Earlier this year we made some updates to the Azure Nebula Rescue queue. These changes addressed some concerns we had with how the Queues were rewarding players and how difficult optional objectives on Advanced queues might be blocking player progress. After watching the numbers and listening to feedback, we believe that the STO community has approved of these changes. With this mandate, we will be rolling out similar changes to the rest of our Advanced queues. What follows is a general overview of what has been done to the queues. Because every queue is different, this blog will not detail the individual changes made to each queue.
The first big change is that, excepting a few cases, Advanced queues no longer fail due to not completing required objectives which were optional objectives on Normal. These previously required objectives are now optional on Advanced queues, and you will be able to continue playing the rest of the queue even if you fail these objectives. Like Normal queues, these objectives are tied to additional rewards, so you will want to succeed at them, if possible.
The second big change is that all Normal and Advanced queues now reward the same amount of marks for finishing the mission without completing any optional objectives. However, we still want Advanced queues to reward more marks than their Normal versions due to the fact that the critters are tougher and there is added challenge in completing the mission while fighting them. The difference is now made up for in greater rewards on the optional objectives on Advanced.
Additionally, there were cases where Advanced queues had optional objectives which were not present on Normal, and sometimes a Normal queue had optional objectives which were different from its Advanced counterpart. We have largely synched the optional objectives together so they are the same between Normal and Advanced. And as stated before, the rewards for doing optional tasks on Advanced are greater than doing the same tasks on Normal, providing the greater reward for the greater challenge.
As Advanced queues no longer fail due to non-completion of difficult objectives, we expect that players will be able to earn more marks from playing these queues as they progress will no longer be halted prematurely. Additionally, it will be easier to earn elite reputation marks (Borg Neural Processors, Isomorphic Injections, etc.) and rare crafting materials as players will be able to finish these queues and earn those specific rewards as a result. The total number of marks that players can earn from a given queue will be, with very few exceptions, either the same as they earned before this update or slightly improved.
Certain queues have failure conditions built into them even on their Normal modes, an example being Mine Trap. In these cases failure has been built in as a fundamental part of those queues. In these cases the queues rewarded the full array of rewards (elite marks, crafting packs, etc.) that they would if they had been succeeded, however the queue ends early. These queues will function in the same way they have before, however optional objectives will now be the same across Normal and Advanced versions and the rewards will similarly be updated as mentioned above with similar rewards for base gameplay and additional rewards for completing optional objectives in Advanced versions.
Slightly. To accommodate the new reward structure some Normal queues have had new optional objectives added to them (which had previously been exclusively optional objectives in Advanced and/or Elite versions). In these cases, some of the potential rewards for completing objectives in these queues have been shifted around to ensure that these new objectives would reward comparably to their counterparts.
Elite queues have been untouched by this process. We are continuing to monitor their performance.
The changes we've made have reduced bottlenecks in player progress, and increased the potential for reward for all players. We look forward to hearing your feedback on these changes that will be coming to Tribble.
Katherine “Shelana” Bankson
Staff Content Designer
Star Trek Online