Star Trek Online’s Mudd’s Market pricing ignites a community firestorm

    
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It sounds like a good idea on paper: a new section of the cash shop in Star Trek Online that offers items that haven’t been obtainable in the game for a long time. However, the prices of those items have been met with an outcry from fans.

Mudd’s Market, which launched this past Friday, offers a selection of items like ships, ship items, and weapons among other things that have otherwise long since disappeared from the game’s rotation and also promises to offer sales on items daily. However, the prices for these items arrive at eye-watering amounts, like 2,000 Zen ($20) for a combat pet, 3,500 Zen ($35) for a ship, or 1,000 Zen ($10) for a holographic bridge officer. What’s more, these are the sale prices; it was confirmed by community manager Ambassador Kael that the original prices will be the going rate for items when sales end, meaning that 3,500 Zen ship would rise to 14,000 Zen ($140).

As one can imagine, the playerbase is incensed by the Market and the price structure to the point that legal action is being threatened. Further muddying things is the fact that earlier communications from official sources had stated that the prices were meant to be a joke, which likely prompted Ambassador Kael’s clarifying post.

As of this writing, Star Trek Online has not offered any rescinding of the Mudd’s Market launch nor issued a statement about pricing. We’ll be sure to keep an eye on things if the situation shifts.

sources: official site, Reddit, with thanks to Sad STO Fan, CapnLan, and Michael for the tips!

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captainbladej52

I am the “previous official source” quoted above. Some folks know me by CaptainBladej52, some by Darkbladejk. First I am NOT an actual Cryptic employee and there are several errors in your article. I simply help them out as a volunteer moderator and Bug Hunter. None of my cohorts on the moderation team are official employees. From time to time we may be given information to relay to people on their behalf. The information I relayed to the group on facebook was the information as I understood it at the time. If there was a mistake in relaying that information that is on me and not the company. Not that I care for people knowing my name, but I would have also appreciated a heads up before simply putting that information out there without my knowledge.

You also did not link the official feedback thread I mentioned that was posted here: https://www.arcgames.com/en/forums/startrekonline#/discussion/1252292/mudds-market-discussion-and-feedback

Folks are free to give their feedback and constructive criticisms in that thread as folks are keeping an eye on it. In that thread is the link to Ambassador Kael’s tweet as well as slight bits of further clarification on the issue.

First, the pricing is meant to be an in-universe pun on Mudd being a con-man as he was on the show. By United States law, a company cannot simply claim an item is on sale forever and at some point they must restore the item to its “original price” and the sale must end. It is intended for regular rotating sales to be present in the Mudd store and for the sale price to fluctuate. It could be equal to the 75%, slightly less at say 50%, or even higher than the 75% at say 90% as just one hypothetical. The point is for folks to check the store at least once each time they log in. It’s intended to be extremely rare for the items to be at their “regular price.” I am hoping for the sales to be in a predictable pattern such as the following. Monday the items are full price, Tuesday 75% off, Wednesday 50%, Thursday 25%, Friday 90% off, and so on. So you very well could see sales beyond the 75% mark.

I have made my opinion known that I think this is more trouble than its worth and that I’m not a fan of the pricing either, but ultimately it’s not my decision. I have also voiced some concerns of my own to them in regards to this as well. I have also seen people saying for a few years now they would rather pay for the items in the C-store vs trying to get them from the Phoenix Boxes, so something has got to give. Personally I would have just thrown them in the Phoenix Boxes and been done with it but that’s just me, and again not my decision to make. Personally as someone who already had most of the items there, such as the Vizier, I am glad folks have a chance to get the items, as I’ve never been a fan of the exclusivity arguments some folks make since it has no bearing on my gameplay in the positive or negative if someone else has it like me.

If folks have feedback, constructive criticism, questions, or concerns, I would encourage them to post it in the feedback thread I linked above.

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PanagiotisLial1

I dont think people would complain if that pricing was for phoenix box for actual ships as opposed to pricing low priority items like beacons as if they were ships. Bottom line they can price what they want but they shouldnt expect many to buy going so high on low priority items.

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captainbladej52

Like I said above, I’ve made my opinions known to them as well that I think the prices are high on some stuff. I have also made my opinion known that some of the packs seem to be really barren and they should consider adding a slight bit more to them, such as adding 5 keys in with the beacon of kahless in addition to the tech upgrade. Given that’s just an example. Folks are forgetting as well that the items are all account unlocks, so if you have the max of 54 toons, that’s potentially 54 copies of an item. Plus again, the rotating sales could push the items even lower than the initial 75% sale. So there is potential for the prices to go even lower. This is also the first implementation and go around for this store, and things are bound to change with time.

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PanagiotisLial1

Yes I think they really need adjustments too if they want this new feature to be a success

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Kickstarter Donor
NeoWolf

Absolutely agree with the put things in the zen store instead of all this lockbox, lottery, rng like Phoenix boxes and associated bs (and have been one of those calling for it for years) especially when their odds of getting anything notable from those things are so low as to be essentially implausible.
(was reading a reddit post today for example of someone who opened 1000 phoenix packs and posted the results.. 1 epic! screw those odds especially when the epic is character bound and not account wide to boot).

As for the rotating discount based on Mudds theme in general that is a GOD awful idea and something which if is the case they should have communicated WAY better. If someone buys something 25% off thursday and then comes back the next day to see the same thing 90% off they are going to be pissed FOR SURE. lol

Finally regarding feedback, you know I hear this across games all the time, leave us your feedback, we listen.. except there is almost always very little evidence of the listening proactively, only ever RETRO-actively once a game ignored feedback did something the wrong way, upset everyone and had thier approach fall on its face first… it would be nice to see them listen first for a change and save us all the grief.. :)

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BaddMoonRizin

Well, maybe half of this article is accurate.

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Johnny Quantum

Agree the prices are high, but on the other hand:

1. They are account wide
2. Not game breaking, so no need to buy
3. I got a free T6 ship last event, and about to get my second!

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Castagere Shaikura

PWE baby yeah

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Kickstarter Donor
NeoWolf

I’m not surprised people are annoyed, I was somewhat when I saw that the contents of Mudds store is basically the things that we ALL used to get for free by simply playing the Featured Episode of the month they used to run. These things people are paying thousands of zen with one or two exceptions for were FREE items.

The only reason I wasn’t outraged is because I played the featured eps so had all the rewards anyway lol And some of those prices they list when not discounted are postiviely insulting.

It would be nice if they put more effort into fixing the absolute PLETHORA of bugs and broken things in the game that have been hanging around for years than putting all effort into just developing things to SELL for a change… heck even their content releases of late only amount to 1 mission and 4 repeatable dailies???.. how is that significant in any way?, not even a quest chain just a single mission.

I think STO is less “secure” than it pertains to be personally as all its gears are on grinding cash not retaining players.

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rayraycharlie

I don’t see a problem with the cost at sale price and I applaud them for adding a little flavor to the store. They could even make Mudd missions which could give a 75% off voucher or something. Anyway I am glad to get the pimp cane on all my characters instead of only the ones that ran the mission way back when.

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Hippie_John

Anybody wanna buy a monocle?

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Arktouros

This is why we get lock boxes instead of companies just directly selling us things for the prices they want to sell them for.

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PanagiotisLial1

the problem is how good/useful is an item towards price

they priced them, as base price more than ship cost range

if they had priced old event ships none can get anymore at 3x the zen price of normal ships for example(instead put them on the phoenix box) none or almost none would complain. I am not sure which games you play to give you a good measure of comparison but lets say its like as if ESO priced an outfit 4-5x the largest and most expensive already furnished house.

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Arktouros

In my experience it doesn’t really matter what the item actually is.

The principle of selling items in lock boxes is that instead of getting you to pay $200 like they want for their (insert item) they instead sell it to you as a % chance in a box. So instead of paying $200 outright for it you will spend $200 on lockboxes/keys to get it instead. This, of course, is not guaranteed that you spend $200 that you will get the item but rather some will get it after spending less and others after spending more.

However just outright listing the item for $200 instead elicits the kind of sticker shock you see in response to this. $200? For (insert item)? Outrageous! Cue angry posts. I mean no one likes lock boxes, but man do people really hate high prices with an undying passion.

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Kickstarter Donor
Phubarrh

Just like Mudd to stir things up.

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3dom

These prices perfectly align with their normal lockbox ship / key prices: $1 per key, ~100-500 keys to get a ship.

Anyway, I got nothing to complain since I got like 30 of the lockbox ships from the simple “market PvP” (tons of valuable items are being listed for pennies during each new lockbox start when people rush to the ship drops).