Some of you may know, some may not. I've been a subscriber to Star Trek Online for longer than I can remember. Not because I enjoy the game, but because I was swindled by some of the best con men in the industry. I met Cryptic Developers in Vegas many moons ago in 2008 who professed their love for Star Trek and explained how decidedly awesome STO was going to be. I've got the Free T-Shirts to prove it. And glorious expansions would follow. Glorious they said.
Fast Forward to 2009. Release date of STO has been set for February 2, 2010. Still very excited about the game and the Star Trek IP. Preorder the Collectors edition.
Skip to January 2010. Pricing has been announced, more details of the game have trickled out. The game is looking less and less like Star Trek and decidedly different a game than they had been hyping for the past 2 years. Cryptic offers a Lifetime Subscription for $239. This offer will end February 2nd when the game launches. Still being a rube, I purchase this. This is Star Trek. I'm in it for the long haul. Won't get a chance at a lifetime subscription again.
Game goes into open beta for Preorders toward the end of January. Set aside the technical problems that marred the game's launch. It was now crystal clear that we had been swindled. This was not Trek. Worst of all, it was barely even a passable game! Oh BTW, we are keeping this Lifetime Subscription option and we'll charge $299 for it. Sorry kids that we told this was a limited time offer. We love money soooo much.
Fast forward to a few months later, Cryptic promises new content, new features, they are going to make good on long wrought promises. Lies and slander. The fresh new content? A couple token "season" episodes and a renewed interested in slapping overpriced crap in the C-Store. At this point I mostly give up on the game and ignore it for the better part of a year.
Fast Forward to mid 2011. Cryptic is bought by Perfect World and announces that Star Trek Online is going F2P. Interesting, I'm a lifetime subscriber. When Turbine went this route people who previously supported the game got a pretty sweet gig for being so upfront with their cash. Create a character on the Tribble Test Server. Ok, you guys have made some slight UI improvements but there's still been no new content for over a year. Oh, you're implementing a new currency and economy that is going to force me to pay real money for the most basic of features like crafting?! Ships bought for real money will always be more powerful than anything you can get in the game. My solace for being a Lifetime Subscriber? 400 Cryptic Points a month. HOT DIGGITY DAFODIL, I can buy a ship in just under a year. HOW GENEROUS YOU ARE.
I'm still playing a bit on the test server to see if they renig on some of the the terrible design decisions. Turbine and others have shown how to do a real conversion to F2P. Cryptic, this is not it. In Cryptic's defense, Turbine had actual content in their games they could gate and charge for while STO as a whole barely contains the content of an adventure pack in LOTRO or DDO.
I need a hawk.