I know it’s a cliché but compare it to World of Warcraft when it came out.
What could you do at level 60 in classic World of Warcraft (as of Patch 1.1) ?
3 5-man level 60 instances and 2 40 man Raids.
You had reasonably easy content for new 60’s and raids for them to work towards.
However, no worthwhile rewards from PvP. No daily quests and No Casual epic rewards.
By todays standards that is rather spartan. You expect, at the very least, some method for casual gamers to gain competitive gear (if not the best) – through daily quests and a badges system, one or two small team instances, if there is PvP at all, some method of reward from that.
Star Trek Online somehow managed to take this template and leave out so much.
The only way to get your top-end epic gear is a single daily quest in the B’tran cluster. 5 badges per day. Granted, some things cost only 4 or 7 badges, but things like starship weapons, shields and deflectors (the *biggies*) cost 50. That’s 10 days of just logging on once for 30 minutes per day. To get everything you’d have to play for around 60-80 days.
The B’tran cluster, which consists of randomly generated quests from a series of templates, can be described as the only ‘grindable’ instance. As, other than the Epic daily quest, you can do a 30-minute repeatable quest to gain badges that give Mk X uncommon equipment (In WoW terms, think level 60 BoE green items). That’s ONE instance for both your grindable gear and your Epics.
I worked out that to gear yourself, your ship and 4 Bridge Officers with MK X Green gear would take a total of 15 hour grinding the B’tran cluster repeatable mission.
And you can do that solo. On your own. Alone. Anyone can do that in about a week. The dedicated can do it in a weekend. The crazies can do it in one day.
Amazingly Cryptic have delivered LESS end-game with STO than they have done with Champions Online, I didn’t think it was possible, but it is. There is potential there for them to have an excellent end-game. The combat is engaging, the storylines are entertaining. Group combat is robust and playing a science vessel is just as rewarding as playing a DPS or Tank.
Three weeks of levelling for £30 was good. I got more play-time out of STO than I do out of any offline RPG, and playing another week grinding similar, non-story, missions for essentially nothing is fair enough, but I am not subscribing to play the same, unchallenging, mission once a day in the hopes that better end-game will come along. They’ve mentioned the 5-man ‘raid-isodes’ involving the Borg Queen, due out ‘soon’ – but likely this ‘soon’ will be after the next round of payments. Me, I’m going to leave it. I’ll wait a while and see how things pick up.
Incidently, I did the same thing for Champions Online, for which I had a 6 month subscription, and they still havn’t added anything decent.