Cryptic Studios

Ex-Cryptic folks open Mob Rules, let fans decide first game

Nathan Grayson at

Conventional wisdom says the customer's always right. (Conventional wisdom also says that carrots give you night vision super powers and Mr. Rogers had a Call of Duty-sized killstreak in Vietnam, but who's counting?)

Ex-Cryptic Studios staffers Rick Dakan, Jonathan Willis, and Austin McKinley are giving that old adage a pretty stern test. Their new venture, Mob Rules, is asking potential players to help fund its first project - but with a twist: they also get to vote on what exactly that project will be. It's an ambitious plan in crowdsourcing, and here's how it'll work:


City of Heroes Dev Diary: Rogues gallery

PC Gamer at

In the last installment of the City of Heroes dev diary, we got a look at the massive monsters of the First Ward zone, which demand a entire super-team of players to take down. But what about the mobs you'll face throughout the area on your own? Here's Gilbert Martinez, CoH's art lead, with the inside scoop on the new villain groups of the First Ward, complete with mutated psychic-tumor women and freaky, masked carnies.

Star Trek Online free to play features detailed

Tom Senior at

We mentioned last week that Star Trek Online will be free to play before the year is out. Cryptic have just released more information about exactly what free players will and won't have access to.

All missions, levels and zones will be available to free players, including daily quests and missions created by paying members using the Star Trek Online Foundry creation tools. The Foundry will be off limits unless you upgrade to gold membership by paying a monthly subscription of $14.99, this will also give you access to more bridge officer slots, the ability to join a guild, unlimited use of in-game chat and email features, and a monthly wage of 400 Promotional Points to spend in the item store.

The full list of features that will be available to non-paying players and subscribers can be found on the new free to play section of the Star Trek Online site.


Star Trek Online to go free to play this year

Tom Hatfield at

Massively have spotted a statement on Seeking Alpha by the CEO of Perfect World, owner of Cryptic studios, that Star Trek Online will go free to play before the end of the year. Champions Online, Cryptic's other MMO, went free to play in January, so it comes as no surprise that its sister game has followed suit. CEO Kelvin Lau said that he felt the free to play model had 'bigger potential' in both the US and Chinese markets.

Sadly the statement contained no information Star Trek will follow Champions in using Steam's new free to play system or continue with its own payment model.

Would you be more likely to try Star Trek Online when it's free?

Atari to sell Cryptic studios

Tom Senior at

Atari's yearly financial report shows that they are parting ways with Cryptic, the studio behind Star Trek Online, Champions Online and the upcoming Neverwinter MMO. The official reasons given for the split include Atari's intentions to release "fewer but more profitable" titles and expand into "casual online and mobile games," but it more likely has something to do with the reported $25 million Cryptic have lost Atari in the last couple of years.


Champions Online review

Tom Senior at

Champions Online’s move to free-to-play is very bad news for the criminals of Millennium City. My latest creation, Chill Valentine, is in the local park, icing top-hat-wearing goons with frost bolts. All around me, fellow heroes are unleashing their own brand of justice, in the form of fireballs, telekinetic powers and the occasional thrown car. With no subscription fee to put players off, the streets of this superhero MMO are rammed. It is a very bad day to be wearing a top hat and a striped shirt.

The cost of playing for free is choice. Full subscribers can pick and choose from Champions Online’s magical tombola of superhero abilities, but non-paying Silver members have to make do with a choice of archetypes that limit their character’s progression to a preset template of themed superpowers. Extra archetypes can be bought in the game’s item store for about £7.

Chill Valentine is a frosty Glacier archetype, so she unlocks predictable ice-themed abilities in a linear fashion as she levels. First there’s the frost bolt, then the charged-up frost bolt, then the area-of effect frost bolt, and so on. Each archetype is designed to fulfil one of the three traditional tank, damage-dealing or healing MMO roles – which would make sense if there was much reason to group with other players, but aside from a few intermittent 2-5 group dungeons, there isn’t.


Star Trek Online gets Foundry mission editor

Tom Senior at

Who hasn't wanted to put together their own Star Trek episode? That dream is about to come true, sort of. Cryptic have released the Foundry for Star Trek Online, a powerful set of editing tools that will let you create your own missions. The Foundry let you put together your own star systems, script battles, write dialogue and create cutscenes. A mission sharing system will let players rate missions, and the very best will be highlighted with developer spotlight awards, making it easy for players to sift through to the best player made missions.

The Foundry is an exciting addition to Star Trek Online, but it's built on the same tech as Cryptic's other MMOs, meaning there's a chance that similar tools could appear in Champions Online and the upcoming Neverwinter MMO. For more on the mission editing tools, see The Foundry section of the Star Trek Online site. If you're interested in playing Star Trek Online, there's a demo available.


Star Trek Online anniversary trailer released, item sale to celebrate

Tom Senior at

Star Trek Online is one year old. To celebrate, Cryptic Studios have put out a trailer highlighting the many changes and additions made to the game since launch. There's also a sale on, with 20% off lifetime subscriptions and microtransaction items. Read on for details and a video.


Champions Online now free-to-play

Owen Hill at

Cryptic's Superhero MMO, Champions Online is now free to play. The latest patch includes an overhaul of almost every aspect of the game.

Read on for the details.


Star Trek Online Season 3 update adds Borg tech and mission creator

Tom Senior at

The latest free update to Star Trek Online has arrived, letting players loot high tech Borg components that can be slotted into Starships to make them Borg-awesome. The update also revamps sector space to give it a new look, and introduces the open beta of the Foundry, which will let players create their own Star Trek missions.


City of Heroes gets invasion in Issue 19: Alpha Strike

Tom Senior at

The Praetorian invasion has kicked off in City of Heroes with the arrival of Issue 19: Alpha Strike. The free update will add a series of new missions for level 20 players, as well as new animations for many superpowers and free respec tokens for everyone. Read on for more details.


Champions Online selling Lifetime Subscriptions

Tom Senior at

Cryptic Studios recently announced that Champions Online will be going free-to-play come the new year. Even so, they've just reintroduced a Lifetime Subscription that offers players permanent Gold Membership when the game goes free to play, as well as some bonus outfits and an in-game action figure, all for the price of $300. Read on for the list of benefits.


Star Trek Online could go free-to-play, Champions to get mission creator

Tom Senior at

Cryptic announced recently that Champions Online will be going free-to-play early next year, and many immediately wondered if their other MMO title, Star Trek Online would follow suit. Cryptic's boss, Jack Emmert, has been speaking out in a recent interview about Star Trek Online's chances of ditching the subscription fee, and about plans to introduce a City of Heroes style mission editor to Champions Online.


Make your own missions in Star Trek Online

Tom Senior at

Cryptic Studios, creators of City of Heroes and Champions Online, are gearing up to release the Foundry toolset to players of space borne MMO Star Trek Online. The toolset will allow players to create their own missions, and then submit them to a database for the community to rate.


Champions Online is going free to play

Tom Senior at

Cryptic's superhero MMO Champions Online will be free to play as of early next year. You'll be able to download the client, create a hero and jump into Millenium City without having to worry about buying the game or paying any subscription fees.


Star Trek Online now has a time-unlimited free trial

Tom Francis at

Star Trek Online has just started offering a new kind of free trial, where you can play for as long as you like. Instead of limiting your time, they restrict you to the tutorial and first mission of the game. Hmm. No time limit, but a restricted portion of the game? This new way of demonstrating a game needs a name of some kind.