Monday, January 7, 2008

Types of Character Power in a Star Trek MMORPG +

Most people who voted (at the now-defunct discussion forum) on the kinds of character power they'd like to see in a Star Trek MMORPG thought that skill power should be given the most emphasis in Star Trek Online, followed by knowledge power.

So let's think about that for a moment: can these two approaches to action-enabling gameplay features be combined somehow?

How could intrinsic abilities and knowledge work together as gameplay? What if acquiring a new character ability (either as a skill or through gaining a character level) allowed you to collect and understand new types of knowledge? Would you be interested in skills like Computer or Sensors that can be improved, and with each improvement more information (and more specific/detailed information) becomes available to your character? Are there other ways in which gaining new abilities might open up new kinds of knowledge power?

What about the other direction: what if acquiring some piece(s) of information was a requirement for gaining a new character ability? If this was designed as a puzzle that was different for every character (so that there was no one "solution" that could be posted), would that seem like fun to you, or more like a stupid hoop to have to jump through? What if this was done only for Science- or Engineering-related abilities?

If skill power and knowledge power are what folks here most often hope to see in a Star Trek MMORPG, how could those two forms of gameplay be combined to create the most enjoyable and memorable experience?