PWE is sunsetting the Foundry system in Star Trek Online and Neverwinter

The studio says it's lost too much "legacy knowledge" to keep it going.

    
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Oh noes.

Cryptic’s Foundry system, implemented in both Star Trek Online and Neverwinter, has traditionally been one of the best-loved player content creation tools in the entire MMO verse, in spite of its many (many) ups and downs and long stretches offline under construction – and now it’s going away forever.

“On April 11, we are sad to announce that we will be sunsetting the Foundry system for Neverwinter and Star Trek Online,” Perfect World announced this morning. “This decision was not made lightly; the Foundry was a passion project for many of us, and we have loved seeing the unique stories and awesome content our Foundry Authors have produced.”

So why give up now? PWE suggests the “legacy knowledge required to maintain the Foundry” at its standards is “no longer available.”

“Our goal is to continue creating top-notch content for our current and upcoming games – and the development time and resources required to maintain the Foundry would impede on these new features and systems. To reiterate, this decision does not impact any other game feature or content development for Star Trek Online, Neverwinter, Champions Online, or future titles.”

There’s a tiny bit of silver lining: If you took part in Foundry missions or authored any yourself, you’ll be picking up some in-game swag, including badges, space pets, Foundry spotlights, genesis torpedo ground devices, titles, or capes, depending on what you did.

The studio is promising a tribute livestream this afternoon at 6 p.m. EST.

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ryuk52109

what I would have done is-disable the creation system, but keep the missions that have already been made. Some of them were really interesting, including characters and worlds that are not in the main game (such as the time travel ones). Rather then just getting rid of them all, existing missions worked after updates afaik so I see no reason to get rid of them.

semugh
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semugh

/holdtorch

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mysecretid

I’ve been playing Star Trek Online since beta, and in my opinion, The Foundry never really lived up to its promise.

Every time the game altered it’s code significantly, this would break existing Foundry missions, and the Foundry would go “offline” until the game devs could steal the spare time to update the Foundry.

My biggest problem with STO’s Foundry, however, was that the creation tools and methods provided were never really as versatile or useful as player-creators hoped.

While some authors fashioned very impressive Foundry missions, this was typically done in spite of the Foundry toolset’s severe creative limitations.

As an example, even nine years on, there was still no simple way to create original interior environments for a mission..

Only the space maps could be made with any sort of ease, which resulted in a lot of player-made “missions” being little more than space-based shoot-em-ups.

So, yeah, it’s too bad the Foundry has to go, but — at least in Star Trek Online –it was always a problematic feature throughout its lifespan.

My opinions, anyway,

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GamingSF

It was a system with such promise, that in Neverwinter at least, didn’t really live up to its potential. After they nerfed rewards it lost a lot of popularity and the rating system was fiddly. The supposed incentive system of daily rewards for running a few scenarios led poor designers to have to fight against the system’s tendency to exclude scenarios as the average runtime fell below the bar – this happened because speed-running players would run the same scenario faster and faster as they learned it.

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Witches

Yay! Less features! This is great news…

If top management forfeited their bonuses, there would be enough money to hire devs to fix this and probably make a couple of games from scratch, kinda pathetic really.

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Fenrir Wolf

Eh, that’s capitalism. It’s why I tend to prefer smaller companies and indie devs. There’s less of this going around, there. Of course, you’ll never be truly free of being caught off-guard by the odd confidence plot, though the risks are less and usually the games are better. Or, at the very least, more interesting to niche gamers like myself.

It’s really something when even visual novels can have greater emotional impact — and without resorting to cheap tricks like meaningless deaths, suffering, and tragedy — than the vast, vast majority of AAA games. Then again, the right company can do amazing things with a visual novel, as Disgaea Infinite proved.

JonBuck
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JonBuck

The livestream recording. This was a very hard decision for them.

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Jeremy Zharkov

I think this has to be something else. Namely the cheat missions people made to avoid the endeavor grind. (Okay, not really cheat, but you just did the Foundry mission instead of what they wanted you to do).

I mean, City of Heroes had its version last until the game was shut down. Same technology, basically, as the games use the same engine.

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PanagiotisLial1

Well its for both their games, not just STO, so I doubt its just that, but you never know

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John Mynard

When you consider that it broke every single time that they patched their games and it took a month or more of developer time to fix, this makes a lot of sense from a business standpoint.

I don’t like it any more than anyone else, but I can understand it. Still sad though.

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starbuck1771

You do realize Cryptic made CoH right?

CapnLan
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CapnLan

Kind of surprising tbh. I was always hoping they would fix it up but I guess that was too much to ask. I always had trouble with STO’s version. Making me use a 2D map editor for a 3D environment was always a hassle. At least I get a badge and pet ship out of it I guess.

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Bruno Brito

“Our goal is to continue creating top-notch content for our current and upcoming games – and the development time and resources required to maintain the Foundry would impede on these new features and systems. To reiterate, this decision does not impact any other game feature or content development for Star Trek Online, Neverwinter, Champions Online, or future titles.”

Translation:

“We couldn’t be assed to fix this bugged shitshow, and while you guys made us tons of great content for our mediocre games, we wouldn’t dream of spending one minute of our expendable workforce towards something that benefits you without any return to our shareholders. So instead of us actively improving upon our mediocre engine, we will instead focus on monetize the new dumpsterfire of content we create to you.”

There are Foundry quests better than anything PWE ever came up with. It’s fucking laughable they’re doing this. Yeah, it was bugged, so what? That’s a problem with the company, not the players. The Foundry was a fountain of great content, creativity and expression. Can’t have that bullshit on mediocre games, no sir.

Everytime i think about giving NW a new spin, i remember how fucking whatever the game really is.

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PanagiotisLial1

STO more fun than NWO on my opinion but still a bug fest. They have still to fix a bug where sometimes you queue and it takes only the leader inside with randoms instead his team who waited in vein

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Bruno Brito

Yes. And that’s the nature of Cryptic Games, to be fair. They are above-mediocrity when they allow you unparalled customization, which NW has not much.

There’s a reason why CO is considered their best game in terms of conception, even when it flopped.

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PanagiotisLial1

I still play CO at times, its not as bad as people make it to be but its old now and I guess it didnt have some things CoH had. I didnt play CoH ever really so i tried the game without having a prior superhero game

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Bruno Brito

It’s not bad. It’s abandoned. I loved AT PvP, but the game almost has no one playing.

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Nate Woodard

To add to all of that, Paragon brokered a bad business deal with NC Soft and then they were furiously trying to create a new title that might be better than it’s predecessor. Fact is, CoH was so good, CO couldn’t live up.

I mean, I almost didn’t even know anything about CO. I definitely treated it like Warhammer Online vs WoW at the time. “Clearly, Warhammer is a WoW clone and I better just stick with WoW.” That was my mistake, of course. But, you couldn’t convince me of that at the time.

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starbuck1771

Tell that to the city of heroes fans. They will tell you CoH was Cryptic’s best game.

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Bruno Brito

I tried to play CoH, i’m sure it was good, but CO had a ungodly ammount of customization. CoH from what i recall had great content, which was lacking on CO.

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Matthew Yetter

The reality is that the Foundry was badly bugged from Day One, with a bunch of really important features that didn’t work properly. Then their ratings system was set up in such a way that all new content was automatically considered to be as bad as the very worst stuff from player ratings. This meant that no matter how much you put up with the bugs and how much effort you put into crafting a great adventure, it wasn’t ever going to be played by anyone unless you had a strong social network to milk for positive ratings. On top of all of that, I can’t even remember the last time that Foundry content was even available for play in Neverwinter. Admittedly, I haven’t played in quite a while but every time I ever came back to the game the Foundry and its content were unavailable.

So for me, the only surprise is that this didn’t come sooner.

It’s a shame. The core idea was smart, but unfortunately doomed from the outset due to poor implementation in every area.