Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
I've been thinking about this topic since episode 3 of the series. Overall, I must go on record stating I truly loved and enjoyed the series. The writing in this series truly reinforced my personal belief that Stahl's leadership & Gozer's writing will re-invigorate the game, and bring in new players.

The voice acting was fantastic! The actor playing Obisek really nailed the part, and brought a new level of believability to the character. The Delta Flyer was a great addition to my fleet, and i can hardly wait for shuttle-bays. I feel that once again, you guys really demonstrated that you know how to write for a Ferengi characther (Madran).

This series provided an experience i want to share with you. During the episode "Frozen" you provided me a choice that not only immersed me in the game and the universe you have created, but at the same time it forced me to break my immersion in the game and debate a personal decision in real life. You brought to life an experience that taught me something about myself, and the way I deal with certain situations in real life.

The experience was during the mission "Frozen", and was setup by the briefing with Admiral T'nae. Perhaps i read too much into it, but her directly referencing the prime directive gave me the expectation that there would be a decision that would have repercussions for my Captain.

The decision on weather to side with or try to arrest Obisek was one of the best experiences I've had in a game or in a discussion with friends in the real world. I thank you for that, but I also feel that i have to comment on this experience. I hope you will take this as constructive criticism. This is a topic I feel the need to point out, because this series for me is among the best you have created for this game.

First, I feel the need to explain that i play primarily a federation character, and i am mostly a 1-toon player. Although i played the story as a Klingon, I enjoyed the federation side more. As a Federation Caption, the choice to arrest or side with Obisek was a decision which reflects on how much I (or my toon) was willing to abide by the prime directive, regardless of the outcome.

I personally had to stop playing at this decision, because I COULD NOT continue until i had answered the question you raised. I discussed this question with 3 other friends, one of whom i called up to discuss the implications and implementation of the prime directive, (he's a trek fanatic). In discussing this with one of my friends, I compared it to the arms race we face in the real world. The setup to this decision was almost perfectly executed, for me the writing was on par with the best from the tv series and movies - I cannot state that enough.

Your failure was that you did not make that choice meaningful in any way, shape or form for the player. It highlights a huge opportunity you missed. For me, this was your (the writers), single-biggest shortcoming in the entire series.

No matter what decision you make, you are told the same thing by Admiral T'nae, the next mission begins with you being contacted by Obisek, and proceeding according to script. If you side with Obisek, the story "forgets" that you just made a decision that may have violated the Prime Directive. If you try to arrest Obisek, he still contacts you for the next mission. This is just bad plotting by the writers. You setup a situation and imply that your decision may have to factor in Starfleet's Prime Directive, then fail to make the results of the player's decision meaningful or have any impact on the character.

At the very least, you could have received a reprimand on your record, (told to you by Admiral T'nae), at the conclusion of the mission. Another alternative would have been to have a different beginning to the next episode if you did not side with Obisek. For example, you are sent to the star system to investigate a sudden spike in Thalaron radiation readings from the system (a result of the ship jettisoning the weapons). At the start of the next mission, if you tried to arrest Obisek, there is really no reason for him to try to contact you at that point in time. He may be desperate, but up until this point, he is portrayed as intelligent and calculating. To contact us directly so soon seems like a bad tactical decision.

This series was among the best you have written for the game, and I loved it. However, I strongly feel that to not make that decision meaningful is a display of bad or inconsistent writing at best. I understand that you have deadlines and requirements, and that you guys at times do not get the recognition you deserve from players and forum posters. I love the game and the universe you've created, so I am not comfortable letting something this important to me pass without putting in my input on the topic. I have some other minor thoughts that i may post later, but i really needed to post this topic in hopes that you will read it and create an even more immersive and engaging experience in the future.

Live long and prospe,
G
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
03-21-2011, 08:02 PM
Decided to post a few other thoughts and ideas about the series. Once again, overall this was one of the best series in the game, and I enjoyed it immensely. The writer's really stepped up to the plate, and hit one to the far wall, but not quite out of the park. :p

I'll break this down into specific episodes:
  • Mine enemy - The Horta pet may have had more player impact if you received it only after seeing the Horta in game. I read several board postings about the Horta, and this choice might have given the community something to discuss for at least 2-3 minutes on the board, and greater immersion in the universe.
  • Mine enemy - The Romulan asking about his brother quest-line was never resolved. It seems like everyone just forgot that he was there asking for help in locating his brother. It also seems like there was no way to get the prisoners out of the mine, they either died fighting, or in the cave-in.... (at least in my play-through).
  • Mine enemy - The diplomatic requirement in the encounter with Commander Janek just seemed wrong to me, especially if you are playing a federation captain. i feel that the encounter would have had more impact if say a player at Consul level selected the diplomatic option, only to have Janek reply by opening fire. For us not to try diplomacy at all with a character who was just shown to be (somewhat) sympathetic to the people of the planet/empire in the cut-scene leading up to the confrontation seems like an oversight. What is she trying to convey here: "I feel that what I am doing is wrong, and disagree with my captain, but will fight to the death to save the man who may kill me or start a war tomorrow - unless I face someone who is an Ambassador, - I'll talk to an Ambassador".
  • Cutting the Cord - isn't there a regulation that states that the captain can not beam down into a hostile or potentially life-threatening situation unaccompanied? the episode was great overall, but i just seem to remember several discussions between Picard and Riker about this topic...

General Thoughts:
  • During episode progression, why not have various officers on star-base 39 & star-base 1 discussing the possibilities of our actions during the series. We could have had a Romulan emissary in Admiral T'nae's Office on Starbase 39, while a Reman refugee was in the lobby asking for help (collector side-quest), various officers discussing their feelings on the Romulan\Reman race as a whole (think about the discussion Kirk and Spock had near the end of the 6th movie). The stadium on Starbase 1 could have been filled with personnel calling for a vote on the topic or discussing pros/cons of federation involvement (others could point out that Romulan involvement turned the tide of the Dominion War.
  • Reman officer - the federation has no peace treaty with the Romulans or Remans, so how do we explain the presence of an enlisted Reman (or Breen for that matter), officer to Starfleet command?
  • also on the Reman officer, what if this was given at the end of the episode chain when you return to the vault, and been a personal request from Obisek? Just having him appear on the bridge seems a little....strange to me, (but then again, so did the Breen officer).
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
03-22-2011, 04:34 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by grendell View Post
  • Cutting the Cord - isn't there a regulation that states that the captain can not beam down into a hostile or potentially life-threatening situation unaccompanied? the episode was great overall, but i just seem to remember several discussions between Picard and Riker about this topic...
Actually, the comments at the start of the episode (regarding the senior staff being scattered over the planet) suggest that you did try to beam down accompanied, but this failed.

Also - re the OP, the problem with decisions having an effect between missions is, what if you replay the mission, and make the other choice? Do you go with the most recent decision, or the original decision, when playing the next episode?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
03-22-2011, 12:37 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by JimGamma View Post
Actually, the comments at the start of the episode (regarding the senior staff being scattered over the planet) suggest that you did try to beam down accompanied, but this failed.

Also - re the OP, the problem with decisions having an effect between missions is, what if you replay the mission, and make the other choice? Do you go with the most recent decision, or the original decision, when playing the next episode?
Not between missions, (per say), but at the end of them. I understand what you're getting at, but my viewpoint is "if a man just tried to arrest me for fighting for an ideal I believe in, why would i contact him directly a week later with nothing new to offer as proof". Proof of who's "right" or "wrong" isn't presented until near the end of the next episode, "coliseum". as for which choice to go with (for permanent records), Why not just go with the first choice made.

However, the point on long-reaching choices is something that i feel deserves a topic of it's own, and I'm working on a well thought-out and researched posting. After a little more research, I hope to post my thoughts on that....hope you will give that post a read, (when it's done).
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