Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 1 History repeats itself?
09-08-2011, 06:57 AM
What we've all been witness to is the continued lack of development and support for the KDF.
It has recieved some of both, but mind you, at a considerably smaller fraction of what the Fed faction has recieved.

What is in question, is the future of the KDF post-F2p. How will Cryptic develop and suport the faction pre-ad post-F2P?
6 months after F2P? 18 months after F2P?

There is already at hand a great deal of information pertaining to
Cryptic's history with the KDF, suppose we draw from that to obtain the foresight as to where the KDF is headed post-F2P.

So, the situation we are in at present is as follows (to summarize)-
-KDF was a minority of the population at launch
-the % of KDF players has dropped significantly since (due to lack of development)
-now the planned deletion of the first 25 levels of KDF gameplay (for an as of yet undisclosed amount of time)
-this course of action seems to be acceptable to the majority of players overall. However according to recent polls, the % of players unhappy with F2P directly mirrors the % numbers of people playing KDF (as calculated and reported by the Executive Producer himself).

History, if not learned from, repeats itself.

This is all just speculation, based on Cryptic's history with the KDF... I hope I'm wrong, but my gut (as well as History) tells me otherwise.


Step #1=Launch the KDF faction in a unfinished state (lack of PvE). KDF Faction is inherently a minority, as it is NON-Federation (Fed Faction being the one the IP is based on). The incentive, given by Cryptic, to play KDF is because it's EZ to level through PvP. PvP XP is OP, draws 'exploiters', then gets nerf'd to the point of PvP'ing being not worth doing to level. Lack of PvE to level drives players from KDF. This very first 'salespitch' for the KDF tried to take the gaming industry's biggest negative (lack of content), and put a positive spin on it (KDF supposedly a PvP faction at launch).

Step #2= Continued underdevelopment of the faction reduces KDF playerbase. The reason given is the significantly smaller (compared to the Fed) playerbase of the KDF. FvF PvP is introduced, due to lack of KDF'ers for FvK. PvP'ers can level easier Fed-side and still have access to PvP, as well as PvE. FvF is where the majority of PvP'ers Q, due to lack of KDF for FvK. FvF appears to be a 'win'. Continues to decrease the # of KDF PvP'ers, (thus the KDF playerbase diminishes further) as they switch to Fed side for quicker Q's (FvF, having more players, offers such). New KDF content (9 storyline missions spread over the entirety of levelling) is not sufficient to draw Feds to KDF, is used as a reason to continue underdeveloping KDF PvE.

Step #3= Continue to promise BIG CHANGES to keep the minority playerbase (KDF) subbing, while KDF faction continues to diminish (lack of said big change drives players to Fed or out of the game entirely). Cryptic introduces a system that re-structures the Featured Episode PVE content for the KDF, making the Breen series available at lvl 11, Devidian series @ lvl 21, Romulan series @ lvl 31. Change is NOT introduced Fed-side and not even acknowledged until 9 days after the change went live. KDF players at lower levels stop levelling (lack of PVE, FE's primarily) and switch to levelling Fed alts. KDF playerbase once again diminishes prior to announcement of F2P.

Step #4= (F2P Announced)Propose a BIG change that is not going to be popular with the (now even smaller) KDF playerbase. (possible -25 levels)
Polls state that the majority of the entire playerbase supports the 'unpopular' BIG CHANGE, thus inferring the BIG CHANGE is good for the game overall (and overall playerbase). Said BIG CHANGE is not a long-term solution to increasing a sustainable KDF playerbase, but a short-term "1/2 off" salespitch that tries to take the Gaming industry's biggest negative (lack of content), and put a positive spin on it. (see 'step 1, last sentence)
Continued underdevelopment of the KDF faction during transition to F2P (resources allocated to F2P transition) reduces # of possible new KDF players during transition to F2P.(most are waiting for F2P to go live, free level 25 KDF'er for those already playing).


Of course these polls are going to show the change appears to be popular, many KDFers have left, (less 'resistancce' to the change) and the polls take into account opinions of both KDF players AND Fed players. Most Fed players interested in levelling a KDF toon are THRILLED at not having to progress 1/2 the grind. However, it should be of note, the % of players 'unhappy' with the the F2P transition, roughly mirrors the % of the KDF playerbase as we understand based on #'s from the Executive Producer. Coincidence?

So let's imagine we cannot do anything to stop the the axe from falling on the KDF's first 25 levels. Suppose we can't find a viable alternative solution in time, to make those beginner levels more appealing.


History repeating itself... (hypothetically speaking) the steps are basically the same.

Step #1= Launch BIG CHANGE with no new KDF content. Gimped state due to lack of first 25 levels. Incentive to play is it's EZ to level (skip the first 1/2 of the faction's content). Said BIG CHANGE is not a long-term solution to increasing a sustainable KDF playerbase, but a short-term "1/2 off" salespitch that tries to take the Gaming industry's biggest negative (lack of content), and put a positive spin on it. See step 1, last sentence, from above.
Meanwhile, this 'short-term soltion' will take a 'long-term' to develop and implement (F2P by end of year=3-3&1/2 months. new KDF content to fill 25 level void is to be released at an undisclosed date- "nowhere on the map")

Step #2= Continued underdevelopment of the faction reduces KDF playerbase.
F2P launches.
Feds that waited to level KDF are discouraged fom levelling a KDF when they start levelling one due to the fact that the first 25 levels were easiest to grind (25+ is where it slows down, ask any KDF'er playing currently) and that the only available content (minus the 9 or so KDF exclusive missions) are repeats of missions (FE's) they played as a Fed (no new content is scheduled to be added in the F2P transition).
Small KDF playerbase @ launch of F2P ensured by the fact new players must play 25 levels of the 'fully functional faction' first, where they have access to the majority of KDF content (minus 9 or so missions). This is in addition to the discouraged Fed alts who were already playing, detailed directly above, who may discontinue levelling a KDF post-F2P launch to play their Fed mains (or alts, as their is more Feds to level with at T1 and T2).

Step #3= Continue to promise BIG CHANGES to keep the minority playerbase subbing (the # of new KDF players after F2P will be, a minority-as history has shown, @ the original launch and soon after). Meanwhile, new KDF PvE players switch back to Fed-side, as they have already played a majority of the KDF's content (FE's) while levelling their Fed toons (who have access to these FE's at lower levels, which also happen to be touted as the 'best PvE missions in the game') Their Fed mains are already halfway to level cap- and also have content available to them at those higher tiers that they haven't played, that are only available to Feds.
The system supports new players having access to 'faction agnostic' content Fed-side first, thus effectively making a majority of KDF content Old News when / IF they decide to roll KDF. The only 'new' content after 25, is Fed-side.
New KDF PvP'ers will more than likely remain Fed players (as Mains), as there is no FvK Q's at lower levels, thus bolstering the players in FvF Q's at those levels. Upon even looking at the FvK Q's when reaching the level to make a KDF toon, PvP'ers will see it's still easier to level FvF (due to lack of KDF'ers for FvK) as there are simply more Feds-and more Feds to PvP with.

In addition, the KDF suffers from numerous KDF exclusive bugs (due to having to undergo a second change when the game goes F2P- the deletion of said 25 levels), decreasing the value of gameplay and making the faction appear less attractive.
Bugs are not resolved, as the push for New KDF content is in high demand to retain players. (we've seen non-gamebreaking bugs left unresolved for extended periods of time before). This (could) leads to the proposal of a smaller, quicker 'BIG CONTENT Update' instead of the BIG CONTENT update promised when F2P was announced, for the sake of making the faction more viable sooner.

Step #4= Propose a smaller 'BIG CONTENT Update' based on lack of new KDF'ers, (why make new content, for fewer new players)and also due in part to development time being alotted to fixing gamebreaking bugs acquired when the first 25 levels were removed. The official reason for a -theoretical- proposed "smaller update' will be that KDF needs content ASAP, smaller block of content takes less time, time already limited b/c of bugsquashing.
That will be unpopular with current subbers (who were promised a BIG update) but once again skewed polls will state the majority of the playerbase (overall, not just KDF playerbase) supports a smaller 'big update' with promised future updates at an undisclosed date. Once again, when (if) KDF content update goes live, it is riddled with KDF exclusive bugs that take more time away from development to fix. More 'smaller' content updates are pushed back, to fix these bugs, while the Fed side has no new bugs and thus seems more appealing. Players that did not contine playing KDF shortly after F2P went live (Vets and New players alike) will be discouraged from KDF levelling because of these.

Like I said, this is only 1 possible outcome, but based on past actions it is very possible.

It is in no way shape or form intended to be a gloom & doom thread, or a troll thread, it's not even a pessimistic view (if you have a solid understanding on the history of CS and the KDF, you may realize it is a very realistic view) even if not optimistic.
I'm not posting this out of nerdrage or a desire to push anyone away from the game, but rather, to better help people understand what I mean when I say that removing the first 25 levels of KDF play could be a very, very bad thing for the faction given the history between CS and the KDF.

If you'd like to contribute some ideas to how we can avoid the axe from dropping, post here
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
09-08-2011, 07:06 AM
Nice write up
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
09-08-2011, 07:22 AM
I like the well organized post, but I do disagree with some things.

-KDF was a minority of the population at launch
Yup

-the % of KDF players has dropped significantly since (due to lack of development)
Developement? What development? lol

-now the planned deletion of the first 25 levels of KDF gameplay (for an as of yet undisclosed amount of time)
I see the logic behind this. Currently the klingons only have what, 8 missions + the featured episodes? I realize that the majority of players play mainly for PvE; we PvP'ers are the minority. That said, I don't think the majority want to go grind nebula missions because they like it. Or grind out the same FE mission over and over and over because they enjoy it. They do it so they can get that next level. Cutting off 25 levels because they really have no content seemed logical to me.

I'm glad klingons will get the opportunity to un-sub and still have access to the game. Now they HAVE to develop klingon content before seeing another dime from klingon players.

To emphasize my feelings to cryptic:
I hated thinking of my sub fee going towards the cost of developing more and more skirts for federation female captains, or more and more federation ships that really are better than anything in the klingon fleet. I now have some respect for you going F2P, because it gives me the option of controlling where my expendable income goes to for game development.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
09-08-2011, 07:48 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by gx4th View Post
I like the well organized post, but I do disagree with some things.
-now the planned deletion of the first 25 levels of KDF gameplay (for an as of yet undisclosed amount of time)
I see the logic behind this. Currently the klingons only have what, 8 missions + the featured episodes? I realize that the majority of players play mainly for PvE; we PvP'ers are the minority. That said, I don't think the majority want to go grind nebula missions because they like it. Or grind out the same FE mission over and over and over because they enjoy it. They do it so they can get that next level. Cutting off 25 levels because they really have no content seemed logical to me.
I agree, however, there are numerous drawbacks. It takes less time to reach level cap.
What do you do at level cap?
You're going to have to come up with content for end-cap sooner, as it takes less time for players to get there only...
you still have 25 levels worth of content you have to make...
See how we're back to square one? Under the gun to provide new content, as well as create end-game.
What has always come first in the past?

Quote:
Originally Posted by gx4th View Post
I'm glad klingons will get the opportunity to un-sub and still have access to the game. Now they HAVE to develop klingon content before seeing another dime from klingon players.
I agree. Unfortunately, it's been proven by the ratio of Fed stuff in the C-store vs KDF stuff that CS doesn't have to make KDF stuff to make $$$.
I also like well-organized rebuttles, as well as the color Green
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
09-08-2011, 07:56 AM
Yeah and after the make the changes and kill off the first 25 levels, they will come back and say "due to the popularity of not having the first 25 levels of Klingon game play, we have decided to permanently ax it from development. But we promise that content for the last 25 levels will be coming soon...
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
09-08-2011, 08:06 AM
I don't know why but after thinking about this L25 change there is only one phrase entering my mind that seems to describe what this is:
"Admit defeat, cut your losses and move on."
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
09-08-2011, 08:24 AM
Comentary and... agreement!

I'm months past frustrated, resigned and all the rest. I'm basicly just smokingly angry. I and a great many other players bought lifetime subs to play Klingon, and if you want a real mesure take a look at the number of KDF identified life time members in the KDF player base compared to the percentage of lifetime members fed faction identified.

For all the small size of the KDF faction players I have utterly no doubts that the KDF faction has a very very much larger percentage of LTM players. We want what we thought we were paying for. Equality is not what were asking for, just a fully fleshed out faction. Temporarily I agree with the shelving of low level Klingon content as long as the "breathing space" this provides the dev team is indeed spent on actually creating that content that was never there to begin with.

We KDF players want to see that done, we also want to see an actuall "war" between the federaton and Klingon faction brought into play with actual star spanning territorial combat where entire sectors could change hands... I absolutly certain that this 12% of the player base KDF faction could take the starch right out of the sails of that massive 88% of the player base Federation faction. We Klingon players certainly did it playing the now classic Starfleet command series and we can do it here... You think the Borg are relenless? You've never seen Klingons on a roll. I have.

For several years Klingon players in SFC-II campaigns drove the far more numerous Federation playerbase to utter frustration on both the Taldren/Interplay servers and the SFC-II.net servers by simply refusing to lay down and die. And we managed to win a number of Campaigns. This is a new game, and a new game system. And also mostly a new generation of gamers (we have sevral fathers and grandfathers in the fleet I'm in... and I have a Grand Niece I'm currently teaching to play STO...)

To get the KDF faction rolling has been nearly impossible as most of the younger players dont have the staying power to work though the grind.. which I find a little wierd seeing how much easier it is to level a character up in STO then any other MMO I know of. Just for the heck of it I just leveled up a fed toon to the level cap.. It took 12 days.. about a 120 hours of play with 90% of that done playing solo. Oh, and achived terran ambassader, and has max level crafting, and is geared out with the only thing left to do is 4 STF's to get the borg gear. That really is nothing time wise compared to other MMO's. Levelling Klingon characters is booring but doable. But them, I admit, I'm easily entertained.

Currently PvP is poorly executed. Its all either deathmatch of capture the flag style play but with no real reason to do it. other then to simply PvP which by its self is really not a good draw for the majority of online gamers.. They need a reason as to why they PvP..beside bragging rights.. We need persistant territorial combat to make the PvP worthwhile. And it becomes self balancing. If 12% of the game population is Klingon and that almost all take part in territorial play then there will be 12% of the player base that is fed that will have a fight on thier hands.. You can even have your Fed v Fed PvP to figure out who gets to go fight the Klingons.. please.. send us your best , we LIKE a good fight!


We need more content Klingon side to draw more Klingon Players so more federation players have someone to fight. If we have content THEY WILL COME! Its that simple. I know that they are out there.
Waiting. Watching. I personally likely as not know a dozen people who would love to come play AS Klingons.. if they has something to do as Klingons.. right now theres just not that much.. We Klingons dont even have much variety of Uniform/clothing choices to draw apon. currently still only a fraction of the ships availible fed side (though we do have actuall honest to god proof thats about to change... Kudo's to Cap'n Logan) There hardly any role play Klingon side because there is so little here to begin with. And very little to immerse players in the Lore of the Klingon and as of yet only a light touching apon the History of the empire. There's almost more lore about the KDF Fed side then there is for the actuall Klingon players!

What most fed players do not understand is that a huge percentage of that tiny Klingon playerbase are seriously hard core about playing Klingon. It's not just a game to them, its a passion!

SO, we will wait yet again. But, we wont be quiet, we wont be calm, and expecting us to be "polite" about it is a terribly foolish and unrealistic thing to ask of us. We play warriors. Agressive warriors who are anything but humble about being warriors. That 12 percent of the player base that arestill playing Klingon... We ARE the patient ones.. we're the ones that are still here waiting, demanding, requiring. And were doing it for everyoone who plays STO. Because we know that this MMO can be much much better with just a few additions. Additions that dont requre changes in game mechanics, or even the current way ships, and powers work. All it needs is specific content. We know this from our own experience from years if not decades of gameing. Leave the game system alone. Create the content. THEN if changes actually need to be made, make them. Its an ongoing constantly evolving dynamic process that never really ends.

And me, I need to not try and write these post after a triple espesso and no sleep. ~sigh!~

Passionate about STO, Passionate about playing Klingon. Give Me My Game.... NOW!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
09-08-2011, 08:25 AM
The Devs simply progress as usual.:

1. Make big promises to keep some players interested
2. Don't intent to keep them
3. Say that they will be coming "soon", but don't follow up on the promises from 1

That is what I believe will happen. Cyptic has not much developed the KDF since launch and I don't think this attitude will change any time soon. It will even more slow down when F2P since C-Store will have to keep the revenue coming in, and for that tehy needt heir meager Dev team to develop P2W ships, new costumes etc.

Indeed, I agree with mister_dee.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
09-08-2011, 08:33 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bran_Mak_Morrn View Post
I agree, however, there are numerous drawbacks. It takes less time to reach level cap.
What do you do at level cap?
You're going to have to come up with content for end-cap sooner, as it takes less time for players to get there only...
you still have 25 levels worth of content you have to make...
See how we're back to square one? Under the gun to provide new content, as well as create end-game.
What has always come first in the past?
I hear you on that man, but at least they will not be seeing anymore of our money until they create content.

And if they dismiss klingons (par for the course) I sincerely hope that PW will beat the ever loving %(@&%(#*@! out of Stahl and company, financially speaking.

I do not have the slightest faith in Cryptic building up the klingon faction, but I do have faith in PW trying to squeeze as much revenue as possible from Cryptic, now that they've paid 50M for it.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
09-08-2011, 08:44 AM
I'm not a fan of the idea to cut out 25 levels from the Klingons and make new players level a Federation character 25 levels in order to play a Klingon in the first place. As I have said elsewhere, I believe by the time many new Federation players reach level 25, they will have grown attached to their Federation character, will have purchased new items only for use with their Federation character from the C-Store, and will likely have joined Fleets. They won't have much of an incentive to go to an underdeveloped KDF faction. Perhaps that is why Stormshade has admitted that this change will be hard on the Klingon faction.

As for the proposed new update that will reinstate the first 25 levels a make the Klingon Empire a full-fledged faction, all I can say is, "We'll see." I'm not particularly optimistic. Unless they are hiring developers solely to work on the KDF, I just don't see it getting done any time soon. That may be why they are tight lipped about when KDF players can expect to see this. They have made a commitment to release weekly episodes through the Featured Series on a more regular basis. That, by itself, will eat more development time.

My other concern is that Klingon development will stall completely pending this big Klingon update. I've seen it happen in other games. We've been told about new Klingon fleet actions to come at the same time as Federation fleet actions. I can see that getting pushed off for the Klingon update 1) because there is going to be a Klingon update, and 2) they need sparkly new Federation content to promote for all the new Federation players joining the game after F2P goes live. Don't forget their plans to flesh out the Sol system. Obviously, the KDF tutorial that was talked about in the first half of the year won't go live until the Klingon Update. I'm also concerned about what the content in the Klingon Update will be. We've seen a lot written about remastering Federation content to provide content for Klingons from the Klingon POV. I'm guessing this too will be now be part of the Klngon Update. Anyone remember the missions that are supposed to happen in and around First City on Qo'Nos? What happened to them?

At bottom, I suspect that we are going to end up expecting a lot more out of the Klingon update than the Devs will deliver. That seems to be what happens with all updates. I also suspect, the Klingon Update will go live with less than we expect but promises that it is just the first step of things to come for the Klingons, but it can't happen all over night, and they are asking for us to be patient.

I'd feel a lot better if I knew what the priority was for the Klingon Update. Are we talking about Season 5? Season 6? Something after that? The longer the delay, the worse it will be for the Klingons and the less good some huge Klingon Udpate will do when it is finally released.
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:37 AM.