Monday, September 24, 2007

Playing As Borg in a Star Trek MMORPG +

Originally Posted by Horizon:
The problem that I see with this idea is that just because a person is playing in "Borg mode" doesn't mean they're not still pursuing the interests of their Starfleet character. If a Borg cube began to threaten a habitable world, players would coordinate through guildchat ("fleetchat"?) and "steer" the cube away into the starry black yonder.

A more serious problem is that Borg cubes would quickly become a staple of inter-guild warfare. This would bypass PE's restriction against galactic PvP.
I think I have the same response to both of these concerns, which boils down to the question of how "Borg space" is implemented.

I get the impression that you're thinking of it as a regular zone/sector, except that there are Borg there. I'm not sure that would work out too well -- something tells me the rules would have to be a little different there.

A Borg zone might have to be more dynamic than a regular zone. In other words, rather than Federation worlds always there that have to be defended, a Borg cube would receive orders, "Proceed to coordinates 1723. 39 and assimilate the lifeforms there," and a world would be spawned there at the time that mission is created.

This would give the Borg something to attack with no need to refuse to attack it. It would also give Federation ships something to defend that wouldn't have an effect on the rest of the game if they fail to do so. Finally, if there's nothing in this zone that another guild/clan/fleet can "own," then players wouldn't get into that "you blasted mine so I'll blast yours" mindset. (Although I'd note that if Borgplay is about taking missions from the Queen, that kind of thing might never happen in the first place.)

So I think a number of the problems described go away if the Borg zone is one dedicated to ad hoc conflicts, rather than one that has any strategic value.

That said, would making it just a PvP battleground be interesting enough? What if that were the only way that Perpetual would consider offering PvP outside of a holodeck? Is there some way that a Borg zone could be made static/persistent so that what happens there has an impact on the rest of the game, but not so much that players start trying to act like Federation officers (or members of a player organization) while playing a Borg drone?