Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Crafting in a Star Trek MMORPG

One of the areas where a Star Trek MMORPG could distinguish itself from its competition is in offering more cooperative-social gameplay. And one feature that would support this effort would be in a "crafting" system that allows the crew of a ship to work together on building things.

Suppose that each department has a kind of crafting it can do:

Engineering/Opsmodification/enhancement of existing tools/devices
Science/Medicalcreation of new tools/devices/weapons from discovery of new principles
Tactical/Securitymodification/enhancement of existing weapons
Command/Helm??? (organization crafting? diplomatic protocols? evasive patterns?)
Would this be fun/interesting? Would it become fun/interesting if the kinds of crafting available to each department could be combined somehow with the crafting that characters in other branches can do?

Or would it be better to make crafting more generalized so that anyone can do any kind of crafting, just with some department-based specializations or bonuses? Maybe anybody should be able to make ship system improvements, create new objects, and write new holodeck programs....

Originally Posted by Botanybay:
But that would be a thing, that expires over the time. It should, to make crafting needed on a regular basis. So everything newly invented would need maintenance. Once, the crafter who "invented" it is gone, the new item or technology looses effectivity, after a certain period of time.
This makes sense to me for several reasons:

  • It creates a plausible reason to always need players who are good at crafting.

  • It creates opportunities for gameplay.

  • It's not as strange as magically removing ship improvements when the crafter steps off the ship.
And yet, I'd hate to see really interesting/useful ideas get limited to their creator's ship -- doesn't that injure the power of ideas to improve one's society, which is a big piece of what Star Trek is about?

What if there were a way for the best ideas to filter out to other players? You might want to have some limits or else everybody would simply copy everybody else's ideas, but perhaps there could be a lottery where every three months one idea from the top 50 (however determined) is judged to be Starfleet-worthy and becomes available to every crafter. Alternately, perhaps the top admiral(s) from each department that offers crafting can pick one new crafting improvement every few months to disseminate to all the players in that department.

Maybe some other approach would be better than these, but I think it would be nice to see the best ideas embraced by Starfleet and made available to everyone (with proper credit, of course).