Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 1 Author reward proposal
02-05-2011, 08:37 AM
I've been thinking a lot on the reward option, the number of slots etc and I come up with these ideas:
If you think of it, the most important factor in this game is the number of subscription (and the CStore, but I don't want to go into that now). People sub because they play, thus spend time with the game. Usually, you have a certain number of hours you can spend on STO every month.
- If you burn through the enjoyable content in less than that time, you will feel that there is a lack on content and think more about unsubing.
- If you can't finish all the enjoyable content in a month, because it requires more time than your monthly allowance, you won't even think of unsubing because there is still so much to do.

This means the playtime is the key here!

You may have built the silliest 1 star mission, but if you make 30.000 players spend 1 hour playing that mission, you helped Cryptic a whole lot.
You decreased the player's monthly STO time by 1 hour => he will have less time to spend on other content => less likely to run out of enjoyable content in the month => more likely to sub again, thus create revenue.
And from a company's point of view, that is the single most important factor. Farmvile has zero content, yet they make billions because people spend time with that thing.

My first proposal is to give free days to the the author based on the hour spent by others playing his missions.
For example, Cryptic may give 1 free day to the author after every 1000 hours his missions were played. So in the case above, you would have 30 extra free days handed to you.
Can this system be tricked? Of course, you just need to buy 3 extra subs and auto play your mission 24/7. This will earn you 2.000 hours/month thus 2 free days, only for a small price of $45. Hm, wait a sec that $45 would buy you 90 days if you don't try to trick the system...

My second proposal is to make the foundry available to Demo users.
Why? First of all, I find it awkward that I have to pay money to work for Cryptic. Also, it is Crpytic's best interest to make everyone, able to create content, use the foundry. A free tool is the best way to achieve that. Combined with the 1st proposal, good content writers would be able to earn some free time to actually play the game.
This will also solve the max slot issue. If you run out of slots, you just create another demo reg, simple as that.
Automatic mission pruning will solve the HDD capacity issue. If a mission was not played for 30 days, then it goes into an unpublished state. Every mission unpublished and unmodified for more than 30 days will be deleted.
BTW Do we actually have that issue? You can get 10 Tb capacity in secure and fast RAID setup for $2.000. If every mission requires 10 megs of data (I think it is closer to 1mb anyway) that array can store more that 1 million missions. If only 1/10 of the population uses foundry, that still gives 50+ slots for everyone.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
02-05-2011, 08:55 AM
I am fine with making foundry missions available to Demo users (say, up to five missions), but I disagree with allowing them to create missions. While I agree you don't want to create the feeling of paying to create content, I don't want Foundry to be swamped with missions from people who won't even play the game.

I think limiting it to subscribers only is the best choice. They are paying to play the game, not create content for it. Remember that using Foundry is 100% optional; so it is a feature of the game, not the reason you pay your sub. I know that as a Lifer I may seem a bit disingenuous as my sub is ongoing, but I don't see myself as paying to create content. I am doing it because I want to. I paid to play the game regardless of whather UGC came out or not.

In the end, Cryptic is still a business and they cannot afford to allow just anyone post content. Especially when you consider paid members are limited in the amount of content they can create. And when you add the cost of the equipment, personnel to maintain it, and the cost of the bandwidth, I can understand that it would be expensive.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
02-05-2011, 09:34 AM
Some people refer the Foundry as a way to create holo novels. When the toolset and the art assets are right, you could port an Agatha Cristie novel into the Foundry. Not a futuristic re-think of it, but the real thing in early 20th century environment. Does it have anything to do with the state of the Federation or the mighty Klingon empire? None whatsoever. Neither did Dixon Hill or Cpt Proton.
To this end, you don't even have to know what Star Trek is to be a great holo writer. There are a lot of creative people out there, who don't care about or don't like Star Trek but eager to create games. With the free Foundry access, they can have the tool to turn their ideas into game stories. And since ST has that Holodeck thing going, none of the story will be out of place.

That is my point behind making it available to demo users. Free access => greater pool of creatives => more original and creative stories overall. Also, more crap, but you can't evade that.
Since devs expressed that the foundy will be the preferred tool to test builds, the game will be flooded with "My first shooting range" missions anyway.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
02-05-2011, 10:02 AM
About your proposal for free days. What about authors with lifetime subs. I think they should get Atari Tokens instead. agreed?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
02-05-2011, 10:02 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pendra37 View Post
Some people refer the Foundry as a way to create holo novels.

******

Since devs expressed that the foundy will be the preferred tool to test builds, the game will be flooded with "My first shooting range" missions anyway.

I understand what you are saying. I just think that would open the floodgates for spam missions. I just don't think it's worth getting even more garbage on the hope that we will get one or two good episodes. At least right now they can remove offending content and restrict the creator. If they opened it up to non-sub holders, that enforcement gets harder to do since all you would have to do is create yet another demo account.

Besides, serious writers are going to want to play those missions, which would require a sub anyway.

An alternative I may be more inclinced to support is if demo players are given access but are not allowed to publish. That way the "storytellers" can decide whether or not they can even tell their story with Foundry, but it would still require a sub to publish. I know that borderlines on "paying to create", but I really think the Foundry will be secondary in most people's mind. Only a small percentage of people are going to use it anyway and I wouldn't be surprised if the bulk of those ended up being lifers. Make it easier for Authors to create by granting more slots, but don't open it up to spammers.

Again, this is just my two-slips on the matter. I hold no position to decide.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
02-05-2011, 12:40 PM
I don't think I necessarily need a "reward" for doing what I like to do, which is making missions with the Foundry.

Now if Cryptic wanted to do something ridiculous and drastic like hire me, I would not turn a reward of that caliber down, lol.

But these are free tools to be creative with and expand the game. Are we helping them out by making good missions? Sure, sure. But they're helping us out in making sure our tools improve. And, also, making sure we don't have to pay them for more mission slots (yay).
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
02-06-2011, 08:09 AM
The problem with folk getting something for nothing is that it can be abused by an organised group of players.

If we have a 500-member fleet, they could arrange to all play a member's mission for 2 hours and earn that member a free day. Once that level of organisation is in place, the next step will inevitably be botting the missions. A number of existing subscribers could stay logged in and running missions during times when they would not normally be playing.

Also, as A888mph mentions; how does the free day benefit Lifetime Subscribers? Will there be an Atari Token bonus instead? The prospect of abuse is strong.


I threw together a proposal over on Starbase UGC that would give authors the option of being rewarded by the players under an enclosed system.

In short: Authors could charge a microtransaction rate of (for example) five tokens to unlock a mission for all characters on a player's account. They would then receive a portion of the tokens, and the rest counts as revenue for the STO team.

The tokens will have already been paid for, and this just shifts them from one player to another. Rewarding authors but not bankrupting Cryptic.

The full article can be found at: http://starbaseugc.com/index.php/ran...oken-gestures/
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
02-06-2011, 01:48 PM
Well, if you can presuade all the 500 active players on your fleet to run their systems for 10 hours a day each day during the month to play your missions then you are a true master of organization and presuation. I really mean it, you are!
- Your fleet was glad to pay their total monthly sub of $7.500 to Cryptic (Cryptic thanks you BTW)
- the electric bill to run their comps 10 extra hours. That costed around $10/person = $5.000 to the electric companies (Electric companies thank you BTW)
+ the bandwith cost in case their net was not unlimited.
+ computer parts wear and tear
Congratulation, you really earned that $75 worth of extra days, it costed your fleet just around $13.000! Why not just ask all of your fleet mates to send you $0.5 out of good will? That would yield a Lifetime sub to you.

According to Cryptic there are only a handful of people who managed to get 5 people to sign up. Now how many of the current players would be capable to pull that 500 players stunt? None whatsoever, so that was a straw man.

As for the Lifer thing, I could quote the Nagus' usual lifer argument here. You can already play as much as you want without paying an extra cent until ther servers are up . That is the ultimate reward by itself. You can burn as much paid STO day as you want to build something because you have infinite number of days.

When STO goes FTP I can see that some UGC mission may be available for tokens only. Until that I'm not going to pay for anything over my sub. I started with 500 CP and I have exactly 500 CP at the moment. The best way to hide something from me is to make it payable.

Edit: Try to add a paypal link to the end of your story. Like "If you liked the story, feel free to donate here:...!
Who knows, it may even work out and earn you some cash.

BTW this time based calculation would solve the "1 reach marker mission" problem, too. It would take about 0.1 min to complete such mission. If you make 500 players to complete it, it would still be less than 1 hour of total playtime. You may have 500 5 stars, but that would earn you a great big nothing.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
02-06-2011, 03:10 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pendra37 View Post
Edit: Try to add a paypal link to the end of your story. Like "If you liked the story, feel free to donate here:...!
Who knows, it may even work out and earn you some cash.
Or maybe a 'If you liked this mission, Donate AT to the author' link at the end, keeping it internal to Cryptic's servers?
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