STO, a heavily overpriced expensive game.
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Join Date: Aug 2012
11-24-2012, 07:16 PM
Originally Posted by
If it weren't for people addicted to their shinies. Really, it's all pixels in the end. You wanna pay something like your rent payment for virtual pixels, be my guest.
I'll still enjoy what's there for free, give a little money now and then if I feel like it, and work for what doesn't require money.
You are a bad customer. You're like the guy who pays his credit balance of every month, you're not what Cryptic want. Cryptic want people who can't control their expenditure and are easily addicted to games of chance and luck. It matters not a jot what you *think* about the model and or content. They are a business, I'm not here to criticize them for being a business and trying to make money. However I am here to criticize them for employing methods within their business that are going to harm long-term retention and game life-span.
Basically it's a business and it's product relies on one group more than any other for it's survival, that is it's customers, those that value you the product enough to pay you.
The main attraction of this game is the Star Trek license. I understand they don't own this in perpetuity and therefore will not be planning this game to last longer than the license. They may or may not be able to renew it so I can understand that they would not think in a very long term.
However they need to remember that it's the Star Trek IP which is popular not the game or the mechanics. If this was an MMO that didn't have the Star Trek license I very much doubt it would have been made at all.
This is a very buggy game, one of the worst I have seen online, it makes DDO look fool-proof. There are bugs in the trunk-code of this game that break every-update and there are legacy bugs that have never and probably will be never fixed, the perma-mute bug on chat channels is a well known bug that has several threads on it in the bug section of this forum and it's not even been acknowledged.
My point here is as it is the product itself and it's internal framework are not receiving any effort at all and this damages the value and perceived value of the product as well as the reputation of the development team. Take a recent example where an update towards the end of Season 6 completely broke the STF end-game content as well as the very first mission in the game. Both the Alpha and Omega of the games content was unplayable, you would think a swift fix within 24 hours would be in order, however it was a whole week before the issues were fixed.
The point is if this game was just another MMO without the Star Trek IP, I doubt people would put up with the kind of bugs that are introduced and largely never fixed.
Following on from this if you ask nearly all players on here or in the game what else they would like to see after the bugs being fixed is, story content, adventure, you know the thing star trek is built on exploration and solving plot-lines.
As you well know though story episodes make Cryptic no money, so instead of actual meaningful content that the player base wants we get Lockboxes, an item designed to get people to gamble, and human beings as any psychologist will tell you are natural addicts. It's not a matter of willpower, for some people it's a simple compunction or urge.
Alongside that we get other updates designed to monetize other areas of the game, such as the fleet and embassy projects. The truth is most of the game is pay to play. If you ever buy Zen with Dilithium or ever buy an item from the exchange that was funded by dilithium a real-money input has been action-ed in the game. Paying without someone elses money does not make an item free. If I use your credit card to by a coffee the price of the coffee isn't 0 and the Coffee Ship isn't giving to me for free, they are receiving payment.
Currently we have a game that is sorely lacking in meaningful content, has been overly monetized and is starting to turn players off, I admit I haven't been here that long but pre-season 7 there were very few complaints. Post Season 7 there have been thread after thread of them.
Many customers for whatever-reason are unhappy with the product. The aim is to keep customers happy and buying in. This is where begin to criticize their methods because they are basically making the game less and less enjoyable for more and more people and what starts a few canaries dying down a cave often escalates. Customer dissatisfaction kills products. For Cryptic and PWE it comes down to getting the balance right between making money and keeping customers happy.
Ultimatly Star Trek fans are here to enjoy and immerse themselves in the Star Trek IP... if you screw with that too much, make the game too much of a choire... they won't stick around because they love MMO's and grinding... because it's clear to me a lot of the player-types here do not conform to traditional models of the mmo grinder/farmer. I won't even talk about the MMO PvP'r because this game doesn't cater for them. Basically there are better grinds to play out there than STO.
Basically Cryptic/PWE/PW were testing the waters out for increased monetization within the game by introducing more dilithium sinks and not inflating the dilithium rewards to keep pace, thus creating a shortfall in spare dilithium which has resulted in Zen value crashing on the exchange, this means more money for PWE/PW as more and more people buy Zen to convert to Dilithium to keep up with the new sinks.
They tested the water and they got burnt because it was too much, so they have rejigged it a little in the hopes of still implementing the new monetization project framework, but diluting the end results down, for now at least.
Lack of meaningful content, deprecated product full of faults, a finite license and a playerbase increasingly at odds with the development teams aims. This does not feel like a promising mix for longevity to me.
To me in terms of financial success I think Cryptic could wind this game down in 12 months and still have made a sizable profit, especially with the last few rounds of monetization. However as a player I'd like to see them fix the game and improve upon it long into the future. Yes it's buggy as hell and missing the content I want but I see the potential and it's a shame it's potential is not even being fulfilled, not by a long distance.
Also remember the developers may not be playing to the beat of their own drum on this either.
Last edited by thisisoverlord; 11-24-2012 at