We are the ‘Disenchanted’, proud members of the KDF and the Federation – free-to-play gamers, subscribers and lifetime subscribers all united by our concerns for the future of Star Trek Online.
Since STO has gone free-to-play, Cryptic’s profits have increased, player numbers have increased, additional developers have been hired and work has been undertaken to expand the STO universe and offer its players new gameplay and rewards. As players invested in this game we’re glad the transition has been a positive one for Cryptic and its employees.
However, even as more money than ever before finds its way into the game, Cryptic has become less communicative with its players, has paid greater attention to ‘metrics’ rather than player feedback and has ignored long-standing issues that still plague the KDF and the Federation.
Valuable feedback from the Tribble test server has been completely disregarded leaving players wondering if there’s truly any point in providing feedback any longer, and many amongst the player-base feel that Cryptic no longer cares about what its players want.
These same players have invested countless hours developing Fleets both large and small and equally invested large amounts of both in-game and real-life currency into the growth of their Fleets.
It’s these contributions as well as C-Store and Zen purchases that pay the salaries of the Developers and yet, from what we’ve seen of Season 7, Cryptic is using this money to develop insubstantial content designed to attract new and lapsed players rather than address any of the real issues facing your loyal customers every day.
Further to this, instead of developing original, challenging and engaging gameplay to rival the best of the content we already have (STFs/Featured Episodes/Doff System/PvP scenarios), Cryptic has pursued a course of implementing gameplay-light, ‘grinding’ missions that offer little reward in order to artificially stall progress through the (already time-gated) gameplay mechanics it has introduced (i.e. the Fleet Advancement System and the new Reputation System).
The current debate over the withdrawal of Fleet Marks from the ‘Investigate Officer Reports’ mission is just a symptom of a greater issue affecting this game – a Developer that many players feel is out-of-touch with their hopes and desires for the game and that would rather rely on metrics than honest, passionate feedback from fans that clearly love this game and want it to succeed.
In light of this, myself and those that share these opinions have chosen to use the ‘Disenchanted’ title on our KDF characters as a sign of our disapproval in Cryptic’s treatment of its loyal customers. We shall continue to do so and peacefully recruit others to our cause until certain concessions to the STO community have been made.
The first of these is an open dialogue between the Executive Producer and his customers on the big issues that need addressing in STO and on any existing plans/timetable to do so. These issues include but are not limited to:
The fixing of long-standing bugs in the game.
Addressing the concerns of smaller fleets and finding a way to help them whilst still rewarding and encouraging the growth of large fleets.
Addressing the concerns of the PvP community.
An open discussion with the players on game currencies (Omega/Romulan/Fleet Marks and Dilithium) and a dialogue on balancing these to meet with Cryptic’s need to earn revenue and the players desire to play as opposed to grind the game.
Addressing the lack of development of Featured Episodes and high-quality STF-style content in favour of ‘grind’-style content-light mini-games.
Secondly, in light of the huge amount of legacy issues STO continues to be burdened with, we request 3 dedicated community managers be appointed. One for the KDF, one for the Federation and one specifically to work with the PvP community.
Additionally, we would like to see dedicated Devs assigned to the aforementioned KDF, Federation and PvP communities whose job it is to tackle these long-standing issues and communicate directly with the player-base for ideas and feedback on solutions.
As players and Star Trek fans, we are passionate and we are loyal – we want to see this game succeed and we want both Cryptic and PWE to profit from that success – but many of us cannot, in clear conscience recommend this game to others or contribute the money or time we’d like to STO since we no longer feel valued, appreciated or even heard as customers.
We hope you’ll embrace this opportunity to build bridges with the STO community and to work with them to make a Star Trek MMO that fulfils Cryptic’s need for profitability and allows the community to live out their dreams amongst the stars.