Reading this article it seemed as if they were giving what they were seeing the best review possible. Dont get me wrong, I am super excited for this game, but that was by no means a rousing review of the game. What i mean is, they seemed to be regurgitating what they saw, but the last few lines where I would be saying "This game is freakin saweet, cant wait" they were saying something along the lines of "from what we saw this game might be interesting to someone who is looking forward to this game" i mean, WOW, that really gets my blood pumping. (sarcasm)
I thought the GameSpot article was a bit gushy. In particular, I'm not sure it does Cryptic a service to describe Star Trek Online as "a new online game that will go in a completely different direction." That kind of marketing hyperbole runs directly counter to the "underpromise and overdeliver" model that developers of highly visible games should have learned by now they need to embrace.
And I do think "completely different direction" is hyperbole. If that description of this game were true, it would mean that the majority of STO's content would not be aimed at Achievers... but I think it's safe to assume that's not going to happen. Certainly the text of the GameSpot interview focuses on combat and the accumulation of items, even going so far as to say that characters will "[work their] way up through the military ranks of either side," and that a "much more important sign of your characters' progress" than an "achievement badge system to reward those who truly set out on a mission of discovery" will be "the size of their fleets ... as you gain more experience and more prestige as a military officer."
How is that emphasis on destruction and "mine's bigger than yours" a "completely different direction" from existing MMORPGs?
As of today, if I were asked to identify any announced features of this game that were different from existing MMORPGs, the only possibilities that come to mind are:
experiencing space-based content from a starship will constitute half of STO's gameplay
space combat will be "paced" rather than quick duels using character-based "special moves"
some star systems and/or worlds will be randomly generated and procedurally instantiated
NPC bridge officer "pets" will be the primary group support for our characters, and
the ability to add members of newly-discovered races as bridge crew NPCs.
I think those are interesting, and I'm glad to see Cryptic implementing them. I'd certainly rather see STO have them than not! But don't they all exist to create opportunities for combat, which every major MMORPG does? In which case, how do they substantively take STO in a completely different direction? (If we're to believe GameSpot, even the random generation of new worlds seems to be intended as a support system for combat -- as the author put it, "interstellar starship exploration ... includes the game's tactical, real-time starship combat system.")
But perhaps I'm not being fair. Of the gameplay mechanics definitively announced for STO (though still potentially subject to change) by Cryptic, are there some specific gameplay mechanics that clearly deserve to be called a "different direction" from existing MMORPGs that I'm just not seeing? I'm open to that possibility. I would, however, note that the following items IMO don't qualify as gameplay mechanics unique to STO:
Star Trek-specific races, places and objects (isn't a "gameplay mechanic")
crafting (hasn't been discussed yet)
So I'll leave it as an open question: what are the features of Star Trek Online that would lead a reasonable person to think that this game is being designed to go in a "completely different direction" from existing MMORPGs?
Or was that just an overenthusiastic choice of words by the GameSpot author to try to gin up a sense of excitement in readers?
Either way, I'm not unhappy with the GameSpot interview. The author was presumably just trying to give his audience the Achiever-oriented info he thinks (probably with good reason) they're interested in.
I guess I'd just like to see Cryptic give an interview -- or grant access -- to a game reviewer who appreciates that there are different playstyles, and who asks questions that different kinds of gamers care about.
(I swear, with every passing day the idea grows on me of opening up and running my own Web site to examine computer games and gaming from an Explorer's perspective. Now all I need to do is clone myself so I can keep working my day job, too.... :p)
Sounds nice the ship battles sound like they will be enjoyable. My one question is with the shield color did it mean the shields will change color on the control panel showing the health of our ship and our enemy's or will the actual ship view change color when the shields are hit?
Nice to hear about the currency that we will be using, I suppose this means some credits will be used only with our faction and we will need latinum to trade with others.
I like the look of the Romulan ships hopefully I can get my hands on them soon after launch.
I for one hope he meant the indicators and not the shields themselves. Because the shields changing color reminds me of Star Trek: Armada. Better for them to stay true to canon with a single shield color.
The screen shots of the Romulan ships shows a lot more fine polish than the first vessels posted. The shot of the Andorians seemed to be unsure if it was conveying a more 3D type of image or a 2D image on a limited 3D back round. But again it is a step forward once more in the improvements over previous items.
In practice, Star Trek Online's combat engine currently does seem to keep that kind of naval pace, with elements of the traditional 2D movement of a massively multiplayer game (using the W, A, S, and D keys to move)
Sounds like STO will only have a pseudo 3D navigation like Starfleet Command? Thats a little bit dissapointing :-|
i wished sto would get an full 3d navigation.