Star Trek Online promises Romulan boosting while fan podcast calls for a boycott of the game in support of Black Lives Matter

    
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That's Trek for you.

The developers behind Star Trek Online are letting players boost up a Romulan. A new level boost pack coming soon allows you to start a Romulan character at level 65, with an assortment of high-level items while also letting you pick your faction, skills, and the like. There’s also the prospect of a new legendary ship just for Romulan captains, thus letting you feel appropriately Romulan even if you are performing operations with the Klingons or the Federation.

Of course, long-running fan podcast Priority One wants players to do something other than boosting a Romulan; according to a new editorial signed by the entire Priority One team, players should participate in a boycott of the game from June 19th through the 21st to encourage Cryptic as a company to act in support of Black Lives Matter. The editorial specifically cites posts stating support and calls for the studio to take direct action to demonstrate that support beyond simply a social media post. Which, you know, is… pretty much what you should expect from Star Trek fans.

The post points out that PWE’s Echtra Games and multiple Cryptic devs have tweeted in support of the movement, as has official Trek itself, leading players to conclude that PWE is silent on purpose.

“Often, as gamers, we turn to the ‘ol, “vote with your wallet” when we get pissed over a new update, a new in-game item, or some other new feature. Well, now, we have a much bigger issue than the pay-gated content you hoped would be free to attain. Right now, we need to log-off. As the video game industry is booming because of stay at home orders, we are asking you to log out of the game. If metrics are what they’re after, then let’s demonstrate – with absolute resolve – that Black Lives Matter. That no one should be marginalized for their race, creed, religious beliefs. That liberty and justice for ALL does not come with a disclaimer. I’m asking that you join us in staying offline and do not log in to Star Trek Online on June 19th, 20th, and 21st. Don’t log in to run your DoFFs. Don’t log in to beat the Kobayashi Maru Scenario. DON’T BUY ZEN. Just DON’T.”

The boycott, as noted, is between June 19th and June 21st.

Source: Official Facebook, Priority One; thanks to the Grand Nagus and Anonymous for the tip!

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Zero_1_Zerum

Everytime I go on Amazon I see a bit about how much they support Black Lives Matter.

I used to work for Amazon, in a warehouse. Lots of people there were Black and Latino. It was grueling, back breaking work. And, everyone in that warehouse was part time. No benefits, no health care, and the pay was really bad. I saw first hand how Amazon treated their employees. It wasn’t good. Worst job I ever had. How they treat their employees shows just how much they care about people’s lives: they don’t. They just care about people’s money. If you are gonna boycott anyone, boycott Amazon.

But, Amazon is good because they supposedly support BLM.

My point is, actions speak louder than words.

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EmberStar

I’m curious: I’ve heard that all Amazon employees have to sign a non-compete contract, stating that for a very long time (like years) after they leave the company they’re not allowed to work for any company in any competing field. Is that true? Because since Amazon does everything from books to groceries to clothing to delivery and warehouse work, it seems like it would render the average person nearly unemployable without risking getting sued for breach of the non-compete contract. Amazon wants to do everything, so *everyone* is a competitor.

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mysecretid

Indeed so. I’ve often wondered, given how so many people considered Amazon delivery almost an “essential service” in their lives, whether this will actually make it harder for Amazon workers to secure decent working conditions and a reasonable wage with standard benefits?

Be safe, be well,

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Zero_1_Zerum

I don’t see how trying to force a company to do something like this with a boycott accomplishes anything good.

If it doesn’t come from the heart (or what passes for a company’s heart), but as a response to a threat, does it have any real value?

It’s one thing if Cryptic was like, “We’re Nazis”, and people were like, “let’s boycott the Nazis!”

It’s quite another when they already expressed support for BLM. Trying to force them to do more than they were already doing won’t have a good response. It just will make them resentful. It won’t be a honest, from the heart, response.

Bree Royce
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Bree Royce

To be clear, I think their issue was Cryptic/PWE hadn’t actually expressed support for BLM. If that’s changed, lemme know and we’ll update this post!

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Zero_1_Zerum

Well, even if they haven’t expressed support, if it’s not from the heart, if they’re forced into doing it, it’s not a good thing.

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Schlag Sweetleaf

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MrEllis
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MrEllis

A podcast had an opinion, gamers showed their asses. Awful lot of bigots…

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Totes McGoats

Podcast put out dumb opinion, got called out on it.

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John Mynard

I don’t understand how hurting Cryptic will teach them anything. They are super inclusive as is. This is just dumb.

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Sorenthaz

I really don’t understand this angry mob mentality where folks are trying to pressure people/companies to do stuff in support of BLM in particular. Apparently saying you stand against racism/police brutality/etc. isn’t good enough, you have to join the movement through donating to XYZ, then do whatever other growing list of demands are made up on the spot or else cancel culture will descend upon you.

This isn’t really the way to push for an organic movement, if anything it just makes it look less organic by trying to pressure people/organizations to support it. Should’ve been questionable from the start when numerous big corporations (i.e. Apple, Disney) jumped into it immediately despite doing lots of shady/scummy stuff that contradicts what they claim to suddenly care about.

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dreamer

Ironically, this is what the anti-SWJ types have been crying about for years: it’s a never-ending list of demands and no company or individual will ever be able to do enough to placate the angry mob.

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Sorenthaz

Yeah that’s kind of how it goes. Give an inch, try to take as much as possible.

Bree Royce
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Bree Royce

These folks weren’t an angry mob with a never-ending list of demands. It’s a small group of gamers peacefully boycotting a company for a grand total of three days, and what they asked for was Cryptic/PWE to set its own terms for how to support BLM. It hardly gets more benign.

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dreamer

They’re making demands of a company for not being _____ enough. Contrite? Apologetic? Conciliatory? Submissive? It’s not enough for them that the majority of Cryptic devs have demonstrably pro-BLM positions on social media. It’s not enough that Cryptic is a diverse employer. It’s not enough that the IP itself is one of the most inclusive properties in media.

It will never be enough. They will find something else about which to be sanctimonious.

Edit – Not to mention the paradox inherent in forcing a person or business to make a gesture you expect to be genuine.

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Armsman

Sorry Bree but I don’t agree that calling for a boycott is in any way benign. As shown by links from another poster here, Cryptic is a fairly inclusive company. Boycotting is a major thing to ask for; and can have a very negative effect on any company. Sorry I don’t think it’s called for in this situation.

Bree Royce
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Bree Royce

Nobody is entitled to your coin or your time or the positive effect of either, including STO. “Not playing for three days” is tame.

Yeah, I noticed the guy who registered a new account to spam-post from Cryptic’s/PWE’s corporate spiel. You know who else has a similar corporate policy? Riot Games, which is two years in on a massive sexual harassment and sexism scandal and lawsuit, affecting dozens of people. Those statements mean nothing, and they are not support for Black Lives Matter, verbal or otherwise, which is what P1 was after.

In any case, it seems pretty clear to me anyway that the real target is not Cryptic but the Chinese-owned PWE, and maybe the licensors above them. I don’t personally think the boycott is the most effective way to go about this (said my piece on that below), but I won’t begrudge P1 their anger that Cryptic as a company seems to be muzzled by its owners here.

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Bullwraith

Yeah, I just “voted with my wallet” and cancelled my Patreon support of Priority One. When I get off work I’ll remove my Captains from the Armada and delete the podcast from Overcast.

I think the team is way off the mark with this.

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mysecretid

Yes, Priority One is waaaay off the mark with this tactic. Astonishingly so.

The STO dev team have always been pretty obviously pro-inclusion for years now, as befits genuine fans of Star Trek‘s inclusivity ethic . They’ve taken shite for it too, from bigoted gamers, on and off throughout the game’s existence, and ignored the naysayers and carried on.

That Priority One would seek to punish STO because someone there thinks that the game’s publisher is not showing support in the specific manner Priority One thinks that they should is appallingly arrogant, at the very least.

Priority One just became Priority None in my world as well.

Cheers,

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Dug From The Earth

Star trek has always been one of the most diverse products in the entertainment industry. Its always made an intentional push to support a very diverse cast of a multitude of racial groups. If you are looking to make a statement for something worthy, such as Black Lives Matter, perhaps star trek should be one of the last things on your list to negatively target.

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Armsman

So, let me get this straight: Because a company hasn’t shown enough support (IE Back up a tweet with a monetary donation) – someone’s calling for a Boycott?

IT’s not like Cryptic/PWE is sitting there calling out protesters as ‘terrorists’ or saying there’s not a problem. IMO to expect EVERY company to monetarily donate to ‘the cause’ – and calling for a Boycott if they decide not to – IDK, that doesn’t sit well with me.

Cryptic/PWE is in no way associated with any police organizations; and at least Cryptic (from what I’ve seen) ISN’T discriminatory in their hiring or promotion policies (I could be wrong here as I really don’t track that stuff, but seeing who does what on their Dev teams they seem to run the gambit from M/F/white/minority/etc.)

So yeah, I think I’ll boycott Priority One instead as I don’t think it’s fair to boycott a company simply because they didn’t pony up a donation for some cause (no matter how good/just that cause may be). To always expect monetary support from a Game Developer on an issue NOT related to game development…when they are still doing some public/vocal support…no, sorry, to ALWAYS EXPECT a monetary donation smacks of some weird sort of ‘entitlement’ to me.

Ocho
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Ocho

I know I’m cynical, but at this point, I don’t really care what the businesses themselves do. Corporations that put out a statement are just doing so because it makes business sense. They want their product in as many hands as possible, and being discriminatory goes against that. So it may feel good to see, but to them it’s just a form of advertising.

However, where I don’t care about what the company says, I absolutely care about the individual devs and employees, and by and large we’re seeing a lot of support from a lot of the Cryptic team!

As a huge Star Trek fan I used to listen to Priority One every episode until their tone changed a while back when the new series were starting. It use to be a lot more positive and constructive and then turned into abject criticism. I’ll still give a listen periodically, but they lost me. That they’re boycotting is no surprise, then, when they instead could use their platform to organize in-game, which would make much more of an impact. Just sad to see.