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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 21
02-14-2011, 07:11 AM
Originally Posted by Green117 View Post
The reason why the need for so many marks is so high is to maintain a use for the C-Store. Some may wish this to be cheaper, or less grindworthy, fine. Cryptic wishes to continue to make money from this avenue and this has to be respected. They are a business after all, selling you, me and anyone else who is interested a product. Whether we wish to pay into this further is entirely up to the individual, as nothing has to be purchased in order to play the game. To get bitter and cynical about that leaves me scratching my head when you think its me that just doesn't get it, as you said.
I don't believe I ever said they shouldn't make money. I want them to continue to make money so they can continue to provide me with more stuff - this is not an issue. More to the point, even if they dropped it to 20 hours of work to get a ship, people would still buy it. 80 hours is beyond excessive.

However regardless of that, I did not ask for them to reduce the amount of hours to begin with. The bitterness and cynicism come from the fact that I can play almost any other game out there and not have to pay for things that are actual in-game items; and even the long grinds tend not to be this long. Keep in mind it only takes 40 hours roughly to cap out in STO - getting one ship takes double that.

To prove my point about the continued viability of the C-Store even if it were drastically reduced: People buy, routinely, costume packs in CO that one can acquire the pieces from by grinding. The grind for those pieces is only about 8 hours (dependent on character type). Nevertheless, people buy them. You don't think they do the same here?

Yes i am aware that life and gaming is two different things, yet similarities with both can be seen, if you can accept a change in words and meaning. For instance, i would love a new car, yet i know i can not right now afford one. I could save up over the next so-many-months or i could get a loan and effectively get it now. In some ways, again if you can distance yourself from the obvious words and meanings, you could see this as the C-Store. A place where you can have 90% of (ships) whats offered immediately for a price, or work and save towards getting it with other means.
I think you're missing my point here - You're trying to compare a very apples-and-oranges situation. Cars are an investment - if you have a car you can go to work and make more money; you can get your kids to school or soccer practice, you can go to the doctor or even drive off on vacation. Buying a new car is difficult and requires saving up - yes - but unless you've either got loads of cash, have terrible luck, or are incredibly bad with money; you only need to buy a car once in awhile; and that car will last you if you continue to put in money for maintenance.

STO is not an investment like that - it's a game; one that someday will fade away and we - the players, will be left with nothing but memories for it. It will not have helped us pick up groceries from the store nor will it have carried us on long vacations, or gotten us to work. It's entertainment, like any game; and while that does certainly have value, it is not a necessity of modern life like a vehicle is. (In the US anyway; I know there are places where it's not needed at all)

Let me put this in a more apples-to-apples context here - video-game to video-game.

Normal (non-MMO) video games sometimes charge for content, equipment and bonus features (DLC) - why is this OK when I find it distasteful in an MMO? Simple, I don't need to pay a subscription fee to play a normal game.

I pay my money, I get my game, and it's mine forever (at least, as long as I keep the key handy or, buy on Steam like I usually do). If I want the extra features and content I can pay for them or not; but never once do I have to pay them any other money. The same is true in F2P games - I don't mind buying stuff in those because that's how they make their money. I'm not paying them anything other than for those items.

STO isn't like that - STO already made money off of me in a big way; and continues to make money off of every subscriber. Even at that I don't mind paying for cosmetic items or what I'd call 'tool' items (character renames, character slots, costume slots, etc...) - these are perfectly fine.

However when you start charging for things that alter game play while I am also paying you a subscription fee (or have paid the lifetime equivalent thereof) - then yes, I get a little testy. Frankly I should have said this way back when the Excelsior was first proposed, but I bit my tongue then and I regret doing it.

As for ignoring the meaning of your words: I am not. You are attempting to use a metaphor, drawing from real life to a video game; however your metaphor is inapt*. As such I am pulling apart why your metaphor is faulty - this isn't ignoring it at all though. This is why I'm presenting alternate comparisons - things that actually line up with what we're talking about here.

Unfortunately your patronising method of post addressing has clearly got the better of you. A forum is a place for opinions, and whether you agree with mine or not, to assume i didn't read something just because i didn't either quote or follow your thoughts to an exact, instead to formulate my opinions in a manner whereby playing Devils Advocate to some extent clearly shows your belittling attitude to a subject you will never see how i am seeing.
I'm not patronizing you. I don't patronize people at all - if I felt you were beneath my notice and worthy of being talked down to, I wouldn't talk to you at all. I respect your right to your opinion, you do not seem to respect that I have the right to disagree with that opinion vigorously. I am stating my case against your own - that's how serious discussions go.**

I am, however, typing in a more formal style because I do feel this is an important issue and I wish to be taken seriously. As such my communication must be as impeccable as possible. I normally do not use my full breadth and depth of vocabulary because it is generally unnecessary. I will not however, bring the metaphorical knife to a gunfight - nor will I imply my usual goofy persona and occasional slips into redneck drawl in a situation where a more formal academic style is useful.

You'll note I have not corrected your grammar, I have not told you that you are misspelling things or missed capitalizations - I don't care about that. I have split a few of your paragraphs because they're hard to read in wall-of-text form, but I have not actually tried to give you any grief for that.

Your opinion is respected - it is however being disagreed with.

That you tried to engage in a massive generalization at the outset, I believe, is why this conversation is so rocky to begin with. I didn't ask you not to formulate your own opinion - I'm asking you to, if addressing my post, to actually address the post rather than to conflate it with other posts you have seen. In other words: If we want to have a reasonable discussion about this, then lets actually discuss what each other is talking about.

Otherwise we're just talking around each other, and that's not going to do much good for anyone.

If you don't like what i say, fine, but to say i don't get it is, well, need i continue with that? You can't accept Cryptic has to make further money from such avenues. I only point this out because of the way you have addressed the reason i decided to generalise, which is technically what people do when viewing the C-Store. Apparently we all don't like it, right? Lowering the current scale of Marks will effectively have an impact on the C-Store, so where is the benefit for them? I know where the benefit for us is in that sense, but if we continue to think solely about ourselves, we may as well prepare for the worst with this fantastic game. A middle ground needs to be met, and we have to accept a level of financial responsibility, just as do Cryptic.
Why does Cryptic have to make additional money from these avenues? Can you point to actual evidence that says it must be done this way? Can you show me or anyone at all that this is the only way to keep STO alive and productive? If you can sure, I'll accept it; but I don't think you can. Most MMOs get by fine without selling game-altering items that to acquire in game take double the amount of time it takes to reach cap to get.

Let me state this again just to be clear: Champions Online, a game that was until it went Free to Play, in dire straits, managed to release no less than 5 full sets of free, mostly non-purchasable costume pieces. That's male and female versions of each for most pieces. STO is not in dire straits.

Also, once again - I did not ask for marks to be reduced. I mentioned I would like it done, but I also acknowledged at the same time that it would not likely happen and thus proposed alternatives.

As for thinking about myself: Do remember, this is a game - entertainment - fun - it's not our job to make Cryptic money. It's their job to keep us happy and thus willing to give them money. This is our leisure time; our responsibilities are to our own jobs, families and the like, not to an entertainment company.***

Now I want to make clear here: I'm not saying "The customer is always right" - I've worked retail, that statement is BS. I am however saying that it is not the customer's job to make the company money - the company has to earn it. I don't want the game to die any more than you do - believe me; if I were in any way displeased with the game itself, I would not be posting here. I'd be doing something else entirely.

However, I'll say this again - I am the customer, not the company - it is not my job to keep them in business; that's their responsibility. That said I do not mind giving them money where I feel justified in doing so. Ship costumes? Absolutely. Regular Costumes? Sure. Although in both cases I feel they've been rather overboard with the shear quantity of both that have to be purchased.

That's another big part of the problem: If the quantity of ships on offer were less - say they'd given us half of the ships you currently have to buy - then this post might be less frustrated or even non-existent. And no, Plaques don't count, yes they're nice, but if you capped out before you knew ships would be getting added later, you probably spent your plaque on the refits. I'm not saying they should be available for energy credits either really, but I'd much prefer some kind of "epic quest" to grinding away for weeks.

(Note, post too long, please read next post as contiguous to the first.)
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 22
02-14-2011, 07:12 AM
Like you, i don't play WoW any more. After 5 years or so, the same thing with a different skin tends to get old. I prefer STO because as equipment and gear may change, my character and their officers etc continue to develop a story. Because of this i see myself playing for a very long time indeed, enough time to acquire a lot of this gear which will be a grind but i wouldn't have it any other way.
Except you seem to forget that they'll keep adding more stuff. You will never keep pace. By the time you get everything you want now, there will be ten more things you want. It's a treadmill, and I'm trying to turn it from Speed 6 to Speed 4. I know MMOs too well to say 'turn it off' heh; they're all treadmills to a point.

You mention these ships have unique abilities, yet you don't mention they also lose other abilities, like console slots for example. To me this represents balance, or at least balance to a certain degree, as balance issues and MMO's continue on for their entire life span it seems. There is nothing 'i win' in the C-Store and i believe this will never happen, unless it does go F2P. But having played many F2P MMO's, i do not like the way they operate or the riff-raff they quickly bring in.
First - I don't care that they're balanced. I never said they were 'better' - merely unique. That they lose abilities is irrelevant - they make available officer configurations that are not otherwise possible, enable abilities you would never otherwise have, and of course, allow you to fly your favorite Star Trek ships. This was never about "I win" - this is about "I have fun".

And I'm not a big fan of full F2P myself. I actually prefer a sub fee - because until STO paying a sub fee meant "I get whatever they add to the game, except the occasional expansion pack". Though I'll note that the average MMO player can be quite the piece of work themselves. (Or maybe it's just the loud ones?) Still, I'm not arguing STO shoudl be F2P by any stretch - I'm simply saying that right now they're running a F2P level item shop in a P2P game. One of those things ought to change, at least to an extent.

We are likely to agree to disagree on many areas, i just never understand the need for further C-Store threads when the answer is as simple as its always been. If you don't like it, do not use it. And since Cryptic have given further methods to obtain, we should see this as a step in the right direction. It may not be exactly what some may want, but would you rather go back to how it was?
There will be complaints so long as there are problems.

I will add that I did say it was a step in the right direction - my point was that it's a very small step, and they should not stop at that. I'm not asking them to go back to how it was - I'm asking them to do more.


Let me lay out my proposal one last time before I go do something else for a bit:

1) Make ships account wide if you unlock via emblems. This allows a player who puts in the work to get the same benefit, rather than getting significantly less.

2) More dailies so that people who work through the week and can't play, can grind more heavily on the weekends. Again, the actual time requirement does not change here, this merely makes it fairer to those with lives who have spare time here and there, rather than 3 hours+ every day.

3) For costume pieces, consider allowing us to unlock them piecemeal.

... That's really it honestly.

*note inept, inapt; meaning that it's not accurate, rather than that it's poorly done. I wanted to point that out because while you may very well know the word; some people would misinterpret that as an insult, and I want to be clear that I'm not insulting you. I'm disagreeing vociferously.

**I say 'serious' but really I mean "stuff that's beyond the realm of "Who wins in a fight, Superman or Batman?". Because ultimately STO is just a game and I don't want to overstate the case here. I'm irritated, even a little angry; but there's a limit to how much I can care about a videogame. That said: I'm making the argument this way because I do feel it is important.

***That said, I am a big fan of Cryptic. I own COH/V, CO (Lifetime) and STO (Lifetime) and will probably get Neverwinter when it comes out. This is a studio I genuinely like and respect. I feel Dstahl in particular has done a fantastic job turning STO around. I say this because I want it to be absolutely clear that I don't bear them any ill will. I just happen to see this as a serious problem and am proposing solutions to remedy it.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 23
02-14-2011, 07:15 AM
Originally Posted by Z3R0B4NG View Post
no need here.

i have 8 chars so far and every one has another goal for his endgame ship.

why would my Engineer want to fly an Intrepid, he is skilled for Attack Cruisers and that is where he will stay, so the only ship he might want is the Excelsior.

My Sci will go for the Intrepid Retrofit, which is avaible for a free token AFAIK, and then may grind for the Nebula just to have it (no other char of mine would want the Nebula anyway).

I have no Vulcan so there is no need for the Vulcan ship to begin with, i may start another char another time for that, but for now i have enough chars to level up anyway.

My Gorn could grind for the Gorn ship... but he is a tactical char and the ship is a Sci one... so uuuhm no need there either.

I think about what Ship every char is aiming for before i even start him, so no i do not need an account wide unlock, i don't want to fly the same ship on 2 chars anyway.
While I certainly can understand this viewpoint; do understand that your perspective isn't everyone else's.

For me, my main flies Cruisers. In-general. While I've been primarily an Assault Cruiser captain for ages, I suspect there are ships on the horizon I'd rather use, and yet my character has been capped since February of last year. (Well, VA1 shortly after that was released, but you get my meaning.)

Okay, I'm gonna shut up for a bit.

Believe it or not, it's pretty exhausting doing all this typing!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 24
02-14-2011, 09:09 AM
I agree with everyone!

It's really hard to make sense of the C-store, when most MMOs operate largely on the either/or principle when it comes to microtransactions and subscriptions. I've allowed myself to be told that this is about to become normal for MMOs across the board, as they get more expensive to develop (just think what Bioware is sinking into SWTOR) and maintain, but yeah...

This month, the C-store released the Delta Flyer (400 AT), the D'Kyr (1200 AT) and upcoming still the open jacket uniform (likely going to be 240 AT). Add those up and you come up with a number than represents considerably more money than the fee for being allowed to play the game this month at all...

But as has been pointed out, as long as we're buying it, they're going to keep doing it. A lot of people (yours truly included) realized they were likely shooting themselves in the foot when they bought their lifetime subscriptions at launch, knowing that the longterm savings we were imagining were probably going to go straight into all sorts of useless items in the C-store. And in my case it certainly did. I still from time to time bring up a partial refund button for the C-store to get rid of those things I bought that I never use. (Like the 7 of 9, Troi and pre-TNG uniforms.) Tried to bait them with the idea that if they give me back half my AT, and I ever have a change of heart, I'd have to pay full price again, but they're not falling for it.

I'm thinking it'd be more interesting if instead of granting an XP gain bonus, the veteran awards were to grant a stacking C-store discount, making the C-store less expensive over time. Or they maintain the 1200 AT price for newly released ships, but drop it to 800 or so after three months.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 25
02-14-2011, 10:47 AM
So I was having a bit of a think earlier; and I admit I've come across perhaps more caustic than I actually intended with this thread. I was trying to keep my emotions... not quite out of it; but at least, not overwhelming the whole thing; and I'm not sure I quite succeeded with my intent.

So I want to add three things before I bow out of the thread for good.

1) I am sorry if at any point it seemed I was insulting anyone - this includes perhaps demeaning behavior on my part. It wasn't intended, but as I am painfully aware - intention doesn't always equate with the end result.

So, if I inadvertently insulted anyone - I am sorry. Was not what I was after.

2) I'd like to reiterate that the whole reason I made this post is because I do, in fact, really like this game. That's largely why the C-Store weighs rather heavily on me - because I enjoy the game yet, due to circusmstances beyond my control, I am stuck on the extremely slow path to acquiring things I want. I'm grateful to have that path available, but it feels like bread crumbs when I really could use a sandwich - especially since I feel like I paid for a sandwich to begin with.

3) I'm tired. I intended to stick around and debate if more people were to come into the thread; but quite frankly I have worn myself out. This is of course due to my failure to keep my emotions in check. It's an issue I care about, perhaps more than I really should, and in letting myself get so passionate I have become extremely tired. So I'm going to bow out.

I feel like my opinion has been made known, the thread is here if the developers and business people care to read it; and I think I'm going to take a vacation from the forums. I've been too hot under the collar here for awhile now and I think it's time to step back a bit.

Note: My point is not being retracted; I am however somewhat regretful for the fashion in which I presented that opinion.

So for what it's worth, I am sorry for being rather... heated. And now I'm off to try to relax - not healthy to get so worked up over a game.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 26
02-14-2011, 01:45 PM
Originally Posted by mistformsquirrel
So I was having a bit of a think earlier; and I admit I've come across perhaps more caustic than I actually intended with this thread. I was trying to keep my emotions... not quite out of it; but at least, not overwhelming the whole thing; and I'm not sure I quite succeeded with my intent.
No you did a great job stating your point of view and the issue you have with the C-Store. Just except the fact that there are fanboys that think STO is the best MMO ever. I'm sure they will still believe that STO is the best ever MMO in a few more months when only a hundred or less are still playing STO and the rest of the current player base has moved on to Old Republic, Rift, or some other MMO.

As for the C-Store I believe they are setting the stage to go Free to Play with STO within the year as the new games like Old Republic get released. All you need to do it look at the past to see where they are going with the C-Store. I expect the new multi-vector assault mode Prometheus will be something that you need to purchase from the C-Store for no less that 1800 tokes. I think any new equipment, ships, uniforms, etc will be released only thru the C-Store from this point on.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 27
02-14-2011, 02:13 PM
I tend to be a hell of a stick in the mud jerk about C-store, emblem, and mark stuff I realize. I've come from games that had grinds that make STO look like a walk at the beach and CO like being waited on hand and foot. However I do have to say that because of how paper thin STO's end game feels to me (DCUO just launched and their end game feels far more fleshed out and rich. And I know STO's will get better over time. But it hit one year and is lagging behind something that has yet to hit one month.) that the grind feels more pronounced. Sure I could keep doing STO's end game content over and over, but I feel no need to. It's a pain in the ass doing it as KDF since the player base is so small.

So yes, I agree with pretty much everything mistformsquirrel said in the opening post. I've not read much of the rest of the thread because for some reason I'm having trouble focusing on reading large posts at the moment so I kinda just skimmed. I remember the STO C-Store being told it'd be cosmetic....but when you say "Spend 10 dollars to get something for all of your characters, or months to get it on one" it's no choice at all. It's saying either get this non-cosmetic thing on the C-Store, or not at all. Which is not how it was advertised.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 28
02-14-2011, 03:05 PM
Back to the OP's first posting, what games have you been playing recently that gave you everything and didn't have their own C-Store?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 29 high prices
02-14-2011, 03:17 PM
Yes, they are a bit high. But people are buying.... so...

Therefore, transitioning to a more micro-transaction based (seemingly facilitated by c-store) mechanic is a viable business plan.

I read someplace that the higher-ups like this model.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 30
02-14-2011, 03:18 PM
I dont mind the odd thing or two being on the store now and then , but when its come to the point that any new ship , even a cheap skin , or even a silly outfit goes straight onto the store then it stinks of screw you give us more cash , ontop of a sub i dont think they realise how badly they have hurt there rep.

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