Ask Cryptic: September 2012
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Join Date: Aug 2012
09-21-2012, 12:39 PM
Sort of a quick reply - huge thread! So, sorry if it duplicates other suggestions.
I'd like to see more sandbox or higher-level (ie, bird's eye view) gameplay. Certainly, there's a war going on, and at least two factions. While I'm not exactly thinking a MMO version of Civilization or Alpha Centauri, some of the ideas present in those games would be interesting.
Ways for players to compete with each other, but not directly. For instance, having some way for different players/playstyles to engage in their interests to give buffs to their faction, or strip buffs from the other side. For instance:
Players can commit resources towards developing new weapons or defenses of some kind. Once they achieve a goal, they get an appropriate, temporary buff. Other players can develop a direct counter to the buff, speed up the decay of the buff (essentially, hastening the return of status quo), or work on a strength somewhere else. Ideally, there should be multiple factions/groups the players can work with.
Certain goals/activities can contribute to the influence of a faction within the game. As a result, the more influential your particular faction is, the more benefits you get (or at least bragging rights). Naturally, influence should die off with time, thus needs to be maintained (ie, scoreboard reset).
Players can go around, doing missions, DOFFs, etc., to try and spread the influence of their faction(s), and a map showing how much influence they're exerting on the areas. Not only on a star chart, but in various areas corresponding with the different DOFF mission types (diplomacy, trade, research, development, etc). Sort of like a cultural or economic win versus military...
Stock market. You could even tie it into Champions if you're clever. "And how is Evil Inc. doing today?" "Not good..."
A developed Espionage system.
PVP as Sport.
This would be an additional PVP format, rather than a replacement. Entering a PVP Sport event puts everyone on the same level with scaling weapons set to the match's level, so even a lowly Miranda would be firing weapons of the same power as a Caitian Atrox (albeit far fewer of them). In theory, anyways, by leveling out the equipment/stats, players would rely more on their skill, usage of Bridge Officer skills, teamwork, etc. Leaderboards would need to be established, and really, presented in a sport-like format (teams, leagues, etc). Having an energy-credit, latinum, or dilithium buy-in would provide a pool for winnings matches, tournaments, etc., as well.
As much as I like the whole Defara Borg ground action, it still feels too MMO-ish rather than alive. An old game by Richard Garriott had these fantastic group activities where you laid siege to a building/location held by PVE enemies, and so long as you held it, you'd have control of its resources. Another game I've played has those locations serving specific functions, and serving as necessary, strategic assets (PVP activity).
If the same Borg ground action had similar attack, hold/defend to gain benefits (or more appropriately, access to missions, respawn points, etc), that'd be great and far more interesting. As is, I stopped playing because my friends would only hole up in a location and efficiently/boringly grind/farm Borg. There was no real loss or risk! As such, well, I never bothered going there anymore because its dull and undynamic
Giving us things to win and gain is great, but its not as interesting as having the give/take, risk/reward dynamic I've seen in other games/situations. Working to get it and keep it is pretty awesome, IMO, and more so than XP/loot pinatas.
Instead of trying to start off with top-to-bottom new factions and content, why not start with them, creating a seed to start with? Offer the race, some ships, some new content (preferably tied into systems mentioned above), and let them grow with time. There's a lot of common ground for all races to play with already, so give them sandbox goals/desires based on their wants as a people. Romulans might well focus on colonization. Cardassians on espionage. Vulcans on science. Ferengi on trade. Bajorans on spirituality. And, be sure for every race they're countered by at least one other, goal wise.
Stories can be added over time, definitely, but the right set of systems in place, coupled with their motivations, will give a great groundwork for future building. And, honestly, players will burn through stories FAR faster than they will a good, interesting, dynamic system.
Uhm... that's it for now :p
tracking on Thursdays:
Buying Zen with Energy Credits
Upgrading Duty Officers without Dilithium.
Q&A Presents: Maui Online! My friends' radioshow/podcast
Computers, with occasional forays into astronomy.
Last edited by chikahiro; 09-21-2012 at