarize yourself with current events and get you a decent way toward the new level cap. And above all: have fun!
    Vice Admiral Tirius Avara'o | U.S.S. Mistral (Fleet Star Cruiser)
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    Vide Admiral Kyurin | U.S.S. Cairhien (Fleet Dreadnought Cruiser)
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  • darkjeffdarkjeff Member Posts: 2,590 Arc User
    edited June 2015
    bendalek wrote: »
    1) There is the Reputation System for various NPC goups, all of which require specific "marks" or tokens to upgrade and use. These 'Reps" usually require 5 players group missions (or STF's as they are known) to attain the "marks" needed. However they do offer some very good, and unique weapons and equipment, so hey are worth looking into.

    Technically, none of the Reputations need you to hit a queue, and can be done by yourself.

    Some of them (like Defera Ground for Omega Elite Marks (BNPs)) will be rather difficult solo.
  • althinaalthina Member Posts: 0 Arc User
    edited June 2015
    Thank you all for the answers. I really appreciate it! :)

    Good to hear that the majority of the content is solo-friendly and that payment isn't forced on you as such, even though it does give you an edge. At least I can decide if I want to buy something without being locked out of content if I don't.

    I'll also give linking my account a go. Just dug up my very old game serial as it was one of the things they need for linking accounts, it seems. Just glad I still had it.

    The part about reputations for getting really good gear... Well, I for one don't like grinding. In pretty much any MMO to date, I've avoided it unless it happened to intersect with the story or joined a few friends in doing it. So it's a good thing I don't mind not having the best equipment and just want to enjoy myself. ;)

    Just a quick addendum to my questions;

    How much would I gimp myself for wanting to remain somewhat true to the shows in terms of ship equipment? As in equipping my ships Fed ships with phasers/photons/quantums/etc that we see in the shows and not disruptors, etc. Even when I played, I honestly didn't like using disruptors and similar non-Federation weapons on Federation ships. It just didn't... feel right. Note that I'm talking during the leveling process here. I can understand that high-end content would require me being more flexible towards this issue to get the most bang for your buck.
  • norobladnoroblad Member Posts: 2,624 Arc User
    edited June 2015
    The pay to win nonsense is from frustrated people with no patience. Everything you can buy you can earn if you take your time ... I have earned several t6 ships from farming dil since t6 ships became available, and have 2 more from events. Let me think...

    -farmed the pretty lame kdf 5 weapon raptor. This was from a dil event, crystal or station or something.. I forget..

    -farmed the excellent faeht warbird -- this was from a dil weekend + over time.
    -earned breen carrier
    -earned kobali no-damage ship
    -farmed excellent phantom fed ship -- another dil weekend...
    - bought (was gifted zen) command warbird package.
    - bought (with farmed energy credits) a pretty good benthan battlecruiser.

    and I have farmed enough EC again to buy another box ship but waiting for something that interests me on that.
  • westmetalswestmetals Member Posts: 8,390 Arc User
    edited June 2015
    althina wrote: »
    Thank you all for the answers. I really appreciate it! :)

    Good to hear that the majority of the content is solo-friendly and that payment isn't forced on you as such, even though it does give you an edge. At least I can decide if I want to buy something without being locked out of content if I don't.

    I'll also give linking my account a go. Just dug up my very old game serial as it was one of the things they need for linking accounts, it seems. Just glad I still had it.

    The part about reputations for getting really good gear... Well, I for one don't like grinding. In pretty much any MMO to date, I've avoided it unless it happened to intersect with the story or joined a few friends in doing it. So it's a good thing I don't mind not having the best equipment and just want to enjoy myself. ;)

    Just a quick addendum to my questions;

    How much would I gimp myself for wanting to remain somewhat true to the shows in terms of ship equipment? As in equipping my ships Fed ships with phasers/photons/quantums/etc that we see in the shows and not disruptors, etc. Even when I played, I honestly didn't like using disruptors and similar non-Federation weapons on Federation ships. It just didn't... feel right. Note that I'm talking during the leveling process here. I can understand that high-end content would require me being more flexible towards this issue to get the most bang for your buck.

    Torpedoes have a lot more range of stats and abilities so it's hard to say, but for beam and cannon weapons, the only difference between the base-energy types is their energy-specific ability, which is effectively one modification out of a potential SIX that a weapon can have. Of the other five, one is universal and the other four are randomly selected (in the case of crafted weapons, though there are ways to pick and choose up to three of these) or pre-set (in the case of looted/purchased/rewarded weapons).

    So you'd only be sacrificing a small bit off the top end of the weapons' potential by sticking to a particular type rather than going with the mathematical advantage. Your maximum damage would most likely still be within... oh... 5-10%... of the mathematical maximum.

    For example: Antiproton gets +20 crit severity. So you would be sacrificing that for the Phaser ability. But let's say you upgraded and got what some players consider the mathematical ideal, which would be an epic Antiproton weapon with [CrtD]x4 [Ac/Dm]. It would have +100 crit severity. An epic Phaser [CrtD]x4 [Ac/Dm] would have the phaser ability and +80 crit severity instead.
  • althinaalthina Member Posts: 0 Arc User
    edited June 2015
    westmetals wrote: »
    Torpedoes have a lot more range of stats and abilities so it's hard to say, but for beam and cannon weapons, the only difference between the base-energy types is their energy-specific ability, which is effectively one modification out of a potential SIX that a weapon can have. Of the other five, one is universal and the other four are randomly selected (in the case of crafted weapons, though there are ways to pick and choose up to three of these) or pre-set (in the case of looted/purchased/rewarded weapons).

    So you'd only be sacrificing a small bit off the top end of the weapons' potential by sticking to a particular type rather than going with the mathematical advantage. Your maximum damage would most likely still be within... oh... 5-10%... of the mathematical maximum.
    You have no idea how happy I am to hear this. :D

    I've never been one to play games like this with spreadsheets to calculate the theoretical maximum stats. I'm usually well aware of whats best, but prefer to take the option that I prefer visually as long as it doesn't gimp me into oblivion.
  • westmetalswestmetals Member Posts: 8,390 Arc User
    edited June 2015
    althina wrote: »
    You have no idea how happy I am to hear this. :D

    I've never been one to play games like this with spreadsheets to calculate the theoretical maximum stats. I'm usually well aware of whats best, but prefer to take the option that I prefer visually as long as it doesn't gimp me into oblivion.

    Oh, I didn't spreadsheet it (though I am sure some people do). I just worked it out from research on the wiki and reading the item tooltips in game.
  • althinaalthina Member Posts: 0 Arc User
    edited June 2015
    westmetals wrote: »
    Oh, I didn't spreadsheet it (though I am sure some people do). I just worked it out from research on the wiki and reading the item tooltips in game.
    It was more a figure of speech. I usually do the same. Read some guides, wikis, etc. But I just don't purely base my descisions on the numbers I find there. :)
  • darkjeffdarkjeff Member Posts: 2,590 Arc User
    edited June 2015
    althina wrote: »
    The part about reputations for getting really good gear... Well, I for one don't like grinding. In pretty much any MMO to date, I've avoided it unless it happened to intersect with the story or joined a few friends in doing it. So it's a good thing I don't mind not having the best equipment and just want to enjoy myself. ;)


    Thanks to the evolution of the Reputation System, I don't really consider grinding necessary.

    First, the way the Reputation System works, you need to earn that Rep's XP to advance in tiers. To earn that XP, you can do one 20-hour project and three 1-hour projects every 20 hours.

    These projects require you to contribute certain things (that Rep's Marks, maybe some EC and Expertise), and when they're full you'll get a reward box (which gives you an item related to that Reputation) and they'll start ticking down (20 hour or 1 hour). Once the time is done, you hit Collect and claim your rewards.

    The 20 hour projects reward 2500 Rep, but the 1 hour projects only reward 200 Rep (and thus a maximum of 600 Rep each 20-hour "day" from the 1-hour projects). Yes, this means it takes 13 days of running three 1-hour projects a day to get the same amount of Rep that you're getting from 2 of the 20-hour projects. I don't consider those 1-hour projects a good use of effort, and they're effectively a cap on how much of an effect grinding beyond that 1/day project really has.

    Right now, the first time in 20 hours that you do anything that rewards a Reputation's Marks, you get that Reputation's Bonus Mark Box. This means the first time you do anything that rewards a Reputation's Marks, you get more than enough to run that Rep's 20-hour project. This also means if you try to grind by running more of that Rep's content, you're just reducing your time/effort:reward ratio.

    Since the optimal time/effort:reward is gained by doing 1 thing related to a particular Rep per day, I don't consider grinding necessary for the Reputation System. Especially since you can easily do multiple Reps in a short amount of time - for example, the Delta and Romulan reps can be done by doing a Patrol in the Delta Quadrant or the Romulan sector blocks respectively. That's easily like 5 minutes each. 8472 and Dyson can be done simply by capturing a point in the Dyson Sphere's Ground Zone and Space Zone. Iconian is easily done in less than 15 minutes (I've timed it) by hitting the Kobali Ground Zone's last two (repeatable) missions, and you can also get Delta rep this way.

    Omega and Nukara are slightly more difficult to do if you avoid queues, since they require doing the last few missions in the Deferi and Nukara ground zones, which are more difficult or annoying than Kobali. It's a lot easier to simply queue for Infected: The Conduit on Normal and Crystaline Cataclysm on Normal (or even Advanced) to get the respective Marks.

    althina wrote: »
    THow much would I gimp myself for wanting to remain somewhat true to the shows in terms of ship equipment? As in equipping my ships Fed ships with phasers/photons/quantums/etc that we see in the shows and not disruptors, etc.

    Energy-types, it doesn't matter too much. The reason Antiproton weapons are considered the best in DPS is because it's essentially an extra [CrtD] mod instead of a 2.5% chance to proc something. (As an aside, [Pen], [CrtD], and [Over] are the ideal mods for PvE content. [Dam] is the absolute worst.)

    Adding a torpedo will cost you a bit of performance, because Beam Arrays fore and aft overlap at your port and starboard, and (most) torpedoes don't add to this broadside. Also your ideal Tactical consoles would all be dedicated to boosting the appropriate energy type (so all Phaser consoles if you're using Phasers) which obviously leaves the torpedo weaker - and you wouldn't want to take away a console boosting 6/7 out of your 7/8 weapons in order to boost just 1 or 2 weapons. Then there's the fact that your torpedoes obviously wouldn't be boosted by abilities like Beam: Fire At Will.

    For what it's worth, the highest recorded DPS (parsed in ISA) was done in a Fleet Patrol Escort Refit using Phaser Dual Beam Banks.
  • althinaalthina Member Posts: 0 Arc User
    edited June 2015
    Well, apparently my account was already linked according to the GM in live chat. :P

    That being said, it prompts an 11 GB patch... with a roughly 30kb/s download speed. I'll be playing the game at the end of the summer this way. :(
  • gavinrunebladegavinruneblade Member Posts: 3,893 Arc User
    edited June 2015
    darkjeff wrote: »
    Technically, none of the Reputations need you to hit a queue, and can be done by yourself.

    Some of them (like Defera Ground for Omega Elite Marks (BNPs)) will be rather difficult solo.

    They are not hard at all. Omega are literally the easiest of all reputations as they are the only ones you can "afk farm" and this includes the neural processors. Also omega gives 10 neural processors as part of the tier 5 reward.

    Go to defera, take the hard probe mission, afk at the quest giver until someone else completes it, gain 110 omega marks (including daily bonus), 1 mark 10 purple item, 20 fleet marks, 240 dilithium and one neural processor. Log out u til tomorrow then repeat. ##

    If you don't like to leech, then take the city easy mission "automated aggression" switch to the lest populated instance. Run from turret to turret and upgrade them. Do NOT shoot the Borg under any circumstances. Just upgrademthe turret and run to the next.

    Earn 65 omega marks (including daily bonus), 13 fleet marks, 240 dil. Repeat it immediately if you want but only get 10 omega marks without the daily box.

    There are also teams forming to run all four hards pretty much constantly (more fed than kdf though). Just turn on zone and type "fed lfg hards" and you'll get an invite usually before you can finish the automated aggression.

    ## = I have bug reported this, many others have too. Until the devs get around to fixing it (most likely never) might as well take advantage of it.
  • rezkingrezking Member Posts: 1,107 Arc User
    edited June 2015
    althina wrote: »
    4). Is linking my old Cryptic account worth it? I have a digital deluxe version and some goodies on my old account, but I hate having to deal with customer support of any kind. Haha.[/INDENT]

    I made a stab at my old acct...in the end (to me) it wasn't worth the hassle.
    I'm just glad I didn't spend too much back then.

    In your case, I would try...but it isn't the end of the world if you just walk away from it.
    STO changed (not necessarily for the better imo) from back then and the old shiny kind of faded anyway.
    NO to ARC
    RIP KDF and PvP 2014-07-17 Season 9.5 - Death by Dev
  • althinaalthina Member Posts: 0 Arc User
    edited June 2015
    rezking wrote: »
    I made a stab at my old acct...in the end (to me) it wasn't worth the hassle.
    I'm just glad I didn't spend too much back then.

    In your case, I would try...but it isn't the end of the world if you just walk away from it.
    STO changed (not necessarily for the better imo) from back then and the old shiny kind of faded anyway.
    I talked to a GM on live chat (no waiting time), gave my account e-mail and (s)he checked the account and told me it was already linked. Which is weird cuz I don't remember it. But it has been a long time. :P I do miss my old blue-beamed Constitution-class Enterprise with a liberated Borg on board to do the first few levels with. So I'm glad my account is still linked. Also had a few million credits and some dilithium stored. Not much, but enough to start fresh with.

    And patching speed seems to have picked up a bit. It now goes at roughly 150 kb/s. Still gonna take ages to patch 10GB though :(
  • gavinrunebladegavinruneblade Member Posts: 3,893 Arc User
    edited June 2015
    Two million ec is quite a good amount to start with. You can do a great job with that amount if you're careful with it.

    Do a search for mark 2 and 4 purple ship gear there should be some in every category very cheap (sub 10k per item).

    Phaser tactical consoles will probably be stupid expensive unfortunately. But anything else you want to set up that Connie should be easy, like a nice engine and shield.

    The deployable satellite turrets also sell for ~7k for a stack of 20. They make the early levels a breeze.

    Ground gear is usually affordable. Picking up some of the new xindi weapons at a low mark plus some polyweave or energy dampening armor for your peeps.

    You can totally twink out for less than 100k and have the rest for later.
  • darkjeffdarkjeff Member Posts: 2,590 Arc User
    edited June 2015
    althina wrote: »
    That being said, it prompts an 11 GB patch... with a roughly 30kb/s download speed. I'll be playing the game at the end of the summer this way. :(

    Chin-up, it's patch day today so the patch server is going to be slow.
    Go to defera, take the hard probe mission, afk at the quest giver until someone else completes it, gain 110 omega marks (including daily bonus), 1 mark 10 purple item, 20 fleet marks, 240 dilithium and one neural processor. Log out u til tomorrow then repeat. ##

    If you don't like to leech, then take the city easy mission "automated aggression" switch to the lest populated instance. Run from turret to turret and upgrade them. Do NOT shoot the Borg under any circumstances. Just upgrademthe turret and run to the next.

    Earn 65 omega marks (including daily bonus), 13 fleet marks, 240 dil. Repeat it immediately if you want but only get 10 omega marks without the daily box.

    :eek: This is news to me. Neat trick, though I have no characters that need Omega or BNPs at this point. :P
  • gavinrunebladegavinruneblade Member Posts: 3,893 Arc User
    edited June 2015
    Heh, I only have one character with no reason to get more omega stuff. The other 20-ish all could benefit from something.

    My deltas want the console and cutting beam (well, one has them, but the others don't) most have at least one boff that could use a nice ground set and the honor guard is still quite effective. And the costume unlocks are nice. My delta Borg also will eventually get one of the Borg space sets.

    Plus everyone benefits from either the maco or adapted engines with the new sector space since they are the fastest in game (and far cheaper than the fleet ones).

    Finally many of my feds run the maco shield rather than shell our 50+ million ec for a plasmonic leech.
  • westmetalswestmetals Member Posts: 8,390 Arc User
    edited June 2015
    althina wrote: »
    I talked to a GM on live chat (no waiting time), gave my account e-mail and (s)he checked the account and told me it was already linked. Which is weird cuz I don't remember it. But it has been a long time. :P I do miss my old blue-beamed Constitution-class Enterprise with a liberated Borg on board to do the first few levels with. So I'm glad my account is still linked. Also had a few million credits and some dilithium stored. Not much, but enough to start fresh with.

    And patching speed seems to have picked up a bit. It now goes at roughly 150 kb/s. Still gonna take ages to patch 10GB though :(

    Make sure you check through the store and shipyard interfaces. Things that were previously purchased may be account unlocks and therefore claimable even by your new characters. That Connie, for example.
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