Friday, November 19, 2010

So Gamers Aren't So Tough Now, Are They?

As all of you are aware by now, I've been playing Star Trek Online since open beta. I love the game and have 6 alts along with my main and will likely have many more over the course of my future play. I bought a lifetime subscription the very moment it became available.

During the initial growing pains of the game I got embroiled in what became an intensely passionate debate with a gang of STO "gamers" (I define these as people who play MMOs and aren't necessarily "Trek-minded" players) who were literally begging for the developers to create what is currently known as the "injury system" or "the death penalty."

Apparently the game as it was, was just "too easy" for them and they wanted the game to not only be more difficult to play, but for all players to actually be penalized if they died during battle.

Now, for people who have nothing better to do with their day than to become hand-eye-key-binding-joystick-manipulating pros - this was a great idea.

For me however? Not so much.

You see, I actually use my keyboard keys to play. I don't measure my personal self on my prowess at PvP - or even playing a computer game to begin with. I play the game on the whole because it's fun, not because I feel the need to challenge myself with how well I can "kill" (especially in a Star Trek-inspired game.)

I simply didn't think that being penalized for not being as good at killing as other players was remotely necessary.

So I bitched.

I got into that player forum and let the devs know that "gamers" weren't the only ones who could shout.

And I shouted.

And it worked. The developers came up with what I thought was a GREAT resolution to the problem - the current "Injury System."

The injury system allowed players who wanted to be penalized to receive an "injury" which had to be "healed." They did this by selecting a more difficult setting at which to play, meaning that their enemies would be more aggressive and therefore, harder to kill.

Just like in real life (which is what I thought the "gamers" were asking for) receiving an injury would make you more susceptible to getting even more injuries - because we all know that if you're in hand-to-hand combat and you take one in the nards - you're going to be open to a kick in the face when you fall to your knees in pain.

I wrote a blog about my first and ACCIDENTAL run-in with this system in my blog of May 12, 2010 called STO Bloodier Than You Might Think. In that blog you can read how I accidentally took a Lt. Commander on a mission with a bunch of Admirals on the "Advanced" setting - leaving me open to injuries ...


...for which I had to PAY to HEAL.

I played at the level that the "gamers" cried, whined and begged for and I paid 3700 Energy Credits (I only had 8000 at the time) to heal myself.

It was a lesson well-learned and I have always played on the "Normal" setting since - the setting I had always played at - because I suck.

I still belong to a fleet (BTW, a really great one called SancTuarY of Wanderhome!) and I play on "normal" all the time. Recently, I was listening in our "vent" and heard two of my fleet-mates running a mission together, accidentally, on "Advanced."

I laughed my ass off. These guys got pummeled. One ended the mission with 13 injuries. By all rights he should have been transported to a trauma ship. But he limped to Sol Station and then to the Medical Officer and healed himself...


I was stymied.



Come to find out - the developers were SO GOOD at giving the "gamers" what they wanted in a death penalty, the "gamers" themselves started to whine that they had to pay a penalty for getting injured.

What. The. Fuck.

Now they play at a higher difficulty level and don't have to receive their precious "penalty" because ... why?

I dare say it's because they're pussies.

To the "gamers" in STO: I will no longer take anything you have to say at face value anymore because you clearly don't know what you want.

To to the developers of STO who caved and created the truly intricate "Injury System" so gamers could simply whine that "it's too hard": I'm so sorry you wasted all that money on that code...

When the "gamers" start to complain that shit ends up on the C-Store because Cryptic wants to make money - you might want to remind them of the costs of you undertook trying to create a death penalty system that they refused to use.



  1. So true. Gamers (software users in general really) have no idea what they want. I knew as soon as I heard Cryptic was going ahead with the injury system how it would turn out.

    Ten again, I'm like you. I play for fun, not for any sense of achievement.

  2. The last word used in this entry describes people like that so perfectly, there is little reason for me to elaborate on it.

    But I just did...just to reinforce the point.


    Morons all.

    I'm glad I aint the only one who has that same stance of things like that!

  3. Something got lost in the debate and I think the death penalty focus early on was bad and a waste of time, the game had more pressing issues at this time.

    Challenge =/= Penalty
    They are not identical, and no, penalties do not make challenge more meaningful. Failure itself is a penalty, not an extra kick into the face that is supposedly the more meaningful the more it hurts!

    People rather wanted more challenge, nobody really likes penalties, and even less so harsh penalties. But somehow people connected it.

    I do not like the way the penalties are implemented at the moment. They are rather annoying but add nothing to the gameplay itself. Just that you have to stop and use up the plentiful drops of ship repair kits and medikits or return to ESD.

    Why do so many play on Advanced? It's a bit more challenging, they like it. The drops are also supposed to be better, they usually aren't though.

    Elite - why do so few play on Elite? Not because they could not do it... but because the pumped up hull and shield hp just mean fighting takes a lot longer than is enjoyable for many. The mobs are not smarter, just tougher.

    So much about that. And yeah, it is about the same as the cry for more PvP. In the end it is not really what people want, but something they imagine to be cool without thinking much about it. I think Zinc and the other devs should have known this. You can't listen to your players all the time, and they launched and developed STO without any death penalty, adding it later was rather bull and really superfluous.

  4. This is hilarious. I had no idea they dropped the healing fees. I have accumulated a few componets and health stims, but stayed at normal mode since my first experiments with the injury system. Like you, I was perfectly happy to "suck" and have fun. It is a shame that the very people crying for a death penalty complain that the OPTIONAL death penalty is too harsh. And you're right; it did waste a lot of money.