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The Pub at MMORPG.COM  » My Opinion of Cryptic.

19 posts found
  Devour

Apprentice Member

Joined: 8/01/07
Posts: 956

 
OP  2/10/10 7:36:10 PM#1

Just been reading all this stuff on Cryptic, and I am absolutely amazed at how massive these guys must think their d*cks are to pull off this crap. I mean, really, if Blizzard / SOE does it, they can count on their subscription base to be large enough to handle the crash, but Cryptic are a small company and they're already trying to fleece their subscribers?

Examples

Bait and switch tactics: Cryptic promised that they'd never release game effecting content in the cash shop, which is a blatant lie, they're selling respecs and were going to sell a zone to fill up a content gap until enough people cancelled for it to hurt. They also promised Champions Online players to give free major content 3-4 times a year, and they've not seen a hint of that yet. Their recent zone fiasco ( they were going to sell a zone to players to fill up a content gap that was introduced because they hit the panic button JUST before release, as people were levelling too fast ) is a sort of reverse bait and switch tactic, as they decided they might actually survive by not selling it, although I suspect this was how it was set up all along. Expect for something similar to happen in STO.

Firing community manager: They fired a community manager for actually talking to the community and clarifying that the zone mentioned above would not be free content. I mean, firing someone for doing their job? Ridiculous.

Cash shop in a P2P game / Pre-order bonuses / Life-time subscription bonuses: I just find this ridiculous on the whole. A P2P game should never, EVER have a cash shop. There's a reason it's pay to play. Pre-order and life-time subscription bonuses are just disgusting on the whole. They suggest the game doesn't have enough content to stand on it's own two feet, as well as trying to get players to buy a game before they can read a review of it. I hated what EA did with Dragon Age on this, too.

Trying to steal major guild leaders from CoH: Cryptic tried to tempt major supergroup leaders from CoH by offering them early beta access. IN GAME. Not only is this a breech of NCSoft's EULA, but it's just ethically wrong. Cryptic's reply to the outrage was: "lol so what?"

I mean, I don't know about all of you, but to me these tell of an unethical, moneygrubbing and downright titheaded organisation that has no respect for players, employees or other companies. Why anyone still plays their games I don't know.

( Note: This may all be the work of Atari using Cryptic to make quicky $$$ without ruining their own name. )

 

{Mod Edit}

  brostyn

Novice Member

Joined: 1/29/04
Posts: 3120

Cynical? Me? Never.

2/10/10 7:39:25 PM#2

Maybe this is why they've never made a fun game?

  Elsabolts

Advanced Member

Joined: 10/03/06
Posts: 2641

Life Liberty and the Pursuit of those that would threaten It

2/10/10 7:40:52 PM#3

Just sounds like business to me. If you do not like the product do not buy it or stop paying for it.

  Ihmotepp

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 10/28/08
Posts: 14557

2/10/10 8:38:34 PM#4
Originally posted by Elsabolts

Just sounds like business to me. If you do not like the product do not buy it or stop paying for it.

 


 

I do not think I will buy Cryptic products.

  Wickedjelly

Novice Member

Joined: 4/19/09
Posts: 5064

The Dude abides

2/10/10 8:42:52 PM#5
Originally posted by Devour

Firing community manager: They fired a community manager for actually talking to the community and clarifying that the zone mentioned above would not be free content. I mean, firing someone for doing their job? Ridiculous.


 

Even though he was basically thrown under the bus in that whole affair I can't feel sorry for him.  I think he was telling the truth but he should have known better than to be the one to relay that information regardless what the players were talking about.

You do something like that in any business when it isn't your place to make that type of announcement and you're going to get shitcanned.  You can argue fairness all you want but it is just the way things go.  Regardless the busniess model.  Soon as he made that post his days were numbered with Cryptic.

Chances are he was probably on the way out anyways.  Can't imagine someone being stupid enough to relay that information when they know it isn't to be made public yet or by them unless they already felt they had nothing to lose.

1. For god's sake mmo gamers, enough with the analogies. They're unnecessary and your comparisons are terrible, dissimilar, and illogical.

2. To posters feeling the need to state how f2p really isn't f2p: Players understand the concept. You aren't privy to some secret the rest are missing. You're embarrassing yourself.

3. Yes, Cpt. Obvious, we're not industry experts. Now run along and let the big people use the forums for their purpose.

  heartless

Novice Member

Joined: 1/05/04
Posts: 5057

Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were. But without it we go nowhere. -Carl Sagan

2/10/10 9:16:09 PM#6

Don't forget the whole skill cap fiasco in Star Trek Online. Basically the game was not going to have a skill cap and the skills were designed with that in mind. A week before launch, in a Ten Ton Hammer interview, the reporter just happened to ask the right question and it turned out that there will be a cap.

Now mind you, the skills, the way they currently are in STO, were designed to be maxed out. They aren't like talents points but are more like weapon skills in WoW. Basically, Cryptic never told anyone anything about the skill cap until about a week after lifetime subscriptions went on sale. And even then, the only way people found out was because of a TTH interview. On top of that, it took 3 days after the community found out about the cap, for a Cryptic PR rep to post a vague comment about it.

Why did Cryptic institute a skill cap so close to launch? Simple, so that they can sell respecs, just like they do in Champions Online, for $12.50.

  championsFan

Novice Member

Joined: 12/01/09
Posts: 420

2/10/10 9:34:54 PM#7
Originally posted by Devour

Just been reading all this stuff on Cryptic, and I am absolutely amazed at how massive these guys must think their d*cks are to pull off this crap. I mean, really, if Blizzard / SOE does it, they can count on their subscription base to be large enough to handle the crash, but Cryptic are a small company and they're already trying to fleece their subscribers?

Examples

Bait and switch tactics: Cryptic promised that they'd never release game effecting content in the cash shop, which is a blatant lie, they're selling respecs [I have never bought a respec in +1000 hours of gametime on 22 characters, despite having the money, because they give me ample opportunity to respec for free in-game.]  and were going to sell a zone to fill up a content gap until enough people cancelled for it to hurt. They also promised Champions Online players to give free major content 3-4 times a year, and they've not seen a hint of that yet. Their recent zone fiasco ( they were going to sell a zone to players to fill up a content gap that was introduced because they hit the panic button JUST before release, as people were levelling too fast ) is a sort of reverse bait and switch tactic, as they decided they might actually survive by not selling it, although I suspect this was how it was set up all along. Expect for something similar to happen in STO.

Firing community manager: They fired a community manager for actually talking to the community and clarifying that the zone mentioned above would not be free content. I mean, firing someone for doing their job? Ridiculous.

I am really happy with the changes they made.  Honestly, the old CM was tweeting about WoW so much on his Cryptic_Daeke account that I think he wanted to get fired.  He responded very selectively to issues, and mostly favored the precious RP community.   Dev time was wasted on making changes for RPers, changes that most players did not view as a priority or even want to be changed at all.  On the official forums the RPers are the ones who are upset about Daeke leaving.   In the last two months, Daeke was largely absent from duty (except when RPers had issues, seriously).  The new CM is doing 10x better of a job, he is responding to every thread that is worthy of a response (bugs and critical issues that Daeke ignored for months), and is pro-actively bringing information to us, huge improvement.

 

Cash shop in a P2P game / Pre-order bonuses / Life-time subscription bonuses: I just find this ridiculous on the whole. A P2P game should never, EVER have a cash shop. There's a reason it's pay to play. Pre-order and life-time subscription bonuses are just disgusting on the whole. They suggest the game doesn't have enough content to stand on it's own two feet, as well as trying to get players to buy a game before they can read a review of it. I hated what EA did with Dragon Age on this, too.

Trying to steal major guild leaders from CoH: Cryptic tried to tempt major supergroup leaders from CoH by offering them early beta access. IN GAME. Not only is this a breech of NCSoft's EULA, but it's just ethically wrong. Cryptic's reply to the outrage was: "lol so what?"
 

Ethically, I side with the developers who created a game over the corporates who legally own it, everytime.  It is like the time that Stephen Wolfram made a program called SMP to do symbolic math, but his university, calTech, legally owned his product because he made it while working there and so they took it from him.  It was legal, but not really ethical, IMO.  He recovered by starting his own company and making Mathematica, which is the most popular math package in the world today.  

I mean, I don't know about all of you, but to me these tell of an unethical, moneygrubbing and downright titheaded organisation that has no respect for players, employees or other companies. Why anyone still plays their games I don't know.

( Note: This may all be the work of Atari using Cryptic to make quicky $$$ without ruining their own name. )

 

{Mod Edit}


 

 

Cryptic is trying a Customer Development approach to MMO creation.

  ascroobla

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/10/10
Posts: 55

"All men are created unequal."

2/10/10 9:35:37 PM#8

What's to be surprised about by Cryptic's actions?

STO is a repeat of CO in the low quality release and "support".

Pay shops in P2P games are on their way, like it or not. I don't but I suspect even new content released with a patch will become a little something extra for the developers in the future.

Firing a guy who steps over the line from an employer's perspective? Pretty normal, if I opened my mouth to the press in any job I had, without authorisation I would have been canned too.

Stealing influential players from other games? It's not ethical but it's going to happen for every sensible MMO launch, one of the big draws to a game is the top groups/guilds that play and achieve the world first's etc.

At the end of it all, Cryptic are a business and like all businesses they are obliged to make money for their shareholders, not to care about their staff or customers for that matter... 'tis sad, but 'tis true.

  FormlessOne

Novice Member

Joined: 11/02/09
Posts: 36

2/10/10 9:45:06 PM#9
Originally posted by ascroobla

What's to be surprised about by Cryptic's actions?

STO is a repeat of CO in the low quality release and "support".

Pay shops in P2P games are on their way, like it or not. I don't but I suspect even new content released with a patch will become a little something extra for the developers in the future.

Firing a guy who steps over the line from an employer's perspective? Pretty normal, if I opened my mouth to the press in any job I had, without authorisation I would have been canned too.

Stealing influential players from other games? It's not ethical but it's going to happen for every sensible MMO launch, one of the big draws to a game is the top groups/guilds that play and achieve the world first's etc.

At the end of it all, Cryptic are a business and like all businesses they are obliged to make money for their shareholders, not to care about their staff or customers for that matter... 'tis sad, but 'tis true.


 

With that being said, however, the ever-expanding MMO market means that, if you don't care about customers, you don't make money. The "snatch and grab" routine recently demonstrated by Age of Conan, Aion, Champions Online, and now Star Trek Online, in that they push advance sales hard to drum up numbers and then ship a buggy, limited, content-bereft product while using those advances sales numbers to claim that the game's really popular, is disheartening. I actually broke out my GURPS books (I'll be damned if I go back to anything Wizards of the Coast cranks out...) thinking that I could at least have some useful RPG play.

  Einherjar_LC

Tipster

Joined: 5/03/05
Posts: 1067

2/10/10 9:45:24 PM#10
Originally posted by Elsabolts

Just sounds like business to me. If you do not like the product do not buy it or stop paying for it.

 

There's a distinct difference between a business trying to turn a profit and a business that is simply profiteering.

 

One is ethical, the other is not.

 

Ultimately you are right though, vote with your wallet.

Einherjar_LC says: WTB the true successor to UO or Asheron's Call pst!

  ascroobla

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/10/10
Posts: 55

"All men are created unequal."

2/10/10 10:07:35 PM#11

Unfortunately it's not entirely true that; don't care = no money. Look at STO given the number of retail boxes sold already and the subscription fees paid out, it's likely that Cryptic have already made their money and the same is probably true for AoC, WAR and Aion, amongst others.

When there's a licence involved there's usually a pot of gold waiting no matter how bad the game itself is. One of the reasons I am hopeful for the Bioware MMO launch is that Bioware have shown a consistent approach to delivering great well polished games in the past, rather like Blizzard and when the work is done on their budget, in their timelines (think of the delays in releasing DaO most companies would have rushed it out the door to get the money, Bioware held it until they were happy), yes they have no MMO experience but neither did Blizzard and WoW wasn't bad was it?

Cryptic and many of the other MMO developers don't seem to care about longevity just the quick return on investment, and while MMO players rush to buy games on release date and then spend their time slating players who have completed all the content in a few days rather than going "hang on, isn't this supposed to be a game I can play for years?" that strategy will continue to be a success.

The Star Trek licence guaranteed an enormous number of boxes sold so they rushed out a half finished game, that all serious gamers will drop at the end of the free first month, but the non-core audience of Trekkies will continue to be loyal for years to come. It's why Cryptic only built a single server for the game, they know they'll lose audience rapidly so why invest in the hardware in the first instance?

In the long run STO will stabilise at around 300K users from around 2M boxes sold I would think. Many of those 300K will simply never play another MMO to work out how crap STO is, after all it says Star Trek on the box doesn't it?

  uquipu

Spotlight Poster

Joined: 11/14/09
Posts: 1538

2/10/10 10:13:48 PM#12

 Fans of the Star Trek franchise include some pretty powerful people, IT types, engineers and such.

I wouldn't want to piss that community off.

 

Well shave my back and call me an elf! -- Oghren

  oddjobs74

Novice Member

Joined: 3/21/07
Posts: 597

2/10/10 10:22:08 PM#13
Originally posted by uquipu

 Fans of the Star Trek franchise include some pretty powerful people, IT types, engineers and such.

I wouldn't want to piss that community off.

 


 

LOL.. that community was fun to piss off in high school though..

  seansean

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/30/06
Posts: 120

2/15/10 2:09:39 PM#14
Originally posted by Wickedjelly
Originally posted by Devour

Firing community manager: They fired a community manager for actually talking to the community and clarifying that the zone mentioned above would not be free content. I mean, firing someone for doing their job? Ridiculous.


 

Even though he was basically thrown under the bus in that whole affair I can't feel sorry for him.  I think he was telling the truth but he should have known better than to be the one to relay that information regardless what the players were talking about.

You do something like that in any business when it isn't your place to make that type of announcement and you're going to get shitcanned.  You can argue fairness all you want but it is just the way things go.  Regardless the busniess model.  Soon as he made that post his days were numbered with Cryptic.

Chances are he was probably on the way out anyways.  Can't imagine someone being stupid enough to relay that information when they know it isn't to be made public yet or by them unless they already felt they had nothing to lose.

 

I heard about that-yeah, if he gave up the info before he should have, cryptic were within their rights to can him-but, it also shows their hand. They could have also let it go with a warning. the mark of unscrupulous business people is getting rid of the truth-tellers..was involved with a film project recently. the producer of this project was running around telling everyone about his 9 mil budget(he told me the same, I was working for him). the lawyer gets on the phone to a major hollywood agency to talk about the leads for the film, who were interested based on the script and this 9 mil-but the producer didn't actually have the cash, just some vague guarantees of low-level financing. the lawyer knew this(I didn't at the time), and, feeling a bit flush, because he was talking to some real power-players and was unaccustomed to doing so, let slip that the financing was not as solid as they had been led to believe. that(almost) ended the deal right there. they tap-danced(lied) their way back, but, trust was broken. similar thing here. guy was out of line for speaking the truth, but, he was speaking the truth..decent guys would have let this person keep their job in a bad economy. says a lot right there about how cryptic does business. I walked from that film project just like I walked from STO. got better things to do.

  GTwander

Novice Member

Joined: 3/14/09
Posts: 6125

LARPer Hunter

2/15/10 2:14:14 PM#15
Originally posted by Devour

Firing community manager: They fired a community manager for actually talking to the community and clarifying that the zone mentioned above would not be free content. I mean, firing someone for doing their job? Ridiculous.

Cash shop in a P2P game / Pre-order bonuses / Life-time subscription bonuses: I just find this ridiculous on the whole.

I have nothing to say about Cryptic, I just wanted to state how pleased I am to see a liberal use of the word "ridiculous" where it's spelled correctly for once.

Writer / Musician / Game Designer

Now Playing: Skyrim, Wurm Online, Tropico 4
Waiting On: GW2, TSW, Archeage, The Rapture

  Aeturan

Apprentice Member

Joined: 2/15/10
Posts: 28

2/15/10 2:37:34 PM#16

 My opinion of Cryptic:

1. City of Heroes/Villains is pretty damn cool.

2. Champions is a crappy attempt to follow up CoX. Most notable feature: more customization...less flair.

3. Star Trek Online I have no comment about other than if it's a good game and they ever put the Borgs up in their "item shop," I might actually buy them. However, I've yet to play it.

4. Stop insulting companies because they're full of money hungry bastards and start insulting them because they have bad games. :P

  Cik_Asalin

Novice Member

Joined: 8/29/04
Posts: 3091

2/15/10 2:45:36 PM#17
Originally posted by uquipu

 Fans of the Star Trek franchise include some pretty powerful people, IT types, engineers and such.

I wouldn't want to piss that community off.

 

rofl.  I hope your joking,  In any event, I'm riding out my first and last month with STO; as a matter of fact, I think a large population of people are, in addition to many wondering how to reverse their purchase of life-time.  lol

 

As far as i can tell, there isn't going to be much of a community to piss off.

  Aganazer

Novice Member

Joined: 11/20/08
Posts: 1328

2/15/10 3:03:40 PM#18

It pisses me off when things are mis-represented. I understand you hate Cryptic, fine, but at least get is straight.


Originally posted by Devour

Bait and switch tactics: Cryptic promised that they'd never release game effecting content in the cash shop, which is a blatant lie, they're selling respecs and were going to sell a zone to fill up a content gap until enough people cancelled for it to hurt.


Not true. They said that any game effecting items in the shop would also be available for free within the game somewhere. Respecs are available for free in the game.


Originally posted by Devour
They also promised Champions Online players to give free major content 3-4 times a year, and they've not seen a hint of that yet. Their recent zone fiasco ( they were going to sell a zone to players to fill up a content gap that was introduced because they hit the panic button JUST before release, as people were levelling too fast ) is a sort of reverse bait and switch tactic, as they decided they might actually survive by not selling it, although I suspect this was how it was set up all along. Expect for something similar to happen in STO.

Not true. Didn't you hear? The new expansion is being offered for FREE. I can think of two content releases since the game came out with one more coming out soon. That is three in the first six months.


Originally posted by Devour
Cash shop in a P2P game / Pre-order bonuses / Life-time subscription bonuses: I just find this ridiculous on the whole. A P2P game should never, EVER have a cash shop. There's a reason it's pay to play.

There aren't many MMOG's that don't do this anymore. Blizz has been doing it for years ever since the card game came out. SOE games are full of it. Turbine, yup, doin to. You'd have to ban 3/4 of the games on the market to avoid it. You're just shouting at the mountain now.

  Cik_Asalin

Novice Member

Joined: 8/29/04
Posts: 3091

2/15/10 3:29:15 PM#19
Originally posted by Aganazer

Respecs are available for free in the game.

 

Really?  Where?  While I'm still in, wouldn't mind repec'n.