Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 11,103
# 1 STO's Story is Overrated.
12-23-2012, 08:44 PM
I know STO's story has always been referred to as one of it's strengths, but I believe in reality it's one of STO's weaknesses. Let me ask you one question:

"Out of all the myriad story based missions, be they the base story, FE's, or side missions like the New Romulus ones, how many of them do you actually remember in great detail?"

Who were the characters involved? What were their motivations? What did you have to do? Were there choices? What choices did you make? What was your motivation?

Personally, I remember three. Coliseum, What Lies Beneath, and Alpha are the only missions I can remember in great enough detail to answer all of those questions. There are about 81 story missions in STO. I can remember details about Voyager episodes I haven't seen since they aired. This is not a good sign.

I mean, sure, I can remember specific details, like the Klingon that helps you fight the Doomsday Device, or the super fun times had in the Cage of Fire or Night of the Comet. Though, to be honest the latter two are due to unintentional reasons. (You who joined after Season Six were spared. SPARED! THAT **** FENCE!!!)

Oddly enough, it's the Grindy, not story based content that's where the memorable things happen. Whether it's the time I was still learning how STF's worked and I was stuck in a really bad KAGE PUG and the group severely underestimated my DPS and I destroyed a Gate by myself wiping out the entire group and killing the whole match in the process. Or the first time I ever did Gorn Minefield (the 20 man variant)and wound up with a hilarious looking several kilometer long reptile train.

You could argue that since we're forced to do them over and over again, of course theres a lot more room for memorable stuff to happen, but my counter to that, is since story missions are so ridged and instanced, theres very little room for the unexpected. But in the Fleet Actions and others like it, there's so many variables that something unexpected is guaranteed to happen. Even when you lose, theres still room for hilarity.

TL;DR The story isn't horrible. But I would much rather have one repeatable mission with randomized variables that throws me a bizarre curveball once and a while rather than 5 "meh" story missions with fixed objectives.
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So inhumane superweapons, mass murder, and canon nonsense is okay, but speedos are too much for some people.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,432
# 2
12-23-2012, 09:03 PM
The story is one of its strengths? Where in the ho ho heck did you hear that from?
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Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 497
# 3
12-23-2012, 09:07 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by hypl View Post
The story is one of its strengths? Where in the ho ho heck did you hear that from?
I agree with this. Who ever said that about STO?
I'll sell you some weapons from New Romulus. Never fired, only dropped once.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 11,103
# 4
12-23-2012, 09:08 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by curs0r View Post
I agree with this. Who ever said that about STO?
Quite a few. All the "Moar Story Missions RAWR" threads were getting to me.
http://i1151.photobucket.com/albums/o633/centersolace/189cux9khvl6ojpg_zpsca7ccff0.jpg

So inhumane superweapons, mass murder, and canon nonsense is okay, but speedos are too much for some people.
Empire Veteran
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 317
# 5
12-23-2012, 09:22 PM
Well in cryptics defence, it is a little harder to tell a story in an MMO as opposed to a single player. You could say if you are PvEing all the way to level 50 it is a single player. And for that it does have a decent enough story to keep you interested. Even Blizzard the current MMO-King relies on short stories, comics and novels for story progression.

It's only when you are leveling alts that things get a bit boring.

Oh and best part of this story arc is the fact the Klingons were actually right about the shapeshifters as opposed to how the Feds were during the Dominion war. (Gowron being led to belive that Cardassia was inflitrated by changelings).

If anything, the story needs to expanded onto further w.r.t the Iconians (the big bads in STO). In my opinion though, their hand was revealed a little too early in-game and should have been a later surprise.
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Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 5,845
# 6
12-24-2012, 12:24 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by coldicephoenix View Post
Well in cryptics defence, it is a little harder to tell a story in an MMO as opposed to a single player. You could say if you are PvEing all the way to level 50 it is a single player. And for that it does have a decent enough story to keep you interested. Even Blizzard the current MMO-King relies on short stories, comics and novels for story progression.

It's only when you are leveling alts that things get a bit boring.

Oh and best part of this story arc is the fact the Klingons were actually right about the shapeshifters as opposed to how the Feds were during the Dominion war. (Gowron being led to belive that Cardassia was inflitrated by changelings).

If anything, the story needs to expanded onto further w.r.t the Iconians (the big bads in STO). In my opinion though, their hand was revealed a little too early in-game and should have been a later surprise.
I agree a lot with centersolace. Thing is, I think Kestrel is a better writer than STO's story execution would lead you to think.

And while I'm not in the mood to go digging, Cryptic doesn't seem concerned with SELLING story. Not just in the C-Store sense.

In an old thread, I dug up a bunch of MMO trailers.

Cryptic's are game system laundry lists and pretty maps/costumes. (Interestingly, whenever h2orat did a trailer, this reversed a bit. And he did the F2P launch trailer.)

Virtually everyone else in the MMO business sells their patches based on story progression, Blizzard especially. You get next to nothing about game mechanics in their trailers and a lot of them boil down to a fight scene starting and three people talking.

But, heck, compare STO trailers to Perfect World trailers (including trailers for virtually any game published direct by PWE aside from their MMOFPS). Their trailers say virtually nothing about game mechanics and tend to push story harder.

It's the corporate culture.

It's like when the Jennifer Hepler Bioware controversy happened. (She suggested that games with interactive cutscenes should not only have skippable cutscenes for action players but should have skippable action forplayers who only want cutscenes.) Like most game devs, almost everyone I follow at Cryptic condemned the threats and harassment people heaped on Hepler. But I've also saw more devs at Cryptic than anywhere else indicate that they thought she was wrong about skippable action, whereas the bulk of game devs I follow at other companies seemed to think she was right.

I've also observed how Cryptic seems driven by arcade style play and mechanics and how their job ads seem to glamorize things like fighting game design experience in spite of it being what I think many would perceive as a declining genre and only looselyapplicable to MMOs.

Just as Bioware in "cinematic", my ten dollar word for Cryptic is that they are "paleoludic."

In general, there's a rift in game design theory between ludologists (action/play proponents who focus on the fun of abstract mechanics) and narratologists (who focus on narrative, not just in game design but maybe also in things like learning to play or UI flow).

Cryptic seems to value "play" and has a fairly conservative notion of "play" when compared to luminaries like Will Wright. The result is that Cryptic focus more on building theme parks than sandboxes but focuses more on kinesthetics, systems, and play experience than narrative. They're more likely to bend narrative to kinesthetics and than bend kinesthetics to narrative.

Which is kinda funny because that's not what most ACTUAL theme park designers do anymore.

The result is kindof a Busch Gardens or Six Flags theme park experience as opposed to Disney or Universal.

The Superman ride at Six Flags is about the kinesthetic experience of the coaster with the Superman brand reinforcing the flight element. And it would get reworked and rebranded as something else if need be.

Whereas the Wizarding World of Harry Potter or even something simple like the Kim Possible Scavenger Hunt at Disney focus on immersion (halfway, silly, or ironic immersion sometimes) and the mechanics of the attractions reinforce the immersion aspect.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 208
# 7
12-25-2012, 04:53 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by coldicephoenix View Post
Even Blizzard the current MMO-King relies on short stories, comics and novels for story progression.
I have found that you can get most of the story just from playing WoW. The game doesn't force the story on you, you have to piece it together little by little from what npc's tell you. I think it's a really nice way to to tell a story in a big world where your character is just an adventurer of (relatively) little importance. However, WoW (as anything Blizzard, especially Metzen writes) seems to get most of its story inspiration from saturday morning cartoons, superhero comics and shounen manga/anime, so everything is horibbly predictable and clicheed.

STO's story is terrible in its own way. In an apparent effort to mix things up, Cryptic has made made every major race come to the Alpha quadrant to wage war with one another. From that point we go back to saturday morning cartoons for inpiration. The way the story is presented doesn't help matters, either. I cringe every time I'm forced to watch one of those cinematic cutscenes.

Last edited by evendzhar; 12-25-2012 at 05:00 AM.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 497
# 8
12-23-2012, 09:30 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by centersolace View Post
Quite a few. All the "Moar Story Missions RAWR" threads were getting to me.
I see your point. I generally tend to see the story arc of an mmo as the means of leveling, then I run around doing whatever activities of interest there may be. My take on that here would be "moar story if they increase the level cap to go along with it". But since the leveling arc was skewed you already have more story than needed for that so I feel like it's long enough. My issues with it would be better served by going back and writing variations into the missions that bring them a bit more to life. If you play as X race it's never acknowledged that you're playing as X race at any point in the story arc, most missions play the same for all classes, loose plot ends could be mitigated out, stuff like that.

I'm pretty abnormal though it would seem. I'm more in favor of things that make the game closer to a sandbox environment than a linear progression environment.
I'll sell you some weapons from New Romulus. Never fired, only dropped once.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 11,103
# 9
12-23-2012, 09:39 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by curs0r View Post
I'm pretty abnormal though it would seem. I'm more in favor of things that make the game closer to a sandbox environment than a linear progression environment.
No more abnormal than myself. (Though that's not any indication of normality ) I too would like this game to have a sandboxy environment. Star Trek is all about exploration. Let me explore!!!
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So inhumane superweapons, mass murder, and canon nonsense is okay, but speedos are too much for some people.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,060
# 10
12-24-2012, 03:12 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by centersolace View Post
All the "Moar Story Missions RAWR" threads were getting to me.
The option? More PvP? I'd rather play a real PvP game. More reputation grinding?

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