Very pleased with this set of answers. A lot of things previously speculated upon now confirmed, which helps give a sense of what's coming. Thank you so much.
The ship battle system seems to be a good compromise between fun and strategy, and the idea that a group of capable, well-captained smaller starships can take down a larger enemy, if played well, seems to make all kinds of sense.
While I'm pleased to read that STO will be doing away with arbitrary "levelling" systems, it does beg the question as to what sort of "reward for good play" system will be introduced instead.
As has been said, if it's a "loot-based" reward system, that could threaten to overrun the game with gold farmers, and turn crafting into an "investment banker" game for those strange souls who'd rather log on to become pretend billionaires in pretend economies, than actually play a game for fun.
I guess I'll just have to wait and see what comes. Looks fun and encouraging so far. Thanks again.
The only kind of so-so piece of information is that bit about sharing discovered locations. I may be totally wrong when I see it in implimentation, but what does it matter what cool and/or unique locations you as a player have discovered if other players don't even know or can figure out about its existence?
But please, keep up the good work, Cryptic.
From a technical point of view it may be easier to have the randomized data associated with a new planet treated as a "configuration file" linked to an individual player character account, instead of constantly having to physically update the game universe every single time a player discovers and explores a new star system.
From what we've been told (as I understand it), when a player starship encounters a new star system/world which is not an established, permanent "in-game" location, the game engine randomly generates the details on the spot, as you arrive (out of warp, I presume).
You're effectively inside an unique, random instance (playing area) generated just for you and your starship. The planet you beam down to is similarly "assembled" on the fly as you arrive (c.f. The Game Informer article).
I can see how attaching the randomly-generated characteristics of a discovered star system to the captain/starship who found it makes sense from a meta-game prespective.
If you're already done the mission randomly-generated for that star system when you arrived, is there much point in adding that system to the general-access game galaxy? Now that it's been "played out", does it become a liability, in that, Cryptic now has to figure out a way to explicitly make all these "previously explored" random systems new and interesting again in a way that honors whatever the discovering crew already found? Sounds like a lot of time and effort for the devs.
All the benefits of randomly-generated instanced star systems goes out the window once you have to a) account space for them in the general game galaxy, and b) immediately create and assign (i.e. non-random) continuing content to them so that they remain "points of interest" for other crews, who arrive later.
On a game-building level, the whole point of random, instanced star systems is to provide maximum exploration content with a minimum of hands-on building by the developers.
I like "exploring strange new worlds" -- so let's say I play for 8 hours straight every day, and discover, perhaps, one new star system every two hours, and deal with whatever happens there.
That's four new star sytems a day; 112 star systems a month; 1344 star systems a year -- and that's just me. One player. There will be thousands of people playing this game, so the numbers get staggering fairly quickly, y'know?
So, by attaching the "discovered planets data" to the individual player-captain, it means I can go back to any place I've been at will -- I can share the data with friends if they want to see a place I've discovered -- but I'm not leaving over a hundred "played out" star systems a month cluttering the general game universe, which are of little fun-value to other players, and which Cryptic can't reasonably spare the time to follow up on with new "sequel" content.
I carry the "navigational coordinates" for all the planets I've charted. It probably gets "sent to HQ" , as has been said, to be counted toward the factional effort stuff in-game, but in practical terms, that location is likely only of any further interest to me -- and maybe to my friends ("Hey, wanna see that planet where I fought the Gorns? I beat the Gorns, but the sky is a really cool color!").
So, I can see Cryptic's point here, from a game-design perspective. That's all I'm saying. Apologies if I sounded "lecture-y" at any point. I was only trying to express myself clearly. I hope I succeeded.
Yes. 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.
Originally Posted by Skewed and Reviewed Interview
About fifty percent of your time will be spent in space, and the rest of the time you will be exploring planets, boarding other ships, visiting space stations or performing tasks aboard your own ship.
YES! Thank you, Cryptic! This year I am thankful that CRYPTIC ROCKS SO MUCH!
That's two out of my three major gripes about P2's design that Cryptic has squashed within the last few days. Now all we need is a one-server model so I can play with all my friends and I'll be a happy camper.
I must also complement the art team on the Klingon Fortress screenshot that recently got released. They have Klingon architecture down pat. That structure screams Klingon design. Awesome!
I have to say I am glad Cryptic is keeping us in the light, as to what is happening in game.
I find the new Q&A awesome,however I did have one concern. I'm all about the "no level" system within a game..its why I enjoyed EVE.
However, my one fear is,since STO is not going to be forcing players to grind away, will STO be going the way of EVE and having XPlayerX putting a new skill to learn in Que and having it take 2 weeks to learn before you can use such skill?
Other than that, i'm really happy in the direction STO is going.
Wow, lots of great info in this update. I am very interested in how the skills system will work now that it has been confirmed. This is a great early Christmas present and has me very excited for this game.
Now THIS is more LIKE it. A reverse engineering system. A discovery system. Astro-archeology. Astro-cartography, Being able to use information as a form of currency! Gold farmers can go to hell! Technology based skills and abilities. NO LEVLES!!!!! The tech race is on! This is going in the direction I had hoped it would be going. SWTOR is not, I DON'T want to be hand held through the entire play cycle. I don't want to read a script! I want to make my own story, my own discoveries, my own choices, and not multiple choice. Give me TOOLS to USE. Not a script to read!!! Do you hear me TOOLS!!!!
Good job so far. I look forward to more information like this.
Sweet! This seems like the perfect game for me! From the looks of things, this game's gonna be about F-U-N fun, and none of that obsessive, take-over-your-life WoW stuff. If the most complicated aspect of the game is that whole "Divert power to different things," than this is gonna be awesome! I didn't even think of doing that. This is actually a plus, because that just makes it more like the show!
This is awesome! I really like the idea about the using the power core rather than a "mana" bar. This exploration map will be very intersting on how they develop that. I like the idea sharing the discoveries of new systems with everyone. However, what happens when those people that play 24/7 discover all the new systems? I want a sense that I'm making discoveries too! Great Q&A