Well, what do you know? I managed to go through a month without taking shots at Cryptic/Perfect World Entertainment. But all good things end, you know.
It seems that Perfect World is asserting its power over Cryptic more thoroughly these days. The Star Trek Online forums went down at the beginning of the week for some maintenance-or so we thought. They returned…but not as we knew them. It seems that PWE is pushing to eliminate all vestiges of Cryptic starting here. How?
Simply put: you can’t post on the forum unless you link your Cryptic account with a new or existing PWE account. Their FAQ makes clear that the endpoint will be the elimination of the Cryptic accounts into PWE accounts.
Being who they are, PWE has offered a bit of cheese for the mice to encourage them to do it sooner than later. 5,000 Dilithium ore (unrefined, so it counts to your 8,000 per day limit); a 2,500 XP granting consumable (max level characters could use it for BOFF points instead); a rare or very rare weapon scaled to the level of the character; and a couple packs of consumables. Needless to say, these can only be claimed on one character of an account. Honestly? It’s sort of pathetic. Leveling is painfully simple in this game, BOFF points are worthless at max level, an effective “weapon drop” for free is laughable, the consumables are unimpressive, and the ore is a joke given how simple it is to get that much ore in a day. It’s really hard for me to mock things given away for free, but as compensation for having to go through the labyrinth of dealing with PWE’s account system?
The forum, at least, looks decent. Of course, everyone has now lost their post counts, their signature files, their avatars, and in many cases their very names. And then there’s the “Zen” advertisements cropping up all over the site now, urging you to buy Zen to convert to Cryptic Points (that’s part of the mess I mentioned a moment ago).
I’m grateful at this point that I have a lifetime sub. It matured well before STO went freemium, which means I was playing free before the game actually went that way. I actually GOT my money’s worth. I certainly wouldn’t be paying money for the game now; and with the changes being stuffed down the players’ throats, it makes me real happy that the only way I’ll be getting Cryptic Points (watch for that to change at some point; bet on it) will be through the Dilithium Exchange (the lesser amount) and my monthly stipend (the greater amount). Because with each passing update to the game they make, it seems to take me further and further away from feeling like they deserve any money at all.
PWE/Cryptic has successfully managed to enter into the same category as SOE as far as I’m concerned.
Don’t worry, players of Champions Online. Ten to one, you’re next. My sympathies in advance.