Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 111
01-03-2012, 11:25 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cinos View Post
"Anyone"? Are we not allowed to use DStahl's name anymore? It is of course him who really got people excited with posts like these.
Let's not leave it to chance that folks will follow that link...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Stahl
When we first started the Feature Episode concept, we were uncertain how well it would be received and we tried several different types of episodes in order to see what mix of gameplay seemed to be the most desired. We learned a lot from these past series. We’ve learned that we want to take our time with them and ensure they get more development time. This has led to the idea that at our current development level, we’d be able to deliver about 5 series a year. Given the success of this last series, we really want to release these series more frequently. This means more development time and more resources.

We are currently going back to our master schedule and reworking it so that we will be able to deliver more Feature Episodes more frequently. This means more than 5 series a year and hopefully closer to 9 or 10 which would be ideal and lead to little or no downtime between new episodes. I’m also in discussions with Jack over how we could staff up to support more content in general. So that is all the good news. The bad news is that in order to restructure the team and schedule to accommodate this, the next feature series will most likely need to start shortly after the release of Season 4. This way we can have more content “in the can” and ready to roll on a non-stop basis. In the meantime, we will be releasing more content updates not related to the Feature Episodes.
So we go from a prospective 5+ FE's a year, with the former EP hoping for 9 or 10, down to 2 for sure, maybe 3 in January 2012. And you don't know where we got this idea?

This wasn't just some developer prognosticating about possibilities, this was the former Executive Producer of STO making a formal address to the players in an Engineering Report (which have apparently been dropped since Dan stopped working for Cryptic in September/October).
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 112
01-03-2012, 11:51 PM
Quote:
Game Designer - Systems
Careers

We are currently looking for a full-time Game Designer - Systems to work on our exciting new and ongoing projects. This design position is responsible for creating and maintaining fun and balanced combat gameplay. Combat systems require an understanding of the quantitative (e.g. damage, range, cooldown) and qualitative (e.g. effect of landscapes, player skill, timing) factors that affect the combat experience. This position requires previous game design experience.

Located in Northern California in Los Gatos, we offer the fun, focused and casual atmosphere of a small developer. We actively balance our work with the personal lives of our employees. We only hire the best and most talented people who love the work, the genre and the game.

EVERYDAY YOU COULD BE:

Designing combat-related systems and features that realize the vision of the creative director and lead designer.
Balancing variables to create a combat experience that is fun for diverse playstyles.
Contributing to AI design.
Implementing data for character and NPC abilities.
Providing an example of professionalism and excellence to the rest of the team.

WHAT WE WOULD LIKE TO SEE:

Experience designing combat related systems such as classes, combat, skills, etc.
Experience designing and implementing large numbers of game assets such as items, weapons, spells, or monsters.
Experience with scripting and/or data implementation.
2+ years of industry experience.
Credit on at least one previous shipped game title with a strong combat focus.
Quantitative study of game systems.
Strong math and analytical skills.
Knowledge of Star Trek.
Veteran game player.
MMP and/or RPG experience as player or designer.
Experience in platform and fighting games as a player or designer.
Programming experience.
4-year degree.
I find it incredibly interesting that they mention RPG experience and Knowledge of Star Trek.
The current developers obviously have no knowledge of Star Trek. It all feels like it was taken from wikipedia. Not even memory alpha.

I could rewrite the combat system, both space and ground, as well as the 'level' and 'class' system, and garentee it would be FAR more fun than the current one. Would even be willing to do it for free if it would actually get developer attention
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 113
01-04-2012, 12:11 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by the_collective View Post
PART 1


I mean no offence to the guys at PWE, but you really screwed up on the company you bought. Champions online was making enough money to stay afloat, but STO was only JUST making enough money to be remotely viable in the short term. This is why Atari sold Cryptic.
Someone in the sales department needs to be fired, as buying Cryptic was a VERY bad decision.

There are many reasons that STO was failing. The biggest are:

1) And every single fan of star trek will agree with this: The writers suck. I mean really suck. The writers dont know their ferengi from their breen, their remans from their Klingons, and their stovokor from their cease-fire agreement with species 8472.

2) Too simplistic. The skills system was poorly written, but was complex enough to be expected in a Star Trek game. The ship customisation options was far too simplified. General concensus amongst the Star Trek fan community is that the ship customisation system used in the Starfleet Command series of agames is the best system for ship customisation.

3) WoW in Star Trek costume. We continue to play STO because we a) have lifetime subs, or b) have nothing else "Star Trek" to play. But what we WANT is Star Trek Online. Not World of Star Trek. The limitations of the Kit system for Captains makes no sense. The level based ranking system makes no sense. The promotion system makes no sense. It is all designed to try and capitalise on the simplistic design that made WoW a hit. WoW is fantasy. Any fantasy game can do it. But you CAN NOT do it with Star Trek.

4) Broken promises. This may be the biggest. Cryptic have time and again broken every promise they made. Remember when Season 5 was supposed to be out end of '10. And how when feature series was introduced they were supposed to be coming 1 FE every week? How long has it been? What about full Klingon content? Or Romulans? What about expanded customisation for Klingon factions and full customisation options for Alien?

5) Cryptic is NOT CCP. You are 6 months away from launch of season 6, and you are only just planning. CCP has 6 or more dedicated TEAMS of 3-4 people each that do nothing but work on content for expansions, bug fixes, etc and they can, now, BARELY manage an expansion upgrade in 6 months. Cryptic has constantly shown they can not manage 1 per year. And I mean that adds actual significant gameplay.


Part 2


While I am excited to see that Season 6 will be released soon, It feels like PWE is doing the same thing that Atari did with Cryptic. Make a promise, give no information or minimal information, then break that promise.

Note: This is how ranking/leveling should be done: No level. Skill point total. You start at rank commander. Once you have spent half max possible skill points you get promoted to captain. All tier weapons have skill points spent requirement rather then level. Same with ships. No need for spawns to change, since all spawns now 'level match' to skill point matching would be easy.

For an Ensign to be in charge of a ship, no one would be left alive, except civies. Civies can not run a star ship. For a Lt to be in charge, beyond emergency circumstances, is rediculous. and it is a PATHETIC idea to ever be promoted to Admiral, unless we are given the ability to control more then 1 ship at a time.

Perhaps a AI tree we can build ourselves, and attach to a ship, and depending on admiral rank we can take other ships we own ourselves with us. 2 at first admiral rank. 3 at admiral grade 6, 4 at Admiral grade 11


EDIT: Part 3
First thing, I am glad to see that you guys are at least willing to talk to us!
Now



You mean like the Federation carrier class that WAS promised to us a year ago? Its already in the game (The Typhoon) and Cryptic did promise they would bring it to us.



Cryptic, as mentioned before, promised 1 FE every week. You set the expectations. Not us. Your writers currently suck. They need to be fired. Take a look at the best rated community works. Hire ex star trek and science fiction writers. Or MAKE ALL YOUR WRITERS WATCH EVERY EPISODE OF NEXT GEN, DS9, VOYAGER, AND ALL THE PICARD MOVIES.



Your belief sucks. It takes GOOD GAME PLAY to keep a game going. Look at EVE. Look at Guild Wars. Look at DC Universe. Look at, to a lesser extent, champions online. Look at WoW.
No, the majority of the players liked that there was something new, something major (a new environement with the wonderland, and the duty officer system) that they could actually do. We do nto consider the gekli and other pets, a new ship SKIN, or those flashy weapons something new. We consider them something pathetic designed to destract us from the fact that baring the simplification of something already simplified (skill revamp) and the duty officer system there is NOTHING new so far as actual playable content goes.



Why is it? Every other MMO that is not a sandbox game delivers story content all the time. Sorry, every NON CRYPTIC MMO. Even DDO delivers more story content then the STO dev team. and this is STAR TREK
STAR TREK is story driven. Sure, all the hard core trekkies, myself included, would like a more sandbox styled game (think more like eve, but with a less player driven economy), but right now, your game is not sand box. WoW is more sandbox.



Why? if PWE did what they promised, regarding staffing, you would not need to slow down. Hell, find some of the community members who created missions and live relatively close to the STO HQ, and hire them for mission development. That will make things MUCH better for all concerned.
Thanks but exclude me from your overly gross and rude generalisations...
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 114
01-04-2012, 12:48 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jarnin View Post
This wasn't just some developer prognosticating about possibilities, this was the former Executive Producer of STO making a formal address to the players in an Engineering Report (which have apparently been dropped since Dan stopped working for Cryptic in September/October).
They were "replaced" by the (increasingly vague) Dev Diaries, as Cryptic decided development was moving too fast in pre-F2P for monthly updates to be relevant. Can't find where I read that, though.

Does anyone else get the feeling that when things shift internally at Cryptic, there's some sort of internal embargo on using any of the previous work? We had a dev telling us last year that the DS9 FE was looking great and almost done, but now they're "just starting work on it". The EEPH seems completely unaware of what the last EP was telling their customers. Things are broken in patches and the devs take months to find the problem (code-management software had compare-versions functionality a decade ago).

To quote a song: "Star Trekkin', across the universe, Boldly going forward, 'cause we can't find reverse."
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 115
01-04-2012, 12:55 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdangelo View Post

I'm sorry that the news that we can't produce more featured episodes is a surprise. I was not aware that anyone indicated that it might be possible to get a more continuous stream of them going. I was really happy that I might be able to get 3 series out in one year, and getting 3 serious out seemed like an "epic win" for the dev team to me... but I didn't know that anyone had expectations that more than 3 series in a year was possible. I don't really think it is possible unless the team grows significantly. So I'm sorry that I get to break the news to you all.
Sorry to say but the expectations were set by your predecessor, Dan Stahl:

Quote:
Originally Posted by DStahl View Post

We are currently going back to our master schedule and reworking it so that we will be able to deliver more Feature Episodes more frequently. This means more than 5 series a year and hopefully closer to 9 or 10 which would be ideal and lead to little or no downtime between new episodes. I’m also in discussions with Jack over how we could staff up to support more content in general. So that is all the good news. The bad news is that in order to restructure the team and schedule to accommodate this, the next feature series will most likely need to start shortly after the release of Season 4. This way we can have more content “in the can” and ready to roll on a non-stop basis. In the meantime, we will be releasing more content updates not related to the Feature Episodes. Plus there is the Foundry.
I'm disappointed but I will choose to be understandable with your staffing situation. At least you were honest with us about not being able to deliver the "little or no downtime between new episodes" that Stahl had us excited about.

I just hope PWE focuses on staffing you up because frankly, Cryptic has lost our faith when it comes to delivering on episodes and promises. After the incredibly lucrative "Winter Package Sale" along with all of STO being Monetized for F2P, I expect to see results on you guys growing your team.

From what DStahl said it looks like Jack Emmert is responsible for making sure that happens. Maybe he needs to show up and reassure us that it's his #1 Priority so your team can finally start delivering on things we've been waiting on for 2 years.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 116
01-04-2012, 12:59 AM
I seriously remember a dev, and I THINK it was Dstahl in an Ask Cryptic (which I miss) or an Engineering Report (also very much missed) saying the plan was to be cranking out FEs with only two or three weeks between them. And that sounded great but even then I thought that sounded like biting off more than you guys could chew.

Three FEs a year? I'm totally cool with that. As someone mentioned before I'd rather have three quality ones than five that make me say "wow that was kinda cool I guess." I wanna be WOWed as I have with each FE prior.

Some have mentioned I think "but zomg that's only one FE every 4 months!" Well, yes, guys but they go for longer than a month each so the time from one ending to the next starting is less than three months. Compared to how long we've had since the last one (almost a year!) is that so bad? Not if you ask me.

Now, you can make me REALLY happy by having a dual-quantum torp launcher as one of the mission rewards to go with my quad cannons Oh and I can has Jem'Hadar attack ship? (j/k)
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 117
01-04-2012, 01:00 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdangelo View Post
I'm not sure where some people got the impression that the STO team was staffed up. We're trying to staff up, but the team is not any larger than it has been in the past... and is smaller in some critical areas. Staffing up will take time. I didn't talk about the second half of 2012, because we hope to do a lot more once we have more staff... but it depends on a lot on how successful we are at finding the right people to hire.

I'm sorry that the news that we can't produce more featured episodes is a surprise. I was not aware that anyone indicated that it might be possible to get a more continuous stream of them going. I was really happy that I might be able to get 3 series out in one year, and getting 3 serious out seemed like an "epic win" for the dev team to me... but I didn't know that anyone had expectations that more than 3 series in a year was possible. I don't really think it is possible unless the team grows significantly. So I'm sorry that I get to break the news to you all.
Well, dstahl once said that the goal was new featured series at a steady pace. So everyone presumed this would eventually happen.

Let's hope that P2W, err F2P works out and you can build a team large enough to create more. I think for the large PvE population in the game, Featured Episodes are pretty much the key feature of this game. When people say "content drought", they mean "no new Featured Episodes/Story Missions". Nothing else. I don't even believe they'd count STFs or the new Events as content, and certainly not stuff like the Winter Wonderland. This may seem unfair to the team since it is not exactly easy to create all this - but expectations and perception are what they are.

I'd rather see more PvP content, but cannot deny that Featured Episodes will always get me back into the game regardless of what will happen with PvP. (But even in this area, speaking of "content drought" is easy.)
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 118
01-04-2012, 01:00 AM
3 FE series a year while actually being more than we have ever had seems low. 2010 we had 8 klingon eps, 3 borg eps, 5 breen eps, and 5 devidian eps plus some patrols and things so it set the tone. there was a slightly longer gap before cloaked intentions but you could see the level of quality was way up so understandable. 4-5 series a year seemed realistic baring all the problems they had last year.

dstahl wanted 5 a year and even said 9 or 10 if they could get the staff so im not sure what atari or perfect world did to their staff but it seems like they have less people that in 2010. did many people leave or get moved to the point where 3 series is pushing it?

now if the 2-3 feature episodes series is because that work on the klingons is being done then thats fine. no one can expect a full schedule of FE and work on the klingons at the same time but if this means that no klingon content being taken into consideration then something seems wrong.

i will however say that is nice to get some honesty even if its brutal. I like dstahl but he often seemed to aim his expectation at the very highest rung of the ladder where stephen seems to be more realistic.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 119
01-04-2012, 01:08 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdangelo View Post
To set expectations on featured episode series, I think it's realistic for the development team to produce two or three series a year. I know we can fit in two series in 2012 and I'm trying to build a schedule to get a third one in, but it's not clear that it'll happen.
So that's 10-12 missions a year?. 17-18 if we're lucky. Or about 5-9 hours of playable, scripted mission content for an entire year, and this after a ten month drought, essentially putting you all but a year behind. That's... kinda pathetic.

There's a little over 52 weeks in a year. That means we're looking at 34-42 barren weeks when it comes to story-focused mission-based content.

The goal was one-to-two weeks downtime between series. That should mean around 7-8 a year. So we're missing about 3/4 of the missions we were told we'd get. Which of course would put the barren weeks at around 14, and the playable hours at around 20.

You were supposed to be staffing up to allow for this. What, is personnel planning on hiring thirty new janitors and no new content designers? Well, sure hope your floors get shiny... 'cause it's gonna cost you what was supposed to be this game's biggest draw: the regular influx of scripted content.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sdangelo View Post
It's unfortunately impractical to deliver story content all the time. In fact, story content will mostly be coming through the featured episodes (with somewhere between 9 and 13 episodes next year as per above). I'm working hard to get in more special events (like the Q's Winter Wonderland), more calendar events (like the Mirror Universe or Starfleet Academy), more content that is repeatable (like the STFs), and more fun little weekend events (like the recent Duty Officer weekend).
We've just been through a 10 month drought of story content. The next Featured Series will launch around the one year anniversary of the beginning of the last.

I'm going to go ahead and suggest you take your plans and flush them. It very much seems like you're trying to make the content that should be like "side dishes", served irregularly along with the main course, into the "meat and potatoes" and trying to turn what should be the "meat and potatoes" into the "side dish".

Lets keep in mind that the Features Series were wildly successful and popular, meanwhile you're having to consistently bribe people more and more to play your "events" and repeatables and you're still falling short on those bribes.

Honestly, if this is your idea I'd suggest you let someone else do the planning from now on, since this kinda proves you certainly ain't no Batman.
EDIT: responding as I read, additional responses to followup post
Quote:
Originally Posted by sdangelo View Post
I'm not sure where some people got the impression that the STO team was staffed up. We're trying to staff up, but the team is not any larger than it has been in the past... and is smaller in some critical areas. Staffing up will take time. I didn't talk about the second half of 2012, because we hope to do a lot more once we have more staff... but it depends on a lot on how successful we are at finding the right people to hire.
So does this mean that the Features Episode count will drastically increase from the suggested 2-3 a year when you actually have staffed up? Because your initial post suggested that 2-3 was the plan going forward.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sdangelo View Post
I'm sorry that the news that we can't produce more featured episodes is a surprise. I was not aware that anyone indicated that it might be possible to get a more continuous stream of them going.
Really? How could you not know? This was what Dstahl laid out. It was "The Plan." Remember when he left and you were going on about how confident you were because Dstahl had laid the groundwork and come up with a winning plan for STO's future? So... now you're telling us that you never read the one major part of it that everyone was enthused about? Really? Seriously? How can you just have missed the plan for the vast majority of content to be implemented going forward.

Um, WTF!?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sdangelo View Post
I'm also sorry about how little came to the game in the middle of 2011. I can't do anything to change the past, though.
You can make up for it though by making reparations. Since you're sorry about what has become of the game can we assume then that something to "make amends" is being planned? Perhaps a "gift" of C-Points or Dilithium? Veteran BOffs for everyone who subbed through the drought? A free Odyssey Class for all of our characters? .... something?

It's one thing to admit the team has screwed up, but ultimately it's meaningless unless you do something about it.
/EDIT
Quote:
Originally Posted by D’Angelo[/quote
We’re already at work on the design of Season 6, which is being targeted for a June release. So what’s on the short list of features being worked on? We’re looking at doing some major upgrades on some key parts of the game. Foundry, PvP, and crafting are scheduled to get significant improvements, and there should also be some new features such as a fleet advancement system. We’ll share more details later as Season 6 comes into better focus.
I feel the need to point out that many of the heralded "improvements" that came with Season 5/F2P were in fact obvious attempts to monetize almost every aspect of the game and didn't benefit the player base at all. So while definitions are being given, could we get a definition for "improvements"? It would be nice to know that these improvements will actually improve things for us, and not for the Cryptic Bean Counters™.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 120
01-04-2012, 01:41 AM
That was one's EC vision of the game, this is a new one, of sorts...

Quote:
Originally Posted by The.Restless.Kaiser
Some reallty good news, if you manage to stick to track it looks like Season 5 will have given us 6 months of really good stuff.

I delighted to read the words content in there, and indeed featured episodes, but I have some niggling concern.

There was a pledge sometime ago by the great Stahl that we could expect possibly as many as ten featured series per year. Since his departure I have not seen or heard this restated, or indeed anything close to it. Like many in the community I was overjoyed when I heard that. They are THE best thing about STO. I worry that this idea for expanding high quality content may have been dropped somewhere along the line.

F2P in my epxerience leads to content death... please assure those of us who plan to continue with our loyal subs, that this will be a key development area for the game!
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:12 AM.