Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 1 Space Flight - Z Axis
05-11-2010, 03:08 AM
I would say that my biggest issue with this game is space flight. The ships act as if they are in atmosphere with only forward and reverse as well as severely limited turning.

In my opinion, Star Trek is a show about science and the future, yet the ships in the game have maneuvering capability akin to a ballistic rocket. I understand that Star Trek the TV series and movies didn't fully get zero gravity physics either, but in the interest of making the combat more efficient and less frustrating, the ships could actually act like they were in space.

Instance #1: You have forward facing canons but you have to crank the steering wheel on your ship hard right and slower than molasses bring your guns to bear on a target ... this wouldn't be so bad if the target wasn't above you ... because you can't face straight up like a ship in space would actually be able to do. No, instead you have to corkscrew up meanwhile taking a beating from the Enemy Cruiser and it's support ships above you. There is no excuse for ths kind of oversight ... I mean didn't anyone play-testing this game comment on this?

Instance #2: You are spiralling downward to pick up your drop after a combat and trying to get there before the pop up screen prompts you to leave (or beam down) before the rest of your team accepts and you are left to circle your way down the drain to your *sigh* engine battery. Really? That is the best that can be done? Ships should have maneuvering thrusters in space. I know it's kind of late to redesign space flight but there has to be something you guys can do. Tactics would change drastically if maneuvers were truly possible in zero G environments. Please give this some consideration because I honestly love this game ... but this is a big enough issue for me that I felt compelled to throw some feedback here.

Suggestions:
Straight up and Straight down:. Cryptic was behind City of Heroes at one time. They had flight for Super Heroes and the heroes when flying could fly straight up (Spacebar) or Straight down (X or Z as I set my keys). This is not difficult.
Angle of the Dangle: You should be able to maneuver your ship any direction and be able to travel forward if not also be able to do strafing maneuvers. You should even be able with enough momentum, to turn your ship backwards and cut thrusters so you are using your velocity to keep distance from your target while bringing your front guns/torpedoes/etc to bear on him/her. For a good example of this watch some of the ship movement in Babylon 5. I know it's not Trek but they got space combat right. You figure this game is set in the future, one would think that Trek engineers would have come up with a way to make their ships more space worthy and less aerodynamic.

One other suggestion that is not having to do with direction: Formation Bonuses. You get flanking bonuses on the ground ... why can't a team get a formation bonus if they all fly in a pattern or attack in a pattern? All fly in unloading and then each member peels off a differnt direction. Just an idea. Or how about a defensive bonus to the weaker ship inthe middle of a group of Cruisers? Things like this would really up the ante on this game and generate a great deal of respect from players. I can honestly tell you that in our group, the biggest pet peeve is the fact that we have to fly like we are in aeroplanes and not spaceships. One of our guys left because of it ... well that and he was tired of being the guy who always got clipped by the Enemy Signal Contacts.

Okay then. I love the rest of the game. My other grievances are very small in comparison and since this is really the big one, I'll save the others for another time.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
05-16-2010, 03:23 PM
No one else is interested in realistic space flight?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
05-16-2010, 04:01 PM
I have a state of the art spaceship , but it cant go down or up lol , yes i know they could at least make them move up and down a bit more easily , i hate getting shot at from beneath or above and cant move up or down to them , its silly.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
05-16-2010, 05:46 PM
theyve had this discussion before in the SOD. i believe the final word on it was that full z axis control was disorienting, and a future workaround as a compromise was to give ships 85 degree angles as opposed to the current 45s, and possibly adding in combat maneuvers like barrel rolls
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5 z
05-17-2010, 06:01 AM
if this was a deep sea exploration i could understand the way the z axis works. but not space. i understand the 3d difficulties and limited map areas, sure. but the way it works now is unfit. there has to be a feasible way to include a z axis with out requiring a Space Ship flying in space to cork screw down to target. this is my single biggest problem with the game. i keep hoping for some solution but nothing yet.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
05-17-2010, 10:46 AM
This is Star Trek, realism is not a priority. Space combat paradigm is supposed to feel like ocean warships slowly turning to pound each other, not jet fighters circling in a dog fight. It's not realistic, but neither are ships that look like Star Trek ships. True 6-degree-of-freedom space flight would not feel like Star Trek. Current space combat does feel like Star Trek, with its silly always-upright ships.

However, making the game fun is as important as following the canon. But even here full three-dimensional space flight isn't needed. Early play tests showed that 3D flight was difficult for some (presumably new-to-gaming) players. The devs have made a strategic decision to keep this game easy to access for non-gamers. More players mean more game development, so this is a good thing.

And the z-axis limitations add tactical variety to combat. Limited degrees of motion mean position is more important, because you can't always get from one location/orientation to another. This makes positioning tactics more interesting. For example, slow cruisers with wide-angle beam arrays can try to get an advantage over nimble escorts with narrow weapon arcs. If we had full motion, escorts would always have a position advantage over slower vessels. Limited motion means players have to make tactical choices. This is a good thing.

I do think there's room for actual 3D space combat, but I think it should be reserved for player-controlled fighters, shuttles, etc.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
05-17-2010, 01:13 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcturus1 View Post
No one else is interested in realistic space flight?
I am. I'm extremely dissapointed that this isn't a standard for STO.

Spaceflight is not dogfighting

As the (very old) starfleet manual once said "the chief obstacle facing a starship captain wishing to join in combat is that combat is almost impossible to join". Meaning it's either over quickly or becomes a very drawn out procedure where ships are using the full ranges of axis and rotation to a. present a minimal signature while b. manuvering to do the most damage.

Granted you might have to drop speed while performing, say an Immelman turn over an object whle presenting your bow weapons to the target in order to decrease stress on your lateral frames but it would be worth it.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
05-17-2010, 01:18 PM
I wouldn't say this is my biggest issue or complaint with the game but I really would like to see a Z axis added in the near future.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
05-20-2010, 02:53 AM
Pleonast, even if Space Flight is disorienting, there's no excuse to not be able to move up and down. 85 degree angle might be more bearable but the space flight is silly.

As far as making this game approachable for new players, fail.

I am a veteran MMO player and I still have trouble finding things. Maps only tell you who's in the current room with you. They don't have anything named. Fed side is difficult, Klink side is near impossible unless you just memorize it. Trying to find people sucks. I have relented and had to just ask in zone chat if someone knew where something was. Not to mention all of the noob harassment that used to go on over "Sulu" (fortunately this was not a problem I ever had). Some things are intuitive and I appluad Cryptic for that, but most things are not and it's only through lots of fiddling around and trial and error that I have figured out where things are.

Here's an example, consoles. I used to mouse over them to find out what they did, information came up. But the information wasn't really helpful. I played for a while wondering what skills they helped. I asked several people both friends and in zone chat. Nothing, no one could answer it or no one would. Last week, I was moving one and I right clicked it ... voila! up came the info I had been looking for. Now, normally I would right click things for info ... but since I moused over and info came up, I naturally didn't not think there was a second step to actually getting the information I wanted. That's only one example. Let's not even get into ship sensors that can pinpoint a spot to drop livings beings on a planet with a dust storm but they are not strong enough to find hunks of metal sticking out of the sand. Bah.

Anyway, space combat needs to feel like space, not water. They deviated from enough Trek things to compensate for this and could have had truly epic space combat. You can be an apologist all you want but I am going to have to respectfully disagree.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10 EVE Flight Controls
05-20-2010, 04:21 PM
I wish STO could adapt some of the flight control from EVE...
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