Is Star Trek Online already dying?

Posted by Jason Triplett Monday, March 01, 2010



Star Trek Online is not doing well folks. Look, I like the game. I've been trying to support it since beta...but something wicked this way comes...The STO apocalypse is upon us, and here are the signs.

The state of the game as seen by the average gamer logging in amounts to a dead server throughout most of the day. If it weren't for the few vocal people in Zone chat (who are all bashing the game BTW), the server would seem super dead.

If you try to play at any time but primetime, you are met with a universe that is slowly emptying, like the water spiralling down the bathtub drain. PVP queues, which used to be packed, are now so empty no game ever gets started. Rooms where 35ish people used to wait in queue are now filled with 1-4 people usually on one side or the other, stuck waiting for...NOTHING...because the game will not properly start.

PVP is dead.

Auto-grouping is yet another sign of the STO apocalypse. Where a few weeks back, you could enter one of the auto-grouping levels at any time of the day and people would pop in immediately. Now, again every time but US primetime, the auto-grouping feature pulls in one person here and there, when it feels like it, usually when I am right at the end of the mission already.

Auto-grouping is dead.

The third sign has to do with Earthdock. Still more crowded than any other area in the game, but not nearly as much as before, SB01 is now lag free...why? Because either everyone is Admiral and has no need for SB01 anymore, or the game is dying. Maybe a bit of both. I went to SB01 at key points throughout the day DURING THE WEEKEND mind you, and it was practically a ghost town...again, Zone chat filled with gold spam and a few players talking crap about the game.

The fourth sign, not as much of a bad sign since it actually HELPS the game, is the exchange. There are far less items, and more reasonably priced items than just 2 weeks prior. You can explain it away as the community giving up on the exchange, but the truth is far more sinister. It's more like the players gave up on the game.

With only a couple of days left until subs run out, you have to wonder just how many will still be around. Many have left the game already, saying screw the remaining play time, and the evidence is quite obvious just by logging in for a while. The game is a ghost town mere weeks after it had claimed a huge super audience.

I have seen this same thing happen before, and not all of the games involved died. A lot of them did perish though.

Vanguard: Saga of Heroes - A great game that had great potential...the bugs destroyed it from the start, it never got off it's feet. Status: ALIVE (but barely)

DDO - A critical mess at first. No content, very poor performance, and a lot of bugs were what doomed this game. A revamp and relaunch on a different pay model, mixed with DX10 support and a ton of new content, have saved this game. Status: ALIVE

Auto Assault - A "Twisted Metal" style MMO that never even had a chance. Status: DEAD

Tabula Rasa - The second sci-fi MMO from NCSoft that completely flopped. The reason? NCSoft wouldn't let Garriot do his thing for one. Once he left his own product, it was over. Status: DEAD

WAR - Warhammer Online had a strong beta...lots of good praise. But for some reason, the game launched and took an immediate nose-dive. Bugs, poor performance, lack of endgame. Sound familiar? Status: ALIVE

Age of Conan - One of the worst launches in the history of MMO's according to some people. Nothing could save this game at first, not even all the toons running around with their tits hanging out. The active, vocal, and very angry Funcom community complained and withdrew subs to get what they wanted. Status: ALIVE (and about to get it's first expansion pack!)

Earth and Beyond - Did this game even launch? Of course, but no one knew about it. All for the better, because it had more wrong with it than they could be bothered to fix or change. Status: DEAD

Matrix Online - This game never had a chance, and Warner knew it. SOE should have known it. I think we all had hoped that SOE would flesh the game out more and do more with it. Unfortunately they never did. MxO was their bastard step-child, and they treated it as such. Status: DEAD

These are just some of the high profile launch failures out there, and they all share the common thread of:

A.) lack of content
B.) BUGS/performance
C.) Devs that took the wrong steps/made the wrong changes
D.) Poor marketing
E.) a mass exodus of players

This may or may not mean anything for STO, but if you look at the signs of what has happened with other games compared to the true state of STO as it stands now, you may have cause for alarm. In my opinion the state of the game is bad, and needs some emergency action if it is going to survive the coming months.

2 comments
  1. The game is in a shocking state, PvP has few people in the queues which means few are interested, they will hit the end content and well how long will they pay for the game then?!

    It's not Startrek either, its a war space simulator. It has no Startrek qualities, its all war war war, killing, destroying, destruction and shooting the enemy as they lay on the ground etc

    No boarding, no preservation, no capture, no diplomacy.

    My first waste of money 2010 STO was

    Posted on 4:36 AM

     
  2. Jon Said,

    The reason most of these games die or are dying is because of the companies pushing them out too early'. I played War beta up until release and all the problems I told them about still have not been fixed in the game, it runs horrible on my system which is still considered fast, I played star trek online for my first subscription period and left because it was not even finished, i plan on going back as soon as my spring semester classes are done to see if they have fixed some of the stuff. War was rushed out to beat Wow: WotLK out of the gate. I am not sure why Cryptic pushed STO out early, maybe to jump on the movies bandwagon at the Oscars? I personally still go back to my first MMORPG, Dark Age of Camelot, sometimes because I love the RvR aspect, which War did not get right. I am spoiled by RvR now sowhen I play games that only offer PvP I usually don't like it. I like STO because I am a fan of the Star Trek Universe. I really hate to say it but Blizzard does 1 thing right, they don't rush there games or expansions out too early, they make sure they are done before and do fixes and improvements very fast, at least in my opinion. Mythic knew War was not finished but EA forced them to release early, I personally think EA buying Mythic was a mistake and has ruined their company.

    Posted on 12:51 PM

     

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