STO Update: More S2 Diplomacy & Klingon Mission Info + Could Star Trek Online Move To Free To Play Model? | TrekMovie.com
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STO Update: More S2 Diplomacy & Klingon Mission Info + Could Star Trek Online Move To Free To Play Model? July 12, 2010

by Anthony Pascale , Filed under: Star Trek Online , trackback

Later this week Cryptic is set to release the second season of their MMO Star Trek Online and in a new Q&A the company reveals more about what is coming. But the big news is that STO’s new executive producer has dropped a hint that the game may be moving to a new payment model. Details on all that below.

 

More S2 Klingon & Diplomacy mission details + new screenshot

On Thursday Cryptic will release the "Season 2: Ancient Enemies" update for Star Trek Online. A new Q&A answers some questions about the release. A couple of the questions deal with the often requested additional diplomatic content and Klingon PvE missions:

Q: Jeff-El: Can you provide an example of what a Diplomatic Corps mission might look like?

A: Federation Diplomatic Corps provides a unique form of experience (FDX) for completing various non-combat missions throughout the game. These could be existing exploration missions, commodity trade missions or the new First Contact missions. There are also several new missions that take place in social hubs that will also provide experience.

As you gain experience in the Fed Diplomacy Corps, you will unlock rank accolades which provide titles and rewards. High ranking diplomats have some cool things to look forward to.

Q: Azurian: Is some of the new Klingon Episodes going to involve the Klingon Houses? The Orions? Or perhaps the Gorn?

A: There are a total of eight new episodes that take place for the Klingons. There are two that involve a house vs. house rivalry, two that involve invading Federation Space and four that involve the return of the ancient Klingon enemy – the Fek’ihri.

And here is a new screenshot from Season 2: Ancient Enemies.


Someone to look forward to meeting in Star Trek Online Season 2

Could STO move to a new payment model?

However, there may be even bigger news in the future for Star Trek Online. A popular subject for STO gamers is the payment model for the game. Currently Star Trek Online has a monthly subscription fee, plus there are some additional items (mostly cosmetic) you can buy via the Cryptic Store. Subscriptions start at $14.99/month, with discounts for buying 3 or 6 months packages, plus there is a lifetime package of $299.99. Cryptic also offers an extremely limited free demo of the game. This is the same kind of model used for many other online games, like World of Warcraft, currently the most popular MMO. However some online games are moving to a ‘free to play’ model where you can play a limited version of the game for free, and pay for enhancements to the game. Last year Dungeons and Dragons Online moved to the F2P model and last month Warner Brothers and game publisher
Turbine announced that Lord of the Rings Online would also be adopting the F2P model this fall.

In a post Q&A discussion on the official STO forum, the subject of the pay model for STO came up and STO’s new executive producer Daniel Stahl weighed in, opening the possibility that STO may change models, saying:

I could easily see STO going into a hybrid model similar to what [Lord of the Rings Online] is doing. In that model, subscriptions stay as is – but you allow people to play for free but heavily limit what they can do – which in essence creates a robust way to demo the game and then if you want to keep playing, you either pay for every little thing you are interested in, or you subscribe and don’t have to worry about it.

Turbine [publisher's of Lord of the Rings Online] seems to have some interesting plans and looking at how  [Dungeons and Dragons Online] has turned around, its worth taking note.

It seems that Stahl’s is hinting that Cryptic is considering changing models to at least increase the capacity of the free demo version of the game. This new F2P plus micro-transaction model is a growing trend and it would not be surprising. It would probably increase players and help extend the life of the game. However, Cryptic will have to do it in a way that doesn’t alienate the loyal early adopters, especially those who bought lifetime subscriptions.

Free Demo

If you want to give Star Trek Online a go without buying it, you can play a demo of the game for an unlimited amount of time (with some restrictions) and includes the “Stranded in Space” mission. More info and demo download at startrekonline.com/demo

Start Playing 

If you want to get into the 25th century and play Star Trek Online it is available at Amazon discounted currently for less than $27 (or $50 for the collectors edition), and that includes a one month subscription.

 

Comments

1. njdss4 - July 12, 2010

If Stahl said “it’s worth taking note”, then I say it’s just a matter of time until STO goes F2P. Sadly, STO hasn’t been the game most of us were hoping for, so a F2P is the best way to secure the game’s long-term viability.

2. Will_H - July 12, 2010

Still waiting for a Mac version before I give it a try.

3. Gorn - July 12, 2010

2. Will_H – July 12, 2010
Still waiting for a Mac version before I give it a try.

Yeah, you and I both.

4. Darkwing - July 12, 2010

and me too

5. Mikey1091 - July 12, 2010

I’M still waiting for them to add the excelsior class! T^hey told us almost two months ago that the excelsior class was a planned addon, yet there has been no movement. Typical Cryptic being…well…cryptic. No wonder their name is Cryptic Studios, LOL! So whats the holdup, Cryptic?

6. Jeyl - July 12, 2010

If a Mac version comes out, I’ll get it in a heart beat! Promise!

7. andrew - July 12, 2010

I would prefer a platform version, say, the XBOX 360

8. S. John Ross - July 12, 2010

I just found out a week or so ago that they have an Ushaan class scout in the game. This makes me smile.

It does not, however, provide sufficient temptation to play.

Free-to-play a limited version … mayyyybe. Probably still not. But maybe.

9. Naver Drol - July 12, 2010

I don’t see an XBOX version of this game ever happening. A Mac version is just not very likely. But I think its a safe bet there will be no XBOX STO.

10. Terran_Man - July 12, 2010

I’m a Lifetime Subscriber, already miffed about a lot of there changes so if they got to F2P I am going to hate that company so much.

11. S. John Ross - July 12, 2010

#10: “… if they got to F2P I am going to hate that company so much.”

For those of us who don’t spend much time in that world, could you explain what the issue would be? You’d still get everything you paid for and would lose nothing, right? The fiddly pay-for-this-and-that-detail thing presumably wouldn’t apply to you at all, so what would be the basis of the hatred?

Is it some kind of status thing? If so I’ll probably never understand.

12. Khan was Framed! - July 12, 2010

Throw me into the “waiting for Mac” group too!

I can’t believe there’s so much discrimination against owning a decent computer!

Seriously, it’s the most successful computer company of all time; you’d think programmers like Cryptic would realize that “trekkies are techies” & join this century already.

All this talk about pay models & I’d gladly pay their monthly fee if they’d just make a simple formatting enhancement that would allow me to play.

What a waste.

13. S. John Ross - July 12, 2010

#12: “Throw me into the “waiting for Mac” group too!”

Where it falls mandrakes grow. That’s why they shriek when you pull them up. Did you not know that?

14. Cerri - July 12, 2010

#5
In your face:
http://forums.startrekonline.com/showpost.php?p=2837935&postcount=9
Stop crying now.

15. Markonian - July 12, 2010

This is the best Star Trek-game ever, Imho.

16. Tino - July 12, 2010

Oh, I didn’t even know you can play it for free. I gotta admit that 15,00 EUR/month is the reason I haven’t yet tried it. But thanks to Trekmovie, I’m now heading over to the try-out-link. :-)

17. Paul - July 13, 2010

I still kinda wonder what happens to the game when Cryptic’s Star Trek licence runs out. Would they have to rename the game in order to keep it running, or what?

18. Adam C - July 13, 2010

I personally think its the engine there using too childish and basic. Its like going to perfect southern chicken when you want kfc. There is no way in hell but paramount should contact CCP about maybe taking on the franchise its a shot in the dark (but without the sov warfare thx)

I’ll eat my own hat if Cryptic makes STO good within 2-3years (im guessing STO wont be around for that long)

19. DavidBowman - July 13, 2010

I’ve found the game wanting in several areas. It definitely lacks the trek feel. Sure the ships are there (shoddily done though improving) and the missions are weak (although also improving).

It’s a bit of a grind fest and once all the grinding is done (I’m RA5) there is nothing else to do. I want to see how well they do once the ship interiors are finished and live in season 2 (though again you have to beam into the bridge, the conference lounge in fact every room which breaks the immersion).

I was soooo excited about this game and watched and waited for 2 years from Perpetual to Cryptic and was hugely disappointed but to cut them some slack this was a massively massive undertaking for anyone to get right (is there even a right way?).

20. Captain Conrad - July 13, 2010

A Hybrid F2P is a brilliant idea! People would fall in love with the customization and the look and feel of the game instantly like I did when I bought it!!!!! It’s perfect!!!

21. AJ - July 13, 2010

If Cryptic is looking at changing this early in the game, you can be sure it’s due to financial under-performance.

I can see them now, complaining about ST2012′s late release date and lamenting what amounts to lost marketing capital during that three-year span, which is enhanced by CBS’s sleeping through it with no new TV content. If I recall, Activision sued for this same thing as its Trek games stopped selling.

22. Zebonka - July 13, 2010

Is the race creator in the demo?

23. Terran_Man - July 13, 2010

#10:

For those of us who don’t spend much time in that world, could you explain what the issue would be? You’d still get everything you paid for and would lose nothing, right? The fiddly pay-for-this-and-that-detail thing presumably wouldn’t apply to you at all, so what would be the basis of the hatred?

Is it some kind of status thing? If so I’ll probably never understand.

I paid upfront money for the game, 16 months worth, and if it goes F2P, much of the already paid subscription costs goes with it. I paid to have access to all content,all the time but if it goes F2P, I lose because, had I gone with the much cheaper month by month payment, I not only would have been able to leave the game whenever I want (to save money) but I also would have been able to just stick with the free content if it went F2P. I paid to save money in the long run not to spend more.

24. hurfldurf - July 13, 2010

I think it’s safe to say that if they are having money problems and considering micro-transactions to keep it afloat, there is 0% chance of them devoting a large staff to creating a version that only reaches at most 10% of the computer market.

The money it costs to create a mac version on AAA titles a lot of times isn’t worth it to companies. This is a 2nd-class games which appears to be in trouble.

I think too that game developers and publishers know that a $600 PC often has a superior graphics card to a $2500 mac, and that influences their desire to devote significant resources to creating a mac version.

With that said, the reason a free-2-play model gives devoted players a bad vibe is because the game will no longer be about who is most skilled at the game, it will be about who spends the most money, something that ruins the relative meritocracy of online games.

Now, if a player is RA5 you know it’s because they play the crap out of the game and know their stuff. if it is free to play, a RA5 might just be a person who sent $50 to cryptic.

25. S. John Ross - July 13, 2010

#22: I’ll probably never understand, then. But thanks for trying to explain.

26. S. John Ross - July 13, 2010

#23: “With that said, the reason a free-2-play model gives devoted players a bad vibe is because the game will no longer be about who is most skilled at the game, it will be about who spends the most money, something that ruins the relative meritocracy of online games. ”

Aha. THAT makes sense; thank you very much. Yes, if selling it in fragments turns it into “the kid with the most toys wins,” I can see where that would sour the experience …

27. babanathie - July 13, 2010

STO is not a good game; it’s a bad game. The developers had a weak concept going in, and we got garbage coming out. It’s a weak run of the mill MMO with a Star Trek skin designed with mechanics that just don’t fit the IP.

While a F2P model might make it financially viable for the next few years, it won’t overcome the basic shortcomings in the game’s design. I hate to say it, but I hope that STO continues to be mediocre enough to get Star Trek another chance in the MMO market. It can be great with a company that actually builds an engine to fit the Star Trek world rather than taking shortcuts to make the IP fit around another game they have developed previously.

28. Terran_Man - July 13, 2010

#22: I’ll probably never understand, then. But thanks for trying to explain.

Your welcome, I’m just miffed that I essentially payed boatloads of money for a game that is constantly bugged, was unfinished, constantly ignores their previous statements and likes to take good stuff and make people pay more for it.

29. The Lensman - July 13, 2010

#21
“, which is enhanced by CBS’s sleeping through it with no new TV content. If I recall, Activision sued for this same thing as its Trek games stopped selling.”

No, Activision sued due to the fact that Paramount was churning out crappy t.v. product that was doing nothing to generate interest in games of the product.

30. CardassianVole - July 13, 2010

That screenshot… Is that an Ogre? :P

31. Mikey1091 - July 13, 2010

Cerri, the part where it says No dates announced in that post was my POINT!

32. Terran_Man - July 13, 2010

30 That screenshot… Is that an Ogre? :P

No, thats a super awesome totally original new species, the Beerguts I believe :D

33. S. John Ross - July 13, 2010

#27: “It’s a weak run of the mill MMO with a Star Trek skin …”

This matches every impression I’ve had of the game so far, alas.

34. digi - July 14, 2010

leave the f2p’s to gf or let gf aquire sto and redo it ;)

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