Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 41
08-19-2011, 05:11 PM
I'll add one more: especially when Cryptic was under NDA but even now, I think the community would respect it if Dan Stahl posted a news piece to the frontpage that said:

"We're working on a lot of exciting new content for you in the coming months. We are aware that Featured Episode Updates did not ship when we would have liked for them to. We know you're hungry toplay them and we hear you. Therefore, I want to inform the community that my Ask Cryptic and Engineering Report columns will not appear for the next two months. In their place, I will personally work with our chief writer, Kestrel, to develop four standalone episodes that will release around the first and fifteenth in place of my normal columns.

These will tease at upcoming developments in game while adding to the game's rich library of content. Our team is incredibly busy and so I'm personally taking the initiative to make these happen. They won't feature the whistles and bells and cinematics that our Featured Episodes are known for because I'm producing them myself. But I feel that, for the time being, the best way for me to generate excitement and interest in the game is by communicating some of the amazing developments coming up directly in-game through these Producer's Spotlight missions. After that, look forward to the return of my web columns in time for the holidays!

Thank you!"

I guarantee, so much would change if Stahl posted that.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 42
08-19-2011, 05:13 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by dstahl View Post
Lucikly I'm trained to make tough decisions, even the ones Hurleybird doesn't like. He's right in that I am responsible for STO's future. I can tell you right now, STO's future has never looked brighter, and a lot of that is due to decisions over the last year and ongoing discussions with Perfect World that go back longer than most of you realize. Did I want to have more featured episodes out by now? Sure! But you do the best with what you're given and you stay focused on what is critical and important for the long term health of the game.

The game IS healthy, and despite forum grumbling of lack of content, subs are up yet again. I expect that by the time we hit year 2, STO will be doing even better than it is now. It is easy to analyze the short term and come up with grievances. These forums are only a small subset of the users playing and enjoying the game day in and out.

So love it or hate it, we are where we are and I will continue to be frank and open about what is going on to ensure you are informed of where STO is headed.
Well done on side-stepping the issues surrounding the Rhode Island, Klingon content and a few other bits and pieces tossed out.

It seems we are seeing more and more of that.

<<<censoring self on rest of comments>>>>>
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 43
08-19-2011, 05:13 PM
....deleted in advanced to prevent any undue misunderstandings and or moderation..
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 44
08-19-2011, 05:23 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by dstahl View Post
You are reading far too much into my comment. As I've stated a few times before C-Store revenue allows me the opportunity to have more resources to make more content. Subscriptions are steady and predictable, and when you have regular MT releases, those can become steady and predictable sources of revenue as well. Together, I can make the case that STO brings in X revenue on a steady basis and therefore I would like to hire x number of people (or outsourced assets) to work on improving STO. When the revenue predictions are solid, then it gets approved. When revenue fluxuates, then it becomes more unreliable and requests for assets can be more difficult.

So when we miss our dates to release a new MT, it doesn't break the bank or mean that we aren't afloat. What it does do is add more unpredictable revenue results to my bottom line which then makes it harder for me to maintain team size... etc...
That's actually a very reasonable response.

No more common sense in these threads; this thread has reached its quota. :p
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 45
08-19-2011, 05:47 PM
dstahl,

First of all, you are doing a great job. Keep it up. I have no doubt STO will continue to improve under your leadership. That being said however, I have to disagree with the C-Store thing. Of course, I guess my mind is still in the "old" (I'm not even that old, I'm only 28!) world where I can't stand being nickel and dime to death, where as the newer generation seems to have zero issues with it.

Oh well, I will continue to avoid the C-Store unless I can get the items for free.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 46
08-19-2011, 05:48 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by P-A-T-H-F-I-N-D-E-R
Well done on side-stepping the issues surrounding the Rhode Island, Klingon content and a few other bits and pieces tossed out.

It seems we are seeing more and more of that.

<<<censoring self on rest of comments>>>>>
We want to add a TON of new ships to the game.... we are working on 16 new ships as we speak and there are plenty more coming after that. I can appreciate that some players think the Rhode Island is over powered, but there are other players who don't agree. Luckily I can rely on the systems team and our own internal testers to also offer solid feedback on the designs (which they do rather vocally) and we then come to a decision that this ship is probably going to be just fine... just like the Galaxy Dreadnaught has also turned out to be just fine. Now maybe we should have held back the Rhode Island until all of the new ships are out there, but since this ship is lower tier, it was determined that it was ok to release now. I'm not sitting here making these decisions alone. There is an entire team that builds this game saying "good to go". If it turns out to be the horror and dismay that some are worried about, then we'll cross the bridge, but until then we go with our decision.

I've been talking with Perfect World about Klingon Content. It is one of the things I continually beat the drum for with our executive team. STO needs two healthy factions if it is ever going to have solid PVP and territory control games.

Luckily, Perfect World agrees. PVP is a big part of their games. They get it. They want two solid PVP factions as well (as well as a third Romulan faction!). That doesn't mean that I now have an army of people at my disposal to make Klingon Content, but it means that we all agree and that it is going to happen.

Things are move forward, slowly, but they are moving forward. Currently we are all sitting down and reviewing where we want Star Trek Online to be, comparing that to our current revenue and team size, and building the plans that will get us there while remaining financially responsible.

You're preaching to the choir about the lack of content. The last six months have been extremely stressful on Cryptic Studios. When your future isn't certain and your parent company is in a heap of debt, it breeds desperate decisions and the STO team has had a lot off "directives" that it has had to deal with.

Luckily - despite all of that insanity - instead of flying us into the ground and possibly going bankrupt, Atari has sold us to a company that truly loves and cares about MMOs. Freedom to plan for the future is back. Freedom to hire is back. Clarity about what is most important is back. So yeah. Things are looking good.

I'm not trying to deflect all the responsibility away from the team. We have had our own issues as well. Personnel problems. Babies. Team transfers. Inability to replace broken PCs. Loaner PCs that barely meet the minspec for the game. Core code mergers that caused more bugs than it solved. There was even a month with no cups in the kitchen.

So we'll own up to that. But we are where we are at and we're here today doing fine. Perfect World paid as much as they did for Cryptic Studios because we are doing well given what we are, and they see an opportunity for Star Trek to be huge. That makes me smile and hopefully makes you smile too.

This is their investment and they are going to spend money to make money. Something you can't do when you're in debt.

So take it or leave it. That's about as frank as I can get.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 47
08-19-2011, 05:51 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by dstahl View Post
It is easy to analyze the short term and come up with grievances. These forums are only a small subset of the users playing and enjoying the game day in and out.

So love it or hate it, we are where we are and I will continue to be frank and open about what is going on to ensure you are informed of where STO is headed.
The forums perhaps are a "small subset" of STO players, but I think it's likely that this subset are also the most likely to evangelize STO and recruit more players to the game, and as a consequence, more revenue to Cryptic/PWE.

I am pleased that you are as frank and open as you can be concerning the behind-the-scenes machinations that must occur as you lead STO's development. This type of communication is valuable! Reciprocally, I hope you appreciate frank and open (and respectful, people) responses and interactions from your devoted playerbase. Any disagreements arise from the passion people feel for this game and for Star Trek.

I have long been a supporter of this game, even the C-Store. (My fleetmates will tell you, I'm a uniform junkie.) My concern, which has been volubly expressed by others on this forum as well, is that the C-Store is now stocking "balance altering" or "pay-to-win" items, in contravention of previous statements from Cryptic. I think a great deal of any forum animus would be quelled by keeping C-Store items "cosmetic-changes only."

I think we all want the same thing- a vibrant, healthy, and long-lived Star Trek Online with an active and equally vibrant community behind it. Thanks!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 48
08-19-2011, 05:52 PM
....deleted in advanced to prevent any undue misunderstandings and or moderation..
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 49
08-19-2011, 05:58 PM
[quote=dstahl;3708575]Snippity Snip./QUOTE]



Frank and honest as usual. I enjoy these reads (good to see you on the forums again btw...you seem to have been busy elsewhere of late)

Good to know PW share the priorities of the EP - that's got to be a helpful combination going forwards..
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 50
08-19-2011, 05:59 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by dstahl View Post
We want to add a TON of new ships to the game.... we are working on 16 new ships as we speak and there are plenty more coming after that. I can appreciate that some players think the Rhode Island is over powered, but there are other players who don't agree. Luckily I can rely on the systems team and our own internal testers to also offer solid feedback on the designs (which they do rather vocally) and we then come to a decision that this ship is probably going to be just fine... just like the Galaxy Dreadnaught has also turned out to be just fine.
Dstahl, I see you're turning into a masochist. I expect you'll continue to get grilled if you keep using the "Rhode Island being OP is debatable" shtick. You may as well say that it's debatable whether the earth is round or flat!

The Rhode Island is mathematically superior to the nova. It has a super-set of it's abilities. It's textbook overpowered. A no-brainier. Absolutely not debatable in any intelligent sense.

The Galaxy-X isn't a super-set of anything. It trades it's strengths for weaknesses. It is not mathematically superior than other tier 5 ships. It's just different.

Even the MVAM, which most PvPers consider to be far and away the best escort in the game is not a super-set of any other Tier 5 ship.

You're doing it wrong, man. If you want to institute pay-2-win without the outrage don't create super-sets! Give the new ship some token trade-off, like you did (probably unintentionally) with the MVAM. It can still be overpowered, but a lot less people will realize it for what it is!
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