Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 1 How about this?
10-08-2011, 09:27 AM
From reading these forums, it would seem like Cryptic is doing, basicly, their own version of an NGE. That really did not work out to well for SOE and the player backlash lasted 6 years+ and even tho SOE tried to backpeddle on several of the "old" systems (beastmaster, jedi annimations, etc), it was NEVER enough for the players who remembered the "before" game. CHANGING the crafting system, the prices in the store, scripted leveling progression, XP ratios, in-game economy to basicly support either long (timed) grinds or payment of real money, free ships heading some1 to the C-store, etc etc etc, right on down the line is in line with the shear amount of CHANGES with a Cryptic version of an NGE.

Dan Rubinfield, NGE dev, several years later via his blog, defended the specific CHANGES that NGE brought on, however he did state that SOE learned the hard way the CHANGING a game mid-stream, was NEVER the way to go. His solution to the problem, via his blog, was to kill whatever game your doing this to and re-launch. Not a real good solution, I admit, and I tend to disagree with him that it is not just CHANGING an existing game but it was also the take away development included therin that players had massive problems with, along with his ideas on why it failed.

SOE's NGE reasoning was to look for a playerbase, that they didn't have, at the expense of the playerbase, they did have, and deciding to go ahead with it anyway fully realizing that they could lose the 200,000 players that SWG had at the time. (sorce - Rubinfield's blog, again) Cryptic has had to discuss these F2P CHANGES the exact same way that SOE had meeting after meeting to discuss their CHANGES, also. I would imagine that the exact same conclusion was came to, that Cryptic would lose part, most, or even all of their existing playerbase but this would be an acceptable loss due to the "new" playerbase this would attrack and gain. Interesting note here tho, SOE's SWG NEVER gained that "new" playerbase. They never came and all that happened was their loss of subs. Cryptic, you also run that prevelant risk here, also.

As a business owner myself, I can see Cryptic's need to CHANGE systems to point players to their store in a free to play mode. I get it. You just can't give everything away for free.............

SO....................., How about the EQ model of F2P? Leave the existing server, holodeck, the way it is. Limited to subs and lifetimers. Take tribble, which you have already, F2P with the option for subs to play on any of the servers. You have your cash grab for F2P playerbase, and you probably do not lose much of your existing playerbase, either. Add the doff system and the other ADDITION CHANGES that have been talked about via the forums, developers, etc for quite some time to holodeck but all of the specific F2P (nothing more than economy CHANGES to allow for money to CHANGE hands via the store) go to tribble ONLY. I'm sure developers know exactly what CHANGES are brought about due to the F2P model and which ones aren't. You have the hardware existing, you have the bandwidth existing, you have even the development existing now totaly seperated as of this date, this move costs you basicly nothing more than what your internal bugets are today and might save you most or all of your existing, PAYING, playerbase also.

You can always add the 2 together, if attrition knocks the sub sever down to the point where it is not financialy viable at a later date. However, the F2P players that you convert to subs would be new players for the paid sub server, holodeck as well. I would believe that the F2P playerbase would have some incentive to go Pay to Play just to get rid of all the cash grabs and get off that server where all the development is pointed in that direction, the C-Store is twice the price, etc etc etc . Cryptic gets to expand to the Asian market with the model they are confortalbe with and the US/Europe, etc retains it's market it has come to know and enjoy.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
10-08-2011, 09:35 AM
They are too far into back out now. its GOING to happen. there is however a difference. You can continue to play the game for free, and they might just attract the player base they want as the game is free. While i think they are making a huge gamble it may work out, then again it may not. I'lll be playing ToR and STO, hopefully STO does get the players they seek so i can continue to play. Just hope for the best is all i can tell ya. It's out of their hands at this point. they are owned by a f2p company so even if they WANTED to back out now, i don't think it's their decision. And with the f2p modle it JUST might work out......hopefully
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
10-08-2011, 10:11 AM
People will not play sto even for "free", ive asked around. Only target audience i see is Star trek fans and now they are disappointed in pw/cryptic.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
10-08-2011, 10:57 AM
I think blueyes77 has a bit of a point. There's not the broad fan appeal that SWTOR will have. The majority of STO players will be the kinds of fans who will be excited about a Rhode Island ship, etc. They will get an influx of more casual or less financially well-off Trek fans who have been wanting to play the game but couldn't afford the subscription. But these are also people that will be less likely to pay for an obscure ship design, either because they can't afford it, or they don't care.

Jentai is right as well, that it's going to happen. But Esquire, your solution is actually one of the most interesting I've seen. I have no idea how things work, but it does seem like your solution is actually viable. That's some very lateral thinking. As a Lifetime subscriber, I love the game, but I'm incredibly bored with it. But because of the changes on Tribble, I've been curious in a way I haven't in a long time. So it just might work. A lot of us who subscribe might also jump over to a F2P server as well, either to see the changes or play with friends and such. Kudos to you for an original idea!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
10-08-2011, 11:00 AM
Sadly Cryptic does not pay attention to good ideas (and yours is a good idea) so it will almost certainly not come to pass. Good ideas are relegated to these black hole sections of the forums only visited by the more vocal and thoughtful players and they are only paying attention to the vagaries of the silent majority anymore.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
10-08-2011, 11:16 AM
I think that only thing that matters to Star Trek fans is living TV-Series / Movies, making people to repeat stuff again and collect large sums of cash for a ship or stuff, hardly feels like proper Star Trek, unless you are ferengi.

This is my first MMO and i am starting to see what people like about MMO games, but still it's very very boring if there is nothing new to experience daily.

That is why i want F2P have Foundry so people can play some really strange missions and free skill respec(t)ing for everyone who starts to like PVP matches, so it will have more competitive feeling and not feel like you are robbed everytime you purchase respec.

Btw: This alienating subscribers/sto fans can be worst thing ever to Star Trek Online IP, but PW is in charge and they think they can force everyone to do everything they desire, but they have never ever met real Trekkie people?

We had a saying: Live long and prosper, but PW have a saying, sell everything, even your soul.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
10-08-2011, 03:09 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Notion
I think blueyes77 has a bit of a point. There's not the broad fan appeal that SWTOR will have. The majority of STO players will be the kinds of fans who will be excited about a Rhode Island ship, etc. They will get an influx of more casual or less financially well-off Trek fans who have been wanting to play the game but couldn't afford the subscription. But these are also people that will be less likely to pay for an obscure ship design, either because they can't afford it, or they don't care.

Jentai is right as well, that it's going to happen. But Esquire, your solution is actually one of the most interesting I've seen. I have no idea how things work, but it does seem like your solution is actually viable. That's some very lateral thinking. As a Lifetime subscriber, I love the game, but I'm incredibly bored with it. But because of the changes on Tribble, I've been curious in a way I haven't in a long time. So it just might work. A lot of us who subscribe might also jump over to a F2P server as well, either to see the changes or play with friends and such. Kudos to you for an original idea!
I seen SOE's mistakes 1st hand. I seen the 50K loss of players at CU (Combat Upgrade), the 150K loss of players at NGE (New Game Enhansments), and the 70K loss of players at C6CD (Chapter 6 Combat Downgrade) CHANGES. All 3 times I left the game as well only to find there was basicly nothing to replace it with within a year later. SWG was a sandbox game and stood apart (even CHANGED drasticly) from the themepark MMOs that were out at the time and are even more prevelant today (IE; WoW clones). STO does not have that sandbox or simulator aspect to fall back on for even some player retention and players coming back thru these upcoming CHANGES. Once you've really played 1 story based themepark MMO, you've basicly got them all, some just seem to do it a little better than some others via the story. Most have little to NO endgame in them. When the story is complete, the game is complete, you've wow. SWG was different in that aspect. Leveling, in SWG, was thought of as a necessary evil as the game didn't really start until you reached the max level of 90. Simulator games are vastly different playstyle to all story based, themepark MMOs.

I can see just from reading these forums that this could very well be Cryptic's NGE of sorts. I doubt that the US is ready for an Asian F2P grinder expecialy with TOR coming out in about 2 months. With both servers used, that they already have up and going, Players who are paying now would see little CHANGE, the F2P people would get the system they have developed and all the C-Store that comes with it. There would also be a choice as to what method you would want, for yourself via a subscription or not. P2Play, and not be nicke/dimed to death, or F2Play and have the store constantly in your face.

I am aware that Cryptic Devs very well know about SWG's NGE as they've made mention of it before, on these forums, before the release of S-4 ground CHANGES. They said they went to great lenghts to leave the existing system almost intact and gave the option of either the new system or the old system to players to get away from an NGE. This might give them a way to do that again.

Another deal for Cryptic to actualy think about is, 1 month after SOE's NGE, Lucas Arts (LA - SWG's IP holder) jumped ship, headed directly to Bioware, and started talks for SW:TOR. CBS, after problems such as an NGE could very well do the same. They both have valuable IPs and if the licensee makes major mistakes in the prosicution of that licence, I would believe they both would be smart enough to take their valuable commodity elsewhere.

It would seem to be the best of both worlds however, SOE was thrown some pretty decent ideas on their forums also (at each of these occurances), "bucked-up", and went right on ahead with the plan and coined the phrase "Working as Intended". I would hope Cryptic management would be a little wiser than what ran SOE at the time.
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