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-   -   Because sector-space doesn't make sense... (http://sto-forum.perfectworld.com/showthread.php?t=158245)

Archived Post 05-17-2010 03:21 PM

Because sector-space doesn't make sense...
 
My major issue with STO since i started playing at pre-launch has been that the game world seems very limited. Basically the galaxy is made out of 20ish square boxes if you are federation and a lot less if you are klingon. This is sector-space, an abstract layer of space (warp?) you use to travel between star systems. It makes the galaxy seem very small when seemingly all star systems are located in these boxes. Another point to note here is that your ship behaves differently in sector-space, if you are a cruiser, can you really
turn faster at warp? Abstract warp? All in all my point is that sector space doesn't make sense.

If the only purpose of sector space is to serve as an abstration for warp travel time and also be a place to form groups i suggest you remove, yes delete sector-space and use the interior of your ship to navigate the galaxy like a real star fleet captain, after all no starfleet ship would go to warp unless the captain sits in his chair and says "Engage!". And unless you want to do STF you probably rely on the auto-team functionality anyways.

So instead of traveling through sector space, when exiting earth orbit you would find yourself sitting in the captains chair. Easily accessible on your right hand is navigation control, this can be done in many ways, interacting with the panel, issuing an order etc, the effect would be that you bring up a star chart where you can plot a course. To travel there you press "engage", your captain would then do a signature move and before you have time to run into your ready room you are at warp.

But captain we have no mission! Conveniently comms is also available from your command chair. This can work the same way as it is, hail starfleet and accept a mission. You could then change course and intercept at the end of the dialouge or repeat the engage thing. So in stead of "manually" navigating through series of abstract space boxes to get to your location your ship would now fly in a straight line while you can walk/beam around your ship and do captain stuff. After all, all you do in sector-space is wait for autopilot to get you there. I'd rather just sit in the captain chair and watch some chat channel, honestly im probably going to be tabbed out.

But this time can be spent in a lot more meaningfull in-game way. There are numerous activities that can be added to your ship.

Captain's ready room:
A place to store trophies, talk to starfleet, view logs, mail, database etc.

Astrometrics:
This is where you would go first when you want to explore space more efficiently. Where the random exploration systems we got now could be accesses by setting a course to a random star, astrometrics could be used to locate more speciffic systems. Perhaps give us a way to select what kind of mission you would get, scan anomaly, aid the planet, secure system, patrol, investigate planet etc.

Holodeck:
As a start i would like to at least see an ability to spawn an enemy of your choice, 3 or 7 if you wish in space or on ground and then have the ability to fight it. Just as a way to simulate enemies to test combat strategies, equipment, dps and what not.

Engineering:
Repair your ship injuries.

Sickbay:
Heal your personal or team injuries.

Surely there are a lot of things that can be added to this list like replicators for crafting, cargo bay extension, etc., the few suggesstions i have added are just to explain how existing game mechanincs can be incorporated in a way that makes more sense in a star trek universe.

Eventually as you stumble over a bulkhead on your way to the bridge you get a message over the comms "Captain! We have arrived at Vorn System". You would then have the option to enter the system. Now "finally" you see your ship come in from warp. In some missions you should now find your ship in high orbit around a planet, here you would also see other captains' ships who have traveled here to do the mission. Perhaps it is a bit exessive to add this to more than STF's and fleet actions. All the current sector blocks could be replaced by a supply station complete with exterior/interior facilities. Most players would probably use this as a base when operating in its sector.

Another benefit from interacting with your ship during transit to a system is that it is easier to make sure you can join an open team, just increase the travel time for people in-route.

Diplomatic missions would also easily tie into this, it would simply be initiated by interacting with the viewscreen on the bridge or in your ready room. And since most missions are started while you are interacting with your ship some diplomacy missions could end up with you being boarded and having to fight if diplomacy fails.

But this thread is about removing sector space, is it plausible?

Archived Post 05-17-2010 03:41 PM

Your scenario does sound good on paper - very "Star Trek" in terms of consistency with the show.

However, it requires the game to either (a) effectively run both a ground mission and a space mission simultaneously, by allowing you to roam your ship while still tracking your position, velocity, and heading within the galaxy, or (b) dispensing with "actual" travel altogether, and having the game use a simple timer to determine when you reach your destination.

As (a) would be extremely difficult, if not impossible, to implement, let's go with option (b). We can now roam our ship while en route to our destination, but we now lack:

- The ability to see and chat with other players in the sector (I would argue this is a very important aspect of any MMO);

- The ability to get attacked by enemy signal contacts (I know some people don't like them, but I like the opportunity for unexpected events to occur, even if I don't always stay to fight it out); and

- The ability for other unexpected events to occur en route, such as receiving a distress call or some other "spontaneous" mission (granted, there are only a handful of these at this time).

As with many things, there's an obvious trade-off to be made here. You may think it's worthwhile, others may not. Personally, I'd rather stick with the Sector Space concept, but give it a graphical overhaul. I prefer being able to see my location in 3D space to the ability to play what is essentially a single-player game while I wait.

Your mileage may, of course, vary. :)

Archived Post 05-17-2010 03:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Jeff-El
However, it requires the game to either (a) effectively run both a ground mission and a space mission simultaneously, by allowing you to roam your ship while still tracking your position, velocity, and heading within the galaxy,
---
- The ability to see and chat with other players in the sector (I would argue this is a very important aspect of any MMO);

- The ability to get attacked by enemy signal contacts (I know some people don't like them, but I like the opportunity for unexpected events to occur, even if I don't always stay to fight it out); and

- The ability for other unexpected events to occur en route, such as receiving a distress call or some other "spontaneous" mission (granted, there are only a handful of these at this time).

Having some programming experience i dont see how it would be hard to have a ground mission and a space mission running at the same time. The space mission in my proposal would merely be a dot on a galaxy map.

You would see chat at starbases, outside starbases or supply hubs, and in orbit around fleet actions and STF's. This is just a start, ideally i'd like to see whole starsystems with multiple planets.

Missions en-route could simply be offered over the comm, the same way starting any other mission would work, or in a more discret way.

Random encounters could still be there perhaps as mini-missions you get over the comm. Definately have to consider those more, thanks.

Archived Post 05-17-2010 04:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jimbk
Having some programming experience i dont see how it would be hard to have a ground mission and a space mission running at the same time.

Fine. You build the game engine which allows that to be done. And show your work. I expect to see fully functional, supported and documented source coding posted in this thread by TOMORROW.
Quote:

Originally Posted by jimbk
Having some programming experience

Good luck with that.

Archived Post 05-17-2010 04:26 PM

Fact- Bridgeview- have the bridege officers silohettes in front of the view sceen

Fact- Have the sector map come up on the view screen when you hit the map button and pretend your tactical officer is Data and you are on "generations" and you can look at the map and try to kill malcom mcdowel

Fact- Have flying around like it is when you are around planets

Fact- Less is more- start deleting stuff- namely the transparent blue roads to heaven or whatever they are

the evidence is clear

Archived Post 05-17-2010 07:55 PM

My beef with sector space is the pretty "highways" between some of the planets. Why are they there?

Archived Post 05-17-2010 08:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Majosea (Post 2679818)
My beef with sector space is the pretty "highways" between some of the planets. Why are they there?

I always figured they were supposed to represent the transwarp network...but there aren't gateways in any of the systems, and the gateway to Gamma Orionis doesn't connect to a "highway," so...I have no clue. :rolleyes:

Archived Post 05-17-2010 08:30 PM

My guess is they are 'trade routes'... at least in sirius sector. I notice all the fed runabouts and cargo ships fly along these 'roads'.

Archived Post 05-17-2010 08:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Treagersama (Post 2679889)
My guess is they are 'trade routes'... at least in sirius sector. I notice all the fed runabouts and cargo ships fly along these 'roads'.

Correct. They are indeed trade routes throughout each sector.

Archived Post 05-18-2010 01:12 PM

Sector Space can remain as it is...a 3D Astrometrics mock up of the area. It has its purpose and it can fulful that purpose as it is(with some additional features added)...but as the OP said, dont force us to travel in that mock up.

Let us use Sector Space to see whats around as needed/as desired, but give us the option to actually travel through the sector from the Bridge(like the OP said).

Instead of having me "drive" through sectors, expanses/nebulas, like Im at the wheel of my car..let me set a course and have the ship navigate me to the destination on auto-pilot...while I enjoy the journey from my Bridge.

As we warp through the area, I'd be content with just streaks of a stars flying by on the screen in a simple loop. Provide a over head map drop down to allow me to see contacts/anamolies, NPCs and other players, teammates, fleet mates, etc.

If I want or need more in-depth awareness and info about anything seen on the overhead mini-map, I can go to the current Sector Space and be provided additional, advanced interation features.

This would remove the feeling of playing "whack-a-mole", or a street side shell game, or the feeling of being a rat searching unde rocks for morsels of content during explorer missions(Azlesa Expanse, T'Ong and the other nebulas and Empire Defense areas, etc.)

Contacts/Anamolies/Signatures, etc used to enter the various missions in these areas could be announced by the Science Officer..or whatever appropriate BO, as they populate just before becoming visible on the mini-map or Sector space. If multiple are going to pop, the alert can just say there are multiple.


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