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Move the Point of Diminishing Returns

Matt_DeckerMatt_Decker ✭✭✭✭✭
edited January 2019 in Make It So!
One of the challenges for the game designers that needs to be addressed -- assuming DB wants to keep veteran players like me -- is that players will reach a point of diminishing returns. I've been at this point for some time. Over that time, DB has made adjustments that have kept me playing: the addition of mega events with repeating legendary crew in the thresholds, the addition of voyages, the addition of honor to the game, or more recently the addition of threshold rewards at higher point values. Those have been great changes. Camaraderie with fellow Star Trek fans has also kept me playing -- shout out to Starship Trista! which accepted me last September.

(Just as background, I'm a monthly dilithium card player who very, very occasionally splurges on an additional purchase (e.g. bought myself a $25 second copy of Warship EMA as a Christmas present, also usually get myself a present like this at my birthday). I've been playing for over two years, but I only reached VIP 12 with that Warship EMA purchase last week.)

I'm at the point of diminishing returns again, and obviously others are too, based on the number of veteran players who have been dropping out. Some examples of what I mean:
  • I completed every mission on the galaxy map two years ago, and passed every node at epic at least a year ago (except for the handful of new ones that I was able to complete almost as soon as they were added to the game).
  • I've got plenty of immortalized super rares -- to the point where most super rare "beholds" now show three crew I've already immortalized. If one assumes the average 10X pull results in 1k honor (which is high), that means it takes 18 pulls for me to equal a super rare crew that would be useful. So a 4-star 10x pull is of much lower value to me than before.
  • I've been able to consistently place in the top 1000 for events for almost 1.5 years now. I cracked the top 100 once, about a year ago. I'm not able to repeat that feat without significantly upping my spend or hoarding chronitons for weeks (and avoiding other game play in order to do so). So I've hit a pretty hard wall in terms of my ability to rank higher in events.
  • And, with the current reward structure, that's not even worth doing as the legendary reward is the same unless I crack the top 25. Given the amount of time and/or $ required to crack that rank, it would be cheaper to buy the rewards, which would exceed my budget for the game.
  • The value of that top 1000 finish is diminishing for me as well, as I don't need more super rare crew or single copies of legendary crew that do little for my crew's overall skill stats, but take up an additional crew slot.
  • I've got enough 10/10 legendary starships to do well on voyages/arena, so the schematics that drop are of almost no value to me.
  • I'm able to consistently run an 8-hour voyage without refueling, but most of the super rares that drop are ones I already have immortalized. It will be weeks, maybe a few more months, before I'm able to do even one voyage at 10 hours without refueling, let alone reach that mark consistently. While that will be an accomplishment, it won't net me much more benefit, however.
  • I'm able to consistently place in top 10 -- often top 3, and sometimes #1 if I time it right -- for Gauntlet. But that hasn't notably increased my rate of winning the featured legendary crew, and the other rewards are of marginal value to me.
  • I'm in the top 1% every night for Arena, but only once every three months am I winning schematics I actually need.
  • I've completed most of the general trait collections, with a few that I should be able to complete in the coming months. The rest -- especially the new themed ones -- are woefully out of reach unless I up my spending.
  • I've got plenty of training programs, credits, merits, and I'm able to farm enough chronitons from voyages, etc. The only resource of which I'm in significant deficit as to what I'd like is honor.

In sum, I'm putting the same amount of time/$ into the game, but getting less out.

So, how can DB address this? Here are some suggestions, but I start this thread hoping that others will also contribute ideas:
  1. Honor needs to be easier to accrue. While I appreciate that DB wouldn't want to make turning in an undesired crew of the same value as "buying" a citation for the same level crew, the difference between the two shouldn't be so great. 550 vs 50000 is too great a difference (using legendaries as an example). Something closer to 10000 vs 50000, or a 1:5 ratio, would greatly improve the value for me in playing to win honor since that's most of what I net from pulls or event rewards.
  2. Add citations, and/or more honor, to threshold and/or ranked rewards on events. 10x pulls are of diminished value to me, as are old legendaries with poor stats. But I do still need citations, especially legendary citations.
  3. Add a new gameplay feature -- the way you added the gauntlet and voyages. I need something new to do in this universe with my crew, starships, and accumulated inventory.
  4. Let Voyages build on past ones, and/or take on new stories. A new voyage shouldn't repeat all the events from the last voyage -- it should build on what was accomplished in the previous one.
  5. When a skirmish event is coming up, and while it is going, put the featured legendary starship into the Arena rewards. Give us the opportunity to earn the ship we most need/want at that moment.
  6. What other ideas do players have?
Fleet: Starship Trista
Captain Level: 95
VIP Level: 12
Unique Crew Immortalized: 525
Collections Completed: Vulcan, Ferengi, Borg, Romulan, Cardassian, Uncommon, Rare, Veteran, Common, Engineered, Physician, Innovator, Inspiring, Diplomat, Jury Rigger, Gauntlet Legends


  • Dirk GundersonDirk Gunderson ✭✭✭✭✭
    I’ll add to your #4 - the dilemmas required to obtain even one copy of the voyage-only crew are incredibly rare to string together, particularly Worf and Guinan. As hard (and/or expensive) as it is to get them, they are frankly not strong enough to warrant the effort for most people. The ability to get them more than once is appreciated, of course, though for Worf and Guinan it is almost certainly cheaper to buy two of the occasional 4* citation deals than it would be to run multiple long voyages trying to chase them down through their dilemmas.

    If the existing voyage-only crew were moved to the honor hall or regular portal pool and replaced with legendary crew (and particularly strong ones for the three-part dilemmas) it would still be frighteningly hard to get them but be more rewarding when that finally happens. As it is now, I have given up any hope of getting additional stars for Fierce Guinan (who came to me through the achievement rather than through an actual voyage) or getting Colonel Worf at all, and have little confidence in my ability to fuse The Clown, Ensign Picard, Leonard McCoy, or Jannar without using citations as I did for Thot Gor and Lucien.
  • I agree with you and I like most of your suggestions. However, I don't think long-time players who are low spenders are particularly valuable to DB, so I don't expect them to listen. Some of the latest changes actually appeared to be discouraging for long-time players.

    That being said, I think that the frustration linked to diminishing returns has mainly to do with the difficulty of upgrading legendaries, at least for me. At this point, I only play to get new legendaries and upgrade the ones I already have.
    The suggestion about honor makes sense, but that would probably lower expenses on event packs and DYC, so I don't think they will adress this.

    In my opionion, what they could do is make old legendaries easier to acquire. For example, all those from 2016.

    1) They could be added to ranked rewards in events or a 2016 begold could be added instead.

    2) They could appear in legendary-only packs. You pay 650 dilithium and get one begold with three legendaries from 2016.

    3) They could drop in voyages.

    4) They could be acquired through some new starbase room.

    5) They could drop in the gauntlet (the only way the gauntlet may ever be of some interest to me again).
  • edited January 2019
    Agree with #1-3 in general.
    100% for #4. Voyages should really be a sequential storyline, Part 1 then Part 2, Part 3 etc.

    Agree also with the 2016 Legendary Only packs as suggested by Emperor Borg Drone.

    My own suggestions:
    • Some ability to trade crew in the Starbase (the Recruitment Centre?)
    • A new feature where you purchase tickets to repeat old events with dilithium. Put the new rewards structure in the old events to include better reward spacing and some of the older 5* characters. I think this might be a good new revenue stream for DB and allows them to recycle old content.
    • Story Missions with very hard difficulty that focus on those 5* characters where completion at Epic difficulty allows you to get say three or four copies of a 5* character. DB can then offer you deals to upgrade your 5* characters.
    • For events maybe have simultaneous phases that encompasses other aspects of game-play. So, the Gauntlet you could earn Victory Points and even take them off other plays. Similarly, you could have event focused Skirmish missions to earn and take Victory Points. For a Supply Mission, you could still earn Victory Points (or get relevant components) by doing Shuttle Missions for the Faction.

  • SSR BarkleySSR Barkley ✭✭✭✭✭
    "Diminishing Returns" isn't some specific point you hit , like a wall. It's a constantly changing thing. Every day you play, returns you get from pulls will give you lower and lower and lower returns as you move along.
    /SSR/ Barkley
    Second Star to the Right - Join Today!
    Fleet Admiral
  • Kind of prophetic that your post came right before a major update...

    But I am with you on the whole concept. I have no more crew to level, save for weekly Event crew (now to the point level 1-100 usually about 10 minutes – purple or gold). No missions to do, unless I want to waste time farming. I don't really need to do Cadets or Arena, except they fulfill the dailies.

    I am really glad for the "7.0.9" update. I plan to hold off doing the entire Episode all at once, and do only what I need at any given time.
    I want to become a Dilionaire...
  • 5000 Quatloos5000 Quatloos ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2019
    1000% on board with your honor observations. The value ratio is skewed tremendously and your points hit it all right on the mark.

    For voyages: I would love a new game mechanic that actually uses voyages to explore and discover the galaxy map. When I first started playing, it was weird to discover that voyages had no connection to that map, which is a pretty cool feature. Adding an actual exploration element would be very cool and even if it didn't yield rewards per se, provide something to accomplish. The map more or less shows the Alpha Quadrant, and we go off on deep space exploration, but the rest of the galaxy is untouched and will probably never be expanded into with missions.

    • Something like a heatmap underlay to the galaxy map showing % of space explored
    • Or alternatively, at least accumulated ship lines like those visible (but meaningless?) if you zoom in to the current galaxy map
    • Longer voyages allows deeper penetration into the uncharted. Give us a reason to push past the point of diminishing return on voyage length.
    • Choose a homeworld to start from to explore different regions
    • Could add specialty features for special ships: Transwarp Drive or Spore Drive allows for a random starting point in unexplored space
    • Could add other accomplishments accrue during voyages: number of first contacts (DIP bonus), number of astrophysics phenomena studies (SCI bonus), number of new diseases encountered and cured (MED bonus), etc. Choose a small number of "pure exploration" traits to make 'extra special' in these to add some wrinkles to crew Voyage value (astrophysics, ambassador, communicator, etc). Discovery chance rises nonlinearly with duration, rather than linearly. Give us Achievements for crossing thresholds on new things discovered/researched.

    In short, I would totally groove on an actual exploration element just for the fun of it ...
    Accepted. Mark them, Galt.
  • mejoyhmejoyh ✭✭✭✭
    I'm in exactly the same position as you. Just managed to start hitting some 10h voyages and really most of the game is getting abit boring and all the effort being applied is going into 2 activities

    1) Getting honor to get citations for legendaries
    2) Having enough resources in bank to compete top 1000 for strong 5*

    The fun is quickly disappearing.
    - 4* collection - only 28 more left with missing stars, 9 more to 'get' (3 of which are voyage only). Most 10x pack pulls are honor.
    - 5* collection - I have so many 1/5 and 2/5 cards which i have almost no intention to equip. I would love to have a meaningful conversion rate to a citation... maybe a 1-to-5 rate is too high but I would be happy with a 1-to-10 rate which would be a massive improvement to the current 1-to-90 rate....
    - There is absolutely no point to go too far past 1000. Rewards from 25 to 1000 are essentially the same.

    Totally agree with all your suggestions :)
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