Before anyone misunderstands, no this isn’t about STO’s reputation with players as a game or about trying to “save” the game. The game doesn’t need saving, it’s already an amazing and successful MMO. This is about their planned improvements/additions to the game’s Reputations system. STO is adding another Reputation to the game in the new expansion coming this May. Frankly, I consider this a good thing, and honestly feel that their moving many rewards into the reputation system is a smart move. That said, the reputation system is in desperate need of a lot more of these reputations.
I really feel that making the whole game based on these reputations is a much smarter idea than what they started with. I’d like to see them put in a Starfleet reputation for FED players, a Klingon reputation for KDF players, a Neutral Factions reputation, a Borg Invasion reputation (to separate it from the Omega Task Force reputation system), a Cardassian/Bajoran/DS9 reputation, a Mirror Universe reputation, a Breen reputation, a Deferi reputation, and I’d like to see the Events reputation evolve to a Featured Series reputation and a Fleet Actions reputation (this could reward players with Fleet Marks and even Fleet Ship requisition items similar to those in the C-Store), among others. Or, alternatively, they could take their current Commendations XP tracks and change each of them into separate reputation branches, each with it’s own “projects” for rewards that were previously only rewarded as mission rewards, then just adjust all the current mission rewards to instead offer various different reputation marks for whatever of those CXP reputations most fits that mission. Most current mission rewards could be fairly easily swapped to special marks/commendations for these new/alternate reputations, and PvP rewards could also be swapped over to this system as well.
If you ask me, it’s just a smart direction to take Star Trek Online. It makes adding new rewards into the system easier, and allows for seasonal rewards to be slotted in and out of the system with ease. It also makes re-playing older missions more worthwhile for many players, because they’d be re-playing not for obsolete items, but more reputation marks towards the gear they want. From what I’ve seen and experienced, the new reputation system has made a lot of things more interesting to play and even replay, even more interesting than simply adding Dilithium to mission replay rewards. I’d much rather they swapped out all the old-style quest rewards with a reputation system, then took the old rewards and made them available through the reputation projects. It’s been rather successful so far, and most players keep wanting more reputation tracks and projects to be added to the game. I think that this system could even be applied to the games crafting system, using various anomalies instead of marks to put towards a crafting project. If they could implement a way to have specific or even custom weapon/item bonuses as more expensive crafting projects, I think a lot more people would both craft and would farm for anomalies in missions. Add that to being able to re-play older missions for CXP marks, and you’ve just turned 75% of the game into worthwhile replay for most players.
I have a sneaky suspicion that this is the direction STO’s dev team is probably going, and I think that others in the industry may go that rout as well. I guess we’ll just have to wait and see; if ‘m right, we probably won’t know for another year or two, at least. Until then, I’ve got some Omega marks, New Romulus marks, and soon event marks and Nukara Strikeforce marks to be earning. Quapla’!