Posted Thu, Mar 04, 2010 by Medeor
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.