Maybe STO should Tap the Community Again

Cryptic decided to remove the user created content generator called “The Foundry” in an update a while back. I was rather disappointed in this, and no doubt were many others. Star Trek fans are about as loyal as fans get, and they tend to be willing to put forth the time and energy to create for the cause, so to speak. Perhaps the Foundry was using up too much bandwidth for the servers or the content was too heavy to store; I don’t really know, but unleashing the creative genius of our talented pool of enthusiast players is still possible. Looking at a game like the Forza racing games on PC and X-Box, you will find that they have unleashed user created content that is mostly special “tunes” for the cars and artwork designs for cars. This is all part of the marketplace they created similar to the exchange on STO.

I am not savvy enough on servers, content generation, etc to know how intensive it is to set that sort of thing up, but the exchange already exists so that has to be half the battle, right?

Why not allow the creative juices of the die-hard Trek fans to create custom designs and artwork for our uniforms and ships you know, like the vanity shields for example. Why not allow players to sell on the exchange their ship load-outs and character builds? This type of exchange tends to bond the community together and keeps players interested in the game and one of the most important MMO elements, user customization and immersion into a fictional world. Player created content could be rated like it is on Forza, and quickly certain players would become well known for producing excellent stuff. Just sayin’ it could breathe new life into this game.

I understand F2P MMO’s like STO need those micro transactions to succeed and players can help make that happen. Well known players designing tunes around items they used from the C-store could drive some of those micro transactions for Cryptic. The artistic side such as custom player created vanity shields or custom designed uniforms may not directly lead to micro transactions for Cryptic, it will lead to more people playing the game longer and that leads to more micro transactions in the end. It’s good for us, good for Cryptic, good for all, right?

I love the Forza Motorsport marketplace and routinely use fabulous designs on my cars created by the community of players. I have even created my own content and sold it on the exchange for the Forza equivalent of energy credits. What do you all think? Am I nuts or is this doable? Poll below.