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Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 796
# 3
08-23-2012, 10:20 PM
#1 A Tactical view for the bridge has been suggested many... many... many times before. And the Devs have clearly said that in order to do anything of the sort, they would have to tear up their game engine from the ground up and redo the whole game.

Right now, their are two modes of gaming, Space and Ground. When you are in space, your avatar, or what you control and what represents you in the game is your starship. The game does not render little people on the bridge or the interior maps within there. As far as your computer is concerned... you ARE the ship. Your ground character is stored away and the portrait is used on your icon, but that is it. The rest is imagination.

And again, when you are on a ground map, whether on a spacestation, your bridge, or a Risan beach, your avatar is now your captain And like wise your ship no longer is rendered. As far as the game engine goes.. YOU are the captain, and nothing else. Even when you beam onto your bridge, your ship in space disappears.

I know that Bridge Commander did it, but that was a different game, a different STYLE of game, on a different engine. Cryptic was pressed for time when trying to make this project so they had to improvise. One such improvisation was using the Cryptic game engine they know, love, and most importantly, own already and have functioning in other games. They build from that foundation program up around it to make STO work. Maybe if they had the time from CBS to build a custom engine for STO, we could see something like Bridge Commander. But as of now.. not going to happen without the game being shut down for 6 months.

#2 Again, part of the reason for large interiors id because this is a game. And a third person game at that. Because of that, you have to account for the Avatar AND where your camera can go. In order to ensure that you can't fall through walls or end up peeking through them, cameras cannot go behind walls. Thus, in order to avoid having the camera approximately a meter from your butt, the rooms have to be a larger design to accommodation for this.

Also, Each of the Starship groups have access to different types of "standard" bridges. Escorts have smaller more compact bridges. Cruisers have grand, majestic, and open bridges. And Science vessel are inbetween. So there are generally bridges that fit each size of ship. However, you can fudge this with Zen bridge packs.

And as far as making more bridge packs, as of now, not worth their time. The devs have their hands full trying to blast out new content to us. Making new ships, new events, writing new missions, tweaking the game engine. Since the bridges are a social zone mostly that few people use, the amount of effort they put into making a bridge would not be worth how many people are going to see it/use it. If they were to remodel, say ESD, then EVERYONE would see it. That would be worth the artist time and manhours to make.

#3 If you are talking about the LCARS ship systems display on the back of the ship... there is nothing you can do about that short of having a dev draw every possible combination of ships, decks and configurations possible. Again, not worth the man hours to pull off

#4 This one was suggested not a week before you in some other thread. Again, I point you towards my first few paragraphs: Your Ship and your captain CANNOT coexist. When one is up, the other is stored away in the sever. The only way to do this would be to say "start mission." and then have you go to an interior map of a ship as the first thing. (not sure if there is any guarantee that it is the players chosen interior that is pulled up.) You dink around for a few objectives and when the objectives are done, you have a pop up saying "We're here, captain!" But it would in no way be a "wander around the ship and wiping consoles with a white rag" type stuff. You have to put in specific objects that must be finished in order to pull this off. So it might feel forced or out of character for some people.

And in all honest...all of this can be solved with a bit of imagination. In combat, I imagine shouting orders to my bridge officers. (I even have custom "attack patterns" that are based off my standard combat roll). I can see my officers, I have my communication bar, i can see the ships status, where the lower my health is the more sparks are flying out of consoles. I can hear the klaxons of the red alert, my phaser fire, feel the torpedo hits shaking my hull. My Engineer is on the conn screaming as my that he is "giving it all she's got!"

All of that happens on my ship, seeing the exact same screen that you are seeing. Imagination... such a powerful tool.