Please note that I do not endorse the current 'Mystery Box' system. Here's an alternative.
As the Developers are well aware of, the community at large does not approve of the lock boxes (Or winter boxes, whatever). They claim that they only want to put in a select number of new ships (Such as the Jem'Hadar, or the Galor, and whatever else they plan to put in in the future), usually to appease the CBS Bosses. So here's my suggestion:
Instead of putting the next 'limited' ship in a lotto box, put it in the C-Store. Advertise for plenty of time beforehand. For example: "A new Andorian ship will be in the C-Store on (Date)." Advertise it for weeks in advance, with the date, so that people can plan accordingly. Put the ship in the C-Store, with a SPECIFIC number of ships available. For example, "There are 10,000 Andorian [Ships] available. When those are gone, they are gone." Charge as many C-Points as you want, and people will pay it, I promise you. This way, not only are you controlling how many ships you are releasing, specifically, but it would (To my thinking) please the community, so long as everyone knew beforehand, and was able to plan a time to get online to buy the ship. Keep the lotto boxes for the rest of the items you want to give out, and drop the price to 50C-Points. The boxes will still sell, if for no other reason than to show you how much the people approve.
Also, an idea for the next Box release (I swiped this from another thread, "StarArmy" came up with the idea, I just agree): Special transporter visual effects (Borg, Cardassian, TNG, TOS, etc.). Here's that thread.
Thoughts? Amendments? Arguments? Criticisms?
I hope Bran_Flakes or another Mod/Dev sees this one soon.
I can't say I'm fond of that idea at all. It doesn't matter how well you plan your STO future, if there are a limited selection of ships avaliable on the C-Store, you can guarantee that a large group of people are going to simply be too late getting to them.
I would agree with you that the master keys are whey too expensive (there are topics on this already, so I wont go on about them too much here) but considering how often they pop up, they could be costing 10C points at the maximum. It troubles me when Cryptic shove a 100C point on a key that unlocks a box which could just go and give you something worthless.
I'd say remove these stupid lock boxes, and put the Galor (and Jem Hadar ship) in the store, along with any other future releases. In order to get them, you need to be at a certain rank, and need to complete specific missions. Wouldn't hurt either to knock a few of them down in rank. Why do we need to be an admiral to play in an Attack Ship or Heavy Cruiser? The Attack ships should be open from stage #1 ~ it shouldn't be that much stronger than you're average Sabre Class. The Galor should pair off with the Akira or Cheyenne Classes, maybe the Galaxy at a push, but certainly not Admiral material.
I agree with Ariestrekker's first point about this being a poor business model. Neopets does this (or at least did when I played in 2001). It isn't (or wasn't) fun.
The problem I have with needing to complete a quest or something is that the end reward gets jibbed away from anyone doing that quest unless they front money for it. That also seems like a poor business model and that also seems as though it wouldn't be fun.
I would prefer it if these ships were released on an eligibility basis. By that, I mean exactly as other C-Store ships are sold. From there just make it a seasonal item. By that I mean put it into the store for 2-4 weeks per year around the time of the game's birthday (read: now). For new ships do the same thing at different times. That way we can have a handful of rotating ships throughout the year, which keeps the C-Store interesting, keeps CBS happy, and brings Cryptic money.
For players it means your ships can feel more "special" if that's your thing and it means we don't need to deal with spam or gimmicks, just loyalty and time to get what we want. Anyone not interested isn't bothered, anyone that is interested has goals to set out to prepare for, and everybody wins.
If too many ships enter the game, start rotating them in/out and/or retiring them.
I don't think that anybody would be willing to pay for those ships if Cryptic would split the huge Profit from the Lotto Boxes across only the players who got a Ship.
If you can have 100 people buying 10 - 20 boxes and only one player gets it, then that one player would have to pay for all those boxes instead, i don't think anybody would cough up $1000 or more for a single Ship.
also only the richy rich kids would have a chance to get the item -> which gives Pay 2 Win a complete new level of fail.
Sorry for being vague, it was a statement. I'm not excatly sure what time this latest even started, but when I logged on that night the Dil-exchange was down and the exchange nearly unusable. I'm sure if they set a time for a limited item to go on sale something would crash and everyone but a select few would be unhappy, just like now.