This thread is about trying to explain to cryptic that the players find something lacking in the current grind setup of the game along with the narrow focus on the content that the Devs desire us to play and the style that we use to play it. I disagree with that philosophy and really think Cryptic is missing the mark with the new content and design decisions.
Season 6 was amazing, it introduced the new STFs which are extremely well done. The Doff system which is amazing. The new direction however is very lacking. I swear this game is a success in spite of the changes, not because of. At times I have difficulty with words when trying to get my point across. However I do recognize when others eloquently use words to express the ideas I agree with. I urge the entire team at cryptic to read these links along with the details I will place here.
snip from stoleviathan99
You need people educated in customer satisfaction strategies to make that a co-equal focus with systems, art, content, etc. If nothing else, to wear a different hat and say, "How will this impact the player?" But ideally armed with behavioral psychology, pertinent questions, and studies and analysis based on more than just staring at numbers looking for patterns.
Above all, asking, "How do we make the game that people want to play?" and not, "How do we make people play the game the way we want them to?"
Does that mean letting them exploit clickies? Heck, no. But a clickie exploiter has a desire. You find the desire and exploit it with a strategy. Maybe they like repetitive action. Maybe the activities they enjoy playing are not linked to or consistent with the rewards they want.
Somebody playing a clickie wants something. Dilithium. A weapon. A ship. A costume. And they want to use that in the game somewhere. Maybe they want to spend more time PvPing or more time posing in their new costume on the fleet starbase. Maybe they want to play a big Foundry mission but want to get the reward they think the mission deserves first so they can play that mission with the new guns they want. Maybe they only want to play at length once a month. And the clickie lets them do what they want to do when they get around to playing and lets them avoid doing what they don't want to do.
Every exploiter wants something. You find out what it is they want and offer it attractively in a legitimate way. Shutting them down is just herding them like cattle towards things they don't want to do. You miss out on figuring out what they DO want to do when you just close an exploit.
Designers should not be determining how people play but should be figuring out how to serve the ways people DO want to play.
snip from Heretic (former Dev)
What does this mean for developers?
Listening closely to the source of the pain ? and happiness ? of either an executive or player is incredibly important and should not be ignored. What is particularly useful is focusing on the symptoms, and using those as a starting point towards crafting a solution. For the solution, certainly take any ideas, even crazy ideas that are outside the box, and don?t be afraid to take pieces from here and pieces from there. Ultimately, the designer?s job is not to come up with the best idea, but to identify the best ideas and merge them Frankenstein-like into an amalgamated design.
snip from D3
Explaining our design goals for certain features and stating that one of those goals happens to be "make it fun" -- or even saying something as bold as "we think this new system is pretty fun" -- is not same thing as defining what the word "fun" means to you.
We know that the definition of "fun" varies from player to player, and we're certainly not trying to suggest that our definition is better than anyone else's. What we are trying to do is create an enjoyable game. Different players have different play styles, though, so there may be times when we think something is fun that you do not. And while may not always see eye-to-eye on the fun/not fun level, more often than not we're willing to make changes and work with the community so that what we find fun is also what you find fun.
snip from Cryptic CEO
By the way, this is something I absolutely love about the free-to-play model. It means that it's on us (and all developers who dabble in free gaming) to make great games that people want to play day in and day out. I'm not trying to figure out how to get subscriptions for the next month or two or three... I don't care. I'm focused instead on making a quality game that people enjoy. That is my fixation. Believe me, I was a subscription die-hard who had choice words for F2P, but the methodology behind quality free gaming design totally converted me. I see what it's done to Star Trek Online and, believe it or not, 'that game is much bigger than City of Heroes ever was at its peak! And that's due entirely to how we approach free-to-play gaming -- how we commit to providing an option for players who don't want to pay, period.
Power to the player. The players are struggling with the fleet grind, especially small fleets. Find a solution other than for them to get over it or for them to become a mega fleet. Rebalance rewards so players can get rewarded for what they want to do. If they hate STFs they should not be forced into them for advancement. If they hate tagging space bunnies then same as above. And finally rebalance ships and abilities so one style does get complete content twice as fast as the others.