I would really like to know if when you play test the game as a team if you use various spec machines?
This would give you a much better chance of catching bugs before release or even beta time. I must be easier when all using the same machines and specs to sort the problems. But when you have a variety of GFx cards and specs you will get a much broader range of problems!
On the positive side, it's good to see that the value of playtesting is understood. This is known to be one of the reasons for the success that Valve has had with their games -- apparently they bring in people by the truckloads to test their games every step of the way.
And while I personally consider a creative designer to be pretty valuable, and that depth is not the same thing as "complexity," the rebuke to us who enjoy discussing the possibilities of a major MMORPG is not unfair. Some ideas won't work, even if they sound great on paper, and a good team is able to set them aside in favor of what does work... but I would add that a great team doesn't give up easily on a worthwhile idea.
On the not so positive side, there were three things that bothered me.
First, I'm still not happy to hear references to "powers." It makes me think that Star Trek Online is being designed as though it was just a reskinning of a superhero game like Champions Online, whose engine STO is re-using. It also gets me wondering whether too much emphasis is being placed on character abilities as activatable "powers," rather than on the smart use of technology to solve problems.
Second, it's a bit depressing to see "Aimed Shot" and Engineering gameplay apparently being conceived as mere "buffing." Is it really necessary to limit opportunities for interesting gameplay mechanics in STO to cloning gameplay from other games? This is probably not a big deal; it's possible that there are plenty of other gameplay actions being created that are uniquely Star Trek. But those weren't mentioned.
i agree with fingers where is the non-combat talk.!?[
I loved the article. It shows me that you guys really care about the game and the people who will play it. I highly look forward to STO because of all the detail and care put into making STO and the anticipation of experiencing the Star Trek Universe from a new perspective.