Ask Cryptic (October 27, 2008)
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Join Date: Dec 2007
10-29-2008, 12:45 AM
I'm glad ships control will not be point and click.
Originally Posted by
How will melee weapons be used in the game, if Klingons have them will the Federation have access to the same weapons or their own?
Klingons will be more melee-oriented, but both factions will have access to hand-to-hand attacks using either martial arts or weapons. Our plan is to allow all of the melee weapons to be available to both factions, but it may be more difficult for a Federation character to obtain a bat’leth or a Klingon Empire character to acquire a lirpa.
Your skills will determine how effective you are with melee weapons – a Federation character may be able to pick up a bat’leth and use it, but without training he or she will be less effective than a Klingon who has studied the use of the weapon. And certain martial arts may be limited by faction or race – not everyone can perform a Vulcan nerve pinch.
This concerns me most out of the entire interview, because it can easily be handled very badly and because it can end up as a pretty awesome feature if handled just right. Hand to hand combat is certainly a big part of Star Trek, but only in certain situations, they're either forced, ceremonial, or some situations that's 'just right'. The Klingons try to force melee combat but even they generally know when a gun is the better choice, and opt for a bat'leth mostly for when combat is going to be extremely close quarters.
If I'm not mistaken, in TOS, many, if not all, of the situations where hand to hand fighting is used revolve around the crew's weapons being taken away by a higher power, be that a stronger group, or a godlike being. This results in Kirk having to steal a weapon or use his fists if no weapons are around.
Then you have various ceremonial challenges where only bladed weapons are used. Kirk versus Spock immediately comes to mind, in counter to that to some extent, is Captain Archer on Vulcan, when he enters the desert where technology can't be used, thanks to a natural phenomena, Vulcans chase him with a lirpa of a more sane size, also indicating that the mating ritual lirpa is a purely ritual weapon.
For the Klingons, when General Martok was revealed to be a changeling, not a single Klingon ran at it with a bladed weapon. After a second's hesitation to comprehend what was happening, every Klingon in the room with a clear shot fired their disruptors at the changeling.
When Klingons boarded DS9, they transported in in groups of about five, and only one out of five had a bat'leth, some might have had a
. In this situation it made some sense because there was a good chance of being transported in right next to an enemy, where a bladed weapon could be quite effective. However, the majority of combat was still at range. Many of the fights did break down to hand to hand, after a while, because of the chaos of the randomly space transports in.
Melee combat can be forced, but it needs to be forced in a way that makes sense. Secondly, melee combat can happen without being forced by the plot, even with ranged weapons around. The danger is in getting over eager for melee combat and designing the ground combat system so melee combat is a frequent occurrence, the worse thing that can be done is to make melee equal to ranged combat.
My point is, in the normal course of ground combat, melee should be rare. What melee is going to be useful for is the situations where you find yourself unarmed, or ambushed at extremely close range. It can definitely be a life saver, otherwise soldiers today wouldn't learn grappling and get a combat knife. A knife doesn't run out of ammo and unarmed fighting skill is always immediately at hand.
As for weapons, as part of Starfleet, you should be able to get a combat knife if you want one. You should also be able to use your phaser rifle, if you have one, as a blunt melee weapon. Lastly, every group should have some sort of unarmed fighting style. One thing to consider is how phasers have been focused to a knife like blade, Riker's transporter clone did it with his phaser to carve art from stone; anyone with a phaser could have a handy bayonet or knife just by pressing a button to automatically make those adjustments on a Type II or Type III phaser. For a bayonet this would be pretty good, but it wouldn't replace a combat knife, remember, knives don't run out of ammo, not that we've ever seen a phaser run out.
Also, I don't see why a starfleet officer wouldn't be able to get a bat'leth or any other Klingon bladed weapon, it's just a hunk of sharpened metal. Any replicator should be able to easily make a bat'leth or mek'leth. There should be replicator patterns on record for enthusiasts. There are also various Earthly swords. But I think that's getting silly, anything larger than a combat knife I think is silly for Starfleet personnel to carry. The real limit should be your rank, because if Indi taught us anything, don't get into a gun fight with a sword.