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Year 1 Retrospective: I have to admit, it's getting better. Getting better all the time.
Let's be honest here, a lot of Star Trek fans were underwhelmed with STO when it first arrived. They had reason to be. The ground combat wasn't much fun, the space combat (while good) could get a fair bit samey, there was a huge focus on war and the poor Klingons didn't really get much to do at all. (Not that having a PVP faction is bad per se, but the design team set the grind ratio way too high.) For me, I stuck with it. I had to; I paid for a lifetime sub and I was pretty confident that it could improve. (There was also the fact that I wasn't hyped up for it, so I enjoyed a lot of the good points to it)

It wasn't long until the changes began to arrive. Some were subtle, some were pretty big. People started to look forward to the idea of Seasons of Mission and the Klingons started to get more stuff to do. But there was still the big elephant in the room. Basically, the fans didn't think that the development team were paying any attention to them; in an MMO this is considered bad because the whole point of an MMO is to gradually improve itself to get more subscribers. Then Dan Stahl took over as project leader, and suddenly the perception changed. He created a section where the fans could see exactly what the development team was working on, what they were looking at doing for the future, and quantifying when certain updates would be arriving.

That was the turning point in the relationship between the fans and the dev team. The forums still remain a hotbed of argument, but in the grand scheme of things the fans were contented. Now, 1 year on and the game is much better than where it began. This is, to be honest, the state it should have been launched in. (Not that that was Cryptic's fault, that was Atari forcing them to finish a year earlier than they planned it to). With the mission replay and Episode Creation tools, Diplomacy, better crafting and much more content STO is now in a place where it can work on it's next big project.

STO needs to revamp its ground combat. Right now, it's the only thing that lets the MMO down, and it's something that Star Wars: TOR will have in the bag from the get-go. If Cryptic can pull that off, then by all accounts STO has a good future ahead of it.

Now if only the critics would give it a second chance instead of treating it as an eternal punchline...
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