Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 11
11-04-2010, 06:46 PM
Honestly, the way that exploration was implemented in this game is not something that ever bothered me really. I can honestly say that I have spent most of my time in two areas in STO and exploration is one of them (the other being PvP)

But this news is really really exciting nevertheless...I am actually ecstatic to read about all this

As an ESKA type player I just can't wait!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 12
11-05-2010, 12:37 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by madjik View Post
Woof!

Took me some time to get through all that, but I like what I read there.

I can even see a subset of this, A special Exploration zone shared by Fed and Klinks where PvP is enabled and Territory is gained/lost (for those PvP'ers that keep asking for such a setup) based on battles won, resources claimed, and Empires Befriended/Conquered (obviously requiring some kind of a reputation system).

Nice job :)
Thanks! :)

It's good that you brought up the territorial pvp! I've been thinking about how the territorial war/pvp (if implemented) would have an impact on exploration. But I think it's not really doable here, if the devs would embrace the one sector (or not too many sectors) idea.

AFAIK they're going to implement territorial pvp in a way that let's us capture sectors based on some cumulative all fed captains / all klink captains stats. This might work here too, if the devs break up the sector(sectorblock, actually) into pieces.

But what would be the benefits? In normal territorial PVP, the conquered sector becomes part of the Fed/Empire. An exploration sector would never become part of either of the sides because it's an exploration sector. It's purpose is to be outside any empire. :D

Not to mention that if the sectors are populated randomly (I'm talking about the first region and the void regions between empires), calculating the stats could become almost impossible. You go to planet X, Y and Z, in sector X01A, befriend the three races there, and the sector becomes a fed-friendly sector. Yay! But next time anyone enters the sector, planets X, Y and Z aren't there; or they're populated by three other races. (Because it's random.) Then what's the logic in that sector being fed-friendly?

The other issue is the use of capturing a sector. What would it mean in normal (non-explo) sector space? Systems and planets become hostile to the enemy? Enemy patrols appear in that area? Meh, they're already there... :)

I don't want to go into talking about territorial pvp here, because it's a mostly unrelated topic to explo revamp, but one thing is for sure: when the dev team implements territorial pvp, they'll come up with something that makes conquering sectors worthwhile. Like some resource-based thing:
- If an empire looses a sector, missions in that sector become inaccessible to members of that empire.
- A captured sector opens up new missions to members of the empire that captured the sector. Maybe even a fleet action could be "reversed".
- If an empire looses too many sectors, members of that empire can't buy T5 ships, because of the heavily reduced shipbuilding capabilities or resource starvation.
- Every sectorblock could be tied to a special race. If an empire conquers a sectorblock, captains of that empire may create a new captain with this race, or more likely get a special BO as long as they possess control of that secblk.
And these are just a few ideas, I'm sure you could come up with a thousand more. :)
But the point is: these are more or less pointless when talking about explo sectors. They're not part of thus not supplying any galactic power, they don't have any interesting (read: canon) races...

On the other hand, I agree with you, Madjik, territorial pvp could be introduced into explo in a way. The first thing that comes to my mind is the connection between resources and fleet starbases. I think this is where explo sectors - in the distant future - could contribute to a pvp system.

Right now there are a bunch of half empty, half dead fleets in the game. No question that if cryptic enables us to create fleet starbases, every little one-man-army fleet will create one. (Which would be totally wrong and pointless btw. :( )

But what if supplying a base is required? A fleet can't just throw a station in space, and barely care for it, instead members have to gather resources to run the base. If the fleet wants the base to be functional for a day, would have to discover 3 new d. moons in explo, or even mine dilithium from them, and carry it back to the station. If explo sectors would be open pvp areas, this could get messy. :) When klinks realize that they don't want to deal with a bunch of fed starbases, they could overrun, flood explo sectors, and kill every fed ship there. If they can do this for long enough (a lot of social interaction is needed of course), the fed bases would power down, and become easy targets.

I don't say that this is a good system, I just wanted to throw in some ideas. Territorial pvp is something I really look forward to, but I think it's even harder to create and balance than explo. Mixing the two would make things... interesting. :D But I don't think they should - at least not the first time, because it's easy to screw up a system so complex and dynamic like that.

(A sidenote: another thing I'm really concerned about is the positioning of fleet starbases. If every fleet wants to put a station in Sirius, then it'll quickly become a maze...)
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 13
11-05-2010, 08:18 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by chevenix View Post
*snipped for space*
I hear ya, but I wasn't exactly thinking of a PvP/Explo mix when I said that. I just ment that some of your ideas could easily be reworked into a territorial PvP setup, where a sector could be setup just outside the neutral zone where there are a few known empires that aren't powerful enough to compete with Starfleet/ The Empire but could easily join one side or the other; resources and favor determining which sectors of space are "Friendly" towards your specific faction.

Some of your OP could easily factor into such a system.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 14
11-05-2010, 09:29 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by madjik View Post
I hear ya, but I wasn't exactly thinking of a PvP/Explo mix when I said that. I just ment that some of your ideas could easily be reworked into a territorial PvP setup, where a sector could be setup just outside the neutral zone where there are a few known empires that aren't powerful enough to compete with Starfleet/ The Empire but could easily join one side or the other; resources and favor determining which sectors of space are "Friendly" towards your specific faction.

Some of your OP could easily factor into such a system.
Umm, apologies, I misunderstood.
Yeah, this could work. Can't wait to see some territorial pvp.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 15
11-06-2010, 03:28 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by SteinHU View Post
Great ideas here.
Before the game started, the exploration was the most attractive feature for me. To see what no one else saw before me. Or in this case, do missions in an order, that no one else did.
Some additions:
The fatigue systems sounds good, but i dont think it could work as it is now. The ships fly too freely in the space now for this (like missing a planet and turning back could take one more day in crew morale). This could be better if i can choose from more, fixed destinations while i know, how much it takes to get there.
Yupp, that is true, if one misses the target, the punishment can be too painful. (Even me, with my love for realistic games would cry if I'd lose a dilithium crystal because I accidentally passed the system I was going to. :p)
On the other hand, right now in normal sectors we have very good maps! You can see what systems are in the sector block, click on them, thus setting course and making the ship to fly by herself, and stop at the system. If explo sectors would be predesigned, and only the systems itself would be randomly generated, that would give us the opportunity to get the maps of the sector blocks just like normal sectors. Maps with clickable systems on them.
Although a distance-speed-resource consumption calculator would be nice. Something like a context menu on the system that says "With max warp you get to this system in 32 secs IRL, and will lose 1.2 dilithium crystals; crew morale will go down 13%."

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteinHU View Post
And it would be great if the BOs have an additional trait, that show, how much they tolerate the long missions. This way really dedicated explorers can get a crew that supports long explorations.
Great idea! +1 stat on BOs, and it could lower the morale-loss over long distance explorations. Love it!

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteinHU View Post
For the PVP, there should be competitive exploration areas, where every faction can enter. On the starmap you may see the other faction ships and if you enter a system, there could be fights with the enemies. In this areas you can choose to fight the enemies, leave the system or even work together if you want. These areas may offer better prizes for a higher risk. Like you cant finish your quest if the system is full with an enemy team. But if you fight them off, you get more.
Hmm, how is this idea different from the one behind warzones?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 16
11-09-2010, 11:45 PM
Bump!
C'mon guys, don't let this thread die!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 17
11-10-2010, 01:46 PM
I really like this concept. The exploration aspect of the game certainly deserves an increase in scale and scope, and the supply drain and crew morale mechanics would make things a little challenging. My big concern, however, is that without enough different and fun content this might soon start to feel just as boring as the star clusters with their same old missions. Perhaps that could be alleviated somewhat by integrating it with the Foundry - user-created missions with the mission contact set to "Random Federation/Klingon Colony" or "Random Alien World" (for nearby space and remote areas, respectively) would have a chance to show up for any player flying in an exploration zone.

An additional idea: different ship classes could have different advantages regarding exploration. For example, cruisers and battlecruisers (and the Kar'Fi) would have a larger capacity for fuel and supplies (allowing them to travel longer), and science ships would have better sensors (resulting in more/farther systems of interest popping up). Vo'Quv carriers (having characteristics of both cruisers and science vessels) would have a smaller amount of both bonuses. Unfortunately, I can't come up with a good specialty for escorts/raptors and BoPs off the top of my head...
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 18
11-14-2010, 02:13 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marcellus View Post
I really like this concept. The exploration aspect of the game certainly deserves an increase in scale and scope, and the supply drain and crew morale mechanics would make things a little challenging. My big concern, however, is that without enough different and fun content this might soon start to feel just as boring as the star clusters with their same old missions. Perhaps that could be alleviated somewhat by integrating it with the Foundry - user-created missions with the mission contact set to "Random Federation/Klingon Colony" or "Random Alien World" (for nearby space and remote areas, respectively) would have a chance to show up for any player flying in an exploration zone.

An additional idea: different ship classes could have different advantages regarding exploration. For example, cruisers and battlecruisers (and the Kar'Fi) would have a larger capacity for fuel and supplies (allowing them to travel longer), and science ships would have better sensors (resulting in more/farther systems of interest popping up). Vo'Quv carriers (having characteristics of both cruisers and science vessels) would have a smaller amount of both bonuses. Unfortunately, I can't come up with a good specialty for escorts/raptors and BoPs off the top of my head...
Thx for the reply!
Great ideas here!

Actually I thought that the relations with distant empires could change with time. If you established a good with an empire, but don't go back there for a month, they start to forget you, so you have to go back there now and then to do some missions.
But you're right, introducing the Foundry to the explo sectors would be even better. A "Random Alien World" mission with a nice story and reward would attract all the captains.

I also really like the idea of differentiating the capabilities of ship classes in explo.
The problem with escorts is that I can't imagine a valid reason to send an escort ship on exploration. :/ A cruiser or a sci vessel is OK, but escorts are for fighting and supporting other ships. So I agree, it's hard to balance escorts' capabilities with the other classes. But here's a few ideas:
Escorts' special stats/abilities in exploration
- Escorts have a higher maneuverability, and can pass through nebulas/asteroid fields without losing speed and/or being attacked.
- Escorts have a small crew complement, everyone knows each other, so they lose morale at a slower rate.
- Escorts are small, so they can actually land on planets. This let's the crew repair the ship faster*, and the captain to gather food at a higher rate. (Of course I don't expect the devs, to give us the opportunity to actually see the vessel landing, but hey, it would be awesome! :p)
- Escorts are tough little ships ("Little?" ), so they could earn reputation somewhat faster than other ships.
Of course these are just suggestions, I believe the community and the devs could come up with better ones.

I'd like to add some additional ideas on the other ship classes too:
Cruisers' special stats/abilities in exploration
- Cruisers have holodecks, so as a special ability (maybe tied to some consumable resource) they can boost crew morale from time to time without having to land on a planet.
- Cruisers have a lot of space, so they can use their mining equipment better; this enables them to extract more dilithium or to extract it faster than other vessels.

Sci vessels' special stats/abilities in exploration
- Science vessels have the ability to partially recrystallize used dilithium - from time to time they would get an extra dilithium crystal. (I think this item should be bound to prevent exploits.)
- Science vessels have the ability to modify their shields enabling them to cross a nebula without any loss of speed. (This is similar to the power I suggested for escorts, but they would have it as a permanent ability, while sci vessels could activate this once in every 10-20 mins.)
- Science vessels have better mining equipment, that gives them the ability to extract dilithium from less abundant seams. (This is not the same as the suggested cruiser-ability. Cruisers can extract more or faster, but sci vessels can extract from moons where no other ships can, because of the low presence of dilithium.)

So... Any ideas, guys? How do you think that this system could be balanced?

*: Actually ship repairs are now easier than in real ST life. So the advantage of landing an escort could be represented by a few bonus components that the captain could receive in every half hours if the ship descends into an atmosphere.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 19 my thoughts
11-18-2010, 10:06 AM
I like the thought of having different specialties for different ships when they are exploring. So the cruisers have the resources/equipment science ships have better sensors for analyzing anomalies and whatnot and the escorts are well escorts optimizing in combat roles.

Here's where I think it gets more interesting. Cruisers would probably be able to travel the furthest but they wouldn't find everything or get as much out of things they do find as a science ship would and if you ran into an asteroid field that say pirates were hiding in they would have problems following them due to their size (if they ever implement collision damage). In that case why not make it so when you form teams of various ships you get the best of everything as the abilities get shared between the groups.

and make it even more beneficial if certain ships have unique equipment based on the class or type. Maybe even have special equipment load-outs some unique per ship some general that reduce the overall combat effectiveness but boost abilities in other areas. Then to make it even more specialized have some extra skill sets that give bonuses to exploration type abilities.

Some currently in-game skills I can see having some extras added to them like "Sensors" and probably many others could be added depending on what kinds of new activities they have us doing

another thought to add to the idea of low/no support of being way out there would be from in addition to running out of general resources is having equipment break or wear down to where depending on how big it is or how sophisticated it can be fixed to partial effectiveness "on the go" but to fully repair would require external facilities like a spacedock. This would enhance the notion that fighting is probably the last thing you would want to do, at least for the Feds. KDF would probably just say "fight better"

on a side note it would be interesting to go into certain battle situations like with a lower tech race that can't even get through your shields but they are trying and you have the option to find a non combat way of resolving the problem mid battle but you have to figure it out quickly or bad things will happen.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 20 I like your ideas alot!
11-18-2010, 10:36 AM
Someone get this man a barrel of ale!
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