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Star Trek Online: Daron Stinnett Clarifies STO Rumors

SzarkSzark News ManagerAnna Regina, NSPosts: 4,420Member

Star Trek Online Executive Producer Daron Stinnett has made a few posts on the StarTrek-Online.net forums, clearing up recent rumors about Star Trek Online being made for casual non-trekkie gamers, and about the game using a pay-real-world-cash-for-in-game-items business model. It turns out that the rumors started when an internal conversation about the game's business model, which has not been finalized, was leaked and then taken out of context as fact.

You guys are very charitable - thanks for the support. And I mean that. There are some really nasty and incorrect rumors circulating right now and while the support is obviously not unanimous, I was expecting much more piling-on in this thread than is the case.



I personally think that MMOs need to be a better deal. Paying $200/year is a good deal for some but I don't think that is sustainable for the category and certainly rules out a lot of people who don't have the time to get enough value out of that expense. So we are discussing this issue internally. Unfortunately that discussion leaked and the characterization is incorrect. It's also unfortunate that we have not yet come to conclusion internally so it is hard to present the real story since we are in the process of figuring it out.



But I do want to reassure everyone that STO is still going, it is still a triple-A game, and we are thinking hard about how to make our efforts even more appealing with a lower barrier to entry than is the norm.

Read more here.

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Comments

  • aerogradaerograd Huntsville, ALPosts: 53Member

    Ok so I admit I haven't been watching STO as much as many of you.  It seemed like a long way off anyhows and plus they pissed me off when they cancelled Gods and Heroes. 

    So the new hoopla revolves around monthly subscriptions vs. no monthly fee but with game items (ships, equipment, etc) being sold in an online store?  If that is the case, then I vote for some kind of monthly fee. 

    Selling in-game items usually leads to bad things.  Project Entropia.  Ashen Empires.  Alot of the Asian MMOs do this too right?  And how many are in the top tier of games? 

    There are also those games that sell character power-ups of one kind or another.  Utlima Online for example.  Loved UO.  Still think highly of it myself.  But many players dislike people being able to jumpstart characters or buy past vet rewards and stuff.

    I am sure there are lots of better pricing ideas.  Having several options available would let them capture the maximum number of players.  Surely the nearly 700k members here can come up with better ideas.  Now if the Devs, Producers, etc. will just listen...   

    But they never seem to listen do they.  They don't even learn from others' past mistakes.  Maybe if they were forced to attach a car battery to their genitals every time they made a dumb decision they would... one day... learn.  A shock collar has taught my black lab not to bark at night.  Looks like she is smarter than alot of the MMO leadership teams and devs.    *sighs*

    So I will start it off.  Fairly basic ideas, but at least it's something better than having to buy in-game items.  

    1) Have a monthly fee for those who play alot, but also have an hourly rate for those who play say only 10 hours per month.  A gamer that plays for 10 hours pay 25 cents an hour for a total of $2.50 that month.  Whereas the gamer who plays non-stop has the option to pay the monthly fee of $12-20/month which would allow him to "break even" at 48-80 hours of game time for the month.   

    2) Or have a "free" area that people can play all they want up to a certain level, or other milestone, then afterward it's a standard monthly fee. 

    3) Or have a discount based on the number of months you keep your account active and paid up.  Say after 3 months, the rate drops by about $2-3/month.  After six months it drops again.  After a year it drops again.  Down to where a player could be paying $6-10/month rather than $12-20/month. 

    All of these would lower the cost impact to both casual gamers and long term vets while drawing in more players because of the low initial cost of trying the game out.  The key to STO's success using these models will be to make an outstanding game that really sucks in the players and makes them want to stay.  Something every Star Trek fan would love I'm sure.   

    Now what is Mr. Spock's estimate of the probability of all that happening?  

     

     

     

    Playing WoT now.

    Favorite All-Time Games: Ultima Online, Star Wars Galaxies, Lord of the Rings Online

  • TerranahTerranah Stockton, CAPosts: 3,605Member

    The current payment model is adequate.  No reason to dumb the game down so that people can afford it.  What is next, ingame advertising?  Are we gonna see pepsi commercials in the turbo lifts?  Or do I have to pay 5 bucks extra to get a phaser rifle upgrade? 

     

    You say you are making a triple A title.  Well that is $15 bucks a month from my experience.  I have played SWG, WOW, EQ2, COH, MxO, DAOC and now LOTRO.  If you want to start using some gimmicky payment model to subsidize low income players then you are not making a triple a game. 

     

    If you are making a game that you do not feel people are willing to pay $15 bucks a month for, then you are not making a triple A game.   And you may point to other payment models used by other games.  But americans are not the korean mmo market, and those are not triple A games.

     

     

  • Mors.MagneMors.Magne LondonPosts: 1,420Member

    I would rather play an outstanding game and pay a high fee.

    If it's an average game I won't play it - even if it's free.

    A Star Trek MMO has enormous potential.

    I wish STO the very best of success.

  • slivilslivil Somewhere, NYPosts: 14Member

    So reading this article and finishing reading the full article and posts on the Startrek net site, couple with Darons post makes me wonder. I don't understand the thinking behind this whole train of thought.

    Daron and let me quote it " You guys are very charitable" umm really who is he actually talking about with the whole You guys phrase. And seriosly if they wanted a open forum and feedback that is not tainted, and I said this before they should have there own site not  post and rely on a "Fan Site". He will only hear and read mostly (could be greatly) the fans of his so called wisdom. This whole casual thinking mode is all fine and dandy. I truely believe that it would be a good thing but usally when it comes down to the almighy dollar, that usally changes and directs the thinking of how things will be done, not what should be done.

     I mean really, the train of thought and direction those people on that site, and no not all of them. But if people wanted to play a game with options of paying less for content and options of items ect ect ect... Then why play a mmorpg ? Go buy a console/pc solo game.  You wont have to listen or interact with others wont have to worry about paying a set fee. Matter of fact you can just save your game and go back to the last point. If Stinnett (PE) is so worried about making the barrier easy and less then set the rates below all others and start a trend. If they start making scaleing payments for whatever reason then they will alienate alot of people and pander to the ones who want or can afford the upper portions of a game.

    I find that whole statement very entertaining by Daron Stinnett,

    "But I don't think that sustinable for the category and certainly rules out a lot of people who don't have the time to get enough value out of that expense."

    And that quote brings me back to the point if people don't have the time for a mmorpg then why play one, get a console/pc game with the whole save feature.

     

     

  • ZorvanZorvan nowhere, CAPosts: 8,912Member

    Daron Stinnett:

    "I personally think that MMOs need to be a better deal. Paying $200/year is a good deal for some but I don't think that is sustainable for the category and certainly rules out a lot of people who don't have the time to get enough value out of that expense. "

     

     

    Now we know the truth. Daron Stinnett has no experience with any game other than F2P grinders. Or he's just a broke clown trying to play bigshot developer. Otherwise, he'd realize EQ, EQ2, WoW, CoX, and every other "AAA" title out there does indeed sustain a monthly fee quite easily. This guy makes me laugh ( at him, not with him ) everytime I see one of his posts. Seriously, if PE ( or whatever the hell their name is going to be now ) want to even have a chance of getting anything out the door, they better toss this moron off the bus at the very next stop.

    I am officially declaring any post made by Daron "don't know sh*t" Stinnett as laughable and unworthy of merit, and completely ignorable as such.

  • xxthecorexxxxthecorexx Bridgewater, NJPosts: 1,078Member

    i really really really fear this game's just going to be an utter train wreck. not that i'm a star trek fan or anything but there's just SO much potential here, and to see it wasted would be a complete shame.

    ____________________________
    TheCore

  • LaterisLateris Phoenix, AZPosts: 1,748Member Uncommon

    Originally posted by Jack_Target


    I would rather play an outstanding game and pay a high fee.
    If it's an average game I won't play it - even if it's free.
    A Star Trek MMO has enormous potential.
    I wish STO the very best of success.

    I have to agree.  I think they should close it down for now. This is turning out to be like Sigils financial problems. And it is a real shame.  And why are they using a fans site?

  • phluuxphluux Hagerstown, MDPosts: 211Member

     

    Originally posted by Zorvan

    Now we know the truth. Daron Stinnett has no experience with any game other than F2P grinders. Or he's just a broke clown trying to play bigshot developer. Otherwise, he'd realize EQ, EQ2, WoW, CoX, and every other "AAA" title out there does indeed sustain a monthly fee quite easily. This guy makes me laugh ( at him, not with him ) everytime I see one of his posts. Seriously, if PE ( or whatever the hell their name is going to be now ) want to even have a chance of getting anything out the door, they better toss this moron off the bus at the very next stop.

     

    I would have to agree. There has to be some other underlying reason because this sounds like a TERRIBLE excuse. If that's what they really feel, then these people need to do some freakin' market analysis. The only AAA title that is F2P is Guild Wars.

    How did these clowns get the rights to do this game? I'm not a huge Star Trek fan, but I know enough about the franchise to know that it is HUGE. I don't get it.

    They also squandered a perfect opportunity to offer the MMO community something new and refreshing with Gods & Heroes.

  • OculitusOculitus The Desert, NVPosts: 203Member

    I think I just heard the sound of them shooting themselves in the foot.  And in the femoral artery. 

  • ZorvanZorvan nowhere, CAPosts: 8,912Member
    Originally posted by Oculitus


    I think I just heard the sound of them shooting themselves in the foot.  And in the femoral artery. 

    What's bad, is they were aiming for the head. Just more incompetence.

  • ShanniaShannia Huntingdon, NYPosts: 2,096Member

    Originally posted by phluux


     
    Originally posted by Zorvan

    Now we know the truth. Daron Stinnett has no experience with any game other than F2P grinders. Or he's just a broke clown trying to play bigshot developer. Otherwise, he'd realize EQ, EQ2, WoW, CoX, and every other "AAA" title out there does indeed sustain a monthly fee quite easily. This guy makes me laugh ( at him, not with him ) everytime I see one of his posts. Seriously, if PE ( or whatever the hell their name is going to be now ) want to even have a chance of getting anything out the door, they better toss this moron off the bus at the very next stop.

     

    I would have to agree. There has to be some other underlying reason because this sounds like a TERRIBLE excuse. If that's what they really feel, then these people need to do some freakin' market analysis. The only AAA title that is F2P is Guild Wars.

    How did these clowns get the rights to do this game? I'm not a huge Star Trek fan, but I know enough about the franchise to know that it is HUGE. I don't get it.

    They also squandered a perfect opportunity to offer the MMO community something new and refreshing with Gods & Heroes.

    "How did these clowns get the rights to do this game?"  Now, that is a great question.  Remember,  Glen Dahlgren (the original lead designer) and some of the earlier people they had on the project are the reasons why P.E. got the IP.    I believe when Glen Dalhgren and Harry left, the heart of the project left as well.  The public relations guy at P.E., "Binky" left the Wednesday before Thanksgiving as well.  We are in for a rough ride.

     

    Fear not fanbois, we are not trolls, let's take off your tin foil hat and learn what VAPORWARE is:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vaporware

    "Vaporware is a term used to describe a software or hardware product that is announced by a developer well in advance of release, but which then fails to emerge after having well exceeded the period of development time that was initially claimed or would normally be expected for the development cycle of a similar product."

  • ifan2kifan2k BathPosts: 42Member

    Oh great. They're basically attempting to make it so that 13 year olds can join the game without having to pay a monthly sub. Batton down the hatches, boys- when you get to play this game, you'll be surrounded by idiotic, immature brats who don't know how to work in teams at all.

    'gif moneyz plz?'

    'ZOMG! YOU'RE GAY! LOL!"

    Yeah, I so want to play this game now.

  • TamalanTamalan LeedsPosts: 1,117Member

    Remarkable, just remarkable how wrong these people are getting it.

    One of the core mechanics of the ST universe, of the time period and central to the canon is the fact that within the federation money has been abolished.

    And these clown-shoed buffoons are considering putting a cash shop in STO.

    I was really looking forward to this game, and I very rarely, if ever, post negatively about an unreleased and unplayed game, but I'm really not getting good vibes any more...

    Boo I say, boo to PE and the misguided suit that handed the license to them.

    ST fans petitioned and successfully got the original series back on air after cancellation, maybe we can do something similar and get the IP handled by a developer with some sort of clue.

    Bah...

     

     

  • ifan2kifan2k BathPosts: 42Member

    Originally posted by Tamalan


    Remarkable, just remarkable how wrong these people are getting it.
    One of the core mechanics of the ST universe, of the time period and central to the canon is the fact that within the federation money has been abolished.
    And these clown-shoed buffoons are considering putting a cash shop in STO.
    I was really looking forward to this game, and I very rarely, if ever, post negatively about an unreleased and unplayed game, but I'm really not getting good vibes any more...
    Boo I say, boo to PE and the misguided suit that handed the license to them.
    ST fans petitioned and successfully got the original series back on air after cancellation, maybe we can do something similar and get the IP handled by a developer with some sort of clue.
    Bah...
     
     

    Too right. Star Trek should be handed over to the folks at CCP, or a company that's similar to theirs. They know how to make a real game, and they can comprehend things such as loyalty to one's fanbase.

  • dalevi1dalevi1 Toledo, OHPosts: 829Member

     

    Originally posted by ifan2k


    Oh great. They're basically attempting to make it so that 13 year olds can join the game without having to pay a monthly sub. Batton down the hatches, boys- when you get to play this game, you'll be surrounded by idiotic, immature brats who don't know how to work in teams at all.
    'gif moneyz plz?'
    'ZOMG! YOU'RE GAY! LOL!"
    Yeah, I so want to play this game now.
    God I hate to support this post, but in all honesty this is a pretty correct evaluation. I have not made it more than 10 hours in a FTP game. I tried really hard to stick it out in a few, but ultimately they were unplayable with the FTP communities. Note: I have played SL for 3.5 years, but at least there I have control over my little corner of the universe. SL might be an example of what ownership can do in a sea of minors/noobs/immature. Give ownership and property rights, and allow that paying customer to decide what is right for their situation.

     

     

    Will STO follow this model, well, hell no...But if they decide a free to play with gear (ships, phasers, photons, experimental units, whatever) is their business model, then I won't touch this game. I don't mean to invoke GnH, but they had perhaps four titles (articles) on this site in the week before they cancelled what I had hoped to be a very good MMO set in an environment I find fascinating. If their handling of Star Trek follows suit, than I think it best this game never be released. I find ST to be much to deep a media to be wasted like the Matrix, which has perhaps 1/100th the lore of ST.

    We'll see? I guess...but they should be warned, and I am sure they have...This is not a title to be trifled with, most of the fans I know would rather watch re-runs than play a substandard game with a substandard community.

    Played (more than a month): SWG, Second Life, Tabula Rasa, Lineage 2, Everquest 2, EvE, MxO, Ryzom.

    Tried: WoW, Shadowbane, Anarchy Online, Everquest, WWII Online, Planetside

    Beta: Lotro, Tabula Rasa, WAR.

  • AefooAefoo Nothing, WIPosts: 37Member

    Im sorry but I do not understand the point of paying for in game items.  I play MMORPG's to get away from reality and have fun not to spend money trying to upgrade my ship so I can "PWN JOO SO HARD!!!"   Along with this decision if they decide to make the game "with a lower barrier to entry than is the norm" which means a dumbed down version, it would be nice if he would have called it for what it was, they will in MY opionion go down as the biggest flub up of a MMORPG IP EVER....so Im sure SOE has their fingers crossed 

  • ZorvanZorvan nowhere, CAPosts: 8,912Member
    Originally posted by Tamalan



    ST fans petitioned and successfully got the original series back on air after cancellation, maybe we can do something similar and get the IP handled by a developer with some sort of clue.

    You know, I've been thinking. When PE was given the license 1.) it was a different group of people than it is now (the suits who obtained the IP are no longer there) and 2.) it was given to PE, not to "whichever developer PE sells to".  I'm willing to bet there is a clause in the contract making their holding of the IP null and void if transferred to another company. At least, I'm hoping so.

  • SonofSethSonofSeth ZagrebPosts: 1,884Member

    How far does the rabbit hole actualy go?

    image

  • TamalanTamalan LeedsPosts: 1,117Member

    Originally posted by Zorvan

    Originally posted by Tamalan



    ST fans petitioned and successfully got the original series back on air after cancellation, maybe we can do something similar and get the IP handled by a developer with some sort of clue.

    You know, I've been thinking. When PE was given the license 1.) it was a different group of people than it is now (the suits who obtained the IP are no longer there) and 2.) it was given to PE, not to "whichever developer PE sells to".  I'm willing to bet there is a clause in the contract making their holding of the IP null and void if transferred to another company. At least, I'm hoping so.


    As a lifelong Trek fan and an MMO gamer since 99, I dearly hope this is the case. I had dreams of a vast, detailed and immsersive ST experience and now im having nightmares about a cross between Knight Online and ST Legacy. Even Dr Moreau never dared attempt creating such an abomination.

    Maybe Stargate Worlds can step up and fill the vacuum the PE muppets have created.

  • todeswulftodeswulf Dallas, TXPosts: 715Member
    Originally posted by Oculitus


    I think I just heard the sound of them shooting themselves in the foot.  And in the femoral artery. 



    While pouring zippo fluid on their heads and dancing the Watoosi underneath welding sparks.  I want a Trek MMO, but were already in NGE land with this clown.    It's almost like David Bowman changed his name  and landed a job with PE.

  • keltic1701keltic1701 Baltimore, MDPosts: 1,162Member

    I wonder if those who will be developing this game have any idea just  how negative the response is to the notion of making STO a FTP game? My optimistic side hopes that they or their underlings are checking out some of the online forums to get a vibe on the direction they have chosen. However, my realistic side says that they either won't know or won't care until the game is released and they find out  few, if anyone, is playing it.  This is a sad day for any Star Trek fan who hoped that they could find themselves one day exporing the "final frontier" as the Federation,  in some future time being a gunner on the bridge of a Klingon battlecruiser or being a Romulan spy or even an Orion trader. It's looking more and more that STO will never see the light of day or  live up to it's potental. The only ray of hope is that STO will  be brought back from the edge of the Abyss like Middle-earth Online was when Turbine took over. While some may cringe at the mention of LOTRO, it's still a hellava lot better that what The Powers That Be have in store for STO. They also may save the time an effort that SOE put in to destroying SWG and just make STO bad from the get-go.

  • SonofSethSonofSeth ZagrebPosts: 1,884Member

    this is soooo kosher!

    image

  • QuantumQrackQuantumQrack Boise, IDPosts: 81Member

    STO under Stinnet is a complete clownshow.

  • JYCowboyJYCowboy Northlake, TXPosts: 660Member

    Like SWG, marketing is very important in the development of an IP MMO.

    Who is doing the Market Research on this game?

    How are they conducting it? 

    What is thier results and who are they questioning?

    I will repeat from my previous posts,  If your not Star Trek, you just wont care about this game.  It is fruitless to appeal to a new generally larger audiance when they have many more choices.  This game should be a world simulator for Trekkies and Trekkers that can absorb thier passion for the Final Frontier.  But that would be to hard when you can just skin an existing MMO and follow its machanics.

    Put the Fanatic First not the gamer.

     

  • DracusDracus The Bay Area, CAPosts: 1,449Member

     

    Originally posted by JYCowboy


    Like SWG, marketing is very important in the development of an IP MMO.
    Who is doing the Market Research on this game?
    How are they conducting it? 
    What is thier results and who are they questioning? 

    I concur and figured that I would answer those questions.

     

    "Who is doing the Market Research on this game?"

    No one has been mentioned.

    "How are they conducting it? "

    Running in silent mode until about 1 to 2 years.

    "What is thier results and who are they questioning? "

    Questioning no one... and the results, I believe all of the above postings are good examples of the results.

     

    Granted rumors and negative press travels like wild fires on the Internet, much faster than the truth or good news.  But wild fires on the Internet do not burn themselves out and can only be put out in time by effect damage control and proactive measures...  which as we have seen has been limited to just two postings, with no replies to the inquiries. 

    Whatever PR marketing company that is awarded a contract is going to have a hard time...

    And that is why...

    Conservatives' pessimism is conducive to their happiness in three ways. First, they are rarely surprised -- they are right more often than not about the course of events. Second, when they are wrong they are happy to be so. Third, because pessimistic conservatives put not their faith in princes -- government -- they accept that happiness is a function of fending for oneself. They believe that happiness is an activity -- it is inseparable from the pursuit of happiness.

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