I’m in to my second month of playing now and I’ve been hammering away at each event that comes up just like I have this week.
First off, welcome to the game and welcome to the forums.
I can see the possibility of getting a 4* Kal-if-fee Spock if I can get my event points up to 120,000 and finish in the top 3000. Problem is, I don’t think that’s ever going to happen - not just in this event but in ANY event.
That’s a good goal to have, and as I get into the rest of your post I’ll explain why it’s too early to give up on it just yet. In the meantime, Spock is a pretty useful player to get, even at 2/4 or 3/4. And as I’ve found playing this game, you just don’t know when RNG is going to award you that fourth star. He’s useful not fully-fused, and just because he comes out of this event incomplete doesn’t mean he’ll stay that way.
I can appreciate that right now, I don’t have my fourth shuttle and even if I did, my crew are limited in power so hitting 120,000 event points is beyond my grasp. Eventually, I would expect to overcome this problem, especially as I’ll have my fourth shuttle within the week.
That fourth shuttle is going to be a big help to you. Not so much in events initially, because your crew will take some time to catch up, but just as a way of accumulating trainers and items. Down the road, it’s going to give you an advantage over F2P types, some of whom are still competitive in these events with two shuttles!
What I don’t think I’ll ever overcome is the thousands of players who are already miles ahead of me that I need to “beat” to get in to the top 3000 in an event. Assuming we all progress at a similar rate, I’m never going to even come close.
This is the flawed assumption at the heart of your problem. We don’t all progress at a similar rate.
I hit my one-year anniversary the other day. Right now I’m working on my 3/3 Deanna Troi for next week’s event, possibly cadet challenges and then later for the vault. I’m also working on my 1/5 Age of Sail Crusher for cadet challenges and just to get her polished off. But once those characters are done they’re going to pay me pretty modest dividends. I already have 2/5 Dark Ages McCoy at lvl. 99, so adding Crusher to that mix isn’t a game-changer for me. Troi may end up in the vault, depending on my crew slot situation; I generally have to keep tight rein on my cadet crew because I’m running out of space.
I don’t know what your roster looks like, but I’m guessing adding a lvl. 100 1/5 or 4/4 would be a big thing for you. Every time you do it, you gain on more established players like me, who are only making tiny incremental gains.
That’s not even taking into account events like this - a re-run - which narrow the gap further. I’m gunning for a 1/5 Lwaxana, but I already have 4/4 Spock and 3/3 Lwaxana, so those rewards are going to get flushed. If you collect any of those rewards and can use them, you’re closing the gap with players like me.
This also isn’t taking into account players leaving or losing interest the game, something which happens all the time. It’s not taking into account players sitting out events - something I and others have been doing with greater frequency given the prevalence of Galaxy Events. All of those are opportunities to make gains.
It’s a little demoralising to know that I’ll never be able to climb those ranks, no matter how long I play for and that getting a FF crew member will rely on buying event packs, getting a random drop or waiting for a repeat event.
Given time, it won’t, particularly due to the presence of threshold rewards. You may have seen the “Culture of Waste” post the other day, complaining about how top players collect 7 duplicates of the same 4* Spock in this event. There’s practically no advantage to getting 7 rather than 4 versions of the character - and once you get to the point where you can claim 3/4 from the threshold rewards, it won’t matter if you hit the top 1000 or not. You’ll be getting the same 4/4 character as players like me, because we’re mostly just flushing the extras anyway.
In a way, the new gauntlet system seems to be weighted in favour of long-time players as well. Sure, one day I might get some decent FF crew but by the time that happens, anyone who’s been playing longer than me will have even more FF crew.
The same things I’ve pointed to in events apply to the Gauntlet, only more so because of the RNG. I hit six wins in a row yesterday - something anyone should be able to do with a little patience - and had a Locutus drop out. That’s a bigger reward than anything I got in my last Gauntlet, even though I was in the top-10 all event and collected a bunch of stuff at the end.
Has anyone else experienced this? Does it ever get better or am I going to feel like this indefinitely because I started a year too late?
For what it’s worth, I think everyone experiences this. I came into the game in its second month and got smoked in my first event (Arachnia Janeway/Captain Proton Paris). My crew was not good and I was a F2P player (I’ve since converted to the monthly card) and I figured there was no way I’d ever be competitive with the whales who dominated the leaderboard.
With time, the situation improves. My advice: Just decide how much you actually like the gameplay. If you like it, in time you’ll be competitive with everyone. If you don’t, being competitive won’t be enough to keep you in the game anyway.