Podcast UGC Interviews CaptainGeko
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Join Date: Jun 2012
03-07-2013, 10:39 PM
Al replies to one question that, despite having no real connection to the guy asking it, I feel compelled to reply to- because he gets the intent of the question TOTALLY WRONG in his answer, and while his reasoning is logically sound if you were to have asked a different question- the guy didn't ask a different question.
In detail, I'm referring to the question about de-coupling ship skins with ship abilities/powers/layouts.
So the question was like "What if you could make it so that ships of similar size could swap costumes, provided you own all the relevant pieces."
AL's response quickly jumped the rails to talk about how this would be a really bad idea because players would not be able to self-justify spending 25$ to *only* buy a ship console, with no ship attached, and he and the UGC team then spent fifteen minutes discussing why selling consoles independent of ships would be bad, why bundles actually make money, and why if you could make the ship configuration/costume you like, you'd never buy anything ever again.
And throughout it all, I'm going WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG, WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG. YOU'RE WRONG. YOU'RE WRONG. YOU'RE WRONG.
So how about we make this easier to understand.
I think the question Al believed he was answering was "What if you just sold ship components independent of a cohesive ship- like you could buy the special console, you could buy points to spend on boff slots, console slots, and buy costumes separately?"
In this sense, if you could just build your ideal ship from base components, and slap whatever costume you want on it- yes I agree, players would build what they want, and this system would cause Cryptic to lose money because after the initial purchase players would have "all the pieces" to be forever content mixing and matching.
THIS IS, HOWEVER, NOT THE QUESTION THE USER ASKED.
The question the user asked was what if a ship, as defined by the stats of the ship, was able to 'put on a visual skin' of other ships of that size category, that were owned.
So for example, Cryptic has already done something like this i n game: The mirror universe RA ships. Each one has a costume from a different ship in the same size category, but the same stats- the mirror universe star cruiser looks like an assault cruiser. So it is a 'star cruiser' stats, wearing an assault cruiser costume.
The question is thusly- what if this was not a hard ship specific thing with the occasional variant, but instead a player choice. What if players could pick their selection of similar size vessels they have *purchased* and put those skins on the stat/mechanics end of a ship they have *Purchased*?
Which thus follows the user's proposed 'more sales' as follows:
A new ship comes out. It is sold as basically a 'bundle' and NOOOOOOOT as individual parts.
We'll call it the Gecko Class for simplicity.
Okay, so the Gecko has a relatively unique boff layout, and a unique-ish console layout that scores points with the players for providing options they might not have had before with that boff layout and console layout- and stats- as they interact. Maybe it's a science/cruiser hybrid of some sort with an engineering/science focus, more hull, and a unique console.
It comes with the 'ship', and unlocks a 'Gecko Class Science Cruiser' costume.
So in all regard's it's a normal ship.
However a player who happens to really like the costume but doesn't care for the boff layout or the unique console, might buy it. He can then apply the 'Gecko Class Science Cruiser' costume to his Fleet Heavy Cruiser Retrofit ship.
This is what would make the more money- de-coupling ship stats from ship costumes, but not SELLING THEM SEPARATELY. Then all the reasons a player might have to purchase a ship currently STILL APPLY- but you also have an added condition- a player who is CURRENTLY HAPPY with his stuff, but really likes the costume might go and buy that entire ship JUST for the costume. Similarly, a player who likes the stat but not the costume and is detail oriented enough that the costume is a deal breaker for him, might go and buy that ship knowing he can stick a different costume on it.
EDIT: This thing is a sort of 'diversionary answer' that I've seen Cryptic do before- take a question, then pretend that it's actually a different but related question, and then answer the second question while never actually addressing the first.
For example, back in Season 5 or 6, an Ask Cryptic had a user ask why Encrypted Data Chips couldn't be account bound. The Cryptic answer was "Encrypted Data Chips can't be account bound because if we made them account bound players could abuse the free lobi they get when they make an account to make a million accounts, send the free lobi to their 'main', and buy everything in the lobi store."
The question in question wasn't even about Lobi, but somewhere in the middle of answering it was lotted in the with Lobi answer- while the Lobi answer would be sensible if the question had been "Make Lobi account bound"- that's not what the user asked.
Now I do understand that a lot of the answers we get are actually sort of multi-part where you're replying to unlisted questions, or trying to cover an area at once- and that's okay as long as you don't end up giving a really dumb answer to a legitimate question in the process. If a user asks why reward currency A can't be account bound, your answer should be about reward currency A. If you need to provide commentary on reward currency B, by all means do so, but do so separately. But please don't try to tell us that Data Chips can't be account bound because players could use free lobi to buy everything in the lobi store. It does nothing but make people angry.
Last edited by illcadia; 03-08-2013 at