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Author Topic: Star Trek Online (Cryptic's "other" new MMO)  (Read 93806 times)
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Blackjack
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« Reply #1960 on: July 05, 2011, 08:40:21 PM »

Ta da...

Ask Cryptic: July 2011
http://www.startrekonline.com/node/2507
Quote
Q: Space_Gunman When we can expect new melee weapons like kligon D'Ktang or human weapons? Also, when can we get parts of new Federation Technology.

A: With our massive overhaul of ranged ground combat and Kits in Season 4, one of the next areas to update is melee combat. We have some talented engineers looking into the issues with melee combat to help us adjust the visuals and feel of melee attacks. Our internal R&D team has made some amazing strides on our other internal projects and I'd really like to see this code make its way into our game before Season 5, along with new weapons of course! We do plan and are working on new 2410 elite technology weapons for both Fed and Klingons.
===================
Q: P_Sutherland Do you plan on adding any more sector blocks in the future?

A: Yes, but first we have the core R&D team investigating whether we can collapse all the sector maps into one giant uber galaxy map. If we do that, then it is a matter of adding of expanding and adding more locations to the one sector. This could be a Season 5 feature if the tech works out properly.
====================
Q: kekvin85 Will [original STO developer] Perpetual ship designs get added into the game?

A: It is possible. For now I can say that we've been drawing some inspiration from the old Perpetual concept art folder as we move forward with new ship designs. There are several new ship variants coming that have some similarities to Perptual designs. It is also interesting to note that several former Perpetual employees work at Cryptic.
========================
Q: Segma Is the UI scheduled for a makeover?

A: Yes. We plan on updating the UI during the course of Season 4 and have already started with the new Ship Acquisition Feature and loading screens. We are also adding new Help and Tooltips. We have updates planned for the HUD as well as a massive overhaul of the Mission Journal. In general, we are ramping up our UI team and trying to get the visual aesthetic of STO UI improved anywhere we can.
=========================
Q: billyyank What's the word on Starfleet Academy? Will it be just a place we can visit, or will be more interactive, where we can train a cadet prior to shipping out?

A: Starfleet Academy is slated to go online towards the end of July and will include the ability for players to visit and hook up UGC missions to start. We are also going to be adding targeting dummies for players to test out the new ground combat controls and powers. We also have plans on our schedule to have missions that take place on Starfleet Academy ground including a new Fleet Action. (We are doing the same for KDF academy as well). At some point we also want to go back and redo the Tutorial and have it take place at the respective Academy, but that was moved to a little later down the schedule than previously planned.
===========================
Q: General_Jumper_One Will we ever be able to go to our bridge while in Sector Space and plot a course from there to a system and have it takes us there while we explore our ship?

A: This question comes up quite a bit. The first step we are taking towards something like this is improving auto-pilot so that you can set a course for a planet in ANY system and have your ship fly there. Once we get that working, then we can decide if there are other things you could be doing while your autopilot is engaged.
===========================
Q: Donailvain Will there ever be any changes to the PUG system?

A: Yes. Software is working on adding a "Group Finder" feature that will allow you to select a mission, STF, fleet action, or event you want to play, and then will try to find other players who want to do that mission and then teleport you there once a group is found. Expect this feature to be functional around September.
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« Reply #1961 on: July 07, 2011, 03:51:10 PM »

Season 4 Patching is underway and patch notes have been finalized. Ground combat is seriously reworked.

Some useful ground strategy info is here: http://forums.startrekonline.com/showthread.php?t=222501. Suggest reading about the Borg since they can...adapt.

All captains get a free respec token too.

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« Reply #1962 on: July 07, 2011, 05:05:25 PM »

Quote
Rules:
Don't talk about The Ground Playbook.
That's pretty funny.  smirk I'll bookmark that thread, thanks.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2011, 05:23:38 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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« Reply #1963 on: July 07, 2011, 10:34:46 PM »

Excellent!  Time to re-sub for a month!!!

Edit:  Thanks for the heads up.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2011, 10:45:20 PM by Lockdown » Logged

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« Reply #1964 on: July 08, 2011, 04:55:41 PM »

Here's the info page for Season 4: Crossfire now gone live (includes video showing off the new ground combat firing mode and other changes):
http://www.startrekonline.com/season_four

Tutorial page on the new, optional Shooter mode:
http://www.startrekonline.com/shooter_mode

Some rambling highlights...
Quote
Prepare to take aim and fire in Crossfire! We've completely reworked ground combat mechanics and effects and are happy to offer you the option of playing Star Trek Online using our new Shooter Mode.

Other Ground Combat Enhancements include:
-   All weapons updated with new FX, audio and stats for a faster and more intense combat experience
-   Shooter Mode Option: toggle between Tab-and-Click Targeting ("Classic RPG") Mode and Point-and-Shoot "Shooter" Mode
-   Hotkey Functionality in Shooter Mode allows quick access to powers via shortcuts and mouse clicks
-   New and improved Kit Powers and additional weapons added

KLINGON QO'NOS RECONSTRUCTED
A brand new place to call home for the Klingon Faction! The restructured Qo'noS allows players to navigate more easily through the Klingon First City hub via identifiable markers and a more intuitive layout.

Take a Tour Mission through the First City and get acquainted with your new Klingon sourroundings.

ADDITIONAL SEASON FOUR UPDATES
-   You will be assimilated: The Borg ramp up for their impending invasion with new assimilation and weapon adaptation tactics.
-   Access to more Sectors and Patrol missions for Klingons
-   Vivox Voice Chat integration to connect in even more ways with your Fleet and the entire STO community
-    Fleet Action (PvE) Queue improvements
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« Reply #1965 on: July 09, 2011, 01:20:23 PM »

There's a brief page on using the new integrated Vivox Voice chat (which is turned on by default):

Vivox Voice Chat Now in STO
http://www.startrekonline.com/node/2514
Quote
You'll automatically be added to a Voice Chat Channel when you join a team or Fleet. There are several adjustment options available to you, such as input/output and channel selection, microphone and speaker levels, etc. You can press the "N" key to use the "Push to Talk" feature.

The Voice Chat feature is automatically enabled by default unless you decide to disable it. You can do so by going into the Options menu and checking the box next to "Disable Voice Chat."
Oh and Stahl has reminded often that this is just the "launch" of Season 4. Much new content is in testing but he said they needed to get the ground combat revamp moved to launch before focusing more on Season 4 content, including new Featured Episodes and stuff.

I'm updating now and will try the shooter mode out shortly I hope. The update's about 1.6GB in size, though I haven't played in months.

Only bummer to me is some of the new shooter default keys are using keys I like to bind as hotkeys. I can probably rearrange those, but there are only so many keys I can reach comfortably.
« Last Edit: July 09, 2011, 01:23:00 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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« Reply #1966 on: July 09, 2011, 03:23:10 PM »

Dabbled a bit in ground combat just now. While I don't know if I'd call the shooter mode a "game changer," the overall revamp definitely feels a lot more lively in combat. Just making range actually mean something is a nice tactical change. I noticed my non-sniper rifles had noticeably reduced range and you simply couldn't fire them until reaching a certain range.

And even if you don't wanna play in the shooter mode, it just seems to make combat and character models look more fun in combat in general. Grenade effects are more interesting with various tiny icons (or at least I see radiation) indicating what kind of damage is taking place.

I also noticed some cool new loading screens that resemble a nav screen in TNG Star Trek era, along with even what appears to be a "loading screen second counter" to tell you how long it's taking. Some interesting tidbits of info trickle in at the lower right of the screen if the loading screen stays up a while.

There's a snazzy new Featured Episodes tab that's useful and fun to read through. Should be a lot easier to find those now. Now we just need more of them.  icon_smile
« Last Edit: July 09, 2011, 03:28:01 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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« Reply #1967 on: July 09, 2011, 08:53:35 PM »

I didn't see anything that had a wow factor to it. The combat options are nice but nothing major to change a mind on liking STO or not.(imo)
With a lifetime subscription I guess I'll be around to "check out" the new updates. Still nothing in the game to pull me back into prime time with STO.
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« Reply #1968 on: August 17, 2011, 08:21:49 PM »

The August Ask Cryptic at least puts some dates on some of the major upcoming stuff:
http://www.startrekonline.com/node/2578
Quote
There will be several new types of content available to play over the next few months. Note these dates are estimates and subject to change.

    Borg Sector Space Invasions (Aug 25)
    Borg Ground Invasion Repeatable Event (Sep 22)
    Borg STF Updates (new loot, new group finder tool) (Sep 22)
    New Event Calendar and Daily Event Schedule (Sep 22)
    New Lore Quests (Sep 22)
    Klingon Academy Zone (Sep 22)
    Episode Progression update (re-leveling nearly all episodes + new Mission Journal UI) (Sep 22)
    Duty Officer System and Assignments (Oct 20)
    Feature Episode Series 4 ready to start (Oct 22)

This isn’t a complete list of everything coming, but a good representation of what the team is working on.

STO set a precedence early on that we could release content at a rapid pace. Players have noticed that our previous pace has been interrupted and while I can’t go into details as to why that is, the important thing to take away is that the team that works on this game has been working on content and updates non-stop. The schedule above gives you an idea of what’s coming and what you can look forward to through over the next few months.

Cryptic Studios and more importantly Perfect World, are fully committed to STO and ensuring that we have lots of new content in the works. Anecdotally, we are also now hiring. Check out the Cryptic Studios career page for job opportunities.

The Foundry has had all sorts of technical troubles and seems to be down all the time. Yet it seems to be opening up some possibilities for dev-player cooperation on freshening exploration content:
Quote
Q: Kirkfat One thing that is considered for future development is "Redesign for Exploration Sectors (and Exploration in general)." Is there any chance that Foundry authors and devs could work together to remaster some of the lackluster exploration and diplomacy grinding?

A: There is definitely a chance for that. One of the concepts we have for improving exploration is to create a dynamic star cluster that allows players to create their own missions and “ship in a bottle” episodes that could be tied to unexplored areas of the game. I’m very keen on this idea and love the suggestion.
I think that goes back to the idea that filling the game with randomized boring "boilerplate" exploration missions never really was a good idea imho. So if there's any way to leverage player-created Foundry missions (minus XP exploitation issues) into in-game exploration missions to replace all (or at least much of) that random hooey with interesting, story-based stuff, hallelujah.  icon_smile

An upcoming Foundry feature being developed by the Neverwinter Nights team apparently involves player-created interiors (rather than just placing items within pre-existing ship interiors):
Quote
Q: Field_Admiral Like the space map creator in the foundry, will we ever have the option to create custom interior maps? Instead of taking a premade map and adding walls and décor to make it look like our own, we would start with a blank grid then add walls, or premade rooms of different sizes, hallway sections, and/or windows depending if it’s a ship, ground building, or station map. This would give us the tools to give our maps an original look and feel unique to our mission.

A: This is a goal for Season 5 when we plan to release player built and run Starbases. Currently, Neverwinter is pioneering this tech and have the ability for players to create interiors, so we plan to merge that feature into our game as part of our Foundry update in S5.
Although the calendar's not set in stone, it sounds like late October would be a good time to re-visit. It sounds like Perfect World is committed to Cryptic's existing titles, esp. if they're hiring again, so that seems to bode well for the future.
« Last Edit: August 17, 2011, 08:27:25 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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« Reply #1969 on: August 22, 2011, 07:05:13 PM »

Aug. 19 Engineering Report:
http://forums.startrekonline.com/showthread.php?p=3708741#post3708741
Quote
In Testing
These items are currently being tested on either an internal test shard or on TRIBBLE

    Duty Officers: Active Roster and Assignments (crew that provide passive bonuses to ships and can be assigned to missions)
    Duty Officer Commendation System (progression for Duty Officer Assignments)
    New Klingon Academy Social Zone
    More detailed Sector Space, Galaxy, and Hub Maps
    Borg Red Alerts! Random encounters for any level Captain with Fleets of Borg in all sectors. KDF and FED can fight alongside on another in these timed missions with extra XP.
    New Lore Quests that allow players to answer trivia questions and use their knowledge of Star Trek to earn exclusive Accolades.
    Feature Series 4 episode 1
    Borg Ground Invasion Event Zone and related repeatable missions
    STF Improvements – Overhaul of Infected, the Cure, and Khitomer Accords – also includes testing of new 5 man Group Finder
    Ability to create private 5 man version of STFs where you can invite cross faction friends to team with you
    Updated FX on existing space powers as well as FX for new ship powers.
    New ship variants of these ship classes - Galaxy, Intrepid, Defiant, Akira, BOP, Raptor, and Battlecruisers.
    Fan Designed Enterprise - New Odyssey Class starship
    6 New End Game Gear Sets (18 items): Mk X – Mk XII, 3 Space Sets, 3 Ground Sets
    4 New Fleet Actions: 2 for each faction (1 Space and 1 Ground)
    3 New End Game unlock-able Costumes (1 Fed, 1 KDF, 1 Neutral)
    Fed Tutorial Updates: Making Shooter Mode on by default, ability to skip the tutorial if you’ve done it before.
    In Game Event Calendar
    Combining Marks and Badges into a single scaled Emblem currency system
    Ability to auction Emblems for C-Points between players
    New Help Tooltips in the UI
    Updating character stances
=========================
In Development
These items are actively being worked on by the development team.

    New ship variants including but not limited to these classes: Akira, Connie, Intrepid, Galaxy, Defiant, Raptor, BoP, and Battlecruiser
    Trivia and Lore missions for social zones
    Adding consensual open PVP melee areas to social maps (Andoria, Vulcan, Qo'noS, Rura Penthe)
    Feature Episode Series 4 (near DS9) – remaining episodes
    Feature Episode Series 4 new hub zone
    New PVP Map with Feature Episode Series 4 (King of the Hill)
    Improvements to DS9 areas (wormhole now looks awesome and yes we are investigating resizing DS9)
    Adding ability to warp to a friend and/or improving travel between sectors
    Removing the restriction that you can only craft on Memory Alpha or Qo'noS
    Additional missions for Borg Ground Invasion Event
    Adding Borg Invasion Leaderboards (investigating what we can do here)
    Removing the concept of "Off-Duty" costumes and simply giving everyone "costume slots" you can use to store costumes
    Updates to Kerrat and KDF patrol missions
    Separating the ability to Aim and Crouch in shooter mode to independent actions
    Mission Journal 2.0 with new “suggested” missions feature and complete listing of all episodes (similar to the Feature Episode tabs but for all missions in the game)
    More shuttle and fighter specific mission types

A couple of the listings to fill positions at Cryptic are focused on content design so hopefully, it may take months, they'll eventually have some reinforcements on content creation and at least be able to spit up featured episodes as often as they initially hoped to do now that the "saucer separation" from the Atari mothership is just about complete.
« Last Edit: August 22, 2011, 07:07:25 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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« Reply #1970 on: August 22, 2011, 08:02:54 PM »

My current sub is up 9/6. After maxing out a Fed, I started leveling a Klink via PVP but just got bored of it. Maybe i'll check out the new content down the road, but I got my money and fun out of the game.
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« Reply #1971 on: August 22, 2011, 08:57:03 PM »

Quote from: Blackjack on August 22, 2011, 07:05:13 PM

Aug. 19 Engineering Report:
http://forums.startrekonline.com/showthread.php?p=3708741#post3708741
Quote
In Testing
These items are currently being tested on either an internal test shard or on TRIBBLE

    Duty Officers: Active Roster and Assignments (crew that provide passive bonuses to ships and can be assigned to missions)
    Duty Officer Commendation System (progression for Duty Officer Assignments)
    ...

Thanks for keeping us posted Blackjack.  I'm definitely interested in checking out the Duty Officer system.  I'm not convinced it will be fun, but definitely sounds like it will be interesting.
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« Reply #1972 on: August 23, 2011, 11:25:35 AM »

FYI, Perfect World announced they're working with Cryptic on a making this F2P (or at least F2P version) for end of year. I'll totally be in when that happens. (PW's games don't tend to have any content difference and are all F2P)
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« Reply #1973 on: August 23, 2011, 01:50:07 PM »

I haven't seen anything that its going F2P except speculation. Is there something that confirms this?
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« Reply #1974 on: August 23, 2011, 01:56:26 PM »

Perfect world only has F2P games, and no subscriber based ones.

That may be where people have their info from - its a logical move, due to how the game is doing currently.
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« Reply #1975 on: August 23, 2011, 02:46:58 PM »

Any word on how they're handling the lifetime subscriptions for the transfer? 

In the email I got there was no mention, so I'm hoping it will be business as usual.
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« Reply #1976 on: August 23, 2011, 03:31:43 PM »

Quote from: Krillin on August 23, 2011, 02:46:58 PM

Any word on how they're handling the lifetime subscriptions for the transfer? 

In the email I got there was no mention, so I'm hoping it will be business as usual.
I had read there's no impact on lifetime subscriptions for STO and Champions. And STO's Lifetime is still available.

Check the Transition FAQ (it's no longer linked on the main page, so had to Google to find it):
http://www.startrekonline.com/transition_faq
Quote
Q: Will my Lifetime Subscription(s) still be honored? Top

Your Lifetime Subscription to Champions Online: Free for All and/or Star Trek Online will remain the same and will not be altered in any form. Your Lifetime Subscription is valid for the life of the game.

I really thought the Foundry would be awesome but they've had so many continuing technical troubles with it, and it's being taken down so often, it really is a shame.
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« Reply #1977 on: August 23, 2011, 08:14:03 PM »

From earnings statement last night:

http://seekingalpha.com/article/289163-perfect-world-s-ceo-discusses-q2-2011-results-earnings-call-transcript?part=qanda

"We have a bigger potential in US and also in China. And also Star Trek Online, after the acquisition, in fact Cryptic is working on the free-to-play model for Star Trek Online. This is going to be launched by the end of this year as well. So I think free-to-play model we have a bigger potential in US market and also in China market. Thank you."
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« Reply #1978 on: August 24, 2011, 01:23:47 PM »

Ohh interesting. Thanks.
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« Reply #1979 on: August 25, 2011, 04:54:40 PM »

Devs posting some more detail on how the Duty Officer system will work, beta testing of that isn't too far away:

Duty Officers 101
http://forums.startrekonline.com/showthread.php?p=3717968#post3717968
Quote
As of last count, there are just shy of 3000 assignments, granting that many are variations off of common themes. Of these 3000, probably a third or so are shipboard.

The way it works is you have a set of "Shipboard" assignments and "Sector" (actually, sector block) assignments. Under the current plan, every four hours you will receive a new list of shipboard assignments. If you run through every single shipboard assignment in that four hours - possible, but difficult - you will have to wait until the four hours is up to get a new set.

In addition to shipboard assignments, however, there are also the sector block assignments. Sector block assignments are also on a four hour refresh timer, but that is a four hour timer per sector block. Thus, if you don't like or run out of the assignments in one sector block, you can go to another sector block and run its available assignments.

Note that for sector block assignments you only need to be in that sector block to begin the assignment - you can continue them in another sector block or even logged out, and you can get the results of a completed assignment from any sector block, not just the one where you initiated that assignment.

When you first start using the system, you won't have access to all the assignments, note, and this is particularly true of shipboard assignments. A large number of shipboard assignments only open up as you achieve commendation category tiers, particularly Engineering, Military, Medical and Science. (Other commendation categories will open up assignments as well, but for those, more often they will be sector block assignments.)

For example, when you first start out you may see assignments that allow you to gain a temporary buff to your Starship Warp Core Training. When you hit Tier II in the Engineering commendation category, you'll start seeing shipboard assignments that if completed will give you a temporary buff to, say, Starship Shield Maintenance skill. Go up additional commendation category tiers, and you'll open higher ranking skills as well.

Some assignments are also locked to social zones like Andoria, Bajor, Earth Stardock, The First City, and so on.

For example, you may need to go to Starfleet or Klingon Academy to get certain recruitment assignments, or the First City or Earth Stardock to get civilian recruitment assignments.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Darren_Kitlor
In theory, a player could just roleplay and level a character via non-combat/science-only missions (after the tutorial).

Yes, this is, in fact, part of the design, though it would not be as fast to do this purely through assignments as it would to do missions. The fastest approach is intended to be a combination of missions and assignments.
I kinda like the idea that if I get in a position where I've got nothing but boring exploration missions to grind through, I might just assign a few Duty Officers stuff for a while and check back in now and then to see how they're doing. Though it wouldn't say much for the basic gameplay's fun factor if I found this a better way to spend my time.  icon_smile
« Last Edit: August 25, 2011, 04:56:46 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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« Reply #1980 on: August 26, 2011, 04:51:01 PM »

Stahl says he'll be able to more share what Cryptic and Perfect World have been working on (but presumably couldn't talk freely about until the separation from Atari was official) shortly, like within a couple weeks or so:

http://forums.startrekonline.com/showthread.php?p=3719291#post3719291
Quote from: Stahl
Things will become much clearer over the next few weeks as I begin to share what we have been working on with Perfect World.

The next Ask Cryptic and Engineering Report should be epic.
imho, it's probably *not* a switch to free-to-play (or at least, not just that) because you hardly need the Engineering Report to talk about that (the report's more about new features and content, and stuff in the future). I'm hoping it's something more about new content the game so desperately needs, or his often stated dream to do away with sector loading screens and have a nearly entirely seamless space to explore.
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« Reply #1981 on: August 29, 2011, 05:48:35 PM »

A few screenshots of the Duty Officer system:
http://imageshack.us/g/27/doff01b.jpg/
Quote from: Cryptic dev Heretic
Showing some of the early functional filtering mechanics, reward screens, and plenty of pixels for you to pick apart for active roster skill lists and the like.
imho, RPG fans will really eat this stuff up. otoh, people bored by screen after screen after screen of info and stats they they have to scroll through will be numbed to it or just ignore it.

From my more optimistic view though I see it as finally putting more RPG into the "MMORPG" when it comes to ST. Even if it does little to solve the "there's not enough interesting to do" issues with the meat of the game. At least with this system, even when you feel that way, you can be sending officers off to do interesting things and get useful rewards, and maybe better make your ship feel like a living community, rather than just a giant shell with a few bridge officers.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2011, 05:54:24 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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« Reply #1982 on: September 01, 2011, 03:22:37 AM »

I guess we all knew this was coming but the Perfect World CFO apparently decided to "unofficially" announce Free to Play plans in an earnings conference call, although Cryptic's not in a position to confirm it yet.

CFO of Perfect World Announces STO F2P this year.
http://forums.startrekonline.com/showthread.php?t=230101
Quote
So when Perfect World acquired Cryptic, one of the contribution from Perfect World to Cryptic is we can share our free-to-play experience with Cryptic. So I want to emphasize is that never we’ve done a free-to-play model game, so we’re going to launch this game in US and also in China, so we expect to run these type if free-to-play model game. We have a bigger potential in US and also in China.

And also Star Trek Online, after the acquisition, in fact Cryptic is working on the free-to-play model for Star Trek Online. This is going to be launched by the end of this year as well. So I think free-to-play model we have a bigger potential in US market and also in China market. Thank you.

Producer Stahl is dropping various fortune cookie/Magic 8-Ball-quality hints that are maddening, but he seems to suggest they've taken a long, hard (that's what she said!) look at what's wrong with STO and what's necessary to, well, fix it.
http://forums.startrekonline.com/showthread.php?p=3729341#post3729341
Quote from: Stahl
There has been a method to all the madness, but first and foremost on my mind has been ensuring that Star Trek Online has a big future ahead of it. That has led to some tough decisions and deep analysis of what was critically wrong in STO. The next several months are going to be exciting for STO as you begin to see everything that we've been working on (finally).

http://forums.startrekonline.com/showthread.php?p=3729331#post3729331
Quote
It will all make more sense very soon when I start to share details of what is coming down the road.
If this includes stuff not mentioned in the Engineering Reports and Ask Cryptic stuff, then I have no idea.

Who knows? Maybe they'll find a way to have truly open space and remove sector transitions altogether. Or maybe they're just gonna blow the whole game up and start over.  icon_cool

Frankly, I think it'd be foolish for them to try to re-launch as an F2P the same month as presumably SWTOR (Dec., maybe?), but maybe they're not thinking that way.
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« Reply #1983 on: September 01, 2011, 05:27:48 PM »

A little more from Stahl on F2P, as he's trying to squash the assumption key content will be "gated" to paying players...

http://forums.startrekonline.com/showthread.php?p=3730020#post3730020
Quote
Before this spins out of speculation control, I can assure you there are no restrictions on content access, including future Feature Series. In addition, subscribers should notice little to no change. As far as I've seen, any changes in price will be to lower prices on some items.

That aside, if you don't like the game, you don't like the game. The entire concept of F2P is that you don't have to pay for the game. You can play it for free and if you like and want to play deeper into the game, then you can still do that for free. Perfect World has a strong philosphy that it should be possible for a free player to reach maximum level without spending a dime. In my opinion, if you enjoy the game, then you will spend money on it. And if you don't then that's ok too.

The game certainly still has issues (as do most young MMO), but I'd argue that the game has improved tremendously since launch day. By our 2nd anniversary in February, I think this game will be significantly better than it was even at year 1 anniversary.

Perfect World has made it very clear that they want to invest in STO because they believe it has great POTENTIAL and they see an investment that can yield an even better game. That to me, is the golden path that this game deserves. It is Star Trek we are talking about!

And other stuff...
http://forums.startrekonline.com/showthread.php?p=3729323#post3729323
Quote
The team is working on an FAQ and side by side comparison details that will spell out very clearly what this means for Lifetime and Subscription members. Until then, please stay tuned as we confirm all the details.

http://forums.startrekonline.com/showthread.php?p=3729360#post3729360
Quote
The goal has been to leave subscriptions alone and ensure that you enjoy all the same benefits you have today (if not more). There will be more details on this soon.
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« Reply #1984 on: September 01, 2011, 06:29:41 PM »

That last part is interesting. If subscriber content stays the same then it implies that the F2P content will be gimped somehow. Obviously they will limit ships, my guess is they will also limit currency caps, races, maybe officers and possibly even items.
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« Reply #1985 on: September 01, 2011, 08:23:40 PM »

They promise more details as soon as next week:
http://forums.startrekonline.com/showthread.php?p=3731076#post3731076
Quote from: Stormshade
There's some great questions in this thread, and we hear an understand you concerns.

I want to let you all know that everyone here at Cryptic is incredibly excited about the opportunity provided by taking STO free to play. This is really awesome stuff, and I think you'll agree.

Right now, we can't provide any more details, however, I can tell you that our official announcement is still planned, and we're going to be answering all of your questions and releasing a ton of details for you all regarding this change, what it means for you now, and what you can expect from us in the future, next week.

For now, take a breath, relax, and bask in the knowledge that some amazing things are in the pipes for STO, and you're going to start hearing about them next week.
I'm keeping an open mind because fact is, lifetime or not, I've lost interest in the game in its current form like most folks here and well, many places. The Foundry has had way too many technical issues to "save the game," as some thought it would. They need to shake things up, but going F2P alone is not going to reinvigorate interest in the game alone imho.
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« Reply #1986 on: September 02, 2011, 03:33:19 AM »

Quote from: Jag on September 01, 2011, 06:29:41 PM

That last part is interesting. If subscriber content stays the same then it implies that the F2P content will be gimped somehow. Obviously they will limit ships, my guess is they will also limit currency caps, races, maybe officers and possibly even items.

Sounds like what they did with Champions Online then. Yes, you can level from 1-40 (max level) without paying a dime, but you're restricted in multiple ways. Non-freeform power selection (specific classes that force power picks for each set of levels), limited character and costume slots, limited max money, etc etc.

And it's sad that the Foundry is so bugged, Blackjack. It's by far the best feature of the game. Or at least sounds like it.
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« Reply #1987 on: September 06, 2011, 05:20:52 PM »

Free-to-Play Details Unveiled:
http://startrekonline.com/f2p

Features Matrix
http://startrekonline.com/f2p_features
*"F2P Gotchas" include NO access to Foundry creation tools (you'd think they'd make it purchasable, though since it's already having technical issues now, a flood of F2P players using the Foundry tools would probably crash it infinity and beyond), ad-supported integrated voice chat, and limitations on in-game chat/e-mail, and forums. One less character slot, and some limitations on fleet creation. Bridge officer slots are purchased, and smaller bank inventory and free inventory. Probably others, that's what jumped out at me.

There doesn't appear to be any "gating" of content for F2P (the cynics expected Featured Episodes would go that route, but it looks unlimited).

F2P FAQ
http://startrekonline.com/f2p_faq

I had hoped to read more about future plans but nothing much is laid out there. I checked dev tracker, and there isn't really any chatter about this yet.
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« Reply #1988 on: September 07, 2011, 05:35:57 AM »

You know...reading the Matrix for this, assuming you get enough 'free' BO slots to fill your ship (but 0 extra), it's entirely possible to play the game indefinitely for free with basically no limit (short of lack of a high gold amount). You lose out on the Foundry, but other than that, the entire core game will be open with even fewer limits than CO gave you (as there you at least had to buy bag slots (the one 25 slot bag was very limiting), and the forced classes had several design issues over freeform).

Seems 'too easy' to get everything you want for free with this.
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« Reply #1989 on: September 07, 2011, 06:22:31 PM »

And just a reminder, Stahl indicated the next Ask Cryptic and Engineering Report would more reveal their hopefully impressive plans now that the ownership switch is done and Perfect World is investing money and giving them reign to add more developers.

I don't have any surefire predictions. I know Stahl's dreams seem to have included breaking down the sectors and transition loading screens, and to make exploration content more rewarding/story-based etc. (I see this as opposed to the random, cookie-cutter exploration missions now). I don't know whether more devs and the Perfect World cash infusion is enough to make that happen.

If they could ever reach the point of adding a new Featured Episode every other month, that would be such a carrot to keep playing, imho (if done well). I don't know what number of additional employees it'll be. It may be they only have 3-4 people that can focus on FEs now. Just doubling that would probably make it a lot easier to add new FE content quickly and consistently.

I've seen some posts suggesting they offer C-Store items as a "reward" for creating Foundry content. To me, that opens a can of worms for "gaming" the system (creating basically empty Foundry missions to meet a quota etc.). I don't think it'd work except maybe in the context of a contest judged by the devs, but wouldn't you rather the devs be working on dev-quality content than spending all their time judging and fixing Foundry content?

The idea of fully integrating the best Foundry content into regular game content has come up here and there, although they've emphasized they have to do a lot of technical work to bring Foundry content into the main game per se.
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« Reply #1990 on: September 07, 2011, 07:06:04 PM »

The community rep clarified some Lifetime things:
http://forums.startrekonline.com/showthread.php?p=3743072#post3743072
Quote from: Stormshade
The FAQ clearly states, and I have clearly stated else where, that there will be no species available for purchase through the C-Store any longer.

No where, anywhere, in any possible way, shape, or form, have we stated that we're going to be selling perks granted to lifetime members.

You all have access to some neat perks, but I think the most important thing, is that you paid for a lifetime subscription to STO, in one lump sum. You don't have to pay $15/mo. to play the game. You won't even have to pay for C-store items that you want once free-to-play is launched.

I honestly don't see how this deal could get any sweeter for our Career Officers.
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« Reply #1991 on: September 09, 2011, 08:04:23 PM »

Stahl turned the Ask Cryptic around quickly this time, mostly about F2P:
http://www.startrekonline.com/node/2609
A few picks...
Quote
Q: Kutunto: Servers, are we going to have enough servers to play the game once is goes F2P?

A: That is a big question we have as well. While we can do some projections based on our previous experience with Champs, it is unknown exactly how many people will download the client and play the game during the F2P launch. So we have ordered new hardware and made some significant performance changes to the game in our Season 4 update (this is primarily what caused the big code merge for those who’ve been following the Engineering Reports). If we still need more servers when the game launches, then that is a good problem to have! I should also mention that we are sticking with one giant shard for now.
--------
Q: Russel-KV4S: What are the plans for the Feature Episodes? How many and how often?

A: Our immediate goal is to get the next Feature Episode series live along with launching the game in the F2P model. Once the launch is complete and we have met our hiring goals, the intention is that we’ll have new content rolling out every month whether that is the start of a new Feature Episode series, new Events, new PVP maps, new Fleet Actions, or something other type of new content. Until F2P launches though, the team is booked solid trying to get everything ready.
--------
Q: sltdg: What does it mean that premium playable species are unlockable? Will we get the new dilithium at a faster rate compared to the old currency to compensate for the fact that now people will no longer will be getting a free ship every time they level, and will be using this resource for more than just getting fancy new gear?

A: Basically, we no longer plan to sell playable species when we go F2P (and will most likely stop selling them prior as well). Premium playable species such as Liberated Borg, Caitians, Klingon Fed, and Joined Trill will not be sold but will instead remain premium rewards for either lifetime membership, veteran rewards, or unlocked via some other in game mechanism. In addition, some species such as Fed Ferengi, Rigelian, Tellarite, and Pakled will become free additional default species. If we introduce new species in the future, they will most likely be tied to unlocking some achievement or special reward in game, but the details are TBD.

The systems team is evaluating the acquisition rate of dilithium at all levels to ensure that it hits our progression goals. Since this also involves changing the price of nearly all items, I can’t give you a specific answer other than to say that Dilithium will be used for more than just ships and gear. We will be tuning and updating this economy during the F2P beta.
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« Reply #1992 on: September 21, 2011, 12:56:21 PM »

Yeesh, just heard all the remaining STO players scream in horror at once, as executive producer Dan Stahl (whom most credit with salvaging, to some extent, a wrecked launch under original EP Craig Z.) announced he is leaving Cryptic altogether....

Special Communique from Dan Stahl
http://startrekonline.com/node/2619
Quote
My fellow Star Trek fans,

All good things must come to an end. Today I am announcing my departure from Star Trek Online and Cryptic Studios. For three years I have been humbled to work with such a fine crew to ensure that Star Trek Online became a reality. Through many months of hard work and countless good and bad days, we have created a living galaxy where anyone could boldly go. I’m now confident that the future of Star Trek Online is secure with Perfect World. While there is never a perfect time to leave such a good thing, I’ve chosen to move on in my career and pursue new challenges. This was a difficult decision but ultimately one that will start a new chapter for me and my family. My time at Cryptic has been wonderful and I strongly believe in all the employees of this company.

That is why STO will continue on the strong path ahead of it. Stephen D’Angelo, formerly the lead programmer on STO and current CTO of Cryptic, is returning to manage the project and ensure that the free-to-play launch goes off without a hitch. Stephen not only loves Star Trek, but has a strong understanding of how STO works under the hood and has personally been responsible for the majority of our performance improvements over the last several months to prepare for the onslaught of new users. He will be working directly with the very talented leadership team on the project to ensure that all of the features and content I’ve been talking about in the Engineering Reports are delivered with high quality. Stephen will be driving the schedule through F2P launch and the months after to ensure that the switch over goes well and that there is a solid content plan after re-launch.

In the meantime, Cryptic will be considering a permanent Executive Producer to take over the LIVE development team in the months after free-to-play launches. Rest assured that the team responsible for all the great improvements and enhancements to the game is still here. I’ve no doubt that you’ll enjoy the creativity and talent this team has to offer in the months and years ahead.

For the doomsayers, I encourage you to have faith in this team. While I have been honored to sit in the Captain’s chair, it is really the amazing talent of this team and company that have set the course for this game and kept it as strong as it is. There is no one to blame for my departure but me. In my opinion, Perfect World is going to be an amazing partner for Cryptic to work with. Free-to-play is something that I’ve always wanted for this game because I have seen the value and success of that business firsthand by watching Champions. Having Jack and Craig as leaders of Cryptic is also something that has greatly benefited Star Trek Online. They both love and care for this game and are more involved on a day-to-day basis than you may realize. I cannot express enough how thankful I am for the opportunity to have worked here. It is a highlight in my career and something I will miss when I am gone.

Before my departure at the end of the month, I will be fielding interviews, answering questions and working toward ensuring STO free-to-play has an amazing launch later this year.

Thank you for your trust and respect. It has been an honor to serve as your Captain.

Live long and prosper,
Daniel Stahl
It wouldn't surprise me if he was just plain old burned out. He seemed to often be posting on weekends and in the wee hours.

He has a post later clarifying that he's moving to San Francisco (where Star Trek IV was set!  icon_smile) where his fiancee lives so it sounds like he has something new lined up there career wise:
http://forums.startrekonline.com/showthread.php?p=3766591#post3766591
Quote
My decision to leave now is really only possible because STO is in good hands. I have every confidence in the STO team, Cryptic Leadership, and Perfect World to carry forward with the vision of making STO into the game it deserves to be. It has already come quite a ways since launch and the support for this game has been phenomenal. There is peace in leaving now because I've seen and been a part of everything that is about to happen to STO. I'm excited for you because you are going to see some major new features in coming weeks that will begin to show some of the awesome work this team has been doing in these last months.

There are no interesting conspiracies here. I've been involved in various parts of the game industry since 1996. In that time I've built awesome community websites, published a board game, shipped the amazing Xbox 360 console, and spent 3 years on this amazing MMO. I've been given the opportunity to start the next chapter in my career that allows me to combine many of my past experiences into something new. It will also allow my family to move into San Francisco where my beautiful Fiancee Kimberly has worked for years. So as I stated in the letter, there is no one to blame but me. It was my decision and one that was not easy as I really can't state enough how awesome it has been to work at Cryptic.

So thank you again for all the kind words. You have been partners in building this game and I really do believe you'll be happy to see all the changes coming soon.
In essence, he's leaving Star Trek Online for A Girl, and who could blame him?  Fabulous
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« Reply #1993 on: September 23, 2011, 12:40:37 PM »

OK, well, a girl and web-based "social" games dev Zynga:  icon_razz
http://forums.startrekonline.com/showthread.php?p=3769999#post3769999
Quote
To put the rumor mill to rest, I posted earlier this week on my Facebook feed that I've accepted an Executive Producer role at Zynga. This new position ties together my backgrounds in web development and game development and allows me to join a company that has a similar passion as my own, connecting people through games. I'm certainly not going to stop playing MMOs, but see an opportunity to be involved in the evolution of web based gaming. It will certainly be a new type of challenge but will also allow my rather talented fiancee the ability to be back in the city where she works as well.

So yes, I had pursued and accepted this position on my own prior to leaving Cryptic. This is not me being forced out or anything like that. I've been told that if things didn't work out, I'd be welcomed back at Cryptic and I'm thankful for that kindness. This company is near and dear to my heart. While I'm excited for the new opportunity, it is still sad to go.

He also mentions he has asked their HR to look closely at Foundry creations when sifting through dev job applications:
Quote
The general consensus is that a decent portion of Foundry missions rival and exceed our own mission designs. While I've played some missions that could use more work, there are some real gems out there. I've asked our HR and content designers to take a close look at applicant's foundry missions before they hire the new content designers.

He mentioned there's some content (Borg Ground Invasion) and changes (economy) he had hoped to release by now but the powers that be suggested it was best to put those on the test server and wait until after the F2P launch to release them.
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« Reply #1994 on: October 03, 2011, 05:12:47 PM »

The "Path to F2P blog" finally has some meaty updates on the new Mission Journal UI ("What the frak do I do now?"),  and the long-awaited Duty Officer system, which (as I understand it) are both now live on the F2P Test Server. There will be rewards for getting a character to a certain point on the test server (I think the rewards become available on the regular server, after the F2P version of STO launches).

Mission Journal UI:

http://www.startrekonline.com/node/2630
Quote from: interim executive producer Stephen D'Angelo
One piece of feedback we frequently received from Star Trek Online players is that it was often hard for players to answer the question, "What do I do next?" A player might find a bevy of Admirals wanting their attention, plus numerous places to explore around the galaxy, but what should the player really be doing?

We took a serious look at how players actually played and then we went about making some improvements. Today, the first set of these improvements makes its way to the Tribble public test shard.

The highlight of many changes is the all new front page for the mission journal, which is designed to make it really clear what you should do next.

In the top area, you will see your current mission and have a fast way to jump to your status. If this mission is ready to turn in, you will now see a reminder line there and a button to take you right where you need to go.

On the left is the next episode you should be doing, if you want to continue the game's main story line. Most of the episodes in the game have been threaded together into a sequence that gets you through the story of the game in a way that doesn't require players to go searching around through screens full of Admirals to find a mission to do.

In the middle is a "PvE" link that will take you to where you can sign up for queued content that involves getting a team together to go do a team mission. On the right is a link that will take you to where you can sign up for queued PvP content.

Below that is a new display of the current events going on in the game. We'll be posting more about events later, but we're sure that once you see what we're doing for event content, you'll really like this quick way to see what is happening right now that you can jump into.

This week, you'll only have access to the Federation content on Tribble, and we hope you enjoy the new mission journal UI and the new feel of playing through the Federation content. If you're paying attention, you'll also notice that we sped up the leveling curve at the lower levels, so you'll be level 11 before you know it!

As a bonus, within the three weeks following when the F2P build is live, we'll be giving out awards to your character on Holodeck based on what you accomplished on Tribble. If you get a Federation character from start to level 11, we'll give you a free 8 hour XP boost item. If you get to level 31, we'll give you a reasonably large chunk of dilithium (exactly how much depends a bit on how the economy tunes up in testing, but this will be a meaningful award). And if you get a character to level 51, we'll give you a bonus ship slot and a unique title that only the most elite Tribblers will have. This award only applies to Federation characters that freshly started on Tribble. It does not apply to characters that transfer in once we open up character transfer.

The Klingon content is coming next week, and we'll post about the Klingon gameplay changes and the awards for playing on Tribble as that content becomes available.

Stephen D'Angelo
Executive Producer
Star Trek Online

Below Decks: The Duty Officer System

http://www.startrekonline.com/node/2631
Quote from: lead systems designer Heretic
Starting shortly after you are promoted to Lieutenant Commander, you will receive your first set of duty officers. Additional duty officers can be gained in many ways during the game, including spending time at Starfleet Academy or the Klingon Academy. If you get impatient, you can also gain additional random sets of duty officers from the C-Store, or actively trade with other players to improve your crew.

Duty officers can be used in one of two ways:

First, you have a certain number of slots that you can fill with duty officers to enhance the effectiveness of your captain, both in space and on the ground. Duty officers may provide static bonuses or have a chance of providing a more significant bonus under certain circumstances. For example, a duty officer with the Security specialization has a chance of providing you with additional backup whenever you activate Security Escort, or a gravimetric scientist might creating additional gravity wells when your science officer creates a gravitational anomaly in space.

Second, you can place your duty officers on assignments. Different assignment can be found on board your ship and in many sectors. Every assignment has a set of requirements, from necessary specializations (for example, Energy Weapons Officer) to commodities (for example, Astrometric Probes). If you choose to perform an assignment, you allocate the appropriate members of your duty roster to the task and then after a set amount of time (which depends on the assignment and can range from minutes to days), you return to your duty roster to see the results of the assignment.

It is intended to be as simple as it sounds, but getting the most from each assignment requires careful planning. Many assignments reward you for better combinations of duty officers, and the chance of a "normal success" versus a "critical success" is something you can manipulate according to which officers you choose to place on the assignment.

Each duty officer has a species, a quality, a specialization, and a set of traits. All of these can factor into their effectiveness in terms of the tasks and roles you set them to. A duty officer who is poor at one task may be better at another, so it is your job as captain to manage the duty roster by allocating the right junior officer for the right task.

Successfully completed assignments will reward you with skill points, bridge officer points, additional duty officers and bridge officers, common and unique items, and even Dilithium. The best rewards come from the more difficult assignments and from achieving a "critical success."

As you complete assignments, you will gain commendation points in each of eleven categories, such as Diplomacy and Trade. Gain enough commendation points in a category in order to gain unique duty officers and, in some cases, even bridge officers that can’t be earned by other means.

As a bonus, playing on Tribble can earn your character on Holodeck some free random Duty Officers, awarded within the three weeks after free-to-play goes live on Holodeck. Complete any Tier 1 Duty Officer commendation category accolade to receive an unique blue-quality duty officer. Complete any Tier 2 Duty Officer commendation category accolade to receive an unique purple-quality duty officer. Complete any Tier 3 Duty Officer commendation category accolade to receive a unique purple-quality duty officer with an active roster ability not attainable anywhere else in the game.

Our goal with the Duty Officer System has been to make you feel truly like a captain, responsible for the success and well-being of your crew. As we move forward with testing on Tribble, we are looking forward to the opportunity to enlist you all in shaping the evolution of this great new system.

Geoff “Heretic” Tuffli
Senior Systems Designer
Star Trek Online
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« Reply #1995 on: October 03, 2011, 05:24:33 PM »

This game always looked ok on paper, in theory. But unfortunatley it never amounted to much in game. This all sounds peachy-keen and all that, but I have zero faith in it being anything other than the same old boring, clunky content they've been puking out since the game went live.

And I say all that from the red-faced position of holding a life-time subscription. Blah.
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« Reply #1996 on: October 03, 2011, 05:40:11 PM »

If you ever played the better featured Episodes (esp. the fully voice-acted ones), or some of the better stuff on The Foundry before it went live and the Foundry got all borked, imho, that's how much fun the game CAN be (aside from if one just finds the basic gameplay mechanics lacking). That's why I was excited about the game in early 2011. They just didn't have the manpower (or financial support from Atari, as I read it) to make a game with wall to wall content like that.

Now that Perfect World has taken over, and seems to be seriously investing in terms of money and allocations for numerous new employees (it's going to take time to hire and train them; they can't just snap their fingers), it should finally get a badly needed injection of content and game events, but it's important for the F2P version not to be a technical fiasco. So getting that ready for launch along with these two features, seems to be the focus. There's not much point in launching new content now if the F2P version of the game proceeds to break all that.

Sure, maybe it's all irrelevant cause SWTOR's due in December, but Lord Knows every year there's a big MMO launch that draws everyone like moths to a flame and then burns out in a matter of months. There's no guarantee SWTOR won't be another one of those.

A lot of folks saw The Foundry as some sort of magic pill. imho it's like CoX's Mission Architect -- you might get 5,000, 10,000 missions, whatever and probably 80% of that is garbage, "XP exploitation" or "this is a test" stuff. If you're lucky, maybe 5-10% of what people come up with is remotely close to the best of the dev-created content. But they are apparently going to look at Foundry experience when hiring people.

At this point, I'm just eager for the F2P version to launch as they appear to be holding back various things until that's done.
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« Reply #1997 on: November 09, 2011, 08:10:07 PM »

For some reason, Cryptic/Perfect World decided to ask IGN to spill the beans about its F2P launch of STO Jan. 17, 2012.

Star Trek Online Free-to-Play Details
http://pc.ign.com/articles/121/1211970p1.html
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Cryptic's decision to remove the subscription cost from their most recent MMO wasn't sudden, according to Stephen D'Angelo, Executive Producer on STO and Chief Technical Officer. "We've always wanted the game to be free-to-play," he says, "in fact we tried to make it free-to-play at the original launch, but our publisher [Atari] didn't want us doing that so we didn't do that." Instead of almost two years ago, the switch to free-to-play will occur on January 17, 2012.

Cryptic's experiences with their other subscription-based-gone-free-to-play game Champions Online "kinda got a mixed result." The system locked a lot of content out to players such as power sets (class abilities), and limited the number of character slots available. The developers found that players didn't really like paying for content, so for Star Trek Online Cryptic is taking a very different approach.
P.S. The timing suggests they're hoping the SWTOR crowd will all Rage Quit after their initial free month is up.  icon_razz
« Last Edit: November 09, 2011, 08:52:26 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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« Reply #1998 on: November 09, 2011, 10:46:25 PM »

While I'm not one to talk about people's comments, the very first comment in that article caught my eye. What's going on here in STO seems to be agreed upon even via commenters on its sister game, CO:

Quote
IGN was handed a load of dead fish. They should dig behind the spin they were given and not take D'Angelo at his word.

It does not take 'a day' to level up in STO. A month, perhaps a couple of weeks... which is still pretty quick. It's 'easy' to level up in STO. And why is this? Because STO launched light on content. If you can blast through all the content and hit level cap in one month, then something is wrong. And it is a problem that continues to plague Cryptic. The fault lies with Cryptic, not the roundabout blame on the playerbase D'Angelo is trying to place.

Indeed, for the past eight months -- it will be 10 by the time STO goes free -- there has been no release of content. 'Content' in this sense is 'new playable missions.' Now, there has been quite a bit of 'stuff' put into the game... stuff which has almost ALL been put into the C-Store. (The relatively recent Borg Invasions were an exception. They also revamped the ground combat system. But, really... is it truly 'new content' if you are shooting at the same Klingon in first person view whom you used to shoot at in over-the-shoulder view?)

The C-Store has in fact changed for the F2P lineup, and will continue to change in the same vein. Prices have, overall, increased by 400 CPs, which is interestingly the amount of the monthly CP stipend that subscribers and lifers get for their $15/month. (The prices on three or four items have gone down.) Where most prior unlocks were account-wide, now many of them have switched to single-character only and from what players have been told, this trend will continue.

STO's new economy system absolutely is 'pay to win.' It started several months ago, in fact, with the introduction of '+1' or 'Tx.5' ships in the C-Store. These ships have a slight, but noticable, advantage over 'stock' ships, and they also come with a special console that gives an additional power or ability to the ship. The developers have even said that they wanted to make the +1 ships 'better' in order to get people to buy them. You see, ships are not merely mounts in STO: On space maps, they are your character. They determine your health, your weapons, your abilities, everything. This nuance seems to get lost on the developers.

But what is glossed over in the article here is that it is trivial to buy Dilithium: You buy a pack of C-Points. You trade those points for Dilithium. The exact amount varies and the price is player-controlled within a narrow margin. But it really is that simple, and you *absolutely* can kit out your ship with all the 'good gear' by paying for it. Pay to win? Oh, yeah.

STO had and still has great potential. The space combat portion is a real gem if given a bit more love, and the ground combat has the potential to shape up to something approaching Tabula Rasa -- speaking for myself, a grand combination. But STO is saddled with a dearth of content, and now with a business plan to monetize absolutely everything possible in the game, to ensure that *someone* pays out the nose. If you are at all interested in STO, then by all means try it out, but I would also recommend letting Cryptic know how you feel about these changes.

There's a potentially great game in STO... behind the paygates that are being set up.

A lot of this is obvious if you spend any time in STO - the 'pay to win' ship upgrades have been around forever, and they're only getting better every time they release a new ship. And yes, the only way you can get these ships is by either paying Cryptic, or spending an absolutely insane amount of time crafting them (IF it's even possible).

With CO, there are NO 'pay to win' items. Yes, you can do things like buy healing items and rez potions in the C-Store, but you can get items that do mostly the same thing via either crafting them yourself (EASY to do so compared to STO) or just picking them as your power picks. You can also buy costume packs, which don't modify your level of power whatsoever.

Additionally, CO has one thing over STO when it comes to C-Store items - NONE of them work AT ALL in PvP combat. Yes, some of them work in duels, but that's only 1 on 1 and is meaningless. Unlike STO, where your C-Store purchased ships work in PvP, your bought items won't do a thing in CO.

This is a serious problem, IMHO, and it's trying to be hidden by completely false articles like what IGN saw.
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« Reply #1999 on: November 18, 2011, 06:52:53 PM »

A roadmap update through February by everyone's buddy D'Angelo  smirk:
http://www.startrekonline.com/node/2688
Quote
November
On Holodeck throughout the rest of November, we are running a Featured Episode Replay event. This is a chance for players to go play these episodes to get some exclusive rewards. On Tribble, we will continue polishing up the new build of the game.

December
In early December (probably between December 1st and 8th), we plan to bring the new game build from Tribble to Holodeck. We’re really looking forward to getting the new content, new systems, and the many game play improvements to the mainstream players. This is a significant release, bringing in new content like the Borg Invasion of Defera [see: http://www.startrekonline.com/node/2686], new systems like the Duty Officer system, a variety of new events and dailies, and a plethora of improvements across the game.

Also in December, we’re planning for STO’s first real holiday event. You can expect snow, presents, and other winter season fun! We’ll reveal a lot more about this event in early December, but we’re excited to see a festive spirit into STO. The event is scheduled to run from mid-December through into the new year.

January
We plan to roll out a mini-update in early January with additional game improvements, and then there will be the build-up to the January 17 free-to-play launch date.

February
February starts with the two year anniversary event for STO on February 2. We expect to have fun and prizes at the celebration.

Then shortly thereafter, we’re going to roll out the next Featured Episode series that focuses on the Dominion. This promises to be the best series yet!

As with all peeks into the future, all of the above is subject to change. There are also some other events coming that are not included so we have a few pleasant surprises to announce when they get closer.
I might have the tiniest, brief window in early-mid December to try it, just to see how the Duty Officer system works. I think that's been on the test server for a while.

As far as the Borg invasion goes, I guess it's splitting hairs on calling that "new content." It has different zones, some solo, some requiring 5-person teams. So it's not a complete crazy chaos zone like the Fleet Action stuff. But it doesn't seem like SP content per se.

The Foundry should've really fixed the whole "not enough content" situation but it just seems like it's been a technical albatross around Cryptic's neck since day one, and being down for weeks and weeks probably hurt the momentum it should've provided the game.

I thought it was pretty cool they recently hired a guy based on his Foundry work. I don't think ONE guy like that is going to mean a sudden influx of tasty content but if they add some more content designers passionate about ST and comfortable with the dev tools, that could at least be promising. Lord knows there's so much generic missions in the game that could benefit from some hand-crafting.
« Last Edit: November 18, 2011, 06:56:04 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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