Star Trek Online goes free to play

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Star Trek Online goes free to play

Postby Feaduin » Sat Sep 03, 2011 12:02 pm

Yup it was announced a couple of days ago that STO is moving on to a free to play model. After Cryptic's acquisition from Chinese F2P MMO maker Perfect World, it was only a matter of time (in STO's case, a few weeks). According to the short announcement, they will base this transition on what they've learned from the Champions Online F2P model and will post more info next week.

Lifers like myself will get a stipend of free points every month to spend in the C-Store. Regular subs may get a stipend but I think it is mainly a feature unlock thing. Free players will still get access to the entire game but will not have access to the new Feature Missions. If they follow the Champions F2P matrix, free players will probably have certain limits placed on their accounts to prevent the annoying gold spamming.

I personally think this is a great development for STO. I believe that STO was just too limited in content and other issues to warrant a monthly subscription. If you do a sub, you HAVE to be absolutely stellar and while STO ended up being good, it still has a ways to go to become GREAT. The way things were going, I don't think Cryptic/Atari would have been able to last long enough to become great. But with the support of PW, I think the game has a much better chance to continue development.

I'm still playing and doing my daily missions to earn my Excelsior class cruiser and Prometheus class escort. You can find me @dweez05.

I'll add info as it comes.
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Re: Star Trek Online goes free to play

Postby Marcallo » Mon Sep 05, 2011 5:27 am

I saw this a while ago and you were the first person I thought about. I guess they'll continue to treat the lifers "okay" then. I bet after another year when "life" would have been paid off they'll make everyone "equal" but that's a guess. Maybe not.
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Re: Star Trek Online goes free to play

Postby Feaduin » Mon Sep 05, 2011 5:00 pm

Marcallo wrote:I saw this a while ago and you were the first person I thought about. I guess they'll continue to treat the lifers "okay" then. I bet after another year when "life" would have been paid off they'll make everyone "equal" but that's a guess. Maybe not.


Actually, the lifetime sub has paid off a while ago. I heard a radio interview with a dev about the transition and he mentioned that they will split up free players and Subscribers/Lifers. To get access to the new missions and new stuff for free, you have to sub or life. Otherwise you can purchase via microtransactions any of the additional content that didn't come with the game up to the point of conversion. They will release details in a few days supposedly. I believe they mentioned that they will try to follow the Champions hybrid f2p model. I think he also mentioned that you don't have to purchase the game either but just download the thing and play.
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Re: Star Trek Online goes free to play

Postby Feaduin » Fri Sep 09, 2011 5:44 pm

Free to play information right here!

http://startrekonline.com/f2p

Now that the details are out and the players have had some time to go over some of the details, I can finally say for certain that this is a good thing for STO. A very good thing. Because of the push from Perfect World, they will be hiring additional staff to create content (which has been the biggest weakness of STO up to this point). And when I say content, I don't mean cosmetic or vanity baubles, costumes, char. customizations etc that don't do much. I mean real missions, new factions, and game features faster and more often. New things to make the game feel more alive. PVP will increase in impact to keep people playing after they burn through monthly content (previously it was every quarter) and new features like the duty officers, ship interiors, and new foundry tools will greatly increase the value of the game for both subs and non subs.

Previously, I've not been a fan of user made content as it was mostly subpar. On a whim, I loaded up a highly reviewed mission just to see what a player can do with the Foundry (mission builder) tools and what I saw was very impressive. I originally thought that authors would be limited to using existing maps and locations and just spawning NPCs where they needed them. It turns out that they are allowed to create multiple whole instanced maps with separate stages and use objects in a very large variety of ways. Some of the missions were as good as or better written and executed than some of the ones from the devs themselves. They can be structured so that it would feel like an actual episode of Star Trek if you wanted. So now I can't really complain about lack of content. Just lack of OFFICIAL content. The difference is, of course, that official content has actual quest rewards and the storyline is canon for the game.

Can't wait to see what's next.
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Re: Star Trek Online goes free to play

Postby Munki » Fri Sep 09, 2011 7:54 pm

I gotta say, that is a very generous amount of features being given to Silver players.

I think that with this upcoming change, I'm actually kind of excited to play this game for a bit. I obviously won't be a long time player of the game, but it will be a *perfect* game to tide me over and play while I wait for TOR and GW2.

Man. I hope this game makes the switch soon. I'm sure it'll be like 2-3 months down the road sadly, but I can hope it'll be soon!
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Re: Star Trek Online goes free to play

Postby Feaduin » Sat Sep 10, 2011 1:39 pm

heh yeah they are giving away more of the game to nonsubs than the Champions' model. There are a lot of people grumbling about that, especially from the Lifers who paid a LOT of money.... a fleetmate of mine just paid 300 bucks 2 months ago for a life sub and he is PISSED. I'm glad I got mine before launch when it was cheap(er).

From the interviews posted on the main page, the staff has been working on converting to F2P at full steam to the detriment of new content. I believe the F2P conversion will happen in the next couple of months or so. I am willing to bet that they are going to try to get this done before SWTOR launches. There is probably an urgency for the conversion because they risk STO becoming irrelevant if they cannot make it before SWTOR takes everyone's attention away.

I think there are some real drawbacks for Silver because you can only create 1 toon on an account (per faction) if you wanted to pay zero. A Silver will have limited bank and inventory space and a cap to how much currency you can have. I'm not sure if you can just register new email accounts for each toon you create but you might need some mules. You will get a lot of stuff and you will sell a lot of stuff on the exchange. The currency cap kinda screws that up... then again, I haven't found much use for currency yet as I've amassed 13 million credits and climbing but no money sink in sight so I dunno.
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Re: Star Trek Online goes free to play

Postby Feaduin » Sun Oct 02, 2011 10:34 pm

Information update about the F2P conversion in their new dev blog. They also talk about the upcoming features as well.

http://startrekonline.com/f2p_blog
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Re: Star Trek Online goes free to play

Postby Feaduin » Fri Nov 11, 2011 5:25 pm

Official launch date for Free 2 Play has been announced!

And it's well after TOR launches so in other words, they will most likely be ignored completely!

http://pc.ign.com/articles/121/1211970p1.html

Meanwhile, I have been play testing a lot of the new changes and I gotta say that it definitely has a same but different sort of feel to it but definitely for the better. I started a new test character and the setup/layout of how the missions flow is a lot better. The new Duty Officer system adds some flavor and a bit of additional customizability in the form of bonuses to your space and ground abilities. The new single-currency Dilithium system is a hell of lot better than the 10 different badge/emblem types from before. Still no real use though for gold-pressed latinum other than for 1 daily mission and for trophy purchases (reminds me of skeeball tickets in a way). They are going to implement a new Dilithium exchange so that you can stay F2P and still get everything you want. You can exchange your time (dilithium) for cash (STO Store Points) and vice versa. I'll test out the new space skill revamp in a few days but from what I've read, the changes make a lot of sense for the better.

I hope they can pull off all these changes and finally get the resources to give the Trek world the treatment that it deserves.
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Re: Star Trek Online goes free to play

Postby Munki » Mon Feb 13, 2012 10:36 am

I just installed this yesterday to try out. I'm pleasantly suprised by how it's playing. I had only done the Trial before and I *loathed* the ground combat. And while the Ground combat is still nothing to get excited over, it at least is much easier to use. There still seems to be little if any strategies to use while on the ground and most ground missions so far have trended very easy.

Of course, like before, the Space stuff is where all the fun is though. Space missions are lots of fun and really make me feel like I'm playing a Trek game. As I'm doing stuff I can just HEAR them yelling in my head "Shields to Maximum!" and "All power to forward phasers!" as I'm doing stuff. I wish you could actually play from the bridge lol. It would be a fun and interesting expiriment.

I doubt I will end up playing this a lot or anything, I am fully expecting to be 'done' within a month. But I think it's great that the game went F2P, as now I'm willing to forgive a lot more of it's flaws :)
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Re: Star Trek Online goes free to play

Postby Feaduin » Tue Feb 14, 2012 12:23 am

There is no strategy on the ground stuff until you get into the Starfleet Task Force missions (STFs). Those are the heroic type missions that usually require real players that cooperate and coordinate on both the space and the ground parts. It's actually quite fun when you are grouped up with guildies that know what's going on. Not fun at all in PUGs as the missions can be impossible when playing with morons. Too bad no one's gonna give a shit about STO until they run out of content in TOR.

Hey, did you run out of content in TOR?

Also you can friend @dweez05 :)
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Re: Star Trek Online goes free to play

Postby Munki » Tue Feb 14, 2012 1:13 pm

I didn't so much as run out of content in TOR, I just still am suffering from WoW burnout. Once I got to the end of my players story, I realized I had very little interest in what was available at 50 for me. No interest in PvP and only a passing interest in dungeons (coupled with few guildies at 50 and there ya go). I really enjoyed TOR up until 50. After I got to 50 it felt too much like a game I was tired of.

I did a random Fleet Action last night (I'm still exploring whatever the shit everything is... I just queued up for this thing and still don't quite get what it was) and had fun blowing up Klingon ships with 9 other captains. I just got my new ship at whatever the next rank is (Lt. Commander?) so there ya go.

I am sure people won't even really give a crap about ST:O once they run out of content in TOR :) Most people won't at least. I know some people who wont be named (but their name is similar to Sword if I did want to name them, which I don't) that have mostly written the game off due to a really bad impression from the Trial before it went F2P.

Oh I unlocked this new Duty Officer system last night... which I actually thought was really cool. It's good flavor in the sense of rounding your ship crew out, it is something you can really explore without having to spend money in the cash shop, but they also have 'random packs of duty officers' you can buy (like a magic pack of cards) if you are in to that. All in all a pretty good system. Much better than the "almost all uniforms/off-duty clothes cost real money" cash shop thing. For a company that prides itself on customization, I'm surprised at how few options are available to the user when dressing their captain up.
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Re: Star Trek Online goes free to play

Postby Feaduin » Tue Feb 14, 2012 4:08 pm

Customization comes from the endless amount of plastic surgery you can do lol. You can really fuck with your face and body at the tailor, who also strangely enough specializes in cosmetic surgery. They do make you buy certain costumes but to me that's ok because I just shopped for the uniform that worked the best with the color schemes I wanted to create and then purchased that one for me and my crew. You can mess with the different uniforms at the tailor shop and sorta preview what you can do. I eventually got several different uniform sets when they went on 50% sale or as ship/bridge/uniform/whatever bundle packs or I got them free when they do their special events or as special time unlocks (100, 200, 300 day, etc. veteran rewards - you don't have to PLAY, just have an account for that long). I liked the ST uniforms from Wrath of Khan, the uniforms for DS9/Voyager, and I sorta combined the two and made my own color scheme. You should be able to find a costume for each TV show and movie as your canonical starting point. If you look around at the other players you will notice that they are all trek uniforms but with heavy mods. The game is geared heavily towards Trek fans so everything tends stay within the "feel" of the Trek universe so you can't stray too far and turn your guy into Batman, lest the game go totally non canon. But within those constraints, you can get creative and since Futurama's DOOP is a Trek parody, I was able to make one of my BOs physically look like Kif Kroker complete with green oblong head, skinny appendages, a pot belly, his dutiful stance, and then coupled that with a DOOP uniform. Too bad he was on the Beta shard which got wiped before F2P and I haven't been back since to recreate him on my permanent account.

The ships themselves have some external customizability but not all that much. The most you can do is to mix and match the different parts of the same class ships and slap on your own war paint. I think that's a good thing though because then Fed players LOOK like Fed players, and Klingons look like Klingons. The real ship customizability are the internals to suit your captain/crew's skills and abilities, and your personal style of play.

also, when you customize your uniform, don't forget to turn off the armor kit visuals or they will obscure your hard work.
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Re: Star Trek Online goes free to play

Postby Munki » Tue Feb 14, 2012 5:53 pm

Haha yea, when I first got some armor I almost took it back off. My mini skirt was all gone! Thankfully after fumbling around I found the way to hide your armor.

They actually give you a pretty good amount of stuff to build your costume with for free, so I actually don't mind too much. At this point though, I pretty much give all female crewmembers mini skirts. I clearly need the Mirror Enterprise outfits so they can have belly shirts to go with it too!
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Re: Star Trek Online goes free to play

Postby Marcallo » Fri Apr 06, 2012 11:46 am

Hey Fed, do you still log in every now and again? I downloaded the F2P client, and logged in, I didn't know how to play ANY of my characters, so I bought a couple slots, and made a brand new Joined Trill Tactician. I'm just about level 10 now and finally figured out what's going on. I'm just gonna keep playing this guy when I have time. I actually had 600 CP and I was having so much fun I bought 10 dollars worth more. I see no need to go up to gold membership, ever. Being able to send tells just isn't that great to me. Just curious if you ever log in. Be fun to have at least one friend in game for when I do play.
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Re: Star Trek Online goes free to play

Postby Feaduin » Fri Apr 06, 2012 11:55 pm

work's picking up again so I don't have much time to play. This is one game I don't worry about going in and out of though because of the no sub thing, so I guess it also doesn't get put high on my priority list. I will play from time to time but I think most of my time will be in TOR IF I log in at all.
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