252 people found this review helpful 1 person found this review funny
10,936.1 hrs on record
Posted: March 21, 2014
I've been playing this game on and off since it's launch and it has gotten better from those days. My perspective is from one who only plays PvE(Player vs Environment) content. I'd recommend you try this game if;
1) you are not bored with the tradional WoW type MMO (hotbar combat) 2) you are Star Trek fan 3) you like to play doll with your character(s) (the character customization in this game is awesome) 4) you can live with bugs popping up (The new VP promises that bugs will be fix fast but only time will tell) 5) you can resist(or don't mind gambling) since there are lock boxes in the game which gives out a top prize of ships(basically classes in the game), etc BUT you can get all these things in game if you have enough in game assets to dabble in the exchange(auction house) 6) you don't mind the usual MMO grindfests which can get repetitive to farm better gear, etc 7) you are not a hardcore gamer 8) your internet connection to the servers is not crap
The gameplay itself is nothing to write home about and the main reason I'm still playing it is because it's the only Trek MMO out there. The game panders mostly to the casual crowd.
Contrary to some, the game in my opinion is not Pay to Win. You can have access to all the ships and gear if you grind enough currency to exchange for these items which other players put up in the auction house. Using real money is just a shortcut in the game.
Also this game features player created missions, some of which, are much better than the official ones. Don't forget to give some a try if you decide to try this game out.
In my opinion, Free to Play means demo and Star Trek Online's demo is surprisingly good in the sense that it's not restrictive like in some other MMOs. If your ISP does not suck and you can wait to download a 10GB or so game, give it a try and see if it's up your alley. Live long and prosper. \V/.
The Good: Star Trek Online is a free to play game where you can compete at the highest levels with no cash investment. Purchasing items from the store help's support the game, however this is one of a few MMO's where those with money are not left totally behind.
A lengthy story line is included that you can complete solo by filling the rest of your team positions with your bridge officers. Alternatively you can team up with friends and enjoy the experience together. The game contains a rich mix of ground and space missions in both the story line and the Special Task Force (STF) missions. There are also Zones such as Defari, Romulas, Voth and Nukara Prime where you can land planet side and complete a variety of missions. The developers are constantly adding new content, regions and special events. Anything can happen from free ships, a vacation to Risa or a visit from christmas Q.
Once you have reached max level there is the repuutation system to earn further bonuses and equipment. Plus Elite STF missions to test you.
The Bad: Star Trek Online experience lag when servers are heavily. The interface and options are overwhelming so is the depth of charecter customisation and training. Bugs do exist and most have work arounds, this is not uncommon in a sofware upgraded over so many years.
Summary: STO overall for a free to play is robust and has held my interest as a long term game. Main factors in this are the customization you can make to ship and crew and the changing content. We recommend you give the game a try.
562 people found this review helpful 24 people found this review funny
534.9 hrs on record
Posted: May 6, 2015
I wish there was a middle-of-the-road option where I could recommend this game under certain circumstances. But since there isn't one, I feel like the most honest thing I can do is not to.
I have a few hundred hours invested in this game, which I started to play in 2014. Since then I've gotten my main character to 60, and created a few alts that are on their way there as well. I've pretty much exhausted all there is to do in my main, and finally feel like I can do this justice with a review.
So is this a bad game? I am inclined to say no. However, there are many negative things that will hold the experience back for you. The thing is that, mostly, they are not enough to stop you from playing once you've tried it and if you've liked it for what it is. But after a while, dissapointment might start to catch up with you nonetheless.
STO is a bittersweet experience. I feel that most of the time, for every three good things this game has, there is also one bad thing to go along.
-The episodes are really good. This game has an interesting story that kept me going from beginning to end to see what happens. -Space combat is not the most deep out there, but its satisfying and fun. Yes it's brainless and a spacebar smasher, but enjoyable. -It feels like a true Star Trek experience, despite some questionable things lore-wise. -Missions are repetitive, yeah, but more often than not many of them can be quite creative and entertaining. -There is a lot of room for roleplaying if you're into that sort of thing. -A good amount of content that will keep you busy for a few hundred hours. -The foundry allows for some welcome creativity and what I consider the most meaningful player run aspect of the game. It helps keep things fresh and going when you are out of episodes from the game's main storyline. -Getting in-game currency is not as painful as in other games, and the Exchange (a.k.a auction house) is great for fattening up your wallet. -There is a sizeable amount of voice acting (many of it from actors of the actual Trek shows) to help immersion. -You can customize your character appearance anytime you want, and as many times as you'd like. -The fleet (a.k.a guilds) system is good and has a lot of things going for it, from your own fleet starbase to many other cool things you can add and customize in it. -There is a decent amount of fan service and the tie ins between the tv shows and the game can be clever from time to time. -There are nice events that let you have neat things, as well as giveaways for the same purpose. -The game is regularly updated with content.
-The game is designed to extract money from you. What I hate is that half of how it's done seems appropiate to me. The game seduces you to buy uniforms and packs from your favorite shows. If the milking would have stopped there, It would have been fine. But nope, the game asks you to pay up for the best ships of the game, or grind dilithium for around 2 months just to get one of the tier 6 ships (currently the best ones). And then theres the whole "pay here for xp boosts, pay here to unlock more inventory slots, more character slots, and this and that, and etc." which isn't as annoying as how it was on SWTOR, but still pretty out there. -Ground combat is terrible. At first, I accepted it for what it was, but after hundreds of hours invested here I have come to grips with reality and had to admit the truth: it is just horrible. Shallow, thin, counterintuitive, buggy, and just an overall mess. The AI of your companions gets the job done, but it is barebones basic. And enemy AI is just laughable. Patrols can be so bugged up, their walk will jitter and flicker around like a bad LSD trip. -The game feels like a singleplayer game that was slapped the MMO label because of some online components. There isn't really any need to group for questing and exploring, and end-game content is sort of shallow to even bother and fully experience it, so that pretty much erases any meaningful purpose to grouping. -Fleet actions (a.k.a. dungeons) are ok when they are space based but horrible when ground based. And even in space they can be boring, tedious and repetitive: fight waves of guys, protect some AI ships, and a small twist here and there depending on the particular one you're doing. There are different difficulties in which you can complete these, but considering you pretty much blow through everything with standard solo gear, the need to come together to get the best pieces seems like an aftertought. Don't expect endgame organized raiding here. -The community is just dreadful. The chat on Earth Space Dock really brings out the worst in humanity. I've actually created a special tab in the chat window that filters it out for whenever I visit. Players are not helpful, and every channel feels full of slander and insufferable banter. In groups, it's the norm to roll need on everything, even if you dont really need the gear at all. -This game is not noob friendly. The UI design is not entirely convoluted, but it can take a while to figure out. The map is a mess that will make your head spin the first time around. It is a labyrinthine disaster that will not be kind to a new player at all. Hell, I'm 60 and I still get confused looking at it. -The exploration factor is virtually unexistant, except for some random missions you can pickup when flying near some planets. -There is a lot of grinding, particularly with reputation, dilithium, stuff for the fleet, credits and many other currencies. -Bugs. Bugs, bugs, bugs, bugs. Little bugs, medium bugs, large bugs, game breaking bugs. Bugs everywhere. Sometimes they get patched. Sometimes they don't. Developers are not as terrible as people often say, but they sure slack when it comes to patching for fixing errors. Not to add content, though; they can profit from that.
And despite having much more negative things to say about the game than positive and overall not recommending it, I feel obligated to answer the following question: is there any circumstance in which you would recommend the game? Surprisingly, yes.
If you are a hardcore fan of Star Trek and videogames, and you are willing to depart from some money then this is for you. Or perhaps if you are one of those fellows that do not mind to grind for months. If you like roleplaying, this game can be hours of fun as well if you find the right fleet.
If you're looking for a deep MMO with complex mechanics, don't bother downloading this. If you're not willing to open up the ol' wallet or grind your way through all the stuff you need, then keep browsing for something else as well.
What keeps this game alive and running with faithful players that follow it, is that despite all the bad, it is fun. A lot of fun actually. Many of us stick around waiting for a miracle that might never come: for Cryptic to revamp the areas that need it, and to patch the game so it can be rid of the problems it has. Perhaps a bigger developing team, and a more humane cash shop.
82 people found this review helpful 4 people found this review funny
3,278.5 hrs on record
Posted: July 10, 2017
I've seen other reviews mention this, but there's no "Both" option for reviews and I can't agree 100% with a Yes at this point.
I would describe this game as Free to Install. Putting it on your machine will cost you nothing! I know many people who play this game through to max level without spending anything at all. Usually those people then disappear, never to be seen again, when they learn what it will take to play the game competitively with others. I'm not even talking about PVP with that, although you better have a payment method handy if you want to last long enough to tell what the heck happened to your ship in a PVP match.
Any review for this game will tell you the end-game ships cost money. The up-to-date ones will run you about $30 each. Can you play the game without one of these ships? Of course, it's free to install. The strictly 3rd party number crunching programs will quickly show you why nobody recommends doing that if other options are available though. There are other ways to get a fancy ship besides real world money, as many reviewers are quick to tell you. You can spend 113 days turning a certain in-game currency into the real-world equivalent. That number will change by the way, it goes up and down based on which of the two currencies has more buying power at the time. If that sounds unreasonable you can spend the purely in-game currency on a ship from the player market. Inflation will require you to spend real money on an "energy credit" cap increase before you can even hold enough currency to buy a ship however. Again, prices vary depending on the mood of the game and how new/cool the ship you're hoping to buy seems to the people selling them. What about the free ships given away for opening boxes? A good point! Just spend some real money on keys to open the boxes, and hope the low drop chance doesn't leave you with an inventory full of worthless bank clutter. (Spend real money to expand your bank's item limit!) Tales of ships from boxes vary from person to person, but as I write this I have over 2,500 hours logged in this game and I've only gotten one high end ship from such a box.
Game-play itself can be exciting. I've bored many people with tales of extreme space battles and other silliness, to which they politely feign interest. ( It was exciting to me, OK?! ) Quickly though, you'll realize that out of the 40 or so repeating missions to run at max level there are about 3 that are still popular enough to be reliable. If you need something from a different mission then expect extreme waiting. For example: two runs in seven hours. And people wonder why the zone-wide chat is full of arguments and trolls.
Why would you need those other, unpopular, missions then? For reputations of course. Every MMO has a reputation system of some kind. Or at least the ones I know about. Most of those systems don't just hand you a membership for showing up wearing the right colored shirt either, you've got to prove yourself! For star trek online that proof is your willingness to spend 40 days working on each reputation. Are they hard to do? No. The items you need drop in greater numbers than you need, and as long as you don't fail a mission outright you'll get your items. The only thing holding you back is time. Once per day, you're expected to click a few buttons and start a 20 hour project to advance your reputation. That's the problem though, you can only do that once every 20 hours. New players quickly reach a point where their next gear upgrades come from the reputation system. They have more than enough of the items they need to run the projects, but can't do anything with them for more than 5 minutes a day. With over a month of nothing to do, their interest drops off and eventually they stop bothering to come back.
I'm sure if you look hard enough you can find something to keep you occupied during your 40 days of stagnation. Most players don't though. That fancy $30 ship isn't going to do anything without the gear to put on it either. That's what it comes down to for Star Trek Online, The people already playing it are growing tired of the same thing day after day. The new people coming into the game quickly hit a pay wall and find themselves growing tired of doing the same thing day after day. Social zones are slowly being removed from the game, mission hubs might as well be drive-through windows for all the time people spend in them. Monthly events hold interest for some, but I hear more and more people saying they're just participating as a way to break the monotony. Those who still participate at all.
I have friends in Star Trek Online. I have a lot of time (and money) invested in my favorite characters. For these reasons it took me a long time to finally switch my recommendation from Yes to No. Without friends and a willingness to spend the time I can't recommend this game to new players.
53 people found this review helpful 2 people found this review funny
721.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 3, 2016
As Cryptic Studios released the game 2nd Februar 2010 they had an idea of how to make a good Star Trek Game. I played in Alpha and Beta and ordered several copies preorder to gain a lot of ingame stuff that was different on every copy of the game. They did not make it perfect at start, it had its flaws, but hey were working on it to make it better over time. I really enjoyed playing the game. You had exploring missions. Yes at some point they repeated themselves, but that is how close you can get in a game to a Star Trek feeling. The ingame store had updates from now and then and I bought some stuff, like the Defiant Retrofit (Now T5). You could speculate how a game that demands monthly money to play it can have an ingame store that requires money again, but it was another time and technically you could unlock almost anything by playing. The design was attracting a casual playing older/wealthy player base anyway. Prices were not too high and any unlocks were always account wide forever.
This all changed as Arc Games purchased Cryptic Studios and everything went downhill. The chinese company turned the game really quick into a typical chinese pay to win game. With the release of the T6 Ships around 80% of players left, for obvious reason not being willing to pay real money for them. Only other way to get these ships was brainless grinding and playing every day. Didnt take long for the famous chinese shop in shop system appeared in which you could buy stuff that only was unlocked on one character for the double price. Yes I actually calculated everything. Ofcouse you can grind everything out, but getting a T6 ship from the Zen Store without using money will take you around 150 days with one character, depending on the dilithium exchange prices and you having enough unrefined dilithium. Anyway we went enough on the pay to win part now, lets get to the gameplay. Well every patch breaks more stuff than they can fix. This is not Cryptics fault. They actually work hard I think, they just dont get any money to repair and improve stuff in the necessary amount. Arc Games is sucking everything out. The warp out animation is broken for months. An animation Cryptic originally changed 3 times at release till it satisfied them. But look here, shiny, shiny new ships. Give us your money is Arc Games answer to that. There are several issues in the game right now. Game breaking graphic bugs and never ending glitches can be expected while you play. Be sure the server disconnects you around 30s per map you are moving. Now lets get to the part if you really have to pay money. Yes and no. Technically you can play with your free ship, but the enemies are getting stronger and stronger and standing a chance with a T5 ship against the Vaadwaur proves challenging, against Na'kuhl it is suiciding through the missions. If this still didnt convince let me you tell you that, besides having bought multiple keys for ingame items at release, I am a Lifetime Subscriber. We get free Zen every month, only reason why I still play btw. As I went back into the game after a break I had the problem I couldnt claim the T5 I bought some time ago on any other character. Wait there is a player support that I asked immediatly to get a message some days later, I just need to dismiss it on the character I own it and reclaim it there. Ofcourse I trusted the support and dissmissed the ship. Jokes on me, I couldnt reclaim it. Wrote another ticket explaining it, showing proof of the purchase. Guess what. They didnt care and didnt want to give me the ship I already paid for. I was supposed to buy it again.
Conclusion: You can play the game, some of the original good content is still there. I recommend you to make a character and just play the story once. After that stop playing. Dont waste money on it. The game is close to being dead anyway. Not later than they release T7 even the hardcore fans will leave. Really sad what lifeless, souless husk this game has become. It had great potencial and it still has. I never expected it to be like the Series. Maybe one day a better company will buy Arc Games and make the game good again.
720 people found this review helpful 7 people found this review funny
4,725.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 2, 2014
Damnit Jim, I'm a doctor, not a reviewer.
EDIT: Time for a more serious review I think. I would change from thumbs UP to thumbs DOWN but this review is for some reason already highly visible.
Delta Rising is a rapidly growing disaster due to several really idiotic decisions. The core content itself is sound. New episodes are fun and creative, with a compelling story and interesting T6 ships and mechanics.
However there are a lot of persistent bugs, some over a year old, and swathes of existing content and queues in dire need of overhaul. Instead, Cryptic seem to focus on bringing out new, very poorly QA-tested, content and systems with associated P2W aspects and let the problems pile up.
Throw in some very poorly timed nerfs, complete disregard for the sorry state of XP earning, and a total lack of dev communication, and you have a team so far removed from reality that they have the gall to call this the "best expansion yet". One can take a quick glance at the steam player numbers and see how it actually went down. Why not look at the dismal PvE queue numbers while you are there?
tl;dr, still a great Trek experience, but some fools in Cryptic HQ seem to be going out of their way to make this game as unenjoyable as possible.
99 people found this review helpful 5 people found this review funny
1,720.8 hrs on record
Posted: January 17, 2017
I played this game for over 5 years. In that time, I watched PWE buy it and turn it to complete garbage. Before they bought it, the main complaint was that it was stale and had little content. The PvP was fantastic though. After PWE bought it and made it F2P, it was okay for a while. They introduced ships with fancy consoles, that weren't necessarily gamebreaking, but at the same time were aggravating to fight against. Then they introduced lockboxes. These had fancy new gear and ships. This opened the floodgates for more of this stuff. Soon it became apparent that anything other than the newest ships and weapons would become obsolete very quickly. They kept adding more and more pay items. Power creep ensued. Now the game is a mess and typical PWE garbage. On a side note, to those people that say you can easily grind for stuff with dilithium, you can but it takes way too long for any normal person. To get reasonable amounts of dilithium to be able to buy ships and items, it would require you to grind like its a second job. A lot of the grind is also timegated. It should be called F2P but P2-have-fun. You can still play through the story (LvL 1-50) and it's interesting. Going from LvL 50-60 requires a bit of grind as missions don't give enough xp on their own to progess. After that you hit the paywall, and at this point if you want to progress, you will either be paying or grinding... a lot.
160 people found this review helpful 21 people found this review funny
3,184.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 5, 2015
Space: The Final Frontier.
Space is vast, huge, unimaginably large. Space in Star Trek Online is not so much. The game takes place mostly in our Galaxy, with the Alpha, Beta and Delta quadrants split up into three largish maps. Once you hit level 60, it'll take you around five minutes to get from one side to another on the largest of these maps. You can transwarp, which is like teleporting, around which greatly reduces your travel time. There's also a sprint option for getting around. Basically, there's a large space to fly your ship around in but it does not feel endless.
These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise.
This is where the game shines, in my eyes. Like most MMO's, you get out of it what you put in. Star Trek Online is unique wherein you don't just work to level up your character, but your ships and bridge officers as well. With the inclusion of Duty Officers, it's like managing your very own star ship crew. The Duty Officer system lets you build a crew and then send them out on little missions that will last from fifteen minutes to days on end.
Your voyages are a big part of Star Trek Online as well, with a large campaign on both the Federation and Klingon side and a medium sized campaign for the Romulan faction. These campaigns are broken up into 'episodes', each segmented into different categories. The writers certainly know their stuff, with little nods to the series littered throughout the campaigns. A lot of these missions really make you feel like you are helping your faction though hard times or discovering new things.
Its continuing mission: to explore strange new worlds.
Missions in Star Trek Online are heavily instanced, with a lot of the more recent content not playable in groups. This can make it a little harder if you're trying to play though the lot with friends and there's no really easy way to tell which missions are single player only. There are quite a few queues once you get towards end game and most of these are a mix of challenging and entertaining. They range from fighting off a Borg advance to pushing the Terrian Empire back into their own reality.
To seek out new life and new civilizations.
Seeking out new life and new civilizations is something that Star Trek lacks a little bit in it's core gameplay. Luckily, we've got the Foundry for this. The Foundry is an easy to use mission creator inside Star Trek Online with the intention of pushing your missions to the live game. These missions will be playable by everyone and with some creative thinking, the sky can be the limit with this tool. People can donate in game currency to your account if they really enjoyed your mission, so creating something of great quality can be benificial to yourself as well.
To boldly go where no one has gone before.
Star Trek Online is five years old now. People have been here before, aside from Foundry missions, you won't discover anything new here. Though, I'll take this time to quickly talk about the Free to Play model. There's been some argument over the 'Pay to Win' status of this game. While you can sink real life cash into Star Trek Online to fast track yourself to the top, you don't have to. In fact, with a bit of time, you can actually earn in game currency and covert that to currency to buy items from the cash shop. Obviously, Star Trek Online is geared towards wanting you to spend money and there are some brazen attempts to pull some out of you, but with some self-control, you're able to enjoy all of the story and locations without spending a dime. Premium ships and gear is locked behind a pay wall, if you're happy not having this. Not one single cent needs to be spent.
1,056 people found this review helpful 58 people found this review funny
6,260.5 hrs on record
Posted: October 25, 2014
By all means play this game so long as you don't spend money on it.
For those that don't know, Star Trek Online (STO) is an MMORPG loosely based in the Star Trek universe. Canon is not followed that heavily however there are facilities to create your own story, involving roleplay communities and the foundry which is a tool to design your own missions. If you are a Trek fan I would personally leave your Trek canon feelings at the door as you might find they get challenged at regular intervals.
That said it is a personal thing, and so work through the story because that is one thing that STO has done reasonably well for. The art in STO has always been very good and so that combined with the story missions has always made good time spent.
Now pre-Delta Rising this game was pretty unique in that people who were casual, hardcore, in-between or even super-casual could play the game and be able to enjoy it. You could be competitve on less than an hour a day, and while some things required more commitment, it was something that would get you competitive with others without too much grief.
However those positives mentioned I would be negligent to not go over in detail the severe issues in the game, and therefore why I cannot in good faith recommend this game to anyone who wants an enjoyable, sensibly progressive experience or doesn't want a second job.
I am now talking post-Delta Rising for the most part, which is where most of the issues that now permeate the game originate from. I'll be talking about the bugs, which has been an ongoing issue anyway, the difficulty settings, the ongoing issue of the degraded state of testing and bad customer relations.
STO is riddled with so many bugs it makes an ant colony look small. Two of the top developers have openly admitted to not listening to player feedback any more, which is very apparent. The beta test server is now mockingly called the 'exclusive preview server' as what you see is what you get, broken mechanics, bugs and game-breaking exploits with it.
Some proof of the developers lack of regard for the player opinion: 1) http://sto-forum.perfectworld.com/showthread.php?p=13321451#post13321451 This link is to the Star Trek Online forums. It has a message from Tacofangs that tells us that by the time they are putting out content it is basically set in stone apart from the odd tweaks here and there, and usually they are just tweaks.
2) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYsw_GYP8Ok An interview which enraged players when Geko says that there is no actionable feedback on the Duty Officer UI. Suffice to say there was plenty of it and they did back track in a small manner after the uproar the interview caused and did give an option to minimise the UI.
3) http://sto-forum.perfectworld.com/showthread.php?t=1224081&page=79 Because a practical case in point is always good, this is the link to the Tribble Feedback post for the Upgrade System. This is by far and away the most recent poignant example of the effort Tribble Testers such as myself put in to be simply ignored. I challenge anyone to go through that thread and find a dev response that addresses the core concerns of that well tested feedback.
As far as Cryptic are concerned, money comes first and retaining players second. Feedback is ignored unless something crops up that damages their profits, which is why the game is so badly riddled with bugs.
A very recent example is the recent release (Delta Rising) had such a huge content gap that many of us had to run patrol missions to fill the levelling gap, Cryptic even recommend this as the way to do it. However a bug that was flagged up during testing was the patrols weren't all scaling. Of course because this wasn't fixed it made it the easiest patrol and so people used it to get past the absurd gaps.
So what do Cryptic do? They roll back a decent sized number of the players, cut experience gains by 70% and call everyone who took part exploiters. As you can imagine, although some would obviously exploit, the vast majority weren't and Delta Rising is becoming a PR nightmare.
The reason this turned into a PR nightmare is two fold, firstly and as I have said, they ignored tribble testers. Yet the big issue that started up was that many folks who got hit by the roll-back were innocent of any wrongdoing. Anyone who has had any serious experience with Cryptic's customer services knows their ability to read data is severely lacking. I have personally been quoted inaccurate purchase history, incorrect data on missing items and even had the representative show a critical lack of company knowledge about current events, even about new development blogs that I was asked to send a screenshot of to prove existed.
Next thing I want to talk about is the state of the game in terms of how one participates in the end game content and how easy that is to do. As it stands now Ground Combat allows for a lot more build flexibility than Space Combat does. The closer you get to end game Elite level (the top grade) the more you have to build a ship that is focused on damage dealing and little else.
So to clarify, Space Combat at end game has become a DPS Race (DPS = Damage Per Second), where having DPS more in the 20-30k range or higher is essentially required to complete the missions, simply because the devs decided ramping up the hitpoints, shields and resistances on enemies exponentially was the way to improve difficulty which has only led to a system where creativity is punished in favour of linear builds.
On the other hand we have Ground Combat that is still accessible to build variety so long as the build is sensible and is well fought out, and in fact each profession can run at least 4-5 different base builds and all of them can be effective. However that being said Cryptics idea of making this harder was to increases the numbers of tough enemies in missions and make them hit harder, something that doesn't make the experience reinvigorating or challenging on ground maps.
One thing that links both though are the awkward optionals. Advanced queues have timers or objectives that instantly fail the mission if they fail, which is bad from a player progression standpoint as a fresh 50 is going to struggle to get gear they need, as the gear materials come from those missions which has led to a sort of necessity of either having a very competant team or the chance to be carried through, both options of which are poor game design. However the sad part is anyone who has the gear already has a leg up and can finish the missions with relative ease still, however at this point in time Elite Borg queues are missing so using the old favourites as a comparison is not easy, however I will post videos of before and after in case anyone wants to look them over.
I will post Elite Comparisons when they become available.
Want to play? Go right ahead, but when you start hitting the pay walls, don't ignore the fact you'll be paying literally hundreds of whatever currency you use to get competitive, it's not like before when newer folks had every chance to be as good as the older players.
So would I recommend this to anyone? Of course not, play for free but don't be surprised when Cryptic ruins it, again.