Price Cut

Suppose people are disappointed with your product. Suppose it’s an MMORPG and people are arguing whether it’s really an MMORPG or not. People are claiming they’ve been ripped off. People are upset. Seems like a price-cut will make everyone happy right? No, not necessarily. You won’t find copies of Cryptic’s offer from a few days ago on their website. For that, you’ll have to check out forums outside Cryptic’s control like the mmorpg.com forums.

Lots of MMOs have price cuts, of course. But MMOs are not supposed to have a price cut within the first month after launch. The hardcore Star Trek fans who paid for their pre-orders weeks ago, felt ripped off. To make matters worse, many of those same fans purchased multiple copies of the game in order to secure one of every pre-order bonus item. Too bad there’s no end-game content to wear those precious limited-time cosmetic uniforms to. If there was, then the STO lifetimers would have something to do other than troll their forums.

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Suzina

Suzina is a 27 year old who usally plays the same MMOs as her husband.
Games played: UO, EQ2, FFXI, SWG, LOTRO.

6 thoughts on “Price Cut”

  1. I find it interesting that forum attention gets so easily distracted.

    Neither “Death Penalties” nor pure envy on those who got later 30 more free days than the preorder customers (actually, they get no special preorder items, just more time to play a game that one can easily have almost completed after 30 days) are the problems of this game.

    I would like to point out that the singleplayer source of inspiration for the space combat, Star Fleet Command I-III, had more content and allowed players to play Federation, Klingon, Romulan story arcs.

    STO has two problems, and neither are that people get upset about the marketing ploys and errands or the “death penalty” for a meaningful death in a game that was apparently designed with no DP in mind.

    The first problem is that it was released quite unfinished, the second is the old Cryptic tradition that there is not much content to consume.

    The *third* major problem is – people probably expected something else.
    Which is quite sad, as the space combat has a rock solid and working core, the SFC series was based on a very solid board game, and the adaption to a more action oriented MMO was actually done quite well.

    It would be a shame to see a game with such a nice IP fail. But I have not too much faith in Cryptic. Still, they have my sympathy for not creating one more WoW clone/lookalike.

    1. I’d boil that down to one problem – Cryptic’s plan appears to have been that a mediocre STO with a sub+item shop would be more cost effective than doing the job properly. Casual Trek fans who didn’t know better can be forgiven for falling for this. As for anyone who is at all aware of MMORPG’s and how they did the same thing with Champions less than six months ago, well, fool me once….

  2. The philosophy that Cryptic has applied here is one that is “player-driven development” in the sense that feedback from the players should drive much of the development of the game.

    I think it is a nice idea and also something that puts less risk into the project, which I think is needed for MMOs. But going with a traditional subscription-based model topped with an item shop does not fit that well into this approach to development.

    The offerings of 6 month/12 month/lifetime subscriptions for STO and CO is also something that does not quite rhyme well with this development approach.

    Given the choice if Cryptic should have spent 2 years or 5 years developing STO I definitely prefer the current approach of 2 years. But it is not fair to ask customer to pay to wait for them to develop what initial player feedback might indicate.

    That is their problem in my view rather than those mentioned.

  3. I know the narrative of Cryptic not caring about anything but box sales and micro-transactions is firmly in place, and some of that has certainly been earned, especially in Champions.

    But seriously? People can be “forgiven” for enjoying a game? I don’t feel like I have anything to be sorry about having fun with the thing, and in general I’ve been impressed with how things are shaping up in the game.

    There have been two content patches and a bunch of bugfixes in the first month of the game. A larger patch is a few weeks out. This is before anything new has been added to the store. What does a company have to do to get past a narrative? Offer a sale so people can try for themselves? Oh wait.

    Anyway, I can understand why people don’t like the game. It is a bit light on content at the moment. It does have bugs and design issues that need to be worked on. But what’s there is pretty solid, and they seem to be adding and improving quickly so far. But cut it out with the thinking people who are having fun are less of a gamer or star trek fan please!

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