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Reader Comments (44)

Posted: Feb 21st 2010 12:35PM MewmewGrrl said

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If they were a deep product with polish and many areas and wanted to charge sometime later for an add-on, that would be fine. The problem was they released an unfinished game, have been rushing to finish it up after release while we were playing and even the slow leveling players were running into the unfinished parts pretty quickly. The game still needs a lot more to be not only what it was promised to be, but to be on par with other games (and I mean be on par with what they were at release). While others work hard to finish and expand their products if they release them in that state, Cryptic instead was working on an area they wanted to sell to us in order to grub up a little more money. They hadn't fulfilled their original promises even and were trying to pull that crap.

Most places selling areas like that are free to play games, not at the high end of the MMO billing per month price. People are just getting sick of the BS this company is pulling. They've released a second unfinished product now too (one of the factions isn't even half finished!). While it may seem nice to play stuff earlier, it's no good to play unfinished products earlier. To release games in the state they do and then try to sell areas while still trying to finish up the original promised content with so much still missing, it's frustrating at least, infuriating to others. There are just too many games to pick from out here for a company to think people are going to put up with that.

They have permanently lost respect, reputation, and player confidence. Those you don't get back very easily and they're pretty valuable things. Firing some poor sap and blaming it all on him is not going to trick the players into being happy. It wasn't this one person's decision. We're not a bunch of stupid consumers who are tricked by a single firing of some hapless guy who had the luck of taking the blame for bad decisions made by many. They're lucky that Star Trek Online is so different so that I want to stay and play it a while, I really don't respect them as a company very much. They seem more concerned with nickel and diming us than giving us a quality gaming experience.

Posted: Feb 21st 2010 12:38PM (Unverified) said

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Bad tastes? Missteps?

Sure, I'll give it to you that they have made a few mistakes, but what game has not? Also, I will give it to you that they might have lost some players, but they are holding up just fine it seems (correct me if I am wrong) and are going forward. There are MMOs that have been around for years and are still waiting for expansions/major updates, yet there are still players playing THOSE games as well.

There is no "bad taste" in a players mouth. There is only a customer or a non-customer.

I understand that drama such as the expansion talk might SEEM like drama, but it was nothing more than a bartering session. Name one area of business that does not have those type of interactions between itself and their customers.

But, if players want to say stuff like "I don't know if I trust Cryptic anymore..." then that's fine. But when you log into that game or buy that game, there is no black and white. That's just emo-talk from a player, and feels more like whining than trust issues.

It's my bet that the expansion will come out and people will buy it. The game will go on for years with it's loyal player-base. And the entire time people might refer to the time that Cryptic "tried to pull one over on them," all the while paying the company 15 dollars a month.

And yes, I am aware that the company "admitted" some of their "missteps." Of course they did. They used whatever language they had to to move forward, just like a politician. And there's nothing wrong with that. Their job is to make a great game and hope that people like it. They are not in the coddling business. Artists ( which developers are ) do not worry about their critics if they are truly making the art they want to make.

Beau Turkey

Posted: Feb 21st 2010 8:38PM (Unverified) said

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"There is no "bad taste" in a players mouth. There is only a customer or a non-customer. "

Well from a business standpoint you are very much wrong, It's called goodwill on the Balance sheet and for some companies like Coca Cola it means their logo generates positive feelings to the tune of millions. Equally possible is negative goodwill, where a customer hears horror stories from friends, reads online reviews that give a companies games 4/10 stars and becomes very wary of purchasing from a company. Said Goodwill is very hard to build and easy to lose. Blizzard has it in spades and Cryptic is rapidly becoming known as the company that puts out half finished shoddy crap games way too early.
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Posted: Feb 21st 2010 12:41PM wjowski said

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...At least they're not charging twenty dollars for bag space.

Posted: Feb 21st 2010 12:46PM Wensbane said

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..yet!
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Posted: Feb 21st 2010 12:46PM swarmofcats said

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Shhhh... don't give them any ideas.
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Posted: Feb 21st 2010 1:46PM DevilSei said

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Too late, I already remember hearing about an invented power that lets you generate a partial space-time anomaly that can store about 15 items in it, but the quest either has you killing 10,000 rats, can only be gotten at 40, and at completion, you must pay the price of about 3 respecs so the scientists who just p***ed themselves laughing at all the work you did can get their laundry done, which is a quest right after that.


Or pay $20 to knock the quest down to 10 rats, lvl 20, and only half a respec, though you'll have to get them the fabric softener then.
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Posted: Feb 21st 2010 12:50PM (Unverified) said

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This reminds me, I need to cancel my Star Trek Online sub.

Posted: Feb 21st 2010 8:25PM yeppers said

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STO is already down to $39 at Steam now -- not even 1 month after release. So sad. Hopefully the developers will mutiny against whoever (Atari?) set the release date ahead of completion date. I feel sorry for the devs who really wanted to create a decent game.
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Posted: Feb 21st 2010 8:46PM yeppers said

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Edit... STO is $39 at Steam, Gamestop, and Amazon. Uh oh.
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Posted: Feb 21st 2010 1:19PM (Unverified) said

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"They're lucky that Star Trek Online is so different so that I want to stay and play it a while, I really don't respect them as a company very much."

This is exactly the kind of silly statement that not only says two contradicting things ("I don't respect them, but I do enough to give them about 100 bucks.") but gets absolutely nothing done.

I'm sure they read something like this and go "Oh boy..we...lost...her? Wait...no...she's paying for another month...uhm..and now she's buying the expansion..."

Beau

Posted: Feb 21st 2010 1:48PM (Unverified) said

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You have a point there. But you want to know something. I was done with Cryptic the second month in CO. When they pulled the crap they did from open beta to release that was more then enough to put me over the edge and never give Cryptic another penny of my money.

Anyone that thinks CO is doing good or even remotely close to average for a MMO is pulling the wool over there eyes. The game is dieing and its dieing fast. There isn't even 1/15th the players in the game as there was at end of the second month. I wouldn't doubt if there's less then 50k subscriptions to the game at this point. And I imagine a good chunk of them are lifetime subscriptions and a good portion of them are not even playing the game anymore and just choked it up as a loss for the time being.

I can't comment on STO since I don't play it. I helped test it and even at that point I knew it was going to pull a CO all over again being unfinished and no endgame.

Now to top it off of they have a third MMO set for release early 2011 / possibly late 2010.

Anyone that doesn't see this 210 employee company as a money grab attempt by Atari.. well.. I just laugh at you then and go on.

As they say you can lead a horse to water but you sure can't make it drink it. Thats Cryptic to me.. Sure they come out and say "We learned from our mistakes.. No we really did.." all the while in the background you see them repeating the mistakes and doing it all over again.
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Posted: Feb 21st 2010 1:45PM Tizmah said

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Oh cool. Well I hope Cryptic improves. Maybe I'll come back and try Champions again in a few years.

Oh wait. Something better and more refreshing will be out by then. Nevermind.

Posted: Feb 21st 2010 2:37PM (Unverified) said

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I was a critic of their attempt to re-brand the idea of a basic content update into something resembling an expansion. But after witnessing what I feel was an honest effort from a developer to dedicate themselves to their customers, and then reading about what they had actually done in-game lately, I decided to resubscribe. I mean, if I'm going to complain about their inaction, and then not do what was assumed I would if they acted (become a customer once more), then what would be the point of complaining in the first place? To warn other potential customers? Perhaps.

Coming back after a four-month-or-so hiatus, I have to say they've indeed polished the heck out of this game. It is far more enjoyable, the support is far and away more responsive (I remember when I first played submitting a ticket was basically pointless, now they appear to reply the same day), and there is no lack of content as far as I can tell. It still needs work, which can be said of basically any MMO aside from the 5,000 pound gorilla in the room - but it's definitely worth my $15 a month now.

If they return to their old way - hell, if they even hint at it - I'll move on. No big deal. But lets not refuse to give a company a second chance. It's common for MMO players to say "if they would just listen"(sic). Well, they've clearly been listening and acting.

Posted: Feb 21st 2010 2:44PM (Unverified) said

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"The game is dieing and its dieing fast. There isn't even 1/15th the players in the game as there was at end of the second month. I wouldn't doubt if there's less then 50k subscriptions to the game at this point."

Of course, this has been said about SWG, EQ, Second Life and so many other games that I couldn't begin to count. Here's a question for you, since you brought up numbers: where did you arrive at the 50k number? How do you know that 50k is a small or large number to Cryptic? How do you know what number, to Cryptic, would be the magic number in which they pull the plug?

You know none of this, and neither do I.

This entire issue is about playing feeling like they lost "trust" in Cryptic. While that might hold some weight, the only people that would know exactly how MUCH weight would be Cryptic. Using words like "trust" or "lies" or "evil" in a discussion about art is useless. Yes, there is a business aspect to it, but when it gets down to it these games are pieces of art, of entertainment, that can be ignored or loved with a simple click of a button.

And there are a million choices on top of these. There are, literally, hundreds of MMOs out there for a player to choose from. What they like and what they don't like is up to them. But to say something as pointless as "I don't trust em, but for now I like their art enough to give them hundreds of dollars" is to not only send mixed messages to the company, but to cry wolf.

What happens when a company TRULY makes the worst blunder of all? How are they to distinguish the comments made then from the comments made now?

Some of the sad, sad comments made when something as normal as this happens serve only to thicken the skin of a developer, not to make him more sensitive. Go to the mall and walk into a Hot Topic. Pick up an album and listen to it. The lyrics will be filled with lost hope, broken hearts and all sorts of damaged people. Now, do you care OR believe that band? Comments that read like "trust has been broken", especially while someone is CONTINUING to use the product, make the commenter look like a band at Hot topic: silly and insincere.

If you want to make a REAL statement, cancel first and tell them why. It's unglamorous, but they actually will SEE your cancellation.

And if you want to make a REAL difference, stick around and draw attention to the issue. I know bloggers/podcasters that have done more for the shaping of a game by constructively picking apart any issue they have with a company.

In fact, go back and read the "How do bloggers make it?" article here on Massively that interviewed community reps for answers. If you notice, NONE of them talked about the value of yet ANOTHER whiny comment about "lack of trust."

Either cancel or move on (they can actually MEASURE the loss of funds) or point out the problem in a public way.

Beau

Posted: Feb 21st 2010 3:09PM Luk said

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Although I apploud you taking the higher moral ground here, Beau, this is not how most who post here are going to think or act about this. This is internet, and saying the "proper" thing here is meaningless. This is the place for drama and for our voices to be heard, because we cannot do this in "real life" and succeed.

We can do it here and we can win, so why would you apply "real" world sensibililty here and ask us to do the same? Where is the fun in that?
And I still think that Cryptic is a "douche" and they deserver everything that is coming to their games. Really!!!
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Posted: Feb 21st 2010 7:21PM Urban Monkey said

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"Of course, this has been said about SWG, EQ, Second Life and so many other games that I couldn't begin to count. Here's a question for you, since you brought up numbers: where did you arrive at the 50k number? How do you know that 50k is a small or large number to Cryptic? How do you know what number, to Cryptic, would be the magic number in which they pull the plug?"

Drivel. The worst kind of.

How do you know?... I don't know, there are no facts, Cryptic being unpopular is urban myth and god is a monkey...
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Posted: Feb 22nd 2010 2:24AM aurickle said

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I did try to cancel. Unfortunately, I'd bought the lifetime sub while the game was actually fun prior to launch. I then decided to give them the benefit of the doubt over a two month period. When it became obvious that the game was going to be a very, very long time before reaching a point that the lifetime sub might actually become worthwhile, I asked for a refund.

Unfortunately, I was told that it was my own fault for having given them a chance and that I should have asked for a refund within 30 days. After that, there was nothing I could do.

In short, they've made me a permanent non-customer regarding any of their products. When you try to give a company a chance and their response is, "too bad, so sad" it's time to tell them they've taken your last dollar.
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Posted: Feb 21st 2010 4:50PM (Unverified) said

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A Cryptic game is like buying a burger. Except you only get the meat patty and the cheese. You have to wait 2 more months for the Bun, because its not done yet and the place you ordered it from needs the money now.

If people like Beau are willing to accept mediocrity and this type of business practice then more power to you. Some of us would like the whole burger when we order it.

Posted: Feb 21st 2010 4:51PM Krelian said

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I lost :(

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