F2P its STOs 2nd chance under a new company, Perfect world, whose reputation can be called questionable at best, because the previous publisher, Atari, abandoned the product.
You need to do some research on Atari before making that statement. Atari unloaded Cryptic because they are totall incompetent for running a MMORPG development studio. Atari (Infograme) has gone for the short term gain. Cryptic at the time tAtary bought them seemed like a gain. But they failed to realize the MMORPGs require continued development money put into them. MMORPGs are a *long term* investment. (Remember that bit about Atari O prev said. *short term*). Crypitc was stemming the losses that Atari had encoutered overall. Even in teh worse of the economy Cryptic was on track for profitablity on it's own. The one thing that I will give Atrai, they bought Cryptic and allowed it to survive during a time that Cryptic needed it
I've been playing Cryptics games since the closed beta of City of Heroes. Cryptic has had many dark periods since their inception. I've seen their ups and downs. And right now with what I know about PWE and Crypitc in terms of business, things are the best they have ven been for Cryptic, They are under a parent company that cares about nuturing the company in terms of the US market and now the eastern MMORPG market. Cryptic doesn't have to worry about cash flow or in fact surviving the next few months. The Development teams now have more money, personnel and resources. There are no hiring freezes, no layoffs, no downsizing. Nothing really negative to stop STO and Cryptic from growing.
i don't always agree with Cryptic does with their game (i.e. dilithium with crafting I understand why, but don't approve). I will rip Cryptic a new orifice when they deserve it. And they have on many occasions. But right now I have no doubt that STO can easily last for 10 years..if the fans and players want it to.
I played beta and for a few months after. I had to stop for financial reasons (my budget allows one MMO sub a month). I returned when STO went f2p and am really happy I can play regularly again and I'm pleased with all the new content and changes.
I buy stuff from the C-Store (ships, DOff packs, etc.) and bought a pack of 10 keys (got some nice stuff, but the best I got was a DS9 uniforrn set and that made me happy). I generally ignore the lock boxes now. I buy what I want and ignore the rest.
As it stands, since I came back a few days before f2p I have likely spent enough to cover a $12 a month subscription for a year (finances aren't as dire as they used to be, apparently) and I can imagine I'll be spending more down the line.
Bottom line is, I buy what I like and ignore the rest.
Besides, along with these recent episodes I got a cool new cruiser (top of the line?) for FREE. How much do you think they could have charged for the Odyssey in the C-Store? But do a quick mission and *boom* ... get one for free.
I know STO (and Cryptic) has had it's ups and downs but I'm here now, I'm enjoying the game and it's content (and most of it's player base :p ) and I'll very likely be here until they shut down the servers.