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Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 961
# 76
11-20-2012, 10:57 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by cidstorm View Post
Any word on when it will hit the C-Store?
That's an interesting question. So far Cryptic has kept away from the temptation to start C-store-selling Lockbox ships (The original Odyssey Star Cruiser was a free giveaway, so it doesn't count). There are probably a number of reasons for it, like:

1. They probably feel they're making more money from Master Key purchases than they are on individual ships.
2. Almost every lockbox ship is inherently overpowered, so making supplies "unlimited" via C-store availability will kill what little balance is left. Imagine how insane things would get if EVERYONE could buy a Bug as-is.

Considering that on paper the Steamrunner is 2nd only to the Bug as an escort, Cryptic might be of a mind to reduce supply.

Then again, the supply is basically "unlimited" as well, except that the channel of purchase, which is by buying the $25 ($10 was only a promo price) "Steam Starter Pack" is unusual for most players, and the price is competitive with most other C-store ships (better value even if you have a low-level alt that needs a decent ship).

So here are the two sides of the argument:

Pro-Steam Exclusive:

1. Valve could have an agreement in place with PWE to keep the starter pack Steam-exclusive in return for promoting STO as a "better with Steam" game (Valve's main interest is in getting people to adopt the Steam platform).

2. "Steamrunner" makes sense as a fun "Steam" name, and the Steamrunner's special ability and consoles are Half-Life/Team Fortress 2 references.

3. Cryptic may be in favor of keeping the Steamrunner off the C-store for balance reasons.

Pro-C-store Addition:

1. The C-store is more familiar to the majority of STO players, and Perfect World doesn't have to give a cut to Valve when players purchase Zen directly (instead of via a Steam Wallet).

2. The Steamrunner is OP, which will make it a desirable buy for people too sane to save up for a Bug.

3. Allowing a large influx of ships on a similar (but still not equal) level to the Bug's OP-ness may put a dent in the Bug's PVP dominance (given Bug scarcity and general low-priority status of PVP, this is unlikely).

4. Putting a Steamrunner on the C-store would open up future possibilities for a Fleet Steamrunner and thus additional FSM sales.

Analysis

Cryptic has been fairly circumspect so far about not putting lockbox or other "rare" ships in the C-store, for whatever reasons, but the Steamrunner is in a unique position in that it is only as "rare" as people are too stubborn to use Steam as a purchasing channel. That will change in time, and the Steamrunner will only become more common.

That said, it's likely that they have some sort of arrangement with Valve.

Valve gets this "exclusive" DLC pack, so it can make a bit of money off hosting a 3rd-party F2P game, and potentially snare STO players into buying games on Steam and buying Zen via Steam.

PWE gets the benefit of having their game on the biggest market in core PC gaming. That gives them a tiny bulwark against bigger games like WoW, Old Republic, and Guild Wars 2, which are all only available on their own channels (Battle.net, Origin/EA, and ArenaNet).

Conclusion:

There's no reason not to expect that the Steamrunner will eventually make its way onto the C-Store, but for now a number of factors, like balance concerns, historical behavior, and possible legal bindings currently weigh the trend against Cryptic doing this anytime soon.