Grinders: The Future of the Foundry
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Join Date: Jun 2012
01-23-2013, 08:35 PM
Problem is - from day one (including the original 2009 beta); only a fraction of the players played for 'story'. Most of them used the old DSEs (Cryptic's initial fix was to put a 10 minute cooldown on them resetting, forgetting players could just change instances, etc.) to PL to max level as quick as possible - and then complained about
- No real end game content
- No real end game gear sets
- No real game economy
So, as the game has grown/progressed, Cryptic has focused on more end-game content, and added other content that requires commodities and other stuff, stimulating an in game economy, etc; but again, make no mistake, those that play just for the story (be it Cryptic's or the stuff in the Foundry) were few then - and still are now.
The removal/reworking of the console clickers to no longer reward anything had little effect, as those who used to just use them for the quick 1440 Dilithium have sswitched to the farming missions. They never played the Foundry for story, so were never a factor.
What's really hurt non-spotlighted missions in the end (IMO) are:
- Spotlighted mission now give better rewards overall for time spent; and they've also been vetted by the community - meaning that if you play one, it's because a lot of players (and Cryptic) thought it was good enough to BE spotlighted; thus, less chance of being bugged out, having horrible grammar/spelling, or having badly done NPC encounters, etc.
- 'The "Investigate Officer Reports" wrapper now has a 30 minute cooldown; rewards more Dilithium per single play through (you used to have to play 3 to complete it - and then wait 20 hours before it rewarded again.)
The result? There's now MORE incentive to farm the Foundry for Dilithium and drops (until you reach the drop limit); and I think because of the faster cooldown and more temping rewards, some (not all but a few) who used to just say (I'm going to just do 3 mission today for the 1440 dilithium) are more temped to farm; and after one or two 'Battleship Royal Rumble' runs, want to do something not Foundry relatated.
Lastly, there's the fact that new 'in review' missions no longer count for the Investigate Officer Reports' - so others that were willing to go in and give these a try have virtually ZERO incentive to do so (and honestly this can't be changed because if these missions did give rewards off the bat for the first play though, it opens the Foundry up to the 'exploit' they're trying to fix - and would just lead to Foundry AKF farming - IE sit for 20 minutes, leave, profit.) Thus it makes it WAY harder for any new perspective Foundry author to get a new mission out there unless he has in game friends/fleetmates willing to do no reward reviews to get the mission qualified.
Now, some might say - "Hey missions have been spotlighted for over a year now, why would they really garner more plays or pull players away from the 'rank and file' Foundry missions?"
Before Season 7, Foundry Missions were spotlighted on the main STO site and other STO gaming sites. And although many won't believe this is the case - the majority of the STO players (or any MMO playerbase) don't bother with the official site after signing up, or go to 'fan' sites. They just play STO. Thus, because the Foundry interface has been changed to default to the 'spotlighted missions' tab; more likely then not, that type of player will pick something from that list first.
(And I'm NOT trying to say 'that's unfair' or 'it shouldn't be that way' because honestly, what Cryptic considers 'the best' should be shoved in a player's face first. [And no, I don't have a spotlighted mission on the list, so no personal bias on my part in saying this.])
But again, the overall end result (especially as the list of spotlighted missions grows); it'll end up that the regular rank and file stuff will see an order of magnitude drop in plays overall. The current overall rewards setup of the Foundry (IMO) has really shifted to promote farming over story by making the 'Investigate Officer Reports' mission a 1 run for reward/30 minute cooldown; AND adding all the new dilithium sinks (Fleet Starbases and Rep system, etc.) <--- which will only increase as the game moves forward.
The fact is; there is so much needed in game to advance various things; that those who really didn't plan to farm/or know about 'farming', are slowly drawn into it as they see other players with endgame gear and ask, "Hey, how do I get that?" -- and before they realize it, they're now farming (in various ways, not just using the Foundry) to advance. Thus, in the end, even those that started playing the Foundry to find 'a good story', start to use it more as just another advancement tool - and maxing 'reward' for time spent becomes the goal.
Unfortunately, I don't see things getting better for non-spotlighted Foundry authors; or Foundry Authors that haven't already gotten an in game rep for producing good missions; and overall that's sad, as I think it means they'll be less and less players interested in really trying to make good, story driven Foundry content as time goes forward.
To do something good in the Foundry does take a large mount of time, effort, and attention to detail; and it's always nice when you see a person, who played, and enjoyed your mission enough to take the time to write a comment (or enough to leave a Dilithium tip, especially these days in STO). <---- Unfortunately I think that will be happening less and less for non-sptlighted/non-farming Foundry missions as STO goes forward.
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from June 2008 to June 20, 2012
"Your STO community as you have known it is ended...Display names are irrelevant...Any further sense of community is irrelevant...Resistance is futile...You will be assimilated..."