Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 101
10-23-2010, 09:51 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leviathan99
The reason Cryptic can't use them is because CBS doesn't own them. Ditto for Star Wars characters or Marvel Comics characters or whatever.

CBS might NOT care if you use Kzinti. It's Niven who might care. (And, in fact, I believe he supports fan use of them in any universe as a matter of his personal policy.)

Now... The issue is the same issue as you have with people making their captain a Na'vi. Exact same issue...
Well, its not really the same issue, because again, we're talking about missions that are integrated into the game. As I said, none of these are issues if UGC takes place in some kind of partitioned off holodeck fanfic area that Cryptic leaves 'anything goes'. Then they just have to respond to tickets, agreed.

But, for example, if when I made a race in the alien creator, I could name that race, and write its back story, and create its own planet, and other players, if paying a sub, could then download all of that and also play as that race...and if I created say Wookies...then Cryptic would be potentially in real legal trouble if Lucas found out about it. Not because I made a wookie, but because they, by means of a paid service, distributed content that violated intellectual property.

Again, its like if I write a fanfic, I can write whatever I want under fair use. And I can go to Kinko's and photocopy it a thousand times and hand it out to everyone I know to read, and its all covered under fair use. If Doubleday publishes that fanfic, and sells it as part of a collection, then Doubleday can potentially be in real legal trouble.

I'm sure if I make a Kzinti-looking character, I could get away with it. That's different than me making a mission with material that CBS has explicitly proscribed Cryptic from making missions with. Otherwise, what's to stop Cryptic employees from creating banned missions on their player accounts? They're not going to play their license that way, trust me. They'd lose it.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 102
10-23-2010, 09:57 PM
I didnt have time to watch the entire podcast, so I'm not sure what this system of reviewers are. Is it that this review panel of players vet each and every single mission before they are even allowed on live? I doubt this is the case, but if it is, its obviously a bad idea, both as a bottleneck approval process and as too much player personal power, no matter how high the approval for said reviewers.

Or is it a system for tacking recommendations onto missions and for the better ones, being shot up to cryptic for approval to be placed in the game world rather than in a database? Because thats the kind of panel i can get behind. It wouldnt be as if players can 'block' missions, only pass them to a higher vetting authority in cryptic. That saves cryptic time in finding these 'excellent' missions, and it also doesnt allow exploitation, because cryptic is still the final reviewer, and people on the panel simply get booted if they try to do stupid stuff.

Then everything else that stays on the common database is subject to ordinary ratings, 5 stars or a 10 point system, whatever.

As for diminishing returns on missions, IMO its abit heavyhanded, if its implemented. From what i gather, the problem in the past with UGC is that you could farm mobs. In STO, like most MMOs mission completion gives more exp, but in STO's case that gap is huge, mobs give extremely few points, skill, exp or otherwise.

So it seems to me as though the problem is already solved, but i wouldnt underestimate the resourcefulness of power levelers. If that limit is implemented, id just think, better safe than sorry. Everything is a timesink in an MMO anyway. Otherwise we would have no travel system, all missions are accessible from one room that you log into, and all vendors are also in said room. That would be fun.

As for klingons, would it really be that bad? You get full exp for the first 2-3 missions, maybe less starting on the 3rd or 4th. After the 3rd or 4th you maybe do one star cluster run. Do alot of klingon players play more than that in a single day, something like 3-4 full missions worth of play and maybe 3 short cluster missions?

It seems to me that it only doesnt benefit hardcore sessions.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 103
10-23-2010, 10:03 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by MisterMiracle View Post
Well, its not really the same issue, because again, we're talking about missions that are integrated into the game. As I said, none of these are issues if UGC takes place in some kind of partitioned off holodeck fanfic area that Cryptic leaves 'anything goes'. Then they just have to respond to tickets, agreed.
How is it any more or less fanfic on the holodeck than in the open universe? Just because it happens in the "open universe" doesn't make it "real". It just means you can have mechanics like travel built in and that nobody's trying to explain or contextualize it.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 104
10-23-2010, 10:30 PM
Trust me, Cryptic has the "copyright issues" with player creations thing under control. They have years of experience (and some lawsuits) due to their 2 different Superhero games.

As a former CoH and CO player, I can pretty much tell you that the rule is:

Don't make a direct copy of something copyrighted. You can make something that "pays respect to" such a thing, but a virtual copy will get deleted once reported.


Wookiees? No.

Wonkies? Yes.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 105
10-23-2010, 11:52 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Armsman View Post
The big issue is number 2 - IF the 'average mission completion time' calculation mechanic can be exploited by just having the minimum number of people running it - it has say one easy group - but the exploiters make sure to run/fly around for an hour before taking said group ut and compleing it; and as a resukt base mission EXP gets VERY boosted.
That's not a huge concern either as Cryptic can (and probably will) monitor and adjust UGC XP constantly.

In City of Heroes, NCSoft monitors and adjusts the # of Merits given for their Task Force missions. Quite a few TFs had Merits reduced because players found ways to do them faster.

There were some players that wanted to fudge NCSoft's data mining by taking longer on TFs but the vast majority of people ran them as fast as possible and the rewards got reduced nonetheless. We can expect the same behavior with UGC. MMO's are always full of impatient people.

You can be sure Cryptic has some Data Mining Algorithms already set up to detect this sort of thing.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 106
10-24-2010, 02:13 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mirror-Master
That's not a huge concern either as Cryptic can (and probably will) monitor and adjust UGC XP constantly.
And just where did they get the resources to allow this kind of constant supervision? 8 months after release and the game is still largely unfinished. Resources need to be going to finishing the game... not policing UGC.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 107
10-24-2010, 02:35 AM
Wikipedia does fine with its users being involved in creating and overseeing the content. Are you telling me that the users of Wikipedia are smarter than the players of STO?

And, if we don't have player reviewers then what would you suggest instead? Cryptic hire employees to review the Player Created Missions? First of all that's not going to happen. Secondly, we'd have thousands of players creating missions and you'd want a handful of employees reviewing them? I hope you write your mission within the first week. Otherwise you'll be lucky to see it reviewed by 2013.

Also, the biggest problem with the City of Heroes Mission Architect is the ability to customize the powers for the NPCs you put into the missions. That's what allowed people to exploit it. For example: stocking the mission with NPCs that have no offensive powers. So you get to kill them for XP, but there's no danger of them attacking you.

The STO devs have already said that they're not going to allow us that level of customization of the NPCs.

So unless some smart player comes up with a way to carpet bomb whole armies of NPCs that are stuck in a box, I really doubt that it's going to be possible to exploit the system. It seems that Cryptic has learned from the mistakes of the Mission Architect.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 108
10-24-2010, 03:17 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rikaelus View Post
Another issue, however, is that you need to pay to see the content. How can LucasArts or any other patent holder know what users are creating in STO? Do they have to buy subscriptions and check all content, themselves? That issue alone might lead to pressure being put on Cryptic to control the content directly, themselves, or to abolish the UGC system altogether.
They would have to if they wanted to micro-manage the world, yes.

But they are not required to do so to protect their trademarks and IP. It's fine with them being reactive and only reacting once they become aware of an infringement.

Their primary worry is people making money of their brand or diluting their brand. In the tiny context of user generated MMO content, the risks are fairly low.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 109
10-24-2010, 03:29 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by MustrumRidcully View Post
They would have to if they wanted to micro-manage the world, yes.

But they are not required to do so to protect their trademarks and IP. It's fine with them being reactive and only reacting once they become aware of an infringement.

Their primary worry is people making money of their brand or diluting their brand. In the tiny context of user generated MMO content, the risks are fairly low.
I disagree. The risk is very high, but the end result will be difficult to measure. Make no mistake... day 1 of UGC will be maybe 40% Star Trek based, 60% based on other franchises. The UGC galaxy will be running rampant with Na'vi and Wookies and Yodas and Asari and Turians.... and of course planets full of the ever-popular though not copyrighted werewolves and vampires.

And the copyright holders of all those franchises might not like the idea of an MMO enabling the use of their material behind their realm of visibility, and Cryptic making profit by providing the medium through which the material is shared with others.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 110
10-24-2010, 04:39 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rikaelus View Post
And the copyright holders of all those franchises might not like the idea of an MMO enabling the use of their material behind their realm of visibility, and Cryptic making profit by providing the medium through which the material is shared with others.
But they (usually) overlook mods introducing those franchises into for example, star trek games. Goodness knows theres a hundred and one galactica mods in bridge commander.

Now granted, the difference is that in STO's case, technically cryptic is profiting from this as you say due to the fact that we must pay a sub to access the content.

But im guessing that even at that level, such things are usually overlooked. Other MMOs that have UGC dont have such legal issues, like CoH, or else the company doesnt release information about it. Either way it doesnt sound like a major issue.

Also, im quite sure that while 40% or so is trek and the rest isnt, content of other franchises isnt going to make up the majority of the non-trek content. As minority content they'll likely fly under the radar. The problem is if a missions, say it involves star wars, becomes popular enough to be a featured or recommended mission, maybe highlighted outside the game in an article or something. Now that would cause problems.

Even then the most likely outcome is that cryptic gets issued a cease-and-desist order to remove the content. So yeah, they just have to be reactive.
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