Monday, December 19, 2011

Get Your Energy Weapon Out of My Light Saber

Right on the heels of the recent (and may I dare add pathetic) media grab of William Shatner and Carrie Fisher's ridiculous 'Star Trek v. Star Wars' brouhaha, Cryptic Studios has, it seems settled it once and for all ...

And the winner is ... Star Wars.

Facing a potential flight of subscribers from a multitude of MMORPGs to the soon-to-be-released Star Wars: The Old Republic by Bioware, Cryptic it seems as freaked the fuck out and has rushed into two of its games (Champions Online and Star Trek Online) weapons, costumes and and a free playable archtype (CO) that are remarkably similar to those seen in Star Wars.

Also recently seen in STO, are "vedek" robes that were available and then oddly and surreptitiously  removed from the game. One of my fleetmates costumed his toon in those robes before the option was removed but we know they'll be back. This way people can dress their toons like Jedi.

Yep, you read that right - Star Trek Online will now have "energy" melee weapons (some are calling them phaser swords or energy bat'leths) that can be used as a weapon in-game and robes.

So - light sabers and Jedi robes ... in Star Trek.

A Cryptic developer has been credited with admitting to the odd move by Cryptic and that the weapon is meant to be seen as an "homage" to SWTOR.

An HOMAGE!?  Really!? You expect me to buy that line of utter bullshit?

Why would ANY company need to kiss up to a competitor? Puleeze, we all know what this is! It's a complete and desperate scramble to try to keep players, and worse it's utterly insulting to Trek fans.

Cryptic is trying to keep players by putting in knock-off light sabers into its game thinking that the player base might actually stay with STO if they can play with light sabers. As if players only play a game for a certain type of weapon.

It's not an homage! It's a dire attempt to copy one of the main differences between Star Trek and Star Wars and hope that it will bring in a few bucks and crossing fingers that Trekkies won't mind the blending of the IPs.

I'm so incredulous right now, it's hard to think straight.

If SWTOR suddenly put communicator pins, dilithium crystals or transporter pads into their game, if I were a Star Wars fan, I'd be pissed. So why would Cryptic think that as a Trek fan I wouldn't be totally offended by a thinly veiled attempt (or worse, some whipped-up excuse as "homage") to put light sabers into Star Trek?

The fact that CBS signed off on this is no surprise - if it has a chance to make money, then they'll sign off on anything, but I am profoundly disappointed in Cryptic.

A lot of people on the forums had a great idea and one that would sit well with canon-junkies like myself: instead of swords - use Ferengi energy whips. If Cryptic lacks the personnel to accomplish something that wouldn't be insulting to Trek fans - then dammit don't do it, but don't copy Star Wars because it's on the cheap and you can get away with it.

They've already introduced a scathingly vicious economy to a genre where money wasn't supposed to be an issue. They've introduced gambling by selling "mystery boxes" that will only reward an infinitesimal number of players and now they've introduced probably the most insulting thing of all:

Light sabers.

I am making a declaration here and now: I will NEVER use one of these weapons in game. I will boycott their use and stand up for the fans of BOTH genres by supporting what makes both of them so great - and that's what makes them different.

Now if you will excuse me - I need to go tune up my phase rifle so I can shoot the Jedi in Earth Space Dock.


  1. It is the 'War-ification' of Trek... JJ Abrams didn't start it, but he sure as HELL popularized it.

    Sad really - but it does reflect the general 'religiosity' that permeates the USA right now.

    Really, there is a war on Science and Technology now... Idiocracy - here we come!

  2. Craig aka: Duke-of-RockDecember 19, 2011 at 9:40 AM

    You tell em Teri. I am in full agreement with you. What a ridiculous line of utter bullshit to add these to the game. It is truely an insult to canon-loving Trekkies usch as ourselves, and I will join you in the boycott.

    Craig aka: Duke-of-Rock

  3. Oh RA - you nailed it right on the head! I didn't really want to make this an issue of spirituality vs. secularism, but there is a lot to the argument.

    I don't believe that Cryptic is doing anything intentionally along those lines. I merely think they're trying to capitalize on the launch of the Star Wars game - and using a really lazy way to do it.

    But in the "bigger picture" of Trek vs. Wars? You bet I agree with you.

  4. Teri, you cannot be so right. This is totally stupid on Cryptic, or their overlords are beginning to give me the impression that they don't give a rat's ASS about the Star Trek IP. Hell, CBS for that matter. I'm thinking more of the lines of an abomination. Granted I will say that World Of Warcaft did put references of Star Wars and Star Trek into their game as well but as we all know World Of Warcraft is a totally different IP and Blizzard, the company as a whole are fans of both I P's. This to me personally is just another notch for me not to give cryptic any of my money. I will play Star Trek Online and I will enjoy it on my terms. As I've said before, which is a hard pill to swallow, they have masterfully turned this game into a second class game. And it should be treated as such until the powers to be get their heads out of their Ass's and realize what they really truly have which is an IP of its own. Star Wars franchise is a great franchise and I like it just as much as I like Star Trek but in my opinion you never mix the two. That is just wrong to me, in so many levels. So I asked the question, what does cryptic want as their player base. All I can say is I just don't know, and roll my eyes back. This is my 2¢ Dionsol

  5. How though can you say this is a rip off from SW? They aren't light sabers. I mean should we complain that they have energy weapons at all seeing as Star Wars had them as well? These aren't light sabers, they are energy weapons.

    Laser swords were in sci-fi long, long before Star Wars or even Star Trek were around.

    To claim it's a Star Wars-only thing is to be truly ignorant of most sci-fi from the Golden-Age/Pulp-era.

    How about the cameo of the Millennium Falcon in first contact? That one is obvious.

    And besides. These aren't light sabers or swords. Jeremy on Stoked, where all this originated from anyway, said they are glowing Batleth's and Lirpa's.

    My suggestion? Wait until Cryptic releases the info, don't go off of second hand knowledge or guessing for that matter to try and make a judgement on what something is before Cryptic even releases it. That is the main issue with a lot of the folks that do pod-casts or any media for STO. They jump to conclusions about what is going on before anything is even released. Prime example is when a certain podcast jumped on saying Cryptic was screwing people over with C-Store purchases when it was on Tribble. It turned out to be a bug.

    Please wait and see what happens and don't speculate.

  6. it is all because of Rod Roddenberry's documentary that had George "Toy Boy" Lucas commenting about Gene

  7. Scott L.: I will simply disagree with you.

    So far, my co-hosts at PUGC seem to have a pretty good track record when figuring out what Cryptic is doing, especially since its purchase by PWE.

    Everything we thought might happen has come to fruition: A ruthless, grinding economy that favors those who would rather spend cash than play the game ad nauseam to earn the Dil needed to buy weapons and a "gambling" element to increase revenue while only rewarding a very small fraction of players with the item one was actually seeking.

    I take offense to your supposition that I am ignorant of sci-fi of "the Golden-Age/Pulp-Era." I am not. However I am readily aware of what differentiates the two genres of which I have written: ST and SW. I love them both. I love them both enough to know I want them to keep them separate.

    I loathe most fan-fic that does cross-over. Why? Because it's stupid. I'm not even fond of the Star Trek Zombie comics. They're fine for kitch, but nothing more.

    I've seen the floating R2D2 in the new movie. I've seen the Millennium Falcon in First Contact. Those were funny homages that were HIDDEN.

    Glowing swords are not hidden. They are not an homage. IN MY OPINION (which is exactly what I'm offering in my personal blog) they are pathetic attempts to cash in on SWTOR's launch.

    Nothing more. *I* find it insulting as a Trek fan.

    So there.

  8. But you reaffirm my point.

    STO is not getting swords, we are getting energy weapons.

    If the Falcon and R2D2 were hidden then how did you see them?

    And your co-hosts at PUGC stated that people were getting screwed and started a big fuss over changes on Tribble when it turned out to be a bug. To this day that has never been retracted and those changes were corrected and did not come to holodeck. How is that a good track record?

    I am sorry you feel the way you do, but again I shall point out all this speculation over something someone heard on a podcast? It is ridiculous.

    As for calling you ignorant I of course meant no disrespect and was not my intention. I just don't particularly care for people being closed minded and jumping the gun in my opinion.

    That's all this is, is my opinion. I am waiting to see what comes out, not going off anything a podcast host says until I see it with my own eyes.

  9. Well, in my experience with gaming (such as it is), I've learned that it's best to proffer opinions BEFORE mistakes are set in stone.

    If you wait til after they do something - you're asked "Well why didn't you say something?"

    It works a lot like voting. I'm placing my vote against any perceived Star Wars rip off. And then once they put the stupid weapons in there, I will have earned my right to bitch about them in perpetuity. :)

    And I will still be irked at idiots in vedek robes with glowing lirpas wishing that Cryptic had just had the balls to say "no."

  10. Personally, I like grape kool aid. It's much better than cherry kool aid." Hey Teri, sounds like somebody at the door". As I've walked to the door and open, look what we have here

  11. Star Wars references make sense in Star Trek. Why? Star Trek happens in the far Earth future, where they could still watch old classic movies, like Star Wars. So if, in the future, someone develops something along the lines as a lightsaber, using Star Wars as previous art for inspiration, this could actually happen in Star Trek. Heck, the scalpels they use in sickbay are essentially mini-lightsabers, just on a smaller scale. A directed beam of energy that cuts precisely. If anything, Star Trek officers would not use the weapons as they would be too dangerous to handle, and not allow for peaceful solutions (phasers do have "stun" settings).

    For Cryptic, though, their timing is either off or they're trying to capitalize... and doing it poorly. The new robe wearing, lightsaber wielding hero class in CO shows that its most likely the latter. I, like you, will never buy robes or lightsabers... this isn't Star Wars, its Star Trek. Uniforms and phasers. Now, they already have swords and bat'leths so adding something to energize it to add damage isn't something that is unheard of, and is something that could actually happen in Trek. However, as a ploy just because of SW mania? No thank you. I'm with you. I don't want SW in Trek. I want Trek in Trek. If they think they're fooling anyone or hitting their target audience they're wrong. If I were a SW fan, I'd be playing SWTOR. I'm not. I'm a ST fan, so I'm playing STO.

    But... if the timing was different... if they were releasing energized weapons at a time a huge Star Wars product wasn't being released... it might be seen in a completely better light. (Note: not the CO class... thats pure SW through and through)

  12. Hey now! It wasn't a bug. Those tribbles are still being offered per character only now. Previous STO players may not have been affected, but future tribbles offered and future players will. It is STILL bad and disenginuous when Cryptic says they're doing it "for us", and thats why we haven't retracted our complaint. It may not be AS bad as originally assumed, but its still wrong.

  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. Mikey - I think that's what bugs me about this WHOLE thing the most: The timing. If it was just about paying an homage to SW, then they could have waited. But we all know it's not. It's a way to try to ride on the media tail coats of a power-hose game.

    And Hav - now that I understand what he was talking about, you're right! We were right and you called it like you saw it and you were correct! Tribbles used to be acct wide and now they're not. Which sucks for the new player and IS nickle and diming them.

    So - as far as I can tell PUGC hasn't missed any one of its forecasts.

    *hugs* (this was edited for typo)

  15. power-house. Power. House. WTF is with my fingers today?

  16. I don't see how this is Cryptic cashing in. To begin with, they are free. Also, I don't think anyone gave it a second thought about going to TOR. I haven't seen any threads on the TOR forums where people have posted that STO has lightsaber style weapons, so I'll play that instead. Nothing anyone does will affect that awful mmo's initial numbers.

    As far as the cash grabs go, I don't see how you all at PUGC expect Cryptic to make any money. I mean welcome to F2P.

  17. Hey Everybody,

    I couldn't help but notice this war zone, so I have a small question,....
    Where exactly do you get these things?

    Alright, for those star wars fans out there "things" mean energy blades ;)hahaha jk jk

    All due respect to both sides~ Captain Falcon

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