Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 111
12-14-2011, 07:59 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdangelo View Post
Last week, we kicked off the actual development for the series and got the team members working on a schedule that should get the episodes done by the end of January. It takes about 2 months with full focus by the team to get a series put together.
I have gathered as much.

I think what has many people thrown off is that we were told to expect FEs to start cranking out so fast that there would never be more than two weeks between series, starting in July or so. That may have been tied to plans that centered around a dip in quality/necessary resources (ie. FEs that only used existing maps, for example) but that is what you're dealing with in terms of expectations.

Furthermore, SOME single authors in the Foundry who create some of the better reviewed missions have reported taking anywhere between two and ten days on their higher quality missions. The developers have gone on record as saying that many of these missions rival or surpass their own best efforts overall, minus some features like cutscenes and custom loot. (Frankly, the correlation between time and quality has never been established and seems to vary both by author and by project.) Some people are just faster at certain things. I've done three missions and the most monstrous one I could assemble took around 7 days of development.

So this has created an expectation that faster content generation is possible and in the works.

I think hunger for a higher rate of content could be dealt with if nothing else by creating a simple set of templates for shipboard "bottle episode" missions and have some talented developers crank out episodes in that template. Once the maps are done, they're done. The Trek TV shows didn't need elaborate new sets every episode. If the focus was first put on making interiors good (which probably means building them around the idea of no away team but instead maybe stock NPCs costumed as bridge officers; maybe with extra dialogue options if the BOs have trained certain skills) then you'd probably have a handful of interior sets to begin making content for.

I think a bad habit in this game's development is reinventing the wheel and developing gameplay systems like shuttles that get orphaned quickly before developing a new system.

As a good friend of mine in Los Angeles once said, "If the set's paid for, use it." Heck, I spent my late high school days hanging out with an older writer who worked on TV shows like Maverick and Sunset Strip. His whole job at one point was to do rewrites to consolidate the number of sets used.

I remember him telling me the secret: "One week, we'd have a train set booked. So my job was to look through all the scripts for all the shows we were shooting and pick out which ones we'd set on the train. We'd get as much use out of that train as we could. We might film scenes for another show to use later so it wasn't transparent but if we had that train booked, we'd try to film at least a scene for every show on it."
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 112
12-14-2011, 08:12 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Z3R0B4NG View Post
...
!?

the OVERWHELMING ...feedback.... that you are getting?
http://forums.startrekonline.com/sho...10#post3907010
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 113
12-14-2011, 08:19 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rickpa
There are red boxes that open into blue or green boxes? That's freakin' sadistic! That leads me to the real wrong in this whole fiasco. Cryptic is disrespectful to the player base in a mocking way. Like saying "The hundreds of players who won the ships love them!" Ain't that a big neener neener to the rest of us? That's how it struck me.
Some open into the blue box, which normally contains a very nice weapon that would cost a nice chunk of dilithium to obtain.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 114
12-14-2011, 08:30 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdangelo View Post
So far, the numbers show that this is pretty much how it is playing out. Around 40% of players who logged into STO at all in the past 5 days bought at least one Winter Package. Of the people who bought at least one, around 8% of those bought more than a casual number, and less than 1% really made a go for the starship.

The starships definitely are spread out across all levels of buyers, and the overwhelming feedback we're getting is that people really like the Winter Package and how it was put together. It's also clear that there are sub-groups who don't like it for various reasons. We're going to learn both from what people liked and didn't like before we try this again.

In any case, you should not expect anything to be changed with the odds on the starship prize in this current offering. To do so would be unfair to the people who invested in getting the starship.
I'm still not convinced that you wouldn't have been better off to separate the big prize and instead offer a limited quantity via blind auctions.

My guesstimates suggest you'd make the same money or better and also have "losers" who would end up with large quantities of Cryptic Points that would:

A) Generate interest based revenue for PW.
B) Enhance the purchasing power of dilithium for C-Points, creating enhanced sense of value, by increasing the number of C-Points in circulation.
C) Create a focus on the competitive market set value for a scrace item rather than create frustration at artificial scarcity.

Say I bid 5000 Cryptic Points. If I get the ship, I'm happy because I named my price. If I don't get the ship, I get back my Cryptic Points (maybe minus a deposit? maybe with a blue present as a consolation prize? maybe the non-winning bid gets converted into STO points for the sake of your books?) and choose how to spend it, knowing that someone else valued the ship more than I did. In that case, my frustration in that scenario wouldn't be directed at you but at how much more other players value the ship.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 115
12-14-2011, 08:33 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by raygor76
Sir,
in regards to the "Winter Package" and specifically the Jem'Hadar Ship, I suggest you check the forums again. Your statement is an egregious error.
People who post on this forum are a tiny minority of players.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 116
12-14-2011, 08:46 AM
Don't get me wrong, I like the winter EVENT. I'm not a fan of the character-only unlocks for the scarves, but I like the scarves. The boots, snowballs, and such just seem kinda "meh" to me since they'll lose their effectiveness after the event is done. But the event itself is fun, and snowmen are hilarious, and the race is entertaining.

The grab bag is another matter all together. Its the holiday season, and people don't usually have mountains and mountains of disposable income to shovel into CPoints in the slight hope of getting the unbalanced but awesome Jem'hadar Fighter. And some of us lack this mysterious quality called "luck" so even after we drained our existing CPoint balances we got absolutely nothing worthwhile. Gee thanks, 2 acid hortas, a Gekli pet, and an exocomp. Didn't I already have all of those? (The did make nice gifts to give away to listeners to my show, but the majority of the players of this game aren't Internet Radio personalities.)

I'm not going to spend my stipend on more grab bags when it shows up, instead I'm going to save it for later use on something that is an account-wide unlock that doesn't involve a random number generator in any way, shape, or form.

Frankly, at this point I don't WANT a Jem'hadar fighter anymore, since having one makes you a target for all sorts of nonsense in the game.

PS: I can't wait for the ground skill revamp so that ground combat isn't the skill-mess it is right now with more expensive skills that give sub-par boosts when compared to the space skills.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 117
12-14-2011, 08:51 AM
Welll then, if you really have to keep these cash grab bags, only make them winnable in game. Remove them from the c-store.

Why, well you see, you are still creating an elitest attitude of people who have lots of money who can afford to spend $$$$ on the grab bags, and hence have a much higher chance of obtaining said ship.
If they are only available in game for winning the winter race (its not an event by the way) then everyone has a fair crack at getting the ship..

In my mind it should not have been so op in the first place, it should have been just a skin that you could use on any of the escorts, because once again you have introduced a major imbalance into the game.
Or are you intending on releasing a version (does not have to be the bug skin) with the same stats into the c-store?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 118
12-14-2011, 08:59 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdangelo View Post
Hi folks,

When it comes to the Featured Episode series, I'm not sure what Dan might have said before I joined the team, but other than work on the Bajor social map, which appears in the series but is not just for the series, there was not much of anything existing for the Dominion series when I took over in September. Parts of Episode 1 were under construction, but it certainly wasn't anywhere near ready for release. And none of the developers were actively working on the series at the time either.

I made the decision that rather than start work on the series in early October and try to get it out in December, that with the free-to-play date in January, that it was better to target the series for the larger audience, and instead use the two months that we had to get as many fixes as we could into the game. We managed to fix many hundreds of bugs, which has really helped. We may not have gotten to your pet peeve bug yet, but we're still working on them.

Last week, we kicked off the actual development for the series and got the team members working on a schedule that should get the episodes done by the end of January. It takes about 2 months with full focus by the team to get a series put together.

I've been working hard to make the development team's progress pretty transparent. I don't come in posting constantly, but everything that is being worked on gets talked about in the Dev Blogs or shows up on the test servers within a relatively short time after it goes into real development. I try not to post when something is merely on the schedule, since that is very much subject to change.

In any case, I'm sorry that anyone had the impression that the series was further along that it is. I certainly didn't try to give that impression at any time since I took over the EP job.


When it comes to the Red Holiday Gift / Winter Package, we are fully aware that some people are not happy with how this first attempt at a random delivery with an ultra-rare prize came out. We are putting a lot of effort into analyzing what is and is not working well, and how you all feel about it. It's clear that we did not get everything right with this attempt, and we're going to do our best to learn from it.

That said, we are committed to doing future random delivery items that include ultra-rare prizes. It's not an "if" but a "how".

The goal with the current one was to make the Blue Present prize (which includes Holiday Collectibles and a Blue or Purple piece of gear) a very desirable prize for people who want to spend their 400 point stipend or otherwise spend a few dollars getting some fun stuff... and maybe get something cooler. Then we made some middle-tier prizes that are fun things to have, mostly for those people who buy a few for the holiday event to get something fun, like a Horta pet. And finally, we have the rare prizes, which were meant to be something cool and amazing for people to stumble upon. But it was inevitable that some small number of people would try single-mindedly for the rare prize.

So far, the numbers show that this is pretty much how it is playing out. Around 40% of players who logged into STO at all in the past 5 days bought at least one Winter Package. Of the people who bought at least one, around 8% of those bought more than a casual number, and less than 1% really made a go for the starship.

The starships definitely are spread out across all levels of buyers, and the overwhelming feedback we're getting is that people really like the Winter Package and how it was put together. It's also clear that there are sub-groups who don't like it for various reasons. We're going to learn both from what people liked and didn't like before we try this again.

In any case, you should not expect anything to be changed with the odds on the starship prize in this current offering. To do so would be unfair to the people who invested in getting the starship.


Overall, I'm sorry that I'm not posting as much as you would like, or even as much as I would like. The hours are long already (I am nearly 15 hours into my work day today), so finding time to post is hard. Please do work through our new community manager when you feel something needs attention. He's making sure your concerns, issues, and reports make it to the team. I'm definitely lurking on the forums, and 'll try to post when I can.

Stephen D'Angelo
Executive Producer
Star Trek Online
I too want to say thank you very much for taking the time to make this direct post to the playerbase. Communication like this IS appreciated.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 119
12-14-2011, 09:22 AM
Pretty much from with Mr. D'Angelo has stated about those winter gifts I do understand the business aspect of where it comes from but I believe I have a suggestion that may lead to a solution or either a part of a solution to this problem where Cryptic and PW can keep their business model for this. When you make these ships I would suggest creating several models of them. The one that if people are lucky enough to have would be a rare one like it is being as powerful as it is. The other aspect of people wanting to have a jem hadar ship does not mean it has to be as powerful but something usable as a tier 5. I do still stand behind my idea though of making ships like this obtainable also through the doff system as a purpose to ranking up some of these tiers/ranks because a lot of them seem nothing more than accolade grinders. With making new social maps/zones can tie these ships to them to be used in specific areas of space like in an espionage type track like say jem hadar, romulan warbirds, etc limit to the space they would come from for future missions. Although I'd love to be spending money trying to get this jem hadar ship I have to put priorities for my kids so unless I win it in a race or dump the rest of my dilithium for that small chance I won't be getting one. Last bit of advice is that Cryptic as a company for pre-feedback on certain issues should not rely on fanboy feedback because someone who is going to agree to everything you ask of them is not going to give a clear perspective on feedback (which could result in happier customers asking the right questions to the right people).
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 120
12-14-2011, 09:41 AM
Quote:
People who post on this forum are a tiny minority of players.
exactly
so raygor, your statement is also an error, if you really think the forums is the mood of every single game player...

and also, D'Angelo, thanks for responding and please, take a break or get some indulgence... you work so hard AND deal with a lot of the forum heat, you deserve it
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