Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
I'm just going to point to how crafting works in the Sims Social facebook game as an illustration:

http://img593.imageshack.us/img593/8...sscrafting.jpg

You have items that are required pictured there. You can earn those items although I'm sure some players in that game don't realize that everything is earnable somehow.

See those little gold icons with the "3" and "5" next to them? Those let you directly buy the required materials that you haven't earned yet for Sim Cash.

There are ways they police this in Sims Social. Some required items/tasks are not for sale and you MUST actually do them.

So you could show up at Memory Alpha with half the items you need to craft something, right?

And either with C-Points or dilithium, the interface could simply be designed to let players outright buy whatever they don't already own. Some items might not be purchasable. Or you could have the requirement that players must actually have 50% of the mats to craft something and have the option of buying the other half directly.

This would preserve the existing crafting system while making dilithium or C-Points a conversion system.

And I'd like to point out that the model I'm demonstrating comes from a Zynga-style facebook game and is less cutthroat than what we have on Tribble at the moment.Please consider that there's something wrong when a facebook game has a more generous approach towards earning things in-game than a boxed MMO does.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
10-21-2011, 06:57 AM
Monetizing Crafting is Wrong.
Monetizing the game economy is Wrong.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
10-21-2011, 07:00 AM
I just posted this on the release notes page... so I thought I'd add it here too...

Here's what i think should have been done:

All crafting should require:

1) Common samples to create the starting item (or THE item if you want to craft a common item)
for example:
10 reds create a schematic
Schematic plus 10 energy reds creates MkI ground shield (higher level samples create higher Mk items)
OR
Schematic plus 20 energy reds creates MkI Ship Shield

2) Rare samples to add characteristics, for example:
Anyon adds [DMG]
Antithoron adds [CAP]
etc
so you can choose what characteristics your crafted item receives

If you HAVE to add dilithium into the mix, BAN samples from the exchange and make them purchaseable for Dilithium from the vendor in Memory Alpha (meaning people have to continue going to MA after they find a way to let us craft on our ships/starbases). Schematics could be purchaseable for Dilithium instead of EC to further give an alternative 'time saving' way of gaining the required items.

Also this means that there is no need for a dilithium reward on the exploration missions

This way Dilithium is NOT compulsory, but continues to be the pay to win element they want it to be (C-Point exchange)
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
10-21-2011, 07:13 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexraptor View Post
Monetizing Crafting is Wrong.
Monetizing the game economy is Wrong.
Replacing subscriptions with monetized individual features is not wrong. There isn't a moral right and wrong here because MMOs are game-like monetization systems to begin with. However, they work because they emphasive the game-like and make the monetization something which players don't actively think about.

There is no moral code for how things should be. However, there are dumb/ineffective ways of doing it and I think the system currently proposed is dumb.

You should always have the option to invest work into something as a matter of promoting activity and activity is what gives the C-Store items value, which is why it should be of prime value to the developers.

Tying everything into mandatory dilithium eliminates.activity as a valuable pursuit past a certain point, which devalues everything in relation to the C-Points for which dilithium can be traded for. Making dilithium/C-Points an alternative to activity doesn't devalue activity. The hardcap on dilithium and low rate of dilithium gain is what devalues activity. Devalued activity diminishes the value of in-game purchases since fewer people will see them and you have less time to value them.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
10-21-2011, 07:27 AM
Just a random thought I had...

If they really want to keep some kind of Dil in the crafting mix, why not make schematics purchasable with Dil, say in the 1k to 4k bracket, dependent on gear level. Make them tradeable so that crafting can still be carried out by fleets, alts, etc.

So a friend wants me to craft something for them, they send me the samples, and the schematic that they have purchased with their own Dil, I craft the item and send it back.

This retains a Dil element in crafting, if that is where they are going in this plan, but it still keeps the flexibility that crafting currently has. The current tribble set up just kills crafting.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
10-21-2011, 07:35 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leviathan99
Replacing subscriptions with monetized individual features is not wrong. There isn't a moral right and wrong here because MMOs are game-like monetization systems to begin with. However, they work because they emphasive the game-like and make the monetization something which players don't actively think about.

There is no moral code for how things should be. However, there are dumb/ineffective ways of doing it and I think the system currently proposed is dumb.

You should always have the option to invest work into something as a matter of promoting activity and activity is what gives the C-Store items value, which is why it should be of prime value to the developers.
I agree. Cryptic's stated intent in the F2P blog posts has been (or at least seems to me to be) that you should be able to obtain everything in the "core" of the game with dedication and time if you wish; and while that is technically true, the dilithium costs as planned now are ludicrously high. Adding some small dilithium cost to crafting might be reasonable, but when gathering particle traces takes so long (or so many EC) already, tacking on such a large amount of dilithium for items is very unfair to people who don't want to have to spend money just to get what should be a part of the normal game.

Generally speaking, in a F2P game, the "core" of the game, the actual gameplay itself, should be free. Spending real-world money should either A) save time in grinding either for levels or for items, or B) add some kind of bonus content that isn't required to enjoy the game but is nonetheless enjoyable. For example, buying special ships on the C-Store is a mixture of both; it gives you a cool new ship to go play with and it somewhat improves your gameplay ability to let you win fights easier and thus grind faster; and it often makes fights more fun (I have to imagine blowing enemies away with the Spinal Lance of the Galaxy-X, for example, is fun to do).

Allowing people to substitute dilithium (or C-Store points directly) for crafting would serve this purpose. For those willing to spend the money, they can obtain good gear for their characters more easily. Adding a steep dilithium cost so that the options are either spend many days grinding, or pay real-world money, is a bad move, because it penalizes what should be a standard free element of the game.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
10-21-2011, 11:32 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leviathan99
Replacing subscriptions with monetized individual features is not wrong. There isn't a moral right and wrong here because MMOs are game-like monetization systems to begin with. However, they work because they emphasive the game-like and make the monetization something which players don't actively think about.
It's questionable when subscriptions continue to exist, and every monetized system is an additional cost to that subscription.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
10-21-2011, 12:16 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by aimtomisbehave
It's questionable when subscriptions continue to exist
Do they really?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
10-21-2011, 11:30 PM
Agreed that there is nothing wrong with monetizing some of the game system. Obviously, subscriptions are a way of monetizing the game. The C-Store has been a function since the beginning, and micro-transaction-supported F2P is the way all MMOs are heading.

In a F2P system that still has paid subscriptions as an option (including Lifetime), however, the payment of a subscription should negate the vast majority of need to pay for micro-transactions. That's my main concern here: that subscribers are going to end up with the exact same choice as free players: "Grind for Dilithium" or "Pay for Dilithium." Will our 400 points a month allow us to escape the dilithium grind?

Sorry about the tangent, but it is related in that dilithium in crafting means that all the time spent hunting anomalies to craft the best items is now insufficient. Now you have to grind for anomalies AND dilithium.

And really, what is the purpose of all this? To make it so that it's really really really hard to get good gear? There's a fine line between elite gear and out-of-reach-worthless-crap.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
10-22-2011, 12:53 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexraptor View Post
Monetizing Crafting is Wrong.
Monetizing the game economy is Wrong.
What we need to understand (and come to grips with) is that STO is going F2P regardless of what we say or do. F2P requires microtransactions by as many players as possible to work. That's not going to change. How Cryptic implements that may still be influenced by us. Maybe they'll listen, maybe they won't (or can't). I'd rather try than not.

Allowing players to buy the materials for crafting that they don't have (with a higher scaling cost the less mats you have to begin with) won't change anything for current crafters except give them another way to craft without grinding. I won't use that option, but some would and Cryptic would benefit. Or allowing players to outright buy items in the R&D list with C-Points without crafting isn't a bad idea, either. Again, it won't change things for current crafters except to give them another option.

If Cryptic can monetize the hell out of STO without changing gameplay for Gold accounts, I'll be all for it. Letting people buy (partially or completely) crafted items with rD or C-Points is a far better option than the dumpster fire that's on Tribble right now.

I understand the opposition to the blatant (and seemingly malicious) profit-mongering that F2P STO is shaping up to be, but just saying 'hell no, we won't go' isn't going to work. If we give Cryptic valid alternatives maybe they'll take them. It can't hurt, right?


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