Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 1 End of Featured Episodes?
05-07-2012, 09:41 PM
I can't remember where I heard this so I don't have anything to quote or link, but I read something about how much of a problem developing the Featured Episodes were becoming and that they were becoming more and more expensive with each series. I remember before my hiatus from this game the FE was the big thing, it sounded like we were going to end up in a state where we would get these awesome missions on a regular basis.

It would really be a shame if this was being replaced by all the time slotted mini-missions.

Can we get some closure on this? Has the development of featured episodes dropped on the list of priorities underneath lock boxes and mini-missions?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
05-07-2012, 09:50 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Geoff_484
I can't remember where I heard this so I don't have anything to quote or link, but I read something about how much of a problem developing the Featured Episodes were becoming and that they were becoming more and more expensive with each series. I remember before my hiatus from this game the FE was the big thing, it sounded like we were going to end up in a state where we would get these awesome missions on a regular basis.

It would really be a shame if this was being replaced by all the time slotted mini-missions.

Can we get some closure on this? Has the development of featured episodes dropped on the list of priorities underneath lock boxes and mini-missions?
They haven't come right out and said, They aren't going to do any more...

But it sure sounds that way.

The FE's don't make Cryptic/PWE enough money to constitute their spending the amount of time and effort to make them.

Lock Box Content is a lot more profitable and easier to create.

In other words to Them...

We're sheep and They know we just can't help ourselves when a spiffy new patch of lawn becomes available.

<shrug>

This old ram, is getting full up to here... with manure covered grass.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
05-07-2012, 09:54 PM
http://www.startrekonline.com/node/3148

Quote:
Q: (Tricksterbro) Are the Feature Episodes a thing of the past never to return, or will they be back?

Dstahl: There has been some debate about this and the relative cost of making this specific type of content versus other story related mission content. Each series has been excessively more expensive to make than the last and so there is an evaluation going on to determine the relative development scope of adding new single player story missions to the game. You’ll see us start to answer this question in earnest after the release of Season 6 which is focused on Fleets and group based Fleet Gameplay.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
05-07-2012, 10:06 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by dstahl
Each series has been excessively more expensive to make than the last...
Which was completely their own choice, and not some "requirement" of making FEs in general. Sure, they may have needed to have a DS9 exterior map for that mission, but they are also the ones who choose to tell that story. They can choose to tell stories that make use of things they have already made and it wouldnt require as much expense to make the mission.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
05-07-2012, 10:12 PM
Well I can understand them not wanting to put out missions people are just going to play once and that's that. But shows the fault of the pace of the game, you need storyline missions but also a major replayability factor that's just as fun as playing it for the 50th time.

But the way cryptic is going now with baseless grinds, I'm not sure how they could pull such a thing off. After all the new Shuttle Event's already getting stale and the STF population is taking a hit now as people are burning out.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
05-07-2012, 10:36 PM
For the supposed expenses, those FEs aren't much better than best of the foundry missions that players make for free. Maybe some hiring changes are in order...
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
05-07-2012, 11:56 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by The.Grand.Nagus View Post
Which was completely their own choice, and not some "requirement" of making FEs in general. Sure, they may have needed to have a DS9 exterior map for that mission, but they are also the ones who choose to tell that story. They can choose to tell stories that make use of things they have already made and it wouldnt require as much expense to make the mission.
Nagus, that makes sense, and you know it, which as of late seems to be not, what they will do.

So, to quote a line

" Stop making sense, stop making sense"

Now, excuse me, I have a CD to buy.....
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
05-08-2012, 12:28 AM
Ultimately i don't understand how featured series can not be financially viable to do ? They are getting tons of money flung at them at the moment with the kitty carriers and the lockboxes, so where is that money going ???

Also with what i have seen in all the featured series (deferi, devidians, romulans and the cardiassians), there is nothing special about them, the graphics are barely decent by todays standards, the script writing is moderate at best (horrific at worst), the map levels are nothing to write home about (the last featured series pretty much only had 1 new map, the rest was recycled or polished old stuff) and the less said about the voice acting the better.... I really don't see how all the bland averageness about them costs so much to do... In fact i have seen better designed mods with better looking art assets for other games (for free i might add).

Here is my take on why its not financially viable to do the featured series, most of the money is being sent elsewhere (probably to fund neverwinter and their other mysterious unnamed game). All STO is to cryptic is a quick cash grab to try and milk as much money as possible for as little dev effort as possible, which would explain why the STO team always seems to be understaffed or never has enough staff and why just about every patch seems to break something new, because STO is being done on the cheap.

It also explains why every single upcoming new thing seems to be multiplayer time gated maps, because they are the easiest and cheapest fluff content to do.

Ultimately seeing all the cash grab and the way the game isnt set up with enough content to keep players interested, does not make me want to reward cryptic by giving them my money !
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
05-08-2012, 12:52 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by The.Grand.Nagus View Post
Which was completely their own choice, and not some "requirement" of making FEs in general. Sure, they may have needed to have a DS9 exterior map for that mission, but they are also the ones who choose to tell that story. They can choose to tell stories that make use of things they have already made and it wouldnt require as much expense to make the mission.
At the same time, if they put out a new FE that just uses a combination of the old Devidian map from Night of the Comet, the Fluidic Space map and one of the random, indistinguishable station/outpost interior maps, people would complain about that, too. A DS9 FE was absolutely needed because it's an iconic place that was at the center of a 6 year series. Just like they had to make missions that included the Enterprise, and had to have us visit Wolf-359, etc.

Cheap work looks cheap. Quality work is expensive. I've seen a lot of game put out cheap updates/content and then spend even more hours debugging the problems and trying to fix them while players and money bled away. This *IS* a business, and it's supposed to make money. But people often forget the second half of that arrangement is that the service offered for that money has to be desirable to consumers. Name brands and major IPs like Star Trek come with an expected level of quality, and if they fail to consistently deliver that quality, the brand suffers.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
05-08-2012, 12:57 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by altrocks
At the same time, if they put out a new FE that just uses a combination of the old Devidian map from Night of the Comet, the Fluidic Space map and one of the random, indistinguishable station/outpost interior maps, people would complain about that, too. A DS9 FE was absolutely needed because it's an iconic place that was at the center of a 6 year series. Just like they had to make missions that included the Enterprise, and had to have us visit Wolf-359, etc.

Cheap work looks cheap. Quality work is expensive. I've seen a lot of game put out cheap updates/content and then spend even more hours debugging the problems and trying to fix them while players and money bled away. This *IS* a business, and it's supposed to make money. But people often forget the second half of that arrangement is that the service offered for that money has to be desirable to consumers. Name brands and major IPs like Star Trek come with an expected level of quality, and if they fail to consistently deliver that quality, the brand suffers.
By that analasys, most of the game should look cheap... Wolf 359 for instance is a ugly bunch of under worked crappy models junked together... Or K7... Or Starbase sierra (wich is a clear product of a fast toss-together solution and a re-used office wich isnt really that good looking)... Or the explore sectors, wich ar black boxes with (not so)random appearing dots...

But it isn't...

One of the things I had to learn as a web developer, is that sometimes, you need to stick with what you already have, and build and expand upon it to get the most "Bang for the buck".

You can easily reuse existing maps, and locations... You can even used the time to enhance the maps rather than re-making them... Minimum effort, with maximum gain.
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