STOked Interviews dStahl
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Join Date: Dec 2007
03-07-2012, 10:32 AM
I think the overall interview went incredibly well. HOWEVER,II honestly believe that the overall thinking of your development cycle may be flawed. In the interview you referenced a D&D style of campaign editor. You toold us how it is difficult for you guys to weigh producing "campaigns" for one faction that has the majority of the playerbase, while seamingly ignoring the other faction and thereby alienating that playerbase. Everyone knows that the KDF side is completely lacking. We agree. Everyone knows that the strong lion share of players reside on the FED side. We agree.
Honestly, think larger scale. OK, now zoom out 100 times. What do you see?
What you should see is just another MMO. OK, so you look at it from a consumer point of view, because let's face it, what you're trying to do is get more actual consumers. Consumers = people who pay money for a product. They essentially write your paycheck and everyone else's paycheck in the studio.
1. It's Trek based.
2. It's ground combat AND space combat (with ships).
To pull from your "campaign" model that you spoke about in the interview, I'll reference a DM's point of view in a traditional D&D game. What a
DM does before the match is make their own maps, their own traps, their own plotline before the day arrives that his/her friends come over for the game. While in the game, the DM worries about the small things while the overall landscape is followed.
To pull that into a MMO point-of-view, you make the overall large system of how things work, then you let the players worry about the little things as they're playing your system.
To that end, I would like you guys to look heavily into the following thread by Alecto and contributed on by myself:
Starbases and you.
If you revamp sector space, it effects everyone (FED, KDF, newbie, and Veterans) alike. If you allow Fleets to have starbases and enable the PvP system for Fleets to vie for those Star bases and resources, then you effect everybody the same. Having everybody contribute the mainstay of their time and resources to Starbases and PvP, then they can interact with the existing plot-line at their leisure (or as they get into that sector of space). The majority of the game is already setup in this fashion. (DOFF missions and the plot-lines) are already tailored the sector of space that the user is in at the moment of play. If the PvP landscape followed this, then the world would be as comprehensive and interacting as possible. You would let the player make their own way in the Universe rather than telling them how they are going to play in their universe.
I'll admit that there are four hurdles that I can see from a technical stand-point that will require development.
1. Make sector space instance-less. If we're already at warp speed moving from system to system, how are we going to from Warp 20.00 or faster to a warp speed that's so fast that we instantly move to another quadrant of the galaxy? It doesn't make sense and doesn't provide for a finished product.
2. Make the Starbase system. Fortunately, Alecto has done a lionshare of the whiteboard for this already in his thread.
3. Make Sector space MUCH larger. I know that this will basically increase the load on the shards, but possibly by rearranging how they are setup you can change the load. Make systems or even instances of systems their own shard and sector space it's own shard. Sector space would only then be used for static placements of objects like planets or starbases and the movement to those objects by the players. The main load of the overall server would be on the PvP areas and the actual missions that players can play.
4. Make the PvP system tied into the existing "Enemy Contact" system that is live on Holodeck now. If you need an MMO that ties this in immaculately, look at Pirate of the Burning Sea for instance.
In closing, you've got mainly two types of players that currently play STO. The F2P guy who plays the game as casual as can be imagined or a lifetime subscriber who has been with the game since Beta and who has a lot of great ideas to see the game attract a larger player base and essentially would like to see you and everyone else in the Cryptic Studio make more money. The Foundry doesn't exactly allow for people to make entire systems of game play as it's tailored to mission maps and mission triggers. Could there be something like the contest of the Odyssey class to put down for you guys a clear vision for how the game (and community) will be best developed in the future?
Besides, if you have everybody worried about territory control and the development of their Fleet's StarBase, then you essentially free up your developer's time to fully flesh out the KDF side, fix bugs and loot tables, and make additional player-run factions (Romulans, Cardassians, BORG, etc...).