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Foundry Sunset, April 11th, 2019

ambassadorkael#6946 ambassadorkael Member, Administrator Posts: 2,226 Community Manager
edited March 2019 in Galactic News Network [PC]
On April 11, we are sad to announce that we will be sunsetting the Foundry system for Neverwinter and Star Trek Online. Join us for a livestream at 3pm PT today for more details.




Highlights from the livestream:

1) Foundry was built over the course of a year (6-7 years ago) by programmers who are no longer with the company. They passed on their knowledge as best they could, but the game has moved on. Foundry has a tendency to break with each update and it can take a week searching the code for a fix.

2) As a company, it is no longer tenable to spend the resources anymore on fixing the Foundry, as it takes away those resources from developing new innovations and new technologies for the game. Every time the Foundry broke, the engineers had to spend time fixing it instead of working on updating systems and the tech underneath.

3) Developers have spent a year discussing whether they could keep the Foundry or not. EVERYONE has been fighting to find a way to make it tenable to keep the Foundry going: Julia, Vincent, QA, Thomas, Al, Jeremy, Andre have all been working on it, but none of the solutions have worked.

4) Can just the missions be kept online?

Yes, but that doesn't fix the problem, because when the Foundry breaks, the missions break. And then they still have to spend time fixing it.

5) Could a separate server be created that never updates to host the Foundry missions?

Yes, but extra resources would have to be spent on a server that's on a different build from the game and that causes tons of headaches, not to mention it splits the playerbase, which is something you try to avoid in MMO games.

6) Everyone loves the Foundry and what the players have contributed to it, and if there was away to keep it going, they would have. They tried EVERYTHING. They do care deeply about what the players have done with the Foundry, but this was the best decision for the business as a whole, for the health of Star Trek Online, Neverwinter, and Cryptic Studios.

7) Is everything just going to be deleted?

No, they worked really hard to back up and save everything that players worked on and created in the Foundry, it just won't be accessible. They don't know if that is going to change. They hope it does, but that's still up in the air.

8) Are they hoping to make a Foundry 2.0?

No, not at this time. The original Foundry took a year to build, and they aren't dedicating those kinds of resources and time to that right now.

9) Is there an engine overhaul coming because of this change?

Not because of this change, and there's not an "engine overhaul" coming, but a lot of the things the programmers are working on right now are quality of life fixes and a lot of "under the hood" changes that make the games better: animations and just day-to-day life of playing the game better. Some are being developed for the upcoming project: Magic the Gathering, some for Neverwinter, Star Trek, and Champions, but no matter where they are developed, all Cryptic games work on the same ecosystem, so they make all of the games better. There is a core team of programmers working on all of these updates.

10) There is virtually no reason why those missions cannot be made part of the actual game.

No, that is actually incorrect, and they know, because they tried. The Foundry missions do not run on the same system as the in-game missions. A herculean effort was made by Al and Thomas to convert Foundry missions to in-game missions. It turned out that it would take months of work for each individual mission, because of the way the Foundry is setup and the way their editing tools are setup. It's still a hope, but if there's not a way to do it efficiently and to a quality that they expect, then they can't do it. If they just took the missions and dumped them on live, there's a good chance that the missions wouldn't work as designed: assets in the wrong place, objective not completable, etc.

11) With the Foundry being removed, will the missing Klingon War arc missions be fast tracked to return?

There are different people working on the Klingon War arc missions, the Content Team: Jesse, Paul, Ryan, and John, and they are focused right now on stuff for later content drops this year, but they are hoping to open up some time later in the year to bring it back, though.

12) Is this part of a wider plan to rid Cryptic Studios of "legacy tech?" Are you moving on to new games, new platforms, new engines, etc.?

Tech upgrades happen always. New things being worked on for Magic the Gathering go into new things for all the games. Every game has different systems and that works differently sometimes, but there is an angle towards improvement at Cryptic Studios right now and that means going into the old things they have and trying to make them better.

13) Will this free up time for [insert specific request]?

Things for Star Trek and Neverwinter will still move forward on the same schedule. What the core team, who would work on fixing the Foundry, will do is work on fixes that effect all the games or major programming bugs. A lot of their top priorities right now are working on things that will eventually make their way into STO, NW, and CO.

14) In response to using the Foundry to complete Personal Endeavors:

They have seen the feedback that many players think some of the endeavors take too long to complete, and Kael and Bort were discussing it earlier in the day. The Systems Team was having a longer discussion on it, but not sure what will come out of that yet.

15) Is there anything coming to replace the Foundry as far as player created content?

No, not at this time.

16) Do authors own the rights to their stories and characters?

Check the Foundry End User License Agreement (EULA).

17) Is there any chance of getting the mission editor that the devs use to make real missions or is that too difficult?

Too difficult.

18) What will happen to Foundry test characters?

They are going to disappear. There will be no access to them anymore. Let Kael know if that has any effect on the account, though. If Foundry characters use characters slot, you should get those back, although that has not been confirmed at this time.

19) Quest contact related to the Foundry are being removed from Neverwinter and Star Trek Online. Universal Endeavor to complete a Foundry mission was removed already the last time that the Foundry was broken.

20) How many years does Star Trek Online have left?

Hopefully, another decade. This is not a reflection on the life cycle of any of the games. It's a reflection on the state of the company, that they are moving towards the future and have to dedicate programmer resources towards new technologies instead of constantly fixing old ones. The STO, NW, and CO are all showing strong numbers and are profitable.

21) In-game memorial for the Foundry?

Kael would love it, but doesn't know if that will happen. They are offering the rewards, however, and that is one way that the Foundry will stay alive.

22) Was Kael shocked and caught off guard since a Foundry spotlight went out on the previous Friday?

No, he knew the sunsetting of the Foundry was coming. He wanted to make sure that there was one final Foundry spotlight, because he knew they were giving away rewards for it. If you had a spotlight mission, but don't receive your rewards, contact Kael.

23) Can the Foundry source code be made open to the public?

No, that's proprietary Cryptic Studios code.

24) When will the rewards be sent out?

Closer to the shutdown. No exact date at this time.

25) Will demorecord playback of Foundry missions still work after April 11?

Yes, but will need to check and make sure.

26) Why the short lead time?

Actually, this was the longest lead time that could be given. The CEO was very adamant that the Foundry wasn't left broken and not fixed. He wanted to make sure that everyone had time to finish their missions.

27) The cutoff for rewards was set to the announcement date, because it was felt that what the authors did was special and they didn't want rewards going to just anyone who saw the blog and made a mission without anything in it in 5 minutes just to get the rewards.

Post edited by baddmoonrizin on


  • ilithynilithyn Member Posts: 900 Arc User
    *grabs popcorn and waits for the cries of "DOOM!"*

    Had honestly been expecting this ever since console launched, so I'm not really surprised, and it lasted longer than I thought it would. I will miss it very much though and not just for the endeavor grinds. There was/is a lot of good missions in there that I shall miss. May give them one last run before you close it down.

    To the Foundry, you shall be missed my friend.
    Logic is the beginning of wisdom, not the end of it.
  • trennantrennan Member Posts: 2,839 Arc User
    All soldiers pass on. Rest in peace, old friend. You will be remembered and missed.
  • darkbladejkdarkbladejk Member Posts: 2,755 Community Moderator
    So many good memories with this feature. You will be missed my friend. See you in Sto-Vo-Kor (raises drink glass)
    "Someone once told me that time was a predator that stalked us all our lives. I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey and reminds us to cherish every moment, because it will never come again." - Jean Luc Picard in Star Trek Generations

    Star Trek Online volunteer Community Moderator
  • asdfjkadfjkasfasdfjkadfjkasf Member Posts: 345 Media Corps

    Shame to see it go, any chance of bring a new system over at some point in the future? One thing I liked about the Foundry was the ability to revist old maps, like the original Earth Space Dock, with the holographic ships.
  • benalexanderbenalexander Member Posts: 40 Arc User
    I'm really sad about this... I loved the Foundry. It was something unique. I found great people in the community who shared a passion. Now i'm a bit lost for words... holding on to the faint hope that this isn't true.
  • westx211westx211 Member Posts: 40,752 Arc User
    This is by far one of the worst things I've ever seen happen to this game. I have lost a significant amount of faith in cryptic from this action. Even an unupdated foundry would have been better than no foundry.
    Men are not punished for their sins, but by them.
  • thay8472thay8472 Member Posts: 5,893 Arc User
    @galatt I do apologise to you. Looks like I'll never be able to make that Los Lobos mission for you now.
  • reyan01reyan01 Member Posts: 14,235 Arc User
    Who wants to bet that "Complete a Foundry Mission" will still appear in the Endeavour cycle after April 11th?

  • kodachikunokodachikuno Member Posts: 6,020 Arc User1
    edited March 2019
    (flame/troll/obscene post removed) - darkbladejk
    Post edited by darkbladejk on
  • doubleohninedoubleohnine Member Posts: 816 Arc User
    The ultimate sign of STO dev incompetence. They never gave it the search features it needed to thrive. They never properly rewarded players for doing THEIR job. Exploration finally felt decent with all the recommended Foundry missions at star systems to play. Foundry is what made me finally expand beyond 1 toon for the first few years, because I felt like each toon could have its own separate career, mainly because I was keeping a screen saver photo album all this time. I never took pictures of my secondary toons running the Cryptic content, that way on screensaver it looked like they had separate careers.

    I always wanted to get around to making a few missions but never did. Mainly because of the lack of game incentive to do so. Now knowing it was going to end like this, Im glad I didnt bother. Quality Foundry could have made this game a juggernaut, and the devs never really gave a TRIBBLE. Theyre going to feel this in the wallet BIG time on PC. Much less reason to log in on PC now, and continue to feed and buy stuff for secondary toons. I always tried to spend about $50 a year since it went free to play. I feel much less obligated to spend money on this game now. The official content isnt engaging enough for repeat plays, even for me as a super casual player. It feels like the Great Content Drought is upon us again, never ending now until the game officially dies. Cryptic cuts back on official story missions more and more every year, and now THIS? Just end the game already then, clearly you all dont give a TRIBBLE any more.

    Time to just overhaul the game, and rebuild on a new engine.
    STO: @AGNT009 Since Dec 2010
    Capt. Will Conquest of the U.S.S. Crusader
  • nickcastletonnickcastleton Member Posts: 1,200 Arc User
    If there is nothing replacing it then i have less desire to play this game.
    The foundry was something i both enhoyed playing and creating in and without it there so little left for me to bother with.

    "It appears we have lost our sex appeal, captain."- Tuvok
  • millybunmillybun Member Posts: 229 Arc User
    edited March 2019
    You know, whenever someone complained about every element of "exploration" being removed from the game, or how all the new content we get is the furthest thing from "exploration", it usually gets pointed out that we at least have the Foundry to make up for it. And while I haven't always given it the love it deserved, I did enjoy at least several missions out of it that gave me something that STO has slowly taken away. A sense of adventure, of discovering strange new worlds, new life, and new civilizations.

    Now we won't even have that.

    All we have now is the same repeatable combat-heavy queues (TFOs) that average 15 minutes each, not counting their cooldowns, assuming they aren't eventually removed never to be seen again (possibly replaced by something similar yet different, with the promise that the removal is "temporary"), repeatable story missions (except for the tutorials and a bit after) that are, for the most part, also just combat-heavy missions in a war-torn galaxy where it seems almost literally that everyone is involved in some kind of war, if not concurrent, one after another.

    I was once the furthest from a critic this game had, but this and other recent signs in the last few years are giving me actual worries now. I was at least hoping that, if STO went on maintenance mode instead of active development, we'd still have the Foundry as it is.

    This is definitely sad, and my sympathies for all the Foundry authors who put out stories that now won't be replayable.

    I would suggest that any authors who want to save their works document their Foundry missions, how they were written, put together, assets used and the like. Screenshots of scenery, climatic moments, etc. Just for the future to look back on and enjoy in some fashion.
  • realcornholiorealcornholio Member Posts: 2 Arc User
    Guys. you are going the wrong way... and that will surely lead you to a One-Way-Track without a U-Turn in sight!
  • allyoftheforceallyoftheforce Member Posts: 721 Arc User
    edited March 2019
    Oh look at that, take content away that is actually more fun than the droll you spit out. Maybe if you didn't waste money of voice actors that have no impact on the game and are useless, you'd have good and consistent content. Forced participation always works out doesn't it guys? Truth is you are taking this away because people find ways around your personal endeavors and you just don't want to take the time to fix it every time you take it down. Maybe if you hired people that cared about this game instead of getting rid of or "relocating" those that did, you'd have a good game faster than you realize. The worst part of this, is your forced time gate nonsense is only going to take longer and longer. You do realize that this isn't an asian grind MMO?
    People want to play the game their way, not the way you demand that it be played in your narrow minded view.
  • jiralinriajiralinria Member Posts: 108 Arc User
    That is by far the worst thing Cryptic ever did. Very lame.
  • fred26291#2759 fred26291 Member Posts: 891 Arc User
    I have watched this game slowly drop in quality from the first 2 years i played it. As it is today, I know of many cutscenes and issues that were reported and not fixed. I see this game eventually ending cause of the direction its taking, I myself come on and see the changes that are on the game daily and say to myself why do i keep playing a game that noone appears to care about. Its unfortunate, it use to be a good game. Another game i played did the same thing, started good and dropped like a rock in 3 yrs, and i have watched that game and in the last 3 yrs it has lost over 100k in players, I suspect star trek online due to how its being managed and handled being in the same condition that game is in very soon.
  • reyan01reyan01 Member Posts: 14,235 Arc User
    tomilak wrote: »
    I have watched this game slowly drop in quality from the first 2 years i played it. As it is today, I know of many cutscenes and issues that were reported and not fixed. I see this game eventually ending cause of the direction its taking, I myself come on and see the changes that are on the game daily and say to myself why do i keep playing a game that noone appears to care about. Its unfortunate, it use to be a good game. Another game i played did the same thing, started good and dropped like a rock in 3 yrs, and i have watched that game and in the last 3 yrs it has lost over 100k in players, I suspect star trek online due to how its being managed and handled being in the same condition that game is in very soon.

    100k in players? Where did you get those statistics from?

  • baddmoonrizinbaddmoonrizin Member Posts: 7,036 Community Moderator
    Folks, we know that you're all disappointed by this, but let's please try to stay within the Forum Rules when posting. Thanks.
    Star Trek Online Volunteer Community Moderator
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  • psycherzpsycherz Member Posts: 30 Arc User
    If the creation aspect of Foundry is being removed. Is there any possible way for the existing Foundry mission to remain accessible? There are so many well written stories there.
  • chastity1337chastity1337 Member Posts: 1,336 Arc User
    I'm not going to rant and rave, but I do believe that Cryptic is shooting itself in the foot with this decision.
  • sissyfuzzsissyfuzz Member Posts: 5 Arc User
    edited March 2019
    Inconcievable. I can't even begin to comprehend this move.
    I never post to forums and make a point of never complaining about stuff concerning my game.
    but this is just... you can't be serious. can we somehow petition you?!?

    I am the kind of player I hope you are looking for. only here seriously for not even a year, enthusd, spending money, never participate in complaints of veteran players. trying to recruit ppl to the game.

    Reason this hits me is because elimitaing user-driven content ... the best tool for sustaining a community.. seems to me like you're trying to loose players :(
  • imperialmirrorimperialmirror Member Posts: 140 Arc User
    So they are taking away player made content when they rarely give us content every "few" months themselves. Im sorry two story mission is not content. Delta Rising and the New Romulus expansions, now that was content and lasted more then 10 minutes of gameplay. The Foundry gave players a way to keep this game alive with unique stories and adventures.

    There are some really talented foundry authors here and yeah you are giving them a non-combat pet and a ground time but you are also giving them the middle finger too with closing down their hard work.

    Cryptic, I implore you to rethink this action. If you really do do this it will harm this game. I would rather see the server unplug then see them destroy this game with choices like this one. And given that April fools day is come and we know that Cryptic likes to be funny, lets hope that this is a April fools day joke and not something that is going to harm our game.
  • ashstorm1ashstorm1 Member Posts: 625 Arc User

    'nuff said.
  • penguin44ca1penguin44ca1 Member Posts: 84 Arc User
    I've made 3 foundry missions for players and one that our fleet uses for cool missions on our anniversary (i change it every year). The foundry will be missed for sure, but it was also super clunky to use when creating.
  • nickcastletonnickcastleton Member Posts: 1,200 Arc User
    Its the most stupid decision they have made to date.
    If they just put some tlc (or replaced it with a better version) they could use it to there advantage, as myself and many others have said they could have done seasons between content drought where playing foundry missions would grand some sort of reward. This would have given them more time to create content without worrying about player numbers.

    Im done with this news, while i am a lifer and have gotten many good years playing this game from it i often baught extrz zen for a T6 ship among other things but i shall not be doing so again, the content they create is not enougth to warrent doing so.

    "It appears we have lost our sex appeal, captain."- Tuvok
  • sinestrussinestrus Member Posts: 4 Arc User
    This is a bad move from you Devs, I loved the foundry system and always will. It's a great way to share stories amongst players, people who enjoy the game for what it is, a world of exploration. Nearly unlimited amount of stories is to be found in the well made and written missions.
    This is so bad Devs, please do not do this
  • rimmarierimmarie Member Posts: 412 Arc User

    this is like a punching a puppy and kicking a kitten at the same time.
    I think they hate us.

    I really hope the livestream is like 'LOL April Fool's! we are totally revamping it'

  • otherregotherreg Member Posts: 23 Arc User
    Very disappointed with this threat.
This discussion has been closed.