Thanks for the above-average "Ask Cryptic". Definitely some good stuff this time around.
Naturally, a few comments:
Your ship’s Warp Core provides power, and you allocate this power to individual systems – shields, weapons, propulsion, etc.
I think this approach can work just fine. Every system will have a minimum level of power-based effectiveness, but there are still interesting tactical choices to be made -- we'll have to decide which system at any moment we want to favor over other systems. Excellent.
However, now there are some additional questions that occur to me:
What other systems will benefit from having additional power diverted to them? Main computer? Sensors? Communications? Main deflector? If having more power matters to those systems, what effects will be produced by giving them more power?
More importantly to me, I look forward to learning what this ship power management feature will do for non-combat gameplay.
There will be new items to find during your adventures as well as the ability to create new items or improve existing ones.
I'm generally happy to see this.
My one concern is with that first part, which may signal that Cryptic intends to design Star Trek Online to be a loot-centric game. That's not necessarily a bad thing in terms of gameplay -- after all, some form of reward for playing needs to be offered, and (as the next quote suggests) if not XP for leveling-up, then objects/gear are the obvious alternative. However, "lootcentricity" could lead to a couple of things that aren't much good: grinding for "epics" and attractiveness to farmers. We'll need to see what having "new items to find" really means to know if those concerns are justified.
More positively, I hope this statement means that we can look forward to crafting in Star Trek Online being more about rewarding player creativity -- which I believe is most appropriate for a MMORPG based on the Star Trek license -- and less about the manufacturing and sales gameplay that are emphasized in MMORPGs based on other IP.
If "the ability to create new items" just means being able to crank out a bunch of slightly-different copies of some developer-defined object, or trying to sell thousands of bits of junk, that's not very interesting and IMO won't add unique value to this particular game service.
If, OTOH, crafting in Star Trek Online is being designed to reward perceptiveness over mere persistence by letting players create new kinds of objects (within appropriate limits)... well. For this game, that is most epically win.
Since we’re not using a traditional level-based system, smaller ships with good tactics and teamwork can take on bigger ships with a solid chance of success.
As interesting as that second bit of information will be for some folks, you do realize that the throwaway comment that Star Trek Online won't be using the class/level advancement model of other triple-A MMORPGs is what's really going to "energize" some of us around here, right?
Let the non-negotiable demands for an explanation of what "not ... a traditional level-based system" means begin!
In terms of power management in combat, will damage to the ship affect how much power is available for distribution (as in Bridge Commander or Starfleet Command)?
Also, will ship combat enable the targeting of specific sub-systems of ships, or will it be a more simple system?
maybe they could make is so if you divert more power to the sensors then you will be able to target a specific sub-system or something along those lines. that would be another tactical decision to make with the power managment.
I may be one of the few who finds this Ask Cryptic unsatisfactory.
Not only did they tell us things that we could have inferred on our own (power management of the starship, as it has been in this system allocation format since the Starfleet Command games over a decade ago), but they failed to give us anything remotely valuable like in previous Ask Cryptics about how our NPC crews would work.
They did drop a big hint that their exploration content will likely be localized to your pc/character data. That makes sense given that if everyone explored the exact same universe then players who join a year in have little to no chance of finding something new themselves. I like it from a mechanics and gameplay perspective but some hardcore realism people might be mad that it could effectively make the universe different for every player, making a multiverse instead of a universe.
Another important tidbit about their space combat system is that it is fortunately going the way of EVE in that several small ships from brand new players can seriously threaten single ships flown by experienced players. Alot of traditional MMO's aren't like that, no matter how many lvl warriors you get toegether, you aren't going to drop a completely decked out lvl80 warrior.
How does one ask a question anyway? Havne't seen a place to add one ...
I've found sooo much information on the Gorn, I would love to know if Cryptic is interested in looking it over and maybe what they are seeing as background ... even for Tellarites, Andorians and Orions.