Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 121
07-25-2010, 10:14 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Combadge
Maybe you can explain this a bit more, because I'm confused as to how exactly the C-Store helps offset costs in this situation. Maybe if you had said "..provides an opportunity to generate additional revenue we otherwise wouldn't have access to..", the statement would have made more sense. But offset costs? I'm confused. Let's talk about your example:

First, the artists are working on salary, so it's not like the C-Store funds are used to pay out some overtime fund that compensates these artists for working on the Excelsior during non-work hours. Maybe you're suggesting the C-Store funds go towards buying the artists involved some pizzas for working after-hours, but that would have to be one expensive pizza bill to justify the extra money the C-Store sale is generating.

Second, when you place the artists on a C-Store project, you're removing them from working on non-C-Store content (that is, "free" content you consider part of our monthly subscriptions). So, in essence, the more C-Store projects an artists works on, the less "free" content they're able to generate for us. So, in the end it seems like we get less free content, but additional C-Store content, and Cryptic gets more money, and we lose more money. I can definitely see how that's a win for Cryptic, but not for us.

The only real way I can see the C-Store offsetting costs is if you're in a situation where your budget can only allow you to have X artists on the STO live team, but thanks to the C-Store revenue you're able to have X+1 artists instead. But, in that case I would imagine the extra artist would have to be working exclusively on C-Store content to justify the cost of his position (at which point both players and Cryptic are at least breaking even, as they spend more money to get more content without losing any in the process). Is that what you're trying to say?
geez... i ve been trying to explain this in several posts now...i m glad someone else got this and wrote it in plain english...

unfortunately... there s only one team working both for the C store and core game content... you right it s a win win for only one party.

knowing this...one could conclude that if there was no C store items we would have more content included into our subscription fee( i don t call this free either...) but Cryptic would not make much money...if at all...i m still intrigued to know if the C store policy is due to greed or just a necessity to keep the boat afloat...Mr Stahl use the word surviving twice in a recent interview when talking about STO in the MMO market...

Once again if this would be a free 2 play MMO they could sell whatever they want in the C store, i would totally understand however when you charge full price for an unfinished product (once again Mr Stahl has the objective to bring STO at the one year mark where it should have been at launch) it s difficult to accept that some dev work is put toward the C store while the core is in such need for improvement and content.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 122
07-25-2010, 10:23 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Venatici
.... the objective to bring STO at the one year mark where it should have been at launch.....
says it all.

.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 123
07-25-2010, 10:29 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Venatici
geez... i ve been trying to explain this in several posts now...i m glad someone else got this and wrote it in plain english...

unfortunately... there s only one team working both for the C store and core game content... you right it s a win win for only one party.

knowing this...one could conclude that if there was no C store items we would have more content included into our subscription fee( i don t call this free either...) but Cryptic would not make much money...if at all...i m still intrigued to know if the C store policy is due to greed or just a necessity to keep the boat afloat...Mr Stahl use the word surviving twice in a recent interview when talking about STO in the MMO market...
I have not idea if this is what is going on but ...

C-Store = another forum of income.

Money generated from that can be tossed into developing more items for it as it as money from it can be diverted to pay for development of more items for the store.

Money Made from C-Store = Extra Hours To Develop ... for the store.

Right now, I get the impression that STO's primary development is having to work hard to meet the needs of the game.

That means the general money from our subscriptions are likely going into paying for the development of that content .... which includes bug fixes, new missions and other free content introduced in game.

However, there is only so much development time from that allotted pot.

The C-store offers another avenue of income which has a different pot that can pulled from to develop content ... but that content would have to be for the C-store.

Why aren't they one pot? ... I'm guessing they have to be kept separate as they are separate divisions.

Remember ... DSTAHL has commented that he can make recommendations on prices, etc., to the C-store folks but they do not fall under him.

This tells me they are separate and so .... to create what the community wants as extras for the game ... they are tapping the C-store allotted resources to give us (the players) what we want, but those items have to go into the store because that is what the allotted resources were for.

Just as the old saying goes about there being only 24 hours in a day, the same can be said about developmental resources (or such is my guess).

Right now, they have found a way to put a couple of extra hours into the day, but that day technically belongs to another department.

However ... the end result is the same ... We the players get to play with these toys in game instead of watching the be constantly moved further down the list by bugs, etc.

If you ever wonder why they develop those ships for the c-store instead of squashing bugs ... it is likely because C-store resources are ultimately earmarked for c-store items, etc, ... and cannot be moved completely from it.

Honestly ... It shows an effort and juggling of resources to get players what they want ... as not only do you get a refitted Galaxy, Defiant and Intrepid with their abilities ... but you are also getting an Excelsior and Nebula on top of it.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 124
07-25-2010, 10:32 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Venatici
knowing this...one could conclude that if there was no C store items we would have more content included into our subscription fee( i don t call this free either...) but Cryptic would not make much money...if at all...i m still intrigued to know if the C store policy is due to greed or just a necessity to keep the boat afloat...Mr Stahl use the word surviving twice in a recent interview when talking about STO in the MMO market...
Again, there is no such thing as a free lunch. The C-store contributes to losing customers, and spreads very bad word of mouth about Cryptic. No one has the data, not even Cryptic (because they have no control to see what things would look like without a C-store, and the long term damage to their rep cannot be derived by an equation), but I wouldn't be surprised if the C-store is losing Cryptic more money than it is gaining, especially in the long run.

Thinking the the C-store is making money is kind of like thinking that raising the sub price to 25 dollars would make Cryptic money (it wouldn't, everybody would just leave the game), again there are *always* negative repercussions, and figuring out if the positive outweighs the negative can be very difficult.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 125
07-25-2010, 10:45 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by moonseye View Post
I have not idea if this is what is going on but ... ....
well, at least you're a positive thinker

.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 126
07-25-2010, 11:07 AM
At least you're right about one thing, 'C-Store = another forum of income. ' Now hypothesize this, suppose everyone wants the c-store gone (which isn't that much of a stretch atm) and it's taken down. Now suppose everyone wants additional content, more costumes ships bridges (everything on the c-store) + more. Now it make take longer to get done but eventually it'll be finished same as always as like any developer Cryptic has either two choices, satisfy the needs of their subscribers or lose them. Course without a C-store, they lose any chance of making any additional income from these items.

Now also hypothesize this, suppose we paid $15 dollars a month to play this game. Now over a course of 4 months that should roughly equate to a new game. Now do people expect enough content to generate a new game every 4 months? Generally no, though most people do expect additional content, not with an ever increasing amount going towards making you pay a premium.

Now as others have said, were this completely free to play, there'd be no problem with the c-store. However restricting paying -essentially costumers - from use of content without having them pay additional is a bit of a, well lets leave it at that. Maybe the gaming industry is all really going to hell with their new strategum of releasing unfinished games and making people pay for DLCs. Though I wonder how'd they'd fare if people just gave up on gaming altogether.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 127
07-25-2010, 11:13 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Combadge
Maybe you can explain this a bit more, because I'm confused as to how exactly the C-Store helps offset costs in this situation. Maybe if you had said "..provides an opportunity to generate additional revenue we otherwise wouldn't have access to..", the statement would have made more sense. But offset costs? I'm confused. Let's talk about your example:

First, the artists are working on salary, so it's not like the C-Store funds are used to pay out some overtime fund that compensates these artists for working on the Excelsior during non-work hours. Maybe you're suggesting the C-Store funds go towards buying the artists involved some pizzas for working after-hours, but that would have to be one expensive pizza bill to justify the extra money the C-Store sale is generating.

Second, when you place the artists on a C-Store project, you're removing them from working on non-C-Store content (that is, "free" content you consider part of our monthly subscriptions). So, in essence, the more C-Store projects an artists works on, the less "free" content they're able to generate for us. So, in the end it seems like we get less free content, but additional C-Store content, and Cryptic gets more money, and we lose more money. I can definitely see how that's a win for Cryptic, but not for us.

The only real way I can see the C-Store offsetting costs is if you're in a situation where your budget can only allow you to have X artists on the STO live team, but thanks to the C-Store revenue you're able to have X+1 artists instead. But, in that case I would imagine the extra artist would have to be working exclusively on C-Store content to justify the cost of his position (at which point both players and Cryptic are at least breaking even, as they spend more money to get more content without losing any in the process). Is that what you're trying to say?

Yep you got it. Fluff items in the C-store would not be available in game today and would have to wait until much later time to be released. There are only so many projects a fixed staff can accomplish in a given time. Then a forum poster says I would pay extra to have fluff items today would that be possible? Only if we were to create a self-funding C-store.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 128
07-25-2010, 11:38 AM
I'd like to up the stakes a bit again:


Quote:
Originally Posted by J-Sheridan
For anyone curious about how the C-Store works according to Zinc:
Quote:
I asked how the company justifies their C-Store and was told by Zinkievich that "if we didn't have that revenue from the C-Store, items in the C-Store wouldn't get made" and that the store allows items to be completed and made available to players more quickly.

C-Store items generate income to make more C-Store items
Anyone claiming buying from the C-Store supports the game for everyone = NOPE

What I do find insanely stupid here is the fact Cryptic must be investing SUBSCRIPTION fees to build the C-Store items in the first place.

YAY !
Those that dont buy from the C-STORE are still paying for OTHERs to get items to buy from the C-Store. Thank you Zinky for honestly pointing out EXACTLY the situation here.

If people are already supporting the creation of C-Store items through their subscription fees then why not just raise the fees and let everyone get it free ?
Nah, we want to look good in the MMO market so instead we will raid our customer wallets while using other customers to pay for it.

Result: PROFIT

Quote:
...and that the store allows items to be completed and made available to players more quickly.
The store allows items to be made for who... the rest of us ?

So wait, the C-Store generates income to make content for the C-Store which generates income to make items faster for the rest of us ?

Am I missing something or does that seem completely ******n stupid, even more so when it shoots any complaint against raising the fees down.

If Cryptic need more cash to keep content coming out for the basic game then clearly the current fee price isnt enough. Relying on the C-Store for it when the C-Store is designed to fuel itself... is stupid. It means Cryptic are going to continue adding more and more garbage on the store which will continue to increase beyond cosmetic because if they dont... they dont generate enough to keep the NON C-Store stuff going.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 129
07-25-2010, 11:43 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by dstahl View Post
I'm not sure who ever said that... but I'm certainly on record as stating that the C-Store is one way for our team to justify additional resources to get fan requested one-off items into the game.

Most (if not all) assets used in the game come directly from our content needs.

For example - we have a new sector opening up, we need new a new villain group, they need their ships, their costumes, their interiors, exteriors ... etc..etc..etc... and perhaps they have special weapons or what have you...

So our team is focused on making all of that stuff... but then people ask us... "hey can we have the Excelsior pretty please?"

This leads to ... hmm.. we only have x number of ship artists... if we put it in the C-Store it will allow us to offset costs and get it to you sooner than later.

Otherwise... you'd end up waiting until we were making content that required an Excelsior ....

Thats how I view the picture... and I for one never forget that you are paying a subscription which is why our very humble small team works a ton of hours to continue to crank up updates.... "for free" (ie your subscription is paying for it)
If you guys had come out and said, you can pay to have it now, or wait 12 months to have it free, I'd have happily waited. We were also begging for the Excelsior from day one and we wound up with free cryptic designed ships... ships that you guys could have charged for. I wouldn't presume to speak for every player, but I would assume that a significant number of us would have preferred that the game released with a larger number of canon ships rather than the mix of canon and cryptic ships. But that's beating a dead horse, what's done is done.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 130
07-25-2010, 11:53 AM
One other thing worth adding, while I know some defend the C-Store, my thoughts are simply that the content there needs to be used to enrich the game. It's an investment in the product that the company makes to retain subscriptions and their life-time players. This translates into more of a long term form of thinking where by keeping the players happy you can keep the cash flowing in and sell additional expansions in time. The C-Store sadly is a stop to that where content is added and while some will spend money in it, the overall will more than likely grow tired of constantly having to shell out extra dough to enhance their game.

My original fleet is decimated, this fleet once contained a significant number of players whom have all gone off to other games. When I talk to any of them about STO one of their chief complaints is the C-Store. Yeah we all want these new ships, but you know, if I have to wait a while to get them free I will. I think the requests keep going up because we keep seeing Cryptic's ships being added... so if you're already making boats, why don't you take a little time to toss a few boats we want and just let us have them.

It's not our fault that the game came out in the state that it did and we know it's not yours either... that decision came from the top brass who are more interested in immediate profit. It's common everywhere. I would just hope that they see the impact being caused and the loss of potential long-term revenue from short-term gains.
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