Cryptic: Star Trek Online's PVP Sucks

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Cryptic: Star Trek Online's PVP Sucks

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A developer admits that Star Trek Online's PVP adds so little to the game, it wouldn't be missed if it was removed.

It's rare in this age of perpetual PR, where creators are constantly plugged into the marketing machine via Twitter, Facebook and forums, to see any developer admit that the game they're working on is anything less than brilliant, even when they're presented with evidence to the contrary. It's refreshing to see at least one developer who'll sit back and say, "yeah, okay. This is a bit crap."

So my hat goes off to Cryptic's Dan Griffis, who is currently the only developer working on Star Trek Online's apparently less-than-spectacular PVP content.

"The first question we (the developers) had to ask ourselves is can PVP be "saved?"" he wrote on the game's official forums. "I don't use the word "saved" lightly. I don't mean fixed, updated, or fun. I literally mean saved."

"Something has to be done, PVP cannot stay the way that it is now. We either have to try to save it, or take it out of the game completely," he continued. "Right now because PVP is in such bad shape we (the developers) have to decide if we think we can turn this problem around. Participation in PVP-related activities is so low on an hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly basis that we could in fact just completely take it out of STO and it would not impact the overall number of people [who] log in to the game and play in any significant way."

Griffis goes on to outline his plan for the PVP, adding that some of his changes "are not going to make a whole lot of sense at the time because you won't be seeing the whole long term plan I have in store for PVP over the course of the next year or so."

Star Trek Online was released back in February 2010, it garnered mix reviews and failed to make much of an impact. The game was switched over to a free-to-play model earlier this year.

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A for effort but I doubt this will be able to really energize the game.

I pretty much quit after The Old republic came out so I can't really say what they can do to fix anything.

Honestly, I never really cared to try the PVP features out in Star Trek Online during my time playing it. Me and Captain Freddie Mercury of the starship Killer Queen found more time doing regular missions, and occasionally helping other players out with theirs. Oddly, the ship combat was the best part, as the ground combat felt more than a little boring.

While they're in the mood to tweak their games, Cryptic should dial back Champions Online too and make that game a bit more co-op focused. That's why their first game was such a big hit, after all. City of Heroes was game where team play and cooperation where the letter of the law and attempting to solo wouldn't get you anywhere quickly. Really, that's kind of the point of an MMO in my eyes. Work with other players to complete tasks that you otherwise wouldn't be able to, even if sometimes those tasks are in contrast with the goals of other groups of players. The moment that an MMO stops being about multiplayer play is the moment when it loses sight of it's defining feature, and once that happens even the greatest MMO is only as good as the most middling of single player action games.

I kinda want to play this just because the developer told me I could do better things with my time. When you're that classy you deserve my money for your crap.

They didn't say anything was wrong with the game as a whole. More people are logging in to the game now than ever before.

However, what they ARE saying is, that the number of people participating in PvP is so insignificant, that they could remove the PvP element entirely and it wouldn't affect the rest of the game.

This isn't the first time they've said something like this, either. At last year's "Dine with the Devs" event at San Diego Comic Con, they acknowledged that "only 18% of players have even made a Klingon character" at that point, and they could have removed that entire faction and it wouldn't have had an effect on the game's overall numbers. To this day, STO still has a KDF faction.

DVS BSTrD:
A for effort but I doubt this will be able to really energize the game.

In the end, when it comes to removing the PvP they'll probably make it so.

That is, if they want to reach number one.

Dire Phoenix:
They didn't say anything was wrong with the game as a whole. More people are logging in to the game now than ever before.

However, what they ARE saying is, that the number of people participating in PvP is so insignificant, that they could remove the PvP element entirely and it wouldn't affect the rest of the game.

This isn't the first time they've said something like this, either. At last year's "Dine with the Devs" event at San Diego Comic Con, they acknowledged that "only 18% of players have even made a Klingon character" at that point, and they could have removed that entire faction and it wouldn't have had an effect on the game's overall numbers. To this day, STO still has a KDF faction.

To be fair, the KDF have actually had a massive boost in numbers, ya the Fed still are by and far much larger, but you can find alot more people making KDF characters to try new strategies and new loadouts with ships that maneuver faster and have unique abilities.

Honestly though the whole 2 faction system never made much sense to me, especially with how much the Klingons and Federation have been through together, to an extreme if you count the Dominion War, it just seems odd that one Klingon led invasion would lead to full on war. Not to mention the reasoning for the war and invasion was because of shape shifters, the same crisis both sides went through and came out of as stronger allies in the Dominion war.

Indeed the pvp does suck. The pve is a lot of fun though. The ship based stuff anyway, very MMO based but it works for starships.

Well I bought the thing 3 days after launch. I know then I wasnt happy with the game, but it wasnt really the games fault as much as it was the fact it was an MMO that lacked content.

However, I did try some pvp out. It was ok. Wasnt the worst thing ive ever PvPd *huttbalcoughcoughhackhack

Problem is.. Cryptic cant do it. They lack the resources for the development. They lack the knowhow, and honestly they lack the innovation and foresight.

I think there needs to be more factions, instead of trying to force a multi faction universe into what is essentially a two faction game is highly illogical. If you want to salvage pvp, I think you need to do a massive overhaul in the entire game. Go with a faction system more akin to what we saw in Everquest than in WoW for both pvp AND in game. Seriously this is messed up to have the Klingon empire vs the Starfleet and leaving most of the major players in the universe as not playable.

Romulans, Cardasians, Borg,Dominion, Ferengi Alliance, Breen, ect. Basically anyone most people would want to play and for some reason your stuck with races that are focused more on TOS than the rest of the series.

Heres how I would do it.

First and foremost make all those factions playable.

Remove all the old type pvp zones, and make 1 massive pvp zone with loadable sectors.

Dump the idea of squad pvp all together as the melee system seems much weaker and leave the pvp as space combat (because it makes more sense that way anyway)

And make the space combat zone MUCH larger and allow instances to be both persistent and drop in/out.

Center the gameplay around strategic territories and holding those territories while expanding influence

Again allow all the major factions to become playable. When a player drops in they are auto chat grouped with other players of their faction. That way you could see the rise and fall of various factions in power based upon player ability and strength as more players of a faction enter into a sector.

Sure its salvagable, but not with cryptic or NCsoft for that matter behind it.

Honestly there is so much awesome that could be done with this game and the property. It could have been big. But honestly it might be better off to do what lucasarts did by doing a mediocre MMO first and then shift to a different company to allow them to do a much bigger "better" one and start the franchise over anew with a completely different developer.

Grey Carter:
Cryptic: Star Trek Online Sucks

Fixed.

I played STO for about a month. It was fun, but was a very short-lived fun. I didn't find myself going back just so I could get "one more level" like WoW. Or Skyrim. Or Minecraft (just another level on my massive brick house) no, STO just wasn't the game it was supposed to be.

Buretsu:

DVS BSTrD:
A for effort but I doubt this will be able to really energize the game.

In the end, when it comes to removing the PvP they'll probably make it so.

That is, if they want to reach number one.

I can agree with that.Every MMO want's to be the top dog so i can bet They are giving us all she's got.

Should've listened to people who said "Champions Online isn't worth the money!". Cryptic simply can't make good MMOs...

Hardly anything to tip your hat to. "The product I worked on is shit." What a hero.

fi6eka:

Buretsu:

DVS BSTrD:
A for effort but I doubt this will be able to really energize the game.

In the end, when it comes to removing the PvP they'll probably make it so.

That is, if they want to reach number one.

I can agree with that.Every MMO want's to be the top dog so i can bet They are giving us all she's got.

Its like they are the Crusher of dreams though.

you never know how many players will Klingon to PvP.

.....oh god damn it, this pundemic is spreading.

Kalezian:

fi6eka:

Buretsu:

In the end, when it comes to removing the PvP they'll probably make it so.

That is, if they want to reach number one.

I can agree with that.Every MMO want's to be the top dog so i can bet They are giving us all she's got.

Its like they are the Crusher of dreams though.

you never know how many players will Klingon to PvP.

.....oh god damn it, this pundemic is spreading.

It's really a shame the PvP isn't so good. It had the potential to be quite the successful Enterprise.

I'm not entirely surprised. I didn't even know it had PVP at all when I played it, and I got about halfway through the levels.

Not that it really stands much of a chance of being good.

I am glad to say this was one of the few MMO's I played the beta... and DIDNT buy the full game.

On top of the usual MMO startup bugs the game suffered from :

- Load screen madness : Couldnt move a muscle without a loadscreen
- Instanced to hell , this was suppose to be a MMO right ?
- Getting spawn killed in ship combat, yeah thats fun the enemy AI spawn camping.
- No penalty at all for getting your ship destroyed.
- Ground missions... I aint even going to bother here.

Biggest issue for me though was... a damned shop in a sub based MMO, they were selling races and ships. The only thing missing was a chance to buy the Enterprise and Picard bundle, I couldnt play the game without hearing a damn advert in my head as it seems Cryptic cant make games because they are too focused on trying to sell you parts of the game...

... Cryptic make empty virtual shop floors where the players can then buy parts of the game.

( NOTE: This was BEFORE they went F2P... I shudder to imagine how bad it is now )

for every positive thing I've heard about STO, I've heard about a half dozen negatives
The game's a failure, they're cutting back on dev crew, which means the game's going nowhere and never really will. IMO using the Star Trek franchise was a bad move to begin with. Tends to make devs lazy and rely on the IP to carry a crap game.

MailOrderClone:
Me and Captain Freddie Mercury of the starship Killer Queen

Okay, I just wanted to say I love you for that. XD

The Pinray:

Kalezian:

fi6eka:

I can agree with that.Every MMO want's to be the top dog so i can bet They are giving us all she's got.

Its like they are the Crusher of dreams though.

you never know how many players will Klingon to PvP.

.....oh god damn it, this pundemic is spreading.

It's really a shame the PvP isn't so good. It had the potential to be quite the successful Enterprise.

ah bad puns!

set all lasers to shun!

I tried the PVP once.

I turned off the ability to do PVP afterwards... ..so yeh, it's not good.

I tried the game Long Long Ago, then decided it sucked, and threw it into the Trash Compactor

:)

The Pinray:

Kalezian:

fi6eka:

I can agree with that.Every MMO want's to be the top dog so i can bet They are giving us all she's got.

Its like they are the Crusher of dreams though.

you never know how many players will Klingon to PvP.

.....oh god damn it, this pundemic is spreading.

It's really a shame the PvP isn't so good. It had the potential to be quite the successful Enterprise.

I don't think improving the PVP alone will help players Engage.

Seriously, that whole game needs a good coat of polish. It's got a sound core to it, and some very nifty ideas to make internet spaceships accessible without a calculator and spread sheet (I'm sorry my old friend Eve, but you are a game for nerds that other nerds make fun of). But it does feel very much like a free-to-play game when you play it.

I did the STO Beta, and signed up for lifetime subscriptiion when it went gold ($300, and got some nifty in game items to boot). Boy when they went free to play I'd have been pissed if not for the fact I didn't last in the game 6 months.
My thoughts, and to recap what others have said
THe Space combat is a lot of fun, and the ship customization is decent, I even liked the whole idea of having differnt bridge crew who would in turn bring different abilities to the ship combat.
But ground comabt was kind of a drag, and those missions tended to be either very easy or very hard, there was no Middle ground. I'd have loved to play Klingon side, but I really don't like PvP and my understanding is that side is PvP or bust.

THey loaded a lot into the game, but even at release the game was far from polished, and once you've done the missions, if you create another character, youjust do the same missions again. . And at the time I hit the level cap (then 45) there wasn't much end of game content. I did most of it solo. Keep meaning to check back on it (Returned last year for a free weekend, but it didn't keep my interest)

To date I've played 3 MMOs, City Of Heroes (Which I still play), STO, and Star Wars TOR (Which I still enjoy but don't have a lot of time for).
CoH is my fave, Star Wars is decent (Is slick and flashy but I have a few issues with limited content, mission and team mechanics), and Star Trek, imo, was loaded with potential it just never met.

My wife and I started STO with the intent to play each other, but after hearing others talk about the crap PVP, we decided not to do it and so we've never really touched it. We now spend our spousal time helping each other complete missions, which is probably more beneficial to the health of our marriage lolz.

ASnogarD:

- No penalty at all for getting your ship destroyed.

On the harder difficulties, each time your ship is destroyed, your overall "ship" receives "injuries" which you have to fix with components. I generally don't see a problem with no penalties on the easier difficulties for I tend to just have fun in the universe lol. Although, I love getting the components because they sell like mad crazy on the exchange.

The probably failed to learn the lesson of every MMO since the days of MUDs. PVE systems applied to PVP just don't work. Either the game is built from the ground up for PVP like Guild Wars, and the pve sucks balls, OR the game is built from the ground up for PVE like WoW and the PVP sucks balls.

WoW is moving in the right direction with the pokemon introduction. There is nothing wrong with having two distinct systems for PVE and PVP. And the ability to earn items for each system by doing the other works just fine.

He's not wrong - PvP is a mess in STO. The KDF is vastly outnumbered by the Federation, so much so that they had to add "War Games" that allow Fed vs. Fed, and most of the Federation is busy working on their far superior missions.

Here's Cryptic's todo list for STO:

Make players want to PvP.
Bring the Klingon missions on par with the Federation's.
Work on ground combat, because it's a mess too!

ShinobiJedi42:
My wife and I started STO with the intent to play each other, but after hearing others talk about the crap PVP, we decided not to do it and so we've never really touched it. We now spend our spousal time helping each other complete missions, which is probably more beneficial to the health of our marriage lolz.

ASnogarD:

- No penalty at all for getting your ship destroyed.

On the harder difficulties, each time your ship is destroyed, your overall "ship" receives "injuries" which you have to fix with components. I generally don't see a problem with no penalties on the easier difficulties for I tend to just have fun in the universe lol. Although, I love getting the components because they sell like mad crazy on the exchange.

There is no penalty in PvP though. No Item decay or anything. You can just respawn.

And PvP in STO went down hill when they nerfed the crap out of the KDFs entire range of ships because they were ''too powerful'' they were not they had less survivability than their counterparts because of the cloaking ability (which was later given to the other faction anyway without nerfing their ships )
And now there's a whole load of pay to win ships that are only available to the one faction including one that basically negates the cloaking ability, which has no KDF counterpart.

So all in all its a cluster fuck with the tables turned firmly into one factions side.

Grey Carter:

Quoting Cryptic's Dan Griffis:

"Something has to be done, PVP cannot stay the way that it is now. We either have to try to save it, or take it out of the game completely," he continued. "Right now because PVP is in such bad shape we (the developers) have to decide if we think we can turn this problem around. Participation in PVP-related activities is so low on an hourly, daily, weekly, and monthly basis that we could in fact just completely take it out of STO and it would not impact the overall number of people [who] log in to the game and play in any significant way."

Grey Carter:

It's rare in this age of perpetual PR, where creators are constantly plugged into the marketing machine via Twitter, Facebook and forums, to see any developer admit that the game they're working on is anything less than brilliant, even when they're presented with evidence to the contrary. It's refreshing to see at least one developer who'll sit back and say, "yeah, okay. This is a bit crap."

Do you notice the issue here? The developer himself says that it would not affect the game to remove PvP, yet you claim that it's refreshing to see a developer criticize an aspect of the game *that doesn't affect the subscriber rate*.

It would be like if nobody used vanity pets in WoW and a developer criticized vanity pets. That's not exactly the cutting edge of self-criticism.

High level PVP was a joke.
I never fought in a fight that wasn't a complete wipe.
Either we'd mop the floor with the hostiles or they'd mop the floor with us.

The problem is scale and rewards.
Its just 5 V 5 fights, up that to 20 v 20 or if possible and you get epic space battles
You don't get enough out of it, just dilithium and credits.
People play STF dungeons because they can get unique item sets that quite honestly look cool.
Maybe have some PVP specific gear that you unlock. You can even recycle the system, where if you win you get a chanced based drop of a requistion that you can turn in for stuff you want.

MailOrderClone:
Honestly, I never really cared to try the PVP features out in Star Trek Online during my time playing it. Me and Captain Freddie Mercury of the starship Killer Queen found more time doing regular missions, and occasionally helping other players out with theirs. Oddly, the ship combat was the best part, as the ground combat felt more than a little boring.

While they're in the mood to tweak their games, Cryptic should dial back Champions Online too and make that game a bit more co-op focused. That's why their first game was such a big hit, after all. City of Heroes was game where team play and cooperation where the letter of the law and attempting to solo wouldn't get you anywhere quickly. Really, that's kind of the point of an MMO in my eyes. Work with other players to complete tasks that you otherwise wouldn't be able to, even if sometimes those tasks are in contrast with the goals of other groups of players. The moment that an MMO stops being about multiplayer play is the moment when it loses sight of it's defining feature, and once that happens even the greatest MMO is only as good as the most middling of single player action games.

Yeah, that explains a bit of a philosophical problem with Star Trek Online.
Star Trek is, 90% of the time based around the idea of a single starship, going around the place by itself.

On rare occasions you get massive fleet engagements, but it's not a common thing.
However, a starship itself is a cooperative effort, since all the crew members have to work together to accomplish a mission.

Yet, the STO setup makes everyone the captain of a starship... While I see why they did it, it's the arrangement that causes the biggest conflict between the purpose of an MMO, and the setting.

Why would you have multiple captains, each with their own ship, going around all over the place together?
It does strange things to the setting.

Yet, what's resulted instead is that you can do pretty much the whole game by yourself. Makes sense in context, but as you said, for an MMO, that's kind of missing the point.

I don't know. Every time I see STO in action... While 'm impressed it exists at all, it also makes me sad that the original concept for it, (before cryptic took over) has more or less been lost entirely.

Thinking back on that, I suspect a single-player (or at most, small-scale multiplayer) star Trek RPG could be great.

STO however, just isn't. It's too much of a compromise between it's setting/premise, and MMO game mechanics.

Basically creating the worst of both worlds.

Should players be expecting to set their reactions to stun when the changes are implemented?

I think the root of the problem is that Star Trek Online's PvP conflicts with what Cryptic does to market the game, selling it as a a Star Trek show where you're the captain. so the question is, where do all these other people fit in?
almost every mission can be played solo, so why are these players even here if that's the message Cryptic is trying to send.

I think they should consider "saving" the planet gameplay before they do anything else.

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