Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 21
02-23-2010, 10:26 AM
How about letting us fight from them like they falsely advertised in the commercials.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 22
02-23-2010, 10:35 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by OddjobXL View Post
This may be harder than it sounds. SWG still has people sliding off click-to-sit chairs on a regular basis and that was a bug since day one there. Still, this is a huge deal for me as "sitting" is the ur-roleplayer emote. Nobody else ever needs or wants to have an avatar sit anywhere. There's no use for it. But for us, sitting down is a way of saying, "come take a load off, let's chat" when everyone else is running about like chickens with their heads cut off, and only a roleplayer (or a roleplayer that doesn't know she's a roleplayer yet) would bother to imagine their character sitting down to feel comfortable.
Completely agreed on sitting. Even more than just being a roleplaying tool, it's an IMMERSION tool--and I consider the two separate. Roleplaying, to me, is where a person constructs and writes/behaves from the point-of-view of their character... immersion is just a measure how transparent the game mechanics are to a player (whether roleplaying or not).

For instance, pressing "Up" to go up is more immersive than having to type Up. Functional immersion. The degree varies, but the principle is the same.

When you want to sit in a chair, but can't (or you have to go through some complicated ritual) it's like the game going "Beep Beep - Hey, you! You're playing a game right now!" The more things you can do intuitively--click a chair to sit in it, click a door to open it, and so on--the more transparent the game is. And the better off the player is.

A fish is happier in a clear aquarium because they don't SEE the walls. They're there, but the fish isn't constantly reminded of that fact. Being able to intuitively use a chair goes, surprisingly, a LONG way toward that when it comes to social spaces.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkjedi View Post
DO NOT have massive interiors! We are not Starbase Commanders and our ships aren't pleasure yachts. If the interiors are built for giants, I would prefer the Devs not even bother. After all, the shows have 40+ years of material and 28 seasons of canon "look and feel" - why not just stick to what we know and expect?
Why not? One word - compromise. You can't have small interiors AND have missions take place on your ship. You can't have a true-scaled bridge AND bring 15 friends on board AND your bridge officers AND still be able to get decent positions and angles for a fun screenshot. You couldn't even walk around right with collision detection enabled as it is.

If making them bigger to accomodate camera views, tactical combat, and large group gatherings is what it takes, it's better than throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 23
02-23-2010, 10:36 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tsvaox
How about letting us fight from them like they falsely advertised in the commercials.
That is a really interesting point. In the TV commercials you see no fewer than two separate scenes of captains and bridge crews fighting from the bridge!

If there really wasn't any demand for this why would it be so central to the very marketing of the game? The guys doing the commercials know that people attracted to a Trek game would naturally gravitate to, and recognise, this critical element. Even the general public is far more likely to think of space combat, unique to a Trek setting, as action taking place inside the bridge of a ship as that's how it's always been presented in the various series. Red alert! Captain shouting orders! Panels blowing up as they overload. The crew swaying as the bridge reels under enemy fire.

That's pretty hard to get away from isn't it?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 24
02-23-2010, 10:42 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by xMentalxLintx
Completely agreed on sitting. Even more than just being a roleplaying tool, it's an IMMERSION tool--and I consider the two separate. Roleplaying, to me, is where a person constructs and writes/behaves from the point-of-view of their character... immersion is just a measure how transparent the game mechanics are to a player (whether roleplaying or not).
You might enjoy this. It's an old blog article of mine called On Immersion.

To me immersion is what roleplaying is really all about. This is where Bartle and others very much miss the mark when describing player types. Can you be immersed, in the way we're using the word, in an interactive setting and not be roleplaying a little bit even if the 'character' is just a projection of your own identity into a different world?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 25
02-23-2010, 10:47 AM
It is, but I understand it.

YOU are the captain. Your computer chair is the command chair. And the UI is your tactical viewscreen. Think of how clunky combat would be if you had to watch it from your bridge.... It would be like reading a book by looking at pictures of someone else reading the book.

On TV, you're WATCHING the captain command the ship. But that's not how the CAPTAIN sees it. In the game, you're a holistic representation of what the captain, bridge officers, and sensors are all seeing. In the game, you ARE the captain, you're not just watching him do it.

It's like watching someone play the Sims, while they watch their Sim watch TV. Just watch TV, man!

In my mind, I can see this tactical view seemlessly oscillating from outside to bridge and back again as the moment demands... but when I really think of how it would go if I were truly commanding from the captain's chair..... How would I know that torpedo is inbound? How would I know there's someone sneaking in from behind? How would I know my enemy's shields are getting low, so it's time to fire the torpedo BEFORE I'm told they're down, so the hit will land at the right time?

That's right--I'd be staring at a series of consoles and numbers sitting next to my chair, and hearing messages from my bridge officer. Shield indicator, sensors, what weapons are firing where and when and at whom, my enemy's stats... these are all the items I'd be staring at. Isn't that basically what the UI is? All that information rolled into one?

It's better for me to be looking at it than for me to be looking at my captain looking at it.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 26
02-23-2010, 10:56 AM
Oddjob:

Firmly agreed on that article, 100%.

And to your statement above, I agree. People ARE roleplaying, and immersion matters to ALL of them... whether they admit it or not. Isn't it better to SEE the ship blow up than to see a text message that says "Ship explodes?" It is... and that has nothing to do with function or controls or ease of play. It has everything to do with SEEING the believable RESULTS of your actions.

Our modern culture is just so prone to looking down on any activity that demands imagination... and imagination atrophies as a result. It's not a childhood luxury, it's an essential skill. Working on a word problem, your imagination is what allows you to PICTURE those events taking place. Fixing a car, your imagination is what takes you step-by-step through the systems as you decide which one to check for what problem. Deciding what to cook for DINNER requires you imagining what each choice will taste like, for crying out loud.

What makes the guy that goes to the Star Trek movie dressed as a Klingon any "dumber" than the guy that wears his favorite player's jersey to a ball game? What makes a grown man that plays with Nerf guns or action figures more "childish" than a man who buys a particular set of clubs because his favorite golfer uses them?

And what guy doesn't leave a kung-fu movie thinking, somewhere deep inside, "I totally hope someone tries to rob me in the parking lot, 'cuz I'd be all HI-YAH and WOOOOO-AI!"

Imagination. Use it.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 27
02-23-2010, 11:02 AM
In order of Importance, here's what I'm looking for...
  • Ready Room: I want a private social area on my ship where I can hold social gatherings of a discussion nature.
  • Transporter Room: This should be where you enter someone else's ship. The captain can spawn on the Bridge, but anyone else should spawn in the Transporter room and have to make for the Turbolift to get to the Bridge
  • Ten-Forward: As has been pointed out, Cryptic has rooms for these. Even just a clone of the opening room from the Tutorial would be fine for me. I want a ready room to have social discussion, but I'd love a ten-forward for private parties.
  • Captain's Qaurters/Office: I would LOVE a place that is customizabe down to what can be put in it, like SWG allowed. If there are accolades that can be achieved that have certain physical objects appear in the ready room, then that would be better. Maybe even have 1-3 tribbles spawn in different corners of the office every time you enter it. (and then leave afterwards, or else the fiftieth time I enter my office, I'd be hip deep in furballs.)
  • Engineering: It's a "neat to have" room, but not incredibly high on my list.
  • Sick Bay: Another "neat to have" area, but unless I need it for a specific RP thing, or it has some functionality, I don't need it.

If you have these key areas, and have them only accessible by turbolift and short hallways, you can have Episodes that "take place on your ship" occur in other areas. Maybe even leave out Engineering and Sick Bay as visitable locations and instead have them linked to mission paths.

Here's what I don't need; smaller interiors or the ability to fight from my bridge. I love the UI and apperance of Space Combat and I need to be able to swing my camera angle around and see things from a 3rd person perspective. I can't see how I could do that from my bridge. And to have all my bridge officers thrown around when a torpedo hits? Do you know how many times you're hit with a torpedo during combat, nevermind 2-4 of them in a salvo? That would get really old, really fast.

For ship interiors, yes, it's spacious but it's there to make combat dynamic. It doesn't bother me, but that's my opinion. Sadly, unlike "Captain's Perspective Space Combat" I can't see how that would be something that could be optionally used; it's all or nothing, and I feel that it's fine now.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 28
02-23-2010, 11:18 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by xMentalxLintx
Why not? One word - compromise. You can't have small interiors AND have missions take place on your ship. You can't have a true-scaled bridge AND bring 15 friends on board AND your bridge officers AND still be able to get decent positions and angles for a fun screenshot. You couldn't even walk around right with collision detection enabled as it is.

If making them bigger to accomodate camera views, tactical combat, and large group gatherings is what it takes, it's better than throwing the baby out with the bathwater.
What? Are you kidding me? Of COURSE you could have misisons on your ship. Having the hallways be correct size has nothing to do with the missions you could run - they just need to design the missions for the spaces needed to tell the story.

For example, if your mission is to hunt down an Undine that's stealthed it's way aboard, it's not good story-telling to drag your entire senior staff along, anyway. You all split up and the mission tells you to pick ONE Bridge Officer to accompany you... then you sneak around in crawlspaces looking for the invader.

However, if the mission is to hold a gathering of diplomats, then you use Ten Forward or the Assembly Hall. If you want your friends over, you can use the larger social areas.

Tight spaces have been used in 3D games since the days of Doom. If the AI can't handle moving through a smaller corridor, then the AI needs fixing, not the environment. I feel too much has already been compromised in STO, and as a former developer who has actually built levels for games, I don't see any purpose to the massive spaces we have.

*EDIT* - BTW, the large interior spaces are a signature of Cryptic's and not an artifact of the engine. COH had them too, which ran on a different engine.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 29
02-23-2010, 12:59 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkjedi View Post
What? Are you kidding me? Of COURSE you could have misisons on your ship. Having the hallways be correct size has nothing to do with the missions you could run - they just need to design the missions for the spaces needed to tell the story.
But that's the point I'm making--try to see what I mean. You have to limit yourself as to what missions you can put where. Think back to that mission where you're fighting on the bridge of a disabled ship (no further details, for spoiler purpoes). It felt like a good battle... but shrink that space by half.

You'd be tripping over each other, and the scenery, and the enemy. There would be no tactics, because there's no room for positional strategy. It would be a mess. OR it would just be a duel between you and the captain... which is pretty boring, given that combat in this game is designed and balanced around strategic teams.

Quote:
For example, if your mission is to hunt down an Undine that's stealthed it's way aboard, it's not good story-telling to drag your entire senior staff along, anyway. You all split up and the mission tells you to pick ONE Bridge Officer to accompany you... then you sneak around in crawlspaces looking for the invader.
And what if you and your friends wanted to do that mission together? Tough, you can only bring one. That's the cost when you let the SPACE determine the CONTENT. People want to bring their friends on more missions to more places, so they need the space.

Quote:
Tight spaces have been used in 3D games since the days of Doom. If the AI can't handle moving through a smaller corridor, then the AI needs fixing, not the environment. I feel too much has already been compromised in STO, and as a former developer who has actually built levels for games, I don't see any purpose to the massive spaces we have.

*EDIT* - BTW, the large interior spaces are a signature of Cryptic's and not an artifact of the engine. COH had them too, which ran on a different engine.
You don't see it because you're looking at it from a different game's perspective. This isn't a 3rd-person or 1st-person shooter. Doom didn't need to leave room on the screen for your avatar. 3rd-person shooters don't have you controlling tactical teams in positional combat. Don't think Splinter Cell, think Rainbow 6--and yeah, the spaces are larger.

Cryptic intentionally designed ground combat to emulate some of the positional combat elements of space--Craig has said so in interviews. That impacts game balance, and it impacts the environment. To make positional strategy meaningful, you have to have space in which to position things.

Otherwise, it's just "my clump of guys" versus "your clump of guys" in an AoE spam-off. Or it's you versus me... hope you brought the right kit, or that the enemy is easy (which would be boring).

Any area of the ship where we expect action to take place needs room for it to happen. And Cryptic is used to designing BIG action--explosions, effects, flying, and now positional strategy. THAT is why big areas are a signature of their teams.

The only area I think should be kept on a low scale are the Captain's Quarters (if we ever get them). No combat missions should go there--it should be a personal space, more intimiate and individualized. You can invite friends, but only a few at a time. This is a compromise because some of us would like the area to be customizable... so that means keeping it a bit smaller and more limited in guest capacity.

From the angle Crypic is coming from with combat in this game, the large spaces make SENSE if there are ever to be missions on the ship.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 30
02-23-2010, 01:08 PM
Excellent thread. I agree with pretty much all the suggestions to expand ship content.
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