Star Trek Online Temporarily Limits PTS Access to Paying Customers

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.

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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6 thoughts on “Star Trek Online Temporarily Limits PTS Access to Paying Customers

  • Avatar
    April 20, 2018 at 7:30 am

    What a Crock.

    So it’s possible that access to Mimic and Owlbear might be available only to VIP members?

    And then that VIP might become a direct cash-only transaction, rather than updating your membership with Zen in a 50% sale, and bought with Zen that you paid for in a +25% Charge Promo?

    Feck ’em. Feck ’em in the ear.

    I should think that most people on the Test Server who discover new info and new strategies are VIP 12 anyway, and many tend to pass on the information they find. Also, this blog and forum does articles and threads on new content and new dungeon tactics.

    But this does seem to open a path where people could feel:

    “I paid for this data, with my time AND money, so of course I will keep it to myself and sell the new reagents etc on the AH for 2 million a pop.”

    But then, NW is so far behind STO in so many ways… look at the differences in the Guild system and their built-in safeguards compared with NW’s hacker, scammer, guild thief paradise, for example.

    When was STO first relased? The NW team did not seem to learn much from the STO team and all possible errors were reproduced in NW, despite foreknowledge and forewarning in STO.


    • Avatar
      April 22, 2018 at 4:57 pm

      Neverwinter was released in 2013, STO was released in 2010

      STO released in 2010, 2016 on consoles
      + better interface
      + better exchange system (AH), uses in-game common currency (energy credits)
      + better gear upgrade system
      + better crafting system
      + dilithium given for every mission and duty officer assignment

      – poor ground combat

      in-game convertible currency (dilithium) is infinitely more farmable than AD despite the 8k refine limit per char per day

      NWO released in 2013, 2015/16 on consoles

      + better combat system since it’s purely ground
      + slightly better campaign system (boons)

      – AD used in the AH instead of gold
      – poor inventory system
      – forced group PvE system for AD
      – too many currencies, 100 currencies in NWO (according to wiki) vs ~20 in sto

      • Avatar
        April 22, 2018 at 6:31 pm

        @Fenrir Stormwolf
        Thanks for that. 🙂

  • Avatar
    April 20, 2018 at 7:31 am

    Oh, I just noticed it’s a limited time thing, not permanent. Still…

  • Avatar
    April 20, 2018 at 10:04 pm

    Hmm…given how much the devs ignore the feedback from the preview shard this subscription option can best be called “pay to be ignored.”

  • Avatar
    April 22, 2018 at 11:39 am

    While your analysis may hold its ground, let’s not jump to conclusions too hastily. It clearly says the restriction is only temporary, and it could be for a multitude of reasons, some of which the average end-user may not even dream about. I think the speculation over a simple tweet is not worth the effort of a mention in NWO-U blog.


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