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Reader Comments (85)

Posted: Jan 23rd 2010 12:45PM (Unverified) said

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I was looking forward to STO when I first heard about it, but my experience with WAR kept me from getting too excited about ANY new MMO.

Allods Online now in closed beta, runs far better than WAR did six months after launch.

I've been a Star Trek fan since 1966 and I am sorely disappointed that I'm hearing such negative things about STO, The fact that Cryptic used FilePlanet for the beta download site just as Mythic did is not a good sign.
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Posted: Jan 23rd 2010 12:07PM Saylah said

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Some players, myself included enjoy the launch vibe, lag and all. Sometimes you're rewarded with a game that improves and has legs like WOW. Or you can get burned like Vanguard. Or disappointed that it's not what you hoped like WAR. Or just not your play style. It's all taking a chance if you want to be there for launch. And there's just games y'all.

Posted: Jan 23rd 2010 12:51PM Marix said

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Yeah STO was a major let-down, being a huge trekkie I waited for that game for ages, the when I payed for pre-order and beta I found out it sucked. So i have cancelled the pre-order and returned to WoW, I don't think I will ever buy into a cryptic game again.

Posted: Jan 23rd 2010 12:57PM (Unverified) said

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Well I think the game is great at the moment! I have enjoyed every bit of the beta and it just confirms what I already knew. That this is a game that I want. Is it perfect,no. But,there is no game that will be perfect as far as Star Trek is concerned because it means too many things to too many people. As far as fixes go I have played a lot of mmo's and Cryptic and Funcom are the only two devs I have ever seen really try and address a community's concerns with patches. And from past experience I can tell you that Cryptic puts out game fixes in record time and really listens to it's player base.
As for the it's a beta remark,get over it already, it is a beta and don't expect it to play perfect and I do expect it to be broke in a lot of places! It's a beta'report the bugs and move on.
I played WOW at launch and it was worse. On top of that every time a new game comes out the WOW players storm the boards and try to destroy it as if any success in the mmo market will totally destroy there player base.

Posted: Jan 23rd 2010 12:57PM Sean D said

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@Angel - Reading your comments here made me think two things:

(1) It may seem obvious to say, but there are definitely two sides here. I think both arise from frustration - one born of dissapointment with STO in its current incarnation, and one born of dissapointment at those who are so vocal about being disappointed with STO in its current incarnation - and manifest as meldodramatic posts on community forums or blogs like Massively. It's disrespectful for those who dislike the game to try and ruin it as well for those who are enjoying it. At the same time, I understand the frustration and the desire to tell Cryptic to show it where the sun don't shine. I, too, canceled my pre-order for a full refund. I think those angered by the state of the game, unfinished as it is, feel like Cryptic is blatantly trying to take advantage (read: to screw) them. That's cause for anger. I say again, though, the angray people like me should keep it to themselves and simply cancel their orders. Cryptic will feel that more keenly that any furious forum post. That's just my take.

(2) Because the MMO industry has been going strong for so long now, and because those who work in the industry have learned so much over the years about how to make a good, solid MMO, it's a shame that we see so many repeated behaviors, like releasing an unfinished product that does little to contribute to or further the industry itself, or selling (or attempting to sell) limited lifetime subscriptions. It makes it all too obvious that the intent of these companies is to try and get in on the money-making, not to invent and produce a quality product that does something to improve the industry as a whole, which I think is what everyone is currently hoping for. At the very lowest level it becomes a matter of respect and principle. In delivering STO to the community in its current form, Cryptic has, in effect, told the community, "I'm not here for you. I'm here for me." I think even an egoist would agree that that's not egoism, but selfishness. I'm sorry to say that Cryptic isn't the first company to make this choice and they probably won't be the last. My list of others would include many of the MMOs released over the past year or so.

I understand that the true creators of these games are pinched between the demands of their investors and the demands of their target consumers. I feel for them and none of my comments are aimed at making them feel like they've somehow failed. However, I do believe their hands have been tied; their creativity stifled. CCP is making great leaps in the development of EvE and is pushing the boundaries with their Dust 514, and TOR looks promising, but I don't think we'll see any jumps in the evolution of our MMOs until Blizzard releases their next title, whenever that may be. With all the brainpower out there right now, that in itself is disappointing.

Posted: Jan 23rd 2010 2:38PM Ayenn said

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@Accoerdance
Believe it or not I do understand both sides of this argument you have aptly pointed out. I agree with both to a limited degree. What it really comes down to, I think, is this IP has a lot of passionate fans who are also rather intelligent. That passion and intelligence is a dangerous combination for Cryptic. It is a danger I don’t think they fully understood until they had the open beta server overload problems. Now they have a hydra like beast that cannot be tamed at this point. I would put money on the fact they have had to completely rethink their post launch development strategy beyond the obvious finishing of the Klingon content.

This two sides thing beings to mind the phrase:

“Two households, both alike in dignity, In fair Verona, where we lay our scene, From ancient grudge break to new mutiny, Where civil blood makes civil hands unclean.”

Just switch out Verona with either “the internet” or “the STO forums” and it comes clear. Everyone on all sides really does want STO to succeed, and everyone has a personal or small community view of what will make it a success. However, Cryptic is driving this bus now and they have the license to drive it, literally. This is their vision, a vision THEY are not satisfied with themselves.

By the head start the game will be nearly bug free, which is impressive. It, however, will not be complete. Cryptic has been pretty transparent from day one with this fact, the fact that it will not be complete. STO is DESIGNED to be that way at launch. The continuing evolution of STO will be largely fan guided. And do they have a lot of guidance up front! The official forum for STO is a hotbed of bubbling and churning ideas! This is a VERY good thing!
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Posted: Jan 23rd 2010 1:06PM dudemanjac said

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Ah well. I guess you can't please everyone all the time. I'm having fun, and I'll but it. Don't know how long I'll be playing it, but as long as I can keep grouping with a fun bunch of ppl and I'm having fun in missions solo and pvp, I'll be there. The game isn't what everyone dreamed. I keep hearing ppl complain about how shallow missions are, but they all seem pretty tight lipped when it comes to saying how to make them better or dealing with the fact that the missions are no more or less shallow than any other mmo. Yes you will kill x of y guys in this mission just like any other game. I like the ship combat and the Star Trek setting. Try the game. if you like it, great. If you don't well too bad. Maybe we'll meet in some other game.

Posted: Jan 23rd 2010 3:29PM (Unverified) said

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MMOs these are akin to niche games that draw smaller more loyal communties. The betas are irrelevant to making a great game for all. The beta is there to fix the mechanics of the features that will draw the loyal fanbase that will keep the game alive.

@aurickle

Feedback is feedback and there multiple ways of giving it (ie. forums, bug reports, surveys, etc). The argument that forum trolls discourage feedback is an ancient one and one that has been proven untrue. If a thread gets closed due to flaming or trolling its actually a good thing in most respects because it means that the moderators have read the real feedback recorded it and passed it on, but closed the thread.

On the topic of feedback itself, even the developers on numerous games have HAD to actually provide an actual preset guideline to provide feedback because way to many people don't know how.

As for TOR's short beta, it's only 6 weeks. Betas, like I said before, are irrelevant to the grand scheme of things, they are simply fix bugs nothing more.

Posted: Jan 23rd 2010 4:50PM mysecretid said

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Whether the "It's Beta" defense works or not depends entirely on the intended purpose of the beta.

If a beta is merely meant as a load test and a free preview (as most are these days) then the "It's Beta" defense doesn't hold. What you're seeing is what they company intends to ship on launch day.

In the case of the Open Beta for a game like Star Trek Online, it's still meant to be a true beta. Bugs are being squashed, play balance is being adjusted, and large chunks of content are being added right down to the wire (cf. the patches over the last three days). Even the producer's letters allude to the fact that this is still a working beta, not a free preview.

Will Star Trek Online ship ready? Probably not. But writing that "It's Beta" is an unacceptable defense in this particular case misunderstands what the STO Open Beta is and was intended to be.

All it does is give hatespew permission to those who've already decided to hate the game in the most absurdly melodramatic way possible -- and it's not like those people need more ammunition anyway.

Posted: Jan 23rd 2010 6:41PM (Unverified) said

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If they are patching a game for stability issues just two weeks before it comes out, I KNOW that it will not be ready.

The main issue is that when I get any other type of game, any non MMO, it generally works like a dream out of the box, but for some reason MMO's release before they are polished, and then expect the people who purchased the unfinished game to pay every months for something that should not have been released.

This may be in part due to the fact MMO's are longer games, and that instantly transfers to longer Quality Assurance times, but still they are making an MMO and it comes with the job, and many of them should be fired for lack of job performance!

I have officially been scorned because of this, and canceled my STO pre-order because of the current state of the game, and I was excited about it coming out. Heck, even Atari's website store is broken, well the store works but everything else doesn't.

The catch is the best time to play an MMO is when the population is dense, so right at the start. The issue is, they are almost always broken to some degree at the start, then people flee because of it and lack of polishing, then they have population scaling issues which lead to the death of the game. Really, the only way to make sure that it dose not flop is to simply to do their damn job and not cut corners.

Posted: Jan 23rd 2010 10:20PM (Unverified) said

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This^^
Here's the thing - when I tried to complete 5 missions last night in ST:O (the majority of them being 'warzone' missions) not a single one was working for me, nor for anyone else in the system.

The issue with 'beta' isn't about a lack of content, it's about what *is* there working correctly or not.

Come release, the vast majority of non-working content should be patched out or remedied.
I'm willing to lay down money that the majority of the quests that are bugged or incomplete in ST:O today (beta), will still be that way on launch day..
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Posted: Jan 23rd 2010 6:06PM (Unverified) said

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It is still a valid excuse for some games, I must admit. Like you said, we have seen Open Beta's turned into Preview "Events". Warhammer, Aion, Champions Online and now Star Trek Online have done exactly this. Aion was the worst and best examples of this. Offering up a "beta" test that was in fact a preview event and a public test of their translations. At launch there was a HUGE patch to make the year old and already published in Asia game up to date. This was never a beta, it was a Preview and a Public Test.

In the end... if you are participating in a closed beta of a game, then the excuse if valid. If you are one of a huge number of people in an "open beta" then you are in a wait and see mode. Most likely, you are just in a PTR type situation. Yet even then... WoW's PTRs change and change dramatically overtime.

Posted: Jan 24th 2010 4:19AM wjowski said

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Every game I've ever heard fans use the 'It's just beta!' excuse for has turned out to be a miserable pile of elephant turds.

Posted: Jan 24th 2010 2:45PM (Unverified) said

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so that would be every MMO ever made
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Posted: Jan 26th 2010 7:54AM (Unverified) said

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I don't remember when Open Beta was ever anything other than a server stress test. Closed Betas are where the bug checks occur and if publishers want to provide open beta access with every pre-sale they had better expect people to treat it as the pre-launch trial they present it as.

As for the fanboys who use the beta excuse, it doesn't matter how rationally you argue against that line of thought, they will continue to argue that way. I have been against Cryptic since the Sakura Park thing (SAKURA PARK!) and have been consistently reminded how their mis-handling of that situation has been emblematic of their behavior as a company in general. Yet, each time I bring it up I am an irrational Cryptic hater. I don't deny this out-of-hand, though I have never been rebutted on the lack of validity in my arguments.

Posted: Jan 24th 2010 10:40AM Arkanaloth said

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to some point I disagree. Yes bugs in beta mean there will be bugs in launch but by the same token *ANYONE* that things an MMO will not have bugs and issues at launch and beyond is clearly smoking some good gonge. Those issues will be hammered out in time as they are reported..

For me a beta is doing what I can to try to fix these bugs *however* I don't judge a game purely on the bugs it may have in beta.. or even at launch.. I judge a game on firstly if it's fun for me, then I dig into small points here and there where it could be improved / tweaked. Bugs in beta will eventually be squashed, gamplay I do not enjoy is forever.

Posted: Jan 25th 2010 9:19AM (Unverified) said

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I hate all of the bullshit surrounding betas, and the fan boys and girls who post in game forums in defense of their religion. But, that's all part of the game experience, and most people, especially the fan boys and girls, love that shit. For the most part, gamers are happy to be part of the hive mind---the mentality that leads you to agree with the ruling majority no matter how absurd their opinions may be---and they get off on being the best sycophants. Game companies who understand this psychology will milk it like a tit that never runs dry. Your game has to not function at all in order to fail financially. People will accept a polished turd. That is all.

Posted: Jan 25th 2010 9:18PM (Unverified) said

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Honestly, having actually shipped an MMO in my career, I'd have to say that you literally have absolutely no idea what you're talking about. Beta tests are there so that companies can perform stress tests that they otherwise would never be able to with your typical QA department.

That being said, there's no such thing as a bug-free MMO, and thinking that there is or ever will be one is completely insane. The amount of code that goes into an MMO is well beyond any single-player console game and any programmer will tell you, the more code there is in the software, the more bugs you will find. It's just the nature of the beast. Perfect code is a pipe-dream, at best.

Now, you may be forgetting, even WoW (the genre-defining game that it is) wasn't 100 % at launch. Hell, they couldn't get their servers stable for several weeks after launch, and even after that the queues were so ridiculous that you may as well not have been playing the game for the first 6 months (sound familiar?).

No game will ever be as polished at launch as any game is at release. Releasing a game to the public allows a developer to learn what happens in the wild and make adjustments to scenarios they couldn't have even dreamed of. Many times issues will arise that developers never saw in their contained environment with their limited number of players on the local servers. It's literally impossible to duplicate what happens in a live environment in a contained developmental environment.

tl,dr: Large amounts of imperfect code combined coupled with the inability to duplicate a live environment in the development of a game as large as an MMO means that hoping for the perfect MMO at launch is an crazy dream that will never, ever come true.

Posted: Jan 26th 2010 8:00AM (Unverified) said

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Honestly, I question if you have any idea what you are talking about. There's a big difference between a playable game with some bugs, and the jist of what people are talking about here. Yes, in the past we have excused many games that were released unfinished. WoW is a perfect example of this. However, our expectations have changed and these expectations have been met by companies recently. In the way that no one should have to see silent film with piano score added later in the age of digital media, no one should have to play a game that's released as unfinished as it was 5 to 10 years ago. These companies should know better and if they sell lifetime subscriptions or open RMT stores without meeting these expectations, shame on them.
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Posted: Jan 26th 2010 1:43PM (Unverified) said

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Fine then, enlighten me. Because it seems to me that people here ARE griping about MMOs that ship with a few bugs. I can't really think of any MMOs that released recently that were so buggy that they were unplayable (Champions Online comes close, though it got a lot better in a very short time period. Too bad no one gave it the chance).

I honestly think that these "expectations" you're talking about are extremely unrealistic. Don't look at the big games that are dominating the market with rose-colored glasses, look at what they were like when they released and you'll see that things are getting better, but nothing is perfect. No game will ever be able to be released to the public with the amount of polish that a game gets from being live for 5 years. It just doesn't happen. Unless, magically, some company gets a QA department of 100,000 people.

Comparing software code with a musical score or a film is preposterous. A musical piece or an edited film can be finished. Code, especially in the terms of a piece of software as large in scope as an MMO, is never finished and is constantly changing.

Anyways, I'm going to go back to being realistic and watching the MMOs I play evolve and get better while you go back and play WoW or EVE for the billionth time. Have fun missing out on new experiences. See you in 6 months! :P
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