Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 11
03-31-2009, 12:19 PM
sorry, i don t have see this
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 12
03-31-2009, 12:33 PM
sounds great and a wide open game unlike all the failure level based games that has emerged in the last year. One point did scare me, the "dozens of hours of content" gave me the impression that very little written content is actualy in play as of now. I know that will expand but it made me think of the release dates pushed back with that little dev content available. graphics look better and better.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 13
03-31-2009, 12:47 PM
Just reading the article now; I want to pick out and comment on one specifid thing:
CZ: Cryptic believes that ongoing development is an essential part of the MMO equation. It's so important to us that our development teams don't change size after launch. We'll have as many people working to expand our games as we have working to create them.
Wow, that's great! That says to me: regular, FREQUENT updates that are free, and still enough manpower to push towards paid expansions - maybe annually or bi-annually. Awesome!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 14
03-31-2009, 12:48 PM
Nice find and two interviews so close together makes me even more excited.

The top screenshot with the Souvereign and Galaxy Class refits (was new to me and) looks really nice ... I hope we can get a bundle of Ship updates in the coming weeks. Not just one per update, but at least bundle those which we already know about.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 15
03-31-2009, 01:23 PM
Vor'Cha baby... I like it =)


-Manta-
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 16
03-31-2009, 01:27 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pavel Bester
Great find.

Hmmmm...several new interviews which have substantially more info, maybe this a buildup to, dare I say it, BETA. Yes I said it! And I'm glad I did...muhahahahahaha! Perhaps we're just around the corner (month or two, I hope) to some sort of closed beta?

Starting more bad rumor threads, and happy to do it,

Pavel Bester
It could just be because GDC09 is this week. Cryptic is probably there or just riding the wave of MMO hype it's stiring up.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 17
03-31-2009, 03:10 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by _Pax_ View Post
Just reading the article now; I want to pick out and comment on one specifid thing:
CZ: Cryptic believes that ongoing development is an essential part of the MMO equation. It's so important to us that our development teams don't change size after launch. We'll have as many people working to expand our games as we have working to create them.
Wow, that's great! That says to me: regular, FREQUENT updates that are free, and still enough manpower to push towards paid expansions - maybe annually or bi-annually. Awesome!
I agree, I saw that and was very happy. Nice to know that the team size will not change, while we may lose some of the Devs to other projects I think a sense of responsibility to a game is important post launch.

I was happy about this as well...

Quote:
EBA: What new details do you have pertaining to customization options for both characters and ships?

CZ: You will be able to customize your ship, your Bridge Crew and your character.

Options for ships and Bridge Crew will be both cosmetic and functional. You will be able to add equipment to your ship that will enhance its performance in combat and gameplay, and also train your crew to expand their abilities over time. This lets players create exactly the ship and crew they want.
I've often argued that one of the key elements of MMO retention is ownership. We all know what SWG did to drive players away, but those who stayed usually stayed because of the great amount of "ownership" one was given over their character and the life of that character.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 18
03-31-2009, 03:23 PM
OMG Overload of information today
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 19
03-31-2009, 04:39 PM
Lots of new info today, good stuff. I am liking where the game is headed. If they are playing from home and treating it as a live environment then it is def in at least an early alpha stage.

Sounds like their main focus now is on ground combat, the economy, and adding content. Good stuff, hopefully this means more info will start coming out as more is finalized.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 20
03-31-2009, 04:49 PM
Thanks to Craig for the interviews to EpicBattleAxe (EBA) and TenTonHammer (TTH). I now have many things to say.

(Note: There are some things that cut across both interviews, but rather than posting two responses I hope it'll be OK if I combine them in this one post in this one thread.)

First, I'd characterize both interviews as fairly standard -- a certain amount of boilerplate text, a few new things I was glad to hear, a couple things I was not glad to hear, and, finally, what I am now forced to believe is the latest salvo in Craig's ongoing effort to drive me completely insane.

...

Let's get to the good stuff first.

TTH: [T]here are over a dozen different classifications or configurations are what we call them, of ships within the game. So you have your basic Miranda type, your Akira configuration, your Galaxy configuration.

A dozen configurations for each faction (if that's what Craig is really saying here) could make sense. Three "classes" of ship (escort, science, engineering) times four tiers equals twelve configs, plus a few extras for variety or because they don't seem to fit the game-defined escort/science/engineering classification model.

TTH: With the major careers in the game being Engineering, Science and Tactical, you could say, “Oh man, there's only 3 classes in the game, how boring is that?” But we've purposefully made them really, really wide in how they function. So within those classes, or within your career choices there's so much that you can explore. The player can say, “Look, I'm really going to try to learn these skills or really try to push myself in this direction and maybe it'll work or maybe it won't. If it doesn't I'll just go learn these skills now and play this today.”

EBA: You start by picking a career path, such as tactical, science or engineering. You can either stay in that path throughout your career, or cross-train in different paths.

This information about cross-training and specialization is very good to hear. I'm not sure it's the kind of skill-oriented model some of us have been hoping for, but perhaps it will offer the best aspects of that approach.

TTH: “OK, let me go back and I'll respawn. I lost that system, that system got totally destroyed and the durability on some of my weapons is hurt.”

I take this as confirmation that ship components can take damage (lose durability) and be destroyed. Obviously that's a hook into the game economy... but does it open up any opportunities for Engineering gameplay?

TTH: You'll pick up different members as you play, or you'll run across unique alien races that have unique, cool skills that you can't get any other way. And whether or not you take one of those guys and recruit him into Starfleet or whether you ask him to train one of your bridge officers in those skills is really up to you. I mean, you don't want to start off with Spock and then have to cut Spock loose just because you found some phat loot.

Bravo! Good, thoughtful, cross-playstyle design.

EBA: Cryptic believes that ongoing development is an essential part of the MMO equation. It's so important to us that our development teams don't change size after launch. We'll have as many people working to expand our games as we have working to create them.

I'm with _Pax_ on this; it's how all MMORPG developers should plan to operate post-launch.

EBA: A player who wants to take a support role will choose different skills and equipment than one who wants to be on the frontlines.

As my cat might say, "Mrrrrptt?" This is the first I've heard that players will be able to choose to actively play the game in either a "front-line" (presumably combat-oriented) mode, or a behind-the-lines "support" mode. What kind of gameplay is available when we're acting in a support role? Is that just a code word for non-combat gameplay, or is there some distinctive gameplay being developed that's specific to supporting other players in combat and non-combat activities?

EBA: [W]e're looking to develop an economy that is deep but very much in the Trek genre. Gathering resources, inventing technology and understanding alien technology - and then trading those items and knowledge - will be the basis of the economy.

"[i]nventing technology and understanding alien technology" sounds exactly like what I was hoping to see as the basis of the Star Trek Online economy. That part, I'm really pleased to hear about.

...

And now, the possibly not-so-good stuff.

TTH: So generally you'll know what role that ship is playing whether or not it's more of a support role, or whether it's more of a DPS role you can kind of tell that by looking at somebody's ship.

Ouch. In all honesty, this sounds to me exactly like starting with the crusty old combat-oriented tank/DPS/support+aggro mechanic and slapping a coat of Star Trek paint on it.

Why should the ships of Starfleet in particular be classified according to whether their primary value in the game is dealing damage, taking damage, or healing damage? What does that have to do with exploration? How does defining ships in terms of how they fit into some artificial, fantasy-based "role" system meet the goal of starting with Star Trek and finding fun gameplay that highlights its most iconic elements?

This latest mention of STO ships being defined by "support" and "DPS" roles does not make me more excited for this game -- just the opposite. I might be misunderstanding or missing some virtue of this approach, though, so I'm open to other thoughts on it. But right now... meh.

TTH: There's definitely docking stations where you'll do repairs, but also – it's not your bridge officers per se, although some of the bridge officers have skills to help you repair your ship and do hull repairs. But it's your ships greater crew that does that, and kind of the makeup of that crew that helps you repair your ship outside of combat.

So no active repair-based gameplay for Engineering-oriented player characters, then?

EBA: [W]e're looking to develop an economy that is deep but very much in the Trek genre. Gathering resources, inventing technology and understanding alien technology - and then trading those items and knowledge - will be the basis of the economy.

Resource gathering?

By Starfleet officers and doughty Klingon warriors?

Really?

EBA: On the ground, choosing the right members of your crew for your away team is very important. The make-up of your team helps define how you play and what options you have. And when you're playing in a team, your skills and equipment choices will be a major factor that affects your role in the mission.

This isn't really a "bad thing" per se, but it does leave me wondering: why would we ever compose the four NPC members of our away team (when we aren't playing with other humans) of anything but Tactical, Engineer, Science, and Medical? Will scenarios always tell us right up front, "Hey, better stock up on redshirts; this one needs Tactical officers"? If not, then won't we always have to put one of each specialty into each slot just to make sure we can deal with any contingencies?

EBA: We’re making a game, not a space simulation.

Grrrrrrrr.

Was that really necessary?

How about, "We'd love to faithfully represent the actual structure of our galaxy as seen in Star Trek, but this is one area where we believe that accurately modeling reality would actually make the game less fun."

That, I could respect.

...

And then there's the part where Craig appears to be actively trying to make my brain explode:

TTH: I think the positional aspect of ship combat is really, really cool. In team play it adds another order of magnitude to the strategy that's available.

EBA: Space combat is very measured and strategic.

/groan

No. No, no, no. Please stop referring to this kind of gameplay as "strategic." It just isn't.

"Strategies" are high-level, long-term plans for winning campaigns across an entire theater of operations.

"Tactics" are hands-on, immediate actions taken in a local environment to win individual battles.

I keep mentioning this because it affects gameplay design in a potentially significant way. Misusing the term "strategic" -- such as for describing positioning activity between two ships -- suggests that real, live, actual strategic gameplay is not going to make it into this game because its developers think they're actually including it when they're not.

There is nothing whatsoever wrong with calling maneuver-based combat between two or a small group of ships "tactical" gameplay! That's what it is. Trying to market this perfectly good tactical gameplay by calling it "strategic" is not helpful, in the first place because that's not accurate, and in the second place because doing so cuts off any opportunity to develop game content that actually is strategic in the true meaning of that word.

As someone who enjoys a strategic challenge, and who thinks that kind of play absolutely has a valid place in a MMORPG based on the Star Trek universe, it really bothers me to see the possibility of some great gameplay being squandered through what appears to be a misunderstanding of the actual meaning of a particular term of the military arts.

Consider: Worf was a Tactical Officer on the Enterprise; when he signed aboard Deep Space Nine his role (and his job) changed to strategic Operations Officer. Yes, sometimes he did tactical stuff... but that was no longer his main job.

So even Star Trek distinguished the actions of these terms from each other.

Why can't the designers of Star Trek Online take advantage of that distinction when creating gameplay systems?

OK, rant over. :p

But still.

...

Overall, there's a lot to like about the latest comments regarding Star Trek Online. Naturally, there are a few things that don't float my personal boat, but that's how it goes -- for the most part, these latest remarks increase my "do want" level just a bit.

How do you other folks feel about these things?

--Flatfingers
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