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Reader Comments (91)

Posted: Feb 4th 2010 6:11PM DrewIW said

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Very well put, on all counts.

Also the new picture is nice :3

Posted: Feb 4th 2010 9:06PM Snow Leopard said

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Yeah. Much better picture. That blue screen was doing nothing but washing you out.
Well put article. I like how you mentioned Vibora Bay. To me, server maintenance and customer service is a given with any online game whether its CoD or CoH. The new content is what I'm paying for every month, and what continue to subscribe for. I doubt such downloadable content is that expensive, but to charge for it just seems downright bizzare, especially when many felt this was a game that was thin in several spots at launch.
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Posted: Feb 4th 2010 9:36PM Seraphina Brennan said

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Thank you to the both of you. ^_^ My old one was my laptop camera, but this one was my iPhone. It did a much better job. :D
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Posted: Feb 4th 2010 6:13PM (Unverified) said

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The thing about Cryptic is this has been modus operandi with them for years. They were pulling the same types of shenanigans with patch notes on City of Heroes long before they got to Champions or Star Trek. Patch notes were frequently incomplete or non-existent, and patches would be on the Test Server long enough to find crippling bugs but not long enough to fix the crippling bugs before being pushed live.

On top of that, with their customers screaming for more content and bug fixes since the game launched in September, Cryptic finally ran into a torches and pitchforks crowd. Once again, they resort to sending in Jack Emmert to ask, "What is it you want?" Have they simply not been paying attention for the past 5 months?

I don't have it out for Cryptic, but I'm certainly glad I didn't fork over $200 for a lifetime subscription.

Posted: Feb 4th 2010 6:15PM blix2006 said

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i have been following this story myself i beta tested both games and found them really shallow as mmos go.With that said.even i was livid when i read the stunt they are pulling with champions and star trek.charging for actual content on top of the subscription fee is appalling.now as angry as it made me,imagine how angry the player base is getting over it.this my dear is why they are out for cryptic blood...could they have found better ways to deal with it?possibly..but there anger turned to rage because everytime they turned around there was something about star trek or champions online here.

Not everyone can be sensible when angry.If this is gonna be common practice with cryptic then the better way to lash out is to simply not sub anymore guys.if they get away with this now you will be paying for alot more later.

Posted: Feb 4th 2010 6:38PM starka1 said

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I wish some people would take that advice Kevin but unfortunately they won't and we will have the continuation of a bunch of meth addicts that like to pick at a scab til it gets infected. e.g. mentioning a certain park every chance they get.
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Posted: Feb 4th 2010 6:28PM Scopique said

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I find their financial requirements kind of disturbing...they offered a lifetime sub for CO, and a way to pay your way into STO closed beta (6 month CO sub). They then offere the SAME lifetime sub for STO...but at $40 MORE then the "industry standard" of $199.99. Having a microtrans setup while ALSO requiring a monthly fee...?

All of this makes Cryptic seem like they're hell-bent on getting as much cash up front as possible. I understand that running an MMO is a cash-intensive operation (and running TWO must be exponentially more expensive), but why the mad-dash to line their wallets? Take the money and run? Are we looking at another Hellgate here?

Posted: Feb 4th 2010 6:34PM Seraphina Brennan said

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Very good point here Scopique that I didn't get to in this piece. The things they have done with their lifetime subscription are just... creepy. Putting them out before the game is release? It's like gambling with a large sum of cash.

Turbine may have the same program, but they also re-open the lifetime subscription occassionally so people know what they're buying and can be confident in their investment. They also didn't keep the offer going only during the beta period of LotRO -- another good move.

They almost seem to be too focused on the cash and not enough on the experience that's being delivered. While I think these developers are good people, I have my qualms with the management and wonder how much Atari is pulling financial strings as well.
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Posted: Feb 4th 2010 10:35PM Eamil said

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Cryptic's justification for the extra lifetime sub cost for STO was that they had to cover "licensing fees" as well as access to the game.

Whether or not that has any basis in fact, I have no idea.
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Posted: Feb 4th 2010 6:32PM Averice said

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I really can't see STO going anywhere... I'm glad it wasn't hyped up like mad at least. Or at least I didn't see much of it, maybe I was offline that week. Well written piece, I think it's a little sad you guys don't get much of the cut of the "blog conglomerate" that you're apart of. But then more people might be trying for your spot if you did. Oh, it's called Weblogs, always wondered what it was, never scrolled to the bottom until now.

It's sad that Cryptic is destroying their own reputation like this. If there's one thing I've learned about MMO's compared to your typical one shot single player console/pc game, it's that studio reputation weighs for a lot.

From the sound of it, Cryptic is basically charging a monthly fee to connect to other people to play an otherwise single player game. Aka a pay service for battle.net. And now they're trying to charge for DLC lol.

Posted: Feb 4th 2010 7:18PM (Unverified) said

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I think there is a saying I heard lately that sums this all up and my philosophy in general...." Vote with your wallet". Ms. Brennan just did that and I applaud her. I played Champions Online for only about four hours so I'm no expert, but I really felt like it was just a different, newer version of City of Heroes. I personally was a little disappointed. I also had the chance to try out travel powers and three powers, the floating sphere, the ice block and the earth block all looked the same, I'll be honest I don't know if they changed that but it seemed a little bit underwhelming. I also felt that some of the powers didn't look right, it's just an opinion but I thought force and mental powers would involve less throwing gobs of energy at someone and more pushing back or using the environment around you to hurt people. Again, maybe this is something that is fleshed out later, but I have to agree with many people some of the things in the game felt very rushed.

Maybe the company was on some kind of deadline or something, but I have read on this website how some developers(I don't remember the name of the article but you did interview them) feel that they beta has become more for marketing and less for testing the game. I tend to agree with that. I feel sad though and I don't know really what to do about it. That is why I am such a big fan of the free trial. Something I hope companies do more and do longer ones, seven days just doesn't seem like enough for me though.

Sorry to ramble, the bottom line is though that if you like something or don't the best way to show everyone at any game company how you feel is to just not buy it. On a side note, I am really looking forward to The Secret World by Funcom and if it comes out the same time as Star Wars: The Old Republic, I think Funcom might win, just because if the game clicks for me I think Funcom needs the money more then Bioware, even though I think Bioware is a great company that makes good products.

Happy Hunting everyone.

Posted: Feb 4th 2010 6:42PM Interitus said

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So does this mark an end to the downturn on OMG CRYPTIC!! from Massively?

"I've read unflattering comments about my integrity as a journalist, the usual statements of how this site is Cryptic's lapdog due to all of the Star Trek Online and Champions Online coverage"

This should be a red flag that people are wearing thin on all thie Cryptic nonsense and would like to hear more about the countless other MMO's that exsist and where they are.

It's obvious many people are quite done with hearing about some little change Cryptic made or the best way to roleplay on STO or any other opinion columns. Massively needs to give it a rest, ease off the screenshots, the unpacking the box, the guides to every detail of the game. None of this was done for Global Agenda which came out a day before STO.

Hopefully you can understand why people are SICK of CO/STO/Cryptic and you can pass people's feelings around the office. Because the way this last month and a half has gone if you guys don't start talking about other MMO's you'll simply be known as Cryptic lapdogs, regardless if it's true or not.

Posted: Feb 4th 2010 6:56PM Seraphina Brennan said

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Just to clarify, as I'm also one of the big Global Agenda people around here, we did a bunch with Global Agenda.

We had the FAQ that article that talked about conquest, I did an Anti-Aliased on it's MMO properties, we also did an unboxing article, we ran a launch event in it and played along with the Massively readers, we had Todd and Erez on our podcast to talk about the game before the launch, and I'm writing up my final review of the game for tomorrow as we speak. I like to think we did a lot for that game's launch, and we went more in-depth and hands on with it than STO.

We did a bunch for Global Agenda. :) And we're going to continue doing a bunch more stuff as Conquest gets up and running.
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Posted: Feb 4th 2010 8:00PM DataShade said

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Did Global Agenda sell a million pre-orders? Is it based on a beloved, almost 40-year-old franchise?

Come on, man; there's probably a little more global interest in STO than Global Agenda.
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Posted: Feb 4th 2010 8:39PM CCon99 said

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LOL STO didn't sell a million copies yet. They had 1 million people sign up on their website. That's not saying they can't or won't eventually sell a million copies. According to Steam STO keeps dropping in and out of the number 10 spot of their best sellers, while Global Agenda is at the number 2 spot.

Granted GA is harder to purchase then STO is, so that likely makes it a more popular purchase from a download site. But don't dismiss GA like STO is some kind of WoW over it.
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Posted: Feb 6th 2010 5:46AM ZenJitsu said

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I agree with DataShade; STO's franchise is simply much bigger than Global Agenda's. People who don't even play MMOs will be looking at articles about STO. It's a launching game with ridiculous amounts of advertising...some people haven't written it off like you have, and may actually want to know more and make an informed decision.

Frankly, I don't mind the Cryptic articles even if they mostly serve as a warning to others about how NOT to run an MMO. Just like I have the ability to NOT read Global Agenda articles because it just looks more like Unreal Tournament 2010 to me, you have the option to skip Cryptic articles.

In a similar vein, when SWTOR gets close to launch, I'm sure we'll be seeing even more articles on that. What if some readers hate Star Wars? Just because some readers hate Cryptic doesn't mean Massively should be any less informative.
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Posted: Feb 4th 2010 6:38PM Cinnamoon said

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I really wanted to say "yes, Massively's not on the take, they just have bad taste!" -- but instead I just have to nod along at your article because you're actually spot on for once. Emmert and Cryptic have NEVER GOTTEN how to run a game. They fail at economics, at psychology, at managing their players' expectations. All of their operations seem haphazard and thrown together, and most of them are horrible ideas that piss off, well, everyone. I see the same arrogance in them that I saw in the Mythic team that failboated Warhammer, and you just can't run a game that way, not while WoW is still casting such a huge shadow.

I wanted to love Champions, the same way I wanted to love the early days of CoH. (I didn't actually fall in love with CoH until Emmert and his crew had cleared out, and I don't think that's mere coincidence.) But Cryptic bungles their games worse than Funcom and that's saying a LOT. I am a huge supporter of micro-transactions (yay Guild Wars!), but Cryptic has basically implemented micro-transactions EXACTLY the worst way imaginable. I just... can't believe anyone so foolish is actually being paid to run a studio like that. Blows the mind.

Posted: Feb 4th 2010 10:00PM (Unverified) said

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Darnit! Can't we *also* have bad taste if we want to? ;)

We've got a pretty good mix of viewpoints here, I think. For my part, I think CO is plenty fun, while STO is a heap of disappointment (containing almost nothing I'd want to see in a ST MMOG). Others feel differently, of course.

We kick stuff around the office, and we know that even the most beloved developer can produce a lemon or make boneheaded decisions, and sometimes even the unlikeliest can strike gold.

What's kind of nice is that even the poorest, worst-balanced, stodgy, outdated games have their fans and aficionados too. People who have real *fun* with their choice of game in their own ways and for their own reasons. We're here for them too.

And really, they're our core audience - people who have fun playing MMOGs, whether it's just one MMOG or a dozen, whether it is a popular one or an unpopular one.

Because if we're not having fun, what are *any* of us doing here, really?
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Posted: Feb 4th 2010 6:42PM Alarie said

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I hope the important people at Cryptic read this and hopefully change the way they do business. The transparency part is what really erks me most about this company.

Lifetime CO subscriber here. Please put more effort into your game Cryptic and stop treating it like a red headed step child.

Great article Brennan.

Posted: Feb 4th 2010 6:42PM (Unverified) said

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Freakin' owned, Cryptic.


When a journalist who's writing about your products gets so fed up with it that they have to write a public "I quit" article about it....that's when you know you've really screwed up big time.


@Seraphina

I disagree with you about the anger on the two races. It's not just about them being a "surprise!", but it's also about them just being charged for anyways. $3 or $1 may not seem like a lot, but with the downed economy and increased product price inflation it really stacks up against a person who just scrapes together the $15 extra a month for entertainment in a rather depressing time.

The Ferangi was supposedly taken out for a "graphical glitch", but instead they took it out to charge the player for it (please try to get a hold of your Cryptic contacts to confirm or deny this). But, also both races aren't just 'skins' but actual races with specific bonus stats and such (that makes them different than CO's costumes or any other aesthetic item).




Cryptic is doing worse things for their products than the developers of Tabula Rasa or Hellgate:London did (which is ironic considering that I think Bill Roper was one of the leads for HG:L and he's working for Cryptic now). If they keep going down this path over the next 6 months, I'd say they're going to start shutting down.


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