Gaming Devs Gone Stupid

Awhile ago I wrote that I hoped for the best with Dan Stahl no longer at the helm over at STO. Turns out my hope was misplaced.

STO announced last week that they would be removing Exploration from the game permanently, and shifting any and all active gameplay tasks related to it into the (passive) duty officer system.

Literally every screenshot I have ever uploaded here comes from Exploration clusters and missions.
Literally every screenshot I have ever uploaded here comes from Exploration clusters and missions.

Want to explore strange new worlds? Hell no. You think this is Star Trek or something?

Have a roleplaying group and want to run a random mission together as the basis of your roleplay? Hell no.

Only have a half hour to kill, but want to enjoy some time in STO? Hell no.

The crazy thing is that they are not replacing this source of content. Their only suggestion is to play player-made Foundry missions. But those are an hour or more of gameplay, and someone else is writing the story for you.

Even crazier is the reason – new players might be turned off by this content. Um, 1) there are very few new players coming in at this point. 2) New players are pointed expressly to the storyline missions and new group content. And in a slightly related 3) Nobody is complaining about the extra content. Nobody.

Why, oh why, would you remove content from the game (without a replacement)? Content that people enjoy and that nobody is complaining about? Content that is in no way unbalancing to the rest of progression or anything else?

This is strike two for STO (strike one being the continuing addition of ridiculous Transformers battleships). At strike two, we are at the point where you get no more of my money.

The only thing I can say at this point is thank God I didn’t buy a lifetime sub!

4 thoughts on “Gaming Devs Gone Stupid

  1. Also, without those missions, where are we to get our Blue doff rewards from all the exploration mission cluster chains?!

    I see where you’re coming from. Heck, I ran a massive amount of exploration missions in my time (was one of the only ways to get diplo exp before they added doffs), but I don’t know. I’m not really saddened by the news. Recently, I just used exploration clusters as a means for a “quick STO fix”. Get that STO hit, but without the depth. Coming back after a long hiatus, jump in an explo mission to see if I can still maneuver my ship without looking like a total noob.

    But overall, I wasn’t the biggest fan of them. The randomness wasn’t really random and borked up often… kept helping the Borg find escaped convicts, for example. And I’d say promoting the Foundry is a better idea, but it’s not. Foundry is so hit and miss on quality.

    I think this opens up an opportunity, though, to make the Foundry better. Players making missions resembling those in the clusters, quick hit and run missions with text no longer than a tweet, might have a decent market. … I may finally throw my hand in to make one…

    1. I would agree, but they appear to believe that Foundry is one of the great successes of the game! So I’m not sure there will be a push to “make it better.”

      Having just read Wilhelm’s post, I can concede that perhaps users of Exploration content were a minority of the player base, so if there is some desire to save money on resources, that would make sense. I guess.

      I never encountered borked missions. Mostly I just enjoyed loading my ship up with supplies/commodities and exploring everything the random planet generator had to offer.

      Oh well. Not the first time a game I enjoyed has decided to move in a direction I didn’t want to follow in. :-p

      1. No, I think you were right. I don’t think it was really costing them any resources to keep them. They were always just… there. And really haven’t changed a single bit since game launch.

        Hehe to be fair, the ones I kept experiencing with borked stories were all in the Borg area… otherwise it was “holy crap! Look at the (random element) this planet has! Scan all the things!”… in other words, story was never why you played explo missions, too.

        They may act like its a success, but the Foundry has always been STO’s red-headed stepchild. new expansion, and the Foundry is down for weeks. They have never put a ton of effort into it, and I’d be shocked if they started now. If anything, the explo missions just highlighted how lackluster the Foundry was. :P

        I’m hoping, though, that it’s in preparation for an “exploration revamp”. Make it more engrained in the exploration of the known universe. They may not replace it now, but Cryptic works in slow waves. They are pretty good about listening to the fans, so we’ll see.

  2. I too enjoyed the exploration clusters. I realized early on that the number of missions was limited and repetitive, but I still got excited to beam down to a new world, or investigate a facility from time to time. It was fun to venture out with my own away team and not have to worry about any storyline except what happened to emerge from the gameplay itself.

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