Cryptic need to take more notice of major discussions that take place on the forums, regardless of how controversial they may be. Dancing around or completely avoiding the issue in Ask Cryptic just aggravates people further. Please remember it is a PR and feedback event, not a PWE promotions event.
If you continue to do 'Ask Cryptic' style posts, it would benefit you a lot to add some sort of 'like/dislike' system where each 'answer' can be liked or disliked.
That way you can get a rough approximation of how the forum community feels about your answer of any given question- do they like it? Do they not like it?
Then the potential for followup exists- for instance, something I'd definitely 'dislike' is when Cryptic 'replies' to a question by hijacking that question to give a totally unrelated answer to an unasked question, the old bait and switch. This happens at least once every Ask Cryptic, and Cryptic never actually answers the original question.
But means to actually inform Cryptic that we, the players, haaaaaaaaaaate when you do this are pretty slim.
But when you get some two thousand likes on that one specific question, maybe it'd process that 'we did something here that players don't like', and then you could do a followup at the end of the week.
You could post a thread going "These are the top X most disliked answers we gave last ask cryptic, and we want to know why- discuss." and get some discussion going.
Because as it is, every ask cryptic I see at least one question being hijacked to pontificate about something unrelated, and it isn't showing any signs of stopping.
Frankly, these all need to be run on a monthly basis and not rotated. I like the idea of the previous poster have having a like/dislike system on the questions as they are right to say that questions are often hijacked. Furthermore some of the questions that are picked are so blatently picked for the ability to provide an easy answer.
I want to see more transparency and honesty in this game as frankly your customer satisfaction at the moment is heavily damaged, the recent non-existent mark bonus without comment was appalling. I want to see the hard questions answered and not avoided.
I would like to see the polls go out on a quarterly basis, and each quarter there is a poll for EACH dev team. We get to decide on one task that they complete or work on during the next three months.
1) I haven`t heard any complaints from the community about the monthly "Ask Cryptic" feature. I also don`t agree, that "Ask Cryptic"s are generating disappointment. The disappointment is there before the question is answered - but a good answer may transfer disappointment into excitement...
2) The actual expansion of STO is done really well - it adds more, better content. And it is based on a survey. I wonder what the numbers say or will say. Has it been as successfull as expected? If I get the sentiment right, it has not. But Cryptic delivered exactly what people wanted! And that in good quality. So what is going wrong here? The answer is: people don`t know what they want.
So I don`t want surveys to determine the future of STO. I also don`t want to interview one dev - that is done by many magazines, podcasts etc.
I want dStahl to decide, what happens and when. I trust him to know Star Trek. I trust him to bring as much Star Trek into STO as the finances allow him to do. I think he knows better what players want, then the players itself. So I want to hear from him once a month, what he thinks, on which point he is unsure (and needs some community feedback) , which things have to be done and which things he would like to do, but the time don`t fit.
I don't think Ask Cryptic is a fail because of the questions. When then it failed because of the questions picked and the meaningless, non-informative answers given. Sure, it's much more satisfying to let the company or the person in charge shine than answer tough questions about how so many game breaking or fun killing issues are constantly ignored (or at a player point of view - not fixed). As an example i'll pick the afk-leecher problem - it's just too little to say "WE DON'T LIKE IT" in 6 months.
Also it's just not enough using "making awesome new content" [= another kill all enemies (fast, for optional) mission where the challenging part is to decide fast if you'r bailing out or earning rewards for others afk or unable to contribute to the mission (insufficient ship-build/lack of experience/speech barrier] as an excuse for not fixing real problems / improving bad working things.
Interview a Dev: sounds not very interesting to me. Most used question would be "What are you currently working on" and most used answer on new stuff would be "yeah, that sounds great. i'll suggest this. (maybe it will implemented in the next few years)." Why not reviving the old engineering reports?
And to be honest: First i would prefer to see more fixed bugs than new ones made on three consecutive patches as to read something trivial or that maybe or maybe not will be in the game ... sometimes.
I think players also need sometimes to take a business perspectice. There is something called pareto principle, which states, that you need 20% of total time to get 80% done. And yeah, you need 80% of total time to get the last 20% done.
So with Cryptic being a relatively small company you need to think about those last 20%. You can spend your 80% of totaltime eleminating all bugs. But you also could add new content, new game mechanis or just have 80% less productions costs (if time=money).
@Branflakes: The real question isn't what type of Format this should entail, but what level of commitment Cryptic is going to put into this. If the level of commitment is going to remain the same then it doesn't matter what format is used, it will still be an overall failure.
However, if Cryptic is going to seriously and consistently openly discuss issues, ideas, feedback, setbacks, and follow through and follow up then and only then is there really any purpose to all this. Really everything with this hinges on one single question:
So with that Brandon my question is, What level of commitment is Cryptic willing to take with this moving forward?
imho the Ask Cryptic is mostly just pretending to have open communication and answering questions while none of the current topics are responded to.
only those are picked that dStahl wants to talk about himself or has a good PR response ready to shoot.
He plays it safe.
So why not just drop the pretense and let him do a pure State of the Game PR Blog once a month and be done with it?
I get that not everybody is following every interview and every podcast out there and that repeating the same questions has some value to get information out there.
But if not one bit of NEW info is in there... then it really gets to the point where these Ask Cryptics are obsolete because everything has been answered somewhere else already.
Also i remember that dStahl did respond at least for a day or two to replies and questions in the Engineering Reports, he never does that for the Ask Cryptic even if there are things to talk about or clarify. Where is the discussion? There is no "communication", no "discussion", just a short Q&A.
What i really would want is simply more Devs on the Forum responding to curent Topics.
By all means stay away from the flame-bait threads in General Discussion but the other sub-forums are usually full of good clean topics.
Every time the communication gets going and ideas are bounced off each other the end product is better than before.
There are too many things by now done and developed behind the curtain and too often i hear good ideas from players that will not be implemented simply because it is too late, the Dev Team already moved on to the next project on the schedule.
Drop the Secrecy, and just use the Forums to communicate again.
Seriously the open communication was it that kept me subscribed for the first 2 Years, i was following the Dev Tracker every day, even if i didn't play for weeks.
Even if it resulted in one or the other PR disaster, the results were always better than without any communication.
The DOff System and how Heretic handled it is the best example, it was a HIT and he communicated with us on a almost daily basis on the Forum and even in the DOFFJOBS channel, and that was a big reason why it became so successful with the Playerbase, when we had a problem we told him and he fixed it. When he had an idea he came to us and either teased us or asked for feedback / ideas etc.
There are still a few good ones around (you know who you are), but too many Devs are just too silent and do not use us players as a resource.
Keep the suggestions coming! They are great so far
Please also remember that these web article features will be monthly, and will replace the current 'Ask Cryptic' web article feature, starting this month. We'll be conducting at least one per month, as we did previously with the 'Ask Cryptic', and would like to rotate through the different suggestions, including those in the OP and those that you all may come up with.
So these things are going to happen anyway? You've already decided the Ask Cryptic is done and gone, so you're not really asking for feedback--you're trying to measure how nasty or positive the response will be from the fans.
A recurring suggestion I'm seeing is that "Ask Cryptic" should be left alone, and that Cryptic should suck it up and start answering the tough questions.
You're just looking for another way to provide us a PR stunt every month that highlights the things you want us to hear under the guise of open dialogue.
While we're on this topic, I'd like to note that I hate how prevalent these Podcast interviews have become. I'll generally read anything you guys throw on the front page, but there's a limit to my endurance. If there's no transcript, there's no chance I'm going to suffer through listening to a couple of amateurs blunder through an hour of material just to hear the brief section where a Cryptic employee dodges any hard questions asked and repeats Cryptic talking points in response to any of the softballs offered up to them by the interviewers.
I guess its a symptom of the same problem that keeps getting rehashed in this thread. I'm willing to scan a document to see which non-answers were given that time around, but I won't invest any real time into something I know won't be substantive.
In general, I understand the position Cryptic takes with their users. They're in it for the money and a business like this generally doesn't want to be held hostage by their customers. In fact, you're generally better off treating your customers like lab rats, but this isn't your typical situation. This isn't Madden [Insert Year Here] or Halo that you can sell to the brainless masses. It's a game tied to a very iconic IP and that both loses you the masses and gains you a devoted cult. You're also the only active instance of that beloved IP, so you have a fanatical, captive audience willing to pour their wallets out into your coffers if only you would make their Star Trek fantasies come alive in an interactive world and you still ignore them.
I know it won't happen, but I'd love for Cryptic to actually implement the Like/Dislike system mentioned in this thread for development issues. I think it'd surprise Cryptic to learn of the disparity between the things they put effort into vs the things players are willing to spend money on.