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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2893
03-09-2012, 08:39 PM
Short Term
1. Once I have a particular DOFF, I should not be able to have another of the exact same one. Yesterday I completed a recruitment assignment that landed me with another DOFF of the same name, traits, and skills as one I already had. Theoretically, there is only one John Doe in the universe. Unless we're talking Mirror Universe, in which case, give the DOFF some sort of cool skill or trait only available to Mirror DOFFs.

2. Speaking of DOFFs, watching them mill about on the ship is not at all interesting. More often than not, when I'm running around my ship, they're all in the corridors. Just walking. It's strange. They should be doing stuff. Whether it's hanging out in the Mess Hall, chatting with other DOFFs, or working on something somewhere. Also, the ones that you have specifically assigned to active duty should appear in a corresponding section of the ship, doing that job.

3. Smarter BOFFs. This goes hand-in-hand with the idea of smarter NPC enemies. A lot of the time when I get into ground battles, the bad guys will run up to me and start whacking me with their hand-held weapon and then my TAC guy throws a grenade at me to blow the enemy up. I'm just asking for my BOFFs to not blow me up.

Medium Term
1. Better starship motion controls. This is a fundamental philosophy thing of Star Trek. Because the system that Roddenberry invented is based on NAVAL vessels, there's never been a 3-D interpretation of space. And while it is canon to have ships that only respond on a 2.5-D spectrum, it's not realistic. The reality is that these are FLYING MACHINES, which means they have four control centers: power, pitch, yaw, and roll. The game could stand improving the pitch ability and giving us the yaw ability.

2. Missions onboard my ship. This has been stated numerous times and should be repeated often but doesn't need to be re-explained.

3. More ship locations. More decks. More turbolifts to get around them. We have a bridge, ready room, mess hall, captain's quarters, sickbay, engineering, engineering lab, and transporter room; we're told that a shuttlebay is on its way. But there are plenty of other possibilities. Notably, conference rooms, holodecks, and cargo bays. But also science lab, medical lab, offices for department heads/first officer, officer's quarters, crew quarters, guest quarters, astrometrics, armory, deflector control, brig, strategic operations, and battle bridges on separating ships. Also, these locations should be functional and built in as usable locations in the shipboard missions and for ship upgrades. For instance, you can use astrometrics in a science quest to figure out how long you have before a star goes supernova or maybe in a tactical quest to figure out how you can best subvert enemy ship movements. Also, you use cargo bays to hold your stuff--each cargo bay has a certain number of slots that you can fill up and the more cargo bays you've got, the more stuff you can carry around with you. Or perhaps the number of officer's quarters directly correlates to the number of bridge officers you can have. You can pay to have more than what's standard for your current tier or you can pay to convert crew quarters or guest quarters into officer's quarters. The former would be more expensive with better BOFF options, while the latter would be less expensive with more common BOFFs.

Long Term
1. A better method of using ships. Rather than choosing something based on what kind of stats and buffs it has or how many BOFF stations in whichever class, the ship itself should be chosen based on what the player thinks is best looking or most exciting to fly. From there, there should be a pool of points that you automatically get when you receive the ship to choose what kind of ship you're going to be flying. For instance, every ship would start with the following: bridge, ready room, conference room, mess hall, sickbay, science lab, morgue, CMO's office, main engineering, engineering lab, Chief Engineer's office, 2 transporter rooms, shuttle bay, 2 cargo bays, holodeck, armory, astrometrics, deflector control, captain's quarters, 4 officers' quarters, crew and guest quarters (the number of which would depend on ship size), brig, security office, XO's office, and a battle bridge if it's a separating ship. THEN, you've got a certain number of things that you can upgrade to make the ship your own with the points you have available. Want to fly a tactical ship? Add more transporter rooms and armories or perhaps a strategic operations center like the one on ST: ENT. How about a science ship? Add on science labs for general research or particle physics. Flying a cruiser? Well, you get more cargo bays, increasing your capacity to carry stuff, and more room for people in the way of more crew quarters and/or diplomatic quarters, increasing your capacity of DOFFs or the number of DOFF missions you can be doing at a time or allowing certain shipboard missions to open involving the Ambassador from Trill. Want to play some hybrid? Choose what you like best and go with it. And as far as balancing this goes in terms of PvP, ship classes should be tiered (like they are) and only capable of sustaining a certain amount of upgrades. Much in the way that your PC is only able to allocate a capped number of skill points and you have to choose how best to do that based on how you want to play the game, you will only ever be able to spend a certain number of points on your ship. There should also be a bigger emphasis on upgrading ships at each rank rather than being given a new one. I plan on posting a larger post about this in a separate thread.

2. Character alignments, applying to both the PC and the BOFFs. I've been reading a lot of posts from others about wanting to be able to choose a diplomatic option or a combat option or a tech option to defeat an enemy. I think what this boils down to is applying an alignment system to the game that is fluid. Rather than choosing something at the beginning of the game that is not adaptable at any point during the game, the alignment of a character should evolve based on the choices you make in dealing with different missions. And it should not get into the place where diplomatic options are always Good, combat options are always Evil, and tech options are always Neutral. The options and their alignment bonuses should depend on what the PC species is, who you're up against, how complicated something is as a victory path, etc. From there, whatever your alignment starts to gear itself toward will determine things like technology or officer options you have for your ship, or DOFF missions, or even mainline story missions. Maybe you've got a BOFF who is Lawful Good and you start making choices that cause your alignment to change to Chaotic Neutral. The longer you spend making choices that push your alignment further away from your BOFF's, the more likely it is that he'll put in for transfer and you'll have to replace him (if he's Lawful or Good). If he's a Chaotic character or an Evil one, there's a growing likelihood that he'll stage a mutiny. This would be especially true if there are a number of BOFFs who share these traits. If your BOFFs successfully stage a mutiny, it triggers a shipboard mission that starts you and whichever BOFFs still support you in the brig. You'd then have to retake the ship and arrest (or execute if you're Klingon) the mutineers. A BOFF's class would also make a difference in the Transfer <----> Mutiny scale, with Science Officers being more likely to transfer, Tactical Officers being more likely to mutiny, and Engineers somewhere in the middle. At the end of the day, a transferring officer means you have to replace someone at tremendous cost in terms of BOFF points but you'd get a voucher for choosing a new BOFF from the recruitment desk. If you have a mutiny on your hands, you have to replace at least one BOFF, maybe more, under the same conditions but should also get some sort of loot out of it so that there's some sort of balance in terms of people choosing to staff BOFFs that do not correspond to their own alignment. Also as incentive should be specific abilities, traits, and missions that are only available to certain alignments.

3. This is another one that I plan on posting independently about. The ranking system needs an overhaul. I've played the game for around 10 days of game time now and have been a Vice Admiral for the last three. This was way too easy to achieve. In terms of how it would work in real life or even in terms of how it works in canon, it takes a long long time to make Captain and even longer to make Vice Admiral. Ranking up in game should be something that becomes exponentially more difficult to do in terms of the number of SP required and also in terms of the additional requirements. Again, there's going to more on this in another thread I'm posting, but the essentials are that there should be class-specific exercises that you have to complete in order to rank up, combined with new command-specific exercises that challenge you to make the kinds of decisions that only a Captain or an Admiral would have to make. Earlier portions of the game would be more reliant on the class-specific exercises, with the "Command School" getting introduced with one exercise in order to make Lieutenant Commander and then more and more as the game continues. The general path should include ranking as a Lieutenant Junior Grade and should go to Level 100. It should look like this: 0 = Ensign; 1-9 = Lt (Jr); 10-19 = LT; 20-34 = LC; 35-49 = COM; 50-69 = CPT; 70-84 = RALH/Commodore/Brigadier Gen; 85-99 = RAUH/Major Gen; 100 = VA/Lt Gen. Command missions become available at Level 15. You'll notice that the early ranks have less levels and that you would spend the most time in a single rank as a Captain. Also, if it takes you 1000 SP to level up as a Lt (Jr) and maybe even as LT, then it should take 2500 as a LC and COM, 6000 as a CPT, and 10,000 at each Admiral or General rank. These are not suggested numbers but rather suggested ratios. The other part of this overhaul would be that it's way too easy to do things that give you way too many SP. For instance, why should I get 848 SP for walking across ESD from the Admiral's office to the Shipyard and picking a new ship? There should not be a SP bonus for leveling up to the next rank. There's also a component in my full pitch for expanding the game in a way that allows more specialization of your PC in the form of Disciplines. See the full pitch for more on this, but essentially there would be a path for specializing in Space skills, Ground skills, and Command skills for each Class. Again, more on my complete suggestion for how to overhaul the ranking system in a separate thread.