Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
After tossing around the ideas with some RL friends at work who also play STO, we came up with the following solution that would make everyone happy!

UPDATE: Updated with some excellent suggestions from below.

Implement difficulty sliders, and attach death penalties to the sliders, as well as increased rewards for increased difficulty.

There would be several settings, with the following:

Standard: Normal difficulty, exactly how it is now, with the current loss of energy / crew penalty, and the current rewards. This is exactly as STO is now, and would not change anything for anyone, and would be the default setting.

Hard: Slightly increased spawn sizes, similar to having a 2nd person in your team but playing the map solo. There would be a much harsher energy and crew loss penalty for dying, but slightly increased rewards due to the increase of ships / ground mobs, and a slightly higher % chance to find a rarer item.

Harder: Greatly increased spawn sizes, similar to having 3 additional people in your team, with greater chances for rarer loot, greater chances for loot overall due to increased spawn size, and a significantly increased death penalty: Mission restart (kicked to sector space), complete crew loss with a crew regeneration debuff for a few minutes, and a minor energy credit and Starfleet merit cost.

Hardest: Largest spawn sizes (larger than if in a full team), much greater chance at finding rares: However, there's pretty severe death penalty. Respawn at Sol Starbase, harsh Starfleet merit cost and energy credit cost (upwards of 25% of all existing credits), and a chance to lose an existing piece of ship or ground equipment.

Hardcore: Hardcore... the best rewards by far, but character deletion upon death. There would be a leaderboard (aka graveyard) to view the highest ranked players who have died.

For grouping, the slider could default to either the party leader, or to the lowest setting of the party members. For instance, if everyone was set to Hardest, but one person was set to Standard, it would default down to Standard for this particular instance.

Since PvP doesn't really concern NPC spawns or loot tables, there would be no death penalty for PvP, just as how it is now. So, PvP would behave the same as it is now, regardless of your setting.

Oh, and one thing that is an absolute must: There should be NO way to change the difficulty slider on-the-fly. Once you set it in Sol Starbase, you can only change it in Sol Starbase.

Kind of kills two birds with one stone.... nobody has to change the game unless they want to, and those that do get better rewards for the increased difficulty, but also harsher penalties.

Ideas, suggestions, feedback?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
02-24-2010, 08:00 AM
How would this work i have the game on easy and you have it on hardest and we were in a team? It would be very difficult to control the AI of the ships (would they do less damage to me than you?) and if they spawned more because your on hard, do i have to contend with more ships etc?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
02-24-2010, 08:01 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkusWright View Post
How would this work i have the game on easy and you have it on hardest and we were in a team? It would be very difficult to control the AI of the ships (would they do less damage to me than you?) and if they spawned more because your on hard, do i have to contend with more ships etc?
pretty much this. Its hard enough to get grouping to work right NOW
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
02-24-2010, 08:05 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Khabok
After tossing around the ideas with some RL friends at work who also play STO, we came up with the following solution that would make everyone happy!

Implement difficulty sliders, and attach death penalties to the sliders, as well as increased rewards for increased difficulty.

There would be several settings, with the following:

Standard: Normal difficulty, exactly how it is now, with the current loss of energy / crew penalty, and the current rewards. This is exactly as STO is now, and would not change anything for anyone, and would be the default setting.

Hard: Slightly increased spawn sizes, similar to having a 2nd person in your team but playing the map solo. There would be a much harsher energy and crew loss penalty for dying, but slightly increased rewards due to the increase of ships / ground mobs, and a slightly higher % chance to find a rarer item.

Harder: Greatly increased spawn sizes, similar to having 3 additional people in your team, with greater chances for rarer loot, greater chances for loot overall due to increased spawn size, and a significantly increased death penalty: Mission restart (kicked to sector space), complete crew loss with a crew regeneration debuff for a few minutes, and a minor energy credit and Starfleet merit cost.

Hardest: Largest spawn sizes (larger than if in a full team), much greater chance at finding rares: However, there's pretty severe death penalty. Respawn at Sol Starbase, harsh Starfleet merit cost and energy credit cost (upwards of 25% of all existing credits), and a chance to lose an existing piece of ship or ground equipment.

Hardcore: Yeah. Character deletion. Nobody will play this.

Oh, one thing that is an absolute must: NO way to change the difficulty slider on-the-fly. Once you set it in Sol Starbase, you can only change it in Sol Starbase.

Kind of kills two birds with one stone.... nobody has to change the game unless they want to, and those that do get better rewards for the increased difficulty, but also harsher penalties.

Ideas, suggestions, feedback?
WOW I am VERY impressed with this idea. Everyone can be happy and everyoen gets what they want. Cryptic I must admit this is a great decision idea. If someone complains now they are not worth listening to lol
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
02-24-2010, 08:09 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Khabok
Implement difficulty sliders, and attach death penalties to the sliders, as well as increased rewards for increased difficulty.
This just sounds like a regular consol game and not an MMO.

MMO's increase in difficulty and better loot the higher level you are. There's just no way a LT is going to get a blue item because he has his game set on "Hardcore".
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
02-24-2010, 08:09 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by GT_Hawk View Post
WOW I am VERY impressed with this idea. Everyone can be happy and everyoen gets what they want. Cryptic I must admit this is a great decision idea. If someone complains now they are not worth listening to lol
Complaint.

This wont work, cause you cant mix people playing at different difficulties in one instance, hence Cryptic would need a way to divide the population.

Also, this system creates a difference in equipment state, so that casual players would be victims in PvP as they cant compete with people playing on hard mode.

------

Ok, here, once again what I would implement if I was Cryptic:

- If your ship drops below 20% hull, you cannot fire weapons anymore

- If your ship drops below 5% hull, your ship is completely disabled and floating in space, you cant be hurt any further and enemies can't target you

- Once you are floating, you can be repaired by other groupmembers. Repairing takes 10 seconds and can only be done out of combat

- If you are floating, you get the choice to either wait or auto-destruct your ship.

- If you auto-destruct, you will see an animation (and do damage to nearby enemies) and float in space in your escape pod.

- Now you can either watch your groupmembers fight using a follow me camera, or click and respawn OUTSIDE the mission area.

- You can't enter the mission area unless your group is out of combat.

- If your whole group dies, the mission will reset and you have to redo the map you were playing (just the map, not the whole mission chain, if you fail at "kill 5 klingons" they all respawn). Maybe a mentioning of Q and him warping you back in time would be good here storywise.

- You will though keep all benefits of the failed try, so the time is not wasted, that means you keep all skillpoint, BO points, loot and whatever you collected before you all died.

- When you take damage, your crewmembers either die or go to sickbay like it is now. However, your crew loss will not make you weaker unless you go below 10% crew, at which point every crew percent less will decrease your weapons output by 10%, so at 0% crew you dont do anymore damage. The hull repair rate will not change though anymore, so that your not getting killed easier than before.

- To replenish your crew, you need to visit a starbase and pay energy for funerals, condolence letters and training costs to get a new crew. The energy amount should be minor, like 10 energy x Ship Tier x Crew percent = Tier 5 ship, 100% crew lost = 5000 Energy max if your whole crew is dead.

- If you replenish your crew, there should be a huge window coming up with a funeral, showing you how many officers and crew you lost on that trip to make you feel bad. Then there should be an animation where you wait for a moment of silence for your dead crew, maybe like 10 secs only, again to make you feel bad.

- If you get disabled and then repaired you lose nothing at all, your ship will be back to 100%, (your crewmembers will however stay in sickbay) and you are ready to fight. The only time you are actually getting a penalty is when nobody is alive to repair you and you have to auto-destruct your ship.

- Fleet actions and PvP works different of course, in fleet actions and PvP you would respawn inside the mission area with a 15 secs invulnerability timer, in PvP however a longer respawn timer of 30 seconds after you activate the auto-destruct would be advisable to make death undesirable.

- You should be able to kick players that are AFK from your group easily. Only if they are AFK though.

Thats what I would implement as a DP. It will prevent zerging, it will be a touchable risk that you want to avoid AND the most important part, the content designers can start creating balanced, meaningful endgame missions that don't have to think of zerging.

Also grouping players won't be really hurt by it, but solo playing would be less desirable, although still favourable if you are really good yourself and dont die often. The repairing will lead to more social interaction, the classes will have a meaning because a science vessel is great for geting out alive and repairing why the cruisers and escorts could try to help him escape if things go really bad.

Oh yeah, because you still earn skillpoints while wiping in missions the missions will tend to get easier over time, so even if you fail at a mission now, if you do it often enough your level will rise and you have a better chance of succeeding. Thats important cause we want to avoid a death spiral, where getting killed makes you likely to get killed again over and over. This is here not the case, getting killed will still make your character better.

This penalty will also kill off afk-leveling, cause if there is an afk player the other players will probably find out on death as he isnt repairing them and kick him out. Also, the tolerance for people that AFK will decrease dramatically, which will help the game overall.

Thats my idea, once more.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
02-24-2010, 08:09 AM
I thought the current trend was OMFG WHY ARE YOU FORCING ME TO GROUP?!?!?!?!?!?!?! mentality. Death penalty will never gte a consensus change. All we will have is arguing from both sides. No one will ever be happy.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
02-24-2010, 08:11 AM
Bad idea is bad . . . there are so many better ways to work in a death penalty and the feeling of risk at the same time . . .
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
02-24-2010, 08:13 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Seraan
I thought the current trend was OMFG WHY ARE YOU FORCING ME TO GROUP?!?!?!?!?!?!?! mentality. Death penalty will never gte a consensus change. All we will have is arguing from both sides. No one will ever be happy.
Yeah see I dont get this with a MMO.
WoW FORCES you to do instances at lvl and definately to do raids, btu you dont see hundreds of "OMFG WHY ARE YOU FORCING ME TO GROUP?!?!?!?!?!?!?!" threads there. Or I never did.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
02-24-2010, 08:14 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkusWright View Post
How would this work i have the game on easy and you have it on hardest and we were in a team? It would be very difficult to control the AI of the ships (would they do less damage to me than you?) and if they spawned more because your on hard, do i have to contend with more ships etc?
It would default to the lowest difficulty setting. If someone has it on easy, then all on easy. If everyone has it in hard, then all on hard.

If you group with a random person, then just play it on the lowest common setting. If you want your party to play hard, get people to play on hard.

Hardcore players would not be able to group with anyone, only other hardcore players. Nothing is easy for them

I like the OPs idea. Nicely put out. And don't dismiss people, some people would actually play hardcore. I would add a memorial Cementery to the website, where it lists the top 100 harcore players, the ones that got furthest in the game. That would help and encourage those that want recognition.
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