Season 7 Predictions
Zen : Dilithium Exchange
Currently it has already begun the slow drop in the value of zen to dilithium. This is a day after a new 5,000 zen ship pack was released and a very bad sign. While it is true that they are returning the Dilithium to STFs I highly doubt anyone will argue that the supply of dilithium has gone down and that demand will increase. And while Zen becoming cheaper is good for me, it is bad for cryptic. I would imagine that as the value drops so will the traded volume as both sides believe their currency is being undervalued on the exchange.
Lock Box/Master Key
Even with the highly desirable Reputation Mark Boost and mirror escorts that we all know will be in the next lockbox I would expect the sale of Keys to drop significantly. There will be three main factors that cause said effect. The first being general consumer fatigue, those that would buy 200 keys for a ship have likely been burned enough times by now that they have learned. Not all but many. Secondly many people (myself) only buy lockbox keys with zen I buy with dilithium and as I said before I expect the volume traded to decrease. And finally with the redesign of the STF loot system they have chased away the player's who really enjoy the rush of the random loot drop. I would guess that style of gamer would be more likely to partake in the lockbox system than those who enjoy a predictable grind.
Because of the doff changes combined with the removal of the console clickers many fleets will be hard pressed to accumulate the resources need to advance their fleet along with the new reputation grind and embassy. I suspect many will try and get their embassy to tier 1 if they can stomach the dilithium costs and then abandon it. I also suspect many fleets have stalled in their starbase progress to begin with and that many many more will as well.
TLDR: Many changes have been made that will cost Cryptic revenue IMHO.
This is a good post. Its dead on accurate. However, many of us predicted such things weeks ago and frankly we had devs tell us we were wrong. We werent.
Cryptic easing the brakes a bit today might help a bit but they still are going in the wrong direction and I doubt that they will fully realize their mistakes until its too late and they do irreperable damage to the player base and to the game.
Good post OP.
I for one is one of these players who like to gamble and used to buy keys and open Lock Boxes because i could not resist.
However, like most casino lovers, we as customers also like to be given gifts once in awhile as appreciation for our spendings.
STF Random Loot Bag was in essence my big FREE excitement devs were allowing me to have in this game.
Without it, i feel very uncompelled to play the game and i assure you that the day as not yet come where i will play STO ONLY to open Lock Boxes.
So that's my 2 cents. Hope Devs are reading this.
The Dilithium Depression - Dilithium Dilemma - Dilithium Gate
I cannot lay claim to the euphemisms going around and the players calling the changes to season 7 the Dilithium Depression, or the Dilithium Dilemma or Dilithium gate but it was incredibly obvious that once the players saw them that they would revolt.
It surprised me as to the absolute instant outrage players felt and saw as they realized that their access to Dilithium was being pulled from the game.
There were loads of fan boy outcrys about how players could do content they dont like to do to earn dilithium and it was oh so easy but the wide majority of players instantly revolted and screamed about the changes.
Honestly, I felt that it would have been far better to listen to those that were speaking up before these changes went into place rather than knee jerk reactions afterwards to deal with instant hate and disappointment afterwards. Probably by now, DStahl has lost credibility from the player base and most will see him at best as a shill for PWE and at worst as a bold faced liar. It would be incredibly difficult for him to restore his credibility and believability when he speaks to us in the future. I seriously doubt people will harbor much trust of him in the future. Posts were written warning him about the perils of travelling down this path and frankly they were ignored. Damage to respect and reputation have occured and that probably will never return. I doubt he can regain the respect and loyalty of the player base ever again. Gecko may have been walking that tightrope but he was less vocal in his misinformation.
Its 36 hours from the launch of sucky 7 and reaction has been overwhelming and mostly negative from all but the die hard of fanboys. Many posts have been written about feeling removed from the game, resistance at being forced to grind missions that players do not like, time gated "requirements", the ubiquitous and never to be forgotten comment of "working as intended".
The short version of all this negativity is that Cryptic is saying they want to reward players less for playing their game and to give them less dilithium. You have to work harder, play more, and spend more time for less reward.
Anything you punish or reward less will always result in reductions. If you lower rewards and tie them to time based gates so that you are giving less reward for time spent in this game then you are going to get players spending less time in this game. You lower the rewards and you lower peoples reasons to show up and play.
Even if Cryptic restores "some" dilithium back into the game via stfs its not going to be enough. Players like having a bit of spending power and having some access to dilithium. This is being lowered and players are adjusting their expectations and enjoyment factor to match the progression.
Despite hating I told you so's, its necessary to point out that before the foundry came out I made 2 bold predictions and 1. was that players would use it to find exploits and 2. that cryptic would use it as an excuse to punt new content. Both have happened and Cryptics attempt at forcing players to play long foundry missions more as other access to dilithium has been lowered or removed is ample evidence that those predictions have come true.
Ive never spoken to a player in this game who told me that they have or owned too much dilithium. Most complain that they do not have enough and that it is too hard to get. There are people that tell you how easy it is to get but to me they are just shills and stooges to suggest that their opinions are superior when they start talking about how other people should spend their time.
Customers and players want enhanced value for the time they spend in game and not reduced value. Love them or hate them, the clickers gave good value for the time spent, and players came to factor this into their expectations of the game and landscape for their enjoyment of it. Another posters said that it was an exploit but a happy exploit that people liked. Removing things that people like is not a great way to run a business. Putting in things they dont like is disastor. People like having a bit of dilithium come their way daily and they dont like being dilithium poor.
Returning dilithium to stfs will help a bit and I applaud Cryptic for reversing themselves and their policy on it. Its still quite the reduction and I still think people will see sharp and catastrophic reductions in the amount of dilithium they actually earn and refine.
Again, running the game in a fashion that pushes players into being dilithium poor will not go over well in the long run. The dilithium exchange will continue to see an erosion in the value of zen, crafting thats mostly dead will die further, fleets will reduce projects and/or quit loading them, everything that went right with season 6 and starbases will be reversed and become a moot point, and players will approach this game with a grind mentality rather than a have fun attitude.
Cryptic would have done well to increase the rewards for the missions they hoped players would play more rather than reduce the rewards for thosee that players liked, enjoyed and used. And yes the clicker console mission was a mission players, liked and enjoyed and used. Believe me or not, the clicker console, mission was probably the most popular mission in the game. I dont care of someone thinks its an exploit or not; it was a popular mission that players felt gave them good value and they played. If cryptic didnt want exploits they should have thought about them before rushing out the foundry. They knew this would happen; they were warned it would happen; and it became part of the landscape. Removing it after players spent a year making it the most popular mission in the game seems shortsited.
Cryptic devs just tell me Im stupid and wrong and that I dont know a thing about what makes players happy in this game. They tell me that they can throw more grind content at us and the fact that players have more to do and will have to work harder will make them enjoy the game more. The facts are that players that have easy access to items will take them and go play the missions they love. Players that do not and have to constantly grind for them like a mule following a carrot will find something else to do.
The outcry was instant and it was huge and while mostly focused towards stfs there was an underlying theme I think Cryptic refuses to see. Less dilithium and more grind to get it means less fun for players. You cannot give players less currency to spend and then expect them to enjoy the game more because of it.
STO needs more fun. Its crying for more fun. Removing fun from the game is a catastrophic fail method of trying to achieve the goal of attracting new players and keeping the ones you have and getting both subsets of customers to play more.
The bottom line is that STO is a product sold and by reducing dilithium payouts and rewards, Cryptic has installed an absolutely huge price increase to play their game. They are not raising prices based on the purchase of zen. But indeed they are raising the prices for having fun by reducing the value of your time that you share with them.
This is not a good thing.
Love them or hate them, Clickers became part of the game, and the value of the dilithium injected into the game were an important part of giving people value for their time spent here.
You remove value; and you remove fun; and you remove a really good reason for people to play and you just might wake up and see that youve removed your customer who their time in another game where they feel they are being rewarded for their time and are having more fun as they can experience gaming instead of grind.
Cryptic does not see it this way; they tell me Im wrong; and they truly believe giving players less dilithium makes it fun for them. I keep desperately posting and hoping they will wake up but I dont expect it to happen.
One way or another; clickers need to return; or Cryptic needs to find better ways to inject dilithium into the game. Or they need to drastically and sharply reduce prices for everything that needs it. The dilithium depression will drop down to the dilithium recession as they reverse a couple of changes but players still will not have as much as they want and things people like such as fleet progression, crafting, exchanging dilithium for zen, and upconverting doffs, will seem to be more out of reach of players. Its a bad trend. Its going to continue. And despite knee jerk changes to reduce awful decisions, we are not going to convince cryptic of their mistakes and get them to change their minds.
And many, many, players will slowly trickle away to other entertainment options where they are sold a product that respects their time and financial investment and partnership in it.
Adding 960 dilithium back to stfs is a bandaid on top of a shotgun blast to the gut. It helps a little and the bleeding sill slow a bit. But its not enough. Cryptic needs to be rewarding time played in their game at a higher rate and not a lower rate. If they dont do it then players will find a game that will. People are saying I like this game and I play here because I have friends here. Long term they need to be saying that they play this game because its actually fun. Right now that may not be true. Reward us for our time. Fix it.
My patch notes for the afternoon of 11/13/12:
Subscription: Canceled (Gold subscriber since day 1 of Launch, 33+ months)
Adjusted Perfect World revenues as follows:
Pre-Nerf - $15 US Dollars per month paid by me
Now - $ 0 US Dollars per month paid by me
Purchases: In the past, I had made numerous purchases of Cryptic Points
(and it's unholy cousin Zen points).
We have taken a look at the data and decided to reduce this
number as follows:
$ 0 US Dollars will be spent on Zen points
Playing: I have played Star Trek Online almost daily with some breaks
in my play schedule, but I have been a subscriber UNINTERRUPTED
since Day One of launch on February 2010.
We have taken a look at the data (state of the game, attitude of
developers and management) and factored in the money grabs
and greed that has crept into the game and made the following
I will no longer play the game. I will no longer support the game.
No further updates are planned.
To the OP: You might be right, but I think the dilithium market crash that everyone is predicting is nonsense. Most of us are sitting on massive stockpiles of 300k+ unrefined ore thanks to the STF conversion and cashing in before it happened.
If it does happen, it won't happen for several months!
It will happen by the end of this month, barring a Cstore ship sale/new lockbox with key sale/something else. When a brand new 5000 cpoint bundle ship as anticipated as the Vesta doesn't increase the cost of zen you know there is a problem.
Keep in mind something else. The clickers are gone. Wonder how that figured into the average refine per character logged in math. Previously some players would log in 5, 10, or even 20+ toons to do the clicker, a doff or two, and academy daily. Now with the clicker gone they are not doing so and that is a huge loss of created dil.
So yeah, the average per toon per session goes up, but total amount goes down. Demand remains unchanged as those toons never did get geared/etc but we now have a ton of new sinks. Never think the grinder gets as much currency as the farmer as that would be a mistake.
See that is the most important thing to keep in mind when doing data analysis, knowing how said data actually applies, or the context of the data so to speak. 50% of Americans pay no federal income tax yet half of those still have a higher tax burden as a % of income. Data is fun to twist.
Current exchange rate: 152 dil : 1 zen
190,000 zen worth of dil sitting at 150 cost will form a short buffer depending on how many zen sellers partake and after that it looks like there be nothing. The adjustment phase has begun.
The bids on dilithium are low and the asks are high. Anybody that thinks that there would be an instant collaps would have been mistaken. The problem will not be where dilithium is today. The problem will be where dilithium is in 2 months. Right now, the new content is still fresh. When people realize in a few weeks that its more grind than the old system thats when the real problems will arise.
There is no way that you can remove huge chunks of dilithium from the game without it impacting the price or value of zen unless of course you get a counterbalance of people just buying less of it. If people start buying less zen then the prices will obviously stabilize to correspond with Cryptic handing out less dilithium. Im not sure this what Cryptic intended or hoped for but hey it could happen.
It doesnt mean those of us that know how markets work were wrong. It just means that the supply of reduced amounts of zen corresponded to the reduced amounts of dilithium.
I guarantee you that deflating the amount of dilithium in the game will not inflate the amount of Zen purchased to buy it. Rampant inflation in the value of Dilithium will ultimately crush the value of Zen and peoples desire to purchase it.
Clickers and easy Zen was good for the game. It artificially inflated the value of Zen and gave people a reason to buy it.
Cryptic thinks Im wrong.
Im not. Im mean cmon. Economies take time to turn around and STO is no excpetion. People still have reserves of dilithium. As those start to trickle away then the prices will adjust. If players start the exodus then there will be less dilithium injected into the exchange for those hard core zen buyers to purchase and the inflation trends towards the value of dilithium will accelerate. If you want the value of dilithium to remain low and the value of zen to remain high then obviously you need players earning dilithium. Cryptic doesnt want players earning dilithium. They want to crush the value of the only product they have to sell.
You know there are people that think raising taxes will improve the economy and increase the money supply. This massive reduction of Dilithium in the game is such a Homer Simpson D'oh moment. Its jaw droppingly stupid.
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