I've recently revisited STO after being pretty much offline since my first month expired after launch date and I must say that it has gotten quite a lot of good updates to it. I made a brief visit back in November when they had a free weekend for existing members, not much had really happened back then aside from the new missions and increased level cap to Vice Admiral. Though now, since I'm already Vice Admiral on the main character, I have to start a new character to check them out and this is what I've experienced so far. Please bear in mind that I have no idea when certain changes were implemented and so on, I'm just saying what have caught my immediate attention!
Vice Admiral Karl Moghren's log STO-date on year later. My new uniform still look sweet.
They've started to make it feel more Star Trek in my book. The Tutorial and overall looks are still the same but when you finish the Tutorial mission and head to Space Dock you're immediately greeted with a Transporter room with stationed guards and a Chief administrator who can answer questions right off the bat. Looks a lot more like the welcome you'd expect over being teleported straight into some corridor outside the Admiral's office.
Speaking of Admiral's Office. With the changes they've made, his office has been moved and isn't a separate instance anymore. We're talking proper "psssht"-sliding doors and a receptionist outside. She's not very talkative but it looks better and becomes easier to find!
There's a sickbay that help teach you about curing injuries you get when getting incapacitated.
The BO skill area have received an academy look to it with banners and all. Though I still feel they need to overhaul the system because it's a bit too messy to organize new officers and the distribution of skill points.
Space Dock have also received a proper night club instead of that strange bar they had in the open area between the Admiral's office and the Requisitions area. Doesn't look too bad and during the one year anniversary Q is subjecting you to Star Trek trivia here.
And lastly, something I believe was posted earlier but I couldn't help but emphasize this. The turbo lift to Ship Requisitions is located on ground floor now and when you get up there you're greeted with this. Certainly helps to make Space Dock feel like something grander than what you get to see from the main floor. Also puts the sheer size of a Galaxy class in a different perspective since you're actually standing there and looking at it. Damn.
That sums up what was new to me at Space dock and I must say it feel a lot more interesting to just be there unlike before. Things are easier to find and it feels like Cryptic have answered the opinions regarding the place.
While I haven't played much yet, it seems like it's easier to mix things up a bit more now while leveling. Diplomatic missions that give you both XP for a diplomatic rank and regular XP so you don't have to do so many of those damned patrol/random encounter missions. Also with the research functioning now, it feels like I have more reasons to visit places.
That part certainly feel more interesting now as well since you have this spiffier Astrometrics map. Not sure if that's a new change but I have no memory of it at least. The grid is a lot more subtle and when you approach a system you get a little frame with some basic information of the system. And there's a buttload of different ships flying around with various appearances. Examining new ships alone is a curious endeavor.
If you want an example of curious improvements to quests, go check out the first mission you got as an LT, Stranded in Space. They haven't changed the quest but it becomes a sample of what things can become and I liked it a lot. You can replay old missions from your simulation console in the Ready Room. Oh and did I mention you can put trophies in your ready room? That's almost a win in its own to me. Possibility to customize more is desired after that of course but it's a welcomed start.
I was among the endless number of players that felt cheated on a good game and with the little I've played so far... I can't say that it's gotten incredibly much better. But it's certainly GETTING somewhere and it's for the better in my opinion. It certainly can't get worse than the state it was in when it launched but instead of giving up, they've taken to the forums and worked hard to prevent a train wreck. Now that I've seen some of the changes, I certainly don't mind throwing in some C-store purchases and a month's subscription once in a while to see more improvements and contribute to them.
Vice Admiral Karl Moghren, end of log.