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Archived Post 07-05-2011 10:14 AM

Do we Need More Traits per Character?
I've had this conversation a number of times on a few ventrilos and of course on the forums and in the in game type chat. However, I've never brought it out as a singular topic. Here it is: Do you guys think that 4 Traits are enough to properly describe your character? A BOff?

What has bothered me all along about this, is the acid test of comparing to characters in the show. If I were to take the trait system, and try to match up to characters in the shows I feel that for the most part the Trait system would fall short. For instance, lets compare Spock to the Vulcan archetype. The two innate traits are fine, he is in fact strong and logical, but he would also -necessitate- Mind Meld and Nerve Pinch. I personally also think at a bare minimum feel he should likely have some of the following to feel more Spock-like Astrophysicist, Acute Senses, Warp Theorist, Creative and Limited Telepathy.

What I would suggest, and I think a lot of people would enjoy, is a system that can incorporate more Traits to the game. There are a few ways to go about this. One would be to offer the basic 4 Traits to start, and release more available as the character gains new Ranks. So for instance, upon achieving Lt. Commander you could unlock a new Trait at the same time that you pick up a new ship. At commander you could get a new Trait, and so forth.

My second version of this, which I think would be even more exciting, would be to offer an even more subtle version of this. First, the Traits would be assigned with a baseline point cost and ratings available to the player. The player might start with 4 baseline traits, and from that point onward be offered Trait Points which could be spent at various gradients in level, assumably at the Rank shifts of Lt. Commander, Commander, Captain, Admiral or even more finely divided on a level basis. These points could then be used to either purchase new traits, or to upgrade Traits already owned. In this way, a player could really feel a little more involved in their Trait progression and how it customizes their character.

There is second topic related to Traits that are problematic and I wish to bring up. The character Traits are for the most part thematic and appropriate but there are a few glaring examples.

GORN: Gorn for instance have the Bite trait. Why is this one not innate? It seems to me that biting seems pretty integral to a six to nine foot semi bipedal intelligent lizardo-crocodilian who has whole combat styles involving a bite. Additionally the Gorn start off with 3 Traits mandatory, leaving for very little customization between your Gorn and the next one over. I personally found this disheartening when I made both of my Gorn. Despite both of them having very different backgrounds, professions, appearances, ships and styles... they really aren't that much different.

FERENGI: These ugly little merchants start with Acute Senses and Natural Immunities, which seems fair enough given who and what they are in the TV shows. My problem with the Ferengi is that there are 2 Traits missing from their available list that really should have been there from the start. First is a trait I'd call 'Business Acumen'. Even the Ferengi who take hold of the ideals of the Federation still cling tightly to their 'sacred' beliefs in commerce, Take Nog for instance. It just seems odd to me that this most prized element of their culture doesn't show itself in their Trait listing. Secondly, is their resistance to psychic affront thanks to their Four Lobed Brain. An inherent psychic resistance should have been there, and I hope to see it there in the future.

NAUSICAANS: The Nausicaans are really an exciting bunch for me in STO. I was never a huge fan of them in the show, but neither did I hate them. In Star Trek Online they really show themselves to be quite interesting. With perhaps some of the most beautiful ship artwork I've ever seen, they instantly became a personal favorite of mine. I love the dirty tricks weapons they use, and greatly look forward to seeing more of them in the game. That being said, there's a glaring flaw that I and other players have mentioned: Nausicaan toughness. In the game, the Klingon warrior is by far more tough than a Nausicaan, but this seems to be a mistake. Nausicaans are so tough and regenerative that they literally play a game where they through knives at each other's chest... for FUN o.O One should think that the Nausicaan physiology is such that a toughness trait should exist that is at least on par with the Klingons and perhaps even further. Possibly a trait that represents superior regeneration like the Trill have in game. I realize that the Nausicaans may choose to pick up Resilient or Peak health, but I do not believe that this properly describes their species when any human could choose to pick up these traits as well.

VULCAN: The vulcans have Physical Strength as a stat, which affords only a +10% damage boost in melee. However, in canon it has been shown that a Vulcan (and Romulan) are both significantly stronger and faster than most species including Klingon. If one were to compare the stats, one would think the Klingon, Nausicaan or Gorn are their physical superior which I believe to be false. The real difference here is that a Klingon might have more battle training, especially a Klingon captain, but that should be related perhaps to some other stat like accuracy. I never felt comfortable with this 10% stat though I do believe it was placed there for balance. The Vulcans also should be more comfortable in low oxygen, high and low temperature environments.

SAURIANS: The Saurian species have a glaring problem overall. Efficient as an available trait for BOFFS, but not for Captains.

TRILL: Like their Saurian counterparts, The Trill BOFF is able to use Efficient but the Captain can not.

LIBERATED BORG: There are Liberated Borg of many species, some of which we actually see walking about in game (Andorian Borg: Four of Ten) (Romulan Borg: Donatra / Khitomer Accord). Unfortunately, these Borg do not show the inherent elements of their Parent species. For instance, a Klingon Borg does not have his parent Honor, a Human does not retain Teamwork, the Andorian no longer has Fury, etc. While I realize that being Borg changes a person, there are also elements that should not change. A klingon is still more physically resilient than a human. The mere fact that they both regenerate as a liberated borg is irrelevant, the Klingon Liberated Borg should still have his redundant organs and greater pain tolerance. My mention of other possible races as alternates, is simply made because they would be nice to see.

These races and my trait suggestions are meant only as an example. I'd welcome anyone else pointing out some thematic issues that might be appropriate, or ideas regarding the Trait system itself that might make it better or more interesting. I almost see them as comparable to Feats in other games, with that respect.

Archived Post 07-05-2011 10:16 AM

no, i'm fine thanks

Archived Post 07-05-2011 11:00 AM

Fair enough, but I think the why's are more important than flat dismissal here. The reason I bring the topic up, is that I feel this would add a level of complexity to the game and customization in some ways on a more personal 'ground' level by comparison to the DOff system and what it will do on the 'space' level of the game.

Archived Post 07-05-2011 11:19 AM

I personally feel - especially if the split the skillpoint allocation for space and ground combat - that you shouldn't have to choose whether or not your more talented at space stuff or ground stuff - which is basically what the traits accord you.

You could get your default racial traits, and then maybe 2 space oriented traits and 2 ground oriented traits. That's not an exact science, though, because not all races come equal as far as racial traits go, and the races 'less favored' instead enjoy a more varied selection (ex.: Vulcan vs Trill ).

I just think it'd be nice not to be saddled with a decision that later reflects on us as "I'm not as good in space because I'm specced in ground combat" or the reverse "I'm specced for space which leaves me lacking in ground combat".

Personally, I've come to feel that ground combat traits were much more potent than space combat traits on the level of their impact on gameplay - as in: ground traits feel more influencial, space traits feel trivial and lost amidst tons of other bonuses.

OP, your proposal feels to me very much like DDO's enhancement system.
I'm not adverse to the baseline mechanic. I don't especially enjoy having my starting character choices absolutely set in stone - especially when their game impact isn't that well documented. Heck, does anyone really understand from the get go what exactly +40 Placate even means?

Archived Post 07-05-2011 12:49 PM


Originally Posted by DodgeHopper (Post 3625074)
Fair enough, but I think the why's are more important than flat dismissal here. The reason I bring the topic up, is that I feel this would add a level of complexity to the game and customization in some ways on a more personal 'ground' level by comparison to the DOff system and what it will do on the 'space' level of the game.

actualy i've heard the DOff system will affect ground to some degree, i dont want it because if you have a load of trates chosen from a fair sized pool balance goes out of the window, you might end up as a titan on the ground and get owned in space or choose some trates for each and get owned because someone else is specked.

i just feel they got it right at 4, that way you can have a slight edge either on the ground or in space or be average.

if you have loads it could effectively cut off ground or space pvp to some people due to the way they chose to speck at the start

Archived Post 07-05-2011 01:20 PM

Interesting points both of you. I think Zoberraz ideas actually are a good way of minimizing the risk you're concerned with Bohort. I agree with Zoberraz that I'd like to see players be able to balance out their builds, and maybe grow into a balance of both space and ground. They are starship captains after all, the cream of the crop and knowledgeable about all manner of things. Depending how things are balanced and potentially branched between ground and space, it could end up being just fine I think, but I see your concern.

As far as the split skillpoints go, I've been a proponent of that since Beta. My desire to see the pool split grew even more when I got to STF's and found a lot of people very poorly built for ground combat, because they just didn't care for it. I think some effort to balance the ground and space side of the game could really go a long way for improving the overall experience. Customization of course, is another area of improvement I'd like to see.

Archived Post 07-05-2011 06:06 PM

i think the triats are ok for the limit we have, the thing that gets me is that you create your 1st char lets say when the game came out, it is prob still your main char, you didnt fully understand the way you would play now and how the traits themselves would effect you but that char is stuck with those traits.

Archived Post 07-06-2011 12:47 AM

Interesting thread. With any luck the trait system will get updated and improved in the future.

Archived Post 07-06-2011 03:55 AM

I like that suggestion, bringing a bit more Diversity to the character traits wouldn't hurt.

Live long and prosper.

Archived Post 07-06-2011 05:54 AM


Originally Posted by Yreodred
I like that suggestion, bringing a bit more Diversity to the character traits wouldn't hurt.

Live long and prosper.

i think more trates means less diversity

say you choose from a pool of 20 and have 4 choices you get more different loads than if you have 20 trates and 5 or more to choose from

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