Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 1 Combat-Heavy Game Play
07-30-2011, 10:49 AM
I pre-ordered the Star Trek Online Collector's Edition way back when, and when the game launched I played for about two weeks of the free month that came with the game and lost interest. As a Star Trek enthusiast and a lifelong gamer, I felt like I was standing squarely at ground zero of the target demographic for this game. Yet it couldn't hold my interest.

Two weeks ago I renewed my account for one month so I could give the game another try. I'm half way through that month and I don't know yet whether or not I'm going to keep my account going.

I realize that the storyline includes the fact that the Federation is at war, and I further realize that combat is an essential element of an MMO. I just feel like there is too much combat and because of that heavy battle focus the game is failing to capture the essence of Star Trek. Don't get me wrong, I loved Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan as much as anyone. I saw it in the theater on opening weekend and my friends and I cheered out loud when Kirk said, "Here it comes, Khan." I think Star Trek episodes with action in them are some of the best episodes of all. And yet, for my tastes, Star Trek Online seems to go too far.

This anecdote typifies the experiences I've had in the game on my recent return: Last night I did a mission where I had to beam down to a Romulan outpost and search for a secret cache of weapons only to find out that the admiral who was accompanying me was a spy. On the way to the base I had to battle 4 squadrons (two groups of 3 and two single ships, for a total of 8 ships). After I discovered the ruse I had to beam back to my ship and battle 2 squadrons on the way out (one group of 3 and one single ship, for a total of 4 ships). That was six ship combats that were not directly supporting the main storyline. Each of the six combats lasted 3-4 minutes, which is around 20 minutes of MMO "busy work." Not to mention that within the context of the storyline my one cruiser casually took out 12 enemy starships plus the fighters they launched at me. Where is the enemy getting all these ships? What is the scope of their economy? Star Fleet lost 39 ships at the Battle of Wolf 359 and it was nearly crippling.

In the end I don't know how to find a place in a combat-focused, battle-heavy MMO that feels like Star Trek to me. If others have dealt with these same feelings and have advice, I openly welcome it.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
07-30-2011, 11:01 AM
I tend to believe that Star Trek works best as a single-player game when it comes to Trekkies. That way you can have all these stories about how your Medical Officer is having problems, and how your First Officer has dating problems, and such. Single-player games can focus on non-combat aspects better. But MMOs are combat-centric. Klinks want to chop people's heads off with thier Bat'leths. Kirk wants to take-on that 25th century Romulan ship with his 23rd century Enterprise - and we won't even go into how many ships were lost just going to Vulcan for the rescue there.

Most MMO players would be completely bored if they didn't get to pew-pew things on a regular basis. I mean just look at all the complaints we see from people who hate the fact that it takes X minutes to even fly to a mission: time wasted when they could be pew-pewing.

There's really no way for any ST MMO to satisfy both groups, IMO. The Trekkies don't want as much combat and the MMO players want more. Ultimately STO has to err on the side of MMO players - because there are more MMO players with subscriptions then Trekkies who've made STO their first-ever MMO choice. It would be nice to have a surrender option rather then always blowing them up, though.

As far a worrying about economic realism, I don't even know what that means. In the Dominion War more ships were lost then what was at Wolf 359 and it didn't put much of an economic dent in Starfleet at all. Economics only come into play when a particular episode wants them to; and are quickly soon forgotten afterwards.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
07-30-2011, 11:06 AM
Early on I thought the focus on combat was ridiculous at times. I mean, look at the Gorn Minefield. That's a fleet large enough to conquer the entire Alpha Quadrant, and it's just sitting in the Tostig System. :p

I eventually got over it when I evenly weighed the facts that this was an MMO and a Star Trek game, and some things needed to slide so that the gameplay can appeal to a much wider audience. And to be honest, I prefer a video game over a realistic simulation of the Star Trek universe.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
07-30-2011, 11:12 AM
I think it's a broader issue with the MMO genre as a whole. The industry evolved from a tradition of fantasy roleplaying games, which in turn evolved from wargames. There have been many new concepts, systems and approaches along the way, but almost all of them fit into the "fight or support the fight" model.

That's natural. A physical conflict is the easiest thing in the world to hook a story on. And for more mature and subtle conflicts and storytelling, you really need NPCs with a mature and subtle AI.

But I'm seeing little interest amongst developers in pushing the state of the art in non-violent modes of play. And in game settings where the players settle into a low-conflict mode of play, I see developers (and some players) go into a blind panic trying to figure out ways to get them to fight the monsters and/or each other.

Diplomacy missions are a start, but I'd like to see more evidence that there's a direction in mind to make them more accessible, engaging and rewarding to players with little or no interest in bloodletting.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
07-30-2011, 11:24 AM
Diplomacy isn't exactly conducive to great multiplayer gameplay.

Many Star Trek games, like Armada, are no different and shouldn't be due to the requirements of the genre.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
07-30-2011, 11:44 AM
Believe you me, there are things i would love to see differently. As some of you may have already seen me most. Im NOT ... ---==NOT==-- a fan of the reman/borg etc visuals on beautiful fed designs (or any fed design). Sadly ill have to figure out a way for me to cope seeing some1 putting racing stripes and green glow on a Galaxy class ...

However, what you ask for is already being provided. The best example are the featured episodes, in wich they realy try their best to cut back on the amount of combat (without eliminating it because well ... frankly i love ground/space combat so i wanna pew pew a bit 2) and buff up on the story depth and accuracy. Also since you have (apparently?) been away for so long you probably missed out on a lot of post from the devs who come out and said that they would love to revamp all the old missions. They revamped the first one with the S.S. Azura, and seem deeply commited to improve the game the whole time. (but lack the manpower and need more time)

What i wanna say is. I understand completely how you feel. However, look around you! This game with Star Trek on the cover is a continuation of what WE love and hold dear. More "passive" gameplay (like the DOFF system) is on its way.

But if you realy realy feel this is a waste of your money, and can see nothing in the game that either makes you have a good time, or have hopes for the future. Then i wouldnt keep your sub going. Although its sad to see people who are in love with Star Trek leave. Im in all the way, i have faith in both the people actively creating the game and the people who make up the community. Eventhough the behavior of a lot of people the last few ... weeks ... has been VERY lacking.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
07-30-2011, 12:26 PM
the inital dev for this game was a lot less in tune with trek then dsthal was it seems.

the amount of ships we have to kill is indeed REDICULAS (4-6 SQUADRONS... really? do we need to kill on average a dozen ships a mission?)


I chose mostrly to ignore exact numbers and assume it's a game play element. from an IC POV as far as I'm concerned a "kill 5 squadrons" mission means I kill a bird of prey or two and drove off that negvhar
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
07-30-2011, 01:47 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmic_One View Post
I tend to believe that Star Trek works best as a single-player game when it comes to Trekkies. That way you can have all these stories about how your Medical Officer is having problems, and how your First Officer has dating problems, and such. Single-player games can focus on non-combat aspects better. But MMOs are combat-centric. Klinks want to chop people's heads off with thier Bat'leths. Kirk wants to take-on that 25th century Romulan ship with his 23rd century Enterprise - and we won't even go into how many ships were lost just going to Vulcan for the rescue there.

Most MMO players would be completely bored if they didn't get to pew-pew things on a regular basis. I mean just look at all the complaints we see from people who hate the fact that it takes X minutes to even fly to a mission: time wasted when they could be pew-pewing.

There's really no way for any ST MMO to satisfy both groups, IMO. The Trekkies don't want as much combat and the MMO players want more. Ultimately STO has to err on the side of MMO players - because there are more MMO players with subscriptions then Trekkies who've made STO their first-ever MMO choice. It would be nice to have a surrender option rather then always blowing them up, though.
This is patently false. Good quest design could compensate for lack of combat by including more puzzle solving and mediation. Even Mass Effect 2, a TPS, has more puzzle solving elements then all of STO combined.


A couple of years post launch and the only puzzle minigame is the waveform analyzer. Really?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
07-30-2011, 01:50 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nykee
This is patently false. Good quest design could compensate for lack of combat by including more puzzle solving and mediation. Even Mass Effect 2, a TPS, has more puzzle solving elements then all of STO combined.


A couple of years post launch and the only puzzle minigame is the waveform analyzer. Really?
Maybe you don't remember how the game was flooded with people screaming for help with the puzzle for the Devidian series launch? I do. Posts all over the forum, people asking in chat constantly, it was a mess. I don't think most MMOers love puzzles as much as you think they do.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
07-30-2011, 01:54 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmic_One View Post
Maybe you don't remember how the game was flooded with people screaming for help with the puzzle for the Devidian series launch? I do. Posts all over the forum, people asking in chat constantly, it was a mess. I don't think most MMOers love puzzles as much as you think they do.
I think you should avoid separating MMO gamers from gamers in general. If a puzzle is designed poorly but is required to pass a specific quest in the only content update given to an entire game, then it will generate issues. However, I don't remember anyone complaining that ME2's hack puzzles were that difficult, and both would have fit pretty well within the Star Trek IP (had they been done before someone else did it, of course).
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