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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 408
02-12-2010, 01:54 AM
since mine are all hard stuff on the old post I did they are all long term ones:
hello before you ask I am nobody so don't take me too seriously, I simply have alot of gaming experience and kind of played every MMO game that ever came out, so I got some ideas well set.

now, my opinion on the game..
it is ok. honesly I have seen worse games at launch Lotro was pretty bad at launch, this one feels a bit... unfinished there and there, but if you are a casual gamer you don't notice as you don't go fast tru 45 levels in 2 days.. so far I'm level 10 and kicking, the quests have a decent variety, a few exploration quests there and there surprised me, but it shows that they are still.. drafty could be improved alot, and.. there's alot of room for improvement. the launch of lifetime subscription was a good move (I did make lifetime subscription of course) gives the dev team to.. try the game on the field having a decent income of money to keep it running for some time until it becomes an awesome game.

now let's analize the game mechanics..

ship combat:

it's pretty good reminds me the good old game starfleet command.. starfleet command 3 was pretty awesome space battles wise, I think could be improved alot more maybe to not make it overly complex at the first levels is ok like that.. having 4 shields to manage is pretty overwhelming for the hordes of 13 year old kids coming from WoW.. those must be always kept in consideration since they are a good 80% of the player base of MMO games. yet you must understand that 13 year old kids may be often immature, but they aren't stupid, I've seen 13 year old kids boast their skills at WoW.. skills they actually had for pvp. they are easy to appease, just feed them instant-gratification and they are happy, yet they won't be scared if the game gradually becomes more and more complex.
so my suggestion is, ADD ship hardpoints like in starfleet command 3, to position dynamic phaser arcs (so becomes more complex) and add subsystem targeting, engines warp core and so on, disable ships is an awesome thing to do, and missions often in star trek are about disabling ships rather than destroying ships.
for the rest ship fight is pretty good, ALOT less boring than eve that is a lock.. click... wait.
it has potential, improve it and becomes pure awesomeness.

Ground combat:

ok that one needs kinda alot of trimming, like this isn't overly strategic and can become pretty boring expecially since it's too fast and furious and gives less time for tactics.. I DO love tho the shield generators and the placeable turrets, and yeah the mines, those gives some strategy to the ground combat.. that needs to be revised a bit, maybe making it a bit more alike mass effect one, with the cover points to take cover. I do not have many suggestions here, as I have no idea of how you want to manage it yet, for now let's say it sorta works but won't last long, it needs some reworking.

Missions:

hmm alot of killing I see, phasers that vaporizes enemies, hmm now where in star trek I seen someone vaporized by a phaser?... once? twice maybe over 200 or so episodes? ok, talk can be boring, the talk witht he miners quest was ok the first time to do it, it broke down the usual shoot at things.. and it was rather boring the second and trird time I did it. you can't have everything.. it is hard to script an enticing game more because it doesn't really need scripting it needs a real WRITER like star trek episodes, or like a single player game with compelling storyline. for now, STO lacks a compelling storyline, but hey it can be STILL be fixed, don't worry just get a good writer and start to make up things, the quest where you gotta inspect the ferengi bar and end up making him phuke out where the klingons are was ok.. just.. it's the interface that didn't help pehaps a better looking interface, that is less hard to use, whithout blinking off then on every choiche you make would made talk to npcs better, you know, sort of like oblivion one, remember? also you could create a mini-game to convince npcs (like the old oblivion round one), to improve performance and a skill based on.. TALKING, I remember I did spend lots of hours in oblivion improving my skills of oratory to make missions with diplomacy instead of strenght of arms.
Also to increase the variety in missions I suggest to put in mini-games sort of like DDO did with the power stuff and like in star trek elite force and elite force 2, where you had to fix warp cores playing small logic games, to connect stuff, those were good and gave variety to missions. even if I suggest strongly against putting a timer on logic games (that can be very frustrating!) also I suggest to make missions like the good old deus ex style, (the 1 not the crappy 2) giving like 3 different options to solve it...

1) the tactical way aka shooting everything down, whych is what we actually use now
2) the engineering way: open doors with mini games of logic, and stuff like that
3) the diplomatic way with the skills of talking

of course these 3 can be pretty much mixed as you feel like to, like you want first assault, kill all the klingons then for the second part take down security systems and sneak past the guards and finally convince the final enemy to surrender.. you can or sneak, kill and kill or whathever else.. I know it's ALOT of work, but really, it is what it is needed to make an ok game an AWESOME game.

also, I suggest to force your developers to watch all the star trek series from the original ones, TNG, DS7 and Voyager to make sure they get a.. feel of what it should be like, I know it's cruel (nah not really) but it should be done, it can give TONS and I really mean TONS of ideas to add to the game, for example something you might have overlooked:

Most star trek episodes are inside the ship itself.

funny ain't it? because star trek isn't only a trek outside but also a trek inside, a ship is like a human, and the journey is inside yourself and not only outside, infact gene rondeberry thought of kirk, spock and bones as representation of the Self, the super self and the ES theorized by freud.
tecnicials apart, I suggest to expand the bridge to the whole ship, even 3-4 kinds of pre-rendered ships are ok, and PUT quests inside the ship itself, you can assign to the tactical officers several kind of traits (like coward, bold, and so on) to give them pre-scripted ways to react and create quests about it, quests that if are completed can lead to a change of trait of the officer (dunno coward can give a bonus in defense, but a penality to attack, bold the contrary), so you could trim furtherly your officers, interacting with them. for coward-bold is easy, other traits might include the fact your officer is married, and invites you to a dinner to meet his family in his quarters and there can be several speech options to interact-change his views... and maybe when you are there BAM! ship under attack! one hull breach and you got to make your way manually to the bridge fighting a boarding party along your officer (and when you do, you jump in a fight, moving your ships as usual...)
these are just examples, I can make like 10000 more...and no I'm not kidding about it.

just a suggestion to ease your work a little.... here is another thing that is missing, but that should be implemented..:
THE HOLODECKS
many episodes of the series are played in the holodecks.. yes I'm not kidding, when jordy la forge misspells and asks the computer to create a moriarty that could compete with DATA, instead of HOLMES the computer makes a moriarty that takes self coscience and even puts in danger the enterprise! now that's a very awesome episode.. all played in the holodeck basically..
still that's alot of scripting, it hurts, yeah but here's a suggestion a dangerous one and MAYBE one hard to implement but still a suggestion that can be smart if you play it out well:
Give players a holodeck program creation kit.
most probably it will be hard to use, since there will be some scripting there, but you can streamline commands and make macros to make the use easyer, also there will be some players bound to make really great things, and I mean REALLY great, I've seen players making whole episodes of neverwinter nights, some even better than the game, and alot more nifty things, then let the saved holodeck thing be able to being ran, or ran-modified, and allow players to make copies of the "run-modify" chips of holodecks, so the makers can sell over the market their own holodeck programs.
this will save you TONS of scripting, since you can actually use player-made adventures for your holodecks or even for real adventures, giving maybe a little credit to the players who made them
that would make holodeck programs sellable on the AH for big sums of energy credits.
of course you should award xp (less than actual mission ones of course and NO starfleet merits at all) for holodeck programs since well.. you do actually actually fight and learn things, maybe less since there are safety measures but, still something to be gained in holodecks there must be (no loot for example!) both in xp and completition.
Also, you can reward with starfleet merits succeful holodeck programs. or "creationist badges" with other kind of rewards... who knows that's still to be decided.
Also you can make a few holographic programs yourself, creating adventures around them inside and outside the holodeck and on the ship.