Star Trek Online: First Contact of Microtransactions

Courtesy of Spinks, I was informed that Cryptic’s broken their minutes-old silence on STO’s microtransaction store — just in time for launch, wouldn’t you believe it?  Yup, to any suckers who thought that their purchase of STO would include playable Federation Klingons or Ferengi, well, Cryptic has some snake oil they’d like to sell you.

Champions Online (and, in some degree, City of Heroes) showed us that Cryptic is downright shameless in pushing their hybrid full subscription + microtransactions business model, so it doesn’t come as any surprise that they’d hold content back from launch to use as store items.  But man if it doesn’t chafe at times.

I think it’d be a lot easier to swallow if STO cost less per month but tried to compensate with microtransactions, or if every purchase of STO came with a chunk of Cryptic Points to buy a couple “must have” items.  As it is, we’ll see if players go for this sort of gold digging, or if there will be considerable pushback for what some might consider standard races that should be in the game for free.

I do find it quite hilarious that Klingons are 240 points while Ferengi are just 80 — that’s racial discrimination right there!  Plus, whoever deems it necessary to pony up dough to buy Ferengi, well, I pity the fool.  Really, Cryptic should be paying YOU to play one.

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34 thoughts on “Star Trek Online: First Contact of Microtransactions

  1. Angry Gamer February 2, 2010 / 8:03 am

    Lifetime subs for the win!!!!

    err…wait…

  2. Werit February 2, 2010 / 8:08 am

    Yea, I don’t like this one bit. A subscription should give you access to everything. I like the way DDO does it, since you get points every month. I’m disappointed, but not surprised.

  3. Tony February 2, 2010 / 8:14 am

    I’m a little confused. I thought Klingons were for some separate PvP mode? We have to pay more to get into that? I hope I’m missing something.

  4. Tony February 2, 2010 / 8:15 am

    Duh, Federation Klingon. Lame.

  5. cirdanx February 2, 2010 / 8:35 am

    Oh well, i´m glad i waited with buying STO, i guess it´s safe to say there will be more microtransactions in the future.

    Well no STO for me then, i´m sick of this stuff.

  6. canazza February 2, 2010 / 9:01 am

    AFAIK the klingon parts are all there in the ‘alien’ section (atleast, the hair and foreheads, that’s all thats needed really) – unless they’re removing them, which really stinks of bad practice.

  7. Dickie February 2, 2010 / 9:05 am

    They realt should give you so many c-store points with the box sale, like you said. This would do two things: let players get the Essential Items they want , and get players used to and comfortable with the C-Store.

    However, this is total crap. You shouldn’t have to pay for this stuff, these should be included.

  8. Adventurer Historian February 2, 2010 / 9:08 am

    I don’t need ’em, don’t like ’em, won’t buy ’em. However, I would totally go for some Cardassians.

  9. brannagar February 2, 2010 / 9:18 am

    If you are surprised by this you don’t know Cryptic.

    Fail company. Fail game.

  10. Ryver February 2, 2010 / 9:21 am

    I’m not surprised by this in the least. Seems to be typical Cryptic.

    Usually SOE is not a useful comparison. In this case, with EQ2’s next expansion, they are giving 500 store points with each pre-order (or was that in every box?). Either way, at least they are working as the necessary drug dealer; first one’s free!

    Come-on Cryptic, you don’t want *SOE* to make you look bad 😉

  11. Longasc February 2, 2010 / 9:32 am

    It’s ironic that they sell Ferengi… for a bargain price. 😛

    Yeah, shame on their double dipping. 😦

  12. Lukane February 2, 2010 / 9:39 am

    Well if Champions is any indicator, you could just wait a few months and they will start giving this stuff away in an effort to keep subs…

    Not to use the WoW measuring stick again, but how can Cryptic really justify trying to charge more a month for a game that has less content, server instability, and far less polish?

  13. inquisitorgoody February 2, 2010 / 11:25 am

    How dare you insult the Ferengi. lol I’d want one and maybe I’d even pay for one but I’d need more character slots to make it worthwhile… in champions that’s 1200 cryptic points for 4 additional slots…. but you got 8 slots to start with!

    They’re obviously really pushing this side of the business by liming the character slots you start with in STO to 2 (the same as you get FREE with DDO) – I know you get another at lvl 6 but go with me here

    This means each player that want more than 1 alt will need to purchase 2000 cryptic points at $25 or £15 that’s more than an extra months subscription from every player that goes for it… you’d then have 800 points left for other stuff but it seems a bit money hungry to me with the basic no. of character slots being so limited…. and this assumes the costs are the same as Champions, which I can imagine they might not be….. it’ll probably be more 😦

  14. Rackham February 2, 2010 / 12:29 pm

    Although I’m happy to see Ferengi as a playable race back in the game, I’m not happy about the having to pay extra for it. That’s in bad taste.

    Also, I thought Ferengi women, were not allowed to wear clothing?? I guess Moogie (http://memory-alpha.org/en/wiki/Ishka) had a bigger impact on Ferengi culture than we thought! 😉

  15. Rackham February 2, 2010 / 12:33 pm

    The other troubling thing is the fact you only have a limited amount of character slots. It would be better if the purchase opened up one extra slot should you actually buy one of these races.

    Though judging by this early move on Cryptic’s part, that will most likely be a microtransaction of it’s own.

    Again, bad form, Cryptic!

  16. Arkenor February 2, 2010 / 12:53 pm

    Sadly, the STO forum seems mostly filled with people who think being charged extra for these races is a splendid idea!

    Boggles my mind.

  17. Xerb February 2, 2010 / 2:36 pm

    I don’t see the problem. Are they offering game breaking items? If I don’t buy something on there is it going to give me a disadvantage to playing? Who would want to be a big eared dope and why would you want to play a traitor Klingon anyway. Their just toons people. Whats the big deal?

  18. Tizlor February 2, 2010 / 2:41 pm

    but you can make a klingon with the custom race function. Unless they took out even more parts from the custom race creator.

  19. PeterD February 2, 2010 / 4:21 pm

    Although I agree it’s annoying, these races are essentially the pre-order bonus for people who pre-ordered from certain stores (including atari). Those pre-orders came with 500 cryptic points, so people who took that pre-order bonus get them for “free”. Those are probably the ones who think it’s a good idea, since it gives them a mildly exclusive race as most people don’t want to pay real money for them.

  20. mbp February 2, 2010 / 5:04 pm

    Wow that smells bad. They could at least have waited a couple of months for the shininess of the lifetime subscriptions to wane a bit.

  21. Zubon February 2, 2010 / 6:09 pm

    The only surprise is the form it takes. I look forward to the next one.

  22. Dblade February 2, 2010 / 6:15 pm

    Hard to complain since you saw Cryptic’s practices with CO. If anything it sucks more for you guys since you are playing a strong IP-based game and the content matters more than generic costume pieces for a creator.

    I’m not a star trek fan so it would be wasted on me either way. Last I saw was DS9.

  23. Ryan February 2, 2010 / 6:49 pm

    Ouch. Shady. Yikes. That’s pretty much what I think when I read this.

    Really, it’s just stupid, too. You’re right, give all paying customers enough points to get something each month and this wouldn’t be so bad… many players would actually think they’d be getting something ‘for free,’ then. Moreover, from a marketing standpoint, it would get people *used* to buying things from the “c-store,” which would probably end up in them buying even more than the points they were allotted.

    Cryptic has a severe marketing problem. They just don’t get it. There are some nice things that company does, but the rest they’re just freaking horrifically stupid at. I’m sort of on the “Cryptic needs to go under” bandwagon… it would be nice if they sold off their assets to someone who could actually manage MMOs. Hell, I’d take an SoE buyout at this point…

  24. Ryan February 2, 2010 / 6:56 pm

    Xerb,

    I’d like to answer your question:

    “and why would you want to play a traitor Klingon anyway”

    From biobreak’s Cryptic link of the c-store announcement:

    “Not every Klingon warrior yearns to serve the Empire. Purchase of this option allows you to create Klingon Federation Officers. These Captains begin with the Warrior (5% improvement to Ranged Weapon Damage, 10% percent improvement to Physical Melee Damage, 10% improvement to Critical Severity) and Honorable (5% resistance to all damage, 10% improvement to Threat Rating) traits. They may choose two additional traits.”

    So, why would someone want to play a Klingon? Min/Maxers would *certainly* love the 10% improvement to threat rating and 5% resistance to damage. Those aren’t trifling additions.

  25. Utakata February 2, 2010 / 7:22 pm

    *Bill Roper = The Grand Nagus

    *Note: Yes I know he’s in charge of Cryptic’s other property…but as the late Johnny Carson once indicated, there should be one cat in America that everyone should take a kick at. I think it should be Bill in everyting that’s Cryptic or Atari. 🙂

  26. silvertemplar February 3, 2010 / 6:04 am

    @Xerb

    Yes, it’s just toons, imagine if WoW decided you can ONLY roll a Human, if you want to roll as anything else you need to pay for every single race.

    Are you still with me here? Just toons? It’s just a game too, it’s “just” a virtual world too. This does not justify having to pay to “launch the game” and then pay-as-you-go for every toon,zone,item and feature.

    What’s next? “It’s just a zone” , when you can optionally buy yourself an additional zone to quest in (because the main game only gave you a small unpolished one) ?

  27. Guthammer February 3, 2010 / 10:12 am

    Not only do you only get “just humans” but you get something like 10-20 extra talent points for buying the new race–to put it into WoW speak.

    I mean 10% crit damage is a weak five pointer from a DPS tree.

    5% weapon damage is a good 5 pointer (10% on ranged–meaning ship only, is awesome).

    5% damage reduction is a great tanking 5 pointer

    10% extra threat is a game breaker. Wanna tank? Pony up the money. Poor raid tanks need not apply.

    Because a good Klingon tanker will be better than a good non-Klingon tanker, and a great player with a Klingon will be not comparable to a great non-Klingon tanker.

    I was thinking of getting this. STO is now a definite no buy. Mind you I started watching Trek in reruns in 1975 or so and have MMOGed for 10+ years. I am so their target audience.

  28. Guthammer February 3, 2010 / 10:43 am

    Quick follow up question…Do regular characters get traits too? If so, how many?

  29. Arkenor February 4, 2010 / 7:35 pm

    Guthammer. they do. The number of them, and type, varies from race to race. There’s nothing about these two races that makes them any better, game-mechanicly, than the others, really. It’s just the idea that they were held back, just to sell for extra on launch day, that bothers me.

  30. Sylvan February 5, 2010 / 8:50 am

    My honest opinion… since Klingons are the enemy faction, there should be no Federation Klingons in the game at all. And the Klingon faction really should have been more complete and balanced with Federation for PVE and PVP, with it’s own newbie missions. This is where the game falls short for me.

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