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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 34
09-04-2008, 04:17 PM
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Given that the story and character of Star Trek are almost iconic, how will the story element be delivered? Will there be voiceovers or cut scenes?
It's been pointed out that this question wasn't answered. The answer tells us there will be characters from previous Treks in the game. Some of the question implies that answer is wanted, but the main question is, how are missions/story elements given to the character?

In City of Heroes, all NPC and mission interaction is done through text, also there were no cut scenes, and no in-engine cut scenes. If this ends up being the case in STO, I'll be fine with it, since I want to play the game, not watch the game. I don't want to read pages of text either, so any text needs to be short, and voice over wouldn't help because I can read faster than voice overs. However, if most communication is done by displaying the character's face on a screen, and showing text with voice, that would be cool.

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Space is vast. Will it feel vast in STO?

Very vast! As we are constructing Star Trek Online, it is sometimes amazing to experience just how vast space is. We are paying close attention to the fine balance between delivering the true experience of vast space and keeping gameplay fun and engaging.
I'm glad to read this. However, from what I've seen of the in-game stuff so far, it appears that planets and solar system distances will used compressed scales. Considering how fast impulse and warp are, I don't see any reason why distances and planetary size shouldn't be completely to scale relative to the ships. If connection speed is an issue, I can understand that.

In that case, there is a way around the problem. The draw distance could be limited, and a visual scaling effect could be used, so you cannot, for instance, see Mars from Earth, just what looks like a red star. As you get closer to Mars, Earth appears to shrink away completely, and then simply isn't drawn once it appears small enough, that way you can't see the ships around the planet at distance either.

For an example of a galaxy, with stars, and planets, that uses real scale, check out the program Celestia.
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We have been working on that recently, and we are in the process of defining ship scale and size ratios. Most of the time it is not a problem. But there are a few exceptionally small ships, such as shuttlecrafts, that become problematic. At true scale, they become nearly unperceivable when you are flying a ship the size of a Galaxy class, and that's simply not fun.
There are at least two ways around this that don't involve making the smallest ships larger than they should be. The first method is already being used in the game, the light trails ships use make ships visible at very long distances. When too far away even for that to be useful, I suggest putting brackets around the ship to mark off where they are. A second type of bracket would be used for when you're actually targeting the ship, with various other brackets or text showing hits and damage levels. Or, just give the light trails enough levels of detail that you can clearly see the trails for smaller ships at maximum visual distance.

It might be nice if your crew could say those damage levels of the other ship when their state changes, instead of only displaying those levels.