Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 323
# 11
01-23-2013, 09:41 PM
I think Kirkfat hit the nail on the head.

The grinder 'content' being made, and rewarded with rave reviews, mirrors exactly what Cryptic has been pushing. Story-lite activities. Things like lockboxes, starbase tiers, dilithium mining, etc.

Unfortunately, STO got a bad start when it was forced to rush to be completed after the whole Perpetual disaster, and has never really recovered from that "Just do the bare minimum necessary, and get it out!" mentality. There never seems to be enough time to do anything in depth. And this is only compounded by the bean counters at Perfect World stipulating EVERYTHING must be directly connected in some way to churning out profit.

Who has time for the gold nuggets content-wise - the Featured Episodes, New Romulus' underlying story, True-to-Trek Foundry missions, that, OMG!, actually require more that 15 minutes to complete and actually require some active thinking on a players part - instead of mindless button mashing and blasting through stuff NOW! in order to maximize dil/marks gain.

The whole mechanic does disservice to the Trek legacy. To quote one of my favorite lines - from none other than one of Kirkfat's missions - "Didn't we used to be explorers?"

Sadly, this (the grind) won't change. It's here to stay. My only hope is that the dev team, sometime in the future, will at least give content-heavy missions a more equal footing by baseing rewards on average time to complete. Maybe then folks will say, "You know, I actually enjoyed the last two hours 'grinding' this mission - what a great story!"
My consolidated list of game improvements for STO: http://sto-forum.perfectworld.com/sh...d.php?t=990371

Last edited by captainhunter1; 01-23-2013 at 09:59 PM.
Starfleet Veteran
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 465
# 12
01-23-2013, 11:32 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by captainhunter1 View Post
I think Kirkfat hit the nail on the head.

The grinder 'content' being made, and rewarded with rave reviews, mirrors exactly what Cryptic has been pushing. Story-lite activities. Things like lockboxes, starbase tiers, dilithium mining, etc.

Unfortunately, STO got a bad start when it was forced to rush to be completed after the whole Perpetual disaster, and has never really recovered from that "Just do the bare minimum necessary, and get it out!" mentality. There never seems to be enough time to do anything in depth. And this is only compounded by the bean counters at Perfect World stipulating EVERYTHING must be directly connected in some way to churning out profit.

Who has time for the gold nuggets content-wise - the Featured Episodes, New Romulus' underlying story, True-to-Trek Foundry missions, that, OMG!, actually require more that 15 minutes to complete and actually require some active thinking on a players part - instead of mindless button mashing and blasting through stuff NOW! in order to maximize dil/marks gain.

The whole mechanic does disservice to the Trek legacy. To quote one of my favorite lines - from none other than one of Kirkfat's missions - "Didn't we used to be explorers?"

Sadly, this (the grind) won't change. It's here to stay. My only hope is that the dev team, sometime in the future, will at least give content-heavy missions a more equal footing by baseing rewards on average time to complete. Maybe then folks will say, "You know, I actually enjoyed the last two hours 'grinding' this mission - what a great story!"
Speaking of basing rewards on playtime, Neverwinter already has a system in place in its Foundry to do just that. For all missions, not just the ones that are featured. Shame we didn't get to have that here.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 346
# 13
01-24-2013, 12:08 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by captainhunter1 View Post
I think Kirkfat hit the nail on the head.

The grinder 'content' being made, and rewarded with rave reviews, mirrors exactly what Cryptic has been pushing. Story-lite activities. Things like lockboxes, starbase tiers, dilithium mining, etc.

Unfortunately, STO got a bad start when it was forced to rush to be completed after the whole Perpetual disaster, and has never really recovered from that "Just do the bare minimum necessary, and get it out!" mentality. There never seems to be enough time to do anything in depth. And this is only compounded by the bean counters at Perfect World stipulating EVERYTHING must be directly connected in some way to churning out profit.

Who has time for the gold nuggets content-wise - the Featured Episodes, New Romulus' underlying story, True-to-Trek Foundry missions, that, OMG!, actually require more that 15 minutes to complete and actually require some active thinking on a players part - instead of mindless button mashing and blasting through stuff NOW! in order to maximize dil/marks gain.

The whole mechanic does disservice to the Trek legacy. To quote one of my favorite lines - from none other than one of Kirkfat's missions - "Didn't we used to be explorers?"

Sadly, this (the grind) won't change. It's here to stay. My only hope is that the dev team, sometime in the future, will at least give content-heavy missions a more equal footing by baseing rewards on average time to complete. Maybe then folks will say, "You know, I actually enjoyed the last two hours 'grinding' this mission - what a great story!"
You can't just base the reward on the average time needed to complete a mission. If you would think about one of those BOFF-Grinder-Arenas - where you leave your BOFFs in a position to deal with all the enemies that will spawn -, then you've got to think about another mechanics to base rewards on.

But how do you want to measure "reading" in another way then time needed? You won't be able to do that by counting how often a key is pressed. That would lead to dialogs of one word per page and players using the "press-f-scripts" that were famous during the winter-event.

I think, the rewards should be time-based, but not on afk-time.

If you think of pure combat-simulations, you could determine the average-difficulty by measuring the incoming- and outgoing-damages. But how do you want to measure debuffs applied?!?

I know, the "Rumble"-Missions are not so famous around here, but they are needed for training (at least my mission is some kind of survival-training).

There was allready a Foundry-Mission that told you just to stay 15 minutes on the Starfleet-Academy map, do Doffing, banking, search the exchange... That mission wasn't combat and it wasn't dialog-heavy, if people wouldn't have ignored the description - that told you to stay 15 minutes on that mission - , then that mission would still qualify for the IOR-wrapper.

So, you've got to find something else to base the reward on, not just time, not just total key-press-count and not number of dialog-popups. If you leave a way open to exploit the system, then it will be used.
First one half of the so called Community complains: "Give us instant access to all veteran rewards, for going lifetime.", then the other half of the same Community complains: "I've earned 1000 Day membership, I want a special reward.".
Stop complaining, if it is enough for you, you could have the "Captains Table" for the real veterans, I don't want access to another dead social zone...
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 84
# 14
01-24-2013, 12:19 AM
A short mission can be story-based too.

My whole philosophy behind my own UGC is that if a parent with a thirty minute break on a work night can't complete my mission then I've outstayed my welcome.

Not that I don't admire incredibly long and intricate missions--just that personal preference can account for things too.
Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 878
# 15
01-24-2013, 12:26 AM
Sometimes the story missions can still break fairly high on the list--but honestly, the ONLY reason I overcame so many of the BOFF grinders and other grinder-type missions was because of my fleet coming in and playing my mission en masse. Once they had done that, enough other players started paying attention enough that they decided they genuinely liked the story. But I shiver to think what would've happened if not for the help of my fleet. And that, I think, is a problem because I know most players aren't like me, using the search terms specifically to look for storylines in areas I am interested in and selecting based on the story.
-----------
Do you like story-based Foundry missions? If so, please check out my mission, "Finding Lascaux."

Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 841
# 16
01-24-2013, 02:07 AM
You know what I noticed when I looked at the ratings list is all of the top missions are new missions, whether they are grind missions or not.

I feel that part of what happened is this: Back say a year ago, pre-F2P having a rating around 4.5 stars was good. Then F2P came, and a lot of the new players didn't bother selecting a rating, resulting in default 3s, so there was a slow erosion in ratings across the board. Eventually it was impressive to have anything over about 4 stars.

Now with the change so you actually have to select a rating, it appears to me like the average rating has increased again. The problem is, with a mission with several thousand reviews, your rating is very much baked in the cake. It's hard to get your rating back up, with the exception of maybe pulling your mission and republishing a duplicate.

This is compounded by the fact that once you've slipped down the list, you get fewer plays, so it's even harder to work off your lower average rating.

I really think that a solution would be for the average star rating to only reflect the last 100 or so ratings. Albeit that could make missions more prone to being attacked by 1 star reviewers, but it would prevent older missions from being on worse footing in the face of changes to ratings or the Foundry in general.


Click here for my Foundry tutorial on Creating A Custom Interior Map.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 841
# 17
01-24-2013, 02:13 AM
I do have to say one more thing. It takes me an extraordinary amount of time to make my missions. In fact, I doubt there are many other authors who have devoted as much time to any specific mission as I have.

I want to make it clear that this isn't about ego or anything like that, but simply a matter of logic. To justify the time I spend, I feel I absolutely need to get at least five hundred plays on my missions-- and that's borderline, at least a thousand would be better.

I do enjoy making my missions, but the fact is, I'm not getting paid for it, and I'm not getting any notoriety in real life or anything like that. There are other creative pursuits I can devote my time to, which arguably would be more worthwhile. So, just as a simple matter of fact, if the grinders dominating the list mean my next mission struggles to get plays, I will have to seriously reconsider whether I should devote any more time to the Foundry.


Click here for my Foundry tutorial on Creating A Custom Interior Map.
Rihannsu
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,484
# 18
01-24-2013, 03:22 AM
I think they should divide the missions into story missions, grind missions (maybe another another category if people want it) via some tabs.

then you can select the tab you want. people who only want grind missions go play them, people who actually want to find a story mission can.

its not technically any different to what it is now, you just have an easier job of finding what you want.

House of Cards - Lvl 46 Fed mission
Empire Veteran
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 2,202
# 19
01-24-2013, 03:32 AM
I have to admit that i play more farming missions than story-based episodes, just because i'm in a very small fed fleet and because we need fleetmarks. At least i have the decency not to give any tips or rates. Please also consider something: story-based content isn't repetable. Once you've played it you're done with it. I guess i could play more of these missions, but i enjoy a lot more creating one than playing one.

I have 2 story-based missions, 3 which are a mix of story and combat, and i noticed something interesting. While the combat ones get more plays and reviews, my story heavy-missions get a better average rating. I guess that's enough and even if most people just like to blow stuff up, it doesn't mean that story heavy missions aren't legitimate and get no attention. It's not the same audience.

If you want a comparison, it's not because most people listen to pop music instead of classical music that it's unfair for the latter. Again it's not the same audience, and TBH i'm happy about the current state of things in this case. It's not because you don't attract large crowds that you did crap.
Lieutenant
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 72
# 20
01-24-2013, 04:04 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by zahinder View Post
Thought:
Have a separate flag/filter for grind missions. I don't mind that they exist -- I DO mind that they push everything else off the listings.

I also mind that the current system means I can't get anyone to look at my missions.

I like this idea. Cryptic has always made dailies. Dailies equal grind. Who didnt grind the Breen dailies back in the day? So yes, I think an entirely separate section would be great.
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