Lieutenant
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 73
I have deep rooted problems with watching Cryptic kill reasons for players to play this game. Many have left and there isnt an honest fleet leader in the game with over 10 members that will look you in the eye and tell you dead and inactive players are not a problem in their fleet.

When we went free to play we were promised a grand panacea and vision about how injecting new players into the game would help us and bring new blood and life into the game. Cryptic readily handed over millions in guaranteed revenue over into hoped for dreams of a bigger better game paid for with new revenues from new customers.

It hasnt worked out that way and many f2p players arent paying. If there is a reason behind Cryptic doing the stupid things they are doing it is because they feel that they no longer want to reward and make the game fun for free players. I think they were genuinely surprised to find out that free to play players expected to play for free. They werent buying ships, store items, and subscriptions.

Its absolutely obvious that Cryptic is not meeting its financial goals, and they are running promos on doff packs, zen purchases, and steamer ships to stretch and meet their costs.

People hate getting reduced value for their time played. They hate the reductions in dilithium. But there is a reason behind it, Cryptic is trying to "force" players to buy zen to get dilithium they find more difficult to earn by just "playing the game". The players that buy zen and open their wallets will be impacted by these changes but less than the free to play players.

So why is it a loss, for Cryptic to push the f2p players and those not financially contributing to the game out of it? The reasons are many. Perhaps the f2p is chatty and happy and helps bring a good vibe to your fleet, stf channel, or game. Perhaps the f2p player is good at stfs and helps you win them. Perhaps they do a clicker mission and donate to a fleet project. Players add to the game even if they arent buying zen and losing them hurts.

Long ago, one of the best players in my fleet quit. I posted about it and Cryptic was like who cares. It was 2 years ago, and he had perhaps one of the best science ships in the game. Cryptic nerfed science hard and he felt they stole his work from him. Now this guy was the executive vice president of a fortune 500 company. Spending money in this game was not an issue with him. If he was still here my fleet would have every fleet project with dilithium needs filled instantly. But he did not feel the games devs valued his time or contribution to the game. The value of his time was more important to him than the financial costs of the game. He has a lifetime membership and in the last two years Ive seen him one time.

As an aside, many complaints were made by me and others that sci had been nerfed too hard. I lost players when nerfs were done and players didnt want to spend $5 to buy a token for a respec. Their attitude was that they refused to reward Cryptic for ruining their characters via a nerf. I get their point. So, here we are, and now that people realize that they are being forced into fleet actions like SB24 they are also realizing that they will never come in first on dps ratings and rewards when escorts and tacts just obviously do more damage. People dont like fleet actions and trophy missions because tacts/escorts are going to win and that reduces the enjoyment factor for 2/3rds of the toons in the game.

Nerfs were supposed to balance the game however they went too far with science and people cant play science, expect to win fleet actions or pvp, and have fun with their toons. And of course pay to win lock box ships and cstore ship consoles unbalance the game far more than did a prototype console. Game balance is a joke now that pay to win is a requirement for anyone hoping to hold a 50% win percentage in pvp.

The problem then was the same as the problem is now. Cryptic does not respect their players time and they do not feel they owe any responsibility to provide a fun product in exchange for players invested time. Just as a nerf is a disrespect for players invested time in their toon or character, a reduction in the value of dilithium earned via time gate spent is a reduction in the expectations of players hopes for fun.

Cryptic is in short telling people, "if you dont pay us then we dont care if you have fun." "Go Away"

But those people were valuable to me. I thought most gold members had already been pushed away but several have posted today that they cancelled their subscriptions. Frankly, I wont miss the money they pay to cryptic but I will miss their presence in the game. Ive done thousands of stfs and many with pugs and maybe I did a mission with them and maybe not but if I did and they played well and we won then in a small manner they enhanced the game for me. Even if we lost then you could say at least they reduced the wait time for the Q.

I expect for every player the game loses over reducing the fun factor of the game and pushing out non zen buying players that it will have a ripple result on 8 others. I can name 8-10 players that if they quit would inspire me to play less. I show up because I enjoy being around them. This game could totally suck, but Id show up to spend time with friends. If I keep watching my friends leave then I imagine it would reduce my playing time far more than any concern I might have over policies I hate.

Losing players is awful. Some put money into cryptic pockets and some do not. But there are many ways to add value to the game besides buying zen. I can name exactly one person thats gone from gold to lifetime over the last 6 months. He wanted the Chimera and it seemed like a better investment to him than opening 200 lock boxes and hoping for a ship drop. Many have converted from gold to f2p. Im very sensitive to those that leave the fleet as defectors and also to those that just quit playing the game.

I feel that many fleet leaders and players work excessively hard at trying to make the game fun for players and it just shatters us when Cryptic takes our hard work and efforts and drives away the people with whom we enjoy sharing our time and our lives.

It hurts watching people leave and you just know in your heart that they wouldnt go away if Cryptic would show a pinkies worth of concern and respect not merely for the zen they buy but rather also for the time they share playing the game.

Cryptic is disrespectful of its players and the time they spend here. Time gating requirements into gameplay and rewards just pushes away players that want to enjoy free time rather then be told what to do. And every good player has at least 8-10 friends in the game who find the game to be a poorer experience after seeing a friend leave.

Cryptic can disrespect players as much as they want and it doesnt effect me at all because I will still play some. I may even buy a steamer ship or something else. Except it does effect me when I log on and see my fleet roster empty and my friends not around in game.

Its painful to watch.

Cryptic please start respecting the time players spend with you instead of gating time value downward to prove your point that playing is less valuable than paying. My friends list is extensive but when I log on and see it empty or people idling or inactive, it saddens me a bit. And I fully understand people not wanting to invest time in this game when there is no longer a system of good rewards for doing it.

We need more players not less, and Cryptic Id appreciate it if you quit driving them away.

Bug
Captain
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 1,259
# 2
11-14-2012, 07:58 PM
One point I would like to contest is that F2P games make way more money than they let on. I'll have to see some quarterly statements before I believe PWE isn't taking this game to the bank and back.

That said, I am saddened by the shift of mentality all this income has caused.. We've gone from "Hey, come try our game. It's fun, honest!" to "Where's your wallet kiddo? break out that cash and then we'll talk, see."
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 5,185
# 3
11-14-2012, 08:03 PM
you forgot one the hole new life perk and sell
swimwear off risa not fixed
system Lord Baal is dead
Quote:
Originally Posted by valoreah View Post
It's not their fault you feel trolled by the new ability to be immune to your disco ball, sorry'boutit.
Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 815
# 4
11-14-2012, 08:03 PM
Rage fume rage aargh rage whine rage whimper rage rage rage... Samaritans wouldvhave a field day on these forums... Lol!
Monkey see, Monkey do. Monkey flings Feathered Monkey poo...
Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 891
# 5
11-14-2012, 08:37 PM
My problem with watching players depart:

None of them actually give me their stuff, no matter how nicely I ask.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 125
# 6
11-14-2012, 08:42 PM
In the Beginning...

There were wayyy many more folks who left...

Compared to that, this exodus is a trickle.
Lieutenant
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 73
# 7
11-14-2012, 09:00 PM
Atari was a publicly traded company and you could look up their numbers as they were required to file 10Qs and such. It was easy to find out exactly how much Cryptic lost. There was a lot of talk that STO was break even but the losses were built around new dev costs for Neverwinter. Before the game launched, I believe Craig Z was quoted as saying STO could break even with 100,000 subs paying fees each month. It seemed over 1 million players gave the game a try the first 18 months. I couldnt prove it but I bet a million or more copies of STO were sold at $40 a pop in Gamestops or even more if one bought a digital deluxe or collectors edition. A lot of people bought 2-3 games so for instance they could fly the Connie and shoot a TR116 rifle as well.

If I remember right Atari said Cryptic lost about $50 million for them the last year Atari owned the company. It almost bankrupted them. They sold Cryptic for about $50 million to turn such a loss into a break even kind of deal. Sto was ok and so was Champs but Atari hinted in public releases that Never Winter Nights was a money pit.

PWE is not publicly traded but Im sure they lost millions of revenues yearly when Gold players downgraded to free to play players.

Suggesting that free to play players would not pay more than subscription players was a prediction that any dunderhead could have made. Its obvious that a lot of gold and lifetime players have felt disrespected based on Cryptics desire to reach out to a broader player base and free to play audience and to turn their backs on those that invested monthly via subscription and laid a strong financial foundation for the game. What have you done for me lately seems to be the Cryptic theme song towards respect for its players and the gold and lifetimers that supported them in the beginning.

Im pretty confident that the game surged to the high hundreds of thousands if not a million or more players initially and they whittled that down to 75,000 - 85,000 when free to play hit. F2P came and they got a second chance and perhaps saw another million player surge. Id guestimate that active players are down to 250,000 or less and its falling monthly.

Star Wars is going free to play today and its going to hit STO hard. STO is a better game but Star Wars respects its players more so its going to be a serious competitor.

Obviously a lot of gold players that dont have lifetimes are throwing in the towel and a lot of lifetimers are turning into casuals or those that rarely show up.

Id predict that 18 months after f2p hits that the STO active population will be right back down to 75,000 thousand and thats optimistic. Id guess maybe 50,000-65,000 of truly hard core trek and Sto fans if that. We may be closer to that number than I realize even now.

Instead of 80,000 people paying monthly they will have 80,000 people that they need to sell a whole lot of lockboxes to in the future.

Every "large" fleet has that one guy that buys zen and has a million fleet credits. If I had to guestimate, Id say maybe 2,000-4,000 people are buying substantial zen and carrying the ball for the rest of us as far as financing this game. Id guess that the 2,000 people that spend $1000 a year or more on STO will see their purchases fall back to normal levels in the future. The amount of players that contribute "a lot" to keeping STO financially alive is probably very small.The top 2-3 % of players are probably spending more than the bottom 75% of pure free to play players.

Id guess that NWN is probably not going to be a flop but will be "disappointing". At this point they may try to "save" STO but they will have abrograted so much trust with their players that it will be difficult to do and get players to invest in a third wave of growth. Perfect World has closed 30% of the games its developed or thereabouts and I expect at one point in time they will decide to give STO one last year to churn profits and will allow it to stay open and see if it can break even or turn a profit with zero new content or cost. If it cant they will probably close it after that dead content period. PWE seems more eager to churn players and push them to new games. That probably works better in a country with a billion people in it. The rest of the world might be different. Many Americans will not play another perfect world game if they cant show they can care for the ones they have in Champions and STO.

I hope STO continues but even if Cryptic has doubled staff it doesnt seem like they have done much with it and that gives even more reasons for PWE bean counters to get upset with the game and company. I hope, hope, hope, the new features episodes released in season 8 will be awesome. When the game had pay based subscriptions we were seeing fes like Breens and Devidians released a month apart instead of years apart and being an excuse for a new season. Sadly, Cryptic seems more keen on developing more ships for us to buy than on developing missions to play. We have added over 100 new ships to buy since the game started and maybe 25 ish new missions to play. A lot of the missions people did like such as trophy missions, crystalline entity, sb24 ground, deep space 9, and others are broken or closed. Terradome has been broken or gives a poor loot reward for 2.5 years.

I could be full of it and I dont have access to PWE books. I imagine year one of f2p was a success and they made a lot. Year 2 will be more difficult and break even and the way things are going year 3 might bleed red. Players will have limited tolerance for declines in the value of their time spent in game. Im pretty sure about that. Cryptic disagrees. If Cryptic rewards players time invested with declining value and expects them to make up for it by buying Zen then I think theyve built a fail business model.

STO would look far prettier with lovely black ink if the money didnt bleed over into development of Never Winter Nights.

PWE has a terrible track record and reputation with player relations. Im sorry but this is entirely true. They get all they can from players of a game then they close it. Players will not play a game forever where the money is siphoned over to a game they dont care about and dont want and where the Devs treat them as chumps to be exploited and told what to do and unworthy of respect rather than customers and partners in an enterprise we all want to see succeed.

PWE probably truly believes they can open NWN and STO and Champs players will nicely move over there and start spending copious amounts of new money at which point they can close Champs or STO and hold their revenues strong.

Trek fans are different animals. I just dont think they will be eager to play another hack and slash dungeon game. NWN would have to kick WoWs behind to have the slightest chance of success. Criticize Blizzard all you want but they take the revenues from a game and invest it back into new content and players feel like respected partners when a game is constantly expanding and growing, coming out with new classes, and types of play and missions. I once hoped STO would be the WoW killer but thats a pipe dream at this point. That ship has sailed. Doubt NWN will have much of a chance to do better. Honestly it would not surprise me if NWN did not do much better than Perfect World, Forsaken World, Zhu Xian and their other stable of 2nd tier and 3rd rate games.

I hope Im wrong and that Cryptic can show innovation and grit and turn this around. Wont happen till they restore on ongoing and engaging partnership with their playerbase. Im sure of it. Cryptic seems to disagree. Hope it works out.
Survivor of Remus
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 29
# 8
11-14-2012, 09:06 PM
First I want to say I couldn't finish your post... to long and honestly you didn't quote any of your supposed findings.

I will reply to what I read however. First since the game went F2P it has improved. The overall quality has been increasing and game mechanics are being infused into the game which is breathing life into what was a bland Star Trek game. I'm a lifer and I love this game and have been playing it solidly since launch. Before the game announced it was going F2P the community was bleeding out members like a river. Back then my fleet had tons of inactive people who refused to subscribe to the game. Now with F2P my fleet has a modest yet active group of players who have been friends since launch. Yes we add new people from time to time and yes they do dissapear but we've remained solid and sometimes they come back (likely because they don't have to pay to do so).

In response to your claim of Cryptic being desperate and re-selling things consider the possility that they did such good buissness that they decided to give it a second run. The game is obviously doing well because new content is always coming our way, bugs are being fixed and the servers are full. You can't go anywhere in the world and not run into large groups of people. Sure I will admit the community isn't very tight and everyone seems to have their own fleet but lots of people play every day and I can tell you lots of people are paying to play the game as well. Since launch STO has only gotten better and better, its not the STO I invisioned but it's the next best thing.
Raychul - Remen Sci Officer
Lumba - Ferengi Eng Officer
Vadesca - Orion Eng Officer
AKA: Yavin_Prime
Add a Race-change token in the Zen Store, please!
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 5,185
# 9
11-14-2012, 09:08 PM
ive told alot of my friends i will never play NW nevre!!!!! i will play swtor or wow or the new up coming TESO only the star trek ip keep me around or i be like cryptic who?
swimwear off risa not fixed
system Lord Baal is dead
Quote:
Originally Posted by valoreah View Post
It's not their fault you feel trolled by the new ability to be immune to your disco ball, sorry'boutit.
Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,273
# 10
11-14-2012, 09:13 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by bugshu View Post
Atari was a publicly traded company and you could look up their numbers as they were required to file 10Qs and such. It was easy to find out exactly how much Cryptic lost. There was a lot of talk that STO was break even but the losses were built around new dev costs for Neverwinter. Before the game launched, I believe Craig Z was quoted as saying STO could break even with 100,000 subs paying fees each month. It seemed over 1 million players gave the game a try the first 18 months. I couldnt prove it but I bet a million or more copies of STO were sold at $40 a pop in Gamestops or even more if one bought a digital deluxe or collectors edition. A lot of people bought 2-3 games so for instance they could fly the Connie and shoot a TR116 rifle as well.

If I remember right Atari said Cryptic lost about $50 million for them the last year Atari owned the company. It almost bankrupted them. They sold Cryptic for about $50 million to turn such a loss into a break even kind of deal. Sto was ok and so was Champs but Atari hinted in public releases that Never Winter Nights was a money pit.

PWE is not publicly traded but Im sure they lost millions of revenues yearly when Gold players downgraded to free to play players.

Suggesting that free to play players would not pay more than subscription players was a prediction that any dunderhead could have made. Its obvious that a lot of gold and lifetime players have felt disrespected based on Cryptics desire to reach out to a broader player base and free to play audience and to turn their backs on those that invested monthly via subscription and laid a strong financial foundation for the game. What have you done for me lately seems to be the Cryptic theme song towards respect for its players and the gold and lifetimers that supported them in the beginning.

Im pretty confident that the game surged to the high hundreds of thousands if not a million or more players initially and they whittled that down to 75,000 - 85,000 when free to play hit. F2P came and they got a second chance and perhaps saw another million player surge. Id guestimate that active players are down to 250,000 or less and its falling monthly.

Star Wars is going free to play today and its going to hit STO hard. STO is a better game but Star Wars respects its players more so its going to be a serious competitor.

Obviously a lot of gold players that dont have lifetimes are throwing in the towel and a lot of lifetimers are turning into casuals or those that rarely show up.

Id predict that 18 months after f2p hits that the STO active population will be right back down to 75,000 thousand and thats optimistic. Id guess maybe 50,000-65,000 of truly hard core trek and Sto fans if that. We may be closer to that number than I realize even now.

Instead of 80,000 people paying monthly they will have 80,000 people that they need to sell a whole lot of lockboxes to in the future.

Every "large" fleet has that one guy that buys zen and has a million fleet credits. If I had to guestimate, Id say maybe 2,000-4,000 people are buying substantial zen and carrying the ball for the rest of us as far as financing this game. Id guess that the 2,000 people that spend $1000 a year or more on STO will see their purchases fall back to normal levels in the future. The amount of players that contribute "a lot" to keeping STO financially alive is probably very small.The top 2-3 % of players are probably spending more than the bottom 75% of pure free to play players.

Id guess that NWN is probably not going to be a flop but will be "disappointing". At this point they may try to "save" STO but they will have abrograted so much trust with their players that it will be difficult to do and get players to invest in a third wave of growth. Perfect World has closed 30% of the games its developed or thereabouts and I expect at one point in time they will decide to give STO one last year to churn profits and will allow it to stay open and see if it can break even or turn a profit with zero new content or cost. If it cant they will probably close it after that dead content period. PWE seems more eager to churn players and push them to new games. That probably works better in a country with a billion people in it. The rest of the world might be different. Many Americans will not play another perfect world game if they cant show they can care for the ones they have in Champions and STO.

I hope STO continues but even if Cryptic has doubled staff it doesnt seem like they have done much with it and that gives even more reasons for PWE bean counters to get upset with the game and company. I hope, hope, hope, the new features episodes released in season 8 will be awesome. When the game had pay based subscriptions we were seeing fes like Breens and Devidians released a month apart instead of years apart and being an excuse for a new season. Sadly, Cryptic seems more keen on developing more ships for us to buy than on developing missions to play. We have added over 100 new ships to buy since the game started and maybe 25 ish new missions to play. A lot of the missions people did like such as trophy missions, crystalline entity, sb24 ground, deep space 9, and others are broken or closed. Terradome has been broken or gives a poor loot reward for 2.5 years.

I could be full of it and I dont have access to PWE books. I imagine year one of f2p was a success and they made a lot. Year 2 will be more difficult and break even and the way things are going year 3 might bleed red. Players will have limited tolerance for declines in the value of their time spent in game. Im pretty sure about that. Cryptic disagrees. If Cryptic rewards players time invested with declining value and expects them to make up for it by buying Zen then I think theyve built a fail business model.

STO would look far prettier with lovely black ink if the money didnt bleed over into development of Never Winter Nights.

PWE has a terrible track record and reputation with player relations. Im sorry but this is entirely true. They get all they can from players of a game then they close it. Players will not play a game forever where the money is siphoned over to a game they dont care about and dont want and where the Devs treat them as chumps to be exploited and told what to do and unworthy of respect rather than customers and partners in an enterprise we all want to see succeed.

PWE probably truly believes they can open NWN and STO and Champs players will nicely move over there and start spending copious amounts of new money at which point they can close Champs or STO and hold their revenues strong.

Trek fans are different animals. I just dont think they will be eager to play another hack and slash dungeon game. NWN would have to kick WoWs behind to have the slightest chance of success. Criticize Blizzard all you want but they take the revenues from a game and invest it back into new content and players feel like respected partners when a game is constantly expanding and growing, coming out with new classes, and types of play and missions. I once hoped STO would be the WoW killer but thats a pipe dream at this point. That ship has sailed. Doubt NWN will have much of a chance to do better. Honestly it would not surprise me if NWN did not do much better than Perfect World, Forsaken World, Zhu Xian and their other stable of 2nd tier and 3rd rate games.

I hope Im wrong and that Cryptic can show innovation and grit and turn this around. Wont happen till they restore on ongoing and engaging partnership with their playerbase. Im sure of it. Cryptic seems to disagree. Hope it works out.
Don't forget to mention MWO, which will start to siphon dedicated PvP players (who tend to be people who actually spend money in the form of C-store purchases) from the userbase. That's more relatively dependable revenue lost.

I personally won't be playing Neverwinter or Champions Online. Part of it is because if I wanted to play a hack-and-slash MMO, I'd play LOTRO. . .where I have two reasonably well-developed toons and several lower-level ones. Another part of it is that I probably won't be buying into PWE products from now on. I'm probably gonna wander away from this game around December, and MAYBE stick my head back in 6-8 months later to see if anything's gotten better. I've had it with PWE, with their ruthless insistence on siphoning every last dollar out of people's pockets, and their seeming indifference regarding the quality of the product (continuity of content, etc). Like some other Chinese companies, they're more interested in peddling cheap quantity over quality, and draining as much money as they can before whatever it is they're using peters out. They'll milk the Trekkies that play this game for all they've got, and then probably toss STO aside or even discontinue it.
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