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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
03-03-2011, 06:09 PM
Ship breaking down and requiring parts for repair. <---- I like this game play idea.

Paying AT for repairs. <----- not as well liked.

I agree that a better ship damage system would be entertaining, engaging, and add another level of realism to the game. It would be a bit hard to implement due to how certain game mechanics are currently designed. I do agree that a 'limping home slowly' scenario could be refreshing addition. You could visit planets, talk with transports, be chased by enemy patrols/raiders, and fellow players might be able to help you out with parts/repairs. Many new game play features, but also possible annoyances if not implemented in a way that keeps things moving along.

I would see it as somethng like this.....

You fail a mission. Rather then your ship exploding as you are defeated maybe your helmsman/chief engineer pulls off an emergency warp out. Your flung safely from harm, but your hulls buckling, warp core is offline, EPS conduits are failing, sensors barely register, comms are breaking up, and you crew is mostly incapacitated. Time for the hard decisions. Your Science officer thinks he detects some raw dilithium in a nearby system, your Comm officer can hear transport chatter which suggests ships in impulse range, you Chief Engineer is repairing what he can but it will be a few hours (read 15 to 30 minutes real time), and your Medical officer is using any space he can find and any crew not critically injured to save what crew he can. You head to the plantary system for resources.

You arrive to find a Ferangi Mining Post. If you appear weak they will disable your ship, use or sell the crew as slaves, strip the ship for any value, and probably offer you to the local Orions far ransom. If you are to aggressive they might deny you trade, and then call the local Klingon Defense Force patrol to 'remove the Hewmon rabble'. If you do get a trade dialog how much are you willing to part with to get your warp core running again.

Afterward you learn that your Enginnering teams have restored minimal shields, weapons, sensors, and now Comms can send and receive transmissions. A transport is on sensors, and about 30 minutes out at maximum Impulse. Warp core is producing power, but you need EPS conduit, and one of the warp coils is beyond repair. With out it you can only run one nacelle, and that will not get you far as you barely limp to warp 1 or 2 if lucky. You hail the transport, and learn they are loaded with medical supplies, engineering parts, and can spare both due to a surplus. The downside is a KDF patrol has been hounding them, and will attack you if detected. You offer aid in return for the supplies. Three Birds of Prey decloak as you enter visual range of the transport. In your weakened state the BOPs are a decent threat, but your crew is confident, on the mend, and will defend the Federation transport from all threats. You fight and destroy one BOP, and then incoming ships are detected. It is a fellow player in a Cruiser! They received your mayday transmission and are ready to render aid. Together you defeat the other BOPs, and then do field repairs to allow for a trip back to Starbase for a full overhaul and refit.

Could this type of scenario be done? Probably. Now not every mission failure should offer this outcome. A few random options would be best. An escape pod mission would find you crash landing on a planet with some or all you BOFFs. It is an enemy planet, and you will need to evade capture while determining a path to escape. Maybe your ship is boarded, and you must fight off waves of enemy troops that want to enslave to crew, and take you ship to learn its secrets. Or the sad ending you ship explodes and you have to 'earn' a replacement while using one of you former star ships as a 'loaner'. Maybe even face a demotion for failing to maintaining the highest Star Fleet standards. Ships are expensive, and the Federation is not Daddy Warbucks.

So, yes, I like the base idea, and think using existing game mechanics this could be done. Would it take time, investment, and need to be tested/balanced? Sure. Would the payoff be worth it? Absolutely. Maybe Crytic is already working on some ideas simular to this. They are wicked smart people, and I knw they keep me amazed at the ideas they present us with.