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Reader Comments (32)

Posted: Jan 21st 2012 4:19PM SiML said

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"Rivera was also adamant that the revenue generated by the grab bags will allow the team to put more time and money into hiring and development of more featured content that is necessary to keep players interested in the game."

If that is the general consensus of Cryptic and not just STO (and i don't see why it should be); - Why is Champions-Online not seeing any dev-hires despite the influx of grab-bags there also?.

..........


"Rivera stated that Atari "never really did understand" the MMORPG market or Cryptic's involvement in it. Since Atari was a retail box company, its executives had trouble comprehending the persistent need for money to be spent on the constant upgrade of a game that had already been released. Finally, when Atari announced it would be divesting itself of Cryptic, Cryptic essentially "went dark."
No money went into Cryptic at all. A hiring freeze was put into place, and it was hinted that the staff, which at one time had a roster in the mid-30s, fell to about 20 people. Those people continued to work on placing what content they could get into the game while they all struggled with yet another change of ownership".
Rivera stated unequivocally that Perfect World Entertainment understands the game's potential and has a much firmer grasp on what an MMORPG actually is. PWE has a proven track record of making money using a free-to-play format.

First off - un-fricken-believable. Atari are just a joke.
Secondly; looking forward to seeing dev-hires ACROSS THE BOARD FOR ALL THE CRYPTIC TITLES NOT JUST STO. Thankyou PWE!

Posted: Jan 21st 2012 4:32PM pcgneurotic said

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Awesome, awesome, AWESOME. I see this as total vindication for the team, as a huge slap in the face to the haters, cynics and armchair (Captain's chair?) quarterbacks, the know-it-alls and 'Internet Experts'. Good on you Al, good on you Stephen, bravo STO devs. Thank you for your perseverance and continued good faith in the face of so much bitching and moaning. Rock it in 2012 and let's really take this game to the final frontier! :)

Posted: Jan 21st 2012 4:33PM The Grand Nagus said

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I'm willing to give Cryptic a clean slate with F2P, but that also means their old excuses wont fly anymore. They are starting this year off with a new owner and a new model, so all the old excuses of the company being sold and the game transitioning to F2P are over.

That means that regardless of what happened in the past, only being able to put out 10 missions in an entire year is quite sad. It is also very disappointing to find out that the KDF mission in development is just a single mission, not part of the KDF "expansion" they said they would eventually be doing to even the playing field.

Posted: Jan 21st 2012 4:42PM (Unverified) said

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"CBS did not approve the generalized use of the Jem'Hadar attack ships in game because company representatives felt that portraying a majority of Starfleet officers flying enemy vessels was counter to the image they want to convey."

Some might call this executive interference, but I find it quite reassuring that CBS care enough about the IP to take this kind of involvement. One thing I'm enjoying about STO is the efforts it makes to 'feel' like Star Trek. Details like receiving authorisation from Starfleet before you engage randomly encountered hostiles makes a surprising difference to the overall tone of the game.

Anyway, I don't want an alien ship. Once I get my Constitution class I'm never letting it go. If it's good enough for James T Kirk it's good enough for me!

Posted: Jan 23rd 2012 10:39AM TerilynnS said

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@(Unverified) Personally I wholeheartedly agree with you. I've learned a lot over the years about how CBS treats their franchise. While they make quite a few mistakes (IMHO) -- mostly in their utter failure to heavily market the "Prime Universe" IP that they have total control over -- I am happy to hear that the executive in charge of approving the items in STO has the franchise's integrity as a priority.
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Posted: Jan 21st 2012 4:48PM (Unverified) said

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I am stunned. The team went down to less than 30?! I knew Atari was dept at mismanaging STO, but I didn't know it had gone that far. This is incredible. To allow a AAA MMO with such name recognition to be stripped down to a skeleton crew is such a waste. With F2P at least, all we need now is some content.

My hats off to the remaining STO devs. Good luck.

Posted: Jan 23rd 2012 10:44AM TerilynnS said

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@(Unverified) We were dumbstruck. We've known they've had a "small" crew for a long time - but those numbers were actually shocking to us.

Rivera told us that each mission in a Featured Episode Series takes approximately five to six weeks to produce. If they only have three "content guys" and one writer - no wonder it's taken them 10 months to complete this upcoming FE (due to release on Feb 11th according to Brandon Felczer, STO Community Manager.)

The fact that they're getting an FE out in February after needing to focus on F2P conversion is actually quite admirable. It won't be seen that way of course by the raging veterans - but in my opinion - it is.

Hopefully the new hires can be trained on their systems in short order and production times can be minimized...
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Posted: Jan 21st 2012 5:10PM MonkeyTiez said

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This interview was a breathe of fresh air and I think I'm more understanding overall. As I mentioned before, I can't make an opinion on a company since I don't know the politics around them.

I was afraid of the games state with onlytwo Featured Episodes posed for 2012 but after seeing more people being hired since PWE came in and the mention of how things work within the company, I have HUGE hope the game will finally whole and not so fragmented!

While I love STO, I do hope that PWE is also helping Crpytic on all their games too. If anyone hasn't listen to the interview, please take the time!

Posted: Jan 21st 2012 5:43PM Dunraven said

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I'm glad the truth is finally coming out Cryptic has taken it on the chin for years due to Atari's gross negligence..... I'm really looking forward to Neverwinter I can't wait until it's released..

Posted: Jan 21st 2012 6:05PM Joaquin Crowe said

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More developers should talk like this, instead of incessant press releases about how awesome they are.

Posted: Jan 21st 2012 10:43PM (Unverified) said

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@Joaquin Crowe

Totally agree. I've actually gained allot of respect for Cryptic now because he was willing to honestly answer these tough questions. A little miffed at the lack of getting a Romulan faction any time soon, but hopefully with PW support things will change by this time next year.
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Posted: Jan 21st 2012 6:23PM Meurik said

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I'm not one to be overly quiet about the 10 month "content drought" that has plagued STO. Most folks over at the STO forums know me as 'Darkthunder' :)

After reading this article, it does give me some reassurance, that things can be better, and that they WILL be better. But it will also take quite some time to get there. I have the highest hopes for STO, being a life long fan of Star Trek and all.

STO is far from perfect, and there are numerous ways to improve the game and simultaneously make it more "Trek". It's not just your standard run-of-the-mill MMO. It's a Star Trek MMO. And as such, they need to understand, to make the name of the game, the primary concern. I realize some concessions need to be made in favor of "gameplay". But the game can also do with being improved in making it feel more "advanced".

Two things I would love to see added for the sake of "Freedom" in the game:

- Full 3D space movement
- No Sector Walls, 1 big galaxy (4 quadrants)

They need to bring back Daniel Stahl as Executive Producer for STO, and let Stephen D'Angelo return to his duties fulltime as CTO.

Posted: Jan 21st 2012 6:37PM Ryn said

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@Meurik Totally agree, DStahl must be put back as EP for STO.
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Posted: Jan 21st 2012 7:07PM (Unverified) said

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@Meurik

"- No Sector Walls, 1 big galaxy (4 quadrants)"

Cryptic dosnt make large world games, that's just never going to happen, STO and CO are both built around smaller boxed up places, and they use the exact same tools and game engine for both games, its literally just the only thing they do.
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Posted: Jan 22nd 2012 3:27AM Mikx said

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@Meurik "No Sector Walls, 1 big galaxy (4 quadrants)"

Isn't this high on the list of things they're working on? IIRC didn'tthey say they have it running but they also want to wait and integrate it with new locations or something they are working on?

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Posted: Jan 21st 2012 6:35PM Ryn said

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Atari, since its revival, has been nothing short of horrible, and this proves the point. I am glad that Cryptic has finally come out and been able to set the record straight as to how Atari screwed them. This has been a LONG time coming. Is it any wonder that Atari is in the position it is? Console game developer thinks they know what it takes to make and maintain a AAA MMO title. But in the end, they fail miserably.

Hopefully for the Employees of Cryptic and the fans of STO and their other games PW will give them the support they need now and in the future. When I first heard of PW stepping in, I breathed a sigh of relief for everyone involved, fans and developers. Only good can come of this, because where Cryptic was, it would have continued to be a dark place.

STO has come a long way, but also has a long way to go. No expansion on the foundry has been a big negative for the game, but the news that it is being worked on in the background is fantastic to say the least. I think this next year might hold some good surprises for the players of all their games.

Posted: Jan 23rd 2012 5:35PM (Unverified) said

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@Ryn Here's hoping that the roles become reversed and Cryptic ends up "owning' , literally and figuratively, Atari's ass.
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Posted: Jan 21st 2012 6:53PM JonBuck said

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I'm not at all shocked to learn that Atari hamstrung Cryptic and STO from the very beginning. That said, the Cryptic team did wonderfully with the staff they had and the limitations they were given. The future's looking brighter now.

Posted: Jan 21st 2012 10:53PM Space Cobra said

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Well, I was hoping for a third faction by this time, but he is right about the Klingons needing more attention. It is best to focus on that for now and other content updates.

Good to hear about all the problems, too. Seems like a nice interview. Interesting about the Foundry being an off-shoot/prototype of what will be in Neverwinter and about the "workaround" for ship via "grab bag".

Posted: Jan 22nd 2012 1:15AM GW2waiting said

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I got the email about STO being f2p and jumped straight to the website to download it, as I'm a big fan of the IP. Hit the download button only to be presented with the message "To download and run STO you need to sell your soul and bandwidth to Pando Media Booster. We will use your computer and Internet connection to run our business and steal your data allowance. You can try and delete this program afterwards, but it will remain hidden and reinstall itself behind the scenes when you dont realise it. Press OK to continue."

I pressed cancel.

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