Before the weekend we’d like to quickly touch on a development in Star Trek Online. It might not be directly related to Neverwinter, but since we’re talking about the same game studio it could very well carry over from the Alpha Quadrant to the Sword Coast if the devs like what they see. Two days ago STO announced that they will limit access to their test server to Gold and Lifetime subscribers. We’re not completely sure here, but comments indicate it’s the first time this happened.
For a limited time starting today, we're going to restrict access to our test server, Tribble, to Gold and Lifetime members.
— Star Trek Online (@trekonlinegame) April 18, 2018
The subscription model can be compared to Neverwinter’s VIP. It comes with quite a few perks and offers more stuff the longer you’re subbed. Additionally Star Trek Online offers a Lifetime membership that once paid unlocks all Gold levels and comes with additional benefits. Since the packages are not available on the ZEN Market ingame, players now have to spend real money to get access to the “Tribble” PTS.
Victory is Life
Cryptic wouldn’t be doing this without a certain incentive for players to log into the test server. Fittingly, the latest update “Victory is Life” was uploaded on Wednesday, making testing the new release a premium exclusive. There are admittedly a couple of reasons why Star Trek Online would do this, but the most obvious one is monetization. The ability to see new content before others is tempting. For players it’s about getting to know changes and features as early as possible and gain advantages through knowledge. For content creators in the meantime it’s important as well. Brand-new stuff is usually what the audience looks up the most.
As Neverwinter players we wouldn’t be too concerned right now, but it’s definitely worth monitoring and interesting that Cryptic apparently tries to include PTS access in their monetization strategy. Don’t forget that lockboxes long-term are a dying breed and this might simply be testing other ways of generating revenue.
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