Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 21
05-26-2010, 06:48 PM
The only way I'd suggest rewards of XP/Credits/uncommon+ items is to have a player review board as it has been suggested.
  • The player review board would be a select group of people done by cryptic (the reason behind this is I'd ASSUME they would pick people that aren't at random and those that have shown they care about the community).
  • It'd be like the XNA system on Xbox Live. Which allows for people to make their own games, and have it submitted to be accessible via XBL. However with some changes -
  • Those with no rewards at all are allowed to be put into circulation without a review.
  • The ones with rewards would be submitted to the board to base their decisions off a few key points
    • Are the drops fair to the scale of the difficulty involved? (As in if they have rare drops are the enemies hard enough or are they just targs?)
    • Are the XP/Credit rewards scaled to the mission or is it just run in, kill 5 klingons and get 50,000 XP and a million credits?
    • Is it sane? (Meaning is it a story that's complex, driven and worth the rewards that are given)
  • Once it's passed to the review board, they get a description of the mission. The description would be done by the player themselves, then a technical blob about what drops are involved, what XP is given at the end, what credits, any items etc.
  • This makes it easy to know if one should be just refused off the bat (most people know that if you go into a room and it's kill 5 klingons you shouldn't get 50k XP for example)
  • After a simple readout, the board would run the map and make sure it's clear of MAJOR bugs caused by the player that made it. (Obviously any game bugs that the player couldn't actually fix would be ignored and submitted via the bug report system)
  • If majority of the board approves it, then it's put into circulation. If not, it's refused with the reasons from the board (each board member MUST put a reason they are refusing the map) and the player is allowed a chance to fix it.
  • If after 2 submissions the mission is not accepted, the player may not submit the same mission again. (easiest way to stop them from going around this would be a unique ID code attached to that one mission)
  • Players that continuously try to get "bad" missions approved by the board, thus wasting their time, will be banned from submitting missions with rewards for a certain amount of time (or indefinite).
  • While this will make missions slow to get out the door, it'd also make sure the right type of missions with rewards are approved and placed into circulation.
  • It would also put an ease of mind to most players knowing that the board would not approve a high reward mission unless the difficulty was there.
  • The player review board could also be cycled out once every 3 months or so, to give everyone that wishes to be on the board a chance to do so.
  • Those found attempting to bribe the board in anyway would be banned from submitting missions for approval.
  • Those found accepting bribes would be removed from the board and not allowed back on, also possible other sanctions.

At the moment thats the best I could come up with for a player review board idea. Overall, I love the idea of UGC and can't wait for it
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 22
05-26-2010, 09:17 PM
Expired comment
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 23
05-26-2010, 10:24 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by StarbasePrime
What features would you like to see in the UGC (User Generated Content) tool? As we get more feedback I'll update the list.
I've been watching this thread since you started it, and frankly there's really nothing at this point that I can add. Your comprehensive list pretty much covers everything that I've thought of.

The one thing that I can add is that I really want the STO devs to take special care to avoid the mistakes that were made by the CoH/V devs.

So if I had any say-so over the STO UGC system these are the restrictions that I'd make sure were part of that system:

  1. Limited to LCdr 1 and above.
    Why? To prevent the massive amounts of PLing of people new to the game, who then quickly become bored and then quit the game, without ever having seen 90% of the game world.
  2. The UGC system should not be a "Holodeck" system.
    Players running UGC missions should still have to travel around the game world to get to their missions. People sitting in one room doing nothing but searching for missions and then clicking on the mission door was one of the things that contributed to boredom and player burn out.

    The complete lack of travel time is also one of the things that contributed to ridiculously increased leveling speed in CoH/V's MA. Considering how fast characters cap out in STO already, do we really need to increase that even more?
  3. Mission rewards should be reduced, but not eliminated.
    If the UGC system offers no rewards then very few players are going to be interested in playing it. The UGC system should be offered as an alternative leveling-up method. By slightly reducing the amount of XP and rewards in comparison to the dev created content, it stops the PLing and massive farming before it ever starts, but still allows players to just play the game together and level their characters while doing so.
  4. Enemy customization by mission writers should be limited to their name and costume.
    Because of the detail of the enemy customization allowed by CoH/V's UGC system, their dev team has had to spend a lot of time (more time than they wanted to) going back and balancing and rebalancing and nerfing repeatedly the enemies in that system. Intelligent players kept finding ways to abuse the system by creating custom enemies that would give great rewards, but would present no challenge to the players.

    This isn't a super hero game. That level of enemy customization isn't necessary here. If the STO devs avoid it, not only does it prevent a list of problems from ever happening, but it should significantly decrease the amount of time necessary to code a UGC system.

    If I want a custom enemy boss, I can take a Klingon Swordmaster (just for example), give him a new costume, and then rename him "Phanoian Samurai", or something. Players do not need, and should never have, access to the enemies actual skills and powers.
  5. UGC missions should have a timer so that they can't be continuously repeated.
    Repeatedly running the same farm missions over and over again, is what drove a lot of players away from the UGC system, and in many cases away from the game entirely. This simply prevents that from happening.
  6. Characters should receive ZERO XP and REWARDS from UGC missions they have created.
    The last two items are probably the most important. They would have zero impact upon players who are just playing missions in the UGC system, but they would prevent people from abusing the system by creating their own farm missions and then running repeatedly.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 24
05-26-2010, 10:47 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleeves
What hes asking for is a cut and paste with story boards option were a player puts in the text basic. A Star Trek Version of the Starcraft maps anything short of that would fail. Beyond that a Anti abuse system would be a must have and way to share maps. Last I would love to see a way to give credit were credit is credit is belongs. A locking system option so maps can not be changed. Along with a forum so the artist get feedback.
Added, I think the rest are covered.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Askray View Post
The player review board ...
Good thoughts on this! Lots of detail. I haven't changed what's in the OP yet as I'm hoping for even more discussion on it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tendel View Post
Buy holonovels: what does this mean?
It's an idea I believe Pickoy started where players would design missions with the UGC toolset, and then sell (for energy-credits) the right for you (or your fleet) to play them. This is in-canon with Quark building/selling holosuite time. There are a few other caveats in that it wouldn't have to follow the Star Trek IP (it's a holosuite after all) and no rewards from the mission could be carried into the "real" world.

Questions back to you...

UGC should not be positioned, intentionally/unintentionally, as an alternative to Cryptic generated content.
Why not?

UGC rewards that impact leveling in any way will create an artificial urgency/need to do UGC's which should always be optional.
I agree they should always be optional, but don't understand what you're getting at with the rest. If user generated content does get adopted into the game proper (rather than be on Tribble or restricted to the holosuite) why wouldn't it grant skill points, medals, or other typical rewards for it? Those missions would have to be well balanced, so they shouldn't create any particular urgency to play.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 25
05-26-2010, 11:18 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peregrine_Falcon View Post
I've been watching this thread since you started it, and frankly there's really nothing at this point that I can add. Your comprehensive list pretty much covers everything that I've thought of.
Only because I shamelessly started with your ideas and added to it every other great idea I could find. Mainly I wanted to get all the ideas into one place and try to compartmentalize it in a logical structure. Thanks for your "blessing" though, it's definitely appreciated.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peregrine_Falcon View Post
  1. Limited to LCdr 1 and above.
    Why? To prevent the massive amounts of PLing of people new to the game, who then quickly become bored and then quit the game, without ever having seen 90% of the game world. Added
  2. The UGC system should not be a "Holodeck" system.
    Players running UGC missions should still have to travel around the game world to get to their missions. People sitting in one room doing nothing but searching for missions and then clicking on the mission door was one of the things that contributed to boredom and player burn out.

    The complete lack of travel time is also one of the things that contributed to ridiculously increased leveling speed in CoH/V's MA. Considering how fast characters cap out in STO already, do we really need to increase that even more?
    I don't see this...a holosuite program is indistinguishable from the real world, so it would look/appear like you were in the real world, flying around sector space would take the same amount of time, beaming down to explore strange new worlds, meeting aliens, and of course conquering them would all be indistinguishable from normal play. Well, that and you wouldn't get any real rewards for a holodeck simulation (which basically is an un-approved player generated mission).
  3. Mission rewards should be reduced, but not eliminated.
    If the UGC system offers no rewards then very few players are going to be interested in playing it. The UGC system should be offered as an alternative leveling-up method. By slightly reducing the amount of XP and rewards in comparison to the dev created content, it stops the PLing and massive farming before it ever starts, but still allows players to just play the game together and level their characters while doing so.
    Ideally the UGC doesn't allow any rewards to be specified, but spits them out using some preset formula. This would resolve a lot of difficulty and normal rewards could be used. But failing that, I'm more for keeping them on Tribble or in a holosuite (where there are no rewards) until they are "approved" for general play (with real rewards).
  4. Enemy customization by mission writers should be limited to their name and costume.
    Because of the detail of the enemy customization allowed by CoH/V's UGC system, their dev team has had to spend a lot of time (more time than they wanted to) going back and balancing and rebalancing and nerfing repeatedly the enemies in that system. Intelligent players kept finding ways to abuse the system by creating custom enemies that would give great rewards, but would present no challenge to the players.

    This isn't a super hero game. That level of enemy customization isn't necessary here. If the STO devs avoid it, not only does it prevent a list of problems from ever happening, but it should significantly decrease the amount of time necessary to code a UGC system.

    If I want a custom enemy boss, I can take a Klingon Swordmaster (just for example), give him a new costume, and then rename him "Phanoian Samurai", or something. Players do not need, and should never have, access to the enemies actual skills and powers.
    Covered
  5. UGC missions should have a timer so that they can't be continuously repeated.
    Repeatedly running the same farm missions over and over again, is what drove a lot of players away from the UGC system, and in many cases away from the game entirely. This simply prevents that from happening.
    Added
  6. Characters should receive ZERO XP and REWARDS from UGC missions they have created.
    The last two items are probably the most important. They would have zero impact upon players who are just playing missions in the UGC system, but they would prevent people from abusing the system by creating their own farm missions and then running repeatedly.
    I'll leave this one out for discussion, personally I think there need to be enough other safe-guards in place such that this couldn't be an issue
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 26
05-26-2010, 11:48 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by StarbasePrime
I don't see this...a holosuite program is indistinguishable from the real world, so it would look/appear like you were in the real world, flying around sector space would take the same amount of time, beaming down to explore strange new worlds, meeting aliens, and of course conquering them would all be indistinguishable from normal play. Well, that and you wouldn't get any real rewards for a holodeck simulation (which basically is an un-approved player generated mission).
My thought would be to have the UGC system be a specific contact that you would have to meet with in order to get missions from. The problem with having the UGC system be a holodeck simulation that is removed from the rest of the STO game world is that it further separates the players instead of encouraging socializing.

And once again I'll state my belief that if you have no rewards for these missions (no XP, no drops) then you'll also have next to no one playing these missions.


Quote:
Originally Posted by StarbasePrime
Ideally the UGC doesn't allow any rewards to be specified, but spits them out using some preset formula. This would resolve a lot of difficulty and normal rewards could be used. But failing that, I'm more for keeping them on Tribble or in a holosuite (where there are no rewards) until they are "approved" for general play (with real rewards).
Yes, the player mission writers should have no ability to decide rewards. A UGC system should simply use reward tables built by the devs, preferably ones that aren't quite as good as the ones used by dev created content.


Quote:
Originally Posted by StarbasePrime
I'll leave this one out for discussion, personally I think there need to be enough other safe-guards in place such that this couldn't be an issue.
Admittedly I included this last point (zero rewards from your own missions) simply to add another layer of safeguards. With just a simple timer, a farmer could write several different missions and then just run each of them in turn. This end runs the entire point behind having a mission timer. However, by preventing a player from receiving any rewards from his own missions this prevents that, and the timer prevents farmers from repeatedly running each others missions to accomplish the same thing.

The combination of these two things, in addition to the reduced XP and drops from UGC missions, should prevent farmers from even trying to flood the UGC system with farm missions. Thus leaving the UGC system to the story tellers, which is who it's supposed to be for in the first place.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 27
05-27-2010, 01:10 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by StarbasePrime
Quote:
Originally Posted by HeathenStorm
Going forward, players could create and publish catalogs of missions that they liked, or that have a particular theme. Everyone has different tastes, after all.
Interesting, can you flesh this out some more?
If the Community takes to User Generated Content, then there's going to be a lot of missions to choose from. Most of them will, unfortunately, be test missions and simple single-room-full-of-hostile-NPCs maps.

So we need a way to separate the wheat from the chaff.


Others have suggested that Cryptic appoint some kind of 'Advisory Council' to judge which User Content is worthy. This is a very dangerous path to go down. As proven a few months ago, the Community doesn't like being told what it's supposed to like. If a 'first among equals' board is implemented, then the possibilities offered by UGC will be restricted by politics and favouritism, and overwhelmed by volume.


I would rather there be anarchy, with the Community creating anything they like within the confines of the UGC toolkit. I have the right to say that I like other players' content, and I have the right to say that I don't like it. That is the limit of my influence.

In the rare case where someone else thinks I have impeccable taste, they should be able to see what content I like and dislike. That way, each player can publish their recommendations to others.

This can be formalised by allowing players to group missions together under Categories, creating catalogues of content.


Categories can be both global and personal. When a mission is created, the author could place it under a Global category of 'Space Missions' or 'Ground Missions', for example. That way, another player can look through these categories and find what type of mission they want to play.

If a player feels that an author has mis-categorized their content (e.g. putting a Ground map in a Space mission), then the player can choose to block that mission, or the author, from appearing to them in the catalogue. (Only in extreme EULA-breaking cases should an author be banned from UGC altogether.)


Personal Categories are more fun. These can be created by individual players and can be named anything. The player can then place any content they wish into these personal categories, be it missions they've created themselves, or missions they've discovered in the wild.

Personal Categories can then be subscribed to by other players. So if a player creates a category like "Experimental Storytelling", others can subscribe to it and be notified when new content is added.

Another player could create a Personal Category such as "LOLCATS ROOL LULZ!!!!111!!!", and be perfectly within their rights to do so, without an Advisory Council deeming their perspective irrelevant.


This also leaves the door open to create Competition Categories, run by both Cryptic and the Community. A player could suggest a theme to create against, and offer an in-game prize to whoever 'wins'. Entries to these competitions can be added to a Category that others can subscribe to and vote on.


I feel that putting the ability to filter content into the hands of the community will make for a better experience than allowing a demagogic cabal to rule the show.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 28
05-27-2010, 01:11 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peregrine_Falcon View Post

And once again I'll state my belief that if you have no rewards for these missions (no XP, no drops) then you'll also have next to no one playing these missions.
This is Star Trek fans we're talking about here, not MMO die-hards. That's a game changer just by itself. There isn't any need to have rewards at all. The story itself is the reward. If you allow players to put any kind of reward, at all, into UGC, it will be abused, period. This isn't even negotiable, I'm sorry. You cannot put faith in humanity like this and expect it to work. See below in my signature.

With the various other options being discussed, like a ratings system followed by a review board for passing on great stories to the dev team for consideration on being added as official content and similar or related ideas, players having control over rewards isn't even an issue.

As to having nobody play them... with the vapidity of the existing content, I doubt that will be a problem. I tried to level my klingon commander today and was furious at the hollowness of the PvE, but there just weren't any PvP Qs popping at all. Five thousand dead romulans later, I'd gone up almost a whole grade without using a single skill, or actually even paying attention to the screen. A rewardless story that engages my brain for a few minutes or seconds or whatever after about half an hour of mind-numbing grind would be a refreshing break.

Here's an idea... how about an SP bonus 'buff' that isn't a reward by itself, but slightly increases rewards gained from official sanctioned content? Sort of a "food for thought" buff. Anything more direct than that, and you will have people who find a way to farm the UGC system, it's just how people are.

If rewards are allowed, they will be the focus. And if rewards are the focus, stories become meaningless, and it negates the entire purpose of a UGC system anyway.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 29
05-27-2010, 02:25 AM
Expired comment
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 30
05-27-2010, 02:50 AM
"This is Star Trek fans we're talking about here, not MMO die-hards. That's a game changer just by itself. There isn't any need to have rewards at all. The story itself is the reward"



This post has been edited to remove content which violates the Cryptic Studios Forum Usage Guidelines ~Q
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