Yet more surprises from Cryptic

As surprised as I  was about the release date announcement yesterday, today’s follow up is even more surprising. We’re getting the F2P patch a month before the actual F2P launch.

This is a mixed blessing as I thought it was good for the STO team to get an extra month of changes, fixes, and tuning in without inflicting instability on Holodeck players. However, it will be nice to finally get the Duty Officer system and other changes on the live server. It also helps keep players subscribed for one more month for those who were planning on dropping to silver accounts, and gives Cryptic a month long shakedown cruise before the (supposed) hordes of new players arrive.

If it all goes as planned, Star Trek Online should be able to open its free-to-play doors and be in the best possible shape.

The early stipend is not as much of a surprise to me.  That’s a pretty standard gesture that other studios have done as well,  both as a thank you and a way to keep any subscribers planning to switch account tiers around for one more month.

6 Comments

  1. cameneciumNo Gravatar says:

    I agree that releasing the build early to Holodeck erases the relief I first heard with the January release date. Call me cynical, but I see this as a one month forced beta test on the current subscriber population.

    • BrianNo Gravatar says:

      That’s a similar response to what some people on the forums are posting. In my opinion, it’s not much different than it is now. I think most of the player population has been on Tribble the last two months (or however long it’s been) anyway, since that’s where the development effort has been focused. At least this way, any bugs or oddness that comes from moving the changes to the live servers and databases will get dealt with before there’s supposed to be a flood of new players.

      • cameneciumNo Gravatar says:

        My first concern is that they have a history of losing production data in major updates, AKA the Foundry issue from the last season. My second concern is that only a handful of (of course the most vociferous) people have actually been on Tribble and that this move is specifically aimed at getting more people into the test cycle. Why else have such a long lead time between the update and actually going F2P?

        The upside is that the bug reporting feature actually works (somewhat) on Holodeck, so reporting bugs (for whatever good it does) will be possible rather than just posting crap to the forums. Really, having the only half-working on prod bug/issue tracking system not working on your beta test server sends a “not so serious” message to would-be testers.

  2. NebelNo Gravatar says:

    (Hey BK, the former AyAitch here, with a new moniker and a new blog. I wanted to change things up, ya know?)

    Anyways, I’ve just returned to STO again, and I’m happy to report that the contents of this post and these comments were spot-on — the Season 5 launch has gone very smoothly, and the game seems to populated with all sorts of people. If you’re still playing, let me know — I’m actually a Rear Admiral now, so we can run STFs and high-level replays together, if you’re interested.

    • BrianNo Gravatar says:

      Welcome back to blogging!

      I am still playing, although my time is pretty minimal at the moment. I’m mostly logging in for half an hour in the evenings to update my duty officer assignments, and then I’m off to Skyrim. I’ll keep and eye on my friends list though and say hi if I see you.

      • NebelNo Gravatar says:

        Man, I just missed you. I keep checking my Duty Officers, too — nothing like a ship roster-cum-trading card game to keep one regularly logging in.