Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 41
03-14-2011, 11:27 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guon Aniri
The "Rear Admiral, Lower/Upper Half" issue is just as glaring as any graphics glich and should be given the same amount of consideration in fixing it as soon as possible.
That's what bothers me most - the apparent reticence of the Devs to fix this is because "using search-and-replace to fix the dialogue wildcards will only get 90% of the 1000+ cases".

Ok, so there'll be the occasional bit of wonky dialogue. But it's better than 100% of cases being clunky and unrealistic, and more to the point, it's not like there aren't plenty of other glitches/errors already in the game, many of which have been reported and re-reported, and have yet to be fixed*.


*none of which are game-killing 'deal-breakers', either - and I'm talking about things like BOffs floating over chairs or clipping right through them, 'leaving Tactical view' causing you to beam out of your bridge, endless 'rubber-banding' in busy areas, the lengthy list of model inaccuracies on starships, etc.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 42
03-14-2011, 01:00 PM
Honestly, I think there must be a good reason behind the DEVs not changing this. I am a developer myself, so I can try to speculate...it might be that the only definition for each rank, in game, is the official one.

I'll try to make this clearer, and simplify it quite a lot.

Let's say that upon logging on, a variable gets initialized for your character, let's call it "sRankName":

sRankName = "Rear Admiral, Upper Half";

Now, this one might be used everywhere - from the character description screen, to the official conversations, the hails etc. It's a normal practice to avoid having to rewrite something hundreds of times; Instead of having multiple versions of the same text, one for each rank ("Welcome Leiutenant", "Welcome Commander" etc.), there's just one that goes a bit like that: "Welcome, [sRankName]".

Changing that would be more problematic...if you change the value in "sRankName", it would affect official conversations and info screens as well, where you want to see the full rank.
Therefore, the only solution would be to introduce another variable, let's say "sRankInformalName", that carries the shortened version - and substitute it in the relevant text bits only. Not just a "search & replace" effort, as you can see.

Again, I'm not writing a development manual here, just trying to give out a very rough idea about why it could be much more complex to change than most think
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 43
03-14-2011, 02:31 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by h3llr4iser View Post
Honestly, I think there must be a good reason behind the DEVs not changing this. I am a developer myself, so I can try to speculate...it might be that the only definition for each rank, in game, is the official one.

I'll try to make this clearer, and simplify it quite a lot.

Let's say that upon logging on, a variable gets initialized for your character, let's call it "sRankName":

sRankName = "Rear Admiral, Upper Half";

Now, this one might be used everywhere - from the character description screen, to the official conversations, the hails etc. It's a normal practice to avoid having to rewrite something hundreds of times; Instead of having multiple versions of the same text, one for each rank ("Welcome Leiutenant", "Welcome Commander" etc.), there's just one that goes a bit like that: "Welcome, [sRankName]".

Changing that would be more problematic...if you change the value in "sRankName", it would affect official conversations and info screens as well, where you want to see the full rank.
Therefore, the only solution would be to introduce another variable, let's say "sRankInformalName", that carries the shortened version - and substitute it in the relevant text bits only. Not just a "search & replace" effort, as you can see.

Again, I'm not writing a development manual here, just trying to give out a very rough idea about why it could be much more complex to change than most think
I totally agree with what you said in relation to programming and variables and that it is not necessarily a "simple fix".

However, it is necessary. And I'm not saying that just because the RA ranks get mangled. I'm saying that because having a greater level of immersion in EVERY new mission demands that players are addressed the way they expect to be addressed. If you don't have those additional variables, it guarantees that anything beyond "[Rank] [LastName]" is going to be misparsed by mission text sooner or later. And EVERY time a player's name gets misparsed, they are going to note it with displeasure. Furthermore, it is inflexible. It practically forces all interaction to be toward the character's Starfleet rank and it can not deal with non-Western naming conventions.

My VA character's formal Vulcan name is "G'eek, Son of N'erd". But I had to drop "Son of N'erd" because the game simply can not parse it correctly and I have no way to "help" the game parse it correctly. It would really, really be bad if the game called me "Rear Admiral, Lower Half, Son of N'erd" when it really ought to read "Admiral G'eek". On the other hand, as a diplomat, it would be better as "Ambassador G'eek, Son of N'erd" formally and "Ambassador G'eek" otherwise. For certain kinds of missions, it would be nice if I could "help" the game address me in a different way.

I understand it's not getting fixed in the near future. But "Never" is a poor solution.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 44
03-14-2011, 03:15 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluegeek View Post
I totally agree with what you said in relation to programming and variables and that it is not necessarily a "simple fix".

However, it is necessary. And I'm not saying that just because the RA ranks get mangled. I'm saying that because having a greater level of immersion in EVERY new mission demands that players are addressed the way they expect to be addressed. If you don't have those additional variables, it guarantees that anything beyond "[Rank] [LastName]" is going to be misparsed by mission text sooner or later. And EVERY time a player's name gets misparsed, they are going to note it with displeasure. Furthermore, it is inflexible. It practically forces all interaction to be toward the character's Starfleet rank and it can not deal with non-Western naming conventions.

My VA character's formal Vulcan name is "G'eek, Son of N'erd". But I had to drop "Son of N'erd" because the game simply can not parse it correctly and I have no way to "help" the game parse it correctly. It would really, really be bad if the game called me "Rear Admiral, Lower Half, Son of N'erd" when it really ought to read "Admiral G'eek". On the other hand, as a diplomat, it would be better as "Ambassador G'eek, Son of N'erd" formally and "Ambassador G'eek" otherwise. For certain kinds of missions, it would be nice if I could "help" the game address me in a different way.

I understand it's not getting fixed in the near future. But "Never" is a poor solution.
You've got a very good point there, but "Rear Admiral, Lower Half, Son of N'erd" made me fall off my chair
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 45
03-16-2011, 05:19 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by CAPTWinters
As an old Navy guy, I can understand your frustration. With the Admirals that I deal with occasionally, we always refer to them as Admiral, regardless of how many stars are on their collar. Cryptic ought to find a way to change the scripts so they come out at Admiral each time, vice Rear Admiral and or Vice Admiral. PLus come to think of it, it is how Star Trek always treated their Admirals in the movies and shows also, so there is a canon source for making the change.
Your talking about a company that gives Star Trek with technology that has limitations that are greater then that found in the Enterprise series. Transporters only capable of ~5km transport range except when beaming to a planet. Ships that cant aft-mount cannons, dual cannons, or dual beam banks (yet have transwarp drive and mobile emitters, and enough defences that the starting vessels can defend themselves against the borg) and the ability to fire quantum torpedos once every 9 seconds.

They are lazy, and rather wow-in-space instead of Star Trek Online like their game says... but its the only thing Star Trek one can play with others these days, thats even 1/100 decent, since Star Fleet Command 3 multiplayer has died.

Nothing short of players boycotting them for 1 month will make them listen, or do more work then is minimally required to keep providing new content. Just look at what they did to klingons. They are now afraid of death. The breen who were formerly silent except when absolutely needed brag like nausicaans, and the romulans act like Klingons.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
Quote:
Originally Posted by h3llr4iser View Post
Let's say that upon logging on, a variable gets initialized for your character, let's call it "sRankName":
This explanation is inaccurate given dstahl's explanation of the problem and how the Foundry works: the use of RANKNAME tags in dialog/display text. Using markup like this decouples text and code, preventing the kinds of problems encountered while trying to explain this using variables.

Here's one way tags generally work: A routine parses a block of text for tags. For each tag, it passes the tag name and a context (an ID or reference to the item or character the text is about) to a lookup function. That function returns the display text, and the calling routine replaces the tag with that result. The lookup function is the only place that needs to know the details of how to find the descriptive text for a given tag. Cryptic isn't doing any heavy lifting with their simple tag set, so they're probably using some variation on this approach.

As dstahl described the problem, it will only get worse with time as Cryptic adds new content using the tag. The longer it goes unfixed, the less likely it will ever be fixed. Releasing the Foundry could make the problem much worse; while it's time-consuming and expensive for Cryptic to fix their content, many missions (like blogs) will get created and abandoned as authors come and go from the game. Those missions will never get fixed.

The best way to fix this is to create a new tag for item minimum level right now. For now, use the same lookup logic for it and RANKNAME. Use the new tags in all new item descriptions immediately and begin fixing references in old item text. When the new level/rank implementation is complete and all the item text code remediated, change the lookup function to use the new logic for RANKNAME.

Cryptic is in complete control of the problem if we restrict the changes to item text: players do not create items. New content will be pre-fixed and will behave identically to old text until Cryptic decides to flip the switch. The lookup function is the only place where the dialog/display text and the rank/level implementation intersect; i.e., the solution is orthogonal.

I would hope this includes a larger review of tags. There may be other cases of ambiguous tag names in need of similar fixes.
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 10:56 PM.