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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
05-17-2010, 11:46 AM
This is Star Trek, realism is not a priority. Space combat paradigm is supposed to feel like ocean warships slowly turning to pound each other, not jet fighters circling in a dog fight. It's not realistic, but neither are ships that look like Star Trek ships. True 6-degree-of-freedom space flight would not feel like Star Trek. Current space combat does feel like Star Trek, with its silly always-upright ships.

However, making the game fun is as important as following the canon. But even here full three-dimensional space flight isn't needed. Early play tests showed that 3D flight was difficult for some (presumably new-to-gaming) players. The devs have made a strategic decision to keep this game easy to access for non-gamers. More players mean more game development, so this is a good thing.

And the z-axis limitations add tactical variety to combat. Limited degrees of motion mean position is more important, because you can't always get from one location/orientation to another. This makes positioning tactics more interesting. For example, slow cruisers with wide-angle beam arrays can try to get an advantage over nimble escorts with narrow weapon arcs. If we had full motion, escorts would always have a position advantage over slower vessels. Limited motion means players have to make tactical choices. This is a good thing.

I do think there's room for actual 3D space combat, but I think it should be reserved for player-controlled fighters, shuttles, etc.