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Reader Comments (85)

Posted: Jan 22nd 2010 11:05PM Bueno said

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Well Said.

Posted: Jan 23rd 2010 7:40AM MrGutts said

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Amen,

The whole "well it's still in beta" "well it just opened up" "well it's only the first month" give it time junk is getting old from fans.
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Posted: Jan 23rd 2010 2:53PM jpkustra said

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I'm guilty of using betas as previews. It saved me $50 on STO!

However...

I blame the developers. If you're truly using betas as a testing period for your game give the testers a defined and trackable list of things they need to do while in the game. This could be sending in regular suggestions, your bug reports, log-in time, etc. If someone fulfills these obligations or even goes above and beyond, reward them with free game time.
If you let someone into your beta for a $5 pre-order fee then expect them to only give $5 worth of input, if any.
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Posted: Jan 22nd 2010 11:08PM sandwiches said

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Absolutely agree with the article. Sadly, we're seeing the same blind excuses from fans of STO, at the moment. According to these apologists, anyone who criticizes is either a troll, hasn't played it, or they have forgotten this is beta.

STO is having the same problems as Champions Online had, Cryptic is running things the way they want without listening to the players, and they're making sweeping changes to fundamental game mechanics. This is leaving many who have pre-ordered the game or bought lifetime subscriptions feeling lied to or like they were the victims of bait-and-switch.

I'm sure apologists of STO will come in here and say how every game has done this, and how no game is perfect, and blah blah blah.

Posted: Jan 23rd 2010 6:12AM (Unverified) said

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I'm sure they don't understand that Cryptic doesn't care at all if their games' playerbases stay or die out. They're only interested in box sales and the amount of gullible people they can con into buying lifetime subscriptions which is ONLY available before the game goes live; because they know that once the game goes live there's no way any sane person will want to sub for a lifetime.
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Posted: Jan 23rd 2010 7:41AM (Unverified) said

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Thats what you can expect for pre-ordering an MMO.

Anyone who actually spends money on an MMO before it launches is a knothead. That is the one single thing MMOs have been constant at since their creation is horrible launches.

The backlashes that forum posters give is tiresome. At this point all that is left to say is "what did you expect?"

Wait for free trials or Steam price drops and sales.

If you pre-order you deserve whatever comes.


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Posted: Feb 2nd 2010 3:46PM (Unverified) said

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I made this mistake only once and that was with Aion. Guildmates had been playing the closed beta for some time and were giving it great press, so my partner and I decided to buy the pre-order ($100 right there).

Two months into it and even the guildies who had been playing closed beta quit. I don't know what changed from closed beta to release, but something fundamental happened and turned off people who has spent months playing the game before release.

I'm glad I got into the OB for STO because I saved myself from spending money I don't have on a game with limited replay value.
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Posted: Jan 22nd 2010 11:12PM Qin said

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The beta defense especially doesn't work when the company is selling lifetime subs only before launch.

Posted: Jan 22nd 2010 11:17PM Pingles said

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An Open Beta should not be for completing a game's mechanics. It should be to test how the servers handle the load of a full onslaught of players.

Every patch is gonna break a few things so a broken quest here and there is no big deal but to have giant sections of the game missing or buggy is inexcusable.

And there are plenty of bad companies willing to throw unfinished software at their users but that's no defense.

That being said, Pandora's box has been opened. There's very little chance of us seeing any company willing to wait until it's product is actually "finished" before releasing a product.

Posted: Jan 23rd 2010 12:52AM (Unverified) said

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I think that Bioware might actually be that company, considering that they've only been releasing (showing) and speaking on parts of the game that are complete as they said they would.

Also, they're releasing the game only when they think it's worthy of releasing, that's why they've only recently said that the game's target is Spring 2011 (which means the game will have had a fairly long development cycle to get things in order).
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Posted: Jan 22nd 2010 11:18PM Saylah said

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Game quality and readiness can be very subjective - at best. Unless you provide a black and white list of things to check off, one person's experience can vary wildly from another. That's not necessarily a BETA defense.

I had zero expectations from STO. This game wasn't on my radar. Now that I'm poking around it's fun for what it is - a very casual MMO-lite experience. I've decided to pre-order. That doesn't make a beta defense. I simply don't see overwhelming issues if you play that game for what it's worth and others could be looking from the same perspective. *shrug* It will be something to play for a while until...no idea what since I don't have anything on my "looking forward to list" at the moment.

Posted: Jan 23rd 2010 5:20AM (Unverified) said

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Great... It's an MMO-lite experience. So why are they charging full price for the box and the sub? People have been using the "enjoy it for what it is" excuse for Champions as well, since before it launched. Hell, Cryptic's community reps have defended how long it takes to add content/fix problems/get a GM by saying "We're a small company with a limited budget."

If their product is admittedly less than their competitor's, the price should reflect that.
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Posted: Jan 23rd 2010 9:51AM Ayenn said

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As a response to this "article"...

On the STO boards a lot of people are throwing out the "beta deference" inappropriately or where it does not really apply to the thread of conversation. I say inappropriately because there is a converse to the "beta defense" that is the "this game is live" offense.

The doom saying for STO is just as bad as the defending. This causes the fanbois to jerk their knee just as hard as the haters. the result id overly liberal defense of STO.


As a reply to this response...

STO really is no less "light" than most any other title out there is now or was at launch. You may be doing something a lot of people do with out understanding the complexities ot their action... you are comparing a new title to titles that have between 2 and five years of post launch development. In comparison to some of those titles as they are NOW, yeah, STO looks light.

I won't use the beta defense, and don't want to seem like I am, but, when they get all of the systems smoothed out, which they will before launch, the breadth of the game will widen. Even now, there is more to STO than most realize.
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Posted: Jan 23rd 2010 9:58AM Ayenn said

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This is SUPPOSED to be attached to sandwiches' response!

What is up with this reply system!?
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Posted: Jan 22nd 2010 11:21PM Saylah said

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P.S. Personally, anyone who does life-time subs for anything that's not Sony (keeps lights of forever) or Blizzard (get your money's worth) is insane. Too many holy grail shiny new toys are completely missing the mark and are folding much too soon, for people to be jumping on lifetimes subs.

Posted: Jan 23rd 2010 10:43AM (Unverified) said

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That is very true about SOE, keeping the lights on forever. Even Vanguard -- a direct competitor to their (aging) flagship MMOG EQ][ -- is still operational. Granted, SOE does not put much money into supporting Vanguard nor any money into marketing it but at least the servers are still up and (infrequent) patches released for those that still subscribe.

I am not sure if Vanguard ever had a lifetime subscription but, if it did, I would be grateful that it was SOE and not NCSoft who was the publisher. NCSoft tends to drop MMOGs at the first sign of trouble; Auto Assault and Tabula Rasa to name two.
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Posted: Jan 23rd 2010 12:18PM Rayko said

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Sony did shut down the Matrix Online, so they don't have a perfect score but they do tend to keep them around.
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Posted: Jan 22nd 2010 11:41PM CCon99 said

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I laugh whenever I see someone use the "it's a beta" excuse over on the STO boards. STO hasn't been in development beta since the holidays. The "open beta" period is nothing more then a payed preview/stress test of the game that's going to launch.

I'm sure a Cryptic "it's a beta" defender will reply and claim they just released a huge patch this week. But they would still be wrong because most of that patch was already available in Closed Beta back in December and was rolled back to an earlier more stable build at the start of OB, because they didn't want to scare away the new incoming preorder customers with that build being extremely unstable and having many players frequently disconnecting.

Back on point, in my opinion the "it's a beta" excuse loses all its credibility once a game sets in stone a permanent release date. At that point they're admitting that the game is pretty much done and just needs to be tweaked, it also means it will be released no matter the state the game is in. That's when the game moves into the true beta test, the one you have to buy the software and subscribe to. ; )

Posted: Jan 22nd 2010 11:53PM Eamil said

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The thing that bugs me with STO at the moment is the maintenance. Everyone complains every time the servers go down for maintenance, but that really IS something that the "beta defense" works for. Right now they're more concerned with making sure the servers work right and pushing out patches as soon as they're ready than waiting for no one to be on before they bring the servers down, but people don't get that.

Posted: Jan 23rd 2010 12:05AM Cendres said

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I think lately Fallen Earth is about the only MMO that actually did have many important changes in their initial patches, but the patches in beta were also significant and the game now just keeps getting smoother and better, last time I played a game like that it was called LotrO...

I do have patience for the first 3 months after an MMOs launch because there will always be a few things that need adjusting in that period, however things like game play and end game, content needs to be there, and both devs and publishers need to come to terms with this and not push things out the door. As for STO, what's the rush again? It could benefit from a push back.

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