Season 13 Announced

Cryptic just announced Season 13, Escalation, will be incoming. That’s an interesting picture though… where is this, exactly? Those neon signs look kinda like katakana, written by clueless gaijin with poor pensmanship! XD

Original message:

The battle for the galaxy continues to escalate, Captains. On April 25th, PC players will be able to experience the newest season of Star Trek Online: Season 13 – Escalation. This season brings with it a brand new Featured Episode, new types of queues though our War Games system that adds new challenges and new ways to play against other captains, a new reputation that features class specific space and ground sets, and the Player Potential system which match players in War Games and PvP queues based on relative player skill. Here’s what to expect when Season 13 – Escalation launches:

New Featured Episode: In Mirrors and Smoke, players will journey with their Lukari companion Captain Kuumaarke as she explores her people’s past, and battles a new threat from the marauding Tzenkethi.

War Games: The War Games queues will put players in head-to-head competitive PvE scenarios. These new queues split ten players into two teams of five, who must race to complete objectives before the other team succeeds.

*Balancing: *To support the new War Games system, we’ve created a Player Potential system that will match you to other players in a brand new way. Our goal is always to ensure that every decision a Captain makes is an effective one. With that in mind, we’ve made many changes to space combat that encourage Captains to explore new aspects of gameplay. These changes will go live with Season 13.

We’ll have more details on Star Trek Online: Season 13 – Escalation in the weeks to come, Captains. Stay tuned, and we’ll see you in game!


Now the announcement did say that the space combat rebalancing will also go live with Season 13 — and yeah, that’s the major change everyone is talking about, but it means the changes are less than a month away and I sure hope Cryptic will have ironed out all the problems by then. I’m still nervous about reports I’ve heard from players testing things out on Tribble… I guess when Season 13 comes out, I’ll see if any of my toons/builds will be completely invalid! I have a feeling this change will force/allow me to drop some of my secondary toons, simply because I don’t relish the thought of spending the time and resources to rebuild everyone. Just doing this on my main toons will be painful enough!

As for the idea of a competitive PvE “War Games” queue, the pessimist in me wonders how popular this will be. If you give the average MMO gamer a choice of (A) blowing up other players or (B) racing against other players, I think 9 out of 10 will opt for bloody bloodshed. In other words, I think this queue will be less popular than PvP queues, and we all know how (un)popular PvP currently is on STO.

That being said, there is a ray of hope here for PvP. Between the space rebalancing and this mysterious “Player Potential” matchmaking system, Cryptic is at least trying to nudge the game in the right direction. I mean, I wouldn’t play PvP right now because of all the alpha-strike insta-kills, and the 45-seconds-immunities going on — that’s neither interesting nor fun — so hopefully these problems can be addressed and PvP can be an interesting activity again!

Speaking of uninteresting — ohmygodanotherreputationtogrindfor. Good grief. I’ve already skipped the Lukari reputation entirely because seriously, grinding for Rep feels like going to a deadend job day-after-day…. and look! Here comes yet another one.

 

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4 thoughts on “Season 13 Announced

  1. Sigh… Great. More grind. And I’m not too happy about this “mega-nerf,” as we call it in my fleet. So far every single person I know who still plays STO isn’t happy about it. And these aren’t the “DPS über alles” crowd either. These are people from all walks of STO life (Fed, KDF, Rom, tac, eng, sci). So, yeah… I think it’s time for me to take a nice long break from STO for a while. It’s not like I’m on that much anymore anyway.

    Oh, and as for those signs, while there are a few (accidental?) similarities, those are definitely not Japanese kanji characters nor either of the kanas (katakana or hiragana), I can assure you. lol I’m thinking it might be the Lukari language.

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    1. Oh I know those are not actual katakana – believe you me, for the most part I can actually read Japanese. But if you look at some older TV shows or movies or comic books, back when Chinese or Japanese writing were truly “exotic”, a lot of the stores and street signs were scribbled with gibberish that vaguely resembled actual Chinese or Japanese writing. The writing in that STO picture? Look exactly like signs in those old shows or movies!

      As far as the mega-nerf goes, I think it’s natural that no one likes it. I mean, who’s going to be happy that something is being taken away? But objectively I think it’s a good move — the game is and has been going down a path of infinite power-creep. The “Death” of PvP is really the most obvious symptom; we’ve gotten to the point where taking 30 seconds to blow up a Borg Cube is considered “TOO LONG” – yeah, what’s wrong with you? You should be able to blow up a Cube in under 10 seconds! While it’s satisfying to wipe out an entire enemy fleet by your lonesome in 40 seconds, that sort of gameplay really isn’t sustainable in the long run. Story missions become trivial (why am I even listening to this Tzenkethi? Blow him up already!), there’s little strategy in play, and it breaks immersion in a major way. So if a mega-nerf can bring things back in line? I’m okay with it.

      What I really worry about a mega-nerf is if it only temporarily resets the playing field, until someone figures out the next meta that’ll break gameplay. The real trick is to do a mega-nerf to correct past mistakes, but at the same time Cryptic needs to show restraint and stop the power creep from happening again. A one-time reset is acceptable, but repeating the power-creep-followed-by-mega-nerf cycle is sure to piss off their players and customers.

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      1. I get what you’re saying. But here’s the thing, tho, Heidy: I’m not one of those players who’s doing ridiculously high amounts of DPS. I already struggle in advanced and elite queues. I’m not some min-maxer who just wants some sort of “I win” button that kills everything with a single shot. That would be unchallenging and boring.

        I just don’t like that my build, that I’ve painstakingly grinded and saved up for and set up to where I’m finally starting to be satisfied with its performance, will be rendered even less effective and nigh-on useless by this mega-nerf. It doesn’t really “rebalance” anything because the DPS monsters will simply work around it and find other ways to keep the power creep/DPS arms race going, and players like me that aren’t able to do enough DPS to actually get stuff done in advanced or elite queues will suffer even more.

        It’s OK if you’re already a DPS monster and and more easily adapt. But if you’re not, it sucks. And I won’t be a bit surprised if even more people get discouraged and leave the game because of this. But we’ll see.

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      2. I hear ya. The reason I am cautiously hopeful is that right now the gap between DPS monsters and the average player is pretty huge — I mean, anytime one player can do 10x or 20x that of everyone else, there is a BIG problem in play balance. If this rebalancing means I do less damage overall, but the DPS monster only does 5x what I dish out, I’d support it.

        Some of the notes talk about stuff like nerfing invulnerability stacking, extending CDs on some key abiilties, increasing benefits at low power levels… these are things that I think can collectively drop the DPS ceiling a bit, and even help the average player. But ultimately we have to see what actually gets pushed out.

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