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-   -   Centersolace's (simple) exploration revamp proposal. (http://sto-forum.perfectworld.com/showthread.php?t=480651)

centersolace 12-10-2012 06:55 PM

Centersolace's (simple) exploration revamp proposal.
 
I think that we can all agree that exploration is one of the weakest areas of the game, when it could be one of the strongest. I'm not sure how to redo the Genesis Engine, as I'm not entirely sure how it works, and what sort of effort it would take to "Bring it up to snuff". As such, all of the following suggestions do not require the Genesis Engine.

1. Hide Episodes in them.

When you pull up to a "Explore Uncharted World" interact button inside a star cluster, you should have a small chance of getting a Featured Episode quality mission. You could have 20 of these things scattered all throughout the galaxy, and players would have to track them down in order to play them. You could have missions tied to a specific star cluster (Every cluster should at least have one. So there's a reason to visit all of them) while others could happen anywhere.

2. Hide the Foundry Spotlight missions in them.

Like the above, there could even be a small chance where you would be given one of the Foundry Spotlight missions to play. This would have the dual bonus of expanding content, and give players a reason to use the Foundry, when they would otherwise avoid it.

3. Include the Doff System.

Much like how using the Doff missions allows you to unlock other Doff missions, and how playing Episodes unlocks Doff missions, Doff missions should unlock Episodes. There should at least be a handful of episodes (Maybe 2 or 3?) that are rewards for tinkering with the Doff System.

4. Give them all Dilithium.

Why was the B'Tran cluster rewards taken away? That was a good idea! That was literally the only reason to do Exploration missions other than kicks and giggles. All the Cluster missions should have rewards like Season 6 B'Tran.

5. Give huge rewards for team play.

Not everyone want's to play in teams, but after all, this is an MMO. You should reward them for doing so. Cluster missions should extra EC's/Dilithium for every team member, give 30 Fleet Marks for every Fleet Mate you are teamed with (giving you a maximum of 120 Fleet Marks), the B'Tran cluster should give small amounts of OMEGA Marks, all the clusters in Romulan space should give Romulan Marks, and all the other clusters should be kept open for future Mark types.


Now this is a little bit different request, but I want alien worlds that feel ALIEN. I realize that the show had a limited budget, and therefore most planets in the Star Trek Verse ended up looking like southern California, but this is a Video Game. We don't have that limitation. Give us water planets, planets full of deadly gas, molten hot planets, planets where the sun is so hot it vaporizes you if you leave the shade, Gas Giants, Alien Starbases, Alien cities, Planets where the gravity is low, Planets where the gravity is high, throw curveballs at us. Make us use those fancy shmancy EVA suits you guys made.

This is Science Fiction! Let us go weird and wonderful places! And when we get there, let us meet weird and wonderful things!

sumghai 12-10-2012 07:05 PM

I particularly dig the idea of hiding Foundry missions within exploration clusters - in fact, sometimes I wonder if they should have been done so in the first place.

For obvious reasons I also support more dilithium sources :)

azurianstar 12-10-2012 07:14 PM

I don't like the idea of "hiding" missions, rather I feel they should be unlocked after you take certain actions. Like with new civilizations, before you can take missions in their space, you got to actually have a First Contact and become friends. Then learning more about their history and culture before you stumble upon the mysteries that they offer.


With the Foundry, I don't like the idea of randomly tossing UGC missions as content. As I said in other similar threads, the best idea for the Foundry is that an area of space is claimed by an Author or a group of authors and they work together to bring to life a civilization (and perhaps hostile or rival civilizations). And that could keep players interested in an area for a while. Later, if Cryptic likes that civilization, they too could add their and making it more official, maybe even with CBS's blessing, making it canonical.


The DOFF system, gotta be with pure exploration itself. Like helping you find resources that you need to contruct repair items far away from home. Or discovering hints to a new location to visit.

f2pdrakron 12-10-2012 08:18 PM

Most Foundry missions are crap, even the "Featured" are not exactly up to snuff to the standard Cryptic mission, regardless of what some authors like to claim about their quality.

So no, Exploration needs some work but that just means they are exploration and not MISSIONS, that means a lot of the boring stuff since that IS exploration (not running into a Klingon Battlegroup that attacks in waves of 3 ships at the time) and even more missions on the light of first contact that are just "hello!" and thats it.

Also we certainly DONT need a reputation system if anyone wants to pitch a "hey, you know this game needs? MOAR GRIND!" idea about Exploration since it seems the only people that manage to be worst that Cryptic with system is players that want to shove the system even further in.

centersolace 12-14-2012 04:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by f2pdrakron (Post 7024581)
Most Foundry missions are crap, even the "Featured" are not exactly up to snuff to the standard Cryptic mission, regardless of what some authors like to claim about their quality.

But even the worst foundry mission is better than the best Exploration mission. :)

I'm not saying that the exploration missions should use Foundry Missions, I'm saying they should use the Foundry Spotlight missions. To become one of those, it needs to be played, and approved, by Devs. As such, quite a few of them are better than the actual Dev made missions. :P

If you're really that bent up about UGC being used in place of really S***ty content, then okay, if you could turn it on and off, say by the "Review Content" button, then would you be okay with it?

darkstarkirian 12-14-2012 05:05 PM

Exploration Reputation w/ marks of- i mean, Exploration marks.

centersolace 12-25-2012 12:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by darkstarkirian (Post 7094681)
Exploration Reputation w/ marks of- i mean, Exploration marks.

What do you mean by that? :confused:

stoleviathan99 12-25-2012 03:51 PM

Rather than pure hiding...

I'd like to see them handled like the rep system but with some lessons learned FROM the rep system.

Part of what makes the rep system feel boring is that we run the same two projects repeatedly. I would, as a consequence, compare the current rep system to something like the Wintersaber grind in WoW, which is basically a "grind three quests through five rep tiers" reputation and not necessarily typical for an MMO.

I'd look at basically giving each cluster a rep system, however:

- I'd make the rewards from the standard projects random and interesting, including commodities and gear rather than straight dilithium.

- To keep from making life ruled by the diceroll, all or most rewards would be available as projects at T5 exploration rep in a cluster. So the random rewards are a chance at getting T5 gear sooner. Overall, I'm a fan of making items that are BOTH available randomly and via long grind, providing two acquisition methods. You can get it guaranteed at T5. You have a chance to get it sooner with the core rep projects.

- More than two core rep projects. Also, Accolades and DOff commendation ranks open more optional projects in each cluster.

- The ability to earn Cluster Rep without running projects as a grinding method. Something like 5-10 Cluster rep for every random mission undertaken in a cluster.

- Look at making Foundry spotlight missions for the clusters. I'd be tempted to push for these to ONLY feature new species to get considered.

- Cluster missions accessed via ship interior rather than flying around inside a small box. So you go to your ship interior in the Sirius Sector and get Sirius/Delta Volanis Exploration missions accessed from your bridge. The ship interior is the exploration hub.

zahinder 12-25-2012 03:54 PM

One possibility would be allowing Foundry missions to start in a cluster, and then giving players the option to 'switch on' some list of 'I'd like to randomly hit top rated cluster Foundry missions.'

Maybe something like the search parameters that exist now, as a 'this, please' arrangement.


So, for example, 'top rated missions that are between 20 mins and 1 hour.'

stoleviathan99 12-25-2012 04:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by zahinder (Post 7234271)
One possibility would be allowing Foundry missions to start in a cluster, and then giving players the option to 'switch on' some list of 'I'd like to randomly hit top rated cluster Foundry missions.'

Maybe something like the search parameters that exist now, as a 'this, please' arrangement.


So, for example, 'top rated missions that are between 20 mins and 1 hour.'

This may sound complicated (and is surely non-trivial for Cryptic) but one thing I can see that would allow them to reward certain kinds of Foundry missions is this:

"Create Delta Volanis Exploration Combat (Space) Mission" in the Foundry editor.

It loads a Foundry mission template which includes killing five waves of Nausicaans. This part is not removable from the story timeline. However, text can be edited and anything can be fitted around this.

So it's a "Kill 5" mission but authors can add anything to that they see fit, edit text, choose enemy placements, etc.

Likewise you'd have "Scan 5" space and ground, "Kill 5" space and ground, etc.

The unique feature is that it has certain elements that are mandatory parts of the story timeline. (Maybe coupled with an inability to place any friendly mobs in these special "template" missions.)

With a baseline worked in, there's a way that Cryptic can police what the minimum reward is and that the reward is thematic to the story.


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