Archive for November 2009
Some of you might have noticed that I don’t write much about crafting.. some not because I don’t write so much anyways ;)
There is one topic which really for me is a..don’t-like-it-feature that every MMO needs to have.. It’s crafting. I really hate it.. I’ve enjoyed some blacksmithing or mining in WoW, but in general it tends to be just a real painful grind. Therefore I don’t do it so much and don’t care about it.
Another thing that really annoys me about crafting is it’s effect on the economy in the game… I’ve never been a fan of player run economy. Most often I find the pricing people put on stuff too weird. I understand it that they put high prices for stuff they’ve made which took them some grinding etc.. but most of the time the prices tend to be just irrational.
Funny thing to note..The only game that differs for me in that aspect is Eve. It’s all about capitalism and the whole economy stuff just fits (from what I’ve seen in my 2 weeks test). This is the only game where I thought that I maybe should try to be a trader..
So… long story short.. STO has crafting and player run economy…
Strategy Informer: There are several areas of the game you’re not commenting on or have stated are still being “worked on”, like the Economy, will you be using this period to test those out?
Craig Zinkievich: We’re looking to develop an economy that is deep but very much in the Trek genre. Gathering resources, inventing technology and understanding alien technology – and then trading those items and knowledge – will be the basis of the economy. These are being tested internally and eventually will be in the beta as well. (source)
STO being heavy combat oriented seems ok with the setting Cryptic presented in the history line. Crafting and economy..especially on Federation side seems.. too much out of the line from the Federation we all know or at least that I know. It’s not about profit or money (forgot what currency Cryptic will use..) If you are not Ferenghi, than money should be not your main goal..
Just for a second.. Think of Cpt. Sisko farming stuff to sell it to Quarks. Cpt. Picard negotiating with a Romulan about the price of a crate full of Romulan Ale or unknown technology. Even better.. Cpt. Picard selling Cpt. Sisko some stuff that he really needs. Does this fit? *shudders*
Some MMO standards just don’t fit to every IP… so does a player run economy in now reasonable way fit to the Federation or general Star Trek theme…unless there are plenty of Ferenghi out there.
Cryptic changed the webpage for Star Trek Online.
With this changes they also put on some videos online.. most of them known, but one I haven’t seen before. It’s Starship Tactics: One.
It’s a nice video which shows some fighting going on.. in some scenes you can see the UI. It’s looks something crowded at first, but interesting.
So with all those fighting going on I get more interested in how the diplomacy parts will be. Will I have choices as a captain or will it be the ..well-known.. linear quest chain in an episode? Cryptic is still somewhat silent about that aspect of the game. Most of the time it’s about fighting and the rest is only mentioned briefly, i.e. diplomacy and exploration…
If you look at the Klingon trailer on the video page, you’ll see that diplomacy will not play a big role for them … ;)
I hated it playing D&D-stuff back then when I started with RPG’s on the computer.. Bleeding to death. You were just lying there and were helpless.
But actually that is how I feel currently with the state of WAR…and that’s why I can’t get excited about Jeff Skalki’s Producers Letter. They have to be that positive about RvR and such..but I don’t think that this reflects the state of game on the German Servers.
Even before patch 1.3.2 Destruction steamrolled Order, but there was still some hope.. Than came the patch and with removal of the fortress Destruction steamrolled their way to Altdorf. No chance for Order to do something against it. We brought 5 Warbands together.. they countered with 10. We defended against 150 attackers.. they just brought some more.. No matter what we did, they could easily outnumber us and had enough spare high ranked and skilled smaller groups to catch any reinforcement we tried to send. You could argue, that this is the purpose of a RvR game..to win, but I think winning is only fun if you have to fight for it.
After the last couple of weeks defense on order side is simply gone. Every time I log in Altdorf is under attack. I have currently a very tight gaming schedule .. So when I log on at 7pm. Altdorf is under attack and I couldn’t do anything for the next 2 hours other than trying to defend Altdorf which I didn’t do because it plain boring and too long for me. I’m not alone with this frustration.. lately some of rvr active alliances quit RvR because there was no chance for a victory on the horizon. They just do a weekly alarm clock attack on IC.. but quiet frankly moral’s down.. annihilated.
If you now check the Warbands running around.. order doesn’t get even one together (around 2 groups is now max) and destruction still gathers around 4-5 pug warbands. Prime time is dead because of Altdorf sieges…
There is no RvR anymore and Destruction is in maximum of 2 hours back in Altdorf… GOA pulled in some new hotfixes today (reduction of siege duration), but this will help nearly nothing, because there is no real fighting going on.
I can’t think of a patch to bring back the players and fix the moral damage the last patch brought. It’s easy to break things, but really difficult to bring back the players who left/paused and are just too frustrated to play and pay for such a RvR experience.
And to be honest.. I blame Mythic and their patch policy for that. You can’t take away a mechanic and bring in the replacement several weeks later. That’s utterly wrong.. I hated it when they changed CC over several patches.. but career mechanics are something the players can adept to. Some important design stuff like T4 campaign and city siege just have too much impact to be changed that way…
I really try to be positive about the game.. and I even enjoy it sometimes (mostly now in T3 or some rare instances I do. They are rare, because city instances are not accessible during city siege and most of our guild don’t log in that frequently, because of the city sieges). But that blunt city siege experience is just too much fun breaking… I would not even enjoy it if it was the other way around.. Mythic should have never focused on city sieges if they can’t make them feel special..
So let’s see if WAR is bleeding to death.. or if there is something magical happening and the game gets a T4 campaign which feels special and has lots fighting going on… not just farming.
GOA posted what they put on the EU servers as hotfix concerning the city siege stuff.. (here)
Funny thing to note.. No reduction of city siege stage1 or stage2 times to be found there. In the forums GOA claimed that the timers got reduced, but nothing on the webpage…and the game itself. Reading the forums not only Drakenwald is still stuck in 2 hours of stage 1, but the other servers too. This could make it to the strangest hotfixes I’ve ever seen…
Another strange thing..Even though there are heavy flaws in there, I really like the game… when it’s actually going on. Meaning ORvR with nearly equal forces…you know.. Limbs and fireballs flying through the air. Screams of fleeing elves and such..
So it’s official. Release date for Star Trek Online is 02/02/2010. Edit: For EU it’s three days later.. Jetlag or something like this must be the reason ;)
You could already guess it from looking at amazon.com, but now it’s at least official. Marked it in the calender and will definitely test it.
February is in the middle of nowhere. Maybe this is a good move, because I can’t remember anything big releasing near that date. So maybe Cryptic catches some “tourists” who might even stay…
Andy posted the short term changes because of the city siege concerns on the Mythic forums, check them for yourself. They aren’t so long.
No word on the GOA run forums.. I am not surprised by it. They weren’t vocal about anything game related if it wasn’t already released and they just had to translate the Mythic stuff.
Does those changes feel better?
Short answer: No.
Long answer: No. Only the availability of the merchants is nice. The adding of the known scenarios is nice, but this will wear off pretty fast because we have constant Altdorf attacks on Drakenwald.
I just get a bit cynical when he promises some cool improvements.. They promised them too often..Delvivered them too rare.
Mythic really screwed that up. No one is happy with the state of the game, though 1.3.2 could have been a good patch it’s a disaster. Everything is overshadowed by that city siege stuff.
So.. Destruction is dominating not only on Drakenwald, but on most servers. Most likely because of having a bigger population which is now most important in RvR.
On Drakenwald this led to destro players having nice gear and nice RR. Tipping the balance even more, but that’s the game design. No one can blame them for that.
After getting constantly beaten up for some weeks now moral is really low and things get really ridiculous now.. When Order manages to gather some troops to form a resistance, the servers don’t support the population wise even balanced fights. Destruction has always at least 8 warbands out there and if Order gets somewhere near that number of warbands in a zone, the zone crashes.
Now this is really fun ;) If the Destruction pug-zerg pushes towards Altdorf they are able to lock everything because Order can’t get the troops together. If Order gets their forces together the pairing crashes. Yesterday I even experienced some spooky server reaction on zone crash which led to Destruction locking the zone, even if it shouldn’t be possible. No one blames Destruction for that..
But this all feels like a cheap shot from Mythic .. First demoralize the underpopulated realm and then don’t support the last hope of getting an even fight out there.
I try to stay positive, but there are some vent-posts to come, because there is so much going wrong in that game right now and Mythic stays silent about it. Though Andy posts something on the US forums I think that Mythic should be more vocal about the problems and their solutions for them. In the last couple of months they are in general really silent. (I don’t count that lardi-da “everything will get really cool with that patch” posts/podcasts.) Here in Europe you don’t get any reaction from GOA or Mythic and that’s not giving any hope that things will get better..