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Career Officer
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 953
# 2700
02-21-2013, 06:20 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by dastahl View Post
An apology is due, and while I've admitted fault in previous posts about this , I'll do so again in this one.
Thanks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dastahl View Post
The release that was pushed to Holodeck last week failed in several critical ways. There was a failure on the part of a designer to test their work before it was checked into the game.

Similarly, there was a failure in communication with the QA team on the said check in and on top of that, no one headed the concerns on TRIBBLE.

Ultimately, this is all my responsibility as the lead on the team and I do apologize.
Thanks, this time for the honesty, most of us knew this and lets be even more honest this was the exact same issue with Season and the Reputation system it was rushed and Tribble was ignored. The result was an unbalanced system which in many ways is still too expensive but back at launch was so ridiculously unbalanced that it didn't take long for the player base to force you into changes.

This isn't a one off mistake, it's a pattern you guys have of delivering patches to Holodeck that haven't been properly tested or evaluated and the result is unbalanced systems and bug after bug.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dastahl View Post
In addition, the removal of Fleet Marks was a heavy handed change. It needed to be done because it was getting out of hand and there was an ever increasing amount of exploitation in the Foundry to maximum Fleet Mark rewards. That said, we should have had the Fleet Mark changes we are making this week ready to go last week so there wouldn't have been a week with the drop in Fleet Mark earning.

Again sorry. It doesn't make us feel any better when we make stupid mistakes.
I think you need to admit that the "exploitation" that occurred was more a natural attempt by the players to fix the lack of balance in the Fleet Mark system... I categorically state that people were not doing it for the "lulz" or to gain super gamebreaking advantages over other players, they were doing it to feed the starved supply of fleet marks.

The entire problem was created by Cryptic. In addition you are right if you felt you needed to resolve the issue of a broken Fleet Marks system the solution should have been added before you removed the community created solution to the problem. That is what it was Dan it was our solution for your broken system.

I sympathize with you when you say you don't feel good when you make mistakes. None of us stressful jobs do when we get things wrong. However Dan the issue here is you and the team are making the same mistakes over and over and honestly it's time you learned from your mistakes and ensure they don't happen again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dastahl View Post
Similarly, it is disheartening when several members of the community make harsh comments towards a team that is working many hours of OT to bring new content to STO.
Honestly this is a bit of a straw man, I think very few have made overly harsh comments or anything that was worthy of a forum ban. The rest of us have only highlighted the truth, I guess one could say my words have been harsh or at any rate my criticism, but the thing is my business relies on reputation Dan, if I get things wrong consistently as you guys have I would be out of business very very quickly and people would view my work as amateurish or unprofessional, so when you guys do that, that is what I think about your work.

You might say it's harsh, I'd say it's honest and I think if you did some soul-searching and thought about this a little more your admission that the team failed to communicate both externally and internally amongst other departments is really unprofessional. Whilst I understand the team might be working really hard, if you really took the due care an attention you are meant to be taking these errors would not occur. This also serves to hint at a pattern of rushed production and half finished work and ideas.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dastahl View Post
Be frustrated with me all you want, but every member of the team is pouring their lives into making this game better. While you may not see that on any given day, when you look back at where this game has come from, every year we make big strides in moving forward. They deserve a lot of credit for that.
Dan we are not frustrated with you as a human being but the practices and poor organization that underlay the the problems that occur on Holodeck which have become a pattern of the same issues showing up; bugs, system imbalance and ignoring Tribble Testers.

We understand your team is devoting time in their lives to producing this game. However you need to understand not only do we pour many hours in our lives into playing the game we also work just as hard as you do in our own jobs and that income is what goes into your game as well. Not only do we put time into your game we also put in money into it Dan.

No doubt you can see just how much money I have put into this game and how little I have recently.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dastahl View Post
While you may not agree with all of our designs and decisions, the proof is in the success the game is having and how much the game continues to grow. While we don't share our internal information, STO is the best performing game for Perfect World Entertainment and is enjoy[ing] month after month increases in new captains.
Look Dan, we can't authenticate the information and simply taking your word on it isn't good enough in the UK we've had problems with contaminated meat because people simply took others at their word. However what I can authenticate is the genuine concerns and issues many of us have with this game and that is epitomized by this thread and the number of views and posts it has received. However perhaps in the future we as a community can do our own market research about customer satisfaction with this game that is publishable and open.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dastahl View Post
Having just celebrated our 3 year anniversary, there should be no doubt in your mind that we will be here for year 4 and beyond. We have a lot of good stuff in the works for our next May update and you'll see what we've been talking about in a little less than a months time.

So thank you for the constructive feedback. I do apologize on the behalf of the team. We appreciate your continued support and understand if we tarnished ourselves with last week's update. We will learn and move on.
Dan, whether the game is here for any period of time comes down to the players and what you do to make their experience of the game worth coming back for at the moment for a number of us that is not the case. It not so much that you tarnished yourselves with the last issue but that the issue is just part of a continued pattern of systemic failures in communication, testing and design.

Ultimately Dan our perspective is very simple, we want to have fun, I speak for a demographic that works hard and has family commitments. We come back from work and want to relax your game has to offer something to us that makes us want to log on. At the moment we don't get that. Tell me after a hard days work Dan would you come home and play a game that you felt was more like work than play?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dastahl View Post
And now... back to work.
This is the problem Dan, part of your job is communicating with us, it is of little surprise that the community has criticized you for you poor communication when it seems you don't even deem it to be part of your job.

Maybe this was just a throw-away remark at the end of your post that you didn't think about but the Freudian implications concerned me a little.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dastahl View Post
First, "many people aren't happy" is a matter of perspective. There are certainly people that aren't happy, but there are also many people that are happy. You simply can't make an MMO that pleases every single person all the time. What you can do, is work to grow the game and make tough decisions about what is good for the game right now.
No Dan, as this thread has evidenced it's not a simple matter of perspective especially when you consider your own admission to a pattern of work that adds bugs and imbalance into the game.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dastahl View Post
A holy grail of live MMO development is to improve growth, retention, and revenue. STO has managed to do all of these things thanks to the tough decisions that were made. Did it make everyone happy? No, but it did improve the game, year over year.
Your unprofessional-ism, rushed patches and resultant constant bugs and problems with systems which you yourself have admitted to would point to the fact that your are starting to lose core customers like myself. Once again though we have no proof in growth and I certainly cannot see an improvement from Season 6 to Season 7.

I can see how your decisions may have improved revenue by playing on peoples natural propensity to gamble. But consider this I started playing August, and by February I am not really playing at all, this is not unique to me but a common thread amongst quite a number of players. Our qualitative evidence has an authentic proven source at the moment we have not such authenticity for your quantitative statistical claims. However as I have already said I think it's time the community did some quantitative research of it's own.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dastahl View Post
And as far as Season 7 being "grindy" - welcome to the MMORPG genre.
No Dan, the MMORPG genre is not like that especially for adult audiences, maybe if your key demographic was kids with endless time then you could make that claim and argue that the this is the way the game should be. However your core demographic is middle ages Star Trek fans and may I add I doubt that unless there is a new Star Trek TV series which is genuinely popular you won't be getting in large volume of kids playing.

Our lives and habits do not lead us to enjoy grinding, you know this is true and it's why time and time again the Player Base has forced you to change your broken systems to remove grind. That is what happened in the weeks post Season 7.

You needed to do some proper QA and Tribble Testing over more than just 2 weeks if you ever hope to release an anywhere close to satisfactory update to Holodeck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dastahl View Post
It just takes time. And right now, you may not see it, but the team is working extra hard. It is one thing to say that Cryptic pays our salary. But it doesn't really pay for all the late nights and weekends all the salaried employees are working right now. Why are we doing it? Because we are excited. Excited about what we are building. Excited about what we might be able to achieve this year.

It might not seem like much to you, but to us it is a big ass deal.
If it is something you care about and take pride in why do consistently release broken patches and updates? We also work hard Dan, we also do overtime and late nights, we deserve better from a product we are looking to seek enjoyment from, not grind or a 2nd job.

In closing Dan I see that two things need to happen to take this game forwards, firstly you guys need to organize yourselves better and start listening to the Tribble testers with more seriousness, also you need to listen to the wider player base and our concerns over how enjoyable the game is, for every 1 of us that is unhappy there are another 5 that feel the same but say nothing.

The second thing that needs to happen is up to use the players and I direct my comments now to my fellow players. We need to organise and agree upon the parts of the game we feel need improvement or re-thinking and focus our efforts in a constructive way into a fruitful dialogue with the Cryptic team. My signature is a good place to start PM me so I can get us organised.

Also, post 2311 in this thread sums up a lot of our concerns about the game is is worth a read.

Last edited by thisisoverlord; 02-21-2013 at 02:39 PM.