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pwebranflakes 07-10-2012 04:45 PM

SSR Interviews CaptainGeko
In a recent interview, Subspace Radio sat down to talk with Lead Designer Al "CaptainGeko" Rivera. Listen to the recording, and read the transcript, here.

Link to the interview.

askray 07-10-2012 04:47 PM


Concentus: I am DJ Concentus and I am interviewing Captain Geko

Geko: Hello there

Concentus: All right so you are the lead designer

Geko: That is correct.

Concentus: And I know there were some people on the forums, on our thread going, he?s the lead designer should he know stuff about the foundry, so just to clarify you do, do stuff with the foundry right?

Geko: Um, I actually do very with the foundry, the foundry is actually handled by our core team in our company and so the - there is the core foundry team, and they work on the foundry for Neverwinter, and they work on the foundry, actually originally started, on star trek, that the foundry lead designer actually was originally was the lead content designer when we first started is Josh Ferguson, so he, once we got the foundry put into place they kinda split off into their own team and they do they handle all foundry stuff for both projects, what we do is we take the, put assets to them so when making new art, new levels, ships, stuff like that, some of that the artist can directly put in by themselves some of it kinda goes to the core team a little bit so, it's not so much that it?s a design, works on directly with that so, it's usually the core team and the artist at work together, and the engineers, the foundry engineers are in the core team, and we have engineers in house that will merge stuff in as new features come available, but the exact, what?s coming down the pipe actually, I?m not, I don?t have a clear view on what?s going on with that unfortunately. Dan Stahl would know more about that being the EP of the project, so he?s a great person, for working with that, he gets to see, he?s in contact with that core team and working with them so <scrambled> we can do this, we can do this, and he disseminates that task to the engineers to make it work. It?s not a main star trek core design feature, its part of the cryptic core team.

Concentus: So let's say for example the recent infamous, tier five connie rowboat with warp nacelles work was snuck in there by jamjamz on his own

Geko: Yes that would be correct

Concentus: Sadly I know that ship isn?t going to stay in game

Geko: Yes that would be correct

Concentus: Sadly I know that ship isn?t going to stay in game, I would love <scrambled>

Geko: That was a, that was a blank, that?s all.

Concentus: I?ve been against the tier five constitution since day one, didn?t make much sense to me.

Geko: It?s been a really sore spot, a lot of people who love the ship, CBS, is really, dosen?t, not really keen on seeing that happen, they weren?t even too keen about seeing the connie itself in game at all but we were able to get it in, we were able to work it out, and it became a low-end ship. Even if it?s the TOS, or the wrath of con connie refit, it?s a touchie ship, because it?s such an iconic ship in star trek that you can see things like mirandas, and old ships, and olberths and shelly?s and all kinds of really old ships in the newer shows, even the movies, were like, and deep space nine, you?ll see those old ships, and you never see another connie. It?s just something that?s very sacred to the IP and, and nowhere it happened where it fit this place in history. <scrambled> though a little sensitive about it and I respect that, and I sincere about it as well.

Concentus: It is, it?s a very iconic ship, you think about it, you go to the national space museum in Washington dc, and even when I was a little kid, we?d bring in folks from overseas from my dads work, and I?d take them over there and give them a little tour. Then like a crazy little six year old, and I go, there?s the enterprise, point to the model of the enterprise they have in the museum, and even they would know what it is. It?s got the brand recognition so obviously people want to fly it

Geko: Because it?s so popular, people love it. They wonder why it, we can get away with putting even the NX or even if you wanted to probably bring even the Miranda available at higher levels. We haven?t done that, made the decision, but it?s easier to do that from an IP standpoint, as far as the approval standpoint to make the connie tier five. It?s not to say that it will never happen but I think that if we, were to make it happen we really would need a good excuse for, we would probably want to make something of a story about it, would probably <scrambled> of the NX. <Scrambled> core of engineers on utopia planitia we made a project, it was kinda like we were building one of the model T-cars just to make it functional. It was a resistance model, but it was all done with new technology. So we did that a little bit, but anyway, you know, it?s, I?ll never say die, but it's not something that we?re, we have anything on the schedule to do and I wouldn't count on it.

Concentus: It's a perpetual maybe

Geko: Yes

Concentus: Okay, while we?re on the ships actually, how close are we to getting a sovereign refit. This is from a-t-a-t assault.

Geko: Well I don't like committing to specific times when new ships to come out, or what would be coming out next. We?ve got a lot of new ships coming out, I think around the total of forty, plus of minus a couple around forty with the fleet system, a lot of those are refits or retrofits, with the exception of the Ho?sus for the klingons and the aquarius, those are the support ships from the flagships. So except those, those will all be refits and retrofits, but, so we got a bunch of new toys for people to play with, and people are starting to see the stats on Tribble and getting really excited about seeing better stats on one of the ships. So um, as far as the, seeing a sovereign refit, which will most likely be hitting the c-store for that. It?s a little too early to commit, but as a absolute promise that, well, better be careful about absolute promises, since its absolute promise as I can say in all reality as anything could happen with them; that you?ll be seeing a t-five Connie before the end of the year. Excuse me; did I say t-five Connie? <laughing/Scrambled> a refit sovereign <scrambled> I didn?t say that, really, where?s my control-z <scrambled> so, yea, the sovereign, there will be one coming out, I can?t promise you when. We released the <inaudible> carrier, the <inaudible> escort carrier, I would really like to get a science vessel out there next, first, there?s a lot of big ones on the radar that people really want, is the sovereign, the ambassador, the, Andorian ship, and the vesta. That I?ve talked about before; it; tied up with some legal issues we?re trying to straighten a license deal to make that work but those are those are the, those of the of the big ships. We know those are what people want, those will be coming out, and is in an unknown order, and we generally release new ships to the c-store about every two and a half months or so, so you do the math, somewhere within there you?ll see those ships come out every other month, or about, or something

Concentus: I know the ambassador and the Andorian ships will make a lot of people happy, I know I have been waiting for the ambassador for a while, and once I heard the vesta was on the radar I was like, I think I want that or the ambassador now.

Geko: Everyone really wanted the Akira, we got it out there, and people were so excited, it was really popular, then within a couple days they would go, what about my ambassador, when am I getting my sovereign, why can?t you get this. It?s like we can?t give you all at once, it?s, and we gotta pace it. We pace it out, get you one, then get excited about it, and everyone gets a chance to put that through its pieces and you know, if we throw them all out at once I don?t think it?s good marketing, it?s not a good system, and it?s not good for the players because we don?t have anything to give you next month. So we?ll, the ambassador, I know Dan has mention wanting to release it within content, so we?re wrapping a story behind it. I?m not sure how that one fold I don't know if that means it will still be free and make it may not be free we may put it in the fleet store, maybe add maybe a t-three and a t-five version still unclear but in one way or another ambassador is coming.

Concentus: I remember, thinking back to season three, yeah, with the romulan series there was all the speculation of the ambassador was going to show up as a reward for that.

Geko: because of the ties with the ambassador and romulan story

Concentus: Yes

Geko: <inaudible> I can see that

Concentus: While we?re on the topic, how did the armitage get launched with that wonderful STF crippling bug jar? Which was entertaining.

Geko: Well that was an unfortunate little bug, and the bottom line is that the ship lists, we, will, to be called internally class category, you use it, the uses see it when, when you look at say cannon, that says this can, can be used by escorts, or destroyers, or whatever other ships can be used on it, those are class categories. So for instance if it says can be as my escort that includes all the escorts in the game from the light escort all the way up to the patrol escorts or the advanced escorts, or any of those versions, that the class category. So on the STF?s we have an opt in lists of class categories as opposed to, which would?ve been much better and we just not how the technology set up and a opt out list, it?s every class category, except shuttles, as we don?t want to have people taking shuttles into STF?s, so when we created the armitage, the armitage is a brand new class, it?s a escort carrier, it?s not a straight up escort, so one thing we had to do was add escort carrier to all the cannons in the game, because cannons can only be used by escorts and destroyers, and light cruisers, and dreadnoughts I believe, we had to regenerate all those items, thousands of cannons in the game, some of them are hand created, some of them are created by a algorithmic system, so we had escort carrier to it, so that way the armitage could use it. There?s probably a couple of cannons floating out there that you can?t use on your armitage yet, if that?s the case, lets us know so we can go ahead and fix that manually. Same thing has to be done to the STF?s, honestly, bottom line, forgot, wasn?t, never came up on testing, we never thought about it and it was unfortunate mistake on our half, soon as we saw it, fixed it immediately, only took all of like thirty seconds to fix, but because the way the magic of code and computers were, had to be rebuilt, and then you don?t want to take the servers down for a hour to push that one thing so well, it was pushed midnight that following night and it was fixed by the next day. So next time we add a new class category, say we introduce, I don?t know, make up something, who knows, whenever we introduce a new class category we will be better to remember it this time. Freighter for instance is a new class category, new class category that we added and concisely decided to not be allowed in STF?s, although I think it would be hilarious

Concentus: Probably a good idea <laughing>

Geko: But we decided not to, so that one we made a decision to not allow that.

Concentus: Well good. The potential to troll STF?s with a freighter is no longer there.

Geko: Well people could still do that, I mean it?s not a perfect system, I mean we haven?t locked out to only t-five ships to the STF?s and even go in with a T-one nova, and maybe tick off your friends, or maybe they?re not your friends, so that can happen, but we just decided to lock out shuttles and freighters.

Concentus: So on that same topic; will we be able to test a Cstore ship again before it goes live?

Geko: Yes, we are working, Brandon and I?ve been talking, <inaudible> working closely at the developing a new system so that way we can the users involved with testing of new ships in a much more focused manner so, don?t have any details on that right now, but, pretty certain that it will happen before any new ships go out, barring the time to get it implemented before the fleet ships go out. Those aren?t nearly as sophisticated in development as the armitage is, so I don?t anticipate anything to major.

Concentus: I really do like the armitage though, it?s a fun ship to fly and having that single hangar bay, give you a lot more flexibility, you can, I actually played for ages as an engineer in an escort, and I flew an MVAM when I flew a very durable escort I can push out a ton of damage, not as much as a full blown tac and escort, but I could sit there and hit miracle worker when I was down at five percent health and suddenly be back at full, and I really like having the shield repair drones on the armitage that?s a lot of fun.

Geko: That?s the ones you use, the shield repair drones?

Concentus: It all depends on what I?m going up against, if I?m in a STF, I go full damage and I throw the peregrines in it. If I?m just goofing around in storyline missions I?ll use repair bots

Geko: Yeah, so there?s uh, there?s a lot of options there. There?s actually more options on the Klingon side for uh, fighter pets, but there?s quite a few options for that uh, for that ship as far as fighter pets. If you uh if you or the users don?t know, you can get different fighter pets for uh, for can get base models for um, for energy credits; and then you can get, you can get better models you can get the um--currently they are marked color as blue--the uh rare, the uh rare quality colors for um, dilithium; and soon in the fleet system, you?ll be able to buy purple, or very rare versions of all of those fighter pets in the fleet store. So, you?ll have to unlock those with your fleet starbase, and so you?ll be able to get purple, you know, purple rare Peregrines. I?m probably going to go ahead and up the color quality on all the ships--on all of the fighter pets. It won?t change them at all except their display color, because currently it comes with the green, you can buy dilithium blue, and you can get fleets for purple, but now we have this new quality coming out with all items in the fleet stores called, ?Ultraviolet?, or basically: Fleet quality, or uh, ultra rare, and so I am going to bump everything so that way all the pets will start off as blue, and then you get purple for dilithium, and then ultra rare in the fleet stores. It?s just a color change, now that we have that extra quality. That way...that way all gear, all consoles that come with C-Store ships are typically blue, so that will bring that color in line, and it?s just purely an aesthetic thing. But, those are fun if you get those. I don?t know if you have them, but the dilithium Peregrines have quantum torpedoes, so they are an upgrade.

Concentus: Oh yeah, I?ve been running those. I run the advanced shield repair drones as well.

Geko: Yeah they?re-

Concentus: Actually, on my Klingon, I run the Advanced S?kuls.

Geko: The advanced which ones?

Concentus: The uh, kamikaze fighters.

Geko: Oh, yeah the Skulls?

Concentus: Yeah.

Geko: You say, ?S?kuls?? I always call them ?Skulls?.

Concentus: Yeah, the apostrophe always makes me go, ?S?kul.?

Geko: S?kul? Suhkul. I don?t know. I uh...I don?t remember where we got that name, but uh yeah, sure I know which ones you?re talking about. Those are fun. Those were fun to make.

Concentus: I really wish there was an equivalent for the Federation of those.

Geko: Kamikaze fighters? (Laughing)

Concentus: But, I know that would make absolutely no sense at all.

askray 07-10-2012 04:47 PM

Geko: (still laughing) I can guarantee you that will never happen. We will never put kamikaze fighters on the Federation side. We more likely will put something like uh...the Bioneural Warhead Drones, or something that the Klingons have before will put anything fictionally as an actual kamikaze type fighter. We don?t even really use the word ?kamikaze? in the game at all, [but] just as far as we say that they hit ramming speed and collide with enemy ships. It?s a touchy word.

Concentus: Yeah. Well, I know one of our DJs is always requesting suicide Mirandas as the Federation equivalent.

Geko: Yeah! (laughs) Yeah, not going to happen. You can keep asking, but I?m not going to listen.

Concentus: Yeah, I...I just don?t see it happening.

Geko: Now, we really have to be careful about...about, just making sure that what we do is really true to Star Trek. Especially, when we?re dealing with the Federation. You know, ?Would the Federation do this?? Like, there has been a request internally, keeps coming up for--I can?t even remember the name of the gun--but in the episode of TNG where...where Data was captured by the guy who was the collector, and he had collected this one gun that was...this devastating little hand phaser that killed you from the inside, and was the most painful way to die. ?Let?s get that gun in the game!? [Says], ?no! I?m not putting that--no way we are going to put a torture gun in the hands of the Federation!? It?s just not not...that?s wrong, that?s a wrong thing. There was even uh, there was even a joke internally that we were going to have a ship trophy that would be like a Changeling lava lamp. It was like, ?no, that?s just...just...that?s, that?s we can? funny, but I don?t think the Federation would put a sentient species on display on their mantle.? So,, we?re sensitive to those things, and every so often somebody mentions something, and we have to be true to the IP and the ideals of the Federation. Klingons on the other hand can get away with that kind of stuff, and so we get to have more fun over there.

Concentus: Yeah, it? nice to be able to work with something, I guess, that doesn?t have that much detail in officially accepted canon. You can come up with stuff and run with it.

Geko: There?s certainly, uh, a pretty, uh, distinguishable code about what the Klingons are about, but there is certainly a lot less to work out. That?s good and bad. Um...there?s so much...there?s a lot more richness on ships on the Federation side than Klingons..on the Klingon side. Every tier of know, ship, or cruiser, or escort just looks different--it?s something from the IP. On the Klingon side, it?s just another Bird of Prey. Um..and so, there was as much rich fiction to draw from. But at the same time, it allowed the artist to kind of make the Bird of Prey what ever they wanted it to look like. So,, there?s a give and take in that when doing anything with the Klingons.

Concentus: So, let?s see. Up next: ?Will the Foundry authors play a role in customizing fleet starbases?? This comes from GK aka chooch99. He says that Dstahl mentioned a big code upgrade, and is this to tie it into the Foundry--Is this to tie the starbases into the Foundry, and could authors potentially become decorators of a starbase?

Geko: Um, this was something that we had talked about a long time ago, before we ever put any code...made any code into the uh, into starbases. We had talked about: Should we let players be able customize the inside of their starbases? Either like we did with ship interiors, or preferably with, you know, with Foundry tools. We pretty much decided against that, um and the reason was is that it?s really a give and take. When we designed starship interiors, we let people choose, you know, people choose [garbled]..bridge, and they choose their interior, and you can buy different interior kits, and the problem with that is, everytime we do--

Concentus: You cut out there for a bit.

Geko: Okay. Where should I back up to?

Concentus: Um...

Geko: I can start all over.

Concentus: Yeah, that?ll make it easier to add it.

Geko: Okay, that?s fine. So, this was something we uh, we considered a long time ago, when we first designed the starbases. It was something we considered. We wanted players to be able to customize inside of their fleet starbases, and we thought we could either do it like we did with starship interiors, or ideally let people use the Foundry and just kind of customize it however they wanted. The problem with that was that, say for instance with starship interiors: It?s a lot of maintenance for the um, for the content team at Cryptic, because every time we add a new interior, we have to repopulate and rebuild, and all of the content guys have to make that work. And it?s basically, there are so many ship interiors it?s impossible--it?s not impossible--it?s extremely impractical for us to do any type of gameplay or content inside starships. Because, we can?t just do one mission, we have to do it 40 times, and that?s just unsustainable. That?s why there?s no content inside starships, which is unfortunate. We just don?t have the bandwidth to do that. So when we did starbases, we didn?t want to make that mistake again, and if we let players customize the interior of their starbases, then we would never be able to put content inside of it, and we want content to be inside of starbases. We want--there?s going to be missions. There?ll be dailies, there will be STFs, five man missions, there will be all kinds of stuff that could happen inside your starbases, and we keep adding to it. So, that was, we thought was the better decision is to allow--is to go ahead and have content and game play, because that was what people really wanted, and was missing inside starships. And so, unfortunately, by letting people to customize it with the Foundry, we lost that. Now, you will be able to--not to say you can?t decorate inside of your starbase. Those will all be--you?ll be able to unlock things inside your starbase by doing different assignments, or some of them will be limited time featured assignments, that if you want to get some particular item inside your starbase you?ll only be able to do it during certain times. Others...others not. Others at your own pace. Um, that doesn?t completely eliminate that opportunity for us to allow people to customize the inside of their starbase. At the very least a player right now, could go ahead and make a Foundry mission and say it happens inside their starbase. It?s kind of smoke and mirrors. It?s not exactly what people are looking for, but we have talked about perhaps, letting people do that, but it would be like at a different deck of their starbase. Say they wanna do Deck 34, and this is what Deck 34 looks like, and they can make it look like whatever they want. There will never be content inside there. I don?t honestly know if that will really happen. It?s something we?ve talked about, but uh, but the focus right now is delivering content for...for starbases, and that?s really more important to us right now. That?s what players--they want content, so that?s what we?re going to give them.

Concentus: On the same subject of things inside the starbases, when we went and set up the fleet on Tribble one of our players that loves using the Demo Record and the camera offset, went and off set his camera and looked underneath the floor, and found that there were things hiding underneath the floor in the starbase maps. Like the dance floor and the DJ booth on the Federation starbase, so are these unlockables or is this just a goof in placement?

Geko: It?s not a goof in placement, those are unlockables. So, you?ll be able to unlock all sorts of things, like dance floors, a bar, plants, and consoles, and um, theres all kinds of stuff, uh, in there. Like uh, some of it is just unlockable based on a project you do, and some of them are unlockables that will be featured assignments, like: ?This week only you can get Morn at your bar!? And you know, Holomorn, and so you can unlock that. So, the Klingons have got some great ones, because they?ve got this kind of lodge with a fireplace, and big stone carvings, and you know, taxidermy animal type things. So, yeah, those will be things you will be able to unlock on your starbase. Some of them are in there on Tribble. Most of them are probably not. I don?t know where they?re at on the schedule as far as how far along the artists--what?s been released out there? But, there?s tons of stuff, and we?ll probably keep adding to it.

Concentus: Okay, let?s jump to overall game questions. This one comes from Alecto, one of the moderators: Where are the freeform kits on the priority list? There?s been--has there been any further discussion or thoughts about the subject? I remember this coming up maybe two or three months ago. One of the developers was asking for input about it, and frankly I?d love a freeform kit, because I?d love to get rid of Quantum Mortar out of my Fabrication Kit.

Geko: Okay, this is something I?ve talked about a couple times. This is my pet project that I keep pushing for. The idea is that right now, kits have a set number of abilities built into them. So yes, I would give up my Quantum Mortar kit for a Quick Fix or a Fuse Armor, or whatever else I want to put in there. But, you can?t put those two together, so, what I want to do is, we?ll do a fix up script and we?ll break--if you have a kit, like a turret kit that?s got four powers in it. Maybe, you?ve got a shield generator, the quantum...the seeker drone, and a uh...phaser turret kit, you?ll get four kits all of a sudden! You?ll have--now, you?ll have four slots, or, you?ll actually have one slot per rank, so you?ll actually have a fifth slot if you?re an Admiral. Um, and then you can kind of mix and match however you want. of the advantages of this is that really, we?ve never given away a kit as a featured reward, or we?ve never sold one on the C-Store, you?ve never seen one inside an episode, because nobody wants to give up the style of game [play] that they have and change all their powers because we added one new interesting new power. And that means we?d have to make all kinds of kits to give away as featured rewards, and that?s just not sustainable. So, this will allow us to be able to introduce something really interesting. One little special power, ?okay, I only have to give up one of my kit powers for this.? And when we do this, I?ll probably turn things like the Devidian staff, and the uh, Orb of Possibilities and any of those really weird powers--items--that are currently devices; we?ll turn them probably into kits, which will have that fifth slot, now, to put them into. So, when is that coming? My finger?s crossed is Season 7. Um, I can?t promise that, Season 7 schedule is not hammer--I mean, we know what we want to do for Season 7, but we haven?t hammered out the schedule enough. We can find room for it, then I?d love to put it in there. I?d love putting it in there, because I think it?s going to be a great feature. I think players are going to like it, but also I think it?s good for business, because it allows us to monetize it. We can sell little kit pieces for $5 or stuff like that. You can buy this kit power, and we can start making really good rewards out of them. We can start expanding what kind of rewards we give away. We?re always giving the same thing: You get a shield, a space gun, you get a ground gun, you get armor. Now, this gives us another dynamic, another dimension to give away in rewards. So--

Concentus: You were saying that and I was already thinking: You know, it would be really cool if they did a rerun of the Dominion series and gave away a kit that let you do cloaked subspace mines.

Geko: We, uh, we really talked about that. For the same reasons I gave a little while ago, completely rejected the idea of giving away subspace mines. I think that weapons of war crime would not be something [fitting of] the Federation. (laughs)

Concentus: (laughs)

Geko: Um, that was really..when we were doing the Dominion series, we watched the Siege of AR-115 if I remember the name of the starba--that planet correctly. And uh..they talked about how...what a horrible thing it was! You know, what a horrible crime! And this was also, during the time when there were a lot of mines were being cleared up in one of the countries, because of I want to say the Afghan war or something. I can?t remember. It?s a uh nasty, nasty thing. So, I don?t think it?s very Federation, and I don?t think, unfortunately, as fun as game play as it sounds and I?d like to have it in there, I don?t think we would see the Federation using Subspace Mines. But uh, but that?s--but your point?s still valid and that?s the general idea: Yeah, we can start making new rewards like that. That would be, uh...that could be just be these one-offs. Then, we could just make like three: One science, one tactical one engineering, or just make it one like the Devidian staff that everybody could use it. Gives us a lot of flexibility.

Concentus: Mhmm. Definitely. And let?s see...what else do we have that could go along with that? Scroll through my list. Actually, it would be interesting to have a Borg reward, and related to that: What?s the status on getting more Borg parts such as arms for Liberated Borg players? I know some players have been asking for that for a while. I?m one of them. I?d love to be able to have just a Borgified left arm to go with face implants.

Geko: Sure, well, I?m not going to pretend to answer the question. That?s really more of an art question, so, I really don?t have a good answer for that person. I?m sorry. That?s uh, that?s something outside of my scope. So, the artists, the uh producers manage the artists? schedule, and they determine what goes into costume bits. So, I really don?t know, I?m sorry.

Concentus: Ah. I remember when the Borg...the Borg ?arms? quote un-quote, from the Defera launched, I saw that someone linked it and I was like, ?Oh my God, I gotta get one of those!? And it is a cool looking gun, but it?s not what I was expecting (talking over each other). Hm?

Geko: The Borg arm gun?

Concentus: Yeah, the engineering, the tactical, and the science one.

Geko: Yeah.

Concentus: They?re fun to use though.

Geko: It wasn?t what you expected in so far as what?

Concentus: Well, I saw that name and I?m like, ?It?s going to be a Borg implant that?s gonna replace your arm!?

Geko: Oh okay! (laughs) Yeah, I could see that being fun. No, sorry that?s...we just kind of turned it into a gun. So.

Concentus: It makes more sense.

Geko: Yeah. Yeah, I don?t think a lot of people would be lining up (laughs) to put one of those on. That would be kind of weird swapping out between that and the pistol, so uh.

Concentus: Congratulations! You just killed the Mega Gorn, now chop off your arm so you can use this.

Geko: Exactly. (laughs) I could see that. That would be great if we added say a Borg faction. Right? That would be would be very interesting. That was something we talked when we first made the game. What other factions could we make in the game? Obviously Klingon was the first one, and then, you know, we?d want to do Romulan was the next big one. And then, I thought, ?well, the next big ones after that would [have to be] a Dominion faction, or a Borg faction.? Um, and if we did a Borg faction, we would make it more like Hugh. A liberated Borg. Kind of like you have the sentient undead in WoW. They?re not just mindless zombies, they?re sentient. So, we?d have this more sentient, um, liberated Borg faction if we ever did that. And that would be great. You could swap your arms out, and have all these different devices.

Concentus: I would switch from Federation to that in a heartbeat.

askray 07-10-2012 04:48 PM

Geko: I think a lot of people would love that. I think that would be a fun faction, too. That?s (whistles) that?s out there. Sorry. That?s not going to happen for a while. We got a lot more work to do before that happens. But, um...but, we have all kinds of plans of things we want to do, so, um it?s certainly not outside the realm of possibilities. I think you?d probably see Romulans before you would see Borg.

Concentus: Oh definitely. There have been demand for Romulans much more than there has been for Borg.

Geko: I think there?s a lot more, um, accessible and agreeable to more people. I think more people enjoy them. But, I think I would enjoy more doing a Borg faction than say a Dominion. faction. So, I think there.... Although, I think it would be fun if you were a Jem?Hadar soldier and always had to have your ketracel white or you went nuts and killed your crew or something.

Concentus: Use the ketracel white item every 10 minutes.

Geko: Yeah (laughs).

Concentus: Let?s see. On a related note of things you?d like to do. There has been talk of new sectors of spaces. There hasn?t been a new sector added since the Orellius sector.

Geko: Yes.

Concentus: And I know Dan Stahl keeps hinting at it every now and then that there?s a new one coming soon. Any hint at what it might be? What might be there? Where would it be?

Geko: No. Not going to spill the beans on that, I?m sorry. It?s too way too early. We gotta get Season 6 out the door. I don?t want to get the people too excited about Season 7 before we even finish Season 6, but the plan is--the current plan, which is still very early--is to release a new sector with Season 7. But um...but it?s too far out to talk in detail. Too much could change between now and then.

Concentus: Any new social zones coming up? Like Bajor, like uh Drozana station?

Geko: Um, no Season 7 may come with some new um social zones, um, still too early to talk about that, not planning on adding additional zones. We still, we've got a lot of social zones that just are not doing anything, and so I personally would rather see these social zones being made more vibrant and more useful before adding any additional ones. We uh... Andor is empty and we had big plans for that and never really came back to it, uh, Vulcan has not much going on, and we wanted all kinds of little Foundry missions and things you could explore around Vulcan, the Captain's Table is something that is sorely just.. unfunctional. So I'd rather be improving those social zones, and Risa for that matter. So those four I'd rather see them do something than add an additional one -- I think there's plenty of social zones. ummm but it's not just if there were to add one like you know, we'd do what we did with Bajor and have it much more robust than the existing ones we've done. So I don't know if we're going to add one, I have really no idea at this point if we'll add one with season 7. I don't think we'll be adding them willy-nilly just to do.

Concentus: Just to, I would like to see expansion of Vulcan, I know one of our DJ's would love to see expansion of Andoria, especially with the hope of adding Ushaan-tor arenas.

Geko: mmhmm, yeah that was the plan, I mean you go there and it's like "Oh we're gonna go there and ushaan, and uh tournaments there" and there's really nothing to do there. I really want to get ushaan dueling as just something fun to do. So um, though I don't think we can tie our hands together, so.. at least not yet.

Concentus: Let's see, why do pets keep getting added to the game, and on the same subject, why do skills that stop and immobilize players keep getting added to the game, and apparently they make the game more annoying. I will agree with the stuns and immobilizations are very annoying. They drive me crazy in the other Science Fiction MMO that shall rename nameless.

Geko: Umm... so... why do they get added? First of all, I'd like the question to be a little more specific as far as ground or space. Like, there's, you know it's like any other game where, I think maybe a lot of people not taking their stun and control resistance abilities, and then those things don't last as long. Umm.. we don't really feel like we add a lot, and it's one of those things that when it happens, it kinda, you remember it and it's not fun when it happens to you. In space we're a lot more forgiving, because we've got more levers where we can take your engines offline, your weapons offline, your auxiliary, your shields, and um I don't think there's any actual holds in space that I can think of. And let's be clear in the terminology, that immobilization, you might call a root, where you can't move, and a stun could be in Star Trek, on the ground, is basically a hold, where you can't move or attack.

Concentus: Stasis Field!

Geko: Stasis Field is like that, yes. And then there's a disable, which means that you can't use your abilities, but you can still move around, the best example would be like the um, the coliseum area, all your abilities are disabled, you can only use hand to hand weapons.

Concentus: Or the high-yield Tricobalt explosion

Geko: that will disable you, right, in space, but you can still move, and use your shields, but you can't use your abilities, but you still have shields and passives. So a couple things, when when uh, designing a new critter or a new weapon, there's only so much that we can draw upon, and we're always trying to think of new ways of doing things, and it's, it gets kinda dry if it's "okay, well this guy is really tough, we'll just make it more damage, more hit points". So we're just trying to add different ways to make the game play interesting and ways for players to deal with certain challenges. Um and um.. tractor beams, that's one way of doing that, but it's not even a true root or immobilize, because it just slows your engines down really really slow, so that one's a little more analog with a little more flexibility. The stasis field you mentioned is actually a fragile, we call it a fragile hold, so while you're stasis, while you're held, if you get hit it breaks, right, so it's kinda like an analog sleep. It's like a sleep power, but instead of getting hit once you wake up, you get hit a couple times and it wakes you up. So, generally we make our holds fragile, so if you are held and you get hit, the effect goes away more quickly, so we try to be a little better at it. We are conscious to it, We underst- we umm.. sometimes we're just trying to make it more interesting. And I really don't think there's a lot in the game. If you put your points into your control resistance abilities, I think you're going to see it's a lot, lot less painful, if you do that. And you know what, the skill system is designed, so if you don't really want to spend your points, just put three, that's not a lot to put in, if you put it into your control resistance skills, just put three, that's your best return on your investment there, and you'll see a remarkable difference in the hold, stun, and root times.

Concentus: The only one that really drives me crazy is the Borg tractor beam from the cubes because I've got maxed dampers and it still immobilizes you, can't turn, can't move--

Geko: That is actually a bug that Jeremy Randall found on Friday, so that is getting fixed.

Concentus: Yay! I've been reporting that thing for ages.

Geko: eHeheh, yeah, so Jeremy Randal says "why is this number a thousand instead of one?" so I don't know what happened. He was taking a look at Borg and uh, just some of the particular balance issues with Borg, and um, someone probably probably typed in a bug, or just got a little Borg-happy and made it a thousand 'cause they thought it was clever, but it's getting resolved so you'll be able to break free --

Concentus: move?

Geko: yeah, well you'll be able to resist it with the proper, it'll be stronger than regular tractor beam, but it'll be able to use things like Attack Pattern Omega, or Evasive Maneuvers, or just put some skill points to be able to resist the effects of that.

Concentus: 'cause it's always really fun on escorts to fly by it and then just sit there going "okay, am I going to blow up first, or am I going to be able to move first?"

Geko: Sure, sure... no I appreciate that, and I'll agree the Borg needed a little balance pass, 'cause there's a lot of things going on, 'cause the borg themselves are tough, and then sometimes when you play them in STF's in the background they're a little tougher, so I think there's a little double-dipping going on that makes the Borg a little tougher than they should be, um.. but you know what, when the Fleet system comes out and everyone gets a hold of fleet ships and fleet gear, um... we're probably going to start feeling a little easier. So um we're going to be rasing the bar. Your other question you had was why do we keep adding pets to the game, ah... because people keep buying them. So that's um, that's really plain and simple if we're talking about cosmetic pets. People like them, they like to collect them. If you don't like them, you don't have to collect them.

Concentus: I like them, but I wish there was a way to manage them that didn't involve using up inventory space. Because I like flying along in Sector Space with this armada of small craft following me and sometimes on a new character you've got a quarter of your inventory filled with pets and similar items.

Geko: Sure, well I don't really have a good answer for you. I don't think we're planning on making a separate pet inventory bag, I mean that could be done, but... Star Trek has of all the games I've ever worked on, of all the games Cryptic has worked on, probably any MMO, the largest data footprint of any other game, because you have your character's paper doll, and your ship's paper doll, all your ships, all your bridge officers, it's a lot of items, not to mention your bank, your fleet bank... so that's why we charge for inventory space, because it's expensive on our side to manage all that data, run out of harddrive space, to be honest, so we have to keep buying harddrives that fill. So giving away 6 or 10 slots just to keep your pets in would be expensive for us, not just to implement, but also to maintain. But it's also more stuff people have on them, the slower it is to load every time because people have all this stuff on them that includes all of their pets and all of their ships and all of their bridge officers, and all of their inventory, you have to get all of that information, so it gets bigger and bigger, so it's a technological challenge. Um, we are making one quick change to pets, both ground and space, some people who like pets are going to enjoy. Right now pets only appear, can only work out of combat, and uh we do that for the player's benefit and for other player's benefit so that way there's not a lot of spam of just pets flying around or monkeys jumping around in combat that are getting away. But the problem is that you run around and you have your pet mugato, or your shuttles following you and you get into combat and they all go away, and then after combat's over you have to click them all on again. So we're going to make them so when you click them on they stay on, but as soon as you start combat they go away, but as soon as combat's over they automatically reappear so you won't have to re-summon them.

Concentus: That's nice!

Geko: So you can just turn them all on, and then you can just kinda forget about them, they'll stay on. Umm, and they'll just kinda disappear and come back when when combat starts and when combat's over they'll come right back. So it's a nice little touch that Jeremy Randall was working on that he was looking for a solution and then he worked on that and he's starting to put that in, so people should like that. I like that, I like flying around with all the different shuttles behind me as well.

Concentus: ... okay, is there any plan in adding some kind of bridge officer functionality to PVP or STF's? I'd love to have a solo version of an STF with definitely not the same rewards that you get for the full team version, but an end-game mission that you could go repeat other than the storyline missions, that you could take your bridge officers into.

Geko: You know that's something that I had uh wanted to see a long time ago, and I'll be honest I think we just kinda forgot about it, but I'm glad you brought it up, and I um I agree that at end game you're collecting a lot of end game gear, and you want to collect it all for your bridge officers and you have them all dressed up with no place to go. so um... I can look into that, I can bring that up and put a bug into people's ear and see if we can see some of that happening. Certainly with Season 7 going forward there will be lots of new content, that will be regular missions, but maybe STF-style where you could bring your bridge officers, I think that's a great idea, and I think we should revisit that.

Concentus: There is that whole issue of "Why is Starfleet letting me go-- why is Starfleet letting the Captain, the First Officer, the Chief Engineer, the Chief Science Officer, all beam down to a hostile planet all at the same time?"

Geko: Because Kirk did it, damnit! That's why.

Concentus: There we go...

Geko: eheheh

Concentus: Rule of cool.

Geko: There you go.

Concentus: Rule of cool trumps all regulations.

Geko: That's right. And.. and because it's a game.

Concentus: Yeah, it's a game. On that Same note, a lot of people want--

Geko: I don't think many people play the first officer. We don't play a game called first officer, but you could be the first officer if you want, and just have the captain--

Concentus: Well if you were Riker the whole time, yeah.

Geko: Yeah, there you go.

Concentus: On that same note, what's the status of the first officer system? The long-rumored and much-anticipated one.

Geko: Umm... sure! First officer system kinda dovetails into the department head system, and we had originally planned on releasing it for season 6. We had planned on going wide instead of deep originally, so season 6 was going to be Starbases, but starbases lite, so we see the system that you see now, but no Starbases interior and no content to go with it, along with um the first officer along with department head systems, a crafting system, and maybe a pvp system, uh um a pvp improvement. But instead we decided to focus the entire team on just Starbases. So all those other features that you know, we still want to do them, but we decided that "no, we're investing everything into Starbases, we want them to be a full, complete system that will have lots of legs that people will be able to play and invest in for a very long time, so that put all the other features to the wayside for a while, basically when you have a small number of people, you have to make designs on what you're going to keep. So um, like I said we're in the process of determining what are the final details for season 7, as we ask the forum what about the kit revamp, so that might make it, but the same people who would do the kit revamp would be doing the first officer system, because that's a system task, it's not a content task, so we might do both, we might do both, we might do neither, we'll have to see where the chips fall when the schedule is worked out, and we know exactly what we're going to do, but um it's one of those things "Okay, is this the best opportunity to do it now? okay, let's wait and do it. Is it now? yes, okay we'll do it." So I'm gonna say it's on the "soon" radar. Along with that, one I want to do as well, is a trait revamp, to improve the trait system, I want to improve the traits themselves, and I want people to be able to respec their traits, and be able to collect and unlock traits. And maybe even let people start buying and getting more than four traits, have a trait tree that unlocks.. maybe. But basically we have to sit down and deside what it is. So those are kinda little systems, they're really not that big, the first officer system is not that big and won't take much effort to do, neither would the trait system or the kits, but they're big enough that we can't always just squeeze them right in, but you'll see them come in like one at the time over the next few seasons.

Concentus: You hinted at a crafting revamp, 'cause I know that's another thing that a lot of people have been looking for especially since dilithium got added into crafting.

Geko: Sure, and I mean that's the same answer, the crafting revamp is really, unlike the last three systems I mentioned, the crafting revamp would be a major, major system. So that is not something that would take a little bit of work, we'd really want to sit down and take a look at what we can do with crafting, not only with the system itself, but maybe making all new types of items that people could make. Right now the only thing unique that people can make is the Aegis set, so we want to do more than that. So um, that's a major revamp, originally we thought maybe we could do it for season 6, but that's basically one or two designers alone, forget about engineers and UI engineers, that would just take a really long time. So we just said "nope, we're just going to focus on fleets." So um, big feature, lots of fun stuff for players, lots of opportunity for everybody, um, probably not going to happen Season 7, maybe season 8 or season 9 features, but that's a big one that not only we want to do internally, but something that Perfect World has really wants to see. So I want to make sure people understand, this is not just something, I'm not giving a corporate spiel "yeah we'll do it one day" kinda thing, this is something all the way up to Perfect World guys up top, they want to have an improved crafting system. So, we all have some ideas what we want to have happen with it. So, it's happening, it's just BIG, so it can't happen fast.

Concentus: uh let's see... Oh now for the infamous balance question. What's the balance target for new ships and skills and items, is it balanced for the 5-player team in mind, and why do so many "broken and unbalanced powers" slip QA and make it straight onto Holodeck?

Geko: I actually find it a very esoteric question, because um.. it's, I don't really agree with a lot of it. you can always find balance problems, you know it's, sometimes things being unbalanced are on purpose. If things were always balanced and neutral, it would be pretty boring. So there are, there will always be balance problems, it will never be perfect. that is something I can guarantee you. It's just the nature of the game, because we can build things and test things, but the game as massive as an MMO, as complex as Star Trek Online, there's just so much more than the sum of its parts, and players will always be able to outthink us, and come up with new and clever ways to build something, or combine with this thing, or that sort of thing. I mean if we want to get into how the game is engineered from the ground up, as far as the game is concerned, I teach a class on this internally as far as building class tables, and excel sheets on how to calculate these numbers. You know, you basically start with a uh, an idea of how many kills, how long do you want the battle to last, a given battle, how long do you want a particular pvp battle to last, how many hits, how many clicks do you want it to be before that target dies, so what numbers look good, that becomes a little more feel, a little more squishy, but we wanted it to be 20 clicks before somebody dies, before you kill a particular enemy, and you kinda start from there, and then you start with some basic numbers. Let's start with 100 hitpoints, well that doesn't give us the resolution we need, so... 200 hitpoints or a thousand hitpoints, or a spaceship feel bigger, the reason the starships have 10,000 hitpoints is irrelevant, they could've had 100 hitpoints but it doesn't look as good when your human has 100 hitpoints. So, we're getting a little deep into the way it works, and then you just kinda do the math from there, and you figure out the math, okay, now the critter, when you're level 50, how many more hitpoints do we want you to have form level 1. Okay instead of 100, we're gonna let you go to 1000, well then that's increasing your hitpoints by tenfold, so the damage should increase by tenfold, as a base. But now, you also have armor and damage resistance, so critters have to hit even harder! Otherwise we'd never go through that damage, so now once you get that, that's just plain damage to hitpoint ratio. So then you can say "well this is a light attack, this is a heavy attack, so this light attack is 50%, so we'll take 40 of these attacks, well this is really heavy, so maybe it only takes 10. How much would that cost?" And these are just philosophical and strategic ways of building or architecting something this large. Now when it starts getting things like holds, and uh stuns and power drains, it's a little harder to mathematically predict "what is the value of something", you could say "well if you're holding someone then you're not doing damage for this amount of time" so it's this amount of damage resistance, it's still not quite the same, but you can use that as a foundation for balancing things.

Concentus: And then you run into all the different playstyles, especially if it's like "oh you can't turn for x amount of time, I use turrets, that doesn't matter!"

Geko: Yeah, exactly, so what?s that worth? So, um, its always more sensitive on PvP than it will ever be in PvE. Critters don?t complain whether their powers feel nerfed or not. Um, they don?t complain when they?re held and in PvP it?s become much more sensitive an issue. And so, then you got, there?s one of the things we talked briefly about holds and let?s talk about confuse, for instance. That?s a great status power, especially the way we have. So confuse, if players don?t know what confuse do, exactly, and like Scramble Sensors, an example of confuse. Confuse means that if you are confused, everybody around you is considered a friend and an enemy. So all all your AoE heals will heal your friends and enemies, and you can target anyone and cast a friendly or hostile power on any target while you?re confused. Additionally, every time you attack there?s a chance your reticule might randomly select something else. You might have someone selected, but you?re confused. So, if you do that for a short enough length of time, players never even notice it. If you do it for a short amount of time to a critter, it?s basically worthless. And trying to find, but if you do it for a real long amount of time it can be fun, it can be frustrating. It?s supposed to be frustrating. Alright, it?s like how do I manage this? You can clear it, you can cast Science Team or you just have to be really careful and not start spamming Fire At Will and killing all your allies. So it?s a manageable hold, not like your control power, not like a hold. But finding the sweet spot on balancing that, finding out if its overpowered or not. It?s very easy for a control power, for instance, to become overpowered in PvP and be completely useless in PvE. And so, that might be the crux of where a lot of these issues where players fell how is this so obviously broken? Since it?s not obviously broken. It?s not a cut and dry question and answer. I?ve seen posts like oh, if you give me a spreadsheet and half hour I?ll have this whole game balanced. You know that?s nonsense. We?ve got working on this stuff for years, the spreadsheets are hundreds of megabytes in size, they?re massive. I?ve actually run out of memory on Excel and had to open [scrambled stammering] in the data that we have to manage for this game. So, part of it, the answer is it's hard, part of it is it?ll never be perfect, and part of it is you?re dealing with not only the gameplay styles of players but the playstyle changes in the game, between PvE and PvP. And part of it is if we want people to be excited about something, if we want people to really want that spinal lance or that antimatter spread or that photon torpedo point defence system you kinda on purpose make it a little overpowered. Just a little bit. Just to make it exciting. Because if we made those powers perfectly balanced, why the hell would I want that? I can get it for free from this bridge officer. So then you do things like, okay, well we?ll make the recharge timer three minutes, so you can only use this oh god power, oh **** power, once every three minutes and then it?ll be really cool and spectacular. Sometimes it hurts PvP a little, and I recognize that, but there?s always counters, we?re always developing counters for these things. So, I hope that answers the question I know there?s gonna be people who go oh, they still didn?t fix this bug, I mean, yeah. I haven?t fixed all the bugs in my life. I?ve still got, the sink is leaking in my bathroom and I have a broken pipe in the backyard, and I got all these bugs all over the house and eventually I?m gonna get them fixed. But sometimes there?s things you just don?t get to, and sometimes someone picks up and says oh, I think we can get to this one and, erm. But balance is relative. It?s not black and white. Sometimes, oh yeah, the Borg tractor beam is actually set to a thousand instead of one and so its clearly not balanced, it?s more of a bug. But if it was set to twenty instead of ten? I don?t know, he?s a Borg, they?re supposed to be that good.

Concentus: Make it more fun.

Geko: Yeah, it?s supposed to- you know, when I play a game what I remember is that really hard bad guy or that really cool power I got that was awesome. I don?t remember those ones that were perfectly balanced.

Concentus: The boss battle that took you five tries to beat.

Geko: Yeah, then you finally beat it because you finally levelled up and got that really cool whatever power that allowed you to just plow through it. So, part of it is supposed to be memorable and desirable.

Concentus: On that note actually, what?s the story behind, I know the story behind the respawn on the ground, the respawn timer. What?s the story with that on space? Because on the ground, yeah, you can not bother clicking respawn, someone can come rez you and you can jump out of the pool of plasma to safety. In space, nobody can rez you after you blow up.

Geko: You want to know why do we have a ten or fifteen second respawn time before you can respawn?

Concentus: Or ninety seconds.

Geko: You mean like after repeated deaths and similar.

Concentus: Oh yeah. When you get critted by the inevitable Borg high yield torpedo that does seventy five thousand damage.

Geko: The real answer is its a death penalty. If there was no death penalty you just hit respawn and run back in and you could just zerg it. You could just zerg rush that boss or that critter or that piece of content over and over again without any fear. And by having that escalating penalty, especially in some of the new content that we?ve been building, that makes you be a little more scared to die. And I think Star Trek has a pretty mild death penalty in the game. If you play at elite or advanced you start having to use the components because you start getting damage on your ship, but that?s only if you play those hard difficulties and if players don?t realise that when you play at higher difficulties you get better rewards so, a lot of people don?t realise that. Putting it at advanced or elite difficulty will give you more numerics, more skill points, more bridge officer skill points, more energy credit drops and a better chance of getting higher quality gear to drop. It is quite noticeable when you start playing, you?ll see a lot more of those bigger loot drop icons will drop, you?ll see a lot more blues and purples drop

Concentus: Like prototype tech. Not that I ever see the prototype tech to begin with.

Geko: I don?t think it affects prototype tech

Concentus: Nah

Geko: It?s just the random, the regular, standard drops throughout the game. So, it might affect prototype tech, I

Concentus: You only get the proto tech from the elite STFs

Geko: Yes. So you can?t change the difficulty so yes, of course. That?s already preset.So, um, the death penalty in the game is pretty mild so, it?s what it is. It?s the death penalty and we don?t want people just not caring about dying and saying I don?t care if I die, I?ll just run in and go again, it?s supposed to make death hurt and make you want to think about what you?re doing first. So, that?s why it?s there and yeah, we don?t have the ability to let you rez a ship. Do CPR on a ship. I mean, we could possibly have built something like that and have someone come over and fix your ship. Maybe we could do something like that, it?s not a terrible idea.

Concentus: Instead of having you blow up have you sit there at zero percent with hull breaches and plasma venting, someone can come and give you an engineering team or something.

Geko: Yeah, we would have to do something, it?s a very specific six seconds after your ship dies you get the explosion and six seconds later you have the warp core breach and your ship explodes. So that?s tied to a certain amount of art and everybody get away from this warp core breach. I we wanted to let people come and try to save you we?d have to extend that time, six seconds is not enough time to react to an ally exploding. We?d probably have to extend that time a little bit and modify the art to allow them to rez you that way and something like Engineering Team would have to be made to work on something that was already dead. But that?s not an undoable task, that?s not an unreasonable request. At this point I?m just speculating.

Concentus: I remember when the respawn timer started increasing and my first thought was oh no, everyone?s gonna play a tank now. And then I went, eh, if you build the escort right you can avoid drawing enough threat if you have a properly built tank on your team. I typically play tanks, so I?m used to drawing threat and never having it off me, you just try and be as survivable as you can

Geko: Yeah, you just gotta play a little different, I think people will, I mean, escorts are not meant to always be in the fray. You can build a tankier escort and you can play a little smarter, get in, get out, let your tanks cover you. But you hit really hard. That?s kinda the, that?s always been a contentious thing. There?s actually been an interesting article about it on Massively recently about how do you make DPS classes viable because they get so squishy. It?s just a typical trade off between the two of them.

Concentus: It?s the infamous glass cannon conundrum, It extends all the way back to tabletop RPGs and wizards

Geko: Yes. And, with the new fleet ships, all fleet ships that you get from the fleet system have ten percent more hitpoints and ten percent more shields. So those escorts and birds of prey and raptors will all get a little tougher, so, and they also all get a tenth console. Some of those might be in engineering, some of them, depending on the ship that you?re getting, may not be, but uh, that will add a good amount of survivability to those classes.

Concentus: Definitely looking forward to the tenth slot on the Odyssey and getting that extra engineering slot

Geko: The Odyssey already has ten consoles.

Concentus: Oh, you?re right.

Geko: There is not a fleet version of the Odyssey. The Odyssey has kinda set the bar for fleet ships, the other ships are kinda coming up to speed with that ship. There is an Odyssey available in the fleet, but its actually the free Odyssey that we gave away at the anniversary events and it will be free in the fleet, in other words you only have to pay fleet credits for it, you won?t have to pay any cpoints in order to get that Odyssey, but you will have to unlock the tier five shipyard to get those.

Concentus: But even then that?ll make a lot of people happy, because I remember a lot of people missed that week and were like oh, how do we get this? And I flew that Odyssey until the cstore ones came out because even that one was a very good cruiser.

Geko:Yeah, so it?s in there, its available, that one and the Bortas will both be available with tier five shipyards at the fleets, but there is no fleet version of the Odyssey. You want the ten console Odyssey with all the bells and whistles, you?ll have to get that from the cstore.

Concentus: It?s a fun ship, though.

Geko: It is.

Concentus: It makes a great tank and you can even fly it as DPS, I tried that once. It?s a very weird thing flying a DPS in a ship that has a turn rate of four degrees, but its doable.

Geko: You can really improved that turn rate if you put enough points into thrusters and putting in the RCS consoles and you can certainly run plenty of abilities that will increase your turn rate, so you?re not really stuck at four degrees per second all the time. I think with just skill and RCS thrusters you can get that up to eleven, which is pretty respectable.

Concentus: I have another character that has a Marauder and when I got that I was like I want to build this for quad cannons so I had to go how can I make this thing as maneuverable as I can and I had to go through gear, skills and abilities it?s got the maneuverability of about an escort, fully buffed its forty something degrees per second and it just flies.

Geko: So the Orion Marauder you?re talking about?

Concentus: Uh, no. The Ferengi Marauder.

Geko: Yeah, that one, I can?t remember, it?s already, uh, it?s a fun ship, I wish more people could get an opportunity to check it out, it?s transformation and everything since you can go from a tank to a DPS class. More tanky and more DPSy, we?ll say, it?s not like a Garumba or saucer seperation

Concentus: Yeah, it can?t sit there and absorb damage, but it can put it out. The EMP is fun and definitely the missiles are fun. I did not get mine from a lockbox, I had to buy mine off of another player. I have absolutely no luck with anything involving the random number generator.

Geko: I just got off talking to an interview to Priority One and one of their fleet members got seventeen of them.

Concentus: We have a listener who has gotten, to date, something like four of every single chance ship.

Geko: Yeah, it?s just random numbers, so, you know. I remember someone talking, says the first box they opened they got the ship.

Concentus: Luck. It exists. Okay, let?s see, what else is on this list? DJ Yumene would like to know how you feel about tribbles. Personally I think they?re ecological hazards and side with the Klingons on that.

Geko: I love tribbles. [laughs] I don?t know what to say.about that question. I love tribbles and the game loves tribbles and if you don?t like them you can just discard ?em. But they?re kind of fun, it was something I can remember being picked up early on when we released the game, the press really loved it, the players really loved it and the first time people really see hey, I have two tribbles, where?s my field rations? I think tat?s kind of fun. Some people like to collect them, I would like to see a feature that we wanted to add to the game for a long time, which was actually getting a tribble terrarium we could have on your starship or starbase and you could keep all your tribbles in there and when you want to breed one you could put the food and the tribble in there so you knew exactly what tribble was eating what food and you could get the exact tribble that you wanted. But they?re there for fun and I love them and we?ll still keep making them. You don?t like them, um

Concentus: The buffs are very useful, I will say that.

Geko: There, they are and they?re lots of fun and some of them are more useful than others, some of them are kind of near worthless but they?re meant to be more flavourful than anything. And there is one thing I wanted to do for the Klingons, who hate tribbles is I would love to see a targ breeding game and the idea is you would get a targ pup and it would be a combat pet, it would start off being, maybe as a non combat pet, maybe start with your non combat pet and you could feed it tribbles and depending on what tribbles you fed it would determine its development. Would become more DPS or more tanky or whatever depending on what breed of tribble, maybe get more cold resistance or more sonic resistance or whatever, just based on the tribbles that you get it. And eventually it would become old enough to basically take a bridge officer slot, on the ground, I mean, not in space. You couldn?t, you could take it on the ground with you in place of a bridge officer and it would be whatever it is you developed based on what tribbles you fed it. So that way Klingons would like to see tribbles, oh yeah! I wanna just breed this because I want to get that, whatever, that particular tribble that I want because I want my targ to be more tanky or my targ to have this particular resistance. And I?ll feed it a Borg tribble and it becomes a Borg targ. So, that?s something that we?ve wanted to do since we designed the tribble game two years ago. But it?s one of those things that one day will happen.

Concentus: One day. One day we?ll have to get you back on the air for another interview.

Geko: Alright.

Concentus: Yes. So, thank you for your time, thank you for answering those questions.

Geko:You?re very welcome, I?m more than happy to answer the questions and very happy to return.

Concentus: Excellent. Alright, then, we shall wrap up this interview. I am DJ Concentus, I have been interviewing Captaingeko.

Geko: Thank you for having me. Live long and prosper.

Concentus: Thank you and have a nice night.

Geko: Goodnight.

kalecto 07-10-2012 05:09 PM

Listening now thanks!

sovereignman 07-10-2012 05:28 PM

Thanks for the interview.

No comment.

th3gr4ndnagu5 07-10-2012 07:10 PM

Yes, CBS said no T5 connie; we get it. The question is, why arent the Excalibur/Vesper/Exeter in the fleet store since those ships *arent* connies?

tehjonel 07-10-2012 07:11 PM

awkward interview. just being honest.

dontdrunkimshoot 07-10-2012 07:40 PM

thanks for the transcript! that must have taken a wile to type. with holds and balance problems and stuff, its fine and balanced when you encounter 1 of these things at a time, but when you have a pet armada drowning you in debuffs its impossible to deal with. a whole team and a bunch of pets chrono procing you the whole match is terrible. 1 guy firing a chrono spread? manageable. its the volume thats the problem


Originally Posted by th3gr4ndnagu5 (Post 4693901)
Yes, CBS said no T5 connie; we get it. The question is, why arent the Excalibur/Vesper/Exeter in the fleet store since those ships *arent* connies?

its because those ships should not exist, starfleet would not have built them. they exist because at launch so every ship had multiple costumes, they have kind of shied away from that though.

the connie is tiny by late 24th/early 25th century standards. when starfleet builds new ships that small, they arent built with that traditional look. the saber actually has a higher volume then a connie does. new smaller ships look like that, basically a brick. only the much larger ships retain the classic design language.

so, the Excalibur/Vesper/Exeter wouldn't and shouldn't actually exist. something that scrawny and wiry would get dismembered if the neck and pylon sections were hit with how much more powerful weapons are then they were in the connies prime. much thicker brick shaped ships, and huge ships are thick enough that their narrow parts arent necessarily more vulnerable then any other part of the ship.

bops were built to be glass cannons, but the connie is a general purpose cruiser, durability is supposed to be a strong suit for a ship like that. with the power of modern weapons, its design is not sturdy, its a liability so it isn't viable any longer. mirandas certainly weren't. a connie would have fared no better in the dominion war then all those mirandas, its just as much of a coffin.

th3gr4ndnagu5 07-10-2012 07:57 PM


Originally Posted by dontdrunkimshoot (Post 4694261)
so, the Excalibur/Vesper/Exeter wouldn't and shouldn't actually exist. something that scrawny and wiry would get dismembered if the neck and pylon sections were hit with how much more powerful weapons are then they were in the connies prime. much thicker brick shaped ships, and huge ships are thick enough that their narrow parts arent necessarily more vulnerable then any other part of the ship.

Thank you for sharing that opinion. However the actual facts are: A) those ships are in game, and B) they arent connies. Therefore the fact that CBS will not allow a T5 connie has absolutely nothing to do with those ships being in the fleet store like their other T2 counterparts.

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