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  • sirsitsalotsirsitsalot Member Posts: 2,721 Arc User
    ...
    In 2021 we saw 2 content releases.

    So you're saying 1 (House Reborn) + 1 (House United) + 1 (Reflections) = 2?? In 2021 we received three content releases with a total of 5 new missions and 2 new queues. That is far less than I would like, but it's important to be accurate when complaining about these things. Whoever made the decisions before felt that STOs record profits didn't warrant any additional funding, hopefully Gearbox sees things differently and allows them to double the content development team. It will be awhile before we know if that's going to happen though, and if it does happen it will still take time to get any new hires up to speed on how things work with STO.

    I accidentally glossed over two releases. That's still only 13 releases in four years...

    ...Four years...

    ...FOUR YEARS.!

    Even the Victory Is Life and Age of Discovery content, each granting a new origin story, wasn't enough to provide any staying power. Blast through it and still have to wait months for the next raindrop in the desert

    So, something new every 3.6 months on average <--- I guess you don't play many MMOs, because that's the release cadence for most AAA MMOs (and hell it's a higher pace than Blizzard's done for WoW in it's heyday.) And to be fair to Cryptic, the missions have a lot more content in them then even in the days of the weekly featured episode years (which were short lived.) If we were to do an honest comparison, I'd say most of the new 'single' episode drops would have been equivalent to 4 of the weekly episode drops.

    And may 'old timers' (hey, I myself have been playing since the closed beta and started in October 2009) have a VERY rose colored glasses picture of the Atari days as it was clear the Atari upper management attitude was:

    "Hey! STO launched. WHY are you guys spending our money ADDING more content to it?...."

    And yes, I enjoyed the Foundry a lot and I think them abandoning it was a very poor decision on their part, but understand WHY it was envisioned and made in the first place, namely:

    Atari didn't want to fund future content to STO, they wanted to put it in maintenance mode so the Devs for both STO and Neverwinter and Cryptic management designed and implemented a system that allowed the players to do it for them. Once they had an actual parent company that understood better how MMOs actually work and are run (aka PWE) - Cryptic pretty much abandoned The Foundry to focus on a more traditional Dev's create and release content model.


    Let me put it in a better perspective for you...

    Cryptic did in 2 years what it usually take half a decade o do.

    No need to use such exaggerative language. If a kid is 5 years old you say they're 5 years old. You don't call them "half a decade" years old :D

    Touche
    But to your actual point, you are right: in previous years they actually made MORE content with LESS resources. Unfortunately they have settled into their preferred comfort zone. They are making a lot of money from their gamble boxes, and only make the absolute minimum amount of mission content to keep the players "around" (even if not playing regularly, paying attention enough to know when there is a new lockbox). It's sad, but it's the game we have.

    Correction: PWE and now Gearbox/Embracer are where all the money went to / is now going to... It's not like it was under Atari, where the subscription fees went to the owner/publisher and cash shop sales went to Cryptic. Cryptic gets paid according to the contracted budget agreement. Mening they might see bonuses if the profits hit a specific threshold, but otherwise, they won't get any more than what their contract mandates. And since Zen is the only method of monetization, The owner/publisher takes that.

    Cryptic would make more mission content if they had the staff and man hours to be able to do so. With a larger team the increased workload could be distributed evenly among everyone in each department so one personb in that department would not increase their workload while the department itself can collectively produce more content. It's like opening up one of those never-used extra checkout lanes at a wal mart. More people doing the same thing knocks out the workload quicker. That's what I could never get He Who shall Not Be Named to understand. ll I got from him was "That's not how game development works" as a broad answer to anything I put forward.

    I don't think Cryptic has been being LAZY. I don't blame them for not falling all over themselves to bust their butts to do things that the owner/publisher is not going to allocate a dime more for in the process. PWE has been the party just sitting back and raking in the money, not giving a fraction of a damn whether or not new playable content went into the game, just so long as the Zen kept being bought for all the fluff. Maybe if enough of us would have closed our wallets due to lack of enough content coming as regularly as stuff we were expected to buy, then maybe PWE might have wondered what wasn't happening and allocate enough funds to make sure it would happen. But we didn't. We just went "Here... Take my money!" So they didn't have any incentive to see to it that Cryptic had the budget to go beyond the status quo.

    PWE created the fire. We fed it. And Cryptic got burned. As per my prior observations, Cryptic was very passionate about STO, even during the Content Drought due to Atari's ineptitude. But since PWE took over, that passion and drive has all but vanished. I get the impression that Cryptic isn't really happy with the arrangement they had to work under with PWE, and would dearly love to actually do more. But if the ones signing their paycheck doesn't care one way or another about what Cryptic would like to do, so long as the Zen sales keep rolling in, I can't blame anyone for losing their passion and just embracing the hum drum. cycle. At least they have a job, right? PWE is totally detached from the products they sell. We have no way of knowing whether or not it will be any different under Gearbox/Embracer. If they bought PWE, it means they've certainly got more money to throw around than PWE. And i they can just see the potential that STO has always had and throw some of that money towards helping Cryptic reach that potential, then things can only get better. I hope that is what happens. I'm not going to hold my breath for it... But I do hope for it.

    Gearbox did not have anything to do with the purchase. Here's how I understand it's going to work: Embracer Group is a holdings company which means that they hold shares over the companies in which they have acquired. Gearbox is one such subsidiary & will oversee Cryptic Studios. However, the press release says that Cryptic studios & PWE Publishing well remain independent, which to me sounds like there's not going to be any meaningful change that is happening here.

    I know what I said is likely going to be a big disappointment, but this is what the press release from Embracer said. It did also say though that Gearbox is going to onboard them, meaning that there is going to probably be some kind of new expectations from Gearbox, but we won't know anything really until the deal finalizes next month.

    What will happen if Gearbox doesn't make any kind of meaningful change with Cryptic here?

    If they don't, then the status quo remains intact. Both Cryptic and STO will remain in a state of mediocrity, and I still won't be spending any of my own money for C-store fluff. So that means that nothing will change.
    There can be no meeting of the minds between two parties
    if both parties are not willing to meet in the middle...
  • hyperionx09hyperionx09 Member Posts: 1,709 Arc User
    Gearbox did not have anything to do with the purchase. Here's how I understand it's going to work: Embracer Group is a holdings company which means that they hold shares over the companies in which they have acquired. Gearbox is one such subsidiary & will oversee Cryptic Studios. However, the press release says that Cryptic studios & PWE Publishing well remain independent, which to me sounds like there's not going to be any meaningful change that is happening here.

    I know what I said is likely going to be a big disappointment, but this is what the press release from Embracer said. It did also say though that Gearbox is going to onboard them, meaning that there is going to probably be some kind of new expectations from Gearbox, but we won't know anything really until the deal finalizes next month.

    What will happen if Gearbox doesn't make any kind of meaningful change with Cryptic here?

    If there are no notable changes, it means that Embracer and Gearbox is content with how things are going, and acquired PWE NA and Cryptic more for IP deals/licensing. As it is currently, there are no announced changes to staffing, which sometimes happen when game companies change hands. Everyone who was already involved with PWE NA and Cryptic are going to remain where they are for the most part. Nothing will change for awhile then, as Gearbox and Embracer leave their newest acquisitions alone for awhile to see how they do financially and operationally.

    So at the very least, we're looking at 3-6 months, or at least 2 financial quarters, before Gearbox makes any potential recommendations and Embracer uses their shareholding power to force a board/staff change if necessary, up to maybe one full financial year before anything is adjusted.

    ---

    That being said, the only realistic change that might happen sooner than later is pushing to hire more staff, if only to help with bug-fixing, code documentation and clean-up, and additional content creation. Given that Cryptic is now more or less permanently operating from home for the most part, no need to have individuals physically move to Cali and into the office. Even then, it would mostly be apprenticing under the main Cryptic staff until they have more familiarity with the game code and game assets, which can take awhile (moreso given the clunky engine and ancient production methodology).

    That would still leave a year or two of no notable changes while the new hires get caught up with things, meaning still no major changes during that time. Just a larger fixed bugs list and some additional content work put in.
  • evilmark444evilmark444 Member Posts: 6,774 Arc User
    which to me sounds like there's not going to be any meaningful change that is happening here.

    The main Chinese Perfect World parent company is being removed from the equation though (I'm guessing PWE Publishing will be renamed once everything is finalized), and imo that's probably where the main problem has been.
    Lifetime Subscriber since Beta
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  • keepcalmchiveonkeepcalmchiveon Member Posts: 4,132 Arc User
    honestly, the new owners, no matter the structure, need to make changes, and within a shorter time frame from the possible projected "how-to" presented.

    we all can think of things that they need to take on, change, whatever, and we all can post comments to that effect, but none of us know for sure, anything, about the 5 "W's" that the new company only knows.

    its a waiting game. and since the announcement, we have seen nothing from anyone, but the obligatory press releases.
    meh

  • faelon#8433 faelon Member Posts: 346 Arc User
    Gearbox did not have anything to do with the purchase. Here's how I understand it's going to work: Embracer Group is a holdings company which means that they hold shares over the companies in which they have acquired. Gearbox is one such subsidiary & will oversee Cryptic Studios. However, the press release says that Cryptic studios & PWE Publishing well remain independent, which to me sounds like there's not going to be any meaningful change that is happening here.

    I know what I said is likely going to be a big disappointment, but this is what the press release from Embracer said. It did also say though that Gearbox is going to onboard them, meaning that there is going to probably be some kind of new expectations from Gearbox, but we won't know anything really until the deal finalizes next month.

    What will happen if Gearbox doesn't make any kind of meaningful change with Cryptic here?

    If there are no notable changes, it means that Embracer and Gearbox is content with how things are going, and acquired PWE NA and Cryptic more for IP deals/licensing. As it is currently, there are no announced changes to staffing, which sometimes happen when game companies change hands. Everyone who was already involved with PWE NA and Cryptic are going to remain where they are for the most part. Nothing will change for awhile then, as Gearbox and Embracer leave their newest acquisitions alone for awhile to see how they do financially and operationally.

    So at the very least, we're looking at 3-6 months, or at least 2 financial quarters, before Gearbox makes any potential recommendations and Embracer uses their shareholding power to force a board/staff change if necessary, up to maybe one full financial year before anything is adjusted.

    ---

    That being said, the only realistic change that might happen sooner than later is pushing to hire more staff, if only to help with bug-fixing, code documentation and clean-up, and additional content creation. Given that Cryptic is now more or less permanently operating from home for the most part, no need to have individuals physically move to Cali and into the office. Even then, it would mostly be apprenticing under the main Cryptic staff until they have more familiarity with the game code and game assets, which can take awhile (moreso given the clunky engine and ancient production methodology).

    That would still leave a year or two of no notable changes while the new hires get caught up with things, meaning still no major changes during that time. Just a larger fixed bugs list and some additional content work put in.

    It should also be noted that everybody is getting the wrong idea by just saying "Gearbox". There are two Gearbox's. Gearbox Publishing and Gearbox Studios. Cryptic is under Gearbox Publishing. Gearbox Studios is also under Gearbox Publishing. Randy Pitchford and crew are Gearbox Studios, which develops the Borderlands games.

    If anything the PWE functions will likely be moved to or merged with some function of Gearbox Publishing, eventually. But even then it is more likely that most of the changes will simply be a name change on the office door and the games splash page. Cryptic and Gearbox Studios do not compete in any market segments. They have very different skillsets and product lines. Similarly while Gearbox Publishing is a game publisher, they do not publish any MMO's. They are not likely to come in and rearrange anything. It looks like Embracer came in and picked up a ready made turnkey MMO operation because Perfect World China saw the writing on the wall with regard to the CCP and what went down with Tencent, and sought to divest itself of its North American assets. (Preferably for cash that could be safely stashed within the western Banking system or Real Estate outside of the CCP's reach).

  • kaithan1975kaithan1975 Member Posts: 947 Arc User
    I thought there was a page on the wiki that showed all content released by year, but I can't find it at the moment to maybe someone else can.

    This one?

    https://sto.fandom.com/wiki/Season

  • sirsitsalotsirsitsalot Member Posts: 2,721 Arc User
    honestly, the new owners, no matter the structure, need to make changes, and within a shorter time frame from the possible projected "how-to" presented.

    we all can think of things that they need to take on, change, whatever, and we all can post comments to that effect, but none of us know for sure, anything, about the 5 "W's" that the new company only knows.

    its a waiting game. and since the announcement, we have seen nothing from anyone, but the obligatory press releases.

    The ship bubble is going to burst at some point. Especially if the DilEx does not get fixed so that the "I Want Everything For Free" crowd can buy ships with Zen they didn't spend any money themselves to get. As it is now it would take forever for a casual player to refine enough RD to trade for enough Zen to get a new uniform, let alone a new ship. That will discourage a lot of people from even bother with playing.

    Plus, a lot of people who do buy their own Zen are going to get fed up with the constant stream of new ships to buy with very little in the way of engaging content.

    Yes. I get it. New content does get released on average three times per year. But these releases are so small that after about a day people are back to replaying content over and over again. That's got to be boring for a lot of people. Most people who are bored with a game don't play it.

    Here's a question that nobody in the player community can answer, but Crypti cans see:

    out of the accounts created in the last 12 month, how many remain active?

    Now out of all accounts created created between lunch and PWE's acquisition of Cryptic, how many remained active during that timeframe?

    And finally, out of all accounts created between PWE's acquisition and 12 months ago, how many remained active during that time frame?

    Convert those numbers to percentages

    Now average those percentages together.

    Now of all the active accounts during those timeframes, how many of them actually bought Zen with their own money? Convert those numbers to percentages and average them.

    Now , during those timeframes, what was to correlation between player activity spikes and the reelease of new playable content? Convert each to a percentage and then average the percentages.

    Finally, during those timeframes, what was the correlation between player activity spikes and the release of new ships? Convert each spike to a percentage and then average the percentages.

    Which release type has the higher activity spike percentage.

    Don't post the results here. We don't need to know them. It is enough that you at Cryptic know them. And just remember, those who are not playing are also not paying. If your retention percentages are low to begin with, then your profits are automatically lower than they could be. And if actual player content causes greater activity spikes than ship releases, then does it not seem fiscally prudent to increase the regularity of playable content releases?

    See we are not calculating the actial dollar value of Zen sales here. The numbers we are looking at is based strictly on player activity and what release events cause it to peak. I think it is safe to say that when dips down into a valley, so do the Zen sales.If you only factor in the Zen sales you only see a correlation with part of the metrics that make the sales possible. This is why I feel that playable content must be treated with the same priority as ships. One is how you make the money. The other is what keeps bringing people back who may spend that money.

    With an increase in the regularity of playable content releases, I predict that there will be more plateaus in the graph than ordinary, in the mid to upper range. And you will likely see your Sales conversions plateau in their mid to upper range at the same time. That means you're making more consistent profits.

    Hopefully someone at Embracer / Gearbox will run an audit like this and conme to the same conclusion.
    There can be no meeting of the minds between two parties
    if both parties are not willing to meet in the middle...
  • phoenixc#0738 phoenixc Member Posts: 4,285 Arc User
    edited January 22
    They would have to use a better model than that though, the one you suggested does not take into account the change in the gamer population over time. The pool of MMO player in general was much more hardcore back when the game started, but since then far more casuals and semi-casuals have entered the MMO player population and greatly outnumber the (generally spendier) hardcore players. That is also why PvP is struggling in most games nowadays too.

    Anyway, the bottom line is that you cannot directly compare curves that originate at different times because the market is constantly changing, you need to make allowances for that.

    Also, they may actually be giving both ships and scenarios equal priority but the scenario stuff probably takes a lot more time and effort. They could even be giving the mission content MORE priority than the ships and have that same thing happen because of the difference in time and effort each takes.
  • livinlifejb90#4082 livinlifejb90 Member Posts: 218 Arc User
    Yes, it's true that when the game's servers are shut off for good, all uniforms, characters, ships, gear etc. will no longer be available for us to play with.

    SWG and COH say otherwise ;)

    Granted that whoever decides to run the private server has the equipment necessary to allow everyone to access it. and not lock it behind and absurd paywall​​
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  • thegrandnagus1thegrandnagus1 Member Posts: 5,108 Arc User
    > @livinlifejb90#4082 said:
    > Granted that whoever decides to run the private server has the equipment necessary to allow everyone to access it. and not lock it behind and absurd paywall​​


    The ones in question accept donations to cover the costs, but donations are stopped at the exact dollar amount need. The cannot accept any more than is exactly needed or it is profit and too big of a potential legal problem. For reasons unknown many companies seem to turn a blind eye and let the emus exist as long as NO actual profit is made.

    The-Grand-Nagus
    Join Date: Sep 2008

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  • sirsitsalotsirsitsalot Member Posts: 2,721 Arc User
    edited January 23
    > @livinlifejb90#4082 said:
    > Granted that whoever decides to run the private server has the equipment necessary to allow everyone to access it. and not lock it behind and absurd paywall​​


    The ones in question accept donations to cover the costs, but donations are stopped at the exact dollar amount need. The cannot accept any more than is exactly needed or it is profit and too big of a potential legal problem. For reasons unknown many companies seem to turn a blind eye and let the emus exist as long as NO actual profit is made.

    I have my own thought about EMUs... If someone, or a group of someones has enough coding and networking skills to reverse-engineer a MMO and lay out their own code for server-side handling of functionality because they understood how it worked in the official game, then they have no business making an emulator, when they can verty well produce their own MMO set in their own IP that while taking inspiration for mechanics found in a dead MMO and bringing them to life in a totally different one. They can then go completely commercial as independent developers, evn launch a kickstarter campaign to fund asset acquisition/creation but already have a functioning game at the onset.

    I don't really care for EMUs. It isn't that they are just unauthorized versions of an official game that no longer exists. It's that whatever official plans or concepts the original developers were working on and therefore were approved by the licensor of the IP (if applicable) are no longer a thing, and anything created by the emulator devs just amounts to fan fiction.

    I write fan fiction on occasion. It has its place. But I also encourage those who want to engage in it to also come up with their own original stories and create their own IP that way THEY could potentially become authors whose work inspires others to write fan fiction and then become original authors in their own right. I'm writing a story of my own. And am not just an armchair game developer. I'm dabbling with the Unreal Engine and am formulating ways I can get some of these infernal ideas rattling around inside my brain into practical form. TIME is the problem. For me, time and money are currently as difficult to exchange as it is to exchange RD for Zen in STO on the PC servers.

    When I have money, I don't have time. When I have time, I don't have money... And now thanks to a nice little round of surgery and a hospital stay while I was unemployed with no insurance, even though I am employed full-time, I have neither time nor money. And I am certainly not going to ask for crowd funding with not a damned thing to show but flowery ideas... So many successfully crowdfunded games start that way and then fail to deliver. I will NOT be that guy.

    So I'm biding my time, for now. I've got some irons in the fire, even though I have no choice but to move at a snail's pace. Maybe one or more will bear fruit. As with anything, time will tell.
    There can be no meeting of the minds between two parties
    if both parties are not willing to meet in the middle...
  • jozen#9312 jozen Member Posts: 98 Arc User
    More or less we've been at THREE content updates a year,

    IMO, the term "content updates" is a fairly useless term because it can mean so many different things and also does not even quantify the actual amount of content.

    And TBH, I feel the same way about long lists that you know who was famous for. So let's put it another way; a very simple and easy to understand way.

    What is the yearly average number of:

    A: new episodes

    B: new TFOs

    Once we get that we can talk about those actual numbers, and not have to use vague terms that can mean different things to different people.

    I thought there was a page on the wiki that showed all content released by year, but I can't find it at the moment to maybe someone else can.

    Has anybody got an answer to items "A" and "B" above? I'm looking for simple numbers here, not walls of text.

    After a quick check through the wiki, it looks like the past three years have looked like this:

    2019: 5 missions and 4 queues
    2020: 5 missions and 3 queues
    2021: 5 missions and 2 queues

    Another thought on this.

    So, episodes are the story content of this game. And on average, let's say episodes represent 2 hours (if we're being generous) of playtime.

    So this means Cryptic is putting out... 10 hours (again, being generous) of actual story content... PER YEAR.

    That is just...hard to comprehend...for an MMO.

    But hey, they sure are putting out a bunch of ships to play those10 hours with! :|

    Well... I suppose if one were to compare that to a contemporary TV show on a streaming service, 10 hours would be about right as many shows have 10 one-hour-long episodes per season. Some even less. And the wait time between seasons is worse than the wate time in STO.

    What they should aim to do is divide up those 10 hours and release one hour per month for 8 months and a 2-hour finale in the 9th month and take the next 3 months to finalize the first three missions of the next season. That 3 months could get a cooperative assignment intended to last for those 3 months. Something like an Alliance Holding that lets the entire playerbae participate in progressing the content resulting in the new social hub where the next season's primary mission givers would be located.

    Marvel Heroes Online did that way back in the day introducing the Asgard Hub and Artifacts.
  • jozen#9312 jozen Member Posts: 98 Arc User
    reyan01 wrote: »
    > @sirsitsalot said:
    > Well... I suppose if one were to compare that to a contemporary TV show on a streaming service,


    But why would anyone make such a crazy comparison in the first place? This isn't a streaming service or a TV show, it is an MMO. So any comparisons regarding playable content would only make sense in relation to other MMOs.

    Its an interesting thought though. One 'argument' I've seen used against FFXIV (as an example) that was stated in this, or another, thread (not going to go hunting for these comments) was "I'm not playing that - it's a subscription based model and you don't get your money's worth if you don't play every day". I wonder how many of those who have that mindset about an MMO with a sub-based business model have subscriptions to one or more of the various streaming services out there but don't watch shows/movies on them every single day.

    Lots. Like gymnasiums, it is how they make money
  • jozen#9312 jozen Member Posts: 98 Arc User

    Cryptic has a small team with everyone having to do pretty much everything, the result being very little actually gets done because of all the internal bottlenecking that causes. It's like a Home Depot expecting someone hired to work in the paint department being expected to work in the lumber department, the plumbing department AND the paint department and get everything done 100%.

    So...just like reality?
  • sirsitsalotsirsitsalot Member Posts: 2,721 Arc User
    jozen#9312 wrote: »

    Cryptic has a small team with everyone having to do pretty much everything, the result being very little actually gets done because of all the internal bottlenecking that causes. It's like a Home Depot expecting someone hired to work in the paint department being expected to work in the lumber department, the plumbing department AND the paint department and get everything done 100%.

    So...just like reality?

    LOL... Yep...

    A Corporate Business is a Corporate Business. Game development or retail store. It doesn't matter. The ones raking in all the money don't give half a damn about what the customers want, or what the staff actually needs to produce both qualitative and quantitative work without being run into the ground to the point where they seem to lose all passion and creative drive. The Cryptic STO has today is not the same as the Cryptic STO started with. The hum-drum attitude that seems to filter through into swhat they deliver, and what they don't makes that clear for any who knows what to look for. I've seen it in a lot of different corporate environments. It's a bloody shame.

    Like I have said elsewhere, before PWE took over, Cryptic was imaginative and clearly took pride in everything they did. There was this feeling of desire to grow the game. After PWE, just became, "Status Quo, Here We Go..."

    They are capable of more and better than this. I've seen it. But when you have an owner publisher that can support your desired efforts, but won't, it's only a matter of time before desires fade, and with them, enthusiasm.

    THIS is my impression. Maybe it's wrong. But based on things I have observed over the years, it doesn't feel wrong to me.

    I wish I could be John Galt and spirit all Game developers away from the corporate taskmasters and establish some sort of independent game developers coalition through which a return to great game development is possible WITHOUT corporate owners and publishers dictating what can and cannot be developed because of marketing research.

    Maybe I will do just that... I've got time. I've got community management experience, though it's been several years since I had a community to manage. I believe that we've turned the corner where we don't need owner publishers to make games that can be successful.

    Minecraft was created by one man on the side as he worked for a corporate taskmaster. We know what happened. He didn't need a publisher to distribute the game. Self-produced and self-published he quickly made enough money to quit his job, start Mojang and hire a team. His actions told the "That's not how game development works" crowd to STFU. Because he did it.

    One man.

    Imagine what a coalition of independent developers can do.

    I think I'll start approaching prominent mod authors who do what they do with a goal of cultivating skills they want to use in creating their own games, or bring to the table as part of a team to that end. I'm a music composer as well. So I've got a skill I can bring to the table..

    I read somewhere that if someone doesn't like the world they are forced to live in, then they need to change it. Well, folks, I woke up this morning not likeing the Game Development world that so many developers are forced to live in, and I count myself in that number. I think I am done just TALKING. I'm ready to start DOING.

    Time to flip the coin and see how it lands. What's the worst that can happen? Nothing comes of it. But pebbles tossed in a pond create ripples that spread across the surface. I'm about to throw a BRICK.

    Good day to you all.
    There can be no meeting of the minds between two parties
    if both parties are not willing to meet in the middle...
  • crypticarmsmancrypticarmsman Member Posts: 3,900 Arc User
    They would have to use a better model than that though, the one you suggested does not take into account the change in the gamer population over time. The pool of MMO player in general was much more hardcore back when the game started, but since then far more casuals and semi-casuals have entered the MMO player population and greatly outnumber the (generally spendier) hardcore players. That is also why PvP is struggling in most games nowadays too.

    Anyway, the bottom line is that you cannot directly compare curves that originate at different times because the market is constantly changing, you need to make allowances for that.

    Also, they may actually be giving both ships and scenarios equal priority but the scenario stuff probably takes a lot more time and effort. They could even be giving the mission content MORE priority than the ships and have that same thing happen because of the difference in time and effort each takes.

    STO doesn't and won't appeal to the 'hardcore' MMO gamer who likes very challenging content and fight mechanics. STO WAS NEVER designed in that fashion. It has always been a VERY casual MMO pretty much designed to appeal to Star Trek fans who want to experience a fantasy about commanding a ship in the Star Trek Universe. About the only aspect of STO that is 'hardcore' and requires specific knowledge of how to (as in game legally as possible) use STO game mechanics is the group of players who strive to maximize their DPS output overall to the highest degree (Read: largest output possible). There's absolutely no in game content that requires this - it's just the one challenge this group of players find worthwhile for their time in game.

    And as someone who's been playing MMOs since the genre started - many an MMO developer found that just catering to the hardcore folks actually cost them money in that if they made the games more casual, they'd cast and get a wider net of players who didn't quit in frustration.

    And of course there always are exceptions (like FFXIV) who from day one of the remake (after the initial disaster that caused the game to shutter for 18 months while they retooled and effectively remade it with the same engine); who have successfully managed to cater to both hard core raiders and very casual players (they have a cadre of players who just primarily focus on the games crafting system; or sit for day decorating and redecorating their in game houses, to the point some players PAY other player to decorate their in game houses - no lie). But hell, even with FFXIV's latest expansion (that took them two years to make) - most players FINISHED the added storylines (even with the massive queue times to get in) within 1 week to 10 days. (Took me 9 days ;) and no, I wasn't rushing as I watched every cutscene because I actually DO like the story the game is telling.) those who just rushed and skipped cutscenes did it in about two days. (Oh and as far a VO talent, FFXIV have their own characters and the same stable of actors for the past decade or so as well, so they probably don't have to pay on the same level as Cryptic does to get VO talent. Plus they don't put VO in every cutscene.)

    But for example both Ever Quest and World of Warcraft started out catering more to 'hardcore' gamers, but then started to retool and started catering more to the casual gamer because in the end, what drives business is sustainable profit and the best return of investment (IE money spent) possible.

    It remains to be seen just what changes (and their will be changes) Gearbox makes once the deal is concluded and they have control. they may already have an idea of what they ultimately want to do with Cryptic; and how they plan to leverage to company and it's licenses and properties to further their larger business goals.

    It may mean that they ultimately start to restructure how Cryptic runs itself and its business model - or they may just leave it pretty much alone at let it continue as it has been (and yeah I take any statements made during an acquisition lie this as worth a grain of salt. Gearbox does have a plan for Cryptic and will execute that plan.)
    ^^^
    Whether it will lead to changes a majority of the STO player base like, or will lead to expand the player base for STO in the long run remains to be seen.

    (Oh and as for Cryptic being 'cheap' - yeah, no SAG and former Star trek actor comes that cheap and especially not series leads like Sonequa Martin-Green<--- Which was the first lead actress Cryptic ever got for STO and now Kate Mulgrew - you have to be willing to spend to get that level of talent. I'm sure the reason you'll probably never see Patrick Stewart is because Cryptic can't afford his asking price. But no, on that level Cryptic is not going 'cheap' - and they obviously have seen the RoI on that expenditure for talent drives higher profit. -- Of course it could also be a reason why Never Winter IS more profitable than STOas it doesn't have to pay as much for any VO talent it uses.)
    Formerly known as Armsman from June 2008 to June 20, 2012
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    PWE ARC Drone says: "Your STO forum community as you have known it is ended...Display names are irrelevant...Any further sense of community is irrelevant...Resistance is futile...You will be assimilated..."
  • phoenixc#0738 phoenixc Member Posts: 4,285 Arc User
    edited January 25
    They would have to use a better model than that though, the one you suggested does not take into account the change in the gamer population over time. The pool of MMO player in general was much more hardcore back when the game started, but since then far more casuals and semi-casuals have entered the MMO player population and greatly outnumber the (generally spendier) hardcore players. That is also why PvP is struggling in most games nowadays too.

    Anyway, the bottom line is that you cannot directly compare curves that originate at different times because the market is constantly changing, you need to make allowances for that.

    Also, they may actually be giving both ships and scenarios equal priority but the scenario stuff probably takes a lot more time and effort. They could even be giving the mission content MORE priority than the ships and have that same thing happen because of the difference in time and effort each takes.

    STO doesn't and won't appeal to the 'hardcore' MMO gamer who likes very challenging content and fight mechanics. STO WAS NEVER designed in that fashion. It has always been a VERY casual MMO pretty much designed to appeal to Star Trek fans who want to experience a fantasy about commanding a ship in the Star Trek Universe. About the only aspect of STO that is 'hardcore' and requires specific knowledge of how to (as in game legally as possible) use STO game mechanics is the group of players who strive to maximize their DPS output overall to the highest degree (Read: largest output possible). There's absolutely no in game content that requires this - it's just the one challenge this group of players find worthwhile for their time in game.

    And as someone who's been playing MMOs since the genre started - many an MMO developer found that just catering to the hardcore folks actually cost them money in that if they made the games more casual, they'd cast and get a wider net of players who didn't quit in frustration. . . .

    I was speaking of the changes in the industry and playerbase in general to point to Sirsitsalot that the model he suggested to analyze player response in STO was far too simple to give any meaningful output since it did not take those changes into account and would only work if the market had remained static instead.

    It is true that STO was never meant as a hardcore game, though some old-school hardcore players do play it for the Star Trek novelty of it and their spending habits do tend to differ a bit from the typical casual gamer who nowadays far outnumbers everyone else.
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