The word from Tribble is that the shield direction effects – that ring that surrounds the ships – is being turned into an FX toggle. I don’t particularly mind the rings in combat, but they really do screw up my attempts at making epically awesome screen caps in battle. I also know that many players – of the Bridge Commander variety, no doubt – do want the rings off for aesthetic reasons, a view I can sympathize with but have no intrinsically strong feelings about.
The story of this feature is interesting. Initially, Cryptic said turning the shields off was practically impossible – it was hard coded in some way that made adding that feature a long-range goal. Player retorted by saying, hey, there’s no shield rings the game footage videos you release. To which Cryptic replied, well, yeah, but that’s a dev tool. But we’ll see what we can do.
I’m really glad that this feature is coming so soon. Not only is it something I can appreciate, I really like that Cryptic manned it up and so quickly responded to this request. There is lots of Cryptic hate,1 some of it founded in reality. But whatever Cryptic’s flaws, STO’s devs really are active on the forums, and they really are responding to player feedback.
1 I really like that first comment on that linked Massively article: “Why do you ask this? People expressed their opinions of them in every CO/STO news/opinion article. Again and again. Why do you even wanna rehash this discussion?“