For the last couple of month's i've given Star Trek Online a spin. As a former trekkie the idea of a Star Trek MMORPG was rather enticing so i promptly nipped out to buy a copy upon release.
For those who are unaware, Star Trek Online was created by Cryptic and published by Atari after a couple of years in development. Prior to STO i hadn't had much experience with Cryptic products beyond a 14-day trial of their old superhero MMO, City of Heroes.
So my initial impressions of STO were fairly favourable. The game has a decent space combat system, but its rather shallow and the ground combat is rather appalling. The advertised Klingon faction was little more than a placeholder. But i thought hey, give it time and i'm sure Cryptic is working on getting things just right. Sadly i was wrong.
Cryptic announced a Season 1 update that would remedy some of the content issues. Unfortunately this is apparently marketing speak for "going to add a bunch of micro-transaction fluff and 1 (thats 1) new mission". Naturally this was somewhat of a disappointment. And then came the announcement that not only was Season 1 comprised largely of microtransaction junk, Lifetime Subscribers would be receiving their own unique location within the game as well as several other rewarding bits of fluff.
Now my first reaction was "what the ****?" The game is in desperate need of content and the dev's waste time making areas accessible by less than 5% of their playerbase. So i did a little searching, a little arguing on the forums if i'm honest and found an interesting little tid-bit. It would appear that Cryptic will receive a substantial bonus if they bring in enough cash within the first few months after release. Suddenly it became clear exactly what Cryptic was up to with their "gift" for Lifetimers. They have no intention of rewarding them for their faith, they instead want to entice more people to waste 300 bucks on a Lifetime account so they can reach this sales goal and get their nice juicy bonus. Monthly subscribers in the meantime would be left out in the cold.
If this were not enough, Cryptic then chose to patronise anyone who complained with a nice little story about cupcakes and lawn-mowing. Which naturally got my goat up. So i headed over to the account button and cancelled. I did however have a couple of weeks left on my account time so i've stuck around on the forums and managed to witness yet another cock up by Cryptic.
In a rather astounding move, Cryptic have gone against the opinion of the majority of their playerbase and introduced a player council of sorts. Rather than have said representatives elected they instead appointed several individuals as Councillors. Whilst not the best idea in my opinion, its their game so why not. But then in an incredible display of incompetence it became apparent that Cryptic had chosen to link the personal blog of one of the councillors to the Front Page of the STO website, a personal blog filled to bursting with obscenity upon obscenity (and with absolutely no warning that the site was unsuitable for minors, who are likely to visit the site given the games 12+ rating).
The forums naturally erupted into flames, complaint after complaint about how inappropriate this site was and what the feth it was doing appearing on the Front Page of the website. Not only that but after the fact it has emerged that Cryptic didnt even ask the poor individuals permission prior to posting the link. So this poor person who curses like a sailor, but did nothing except ask to help Cryptic has been on the receiving end of a heap of abuse, the forums have been filled with outrage and yet Cryptic has done nothing. They only removed the link after the owner themselves requested it be taken down. And this is what will kill STO in the end. The game has the potential to be great, i honestly believe it does. But the incompetence of Cryptic will be its downfall. Less than 10 seconds on that bloggers site would have revealed how utterly inappropriate it was, yet it is apparent they could not be bothered. And with this level of laziness i would not trust them with my money, and dear none existent readers neither should you.