I rejoined STO in early 2020 after a number of years away (suppose Legacy of Romulus). After I got here again, I form of dove in: began to finances to purchase about 5000 zen per thirty days, picked up the LTS on a 50% sale in April, picked up the legendary fed pack, and so forth.
I actually love the sport, and spending on it helped hold “the grind” from getting too dangerous… however I used to be curious, how is the grind for a real F2P participant?
At first I considered spinning up a brand new character and simply not permitting myself to make use of any “paid” options, however that is robust… Even when I do not use my ships, I get admiralty playing cards, slots, the additional V. Adm. token, and so forth. Additionally, it is form of onerous to have the desire energy to not use my assets on the “F2P” chraracter. I made a decision the correct strategy was to spin up a complete new account and NEVER spend money.
That was a couple of month in the past. I have been enjoying my “F2P” account as my foremost since then. It has been fairly enjoyable and I assumed I would share my perspective on the free to play expertise because it compares to the paid one.
The First Character
I made a decision to spin up a Federation-allied Romulan captain as my ‘foremost’ character on this account. Like most Star Trek followers, I am a federation man. The Romulan tutorial and story arc are a number of the greatest within the sport, and I by no means actually performed by way of them on my common account. This might be a great time to take pleasure in that content material. I additionally really feel the entire STO story makes extra sense as a Romulan. Belonging to a budding nation’s navy helps clarify why a Fleet Admiral nonetheless flies round patroling the beta quadrant and serving to tag Epohh.
These are all good causes for operating Romulan, however my actual motive was extra sensible: Taking part in as a Romulan offers me cheaper entry to Superior Romulan Operative Bridge Officers (SRO) and the Dynamic Energy Redistributor Module console (DPRM) whereas permitting me to fly all my favourite Starfleet ships.
The F2P expertise throughout the leveling up course of is just about the identical as it’s for a paid participant. An important distinction is that as I F2P participant, I haven’t got entry to a scaling T6 ship whereas I degree. That is form of a blessing in disguise in my books. I’ve discovered that the T6 “scaling” ships are inclined to outperform T1-T4, however needing to depend on the allowed me to mess around with a better number of ships. That is essential, since as soon as I hit degree 65 that selection received lower down in a fairly large means…
Since I’ve performed most story content material earlier than, I did a number of skipping with a view to decide up mission rewards that will swimsuit my remaining construct. I made a decision to deal with disruptors, since they’re one of many simpler power sorts to play with out dropping money (best is unquestionably phasers, however disruptors are shut). I performed Echoes of Mild repeatedly for the Entoiled Techonology set, Brushfire for the Home Martok Omni & Protection Configuration Engineering Console, Blood of the Ancients for the Preserver Resonant Set, and one playthrough of Past the Nexus for Strengthened Armaments. I additionally performed Smash & Seize quite a few occasions with a view to decide up Plasma-Disruptor Beam Arrays. I seen a number of earlier construct guides recommended these as beams. I am guessing the transfer to rolling proc’s each weapon cycle as a substitute of each shot lowered the worth of those, since they provide up a modified with a view to have each the plasma and disruptor procs. I did finally ditch them in favour of normal Disruptor DBB’s as soon as I hit Degree 65, however I do advocate conserving Smash & Seize in thoughts whereas levelling, since it is a fast episode that pumps out beams. (A little bit clarification on Plasma-Disruptors: They’ve each procs, however they’re disruptors not plasma weapons. Which means that plasma boosting tactical consoles don’t enhance their injury).
Selecting my Free Endgame Ships
I actually want that federation-allied Romulan captains might select federation ships to make use of with their tokens. I do like warbirds, however I might have beloved to choose up the T5 Sovereign Assault Cruiser and T5 Defiant Tactical Escort Retrofit as my free ships. As an alternative, I received Ha’apax Superior Warbird with my R.Adm. token and the Mogai Heavy Warbird Retrofit with my V.Adm. token. I take into account selecting the Mogai to have been a mistake. Not as a result of it is a dangerous ship, however as a result of I knew I might wish to finally decide up the Emergency Weapon Cycle trait, and essentially the most environment friendly option to get that’s the Morrigu. What I failed to grasp is that the Morrigu is the T6 Mogai. So what’s the issue? My plan was to finally improve my V.Adm. ship as a low-cost option to get one other endgame prepared ship…however why trouble? The T5U Mogai is only a worse Morrigu… I additionally deliberate on grinding my option to the Romulan Elite pack with it is T6 Malem, so the T’Varo Retrofit was not a better option. (At the least I realised that on the time…) the ship I ought to have picked up was the D’Deridex. Why? Not as a result of it is a notably nice ship: It handles like a Starbase. Principally as a result of I know I’ll by no means trouble grinding for the T6 model, and the D’Deridex is the iconic Romulan ship. Oh effectively, missed alternative I suppose.
The First Wall: Degree 65
We have all know that mission issue scales as you degree. This scaling is not linear although. I knew this stepping into, so I made certain to have my V.Adm. ship decked out with blue/purple weapons, and purple every thing else by the point I hit degree 65. I selected to make use of the Bajor Protection set for D/E/S, largely for the the 2 piece pump to Phasers/Disruptors/Plasma weapons. Kitting out the ship this manner does make it doable to play the content material, together with TFO’s on Regular. It doesn’t suggest you may by no means blow up. I am certain a greater pilot might have dealt with this higher, and possibly accomplished higher than I did at this level. Even perhaps run Superior TFO’s with out a single piece of XV gear and with an everyday T5 ship however I discovered that flying a non-upgraded T5 V-Adm ship was disagreeable. It was time to start out the grind.
The Grind Half 1 – You are gonna want a much bigger boat
Not really larger, however higher… I used to be not proud of the specs of a non-upgraded V.Adm. T5 ship, so I made a decision to hit the ol’ change and see what it will value me for one thing slightly harder. There are quite a few T5 ships on the change that promote for lower than the usual 15M power credit score cap. 2 of these have free upgrades to T5U included: The Hirogen Hunter Heavy Escort and the Undine Nicor Warship. The Nicor is slightly pricier than the Hunter because it was retired from the lockbox T5 prize field earlier in 2020, so I went with the Hunter for an inexpensive 3M EC. Grinding 3M EC wasn’t that dangerous. I discovered a couple of methods to assist, the best of which have been Tour the Galaxy and Endeavors. My Mogai‘s singularity core did not lengthen the size of slipstream or scale back the cooldown, so it was solely good for a couple of hundred thousand EC per day, however mixed with endeavors, admiralty (robust with so few ship playing cards!) and operating Rescue and Search and Ninth Rule a couple of occasions per day, I used to be capable of save up sufficient credit in just some days. I purchased my Hunter for a cool 3M EC and named her: RRW D’Liru.
The Grind Half 2 – Transferring previous mission rewards
By this level, I had modified my weapons, dropping the Plasma-Disruptor Beam Arrays in favor of a pair of Disruptor Twin Beam Banks up entrance, mixed with the Nausicaan Beam Array and Vitality Torpedo, then the Home Martok Omni within the again together with a pair of Plasma-Disruptor Beam Arrays. I knew I wished to have the ability to hit from the entrance with every thing, so I switched out the rear BA’s for the Kinetic Chopping Beam and a Disruptor Omni from the change. I additionally picked up the Assimilated Module and Zero-Level Vitality Harness. I made a decision to place a pause on Repute gear after that, although. I might like to avoid wasting slightly dil, so I am going to wait till my reputations hit Tier 6 and I can end the initiatives at a reduction. There’s a number of good things I can use, just like the Terran and Romulan Disruptor Beam Arrays, however these can wait.
At the moment, I started saving up dilithium for Phoenix upgrades (and naturally, crossing my fingers for an epic token) and saving my credit for the holy grail of consoles: DPRM. On the time that I purchased mine, these have been floating proper across the 15 million mark… I wanted to cap out my EC to get this. Fortunately, I had picked up a couple of admiralty ships to assist achieve EC that means, and the Obelisk warp core to make Tour the Galaxy extra worthwhile. With little effort, I can tour the complete Beta Quadrant and a planet or two within the Alpha quadrant to earn a reasonably strong chunk of EC. Mixed with endeavors and admiralty, I am effectively over one million per day with out carrying myself out. Every week and a half, and I had my DPRM console. I moved down my record and picked up hull picture refractors. This brings me to a reasonably passable ship, with solely a couple of month’s value of enjoying to get there. I additionally picked up a Nicor for kicks. I have not kitted all of it out but, I am considering of operating it with Antiproton Twin Heavy Cannons. We’ll see.
I additionally dropped slightly EC on some traits Honored Useless and Onboard Dilithium Recrystalizer. I’ve mixed these with The Finest Protection from Home Pegh and Predictive Algorithms to spherical out my straship traits. Not the most effective suite of starship traits, however not dangerous on a finances.
The R.R.W. D’Liru : My F2P Escort ship. Please be aware, the tactical console on the far proper is a Bellum Distributed Vitality Manifold, not a regular one. This has a better enhance for beams than a traditional one, together with a lift of +1.4% to CritH. Form of a poor man’s Vulnerability Locators
So what’s subsequent for my F2P captain? Nicely, I believe it is time to begin promoting dilithium for zen. I might like to choose up the Malem Mild Warbird from the Romulan Packfor it is trait: Withering Barrage. The pack is just one,600 zen at 20% off, so the grind should not actually put on me out. I additionally want to purchase the EC cap improve, since there are many goodies priced above 15 million. (Like an Improve token for my Mogai!) As soon as I attain T6 in a couple of reputations I am going to spherical out my construct with fame gear. And in addition begin choosing up cannons for to construct a couple of ships round Withering Barrage. I plan on choosing up the Fleet Shepard with my first 5 Fleet Ship Modules. It ought to be winter by the point I’ve accomplished that, almost certainly and I’ll have additionally tossed the Winter Occasion ship in to my roster. Locators will have to be picked up someplace in there too. That can take a little bit of admiralty & TFO grinding for certain.
Closing Ideas on the F2P expertise
I’ve loved attempting F2P out. It is a grindier expertise, however with the correct technique, you’ll be able to gear up your fleet with out burning out. I do discover I am extra enthusiastic about my ships after I must work onerous to get. I are inclined to benefit from the grind extra due to the delayed gratification that goes with it. I spent the previous couple of days itching to purchase Hull Picture Refractors and after I did and eventually threw them on for a run by way of Rescue and Search I beloved seeing that effort repay. By comparability, on my paid acount Hull Picture Refractors have been only a suppose to choose up after a key sale. Each the paid and F2P expertise have distinctive advantages, and I am undecided one is actually higher than the opposite, although I’ll say that I do take a bit extra satisfaction in my F2P account than I do in my paid one. It is virtually just like the distinction between shopping for or crafting one thing by hand: It is simpler to take satisfaction within the factor you constructed your self. It has actually been an attention-grabbing expertise!