The Cryptic 9th Inning Strategy – Take Two!

I was waiting for this, I really was.  Now that the whole Star Trek Online pre-launch hype has everyone chomping at the bits, they’ve trucked out their last-minute special offers to try to entice people into extended tours of duty (subscriptions) or lifetime pricing.

We remember that this was a bumpy road for Champions — people were disturbed at being asked to drop such a large amount of money for something that hadn’t, technically, released yet, not to mention that they “ran out” of these subscription offers before the date was up.  I’m sure some people felt just peachy with spending so much back then, but considering that I paid for a 6-month subscription  (that is still going on, somewhere) and only played it for a month, I don’t see it as a good investment in retrospect.

So the question is whether people are going to be more wary at this same type of offer, or unwilling to pay before play, especially since it seems that they’re not getting as much bang for the buck in extras as they did with Champions.  Lifetime pricing lets you play as a Borg (whee…), and gives you two extra character spots, but that’s about it.  It pays for itself around the 17-month park.  They’re also offering 12-month (!) subscriptions (not 6-month?) for $120 — essentially locking in a $10/month fee.

BUT there’s the fine print.  There’s always the fine print.

STO’s lifetime sub, as noted by Massively, is $40 more than Champion’s lifetime sub was.  And if you’re going to bite on this deal, you better do so by February 1st, when the offer ends just prior to the game launch.  The final catch is that you can only get this if you’ve gone ahead and pre-ordered the game as well.

It’s pretty disappointing that they’re not showering lifetime subs — or even the 12-monthers — with every single special costume outfit that’s floating out there for the various pre-orders, as well as the other goodies.   What about guaranteeing a spot in Cryptic’s unnamed third MMO’s beta?

I’m  not here to judge whether or not this deal would be good for you.  If you’re a rabid Star Trek fan, if you played the beta and totally love the game, if you have the cash to spare (and here we’re talking almost $300 for the lifetime sub + game), then it might be worth it.  Personally, this all makes me skittish.  It’s more expensive than Champions and they offer less in return?  And they have to put the high pressure sales pitch to make you get this before the game comes out?  Um… pass.

While I always wish that I’d purchased the LOTRO lifetime sub when that game first came out, I can’t say that about any title since that’s made a similar offer.

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9 thoughts on “The Cryptic 9th Inning Strategy – Take Two!

  1. The other problem with those deals in Champions, that many where left with a radically different game on day of release than the one they thought they where getting into in beta (CB and OB). I really hope Cryptic doesn’t pull that number again for STO.

  2. Ill be honest the game is not worth it. After a few more hours tonight it just is not…fun. Back into Fallen Earth I went.

  3. Yeah I’m going to go ahead and pass on the lifetime sub. $300 (including the prepurchase)? Everything Cryptic does makes me more and more want to not support them as a game company.

  4. This game might crash and burn – for good. I am not sure if a SUBSCRIPTION MODEL is the best model for this kind of game.

    The space combat is fun and people will for sure like to dabble in now and then, but I think this would best work as FREEMIUM game.

    But obviously they want to do CO-style double-dipping, subscription plus item shop for already very basic things like a 3rd char slot – you get only two.

  5. The cynic in me would say that they’re trying to lure people into a year’s contract and thus essentially force them to ride the bugs out. It’s alot easier to slowly patch a game and keep your player base over a year if they’ve already paid upfront. However, if people play for their first 30 days, hate the game and don’t subscribe, it’s tough to attract them back.

  6. Their pricing model is seriously stupid. I love Star Trek and STO, but even I’m not dumb enough to assume they won’t ruin the game at launch the way they did CO. There is no way I would go lifetime on this game or any other (including LotRO). It would have paid for itself when I played EQ or EQ2, but that’s about it.

  7. My lifetime sub experience is pretty much the opposite to yours – paid for the 6 months LOTRO founder offer, only a more than 2 months.

    I bought the CO lifetime offer and do not regret that one.

    But STO lifetime – no. I like the game and I do like a SciFi MMOs – which is one reason that will not go for a lifetime offer. For CO there is not that much competition for the type of gameplay options they are targetting; CoX is sort of close but that is it.

    In the SciFi space there are and will be others and I do not think the STO offering will be special enough to warrant a lifetime.

    I do like that they hopefully released with a limited set of features with a short development cycle, but intend to grow the scope of the game after release.

    I.e. 2 year in development + 3 year improvement after release hopefully makes a better game than 5 years in development.

    But to stick with a traditional subscription model att “full” price and shop items on top of that – that is stupid.

  8. Pingback: Lifetime Subscriptions - Scam Or Opportunity? - We Fly Spitfires - MMORPG Blog

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