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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
I've noticed the sentiment that this game lacks challenge and depth, particularly in the ground game. I've also noticed the sentiment that people feel like mass murderers in this game.

A lot of this goes back to Cryptic's design philosophy, starting with City of Heroes, that one player is balanced against around five enemies to promote the feeling that even the most casual player is a Bruce Lee and a team of five players can take on thousands of enemies an hour, in keeping with super-hero style combat.

This is intensified with scaling gear and a team of four pets that multiply your Bruce Lee factor, while factoring in that in this game, due to the war, we're killing most of our enemies except when given an alternative that is story driven. This creates some interesting responses in players.

Now, I'm a fan of this game and its design overall. So please don't take this as blind criticism. But I'm also a problem-solver and I think I have a system in mind that addresses all of this at once and ties into Cryptic's love of modular systems (see: The Nemesis System, The Flashback System, etc.). It also ties into the Jedi/Sith type choice system you're likely to see in SWTOR.

Here it is:

The Duty and Honor System:

- Phasers have two settings: Kill and stun.
- Kill works like it does on live.

- Stun disables enemies for 60 seconds. For mission completion's sake, being stunned counts as a death.
- Disabled enemies can be beamed up to your ship's brig.
- Larger ships with larger crew compliments have larger brigs. This tends to support the approach of the shows where a cruiser like the Enterprise is a more peaceful ship whereas an escort like the Defiant is more of a warship.
- Once your brig is full, you can stun or kill enemies but you run the risk of having to face stunned enemies again and again.
- Having prisoners in the brig carries some risk of a breakout. This launches a mission aboard your ship where you face your captives.

- Each sector gets a prisoner drop off location. This is a starbase where starbases exist but there are also colonies/bases/lore locations added as dropooff locales.

Now, what does all of this do?

You have a tug of war "rating" not unlike the Jedi/Sith paths in Star Wars or reputation in ********. At one extreme is Honor. At the other is Duty.

Every killing blow by your or your away team adds toward the Duty column. Every capture adds toward the Honor column.

There can be alternate means of repairing/enhancing one column over the other. For instance, Relief Missions could enhance Honor.

- With your Duty bar at full, you'll also unlock special missions and rewards, including illicit and brutal banned technologies like Varon-T disruptors and bridge officers from sources like the Xindi and the Breen. You'll find yourself working uncomfortably close to Section 31. And have the chance at a mighty Husnock Warship from the past (like the one recreated by Kevin Uxbridge in TNG), an Escort/Cruiser hybrid unlocked through a challenging solo quest.

http://memory-alpha.org/en/wiki/Delta_Rana_warship

- Once you get the Honor bar at full, you'll unlock special missions and rewards, including bridge officers from exotic races like Talosians and Halkans and equipment like Bajoran Orbs. Quests on behalf of the Prophets. Special attention by Q. As this is a harder path, the ultimate reward is a quest chain that will test your purity and devotion as Q sends you chasing the Great Bird of the Galaxy across time and space. Should you succeed, you will gain command of an alternate universe Enterprise, with rights to use the name and a registry of 1701-J, in the form of a Cruiser/Science hybrid.

http://memory-alpha.org/en/wiki/Enterprise-J

I'm probably overthinking this. I always overthink these things.

You can ignore this if you like and play as you currently do but the addition of this system gives you heights to aspire to (or depths to sink to).

Let me know what you think...
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
02-09-2010, 07:43 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leviathan99
Let me know what you think...
What I think :

1) I lol'd at the Bruce Lee factor.

2) Your system is awesome because it allows the beatniks and the mass murderers to enjoy the game equally.

3) I noticed that when a player suggests an awesome system, Cryptic steals it and dumb it down tremendously, which is not that bad. For instance I suspect they borrowed the tricorder / sensors system from JP's mockups and this is still better than nothing. Even dumbed down, it would be a step in the right direction.

4) I prefer your "problems solver" posts rather than your "Picard eats babies alive" posts.

Kudos Leviathan
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
02-09-2010, 07:48 AM
Awesome idea, +1 from me.

Now, repost this on the general feedback forum, else your post gets buried under six feet of whine and moan.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
02-09-2010, 07:50 AM
Anything to give options and add depth to the game could easily be a good thing. Even if implemented poorly it would be an improvement over nothing.

It would take quite a bit of effort and a rewrite of all the current content though....
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
02-09-2010, 07:57 AM
love the idea, probably some tweaking involved to make it really smooth and to give people more incentive to work one way or the other (eg more offensive perks and items for mass murderers, more defensive stuff for the diplomats)

Youd also need to provide something for people who play neutral too, because a lot of people enjoy trying to play both sides equally. (at least i know i do)

I really, sincerely, hope that your suggestion is taken on board, nice work.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
02-09-2010, 08:05 AM
Fantastic idea.

This gets a bump from me
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
02-09-2010, 08:19 AM
I would definitely support this.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
02-09-2010, 08:19 AM
This is a VERY good idea. I would love to see what other people think of this. Something to consider too is that we have different weapon damage types as well. So you could do something like this:

Disruptors don't have a stun setting, so while they deal far more damage it hurts your "honor" points for every 10 minutes or so of having that weapon equipped (or something along those lines).

Phasers do have a stun setting and while there is no bonus or penalty for having one equipped for each stunnned person you beam to the ship it increases your "honor" rating. Or, you could still go on "duty" mode with it and increase your duty points.

I also agree with an above poster, you need a few missions for the neutrals as well, what exactly I don't know.

Overall, I love this idea and it would allow for branching paths, which I think would make a lot of sense for this game and universe. While this is a long term project I would happily wait for this if I knew it was coming.

Oh and there should be no penalty for killing Borg..., but maybe "mercy" points or somthing like that for each one you succesfully convert back to normal. Just a thought.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
02-09-2010, 08:27 AM
interesting idea.

one thing i'd bring up is that the expose/exploit system would need a massive overhaul to work this, but thats not impossible.

at the moment, its possible to deal with ground engagements very quickly using the expose/exploit mechanic. I set all my Boffs up with expose weapons (all AoE) and have two multi-beam exploit weapons. i'll sit back and pick at enemies with my basic attack but the moment an enemy has the "exposed" orange target i'll target them and hit them with the exploit attack, causing huge damage if not vapourisation.

the benefit of AoE exposes with multi target exploits is i'll often clear 2 or 3 enemies with a single hit. this clears areas up very quickly and helps keep the pace of combat flowing.

with a system like yours, you would need a similar chance with stuns, say something like an exposed enemy hit with an exploit weapon on "stun" setting would be instantly unconcious and stay that way. removing them from the fight as quickly as if you turned them to vapour.

in space, taking prisoners doesnt seem... right. in the IP they rarely took entire crews captive, maybe one or two when they had to, but not large amounts.

and alternative to that would be a choice between "disabling" ships and destroying them. often in the series during combat they would wear down an opposing ship until their weapons and engines were offline and leave them. this would work with the "honour/duty" system you propose, with duty requiring you to deny the enemy a chance to repair a damaged ship that could return to the war by destroying it, and honour would be to allow the crew the chance to live..

its an interesting idea, and merits debate and refinement from many points of view on it, my hat off to you for bringing it up
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
02-09-2010, 08:40 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shingi
and alternative to that would be a choice between "disabling" ships and destroying them. often in the series during combat they would wear down an opposing ship until their weapons and engines were offline and leave them. this would work with the "honour/duty" system you propose, with duty requiring you to deny the enemy a chance to repair a damaged ship that could return to the war by destroying it, and honour would be to allow the crew the chance to live..
This was an idea I had for this as well and it would definitely fit within the "duty/honor" system. Glad to see someone else beat me to it first.
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