Focusing the Experience - Latest MMORPG Blog
View Single Post
Join Date: Dec 2007
04-07-2009, 09:49 PM
Originally Posted by
Yet still the "Who wants to stand in a transporter room all day with nothing to do 99% of the time?" straw man remains popular.
You're not alone in lamenting that, Powers.
It's unfortunate. That kind of dismissive comment makes it hard to discuss the pros and cons of this important gameplay feature in a friendly and constructive way.
The best that can be done, I think, is to simply ignore those who aren't willing to exchange viewpoints in a respectful way (even in disagreement), and to reserve one's time and intellectual effort for responding to folks like Varrangian who are at least willing to deal in objective commentary.
Regarding which, there is that other popular line of defense, the argument that "if you cannot present a complete design document describing how to implement this feature in a way that every player would find enjoyable, you are not permitted to claim that such a feature is even possible."
The problem with that argument is that, while it might be true, if we enforced it evenhandedly on everyone here there'd be about three threads on the whole forum, and none of them would be longer than a couple of posts. Written by developers.
But let's consider it for a moment. It seems to be that there's an unspoken assumption being made by many of us that needs to be exposed: How long do you think you will be traveling in space with no active mission or immediate goal?
I get the feeling that many on the anti-player crew side believe that this "free time" could be extensive -- on the order of hours, perhaps -- while those who favor player crews appear to be assuming that there'll almost always be some specific goal in front of players and that free-flight will never last more than a few minutes at most.
If that feeling is correct, it could explain a lot of the rational disagreement on this subject. If there's a lot of time where we're flying around and nothing is happening, then it makes perfect sense that player bridge officers might get bored, that they might have nothing interesting to do. Even if we said there could be division-specific ship-based minigames, how long would those remain fun? It really is tough to imagine there being enough individual player bridge officer content to keep the game fresh for hours at a stretch.
OTOH, if the amount of free time is considerably less than that, if the most time we'd ever spend just getting from one place to another with nothing specific to focus on as a team of players on one ship is no more than a few minutes, then I wonder if the player crew concept suddenly looks more reasonable. If there's ever only a little time when players on one ship don't have some specific piece of gameplay content to concentrate on as a team -- in other words, if the game is designed so that players together on one ship are almost always running an episode or mission -- then doesn't letting friends who want to play together in specific roles on one ship seem more feasible? Maybe even practical? Maybe even... fun?
If folks still interested in this topic would like to comment on how much time they're assuming we'll spend in ships with nothing specific to do as a group, that might be informative.
Anyone williing to explore this possibility?