I have almost stopped laughing now. Almost.
Just to give you a few examples of some of the search terms that -- somehow -- led to the Star Trek Minutiae site:
- pig-shaped food
- jellyfish pantyhose
- Panty Raiders BBS
- evil squirrel cartoons
Originally Posted by Botanybay:This is one of my big problems with MMORPGs as well: NPCs appear to have virtually no awareness of their environment.
The whole time you meet NPC-zombies that stare at the horizon, doing nothing. Note, there are sandstorms on Tatooine and heavy rain on Naboo. Doesn't matter for the NPCs, a zombie doesn't know any pain.
Originally Posted by Hoplite:Only if you define the "masses" as the people who like today's killing/loot-centric MMORPGs.
it's difficult because you need to give everyone something to do, and if they aren't flying the ship and/or shooting, what are they doing? looking at some sensor read outs? damage reports? how does that remain fun for long periods? i know some of us might like to do that, but as a mass appeal thing? it's problematic.
1. Handle routine matters of ship operation.And that's it. So the question is, should Star Trek Online be designed such that, on larger ships, there are plenty of fun gameplay features for both the captain (who handles the big-responsibility decisions) and the XO (who handles the ship's routine and makes sure that all systems -- crew and gear -- are working at peak efficiency)?
2. Make sure that when the captain gives an order, it can be carried out.
Originally Posted by Falin:Aren't both of those observations true?
I proposed that the larger and more complex a ships design, the long it would take to be constructed. I used the example that the Big D took approximatly 15 years to be built, and that it was the third ship f it's class to be constructed.
Phillip countered that as the more are built, the faster the process goes.
Originally Posted by Slade:
I've been fascinated with player ran governments for awhile now. Seeing how I'm a roleplayer and I'd believe it'd add a sense of roleplay to ST:O. I'm just wondering if it'd be possible in this type of game.
Originally Posted by CINC-UFPForces-Cardassia:What about the notion of military governors? Kor, for example, was made military governor of Organia, so we know the concept is already part of Star Trek. If Star Trek Online has any kind of strategic element, where taking and holding systems is part of the game, perhaps even the Federation might consider making certain qualified Starfleet officers military governors of strategically important planets.
As of this moment, we don't have any indication from Perpetual, the developers of ST:O, that a structure will be in place for fully player-run governments.
Originally Posted by BLZBUB:The key phrase in the announcement was "publisher-sanctioned." In other words, Live Gamer apparently won't sell currency or items or characters from a gameworld without the explicit permission of that world's operator to do so. Apparently they're trying to distinguish themselves from the goldsellers of the world, who IMO ought to be sued for misappropriation of property (or whatever the appropriate legal lingo is when someone who doesn't own your property rents it for money to a third party).
The new Live Gamer site opened Monday into the virtual trading arena and introduced itself "as the premier provider of a publisher-supported, secure platform for real money trading of virtual property."
By introducing a fully transparent, secure, publisher-sanctioned marketplace, Live Gamer helps protect content creators from the distorting impact of illicit trading on their intellectual property and provides a safe alternative for consumers around the world who spend millions of hours in-world every month.
Originally Posted by Captain Crowl:Excellent list!
Well Flatfingers...I hate to do this to you, but I've got to punch a few holes in your theory...at least #1...#2 seems to be accurate.
Promotion to the rank of Commander does not mean that you automatically get the red uniform, to which there are many examples in canon. Here are a few:
- Commander Peter Harkins from Voyager's Pathfinder Project is a full commander and is still in the gold engineering uniform.
- Commander Edward M LaForge from the episode "Interface" wore sciences blue; exobiologist.
- Commander Bruce Maddox wore sciences blue and is a cybernetics expert.
- Commander Deanna Troi She's not a doctor but a psychologist.
- Commander Hillard wore red and worked for Starfleet Medical.
The Lt Cmdrs I listed all wore command red even though they were not in a direct command role...that was my point.
- Lt Cmdr Shelby (prior to being field promoted to Commander) She was initially placed in charge of Starfleet's defensive planning for the Borg.
- Lt Cmdr Christopher Hobson who served as Data's first officer on the USS Sutherland.
- Lt Cmdr Chakotay Yes he was a Lt Cmdr, NOT a Commander.
- Lt Cmdr Susanna Leijten Not sure what her role is exactly....
- Lt Cmdr Calvin Hudson was Starfleet's first attaché to the Federation colonies in the Demilitarized Zone.
- Lt Cmdr Dexter Remmick worked for Starfleet's Inspector General's office.
Quote from Memory Alpha:So that leaves us with a choice: either Toddman was a one-off special case that can be ignored, or my relatively simple theory has to be extended to say that all officers at Lt. Cmdr. or higher rank assigned to Command or Command support roles regardless of rank wear red, but officers in other roles wear their departmental color regardless of rank. (Have there been any non-Helm Lieutenants wearing red after the first couple seasons of TNG?)
Admiral Toddman was played by Leon Russom, who also played the Starfleet commander in chief in Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country. He has the unique distinction of wearing an operations division gold admiral's uniform. To date, he is the only 24th century era flag officer to not wear command red as his division color. However, there is a 23rd century precedent to this practice, as all TOS flag officers wore command division gold except for two Commodores, Stone and Stocker. Interestingly enough, the background behind Admiral Toddman (with the setting sun on a dark sky) appears to be a partial homage to the set and matte paintings created for Starbase 11, for the office of the very same Commodore Stone in TOS: "Court Martial".
1. promotion to CommanderAs far as I can tell, anybody who gets promoted to the rank of Commander gets the red duty uniform regardless of department (with the exception of officers serving in Medical roles). This appears to explain Riker, Chakotay, and Sisko wearing red, while Commander Beverly Crusher still wears Medical blue. It also explains LaForge wearing red as a Captain in the provisional future of VOY: "Timeless".
2. assignment as First Officer, Executive Officer, or similar command assistance role
"Spock: The Logical Choice"
"Vote for LaForge: Proven Vision"
"I Like Riker: He's Number One!"
"Mot for President: A Cut Above"
"Vote Janeway: She's Never Lost"
"Locutus in 2400: Resistance Is Futile"
Originally Posted by Captain Crowl:No strong disagreement to this or anything else, but it's worth noting that the designers of Star Trek Online can't not discriminate when it comes to who gets to be an admiral.
Beta testers becoming the first admirals:
To another degree, I am against this idea. Only so many people and certain types of people will be a beta tester, and thus you are already discriminating.
Originally Posted by Stronin:That's pretty much where I am on this, too, Stronin.
I have a significant respect for will wright though, he's always shown he has a definte vision for games. I'll be interested to see how future titles of his incorperate that
Quote:Well, that's... interesting. :)
"There's more creativity in Europe than there is in America," said Button-Brown, speaking exclusively to GamesIndustry.biz at Game Connection. "The Americans are much more refined in their processes, it's all about the money. There are less chances taken and there is more money being thrown at developers in the US."
"Taking less chances means there's less failures, but I can't see the US having ever come up with Grand Theft Auto."
Originally Posted by kaylee:The ridiculously aggressive, trash-talking behavior seen in online games has IMO several components:
From Fox News:
Several high-profile cases involving people who met playing online games have led experts to caution that such Web sites have a unique environment that could be a breeding ground for criminal minds...
..."The common goal of annihilating the foe can bring out a belligerence that sometimes spills over into real-world interactions, especially within those who become addicted to what they're playing, "said Robert McCrie, a professor in the law and police science department at John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York.
"You observe people playing these games -- it draws out a kind of aggressiveness and competitiveness in their behavior," he said. "There is a concern for people who become obsessively involved with cyber gaming."
a. the thuggishness in other parts of the culture (the NBA, for example) becoming more toleratedThrow all those things together and frankly, no, I wouldn't be surprised to see someone who's a loud-mouthed bully in an online game world behave the same way outside the game -- or vice versa.
b. the hypercompetitive design of these games themselves, which attract the more aggressive gamers
c. the possibility that the hyperaggressive people in these gameworlds are testosterone-rich to begin with
d. the reinforcement of aggressive-posturing behavior by observing that one's peers in the game are all acting that way
Originally Posted by Randydandy:Taking things away from characters is always problematic in these games. Players tend to regard it as a kind of punishment for success, and usually react very badly to it even if it's an otherwise functional mechanic for gameplay balance.
Maybe a good way to facilitate this would be to have a gain/loss approach to promotions. In the larger scheme of things, your graph outlines this. But to make it practical, maybe you could set the promotions up so that you GAIN potential skills,xp, etc. but LOSE a few skills, xp, etc from. You would loose skills or advancements in certain skills in the area you are moving away from. For example a character promoted from Lt. Commander to Commander would lose advancements made towards tactical skills and gain the potential to increase those skills necessary to perform duties in operations.
Originally Posted by ReniriAirion:We've been looking at Admiral (of whatever degree) as a more-or-less permanently earned rank for a character, but this is a pretty interesting alternative approach.
Maybe the answer to the Admiral conundrum is to use a similar system to that employed in BF2142 i.e. the player with the best stats for that month in the ranking system is "crowned" Admiral for the period of one month.
Originally Posted by writerguy731:Just for fun (not because I hold any strong opinion either way), let's see if I can come up with some points on the other side of the ledger. (Note: It would be too easy to read hints of U.S. presidential politics into comments in this thread. I will not be going there.)
Would Spock make a good President? I find myself, now that it has been presented to me, thinking about this.
Look at it like this... while we love Spock, and he has a great love of non-violence and logic - non-violence and logic describes millions if not billions of Vulcans. And among those, surely there are Vulcans with far, far more experience in government, politics, social work and bureacracy than a Starfleet science officer.
Not only that, when we last left Spock (to my knowledge), he was in the middle of quite a heated pet project that would - if not kill him - at the least require all of his attention. How do you make the leap from there to UFP President?
Also, and I hate to say it, but... the last time I watched Reunification, I found myself with a bit of sinking feeling, especially when I remembered the TNG episode with Sarek. Here was Sarek, a Vulcan filled with remorse and regret, succumbing to a deadly (and possibly hereditary, I'll remind you!) disease in which he loses control of everything that, as a Vulcan, he holds dear - namely self-control. As I watch Reunification, it's as though there are shades of that episode everywhere - here is a half-human, half-Vulcan man with a troubled past, faced with a living, talking reminder of his father's not only passing, but humiliating passing at that (humiliating for a Vulcan anyway). And this man is embroiled in a battle which is totally illogical, and refuses to be swayed by logical argument. Spock (to me) seems as though he is losing control, projecting his anger, frustration and impotence into at best a lost cause, and at worst a suicide mission.
Meaning, to me, it sounds like Spock is already starting to exhibit symptoms of his father's illness. And if that's the case, should we elect a psychologically, emotionally, and perhaps physically ill/unstable man President? My instinct says no.
So, after further thought, though I love Spock... I don't know. I can't see him as UFP President in STO. Or just Star Trek.
|Keirsey Temperament||Bartle Type||GNS Theory||Problem-Solving Style|
Originally Posted by [a fan]:The vast majority of Star Trek episodes featured lifeforms being phasered and starships being blown up (and not in a cartoonish or stylized way), and yet Star Trek somehow managed to become very popular. The biggest blockbuster movies of today -- which appeal to the masses or they wouldn't become blockbusters -- have lots of violence. And the computer game industry makes billions every year despite (or, perhaps, because of) the violence in many of the games released.
There are several reasons for a more simplified approach when it comes to graphics:
1. Ensuring an "E" rating - This is essential in a game that is trying to appeal to the masses. Violence that looks more "fantasy" or "animated" and less "real" will help with that rating.
Originally Posted by [a fan]:
2. Availability for lower end computers - This has been mentioned several times throughout the thread, but is still an important thing to remember. Not everyone has quad-core processors and SLI. MMOs usually are behind the times graphically compared to their non-MMO counterparts. If you want Crysis/Bioshock-level graphics, then go play Crysis and Bioshock.
Originally Posted by [a fan]:
3. It feels more like a game - Most players don't want to be immersed in a reality, they want to play a game. With emphasis on "play" and "game". Rest assurred, this will be a Star Trek game, not a Star Trek simulator.
Originally Posted by [a fan]:
4. It's easier/quicker to develop - Do we want dev time spent on bump-mapping and anti-aliasing, or intriguing gameplay? If you think graphics and powerhouse logic algorithms are important, compare the Wii sales to the PS3.
Originally Posted by Samodelkin:I'm also a fan of the idea of building complex objects from simpler components, as I noted in my Starship Operations in a Star Trek MMORPG blog entry. If every component has the same basic function but differs in some slight way from the others of its kind, players would be able to create unique new objects by connecting alternate components together. It creates the possibility of creating a new kind of item that everyone else would want, which could be pretty cool for everybody.
I briefly explained a possible crafting system in this long post ... To summarize it, everything is made of simpler components all the way down to elements.
Originally Posted by Samodelkin:If I were making a game I wanted to finish, and that wasn't too exploitable, I don't think I'd go so far as to allow players to actually create and import their own 3D meshes and textures. You just know there'd be some moron who'd insist on fouling things up for everybody else by constructing an enormous 3D phallus.
As for making beautiful things, if a model/graphics editor is introduced, it may become necessary for developers to filter out inappropriate content; this is not essential in the utilitarian sense, but necessary if players are to make something with a touch of their own individual personality, like sculptures or oddly-shaped vessels.
Originally Posted by CINC-UFPForces-Cardassia:That's clearly sensible, but I hope it's not taken too far. Yes, much of what appeared on displays in the TV shows and movies was "chrome," but that chrome contributes in some measure to the overall Star Trek vibe. As such, I suspect LCARS-ness is something that many people looking forward to a satisfying Star Trek experience in a Star Trek MMORPG will expect to see to some degree, if not actually use.
LCARS is filled with stuff that's just blatantly [useless]. Most consoles on the television show have to be big because the camera is several feet away, and they can feature gibberish because there's nothing really important there. The LCARS for ST:O is the opposite on both counts, and Perpetual (rightly) hasn't forgotten that. They cannot and should not pull LCARS shapes and sizes from the television show simply because it would be useless to the game, and simply the fact that "It was on the show!" isn't sufficient cause to ignore that fact.
Originally Posted by Jaedon Rivers:I think a critical distinction between where you may be coming from and how I'm looking at Star Trek Online is "game" versus "world."
The main hooks of [Team Fortress Classic's] stylised look are that not only is it very crisp and looks great, so it's visually interesting yet comfortable on the eyes, it also allowed the developers to inject some uniqueness into the characters: you usually tell what any class is from a decent distance away, you can see what weapon they've got out and so on. When they taunt, it's turned into something amusing instead of something to get stressed about. It makes the game a more playful and fun experience, which for adults can be very important even though we might not freely admit it because of "cartoonish" and "childish" associations, because you're not led into taking the game far too seriously and burning out.
Originally Posted by Perpetual_Daron:I understand and accept that a Star Trek MMORPG has to be and is going to be a game, first and foremost. I will be very unhappy if anyone tries to claim that I'm pushing for a "pure Star Trek simulation" or any such thing -- I'm not for that; I don't believe it should happen; I don't believe it will happen.
Come on guys. If you don't like MMORPGs, you're barking up the wrong tree. I love to play MMORPGs as do the STO team. We play WoW, EQII, Guild Wars, EvE Online, etc. If you're looking for an MMORPG without combat at its core, give Tale in the Desert a try. It seems that a few thousand enjoy it but it's not my cup of tea.
Did you have this combat debate for the Elite Force games? I guess I can understand it a little more for MMORPGs given that the genre is so new and their intensely social nature tends to compel some to play gameplay mechanics they don't enjoy. But I have to chuckle when I think of the same debate going on for other genres.
If you don't think you could ever enjoy a mainstream MMORPG, I'm not sure why you think STO will make you suddenly start enjoying the genre. Sure, we'll make improvments to the state of the art, and as I've said before, Star Trek does make us think of traditional mechanics in new ways, but the botom line is that this will still feel and play like a member of its genre. Whether we'll hit the few things on your particular shortlist of MMORPG mechanics you don't like, I can't say. But rest assured, that even though we are MMORPG fans, belive it or not, we're also intense Star Trek fans. We think long and hard about how to stay true to ST and still make a great MMORPG.
I think everyone here already knows the direction we're heading. And I really wish there was a way to please everyone. But I'd hate for non-MMORPG fans to stay with us through the development process only to be disappointed that in fact, we really are an MMORPG. This group needs to stop thinking of STO as the uber Star Trek simulator and come to terms with the idea that this is a game.