***This story is based loosely on an actual event that happened to me last night in the MMO Star Trek Online. There has been considerable controversy over the addition of the cat-like Caitian to the game — and by controversy, I mean the kind of blind, mindless, spittle-flinging hatred generally reserved for talk radio shows.***
N’Shan’s tail twitched irritably as the doctor swept a tissue regenerator across the gash on her cheek. “There we go,” said the doctor, “good as new.”
The one million account figure I reported in the previous post is for all people with registered Cryptic accounts, not Star Trek Online alone. This may or may not include people who don’t play either Champions Online or Star Trek Online (details are still fuzzy).
While the exact figure hasn’t been published, there’s little doubt in the minds of most industry observers that this is far and away the most successful launch since WoW, surpassing all expectations, and I believe that the bottom line will reveal that it was double or triple the numbers of the World of Warcraft launch.
If (and this is a big if) they keep the content flowing freely and expand the game frequently and aggressively, they have the capability to steal the crown from WoW. On the other hand, if they drag their feet on expanding the main game while diverting too many resources to premium content or get bogged down in the quagmire of PvP balance, well, the race is theirs to lose.
At the end of the launch day, Star Trek Online had registered over a million player accounts.
That’s an incredible achievement by any measure. But I’ve seen some commentators responding with, “yeah, but World of Warcraft has 11 million active accounts”, as if to relegate STO to some niche beneath the notice of a WoW loyalist.
Let’s set the record straight. WoW has over 11 million active accounts AFTER six continuous years in operation. How many accounts had it registered on launch day, back in 2004? It took a bit of digging, but the answer is: somewhere between 200,000 and 250,000.
And THAT was an incredible achievement at the time for a massive multiplayer game. Give WoW its props; it didn’t just dominate the market, it expanded it into new territory and brought in legions of people who would never have considered an MMO prior to that time. It earned its place as king of the mountain.
STO is doing the same; bringing in a fresh horde of non-MMO gamers into the MMO fold. It’s not competing with WoW as much as it is helping draw fresh meat into the mix… something all the subscription titles ought to be applauding.
Only time will tell if Cryptic can hold onto and expand upon that remarkable start. But of all the games launched in recent years, I think Star Trek Online has the greatest potential to not only surpass the WoW peak, but to push the “Massive” in MMO to a new quantum state.
PvP Online is a webcomic that transcends the sometimes uneven quality of webcomics and consistantly delivers the funny. It parodies the excesses of geekdom with the insight of a geek; Scott Kurtz is unquestionably one of us. I’ve loved this strip for years now, but it only occurred to me to link to it now because today’s strip so perfectly captures the geeky joy of Star Trek Online. If you’re a geek, or somebody who loves a geek, you’ll enjoy this comic. Delve into the archives if you haven’t read the strip before. It’s worth it.
The Star Trek Online beta ended with a bang – a number of Borg cubes, spheres and probes invaded Federation space. Lt Commander Tirak of the starship Diomede fought the Borg hand-to-hand at Earth spacedock before making it to his ship and warping off to confront one of the massive Borg cubes.
I’m a Trekker (or Trekkie, I’m not getting into the terminology debate). I’ve followed the show since its first run, and while it may take me a second to recall the name of Admiral Archer’s prize beagle, I can still give you a data dump of information on a fictional universe that I love.
Star Trek Online filled me with a certain degree of trepidation, though. My hopes for Champions Online (produced by the same company, Cryptic) were… tarnished. I LIKE Champions Online, but I don’t love it. I see the skin of the RPG I used to love stretched over the skeleton of the defunct Marvel Universe MMO and I don’t think it really does justice to either.
I’m happy to report that Star Trek Online is a different kettle of fish. I still don’t LOVE it, but I definitely like like it. Let me hit some highlights. (more…)