Well here’s my STO review. I have been playing for quite a few weeks now since Beta to be exact. I’m a Science Officer mostly because I’m a healer at heart, and the Science vessels seemed to have fit the Healer/Debuffer role the best. The ground kits are definitely healer friendly for science as well.
Let’s start out as most reviews do, with the good.
The shield based space combat is fun. It adds a little spice to it as well as some strategy to it such as which shield should face which foe. In order to get a good turning arc if fighting faster foes, you have the adjustable power options and would adjust them on the fly depending on the given situation…very cool concept. The ground combat is ok as well, nothing great other than having your Bridge officers join you on your away missions. The pause feature is nice, but takes away from the MMO feel for me. I think I’ve used it once, and that was when my dumb ass cat spilled my beer.
I do like the way my ship looks and the customize options for the player, bridge officers and ship are rather cool. But many times while running around the few shared instances, you can see so many gaudy looking uniforms. Starfleet to me was a UNIFORM, meaning people generally had similar looking outfits.
The music is pretty good. The sound effects are spot on from the show, which is nice. The Nemoy voice overs added a lot to the feel of the game. Granted this is purely cosmetic, it’s Star Trek, it’s supposed to feel like it.
The Fleet encounters and auto join features are OK. It’s hit or miss as to whether you get in a good one or not, but for the most part it was nice. Unfortunately that’s about it for the “good” that I have to mention about STO at it’s current build.
The bad now. There’s a lot unfortunately for me. The Gold spam, while not as bad as other games, is getting worse and worse, and a tad annoying. They are trying to stop it, but as it currently is, it is very obnoxious.
Space combat, while it can be challenging, it usually isn’t. I tends to be rather monotonous after a while. 80% of the fights are against rather weak targets so I can just sit there with no impulse shooting at them head on while reinforcing my shields. This allowed me kill them faster without having to really pay attention. Throughout the beta and release they have been constantly dumbing down the difficulty. In ground missions, I discovered I was able to just stand there doing nothing while my BO’s killed everything. I alt tabbed, checked twitter, updated facebook, made some mac and cheese, you know..all the important things. Since the ground combat got boring anyway, figured why bother.
The Bridge officers AI and pathing was atrocious. I can’t even count the amount of times one of my officers randomly jumped off a cliff, got stuck on nothing, just sat there not firing even when set to aggressive or to focus on my target.
The crafting in this game is a joke. It’s more of a purchase system. You go to a merchant, and to buy the “crafted item” you just show up with x amount of this, x amount of that, and an item. You don’t have workstations, you don’t actually do anything, just click BUY and bam got the item.
The instancing in this game is way over done. You can’t do anything and not have to zone at least twice. The only shared instances are sector space and space docks. So you can walk around with people or fly around, but do nothing else of value. I understand why they did it, but I do not like it. The heavy instancing and, IMO, overpowered bridge officers results in a very solo heavy game. Besides the auto-group feature, which at least half the people I talk to turn it off, people are just running solo, doing their own thing, which leaves my healing spec’d Science Captain, rather useless. If it wasn’t for a few of my guild members, I’d have rerolled a Tactical or Engineer.
The PVP in the game is my least favorite feature. I hate purely canned/instanced PVP. Battleground after battleground after battleground with no purpose gets old quickly. No real surprise in there, 10 v 10 or 8 v 8, whatever the situation, no randomness to it, nothing worthwhile to fight over either. You lose, so what, just queue up again. You win, great, so what.
The UI also is not a good layout. Where the player customization is top notch, the UI manipulation is stale. I hate the color scheme and the way the UI feels…some things show they trigger on the UI but don’t actually fire. Sometimes the animation on your ship/player go off when you actually don’t trigger the ability. The baby blue UI all over the place looks like a smurf did a nasty over my screen. Give me a color slider or something!
IMO, this game needs more open world environments. Maybe one or two of the planets you can land on and run around and meet people while fighting. Or a planet/space area where people can fight over as they wish and hold objectives until the other side takes it back. While the game is cool, it’s lacking some serious depth and enjoyability for me.
Now after all this negativity, why am I still playing? Mostly it’s because of my fleet and I enjoy playing with them. I also have hope that Cryptic addresses some of these issues. I am finding myself logging in less and less and seriously considering resubbing EVE, Aion or WoW to pass the time.
Here’s hoping that Cryptic can come out with a miracle patch soon otherwise I forsee some bleeding until they fix the issue. This game can potentially do very well, and in my opinion needs 4 things.
1-More reasons to group – not 200 person raid content but slightly difficult encounters where you need 3-4 people
2-Better PVP – you can read my article HERE to get my view on this
3-Less Instancing – Maybe very few instanced zones, instead of the 95% of the game which is instanced
4-Crafting overhaul – give us something to do other than pew pew all over the place