Star Trek Online makes Phoenix Packs permanent while removing a daily free pack

    
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The back end.

The biggest problem you can get with exchanges between real-money currencies and in-game currencies in MMOs is when one is far more valuable than the other. Star Trek Online is tweaking its Phoenix Packs for exactly this reason; specifically, it’s making them a permanent part of the game, allowing you to purchase them for Dilithium whenever you want. You’ll no longer be able to claim one for free per day, though, but hopefully you will want to buy some with that Dilithium.

How does this tie into the game’s economy? Well, Dilithium (an in-game currency) can be exchanged for Zen (the microtransaction currency) and vice-versa. The inflation cap on the exchange was being reached for Dilithium, meaning that it took 500 Dilithium for 1 Zen, which could easily lead to a backlog of players trying to sell Dilithium with no one interested in buying it. The solution, then, is to offer something more to purchase via Dilithium, and permanent Phoenix Packs are precisely that.

Source: Twitter, Reddit (1, 2); thanks to CapnLan for the tip!

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semugh
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semugh

intredasting… so that’s why it’s sitting at 470 per.

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PanagiotisLial1

It went up to 490 like 3 days ago – and the cap is so close at 500

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PanagiotisLial1

I love this change. I also love the new winter event Miracle Worker Fek’ihri Dreadnought Carrier. One of my most liked event ships on STO for sure.

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EmberStar

Personally, it means I’ll go from occasionally remembering to claim one free pack per day to getting zero packs. They’re way too expensive, and none of the rewards are account unlocks. I have 35 captains, and I’m NOT going to grind half a million dilithium for each of them just to spend on these.

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PanagiotisLial1

Playing three toons casually(most people got 5+) you can easily make 24k+ dill per day. You with so many captains? probably depends on your will and if you have anything you want there. I only got 7 captains which compared to you is low and still I can easily make 50k dill per day if I want to. Then there is the no-dill upgrades you can get which are quite useful for upgrading equipment

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EmberStar

Except even getting to the Ore cap on three characters a day feels more like “The game as an unpaid job.” The four characters I’ve been playing the most have a combined total of a bit over a million dilithium now, but that’s the result of saving for almost a year. And includes a fair number of the one-shot 30,000 to 50,000 (or whatever) Bonus rewards that you get for hitting level 5 with each faction in the Reputation system.

And the “no-dilithium” upgrades actually cost a TON of dilithium – without the daily gift Pheonix Pack, you have to purchase each of them. So the tech upgrades *actually* cost as much as the pheonix boxes. But you can get a discount if you’re willing to melt down the rarer prize tokens, because each rarity is worth two tokens at the next level down and the tech upgrades are for sale at the lowest tier.

Personally I think the upgrade system is a terrible design, requiring either massive amounts of grinding to purchase the *chance* of a useful upgrade, or throwing real money at buying Dilithium from other players. (And then flushing it on the chance of getting a useful upgrade.) I only have one character who has even a single ship with higher than Mk 12 equipment, which often results in getting stomped into the floor by the newer mission NPCs which seem to be balanced on the assumption that you have Ultra Rare Mk 15 weapons and shields.

I’ve found that as the newer mission NPCs get harder, they do not become an incentive to deal with the upgrade system. Instead the frustration of having to respawn over and over (against 200 year old Klingons that are somehow wiping me up and down the map like a dust mop on a basketball court) makes me even *less* interested in logging in to play at all.

In any case, this just means that personally I’ll be skipping Phoenix Packs completely from now on. Spending that much Grindium on random prize rolls that only benefit a single character when *everything* is designed to devour Dilithium now… nope.

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PanagiotisLial1

You do realise its 40k for 10 boxes, right? what I meant is that I, like many others, treated the phoenix event as a source of better upgrades(better than crafted ones anyways) that consume no dill(but technically cost dill to acquire) and give more progress. What I understand is you made more toons than you can handle and that is a problem, especially if its a game you dont like to play much(but still dont want to be leftout on your daily activities).

I got 7 toons but didnt have all those too early, I started with 1, when delta event came went to 3, gamma event went to 5, unlocked reman went to 6 and made a TOS finally to 7. That means that I could gradually equip them and be well prepared for ground and space without being hardcore. Every toon has 1 or 2 ships with max quality and mark on their equipment. My main, however, has 8 completed projects(I do ship projects for fun without shared equipment among them) all with fully upgrade equipment and many waiting in line.

Reason many things are tied to dilithium is they used it as a means for players to trade dillithium(ingame currency) for zen(cash store currency) but even like that the unref intake easily covers the daily needs….unless you keep the game in a personal maintainance mode doing only couple basic things and logging off

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EmberStar

None of the things I am interested in doing reward enough dilithium to be worth even keeping track of. I assume that the “real” source of it is grinding Task Force missions (which I hate, almost as much as I do PVP) or slogging through the Battlezone areas. The Dyson Sphere is okay, the Delta one is a mess, and I’m pretty sure that the Tzenkethi battlezone is actually broken. None of them are something I’m interested in doing for hours every day.

Normal story missions reward a few hundred dilithium for the first completion on a character. Duty Officer missions reward another few hundred, but I could easily flush half an hour a day queuing those on just a handful of characters per day. I don’t know of any other significant sources offhand, so whatever they are is clearly something I’m not interested in doing.

Even if I was grinding away at max efficiency, 40k dilithium is five days worth of solid grinding to buy an item I don’t want to make use of an upgrade system I actively dislike. To me the entire upgrade loop feels like a solid example of a game company creating a problem so that they can sell you the solution to a problem they engineered on purpose to begin with.

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PanagiotisLial1

With so many toons you can make far more without a single minute of grind. All you got to do is run admiralty on every toon. The problem is if you like the game to put even a min effort on it

As for Doffing if you get less than 2k unref for your doffing you doff entirely wrong. You should be giving contraband for dill at least. I rarely will go under 3k for my doffing but when someone has 30 toons they can do ONLY admiralty and just collect dill from it. People in my fleet with 15+ toons, not 30, that are barely active always got a lot dill

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EmberStar

I’ve ignored the Admiralty system because it would be a *massive* amount of time to set it up. I’d have to claim my C Store ships on each character which I know from experience takes about three hours if the character has a lot of open ship slots, and even more if that character only has three or four open.

Queuing up the missions takes even more time, longer than even the Duty Officer missions because there’s no auto-fill option and I have to balance ships to get the correct scores (and can only hit the target scores by using ships with “ignore +/- Sci events” abilities, or ones that add bonuses based on the other ship cards.) Again, I could spend an hour a day basically filling out paperwork and accomplishing nothing in terms of finishing story missions, in exchange for what looks like tiny payouts of dilithium and skill points.

In short, my only interaction with Admiralty missions after about the first week has been to ignore them as a massive waste of time. *edit* They are most *defintely* not a “grind free” option.

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PanagiotisLial1

Doffing takes far more time daily. You are talking for a one time setup that can be done easily next to ship select npc. You just claim as many as you got in slots, dismiss, get the rest.

if you had worked admiralty you would had been getting dill with extreme ease but like I said lots boil to if you life the game. When anyone forces himself to play a game he doesnt find enjoyable, he will see most things as a chore. If you go over all our talk including your last post you described to me most, if not all, activities as chores and boring and waste of time.

Bottom line if you dont like your game because for any reason it doesnt press the right buttons for you, then best move on. I forced myself to help someone on XIV for example and had a similarly awful time in an awful server. There isnt a shortage of mmos out there.

by the way its absolutely easy hitting the numbers when you get a good amount of T6 and T5 ships and when you get the 4 ships from reaching 10 in each doffing category and the admiralty ships from phoenix, questslines etc

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EmberStar

I’m aware of how long it takes to claim and dispose of the C Store ships. I did so on a few characters when the system first launched, which is where my estimate of it taking up to several hours comes from. That was a couple of years ago, and since then I’ve both gotten more ships, and Cryptic has changed the rules so that characters of any faction can claim all Cstore faction and Romulan ships (meaning that I have even more claimable ships now.)

Given the tiny payouts of dilithium in the assignments I can see, I find it difficult to believe that it is a reliable source. It takes a decent amount of time to set up the missions, and given the rewards I’m not interested in doing it for a single character, let alone many of them.

And again even if I was, a single purchase of the box item still takes five days of refining. Buying ten of the purchased item (whatever it is) would take 50 days. Or five days maxed refining across ten characters, or however. That’s back to the point of turning the game into an unpaid job, for items that can only benefit a single character.

None of the Phoenix items are account unlocks. As with the Mudd store, many of them were free items given out during events. Cryptic could also have just re-run the events, or changed them to be account unlocks. They chose to do *neither* and monetized them instead.