To waste away the next 7 minutes and 21 seconds, I thought I'd post this up for discussion:
A lot of people I've talked to about the game, have expressed a desire to have multiple players crewing the ship, manning different stations and whatnot. Obviously this isn't part of the game, but seems to be a well requested feature. Since Cryptic has said they'll be looking for feedback on how what direction to take the game, how about some discussion on how they might implement this to make it not only playable and fun for everyone, but how to make it most easily fit into the game as it is. (Thus, make it a lot more appealing for them to invest a little work into it, rather than a lot of work)
Currently, I think space combat works very well as is. Once you get higher levels, there's a lot of abilities to manage, but that's what makes it exciting. If you started breaking off abilities to other players to manage on your ship, I see it combat starting to get a little more boring and tedious for some of the crew. In a game like SWG where it's FPS style shooter in space, this works. Every gun can be individually aimed and it takes some skill to hit other ships. The way space combat works in STO, that's not so. The computer is a far better gunner than you are.
So, how could this be done? How can it be made fun and exciting for all? How will it integrate the roles and skills of each of the captains aboard? How will it be weird having all the consoles manned by Admirals? (Those of you with military experience know the ship would be doomed)
No, this is not a petition, nor is it a flame invitation. I'm curious to see if people can come up with a way it'd be worth adding into the game. I think it's fine as it is, but I'm not omniscient.
Would that really be all that fun? In all but the most intense space battles, I can manage it all myself without too much challenge. Change it to me just flying around, or just hitting the space bar a few times? Sounds like it'd get boring.
This has been discussed from the very beginning. It just wouldn't be feesible. The Devs would have to create a window for each player, each with different controls (depending on the station), and all looking at the same area of space.
Even Craig stated that it just wouldn't be possible.
And I'm sorry, I personally wouldn't like to just be punching a button at the Engineering station to refresh the shield, or boost the engines.
Then you have to deal with the fact that people will lag, or get dc'ed. That happens during a pitched battle, that would really suck.
Then what happens when a member of the crew has to go to sleep, or work, etc....Nobody to man the station. Ship sits in drydock. Boring.
This is a new and interesting topic of conversation that has never been brought up before. I'm certain that it will be a very productive discussion.
/sarcasm meter explodes
If you want to bring about change sometimes you have to restate and keep talking about something so that it isn't just forgotten. The more something is talked about the more likely it is that someone important will pay attention to it. For people who want something like this to happen, there's no more we can do than continue to discuss it.
Hi, I've started a few threads on this topic but that's twice now that they've been deleted and wiped from the forum database. Please don't pick faults with the way I communicate my suggestions and try to focus on the merit of the suggestions themselves.
I would like to see:
1. Optional Player crews utilizing fun minigames. (Please do not say that would be boring because the definition of fun is something that isn't boring)
2. Those who think minigames are inherently not fun obviously have no understanding of reality as ALL games that have ever existed in the universe ARE a series of connected minigames designed to create the illusion of making a difference in the gameworld through a visual representation of your actions and a reward from success
3. If anyone goes linkdead, lags out, or goes afk to eat fried chicken, the npc crew members will be ready to cover for that person until they get back.
4. Anyone can do any job, though someone skilled in that field would recieve bonuses (to remove the need for waiting for viable groups)
5. People who want more from their mmo experience than an endless succession of mobs to kill could enjoy science and diplomatic missions using the minigames. A player crew working together to gather scientific data on planets or trying to defeat a spacial anomaly
6. A reason to travel at slower warp speeds through space (a. It gains faction with the races that live there as high warp damages space (a star trek lore fact). The crew can also do "preparation minigames" to recieve bonuses to stats. (studying the races and regions, modifying weapons, innoculating crew to diseases and bacteria). Aswell as just wander around their ship roleplaying
If you are still reading then here are my suggestions for bridge crew functions:
Player 1: The captain (my original post suggested he just control the power flow of the ship - sacrificing one strength to boost another. Though perhaps the captain would need to control the ship aswell an do away with the need for a player at the helm
Player 2: The engineer would be down in engineering doing the FUN engineering minigames to keep the ship supplying power
Player 3: The phaser guy, aiming and firing phasers and deciding the strength of the beam (based on the power designated to him by the Captain
Player 4: Torpedo guy, aiming and firing torpedoes
Player 5: The medic who heals people damaged in explosions inside the ship from exploding consoles
Player 6: Another engineer, who repairs the damaged terminals
I would think the phaser and torpedos should be fired by the same person. I believe in your philosophy that many of these different functions can be performed by different people successfully, and even maybe the minigame idea could work if implimented well enough, but I don't see them spacing it out so much that they'd actually give you that many player crew members. In theory if they were to do something like what you're saying I see them giving at the most a tactical officer, an engineer, I would say a helmsman although most people seem to say the captain would have control, and maybe a science/operations officer to do all the scanning.
The main problem is the mainstream target audience. In making any game the designers have to ask themselves what is our main audience going to want to do? And the sad truth to that is simply in this day in age - Shoot and kill. It's why action packed counsil games rule in this day over pc adventure/puzzle games, and it's why STO (in addition to other mmos) is 90% combat when Star Trek is supposed to be about mystery and exploration first then combat. In the end they are going with the philosophy of "our players want to kill things, and they want action, and they don't want to be bored." It's part of the attempt to draw in non trekies, to appear cool and unboring. Unfortunately in doing this, in my opinion, they really lose a lot in essense of what star trek is. And if you're taking control of different stations and doing scans and fixing engineering problems that isn't seen as potentially exciting enough to keep the mainstream audience interested. They look at that and say "They're going to be bored doing that." and sadly...they're right with a lot of the players out there. So it is as is, you get the controls, you get to press the shoot button, you get to win the battle, the end.
Sorry for getting off topic a bit, but really it isn't because it roots into why in the end they didn't have you able to be on one another's crew, and why it's such an instanced heavy combat game.
Edit - just to be clear in mainstream target audience I'm not talking about like trek audience, I'm talking about video game players in general because that is who they have to go after first, then trekies. If they want the game to be successful they knew they had to get a lot more than just the trekies involved.