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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
Hello everyone. I don't know if anyone heard the last episode of Podcast UGC, but we explored our distaste with the announcement that Klingon PVE Story content would no longer be invested in because Cryptic has decided that the around 18% player base of the Klingon Faction is all that can be expected from it, and for their to be more investment in the faction, there needs to be more players.

On the podcast, I disagreed with this, arguing that this is in fact a catch 22: If they're going to make more Klingon content, they need more Klingon players they say. BUT, to get more Klingon players, they need more Klingon content!

That being the case, we're nonetheless seeing an increased focus on these events, like the recent Vault Shuttle Event that was released. Cryptic Studios believes that these forms of repeatable content are clearly far more worth their content team's time and effort than Klingon PVE Story missions, else they wouldn't have cancelled Klingon Story PVE expansions.

What we at Podcast UGC would like to know is: do you feel the same way? Have you played KDF faction and events like the Vault Shuttle Mission and the Borg Invasion of Defera? What do you get more enjoyment out of? How often do you attempt or bother to play scheduled event content? What are your opinions of scheduled event content?

We want a discussion to be had so we can accurately assess the engaged community's opinion of Cryptic's design direction, so we can discuss it on our show. Thanks everyone!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
04-22-2012, 01:52 PM
KDF PVE Story. So it can be a complete faction finally.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
04-22-2012, 02:02 PM
Well this sounds like an interesting discussion... *goes to listen to it*

But what I will say for now is that I can't say I dislike events (apart from the difficulties they can present with scheduling) but since your asking me to choose between them and pve content for the KDF, I would say events. (I don't think its that clear cut though).

I feel the KDF should be resigned to a mini-faction. Realistically, it has no other positive future imo. It would allow Cryptic to add to it piecemeal over time, like Alpha, and look forwards to developing more jointly accessible content as well as potentially other mini-factions to bring in cash.

Apart from a string of important external influencing factors, this company has spent two years flip-flopping with development as a whole. Wrangling with the mess that KDF is has been part of what has detracted from a cohesive direction in development in all that time, imo. We need things to go forward more and not have the dev team constantly reworking old content, or correcting the lack of it in a failed faction.

I love playing as KDF, but I'd rather be pragmatic considering there are only 6 people on the content team iirc. I feel as if the longer we go asking for concentrated KDF pve content, the more it becomes like a family asking for new suits to be made for a loved one who is on a life support machine, who is brain dead, and who will never be a full person. Its better they sign the release forms, harvest the genetic material and create new life going forward.

(ofc that analogy is quite strong compared to a video game. A family like that would be very cold and ethically questionable to do that last bit.. but thats kind of what I feel is best for KDF atm).
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
04-22-2012, 02:13 PM
Hmm, interesting.

But is KDF brain dead? It seems quite alive and well every time I long in over there, and the plethora of BortaS vessels I see flying around is a testament to the amount of money waiting to be spent over there.

Is the problem with the lower player base because KDF is in fact "brain dead" and failed, or rather than everyone from the playerbase to Cryptic itself advertises it as a "half faction not yet complete"? If free-to-play players had the opportunity to pick a Klingon from Level 1, instead of having to wait for Level 20, would they be so invested in a 20 leveled Starfleet character and not care about KDF?

Do the majority of us not get invested in the faction that is our main? If there were a complete KDF faction that would offer the ability to pick KDF from the start, would KDF STILL merely be around 18%?

How often do you make the time to play Defera ground invasion? Does that keep you tied to Star Trek Online and hence, influence your desire to spend money on it?

Would having a complete KDF faction to invest your emotions and energy into, not give you better incentive to spend revenue?

Just a few more questions to get juices flowin'.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
04-22-2012, 02:21 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Havraha View Post
Hello everyone. I don't know if anyone heard the last episode of Podcast UGC, but we explored our distaste with the announcement that Klingon PVE Story content would no longer be invested in because Cryptic has decided that the around 18% player base of the Klingon Faction is all that can be expected from it, and for their to be more investment in the faction, there needs to be more players.

On the podcast, I disagreed with this, arguing that this is in fact a catch 22: If they're going to make more Klingon content, they need more Klingon players they say. BUT, to get more Klingon players, they need more Klingon content!

That being the case, we're nonetheless seeing an increased focus on these events, like the recent Vault Shuttle Event that was released. Cryptic Studios believes that these forms of repeatable content are clearly far more worth their content team's time and effort than Klingon PVE Story missions, else they wouldn't have cancelled Klingon Story PVE expansions.

What we at Podcast UGC would like to know is: do you feel the same way? Have you played KDF faction and events like the Vault Shuttle Mission and the Borg Invasion of Defera? What do you get more enjoyment out of? How often do you attempt or bother to play scheduled event content? What are your opinions of scheduled event content?

We want a discussion to be had so we can accurately assess the engaged community's opinion of Cryptic's design direction, so we can discuss it on our show. Thanks everyone!

To me, I like storylines more because it feels the game is progressing and gets you involved. Events are nice as "busywork" and good for technological game improvements, but if they aren't dynamic enough, it can easily lead to quick burnout.

As for playing the KDF faction and events, I do almost daily between my Fed and KDF characters. In fact, I just completed all 3 of my KDF in the Tour the Galaxy race and got them to Tier 4 Exploration, which is really the only way to get Exploration as KDF. But I've yet to do the Vault Event on my KDF since I was focused on 1 of my Federation characters, however I've given up on the Vault since it's too much of a grind for a lousy reward.

Also I played my KDF in getting all the accolades on my KDF and even got them the 3 Borg guns and 2 Fractal Remodulators each.



But again, to me the storylines are fun if done right. Events are good for a short time if it's not an obvious grind. Unfortunately Cryptic tends to overdo it with grinding and all for lousy rewards. Thats something they really need to change.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
04-22-2012, 02:32 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Havraha View Post
Hmm, interesting.
That analogy isn't quite suitable to describe all that is the KDF, I admit. I have been actively playing as KDF primarily these past few weeks over any of my Fed characters. Its been active, its been busy, its been great fun. There is a future there, but I don't feel its a future where we can expect 20 missions to fill a void in one go (after a concentrated effort by Cryptic over a few months - while not working on more events etc).

IMO, a major issue with KDF is Accessibility. Right now, I struggle to find any significant reference to them either direct or assumed in any STO advertising. The banner above these forums says it all. Look how small that Bird of Prey is. ^^

However, having KDF accessible earlier (or as you say at level 1) is somewhere we've been close to before.. and there just wasn't enough content to stretch for 1 to 50 to justify it as a quality experience. I resolutely believe that is why being officially structured as a mini-faction can only be a good thing as regards to additional updates and more concentrated shared-content between all factions. I do think they could do a lot more to get to that status too: like a proper tutorial, immediate access without rolling a FED toon etc

My feeling is that KDF would still be around 18-25% of the playerbase if that work and more was done. While the KDF has many races, for the most part you must engage with Klingon ethos to really feel at home there. Klingon support in Trek as a whole is small, but very strong - if that makes sense.

I think we will never see an equal share of KDF than FED, just like we would not see an equal share of say Ferengi, or any other species that just didn't have a lot of time in the spotlight. Plus the FED is very accessible to many ideologies, its own beliefs can often be flexed to suit as well, whereas Klingons have a very established motivation in all things - at least thats how I see it, and I think that prevents their widespread appeal.

I play Defera at least once per week with other people on the medium maps (sometimes on the hard maps). Unfortunately I haven't been able to do it more than solo on my KDFs. I think the topic of scheduling is that zone's Achilles' heal - but it also suffers from other important issues like not being able to queue for the maps inside it and have FED ally with KDF to run the content (even if we have to all meet up outside the power facility entrance etc).

Events help give -one- reason to log in. However, I don't set my time by them. I usually engage with events when I am already online doing other things, or not doing other things as the case may be. I'm not motivated to spend money on such things primarily because I don't need to most of the time.

Quote:
Would having a complete KDF faction to invest your emotions and energy into, not give you better incentive to spend revenue?
Is that aimed at me the "would be developer" or me the "prospective customer"? As a customer, yes. Its how I feel about buying FED exclusive additions to my gameplay - but I would feel that about an official KDF mini-faction whose development would take that into account the concentration of content within those 25 ish odd levels as well as looking forward to shared activities.

Right now, I buy less on KDF side simply because they are in eternal limbo. The uncertainty attached to them makes it difficult for me personally to throw all my chips in.

p.s. I can agree with Azurian about a preference to storyline over events (unless as events they progress the storyline)
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
04-22-2012, 02:39 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Havraha View Post
Hmm, interesting.

But is KDF brain dead? It seems quite alive and well every time I long in over there, and the plethora of BortaS vessels I see flying around is a testament to the amount of money waiting to be spent over there.
I've noticed it seems like there are alot of people when I log in as well, but I think this may be due to less instances therefore you see more people per instance. As far as the BortaS, are those the free or paid versions?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
04-22-2012, 02:47 PM
I want kdf story, but don't need it.

I propose "both".
All cryptic needs to do for the kdf is explain the faction.
30 years after taking kitomer no romulans are in the kdf but 5 years after te fall of gorn the gorn are everywhere.
Why isn't the romulan empire The biggest province in the Klingon empire.
Where is gorn and the home planets of the species we see in game?
Why us kdf space so small compared to romulan and fed?

It can be done in a webpage.

Allow the kdf and feds to group up for end game stuff and that is all.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
04-22-2012, 03:04 PM
I'm not a fan of scheduled events. It feels like rationing. I pay a monthly fee to another game and bought an LTS and continued to support the C-Store in a big way to avoid rationing.

I think from a trust standpoint (and trust is everything when you sell virtual goods), the KDF needs to be finished. Small plans come and go. WoW may never get its dance studio. I get that development realities change things. But the big plans need commitment behind them. I'd rather see the KDF finished with launch quality missions than see resources poured into "Ziggurat" social hubs and tech showcase missions.I'm not even looking for total missionparity but KDF needs a 1-50 experience and that's, realistically, 20 missions.

There are compromises I could accept.

One idea would be to flesh out Romulan space with a couple of paths, building infrastructure for Feds, KDF, and a prospective Romulan faction.

Another would be to make Klingon 1-20 leveling different in tone. Have it be focused on providing security at several forward hubs of conquest. So you'd have story missions but they'd take place on a few large, well-designed maps since you're not an explorer, you're a conqueror. So you have three Klingon colony worlds where players get assigned to suppress dissent, fight crime, and push the glory of the empire. Still 20 story missions but on 3 ground and 3 space maps, plus a tutorial.

However it's done, I think 20 story missions are a must.

I don't think exploration/travel needs to be pushed as much for other factions though. You could spend 10 missions in orbit of one planet as a Klingon, a Romulan, or (especially) a Cardassian. Same basic ground and space map. Make it a social hub. Have 20 missions that reuse those maps with different enemy and NPC placements. The key is to tell 20 good stories that make the place feel alive.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
04-22-2012, 03:05 PM
IMOHPO...
KDF is 18% of the player base because of it's sub-par content in general since the beginning.
And that 18% is higher that the quoted percentage (it was 12% at one time) of the Klingon playerbase early in the game.
So it shows even a small development of KDF attracted more players.
My Fleet alone had over 40 players signed up before game launch only to lose all but a literal handful of suckers that bought lifetime subs because they believed the lies (August 10th, 2008 - At Gen Con Jack Emmert said: "Starfleet and Klingon. Yeah. So two factions, full PvE content." ) of what the Klingon faction would be from the start in the first 2-3 months due to it complete lack of anything to do. And I know of whole fleets even larger that have completly evaporated for the same reasons.
Some of the events have been decent, but having them offered at certain times is problematic for a game that wants to appeal to a global audience.
Endgame content is also needed, for both sides without a doubt, but simply abandoning further development of the Klingon faction in favor of more events is, again IMOHPO, a really stupid idea.
If they keep the featured episodes coming, it will suffice for mission content, but I just can't see not bringing out a new mission for the KDF a couple times a year at the very least.
It would seem, from a marketing perspective, that appealing to a broad range of ST fans rather than just those that prefer a single faction would make sense, but obviously they are not looking to the long term, but rather how much cash they can sqeeze out of players before the game finally dies from lack of interest in doing the same few missions 500 times.
I did not buy this game or subscribe to play Federation, I wanted to play Klingon from the beginning, I still do.
And that will never change, no matter what the Feds have vs the Klingons in STO.
Even though like minded players may be in the minority compared to the Fed lovers, RL has consistently proven that even those in a minority can make a huge difference in the overall health of any economy.
A simple internet search will reveal the hundreds of Klingon fansites, clubs etc that are active worldwide.
I just don't understand the reasoning of not wanting to appeal to them as much as they want to appeal to the Kirk/PicardJaneway wannabes.
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