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Archived Post 05-30-2011 08:56 AM

The problem with Unique Faction Benefits when we represent 1/8th of the player base
 
The problem of time investment versus rewards will always be on the forefront of any cryptic employee's mind. The average MMO developer will always have a long list of things that he wants to do and never enough time to do them in so that list gets prioritized and the priorities they set are always with the health and financial viability of the MMO as a whole in mind.

We see a lot of steps taken by Cryptic to make new content reachable and rewarding not just for both factions but for the entire range of player levels. This has its positives and negatives of course. As a positive, when you're a Klingon it's still better than the mind number grind of blowing up Cardassian fleets. In the negative, having the option to grind through the same Devidian missions at Captain that you just did at Lieutenant Commander for scaled up rewards is not the most dynamic leveling experience and when you recount your climb to the lofty heights of Lieutenant General you may omit those 3 times you repaired a Ferengi's replicator by rerouting power through various subsystems.

Which gets me to the point of this post in a very roundabout way. My Klingon Brothers and Sisters. We should embrace homogenization because it's the best we're likely to get for awhile. We are 12% of the population, last I heard. Looking at the list of remastered missions we seem to be getting almost 25% of the remastering and we can't expect that degree of disproportionate attention to always play out in our favor. So yes, happily embrace the opportunity to do Klingon versions of Federation missions, even if it means that some moron in a blue shirt, pointy ears, an obsession with 'logic,' and the passion of an android gets to ride the barge to Stovokor.

But it goes beyond mission content into game mechanics. There's been a problem with cloaking devices, as an example. Apparently if your bridge phone rings, your cloaking device shuts off. I imagine it's because they're on the same circuit. It hasn't been fixed. I'm sure it's on the list but we're 12% of the player base. But now more than 12% of the player base has cloaks. The Federation has cloaks. I know, just two ships, that couldn't represent alot could it? Well, if you thought this then you don't seem to understand what 12% of the player base means in scale.

This is a thought exercise. Lets assume that 1/3 of the Federation fly escorts. Maybe it's more, maybe it's less, maybe it varies depending on whether it's a Tuesday, I don't have actual numbers. Lets assume the number of federation escort captains in the game is divided evenly between the four types of escorts available. Lets assume that the carriers, fleet support vessels, patrol cruisers, and siege destroyers in the KDF represent only 10% of their total fleet. Lets assume that end game players make up only half of the total game population.

That leaves Klingon players with cloaks representing about 11% of the total player base.

On the Federation side we see 88% of the population. Halve it because we're only talking about endgame ships and we're dealing with 44% of the population. Third it and we're at about 15% those are Federation players flying Escorts. Yes, there are probably more Federation escorts in space at a given moment than there are KDF ships in total. Divide by 4 and we are left with about 3.5% of the total player base flying Defiant-R's. I'm of course being cautious on that point as the Defiant-R is a free option at Vice Admiral and so I'm sure a lot more popular than Fleet Escorts, Advanced Escorts or even MVAE's.

Lets add another percent and a half to account for Dreadnaught captains, as a cash shop ship I can't safely say it's receiving a full fifth of Cruiser Captaincy's but I do see alot of them when I'm running my missions. So we see that about 5% of the player base happen to be Federation captains flying cloaking ships. That is about 45% more people complaining that their cloak turns off the second their phone rings, can we expect this problem to be taken care of 45% faster because of it? I dunno, maybe. But as that number goes up, it becomes more and more of a smart time investment to fix.

Suddenly, as a Klingon, your personal play experience is much more likely to improve in this one way because the Defiant-R and Galaxy-X exist. So what's the point? Embrace homogenization for what it will do for you and try to temper your feelings of rage that precious time and resources are being spent making you less special when they could be spending this time making the game funner for you to play.

Archived Post 05-30-2011 09:37 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jermbot (Post 3564859)
We see a lot of steps taken by Cryptic to make new content reachable and rewarding not just for both factions but for the entire range of player levels. This has it's positives and negatives of course. As a positive, when you're a Klingon it's still better than the mind number grind of blowing up Cardassian fleets. In the negative, having the option to grind through the same Devidian missions at Captain that you just did at Lieutenant Commander for scaled up rewards is not the most dynamic leveling experience and when you recount your climb to the lofty heights of Lieutenant General you may omit those 3 times you repaired a Ferengi's replicator by rerouting power through various subsystems.

Which gets me to the point of this post in a very roundabout way. My Klingon Brothers and Sisters. We should embrace homogenization because it's the best we're likely to get for awhile. We are 12% of the population, last I heard. Looking at the list of remastered missions we seem to be getting almost 25% of the remastering and we can't expect that degree of disproportionate attention to always play out in our favor. So yes, happily embrace the opportunity to do Klingon versions of Federation missions, even if it means that some moron in a blue shirt with pointy ears who uses 'logic' in place of the blood pounding passion of a warrior gets to ride the barge to Stovokor.

But it goes beyond that. There's been a problem with cloaking devices, as an example. Apparently if your bridge phone rings, your cloaking device shuts off. I imagine it's because they're on the same circuit. It hasn't been fixed. I'm sure it's on the list but we're 12% of the player base. But now more than 12% of the player base has cloaks. The Federation has cloaks. I know, just two ships, that couldn't represent alot could it? Well, if you thought this then you don't seem to understand what 12% of the player base means in scale.

This is a thought exercise. Lets assume that 1/3 of the Federation fly escorts. Maybe it's more, maybe it's less, maybe it varies depending on whether it's a Tuesday, I don't have actual numbers. Now, there are four escorts available to the Federation at end game so lets assume, against our better judgment, that Federation escort captains divide evenly between the four. And, for giggles, lets assume half the player base is at end game.

Almost all Klingon players have cloaks, so lets say 11% of the player base on the Klingon side is affected by this, making carrier pilots, and the people in the shiny new allied race end game ships account for 1% of the total game population or almost 10% of the Klingon population.

On the Federation side we see 88% of the population. Halve it because we're only talking about endgame ships and we're dealing with 44% of the population. Third it and we're at 15% those are Federation players flying Escorts. Yes, there are probably more Federation escorts in space at a given moment than there are KDF ships in total. Divide by 4 and we are left with about 3.5% of the total player base flying Defiant-R's. I'm of course being cautious on that point as the Defiant-R is a free option at Vice Admiral and so I'm sure a lot more popular than Fleet Escorts, Advanced Escorts or even MVAE's.

Lets add another percent and a half to account for Dreadnaught captains, as a cash shop ship I can't safely say it's receiving a full fifth of Cruiser Captaincy's but I do see alot of them when I'm running my missions. So we see that about 5% of the player base happen to be Federation captains flying cloaking ships. That is about 45% more people complaining that their cloak turns off the second their phone rings, can we expect this problem to be taken care of 45% faster because of it? I dunno, maybe. But as that number goes up, it becomes more and more of a smart time investment to fix.

Mask Energy Signature is also affected by the cloak bug. That might play havoc with your numbers a bit.

;)

Archived Post 05-30-2011 09:48 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by superchum (Post 3564901)
Mask Energy Signature is also affected by the cloak bug. That might play havoc with your numbers a bit.

;)

Probably, but the same reasoning can be applied to fighter control, appropriate balance for universal brigde slots as more and more 'hybrid' ship combinations become available, glitches in Klingon exclusive missions, even some non-uniform costume options can, and probably should, be made available to both sides.

Archived Post 05-31-2011 12:50 PM

I say that homogenization as a whole is a bad thing. If both sides have access to pretty much the same things, there's little incentive to play one over the other. We might as well have just one faction if this becomes the case. I want the Federation to have their science ships. I want the Klingons to have their carriers. I want Federation themed episodes for the Federation. I want Klingon themed episodes for the KDF.

I have yet to see a multi-faction MMO have full homogenization. And it's for a good reason...the reason stated above. Now, I know you were using the FEs as a major example. Sure, it's a good thing to give us some content, but it seems like a second thought at times. There are parts that make little-to-no sense from a warrior's perspective but perfectly reasonable by a peace loving hippy group like Starfleet.

I'll take whatever little we can get, even if it means having to endure a little faction-agnostic stuff. However, I will NOT embrace homogenization.

Archived Post 05-31-2011 11:19 PM

OOPS...WHO DROPPED THE WRENCH IN THE WARP DRIVE.

I can see your point in placating to the mass, however you want to maximize your investment. One, if you decide to create two different factions ( in this case, although I dream of a Cardassian/Romulan faction myself) and you also decide that each faction needs a focus. Then you should ensure that the focus for each faction is enjoyable for both, in other words since Klingons are primarily PvP and must engage in PvP just to increase in rank then why wouldn't Klingons have an equal or greater advantage in PvP? In Federation PvE is a major focus for obtaining rank and by giving them such an advantage in both aspects of the game allows their players to increase twice as fast. I was here during the first month of release and noticed that the original advantages held by the KDF quickly dwindled or disappeared.

Second; the reason the KDF players only have a 12% population now is because 75% left early on or were booted for violating forum policies; rather than reviewing the complaints, assessing the situation, and addressing issues. We would have made up about 30-35% of the population now. Evenmore so, most KDF players also play Federation characters and chose to stick with them rather than grind over and over the same battles. I remember clearing sectors at Lieutenant all the way up to Captain and nothing really changed, they were the same battles. That was our only option outside of PvP.

So, I'm glad to say Au revoir to Atari and welcome to PWI.

Archived Post 06-01-2011 04:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jack_Armstrong (Post 3567116)
I say that homogenization as a whole is a bad thing. If both sides have access to pretty much the same things, there's little incentive to play one over the other. We might as well have just one faction if this becomes the case. I want the Federation to have their science ships. I want the Klingons to have their carriers. I want Federation themed episodes for the Federation. I want Klingon themed episodes for the KDF.

The incentive comes from the unique feel of playing each faction. Playing a Klingon should be an entirely different attitude than playing a member of Starfleet, and while that is helped by seperate themed episodes and missions, it's not really helped by exclusive access to science vessels or carriers. But exclusive access to carriers, birds of prey or science vessel does hurt the time it takes to get a bug fixed by limiting, or in the case of a primarily Klingon specific bug, severely limiting the degree of benefit such a bug fix has for the player base as a whole.

Quote:

I have yet to see a multi-faction MMO have full homogenization. And it's for a good reason...the reason stated above. Now, I know you were using the FEs as a major example. Sure, it's a good thing to give us some content, but it seems like a second thought at times. There are parts that make little-to-no sense from a warrior's perspective but perfectly reasonable by a peace loving hippy group like Starfleet.
And I wouldn't dream of suggesting FULL homogenization. But a larger degree of homogenization would make alot of content available for the Klingon faction and a little available for the Federation, which would give both sides of the game more to offer a newer player and should do far more to help level out populations than the vague promise of getting to fly a carrier if you have the raw endurance necessary to grind your KDF captain all the way to general.

Quote:

I'll take whatever little we can get, even if it means having to endure a little faction-agnostic stuff. However, I will NOT embrace homogenization.
That's your choice, I don't demand you agree, I merely ask that you consider and understand the full implications of your position. With the last content patch they remastered four missions into scaleable content with rewards at every level, 3 on the Federation side and 1 on the Klingon side. That was twice the attention our population merited.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Zejak (Post 3568006)
I can see your point in placating to the mass, however you want to maximize your investment. One, if you decide to create two different factions ( in this case, although I dream of a Cardassian/Romulan faction myself) and you also decide that each faction needs a focus. Then you should ensure that the focus for each faction is enjoyable for both, in other words since Klingons are primarily PvP and must engage in PvP just to increase in rank then why wouldn't Klingons have an equal or greater advantage in PvP? In Federation PvE is a major focus for obtaining rank and by giving them such an advantage in both aspects of the game allows their players to increase twice as fast. I was here during the first month of release and noticed that the original advantages held by the KDF quickly dwindled or disappeared.

But why decide each faction needs a focus? And don't get me wrong, in a perfect world this game would have about five distinct feeling factions and 8 times more players. The Klingon faction has two universal appeals inherent to it as a faction, it appeals to fans of Klingons/Nausicaans/Orions/Gorn/Letheans and it appeals to people who want to play the game but don't want to play it as Starfleet. Why try to 'focus it' beyond that? The starting system of "focusing" the KDF towards PVP really just alienated players that would have liked to play as KDF in a primarily PVE environment. If there ever were any 'advantages' held by the KDF in PVP other than an increase in PVP experience forced upon them by the game design, the existence of those advantages would have served to do nothing but alienate Starfleet fans that were interested in a primarily PVP game experience and so it was right to eliminate them.

Homogenization here means equal access and enjoyment to every aspect of the game for both factions so that players who like Klingons more can get an enjoyable play experience. Does this mean I want my Nausicaan pirate to nobly risk life and limb to protect Federation space from the planet eating Doomsday Machine? No, ofcourse not. But would I leap at the chance to nobly risk life and limb to protect Klingon space from the planet eating Doomsday Machine? Well, no, my Nausicaan is quite callous and more than a little cowardly. But I'd do it for enough money, prestige, or the chance to shoot a really big gun.

Quote:

Second; the reason the KDF players only have a 12% population now is because 75% left early on or were booted for violating forum policies; rather than reviewing the complaints, assessing the situation, and addressing issues. We would have made up about 30-35% of the population now. Evenmore so, most KDF players also play Federation characters and chose to stick with them rather than grind over and over the same battles. I remember clearing sectors at Lieutenant all the way up to Captain and nothing really changed, they were the same battles. That was our only option outside of PvP.
I'm not sure that's a real figure, but lets assume it is and that we were 30-35% of the population at start. I still think that's much lower than it should be. Had the game started with a Klingon tutorial, and Klingon mission content we probably would see about half of the game population playing as Klingons with the odd Federation alt there to enjoy the other side of the content. But that's not what we see today, and today we need to deal with the population disparity we have infront of us. Homogenization in the form of faction agnostic episodes is a good start. If it buys enough time for the addition of more Klingon exclusive content, great! But it hasn't yet. Getting them to take a third of the time new content takes to 'remaster' some Federation missions and Klingon missions to make them 'faction agnostic' is a far more reasonable goal.

Quote:

So, I'm glad to say Au revoir to Atari and welcome to PWI
The only PWI game I'm aware of that's marketted to the same regions as STO, Forsaken World, seemed to be single faction. If Cryptic's new owners take an active managing role, it may very well mean taking the idea of homogenization and going even further than I would like.

Archived Post 06-01-2011 06:37 AM

I feel that the reason is because they are definitely trying to maximize their profits as well as trying to placate the majority of the game's population. Since we make up very barely double digit percentages of the population, we get the short end of the stick. What I feel the best thing that could happen for us is that the devs give the KDF some attention through remastering fed missions that make it fun to play w/ or against the KDF, that raises interest in the faction. As well, the other good thing they could do is the series episodes. If they made a KDF-centric series of episodes, there are many ways they could spin it. They could have Federation players undergo cosmetic surgery to go undercover as a Klingon (as many people have done in Star Trek episodes with other alien races) to take care of some extreme threat to the federation and this could be spun off to be something serious to the KDF as well where KDF players could be playing undercover as a member of a certain house tasked with fixing the problem.

Rewards that could be given away could be a diplomatic BOFF, an Orion, Klingon, Nausicaan for Feds...something they get only with grinding diplomacy, migth be nice for them to have a rare one with some useful skill.... As well, the KDF could get a Federation officer..a rare human or whatever race with an equally useful skill..

These are of course only ideas. But, at the present, it seems the only logical way to break more people into the KDF and playing the Klingon faction. But then again, I don't remember seeing the devs wearing their pointy ears, so they may not listen to us.....

Archived Post 06-01-2011 08:01 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jermbot (Post 3568263)

But why decide each faction needs a focus? And don't get me wrong, in a perfect world this game would have about five distinct feeling factions and 8 times more players. The Klingon faction has two universal appeals inherent to it as a faction, it appeals to fans of Klingons/Nausicaans/Orions/Gorn/Letheans and it appeals to people who want to play the game but don't want to play it as Starfleet. Why try to 'focus it' beyond that? The starting system of "focusing" the KDF towards PVP really just alienated players that would have liked to play as KDF in a primarily PVE environment. If there ever were any 'advantages' held by the KDF in PVP other than an increase in PVP experience forced upon them by the game design, the existence of those advantages would have served to do nothing but alienate Starfleet fans that were interested in a primarily PVP game experience and so it was right to eliminate them.

Maybe I used the wrong words in my opinion, but Cryptic made the focus; It was supposed to be Federation PvE primary and PvP secondary. It also decided to make the Klingons PvP only (with a few of the same mission just different ships for PvE which is not PvE). Had Cryptic kept that philosophy, a player who wanted to play PvP would have an equal or greater chance of success with the Klingons. However, early on Federation players balked and suddenly a large number of advantages began showing up....not my call, but I believe that Cryptic owes (not financially or anything just in committment) those Klingon players who stuck with the game in spite of the misproportion of the game to at least add a few Klingon PvE missions. The advantages of cloak and more durable armor was nullified when those upgrades and additional presents were just given away to a faction which greatly restricts such use.

Homogenization here means equal access and enjoyment to every aspect of the game for both factions so that players who like Klingons more can get an enjoyable play experience. Does this mean I want my Nausicaan pirate to nobly risk life and limb to protect Federation space from the planet eating Doomsday Machine? No, ofcourse not. But would I leap at the chance to nobly risk life and limb to protect Klingon space from the planet eating Doomsday Machine? Well, no, my Nausicaan is quite callous and more than a little cowardly. But I'd do it for enough money, prestige, or the chance to shoot a really big gun.

I agree to a point....if Cryptic placed a large number of FED missions over to Klingon with the minor touch ups to make it Klingon (no saving SOL or talking with Federation Officers), but I believe a nice touch could be added by adding a few missions that broaden and build the Klingon culture. Maybe a search for Khaless or a lost weapon of Khaless. Maybe discover a new metal which is tougher or more dense than any other discovered yet....maybe a new invasion recon enters Klingon space (even if it is just two or three would make a Klingon drool...)I

'm not sure that's a real figure, but lets assume it is and that we were 30-35% of the population at start. I still think that's much lower than it should be. Had the game started with a Klingon tutorial, and Klingon mission content we probably would see about half of the game population playing as Klingons with the odd Federation alt there to enjoy the other side of the content. But that's not what we see today, and today we need to deal with the population disparity we have infront of us. Homogenization in the form of faction agnostic episodes is a good start. If it buys enough time for the addition of more Klingon exclusive content, great! But it hasn't yet. Getting them to take a third of the time new content takes to 'remaster' some Federation missions and Klingon missions to make them 'faction agnostic' is a far more reasonable goal.

No it wasn't an exact figure because I didn't know the exact numbers to compute the percentages...and I was being conservative in my percentages. I agree.

The only PWI game I'm aware of that's marketted to the same regions as STO, Forsaken World, seemed to be single faction. If Cryptic's new owners take an active managing role, it may very well mean taking the idea of homogenization and going even further than I would like.


I've read about these guys and how they keep their hands out of the pot. There is another game out there that I can't remember off the top of my head, but it was popular. I think PWI won't cut from the game (ie. cutting to one faction), but will want to see what plans are being looked at to make it better.

Archived Post 06-01-2011 08:17 PM

I hear what you are saying...but homogenization to me is the road to stagnation.

Instead, I think that if the pendulum swung the other way -- updates that provided content -- to include things like weapons, consoles, special officers, even special abilities, that were only available to Klingons and nobody else...and the only way to experience that new item was to play Klingon, then the populations might just start to balance out a bit...

There are only two real things unique to Klingons right now -- the whole "Klingon cultture" factor that is present more in the minds of hard-core Klingon players than it is in-game currently, and the Klingon Carrier. However, the uniqueness of the carrier is slowly disappearing over time, with the advent of Scorpion fighters, and ships that break apart into pets (MVAM, Saucer seperation, etc.).

The more homogenized the game becomes...the more like a single faction it will be...and to be candid, there have been some excellent single-faction space-based MMO games in the past...Earth and Beyond comes immediately to mind...it was single-faction for all intents and purposes...sure there were three "classes", but no real interaction between the classes at all...and look what happened to that game -- it failed. It did not even last that long...

Homogenization is not a good thing for an MMO, in my opinion...if taken too far, it is the road to stagnation.

Archived Post 06-02-2011 03:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ZTempest
I hear what you are saying...but homogenization to me is the road to stagnation.

Instead, I think that if the pendulum swung the other way -- updates that provided content -- to include things like weapons, consoles, special officers, even special abilities, that were only available to Klingons and nobody else...and the only way to experience that new item was to play Klingon, then the populations might just start to balance out a bit...

First off, I would LOVE to see more ships, outfits, missions and items available with that uniquely alien Nuasicaan feel. But so long as such items only appeal to shoppers in the 12% of the existing game population plus whatever people it convinces to faction switch, it's not going to happen. This is a classic cart before the horse suggestion as Cryptic has already said these goodies won't get enough development time until the population grows.

Quote:

There are only two real things unique to Klingons right now -- the whole "Klingon cultture" factor that is present more in the minds of hard-core Klingon players than it is in-game currently, and the Klingon Carrier. However, the uniqueness of the carrier is slowly disappearing over time, with the advent of Scorpion fighters, and ships that break apart into pets (MVAM, Saucer seperation, etc.).
And the battle cloak which seems to me a far more likely factor in characters choosing to play Klingon than the opportunity to grind a character all the way up to General just to fly a carrier. Now, if the bird of prey was duplicated whole cloth and ported over to the Federation side of the game in the form of, lets say, a Defiant-X, would that hurt Klingon population? Yes, but PVE mission content would do a lot more good.

Now here's a way that the "Defiant-X" concept would help the Klingon population. It would give the developers a significantly larger reason to fix any balancing issues or play bugs with the Bird of Prey as a whole. Sure, we wouldn't have quite so many marose "aliens made to look like Humans" playing on our side because it's their only way to fly a battle cloaking light raider, but those of us who want to be here and want to play a battle cloaking light raider will be happier for it. I also imagine the Klingon "Dax" population might take something of a hit.

Quote:

The more homogenized the game becomes...the more like a single faction it will be...and to be candid, there have been some excellent single-faction space-based MMO games in the past...Earth and Beyond comes immediately to mind...it was single-faction for all intents and purposes...sure there were three "classes", but no real interaction between the classes at all...and look what happened to that game -- it failed. It did not even last that long...

Homogenization is not a good thing for an MMO, in my opinion...if taken too far, it is the road to stagnation.
No offense but this argument is baloney. One, it's equating two homogenized factions with a one faction game when they are too entirely separate things, and two, it blames the failure of an MMO on a single factor convenient for this discussion when the truth is a lot more complicated than that. I can just as easily point to The World of ******** as an example of a VERY homogenized two faction game that is so successful that in a given week it will add or lose more players, just through the normal fluctuation of subscribers, than STO has ever seen. I can point to WoW and I can claim that it's success is based solely on the benefits of homogenization, but I won't because its success is based on a wide range of different things. Still, it makes a wonderful example of an MMO that works, at least in part, because of two homogenized factions.


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