Focusing the Experience - Latest MMORPG Blog
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Join Date: Dec 2007
04-08-2009, 10:12 AM
Originally Posted by
Oh, let's. Let me wander back out of my happy place to break this down with you, me lad.
Here's how it works in the real world.
Multiplayer ship content will have to be focused. The main focus will have to be combat. Now you can leave hooks in for the ship's computer or assorted stations to relay data specific to a mission but the design will have to have a combat focus centrally simply because combat's where we see the most drama on the bridge.
The bridge is really the epicenter of action. There's not an episode of Star Trek: TNG, which really is the core of the whole concept, where the crew isn't on the bridge together. Even Geordi will wander up on a turbo lift to man an engineering station on the bridge during alerts.
The problem is there are several episodes where the WHOLE crew is not on the bridge or even a part of the story. So someone (even if you limit this to members of the bridge crew) will be left out of the game play some of the time.
So the bridge should be the main focus of the design. Other elements can come later as the developers figure out how to make them "functional" (which is the plan now, evidently), be used primarily as mission locations (as they are now) or just be for entertainment purposes (like Ten Forward, the Captain's Ready Room or the Observation Lounge but potentially including Sick Bay and Engineering and The Holodeck as important locales players might like to visit for their own reasons).
So this paragraph here is tantamount to saying - "They can do it, I don't know how, but they can". You've offered nothing.
Now, the correct approach is to look at this combat bridge in the middle of a battle and ask yourself what should the players be doing?
Well, what do bridge crew do during the show? They focus on knowing things relating to their roles and relaying that information to a captain that's acting as a human CPU.
This will require some new approaches but not alien ones to veteran gamers. The key is restricting information flow. No external views, yes I'm serious (and the dramatic potency of this approach is made clear in many
), and the captain should be dependent on the intelligence about his own ship and the tactical situation his officers relay to him.
The fun thing about being Worf is that you know when you press buttons X, Y and Z that you've done something. Because of Woft's years at Starfleet Academy and his years of on the job training he has a keen knowledge of what he does. Of course Worf lives in a fictional universe and when Micheal Dorn presses buttons X, Y and Z nothing really happens he's acting the script moves the story along not his actions.
Relaying scripted information (because it is a game and unfortunately games do not have infinite resources or interactions, even the best games have a limited number of interactions) is not game play. It isn't even really RPing.
And now we have the key word (in red)
an MMORPG is not a sim and never the twain shall meet. [/quote]