Aug 19th 2011 7:13AM I don't think Cryptic was the one in a hurry to release half-baked products; City of Heroes was reasonably complete at launch, aside from not having capes. I think Cryptic thought (perhaps rightfully) that they could get games out in 3-4 years and relied on getting funding by bragging.
However, I think Atari was the one pushing unfinished games out the door. A lot of Cryptic's employees were expecting a better response for Champions but uncomfortable with the release state for STO and cited "contractual obligations" as the reason it shipped when it did. I don't think Cryptic was allowed to set its own release dates and had to ship whatever was done whenever Atari set a deadline.
I also think there's a pretty good chance that it was Atari getting out of the picture that bought them an extra year on Neverwinter.
And while I don't doubt there will be a cash shop, like there are in all western MMOs now, Perfect World is bigger than WoW in China and has been trying to find a way to compete in the west. Each game they release is a little more western. I have a feeling the acquisition of Cryptic and Runic were a part of that strategy as well. They aren't looking to make us all play like Chinese gamers. They want to know how to make a western MMO.
I have a feeling, among other things, that the big plan here involves getting the guys at Runic (who are basically the Diablo 1 team and also a Perfect World subsidiary) to work with Cryptic on polishing NW up and adding content.
Aug 11th 2011 11:05AM @mattwo Actually, they became Cryptic Points again on Wednesday.
Aug 11th 2011 11:04AM @BubleFett Actually, Atari is notorious for tampering with its licensees and companies in its holdings and has been in and out of court.
PWI, on the other hand, lets its western subsidiaries self-manage, throws money at them, and continues to throw more money at them if they run well.
If STO goes F2P, I suspect it will be Cryptic's doing. They seem to like that model better and Atari has always been the one fighting F2P on games like DDO and it took heavy subscriber attrition for them to greenlight it on Champions... whereas my impression from most of the Cryptic employees I've seen is that they all seem like they would prefer to launch their games as F2P/Freemium. And I think that's in part because they recognize that they're content lite at launch with their rapid development cycle and their overall approach seems to be one where, to put it bluntly, they launch into a rapid open beta with a cash shop because it's the only way they can afford to keep 70-80 developers employed and produce games on the kind of tight budget they're used to.
If you want indy MMOs that aren't the product of Sony/Blizzard/EA, you pretty much have to support the idea of F2P-style business models and rapid development cycles.
I DO think that most of the heat Cryptic takes is Atari's fault and am eager to see how right or wrong I am about that in the coming months.
Aug 10th 2011 7:07PM @Evi1Genius Perfect World didn't buy Cryptic to make games in China.
They bought it for two reasons:
1) They want the engine sourcecode to make better games in China with Chinese dev teams.
2) They want to do more business in the U.S. and recognize that the Chinese model doesn't work as well here and Chinese MMO IPs don't sell as well here. So they probably want Cryptic to make MMOs targeted at English speaking and European MMO markets, not Chinese audiences (where Perfect World is already much bigger than WoW).
They bought a western company to produce games for westerners, not the Chinese market. They already dominate in China. What they want is non-Chinese markets. Technically, I believe Cryptic falls under Perfect World International which is an American company owned by a Chinese company. They produced Torchlight with their other company Runic Games. They've been trying, unsuccessfully, to make MMOs targeting Americans and the acquisition of Cryptic is a set towards that.
To everyone else, I agree about the size of Cryptic's dev teams. I think Atari bought Cryptic thinking that an MMO is like a console game that people pay a monthly fee for and have had unrealistic expectations. Cryptic brought in more capital than they'd seen in years, going by financial statements, but you have to reinvest all of that back into an MMO for the first couple of years, particularly when you launch games with a short development cycle like Cryptic does. You have to be prepared to sink the money back into the game for 2-3 years and I don't think Atari could handle that or had an interest in spending money to build marketshare and prestige.
Perfect World seems more interested in that.
Mar 3rd 2010 6:09AM I'm a lifer (not directly affected) and was extremely angry. In part because I knew a few people on the fence about STO who became convinced that the game was worthless after seeing how deep the discount was.
Most angry players I've talked to would have to problem with Atari giving away retail boxes or selling them for $5 or $10.
The issue is that service, which the monthly players still have to pay for, being $0 for new subs. It's uneven levels of service.
It's like repricing a steak at 7 O'Clock in a restaurant and telling anyone on their salad that they don't get the new price.
It's treating gametime as a product rather than a straight up service.
It's a very semantic issue but, for some of us, one that makes us mistrust Atari on everything else if they choose to see gametime as a service when it benefits them to treat it as a service (reverse engineering ban issues, private server issues, bans, their ability to change content) but then say it's not a service but a product when it suits them (promotions, lack of updates, changes in terms, pricing models, etc.)
I think they should have to pick: Product or Service. And then live with that. Personally, I think it's a service but if that's the case, you don't concurrently offer people the same service for different prices or you have built in justifications for the differences aside from "I want to attract customers". It makes you liable to your customers.
Dec 17th 2009 2:51PM Well, as the ONLY Alliance who showed up to a couple of Wintergrasp matches on Area 52 recently, let me say...
1 Alliance vs. 40 Horde has no prayer of winning, even with 20 tenacity. But, MAN, it made getting Santa's Little Helper easy as I proceeded to tear through a couple hundred encounters with Horde, one-shotting them. I felt like a raid boss.
Like I said, there's really no chance of me winning even with all the tenacity in the world as the only player Alliance-side. But it's nice for HK farming at least.
Personally, I think they should have a system where:
- Tenacity increases by 5 for the offense, every consecutive loss. No cap. Maybe at a certain point, player AoEs can affect walls and destroyable structures.
- Vendor prices go down by 5% for the defender every consecutive win, up to 50% off. After that, maybe open up tiers of cosmetic rewards like a new pet, mount or tabard for every consecutive win.
This encourages defense and makes the rewards greater and greater in the face of greater and greater challenges.
Alternative thought: Each consecutive failed offense/successful defense reduces the number of defenders allowed in the raid by 2.
Nov 24th 2009 4:31AM Here, kitty kitty...
Nov 14th 2009 3:18PM The difficulty isn't the problem. As noted, the mechanics are what people hate.
But solving a problem doesn't always involve addressing the core issue, particularly on a tight timetable like the scant remainder of WotLK affords.
Their options were:
- Rework Occulus to exclude the hated mechanics. This addresses the ACTUAL problem but is a waste of dev resources.
- Allow players to skip Occulus or select a dungeon to exclude from random LFG. Aesthetically unpleasing.
- Tell players to suck it up and deal. Kinda misses the point of offering a game FOR player enjoyment. Also sours the LFG system they want to butter people up into embracing.
- Nerf the instance in such a way that people don't have to utilize the alternate mechanic that effectively and reduce the overall amount of time people spend in an instance they dislike.
They chose the last option which I think was the best.