I was just pondering a few little things that could be considered to add a little more immersion to the game. While these may have been brought up before, these are just some of the things I randomly thought about while playing earlier today.
- Automated Planet Orbiting
The effect when you fly too close to a planet is awesome, and it adds a nice touch. What I propose is a little pop up box appear down in the bottom right when you get within a certain distance from a planet. The option will say "Enter Orbit". And if clicked will execute a simple line of code that with autopilot the ship around a specified diameter of the object (planet). While some might think this is a silly suggestion, and not at all necessary to play the game, I think it just adds a nice touch of immersion. (Maybe later on an observation deck you can go to on your ship to view the planet while in orbit as well)
- Add a Gravity Well
This would apply to celestial bodies without an atmosphere such as moons. Reminiscent of a similar feature in Earth and Beyond, adding some sort of gravity well to moons for example would help to alleviate flying into a moon and bouncing back off as it is right now in game. Just a simple mechanic that will shake the screen and sort of render your ship harder to maneuver when flying to close to a moon would add a bit of realism as opposed to the current mechanic which lets you just fly right into it.
- After you complete a mission in a system
Open up a few spots u can warp to, maybe the remaining planets in the system, or other points of interest. Just so that players can have somewhere new to go once they finish with the main mission in the system. Perhaps something the Genesis system can help to produce.
- An alternate view from tactical view
Tactical View is awesome, and it is necessary especially when in combat. But when you're just flying around, how about a view that takes on the aspect of First Person inside your ship. This, also another feature Reminiscent of Earth and Beyond, would allow the player to go back onto the bridge, but still have the ability to pilot the ship at the same time. While this sort of camera view would need some designing work in order to fit with the design of the bridges in the ST universe. I feel that it could be done with minimal development time.
Well, that's about all I could think of right now. If a dev reads this, let me know what you think, or anyone else that reads this. I think these small little things would really add some sparkle to the already awesome game that is STO.
No, lens flare would not add realism. You only see lens flare when you look through.... wait for it... a camera lens. (which highlights the absurdity of lens flare in media; photographers try their best to get rid of it, special effects people try their best to add it)
An 'orbit' button would be redundant, and waste time. People would complain that they want to get on with the game, not sit and wait for the ship to orbit before beaming down.
A gravity well would probably require quite a lot of work to the physics engine.
Exploring a system would require a lot more work for not much benefit. Again, people would just want to get on with the game.