Noob here. if this has already been discussed, sorry. But I wasn't going to read through 1218 posts.
Anyway, I just started playing. My question is, Is this all there is? So far, it's just been battle after battle. I really thought there would be some exploring and discovering. I'd love an opportunity to really check out the Star Trek universe. So far, it's only been battle after battle, either on the surface, or in space.
I know that I'm still at the very beginning, but wondering if I should stick at it.
STO is an MMO and that means heavy combat focus.
However unlike other MMOs this game still offers alternatives.
There are exploration areas in the star clusters bordering on the known sector blocks whch may end in combat or in discovering a new planet, aiding a new civilization or finding scientific anomalies.
These features are rudimentary and quickly repetitive, but that is a trope of MMOs again.
STO has a diplomacy system.
Completing non combat missions in the star clusters or sector patrols gain you diplomacy experience which will ultimately rank you up to 4 different diplo levels.
Those diplomacy commendation ranks will open up diplomacy options in some story missions at least to avoid a portion of combat.
You can also gain diplomacy experience by heaviliy using the DOFF system, a minigame system that you can use to get regular experience and lots of different commendation experience as well.
Some people use this system exclusively to level up their characters.
Finding the most interesting DOFF assignments could be called exploration as well as every sector and cluster and some system and base maps have different doff mission which change every few hours.
With the doff system you dont actively steer your ship or shuttle yourself. You delegate the task at hand to lower deck personell which is represented by trading card like Duty Officer profiles.
Each Duty officer has his own department, specialty, traits and quality which influence the outcome and rewards of the assignment.
Those duty officers can also be assigned to active duty on your ship or away team to enhance your stats for active play.
And then there is the Foundry. This is the tool for user generated content which offers many story driven and combat light missions created by other players.
Some are quite epic and long and some even come entirely without combat.
Some of those missions are not on the technical level of Cryptic's best missions like the Feature Episodes but are leaps and bounds more creative then any official mission in the game.
It is worth checking out if you are in for the Trek experience.
Just be warned that for every mission there are ten so called missions which are utter garbage as well.
So it can be a bitdifficult to find the gems.
To avoid the bad ones read the reviews from players who have played them already and read up on forums like StarbaseUGC which is a community dedicated to the Foundry.
All in all there is quite a bit of non combat content and it's just a matter of finding it.
Also: Welcome to the game and if you are looking for a fleet, feel yourself invited to join the TrekBBS Armada. With an exception or two all of us are TrekBB members and playmore or less regularly together.
We share playtime, fun and resources for an overall better gaming experience.
Just give us a hail here or in game for a formal invite.