Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 11
08-24-2010, 02:58 PM
B. The priority is a new game that won't make the same STO-like mistakes...It's also a plea to a skeptical public.


My reading of the tea leaves? His comments and the recent departure of two Cryptic leads sends a signal about Emmert's (renewed?) focus on making Cryptic a Tier-1 MMO developer rather than an also ran doing constant damage control.

I also don't read it as being thrown under the bus. STO will take years to achieve its potential. Right now it's still in a damage control state.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 12
08-24-2010, 03:01 PM
It's just all marketing speak to me you know? I mean, how many threads have each of us (I'm looking at you all above me here in this thread) been involved in where there were dozes, if not hundreds, of posts complaining about Cryptic's marketing speak? Or marketing tactics?

And I read that interview and that's all I see. More marketing speak.

I'm not all that invested in that kind of marketing speak. Those kinds of promises are kind of hollow to me. And not because of anything in the past. But because of what other information is out there about the present. (Not much). There's no game to compare the talk to. So it's just hype.

I mean, I can see your point about how that may not reflect well on the STO team. And it's a valid point. But for me it doesn't make a dent because it just sounds like hollow marketing talk. Hype being used to drum up some buzz for this D&D game.

But let's look at the past now shall we?

Statesman was dragged through quite a lot of mud in city of heroes by the playerbase. He took a beating in Champions. And now he's taking a swipe at the STO players, which will just bring him more grief.

Dungeons and Dragons is a rock solid Wizards of the Coast property right now. But it's been having a rough time of it in MMO-land.

DDO didn't have the fanbase or playerbase to support it through three years of subpar development.

Atari and Turbine still have a legal squabble don't they?

And because the fantasy genre is so over-done, and because Dungeons and Dragons sorta flopped the first time around ... I have three opinions on this new project:

1- They're probably trying to distance it from an MMO on purpose (either for legal squabble reasons, or to just not be associated with DDO at all)

2- The fanbase for Star Trek, even with subpar support and horrible mistakes, is still much larger and fanatical about this game than Neverwinter Whatever will ever be.

3- HOGWARTS Online would have been the better project for them to make than Neverwinter Whatever.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 13
08-24-2010, 03:02 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirkfat View Post
If Cryptic takes pleasure in the fact that the new game won't be like STO, then they're pretty much throwing all of us, and our dev team, under the bus.
I'll give you my thoughts on the subject as it is very near and dear to everyone on the STO development team.

I don't feel Jack is throwing the "team" under the bus. My take on his statement is that delivering an ambitious project in a short amount of time resulted in the reviews we received. Cryptic and the STO team are very proud of the amazing effort, overtime, and insane amount of work that went into shipping STO in the time we were given. The decisions about what needed to be in for launch, how many hours of content, and scope are all management lessons learned.

If anything, Cryptic has been listening to the STO team who have been saying give us more time to go back and address issues, focus more on quality, and take some of the pressure of the insane amount of features we've been driving to deliver. That is why you've heard me in interviews discussing the change in attitude about being honest with the state of the game, giving credit to the team for delivering the amount of updates we've managed to release, and generally being up front with where we are at in developing new features.

So from where I'm sitting, Cryptic is not throwing STO under the bus, but instead listening to the concerns of the team, and giving us the time and resources we need to begin addressing some of the bigger issues like Ground Combat, Sector Space, Exploration, PVP, and any other big issue that has been clearly called out in reviews.

The one bit I feel is the bitter sting is that the impression players had when the game launched has set in stone and despite fixes and updates and constant revisions to improve the game, players will continue to dump on STO regardless of how far we've come or where we are headed. That is unfortuante and something we all live with on a daily basis.

That isn't going to stop us from continuing to develop and drive this game to where you want it to be. We are even more commited to ensuring that the game is focused in the right areas and delivering the content and features you expect to be in the game and addressing the long standing issues you've continually called out.

In an economy where people are cancelling their cable subscriptions, and new MMOs are dying left and right, STO is actually doing good by comparison and we never forget that. I get bummed when I see fun games like APB release and immediately go into a struggle. We're all gamers here and enjoy a fun MMO as much as anyone else. We're lucky to have a game that people enjoy and continue to subscribe to.

That's my thoughts in a nutshell. Cryptic isn't abandoning or giving up on STO and in fact they are giving us the leeway to change for the better because they've learned from the launch of Champs and STO and that is why I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by the philosophy going into Neverwinter. I know I was happy to see the emphasis they are taking on quality and storytelling. That is where STO is now headed as well and I couldn't be more happy about that - especially as the new EP who gets to drive that change.

It won't happen overnight - but every day we will take steps to improve the game and add more stories to this wonderful universe.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 14
08-24-2010, 03:03 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirkfat View Post
It's also telling that the big new feature to be added to STO with season 3 is something they're developing for NWN: UGC.

We're getting a few bug fixes and some very sloppy seconds.
That was a given. We knew that. Even Coderanger when he talked about what he was working on was very specific to mention that it was for the company, not just one specific game.

Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 15
08-24-2010, 03:07 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by dstahl View Post
The one bit I feel is the bitter sting is that the impression players had when the game launched has set in stone and despite fixes and updates and constant revisions to improve the game, players will continue to dump on STO regardless of how far we've come or where we are headed. That is unfortuante and something we all live with on a daily basis.
You have a really valid point there. I myself get tired of reading about how this game launched incomplete.

It launched in February. We can't slingshot around the sun or hop into the guardian of forever portal. We can't go back to February and prevent it from launching incomplete.

All you can do on your end is make new things and fix old broken things. All we can do is play or not play.

So the "it launched incomplete" argument is a non-argument to me. And it gets tiresome reading it time and time again.

I may have a lot of criticism about some lingering bugs these days. But that's because I want the bugs fixed. I want the game moving forward.

Being stuck in "it launched ..." isn't going to move anything forward. I wish more people would see that. February's so many pages back in my calendar right now.

Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 16
08-24-2010, 03:08 PM
Interesting. And while I'm as cautious as Superchum up there, it makes for a good read to see both Jack and dstahl chime in on this topic.

Thanks to you both for providing your insight. And also for acknowledging the causes of the rockiness in STO's start.

I'll stop harping on the 'short dev cycle === BAD' thing now, the point has been made and apparently taken. ^_^ I'm gonna sit back and ponder this for a bit and see where this conversation goes.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 17
08-24-2010, 03:10 PM
I heart Dstahl, and I agree that the new direction of the game is really great.

It's just depressing, though, if one of the new selling points is contrasting the launch of NWN with the state of STO.

Please stress that this new design philosophy is being applied to all Cryptic games. Please stress how far STO has come.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 18
08-24-2010, 03:10 PM
The fact that an initial "complaint thread" pardon me if I'm wrong, has already been responded to by Jack on page one and Dsthal on page two is amazing...

I popped a bit of a chub seeing those names

my faith has been restored... for now

Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 19
08-24-2010, 03:10 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kirkfat View Post
I know most of you have probably read these comments in relation to the NWN announcement, but I'd like to discuss how they reflect on STO's dev team and STO's public image.

I have mixed feeling. On one hand, I really appreciate the honesty:

___________

On STO:

"Nothing was polished"

The game contains "hundreds of hours of mediocre (some would say even worse than mediocre) content."

"We ended up having lots of half-done features in some quarters."

"We made... STO in a year and a half."

"Super-fast [devopment time] doesn't mean super-good. And that's what the reviews said, that's what the players said."

Paraphrase: So yeah, we agree that the game deserved a D, and most of the player complaints regarding how sloppy, unfinished, and buggy this game is... well, they're true.

He goes on to define a new game design philosophy based on quality rather than mediocre, unpolished, and ill-conceived content. The new dev model is the opposite of the STO model, according to the boss.

source: http://www.massively.com/2010/08/23/...rwinter-and-a/

--------------

It's nice to see the boss being honest here about STO, but at the same time: What kind of message is it sending regarding STO now, and the work that the current STO team is doing?

It basically looks like the boss has given up on the game, asking the public to please realize that the same mistakes won't be made in the future (despite the same timeframe).

Paraphrase: "Yeah, sorry that STO sucks... please trust us in the future... I promise... we've learned from the mistakes of the STO team... it won't happen again... trust us... the new game won't be as bad as STO."

Can I really hope that this game has a future if:

A. The boss seems to be bad-mouthing the STO dev team and the game.
B. The priority is a new game that won't make the same STO-like mistakes.
C. He doesn't seem that interested in convincing people to give STO a second chance. He admits that some bugs have been fixed, almost grudgingly.
D. One of the selling points of the new game is: It won't be another STO!


It's comes close to an admission of defeat. It's also a plea to a skeptical public.

Perhaps it may help sell Neverwinter, but I don't see how it does much good for this community and this game. We've become the punching bag, the counter-example, and the ugly duckling.

If Cryptic takes pleasure in the fact that the new game won't be like STO, then they're pretty much throwing all of us, and our dev team, under the bus.

Thoughts?
having read first your thoughts, then the interview itself, and Jackalope's comment in this very thread, I honestly feel you've projected your own worry/negativity in to how your specific quotes sound in your post.

at no point are STO or CO described as having "hundreds of hours of mediocre (some would say even worse than mediocre) content." (i'd wager there'd be people who'd argue the game doesnt contain hundreds of hours of content, good or bad) and from the context of the interview that comment seems aimed at MMO's in general.

Quote:
Massively: We weren't expecting Neverwinter to be a cooperative RPG; we were expecting another MMO from you guys -- so why the sudden departure?

Jack Emmert: First of all, there's the IP itself. Neverwinter originally was more of a cooperative RPG, although it has an MMO accent, where players could set up their own servers and so forth. Nevertheless, predominantly, it was smaller groups of people. From our point of view, we just had to take a look at ourselves and kind of change the way we were doing things, and with the tools and the resources with our previous MMOs, we knew that Neverwinter had to be the highest possible quality, and we had to improve, dramatically, everything that we did. The best way to do that was to sort of change the style of gameplay so that the focus wasn't on hundreds of hours of mediocre (some would say even worse than mediocre) content, but instead create a rich story-driven multiplayer game. We want to make a great game -- the original Neverwinter is a true classic, and it's really important to hold to that standard.
another thing you mention is this "We made... STO in a year and a half."

in context

Quote:
[Pauses] Here's what we used to do. In order to maximize the ability and efficiency, we would schedule all our features in a waterfall fashion. At any given time, we'd say, test one element of ground combat in STO and say "yeah this is pretty fun," but we wouldn't actually have a chance to assess the whole package until really late in the game, practically before launch. Everything would magically come together. This worked very well with City of Heroes and City of Villains -- we made City of Heroes in about a year and a half, City of Villains in nine months. We made Champions in two years and STO in a year and a half, so we're an incredibly efficient studio, you obviously know -- there's no one in the industry that's as prolific as we are, it's not even close.

I do think there you may have read between the lines a little too much, and your choice of quotes out of their given context almost seem hand picked to incite dissent. Thats why i for one am glad you added the link to the article in question, and I would suggest people actually go and read that before making a judgement..

as always CONTEXT is the key factor in how specific phrases can be interpreted.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 20
08-24-2010, 03:10 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by dstahl View Post
I'll give you my thoughts on the subject as it is very near and dear to everyone on the STO development team.

I don't feel Jack is throwing the "team" under the bus. My take on his statement is that delivering an ambitious project in a short amount of time resulted in the reviews we received. Cryptic and the STO team are very proud of the amazing effort, overtime, insance amount of work that went into shipping STO in the time we were given. The decisions about what needed to be in for launch, how many hours of content, and scope are all management lessons learned.

If anything, Cryptic has been listening to the STO team who have been saying give us more time to go back and address issues, focus more on quality, and take some of the pressure of the insane amount of features we've been driving to deliver. That is why you've heard me in interviews discussing the change in attitude about being honest with the state of the game, giving credit to the team for delivering the amount of updates we've managed to release, and generally being up front with where we are at in developing new features.

So from where I'm sitting, Cryptic is not throwing STO under the bus, but instead listening to the concerns of the team, and giving us the time and resources we need to begin addressing some of the bigger issues like Ground Combat, Sector Space, Exploration, PVP, and any other big issue that has been clearly called out in reviews.

The one bit I feel is the bitter sting is that the impression players had when the game launched has set in stone and despite fixes and updates and constant revisions to improve the game, players will continue to dump on STO regardless of how far we've come or where we are headed. That is unfortuante and something we all live with on a daily basis.

That isn't going to stop us from continuing to develop and drive this game to where you want it to be. We are even more commited to ensuring that the game is focused in the right areas and delivering the content and features you expect to be in the game and addressing the long standing issues you've continually called out.

In an economy where people are cancelling their cable subscriptions, and new MMOs are dying left and right, STO is actually doing good by comparison and we never forget that. I get bummed when I see fun games like APB release and immediately go into a struggle. We're all gamers here and enjoy a fun MMO as much as anyone else. We're lucky to have a game that people enjoy and continue to subscribe to.

That's my thoughts in a nutshell. Cryptic isn't abandoning or giving up on STO and in fact they are giving us the leeway to change for the better because they've learned from the launch of Champs and STO and that is why I think you'll be pleasantly surprised by the philosophy going into Neverwinter. I know I was happy to see the emphasis they are taking on quality and storytelling. That is where STO is now headed as well and I couldn't be more happy about that - especially as the new EP who gets to drive that change.

It won't happen overnight - but every day we will take steps to improve the game and add more stories to this wonderful universe.
First and foremost, I must commend Jack and Dan for stepping into the pit on this one. That's more than I could say for some developers at other comapnies.

But I would pose to you guys both this question:

How do you expect the fans and players of STO to feel when you guys move forward with yet another project, while STO suffers in the state it is in?

The majority of us here in STO have no concern or care for NWN. We didn't buy STO and subscribe to it to help you guys develop another title, or to play another title.

We invested in STO!

I know, I know, this is an argument that every developer hears when they take on multiple projects, but most people don't see it in that way. And to be honest, I don't see it that way either.

My money is in STO, and therefore I want to know that STO is a priority, and not a testbed for another project. I want to know that you as a company are just as dedicated to your player base in THIS game as you are ito the playerbase of any other game you create.
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