Star Trek Online: Call of Valor

A Star Trek Online Fan-fiction.

The Future of STO: Matters of Opinion

Today I read an interesting artical on

Personally, I think it was fairly well written, though a few things could be taken out of context. STO going F2P would not be such a bad thing, IF they follow Turbine’s example rather than other games. I agree that the C-Store is not done well at all as it is right now, but guess what: that’s Atari, not Cryptic. Atari owns much of the control of the C-Store & what goes in it, as they’re the publisher that’s paying the bills. Cryptic and the STO team is doing the best they can, and Stahl is constantly fighting with Atari to have things in the store made available in-game through gameplay to balance everything out better.The C-Store is far from perfect, Stahl would likely scrap it entirely if it were up to him, but the STO team is doing damn good with what they have, just the same.

I also completely disagree that STO is barely above water; they’re doing awesomely, and going F2P would be a decision by Atari only because it would make even more profit than P2P does. I just recruited 2 friends in England that bought he game and are addicted already, and more join every day. Personally, I think the one thing that will be the biggest nail in the coffin for STO is something plaguing a lot of MMOs, and that’s lack of reason to socialize. With some of the hints of things coming in the next 2 or 3 season updates, however, I think that there will be a lot of progress very quickly, just as we’ve come to expect from the STO team & Stahl.

Yes, the game has a lot of bugs still, and Klingon content is still sorely lacking, even after a year of work & some substantial updates on both sides. Frankly, I still think it will be not until the 2-Year anniversary before it gets to a point where all the big bugs are finally fixed & the Klingon content is closer to matching the amount of Fed content. Why? Remember, STO was released after only 2 years of development by Cryptic. For those that don’t know much about game development, that’s 2 – 3 years less than an average full-length game gets, let alone an MMO. Now, at the 1-year aniversary, if going by typical dev timelines, it’s still 1 – 2 years under the average dev length for a game BEFORE releasing. Now, if this game is STILL in this state in 2 years, THEN I’ll complain a lot; with the fact the game has made such huge leaps in a short time, I have a lot of confidence for the future of STO.

Also, the Foundry is soon to be released onto the official server, and with it there will be, I’m sure, tons of new missions & storylines for BOTH sides. This is going to take a lot of weight off the devs for a lot of things, I feel, as well as give them opportunities to watch the community for potential resources similar to what ThomasTheCat became for them. Klingons will (i’m expecting) get a lot more PvE mission content through the Foundry, which is far from a bad thing. With missions now less of a focus of the devs, those resources can then be shifted more into fixing the bugs, improving old content in need of polish, & making new content, such as persistent war PvP maps, missions, resources & rewards.

There are a lot of nay-sayers and doom-criers, and many people are emphatic that if STO goes F2P, they will leave. I say let them go. For every one that leaves, there will be 10 more to take their place. This, however, might not necessarily be a good thing, either; of those 10, 7 or 8 will be either idiots, griefers, or spoiled children with superiority complexes. The good news is that, with the majority of the current STO community likely to stay should the game go F2P, those people that bring the game down won’t stay for long. I’ve never met an MMO community more open-minded in general, and intelligent. We’re polite and nice; we’re NOT pushovers. Sure, there’s a lot of arguments in zone & local chats at the social hubs of the game, though even those (from my experience) tend to be at least somewhat intelligent.

The only issue with the future of STO I see is if Atari botches up the C-Store balance of F2P. I don’t see that happening as badly as a lot of people think, however, especially if they follow Turbine’s example. But maybe I’m just being overly optimistic.


January 30, 2011 - Posted by | Nit-picker's Guide

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