Image via WikipediaAs my Trusty Gamer Friends may know, Cryptic has been bought out by Perfect World. Perfect World (PW) publishes games in Asia, and they are all free-to-play, or f2p. Well, you can't run games for free. There are costs involved, like server usage, electricity, staff to run the games, someone to empty the trash at night, and new corporate jets for the owner(s). So, f2p games run by giving 'premium content' to paying subscribers and maintain a 'store' where one can buy in-game items for money if we don't want to wait for them to drop from monsters or come as quest rewards. Usually these aren't expensive at all. You can spend a few bucks here and there for things like an armor component or weapon, a new ship skin, a mini-pet, and so on. In games like LOTRO, this is pretty straightforward.
Cryptic, however, has decided to live up to their name and create a system that is so full of obfuscation that even Dennis Miller would be impressed. They have decided to add the 'dilithium component'.
Never mind the fact that in the time period in which the game exists, dilithium can be re-used with great ease and doesn't need to be mined. Cryptic decided canon can be ignored. So, it is now a rare commodity that requires mining of dilithium ore and then refining the ore, because this is exactly what my heroic captain wants to do with her time. Rescue planets from Borg invasions, cure deadly plagues in the nick of time, use our elite diplomacy skills to prevent interplanetary wars, mine dilithium ore for the next 500,000 years.
Aside from the fact that this is a completely immersion-breaking activity, the max amount of ore that you can refine in a 24 hour period is 8,000 DC. This would be fine if all the items were, say, in the couple hundred DC range. They're not. Cryptic is charging 100,000 DC to make some items. So, I can make 1 good item for my Vice Admiral in 13 days. Welcome to the grind-fest, my fleetmates. Of course, you can always buy the DC in the Cryptic store, wink wink, nudge nudge, sledgehammer sledgehammer. So, I can pay real money to make items for my fleetmates. I like this idea about as much as I like the idea of stabbing myself in the eyeballs repeatedly.
Now, Cryptic so far has announced that they will be charging DC for ships, ship components, and any crafting items. In the spirit of helping maximize Cryptic's profits, I'm offering this list of dilithium sinks that Cryptic can add to the game to make it even more grindy.
1. Charge dilithium for all Duty officers. Hey, we're going to use them to gain our whopping 50 dilithium per day. At that rate, we should charge about 500,000 dilithium per DOFF.
2. Add in DC charges not only for each ship, console, and weapon, but also every color change and paint job style, windows, doors, and seats on the ship. We'll be generous and keep the charge at 1k per window. We're going to add windows to each ship, however.
3. Give us a token for all trophies at the end of major series. Charge us dilithium to actually claim it from the trophy vendor. 25k DC seems about right. There will also be a 25k fee to place it on a hook.
4. Charge at least 100k for each skill point we earn. That'll certainly encourage leveling up.
5. Charge 10k DC every time we hear a door go 'swoosh' in game.
6. Charge 30k DC for every quest opportunity.
7. Charge DC every time someone uses the "KHAAAAANNNN!!!!" emote. We should go for at least a million DC per emote use there.
8. There should be a fee for each breath that a toon takes. Of course, the respiration animation rate will be increased from the normal 14 per minute to approximately 256. Per second.
9. Extract a departure fee of 500 billion DC for each person leaving the game. That will ensure that they never can leave, because as we all know, one of Gene Roddenberry's great ideals in Star Trek was indentured servitude.
Please feel free to comment on your ideas on how to increase Cryptic's DC revenue! I can't wait to hear your ideas, too!