With the recent (and expected) announcement and detailsof Perfect World/Cryptic taking STO to the free to play business model, you might be pondering if it's a game worth getting in to, or getting back to. If you're, um, lucky enough to have a lifetime plan, you're all set. Now's a great time to jump back in and see where they're at, with another season update in sight at the end of September.
But if you're undecided, there's not very much info to go on. The STO beta/launch content on GB is naturally out of date at this point, so I thought it was worth a Quick Second Look. Here's ~25 minutes running through one of the Feature episode Devidian missions. Note: For spoilers' sake I do not show the first 5 minutes of the mission, which is pretty cool in itself. You'll know it when you play it.
The narration gets a little goofy. Sorry for the audio pops, had the mic too close for a few minutes.
A lot of players came back shortly after the Season 4 Crossfire update, and tend to agree that the game has evolved in a lot of ways since launch. But as this summer was the Atari to PW transition period, it wound up having quite a content-drought and a whole lot of "wait and see" promises to go with it. As a new player I don't really give a crapdamn about content pacing. I subscribed in July after installing my $5 Steam sale copy, and I like it. I tend to like Cryptic's games anyway. I haven't played Champions but it's a decent example of Cryptic doing well after making the F2P switch. So they've done this before, and they have a successful Chinese MMO company backing them up for improvements.
I'm not going to give you any hard sell or doom and gloom, there is clearly a lot of room for improvement, and a lot of life left in the property to see where they go with it. Try the game if you feel like it and make up your own damn mind. If you think it's very likely that you'll sign up after the F2P launch, you might want to consider getting a cheap copy off Steam now and use your 30 days to lock down your privileges, as new "Silvers" will have a certain amount of probation to contend with. Check the features matrix to see how all that evolves. At the end are some free guest pass codes if you want to have a pre-F2P-trial, and yes my account gets some perks, so it's up to you. :)
I will probably suspend my sub this month and decide when to come back based on the timeframes of F2P versus the launch of TOR. I bet Cryptic is thinking hard about that too.
I have one more Q2L Romulan mission already captured, and now that I'm up at Rear Admiral rank I will probably do something with the new Borg Red Alerts and the Undine story missions. Fluidic space is pretty rad. :)