Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 61
03-18-2009, 06:46 AM
And now they've undeleted my comments (among others). Cryptic's stand up. Though I really didn't mind. I tend to be longwinded and don't take it personally.

The blog is well worth reading and, especially if you support STO, go comment there too. As a MMORPG blogger I've got friends who'll comment in other forums about my blogs but won't go there and post. Too shy or not wanting to register. But it's a good shot in the arm to see responses there, and I won't lie, especially positive ones.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 62
03-18-2009, 12:55 PM
Well...I tend to avoid getting into the yea and nay topics of pre-beta games....but...

I do agree with folks about not having player crews. For a few reasons. First...SWG had player crews for POB ships. A crew of 4 was most effective, however the poor co-pilot would quickly get bored. But even then, for 4 people alone co-ordinating online times, unexpected afk's, disconnects and all that other RL stuff made it really not worth the time. (Though lot's of us tried our best I tell ya )

Another reason for player crews goes back to the traditional problems all MMO's face....and that is group roles. Anyone who has played an MMO invariably has been in a group at some point and heard the dreaded words "LF Tank" or "LF Healer". Player crews...especially to the scale of Star Trek would be much the same on a larger scale..."LF First Officer" "LF Engineer" "LF Doctor" "LF Tactical" and so on....

Then of course after 3 hours of waiting and getting a full group someone else will have to leave, and it starts all over again.

They have said players can group up on away missions and what not and I think what Cryptic is doing is a pretty good compromise. I do hope as someone pointed out NPC crews won't be redshirts that cost a dime a dozen. It would be nice to have NPC's that grow with you and that you can get attatched to and actually care about losing. But we'll see what happens
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 63
03-18-2009, 08:43 PM
It was a good read. Thank you for it. People keep talking about Red shirts in the game. But what will be the roll of Red Shirts in the game?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 64
03-19-2009, 11:39 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by StraboV2 View Post
Well...I tend to avoid getting into the yea and nay topics of pre-beta games....but...

I do agree with folks about not having player crews. For a few reasons. First...SWG had player crews for POB ships. A crew of 4 was most effective, however the poor co-pilot would quickly get bored. But even then, for 4 people alone co-ordinating online times, unexpected afk's, disconnects and all that other RL stuff made it really not worth the time. (Though lot's of us tried our best I tell ya )
Actually, we still use them. There's quite a fleet over on Starsider both in the PvE roleplaying and PvP communities. The main reason PoBs are a problem (folks disconnect in dungeons and in other bad situations all the time and yet we still see dungeons in games) is that SWG's space had nothing to do. Hence no motivation to go into space aside from roleplaying and organized, often by roleplayers, PvP events (and SWG PoBs sucked at PvP).

We'd have to invent context and missions for ourselves and that isn't as easy to sustain as having existing content out there. My experience in HSPACE (MUSH space code package) where there were active objects in space and actual reasons to be out there, whether for commerce or military maneuvers, was that ships were incredibly potent sources of group cohesion, teamwork and just plain fun for people into that kind of thing. I'm guessing this would describe the majority of Trek fans which is why we see this subject just won't go away and even the developers state the door's not closed on it.

Quote:
Another reason for player crews goes back to the traditional problems all MMO's face....and that is group roles. Anyone who has played an MMO invariably has been in a group at some point and heard the dreaded words "LF Tank" or "LF Healer". Player crews...especially to the scale of Star Trek would be much the same on a larger scale..."LF First Officer" "LF Engineer" "LF Doctor" "LF Tactical" and so on....

Then of course after 3 hours of waiting and getting a full group someone else will have to leave, and it starts all over again.

They have said players can group up on away missions and what not and I think what Cryptic is doing is a pretty good compromise. I do hope as someone pointed out NPC crews won't be redshirts that cost a dime a dozen. It would be nice to have NPC's that grow with you and that you can get attatched to and actually care about losing. But we'll see what happens
I'm actually pretty excited about NPC crews too. I'm a pet-class guy at heart. Having these NPCs take on real identities in my gaming, or at least my imagination, will help keep me very engaged. That said, my experience with PoBs is a bit different. My ship tended to be popular because we had some good roleplayers in our crew, as did the other more successful ones out there, so it was just plain fun to be around the gang. At one point I even formed a PA just for crew. We definitely recruited far more players than we had positions on the ship but that redundancy helped out with when we would take her up. "Extras" could hang out on the ship and RP or fly escort in snubs or backup PoBs.

It worked really well until I got tired of inventing reasons for us to go out all the time. Star Trek Online promises to have lots of content for players in space (or even just en route to a planet) so that huge hurdle will be out of the way.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 65
03-19-2009, 09:14 PM
i don't know if anyone remembers or even played a game called age of pirates carbbean tales. it basicly used the same concept. it wasnt a mmorpg but it did have an online game of sorts and you had to go to the tavrens on diferant colonies and purchase officers and crew for the ship.i thought it was a fun concept .you had to hire officers like navigator, helm,boatswin,doctor,shipwright ect. and you could even hire bodyguards to go with you on ship boarding or in hostile towns.you also had to pay your officers and once in awile they would call you into the cabin and demand a raise or they were going to leave.so i think it is going to be an interesting prospect. will you beable to trade officers,will they have a moral cause and disagree with a choice or order you gave and ask for a transfer or report you to starfleet command who knows but there is alot of open teritory with it. i like the fact that they are going to level up with you and you will care about the npc crew as they grow.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 66
03-20-2009, 08:02 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by OddjobXL View Post
Actually, we still use them. There's quite a fleet over on Starsider both in the PvE roleplaying and PvP communities. The main reason PoBs are a problem (folks disconnect in dungeons and in other bad situations all the time and yet we still see dungeons in games) is that SWG's space had nothing to do. Hence no motivation to go into space aside from roleplaying and organized, often by roleplayers, PvP events (and SWG PoBs sucked at PvP).

We'd have to invent context and missions for ourselves and that isn't as easy to sustain as having existing content out there. My experience in HSPACE (MUSH space code package) where there were active objects in space and actual reasons to be out there, whether for commerce or military maneuvers, was that ships were incredibly potent sources of group cohesion, teamwork and just plain fun for people into that kind of thing. I'm guessing this would describe the majority of Trek fans which is why we see this subject just won't go away and even the developers state the door's not closed on it.
Oh yes I know, I had my own smuggling crew for a long time as well I just meant in comparison to the number of people who tried to make it work (and still do during the weekly pvp nights) vs number of people online vs content...meant, as you pointed out, there was very little to do. Trying to make content for all positions in player crews is just not something really reasonable for cryptic to tackle. Player ship interiors and passengers sure, but player crews would not be worth it....as cool as it would be for us RP folk...we do have to consider gameplay for all.

Like you I'm really looking forward to the NPC's as well. PoTBS dissapointed me in the fact that crews were random generated, you didn't care if they dies in boarding, no first mate or things like that....I am hoping STO will have NPC's, like I said, that grow with you and are personalized named NPC's who can become integral to your success at missions and tasks...and that you really don't want them to be incapacitated or wounded in any way. It would be much more fun I think and alot more engaging than random spawns for crew.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 67
03-20-2009, 09:36 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by StraboV2 View Post
Oh yes I know, I had my own smuggling crew for a long time as well I just meant in comparison to the number of people who tried to make it work (and still do during the weekly pvp nights) vs number of people online vs content...meant, as you pointed out, there was very little to do. Trying to make content for all positions in player crews is just not something really reasonable for cryptic to tackle. Player ship interiors and passengers sure, but player crews would not be worth it....as cool as it would be for us RP folk...we do have to consider gameplay for all.
Again, I'll beg to differ. We had a pretty good time just diving into swarms out in Kessel and seeing how long we could stay alive. Granted, I had a different story behind what was going on usually, but the gameplay could be a rut in terms of lack of ship external content. Our copilot was often busy cycling shields or dumping power from cap to shields or tossing out a special when things got hot. It got a little less, well, exciting when the new PoB elite ship parts came out. Sure, we were somewhat more durable for PvP but PvE became too much of a cakewalk. (I really, really, hate everything about PvP in SWG, it just screwed everything up on ground and in space, and I say that as a bloodyminded Eve Online player).

Quote:
Like you I'm really looking forward to the NPC's as well. PoTBS dissapointed me in the fact that crews were random generated, you didn't care if they dies in boarding, no first mate or things like that....I am hoping STO will have NPC's, like I said, that grow with you and are personalized named NPC's who can become integral to your success at missions and tasks...and that you really don't want them to be incapacitated or wounded in any way. It would be much more fun I think and alot more engaging than random spawns for crew.
I think that's the idea, from what I can tell. Since they know crews are important for the Star Trek experience and they know they're going, at least initially, with single player ships the NPC crewmen are likely going to be as big a deal as they can make them. They want us to get attached, to see the NPCs as being nearly as important, if not as important, to developing our abilities and career as our own character is. And me likee if that's how it goes. Custom appearance, names, skill sets, progression over time. I seem to recall someone suggesting they'd seen a story that we could recruit new crew from missions too sometimes! Talk about an evolving experience. But we're off topic....a little bit.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 68
03-20-2009, 11:17 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by OddjobXL View Post
Again, I'll beg to differ. We had a pretty good time just diving into swarms out in Kessel and seeing how long we could stay alive. Granted, I had a different story behind what was going on usually, but the gameplay could be a rut in terms of lack of ship external content. Our copilot was often busy cycling shields or dumping power from cap to shields or tossing out a special when things got hot. It got a little less, well, exciting when the new PoB elite ship parts came out. Sure, we were somewhat more durable for PvP but PvE became too much of a cakewalk. (I really, really, hate everything about PvP in SWG, it just screwed everything up on ground and in space, and I say that as a bloodyminded Eve Online player).

I think that's the idea, from what I can tell. Since they know crews are important for the Star Trek experience and they know they're going, at least initially, with single player ships the NPC crewmen are likely going to be as big a deal as they can make them. They want us to get attached, to see the NPCs as being nearly as important, if not as important, to developing our abilities and career as our own character is. And me likee if that's how it goes. Custom appearance, names, skill sets, progression over time. I seem to recall someone suggesting they'd seen a story that we could recruit new crew from missions too sometimes! Talk about an evolving experience. But we're off topic....a little bit.
Well, thats what I mean by lack of things to do. As long as there are mobs of NPC's spawning yes you can run out and kill them repeatedly and make an event of it. But thats not engaging content. Thats people with imagination making do with what they have But SWG space allowed you to survive without pob's and player crews as you know. If you logged on and guildmates or friends were unavailable you could just jump in your fighter and go to it, but if there were no ships except POB's which required player crews then alot of the smaller less connected folk would have had ALOT more to complain about....especially when it came to running missions to progress. I ran ship crews too and had alot of fun doing it, but I wouldn't want to face the task of finding folks every time I went into space IC or OOC....especially if online time is scarce. Which is the issue alot have with the notion of player crews here. I always thought it might be neat to have NPC's by default but you could 're-assign' stations to players if you wanted. While positions not player filled would still be NPC controlled. But then there are still all the inherent problems with balancing and making it fun ect ect. But, something worth considering as mid ground maybe?

As for the crews, yes it was stated in the podcast and in an interview I think, that if you discover a new species and initiate first contact and get them to join your side then their race becomes selectable as crew. Thats a really cool notion I thought Custom crews I am looking forward to almost as much as main character customization
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 69
03-20-2009, 12:11 PM
What we know is going to happen will be single player controllable ships so it won't be a problem doing stuff if you're a loner or just happen to be online when your friends aren't around. Even my PoB crew spent most of their time doing other stuff. The ship was just a once or twice a week thing.

No different from getting together with a group to hit a dungeon in a way. Discons could be a problem, getting the right people in the group could be a problem, but the solution is the same in both cases. If someone discons in a PoB just hang on until they can relog. If they totally crap out and end up on a planet somewhere (say outside an instance in the case of a dungeon), go get them and start over. As for numbers of crew to make a ship work, well, that's what guilds are for! Just like dungeon running.

I agree with you the main problem is the lack of stuff to do in SWG's space though and the priority Cryptic has picked is the right one. What I'd like is more reassurance this is something they're planning for at least the possibility of. I don't know if you go back and make the gameplay multi-player ship friendly once it's cast in stone. There need to be hooks in the code for later development, I suspect.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 70 Doing a good job.
03-24-2009, 11:02 AM
I can't believe some of the things I saw people say they wanted to do with this game. Are there really people who are so mindlessly dull that they want to sit in front of their computers as a Trasporter or Comms officer and just wait for the cool kids to tell them what to do? Do these people lack any form of human ambition? I couldn't imagine the horribly dull life of someone that all they get to do is cut hair or stair at one information panel all day in a game. Those two experiences are completely at the mercy of PC's wanting to come in and interact with you. Why? I just lack any understanding for why someone would want those jobs. Sure on occasion those characters are cool but that is because they TAKE COMMAND of a situation and do it well. Do people really want to sit around at the mercy of a Captain and just do what he tells them to. I just can't understand that feeling.

Thank you STO team for doing the job as it should be done. Everyone should be a captain of a ship. There is no better way to give a person a feeling that they are in control of their own destinies. I look very much forward to this game and can't wait to hop in a science vessel, fly it out to an unexplored part of space and maybe meet somebody no one has ever met before. And if someone has beat me to it I'll just fly past that star and on to the next. I look forward to this game and keep up the good work.
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