Making a graphical guide for STFs, Fleet Actions and tactical matters.
I've been involved in player development in STO for a very long time now, and this newbie-friendly disposition has won me a fair share of fun things to do, from commanding Elite PUGs to teach them intuitive ways to learn Elite maps, etc.
While the NOOB STF guides on the forum are really good and there are STF channels to teach cadets the "correct way" to run STFs, I feel that text descriptions are a bit troublesome. I can type lots and lots of words and answer every question coming my way but that does not really secure victory for a new STF pilot, especially in Elite maps where "do this, don't do that" is inadequate when things are exploding everywhere and one-shot kills are common.
The thing that transforms a cadet into a combat pilot, in my view, is exposure to graphical feedback. No point spending half an hour with a cadet telling him or her what to do in ISE, when she doesn't even know what a Borg transwarp complex looks like!
In this regard I want to up the ante of STF player development by creating a series of magazine-format graphics illustrating first the winning strategies and ship builds for the 3 STF maps.
After that I will do a showcase of common Borg enemy types and illustrate their weaknesses.
This should result eventually in a slick PDF format guide that STO players old and new can pick up and run through before the mission just so their cadets know how the map looks, decide which tactical plan to use (based on actual team's ship types), and better yet, they won't panic when they see 5 probes and 3 spheres come out of KASE because they already know what a swarm looks like and know to just snipe the probes and DPS the spheres one by one.
I have not done showcaseable fluff for STO but here is a sample of what a "magazine format" ship / threat feature looks like - I think I done this artwork nearly a decade ago by my reckoning:
Hiigaran Modular Combat Shuttle
To translate this concept into a STO NPC threat feature, remove the shuttles, add canon-style text about a Borg Tactical Cube, and do a simple hi res illustration on the threat arcs around the Tac Cube.
The idea is to show them an intimidating enemy type in a logical, intuitive fashion that anyone glancing over the 'magazine page' will realize to fly above or below the cube in order to avoid the torpedo launchers which only fire horizontally.
Likewise a threat feature on a Borg Sphere highlights the main threat as the sheer speed of the thing, and recommends high burst DPS plus immobilization to knock out the thing. For this case I will also make a small diorama involving two scenarios
i) Tactical maneuvers involving multi-cruiser bombardment from long range using 'standard TNG doctrine'
ii) DPS-heavy approach (escorts / Raptors) and how to manage the sphere swarm threat as a team to conduct a 'bait and kill' operation
Two enthusiastic thumbs up to this idea.
i know personally i need to see things in a picture format vs. just text
See, I experimented with my own 'clients' first.
Now, if everyone else wanted to do something constructive about the 'lower player quality in Season 6', this is the most effective way to do so.
I am not a fan of disciminating against noobs and PUGs. Infact, I've been pugging STFs ever since I started playing them and have little problems achieving victory.
Some people wonder why I have no problems with PUGs, space or ground. After all "Everyone runs with their chat window closed".
Well this is the best time to find out about not just game-winning procedures and exploits but to learn about indirect, unspoken (untyped) communication, harnessing a full range of proven leadership skills to bring victory for total strangers and make friends out of them.
In time, we created a whole fleet out of this "new mode of gameplay" that certain large STO fleets completely shunned; this whole fleet is now Elite STF capable with little preparation, no voice comms, and they're being trained in VA level PvP with some unique combat proven ship build concepts as well.
Making a graphical guide for the most basic gameplay mode of them all - STFs - and they are VERY basic due to their repetitious and static nature, is something of a service to the community that has encouraged me to develop new and more effective ways of player development.
But of course, if everyone wants to post in the "STF noob fails" threads and do naught about it then we will not share these guides at all but post them on DeviantArt or other non-gaming sci fi communities not as a game guide but as a study in real-world paramilitary strategies converted into a SF format.
There are such things as study sims and there are some of us who have delved into the realm of SF writing and indie game development as well, so I shan't waste time on this endeavour if there is no open interest in such.
Remember - If you feel that your PUG game experience sucks, then the right thing to do is not whine but do something about it. It's not difficult to bring newbies from cadet level to VA level and it's not necessary for them to sit sifting through Walls of Text (tm) and confusing endgame concepts, and get yelled at by self-styled veterans on teamspeak.
All that is needed is to engage people, and they shall bring you victory. And they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.
This should be done sooner than later.
But, seeing the greatness of this idea and then not seeing anyone else other than my fellow captains commenting, a nerve struck me. I got really mad. Then I thought "is this realm obsessed with the search/masteriing of power that the slightest idea of sharing power is too much for most to comprehend.
What carmenara seeks to accomplish could make it a better experience for ALL. You know... the day when every PUG stf is a wholesome and rewarding experience because you are with these new people that looked at a strategy guide instead of blindly jumping in? You come into a queue, play and win, and get to meet people who want to know about your style. Or have an idea to teak your build? Instead of just a "GG" and run... itr ends up being sorta like the quintessential "Top Gun" thing, and you all just ang out and chill?
Honestly, I wouldn't want the vibe of STO to be something else. But it is.
On a franchise filled with messages of hope, tolerance, team building, confidence, etc... We instad have this stigma WITHIN THE GAME of "Oh, i am elite, lookit all my gear, ain't i the best, i don't deal with newbs" or "can't stand newbs, so i must make them feel unwelcome" needs to stop. You are all whining about why the game has so many issues??? Has anyone ever thought that the reason why it seems so bad to you is because you make it so? Why do you think Cryptic is pushing mediocre content at a fast pace instead of fixing their problems? Because... New users generate sales. Sales that aren't happening because Not that many people are willing to come to an MMO where the new player is automatically loathed because:
1. he's new
2. not that many fleets in the STO realm wish, nor need to invest in the new players...
3. A new user wouldn't know where the STOwiki site is, but knows what a Primo Guide is.
So yeah, now the new guide downloaded the strategy guide. And he reads it, and he gains the knowledge, and then he applies it, and then he sees that it works, and words spread around. Soon you'll see that everything runs smoother, you find yourself wanting to destroy the Borg. People respond better to ideas. And the realm in general gets friendlier. And then Cryptic wouldn't have to defend keeping STO in the f2p style by pushing out expensive and useless stuff I know is only there to make the new player seem like he's a cash cow in here...
So yeah guys... you should all be disappointed in yourselves if you are that selfish that you wouldn't want to help another person >:C
Pretty much hit the nail on the head why I delved into fleets. Never thought of joining a fleet or trying to operate one until May or so.
I don't think that the general issue is "People not wanting to help", as in Ground Elites you actually see a lot of experienced players helping the new guys along. You need a full team and good DPS to even have a chance at winning the Elite ground bosses and there is a set procedure to so there's incentive for everyone to work with each other.
Granted the success rate is not 100%. When you see those guys in Mark 8 gear doing no damage to the Borg, or come in with 30+ injuries on their toon... you know you gotta bail because it's not possible to solo Armek.
In space too I wouldn't say "no one is bothered to help" - when I was a noob once I had a hell of a time receiving targeting instructions from people RPing themselves as task force commanders. It made learning the right stuff that much easier.
So what we are doing is not really reinventing the wheel (There are a number of STF help channels out there now) - but making the war-winning strategies more accessible and more easily understood.
Right now you actually have people out there running ISE without ever realizing there is something such as 10%.
Telling people to 10% doesn't get them to be team players, as we all can attest to by all the ISE fails posted on this forum.
What those new players need is not procedure calls... but synergy. Because once you start dumbing down the strategies into something palatable for all, and focus on individual player to player interaction as a basic building block for team cohesion, you realize 10% is not the only way to get an Elite Optional.
There are so much more strategies out there which are undocumented, so many more ship and character builds that will win the ESTF for you than just the optimal ones.
New instructional methods and new, easier-understood methods of communication can definitely be a boon to all, and what better way to start than by converting our routine daily STF runs into some sort of post-war historical documentation that is both instructional and entertaining?
This is a great idea, a visual way to teach people, new and old alike will go along way in helping improve the gaming quality of life for everyone.
When you have set them up I will keep a bookmark to them in my browser to link new players to as I teach them about the game :)
Currently laying out the graphical groundwork (templates, presentation style), and using a number of Star Trek technical manuals as a reference.
While a more graphical presentation of STFs have been warranted for a long time, I think you need to be weary of how graphical it becomes. It needs to be easily digestible by the lowest common denominator that frequents the regular PUG queues.
Simply illustrating community established tactics isn't enough either, a lot of these players needs some bare minimum setup guidelines for their ships based on their captain choice and their playstyle preference.
Some do's and don't if you will. I'd argue that this is the most critical step in introducing new or old players to handling STFs properly or at least with some semblance of baseline efficiency.
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