Friday, June 15, 2007

Technology Levels in a Star Trek MMORPG

How should a Star Trek MMORPG handle pre-warp civilizations?

An important part of Star Trek was the "Prime Directive," which was the policy that agents of the Federation (such as Starfleet vessels) do not interfere with the development of cultures that haven't advanced on their own to Warp 1.0 spaceflight.

This is just me, but I'd really prefer planets with intelligent lifeforms to occupy a wide range of technological levels, from barbarians (peaceful and otherwise) to cultures more technologically advanced than even the Federation. That would not only help make planets a lot more diverse and interesting, it would create the opportunity to tell Prime Directive-based stories.

Not every player will care about that stuff, but a lot of the Trek fans certainly will. And even the non-Trekkers might find the ethical aspects of gameplay in Star Trek Online to be a unique feature that they've never seen in any other MMORPG.

So I'm all for having the occasional high-tech planet with good facilities for starships and their crews... but let's have low-tech planets, too.

"I... am... Kirok!!" :)