Star Trek Foundry Community Sends Distress Signal Through Space

Do you still remember the Foundry? That’s the super-intriguing and in our opinion heavily underutilized UGC (user generated content) toolkit. In theory, such a system could provide the game with endless content created by its gamers. In reality however, the Foundry has been widely abandoned by Cryptic Studios due to the lack of resources and severe maintenance issues. With every module launch the Foundry is down for weeks and there’s always this awkward feeling that this might be the time that it’ll never come back up again. Additionally it doesn’t really help that one of the few guys showing passion and coding for the Foundry has recently left the company.

The Situation in STO Seems Even Worse

And if you think the situation in Neverwinter is miserable, just look over to our sister game Star Trek Online. Yesterday the Foundry database and community site StarbaseUGC released what feels like one last try to get Cryptic’s attention regarding the broken and dying system.

It has been years since Foundry got regular and steady attention from Cryptic. A precious few precious devs had spent their off hours putting new assets into the details tab of the editor in an attempt to keep the UGC content alive. It was a type of creativity triage. There is nobody at Cryptic who can program the old editor, as far as we know. They don’t talk about it. The editor itself is bugged. You can’t play your mission through in Preview mode. Map Transitions are broken. Some assets are invisible, and it seems that it just gets worse each time there’s a major update to the game. Half of each author’s work is no longer qualified for rewards when it once did, leaving players less incentive to bother spending their time.

Does this sound familiar? Absolutely! It also sadly feels like the folks over at STO do indeed suffer even more than us Neverwintans. Started as “beta” feature back in 2011, multiple websites, blogs, and communities formed around the UGC. There apparently was a time when Cryptic would actually hold conference calls with Foundry authors, and actively feature story missions. StarbaseUGC even had a booth in the vendor’s room at Star Trek Las Vegas in 2012! It feels absolutely weird that something that once had been such a vital part of a game’s community now is completely left to slowly rot.

No Update Since Months

What might hurt even more are those periods of multiple months in which there is literally no status update. Yes, we had that David “Miasmat” Anderson sighting at the last “State of the Game” stream in January, but generally requests regarding the Foundry are only sporadically answered, if at all. Unfortunately it’s one of those situations where the devs don’t want to admit that something is dead and sing that “it’s definitely something we want to get back to in the future” song that still gives the community some hope when there actually is little. Vague statements don’t cost the devs anything and on their end it’s better than completely shutting the door.

But the truth is that the Foundry is dead until proven otherwise. We have reiterated that since months. So a lot of sympathy goes out to the Star Trek Online crowd that seems to struggle as much as we do over here.

There will come a day when STO will reach the end of its life. There will be no more official content. The only possible way that players who are still interested will get new content and new stories to challenge them will be through a working Foundry.

Ain’t that the truth?


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