Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 21
03-12-2012, 12:06 AM
off topic here, imagine what the rommie supporters will experience if the rommies will be playable( prob never at the rate)

on topic; as long as the whiners calling op against the klink side to the point of being gimped or broken imo. I am a fed player but klinks needs to be a full faction and cryptic knows this. People that want the rommies are fooling themselves to thinking that rommies are going to arrive, sorry to those i offend but that is a blunt opinion, without the klinks to be a full faction
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 22
03-12-2012, 12:10 AM
What I think is funny is that I have about 10+ level 50's (including fed/kdf). I started a new toon the other day just for the halibut and when I reached level 25, I got the 'You've unlocked the Klingon Faction!' message.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 23
03-12-2012, 12:16 AM
Originally Posted by virusdancer
So stop development for everybody except those that want 1-19 KDF?

That will even alienate much of the KDF population that is already 50, may have multiple 50s, and wants new content appropriate to the level of their characters...

...all with no guarantee that creating 1-19 will justify the cost of it, much less turn a profit.
Here's my thing.

Cryptic wants 1-19 to take maybe 6 hours.

So they should spend two years of development time (because at the rate they claim to generate missions, 20 missions would take two years) doing nothing but creating 6 hours of non-repeatable play for KDF?

Honestly, I'm not sure how that's supposed to work the more I think about it.

I could totally see them committing to making the next several FEs more rooted in the war and KDF lore. I don't think that's the plan but I think that could be negotiated.

I don't honestly know WHY content takes them so long to produce given what we can do in the Foundry.

But leveling content isn't a priority. I think we may not even see any more conventional episodic missions added to the game, FE, KDF, or otherwise. I think we're probably looking at new content delivery systems that aren't designed as missions or for leveling and are not at all intended for players under 50.

I think if they're trying to get rid of leveling, adding more leveling is at cross purposes.
Lt. Commander
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# 24
03-12-2012, 12:59 AM
I'm pretty disappointed and I've about given up hope for a Full KDF Faction. History has shown they are just unwilling to invest (i.e. take a risk) in creating the necessary KDF content.

I believe Cryptic will just release 2-3 Featured Episodes per year. Once they've built up enough faction agnostic content the Level 25 cap will be lowered. Maybe back to Level 6. Not even sure about them making a proper KDF tutorial so Klingons can start at Level 1.

We will see KDF only episodes in the future but they will be sparse. That's about all we can hope for. Lastly, I'd support a Klingon Expansion from the C-Store if that would help. But between this and other things I'd like to see not happening my financial support is pretty much at an end.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 25
03-12-2012, 01:25 AM
Originally Posted by Leviathan99
I don't honestly know WHY content takes them so long to produce given what we can do in the Foundry.

Quite simply, when doing something in the Foundry - you just do it.

For them - they would likely start with the proposal for a new mission. They would need to brainstorm as a team what they want to do. This may take a period of time in of itself for the group to come to any sort of consensus. Then it has to go to the team lead, manager, etc - run up the flagpole. It not only needs to be checked with Cryptic but with PWE and CBS.

If the initial approval is given, then they need to flesh it out more. It will be a combination of writers, coders, sound, visual, etc. Before the different groups can work on their parts, the story will need some form of script. That goes through the approval process.

Okay, so they've got that down. Then they can start to prototype it. That has to be demo'd up the foodchain.

Then the various departments have to work together on fleshing it out further. Have to look at the load it creates, decide whether certain features work or not, etc, etc. It goes back and forth and all around. There's a progress check again - requiring various levels of approval.

Eventually they get to some alpha and beta testing. Refinements are made. More back and forth and all around. They finally have what they believe to be the finished product. Everybody's got to sign off on it again.

All of this, while continuing to work on and support the rest of the project - bug fixes, other items in the works for down the line, etc.

The dev folks could be happy with what they have, only to have some exec say they want X, Y, or Z... and it could be back to the drawing board.

It's nothing like one of us creating something in the Foundry.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 26
03-12-2012, 02:24 AM

But Pocket Books is in the habit of greenlighting entire novels that one person can finish faster than an FE series takes to produce.

Frankly, I think there have to be inefficiencies in how they're approaching this and that a reorganization of the team is in order. (Note: not saying layoffs. Saying a reorganization of people already there.)

I think they're trying hard to apply the same philosophies and workflow to Champions. Neverwinter, and Star Trek when each IP probably needs its own distinct structure.

For me, the ray of light here is what Heretic has been able to do with partial support from a few other devs. Overall, I think STO could probably be broken up into more discreet assignments where one or two devs take point. I'm inclined to think content should be split in two, with a couple people working with Kestrel to develop story content in the form of standard missions, DOff assignments, and events/minigames/crafting systems and a couple of people working on more scenario based play in the form of STFs and PvP.

Basically, split the game into one dev team doing a shooter/puzzler and the other laying lower key groundwork for soloers and small groups (quality missions but no crazy new tech) and then being it all back together for an FE next year that ties together the smaller missions and DOff assignments with the PvP and STFs.

I think one problem with FEs is that they involve the whole team and try to show off the whole team's work at once... and that slows them down considerably. I also think filtering everything through one writer is slowing them down and that Kestrel needs content writers who act as assistants and get leeway to develop their own sideplots more fully. That would mean one person on each taskforce who's a capable script doctor, whetheror not that's the lead for that group.

This is all just outside conjecture on my part but I think there's got to be a more efficient way to utilize the headcount they have. It may be that the skillsets they have just aren't meshing the right way but I'm really hopeful that there's a way to restructure things around people's strengths.
Lt. Commander
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# 27
03-12-2012, 02:41 AM
I mean, maybe I'm nuts but script can be done in a couple of days.

The thing that's missing is that projects need budgets, like a television show, instead of being a showcase for everyone to have a part in.

Most missions shouldn't need new maps very often once the right maps are in place. Most dungeons/STFs probably need a bit more love there.

In TV, you write around where you can shoot and you rewrite if weather/budget/conflicts don't work. I think we saw some attempt at that in the 2800 but I think that's an area where Kestrel's work, great as it is, hasn't quite developed yet... Because Cryptic folks seem very used to being able to create a map when they need one.

It's funny to me because CoH made extensive use of limited maps.

But I've said before(and I think this is true) that when Cryptic split into Paragon and Cryptic, the two development houses split along philosophical lines. Paragon got more of the "homesteader" devs who wanted to tend and nurture an existing game, building on existing assets, and Cryptic got more of the "pioneer" who wanted to develop new games.

The problem is, a few years later, Cryptic needs more homesteaders and they're operating like pioneers. Every FE so far has introduced at least one new abandonware mechanic (shuttles, missions in the dark, EV suits) and Cryptic is still talking about new mechanics, quarterly, without extending functionality for the ones they've got.

New game mechanics don't need to outpace development of uses for existing mechanics and content doesn't have to be a new mechanic showcase. Even massively funded, larger teams like the WoW team reuse bossfight mechanics. It's actually somewhat helpful for players if you do because they learn to start categorizing the types of encounters they'll face in terms of ones where you use interrupts, use armor penetration, use certain kinds of tanks. You have curator fights that require an offtank. You have tank and spank fights. That's not a bad thing. It means people can learn your game. They can't learn your game if you're constantly throwing new mechanics at them.
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# 28
03-12-2012, 03:30 AM
When it comes to processes and getting things done at a snail's pace, I think of a company that I used to work for...

An internal customer would have a want/desire/need. They would take it to their boss. Their boss would present the idea to the other bosses at that level. They would take it to their boss who would present it to a committee.

That committee in turn would turn to marketing and tell them what they wanted. Marketing would put together the RFP and bring that other to a certain level over on the IT side. They would discuss things and it would go to a meeting of the various IT departments on what it would entail.

Meanwhile, marketing would be examining their budget and refine the RFP. Meanwhile, IT would be examining which parts of their budget would be involved in the RFP.

Meetings would go back and forth...the project would get the go ahead.

Part of the project would get dumped on marketing and part of it on IT. A manager in marketing and a manager in IT would be chosen to lead their respective sides of the project. However, they would not have the green light to do whatever they need to do. They would still have to coordinate with the various managers in marketing and the various managers in IT to get anywhere.

This would mean various managers would dump part of the work off on their teams - at various levels of priority, such as never - sometime after never - and if somebody comes by where you need to look busy.

Now, the marketing people could not talk directly to the IT folks and vice versa. Facilitators on each side would have to be picked to act as liaisons between the two sides and also to try to work with the departments on their side of the hall, so to speak.

For the most part, these two people would get no work done but attend all sorts of meetings with all the various groups on the marketing and IT sides to discuss the progress of a project going nowhere.

The marketing side would be dealing with copy, artwork, and the ever changing desires of those internal customers and whatever shiny happened to catch their eye most recently. The IT side would be dealing with the developers, database folks, server, network, security, etc, etc, etc, etc.

The marketing people would generally consider the IT people lazy and the IT people would generally consider the marketing people stupid. There would be roadblocks and butting heads all over the place.

This project would be one of many taking place at the time - and - it would often be delayed because of conflicting priorities. The servers you needed might not be ready, so you miss the deadline for the database guy that moves on to another project, and when you eventually get the server and database guys in place; the network guys are on another project. The marketing side, I'm sure, experienced such things as well (I worked on the IT side).

At some point, the project's product actually comes to life. It's neither what marketing nor what IT wanted. Yet, they manage to sell the lie to that internal customer that it is even better than what they wanted. The help desk is not shown anything about and told to support it.

And it goes on and on... so much back and forth, so many meetings - and - the general feeling that any work being done is accidental. Some of us joked that work got done, because if you looked extremely busy - you did not have to go to meetings.

Ugh, I need a ciggy after recalling that

As an aside, it's kind of funny what you were saying about the split with Paragon/Cryptic... it sounds so much like CCP. Great ideas, so-so implementation, forgotten support, and on to the next great idea.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 29
03-12-2012, 05:39 AM
Originally Posted by CaptainQuirk View Post
My favorite bit comes from Cosmic's post on the last page of that old thread:

"Dstahl has already stated the STO team is getting 7 new people from the hires. It was stated in the Computer Ed podcast."

Seven new people! As stated back in September of Last Year.

That didn't work out the way it was stated, heh. Which highlights a lot of what went wrong with Cryptic last year and on into this year. And what is at the root of the problem with the second faction and its lack of development.

You want to really get a grasp on why they can't follow through? Look at the story in the latest FE. An FE that they said in various spots was being worked on since summer of 2011. And yet it's story has huge plot holes. And the way the single FE episodes link up demonstrates that they need someone, anyone, there to copy edit and see the "big picture" of a story as it is being told.

But they don't have the staff. And because of that, the entire game suffers.

Same problem with the KDF.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 30
03-12-2012, 05:52 AM
Originally Posted by virusdancer
So stop development for everybody except those that want 1-19 KDF?
That's what they did with Free To Play. They stopped development on EVERYTHING for about a year. And then spent 3 months of that year getting the game ready for Free to Play. The other 9 months were spent doing who knows what because of the Atari/PWE sale.

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