Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 1 Improvements to the Foundry
08-21-2011, 07:13 PM
Thought I'd drop an idea and a request to the Foundry team regarding needed assets for UGC. It's fairly simple, so i don't know if anyone's brought it up yet.

Would like to see Sol System added to the list of available Cryptic Maps. Specifically, what's needed are Doors in Sol system outside of ESD that would allow authors to create transitions to their own custom maps. One door would do it, in the form a a navigation beacon that players in space would have to approach to get the option to go to the next custom map.

Additionally doors are needed AT Sol System (incoming) as they are now at every other system in the sector block ... and at the exploration zones (Delta Volanis, Arucanis Arm, Eridani Belt, Hromi Cluster, etc.). The latter would allow authors to more easily set their ugc missions inside those zones.

And yes I know that it's been requested often and for some time. Environmental Hazards should be made available as placeables in the Foundry. I've read explanations like, hazards aren't included because authors might misuse them or use them to grief players. Seriously? That's terribly weak reasoning if true.
As a plot device, the characters in your UGC mission should face the potential of taking damage in situations where this would logically occur.

If you walk through fire you get burned.
If you're in a section of a ship or a facility that is flooded with radiation, you get a dot.

I would love to see players be motivated to get out of or finish objectives in a map area that is flooded with radiation. Or for ships to start taking hull damage when they venture too close to a hazard in space. Hazard damage levels could be scaled as are the NPC Groups. requiring a certain xp level to play the map - level 1, 16, 31, etc.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
08-21-2011, 09:07 PM
I think they haven't added Sol as a door yet is because they plan to introduce the rest of the solar system (planets, the moon, Jupiter Station etc). Supposedly they're all done just without content to go with it. (I find it pretty hard to believe since they opened up other places like Andoria and Risa without content.) When this is going to happen, I'm not sure. If it's in the near future, I'm not sure. So new doors for the Sol system probably aren't coming soon.

I tend to just place an invisible wall when dealing with environmental hazards and tell the player to do some objective to put it out. I wouldn't really consider making fire damage people or raditation damage over times a huge priority over some of the other assets that have been requested.

But I'm not really sure why you think it's a weak reason if Cryptic doesn't want to allow it. Objects in the Foundry can overlap with each other. What's really stopping me from dumping a bunch of environmental hazards that kill a player too quickly. Or what if they don't work fast enough and die too much? People would howl that I made a bad mission. I think I'm going to stick with my invisible walls.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
08-22-2011, 10:42 AM
Ya, I hadn't considered the fact that they've been promising to expand Sol System. I'm sure that'll be coming soon .......... Right.
Still,, what would be the huge bother to drop a door for us outside ESD or put one at Delta Valonis? It wouldn't be a bother at all. One of the Foundry team guys could probably do that from their laptop while they're at Vegas. Not Vega, Vegas.

Give us Foundry transition points at the exploration zones at least, so we can create missions inside those zones. I mean, seriously, what are we gonna screw up in there? In one of my missions, I managed, but i had to create a quick and dirty custom version of Sol System (sans the new Spacedock btw) and completely skip the travelling thru sector space part. Cheap way to do it but it gets you there.

As for the environmental hazards, NOT including it as a Foundry asset because of the possibility that an author might misuse it and someone might give the author a low rating is .... Well, that's the STO equivalent of not keeping score in a soccer game because someone might get their feelings hurt.

And cake walks bore me. Y'know if you're afraid that your character might get a radiation burn, you shouldn't be is space anyway.

Remember the tutorial? The EMH is schoolin ya on how to move and shoot and all that. Right there, he tells you "avoid environmental hazards. They can hurt you." And like everyone else, I tested it and walked right into a patch of fire in the corridor. And it hurt me. But it didnt hurt my fillings ... 'course I'm not the kinda person who would sue McDonalds for selling me a cup of hot coffee.

Because, you see, I know it's hot.

Including environmental hazards in the custom toolset is no different that placing npc mods that shoot at you. Really, no different.

One star ratings. Wow I read alot of authors ****ed off about getting low reviews. Even heard an acid-laced rant on the UGC podcast about people getting one star ratings for bugged missions caused by the patches. IN general, player reviews are alot like viewer comments on Youtube. Seriously, how much importance should you give that.

If I make a map, one long corridor filled with death-dealing plasma jets, and the objective is to get to the far end to shut down the plasma before you die, and i do not provide a way to shut down the hazard first ... well I'd deserve a low rating. Especially if the environmental hazard effects were such that the average character was unlikely to survive this "jog through death." That would just be poor mission design and there is plenty of that in the Foundry without environmental hazards.

Maybe they should just remove the Foundry so no one gets one star ratings. Y'know, they've banned dodgeball in gradeschools, too.

I know, some authors are saying that there are so many other things that need to be added to the Foundry before Environmental Hazards.

I beg to differ. I really dont think that Bajoran Orbs or the lastest Cstore fashions are quite as important as one of the fundamental elements of game play and/or recreating the challenges of a virtual world - Environmental Hazards. If I bang my head I get a boo boo. That's pretty basic
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
08-22-2011, 10:54 AM
I really dislike doing the Invisible Wall thing in place of Environmental Hazards. So, I've come up with a new work-around. Feel free to use it.

In my mission plans, every time it calls for a fire or toxic gas or radiation or a plasma jet, I'm gonna spawn a mob. And I'l put in a pop up dialogue as a disclaimer:

"Due to the limitations of the Foundry, the role of the plasma fire will be played by a Breen Squad."


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