We, the foundry authors, have taken a hit from the rest of the community, blamed for the vanishing quick foundry mission, but we are not responsible for the fashion (read: stupidity) in which this was done. People will cast blame when things go badly.
On the other hand, I don't think we can get overly upset at the rest of the community for the situation either; this was Cryptic being sloppy and shamelessly greedy. (I no longer distinguish between Cryptic and PWE--why bother?)
The attack (and I think it is fair to call it that) was on the ability to procure dilithium in-game by players without a cash transfer. Utterly foolish since this arrangement allowed players who would not or could not sink money into the game to encourage those who would to spend even more to get at this grind dilithium via the C store and what-not.
There is a far better way to control exploit missions and it has been halfway implemented already by their absurd "fix." If every foundry mission gave dil based on the number of steps so that an hour of foundry play produced about 1,000 dil, that would allow people to procure their dil if they put the time in and get real missions played.
Their "three 20-minute missions" will get you 1440 is a BS solution as very few missions are 20 minutes so a new breed of exploit will just arrive involving a dozen or so console clicks in the same location. Problem NOT solved, Foundry demonized and marginalized from the rest of the community even further.
Cryptic is not trying to make the game better at all--it never crosses their mind. They have locked themselves into a narrow "HOW DO WE GET OVER ON THEM?" mindset and I don't think STO will long survive it.
Perhaps that's for the best. Maybe, once this thing crashes and burns, another developer with a bit more vision and self-restraint will end up with the license.
It can tell average playtime. I can see a scenario where people whose missions clock in right at 20 minutes will be sliding back and forth between qualifying for the daily and not qualifying. Say a bunch of people play a mission properly (i.e. reading all the dialogue) and it comes it at a 20 minute average. Then a bunch of people see that it qualifies and they blow through it to get the daily done as fast as possible, thereby dropping the average below 20. Not what I'd call a great system. I'd say authors would be better off shooting for half an hour if they want it to consistently qualify.
As for why the Neverwinter system hasn't been fully implemented in STO, my guess would be because they want to see how that works in a live environment first, but that's just a guess.
@AJ, I think you're right, it's a half-measure. But I'm not personally upset with the community as a whole. I'm just disappointed in it. I really wish there were more people out there who don't need a reward to do something, who are just happy playing something that's quality Trek entertainment. Whoever made that joke a while back "I stopped watching Star Trek episodes on TV because I don't get any dilithium at the end" kind of hit upon the attitude of the forum goers. I find that sad. I'm just glad there are still lots of people out there who play just to play, as we can see from the fact that we all do get consistent plays on our missions, even if the majority of us do not get 10s of thousands of plays.
I don't believe this will be the case. Neverwinter will have the same "Play X number of UGC Missions for a reward" daily
I doubt that will be the case. UGC is quite integral to the NWN franchise, so I don't think that sort of daily would fly at all. As far as I know, half the reason people played the earlier NWNs was to enjoy player made content, not to just replay the SP game over and over.
NWN is already driving development of the Foundry in STO. The fact we can hide contacts is completely due to NWN, in my opinion. Before work was being done on NWN we were told how it's too hard to make contacts hidden. I can't remember where anymore, but at some point I remember posting that regardless of how hard it was, they'd better figure out how to do it, because not being able to hide contacts in NWN simply would not be acceptable. Look like I was right.
I think some people are missing some obvious things.
Number one, gamers are notorious for finding shortcuts and exploits, that's why there are websites full of walkthroughs, cheat codes and exploits for almost every game out there.
Number two, most people don't run the foundry daily to play foundry missions, they play it to get dilithium and fleet marks quickly. Like it or not the daily was left untouched for over a year and in that time the community learned to use it as a quick way to get rewards. It became especially popular w/ players who had little time, too many characters or were in small fleets. It's not what it was designed for but never the less that's what it evolved into, and there are people that will still try and find a way to keep it as a quick way of getting their dilithium and marks, while others will simply move on to easier methods of getting what they need.
Add the two together and what's likely to happen is that in about a month people will have figured out which qualified missions are closest to the hot social zones, easiest to run and take the least amount of time and THOSE will be the ones that get played over and over. In turn, other foundry authors will note what the popular missions are and try to replicate them in hopes to get some plays as well.
This isn't going to bring more exposure to the foundry and this isn't going to get those obscure, unknown authors out in the spotlight. It might at first, while people are still trying to find the simplest way to get their reward, but once a system has been established on how to finish the daily as fast as possible players will just fall under a routine.