Priority One Elijah’s Rant #44

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I should’ve just waited one more day: Specialization Points Restored

It’s been a week – the “fire” is dying down and most people have begun moving on with their lives. There isn’t a point for us to include it as part of a discussion on the show. Still, I keep getting messages from listeners asking “why” we haven’t addressed the hot topic. Now, I have read some imaginative comments from people; and since I have a platform from which to rant, I figured I’d write something up for those who keep asking….

STEAM is the best way to measure Metrics…

For starters, the most imaginative opinion are those referencing STEAM Charts when comparing Delta Rising (DR) with Legacy of Romulus (LoR).

A)     PWE has been aggressively pushing players to download their proprietary Arc Portal. Promo Codes don’t work unless you have the Arc client installed. So, naturally, people have migrated to the PWE Portal.

B)      We know – with certainty – that there is a huge chunk of the player base that are NOT avid gamers; but, most only play STO (and only STO) because it is a Star Trek Game… Listen to our interview with ZeroneousRex in episode 195 when she discusses the surprising hardware statistics from the player base.

C)      Your circle of immediate friends that you keep referring to as “ALL using Steam” does NOT represent the global community of gaming. Again – I refer you to my previous point.

Cryptic & PWE are only in it for the Benjamins…

The other thing I keep reading over and over again is that Cryptic & PWE are developing for nothing but cash grabs. I’ve described myself, time and again, to be a “middle-class” player. I’m somewhere between the gamer that plays hours per day, has 30 alts, and countless ships; and, the other gamer that picks their weapons based on their pretty color. So… I did some math…

If I paid for a monthly subscription to Star Trek Online, that would total about $180 per year. Instead, I got a lifetime membership; which can be purchased at $199. So if you’ve been playing for 4 years, the lifetime membership has already paid for itself within the first year.

When it comes to competitiveness, I want my ship geared up with the new hotness as soon as humanly possible. I’m not going to spend the time to grind for the Dilithum Ore, and wait for it to convert, then convert it to Zen… I want it NOW and I’m going to spend some extra cash because I’m not paying $15 a month. So I spend $25 on a STEAM Pre-Paid card during a bonus ZEN event, then wait some time for a Key Sale, buy Keys, sell them on the exchange, and convert that to EC. In this case, to deck out the weapons on my main ship to Mark XIV, I’m going to need to spend a little over 100MIL EC — which is the same amount I would spend on a lockbox ship that I might be interested in (like my Temporal Destroyer).

How often do I go and do this?… Maybe 2 or 3 times a year; and, I still feel like I have a competitive edge. That means PWE & Cryptic is only getting about $75 a year from me — a podcaster that covers their game from week to week for the last 3 years.… That’s still about $80 LESS than I would pay yearly if I subscribed in a old-fashioned MMO model. Here’s a very crude and rudimentary comparison (but, still accurate):

Conventional Model: $15 per month + $60 expansions per year  = $240 every year (not including in-game purchases)
vs.
$199 for a lifetime + Free Expansions + ~$80 per year to still feel like a competitive player = <$240 per year

I’m also going to end it with: I don’t treat these companies like a non-profit organization. I expect them to try to sell me products and entice me to spend money. Sometimes I do, and sometimes I don’t. More often than not, I don’t because the product doesn’t entice me.

THE EXPLOIT

The other big point that you’ve been interested to hear us rant about is how Cryptic handled the power-levelers that took advantage of the system…..

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When it comes to the community reaction to how Cryptic handled these exploiters, one point I keep reading is that Cryptic was informed of the exploit during Tribble testing before the launch of DR. So, that means, people knew that the system wasn’t supposed to work in that way. That’s like — Hey, this diamond ring (that doesn’t belong to me) is just sitting here in the open…… //looks both ways and GRABs IT//  You knew it wasn’t yours… you knew it was wrong to take it and claim it as your own! Yet, you’re upset when the authorities come knockin’ on your door to take back something that wasn’t supposed to be yours?! But waitinstead of dragging you to jail, the authorities just took back the diamond…. In this case, your Specializations (and only specializations) got rolled back to 10…. You weren’t rolled back to lvl 50… All that phat dilithium didn’t go away… So y u mad, bruh?

IN CLOSING

Now, I’m going to say something really important here. But I know I’ve enraged so many of you already that it probably won’t register and you will boycott this show just like you threatened to boycott STO… Priority One Podcast is a FAN-CAST — We’re not getting a paycheck for doing this show. We’re not getting secret codes from PWE! The codes that have been graciously donated to us are for Priority One Podcast to give away to our listeners for special in-game events.

On a personal note: Guess how I got my Delta Operations pack?… I paid for that sucker myself out of my own pocket… And why do I produce this show every week… for nearly 200 episodes?! Because I LOVE Star Trek and I LOVE Star Trek Online…

So, when it boils down to it, I’m not mad that they took away your precious Spec Points; because, as far as I’m concerned, you got off easy for playing the system like you did — and making ME feel like the inadequate or novice player lagging behind you just because I chose not to find the sketchiest way to the end. Not only did you get off easy but, because some of you abused the system, they also took away my Dilithium rewards that incentivized gameplay after maxing out my toon. So again, they didn’t roll players back to 50, they didn’t take away dilithium, and they didn’t ban players…. They punished me because exploiters couldn’t let me have nice things. (Note: When I say, “me” I refer to all players that did not abuse the system)

You asked for my opinion. For many of you, it’s not the one you wanted to hear… and you’ll again, accuse Priority One Podcast of being Cryptic Boot-Lickers. But, guess what?… That’s fine… Cuz I’ll keep playing STO till the servers shut down… and I’ll keep podcasting because I love that STO brings me the Star Trek fix I need.

Delta Rising – Our Thoughts

Again, you’re probably so red with rage right now that you’re going to ignore the following: I DO NOT believe that the expansion is all sunshine and roses. As a matter of fact, I agree with some of the more constructive reviews I’ve been reading (i.e. XP rate, level-locked story-content, PvE penalties & rewards, etc). But for our initial opinions about Delta Rising, you’re going to have to listen to episode 196 of Priority One Podcast due to release on Monday, November 3rd.

Nevertheless, the opinion that Cryptic and PWE don’t give a crap about the community couldn’t be farther from the truth. I’ve been there. I’ve seen it. I’ve spoken to these people and they do – in fact – care very much about how players feel about the game they work tirelessly to craft. Guess who’s not getting paid to say that — this guy!

– Elijah
Executive Producer / Priority One Podcast

P.S. This is Elijah talking and sharing his editorial opinion. A great deal of this article is my own personal opinion (since many of you asked). A good chunk of this article is not speaking on behalf of Jayce, Cookie, or any other member of the Priority One Podcast team.

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