Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,085
# 31
02-01-2013, 10:48 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by purvee1 View Post
Well they'd need to start adding content before they can stop...
Me thinks the meaning of Content, is once again, about to become an issue.
...... DaveyNY ...STO Forum Member since February - 2009
..............Star Trek Fan since Thursday Sept. 8th, 1966
There are No Longer any STO Veterans... We're Just People who have Played the Game for the last 4.5 years.
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Rihannsu
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 366
# 32
02-01-2013, 11:14 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by scififan78 View Post
Let's say for arguements sake the it is a Romulan faction. Which faction is it? Look at the emblem. There is a single sphere. Is that sphere a representation of the Empire's Rator, or is it a representation of New Romulus?
My guess is that it'll be New Romulus with the Tal'Shiar as the enemies. New Romulus seems to be the main focus for the Romulan Empire at the moment and having players working for it would put them on par with the other factions for working together with them in STFs and such, to do otherwise would just make players pawns of the Iconians rather than active participants in the war against them.

Last edited by captsol; 02-01-2013 at 11:19 PM.
Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 271
# 33
02-01-2013, 11:49 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by daveyny View Post
Me thinks the meaning of Content, is once again, about to become an issue.
2 ships and a Mission in over a year. And the two ships were the anniversary ships...

Of course you knew what I was going to say before I said it.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 5,531
# 34
02-02-2013, 04:19 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by captsol View Post
I doubt it'll happen that way, I can already hear people complaining that their Trill should be able to be covert if they want because it's their character. Now, choosing something like super strength should be species locked, but not something that's based on trained skills.
Trill can't currently be Covert.
Captain
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,611
# 35
02-02-2013, 05:06 AM
All reflectors to the trenches, load up the 40 mm speculation artillery...

Whatever they come up with I am sure is going to be as thoroughly prepared and well planned as season 7 was.

And that's not even a sarcastic remark because we still waiting on the ground set fix(es).

My time here they have been putting out new stuff regularly and steadily and I hardly ever crash.
It increased both in volume and intervals.

I am sure whatever it is, as per usual, I will totally disagree with mostly everything and have 1 or 2 items I like.

I don't really care if there are 10 factions or 1 faction, in the end we just farm stf anyway.
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We no longer include the forums, or players in general - tacofangs
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 5,531
# 36
02-02-2013, 05:26 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by vestereng View Post
All reflectors to the trenches, load up the 40 mm speculation artillery...

Whatever they come up with I am sure is going to be as thoroughly prepared and well planned as season 7 was.

And that's not even a sarcastic remark because we still waiting on the ground set fix(es).

My time here they have been putting out new stuff regularly and steadily and I hardly ever crash.
It increased both in volume and intervals.

I am sure whatever it is, as per usual, I will totally disagree with mostly everything and have 1 or 2 items I like.

I don't really care if there are 10 factions or 1 faction, in the end we just farm stf anyway.
Well, I think S7 was extraordinarily well planned on certain levels and extraordinarily short sighted in others... and that Cryptic managed to kick it into good shape within a month of it going live. Personally, I think the May update is probably a bigger change on par with the changes that happened in December 2011 with the advent of the dilithium economy and F2P advance changes.

If I'm right, I think that means for a smooth rollout, they should probably look at having a Friends and Family alpha (similar to NW's, which I think many people know involved a good chunk of STO players) in March or so and which needs an open beta on Tribble for a full month, meaning they need it there by the end of April in some form to launch by the end of May.

If they do that, I think the May update (which is bound to STILL be controversial) will have a smooth rollout by the end of May. If they don't have a month of closed alpha followed by a month of Tribble testing and blogs, I expect it will be a rollout about like S7 -- highly divisive and with a month to iron the kinks out of the changes.

It needs a good month of (however buggy, NDA-backed) alpha/closed beta and a month of open beta. Whatever system changes occur may not be wholly up for discussion but the numbers and nature of implementation need to be up for discussion.

And I think they need to be prepared to make an announcement on what they're doing, in broad strokes, no later than around April 1st.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 5,531
# 37
02-02-2013, 05:31 AM
I'll add that Perfect World will have annual results in early March. Last I heard, these may well be a bit below projections. So I'd imagine PWRD will want to have a broad strokes announcement by early march.
Captain
Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 5,394
# 38
02-02-2013, 07:55 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by betawatcher View Post
The question is, what does remaining silent mean in this case?
With Cryptic it means next to nothing. This is the same company that flat out stated the game was not going to go Free to Play. Then instituted a forum policy to move, lock and shut down all posts about the topic of going Free to Play and issued infractions to posters who said the game would go Free to Play.

And then ... got caught by an eagle eyed poster or two who found in the parent company's shareholder meeting notes ... that the game was going Free to Play.

Only then did they comment on it and ease up on the forum crackdown on the subject.

That's just one funny story about Cryptic's odd take on marketing and promotion from the three years this game's been up and running.

Their silence could simply mean they have no cups in the kitchen. Heh. Or it could mean there's a Romulan faction in the works. There's absolutely no way to tell with these crazy cats and speculating should be rampant since it's about the only fun we could have with the topic.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 754
# 39
02-02-2013, 08:19 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by betawatcher View Post
B - they simply dont care about the rage. They know the teaser page is going to make people think there is going to be a Romulan faction, but they are just fine with letting people get the wrong idea only to be disappointed later. This would essentially be trolling the community.

Personally, I dont see how "B" could be the case, therefore "A" is the only logical answer. But what do you think? Do you think they would actually troll the community on this scale?
You forget about the rage they gonna get, if they gonna neglect Story Content for the 2nd Season in a row, in favor of a new faction ... after telling us both Season 7 & 8 will be heavily focussing on advancing Story ... not mentioning KDF Rage ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by betawatcher View Post
So if a Romulan faction werent what they were actually planning, they could try to diffuse some of that rage before it happens by letting us know that isnt the plan. But they arent. Instead, they are remaining silent. The question is, what does remaining silent mean in this case?
nk they would actually troll the community on this scale?
Well if it's just an FE called "March under the Raptors Wings" i.E. it's kind of your own fault reading too much into a simple Wallpaper ... so why should they diffuse anything ... if Season 8 has nothing to do with Romulans at all ... it's trolling indeed

They released a similar Wallpaper one year ago "The 2800 Return" so I don't see how this HAS TO BE any different ... wasn't expecting a Dominion Faction either ...

If they really really want to give us Romulans in May on the other hand, it still might be the best move to say nothing, because if they fail to deliver (wouldn't be the first time) ... they still could cheat the gallows be saying "Well ... that was just a Wallpaper"

It's not like they officially announced playable Romulans ... like announcing Revolutionary Story Content for Season 7, 10 FE's per year in 2010 etc etc etc .... and then were unable to deliver ... so I'm not sure how this would be the biggest rage ever ... they already broke their "promise" like 20 times, and now they didn't even "promise" anything ... it's just a Wallpaper ..

Last edited by thutmosis85; 02-02-2013 at 10:00 AM.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 5,531
# 40
02-02-2013, 08:52 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by snoggymack22 View Post
With Cryptic it means next to nothing. This is the same company that flat out stated the game was not going to go Free to Play. Then instituted a forum policy to move, lock and shut down all posts about the topic of going Free to Play and issued infractions to posters who said the game would go Free to Play.

And then ... got caught by an eagle eyed poster or two who found in the parent company's shareholder meeting notes ... that the game was going Free to Play.

Only then did they comment on it and ease up on the forum crackdown on the subject.

That's just one funny story about Cryptic's odd take on marketing and promotion from the three years this game's been up and running.

Their silence could simply mean they have no cups in the kitchen. Heh. Or it could mean there's a Romulan faction in the works. There's absolutely no way to tell with these crazy cats and speculating should be rampant since it's about the only fun we could have with the topic.
Well, I get in trouble when I start talking organizational culture critiques from the outside but here's my take:

Cryptic is and always has been a studio. Their marketing gets handled on the outside, via the publisher. First NCSoft. Then Atari. Finally PWE. The one exception was during the brief phase when they left NCSoft but hadn't yet been bought by Atari and they had no live games at that point.

As such, their marketing culture tends to be external. Tacked on. Used as a sales tool. Which is a very 1960s approach to marketing and which nowadays is the domain of businesses a lot smaller than Cryptic's.

In fact, the big reason they're still "small" boils down to the fact that their field is so technical and their location is so expensive, which causes them to spend heavily on labor and have much less infrastructure than non-gaming companies with their audience/revenue size. I'd going to toss out the idea that Cryptic is as big as the direct market publishing wing of Marvel or DC Comics and has a larger core audience than either one. However, creators at Marvel or DC work from home, live in cheaper areas, have less technical overhead, and often make a quarter what a game developer makes.

But back on point: Cryptic's marketing is external. It's a sales tool. This runs contrary to how many modern entertainment companies operate.

They have a CEO, a CFO, a CCO (Chief Creative Officer), and a CTO (Chief Technical Officer).

Notice anything missing, business students out there?

A CMO. Chief Marketing Officer.

Virtually all of Cryptic's engagement and marketing external and utilized as a sales tool.

An integrated marketing approach would call for marketing to be an internal department that is active in the design process.

Here's what I would see a marketing specialist doing that I don't see getting done:

- Clarifying terminology and usability of systems and features.

- Running organized focus groups and analyzing the community. (This gets split between Bran and the Devs' individual areas or personal time projects)

- Having a seat in design meetings to promote engagement and make sure a system is marketable from the ground up rather than simply selling somebody else's idea. (There's nobody as far as I know who wears this hat in a dedicated capacity. Stahl and others may consider it but the problem is that they -- naturally -- have competing agendas as producers and officers. Effectively, if the EP, CTO, Systems Lead, etc. all compromise on an issue, it's likely to be an issue that compromises marketing and engagement because there's no one there speaking on behalf of that, on site, fulltime.)

- Using those studies and current marketing research from the outside to influence design. There is a ton of contemporary literature on marketing, sociology, and psychology. Stahl and Rivera may be well read but I doubt they have time to concentrate on this.

- Handling product transitions. A big problem with Cryptic is that when they devise a better system, they implement it. I think that's a bad approach. Things often need to be implemented in phases. (Somebody here is probably aware of the New Coke conspiracy theory.) Players need to be buffered with not just sales oriented but service oriented communication. Expectations need to be managed. In some cases, I think the marketing guy would probably have to say, "Okay. You implement this system. Great. But here are appropriate ways to compensate players for the changes. I've done research on MMO patch transitions and discovered that these principles apply to maintaining satisfaction in rollouts..." Effectively, where retroactive compensation is warranted, where respecs are warranted, how to effectively manage free promotions.

- Enhancing customer service interactions. In some ways, this could be as simple as adding DO NOT REPLY form letters to bug and GM tickets and designing a service model.

Cryptic operates from a production firm model. But you can't outsource service and marketing to another department. You need at least some marketing with its fingers in everything.

My advice would be to have a CMO for the company, an Associate Marketing Producer for each title who sits in on design meetings, and to have them perform these tasks with an emphasis on marketing R&D, service experience, and engagement. They would interface with the sales and outreach folks like h2orat and Branflakes over at PWE as well, probably weekly or bi-monthly.

It doesn't need to be a tremendously high paid position at the producer level (and could probably be paid less than staff designers) but it does need to be a position with some veto power if the marketing associates can sway the CMO.
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