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Star Trek Online

Season 9 Dev Blog #3

By CaptainSmirk
Fri 21 Mar 2014 12:00:00 PM PDT

 

Reputation Redesign

 

Star Trek Online Season 9 STO MMORPG F2P Sci-Fi MMO Game Legacy of Romulus

In Season 8, we introduced the Dyson Joint Command Reputation and along with it some changes to how this reputation flowed when compared to older ones like Task Force Omega, New Romulus or Nukara Strikeforce. Most of these changes were universal improvements, like the introduction of reward packs upon initialization of a reputation XP project. Others were more controversial, like the introduction of Commendations. Our goal with all of those changes was to prototype some reputation improvements that would eventually be rolled out to all other end game reputations. So, that’s what I am here to talk to you about today.

 

Commendations We Hardly Knew Ye

 

The Dyson Joint Command Reputation introduced a new kind of asset called Dyson Joint Command Commendations. After a bit of iteration, these commendations ended up being awarded whenever the player completed their first piece of Dyson Joint Command content. This asset was then put into the Dyson Joint Command daily experience project to award a large chunk of reputation XP.

Our intention with this new asset was to give players a daily reward for doing a single piece of content of their choice, which would ultimately grant a large reputation XP boost. So, essentially Commendations were intended to be a progression asset while Marks were intended to be an equipment purchasing asset. Ultimately, after a bit of data-mining, listening to player feedback, and experiencing the flow of the Dyson Joint Command first hand, we’ve decided to ditch Commendations entirely and keep things nice and simple. Reputations will have Marks as their single asset for XP projects, with certain Elite commodities (such as Borg Neural Processors and Voth Cybernetic Implants) remaining a necessity only for the most top-end gear projects.

 

Daily Bonus Marks

 

You might be thinking “Well, I liked Commendations” for one reason or another. Commendations did serve a purpose and we’re planning on introducing Daily Bonus Marks to replace them. Here’s how it will work:

  • Complete a task that would award reputation marks
  • Earn Daily Bonus Marks and the normal rewards for that task

 

It’s that simple. You can only earn Daily Bonus Marks for each reputation once per day though. At the time of writing this, the amount of Bonus Marks awarded is planned to be equal to the number of marks required to complete a 1 Daily and 1 Hourly reputation XP project plus 10 Marks. For example:

  • Daily XP projects require 30 Marks
  • Hourly XP projects require 15 Marks
  • So, the Daily Bonus Mark pack will award 55 Marks (30+15+10)

 

Star Trek Online Season 9 STO MMORPG F2P Sci-Fi MMO Game Legacy of Romulus

 

XP Projects

 

All reputations will have their Large and Small XP projects replaced with a Daily and an Hourly XP project. Each of these projects requires the following:

  • Marks
  • Expertise
  • Energy Credits

 

And they will award:

  • Reputation Reward Pack upon project initiation
  • Reputation XP and/or Dilithium upon project completion

 

Daily

 

These projects can be completed once every 20 hours and cost a moderate amount of Marks, Expertise and Energy Credits. They immediately award an equipment reward pack upon filling all of the “buckets” in the reputation project window and after the project is completed, and claimed, they award a large amount of reputation XP and a bit of Dilithium. The vast majority of your reputation XP will come from the completion of these projects. It’s important to note that the cost of these projects is constant, meaning they do not increase tier over tier. So, the Mark input cost will be 30 at all tiers instead of 10 at tier I and 40 at tier IV for example.

 

Hourly

 

Hourly projects require 1 hour to complete and cost half as many Marks, Expertise and Energy Credits as Daily projects. They immediately award an equipment reward pack upon filling their “buckets” in the project window. An hour later the project will be completed and will award a small amount of reputation experience and Dilithium.

These hourly XP projects may be run a handful of times per day. Once that limit has been met, this project will be replaced by an hourly project that instead yields bonus Dilithium instead of reputation XP, in addition to the standard reward pack. There is no limit on how many times this bonus Dilithium project can be run.


Star Trek Online Season 9 STO MMORPG F2P Sci-Fi MMO Game Legacy of Romulus

Reward Packs

 

One of my personal favorite features of the Dyson Joint Command reputation was the introduction of Reward Packs. These packs were given out once all of the “buckets” were filled on an Hourly or Daily XP project and contained goodies that could only be found within that reputation’s Dilithium stores. We decided these rewards felt good and we’ve introduced them to all other reputations as well.

 

Dilithium Store Unlocks

 

Another feature of the Dyson Joint Command reputation was the removal of reputation Dilithium Store Unlock projects. Instead, these stores are awarded as you unlock Tiers in a reputation. We also removed all stores that contained Blue or Mk XI or below equipment. These unlocked stores will contain Mk XII very rare (purple) gear.

 

Equipment Projects

 

While the Dyson Joint Command reputation contained fewer equipment projects than older reputations, it only had Mk XII very rare gear. All older reputations have been reworked to do the same. No equipment projects had their tier requirements increased. They either remained the same or had the tier requirement reduced.

In addition to this the following equipment projects had their mark costs reduced:

  • Nukara Space Set mark cost reduced from 900 to 750.

 

Tier Upgrades

 

Another nice feature of the Dyson Joint Command reputation was that Tier upgrade projects only required 5 Marks and took 5 seconds to complete. This will also be rolled out to all other reputations.

 

Costume Unlocks

 

We’ve reduced the cost on all ground costume unlock projects to only require 5 Marks. Going forward new reputations will automatically award these costume unlocks upon meeting their requirements.

  • E.g.: collecting all three pieces of a ground set automatically awards you with a costume unlock.

 

Item Set Improvements

 

One of our goals with this feature was to give older equipment sets a review and bring them up to snuff. This resulted in some improvements to a few sets. At the time of writing this, the sets that received these improvements are: Romulan/Reman space sets and the Nukara space set.

 

Star Trek Online Season 9 STO MMORPG F2P Sci-Fi MMO Game Legacy of Romulus

 

Borg STF Rewards

One thing we’ve wanted to improve in STO is that every time a player queues up for an STF, there is no clear indication of what rewards will be earned at the end.  There are base rewards and a chance to improve them by completing optional objectives, but beyond that there is also a chance to “jackpot” extra rewards.  Sometimes you earn extra Borg Neural Processors, other times it is extra Omega Marks; sometimes you earn a piece of gear and yet other times the only rewards are the base rewards.  Extra rewards have never been a problem, but they do cause confusion.

While updating the Borg STF rewards to include the new Daily Bonus Marks we wanted to remove this randomness.  Furthermore, this provided us with an opportunity to further our mission in this reputation system redesign to make all reputations work in similar ways so that experiences in one can easily translate to another.

In our Season 9 update, you’ll notice that all the base rewards are remaining the same, as are the rewards for completing optional objectives.  What is changing is that extra rewards found in the “jackpot” are now just inherently earned:

The chance for a piece of gear is being replaced by a guaranteed piece of gear.  The chances of receiving the best possible piece of gear (such as the Very Rare Mark XII’s from Elite mode) are exactly the same as before.

The chance for extra Omega Marks is being replaced by the Daily Bonus Marks that are earned for the first play of a STF (or other Omega Reputation content) per day.  This large, guaranteed, lump sum of Omega Marks dwarfs all the previous potential jackpots.

The chance for extra Borg Neural Processors is being removed; however, the related costs of all reputation projects are being decreased accordingly.  The end result is that Borg Neural Processors will drop at a rate similar to Voth Cybernetic Implants and the Task Force Omega reputation projects will require the same amount of these elite rewards to the Dyson Joint Command projects.

Hopefully all these changes will increase the transparency of the STF rewards without altering the rewards too much (and those that have changed, are changed for the better).

 

Q&A

 

Q: I have an equipment project slotted in an active project slot and this project is being removed in Season 9. Will I lose any progress on the completion of this item?

A: No progress will be lost. You’ll be able to complete any slotted projects you may have, but you won’t be able to slot any of these retired projects once Season 9 goes live.

 

Q: I have an Mk X, Mk XI or blue item that is awarded from a project that is being retired. Will I lose that item?

A: No. Only projects are being retired, the items they award will not be. This means you’ll keep any items you’ve earned.

 

Q: I have some pieces from one of item sets that are receiving improvements. Do I have to run another project to get the improved version?

A: No. Your items and any affected set bonuses will automatically be improved.

 

Q: I completed a project that now has a cheaper cost. Will I be reimbursed for the cost difference?

A: No, however these items have also been improved and you will not need to complete the project again to receive these improvements.

 

Q: I have a Mk X or Mk XI version of an item that belongs to a set that is being improved, will my set be improved as well?

A: No. Most older item sets have separate set bonus item requirements. So, if you own a Mk X or Mk XI item set that has an improved Mk XII version, it will likely not receive improved set bonuses.

 

Q: Are Dilithium costs in unlocked Dilithium stores being changed?

A: There are no plans to change costs on Dilithium store items.

 

Q: How much Reputation XP do Daily and Hourly projects award?

A: Dailies award 2500 and Hourlies award 200.

 

Q: I currently have some Dyson Joint Command Commendations.  What will happen to them?

A: While we are no longer awarding Commendations, you will not lose any you have.  You will be able to convert them into Dyson Sphere Marks via a special Upgrade project.

 

Q: Is sponsorship changing at all?

A: We are very happy with Sponsorship and the player reaction to it, we have no plans to change this feature at this time.

 

In conclusion, we’re super excited about rolling out these changes and continuing to improve upon our existing end-game reputations. We look forward to player feedback and an opportunity to continue to enhance the reputation experience.

It’s important to note that everything mentioned above is subject to change during this feature’s beta test on Tribble.

Regards,

Phil “Gorngonzolla” Zeleski
System Designer
Star Trek Online

 


Season 9 Dev News Blog Index

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