Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 1 Starships - a Proposal
08-11-2011, 04:22 PM
The nature of ships in this game has always bothered me.

In the Star Trek setting, ships are built for specific purposes. In STO, all ships are built for one purpose, COMBAT, though they all approach it somewhat differently. The following proposals are intended to capture more of what the ships should be built like.


The first proposal is to change the nomenclature somewhat. "Escorts" are misnamed. An escort would be a relatively small ship devoted to protecting a larger ship. Within the game, a better name would be "WARSHIPS." "Cruisers" is a poor choice for the engineer's class of ship. There would likely be cruisers of all three types of ships, so I propose changing the name of this ship type to "STARSHIPS." Science Ships can remain named as they are. Thus, instead of Escorts, Cruisers and Science Ships, we would have Warships, Starships and Science Ships.

Now, as I said, each type of ship would be built for a particular purpose.

Warships would be built for COMBAT. To this end, they should be tough, manueverable and well armed. However, they would not be designed for versatility, research or lengthy missions.

Science Ships would be built for RESEARCH. To this end, they would have advanced sensor gear and extensive facilities and technology on the ship. However, they are not meant for combat, so they would be relatively weakly armed. Still, they might have decent shielding to protect them from hazardous phenomena.

Starships would be built mainly for EXPLORATION, but also for other tasks, like setting up colonies or diplomatic functions. They would be the workhorses of the fleet. This would require versatility and longevity. They would be more durable than Science Ships, but less so than Warships. They would have better facilities and Officer support than Warships, but less than Science Ships.


At present, we have only one of these tasks open to us: Combat. Thus, to make this system work, we would need to implement game systems that would allow research or exploration/colonization/etc. This should be mirrored in shore play too. More on this in a moment.

One new attribute I suggest for ships would be SUPPLIES. This represents the ship's ability to support long missions. It would represent food, fuel, parts and so forth. You would use up supply points from travelling (slower speeds would be more efficient), from performing repairs, from using replicators (for Aid missions, for example), and so on. You would resupply either by going back to base, buying supplies from wandering merchant ships or from other Player vessels.

Warships would have very limited supplies. Starships would have very extensive supplies. Science Ships would have a moderate amount of supplies.


Design:

Warships should have rather limited Bridge Officer stations, limited consoles and devices. They would have better shields and hull ratings, and more weapons.

Starships would have moderate abilities in all areas, but to promote versatility, would have one universal BO station.

Science Ships would have few weapons and weak hull, but would have fairly strong shields and plenty of BO slots, consoles and devices.


For the three types of ships, there should be (at least) three types of mission.

For Warships, there would be COMBAT missions. They would be pretty much the same as the "Enemy Confrontation" missions we have now, but might incorporate objectives beyond just blowing things up, such as capturing a facility or dock, or what have you.

Starships would have SURVEY missions. The point of a survey would be to map a system, scan all the anomalies, and then take samples of all the phenomena of interest on the planet.

Science Ships would have RESEARCH missions. They would be much like Survey missions, but would add a wrinkle. The premise here is that the Science Ship is going to a previously surveyed system to conduct more in depth research. I envision research playing out like a puzzle minigame of some kind. You would collect the pieces of the puzzle in a manner similar to a survey, by scanning things, then use your ship's labs to analyze the pieces to solve the puzzle.



Of course, this is a bare bones description. The point of this thread is to see if there is any support for this idea, and to see if any objections regarding it can be worked out such that the idea might be useful to the developers.

If you're going to denounce it, at least say why. If you have any ideas to improve it, please post them. Any thoughtful input is very welcome.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
08-11-2011, 04:58 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
The nature of ships in this game has always bothered me.

In the Star Trek setting, ships are built for specific purposes. In STO, all ships are built for one purpose, COMBAT, though they all approach it somewhat differently. The following proposals are intended to capture more of what the ships should be built like.


The first proposal is to change the nomenclature somewhat. "Escorts" are misnamed. An escort would be a relatively small ship devoted to protecting a larger ship. Within the game, a better name would be "WARSHIPS." "Cruisers" is a poor choice for the engineer's class of ship. There would likely be cruisers of all three types of ships, so I propose changing the name of this ship type to "STARSHIPS." Science Ships can remain named as they are. Thus, instead of Escorts, Cruisers and Science Ships, we would have Warships, Starships and Science Ships.

Now, as I said, each type of ship would be built for a particular purpose.

Warships would be built for COMBAT. To this end, they should be tough, manueverable and well armed. However, they would not be designed for versatility, research or lengthy missions.

Science Ships would be built for RESEARCH. To this end, they would have advanced sensor gear and extensive facilities and technology on the ship. However, they are not meant for combat, so they would be relatively weakly armed. Still, they might have decent shielding to protect them from hazardous phenomena.

Starships would be built mainly for EXPLORATION, but also for other tasks, like setting up colonies or diplomatic functions. They would be the workhorses of the fleet. This would require versatility and longevity. They would be more durable than Science Ships, but less so than Warships. They would have better facilities and Officer support than Warships, but less than Science Ships.


At present, we have only one of these tasks open to us: Combat. Thus, to make this system work, we would need to implement game systems that would allow research or exploration/colonization/etc. This should be mirrored in shore play too. More on this in a moment.

One new attribute I suggest for ships would be SUPPLIES. This represents the ship's ability to support long missions. It would represent food, fuel, parts and so forth. You would use up supply points from travelling (slower speeds would be more efficient), from performing repairs, from using replicators (for Aid missions, for example), and so on. You would resupply either by going back to base, buying supplies from wandering merchant ships or from other Player vessels.

Warships would have very limited supplies. Starships would have very extensive supplies. Science Ships would have a moderate amount of supplies.


Design:

Warships should have rather limited Bridge Officer stations, limited consoles and devices. They would have better shields and hull ratings, and more weapons.

Starships would have moderate abilities in all areas, but to promote versatility, would have one universal BO station.

Science Ships would have few weapons and weak hull, but would have fairly strong shields and plenty of BO slots, consoles and devices.


For the three types of ships, there should be (at least) three types of mission.

For Warships, there would be COMBAT missions. They would be pretty much the same as the "Enemy Confrontation" missions we have now, but might incorporate objectives beyond just blowing things up, such as capturing a facility or dock, or what have you.

Starships would have SURVEY missions. The point of a survey would be to map a system, scan all the anomalies, and then take samples of all the phenomena of interest on the planet.

Science Ships would have RESEARCH missions. They would be much like Survey missions, but would add a wrinkle. The premise here is that the Science Ship is going to a previously surveyed system to conduct more in depth research. I envision research playing out like a puzzle minigame of some kind. You would collect the pieces of the puzzle in a manner similar to a survey, by scanning things, then use your ship's labs to analyze the pieces to solve the puzzle.



Of course, this is a bare bones description. The point of this thread is to see if there is any support for this idea, and to see if any objections regarding it can be worked out such that the idea might be useful to the developers.

If you're going to denounce it, at least say why. If you have any ideas to improve it, please post them. Any thoughtful input is very welcome.
Humm No thanks , I can only speak for myself, i feel this system would greatly favor ENG. under this system playing a TAC would be the most costly in terms of grinding for EC to get supply's
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
08-11-2011, 05:45 PM
I'm going to have to take a pass as well. If it isn't broken, and Starship combat (Discounting PVP griping) is the most solid aspect of Star Trek Online.

Perhaps the current definitions chafe against what one might typically think of as the 'natural' order of Star Trek, but it makes far more sense than the actual system in place in the television/movie portion of the franchise. But one has to remember that system is pretty damned arbitrary.

The Defiant is equipped with two pulse phaser banks, two quantum torpedo launchers and... Well, whatever they feel like adding depending on the episode. It's a warship.

The Enterprise-E at the time of nemesis, had fourteen phaser arrays, ten burst fire torpedo tubes and one rapid fire quantum torpedo launcher. Yet it's a 'Starship.'
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
08-11-2011, 07:15 PM
I direct your attention here. Earth and Beyond was a really cool game (cool enough that it was my favorite back in the day) with three "classes" of characters each based around a different type of gameplay. Warriors were the fighters and had the most offensive ships. Traders had an Elite-like economic game and provided healing and shield support. And Explorers could mine for resources and... well, they didn't do much of anything in combat. I guess they were supposed to be the buffer/debuffs, but mostly they jumpstarted ships and hung out in asteroid fields all alone.

Anyway, that was supposed to be the plan. Then along came reality.

Only combat EVER worked well. Trading was a horrible, horrible, horrible pain that consisted of flying from one specific location in the game to another specific location in the game. Over and over and over and over. For 50 levels. You think grinding is bad in this game. Try flying from Starbase 69 to Deep Space 9 and then turning around and going back. AND EARNING XP FOR THAT. Slowly. Very slowly.

For about 25 of the 50 levels it was okay, you have some other options, and you levelled fairly quickly. And then the routes pretty much dried up and you have the one. ("The Somerled Route" they called it. It was that well known) So you would essentially level from 25 to 50 by shooting the same level 25 foe over and over again for pitiful XP.

Mining, at least, went all the way from 1 to 50, but it was ALSO pitiful XP. Most of your XP was earned by, you know, exploring. Only, since the world was finite, there were a finite number of points to explore. And they ran out at, you guessed it, level 25. So the only way you could level Trade or Explore past 25 was with a horrible grind that makes anything else in any other MMO seem tame.

Combat worked because it was well known. And the ships were, for the most part, balanced for it. Explorers had some problems with it, or Jenquai Explorers, anyway, the Progen really weren't that bad. They were warrior hybrids anyway, so they were pretty good at fighting as well.

Anyway, the day an MMO can show me that they can come up with a good system of levelling that DOESN'T involve combat, then I will be all for Star Trek being about that whole "go where no man has gone before" thing. But I have yet to see it.

BTW, a lot of the Traders, honestly enough, continued to insist that they should be earning XP by building things. Like it was a less of a grind to build things. I guess that's for some people, I mean, I can see becoming BETTER at building things because you gained XP from building things. But I don't think it's exactly the same to give a person a better chance to fight because he's good at building things.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
08-11-2011, 07:15 PM
The Defiant is NOT a "Warship".. Its unofficially a warship, because Starfleet does not build ships only for war (technically)..

Quote:
The Defiant-class, originally developed to counter the Borg, is officially classified as an escort vessel, but was unofficially a warship.
Also, since Escort, Starship, and Science vessels already have Canon classifications, your suggestions would most likely never be considered because CBS would never approve of them.. Not saying that they aren't well thought out. A+ For effort.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
08-11-2011, 07:23 PM
I will also add an old adage a writing teacher told me, "the essense of all plot is conflict".

While there were Star Trek episodes that revolved around scientific research and exploration, it ALWAYS resulted in some kind of a threat to the ship and/or crew. We never saw all the times the Enterprise went to check out some nebula, only the times the ship got stranded in the nebula or attacked by some hiding ship.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
08-11-2011, 07:29 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by STO_Mac
Humm No thanks , I can only speak for myself, i feel this system would greatly favor ENG. under this system playing a TAC would be the most costly in terms of grinding for EC to get supply's
The idea is to give each type of ship a type of mission that they excel at. This wouldn't preclude them doing other types of missions, they would just be better at their particular purpose.

Warships would benefit from being tougher overall, but would lack the nifty powers of BOs. Science Ships would be the reverse. Starships would be kind of in the middle. Obviously some balancing would be needed. I don't see any class having an advantage OVERALL. In their particular fields, yes, but not overall.


Quote:
Originally Posted by reanimatedfish View Post
I'm going to have to take a pass as well. If it isn't broken, and Starship combat (Discounting PVP griping) is the most solid aspect of Star Trek Online.

Perhaps the current definitions chafe against what one might typically think of as the 'natural' order of Star Trek, but it makes far more sense than the actual system in place in the television/movie portion of the franchise. But one has to remember that system is pretty damned arbitrary.

The Defiant is equipped with two pulse phaser banks, two quantum torpedo launchers and... Well, whatever they feel like adding depending on the episode. It's a warship.

The Enterprise-E at the time of nemesis, had fourteen phaser arrays, ten burst fire torpedo tubes and one rapid fire quantum torpedo launcher. Yet it's a 'Starship.'
The problem is that combat is ALL there is now. I'm trying to push for some more variety.



Quote:
Originally Posted by PetRaccoon
The Defiant is NOT a "Warship".. Its unofficially a warship, because Starfleet does not build ships only for war (technically)..

Also, since Escort, Starship, and Science vessels already have Canon classifications, your suggestions would most likely never be considered because CBS would never approve of them.. Not saying that they aren't well thought out. A+ For effort.
A valid point. They may chafe at the notion of calling it a Warship, but really, that's what it is. Perhaps another designation could be devised that CBS would approve.



We'll let the idea simmer and see what happens. If I have any ideas to refine it, I'll post again.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
08-12-2011, 09:40 AM
it's NOT that your idea doesn't have some merit, when looking at gaming mechanics you have to look at the big picture

for example
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
One new attribute I suggest for ships would be SUPPLIES. This represents the ship's ability to support long missions. It would represent food, fuel, parts and so forth. You would use up supply points from travelling (slower speeds would be more efficient), from performing repairs, from using replicators (for Aid missions, for example), and so on. You would resupply either by going back to base, buying supplies from wandering merchant ships or from other Player vessels.

Warships would have very limited supplies. Starships would have very extensive supplies. Science Ships would have a moderate amount of supplies.
"Warships would have the lowest supplies" meaning they would have to farm more or spend more EC to upkeep this feature NOT very Balanced nor fun if your the "Warship"

also your NOT looking at how that could be exploited in PVP "warships" running low on supplies may not be to able fire any more Torps or only carry X amount due to size of there ships. again giving an advantage to the other 2 classes again NOT very Balanced


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mojo View Post
The idea is to give each type of ship a type of mission that they excel at. This wouldn't preclude them doing other types of missions, they would just be better at their particular purpose.

Warships would benefit from being tougher overall, but would lack the nifty powers of BOs. Science Ships would be the reverse. Starships would be kind of in the middle. Obviously some balancing would be needed. I don't see any class having an advantage OVERALL. In their particular fields, yes, but not overall.

Yes it would not preclude them from doing other types BUT they would be Penalized
in order to be able to "excel" at one type of mission there would have to be some type of bonuses game machines in place for doing that type of mission so an inverse or lack of a bonuses would also be true.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
08-12-2011, 01:39 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by PetRaccoon
The Defiant is NOT a "Warship".. Its unofficially a warship, because Starfleet does not build ships only for war (technically)..
Just because it's not called a warship doesn't mean it's not a warship. It just means the Federation doesn't use that terminology for it.

I'll also point out that the idea of "warships having limited supplies" would be countered by the Akira, which is large enough to have plenty of supplies. Then again, the Akira couldn't technically be called an "Escort" either. What it is is a battleship. But again, the Federation doesn't build battleships.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
08-12-2011, 02:00 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blayyde
Just because it's not called a warship doesn't mean it's not a warship. It just means the Federation doesn't use that terminology for it.

I'll also point out that the idea of "warships having limited supplies" would be countered by the Akira, which is large enough to have plenty of supplies. Then again, the Akira couldn't technically be called an "Escort" either. What it is is a battleship. But again, the Federation doesn't build battleships.
Yes the Akira is an escort but in this game it's a Tier 3 ship so in order have an escort that can carry more supply's a VA Tac would have to give up some DPS ?
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