Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
Sector Space is something i would like to have improved.

It's not the worst idea but i always feel like i'm in a room somehow. you have corners, walls and are moving between them. Here's my proposal. Please comment how you feel about it

SECTOR SPACE

How about we merge Galaxy map and sector space together. Making a huge Map where you can zoom in and out with a sysbol that represents where you are.

You could also add some point at where you zoom in that get's a bit more a 3D look.

You could then plot a course...and..engage.

You could put in some time to travell from A to B

Major known systems should be on the Map...Everything else could just pop up in some radius what would be exploration points. For know we always know that clusters are for exploration..but having pop up..maybe with a message while we are on the bridge would be a bit more of a surprise ...maybe something like "sir we found an unknown system"...and you could choose "ignore it or plot course to this location"

A major benefit is that you would only have to load when actually getting in to a system and not while changing sectors.

It would feel more like a universe where you just see your ship warping out of a system and warping into a system.

We could add warp and transwarp engines that are unlocked with a rank that let us cover greater distance in shorter time.

We could easily make a really big universe.

Fleets that travell together could be marked as a symbol on the map. In this case every faction could intercept fleets making fleet actions better or feel more realistic.

As a player you could have the option to set yourself to open pvp...if an enemy is waiting at a system and you enter....well...let's start a fight.

You could add long range sensors that allow you to see player ships at a certain distance relative to you.

Well...if marked for PvP you could see them and...plot intercept course

While you travel from system to system you would be on your bridge where you could see star streaks on the viewscreen, the time needed to arrive at a point...some generall info.

From your own seat you could access stellar cartography...that's the map where we choose our heading..and so on.

It would certainly bring a great deal to make it feel really Trek..don't you think?

You could add many nice things this way

I would strongly consider doing so
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
02-10-2010, 06:10 AM
Ok let's put some more info into it

In generall instance switching would be easier. It's really just a background calculation.

But...for open pvp it would add greatly. Say you get into battle with my proposal...eighter in open space or near a system.

The players could send out some message..distress call or something like this. Players that would be near and would pick up this message could choose to change course to intercept. They would be flagged for pvp on point entry

This would easily become a fleet battle . Wouldn't this make things interessting?

Players who don't like pvp are generally marked for non pvp making them "invisible" to pvp players on the map in near distance.

Fleets who travell together would always be seen because they don't go unnoticed. Territory cntrol would have another meaning with invading fleets.

Events would get a sysbol on the map...you just have to plot a course..never again have you troubles of "where is the action going on"

I suppose my proposal would make the servers life a bit easier and you could make the univers as big as it should be. Just canon locations should stay where they are and the rest could be put in as designers freedom and exploration

If you see players on the map near you, you could also hail them "hey how about some trade" "wanna join my mission"

The rest could be a seperate chat sytem that we can acess from the bridge. We could also add something like a bulletin board to look for some news....maybe it could be a link to the forums here

All this could be controlled through the bridge
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
02-10-2010, 06:50 AM
This would make it feel more open for every faction...travelling around. It would be immersive for Klingons, Federation and any other Factions that might come.

You would have a clear neutral zone border and not the bit unclear one at present.

Dev's could add sytem by system or change existing.

In this way you wouldn't have "rooms" that you cross.

Even clusters could get a nice colour on the map where the chance of travelling through them would increase the rate of things you could encounter. That's where cluster exploration as it is know can stay as it is but would be represented a bit more universe like

Even random encounters "sir we are being attacked by an unknown vessel" would greatly integrate into this system.

Or events like "somethings going wrong aboard the ship..systems are being drained of power"

See it on the global level...you could really add a great number of things here because you are virtually unlimited in options.

Crossing the neutral zone or entering a territory could also trigger attacks.

It really is a way where you could represent a univers with life going on....

wouldn't this be the "FINAL FRONTIER" most of you would like?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
02-10-2010, 07:06 AM
Your post is actually quite freaky because I was only just discussing the issue about Sector Space and the use of distress signals with a friend about 15 minutes ago. I'm sure that this issue has been discussed many times during beta, but I'm willing to discuss it with you now

My guess is that Cryptic brought in Sector Space to give people a sense of being in a multiplayer game, rather than a solo game. If that is true then it actually doesn't fulfill this role very well, because of the flaws concerning multiple instances (copies) of the same sector blocks and the fact that the Sector blocks themselves are split up. Of course part of the reason could be that implementing Sector Space was easier than implementing a more "startrek like" way of moving through the game universe.

Therefore, I agree with you OP that a change would be in order to facilitate a better feeling of being in a multiplayer game AND that you're in a StarTrek Universe. After all, the various Captains didn't often see other ships whilst warping about. But they DID see them in the systems they visited and at the starbases.

In short: Removing the emphasis on moving through game via Sector Space is actually doing more harm than good in my own opinion. It should therefore be replaced with concepts that both promote the multiplayer atmosphere AND immerse the player in a more StarTrek-like game universe. Here's my comments on your post with my own thoughts for consideration:

1) Movement between systems / starbases
Players move from system to system via warping in an "Eve Style" warping environment.
Basically, for those who never played Eve, remember how Voyager and the Enterprise were depicted at warp at the start / end of various episodes? Well that's basically what is required. Players ships go to warp, and they are presented with an environment depicting their ship at warp (stars flying past etc).

2) Navigation
Like you said OP, the galaxy map could be replaced with a collection 2 dimensional representations of the sector space maps. So, when the player accesses the galaxy map, they can double click on a sector and it "zooms" in to show a 2D version of the sector space (thus a more true representation of the tactical views shown in the series and films).

Players can then right click on a system to set course. The distance between the system that the player is currently in, and the destination determines how long it will take to get there at maximum warp.

2) Getting players together (Distress calls)
Like you said OP, to ensure that the multiplayer side of the game isn't lost, they could introduce the concept of distress calls. Players / npc factions that need help send out the distress calls to all in the area. These events are then shown on the sector maps (so a course can be plotted that way if required). The details of such distress calls could automatically include the system name and the "con" level of mobs. Thus players can make a decision whether to answer the call or not.

The removal of the 3D Sector Space environment could possibly free up server side resources which could be used to provide larger, more public space and ground zones for the missions. Thus promoting a greater sense of the multiplayer aspect of MMO's.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
02-10-2010, 08:24 AM
and another good point of the whole idea is that it makes the bridge the center area of it all like in the movies. I also had an idea to add a cargo hold where you could sell wares to others. They could beam aboard and browse your wares...maybe interessting for players who like to play as ferengi. The ship would get more a sozializing spot.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
02-10-2010, 08:44 AM
My response is the same as always -- SECTOR SPACE MUST DIE.

It must die for one particular reason: it makes the seams of the experience way, way, WAY too visible. When people talk about loading screens, what are they talking about? 90% of the time they're talking about moving in and out of sector space. And what does sector space contribute to the experience other than the irritation of running into a "deep space encounter" that you have to turn around and hop out of? Not very much.

I'm not an advocate of the "bridge simulator" that many people seem to have wanted, especially back in beta, but I do believe that we should really get some use out of the bridge. And the best use is to simply cover up the loading screens.

Imagine if every trip went like this:

I'm in earth orbit. I pull up a system list and select the Vulcan system. Immediately, I get the warp animation of my ship leaving the Sol system. After that, I'm on the bridge where my avatar sits in the captain's chair and some stars swing past on the view screen. You have thirty seconds or so to manage your crew, and every now and then you get a notice of an incoming call or sensor reading that you might want to respond to. You don't have to click on BOs or move to stations to make things happen, just take care of business from the big chair. After a very short while, you get the animation of warping into Vulcan, and you're back to normal combat control of your ship.

What's the difference: no loading screens. and no sector space It's still instanced, the loading still took place, it just didn't get shoved in your face the way it does now. And I get to sit in the friggin' chair, which is THE Star Trek iconic moment.

I also see no reason that it should take more than a minute to go anywhere. Just make the trip long enough to handle getting you from one instance to the next and spare me the interminable movement of my Hot Wheels Space Ship across a grid.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
02-10-2010, 08:50 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Devilstower View Post
My response is the same as always -- SECTOR SPACE MUST DIE.

It must die for one particular reason: it makes the seams of the experience way, way, WAY too visible. When people talk about loading screens, what are they talking about? 90% of the time they're talking about moving in and out of sector space. And what does sector space contribute to the experience other than the irritation of running into a "deep space encounter" that you have to turn around and hop out of? Not very much.

I'm not an advocate of the "bridge simulator" that many people seem to have wanted, especially back in beta, but I do believe that we should really get some use out of the bridge. And the best use is to simply cover up the loading screens.

Imagine if every trip went like this:

I'm in earth orbit. I pull up a system list and select the Vulcan system. Immediately, I get the warp animation of my ship leaving the Sol system. After that, I'm on the bridge where my avatar sits in the captain's chair and some stars swing past on the view screen. You have thirty seconds or so to manage your crew, and every now and then you get a notice of an incoming call or sensor reading that you might want to respond to. You don't have to click on BOs or move to stations to make things happen, just take care of business from the big chair. After a very short while, you get the animation of warping into Vulcan, and you're back to normal combat control of your ship.

What's the difference: no loading screens. and no sector space It's still instanced, the loading still took place, it just didn't get shoved in your face the way it does now. And I get to sit in the friggin' chair, which is THE Star Trek iconic moment.

I also see no reason that it should take more than a minute to go anywhere. Just make the trip long enough to handle getting you from one instance to the next and spare me the interminable movement of my Hot Wheels Space Ship across a grid.
100% agree. In my own opinion, this concept would make it more "trek-like" and more acceptable. Like I said, this is my own opinion, I don't attempt to speak for anyone else.

Although I would like to add a few points :

1) Allow an optional "external view" of the ship whilst its at warp (selectable on the same list as selecting the Bridge). One that simulates the scenes we saw in the series which depicted the ship at warp. Thus giving the player the illusion that they would be watching an episode of TNG, Voyager or DS9. Thus kind of "at warp" viewpoint is already enjoyed in Eve Online. The fact that the only things being shown would be the ship and stars flying past could possibly mean little in the way of load times (if any) between setting off for warp and reaching the destination.

2) The further you want to travel, then the longer it should take. Roughly the exact same time as it would now when you travel through Sector Space would, in my own opinion, be acceptable.

3) The chat window would still be global as it is now, thus you can see what people are saying and thus ensuring that the player is still kept within the multiplayer environment.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
02-10-2010, 08:58 AM
Great answers

The Ferengi traiding style would also be nice for the RP guys ot there.
You could put in a trade channel and ask for some wares and if someone has something for you could klick on there name and "set course" to make it easier to get to someone

I suppose in the end we would have a system that benefits PVP players, non pvp players and RP players.

I would also add the ability to drop out of warp in the middle of warp or something like a question upon sytem arivall "do you want to enter [yes/no] just if you want to still do something aboard your ship bevor you actually get to work
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
02-10-2010, 09:01 AM
Great thread.

Sector space looks horrible - I prefer any of the above suggestions to the "neon-lit lollypop shop" we have to fly though now - bleh!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
02-10-2010, 09:02 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by EaglePryde View Post
Great answers

The Ferengi traiding style would also be nice for the RP guys ot there.
You could put in a trade channel and ask for some wares and if someone has something for you could klick on there name and "set course" to make it easier to get to someone

I suppose in the end we would have a system that benefits PVP players, non pvp players and RP players.

I would also add the ability to drop out of warp in the middle of warp or something like a question upon sytem arivall "do you want to enter [yes/no] just if you want to still do something aboard your ship bevor you actually get to work
True, an option to actually drop out of warp when you reach your destination would also be beneficial for those who are not ready for it (for whatever reason). From a graphics point of view, declining the option just cycles more stars flying by, nothing changes. No requests have been made from the server to change instances.
Lore-wise one could argue that if you decline the option to drop out of warp, you are essentially "going around the block again" rather than dropping into the system.

The option could then sit in a minimised form as one of the usual "bars" that appear on the right side of your screen labelled as "OPS". Then, when the player is ready, they click it, and accept the option to drop out of warp.

Presto. The local system begins to load up. Just as it does now. However, only one loading time has been experienced. Whereas now, you experience a minimum of two (one for leaving the old system and one for entering your destination). Let alone the additional loading times changing sector blocks.
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