Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,360
# 731
10-24-2012, 02:35 PM
This post has been edited to remove content which violates the Perfect World Entertainment Community Rules and Policies . ~BranFlakes

Last edited by pwebranflakes; 10-24-2012 at 06:04 PM.
Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 891
# 732
10-24-2012, 02:42 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by treaen View Post
I think the moral of the story that's happening right now is that everybody likes to complain. There is a general consensus that exists on the Forum between the players who choose to post here about the things that we think could be improved about the game. And there is a very loud monologue happening to explicate it. There are a couple of problems inherent in this process. 1) The people who post here are not the majority of players in the game. 2) A majority of the players in the game don't seem to have any problems with the additions to the game and the ever-increasing grind that exists. Either that or they don't have enough problems to warrant seeking out a place to make their thoughts known. 3) Maybe most important of all this is that complaining and complaining and complaining isn't doing anything to fix the things that we want fixed. You can complain all day long, as loud as possible. But if all you say is that you don't like something and don't offer alternatives, then what good are you doing for the game? This is especially true when Branflakes has offered up the opportunity for people to voice constructive criticism and hardly anyone seems to be taking it. Along these lines, constructive criticism can only be defined as that which does not offer such hugely impractical alternatives that Cryptic is just not in the position, through funding and/or staff, to actually tackle. I am, myself, most certainly guilty of posting about ideas that I have that would take months and months and months to accomplish with tons of people working toward the goal. But at the end of the day, we have these problems with the game that we'd like to have addressed and we need to be practical about how we'd like for Cryptic to solve them.

So here's my constructive criticism.

1. Dilithium is a sorely over-stretched commodity at this point, dear Devs. The outrage over the situation is not based on the fact that things cost dilithium or that some things cost a whole lot of dilithium. At least, it's not really about that. The key to fixing this problem from a player point of view is the fact that there are many many many things to sink your dilithium into with a modest number of ways to pick up the dilithium and a very small daily refining limit. I think that the 8,000 cap probably made a lot of sense back in the day when there just weren't all that many things that dilithium could get you. But as the output grows over the course of the game, we need for the input to also grow. Now, players listen up. The Devs are in a really tricky place here because they've decided to link dilithium to Zen, and thus to real-world currency, which leaves them in a place where, if they do increase the refining cap, they set themselves up for blowing the Zen trade up. What does this matter? Well, as it stands right now, there is most likely a very hefty difference between the number of people who pay to play versus the number of people who pay to get stuff versus the number of people who don't pay anything at all. That middle ground of people who will pay to get stuff is probably the target, since it is much easier to convince a F2P player to spend $5 or $10 on the game every once in a while, than it is to convince them to pay for the LTS or the regular gold price every month. If the Devs up the refining cap, then it alters the number of people who are going to pay the $5 or $10 for stuff downward, which hurts the game. Most subscribers are either currently in a place or will eventually get to a place where they've bought everything they want from the C-Store and the monthly stipend will just end up accumulating over time. This is obviously where the bulk of the Zen on the Exchange comes from and raising the dilithium cap won't do anything to those people and the amount of money they're spending every month. But, raising the dilithium cap makes it easier for those F2P people to get Zen, thereby eliminating their need to spend the $5 or $10 a month. That can add up pretty quickly. All of this huge and mostly unnecessary explanation aside, what do we do to alleviate the problem? Well, a couple of things spring to mind. The first is to eliminate the link between dilithium and Zen altogether. I think it's admirable that the Devs want to make everything in the game accessible to those people who don't want to pay, but I also think it's unnecessary to make all the cosmetic things and the extra ships and so forth available that way. Sure people like them. Sure people appreciate the ability to grind dilithium and convert it so that they don't have to spend their cash. But at the end of the day, we all want the game to continue, which means that you guys need revenue and this is a perfectly acceptable place to draw the line. You don't HAVE to have anything from the C-Store to play the game. Certain things (like the BOFF and DOFF cap increases, the ship slots, and the ships) do make gameplay easier. But I'd say that you could balance the need to stay profitable and not drive a portion of the player base crazy with the ability of people to access those things for free. Here's how: Allow certain things (BOFF and DOFF caps and a small portion of the older C-Store ships, namely) to be something you can play to win. In other words, do this mission, get your DOFF cap raised. Hit this accolade, get this cool ship. Etc. This allows you to leave all the newer and more valuable items purchasable (and also still desirable since they're newer and more valuable) while simultaneously insuring that F2P people can continue to access all the systems in the game without spending a dime, while simultaneously ameliorating the constant yelling about how dissatisfied a portion of your players are over how scarce dilithium has become in relation to how many things it can be used on. The second way to possibly fix this problem is to do what you've already partly done. Right now there's a DOFF contact who allows for an additional 1,000 dilithium in the daily cap. Make this guy accessible to everyone who subscribes (rather than just whichever veteran level it's currently available to) and raise the raised cap significantly. We're already paying to play the game. Chances are pretty good that there would have to be some pretty big circumstances for us to stop. Many of us also spend money to purchase Zen directly. All of that is going to continue. Plus, we're most likely going to be spending our dilithium on projects not on Zen. A third option would be to eliminate the refining cap altogether but say that, out of all the dilithium ore you process, only x-amount of it becomes usable as refined dilithium. This would mean that someone could sit and play for 30 hours straight, accumulating (for the sake of easy math) 30,000 dilithium ore, but then when they process it, it becomes say 24,000 refined dilithium. A hefty tax, to be sure, but one that doesn't too badly upset the dilithium trade. Of all this, I think the best option is undoubtedly to unlink dilithium and Zen. On a side note: Dilithium should certainly be an important commodity in the game and it should certainly be a large part of how things like Fleet Starbases function, but spreading dilithium too thin in attempt to convince players that there's so much to do in the endgame is, honestly, a distraction from the fact that story content updates are few and far between. Also, my dear Devs, you guys are pretty smart and you've probably weighed what people are going to do with system updates like the Fleet Starbases and the Embassies, and any of the rest. But it seems like you expect us to play one of these systems at a time, until we reach the cap, and then move onto the next one. Therein lies the part of the grind that is the most tedious.

2. Energy credits. These are very scarce. Much more scarce than dilithium. And also only getting more valuable, especially as people reach higher tiers of their starbase development and need to purchase more and more DOFFs. The biggest reason that people can charge 200k in EC for a common security officer is that it takes so long to get ECs and the opportunities are few. I recently started a new alt and played through the entire Klingon storyline. From beginning to end, I picked up about 70k in EC. That's entirely from the common item drops from all the enemies in all the missions, plus selling off any of the rewards or lower pieces of tech that I wasn't using. I play Tour the Universe every chance I get and always get 1.4 million out of it. That sounds like a bunch, but when stuff costs, on average, tens and hundreds of thousands to purchase, it goes rather quickly. That's especially true when what I have been most likely to purchase is lock box keys and DOFFs to give over to the starbase. My suggested course of action is to put cash (ECs) on the dead carcasses of every enemy. I remember when I first started playing how surprised I was that this wasn't already happening. Why do ECs matter when so much of the game has shifted to be dilithium-centric and will continue to shift toward Fleet and Reputation Marks? Because ECs, if they are more common, can become more usable. If the most common EC balance were to suddenly shift to 20 or 25 million (and away from the 500k to 800k that it seems to be anecdotally), then spending 6 or 7 million to purchase something like a MkXII piece of gear would seem both earned (because you've bested enough baddies to accumulate the cash) and reasonable. This can be applied to many different aspects of the game in order to take some of the stress off of dilithium. In those places where it makes less sense (like the even-numbered Mark gear being purchasable the same way that the odd-numbered Mark gear is), use GPL. Right now it's just sitting around. Most people wouldn't have a problem in grinding some gambling (and hopefully some other ways in some future updates) if it was going to get them something. It would also set those things that you could spend it on apart from the things that you spend EC on just by the simple fact that you would get EC for the most basic of gameplay functions and you'd have to work at getting the GPL.

1.5/2.5. I think the bottom line with these two points is that the overall game economy doesn't make a lot of sense and continuing to introduce new currencies just makes it more confusing. Probably in an ideal world, what we'd be looking at in order of most common to least in terms of frequency of getting the thing and in terms of what kind of stuff it will buy is ECs, GPL, Dilithium, Lobi Crystals, where Fleet Credits function as ECs in a different marketplace and Fleet Marks and Faction Marks function in some happy realm between CXP and Expertise. In a functioning economy, these currencies would be tradeable amongst each other both upwards and downwards at stable rates. The first three should have a flat and mostly unaltering exchange rate between them, while getting Lobi should be open to the demand of the player marketplace the way that the current Dilithium/Zen relationship works. All of them should remain happily unexchangeable when it comes to Zen. But purchasing any of those things with your Zen should certainly be possible. Not to mention the fact that it would help your bottom line without artificially inflating the internal cost of achieving in-game goals. In fact, it may deflate the internal cost of goals if people start putting their real-world money into play in order to purchase that dilithium they need to finish a project. But in that case, it's only having a positive impact on your bottom line and there is no negative or compulsory impact on a player's ability to play the game.

3. Story matters. When we say "story" we mean the linked missions we play to level up. When you say "story" you mean anything that has some dialogue and an underlying narrative. From a technical perspective (as a screenwriter and playwright), we are correct. Stories have a beginning, middle, and end. From a gameplay perspective, we are all right. Let me explain. Human nature is drawn to storytelling. We want things to fit neatly into boxes--to have a start and a finish. However, the nature of an MMO is the stationary practice of a single moment in time. The point is that there are all these things to do but, even though the graphics may change for day and night and for seasons, time does not ever really pass. It's an interesting and conflicting dichotomy to find anyone who is actually entertained in this kind of a situation (which we all clearly are). And before I get to existential, I'll get around to my point. We need more of all of it. We need more large, sweeping story arcs that stay true to the nature of Trek and what those episodes of the TV shows were doing week in and week out. We need more short, Featured Episode series that fit into the broader narrative but don't depend entirely on it and don't necessarily affect it in any serious way. And we need more of what you've given us in Season 6 with the Tholians and what you're giving us with Season 7 and the Romulans in terms of things that offer a bit of a narrative but stay true to the "moment in time" nature of MMOing. We understand that this kind of content is more time-consuming and more expensive than all the other kinds of content. We understand that you've had a particularly small staff. Now please, with all due respect, understand a couple of things. No one likes the grind. No one. On any MMO. Ever. The grind defeats the purpose of playing from an emotional point of view. It says, "You will be entertained by doing exactly the same thing over and over and over again for whatever prize we've chosen to give you this time. And you will do it simply because you want the shiny object of the day." And by and large, we do it. But it's not because we like it. It's because we love the IP. It's because we love the idea behind the game. And, yes, we love the game itself. But given a choice, there isn't anyone who would rather GRIND some dilithium in the mission that they've played 600 times already and could pretty much do with their eyes closed over EARNING some dilithium from a mission that challenges our intelligence and our guts and pushes us to work for a reward. Now, back to the big elephant standing in the way of us getting more of the kind of missions we want to see. We know it's a money and a personnel and a time thing. We also know that you've got to balance the amount of time between Seasons so that people have things to do that are new. But I believe that there's not an insignificant number of people playing the game who would be willing to wait a little longer to move what we call the story forward. And I also believe that there's not an insignificant number of people who would have a problem paying a little more for it if that ends up being necessary. In the long run, I think there are some really wonderful things that could happen. I posted about some of those here: http://sto-forum.perfectworld.com/sh...1&postcount=28 and here: http://sto-forum.perfectworld.com/sh...1&postcount=29 It's a very long post, so I understand if not everyone gets through it. But, Devs especially, please pay special attention to the last section where I talk about what I'd like to see the Reputation System grow into after its pending release. (I'll say it here after having already said it in these posts, this new system is the most exciting update for the potential of what it can do that I've seen in my time playing the game.) In the meantime, what can we do? Well, you guys have been pushing the Foundry for a while now as something that's important and that we should be engaging with. And we've been responding by playing those missions and asking you to start taking some of the best ones out of the Foundry, putting a polish on them, and making them a part of the larger canon of the game. This isn't without a certain amount of work. But the rewards are, I think, pretty high for all of us. We'd get some more official content and you'd get us off your backs.

At the end of the day, I think the best thing we can all do is play a different game with our expectations and readjust our priorities. Players, I think we need to be more accommodating to the idea that, for us, this is a game, but for the Devs, this is their livelihood. That intrinsically means that they have a lot at stake in the success or failure of the game. They want to see it fail just as much as they want to see the planet explode and we need to stop yelling at them in such a way that indicates a belief that they're purposely trying to ruin STO or disgrace Star Trek. They're not. We also need to be more realistic about money, time, and effort. They're trying to juggle a lot of balls all at once and we need to, as politely as possible, express our thoughts and desires and then give them time to sort it out. Devs, I think you need to do everything that you can do to eliminate the perception floating around in some corners of these interwebs that you 1) don't care about what we think, and 2) don't have any intention of living up to what you've promised us. It's not about posting more and promising less. It's about finding an idea that seems to have critical mass (like, say, more KDF content) and setting up a discussion with those people who are invested in that topic. Get in the weeds with us. Don't just say "we can't do it because of x, y, z" or "we know you want it but we just haven't gotten around to it yet". Talk to us. Have a dialogue like we have fleet meetings where we get to ask questions and you get to ask questions and everyone gets to come together and say "We all understand the wishes and the limitations and the expectations, but how do we find some happy medium that will accomplish a small part of the goal, while still remaining feasible from a business standpoint?" Let us knock it around it together so that we all understand. I think you also need to aim less for quantity and more for quality. That's not to say that the game isn't good. That is to say that the updates that we get need to play more toward satiating our appetites, giving us truly rich and nuanced content, than they play toward just giving us something new to do with our time or, worse yet, trying to quiet us down for a while. It is also to say that it is perfectly acceptable to focus a major update on only one or two things rather than trying to launch an entire armada of new content, if that means that what gets launched is high quality and treated for bugs.

I believe in STO. Not just because it's Star Trek, but because of what it is. There's truly a lot of really awesome stuff in this game and I would not be playing or spending my time posting if I didn't have more pros than cons about it. But one of the remarkable things about MMOs is the evolving nature of the game. This "moment in time" thing, as frustrating as it can be to our sense of things needing to fit into a box, is the very thing that makes this kind of game exciting because it allows for a real-time conversation between the people playing the game as they play it and the people making the game as they make it. You don't get that from Bridge Commander. You don't get that from Birth of the Federation. I think that STO has the potential to go down as one of the long-lasting and great MMOs out there, despite all the rancor and bloviating that seems to dominate this forum. But I think that it requires that we all listen to and trust one another. And I think it ultimately requires that we accept that, as an evolving thing is wont to do, perfection does not come at the first pass but rather upon reflection and revision.
I don't really have anything to add because this guy used every word in the english language in one freaking forum post. I just thought I'd repost it all and include 3 sentences at the end to make it even longer.

Mission accomplished.
Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 346
# 733
10-24-2012, 02:53 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by treaen View Post
I think the moral of the story...
*snip*
impressive wall-o-text...i have not seen the like in many moons :O

but, the morals...or lack thereof, is cryptic realized with the starbases that dilithium is a cash cow. you're limited to 8k a day, it can take a few hours at least to hit that. and it's easier...or was for players to buy zen and sell it on the exchange to get refined dil they could spend immediately circumventing the cap.

so, viola' season 7, more dilithium needed, costs in the extreme range...all planned to continue to milk that zen to dil conversion bubble. they're not listening at all, no reason, no logic, no canon, nothing matters but $$$. whomever came up with this plan evidently thinks it will work no matter what. god complex, devs get those a lot, suits too.

diabolical in a way, that 8k limit with a (cash) way to get around it...would be the perfect plan...except this is a game. no one has to pay or stay. little game called black prophecy went belly up recently...similar reason. trying to force players to pay to get around time consuming annoyances in the game.

another game is on the verge of dying now, it's pop has dropped drastically since they introduced a leveling pack you have to buy...not quite similar, except the devs ignored the players in that one too, released the content...and watched pop plummet. currently they're back pedaling, fixing small things that had been complained about since their introduction...but not fixing the main issue.

another example of a god complex...'my idea can't be wrong it must be something else someone else did years ago' i expect cryptic will do the same after S7 causes issues...pretend it's not the problem and fix other things.

tbh, whomever came up with this cash idea needs fired. wonder if cbs knows cryptic has rewritten the federation to be a bunch of greedy ferengi. instead of latinum...dilithium makes their eyes glow.
Dr. Patricia Tanis ~ "Bacon is for sycophants and products of incest."
Donate Brains, zombies in Washington DC are starving.
Captain
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 924
# 734
10-24-2012, 03:03 PM
wow some forum mod is merging so many unrelated posts into this one its impossible to follow along anymore.. why dont we close this an start a new one?
Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 891
# 735
10-24-2012, 03:25 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by aarons9 View Post
wow some forum mod is merging so many unrelated posts into this one its impossible to follow along anymore.. why dont we close this an start a new one?
Because then no one will see Treaen's amazing Wall o' Text!

That thing is more entertaining then the actual game.
Lieutenant
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 61
# 736 Now you want to complain?
10-24-2012, 04:30 PM
Levi3 and I both complained that the starbase grind was out of control. The dilithium costs, the doff costs, the fleet mark costs. Grind upon grind upon grind. The majority of the community, for the folks at home-that's you guys, told us everything is fine and the starbases are perfect the way they are.

Okay.

Then they come out with outrageous dil costs for doffing-doffers rage.
Embassies and Omega costing outrageous grind and dil costs-people rage about grind.

You want to know what happens when you encourage bad behavior? Did you guys honestly think the starbase would be the end of the incessant grind? The end of trying to suck every last dollar from the player base? It really started with lockboxes. Then the Starbase, even those of you who hate lockboxes, for some reason defended every negative thing I had to say about the starbase grind. Fanboys to the end.

Look at the progressiveness of this game. At one time dilithium was easy to get, too easy maybe sure. However, since you can refine a finite amount of dilithium I don't see a problem with it being easy to get. They nerfed Kerrat, making it impossible to farm dilithium there. They made the contraband turn in mission almost useless by upping it to 4 hours and increasing the cost. They've added the Fleet Ship Modules and making fleet ships single toon instead of account wide, they've added lockboxes with keys you have to pay for, they've added doff packs you have to buy from the zen store and include a small chance to get a ship from.. for one toon. Starbases to sink dil and resources into it. Embassies and Personal upgrades now that are going to cost dil and grinding time as well.

I look at the forum and I see all you guys QQing over the dilithium costs saying that the zen prices are going to plummet. Of course they are, you buy ZEN with your credit cards, they want zen to be worthless, the more zen you have to convert into precious dilithium the more money they make. Seriously you could have been proactive instead of trolls when I first brought up the starbase grind and costs. None of you have any right to start complaining now. You fed the money monster.
Captain
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,631
# 737
10-24-2012, 04:57 PM
I couldn't agree more.

Only you have to add people were actually promised new content for them throwing money at the game and if they hadn't the servers would already have gone dark.

It's not fair to blame the players alone I think

First thing I read about season 7 was "all new content!!!11!one" from that it was kind of hard to picture they'd dismantle all the rewards on stf and reset every player in the game PLUS 1600 % up the cost.
Empire Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 175
# 738
10-24-2012, 05:31 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by aarons9 View Post
wow some forum mod is merging so many unrelated posts into this one its impossible to follow along anymore.. why dont we close this an start a new one?
its called sweeping it under the rugg so new players wont find it and be discuraged
If only they fix Cloaking bugg *new message BOOM decloacked.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,642
# 739
10-24-2012, 05:45 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by malan29 View Post
Levi3 and I both complained that the starbase grind was out of control. The dilithium costs, the doff costs, the fleet mark costs. Grind upon grind upon grind. The majority of the community, for the folks at home-that's you guys, told us everything is fine and the starbases are perfect the way they are.

Okay.

Then they come out with outrageous dil costs for doffing-doffers rage.
Embassies and Omega costing outrageous grind and dil costs-people rage about grind.

You want to know what happens when you encourage bad behavior? Did you guys honestly think the starbase would be the end of the incessant grind? The end of trying to suck every last dollar from the player base? It really started with lockboxes. Then the Starbase, even those of you who hate lockboxes, for some reason defended every negative thing I had to say about the starbase grind. Fanboys to the end.

Look at the progressiveness of this game. At one time dilithium was easy to get, too easy maybe sure. However, since you can refine a finite amount of dilithium I don't see a problem with it being easy to get. They nerfed Kerrat, making it impossible to farm dilithium there. They made the contraband turn in mission almost useless by upping it to 4 hours and increasing the cost. They've added the Fleet Ship Modules and making fleet ships single toon instead of account wide, they've added lockboxes with keys you have to pay for, they've added doff packs you have to buy from the zen store and include a small chance to get a ship from.. for one toon. Starbases to sink dil and resources into it. Embassies and Personal upgrades now that are going to cost dil and grinding time as well.

I look at the forum and I see all you guys QQing over the dilithium costs saying that the zen prices are going to plummet. Of course they are, you buy ZEN with your credit cards, they want zen to be worthless, the more zen you have to convert into precious dilithium the more money they make. Seriously you could have been proactive instead of trolls when I first brought up the starbase grind and costs. None of you have any right to start complaining now. You fed the money monster.
I laughed when you posted this - and thought back to a thread I made at the end of June called "Starbases - The beginning of the End"
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,642
Took me like 10 posts in the blog thread but he finally answered the Elephant in the room question for me:


Originally Posted by levi3
Which new STF gives 480 dilth? I am still waiting to hear what they will pay.


DShahl:


Ok, just checked with the designers and here is what they've done for Season 7

- Normal STFs now reward 240 Dilithium + Omega Marks
- Elite STFs now reward 480 Dilithium + Omega Marks + Borg Commodity for MKXII Sets
- Fleet Actions now reward 960 Dilithium (1st place Gold gets 2x this = 1920 Dilithium)

In Season 7, Fleet Actions will now become the best source of Dilithium between the two types of Events.

In addition Fleet Actions will now have better rewards in general
Gold = Purple + 1920 Dilithium
Silver = Purple + 960 Dilithium
Bronze = Blue + 960 Dilithium
All others = Green + 960 Dilithium

In addition, at max level in the Omega Fleet a repetable project unlocks that converts Omega Marks to Dilithium at a rate of 50 marks to 500 dilithium or thereabouts.

The new Red Alert daily in the New Romulus Sector also rewards 480 Dilithium in addition to Rom marks.

All of this could change before Season 7 hits, but that is what the current plan is.

Last edited by levi3; 10-24-2012 at 06:02 PM.
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