Combat: less is more
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Join Date: Dec 2007
04-24-2011, 06:34 AM
I think the amount of enemies and the challenge they pose should be fitting the story. Realism was thrown overboard by Cryptic itself, when they decided that almost 100% of even the earliest battles involve battleships from the other side which - through divine intervention? - you slay with impunity.
The songs they must still sing about the battles of my first Bird of Prey, probably manufactured from empty blood wine barrels against Typhoon battleships...
Good player made missions should correct this. This does not necessarily mean they have to spawn few enemies.
Three short examples:
1. There was a mission out there for the KDF were you supposedly invade Ferenginar. Ferenginar is defended by three smallish groups of ships (even on MG level...) which you of course kill quickly to move on. I'd assume there would be hundreds of ships and more warping in. Solution would be: Spawn these hundreds of ships. Introduce an element into the story, that your Intel found a major hole in their defense grids. The player(s) act as advance scouts, to get through to the planet. IF they get tangled up in combat they SHOULD lose. I know at least one mission that introduces optional impossible side missions, based on your decisions. Attack that Klingon fleet alone despite all warnings? Fine, die.
2. In one of my own missions, you first have to sabotage a defense station that'd otherwise blow your ships to pieces. You then give a signal to your own fleet, which warps in and relatively quickly, with your help of course, gets rid of the enemy spaceships. (How quick really depends on your level) The story states this is an surprise attack on an enemy that is weaker to begin with. Swift punishment. That's what you get. With the ground battles I gave the players the chance to either do it alone or warp in reinforcements at certain points.
3. Lastly there are missions were you just kill hundreds of enemies. I don't even mean grind missions, but story-driven missions. Is there an accolade for the player called "Cramped Claw"? Which is what I get after a while there, hitting space over and over again. e.g. it IS fun to see my BIG Klingon cruiser or the carrier kill off federation frigates in the dozens. Point well made: I own them. Now, two groups of frigates are enough to prove that point. Do I really need to defeat 11(!) frigate groups, just to enter a training facility at the end of the world? Is it then really protected by the dozens of security officers? Is it so hard to build in ways to evade them? All I want is to get out a prisoner, my mission states...
In short: Scale wisely for a good story mission. Make it appropriate to mission. If it feels more "realistic", it feels more Trek.