When I
wake up on a Monday morning, I go through the ritual
of starting the coffee and grumbling about having a case of the
Mondays. My
internal scheduler starts running up a tally of all the things I should
be stressed about (and the sun is barely up). I can only imagine what
is going
on at Cryptic Studios right now. The pressure of launching a triple A
game has
to be intense. Publishers calling to make sure everything will be
Running an Open Beta and trying to patch holes and get those last
made. Running ragged while watching people who play the game for three
on a crappy computer with dial up write five page previews and reviews
of the
game that you’ve poured your heart and soul into for years.
Is everyday a
Monday at this point in the game development cycle?

would be standard for most games heading toward launch,
but this is bleepin’ href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/sto">Star Trek
The game many gamers have been waiting their whole gaming life to play.
pressure Cryptic.

that’s not what we’re worried about, it’s
easy being on the
consumer side of the equation. Our jobs are to round out our Open Beta
experience and then get to the difficult task of href="http://forums.tentonhammer.com/showthread.php?t=49054">choosing
character’s profession
, race, good looks (or not) and most importantly our
name and ship’s name.

style="">Jimmy T. Kirkendish
of the USS Enterprise Rental, really?

prediction is that character names will be as fun to
watch as some of the action. There are going to be three camps when it
comes to
names; those that adhere to the canon with appropriate names, those
that use
their traditional MMO names, and those that will don the lamp shade
with some
screwball name.

no prude but for some reason the goofball names just
don’t seem right in this game. Whacky names are almost
mandatory in href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/war">Warhammer
I expect them in href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/wow">World of
and I
tolerate them in href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/lotro">Lord of the
Star Trek
is different for some reason. Am I being intolerable of people
themselves? Don’t get me wrong, I’m tempted to do
something with the name Sulu
just because he’s so popular in the beginning of the game (I
want everyone to
be looking for me).

style="width: 640px; height: 360px;" alt="STO Planet"

style="">The Hype Cycle

One of
the href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/59654">first
articles I penned way back
during Vanguard’s
was about the href="http://www.floor.nl/HPplaatjes/GartnerHypeCycle.gif">Gartner
Hype Cycle
of Emerging Technologies. The
graph shows how momentum (hype) and
expectations build for new products to a level that is unachievable and
gets beaten about the head and shoulders when it can’t meet
that goal. After
the dust settles the new product regains momentum based on realistic
expectations. I constantly think of that graph and how it relates to

game developers are in a catch-22 because they have to
inflate the hype through publicity and thus stoke the fires of
expectations. If the last few years of MMOG launches has taught us
though, we as gamers should be smarter and go into new games with our
expectations in check. That doesn’t mean we can’t
hope for unexpected
awesomeness, it just means that we shouldn’t expect a working
holodeck projector in with every STO box.

In an
interesting turn, I’ve noticed many people who started
on the fence about diving into STO changing their tune and planning to
the game. The community mentality on this wave is one of optimism and I
that the recent improvements to the game have been a big factor.
Players have
witnessed some excellent enhancements. I expect people get that feeling
of a
developer who is not only listening but willing to make some fairly
changes for the better.

style="width: 640px; height: 360px;" alt="STO SHip"

style="">Finally I don’t have
to ask which server.

typical pre-launch fire drill is finding out where
everyone is going to play (i.e. which server). With only one other game
that I
can recall off the top of my head having a single server ( style="">EVE Online),
I’m really looking forward to the ease of meeting up
with friends. This also means it will be tougher to hide, but the
benefits far
outweigh the cons in my book.

style="">The Calm Before the

Open Beta has ended, the launch is just a few days
hence. It’s a good time to spend with family and friends. You
might warn them
that you may not make that get-together on Saturday due to some style="">  Tribble
issues. They will either know what
you’re talking about and be grateful that they can gracefully
bow out and go
level up, or they won’t know what you’re talking
about and it’s all good there

So put
your affairs in order, STO is on its way. See you at
Starfleet or my name isn’t Spoch E. Spockity.

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Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016