Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 31
10-24-2011, 04:12 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by LeoKesler View Post
In conversion from holodeck to f2p tribble, we lost VA token for a free ship and probably the token for a shuttle ship.
The token for a shuttle comes specifically for the mission "The Vault", and as a shuttle is *required* for that mission, you'll still get your token for the (pretty lackluster) type 8 and whatever the KDF equivalent is.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 32
10-24-2011, 07:35 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by StarkeRealm View Post
It's been pointed out that PWI has/had a hands off policy towards their western purchases. Specifically with Torchlight. So it's really more likely this is all on Cryptic's shoulders, or at worst/best Cryptic egregiously misunderstanding PWI's directives.
To my knowledge Torchlight isn't an MMO and wasn't already in a transitory stage when PWI "partnered" with Runic. The wheels of F2P were (theoretically) already turning for STO when PWI stepped into the picture. Without official comment we'll never know how big a part PWI played in determining what form STO's F2P would take (and even with official comment, we probably still won't know for sure). Considering that CO's F2P transition turned out well, and that much of what Dan said of STO's future F2P path (hypothetically speaking, at the time) sounded very similar to CO's model, it's reasonable to believe that Cryptic isn't making the design calls on STO F2P any longer (STO F2P resembles Eastern F2P games, and Cryptic's new owner just so happens to make Eastern F2P games that could serve as a blueprint for what STO is becoming. I seriously doubt that's a coincidence. I also doubt Dan's departure is a coincidence, either). But I don't think we can't just point and say 'it's their fault' because ultimately it doesn't matter. STO is fundamentally becoming a different game regardless of who is making the decisions. And it's looking like a game I won't like, won't play, and won't recommend anyone else play, either.

And if Cryptic is the one egregiously mismanaging the F2P transition this badly, then STO was pretty much screwed regardless of who bought Cryptic. Either way, we (the players) lose.


Z
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 33
10-24-2011, 08:01 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by GenEricII

Actually, it doesn't make me chuckle. If anything I'd shed a tear. I'd be saddened that we lost Mr. Stahl because PWI wants to turn STO into another Korean grind fest MMO and forced Dan out because he stood against it.
Dan's at Zynga. I don't think he'd be standing against anything we're seeing here "on principle" when every complaint I see here is about something central to (and about 50x as prominent in) Zynga's philosophy.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 34 Please Stay On Topic.
10-24-2011, 09:14 PM
People I would ask that you please take your off-topic conversations about former employee's reasons for leaving, other games, and/or various countries' gaming philosophies to another thread (there are plenty of them).

I would like to keep this thread open. This thread's topic is to track and comment on changes in a STO's subscriber's game play between P2P and F2P. I encourage your input on any noticed changes and how you feel about them, how you'd suggest they be otherwise, etc. Debating, for example, any Dev's principals is entirely unwelcomed here.

I appreciate your understanding and composure. Thank you.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 35 Cost Examples?
10-24-2011, 11:43 PM
First off Patrician, I think you've been giving me some help in game; and seeing how involved in the forum you are I really appreciate your approachability.

Second: I'm part of a group of people who have or may come back for F2P. I like the game as it is now; considering I quit before season two, it has a lot of positive changes. However, the gated dilithium currency system and the ambiguous CP conversion ratio really, REALLY concern me. The dev blog claims I can avoid paying a dime if all up want to do is outfit myself with "moderate" gear. What is moderate? Greens? Blues? Greens are not competitive if Johnny Credit Card can buy a full set of purple gear in seconds.

The Borg zone explore rewards five currency tokens, and if memory serves the STF missions offer several per phase. A purple starship weapon is seven currency tokens. Even doing one zone explore a day, you can outfit yourself in "epics" in relatively short order. How much do these items cost in dilithium? Can someone post some comparisons or link me to the existing post?

Right now the game is worth paying for at least until I get bored again. But with having a limiter on character slots, inventory size, currency storage, and level up perks, F2P dots not sound like an option for me. However, if even subscribing will still largely need CP infusions on top of the stipend, the ENTIRE GAME is not worth playing.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 36
10-25-2011, 12:36 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by PatricianVetinari
I'm waiting eight months to unlock what I used to be able to do instantly before, with more variety/choice.
Butbutbut you won't be losing anything you have right now!
A subscriber who's already maxed out every character they're ever going to play won't notice any changes! So nothing is changing!

*deactivating sarcasm drive*

Quote:
Originally Posted by PatricianVetinari
I have this feeling... It's only a theory with nothing to back it up. But I wonder if part of Cryptic's money problems are because there are "too many" LTS members who's subscription value has been used up. They've passed the "break even" point (which, for example, the people who paid $300 would reach at their Magnificent Veteran Reward, 600 day (20 month)).

All these subscription assets they had are used up, but these players are still hanging around, using resources and demanding content, yet are now (financially speaking) liabilities to the bottom line.
This is impossible unless STO has completely failed to gather new subscriptions at a reasonable rate*. Eve, during its period of ridiculously great success and growth** had an average subscription time of only 7 months, and grew on turnover. That's typical of the industry, as far as I can tell. CoX, which is older than WoW so the maximum possible is higher and has a legendarily loyal community, had an average of 17 months at one point - which was commented on by one of the devs as being 'surprising'.

Thus, I would expect at least a simple majority - and would not be surprised if it was a vast majority - of LTS purchasers put more money into the game, up-front and available for immediate reinvestment, than they likely ever would have as recurring subscribers, even if STO were a brilliant, industry-leading game. The money they put in should never become an appreciable drag unless an insufficient number of new people buy and subscribe (including making new LTS purchases, and injecting new large lump sums) to the game.

And that doesn't even begin to take into account the empirical implications from how LTS and monthly subscribers actually lost nothing in the CO transition, when CO was obviously hurting badly, and CO re-introduced its LTS offer.

They're milking everyone harder because they think they can. Unfortunately, from the strength of the IP rather than the game itself, they're right.

*Not that I would find that surprising.
**That is, before they gave their customers a dual one-finger salute.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 37
10-25-2011, 01:46 AM
Patrician, thank you for putting this together; with so many changes, it gets confusing what's what right now. I'd like to offer my own thoughts, as well; but let me say that most of them follow yours! Thankfully, as more than one dev has said, we have time to make changes, so hopefully some of this will get refinements along the way.

Positive Changes
Agree with your thoughts here, almost 100%. I would say, though, that your thoughts on the power-to-console should be in with the Pay2Win section, since they really do go hand in hand...and also, the fact that you have to keep the consoles on the ship type is a bit disappointing.

Negative Changes
* T5 Excel Nerf:
Agree, totally and completely against the 'won't take anything away' comments, from devs other than Dstahl.

* Dilithium Added to Crafting:
I, in some ways, get what the thought process was; you have to make something that every player wants/needs, in order for the CStore<>Dilithium store to actually work. But should it be attached to crafting, thereby going back to taking things we had away? Absolutely not!

* In-Game Ships Removed:
Yep, back to the 'won't take anything you have now away' talk; and no, I don't really consider the 'in game means' to be the CStore<>Dilithium market. At least if you have the ships, you'll keep them (for the moment) so it minimizes this. But people that transfer are complaining about not getting the consoles properly, so some things to work out yet.

* C-Store Prices got Jacked-Up!
Completely agree; I have only seen 3 things changed for the better: 2 were lowered, one stayed the same. More comments to Wulfman below.

* Time-Gated Currency/Conversion:
I really do see why they want to gate earning Dilithium, making the exchange store; it is real money by proxy, so it needs to be controlled way more than EC ever was thought of being. Yet, I feel they may be a bit too far on the wrong side, and should ease up on the refinement limit, or give Golds unlimited (and maybe Silvers a hefty CPoint price to unlock unlimited).

Uncertain Changes
Most of these I'm with you on, and only want to comment on three things:

* Respec Purchases:
Exactly why Merit/Honor should be kept! Respecs, ship name/registry changes, and BO training should all stay with Merit/Honor. There would be no major change to make to the mission rewards, and it just plain makes more sense to train with Merit/Honor.

* Pay-to-Win:
Does anyone remember when ships first started to appear on the CStore? The line we were fed about them being placed there, and not put into the game? They were supposed to be, from the start, just fluff, and nothing more. Wanted your ship to look different? Fine, here's a skin to buy; and I'm cool with that. But being told that 'no game changing items' will be put in the store, and coming to this, seems to be so backhanded it makes me wince. (Sorry, can't find the comments about this, it was 1 1/2 years ago)

* Forced Mission Progression:
I'm actually a huge fan of making it so you have to do the story missions in order. I've sometimes not paid attention, and actually done a couple of the later missions before the earlier ones, and wondered what the devil my officers were talking about; so I'm all for gating some of it. That said, I don't like how they have gated the entirety of the story missions behind one another.

My idea is it should probably be like this: you get the Klingon arc first; when you hit the right level, you get to start the Romulan, even if you aren't finished yet with the Klingon; then at the right level you can start the Cardassians, again even if you aren't through with the previous two. As far as I know, and I haven't played them all, they don't share an arc, other than the overall story, so why gate them behind one another?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wulfman View Post
Nice summary, but I would argue some of your negative points:

* No VA Ship Token:

While you indeed not get a token anymore, you gain dilithium during leveling and if you have a subscription you gain teh above mentioned 400 cp per month. Hence, as a subscription player there is most likely no limitation in getting a VA ship when you rank up (if you do this optimised for the new rewards).
Even if we go with the ship prices on Holodeck, that is still three months of saving to get ONE VA ship; what about people, like Patrician, that have more than one character, and want a different ship on each? I don't believe they should have to wait, nor do I believe they should be forced to buy more points, if they wish not to! I will conceed we need to see where the exchange goes, hopefully it works as intended, and does supplement.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wulfman

* C-Store Prices got Jacked-Up!

Your example is the 1600 cp ship that was 1200 before, which in the end is actually a 0 increase for players with subscription, since they get 400 cp now (each month) and did not get any before. Considering that some other items kept the price or actually got cheaper the statement that C-Store Prices got Jacked up is not generally correct.

In any case, if I look at the balance sheet I am so far linking most of the changes. The most critical imbalance is with Dilithium and Dilithium prices for items to my mind.
I'm sorry, to me, the 400 points is supposed to be a bonus, not a 'we jacked a bunch of things, so here's the difference to placate you'.

I also respectfully disagree with you on the 'jacked up' prices; yes, some things went down, and one or two even stayed the same; but I have to agree with Patrician, at least 80% went UP. Please take a look at the store again to compare.

Off the top of my head: Ship costumes doubled(160 to 320!); character uniforms went up; RA and VA ships went up by the aforementioned price; all bank, BO slot, ship slot, and respecs went up; the Caitian and Aenar BOs went up; most bridge packs are up.
Things that stayed the same: NX prefix and a few bridge packs; I believe playable races as well.
Things that went down: T1 and T2 ships

So yes, I believe his comment to be 'generally correct'. I do, however, agree with you 100% that the Dilithium rates should be adjusted (both conversion and store rates). If they want to change ships to now be bought with DL, fine; but they should be 1:1, the same DL price as the current EC price is...I find it ridiculous to want 40k DL for a ship, and expect to pay another 40k (at least) on gear for it. My fresh start character doesn't even have the 15k a T2 costs, and barely enough to afford the MK VI weapons for it!

Ok, I'm a little long on this, so I'll leave it at that.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 38
10-25-2011, 02:41 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by zordar View Post
To my knowledge Torchlight isn't an MMO and wasn't already in a transitory stage when PWI "partnered" with Runic. The wheels of F2P were (theoretically) already turning for STO when PWI stepped into the picture. Without official comment we'll never know how big a part PWI played in determining what form STO's F2P would take (and even with official comment, we probably still won't know for sure). Considering that CO's F2P transition turned out well, and that much of what Dan said of STO's future F2P path (hypothetically speaking, at the time) sounded very similar to CO's model, it's reasonable to believe that Cryptic isn't making the design calls on STO F2P any longer (STO F2P resembles Eastern F2P games, and Cryptic's new owner just so happens to make Eastern F2P games that could serve as a blueprint for what STO is becoming. I seriously doubt that's a coincidence. I also doubt Dan's departure is a coincidence, either). But I don't think we can't just point and say 'it's their fault' because ultimately it doesn't matter. STO is fundamentally becoming a different game regardless of who is making the decisions. And it's looking like a game I won't like, won't play, and won't recommend anyone else play, either.

And if Cryptic is the one egregiously mismanaging the F2P transition this badly, then STO was pretty much screwed regardless of who bought Cryptic. Either way, we (the players) lose.


Z
I actually agree with most of what you're saying, I figured it should be said, however, as PWI seems to be the favored punching bag at the moment, and it sets an unfortunate precedent with which to view the changes, and a convenient scapegoat.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 39
10-25-2011, 03:08 AM
Thanks for this.

Can i put a mod request in and we get this sticked please?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 40
10-25-2011, 06:57 AM
The biggest changes for me are mission chaining and the dilithium cost for crafting. Crafting is already painful given the need for anomalies and rare traces, although I guess the Doff system makes this a little better.

I enjoyed being able to skip over missions I didn't particularly like (such as Divide et Impera). Doing a DSE or two to replace the SP lost from skipping a mission wasn't a bad idea.
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