Thursday, October 25, 2012

[STO] Your feedback can make a difference!

Dan Stahl announced that Fleet Actions were going to see increased rewards, as following:

  • Gold = Purple + 1920 Dilithium
  • Silver = Purple + 960 Dilithium
  • Bronze = Blue + 960 Dilithium
  • All others = Green + 960 Dilithium
One of the posters politely pointed out they were concerned that this could be damaging to the social atmosphere of Star Trek Online. Dan acknowledged this, had already spoken to the other developers, and said he was bringing the feedback from the thread to the rest of the team.

In addition, we have decided to nix the X2 Dilithium bonus for Gold and instead provide a x2 Purple gear and keep the Dilithium consistent across all players.
Its still a good reward, but not nearly as overbearing as the double Dilithium in my opinion. Will it get tweaked further? Its entirely possible. But the economics of double Dilithium was too good; some people immediately quit STFs if the team misses secondary objectives, after all. If its obvious someone won't get first place, would they likewise quit? Entirely likely.

Either way, good feedback is important to the development process, both for players and the devs themselves. When I was playing City of Heroes, they introduced a change to how stealth worked. If you were stealthed at all, for any reason, then clicking on an item (a "glowie") to interact with it would be blocked. This was done to prevent stealthy players from running through, collecting everything, and having absolutely no risk but all rewards.

The players noted, however, that it then made it possible to grief other players by causing them to be stealthed! Grant Invisibility, Group Invisibility, Steaming Cloud and other powers would cause players to be placed into a stealth state regardless of them wanting to be so or not. So, a player could sit upon a glowie, stealth everyone, and block everyone from clicking on it. So, the testers got to work:

  1. We politely summarized the issue we saw. No personal attacks, but rather, "hey, we noticed this."
  2. Explain, in detail, the issue.
  3. Show data if possible. Replicate it as many times as possible.
  4. Make suggestions as to what could be done instead.
  5. Get others to do the same.
It was quite a thrill when Cryptic's Jack Emmert (aka Statesman) decided to scrap that implementation of the idea. Going with a suggestion, clicking/interacting with an object suppressed a player's stealth, and only their stealth. As such, other players could not grief groups of other players while preserving the Risk:Reward balance the devs wanted.

It won't work out this way every time. But, as the saying goes, you catch more flies with honey than you do vinegar. Treat the developers as people as well, and treat them as well as you'd like to be treated; the Golden Rule is woefully neglected with anonymous communication. We won't often get to see the full story on their side, so keep in mind they've got schedules, budgets, and bosses of their own. Sometimes what we think ought be easy is a not insignificant amount of work (to riff former COH developer Back Alley Brawler).


  1. This is good advice. The amount of vitriol on the STO forums really appalls me sometimes. The STO devs do a great job listening to feedback and implementing player suggestions, but it'd be so much easier for everyone involved if posters would just be nice.

    1. I agree! There is good information to be found, but just like anything else, there's some digging to be done. I'm hoping that more than a few City of Heroes posters come over - the COH boards were pretty good by internet standards!