Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 1,500
# 2651
02-20-2013, 10:29 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by sirsitsalot View Post
They are and will remain an extremely successful business in the Eastern market. Remember, they bought Cryptic because it was an opportunity to extend their business into the Western market. Between STO, CO and soon to be Neverwinter, they generate enough revenue to keep that venture going. One need only see how often that someone has unlocked a lockbox ship. You can't unlock one without a key. And no matter how the end-user gets a key, the key originates on the C-store. Which means Zen paid for it. And Zen only enters the game with real money transactions, with the exception of LTS accounts that have existed longer than it would take a subscription fee to equal how much they spent on said LTS.

Supply and demand IS what is driving their profits. They supply lockboxes. People buy keys for them in droves. That shows there is a demand for them. So they supply more.

If I recall correctly, before Season 6, it was said that there was not enough use for Dilithium, as in not enough useful things in the Dilithium Store as opposed to the C-store. Then came Season 6 where advancement trhough the starbase system requires exorbitant amounts of Dilithium. Look what happened to the exchange rate for Zen and Dilithium. So there is a demand for Dilithium. If it gets too great, as in enough to take the Zen cost in RD down to 25, I think we will see them put crates of 10k Unrefined Dilithium Ore on the C-store. They'll leave the daily cap intact ensuring that people will still spend Zen to get more RD than they can refine per day.

They will find ways to milk their profits. Believe me. And there will always be enough people to buy into them to justify their continued use.

I get my keys from the exchange so not a dime by me there and just because some companies are STUPID to be bought my PWE doesn't mean they are in the right. THeir mentaility is mwhy I'm an old Westwood fan
Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 891
# 2652
02-20-2013, 10:30 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by trek21 View Post
You do realize that means that means they'll need better QA, right?
Yes. And that is not a bad thing. Cryptic is in desperate need of improved QA. Right now they push a patch to Tribble on Tuesday, and no matter how borked it is, its pushed to Holodeck on Thursday. If they insist on a 48 hour test-to-live cycle, they have to be willing to either do proper QA or at least listen to the feedback those of us who are willing to test for them provide.

When the playerbase is wondering what the next patch will break that isn't already broken, while clogging up in-game chat with having to tell each other what the current work-around is for what last weeks patch broke, you definitely need to realize you have QA issues.

And if you are going to push everything to live anyway, despite your players doing your QA work for you and telling you what you just broke, you have to seriously ask why they even bother to have Tribble up in the first place.

Let me put it this way: Cryptic is getting beaten up because they push a bad patch on Tribble on Tuesday, and then after people yell at them about how it introduced a new PITA bug or breaks something that wasn't previously broken, they then go ahead and push it to Holodeck on Thursday and get yelled at again for it, all over. If they aren't willing to do proper QA, then they should shut down Tribble. We'll only have to be disappointed by one patch a week and it'll reduce the beatings Cryptic takes from two a week down to just one a week.

Last edited by boglejam73; 02-20-2013 at 10:45 PM.
Republic Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 947
# 2653
02-20-2013, 10:37 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by dastahl View Post
An apology is due, and while I've admitted fault in previous posts about this , I'll do so again in this one.
Apology accepted. Now if you are reading this Dan, a couple things we need to go over...


Quote:
The release that was pushed to Holodeck last week failed in several critical ways. There was a failure on the part of a designer to test their work before it was checked into the game.
This is not the designer's fault. The piece the designer worked on may have worked in her personal development space, but the problem was when it was integrated into the build. That is the function of QA.

Quote:
Similarly, there was a failure in communication with the QA team on the said check in and on top of that, no one headed the concerns on TRIBBLE.
We need a DIRECT LINE to you, or someone who can abort a patch release. If the Tribble testers find something bad-wrong the patch release needs to be halted.

Unless Dan says otherwise, we should all direct-message him or tweet to him if we discover a game-breaking bug in Tribble.

Quote:
Ultimately, this is all my responsibility as the lead on the team and I do apologize.
I said it above, apology accepted.


Quote:
There has been corrective action on our end to address this issue and it is our intention that the build going out to Holodeck tomorrow will resolve problems introduced last week.

This doesn't mean that all bugs on Holodeck are magically gone, it means that we are looking into the processes that cause these bugs and taking action to correct them.

In addition, the removal of Fleet Marks was a heavy handed change. It needed to be done because it was getting out of hand and there was an ever increasing amount of exploitation in the Foundry to maximum Fleet Mark rewards. That said, we should have had the Fleet Mark changes we are making this week ready to go last week so there wouldn't have been a week with the drop in Fleet Mark earning.
Glad to see you realize you need to work on your internal coordination.

Quote:
Again sorry. It doesn't make us feel any better when we make stupid mistakes.
You can stop apologizing now. In fact if you apologize again I am gonna bill you 7,500 lobi.


Quote:
Similarly, it is disheartening when several members of the community make harsh comments towards a team that is working many hours of OT to bring new content to STO.
No pain no gain. The only way to get anyone's attention it seems is to throw massive revolts. This is a problem, especially when the internal ticket system is BROKEN and when it does work we never get a useable reply... just canned responses.

Quote:
Be frustrated with me all you want, but every member of the team is pouring their lives into making this game better. While you may not see that on any given day, when you look back at where this game has come from, every year we make big strides in moving forward. They deserve a lot of credit for that.

While you may not agree with all of our designs and decisions, the proof is in the success the game is having and how much the game continues to grow. While we don't share our internal information, STO is the best performing game for Perfect World Entertainment and is enjoy month after month increases in new captains.

Having just celebrated our 3 year anniversary, there should be no doubt in your mind that we will be here for year 4 and beyond. We have a lot of good stuff in the works for our next May update and you'll see what we've been talking about in a little less than a months time.
I for one detest this secret hush hush routine. I don't know if I speak for the whole community when I say: Let us help you. Involve us in the development process.

Quote:
So thank you for the constructive feedback. I do apologize on the behalf of the team. We appreciate your continued support and understand if we tarnished ourselves with last week's update. We will learn and move on.
That's it. You owe me 7,500 lobi.

Quote:
And now... back to work.
Mission accomplished.


Now, to get some of the other long-standing bugs corrected.
VORTA: I have heard disturbing reports -- we were told that you are grinding up Jem'Hadar exchange officers in a blender and turning them into training manuals?

STARFLEET CAPTAIN: Lies, I assure you. We would never do such a thing. It's really more of a giant press than a blender.

Last edited by themarie; 02-20-2013 at 10:40 PM. Reason: TEH TYPO!!!
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 223
# 2654
02-20-2013, 10:54 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by olivia211 View Post
Looks like we are all happy about this change. Hugs for everyone! Free beer and pizza for the crowd!
It's not hugs for everyone and looks like we are all happy!

This should never have happened in the first place. And the patch only addresses a small amount of what is wrong.

New "shinnys" and adding FM into more events, even if the FM is increased, does not take the place of old and stale content.

1) The direction is towards more and more grinding with less time bringing in new content that makes the game fun.

2) The bugs have been adding up over the years and they are still not addressed and fixed.

3) Promises were made and not kept!

4) Player input only seems to get "listened" to when the game is turned into FUBAR and the news of PWE/Cryptic's player base being angry, upset, and feeling betrayed finally get noticed by either someone higher up than the people posting here, or outside the community that causes bad press for PWE/Cryptic.

5) New playable factions seem only a good idea to us when if fact they could be the biggest profit maker in the game for PWE/Cryptic AND bring back the FUN if done right.


6) Last but not least... The trust is gone and must be rebuild between PWE/Cryptic and it's customers.

The apology was the right thing to do, but now actions need to show the words have meaning!

Zeus
Golly look what I got! Now I can collect game metrics properly and adjust the content correctly!

Delta Rising, The Best Expansion Ever and the Players Love it!

Last edited by zeus16nbs; 02-20-2013 at 11:00 PM.
Republic Veteran
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 685
# 2655
02-20-2013, 11:02 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeus16nbs View Post
It's not hugs for everyone and looks like we are all happy!

This should never have happened in the first place. And the patch only addresses a small amount of what is wrong.

New "shinnys" and adding FM into more events, even if the FM is increased, does not take the place of old and stale content.

1) The direction is towards more and more grinding with less time bringing in new content that makes the game fun.

2) The bugs have been adding up over the years and they are still not addressed and fixed.

3) Promises were made and not kept!

4) Player input only seems to get "listened" to when the game is turned into FUBAR and the news of PWE/Cryptic's player base being angry, upset, and feeling betrayed finally get noticed by either someone higher up than the people posting here, or outside the community that causes bad press for PWE/Cryptic.

5) New playable factions seem only a good idea to us when if fact they could be the biggest profit maker in the game for PWE/Cryptic if done right.


6) Last but not least... The trust is gone and must be rebuild between PWE/Cryptic and it's customers.

The apology was the right thing to do, but now actions need to show the words have meaning!

Zeus
/facepalm

I guess you missed the part where I said "happy about this change."

Nowhere did I say all is forgiven. Do some of you even read what I am writing or do you just pick and chose words from my posts?

To answer your question, yes. - @Executive_Emily - I have a Website? Oh, yeah! I do.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 718
# 2656
02-20-2013, 11:02 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by dastahl View Post
An apology is due, and while I've admitted fault in previous posts about this , I'll do so again in this one.

The release that was pushed to Holodeck last week failed in several critical ways. There was a failure on the part of a designer to test their work before it was checked into the game.

Similarly, there was a failure in communication with the QA team on the said check in and on top of that, no one headed the concerns on TRIBBLE.

Ultimately, this is all my responsibility as the lead on the team and I do apologize.

There has been corrective action on our end to address this issue and it is our intention that the build going out to Holodeck tomorrow will resolve problems introduced last week.

This doesn't mean that all bugs on Holodeck are magically gone, it means that we are looking into the processes that cause these bugs and taking action to correct them.

In addition, the removal of Fleet Marks was a heavy handed change. It needed to be done because it was getting out of hand and there was an ever increasing amount of exploitation in the Foundry to maximum Fleet Mark rewards. That said, we should have had the Fleet Mark changes we are making this week ready to go last week so there wouldn't have been a week with the drop in Fleet Mark earning.

Again sorry. It doesn't make us feel any better when we make stupid mistakes.

Similarly, it is disheartening when several members of the community make harsh comments towards a team that is working many hours of OT to bring new content to STO.

Be frustrated with me all you want, but every member of the team is pouring their lives into making this game better. While you may not see that on any given day, when you look back at where this game has come from, every year we make big strides in moving forward. They deserve a lot of credit for that.

While you may not agree with all of our designs and decisions, the proof is in the success the game is having and how much the game continues to grow. While we don't share our internal information, STO is the best performing game for Perfect World Entertainment and is enjoy month after month increases in new captains.

Having just celebrated our 3 year anniversary, there should be no doubt in your mind that we will be here for year 4 and beyond. We have a lot of good stuff in the works for our next May update and you'll see what we've been talking about in a little less than a months time.

So thank you for the constructive feedback. I do apologize on the behalf of the team. We appreciate your continued support and understand if we tarnished ourselves with last week's update. We will learn and move on.

And now... back to work.
This was basically what I was waiting 260+ pages for. Thank you, Dan, for continuing to engage with us, when you could have just blocked it out completely.

The upcoming patch notes are also promising, re the Fleet Marks, but I shall reserve judgement until I see the changes in game.

That being said, the the Fleet Marks issue was the most recent symptom of a larger problem. That being that the direction the game has been heading for the last few months (increased emphasis on grinding a few precious resources to fill vast quantities needed to unlock new items) appears diametrically opposed to what a good sized chunk of the players want (variety, and being rewarded adequately for playing content they enjoy). Also, the way that community feedback on patches and game changes has seemingly been brushed aside or ignored, to the game's detriment.

I would hope that, as a result of the reaction to this patch, lessons have been learned at Cryptic that will avoid situations like this arising in the future. At the very least, I would hope that more attention is being paid to Tribble feedback, and that in future, no rewards are removed from the game without a replacement ready to go in at the exact same time.

I may not be quite at the stage of being ready to subscribe, but this upcoming patch might get me to actually log in for the first time in a week.

This character is why I don't play my Romulan any more. Tovan Khev is NOT my BFF! Get him off my bridge!
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 6,836
# 2657
02-20-2013, 11:09 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by dastahl View Post
Yes - everytime we shut down exploitative behavior in the game, the people that were exploiting it get really mad, and the people caught in the middle get annoyed.

We are working on the "people caught in the middle" part. There is nothing we can do about exploiters being mad other than continue to do our best to prevent exploits.
Here's my thing. While I can agree that the easiness of some of the missions were an exploit, I don't see how the timetable for rewards was an exploit when the wrapper reset every half hour? If you allow people to earn something every 30 minutes, how is it an exploit if they earn that thing every 30 minutes? And even then, without a death penalty in any of the fleet mark content, how is doing something easier an exploit? Any Foundry trick I'm aware of that made things easier also made them slower. And the only risk associated with any FM content is time lost.

There's no hard feelings but I DO think there is a heavyhandedness here in terms of designing not just what people are supposed to be doing but why and how they should be doing it. And I think prominent Foundry community members can be equally (unfortunately) as possessive about what the Foundry is for. When I was on the conference call last year, I made a lot of points about this.

If it gets a cutscene tool, people will use it to make movies. Nothing BUT movies.

Some people want to grind. Frankly, I'd rather people grind (and I mean legitimately grind) in the Foundry than have official Cryptic missions built around grinding because I think we've all seen how that leads to criticism of the missions/STFs/Fleet Actions being untrue to the IP.

One of the core problems (and every problem is an opportunity, if addressed) that I see going forward is an overall lack of emergent gameplay or mechanics.

I know you're a fan of the Sims, Dan. So where's the equivalent of putting Sims in the pool and taking out the ladder? I know you played a certain major fantasy MMO. And a big part of that game for some people (the entirety for some) was doing things like getting to the Dancing Troll Village, having foot races, or looking for the Ashbringer. I've sent some colorful bug reports in for STO but none as colorful as I submitted in that other game; by the end of my time there, I was getting idea release forms from GMs. They knew who I was and would prank me. I may have soloed Thrall once. I once used a combination of items that got me stuck in a phase without other players for a full day while still connected. They leveraged not playing as intended for alternate goals. That was how I became a bloodsail admiral there.

Without some of that spirit, you fall into complaints about being a game where everyone just presses "F" and shoots at things. The utilitarian approach is how NGE got its bad rap in Galaxies. At the very least, you need intended unintended ways to play. And they need to be a touch more counterproductive or counterintuitive than killing a Mugato around a corner or completing a mission on a timer... Because everybody I know has tried to do those things every time they played.

The closest I can think of is the hidden weapon in Coliseum.

I have a whole gameplay system cooked up around a concept like this but it's not just about having ONE concept for acceptable unintended play but, I think, really fostering it and doing so for more than just Foundry AUTHORS. I think you get a bad rap for shutting down all unintended play.

Arguably fleet marks hurt people because of the quantity awarded in the Foundry, which made it harder for FA players to contribute to projects because Foundry players had a surplus. PvP exploits definitely have victims.

But I think you also need acceptable outside the box gameplay. That energy will always exist and it needs to be channeled somewhere. Ideally by having what I call "insploits" or rewards for self-hobbling or identifiable forms of encouraged victimless exploit rather than pure achievement and straightforward exploration. It's how you get depth and replay.

I feel like you've gotten warmer in terms of certain gameplay elements (random Tau Dewa missions) but there's a resistance there to having design or gameplay that follows a different flow from the designers' ideal and that resistance comes across in the heavyhandedness of how patches are handled and the "press F" gameplay complaints.

Although I get that the game needs to remain highly accessible, I think that can be done while still being more divergible.

Just my late night thoughts anyway.

Thanks for the responses to this.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 223
# 2658
02-20-2013, 11:15 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by olivia211 View Post
/facepalm

I guess you missed the part where I said "happy about this change."

Nowhere did I say all is forgiven. Do some of you even read what I am writing or do you just pick and chose words from my posts?

I read everything you have posted in this thread.

And no not everyone is "happy about this change". As my last line says, if you looked...

The apology was the right thing to do, but now actions need to prove the words have meaning.

I have been testing on tribble and 48hrs. is not enough time to fully test all of the items in the patch release notes. I am professional Network Engineer and work for a very large nationwide company and there is no way we would let new code or patches into production without fully testing it in our lab and the vendors lab. That short of a "testing" period begs for failure and more trouble which equals customers out of service and the company losing profits as well as getting very bad press!

Tribble is a test server and should be used to test as best as possible all items in a "patch" and let it soak for a period of time to make sure the code does not do the above to your customers.

So if you want to think everyone is happy then that is your right to think that, but the few poeple that have tested on Tribble have already found issues just like before the patch last week and now it's going into production to affect everyone!

Does that make me happy? No!

Zeus
Golly look what I got! Now I can collect game metrics properly and adjust the content correctly!

Delta Rising, The Best Expansion Ever and the Players Love it!
Republic Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 947
# 2659
02-20-2013, 11:20 PM
Don't get me wrong -- apology accepted but there are other issues that need to be addressed.

My pet project is getting the backgrounds redone for ALL the missions in the plot progression. I understand it's a huge undertaking but it has to be done. The flickering and fracturing is game-breaking.

Second pet project is getting the Romulan HYT and Klingon BNW targeting glitch in the plot progression fixed. Again, I understand it's a bit more than simply changing a couple lines in an .ini file... but it needs to be done. Its a horrible glitch that paints Cryptic's programmers as cartoonishly incompetent.

Above all, It's a question of pride. Apparently Cryptic employees do not take PRIDE in their work. I can make this statement, because I sit here looking at the same glaring game-breaking glitches every time I run a plot mission. I see the same huge game-breaking glitches throughout the Defera Invasion Zone. It shows most tellingly in the Bug Report system... which is down again! On the very rare occasion one gets a reply, it's a canned response days or weeks later... and most often something like "change instances" or "drop and restart the mission."

Going forward, I challenge all of Cryptic's employees to take PRIDE in their work, show us that PRIDE and take the time to solve long-standing bugs and glitches. One a week. That's all I ask.

Do that, and I'll play the game... and pay into the system... for years to come.

Ignore me... ignore US, and year four will be the last year for STO... we the players have revolted three times this season. We can't take much more of this.
VORTA: I have heard disturbing reports -- we were told that you are grinding up Jem'Hadar exchange officers in a blender and turning them into training manuals?

STARFLEET CAPTAIN: Lies, I assure you. We would never do such a thing. It's really more of a giant press than a blender.
Survivor of Romulus
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 6,302
# 2660
02-20-2013, 11:24 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by dastahl View Post
Yes - everytime we shut down exploitative behavior in the game, the people that were exploiting it get really mad, and the people caught in the middle get annoyed.

We are working on the "people caught in the middle" part. There is nothing we can do about exploiters being mad other than continue to do our best to prevent exploits.
You have my full support on this one. Exploits need to be taken care of and I'm glad that you react on this type of behavior.
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