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Power Creep - Good or Bad?

ThurthoradThurthorad ✭✭✭✭✭
One of the more surprising things that has happened to this game is that the top characters remain very stable. Braxton, Burnham, Locutus, Gary Seven etc. I can see why some people would like this and as someone who has them all I certainly benefit from that.

However, I am fairly positive that this is very bad for the game. Breen Disguised Kira this week was a breath of fresh air and I dumped all of my dil trying to get her (futilely). However, I now have another character that I actively want that will improve my crew. There have been a real dearth of those in the last year.

Look at the two new crew this week, Solok and Spock. They're fine, and all, but coming in where they are they are not going to make a big impact on the game and so one has to wonder what's the point in competing for them from a 'game' perspective. I get that from a collectors perspective there will always be a draw and I will go to bat for plenty of odd characters myself. But getting a character and then never using them because they aren't worth citing isn't very fulfilling.

Thoughts? Is it the case that TP are responding to a community that hates power creep? Has the game part of Star Trek Timeline become mostly irrelevant?

Thanks in advance, this has been bothering me for a while.

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    ThurthoradThurthorad ✭✭✭✭✭
    Bylo Band wrote: »
    "Power Creep" in this game is very nuanced, with quite a few layers to it. Going off of sheer voyage numbers is certainly one way to measure the value of a crew, but IMO that is only one of about ten ways to evaluate a crew, and there are a lot of crew that have been released in recent months that are quite good despite having uninspiring voyage numbers. Traits, base scores, skill proficiencies, skill pairing, skill combos, future event potential, etc all are just as important, and really help offset the need/concept of true Power Creep.

    I was using the Big Book rankings to try and encompass at least one persons opinion of 'everything'.

    I am not saying that Power Creep should anything more than a creep, but it feels odd to me that the top layer of the Big Book has been so stable for so long. Almost all of the characters in the top tier are multiple years old, that seems to be very slow power creep.
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    ThurthoradThurthorad ✭✭✭✭✭
    AviTrek wrote: »
    If power creep is made that constant, what is the point of going for any crew when they will be immediately replaced? Some power creep is good/inevitable to provide new useful crew, but stability is also good so you know that the crew you make an effort to get today won't be surpassed tomorrow.
    I played another game before coming here that had power creep really bad. There were 4 categories of items each with attack/defense ratings. There was a new event every week and a new offering was made that was more powerful than the last one. So every 8 weeks, you had 8 new "top" items. Didn't take long for the numbers to get ridiculously high and in short time everything you collected before was obsolete.

    I think they have done a good job with keeping the stats in check, although on occasion they do seem to be abit arbitrary as to who they are assigned (example - Ru'afo having the highest ENG in the game or Culber (b4 1 trait McCoy) having the highest med even though he really never treated anyone before he died :D )

    Both of these are somewhat hyperbolic concerns, ie that Power Creep will occur so quickly that spending today will be irrelevant tomorrow. But a year of top use seems like a lot to me. Braxton, Burnham and Gary Seven should be still playable 2 years after they were released of course, but they shouldn't still be kings of the hill. I genuinely think that for at least some portion of the playerbase that it is suppressing spending.

    Some of the responses so far have shown a fear of power creep without acknowledging that it is very important for the games development. I hit regular 10hr Voyages a long time ago and regular 12hr voyages are still not available as a genuine target.
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    Bylo BandBylo Band ✭✭✭✭✭
    Thurthorad wrote: »
    Bylo Band wrote: »
    "Power Creep" in this game is very nuanced, with quite a few layers to it. Going off of sheer voyage numbers is certainly one way to measure the value of a crew, but IMO that is only one of about ten ways to evaluate a crew, and there are a lot of crew that have been released in recent months that are quite good despite having uninspiring voyage numbers. Traits, base scores, skill proficiencies, skill pairing, skill combos, future event potential, etc all are just as important, and really help offset the need/concept of true Power Creep.

    I was using the Big Book rankings to try and encompass at least one persons opinion of 'everything'.

    I am not saying that Power Creep should anything more than a creep, but it feels odd to me that the top layer of the Big Book has been so stable for so long. Almost all of the characters in the top tier are multiple years old, that seems to be very slow power creep.

    COUNTER-POINT: I do not use that resource at all. Like, AT ALL. I do my own analysis, I also talk to folks, read opinions, etc, and I've come to the conclusion that Power Creep, like the thing that is not named (rhymes with goner bet), is largely a myth. My friend @Banjo1012 shows me images every single day of his voyages as he sends them, and every time his voyage will feature at least one really old card that resources like the Big Book have identified as being thoroughly subpar or worse, and when not totally submarined by bogus ship traits his voyages always threaten to go 12 hours anyway.

    I'm not sure really how to feel about your question of whether Power Creep is good or bad, because I'm not sure I acknowledge that it exists. By your definition it certainly appears to exist, but that is IMO a very limiting way to look at the cards in this game as it ignores a vast array of other ways cards can be evaluated. I am not trying to come across as being critical here, more like I am trying to expand how people look at the game to help them see that almost every card has something to offer. For example: I am not sure where Alicia Travers ranks in these evaluation resources, but I have her immortalized and while I do not believe she has made a voyage for me yet, she is a big time contributor to shuttle missions given her useful skill pair and strong base scores. She is probably ranked rather badly, but is a strong card for me, and really that is what matters, not what somebody else says a card's value is.
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    (HGH)Apollo(HGH)Apollo ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2020
    Power creep is good so people buy new cards but not so much to make the cards you buy worthless. TP offsets this though with collections and traits and crew people like. Not everything has to be raw voyage score power. I am looking forward to this mega to finish my Vulcan collection and I am looking forward to getting EV Suit Spock since he is a better Proto Barclay with better traits. As long as the crew is good it works. They do not have to be great. 3300 voyage score though is the lowest a new card can be. I think TP does a disservice when they give us two skill crew. I think TP should do away with those.
    Let’s fly!
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    Dirk GundersonDirk Gunderson ✭✭✭✭✭
    Bylo Band wrote: »
    "Power Creep" in this game is very nuanced, with quite a few layers to it. Going off of sheer voyage numbers is certainly one way to measure the value of a crew, but IMO that is only one of about ten ways to evaluate a crew, and there are a lot of crew that have been released in recent months that are quite good despite having uninspiring voyage numbers. Traits, base scores, skill proficiencies, skill pairing, skill combos, future event potential, etc all are just as important, and really help offset the need/concept of true Power Creep.

    You’ve taken the words right out of my thumbs. Having a variety of unique trait/skill combinations is more important than constantly obsoleting existing crew with power creep.

    Besides, if power creep were done like in some other games, imagine how enraged many players would be that they wasted slots on crew that are no longer useful by the time they are immortal? Or how Pay To Win would likely devolve into Pay To Have Any Chance At Succeeding At Anything...let’s avoid that if we can.
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    z49gu3m530c9.png
    Speaking of power creep (or the lack of it), here’s a screenshot of one of my recent 11+hr voyages. The crew consists of fairly old cards, which is why I don’t really chase high voyage crew anymore. I’m consistently between 10-11hrs and the 12hr milestone just doesn’t seem achievable at this point. Perhaps I’m just old school but I tend to go after high base crew.
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    ThurthoradThurthorad ✭✭✭✭✭
    I'm sure stat creep is a thing. It's very subtle, though. Most new legendaries are in the top half of the total voyage score. That means they displace a small portion of crew with similar skills and an even smaller portion with similar skills and traits that overlap. On top of that, the differences between voyage scores and base scores among legendaries for most skill sets is very small. This is illustrated pretty well by the CAB ranking database, which ranks pretty exclusively on raw numbers. So the stat creep that does exist is quite minimal.

    I agree that stat creep is minimal. I see that as a problem. Why would I put effort into the game if I can't increase my crew strength in a significant way? Lots of legendaries come out that are absolute trash, and will never see use outside of events even if you cite them, and unless you are a whale or just super into that character they are not worth citing, so they are just -1 crew slot. They also eventually pollute the premium packs to boot, increasing the 'junk' to 'worth having' ratio.
    As to its impact on the game, there are some factors to consider like how long a player will stay with the game. Timelines does an amazing job from what I've seen with player retention.

    I think that the Timelines playerbase has shrunk significantly over the past few years. You can see evidence of this in arena battles, but also in how many fleets struggle to recruit these days, when in the past you didn't need to do anything to have people join. Some of that is TP not finding many new players, but people still leave the game fairly regularly. This is totally normal for games, especially those that have as little development as this one, so it's not a particularly controversial assessment.

    I think there is a hard core of players who will leave when the game closes and that might be larger than in other games because of the IP, but I know that many of us have dramatically cut back on our spending. So while we are still turning up in login metrics we are not being monetised well.
    This means that there should be some balance between stat creep and durability. The devs also want to get new players and keep them. I take this to mean there should definitely be stat creep, so new players can get new cards that can compete with the older cards held by long term players. As newer players are able to invest honor in citations, they will want to use those citations on crew who will have a durable value. For this reason, you will want to have those cards at the top who are rarely replaced. Another reason for not frequently creating crew to replace those top cards is competition. Long term players have an obvious edge. If they were frequently going after that new top crew, then it could easily discourage newer players. As it stands, throwing new crew a little ahead of the middle of the pack gives older players a reason to lay back, which in turn helps newer players be competitive.

    This feels a bit muddled in it's presentation. You agree that stat creep is necessary to give new players a leg up by having access to more powerful new cards, but you think that those cards should have longterm value and you think it's good that veteran players don't play events so that new players get to have the new cards that aren't as good as the older cards??

    I think you have a good point on events, though that could more easily be rectified by just making better cards and deepening the prize pool so that more players get access to the good cards.
    Personally, I think that Timelines has a healthy stat creep model that is great for the long term health of the game. Sorry for explaining at such length, but it's a complicated topic.

    Health of the game is an interesting idea. What is healthy? More player engagement? More revenue? A dynamic game environment? I reckon that consistently producing cards that are mechanically inferior to older cards depresses player engagement, forgoes revenue, leads to a static and stale gaming environment and increases player churn.

    An efficient player is likely using circa 80 characters regularly. They'll probably seek characters that help with shuttles, gauntlet, voyages and arena. Many people will also have a preference for their favourite characters and may go out of their way to use them, so lets increase that to 100 in total. There are over 400 legendaries in the game already, so one would hope that players would be used to the idea that a lot of their characters have very little use outside of events. In my view, new characters should not be falling into this category, as character acquisition is the core gameplay mechanic and the main source of revenue for TP.

    A static set of top characters also benefits veterans far more than new players, even if new players are getting access to new characters because veterans are avoiding events with trash Legendaries.

    A lack of power creep also means that player capability isn't growing, so new achievements aren't becoming available over time. In essence, if you can win gauntlet when you put in the effort, do regular 10hr voyages, top the arena and compete well in faction events you're basically done and you might as well find a new game.

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    Veterinary PhloxVeterinary Phlox ✭✭✭✭✭
    I'm also impressed with how slow the power creep has been in this game. There's no question it's there, but it hasn't been dramatic.

    I do think STT may have benefited from packs having "seasons," like a CCG. Although this would be complicated to add, especially retroactively, so I don't think it's a solution for the future.
    Six degrees in Inter-species Veterinary Medicine. Treating all manner of critters, from Tribbles to Humans.

    Starport
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    JeanLucKirkJeanLucKirk ✭✭✭✭✭
    Thurthorad wrote: »
    I reckon that consistently producing cards that are mechanically inferior to older cards depresses player engagement, forgoes revenue, leads to a static and stale gaming environment and increases player churn.

    A static set of top characters also benefits veterans far more than new players, even if new players are getting access to new characters because veterans are avoiding events with trash Legendaries.

    A lack of power creep also means that player capability isn't growing, so new achievements aren't becoming available over time. In essence, if you can win gauntlet when you put in the effort, do regular 10hr voyages, top the arena and compete well in faction events you're basically done and you might as well find a new game.

    The thing to me is: To justify a huge powercreep spending and character chasing wise we would need the game modes where we would really benefit from them. The current power structure is enough for all kinds of game modes as you pointed out.

    And since currently there is no development on Voyages or Gauntlet as was recently said they could release some new power beasts of course, but for what would veteran players really need them?

    Sure, the team got doubled with the switch to the new company. But it is still small for game development standards. Corona surely made everything trickier as well. That is why everything sometimes seems to move in snail speed.

    To my sense they should finally overhaul the ancient crew release structure. Less work on releasing new cards endlessly, more work on new game modes that really require power. But who knows: Maybe this new feature that shall come next year and which should especially be interesting for longterm players will include some of that...

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    Bylo Band wrote: »
    In STT, this is simply not the case. We all have our favorite characters, and it is exciting when a character or character variant becomes part of the game. I'm not a big fan of Sarek (or Vulcans in general) but I know there are a lot of players that do really like Sarek and this new Sarek, no matter how good/bad he is doesn't matter, because just having introduced him to the game has enhanced the game experience. For Sarek fans, he presents an opportunity to "rep" him with their in-game avatar and really geek out. To people working on the Vulcan collection, he is an opportunity for advancement. For a new player, he is a great card to help out on their voyages.

    Off topic: This is why I'm looking forward to the new Pike variant this month! I'm hoping his stats hold up well. But in either case, I'm most likely gonna put him on my short list to cite up. ::thumbs up::
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    Dirk GundersonDirk Gunderson ✭✭✭✭✭
    Bylo Band wrote: »
    Another example of how nuanced this subject is specific to STT is that players are also fans. Your generic PAID: Escrow Lessons (hopefully you get the reference/joke from the in game ads ;) ) has absolutely zero foundation on which to build, they basically must continually give players better and better cards because 100% of their cards' value exists within the bubble of that game and are entirely gameplay driven. Nobody has an attachment to any of those characters, and if they are not good cards they are ignored.

    In STT, this is simply not the case. We all have our favorite characters, and it is exciting when a character or character variant becomes part of the game. I'm not a big fan of Sarek (or Vulcans in general) but I know there are a lot of players that do really like Sarek and this new Sarek, no matter how good/bad he is doesn't matter, because just having introduced him to the game has enhanced the game experience. For Sarek fans, he presents an opportunity to "rep" him with their in-game avatar and really geek out. To people working on the Vulcan collection, he is an opportunity for advancement. For a new player, he is a great card to help out on their voyages.

    Truth - even if Dr. M’Benga isn’t the MED/SCI monster I envision him to be, I’ll be pretty happy if/when we finally get him in the game. I still keep Rura Penthe Kirk out of the freezer even though he’s only useful on shuttles and in events for a similar reason. That Nanoprobe Phlox, a character I had been stumping for since as far back as I can remember, is pretty strong was just icing on the cake of getting him in the first place.
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    ThurthoradThurthorad ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2020
    I understand that people are afraid of excessive power creep, but it is mildly annoying that people immediately run to that outcome as their reductio ad absurdum response. What little power creep we have at the moment is so small that very little has changed at the upper end of the character distribution for literally years.
    There's another thing to consider: burnout. That is one reason players leave a game. If stat creep were more pronounced and less subtle, then you would kind of have to keep performing in events or buying those Tuesday packs and/or event packs just to keep up. If you miss a couple events, then you get behind the power curve. It becomes harder to compete with the players who have stayed ahead of the curve. As it stands now, if I don't want to compete in a galaxy event (which is often the case for me, personally), then I don't miss out on much. It's ok to take a weekend off from the event. I can come back the following week with only a small disadvantage. If I skipped every galaxy all year (thresholdband out), it would still be a relatively small disadvantage.

    On the other hand, if stat creep were more pronounced and I had to play each event to keep up, it would become daunting. I would have to play events that I don't like or biy packs that I can't afford... it would very much become a pay-to-win game. That would alienate a huge swath of players. There's games out there like that. They don't last 4+ years. This game has.

    Stat creep can be more pronounced without players having to play every event. If they released a top ten character every month then that would just be 12 a year. They could put them in events and maybe another 12 in Tuesday packs for the spenders. They would then rotate into the general pool, LTOs and Campaigns (though god help me I hope they do something about the crappy premium packs soon).

    As it stands I am sitting on 24 legendary citations, premium packs have only a handful of useful characters and most events just make the situation worse by introducing more noise into the system. At the same time Voyages, which drove a lot of my purchasing and interest chasing regular 10hr voyages haven't changed in that same time span. I still hunt my own favourite characters and do the occasional event as a result, but honestly the game has gotten very stale, and it's not just the lack of new features.

    This is not to say that there aren't other valid reasons for hanging out in the game and continuing to spend money whether you're a collector, a newer player or just love the community, the IP or just personal reasons. But the 'game' element is currently at a standstill for veteran players I think.

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    Prime LorcaPrime Lorca ✭✭✭✭✭
    Thurthorad wrote: »
    I understand that people are afraid of excessive power creep, but it is mildly annoying that people immediately run to that outcome as their reductio ad absurdum response. What little power creep we have at the moment is so small that very little has changed at the upper end of the character distribution for literally years.
    There's another thing to consider: burnout. That is one reason players leave a game. If stat creep were more pronounced and less subtle, then you would kind of have to keep performing in events or buying those Tuesday packs and/or event packs just to keep up. If you miss a couple events, then you get behind the power curve. It becomes harder to compete with the players who have stayed ahead of the curve. As it stands now, if I don't want to compete in a galaxy event (which is often the case for me, personally), then I don't miss out on much. It's ok to take a weekend off from the event. I can come back the following week with only a small disadvantage. If I skipped every galaxy all year (thresholdband out), it would still be a relatively small disadvantage.

    On the other hand, if stat creep were more pronounced and I had to play each event to keep up, it would become daunting. I would have to play events that I don't like or biy packs that I can't afford... it would very much become a pay-to-win game. That would alienate a huge swath of players. There's games out there like that. They don't last 4+ years. This game has.

    Stat creep can be more pronounced without players having to play every event. If they released a top ten character every month then that would just be 12 a year. They could put them in events and maybe another 12 in Tuesday packs for the spenders. They would then rotate into the general pool, LTOs and Campaigns (though god help me I hope they do something about the crappy premium packs soon).

    As it stands I am sitting on 24 legendary citations, premium packs have only a handful of useful characters and most events just make the situation worse by introducing more noise into the system. At the same time Voyages, which drove a lot of my purchasing and interest chasing regular 10hr voyages haven't changed in that same time span. I still hunt my own favourite characters and do the occasional event as a result, but honestly the game has gotten very stale, and it's not just the lack of new features.

    This is not to say that there aren't other valid reasons for hanging out in the game and continuing to spend money whether you're a collector, a newer player or just love the community, the IP or just personal reasons. But the 'game' element is currently at a standstill for veteran players I think.

    Your proposal is that about 1 in every 4 Tuesday pack legendaries (accounting for some being SR's) and about 1 in every 5 event legendaries (accounting for recurring mega legendaries) should be more of a game-changer. Probably top 1-8 by some metric or combination of metrics and that the top 12 should be replaced annually. Does that sound about right?
    Farewell 🖖
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    ThurthoradThurthorad ✭✭✭✭✭
    Your proposal is that about 1 in every 4 Tuesday pack legendaries (accounting for some being SR's) and about 1 in every 5 event legendaries (accounting for recurring mega legendaries) should be more of a game-changer. Probably top 1-8 by some metric or combination of metrics and that the top 12 should be replaced annually. Does that sound about right?

    Sure, I'd be happy with that. The #1 crew now would be #13 in a year and #50 in 2 years or something like that. Older crew would be moved into cheaper packs to make it less expensive to get those crew for newer players and collectors and the 'meta' at the top would be constantly evolving, opening up new capabilities for us as players. New players would be coming in and earning significantly better cards than we did when we started, helping them to catch up faster. Forced obsolescence is a great equalizer.

    Ideally olders cards wouldn't be totally useless, that new game modes would use some attributes of these olders cards, maybe not the cards themselves but something like number of frozen Vulcans or the like giving a % increase in Arena damage on the Vulcan ship (It doesn't have to be a big deal, just something small).

    Mostly I want dynamism and entropy. I want to be able to take a break for a few months and have to catch up on what I missed, instead of coming back and seeing that nothing has changed. I want the list of cards that I want to be 50 long instead of 2. I want the developers to be focused on keeping the game and the meta fresh and exciting. I know that a lot of that can't happen as the game is too old, the code base too fragile, the developers too risk averse. But there are cheaper ways to energise the game than a new Voyage level mechanic every year (though I want that too if it's possible).
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    Prime LorcaPrime Lorca ✭✭✭✭✭
    I'm not sure how comfortable I'd be with that level of stat-creep. On the one hand, it would be nice to get that game-changer once a month... wait... I overstated earlier. To rotate the top 12 every year, I calculated one Tuesday pack a month and one event legendary a month. It would be more like every other month each, or maybe event, event, Tuesday, repeat - or some combo like that. It could be 1 in 10 event legendaries plus 1 in 8 Tuesday legendaries or something. Anyway...

    On the other hand, stats would inflate more quickly. That would make my DF Paris even less relevant. Essentially, it would make the bad crew really, really bad. Even the mediocre cards today could be much worse later.

    The other problem is choosing a metric. Voyage stats, event potential, base stats, gauntlet pairs... there's the BBBA, the CAB Power Rankings, the eXo Book, then there's my own personal ranking system that is hard to articulate and I'll probably never actually produce, plus the devs surely have their own system. Basically, it would be very difficult to implement.

    But if you have devised a system, then by all means, please share. That's what the forum is for: Sharing ideas. :)
    Farewell 🖖
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    AviTrekAviTrek ✭✭✭✭✭
    That's a good point. Let's start listing out all the possible rankings:

    6 Base stats
    15 Base combo for shuttles
    6 Voyage single skill
    15 Voyage skill combos
    1 Voyage overall
    6 Gauntlet single skill
    15 Gauntlet skill pairs
    1 Gauntlet overall

    That's already 65 possible rankings, and we haven't even hit on any of the 3 skill rankings overall or in specific orders. If TP were to introduce a top 1 in each of those every week, it would take over a year to cover everything.

    On the one hand, that's probably slow enough that it wouldn't devalue older cards. On the other hand, I wonder if that's so slow that the OP would still call it stale. And cards that never hit #1 anywhere but instead hit top 3 or 4 in a couple places wouldn't even be included.

    Either way, as a player I think I would be exhausted feeling like I need to push for a crew that covered one of those every week.

    TL/DR: There are enough different ways for a crew to be good that TP could introduce more top crew without causing too much stat creep. Players also need to start broadening their mind and look at more than just Big Book or overall Voyage rankings as their only measure of a good crew.
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    W.W. CarlisleW.W. Carlisle ✭✭✭✭✭
    Yes, every player wants better than they have. Crew seasoned players lamented about in Campaigns (Tourist Tucker and The Bashers, for example) have found welcome spaces in the rosters of upcoming players, however (#2 for ENG and DIP in terms of Core Skills for me). Others may have bought the Campaign to finish off a crew they wouldn't spend citations on, but would like to finish and freeze, maybe because they like the character or are a collector.
    That considered, a middling card may be more commercially viable in a Campaign than a stat beast as a ranked rewards. A desirable card will be an all out melee among power players to get. I will play hard, as always, but I won't spend for an edge in that case. I know it won't be enough. I won't bother. I doubt I'm alone in that. I will save that money for a Campaign or LTO or portal bundle, where it will do more good.
    Look what happens when a good crew is made easily available fairly soon after its introduction. People get ticked off. They put in time and resources to get something to have an edge and lose it too soon for their tastes. I remember some people weren't happy when Queen Po was in the Campaign, because they had worked to get her, even at one star, and here she was an easy immortal for anyone to buy. Not sure what the deal was with Mirror JL Picard, before my time, but I think it was something of the same ilk.
    You also have to consider this is a licensed game, not something made up by the designers. They have to consider the fans and canon when creating. Tell me people wouldn't be after them with torches and pitchforks if Acting Ensign Wesley had been a 5* ENG beast with a dozen traits. There has to be believability. There is a whole thread devoted to whether EV Spock should be a diplomat or a communicator, based on which would fit the story. Seven of Nine will likely NEVER be a DIP beast, because it is Seven we are talking about. She is forceful. She thinks tactically and has enhanced abilities. She is knowledgeable. She also has the subtlety of a loaded semi truck with no brakes and we love her for it. We also expect no Diplomacy, but expect Avenging Seven to be a SEC beast and Queen Seven to have a nice COM/SEC combo.
    We have to consider that too much power creep, without adjusting certain beloved older crew up, will make players leave. Just any random character can't be the next big thing. They have to be WORTHY of it. Look at the Super Six.
    Diplomacy- Professor Sato- Some would argue this place belongs to a diplomat and, I say nope, this is right. Diplomacy is all about persuading people, creating a dialog, a connection, not training. Look at Hoshi. A language prodigy who loved to learn and experience new cultures, even when it scared her. Look at her students. They loved her and the subject because of her. There is not a doubt in my mind that students never hesitated to ask for help. She is open, approachable, likeable... Look at Earth's first dialogue with the Klingons. "Just talk to them, Hoshi." And she did. That is Diplomacy.
    Medicine- McCoy- Driven to help at all costs and not willing to risk anyone, but himself. Bashir is brilliant, but his ego is too brash for a good bedside manner. Crusher has a fantastic bedside manner and is a very competent, but, not outstanding, physician. The EMH has to work on his people skills. Phlox would come close. He is without a doubt skilled, dedicated, warm, and if anyone ever passes McCoy, it should be a Phlox. He would cure a plague and leave a ceremony in his honor to help someone.
    Science- Picard and Number One- Science was his first love and he returned to it in his vineyard in the end. Even when he was no longer a captain or diplomat, he was still a scientist, with all his experience.
    Engineering- Ru'Afo- There are a lot of amazing engineers, but this guy built A fountain of youth, even if it was very unethical. A Scotty or Tucker might pass him someday, but he is a good choice for now.
    Command- Pah WraIth Keiko- An odd choice on the surface. Powerful beings are common in ST, but usually solitary. Even some who have great power crave validation (Borg Queens wants you to join her. She can use force, but that is boring) or want amusement, like Q or Trelane. This version of Keiko has power, purpose, and a ruthless disregard for others that makes her a pure dictator. Teiran Possessed Kes is similar in the lower bracket.
    Security- High Roller Sisko- You think- he's playing around on the holodeck, but this is pure tactical beauty. This is kaltoh versus chess. He looks at the situation, studies every variable on both sides, and then uses all his people to the best of their abilities to trap them in a no-why-out loss. I love it. Endgame Janeway was close, but not quite there. There is a saying about military knowledge. Amateurs study tactics; Professionals look at logistics. The biggest, best commanded army is useless if it is cold, hungry, sick, tired, and unequipped. Sisko is a logistics man.
    W.W. CarlislePlayed since January 20, 2019Captain Level- 99 (May 9, 2022)VIP 14Crew Quarters: 485/485Most recent/Lowest- Anbo-jyutsu Kyle Riker (1/5* Lvl 30) 5/29/23Immortalized x-866 5* x184, 4* x 490, 3* x91, 2* x62, and 1* x27Most recent Immortal - Tearful Janeway 4* 5/25/23Current non-event project- Improving my Science base skill. Retrieval Project- Mestral 1/5*
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    ThurthoradThurthorad ✭✭✭✭✭
    AviTrek wrote: »
    That's a good point. Let's start listing out all the possible rankings:

    6 Base stats
    15 Base combo for shuttles
    6 Voyage single skill
    15 Voyage skill combos
    1 Voyage overall
    6 Gauntlet single skill
    15 Gauntlet skill pairs
    1 Gauntlet overall

    That's already 65 possible rankings, and we haven't even hit on any of the 3 skill rankings overall or in specific orders. If TP were to introduce a top 1 in each of those every week, it would take over a year to cover everything.

    On the one hand, that's probably slow enough that it wouldn't devalue older cards. On the other hand, I wonder if that's so slow that the OP would still call it stale. And cards that never hit #1 anywhere but instead hit top 3 or 4 in a couple places wouldn't even be included.

    Either way, as a player I think I would be exhausted feeling like I need to push for a crew that covered one of those every week.

    TL/DR: There are enough different ways for a crew to be good that TP could introduce more top crew without causing too much stat creep. Players also need to start broadening their mind and look at more than just Big Book or overall Voyage rankings as their only measure of a good crew.

    I think the Big Book does a good job of synthesizing many of those metrics. I don't use it myself, but it's a well recognised community metric, so that's why I used it as an example for this conversation. I do mostly look at Voyage score as that is what I care about most and it is also reflective of general strength. Obviously, shuttle stars are also given weighting as well as characters with unusual stat pairings or useful voyage traits. Gauntlet I care less about, but I do consider a character worth having if they are a Gauntlet boss. Anything less than tippytop in gauntlet is heavily discounted though because once you have the best option the second best option is mostly worthless as they are usually poor in shuttles.

    On that, voyages demand the deepest part of your roster and so there are many more eligible candidates and so really voyages are the most important metric. Apart from Sato, Bones and Pah Wraith Keiko, most of the top shuttlers are only marginally better than a large cluster of also rans, so that's less important. Voyages on the other hand can often see big jumps in stats between stat pairs and triplets. What does help is decent shuttle stats for characters that get good opportunities to turn up in faction events. Again, I do think the Big Book does a pretty good job of including this type of thing in how they rank crew.

    There was a time when particular primary secondary skill pairings didn't even exist, making those new crew especially fun to acquire. I'm looking at you Rabbit. Now that those holes are mostly filled I am less concerned about small improvements or variations. So yeah, big Voyage numbers are important, preferably all in the base so that they are great shuttlers too, but if they are also Gauntlet wonders instead that can be useful. The worst type of crew are the guys who have mediocre overall numbers and middling proficiencies so that they fall between all stools and at best have niche use (I'm look at you Enterprise E Picard).

    So yeah I think I reject that it's that complex an analysis. Once you have enough crew it's trivial to put together decent Voyages and shuttles, so it often comes down to raw strength and how much of their strength is in a proficiency.

    The best metric of a character is how often you are going to use that character, and if they are a shuttle, gauntlet or voyage darling you are going to use them every day. Everything else is a niche use.

    For people who are still in their early Timelines career Roster Relevance will also be important, because you will want to focus on where you have specific holes, but that becomes less relevant once you have been playing for a while.

    So I reckon my simple guide for evaluating a crew would be Roster Relevance - Raw Stats - Bases - Event relevance - Gauntlet relevance - Arena relevance - everything else. And to be fair I think that that's the general approach The Big Book takes. (Gauntlet and Arena rank so low because they only need a handful of crew)
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    Fi®3wallFi®3wall ✭✭✭
    edited October 2020
    Power Creep isn't as important in this game because the content is foolishly easy. The only thing people need stronger cards for is to hit 12 hour voyages. A level 60 account can compete in every event. This is basically collecting digital star trek stamps after level 60. (Still fun in it's own right).
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    MiT SanoaMiT Sanoa ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2020
    I am rather on @Thurthorad 's page here. Most prices we get are by far weaker than our little friends from the portal which we already have. The incentive to compete in events is sinking with every week for me personally. Why put a lot of time into it if the reward is only useful in the next week?

    I agree that excessive power creep would lead to bigger problems than we have. But currently power often creeps backwards and this is a problem too. Most people quit out of boredom I guess, rather than because they cannot keep pace with the game.

    I agree with @Fi®3wall [BAD] though that currently stronger cards would only serve 12 h voyages, and maybe newer FTP players who could aquire strong cards easier if they were not bound to LTOs or the diluted portal pool. Solid rosters get by without any new cards, strong or weak.

    Anyway, new cards should by definition not be weaker than strong 2 year old cards. Jm2c.
    Wir, die Mirror Tribbles [MiT] haben freie Plätze zu vergeben. Kein Zwang und kein Stress, dafür aber Spaß, Discord und eine nette, hilfsbereite Gemeinschaft, incl. voll ausgebauter Starbase und täglich 700 ISM.
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    Emperor Borg Drone (SC)Emperor Borg Drone (SC) ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited October 2020
    Excessive power creep for legendaries, especially when it comes to their base skills, could also be an issue for events and rare rewards on away missions (not for the players, but for the company). The way bonuses work in faction and galaxy events hasn't changed and especially galaxy events have become a lot easier over the years. In some of them, just having the featured legendary allows you to build most items with fairly high success rates, to the point where you don't even need the super-rares. Sometimes percentages reach 100% with a 1/5*.
    I guess that excessive power creep could affect some player purchases, by making them simply unneccessary.
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    ThurthoradThurthorad ✭✭✭✭✭
    Some nice points here. Yep, I don't even look at Super Rare stats anymore, so didn't notice power creep there. Honestly, I am really glad to hear it's there.

    And yes, I do agree that it is likely DB/TP being aware that apart from Voyages that there is nothing to do with more power creep in Legendaries and that maybe not having it is intended not to draw attention to that fact.

    I think there is also a selection effect here too. At the end of the day the game hasn't changed much in 2 years now, and hordes of players have left in that time, so it shouldn't be surprising that the players who are left are going to tend to be happier with the status quo than maybe those that left. God knows, I've left multiple times and come back.

    Hopefully this new feature isn't vapourware and gives TP a reason to create useful, exciting and different crew again.
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