Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,228
# 1 Cryptic think about this...
11-15-2012, 02:14 AM
In the greater picture of things, you have all made great progress and equally "oh my g@d" moments, and after often confronted by scathing attacks from the community.

The way I see it, you should count yourself lucky.

It's when the community becomes indifferent, that you really need to start worrying!

People being passionate about your product is the best place ANY MMO can be.

Its the really great moderators, that can sift through all that passion and find the gold.

So to all those posters feeling good about themselves, taking the moral high-ground saying, "Oh stop the whining already!!!" - you've completely missed the moment, contributing nothing to the long-term betterment of the game. Think about it.

Change comes from the minds and hearts willing to stand in the fire, and scream at the machine...

Last edited by drkfrontiers; 11-15-2012 at 02:18 AM.
Lieutenant
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 37
# 2
11-15-2012, 03:32 AM
I like your thinking, and agree with much of it.

I think you're insane to ask Cryptic to think though, they have no capacity for that. Unless you offer to pay them to think, that is...
Ensign
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 5
I started playing STO the day it went Free to Play. I don't have much extra money and can't really afford to buy C-points or ZEN but I've grinded dilithium like no tomorrow in order to swap it in the dilithium exchange.

However...based upon the changes to dilithium...grinding just isn't going to be worth it anymore unless the price of ZEN bottoms out in the market.


I think it's important to point out here that Perfect World/Cryptic have through the extremely bad timing of Season 7...quite possibly put this game on its last legs.

Something which I haven't seen mentioned yet is the fact that Star Wars: The Old Republic goes Free-to-play today - and from what I'm reading most of the "premium items" are cosmetic only in nature. I believe there are a small number of "pay to win" items...but most of these items are negligible in their advantage.

The main reason you want to take a game free-to-play is to expand your player base. However...there is a fine line between allowing players to pay to "enhance their experience" and "pay to win". Once a game becomes "pay to win"...which I believe STO has crossed that threshold...many players become angry. Some players don't have unlimited funds they can throw at a video game.

So the first stage of the death of a free to play MMO is that a large part of the player population...those who keep the game "filled with life"...leave.

Suddeny the "pay to win" folks have a lot harder time winning...because most of the people who weren't paying have given up on the game.

In the short term...the solution is to spend more. But then at some point the "pay to win" folks realize that unless they sink a small fortune into the game...they'll never win.

At this point...a large number of the "pay to win" folks will leave as well for greener pastures. The population begins to dwindle...and the costs of running the game begin to exceed the income from the remaining players.


When STO first went free to play...the cost of items and fact that most of the items were cosmetic or provided only minor advantages kept everyone happy. No one really gained an advantage over everyone else...the game was fairly balanced. However the only way this is a sustainable model is to keep providing a steady stream of fresh content to keep players interested. Clearly Perfect World has decided they do not want to keep providing content as often as players would prefer.

There's an excellent writeup on different "free to play" models available at:
http://www.gamasutra.com/view/featur...ay.php?print=1


But now I believe STO has shifted to the "convenience" model. While this model looks promising to accountants...it is bad for players and will ultimately be the death of an MMO.

From Gamasutra:
From a purely marketing standpoint, it's genius. People can spend all the time they want, and all the money they want. There's no missed opportunity to monetize people here. However, from a game design perspective, it's a catastrophe.

In order to make the convenience model work, games have to be designed with a very high barrier to get that "worthwhile" experience from the game. The requirement in time/money has to be very high in order to get the most money out of everyone. If that bar slips too low, people stop paying what you expected to get. If that bar slips too high, people stop playing, period, because they don't have any fun even after spending all the time and money they have available.

The convenience model tells game designers: design a game that is as inconvenient as possible so that we can sell convenience to players. Actually, make a game that is horrendously addictive so people have to play it, but make it as unpleasant as possible so people are willing to pay money to avoid having to actually play the game. Most game designers I know didn't get into this industry to make games that people loathe so much they pay real money to not have to play it.

Plus, gamers are on to it. They're getting savvy. They're starting to realize they're just being taken advantage of and abused by these sorts of addictive games. Gamers don't want to be a blue/green bar on some economist's spreadsheet. They want to be playing games. They want to be having fun.



Unfortunately there's no easy solution to creating a sustainable MMO. I believe that STO was close to a sustainable model. However...now that the game has cleary shifted to "pay to win"...and unless change occurs quickly to remedy the situation the game will die.

One of the following must occur:

Prices for items to be purchased with dilithium must be drastically reduced
-or-
Rewards for dilithium "grinding" must be drastically increased

If players don't believe grinding for dilithium is worth it...they'll simply stop. Supply and demand dictates that demand for purchasing ZEN with dilithium will drop...the supply of ZEN will exceed the amount of demand...and the market will crash. Players who purchase ZEN to sell on the exchange for dilithium will stop purchasing ZEN if they can't get it to sell.

The economic chaos these changes are causing will be very rough. In the end...people will leave because of the fact that those with deep pockets can always win.


End of line.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 520
# 4
11-15-2012, 07:50 AM
This is an unrecoverable situation. STO has gone "pay to win" and there is no turning back on that road.

It is the least of your problems however: A bit off-track, but worth mentioning, is that what's killing this game is what's killing western civilization in general: Pathological and self-destructive greed. Neither, I suspect, will long survive it.

Think of our little game world as a microcosm of the larger society. Look at the responses you see from people who are defending Cryptic's actions (and there are more than a few) and compare them to the people defending Wall Street today; you might find some very telling parallels.

Brace yourselves, this sort of thing permeates the entire culture and over the coming years it will hit you a lot harder, and in far more vital areas, than any video game could. Enjoy the ride and when when it comes down to the "Donner Diner Party" please note that all the fat and juicy ones were the capitalists.

Last edited by ajstoner; 11-15-2012 at 07:57 AM.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,110
# 5
11-15-2012, 08:04 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by mmotnahp View Post
I started playing STO the day it went Free to Play.

SNIP....
.
Your point is well made but hinges on a crucial argument, is STO Pay to Win?

My answer is definitely not.

I have sunk way too much money into this game, I have two Bug ships, all the time ships and gear, in fact every ship in the game except a D'Kora.

You know which ship I get the most enjoyment from? My Galaxy Retrofit. To me TNG was and is Star Trek, to fly around running missions in that ship is a dream come true. What's more, i am a good PvPer, very good in fact, and I have taken that knowledge and adapted it to the Galaxy in my Tac toon. It surprises the hell out of others in PvP and I regularly come high up the kill board with very few deaths. It handles all the PvE the game can throw at it and can throw out heals in STFs to team mates, and all the time I am living my dream, to fly the Enterprise.

I have every single P2W console in the game on each faction, the only one I use on the Gal is Theta. Combined with warp plasma and a little trick I'm not going to share it freezes opponents dead for a long time and the ship is indeed a very capable cruiser. i could make the same out of any ship in the game and indeed rarely use my Bug or Mobius as they are so OP there's little challenge unless it's against another similar ship.

I don't need to spend much at all to enjoy this game, what I do spend goes on my fleet, but if I wasn't the leader of 350 people I would not bother so much, just being another member in a fleet and enjoying my time.

So, is STO P2W? Only if YOU make it so. The best console in the game, a console that can beat anything else, no matter how good it is, is the science console between your ears. P2W is only ever even slightly required if you are at the pinnacle of PvP against similarly talented and equipped ships, and even there you can agree with your opponent not to use P2W consoles so it is a test of skill and not gear.

STO is not on it's last legs, far far from it, I see it going from strength to strength.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,110
# 6
11-15-2012, 08:06 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajstoner View Post
This is an unrecoverable situation. STO has gone "pay to win" and there is no turning back on that road.

It is the least of your problems however: A bit off-track, but worth mentioning, is that what's killing this game is what's killing western civilization in general: Pathological and self-destructive greed. Neither, I suspect, will long survive it.

Think of our little game world as a microcosm of the larger society. Look at the responses you see from people who are defending Cryptic's actions (and there are more than a few) and compare them to the people defending Wall Street today; you might find some very telling parallels.

Brace yourselves, this sort of thing permeates the entire culture and over the coming years it will hit you a lot harder, and in far more vital areas, than any video game could. Enjoy the ride and when when it comes down to the "Donner Diner Party" please note that all the fat and juicy ones were the capitalists.
Oh dear God, we've gone from the end of STO to the end of civilisation ROFL. I love these kind of posts, when I hear the doommongers and naysayers i know all is right with the world. And in any case you won't have to worry about it for much longer as it all comes to an end on December 21st.

I'm off to write my billboard now, "The End Is Nigh"
Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,203
# 7
11-15-2012, 08:09 AM
Matt you are slightly wrong. IT isn't fully P2W but it's starting to head down that road. Now you don't need much Dilithium good for you. For me I need it and overall I see S7 as a failure.
Lieutenant
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 59
# 8
11-15-2012, 08:10 AM
Im no doomsayer, Im a fist pumping revolutionary. I want to enjoy my game, now I cant. Its that simple. I have more invested to be here, offering my out rage, that I do even loging in to play a game where nearly every action is going to remind me of my outrage.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 520
# 9
11-15-2012, 08:11 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by mattjohnsonva View Post
Oh dear God, we've gone from the end of STO to the end of civilisation ROFL. I love these kind of posts, when I hear the doommongers and naysayers i know all is right with the world. And in any case you won't have to worry about it for much longer as it all comes to an end on December 21st.

I'm off to write my billboard now, "The End Is Nigh"
Laugh away. Fact is though, I was not drawing a line from the game to fall of civilization so much as making a general observation about "free markets" that are in no way free. Deliberately re-stating someone's words to mean something else and then attacking your own twisted paraphrased version of it is one of the sloppiest debate tactics there is.

Last edited by ajstoner; 11-15-2012 at 08:26 AM.
Lieutenant
Join Date: Oct 2012
Posts: 59
# 10
11-15-2012, 08:15 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajstoner View Post
Laugh away. Fact is though, I was not drawing a line from the game to fall of civilization so much as making a general observation about "free markets" that are in no way free. Deliberately re-stating someone's words to mean something else and attacking that is one of the sloppiest debate tactics there is.
But it works sadly, just look at the recent elections.
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