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Star Trek Online: Captain’s Blog, Marketing Mayhem

Posted Thu, Mar 04, 2010 by Medeor

Exclusives

  • The Traveler's Guide - Episode 4
    The universe is an awfully big place and it would take more than a human lifetime to see it all. Realizations like that make the idea of a personal tour guide sound pretty good, don't they? Today's your lucky day then, because we (allegedly) smuggled none other than The Traveler onto a Federation ship to bring us weekly images from every quadrant of the galaxy and beyond just for you!
  • Putting The "Fleet" Back In Fleet Action
    Sometimes developers excuse missing features at launch with the old standby, "There just wasn't enough time to get everything in." But in the case of Fleet Actions in Star Trek Online, the omission of a tool that allows you to jump in as a fleet is simply inexcusable. Join Eric “Dalmarus” Campbell as he dives into the issue.
  • State Of The Game 2/25/2010
    Cryptic has heard the wailing and gnashing of teeth. They are not blind to your protest signs. They also know that the renewal period (aka witching hour) is upon us. If you've been thinking about quitting Star Trek Online because of (insert issue X, Y or Z here) then make sure to peruse this week's State of the Game before you hit that cancel subscription button.
  • Star Trek Online Review
    The time has come. Star Trek Online will have been officially live for one month come tomorrow. In celebration of this historic event, we've decided to post our official review of the game. Get your shields up and your phasers set to stun, because although it has been enjoyable to play, there are more things than just NPCs that need killing.
  • One Month In, Still Waiting
    Star Trek Online is one month into its lifespan and the development team has made great strides to improve the game. Even so, there are many pre-launch questions that need some answers. Where do we stand on the pre-launch promises? Today we highlight a few key issues that we're looking very forward to for fixes and/or updates.

  • Ten Ton Hammer's Galactic Map Archives
    While the process of warping between local systems in Star Trek Online has been made relatively easy, sometimes traversing the vastness of space can still be a difficult endeavor. To help get you pointed in the right direction, Ten Ton Hammer is pleased to bring you detailed maps for each sector in Federation space and beyond.

Captain's Log

Last week's mantra was "the honeymoon is over" but I had no idea the divorce rate would skyrocket - if the forums are to be believed (whoa, how did I said that with a straight face). I haven't seen venom sprayed like that since Jonny Quest took on that gaggle of cobras. Luckily for Jonny, Hajji was there to sooth the beasts, but I'm not sure Atari and Cryptic were able to do the same. Instead of soapboxing all up front, let's roll right into the news.

The Week That Was

Whoa, did they do that, and then did they say that? Discountgate continues to rule the realm as the reports of misdeeds, miscalculations, misscommunications, mistakes and missteps take center stage. This too shall pass, but the damage has been done. Every game goes through a period where the players feel betrayed by the developer or the publisher (even the WoW and EQ juggernauts have enjoyed this hell). As we used to say in construction, it's not how you react to something being screwed up, it's how you fix it. I think Atari and Cryptic would both like a mulligan and re-think how the whole situation played out. 

I've never understood the real desire for publishers and developers to work together, but I think I finally figured it out. Having two separate entities handling the sales of the game, there is always someone to point a finger at when trouble brews. If it was just Atari, or just Cryptic, it would be a lot harder for them to deflect the anger. Now they can point at each other and cry foul. Good system.

For the record, here is Medeor's stance: I cry "meh." As I stated on the forums, this news in no way effects my enjoyment of the game. I feel bad for people who have had their feelings hurt or feel that they have been ripped off. In reality though, does that change the actual game? My theory is that people who were on the fence about renewing their subscription see this as way to go out in a blaze of glory, "I'm quitting because Atari and Cryptic have wronged me and all those around me, and I'm not going to stand for it." If you feel that strongly, then have at it.

As for the lifetime subs wanting their money back, I say "You bought it, live with it." Even if someone from Cryptic said people would have the option of a refund within the first 30 days, I don't feel that refunds should be given out. I am a strong proponent of contracts, and those that signed that contract, need to live up to their end of the bargain. People should really evaluate those lifetime subs before buying, they are not for the faint of wallet.

Hey, let's look at the game.

This week, Cryptic released their State of the Game and  they hit on all the right notes as far as  I'm concerned. They plead guilty to some of their early issues with customer service (only to jump right into Discountgate later in the week, ouch), and highlighted some of the fun we can look forward to with "Raidisodes." Most of the To Do items on their list jive with my wish list, so it's nice to see we're all on the same page there. If I haven't mentioned it enough, I'm really looking forward to being able to respec my character and bridge officers.

Endgame Rush

The rush to max rank has never been my forte. I'm a lolligagger and stroller who gets way to sidetracked to just plow through everything so I can say I'm the king. MMOGs by design cater to people motivated by progress. It's all about levels and ranks and higher tier items. The conundrum is formed when the motivated hit the wall of the last rank. What do they do now? I think we're seeing that in larger numbers and sooner than expected in STO. Since I'm not at endgame, the dearth of content there doesn't effect me, but for those sitting around wondering what to do, it could be a rougher ride. Idle hands are the devil's playthings. In other games I've noticed that bored max-level players start inventing their own quests like "grief all you can," and "find the exploits." I think we're seeing a bit of that from Starfleet Dental in some of their shenanigans. The goons are part funny, part silly, and think pretty highly of themselves. It's cute in a way similar to watching a first grader learn to pick on a pre-schooler.

In closing...

This week I realized that I really like the ranking system as opposed to numbered levels. Going from level 30 to level 31 in any other game isn't as cool as going from Captain to Admiral. I'm not a big fan of changing ranks on the 11th level, but that is nitpicking. Ranks truly reflect progress in profession and I believe we'll start seeing this more in games over time. The titles in WoW's  original battleground system was a true statement of one's achievements (or patience), if you saw a Warlord you knew that person lived in PvP. It's taken me a while to warm up to Commander, and Captain, but it's growing on me. 

Have a great week, and thanks for reading.

Weekly News

Star Trek Drink of the Week

Kirk on the beach.

 Vulcan Death Grip

1 oz. Rum

1 oz. Galliano

Mix and serve in a shot glass. After a few of these, you are able to apply the death grip on others, but also become very susceptible to applying it to yourself in the process. Use at your own risk.


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