Season “X” Idea Proposal – Implementing Persistent Faction Player vs. Player Territory Control and Resource Maps:
2409 and the War in the Alpha Quadrant:
A War typically exists between one or more Factions for a variety of reasons, be they ideological, territorial or resource driven. Within the Story and Plot/Time line of Star Trek Online there currently exists a War between Two Factions, Federation and the Klingon Empire. However, as the game currently stands the level of “immersion” and gaming experience into this conflict is often seen by many as tedious, especially on the side of the KDF.
The following document contains a proposal based on months of forum research, game-play experience and countless nights of analyzing collected data on the topic of Faction Control Maps. It has been put forth into an idea that attempts to revamp and further utilize the current Player vs. Player “Warfare” system in a way that adds “believability” dynamics to the game-play as well as several layers of immersing the player into a story line they themselves can participate in and help evolve a Game Resource Economy.
In this analysis I will be covering the following topics:
Current Resource PvP Status
Implementing a Faction Based Game Economy involving “Mining for Resource” and Persistent PvP Faction Territory Control Maps
Improving Game Dynamics
I propose 2 main interests involved with “Gathering Resources” in this analysis.
1) For use in Fleet Starbase Construction (using the foundry) and Starbase Maintenance (Power & Resource Consumption) via Daily Resource Gathering Missions.
2) Collected Resources could be used in crafting recipes for PURPLE Mk II - MK XII Ground and Space gear.
Combing these factors with additional content will help create extra layers of game play immersion, utilize current game development and require some game mechanics tweaking.
Current Resource PVP Status:
NPCs in both Factions offer a Player mission dubbed “Resource War Zone” PvP Maps. These maps are not queue based PvP Maps. They direct you to the Ker’rat System or Otha System in the Eta Eradani Sector Block, aka The Neutral Zone. Ker’rat System
Open Instance Space Map: Players enter the map at the SAME SPAWN point, regardless of Faction to fight against the Borg and each other for a loot drop. Loot is determined by who scores the most “points” on the map. Mission Reward is received in the manner of skill points, bridge officer points, (emblems at higher levels) and merit/honor for both Factions. Accolades are also tied into this particular map as well. The Map does not have a Level Auto-Balance when Players of Different Levels/Rank occupy the same Instance. Otha System
Open Instance Ground Map: Players enter the map at the DIFFERENT SPAWN point, depending on your Faction to fight against the Borg and each other for a loot drop. Loot is determined by who scores the most “points” on the map. Mission Reward is received in the manner of skill points, bridge officer points, (emblems at higher levels) and merit/honor for both Factions. Accolades are also tied into this particular map as well. The Map does not have a Level Auto-Balance when Players of Different Levels/Rank occupy the same Instance.
In it’s current state, the “War Zone Resource” Missions fail to meet the requirements of an ACTUAL Resource War. No supply lines are disrupted and the settings involved are out of place with the story line behind it. Furthermore, destroying Borg has nothing to do with the Federation vs. Klingon conflict other than being an inconvenient presence on the field of battle.
Persistent Faction Player vs. Player Territory Control and Resource Maps:
The following analysis would REPLACE the concept of the “so-called” Resource PVP Maps that we currently have in game.
[The graphic below is a summary overview of the topics I will be covering in this discussion.]
Giving Players more to do is something every MMO aspires to achieve. However, simply adding more content isn’t an easy task. With players having their own idea of what would improve the gaming experience, this analysis will start from the Player concept, and not a PvP concept. My research was based upon numerous categories that the majority of Players have commented on concerning game play improvement.
As you continue, you will find this system offers the Player a broader range of activity. As a whole it will benefit the STO community through participation, strategy, discussion and deeper immersion into the 2409 Story Line in a way that makes sense and was conceived with a logical approach.
Players in this concept will receive a variety of Passive Skill Bonuses. The three main forms in which players will gain passive skill bonuses are from their “Platform Terminals”, “Fleet Starbases” and Personal Accolades. I will be covering these bonuses in depth later on in the analysis.
Players will have a myriad of new Accolades to achieve. These Accolades will be rewarded through Crafting, PvP, and Faction based construction of “Mining Platforms”*, i.e. Terminal placements in “Resource Maps”*.
Collecting Resources (Daily) Missions
New Daily Missions will be available to the Player under this Analysis.
The Exchange in this analysis provides an option for Players to participate in the “Galactic Economy” and “Resource Warfare” by allowing them to bypass certain steps in the process. Players who prefer trading on the Exchange to “Crafting” or “Resource Daily Missions”* will be able to utilize the Exchange to find the goods they are looking for.
Collecting Data Samples
Players would gather Data Samples using the current model present in the game. These samples are required for Crafting “Terminal Recipes”, which are the main components needed to construct a “Mining Platform” for your Faction. **Note: This would require a KDF Crafting Menu AND SOME Method (Stolen, Raided, etc) of Gathering Data Samples to allow the Klingon Faction to Craft Items, since they do not have that option at this time. (One is in the works for Season 3)**
Terminal Recipes are broken up into 3 necessary components for Mining Platform Construction*: Power Nodes, Terminal Connectors and Modified Console Kit Recipes.
Power Nodes Recipes
Power Nodes are Not Class specific and are Not Mk level specific. Any Player may craft (depending on their crafting skill rank) and place a Power Nodes on Mining Platforms. These will be discussed in detail as we continue.
Terminal Connector Consoles
Terminal Connector Consoles are Not Class Specific, but ARE Mk level specific. The Mk level of the CC determines the overall Hit Points (Hull) and Shield Capacity of your Terminal. Combined with a Modified Console Kits, they are a key requirement for Terminal Console Construction.
Modified Console Kit Recipes
“MCKs” are class and Mk level specific items used in Terminal Construction*. When added to a Terminal Connector, the MCK determines what “Type” of Terminal you are constructing, as well as what abilities your Terminal will posses. Think of MCKs as “Boff Skills” you’d normally train your bridge officers, except these are being added to a stationary object via a crafted item.
**For a FULL list of ability possibilities for Modified Console Kit Recipes, please refer to the following links.
As you can see there are many different abilities that can be used to make MCK Recipes for your Terminal Consoles. This would provide a myriad of customization for individuals to set up and figure out what Terminal configurations work best to fit their play style. I will cover more on Terminal Consoles in the following sections.
**Please Note: Passive Player and Fleet skill bonuses are tied into the type of MCK you are making and its’ Mk level. Essentially, the better the Mk the MCK, the greater the passive bonuses you and your fleet mates receive from your terminal.
Data Samples can be bought or sold on the Exchange. This offers players a means of gathering the materials they need for crafting without having to resort to actively collecting the data samples themselves should they choose to take that route.
**In order for this analysis to proceed, keep in mind that the Klingon Faction would require the Crafting ability and necessary capabilities to implement the Crafting Skills. (Their own “Memory-Alpha”)
Terminals make up the basis for Resource Warfare. They are Crafted in the same manner as other crafted items currently in place in STO.
The Following Graphics depict how this system would look In Game.
Terminal Fabrication (Crafting):
When a Player has gathered the necessary components required for the recipes they are working on, the next step is crafting the components they will be using to build Mining Platforms. Federation Players will use Memory-Alpha, or their Fleet Starbases* (to be discussed later) to create their Terminal components. Klingon Players will use whatever means Cryptic provides for them in the upcoming patch(es) and also may utilize their Fleet Starbases under this proposed system.
Power Nodes/Generator (Universal – Non-Class Specific)(Non-level Specific)
Any Player Class may craft and Place Power Nodes on a Mining Platform. They act as the conduit through which your Terminal Consoles draw power.
Terminal Connector Consoles: (Universal – Non-Class Specific)(Mk II-XII)
Any Player Class may craft and Place Terminal Connector Consoles on a Mining Platform. They act as the basis for your Terminal Console through which you will give it purpose and function by adding the MCKs. One CC plus One MCK equals a Level 1 Terminal Console.
Mk II – Mk XII
The “Mk” level of the Connectors determines the Hit Points (Hull) and Shield Capacity of the Terminal Console. There are two types of CCs a Player may create; Defensive and Offensive. Defensive: Terminal Consoles of the Defensive variety receive a boost to their Shield strength. As such each Defensive CC, regardless of Mk level, receives a +25% Shield Capacity Bonus to their total Shield Capacity. Offensive: Terminal Consoles of the Offensive variety receive a boost to their Hull strength. As such each Offensive CC, regardless of Mk level, receives a +25% Hull Capacity Bonus to their total Hull Capacity.
Modified Console Kits (Class Specific)(MCKs)(Mk II-XII)
Mk II – Mk XII - – The “Mk” level of the “MCKs” determines the “Ability Level” of the Terminal Console. (Example – Installing a Mk II Science MCK that gives the Console the ability of Tachyon Beam I vs. Installing a Mk XII Science MCK that gives the Console the ability of Tachyon Beam III)
Engineering MCK: The Engineer Class is the only class allowed to utilize Engineering MCKs with their Terminal CCs.
Science MCK: The Science Class is the only class allowed to utilize Science MCKs with their Terminal CCs.
Tactical MCK: The Tactical Class is the only class allowed to utilize Tactical MCKs with their Terminal CCs.
These crafted items, once created, can then be sold or bought as trade commodities on the Exchange for players who do not wish to take the time/effort of gathering the supplies needed for the recipes and the crafting process. It allows them to bypass this and the previous step, yet still allows the player to participate in being able to acquire, own and place components necessary for Mining Platform Construction (Terminals).
Players would receive Accolades for crafting (X) amount of each of the components listed above. One Accolade per component, i.e. Power Generators, Terminal Connectors and Modified Console Kits (as well as the respective class specification)(A player may still craft Science MCKs even if they are a Tactical or Engineering Officer. Crafting Accolades shouldn’t be class specific)
Terminals are what make up a Mining Platform as mentioned earlier. Unlike many of the maps in STO where you find turrets that fire upon you in space, or on the ground, and are easy to destroy, Terminals can sustain a bit more damage. Their relative Hit Points and Shield Capacity should be equal to that of a Sub-Boss, even with a level 1 Terminal. Keeping in mind that Power Nodes are NOT level specific, they should be able to sustain MORE damage than the others, with HP and Shield Capacity equivalent to that of a Main Boss.
Terminal Power Node
A Power Node is a type of terminal used to transfer energy from a Mining Platform’s Power Generator* to the Consoles surrounding it. One Power Node supplies the necessary energy required to run three consoles, one of each TYPE. (Engi, Sci & Tac). When Activating a Level 1 Mining Platform, the First Power Node acts as the Mining Platform’s Power Generator. This becomes the center hub for the Mining Platform as subsequent Power Nodes and Consoles are added, increasing the Size, Level, and Resource Output of that Mining Platform. Please Note** If the Power Generator for a Mining Platform is destroyed the ENTIRE base is destroyed from a power surge, i.e. loose the Main Power Generator for a Mining Platform and all other Terminals go ka-boom. That being said, Power Nodes that ARE NOT the Power Generator for a Mining Platform and are destroyed, the 3 Consoles at that Terminal the Power Node is providing energy too will deactivate. That being said, Power Nodes have more Max Hit Points/Hull and Shield Capacity than your “average” Terminal Console.
**Note: ANY Player Class may install a Power Node to a Mining Platform, they are universal in nature, unlike the Terminal Consoles**
Terminal Consoles act as the Mining Platform’s primary means of defense from hostile incursion. They are autonomous constructs fabricated to guard the area in which they were built. Around each Power Node, 3 Terminals may be placed in a predetermined Game Designed location, to keep with conformity of the Layout Configuration of the Mining Platform. Terminals are Class based in their construction, meaning a Tactical Officer may only place Tactical Terminal Consoles and not any other. 1 Console of Each Class Type is permitted around 1 Power Node. This is to ensure game balance and creative co-operation. A Terminal is made up of two components; The Connector Console and the Modified Console Kit.
Connector Consoles (Any Mk II-XII)
CCs act as the power source for your Terminal and draws the power it needs for activation from its’ adjacent Power Node. It also determines the amount of Hit Points/Hull and Shield Capacity your Terminal will posses (The MK Level). Deciding to Place a Defensive or Offensive CC could affect the longevity of your Consoles in battle when matched against enemy forces as each receives a different bonus.
Defensive - +25% Shield Bonus to Terminal Console Shield Capacity
Offensive + 25% Hull Bonus to Terminal Console Hull Capacity
Modified Console Kits
MCKs are the “programming” of your Terminals to act upon on their abilities given to them. They are class-based items, which must follow a certain criteria on how and where you may place them. A Power Node may not have more than ONE of each Terminal Class Type that it provides energy too.
Class Type (Any Mk II-XII)
MK Level determines the strength of the ability of the MCK. For example: A Science Modified Console Kit Mk II – Ground – Sonic Pulse I vs. Science Modified Console Kit Mk XII – Ground – Sonic Pulse III.
Engineering Consoles – Provides Engineering abilities & skills to a Mining Platform Array and its allies.
Science Consoles - Provides Science abilities & skills to a Mining Platform Array and its allies.
Tactical Consoles - Provides Tactical skills & abilities to a Mining Platform Array and its allies.
Increasing a Terminal Console’s Level is achieved through “Upgrades”. Upgrading your Terminals is done through adding additional MCKs to your existing established Terminal. Your Player Rank determines the max level you may upgrade your Terminal (Max Level is 4).
Your Player Rank also determines the max limit to the number of Terminals you may have placed on a resource map(s) at any given time. (Max Limit is 3 Ground Terminals and 3 Space Terminals at Vice Admiral Rank)
A Vice Admiral/Lt General Player may have a maximum of (3) Level 4 Ground Terminals on whichever map they choose and (3) Level 4 Space Terminals on whichever map they choose.
The charts below exhibit the progression of your Terminal from Level 1 through Level 4, as well as the Rank Table for your Terminal Levels & Limits.
Player has established (100)* number of Terminal Power Nodes & Connector Consoles
Player has established (100)* number of Level One Terminal Consoles
Player has established (100)* number of Level Two Terminal Consoles
Player has established (100)* number of Level Three Terminal Consoles
Player has established (100)* number of Level Four Terminal Consoles
*These numbers are merely suggested for sake of argument.
**Repeat same if you want an Accolade for creating (1000)
PvP Resource Maps – Each PERSISTENT (no queues required) Resource Map should contain ONLY 1 INSTANCE. This will help prevent confusion and also keep the Math I have in place for this system simple and logical. (KISS – Keep it Simple Silly). That being said, the Player Cap on these maps should accommodate a sufficient amount of players from both sides (30/30 minimum, 60/60 would be epic if the server could handle that much going on at a time on ONE map instance) to be able to use the map at any given time. There are currently maps in the game that sustain large numbers of players (20 PvE & 10/10 Private PvP Maps) and NPC threat targets, such as “The Big Dig” and “Breaking the Planet” as well as space maps like “Patrolling for Klingons” *Not to be confused with the current “Resource PvP” Maps that are currently in game.
(10) Resource Maps are dedicated to half of the Galactic Resource Production in this analysis. These Maps would range in design and detail to include asteroid base installation maps and surface maps (some possibly containing Low G). Each map is dedicated to the production of 1 of the 10 Resource types. This makes up for a 50% total of all Resource production, and will be covered in further detail under the Faction section.
(10) Resource Maps are in turn dedicated to the other half of the Galactic Resource Production. These Maps would range in design and detail to include different Star Systems, Nebulas and Planetoids/Moons/or/Asteroids to tie into the Ground Maps). Each map is dedicated to the production of 1 of the 10 Resource types. This makes up for the other 50% of total Resource production.
**Please Note, Entering a Resource Map system, one would first enter the Space Resource Map, and then Travel to the location where the “beam down” trigger would pop up to access the Ground Resource Map. Each Star System mines the same Resource, i.e. Dilthium Space Map contains the location for the Dilithium Ground Map. Resources are not mixed up amongst the systems to keep a uniform and logical approach as to WHY the Factions would be interested in Mining that system in the first place**
Federation Allied Maps - These Resource Maps would have an NPC species that are allied with the Federation. For Example Andorian, Vulcan, Betazoid, Bajoran, Trill or another Alien Species have “claimed” these territories, and Klingon Forces are seen as the “invaders”. Federation Mining Platforms on these Maps receive an Output % Bonus, while Klingon Mining Platforms on these Maps receive an Output % Deduction.
Neutral Maps – Maps controlled by an NPC Alien Species with no alliance to one faction or the other and allow mining rights to both factions with NO Bonuses OR Deductions. This also includes “vacant” installation maps such as abandoned outposts & facilities.
Klingon Empire Allied Maps – These Resource Maps would have an NPC species that are allied with the KDF. For Example Nausican, Orion, Gorn or another Alien Species have “claimed” these territories, and Federation Forces are seen as the “invaders”. Klingon Mining Platforms on these Maps receive an Output % Bonus, while Federation Mining Platforms on these Maps receive an Output % Deduction.
Output Bonuses & Deductions:
Federation Allied Maps
Federation Mining Platforms receive a +10% Resource Output Bonus to their Total Combined Output; Klingon Mining Platforms receive a –10% Resource Output Deduction to their Total Combined Output.
Neutral Allied Maps
EACH Mining Platform receives a (+/-) 0% Resource Output Bonus/Deduction to their Total Combined Output.
Klingon Allied Maps
Klingon Mining Platforms receive a +10% Resource Output Bonus to their Total Combined Output; Federation Mining Platforms receive a –10% Resource Output Deduction to their Total Combined Output.
So let's examine the Resource Maps in "Delta Outpost 9 - Gallicite Mineral Resource Map...
Platform Battle Clock/Timer
The Battle Clock is a 24 Hour count down timer that begins when a new Level 1 Mining Platform is created. Within a 24 Hour period a Mining Platform will be susceptible to 4 “Windows of Attack” by the opposing Faction. Each “Attack Window” consists of a 90-minute interval in which time the Opposing Faction may lay assault upon the Mining Platform in an attempt to destroy it and lay claim to that Platform for their own Faction.
Claim Marker Timer & Counter-Attacks:
When a rival faction has destroyed a Mining Platform, that faction has a Count Down Timer in which to “Cap the Platform” they just destroyed. A Player from the conquering Faction must place a Power Node and create a Platform Power Generator in order for that Faction to claim the Platform and thus begin the Platform Battle Clock/Timer as mentioned above. IF the timer expires before the Platform is “capped”, the Platform returns to “Unclaimed” Status, and may be “Capped” by EITHER faction. This suggests a strategy of coming to a battle prepared to take it over and establishing your new base ASAP, since there is a small window of when you actually destroy a base before starting a new one that the defending Faction may launch a Counter-Attack.
During the time in which an attacking faction has just destroyed your platform, your faction may launch a counter-attack to stall them from “Capping the Platform” and expiring the Claim Marker-Timer. This would give your Faction an opportunity to “take back” your turf before the enemy has time to establish a new Base.
**Please Note: If a Platform is in “Unclaimed” Status, Factions may battle however long it takes for one to “Cap the Platform” and begin their Base and Platform Battle Clock/Timer**
Platform Grid Array Active:
The Period in between the Windows of Attack where the Main Power Generator of the Mining Platform Amps up Power Output to it’s surrounding Power Nodes and Terminals, making them invulnerable to Attack. Shield Strengths of the Terminals are boosted to a magnitude that conventional attacks are moot, and Resistances are increased as well to make debuffs on the Terminals “hard to stick”. This allows the Controlling Faction time to build up their Mining Platform’s defenses, size and resource output. KEEP IN MIND, that being a PvP area, Players may still attack other Players of the opposing Faction AT ANY GIVEN TIME. They cannot, however, destroy a Mining Platform until the “Attack Window” is open.
Mining Platform Layouts are predetermined by the Game Developers. In order for proper balance to this system, Players will not be able to just drop a terminal where they see fit. Instead, the progression of a Platform's Level will depend on how the Game Devs make the map.
A Mining Platform may NOT increase in Level size until all Terminal slots for the prior Level base are in use. When a power node contains three surrounding Terminal Consoles, You have created a Level 1 Base, and in turn unlocked the predetermined slots to begin your Level 2 base. These slots would flash like boxes on missions, consoles and other interactive triggers already in place in the game. For a better understanding, the following graphic shows the progression from Level 1 to a Level 4 Mining Platform.
Simply put, The Larger the Mining Platform, the Greater the Resource Output each faction claims from those Resource Maps. This will be explained in greater detail as we move into the Galactic Economy portion of this analysis.
I will be covering this section in detail in Section 9 - Factions & The Galactic Economy
They could even apply this sort of system on some new made space sectors (Delta Quadrant etc) where factions battle for control of resources.. This way would also allow multi-faction (Fed v KDF v ROM) in the future with some tweaking.