Judging by the "Season 9 - what should it be?" thread, the main things players are actually hoping for are loads of exploration, the Foundry given the improvements it needs to make it really thrive, and bugs fixed - but you still have to avoid too many people losing interest because there's no new content.
I've been thinking. The team never has time to do the above because they have to work on new content for the next Season. Meanwhile, there's a treasure trove of content in the Foundry gathering dust because the Foundry isn't fixed and isn't really an integral part of the game. Why not put the two together and let Season 9 be all about the Foundry?
Instead of doing a whole new set of episodes and baddies, spend the time making the Foundry into an integral part of the game and the star attraction it really could be - introduce all the features that everyone says would be great if only there was time for them! We know roughly what needs to be done and mostly it's (what look to me like) relatively small changes that would work wonders. STO would be twice the game it was.
I've thought of the outline of a plan. I know that not being on the development team, I've no business to do any such thing, but maybe together we can hammer something out. Suggestions, anyone?
Add the most wanted extra features to the Foundry that there isn't usually time to do anything about. This would greatly expand what Foundry missions could do. For instance:
* A generic map that becomes a view of the player's own bridge, with the encounters mapped onto it, and likewise for the sickbay and engine room and an all-purpose corridor.
* Ability to set a map as to be played solo, without an Away Team, and have enemies scale accordingly.
* Ability to select just one out of a group of enemies and add it on its own, rather than always fighting a group (and have it scale accordingly).
* NPCs that can follow the player.
* Story items that can be picked up (like Egg's data sample), with the ability to have a trigger check for a certain item in the player's inventory and to remove it if need be.
Arrange that if you leave a Foundry mission part way through, you can pick up where you left off. Just like with Cryptic missions. Currently you have to flip through all the maps you've already completed, instead of going straight to the one you were on. A real nuisance when loading times happen to be slow, and also makes the Foundry feel like a makeshift thing, not a proper part of the game at all. Small point, but I think big results.
What might the story be?
We'd probably need some kind of story to pull Season 9 together and hold interest, if only a little prologue to introduce the new opportunities that had opened (like all those messages about "[REDACTED]" a few weeks ago). Now, whatever kind of plot development could lead to a new focus on exploration? The best I can think of is something about a new breakthrough in rescuing Borg drones, leading to a sudden need for colonies to put all these people in and/or a flood of new information about various areas of space which needs looking into urgently. Bit thin, though. Can anyone do better?
Or maybe one of the big Foundry episode arcs, such as "Purity", could be used instead of a story episode arc, in which case maybe that would be enough without needing to hang a story on the changes to exploration and such like.
Getting above myself here, obviously, it's for the development team to decide in the end. Devs, if any of you are reading this, what do you think? Maybe it's time to do something completely different?
These are all great suggestions to help out one of the best, and most negelected, parts of the game.
It doesn't help PvP at all.
Formerly known as Armsman from June 2008 to June 20, 2012
PWE Drone says: "Your STO community as you have known it is ended...Display names are irrelevant...Any further sense of community is irrelevant...Resistance is futile...You will be assimilated..."
Take a Que from Swotor and combine all the different marks into 1 universal mark. Swotor did it with all the different planetary commendations. Probably one of the best updates they ever did. There shouldn't even be a season 9 with content it should be a major overhaul of the game period.
With the new Republic eager to expand, and the recent opening of Iconian gateways there are a lot of reasons plot wise to add more exploration to the game. So far the New Romulus adventure zone has been the only new exploration content we have gotten in some time.
With regard to the foundry and the resources being put towards it. From at least one of Dan Stahls interviews I got the impression that his first priority was to keep the game profitable and when things go well enough we get extra's like celebrity voice overs. This is probably why there are many bugs that are not fixed and why the foundry is in need of some tlc.
Play more STO Foundry! (You can thank me later.)
A TIME TO SEARCH: ENTER MY FOUNDRY MISSION at the RISA SYSTEM in the SIRIUS SECTOR