Former PWE Community Team Lead
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 9,046
In this week's episode of Podcast UGC, Lead Designer Al "CaptainGeko" Rivera stops by to chat about STO and answer community submitted questions.


Link to the interview.
Brandon "BranFlakes" Felczer | Former Community Team Lead for Perfect World Entertainment
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 190
# 2
03-07-2013, 01:33 PM
LOL, I heard the first question as "If there was an update with Robin Williams, what would it have?"

That...Would...Be...Epic...
Rihannsu
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,541
# 3
03-07-2013, 02:00 PM
I have noticed there are some in the PVP Message board area that appear to be upset with some comments that Al has made. I'm wondering if perhaps Mr. Rivera should find some time to address this.

I Don't personally feel that he believes all PVPers are "14 year olds with too much time on their hands." as I've been witnessing taken out of context from the original interview.

There are also concerns I have been witnessing about some of the Beam vs. Cannon statements he made that does make it seem like perhaps he's not as familiar with the current meta in Star Trek Online. He states that Beams are fine as they are. And he went so far as to say that "You just need to put more points into Electro Plasma Systems" in reference to making Beams more Viable. When there have been tests and information performed that makes that statement feel as if he is not as informed as he should be in the position that he is in.

All in all, how ever, the Interview was informative. I just get the feeling he might have caused some harm in the way the players who are involved in the Player vs. Player part of the game, as well as the Min/Maxing areas are concerned with some of what he said, and could improve the situation by at least giving a clarification to help reduce any of the ways that his statements were taken the wrong way.

Because letting the hate continue to stew could lead to avenues I don't think any of us want to walk down.
You think that your beta test was bad?
Think about this:
American Football has been in open beta for 144 years. ~Kotaku
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 826
# 4
03-07-2013, 02:08 PM
He already addressed his comments on another thread which I think a lot of things were taken out of context from the interview just for an excuse to rage on as usual. He was chuckling half the time as well. Besides we know the buck stops with DStahl anyways... everyone has opinions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by crypticgeko View Post
So if I make them better, can I get a raise?


There is no plan to Nerf Cannons. NONE!

The question I was asked was basically "my beams are not as good as cannons, can you make them better".

My feeling is that beams are fine. They are WAD and don't need to be made better. The outlier are the cannons, and, in a perfect world (see what I did there), I would bring cannon power drain in line with beams instead of making beams more powerful. The analogy I was suggesting is that if everything good, and one thing is OP, its healthier for the game to bring the OP item down in line with all the other items instead of raising all items to the level of the one OP item.

My comment was suggesting the question should evaluate what the real problem is.

I meant no subtext to suggest if enough players complained, there would be justification to nerf cannons.

Again, we have no plans to nerf cannons in any way. I cant make it any more clear than that.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,922
# 5
03-07-2013, 02:11 PM
<comment retracted>
KBF Lord MalaK
Awoken Dead

You're gonna upgrade my Chel Grett for FREE but charge me $27 to upgrade my Kamarag ?

Last edited by lordmalak1; 03-07-2013 at 02:19 PM.
Survivor of Romulus
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 389
# 6
03-07-2013, 05:21 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by webdeath View Post
I have noticed there are some in the PVP Message board area that appear to be upset with some comments that Al has made. I'm wondering if perhaps Mr. Rivera should find some time to address this.

I Don't personally feel that he believes all PVPers are "14 year olds with too much time on their hands." as I've been witnessing taken out of context from the original interview.

There are also concerns I have been witnessing about some of the Beam vs. Cannon statements he made that does make it seem like perhaps he's not as familiar with the current meta in Star Trek Online. He states that Beams are fine as they are. And he went so far as to say that "You just need to put more points into Electro Plasma Systems" in reference to making Beams more Viable. When there have been tests and information performed that makes that statement feel as if he is not as informed as he should be in the position that he is in.

All in all, how ever, the Interview was informative. I just get the feeling he might have caused some harm in the way the players who are involved in the Player vs. Player part of the game, as well as the Min/Maxing areas are concerned with some of what he said, and could improve the situation by at least giving a clarification to help reduce any of the ways that his statements were taken the wrong way.

Because letting the hate continue to stew could lead to avenues I don't think any of us want to walk down.
not so much saying they are 14 years old but acting like there 14 years old, because that's what it seems like some do even in PvE you get someone in a STFs blaming another player for not getting optional when in reality it was the person blaming others that thinks team is spelled with an "I" the same applies in PvP its not only a 1v1 but it deals with team play as well IE capture the flag but you have one go off and do there own thing then blames the rest of the team for the loss.
Captain
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,066
# 7
03-07-2013, 08:32 PM
I'm really disappointed Cryptic practically has no plans with the rest of the canon ships. They could at least use them as a skin for the new projects they have planned.
The Somraw, K'tinga, D'Kyr, D7, Kumari, Xindi carrier, Xindi escort, and the T'Varo are all older than the Constitution Refit and yet they are tier 5. The Constellation is made up primarily of Connie refit parts and it is tier 5, there is no logical reason whatsoever for the no tier 5/6 connie rule.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 902
# 8
03-07-2013, 11:39 PM
Al replies to one question that, despite having no real connection to the guy asking it, I feel compelled to reply to- because he gets the intent of the question TOTALLY WRONG in his answer, and while his reasoning is logically sound if you were to have asked a different question- the guy didn't ask a different question.

In detail, I'm referring to the question about de-coupling ship skins with ship abilities/powers/layouts.

So the question was like "What if you could make it so that ships of similar size could swap costumes, provided you own all the relevant pieces."

AL's response quickly jumped the rails to talk about how this would be a really bad idea because players would not be able to self-justify spending 25$ to *only* buy a ship console, with no ship attached, and he and the UGC team then spent fifteen minutes discussing why selling consoles independent of ships would be bad, why bundles actually make money, and why if you could make the ship configuration/costume you like, you'd never buy anything ever again.



And throughout it all, I'm going WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG, WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG. YOU'RE WRONG. YOU'RE WRONG. YOU'RE WRONG.




So how about we make this easier to understand.

I think the question Al believed he was answering was "What if you just sold ship components independent of a cohesive ship- like you could buy the special console, you could buy points to spend on boff slots, console slots, and buy costumes separately?"

In this sense, if you could just build your ideal ship from base components, and slap whatever costume you want on it- yes I agree, players would build what they want, and this system would cause Cryptic to lose money because after the initial purchase players would have "all the pieces" to be forever content mixing and matching.


THIS IS, HOWEVER, NOT THE QUESTION THE USER ASKED.

The question the user asked was what if a ship, as defined by the stats of the ship, was able to 'put on a visual skin' of other ships of that size category, that were owned.


So for example, Cryptic has already done something like this i n game: The mirror universe RA ships. Each one has a costume from a different ship in the same size category, but the same stats- the mirror universe star cruiser looks like an assault cruiser. So it is a 'star cruiser' stats, wearing an assault cruiser costume.


The question is thusly- what if this was not a hard ship specific thing with the occasional variant, but instead a player choice. What if players could pick their selection of similar size vessels they have *purchased* and put those skins on the stat/mechanics end of a ship they have *Purchased*?




Which thus follows the user's proposed 'more sales' as follows:


A new ship comes out. It is sold as basically a 'bundle' and NOOOOOOOT as individual parts.


We'll call it the Gecko Class for simplicity.

Okay, so the Gecko has a relatively unique boff layout, and a unique-ish console layout that scores points with the players for providing options they might not have had before with that boff layout and console layout- and stats- as they interact. Maybe it's a science/cruiser hybrid of some sort with an engineering/science focus, more hull, and a unique console.

It comes with the 'ship', and unlocks a 'Gecko Class Science Cruiser' costume.

So in all regard's it's a normal ship.


However a player who happens to really like the costume but doesn't care for the boff layout or the unique console, might buy it. He can then apply the 'Gecko Class Science Cruiser' costume to his Fleet Heavy Cruiser Retrofit ship.


This is what would make the more money- de-coupling ship stats from ship costumes, but not SELLING THEM SEPARATELY. Then all the reasons a player might have to purchase a ship currently STILL APPLY- but you also have an added condition- a player who is CURRENTLY HAPPY with his stuff, but really likes the costume might go and buy that entire ship JUST for the costume. Similarly, a player who likes the stat but not the costume and is detail oriented enough that the costume is a deal breaker for him, might go and buy that ship knowing he can stick a different costume on it.





EDIT: This thing is a sort of 'diversionary answer' that I've seen Cryptic do before- take a question, then pretend that it's actually a different but related question, and then answer the second question while never actually addressing the first.


For example, back in Season 5 or 6, an Ask Cryptic had a user ask why Encrypted Data Chips couldn't be account bound. The Cryptic answer was "Encrypted Data Chips can't be account bound because if we made them account bound players could abuse the free lobi they get when they make an account to make a million accounts, send the free lobi to their 'main', and buy everything in the lobi store."

The question in question wasn't even about Lobi, but somewhere in the middle of answering it was lotted in the with Lobi answer- while the Lobi answer would be sensible if the question had been "Make Lobi account bound"- that's not what the user asked.


Now I do understand that a lot of the answers we get are actually sort of multi-part where you're replying to unlisted questions, or trying to cover an area at once- and that's okay as long as you don't end up giving a really dumb answer to a legitimate question in the process. If a user asks why reward currency A can't be account bound, your answer should be about reward currency A. If you need to provide commentary on reward currency B, by all means do so, but do so separately. But please don't try to tell us that Data Chips can't be account bound because players could use free lobi to buy everything in the lobi store. It does nothing but make people angry.

Last edited by illcadia; 03-08-2013 at 01:53 AM.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,939
# 9
03-08-2013, 02:08 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by illcadia View Post
In detail, I'm referring to the question about de-coupling ship skins with ship abilities/powers/layouts.

(snip)

if you could make the ship configuration/costume you like, you'd never buy anything ever again.

(snip)

And throughout it all, I'm going WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG, WRONG WRONG WRONG WRONG. YOU'RE WRONG. YOU'RE WRONG. YOU'RE WRONG.
How is he wrong ?
Sure , if I could the Tactical Oddy's stats on my Galaxy , I'd buy an Oddy in a heart beat ... -- but I would not buy any more Fed cruisers .

Cryptic's income depends on me (and many others) buying more ships .
It's what they do . It's what they sell .
So they make it that I can't mix'n'match because they want to sell me more stuffs down the road , thus I'm left with a hope of some day getting a decent Galaxy .

Am I happy with it ? In the sense that I've got a gimped Galaxy -- not so much .
But when I pvp , at least I know that I'm facing a Galaxy or a Defiant and not an Oddy in Galaxy skin , or a Bug in a Defiant skin .

What I would appreciate would be making account wide access to the unique bridges that we own .
That breaks no game rules (AFAIK) , and it would help out the RP community a bit as well .
No one at Cryptic cares if I put the TOS bridge on my Defiant , so they should not care if I put a Marauder bridge on it as well .
"We're not mad at Angry Birds, and we're not trying to defend the universe from Angry Birds. Although you might want to consider defending yourself from Angry Birds. If you aren't paying for the app, you aren't a customer, you're the product ."

- former CIA, NSA chief Michael Hayden -- your guide to F2P ...
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 902
# 10
03-08-2013, 03:18 AM
But those other concerns... are just that: other concerns. The logic he used to provide his answer holds up to a question other than the question that was asked- which is the point of my comment. Yes, not knowing what you're actually facing is a completely valid point.

But saying that people would not pay 25$ to buy a standalone console isn't a valid point because that's not what the person asked or implied in the first place.


And again, Cryptic has already done something like this with the mirror ships, so we know that it's possible to do, and that it actually makes them money- or else they wouldn't be doing it.


I guess what I'm saying is that you should actually reply to the actual words that were spoken, if you cite a specific question.


If a user says "could you make it so I could swap the costume on my star cruiser with the costume from the regent?" then replying to that might look something like "We could, but it would make identifying the actual ship you're flying difficult in PVP, and that might cause issues"

That's a real and on topic answer to what was asked.

However if you answered instead "Deflectors don't come with [sdc]x3 because it would be too unbalanced", that's an answer that isn't an answer to the question that was asked. It's internally logical- deflectors don't come with sdcx3 because it would be unbalanced- but it has nothing to do with the actual cited question.




Anywaways, I'd expect that if they ever implemented this sort of thing as proposed, it would be size and hull shape-ish stuff. So you might be able to swap between 'big long' cruisers, like the oddy, the sovereign, or the star cruiser. Or the short big cruisers, like the Galaxy, Ambassador, or fleet heavy cruiser retrofit, to give some examples.


We're already in a game where there are a number of different boff layout options for ships that are visually identical- most notable in the MVAM/advanced escorts, but also present in other ships. Beyond knowing that you're fighting a cruiser, or an escort, or the like- and if it's a big or small one, that isn't too much to adapt to.

I mean, of course it's change, and change is always bad right? But I don't think it'd be too hard to look at the buffs running on your opponent and go "Well gee, he can cloak and has a bunch of tac skills, and he's in an aquarius looking ship- he's probably actually a fleet tactical retrofit- I mean if that sort of thing actually matters to you.

For me, I'd probably go "Well gee, he's running two copies of tac team, torp spread 3 and beam overload 3, that means he's either running a fleet tac retrofit, a mirror patrol escort, an aquarius, a fleet saber retro or any of the other little dinky escorts with the CMDR/LTC tactical boff seating. Ultimately the little details there aren't derived from what his ship looks like- they're derived from being able to see what powers he's using



EDIT: Also, wrt to 'I'd buy the new ship and then never buy anything else'- uh, exactly what do you mean by that? I mean, how is that any different from what you're doing now? You have a ship you like, but you don't like the costume. The stats are perfect but the costume sucks. How does that give you incentive to buy a new ship with different stats and a costume? Like how does that interact at all?

I mean I agree that if I could buy a ship that came with a costume I wanted to use for a different ship, I would buy it. I would then use that costume on my existing ship.


However, I contest that this would predispose me towards not purchasing any more ships- if something new and cool with a cool layout comes out, I would probably buy it. If something with a cool costume or other visual options came out, I would probably buy it.


But if it didn't have anything to attract me to buy it in the first place... nothing has changed compared to how it works now.

That's the logical disconnect I keep running into and having difficulty with- if a ship doesn't have anything to entice you to buy it, why would you buy it in the first place?

I would think you wouldn't- but your argument implies that if you couldn't change the costume on the ship you prefer to fly, you would somehow be compelled to buy new ships, even if you hated everything about them.



How does that even work?



EDIT2: to use your own example: What if the Galaxy you want came out next week? By your own logic, you would never buy anything from Cryptic ever again. Ergo, it is in Cryptic's best interest to never release new ships, because players might like them and never buy anything ever again.... wait.

Last edited by illcadia; 03-08-2013 at 03:26 AM.
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