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The holidays are here and many are very happy and filled with joy. For the first time since launch, STAR TREK ONLINE has delved into the festivities by allowing Q to create a special holiday zone filled with snow, ice skating, snow men, park benches for star struck lovers to cozy up to each other for warmth. There are also venders that sell holiday goods from all around the quadrants and a tailor to help you dress for the occasion, followed by 2 games, Ice Racing, and Scan the Snow Men. So there is lots to do at this multicultural zone, but what lies beneath...
With the launch of the new zone on Thursday, another releases hit the C-Store shortly after. Before we get to the C-Store, let's run down the prizes for completing the Ice Race, the only repeatable game in the zone this year that allows you to play once a day for a prize.
The Holiday Event is Live
By Jesse Heinig, STO Designer
Q’s games will frequently award a Green Holiday Gift, but if you’re lucky you might get the more valuable Blue Holiday Gift. The rare Red Holiday Gift is at the top of the pile, and is highly desirable!
Red Holiday Gifts hold all manner of mysterious goodies – many of them hold a Blue Holiday Gift inside, but some will have rare gifts. Red Holiday Gifts have a chance to award you with a C-Store item or even a bonus item that is no longer available or can’t be claimed any other way. You won’t know what’s inside until you open it!
Many of the Red Holiday Gifts will have a Blue Holiday Gift inside of them, which you can give to a friend or open up to get a nice item and some Holiday Collectibles.
An uncommon quantity will contain a 1-Hour Skill Point Boost good for one hour.
A small number will have a C-Store pet, such as a Horta, Gekli, Exocomp (for Federation characters) or Targ (for Klingon characters).
A few rare gifts will have a Holographic Tribble, which both Federation and Klingon officers can use. The Holographic Tribble creates temporary holographic duplicates of itself when petted, so that everyone on your team can gain a tribble bonus.
Some very rare gifts will have a mobile emitter for a Holographic Science Officer, an 8-hour skill point boost, or a booster pack of Duty Officers.
And if you’ve really earned Q’s favor, you have a chance to win a special new starship – one of the Captured Jem’Hadar Attack Ship that Starfleet and the Klingon Defense Force have been finding scattered across the quadrant. This attack ship is a fully-functional unique escort vessel that can be commanded by an admiral. Only a few will be found, and there is no other way to acquire them. Thus, you’ll never see more than a few of these ships in sector space, and having one is a special experience that not all admirals will experience.
Jesse does continue to explain that you can get more Red Boxes on the C-Store and that the you can participate in Q's Events every day to have a chance to earn one, and then closes the blog with "as the 22nd Rule of Acquisition states, A wise man can hear profit in the wind.” This part is what the article is about.
As stated, the Red Winter Packages made its way to the C-Store for 100 cryptic points each. By getting a Winter Package, you can give it to a friend, or open it yourself to get one of the following tradable items:
Unique Jem'Hadar Attack Ship
Faction-appropriate Duty Officer Pack
Holographic Science Bridge Officer
8-hour XP Boost
Gekli Space Pet
Targ Pup Pet (Klingon Empire characters only)
Exocomp Pet (Starfleet characters only
Eisilum Crystal Horta Ally
Polytrinic Acid Horta Ally
1-hour XP Boost
Blue Winter Package with a space or ground weapon and holiday crafting materials
The above list represents a Lottery. For the cost of 100cp = to around 1 US dollor, a player can buy a box with out knowing what is in side. See Lottery and Gambling below. Wile interviewing many people on this, they all do agree that they would most likely spend their 400cp monthly stipend to get a few extras crafting materials to get the cool Boots, Snowballs Winter Tribble and Scarfs. But with the addition of the Unique Jem'Hadar Attack Ship, people have confess to burning up money to get this rare ship.
Unconfirmed rumors in the community say that someone spent 1000 US dollars to get this rare ship and he still didn't get it. I've talked to 3 players in game that confirmed 3 counts of privet sale.
Player 1 was lucky and gifted 1000cp to a dealer via virtual cryptic points card, vaule = to $12.50 US
Player 2 said they spent $100 US to buy it from a dealer using paypal
The last is an extream case. Player 3 got his Jem'Hadar Attack Ship by means of the Energy Credits Black Market. This very dangers method involves paying real money to an in game harvester who will ether give you the EC after by means of trading on the spot, or by you surrendering your Toon and placing it under their control for an X amount on time for harvest. Thus leaving your account unavailable to you until they return control back to you, if they give it back to you, much like the power leveling market.Now this player payed 400,000,000 energy credits from the in game Exchange where players can sell their unwanted items to other players for EC. As I said, he needed 400,000,000 EC, so the Black Market formula is 5 US dollors = 5,000,000 EC. Now 5 million goes in to 400 million 80 times meaning that he spent 400 US dollors to buy the Jem'Hadar Attack Ship.
The one thing all the Confirmed and Unconfirmed rumors have in common is that a player by means of the Ice Race or by C-Store, a player can win the Jem'Hadar Attack Ship many times and can sell is for ingame or real world profit. Also as seen above, many will go to extreams to get this prizes ship. I myself has stated on my Talk show/podcast Tribbles in Ecstasy that I had spent over 100 euros in my quest to gain this ship as I'm a ship collector and frankly loved the design. I felt horrible sitting my wife down explaining to her what I did.
For your Consideration:
The Dev team has said that this was to keep the numbers of the Jem'Hadar Ship down, and that proper canon would not support every Fed or KDF played having one. If this is the case, then here are some ideas you may want to consider.
Keep it in the Ice Race and maybe rase the chances of winning it in a fair way for all.
Remove the Jem'Hadar Ship from the C-Store Winter Package as its more of an incentive or deception to make player Gamble their money away in a Lottery.
Make it Bound on pick up and that its Unique so that a player can only win one because of the unintended supporting of the Black Market and Privet sales.
Place a Receipt tab in the C-Store so player can keep track of there transactions.
Allow player who have spent X amount of C-Store points to sumit a ticket to possible receive a Jem'Hadar Ship
The majority of the community agree that if your placing a ship of this kind in game, that it should be over priced to limit players from buying it, or in a timed sale with 24 hours notice, or win it in a game of chance like the Ice Racing as they all agree that placing a random box with this kind of prize is believed unfair and supports Gambling and Lottery.
What is Gambling?
According to BusinessDictionary.com, Betting (wagering) that must result either in a gain or a loss. Gambling is neither risk taking in the sense of speculation (assumption of substantial short-term risk) nor investing (acquiring property or assets for securing long-term capital gains). It also differs from insurance which may reduce or eliminate the risk of loss but offers no legitimate chance of gain.
What is a Lottery?
According to BusinessDictionary.com, Type of gambling in which winners are chosen by drawing of lots, from among those who have paid money to participate. Promotional schemes requiring a consideration (a purchase) to take part, and offering prizes only on the basis of random chance are considered a lottery and are generally illegal. In comparison, a sweepstake eliminates consideration and a contest eliminates chance.
It would be a lottery if the Red boxes ONLY gave you a chance to win the ship, but notice that they were careful to point out that the average value of the various items equals 115 points, i.e. more than you pay for it.
There is a very fine line being walked here. And i'm not Anti-Cryptic, over all i'm still a very strong supporter of STO, I spent another 100 euros this month,lol. The point of the article is for them to get feed back and ideas. I'v shown how their system is generating money for them, plus the privet and Black market, and also some thing to improve on like allowing a player to only ever get one and its bound, and or keep it in the Ice Race.