Thursday, July 26, 2007

Star Trek Canon vs. MMORPG Gameplay

Originally Posted by Biggs:
While on another thread I'll complain about having farmers and Warrior Players trying to thwart the efforts of Federation Role-Players - if you remove them all, who's going to fight the wars!!!
I was thinking about that when it occurred to me: Why should we assume that the people who want to play ST:O in the Federation universe would find it fun to have a war break out in their preferred gameworld?

I'm not saying that there shouldn't be drama or conflict of some kind in the Federation universe. I'm just wondering now -- assuming this dual-universe approach were implemented -- whether military conflict would be the kind of gameplay action most likely to satisfy the gamers who chose the Federation universe precisely to get away from that kind of constant-competition stuff that other MMORPGs are so full of.

If players of a Star Trek MMORPG want a war, let them have it in the Mirror Universe where it belongs.

Originally Posted by Biggs:
I'm also starting to think we should avoid the idea that there are only two types of players - The MMO gamers might only want to fight and farm and guild up, but the Trekkie players like me want a little of that (minus the farming) and the fun happy Trek stuff. Granted there will be extremes on both sides of the coin, I think most people fall somewhere in the middle.
I honestly don't know. I definitely agree there'll be some number of players who personally want to experience both conventional MMORPG-style conflict/accumulation gameplay and technobabular Star Trek-style discovery/interpersonal gameplay.

Even so, I'm more inclined to expect a bimodal distribution -- one big bunch of players doing almost nothing but combat, and another big bunch of players doing nothing but whatever Star Trek-themed non-combat stuff is available. How Star Trek Online's gameplay might be designed to satisfy both of these interests is the question.

(Side note: It would be great if there were some MMORPG with the same amount of Explorer content and Socializer content as Achiever content. That's a minimum requirement for getting an accurate picture of how many players really prefer which style of play -- the MMORPGs currently available make everyone who plays them look like an Achiever because that's pretty much all there is to do....)