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Cryptic wants to make money so they must hate us! ... REALLY?

Personally, I think we need to stop with all of this "Cryptic wants to make money so they must hate us" garbage. We all knew that when they announced that STO was going to go Free to Play, that they would find whatever ways they could to generate revenue without requiring a subscription. At the time of the announcement, I was figuring that they would be creating tons of playable content and selling it as mini-expansions... Instead, playable content took a back seat to fluff items. People scream that they would quit if they started having to pay for playable content. And yet they complain about not having enough playable content and feel like quitting.

Now, there is more of a focus on content development, and an increase in hatred for Cryptic for all the monetization. Thing is, if they did not have the monetization they have now, they would be charging for playable content. And we probably would not have so many veteran Star Trek actors reprising their roles in the game. The only beef I have with them is they still cannot manage to create enough content fast enough to satiate our appetite for it. I would like to see them take three months to produce resources and story content and then roll out 24 episodic missions over the next nine months. In other words, they should produce it like a Star Trek TV show. Have the season written with and mapped out in advance, with all the art assets and voice acting produced and recorded early on. A lot of art assets can be creatively reused. I've seen foundry missions that manage some pretty impressive locations all with assets that have been around from the beginning, but just used in clever ways. Cryptic can do the same thing. They don't HAVE to produce all new assets for every little thing. Just when an episode calls for something specific that cannot be believably produced with existing assets.

And the episodic mission season can contain product placement of items that are on their way to the C-store. In this way, the mission content would drive Zen purchases.

People who take a break from STO for whatever reason tend to come back when new content comes out. So the more content Cryptic produces, the more people will play. And let's be clear... If they are not playing, they surely aren't paying.

Because Cryptic wants to make money does not mean they hate us. But I think they could make MORE money in the long run by streamlining their content production process so that they can release material far more regularly than the currently do. Right now they push things out all at once, and we blast through it all almost immediately. With content releases broken into bite-sized chunks and spread out over nine months, even though we would consume each chunk almost immediately, we would not have to wait so bloody long for the next one to drop.

And what would we do during the 3 month hiatus? How bout a the introduction of new settings scattered throughout the galaxy that function similarly to the way Fleet Holdings work, except that they are not locked behind the fleet wall, meaning anyone visiting them can contribute to them. Maybe it is a new space station being built, with new NPC characters showing up as it progresses, and the new season launches from that location. So players will be vested in the rolling out of the new content, and can actually see something they participate in grow as a result of their actions.

We need to stop always looking at Cryptic as if they are the enemy and start finding ways to meet in the middle. Those of you who have known me the longest know that I have been extremely critical of Cryptic in the past. It's easy to be an armchair developer and jump on the cynicism bandwagon. But that does not get anyone anywhere. STO will be what keeps it in line with PWE's profit expectations. If we can wrap our heads around that FACT, maybe we can start asking for things that keep it real within that scope and give us a gameplay experience that keeps us coming back, or better yet, encourages us not to leave in the first place.

But as long as our relationship with Cryptic/PWE remains driven by the "Us vs. Them" mentality, the developers will have no desire to engage with us on anything meaningful. And I cannot say I blame them.
When it comes to MMOs, I wear prescription glasses. Whether or not they are rose-tinted is beside the point.
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Comments

  • glenn#1579 glenn Member Posts: 275 Arc User
    I had an issue with Cryptic when I bought Zen and got a lot less than I had thought. It turned out they where simply charging me UK sales tax. Not their fault, as it turned out.

    I find it difficult to understand people moaning about STO. If you do not want to pay you do not need to. What do you get for nothing, the best Star Trek game I have ever played. In fact I have never played a game for 6 months solid, even the X-COM series.

    Every few months Cryptic hand out freebies. I am running T6 ships that I haven't paid for and can wipe out anything in the missions and the PvEs.

    Quit bellyaching people and just enjoy the ride.
  • reynoldsxdreynoldsxd Member Posts: 977 Arc User
    edited March 2016
    The quality and effort invested has steadily increased on cryptics part. Comapre the games early years to the later ones. With Legacy of romulus, cryptic has made a steady climb in quality. Yes, game mechanics went on a roller coaster and bad decisions were made, but the episodes have been good.

    I do not see this us vs them theme played out.


    If you refer to forums a flame: welcome to the internet.
  • davefenestratordavefenestrator Member Posts: 8,778 Arc User
    I have no problem with their monetization in general. Charging for ship slots, character slots, account bank, etc. along with the big ones of lock boxes and ships. I'll even suggest new things they could charge me for, like a way to transfer or share a lock box ship with my other characters,

    I politely object in specific instances where I feel the monetization conflicts with their own stated goals. The skill revamp was done in part to encourage experimentation, but the respec cost in zen is far too high to agree with that goal.
  • evilmark444evilmark444 Member Posts: 5,829 Arc User
    edited March 2016
    I frequently complain because I, personally, feel the entire F2P concept is an abomination. That said, some games clearly have better F2P models than others, and when it comes to that I also feel STO has the most poorly designed F2P system of every F2P MMO I've played. Monthly subs have no value because you basically pay 15 dollars for 5 dollars worth of zen. And theres the P2W argument because ships are both gear AND cosmetics, whereas every other F2P MMO out there only sells things that are purely cosmetic.

    On top of all this, Cryptic also charges a RIDICULOUS price for something literally no other game has monetized: respecs.

    Do I fault then for trying to make money? Hell no, they're a business, that's what they're supposed to do. But I DO take issue with HOW they try to make their money. Things I would be in favor of are requiring a sub to unlock access to a new feature episode (something swtor is currently doing), releasing new T6 ships (the gear aspect) as instance drops with optional c-store cosmetic options (the visual aspect), etc.

    I have no problem paying, I'm a lifer here and I sub to every MMO I choose to play, F2P or not. I just really despise the F2P model used for STO, and if it wasn't for the trek license, and well designed SPACE combat (I specify because ground is unbelievably POORLY designed), I wouldn't be here anymore.
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  • meimeitoomeimeitoo Member Posts: 12,117 Arc User
    edited March 2016
    Personally, I think we need to stop with all of this "Cryptic wants to make money so they must hate us" garbage.

    Sorry to say, but your entire argument is one huge strawman. Nobody has ever said Cryptic shouldn't be allowed to make money. There's making money, though, and being outright greedy. I'm not saying the latter per se, btw; but I can certainly empathize with people feeling certain areas are over-monetized (like, for me, the Upgrade system).
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  • sirsitsalotsirsitsalot Member Posts: 2,338 Arc User
    I politely object in specific instances where I feel the monetization conflicts with their own stated goals. The skill revamp was done in part to encourage experimentation, but the respec cost in zen is far too high to agree with that goal.

    In another thread, I posted the solution. Give us the freedom to respect every 24 hours with a dilithium cost, while leaving the Zen-purchased tokens at the current price, so long as they can be used at any time
    When it comes to MMOs, I wear prescription glasses. Whether or not they are rose-tinted is beside the point.
  • evilmark444evilmark444 Member Posts: 5,829 Arc User
    I politely object in specific instances where I feel the monetization conflicts with their own stated goals. The skill revamp was done in part to encourage experimentation, but the respec cost in zen is far too high to agree with that goal.

    In another thread, I posted the solution. Give us the freedom to respect every 24 hours with a dilithium cost, while leaving the Zen-purchased tokens at the current price, so long as they can be used at any time

    They explicitly stated they wanted their skill system to more closely emulate the industry standard, to make it easier for new players to pick up. The industry standard across all MMOs, F2P and sub alike, is respecs that only cost gold/credits/energy credits. Those are facts.
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  • nebfabnebfab Member Posts: 672 Arc User
    Ok, the 3rd version... As someone who ragequitted for years over some aspects of how F2P monetization worked back then... When I was lured back by one of those free ship emails I discovered that either I got more tolerant or Cryptic got more generous: most of the stuff I raged against back then is still here, some of it got worse, but some of it got better: there's more f2p character slots now, everyone got more free inventory and a ship slot (and 5 drydocks recently) JHAS is no longer the only 5/2 escort on offer, and things like that, and that made game much more enjoyable, even if you don't buy Zen or funnel all the dil to the Exchange. (although I occasionally do both.)

    So, I'm good peaceful satisfied little customer sheeperson (what's singular of "sheeple" anyway?) now :D

    Well, not really. I still think that lockboxes are a form of gambling (which I personally try to avoid, though if someone else does it that's their money, and this is a free society) but it feels much less like you're pressured into those lotteries than it used to...

    And I even like those "such-and-such got a lockbox ship" notes, after seeing a particular game I liked closed down for commercial reasons, every single one of them is a few hundred more proofs this won't happen here anytime soon.

    As for your suggestions... I don't know, continuous development like that is far harder than it looks and it may seem to many people that lots of small changes don't add up to much, when they actually do when you consider them all at once (see the story of my ex-Cryptic hate for an example - I'm sure that quite a few people who had been there for those little things introduction actually think F2P isn't all that different and/or got worse overall from what it used to be, unlike me.)

    "Open" holdings... I'm not sure, considering how all those "fill a progress bar for stuff to happen" events aren't particularly well-liked (unless it's XP week :D.)
  • unotetsuunotetsu Member Posts: 654 Arc User
    I approve of anything to keep the Hamsters fed and happy! Maybe they will get enough money for them to hire some Klingon Hamsters to fight the dreaded DDOS (Devidian Destroyers Of Space-Time) so my ship doesn't experience random time-loops manifesting as jumping back and forth all over the place....

    I must warn you, I am quite Isane! I am Grand Duchess of the Abh Empire: Beneej Letopanyu Spoor!
  • nebfabnebfab Member Posts: 672 Arc User
    edited March 2016
    unotetsu wrote: »
    I approve of anything to keep the Hamsters fed and happy! Maybe they will get enough money for them to hire some Klingon Hamsters to fight the dreaded DDOS (Devidian Destroyers Of Space-Time) so my ship doesn't experience random time-loops manifesting as jumping back and forth all over the place....

    With all due respec[sic!], Klingon hamsters may not be quite enough. We need some Sabre-Toothed Giant Space Hamsters imported from D&D. Then ask the good Dr. Khan to work on them a bit further... No one would dare to DDoS that! It's a perfect plan! (As long as they don't escape and take over the world, that is...)
  • antonine3258antonine3258 Member Posts: 2,376 Arc User
    I honestly think it's a very solid monetization system - just about everything can be gotten through energy credits or dilithium, with how many people spending money determining how easy it is for everyone else through market forces. The old 'have time or have money' exchange. :)

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  • nebfabnebfab Member Posts: 672 Arc User
    deokkent wrote: »
    Tl;dr
    I am just here to tell yuuuu you are a drama queen for implicating yourself in this drama. You are as bad as the rest of them OP. You aaaaare welcoooomeee.

    Just because something is drama doesn't mean it's useless. Although drama queening for good reason and within limits is an art that takes years to master. :)
  • zarato4218zarato4218 Member Posts: 384 Arc User
    edited March 2016
    I frequently complain because I, personally, feel the entire F2P concept is an abomination. That said, some games clearly have better F2P models than others, and when it comes to that I also feel STO has the most poorly designed F2P system of every F2P MMO I've played.

    I'm not going to disagree with your other points, but honestly there is no way STO's F2P model is as bad as SWTOR's. A game judgeing by your sig and comments that you must be familiar with. I like SWTOR despite its flaws, but its F2P model constricts a player like an iron vice. In fact, I can't even imagine trying to level without a Sub and lets not forget that while most of their cash shop is just optional cosmetics, they do also heavily restrict mission rewards, entry to Flashpoints, Warzones, and Artifact Gear among many other things.

    Now, obviously, this is because they really want you to sub which, as you noted about STO, is understandable for a business, but if we are ignoring that and simply comparing the "freedoms" a F2Per recieves, compared to SWTOR, and with perhaps the exception of the EC cap, in STO the sky's the limit when it comes to "primary" content. (I've been a lifer a long time myself, so perhaps I'm forgetting something else.) Feel free to disagree, I don't mind, but almost everyone I have ever discussed it with agrees that the gameplay restrictions make SWTOR's model abysmal. (Not charging for content mind you... in SWTOR's case I agree with you there, as I'm ok with buying expansions or subbing monthly for KotFE)

    Still, you are right that respecs are free over there, though unlike in STO I don't think I've ever bothered to respec any of my characters. o:)
    As Zephram Cochrane once said, "That'll do, pig. That'll do." - April 1st 2015. o:)
  • eldritchxeldritchx Member Posts: 120 Arc User
    nebfab wrote: »
    JHAS is no longer the only 5/2 escort on offer

    So you ragequitted in part over something that demonstrably was never true? Not sure how valid that makes your comments.

  • meimeitoomeimeitoo Member Posts: 12,117 Arc User
    eldritchx wrote: »
    nebfab wrote: »
    JHAS is no longer the only 5/2 escort on offer

    So you ragequitted in part over something that demonstrably was never true? Not sure how valid that makes your comments.

    JHAS, JHSS, etc, all come with a 4/3 layout, far as I know.
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  • nebfabnebfab Member Posts: 672 Arc User
    eldritchx wrote: »
    nebfab wrote: »
    JHAS is no longer the only 5/2 escort on offer

    So you ragequitted in part over something that demonstrably was never true? Not sure how valid that makes your comments.
    Ok, I don't remember what ships exactly were available back then, and I don't claim I was particularly smart or knowledgeable (my build was definitely horrid) but I definitely remember that for me personally it felt like bug was the only ship worth having and I resented it the most. There are far more various shinies right now, but they just don't feel like that anymore.
  • evilmark444evilmark444 Member Posts: 5,829 Arc User
    Earliest 5/2 ship I know of is the andorian escort, followed by the scimitar, then the pilot ships. but your right the bug WAS considered the cream of the crop for a long while.
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  • nebfabnebfab Member Posts: 672 Arc User
    meimeitoo wrote: »
    eldritchx wrote: »
    nebfab wrote: »
    JHAS is no longer the only 5/2 escort on offer

    So you ragequitted in part over something that demonstrably was never true? Not sure how valid that makes your comments.

    JHAS, JHSS, etc, all come with a 4/3 layout, far as I know.

    Indeed... Ok, I definitely badly misremembered that one. I'm sorry.
  • groomofweirdgroomofweird Member Posts: 1,043 Arc User
    @evilmark444 there was also the Xindi contortrix escort that came not long before T6.
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    "If this will be our end, then I will have them make SUCH an end as to be worthy of rememberance! Out of torpedos you say?! Find me the ferengi!".
  • darakossdarakoss Member Posts: 850 Arc User
    Meh..I already paid back when you had to buy the game and sub. Sometimes I feel it should go back to that and eliminate the need for the c-store
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  • evilmark444evilmark444 Member Posts: 5,829 Arc User
    I frequently complain because I, personally, feel the entire F2P concept is an abomination. That said, some games clearly have better F2P models than others, and when it comes to that I also feel STO has the most poorly designed F2P system of every F2P MMO I've played.

    Although I've never played, I've heard that SWTOR is actually the worst... (Have you forgotten about the dil store?)
    Monthly subs have no value because you basically pay 15 dollars for 5 dollars worth of zen.

    I agree, but then again ...who still uses those? I suppose its a good idea if you really like the game, but for some reason don't know if you want to spend $300, you could use the $15 thing as a "test drive". On the other hand, why one would do that is beyond me, just buy the lifer thing and be done with it.
    And theres the P2W argument because ships are both gear AND cosmetics, whereas every other F2P MMO out there only sells things that are purely cosmetic.

    I can see your point there. (But again, dil store, if one really wanted a ship)
    On top of all this, Cryptic also charges a RIDICULOUS price for something literally no other game has monetized: respecs.

    This I can COMPLETELY agree with. Furthermore, there are hints that it wont stop. I remember, Bort I think it was, saying that they didn't have anyway, other than the respec, to monetize the skill system. This leads me to believe that they will ALWAYS monetize the skill system.
    Do I fault then for trying to make money? Hell no, they're a business, that's what they're supposed to do. But I DO take issue with HOW they try to make their money. Things I would be in favor of are requiring a sub to unlock access to a new feature episode

    Really, you're advocating for making people pay for a mission? For something that is the core of the game. Missions only tell the story, nothing important... right?
    (something swtor is currently doing),

    Ladies and gentlemen, this is why you should stay away from Star Wars. (also because jj touched it... grows!)
    releasing new T6 ships (the gear aspect) as instance drops with optional c-store cosmetic options (the visual aspect), etc.

    You just told people to pay for gear... right? lol
    I have no problem paying, I'm a lifer here and I sub to every MMO I choose to play, F2P or not. I just really despise the F2P model used for STO, and if it wasn't for the trek license, and well designed SPACE combat (I specify because ground is unbelievably POORLY designed),

    Really, I LOVE ground. Maybe you just don't understand it that well...
    I wouldn't be here anymore.

    So, although I agree that STO needs work on the F2P model, I personally think its THE BEST free-to-play game out there. Now, with that said, I'll be the first to say this is the only MMO I play, therefore, maybe I don't have a clear view of what a truly good MMO is.

    Now, before you say that the dil store is a joke, I'll jump to it. In the words of John Oliver, is it really?

    Let's thing about this, if a casual player doesn't want to spend money on the game they also probably wont care for the best new T-whatever ship is out. Thus, they won't bother spending time OR money.

    I've actually bought a few things with the dil store, my EC cap unlock, some keys and borg boff. Before college I would have gladly grinned some other stuff, but now I see the value in the dil store. I don't have time anymore for 2-3 hour voth BZ runs, so I'll give up my 10$.

    But before college, I find that the OPTION to have all those money costing things is wonderful.

    Its all about options after all.

    The ones who say swtor has the worst model, are the ones who want everything free. I'm of the opinion that none of this should be free (ie no subject no service), but the swtor model is a decent compromise and gives value to subs. Also, the mission part of that gives access to all missions released, so you can wait 6 months, sub for 1 month, and get 6 months worth of content if you want. Content is the most expensive part to develop, and the part that gives the most enjoyment, and should therefore be the first thing with a price tag.

    I also did not say people should pay for gear:
    releasing new T6 ships (the gear aspect) as instance drops with optional c-store cosmetic options (the visual aspect), etc.

    I said the ship itself should be instance drops, ie loot, ie free with effort, while the new cosmetic options should be in the store.

    And the dil store is just a plain horrible idea, and is clearly designed to monetize everything in the game, all the way down to crafting. Though I'd grumble less about it if the conversion was fixed at 500 dil per zen, I'll never accept it as anything less than a sleazy business model.

    And I do understand ground, I've played it since beta, I just don't enjoy it at all because of how it's designed. If it was either a classic mmo system, or a full blown third person shooter, I'd enjoy it, but what we have now is one of the worst experiences I've ever had in an mmo.
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  • nebfabnebfab Member Posts: 672 Arc User
    edited April 2016

    And the dil store is just a plain horrible idea, and is clearly designed to monetize everything in the game, all the way down to crafting. Though I'd grumble less about it if the conversion was fixed at 500 dil per zen, I'll never accept it as anything less than a sleazy business model.
    Although I personally like that particular part of the system (even back in the ragequit phase) and consider it a fair deal, I can see your point about why this may seem sleazy, although at least they didn't add PvP poker tables, like in the game where they most likely got the idea from*... And a subscription-only model also monetizes everything, in a way.

    But why would you be less uncomfortable with it if the exchange rate was fixed? I'm not saying it's a bad or a good idea, I'm just not sure of your reasoning.

    *EDIT FOR CLARITY: On the other hand, their lockboxes only ever contained cosmetic items, and not the most coveted ones at that, which is why I played it for quite a while (not the poker part.)
  • davefenestratordavefenestrator Member Posts: 8,778 Arc User
    The ones who say swtor has the worst model, are the ones who want everything free. I'm of the opinion that none of this should be free (ie no subject no service), but the swtor model is a decent compromise and gives value to subs.

    Except for the times when they charged everyone including subbies $20 for new story content. Pretty shabby to make subbies pay for it despite already supporting the game with their $15/month.
  • evilmark444evilmark444 Member Posts: 5,829 Arc User
    The ones who say swtor has the worst model, are the ones who want everything free. I'm of the opinion that none of this should be free (ie no subject no service), but the swtor model is a decent compromise and gives value to subs.

    Except for the times when they charged everyone including subbies $20 for new story content. Pretty shabby to make subbies pay for it despite already supporting the game with their $15/month.

    Paid expansions are a different animal altogether, and typically include enough additional content to be well worth the cost. I have no problems with them, and routinely pay extra for the deluxe versions of WoW expansions.
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  • zarato4218zarato4218 Member Posts: 384 Arc User
    edited April 2016
    The ones who say swtor has the worst model, are the ones who want everything free. I'm of the opinion that none of this should be free (ie no subject no service), but the swtor model is a decent compromise and gives value to subs. Also, the mission part of that gives access to all missions released, so you can wait 6 months, sub for 1 month, and get 6 months worth of content if you want. Content is the most expensive part to develop, and the part that gives the most enjoyment, and should therefore be the first thing with a price tag.

    I would pay good money to see you post that in their forums... it would not end well. :* And that's just among the paying subs too, since as I'm sure you know F2Pers and Preferred can't even post. (Of course, even as a long term sub, I personally never post there anyway... far too toxic.) Also its most often long term subs, who are trying to recruit friends to the game, who are recently complaining about the model. So if they just "want everything for free," they sure are not doing a good job sticking to that; what with four years of paying monthly subs themselves. :) Personally, as a person who prefered KOTOR, I like the story heavy nature of KotFE and don't mind paying for it, but I also acknowledge that that is an extreme minority opinion these days. Many players, even among subs, seem to still be very angry about the "monthly" chapter format, the fact that the chapters are solo only (Again, as an entirely solo player, I like it that way, but I'm in the minority), and that it has been so long since Bioware added to the multiplayer aspects of the game in general like Ops or Warzones... so its not quite as rosy as you make it seem. I of course will continue to Sub unless/until the story gets bad. Afterall, I have to make sure my Inquisitor gets the chance to give Valkorion and Arcann whats coming to them. Curse you Bioware for your intriguing storylines. *shakes fist at no one in particular* o:)

    Either way, as I said in my last post, if you want to compare F2P models clinically, you have to do just that. Look only at the freedoms and restrictions of "core gameplay" each model gives to a new player (trying to decide if the game is for them) and set sub benefits aside for a moment. From that perspective there is no way SWTOR's model is more generous than STO's. Well, except for the cost of respecs... I'll concede that point to you entirely especially now in the light of the upcoming skill revamp. Either way, it doen't really affect me... being a lifer here and a sub there, so I'll leave it at that and get back to wondering what both game's April Fools joke will be tommorow. It will be hard to top STO Rebirth or Kai Zykken's stationary log-speeder. The latter in particular was doubly funny when it actually made it into the game for real. :p
    Post edited by zarato4218 on
    As Zephram Cochrane once said, "That'll do, pig. That'll do." - April 1st 2015. o:)
  • nebfabnebfab Member Posts: 672 Arc User
    edited April 2016
    zarato4218 wrote: »

    Either way, as I said in my last post, if you want to compare F2P models clinically, you have to do just that. Look only at the freedoms and restrictions each model gives to a new player (trying to decide if the game is for them) and set sub benefits aside for a moment. From that perspective there is no way SWTOR's model is more generous than STO's.
    The thing about STO (and similar) models is that with them "free" is in the eye of the beholder: it could be argued that any zen from the exchange still costs money, it's just not you who is paying, and any dil you refined and then spent directly is an opportunity cost with RM value on it...



  • sirsitsalotsirsitsalot Member Posts: 2,338 Arc User
    edited April 2016
    ... And a subscription-only model also monetizes everything, in a way.

    It monetizes everything in a WORSE way. Under a subscription-only model, you could go months without a single bit of new material to play, and if you are caught up on playable content, that means you are paying for nothing.

    As it is now, if we spend money to buy zen, it means there is something worth spending the zen on to us. But we don't have to spend a penny on Zen. we can earn the dilithium to spend on it. And let's face it... there is not a single thing on the C-store or the Dilithium store that we really NEED. There's plenty of stuff we may want, but the truth is that if we spend ANY money on anything in this game, it's because we WANT it. Not because we NEED it.

    There are people who do just fine with ships and things they get just from the game itself. So the Pay To Win argument does not apply. But if you pay, then you can win in a ship that looks cooler than one you don't pay for.
    Post edited by sirsitsalot on
    When it comes to MMOs, I wear prescription glasses. Whether or not they are rose-tinted is beside the point.
  • glenn#1579 glenn Member Posts: 275 Arc User
    can someone explain the pay to win argument?

    I have two T6 ships for my characters. Both were free. Are they brilliant, no. That's because neither toon is science.

    What do people want Cryptic to do?
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