I am still surprised at the relatively low turnout for this new rep system. I know there is also a new player matching system that may be slowing the queues down, but seriously, not enough people are interested in this. The projects offer up some solid gear. There is a lot of stuff for tactical, science and engineering. I just hit the Tier three mark on Monday so I have a way to go before having full access to all the store items and the upper tier projects.
The store thus far (Tier 3) is all consumables but there are some pretty delicious consumables in here. They need not be equipped as a device either. These can be activated in combat from the inventory and of course can be either slotted in the quick menu or added to hot key and key maps.
The reputation projects are pretty deep here. There are several of each item deflector, impulse, shields all with a focus aimed at different career/play styles. The rep system also has secondary deflectors available in a variety of types for all the science players and that is a refreshing twist for STO. I haven’t tried any of them yet.
I did acquire the ‘Flak Shot’ Heavy Weapon. I don’t have a whole lot of seat time with it. It seems OK, but I don’t like that it deals a modest amount of kinetic damage to the target and then deals additional damage to other random targets nearby. This is kind of a FAW issue that may pad DPS stats but kinetic damage to shielded targets is near useless. The extra targets receiving damage are likely shielded so it won’t be particularly effective. However for those running the beam FAW attack plan it could be effective. I do plan on having a comparison post of all the new “heavy weapons”. I only own three at the moment and a few are only acquired though the acquisition of ships which I may or may not acquire.
The consumables seem to be pretty powerful. You pay dilith for them and there are two levels rare and very rare. The “advanced” purple versions are of course ‘spendier’. These things buff your shields or hull or crit hits/dam for several minutes. The advanced shield consumable in the reputation dilithium store gives a 40% shield capacity buff for fifteen minutes and eliminates normal damage bleed through. WOW! Seriously, that is a bit badass methinks.
As cool as that sounds the problem is that now we all have to use consumables in PVP because you know the Gods of War will be juicing, so now must we. There are dozens of these things floating around some are short duration, some like the aforementioned shield buff can last up to 15 minutes. These buffs are pretty mean really. They however do work in PVE and Missions so now we have the ability to juice up the ship for those missions we may struggle with when we have a less buffed toon. I have some secondary toons that are level 60 but just barely so and these temporary buffs might aid them in completing PVE queues at higher difficulty levels.
I think many players are avoiding these queues because of a misconception about what the system is offering in terms of store and projects. Perhaps the non-PVP crowd thinks it is all PVP content and stuff. It isn’t really as the items obtained can be used effectively outside of the PVP environment. You will also unlock a series of new slotable traits so it is worth a little daily grind to have access to some cool stuff.
For those concerned about the PVP portion of the new mission, it is a PVE for the first 3/4 of the mission and only the final stage has a PVP element. Whether one “loses” or “wins” the payout is solid I have been getting 100-150 marks consistently (I am counting my daily 60 mark bonus as I run the queue once per day). I highly recommend participating in this as there are some very worthwhile items available in this reputation system. I will be running some detailed analysis of the various items as I acquire them over the next several weeks.
Now get out there and pad those queues so the wait times improve 😉