Cryptic Studios Team
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 185
Greetings!

There has been a lot of talk lately about the changes to the Foundry daily mission, and I wanted to take some time to give a comprehensive and complete overview of why we made this decision.

Fleet Marks were introduced in Season 6 as a reward that can be used by Fleets to advance Fleet Holdings. Due to the fact that Fleet Marks are spent by Fleets to advance Fleet Holdings, it is intended that Fleet Marks are to be rewarded for completing Fleet-based gameplay.

We monitor the amount of Fleet Marks earned by each character and each player every day. We do so for game design reasons to ensure that the amount of progress Fleets are making on Fleet Holdings is as expected.

After the release of Season 7, we noticed that the amount of Fleet Marks players were earning per day started declining. As we expected, it was mostly due to the introduction of new content and the new Reputation system. Players were now spending less time in missions that granted Fleet Marks, and more time in missions that granted Dilithium and Rep Marks. We adjusted this at the time by adding Fleet Marks to the Foundry and Fleet Action dailies. The Foundry daily subsequently was turned into a 30 minute repeatable, which made Foundry missions an amazingly easy source of Fleet Marks, but because of the drop in Fleet Marks at the time, we left it in as a temporary bonus that would last up through our Anniversary.

Concurrently, we also closed a major loophole in Foundry missions in Season 7 which removed Dilithium rewards from what many considered "exploitative" Foundry missions (literally "log in click a button" get a boat of Dilithium). The number of players who were exploiting this type of mission was vast and so there were several weeks where we aggressively adjusted Dilithium rewards in order to keep Dilithium earnings back in line with our goal of getting more Dilithium into players hands without using the exploit. Due to the tuning we?ve done with Season 7, players are now earning more Dilithium than ever without the Foundry exploit.

We know based on progression data that there is further room to add more Dilithium to the economy and so today we have added in additional rewards to Foundry missions that grant a daily amount of Dilithium in addition to scaling rewards based on the gameplay of the Foundry mission. This now makes qualified Foundry missions an excellent source of Dilithium.

As part of this change and now that we?re past our Anniversary, we have removed the wrapper mission that granted the additional 50 Fleet Marks every 30 minutes for playing a single Foundry mission. We did this for a number of reasons. While we want players to enjoy Foundry missions, they should not be the one stop shop for all Rewards in the game. They are now arguably the single best source of Dilithium per mission, and they should not also be the best source for Fleet Marks. Another reason is that Fleet Marks should be for Fleet Gameplay and we will begin adjusting where Fleet Marks are granted to keep Fleet Marks in line with our Fleet gameplay goals.

Over the next several months we will be adjusting where Fleet Marks are granted to be more in line with our original design - Fleet Marks are for Fleet Gameplay. This means that Fleet Marks will be granted in more places where Fleets group up for missions, because the reason you need Fleet Marks is to benefit the Fleet.

This leads me to a frequent Ask Cryptic question that I want to address - Why are the Fleet Holdings so challenging to complete for small Fleets?

We monitor Fleet sizes and Holding progress and we do understand that small Fleets are finding Fleet Holdings to be expensive in both Fleet Marks and Dilithium.

Let me take a moment to explain our philosophy behind the Fleet Holdings so that there is a better understanding of our actions when we adjust economies like this.

First, keep in mind that that Fleet sizes in STO range from 1 member up to 500 members.

When we were crafting the Fleet System, we considered two options for how Fleet Marks and Fleet Progression would behave. There are pro's and con's to both options we considered.

Option A was that Fleet size would determine the maximum tier for Fleet Holdings. The larger the Fleet, the higher the Fleet Holding Tiers could achieve. This is how many other MMOs gate Guild progression, but we felt that it is artificially limiting to the many active small Fleets in STO.

Option B was to allow Fleets of any size to achieve all tiers of Fleet Holdings. The drawback is that because Fleet sizes range so much, we had to find a balance so that Large Fleets had some challenge, while still allowing small Fleets to achieve all tiers, albeit at a much slower pace. If you are in a Fleet less than 25 players, then it is expected to be more challenging than the norm.

So from our perspective we choose the sensible Option B, with the goal of ensuring that our active large Fleets had a decent challenge and wouldn?t complete the Fleet Holdings overnight. It needed to be a challenge for 500 member Fleets. It is a sign that you went through extreme effort to achieve the goal.

The end result of this decision is that smaller Fleets may achieve maximum Starbase sizes, but it is expected to be much harder. You can achieve all tiers, but you are doing so at a great disadvantage, especially if you are under 25 Fleet Members or your Fleet Members don't play at least three times a week.

We understand that we could have introduced a handicap for small fleets into the design, but that solution could and would be exploited. In trying to find a way to exploit the system, we would end up having to create a wealth of rules and regulations behind how the handicap works and at the end of the day it is not in line with our goals of ensuring that top tier Fleet progression is a great accomplishment. (congrats btw to the Fleets that are just now hitting this tier!)

That said, we continue to investigate options that may help small Fleets without making it a cake-walk for Large Fleets. Because of our decision to not limit tiers based on guild size, we will not be scaling all projects based on Fleet size. What we will continue to do is find ways for small Fleets to play hard and gain the Fleet Marks and Dilithium needed to advance the Starbase. While there are always exceptions, for the most part, the data shows that small fleets are more starved for Dilithium than they are for Fleet Marks. Thus we continue to add more Dilithium to help all players, and along with that, small Fleets.

Likewise, even though we've removed Fleet Marks from the now super Dilithium rich Foundry mission, we will be adding Fleet Marks to other events, but not immediately. Look for us to further classify Events and Fleet Actions as having Fleet Marks in the near future. We are also entertaining suggestions to merge fleets or other ways that small Fleets can accelerate their progress.

Just as max level players are now earning far more Dilithium than they ever have due to adjustments that we've made along the way, we will continue to adjust Fleet Marks in the same way.

Hopefully this post helps to explain our position and why we continue to make the decisions we do. We want Fleet Progression to be a reward for Fleet Gameplay. We want players to earn more Dilithium. We want Foundry missions to have useful rewards. We want small Fleets to only be limited by group effort, not by artificial caps on progress.

We will continue to make progress towards those goals and welcome your feedback. Nothing is every "final" in MMOs, and your constructive comments are always valued.

Thank you for your understanding.

Last edited by dastahl; 02-14-2013 at 06:17 PM.
Captain
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 3,465
# 2
02-14-2013, 06:24 PM
So, if I read this right...

Non mega-fleets get no help for higher tier projects, and Cryptic "might" add fleet marks to other things "eventually"?

Not encouraging.
Cryptic Studios Team
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 185
# 3
02-14-2013, 06:30 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by stirling191 View Post
So, if I read this right...

Non mega-fleets get no help for higher tier projects, and Cryptic "might" add fleet marks to other things "eventually"?

Not encouraging.
Fact Check:

1. Fleets under 25 are going to have a hard time completing projects = by design.

2. We will be adding more Fleet Marks, just not on Foundry missions. We will be making several changes up until the May update in order to bring Fleet Mark earning back in line: including reclassifying the difference between Events and Fleet Actions, Adjusting (increasing/decreasing) Fleet Marks with a focus on giving more Fleet Marks in Fleet Based Events, Possibly merging Fleets, Possibly offering other incentives for Small Fleets.



3. Data shows, most small Fleets are far more starved for Dilithium than they are for Fleet Marks. There is need for both, but more need right now for Dilithium than Fleet Marks - thus today's change. More Fleet Marks are coming - just not in Foundry play.

Last edited by dastahl; 02-14-2013 at 06:33 PM.
Captain
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 3,465
# 4
02-14-2013, 06:38 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by dastahl View Post
Fact Check:

1. Fleets under 25 are going to have a hard time completing projects = by design.

2. We will be adding more Fleet Marks, just not on Foundry missions. We will be making several changes up until the May update in order to bring Fleet Mark earning back in line: including reclassifying the difference between Events and Fleet Actions, Adjusting (increasing/decreasing) Fleet Marks with a focus on giving more Fleet Marks in Fleet Based Events, Possibly merging Fleets, Possibly offering other incentives for Small Fleets.



3. Data shows, most small Fleets are far more starved for Dilithium than they are for Fleet Marks. There is need for both, but more need right now for Dilithium than Fleet Marks - thus today's change. More Fleet Marks are coming - just not in Foundry play.
1) Compounded now by an inability to gain any meaningful fleet marks without mind-numbing grinding of six missions for pitiful rewards (8 if you include the one or two you get out of the romulan instances). Small fleets want to be able to work towards these things. They don't want to be faced with an absurd, boring grind that they have no real expectation of finishing. At the moment, you've squarely placed starbase completion in the latter category.

2) What will these changes be? When will they occur? What do you expect fleets who relied on IOR to make any actual progress to do in the meantime?

3) I don't even know how to respond to that. How in <insert deity or higher power of choice here>'s name does a need for one resource justify the removal of another resource's availability?
Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 26
# 5
02-14-2013, 06:42 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by smallaxe33 View Post
Dirty Dee, you're a baddy daddy lamatai tebby chai!
Quote:
Originally Posted by dastahl View Post
Fact Check:

1. Fleets under 25 are going to have a hard time completing projects = by design.

2. We will be adding more Fleet Marks, just not on Foundry missions. We will be making several changes up until the May update in order to bring Fleet Mark earning back in line: including reclassifying the difference between Events and Fleet Actions, Adjusting (increasing/decreasing) Fleet Marks with a focus on giving more Fleet Marks in Fleet Based Events, Possibly merging Fleets, Possibly offering other incentives for Small Fleets.



3. Data shows, most small Fleets are far more starved for Dilithium than they are for Fleet Marks. There is need for both, but more need right now for Dilithium than Fleet Marks - thus today's change. More Fleet Marks are coming - just not in Foundry play.


So because we have a small group of friends (originally from CoH) we should not even attempt to advance our small fleet beyond where it is? Good to know. I don't want to waste my time in this game. Really the only reason I played this game was that my friends were here, and I could do something constructive on my maxed level characters. I really see no reason to log in now since my friends are not logging either because of this.

IMHO, the Time/Reward of the fleet tiers was already way out of whack, but I did it to help my small group. With this change, the time/reward is just plain ridiculous.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 149
# 6
02-14-2013, 07:10 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by logan375 View Post
So because we have a small group of friends (originally from CoH) we should not even attempt to advance our small fleet beyond where it is? Good to know. I don't want to waste my time in this game. Really the only reason I played this game was that my friends were here, and I could do something constructive on my maxed level characters. I really see no reason to log in now since my friends are not logging either because of this.

IMHO, the Time/Reward of the fleet tiers was already way out of whack, but I did it to help my small group. With this change, the time/reward is just plain ridiculous.
Well said and I fully agree with your logic. It makes no sense at all to try and continue building a fleet base or embassy when the game developer has already determined that you cannot progress without giving up your job and life and just doing the farming grind all day every day for years to just be able to compete with large fleets.

Enough is enough PWE/Cryptic. I guess you don't want the thousands of dollars players like me spend to try and keep up with the blessed "large" fleets this game is now designed for.

Thanks but no thanks. I guess it's time to find something else to spend my hard enarned money on. Go ahead and look up how much I have spent PWE/Cryptic. See if that is something you did not want to continue to get. Maybe your blessed large "farming" fleets will be giving you more.

PWE/Cryptic You have killed the fun in STO!

Zeus
Creator of Olympus - Home of the Gods
"I don't test my code often, but when I do I test it in Production"The most interesting dev in the world

I rather be a fence post in Texas than the King of PWE
Ensign
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 14
# 7
02-14-2013, 06:48 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by dastahl View Post
Fact Check:

1. Fleets under 25 are going to have a hard time completing projects = by design.

.
Here's another fact check. I made a starbase to tier 1 and halfway to tier 2 solo. It isn't hard but it is boring. And that was with the foundry rewards in place. Without them, it's not worth the effort, and many of us have run out of anything else to do in this game.

With all due respect Dan, I think you are all deeply out of touch with your playerbase. You quote metrics and numbers, but those don't gauge player happiness or satisfaction.

I have a challenge for you Dan. For the next week, using the fleet events, try to get 900 fleet marks. I did it last week. Just go for it. Walk in our shoes for the ten days and see what it's like. See what it makes you think of this game. See how much fun it really is. Then come back and lets have a conversation about fleet marks and internal metrics, ok?

I love Star Trek, Dan. I love Space Combat. I love this game you've created. For the last year this has been the only video game I've played, and I've financially supported. It's the only game I want to play. And yet as we speak I'm in the process of downloading The Old Republic and LOTR online. Because I'm tired of the grind, and increasing it for less rewards is not viable for me or my fleetmates. I'm logging into turn in my dilithium now, and that's it, and that's out of the optimistic hope that you're going to fix this problem soon.

The problems with all those numbers and metrics is they don't predict the future,Dan. If you looked at those metrics last week, when I was merrily grinding day and night, they wouldn't have told you that I'd be downloading your competitors product today and not playing yours, would they?

As a businessman, I would advise you in the strongest possible terms to listen to your customers first and foremost, and your numbers second. Things can change too quickly for your charts and graphs to reflect.

Thanks for your time.
Republic Veteran
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 1,803
# 8
02-14-2013, 06:51 PM
You have admitted that the starbase system is screwing over small fleets. You are completely denying small social groups of friends the chance to succeed in this game together. Your Option B was a pretty poor choice. The whole system needs a rethink, from the ground level.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 744
# 9
02-14-2013, 06:56 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by omnimagus View Post
Here's another fact check. I made a starbase to tier 1 and halfway to tier 2 solo. It isn't hard but it is boring. And that was with the foundry rewards in place. Without them, it's not worth the effort, and many of us have run out of anything else to do in this game.

With all due respect Dan, I think you are all deeply out of touch with your playerbase. You quote metrics and numbers, but those don't gauge player happiness or satisfaction.

I have a challenge for you Dan. For the next week, using the fleet events, try to get 900 fleet marks. I did it last week. Just go for it. Walk in our shoes for the ten days and see what it's like. See what it makes you think of this game. See how much fun it really is. Then come back and lets have a conversation about fleet marks and internal metrics, ok?

I love Star Trek, Dan. I love Space Combat. I love this game you've created. For the last year this has been the only video game I've played, and I've financially supported. It's the only game I want to play. And yet as we speak I'm in the process of downloading The Old Republic and LOTR online. Because I'm tired of the grind, and increasing it for less rewards is not viable for me or my fleetmates. I'm logging into turn in my dilithium now, and that's it, and that's out of the optimistic hope that you're going to fix this problem soon.

The problems with all those numbers and metrics is they don't predict the future,Dan. If you looked at those metrics last week, when I was merrily grinding day and night, they wouldn't have told you that I'd be downloading your competitors product today and not playing yours, would they?

As a businessman, I would advise you in the strongest possible terms to listen to your customers first and foremost, and your numbers second. Things can change too quickly for your charts and graphs to reflect.

Thanks for your time.

I couldn't have said it better myself!
Rihannsu
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 3,625
# 10
02-14-2013, 07:01 PM
I am now looking at my Email, this is the following message:

Quote:
Thank you for your support! We'd love to hear what you think. Answer the question below and tell us how you feel about Perfect World and its games.
Needless to say what I view of the only PW game I played, this will be send I assure you and I do bless the timing.

As for the rest ... I leave at this, MINIMUM requirement to create a Fleet is 5 people so therefor any balance should been based on the minimum requirement to create a Fleet because that is what necessary to be a Fleet.
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