Okudagrams, Master Systems Displays, and STO
Not sure if this idea has been tossed around or not, but I thought I'd introduce this topic.
For those of you who don't know what a Master Systems Display is, it's the big monitor on the bridge or engineering that shows a cutaway of the ship (or station). Memory Alpha Link, they're also known as Okudagrams.
Now, for a geek like me, I love looking at these things. There are all kinds of these things on the internet, some fanmade, some 'official'. I have over a dozen of them saved on my computer, mostly the ones referencing the current ships I own/captain in-game. Obviously, this hints that a good deal of my ships are from the films and television shows.
Some of these cutaway diagrams are very detailed. They point out all the various parts of the inner workings of the ship, and identify certain things that might otherwise be unknown to the viewer.
Bek Palar of the First Fleet recently was given the U.S.S. Tasaki (NCC-95140), which belongs to the Monarch-class of ships. And as I began inspecting the various details of the ship... I couldn't help but wonder...
What is this particular area of the ship? What is that supposed to be? How many decks are there? Just how advanced is this ship, just by looking at what it's like on the inside?
And that got me to thinking even more...
Just why does the Imperial-class have all those ship details? What functions do they serve? What do they do? Just what does the inside of a Dervish-class escort look like? What are the crew quarters like? Just how does the Trident-class Deep Space Science Vessel do its job? How advanced IS that sensor pod?
You get the picture, right?
Now, maybe I am the only person that thinks this deeply about my ships. But part of the Star Trek Experience is the explanations of just how all this magnificent technology works, and I don't think STO should be exempt. To the contrary, I'd really like to see what makes these Cryptic-designed ships tick. From the inside.
Star Cruisers, Variants of 'canon' ships, and other ships we see in our everyday lives in the 25th century... I want to learn about them all. More importantly, I want what the captains of these ships think about the vessels they proudly lead from one end of the Alpha Quadrant to the other.
What do you think this detail on your ship does? What purpose does it have? You're the one commanding the ship, after all.
Of course, it would be nice to have CapnLogan go into detail regarding the Monarch or Magellan. But the man is clearly busy. Does Cryptic Studios have any plans to devote artists to fleshing out the inner workings of their designs and enriching the Star Trek feel of the game? Their artists are probably busy elsewhere.
So maybe it'll be up to the players with artistic talent (I'm not one of them), to show off what their top-of-the-line ship is made of (No, really... if you know the alloy composition, tell me!)
This is purely for fun, of course. What do you say?
It would be cool to have an MSD on your ship, but with all the different bridge types I don't think they'll put any serious time into it until after season 5.
Besides, I don't think any of the environments actually communicate with any specific character info on the server. Ultimately the MSD would need to contact the server and request what ship parts (since ship class is moot in this game) to display on the screen. That's not only a lot of art work, but some extra time spent coding as well.
Check out this thread here. It's really just one person's post of an MSD he made, but I was thinking it might be nice to create a thread for everyone to post MSDs in. If there are enough to actually warrant a thread. :D
I've found it's a VERY hard task. But there are MSDs for a lot of canon ships on the Web, just do a Google search and see what comes up.
Felderburg's MSD is amazing, and the exact kind of thing I'd like to see more of.
I too would like more variety in MSD options for the myriad of bridges out there. The problem is all those bridge options, have to then be cross referenced with most, if not all, vessels that each specific bridge, is married to. And like it or nor, peeps are going to choose a bridge type that has no business being matched to a particular ship. (I mean a Sovereign type bridge to a Defiant is just plain kooky, but there's nothing to stop it.)
The MSD project, if it were to ever happen, would be quite cumbersome. (Especially after seeing how much word was put into just 'one' MSD for a fan piloted ship. Impressive to be sure, but multiply that with 'all' the ships out there, and more to come down the C-Store pipeline.)
Personally, if a MSD project were to occur, there ALSO should be an update to the bridge LACARS layouts for many of the bridge types. I mean, the more I look at a Conn-Ops setup on some bridges, the more it's more like a danged computer center, and not enough of something logical in layout to actually pilot a ship. I mean it's all conjecture to what these layouts 'really' do, that the show scripts don't already then tell us, but the layouts in STO are too muddled and sorta... inefficient. PLus some LACARS layouts were poorly thought out. I mean some controls and displays are meant for Zentradi ot Robotech infamy, rather than standard crewmember boffs.
I would call for a total revamp of the bridge control scheme and layouts, along with MSD inclusion, and to satisfy those out there, bridge resizing options, for those that want smaller versions of many of these bridges. (Personally I like the large bridges, but not the illogical layout of some of them.)
All in the name of making the game better, and to feed homeless tribbles everywhere.
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