An Open Letter To Cryptic (OLTC)
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Join Date: Dec 2007
03-16-2011, 03:30 PM
I want to use this opportunity to tell the story of STO pvp how I have experienced it. Everyone's memories of the past year are certainly different and possibly not only slightly. This is my subjective version.
There certainly are omissions in my story (e.g. Shanty Town). Some voluntarily (Shanty Town), some involuntarily. Bu the following are the events I remember most clearly.
In the beginning, there was the Viral Matrix and the SNB which stunned you for 30s. And Feedback Pulse which killed my cruiser before I could even stop my firing cycle. These abilities were not balanced. But it was a new game and eventually these issues were fixed. PVP was good.
Then came the summer. Refit ships with two commander slots were suggested. Thankfully this madness could be prevented. But Cryptic broke the pvp queue. It did not simply become harder or inconvenient to get into a match, it became almost impossible. There was no "sorry we broke the queues, we will fix them asap". Instead there was a "welcome back weekend" to make absolutely clear that a working pvp system was not considered an important part of STO.
Then the queues finally got fixed. And space assault disappeared. Not that anyone had actually played it, it had been too far down on the queue list, but still - one pvp option removed without anything to compensate for it.
In July Snix created the
"upcoming pvp additions" thread
which announced that "specific tournament queues" with leaderboards and rewards were "in development (or already in testing) and should be out soon". 7 months later we still do not have these tournament queues. The "more is on the way" part sounds cynical from today's perspective.
With the move from RA/BG to VA/LG, PvErs got several new possibilities to obtain emblems while retaining the ability to gather Marks of Exploration. But it was no longer possible to receive Marks of Honour for PVP matches. This cut off our supply of Covariant [Cap]x3 shields without a competitive alternative. To this day, pvp rewards have dropped from parity with pve (5 marks of exploration/honour per day) to a ridiculously low amount in comparison to pve opportunities. The fact that Marks of Honour were essentially removed from the game while marks of Exploration were allowed to stay was never acknowledged nor explained.
We had the big science console nerf. Except it didn't nerf science consoles. It punished new players, because old players were allowed to keep their more powerful science consoles, while new consoles had their values cut in half. It was not totally gamebreaking for pvp, but it was a completely incomprehensible decision which up to this day has never been properly explained (as far as I know, that showed that its implications for pvp balance were of no concern to the developers.
Then nothing happened. The playerbase kept shrinking, the spam kept rising. PvE rewards which were unbalanced in a pvp setting were introduced - cryo grenades, the proton rifle. I am probably skipping some notable events, but this brings us to cloaked tractor mines which nobody considered a good idea for pvp. Nevertheless they were introduced as non-unique items without a high global cooldown. Not gamebreaking, but not showing any concern for pvp balance.
Recently we had the "Voldemort" issue which I will not talk about for obvious reasons.
All I want is a prettier sandbox for us pvp folks. A game where pvp is fun again. Where I can go and tell all my lost friends that STO PVP is amazing again and they can safely return.
There are players who want significantly more than I. They want more maps, open world pvp, various other things. I don't mind having all that, but all I truly want is more competent players in the arena queues. Cryptic's incredibly dumb AI for NPCs and single player-oriented game design prevents most players from learning enough about the game and its mechanics to survive and enjoy the struggle with the dedicated pvp players in a match.
How to bring in more players for pvp? I recently posted something where I suggested the option to have a "cookie cutter build selection" at the start of a pvp match, so that new players can try their luck with builds that are known to work in case their own custom builds are not good enough yet. Add a tutorial for each of these builds and a new generation of pvpers can be taught to play this game and succeed.
That is all I want. A game where pvp is fun again. Where I can go and tell all my lost friends that STO PVP is amazing again and they can safely return.
Off-Topic and I am deeply sorry for inculding this here:
#19 of the forum usage guidelines mentions "please privately contact Cryptic Studios". How can I do this? I cannot find an e-mail or snail mail address.