Star Trek Online community stands divided over a Reddit protest targeting game issues

    
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FIRST

The Star Trek Online community is in uproar today after a popular subreddit was taken private by its mods in protest over problems with the game. Here’s the admin message on /r/stobuilds, a sub that helps players figure out how to build their toons, right now.

“It is regretful to say that r/STOBuilds is being placed under private status due to game state being in constant flux and constant issues with unbalanced gear, traits and items, as well as complete lack of apparent willingness for fixes to these issues to be implemented; until these issues are addressed and we feel that it is safe to continue hosting knowing that players will receive correct accurate information we will reopen. We apologize for the inconvenience and hope that we can reopen soon.”

On the regular STO reddit, however, gamers are not at all pleased about the move, arguing that the mods are “hijack[ing] player resources.” While one player called it an “early Christmas present for Cryptic” – i.e., self-inflicted wounds on a sub that digs too deeply into the studio’s code and otherwise irritates the studio – another summed it up thus:

“Absolutely appalling when little tin gods like this can hold such a vast repository of knowledge hostage. The Irony? Cryptic/PWE won’t give a damn, instead these people just end up turning themselves into some of the most reviled people in the STO community for a pulling a stunt like this.”

This is far from the first player protest in an MMO; we’ve rounded up a few of the more notable ones from the last few years right here. And yes, sometimes they do work. But generally they have the support of most of the community behind them.

Source: Reddit. Thanks, CapnLan!

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Oden Knight

A response video, and hopefully a start for the gaming community to have a talk with studio’s, as well as themselves:

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Nathan Aldana

as someone who has quit STO specifically because figuring out how to build a character well is a fucking nightmare, I cant say I disagree with the protest. STO’s a fun game but hampered by the massive grinding walls and how obtuse the game can be mechanically

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Utakata

Or tl,dr: They are have troubles with tribbles. O.o

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Oden Knight

Every MMO that wants to have longevity in its gameplay cares about powercreep for various reasons, and will reign it in in one way or another.

Bugs of a specific category and severity need to be addressed ASAP if the game wants to be seen as something enjoyable for the long term.

Saying every game has X and Y is only 1/2 the story. Good games deal with the bad issues and resolve them. Potentially good games may not deal with these issues (as well as other factors), which limits their potential to be good games. Bad games just dgaf.

Whether you like it or not, the game is losing players for the long term. Yes, some of us coax others to come back and play for a special event, or just because raiding/boring event is going on in another game, but the frustration level rises quickly, and the game is relegated to being on the external hard drive, deleted (again), or shoved aside because it’s on that crummy desktop/laptop that sits in the corner collecting dust (looking at you /u/startrekker ).

The community is not completely ruined because of this action. The community is upset that a repository of information that is used to support deficiencies in Cryptic’s ability to convey mechanics to players became unavailable to the community for a brief moment. You call it a demonstration by a bunch of . I see it as a demonstration of how much the community has propped up STO in spite of us reporting the bugs and politely asking for major issues in bugs and mechanics to be fixed, in having nomenclature standardized across the board, in ensuring there is some relevant QA conducted, and in having a feedback system that prioritizes bug reporting and provides a reasonable estimate as to when the issue can be looked at and addressed.. AND follow through with it.

Gamers (and society, as a whole) have become reluctant to speak up when standards are lowered, and they become collectively complacent when they are told that, “This is the way that it is”, when there are examples that it does not have to be so.

What is desired is a better Player-Developer interaction, care for the product being released, and proper support is paid for proper work.

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Crowe

You’ve nailed it, I think. Unfortunately, it’s been a helluva long time since Cryptic was a company that cared.

oldandgrumpy
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Kickstarter Donor
oldandgrumpy

Interesting as I found r/stobuilds to be a really helpful site when I played STO.

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Fervor Bliss

Ever little fish is a tyrant of the sea.

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Loyal Patron
Neurotic

I’ve never been smart enough to get into the whole ‘plotting and planning’ thing for my characters in any mmog, although I respect that there are people who enjoy that kind of thing.

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Oden Knight

As someone who has contributed to some of that knowledge, and lost access to said knowledge, I disagree. This event is something that is long overdue, not just for STO, but for the gamer-developer relationship as a whole. The mindset needs to change, and this catalyst started the discussion and community reaction needed to drive the point home;

Studios/Developers need to care about releasing quality products. Players need to care about receiving AND supporting quality products.

Yangers
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Kickstarter Donor
Yangers

You cant even see your own posts in a subreddit when its made private? That sucks.

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Oden Knight

It’s back open now.

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Oden Knight

Part of the response from the moderators of the group. I’ve been in touch with a few of them, and this is something that has been going on for years, not just in STO, but in the gaming community as a whole. Players shouldn’t tolerate incomplete work.

Anyone remember the Blizzard of old, where they’d communicate that they’d be late in releasing something, but it would be worth it? They delivered on their promise WHILE keeping open the lines of communication and feedback. They were rewarded with loyal, paying clients (not just customers).

Gamers want that again.

STOBuilds Mod Response, Announcement, and Re-Opening from sto

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Darkthunder

Some people on /r/sto see it as “temper tantrum” from “power hungry children”. I see it as much needed and long-overdue, to force developers to actually LISTEN to their community (as well as their customers).

A few well-chosen Ferengi Rules of Acquisition to consider here:

Rule 57. Good customers are as rare as latinum. Treasure them.
Rule 203. New customers are like razor-toothed gree-worms. They can be succulent, but sometimes they bite back.

After 8 years, some of Cryptic’s STO customers finally chose to bite back. And for this, I wholly applaud them. Hopefully Cryptic’s devs take notice, and start dealing with longstanding bugs and issues present in the game since even before the launch back in 2010. New content is great and all, but needs more focus on fixing older stuff too.

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Oden Knight

Some of the new content is broken because of unresolved bugs that existed. Bad code leading to bad hooks, leading to bad experiences for the players.

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Darkthunder

For years, I’ve often seen new STO content as taking 1-2 steps forward, and another 10 steps backwards. I have not experienced a single major content update (Seasons in STO lingo), in which the game didn’t introduce or re-introduce a slew of bugs. QA testing exists for a reason. The PTR (Tribble) exists for a reason, yet seemingly Cryptic chooses to ignore most if not all feedback that is given.

People will no doubt defend Cryptic by saying that content on Tribble is unfinished, and will be fixed before being pushed to Holodeck (Live server), yet strangely in 99 times out of a 100, the exact same build is pushed from Tribble to Holodeck, with the exact same issues, and with little or no acknowledgement from Cryptic that the bug reports have been received, or that they will be dealt with.

I’d expect a game to be bug-ridden in the first few months of it’s lifetime, maybe even a year or two. But this has been going on for almost 9 years now. I’m not saying Cryptic are any better or worse than other devs. Hell, the juggernaut that is WoW still has it’s share of issues every now and then, in what is now it’s 14th year. The difference being, how WoW devs handle feedback from it’s community, vs how Cryptic devs handle feedback.

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Crowe

Yeah, I’d be shocked if they start paying attention to the test servers now. They didn’t acknowledge most of our discussions/pleas/bug reports in beta for STO.

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Bruno Brito

The difference being, how WoW devs handle feedback from it’s community, vs how Cryptic devs handle feedback.

Small heads-up: WoW’s bugfixing is great, at receiving feedback and acting on it.

WoW’s design team isn’t. They’re extremely detached, and the latests blunders on Blizz part show that.

I’ll agree that Cryptic can’t even get the bugfix part correctly.

StrikeShip
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StrikeShip

STOBuilds is just a community led by second rate players trying to emphasize their own style of play. You won’t find those guys on top of the leaderboards.

And now they behave like three year olds. Pathetic.

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Oden Knight

Just because they’re not on the to of the DPS boards doesn’t mean that they don’t know what they’re talking about, or aren’t the ones deriving mechanics for people to use so that others can be on the top of the leaderboards.

As a contributor to Builds, I support their decision. I was also on top of the leaderboards for HSE, CCA, and top 20 in ISA.

StrikeShip
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StrikeShip

And now they are online again. Turncoats. *laugh*

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Oden Knight

Because the initial reason for the protest has been accomplished. Cryptic Studios is now talking directly to the STO Mods team to have some major game-breaking bugs addressed, as well as initiate long-term plans to have bug reports that meet a certain criteria for severity acknowledged, and to see if Cryptic would provide a roadmap to finish their Balance Pass attempt, as well as addressing the new bugs to gear and mechanics introduced into the game.

StrikeShip
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StrikeShip

Still pathetic and counterproductive.

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Oden Knight

How would you have done better?

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Bruno Brito

He wouldn’t. He’s just badmouthing people because he apparently needs it.

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Utakata

…you mean he’s a gree-worm? o.O

StrikeShip
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StrikeShip

Jellied?

StrikeShip
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StrikeShip

Nice cat pic.

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Bruno Brito

What’s wrong with cats?

You don’t like my cat? Because he’s incredible, and fun. Jumps into my lap everyday and cuddles.

Who the hell wouldn’t like cats. What, are you that sociopathic that even cats can’t please you? Is your hobby to anonymously badmouth people you don’t know while, again, being anonymous because you can’t take the heat?

Nice nickname. That ship has sinked already. Move on.

And why would i be jelly of a nobody? I like jelly, but i’m more of a icecream guy.

StrikeShip
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StrikeShip

Excuse moi.

Very nice cat pic.

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Bruno Brito

You’re almost there.

StrikeShip
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StrikeShip

Better than shutting down a community site. Well, I don’t know where to start. First I’d try to contact one of the devs directly. Spartan was one of them once, wasn’t he? Or use the official forum to report bugs. I did not see any report on the swarmer issue by one of them.

But let me quote one of the most upvoted posts from reddit by Schmuggelware:

Ahhh, we have come to the point in STO’s history where a small, pretentious and entitled group of players feels the need to make such a mess of a part of the community, it results in the Community Manager having to step in. Ultimately I’d say this can be interpreted as blackmailing the Developers of the game into “fixing their Bug Report System”. Just to get attention from everyone around and probably personally benefiting from it. That’s sad. Really really sad.
As noted by /u/crypticspartan in a bug-reporting thread about 10 days ago:

The issue was difficult to track down, as in local testing, [the Swarmers] were usually shown to overperform, but not by anything resembling the reports, and the report we were consistently given – they appear to scale with your damage buffs – wasn’t happening. And the appropriate response based on what players were reporting, to cut their damage to perhaps 10% of what it is, was so far out of line with what we were seeing internally […]

Basically stating that most of the reports were just simply wrong or not valuable for developing any fixes for this current issue. I imagine this is true for most of the bugs you mentioned.

So tell me, why don’t look at yourself first. Trying to improve or rather rectify your (and all the players who report bugs) methods of testing would be something. How can it be that the majority of “bug reports” are just worthless. Yet they still arrive, and Cryptic has to look at them.

Sure many bugs have been in the game for a long time, but they aren’t game breaking in any way. We as players also need to adapt, if a console doesn’t work in it’s intended way (by the way, who says it isn’t? Only the developers know the intention), we have to adapt, is that really THAT hard? Apparently so, since you decided to just go on and whine about it like a baby.

And now, you got a big bonus you can pride yourselves with: The Community Manager came to you! Why should that priviledge only apply to you? In my opinion /u/ambassadorkael has really improved communication with the playerbase. Priding youself with this protest and calling the attempt of a CM to keep and preserve a resource for players a success of the action is just morally reprehensible.

I just hope, for all of us, you are able to look at yourselves first the next time, and recognize your own selfishness before you decide to instantly go to extremes.

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Bruno Brito

This sounds like a whiteknight issue.

we have to adapt, is that really THAT hard? Apparently so, since you decided to just go on and whine about it like a baby.

This is one of the biggests loads of horsecrap i’ve ever heard someone spout. No one has to adapt to subpar shit. NO ONE. No one has to sit tight while a product you paid for, with hard earned money is tossed aside for more profitable and ephemeral ventures while you, a fucking loyal customer is forgotten with the dreg.

If you agree in any way, shape or form, with this garbage, you DESERVE the goddamn subpar product and service you’re getting.

You are exactly what’s wrong with gaming today. People who defend with tooth and nail, these imbeciles making hundreds of thousands upon your wallets. At least, when these companies doing these shitty business crash and burn, you’ll burn with them.

StrikeShip
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StrikeShip

You spend money on STO? Oh dear.

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Bruno Brito

Never did. Never will. But this game is afloat because of it’s community and they have the right to go against practices that hurts them.

But whatever you say, it’s easy when you’re an anonymous prick to just badmouth stuff and be done with. You didn’t give any proper feedback or anything worthwhile to this discussion.

You’re just another imbecile. Another day.