Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 11
12-25-2010, 11:46 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Armsman View Post
Remember - EVERYTHING takes up storage space somewhere; and when you get into the number of users were talking about; NOT setting a cap on either work in progress, or published missions per player would be insane.

By setting some limit, you're at least forced to make sure (if you're into creating a lot for the Foundry), that you don't commit something to the server until it's 'worth it'. leave it open ended and the hard drives will just fill up with garbage that no one really cares about; but has to be backed up/preserved, because there's no way to tell what's what.
The entire problem of a limited number of missions had been brought up before if you really wanted to search for it. And the storage argument had been tossed around there a lot. But the going trend is putting new things and services on the C-store. Odds are if a cap is enforced, it's going to be pretty low only to increase C-store sales, which I find fairly distasteful. I find it akin to asking the player base to pay to create content that will cover content gaps left by the game developers.

The problems with having a paid system doesn't end there. For starters, I think it would cause a wave of user-generated missions that take an hour or so to complete (I'll probably stop playing all UGC if it ever comes to that) as people try to squeeze their entire story arc into a single mission. Furthermore, it will hurt UGC author's ability to tell their stories. You look at it from the point of view that a single author will generate lots of bad missions. Yeah, it's possible. I'm not going to lie. But if an author wants their mission to go out to the holodeck server they need to be improve their mission or prepare to have their mission wiped by the developers/moderators of the system from time to time.

Moving on, I'm looking at the problem from the other point of view, is it possible that a UGC author can produce lots of great missions? Do we really want to stifle that kind of talent? Let's put the cap at 3 published/unpublished missions. In three weeks, I create and publish 3 missions that become wildly popular. Now, if I wanted to continue the story I created in the first 3 missions, should I delete the mission from the first week to make room? Or the second week's? Or how about the third? It's not fair to the game populace to start deleting missions like that. It's the same reasoning that in-game we keep the featured series missions long after they've been featured. With a cap and no interest in paying for increase, it seems that my career as a UGC author has come to an early end.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 12
12-26-2010, 12:31 AM
I don't see any way in which Cryptic could justify making players pay for increase capacity to create missions. After all, as a content creator, you are making the content for their game, essentially doing the work they should have done or be doing. You can't expect players to do that and have them pay to keep creating such content (by raising their cap).

Which doesn't mean I don't think a cap is useful, it just needs to be based on something other than money. Merits would be acceptable already (they are earned for every single mission, and most have an ample supply of them), but even better would be a reward for good missions. For every mission you put out that gets a 4-star rating or higher from at least 75% of the reviewers, you get an additional mission slot, essentially making that mission free. It has two results: 1) it encourages players to make good content, allowing them to continue making such content and rewarding them for good content; and 2) it ensures that those who create bad quality content will, at some point, no longer be able to add content when they reach the max.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 13
12-26-2010, 05:12 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by tranman1988 View Post
Ehh, I was under the impression that Cryptic created the tool so we could add to the universe. I don't believe in placing a cap on published missions. It would be akin to having a featured series for a month or so and then removing it so no one could ever play it again.

Even if we had to pay to increase the said cap is on the intolerable side of things for me. Frankly, that'll just be the point I fold and quit.
If there was no limitations to the missions that each account could hold, we would run into a problem where the servers would get full, and there would also be a greater need for maintenance.

Believe it or not- this costs money for cryptic. If not in the value of taking staff away from their regular jobs- which means that it takes more time for cryptic to put out updates and content. that willl end up costing them money. Servers are also limited. I have no idea on the exact amount, but hosting the game, storing the majority of its contents inside the cryptic server, and then holding data such as maps and missions. There is only ever a finite amount of hard drive storage, and every mission started, in progress, and even published takes up a certain amount of that limited space. To buy more space would cost cryptic even more money naturally. There is 2 ways to help keep this under control: 1- make missions created be stored on the clients hard drive, and set a hard limit with the option to "buy more server storage."

the drawback with the first option is that this would open up the game to be exploited much easier than if cryptic didn't allow the clients to hold the missions on their hard drive until publish. This is generally a bad idea for security- both to prevent game exploitation, and the possible security in the account and billing end.

the second option just makes more sense- both from a security and a business point of view
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 14
12-26-2010, 05:40 AM
Here are some ideas we suggested to the developers during closed beta on when to increase mission caps:
  • Merit-based: if you have a mission with X many reviews and an average at or over 4 stars, you get a slot per qualifying mission.

  • Time-based: the longer you've been a subscriber, the more mission slots you get.

  • Endgame-based: reviewing missions at endgame means unlocking more slots.

  • Accolade-based: trade accolade points for more slots! (i.e. allocate 1200/1620 points toward mission slots)

  • As a last resort, for people that reach the new caps created by the above in-game methods, add a C-store alternative (but only available if you hit your cap).

Quote:
Originally Posted by tranman1988 View Post
Ehh, I was under the impression that Cryptic created the tool so we could add to the universe. I don't believe in placing a cap on published missions. It would be akin to having a featured series for a month or so and then removing it so no one could ever play it again.
I take it you've never worked in IT and you've met very few fan-fiction writing Trekkers.

The cap will increase but removing limits means people can flood or game the review system via spam. This is in addition to the resources it takes for all these missions on the server side.

For example, what if I publish 200 missions in quick succession? Wouldn't that mean that two of the filtering systems would be cluttered with my name and my name alone? What about the review process for these missions? Would anyone honestly check all of these to ensure they meet ToS standards? What if 150 were violating the ToS but the devs had to go through each to verify which did?

There's a headache and the cap is so low right now because they want to ensure the base system works before moving onto something larger.Believe it or now, there are mission objective limits and NPC limits on maps. They exist but they're high enough that you won't notice generally.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 15
12-26-2010, 06:23 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darren_Kitlor
There's a headache and the cap is so low right now because they want to ensure the base system works before moving onto something larger.Believe it or now, there are mission objective limits and NPC limits on maps. They exist but they're high enough that you won't notice generally.
Oh trust me- I have noticed for my mission, but thats because I use both enemy and allied NPC groups in my mission, and they share the same cap.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 16
12-26-2010, 06:33 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by apt.pupil
Oh trust me- I have noticed for my mission, but thats because I use both enemy and allied NPC groups in my mission, and they share the same cap.
Consider yourself not a "general" player.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 17
12-26-2010, 06:55 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darren_Kitlor
Consider yourself not a "general" player.
i already do, but thanks for the confirmation
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 18
12-26-2010, 02:28 PM
If all (or even just most) of the "good" UGC authors have 20 missions out at any given time, I'm not going to be broken up if they had to delete an old one to make space, because I've still got at least 20x(# "good" UGC authors) worth of stuff to play. I'd be more pleased if folks churn out new episodes on a regular basis than just having a bunch of old missions collect dust in a server somewhere, consuming valuable equipment-hours and man-hours to maintain.

For the people that come late and miss the old episodes that authors were forced to delete, I can say nothing but "Sorry you missed XXX, but the same author just published YYY."
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 19
12-26-2010, 04:55 PM
what would be nice- rather than a hard limit of projects not published- we get the option to export our missions as an XML file, or something similar, so that way, if we decide we want to put the mission back up in the future(for whatever resaon), it will be a fairly straightforward matter of importing a local XML file back up and have foundry do the rest.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 20
12-26-2010, 05:57 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by apt.pupil
what would be nice- rather than a hard limit of projects not published- we get the option to export our missions as an XML file, or something similar, so that way, if we decide we want to put the mission back up in the future(for whatever resaon), it will be a fairly straightforward matter of importing a local XML file back up and have foundry do the rest.
Client-side code storage is a bit tricky. You can inject some code and cause unwanted things to happen on Cryptic's end when you want to publish.

I know because people like Pendra and I have modded STO to add new things (which is a good type of reconfiguring stuff) whereas this would open the door for more malicious code injection.

Definitely use encrypted files if anything were to go client-side and, by encrypted, I mean better than storage they use on the .hoggs and the header info they put in the .wtex
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