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MMORPGs: The Good, The Bad, and the Just Plain Stupid.

There seems to always be something going on in the world of MMORPGs, whether it's news, developments, or player goings-on.

Author: brihtwulf

Star Trek Online: Why do people hate so much they will make up lies?

Posted by brihtwulf Saturday February 13 2010 at 9:09PM
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Many, MANY people have been watching Star Trek Online since it was first brought up to be developed by the now defunct studio Perpetual.  For a short time the IP was up in the air, then finally discovered to have been picked up by Cryptic Studios.  They made a deal to have the game released with a tight (compared to the typical 4-year development cycle) 2-year time frame.  Finally on Feb. 2, 2010, the game went live.  But even before launch, there were cries of "The sky is falling!" from the far corners of the MMORPG community.

The closed beta phase of the testing went forward in the typical fashion.  Many changes and updates were done, and a number of bugs and issues were reported by the testers.  The one thing a closed beta doesn't take into account is the stress on the game and its servers from the massive increase in users that comes when the game goes live.  But in what seems to be an increasingly popular decision these days, an "open beta" was held to give people the opportunity to get a "sneak preview" of the game's features and allow the developers to observe the effects of more players (including the fact that more players means more bugs coming to the surface).

It seems that the moment open beta started, so did the cries, moans, and roars of players.  Even so-called "professionals" from game sites and magazines who gave their "previews" seemed to join in the popular spiral of negativity that many seemed to embrace.  But why such blind hatred?  What made so many fume about THIS game in particular?

When any MMORPG has launched in the past, it has been accompanied by varying levels of bugs, crashes, unexpected downtimes, and other issues.  Even the beloved World of Warcraft was no exception to this, having crashes, missing content, and developing long queue lines just to get into the game.  For over a decade, it has (or so I thought) become understood that some bumps in the road early on are almost unavoidable because it is difficult to anticipate the effect of hundreds of thousands of players flooding into the game.  But Star Trek Online's occasional issues have people foaming at the mouth, even making up non-existant problems to persuade others to their cause.

For example, there have been many cries on the official STO forums of "constant downtimes" and "constant crashing".  The truth of the matter has shown this to be a complete exaggeration.  There have been only a few unscheduled downtimes since launch nearly 2 weeks ago.  Much like other MMORPG's, they have had some scheduled maintenance, which was posted on the forums in advance.  As for the crashes, most of the reports have been met with players in general not experiencing them, and several players seem angry even when the root of the problem is their PC not meeting the minimum requirements to run the game.  In reality, crashes are a rarity.

Even "professionals" are not above making up information to fit in with the mobs of nay-sayers.  MMOZine recently published a preview of STO, which was full of speculation and just plain misinformation.  The previewer said things like the combat boils down to turning in a circle until someone is dead, and that the space battles are quickly over because players are either extremely under or over-matched.  Anyone who has played the game for more than the tutorial would tell you otherwise. 

In a part of their segment, they claimed that exploration served little purpose other than to obtain aliens and boost stats of your bridge officers.  This mechanic doesn't even exist, and was completely made up.  When I wrote an email to their editor stating my notice of the made-up information, they rebutted by saying it was alright for the previewer to have falsified their description of the game because they qualified it with the word "seems".  So, does that mean that it's alright for media outlets to make up lies like, "It seems as if Sony likes to cook and eat babies"?  Qualifying blatant misinformation with the word "seems" or "boils down to" does not make it right.

For some reason people seem to have joined together in a popular fad of hating Cryptic Studios as if they had created a Frankenstein's monster which murdered their families.  They have been called failures, liars, thieves, and just plain EVIL...

I'm sorry if you pre-ordered the game from a digital retailer and didn't read the terms of service.  Maybe the next time you won't buy something you know nothing about and have never seen before.  Would you buy a car because you saw it in a commercial before it has even been made yet and before you had a chance to see it or read about its details?  Do you buy sushi from the back of a van in a dark alley?  Pre-ordering is used to entice buyers with bonuses, but only brick and mortar stores offer the ability to cancel your pre-order if you choose to back out.

I think people need to take a step back from their self-absorbed mentalities and over-blown egos, and remember that this is just a game.  It's been made so people will have fun with it, and in the hopes that people will continue to play it in the future.  It's not a scam, scheme, or some corporate devilry sent to bring on the apocalypse. 

augustgrace writes:

Just wait until the next mmo launches then most of the trolls will move on.  Right now the cool thing to do is beat up on the new kid, and moan about the "good ol' days."

STO isn't the greatest thing since sliced bread, but it is fun and good way to pass some time with friends.

Sat Feb 13 2010 9:48PM Report
Interitus writes:

"Many changes and updates were done, and a number of bugs and issues were reported by the testers."


This makes me feel like you know nothing about closed beta. Numerous major issues were brought forward during CB. Including repetitive missions, combat oriented missions, lack of Star Trek Feel, complete lack of Klingons, Borked controls, stupid AI, terrible galaxy map.. you get the idea.

The dev team did open up several discussions on how to fix these problems and MANY suggestions were given.  In the end though the only "major" change was to the galaxy map. Which is still nothing impressive. boring missions and many bugs still carried through open beta and live.

Sat Feb 13 2010 10:33PM Report
brihtwulf writes:

There aren't that many significant issues/bugs with the game.  The AI is pretty good, with some occasional pathing issues.  As for no Star Trek feel, or not liking combat-oriented missions, those are opinions.  You are entitled to them, but you can't just go around stating opinions as fact.  The Klingon side has less PvE, but this has been an open subject the entire time.  They're adding more, but Klingons were set to be a PvP-only race at launch (similar to the Monster Play component to Lord of the Rings Online).

Sun Feb 14 2010 9:49AM Report
ryuga81 writes:

I can't actually recall a mmo launched with less content. I will not go through everything that is missing again in this "persistent world", but the whole "world" part is as complex as a lobby (pick a mission, pick a party, start the instance), and there is not much being "persistent" (except a few officer and ship data).

So, yes, people expected that at least the few things you could do actually worked, but they didn't. And that pissed off a lot of people...

Sun Feb 14 2010 11:27AM Report
brihtwulf writes:

I think you can't go through what's "missing content" because you can't.  The only thing that is short on gameplay is the PvE aspect of the Klingons (which was discussed during the closed beta phase).  What is your basis for claiming there isn't enough content in th game?

Sun Feb 14 2010 12:41PM Report
ryuga81 writes:

Exploration, crafting, economy/trading, planetary/starbase interaction... the only thing you get to do now is shooting things...

Especially exploration was promised, and trading and trade missions were listed among features, but as of now you can only shoot stuff...

Sun Feb 14 2010 7:19PM Report
Nevek writes:

i personally dislike the game....

and ryunga81 i can think of one game that had less content than this one at launch (swg)

but only 1

the space combat is fun but since its really the only thing to do it gets old really fast (ground combat is a joke)

this game needed alot more devlopment than it got cause its a waste of an ip that they put it out like this...and because the lack of content its gonna crash and burn harder than any other mmo out there...and because of how little of effort it feels they put into this and champions online is the reason im not ever gonna buy any cryptic game again...just not gonna do it

they should have just waited to push it out til it was a bit more complete and had a better developer with vision cause this one just plain blows

Mon Feb 15 2010 4:02AM Report
brihtwulf writes:

You have the right to like the game. or dislike it.  However, the rest of the comment was exactly in the realm of what my blog was talking about.  You say the ground combat is a joke, and that the game blows.  But you don't offer proof or explanation of what you're saying.

This is just another self-absorbed player acting like a spoiled child.

Mon Feb 15 2010 8:27AM Report
madonvibes writes:

ryuga81 wrote: "Exploration, crafting, economy/trading, planetary/starbase interaction... the only thing you get to do now is shooting things..."

This is a pretty good list of items I agree with. I agree with you on the subject of players complaining about bugs this close to release: there have been much much worse launches in MMO history (*cough* AO *cough*).

Mon Feb 15 2010 9:34AM Report
mmiracle writes:

While there is alot of excess in the negative relm, there are always grains of truth that you have missed in your blog.

* - Servers dropping/Crashing.  While I have heard that this is a "common" occurance with MMO launches, its seems excessive and from someone who just bought the game it would appear like nothing is being done.

You go through your mission and you are just about done when the server crashes.  After about an hour or so, you get back on and now you have to "repeat" the mission since you didn't get credit from it.

" There have been only a few unscheduled downtimes since launch nearly 2 weeks ago."  Hmm, your definition of a couple must be different from the normal as over the same 2 week period, there have been at least 1 every other day if not 1 a day.  You may have not been on when they happened but notheless, they did.

Also, please DO NOT assume that the numerous crashes are all on the client end.  I have guild mates on each of the time zones in the US on Vent and when I crash, they also crash.  When I have a problem logging in and it says "retrieving characters" for 15-30 minutes, they do too.  My system, while not being bleeding edge, is still more than enough for this game.  Same for my guild mates.

* - Lack of Comminication - Requests for GMs have been hard to get.  I have gotten stuck by using a weapon.  After trying everything that was suggested to me, I submitted a GM ticket.  No response for 30+ mins and finally just closed the progam and re launched it again.

Things like I have mentioned above are just the reasons I have found by my own experience with the game.  I love the game and I know its a newborn that needs time to mature and grow.  I have accepted this and so have many others but we still have things that quite frankly tick us off.


Mon Feb 15 2010 3:47PM Report
moters writes:

The game is far from perfect but it doesnt crash all the time. There are bugs . The content is very dull till around lvl 11 most reviews dont get past the first few lvls of the game.

Thu Feb 18 2010 2:43AM Report writes:
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