As Time Goes By…February 25, 2010
Most opinions on Star Trek Online I’ve ever read have been extremely polarized, and it’s been this way ever since beta. Very rarely is there an in-between — it’s either the most awesome game ever, or it’s the infamous dog turd so many gamers like to compare their MMOs to. I hear about people quitting the game all the time, but I never give them much thought; too many forum-dwellers are often nerdraging at Cryptic or trolling to take all the negative comments seriously.
But when I read the latest post at Fire Phasers! just now, it made me feel differently. I’ve followed his STO experiences on his blog for a month now so when I saw that he was canceling his subscription, I knew there had to be good reasons behind it because I know for a fact that IIntrude isn’t on some personal mission to destroy Cryptic, nor does he seem like the /ragequitting kinda guy. And I was right; if I were him I wouldn’t continue to subscribe to a game where I there was not enough to do either.
But anyway, here’s how reading his post made me feel different: I don’t believe you can accurately predict a MMO’s place in the market or its reputation until at least a certain point after launch, and well, what I suddenly realized is that we may have reached that point for STO. It’s going to go down in the annals of MMO history as yet another polished-but-incomplete product, and most people are going to remember its launch as a disappointment. Others might be reading this and thinking, “Gee, I came to that conclusion weeks ago!” or “I told you so” and fair enough, but you have to realize something about me. As a pretty laid-back person, I’m always willing to give new games the benefit of the doubt, so I’ll let the issues go by or shrug off the minor faults. As a result, it’s often hard for me to pass judgment on them, especially when a game is barely out of its first few weeks.
Don’t get me wrong though; I’m sure there will be individuals out there who will still thoroughly enjoy the game (like me, as I’m still working my way up towards the rank of Admiral) but in general, I think any and all opinions contributing to STO’s overall reputation have been solidified at this point. To Cryptic’s credit, I can see they’re really trying to make their game work, what with the surveys, GM blogs, interviews and other constant updates. Can they still turn it around? Anything’s possible, but it’s going to be a lot harder from here on out.