Back in 1999, a PC game by Microprose called Star Trek: The Next Generation: Birth of the Federation was launched. I've been a fan of this game since around 2000 and the one thing that I love about this game is all of the micro-management.
Have you ever played Birth of the Federation (BotF)?
IF you have never played this game, please check out the info in the wikipedia link (click) or check out the video's from this YouTube search (click).
IF you have played BotF, have you ever considered what STO would be like if Cryptic's game had some of the game-play features from BotF?
Well I have, I first started working on the "System Summary Concept Beta" (click) on the 14th of August 2011 and that concept received constructive feedback which prompted me to adapt that concept for Fleets in STO.
So now I will explain the "Fleet Starbase Summary Concept Beta" to you in brief.
First things first, here's a link to my BotF photobucket album (click), a reference for comparison.
And here's a link to my STO: Fleet Starbase Summary Concept Beta photobucket album (click).
Ok, imagine you've just warped to your Fleet Starbase in Star Trek Online and docked. Once aboard you use a console to access the Fleet Starbase Summary UI and see the following...
FLEET STARBASE SUMMARY CONCEPT BETA DETAILS
The image linked below is the 'Bank' screen, which will allow players to deposit into or withdraw from, energy credits or items from a shared bank. If you take a look at the bottom left corner of the image you'll see the STARBASE INFO and this states that this Fleet Starbase will generate 10 energy credits per hour which will be generated into the shared bank.
The image linked below is the 'Development' screen, which will allow players to choose a structure to 'Fabricate' but only if the player has the required amount of resources. Once a structure has been clicked on and the player has then clicked the 'Fabricate' button. The structure will be added to the BUILD QUEUE and will be completed after a set amount of hours, however if you choose to buy the structure, it will be instantly completed.
The image linked below is the 'Intelligence' screen, which will allow players to allocate a percentage of Intelligence points to either, INTERNAL SECURITY, SABOTAGE or ESPIONAGE. This part of the Fleet Starbase Summary Concept Beta is directly linked to the Duty Officer System.
If intelligence points are allocated to sabotage or espionage, these points will add to the success rate of duty officers who are sent on sabotage or espionage operations against the enemy fleet starbases.
If intelligence points are allocated to internal security, these points will counter the success rate of the enemy's duty officers who are sent on sabotage or espionage operations against your fleet starbase.
If the enemy fleet sends a duty officer who successfully sabotages your fleet starbase, one or more of your structures will be destroyed and you will have to work with your fleet to quickly fabricate the structures that have been destroyed.
Players can also view information on each faction's total fleet starbase statistics, which you can imagine is information gathered by intelligence operations.
The image linked below is the 'Production' screen, which will allow players to view how much food, industry, energy, intelligence and research is generated as well as how many structures are available to allocate workers to from the labor pool. Looking at the STARBASE INFO you'll see that the FLEET STARBASE has a population of 3300, to get the number for the labor pool I divided 3300 by 50 to get 66. That is the number of points of labor pool this fleet starbase has, and each of those points can be allocated to a structure. When a point is allocated to a structure, the structure becomes active.
The image linked below is the 'Research' screen, which will allow players to allocate research points to specific structures. You can see in this image that 100% research is going towards upgrading Type 8 Hydroponics Bays to Type 9 Hydroponics Bays. When that research is complete Hydroponics Bays will generate more food. If this Fleet Starbase Summary Concept Beta was implemented into STO, I would we would start with the type 1 set of structures.
The image linked below is the 'Structures' screen, which will allow players to view all Current Structures that have been fabricated and the bonuses those structures provide. Note that players with permission have the option to sell structures. Take a look at the example structures I've created for this concept image, and note the bonuses these structures give to the fleet.
The image linked below is the 'Starbase News' loading screen, which after loading data will allow players to view specific Fleet Starbase News as well as intelligence reports by clicking on the tabs to the left in the image.
MMOs are a battle against time. Every single system and structure must contain that element. And in order to be workable systems, it must be guaranteed that players CANNOT WIN that battle against time.
In response to this feedback I have added to this concept that not only can structures be destroyed by enemy fleets via sabotage using the Duty Officer System, but each structure will also degrade after a long period of time (possibly 6 months) and vanish, at which point the player will be notified that the structure has been dismantled due to degradation over time.
I've also added that if the enemy fleet uses espionage against your fleet, there will be a chance that they could steal research data from your fleet, setting back your research which could result in your structures Type becoming reduced in number.
This I believe will guarantee "that players CANNOT WIN that battle against time".
The Duty Officer System will allow for espionage missions at launch so that could eventually be adapted to allow players to gather all different kinds of data on the targeted enemy Fleet Starbase, such as the morale or how many Hydroponics Bays have been fabricated..
Morale would play a vital statistic, if it's low the points generated by your structures will be lower and there will be a chance that the population aboard your Starbase could protest and either strike or sabotage your own structures in an act of terrorism. If morale is high, then the points generated by your structures will be higher.
Please discuss the concept constructively, at the end of the day it's just another idea put forward to you all for discussion and all subject to change. Thanks for your time, and I hope you have found this concept to be interesting.
Special thanks to the people who have provided constructive feedback that made this concept possible.
I just have to say that you are a genius!! I have been thinking about Fleet Starbases for months now and you have really come up with a great product of possibilities. I was just thinking about a place where we could sit and have our meetings but you have come up with a plan to make it fully functional and a game inside of the game.
I love it and hope that Cryptic hires you and uses your Fleet Starbase Summary Concept Beta idea. I look forward to watching your video so I donít get in trouble reading this again at work
This idea could be further expanded upon. Consider the possibility of your Fleet Starbase acting like a shared fleet ship. It could be equipped with its own weapons, shields, sensors, devices and consoles; Not to mention Bridge Officers and Duty Officers of their own. This could facilitate effective Fleet Raids against enemy Starbases.
As the OP suggests, these starbases could be fitted with internal equipment that effect the Fleet Starbase's operation. This could allow for a variety of Raid scenerios such as Intelligence Raids, Resource Raids and Sabotage Raids; The Raids could be determined by the attacking Fleet, forcing the defending Fleet to think on the fly. Of course an effective Espionage mission could alert the defending Fleet of what type of raid is being conducted.
Raids would have to be set on a timer, perhaps daily. Whether attacking or defending, each Fleet should only be able to participate in one raid each day (subject to change). Raids would also have to be consensual.
However DOff sub-missions don't necessarily need to be consensual. When I begin to think about this all, it could be tied to some form of persistant conflict system. Starbases generate Territory Control points, Raids could serve to reduce the opposing faction's over all Territory Control rating in that sector/block. At the end of a pre-determined time period, such as weekly, the faction with the most control points recieve some form of bonus. Each sector/block could have a specific bonus that it grants (i.e. Shield Resist, Extra Anamolies from scans, Weapon Damage increase, Hull Repair Drones, etc.). This would promote PvP and investing in your fleet.
Essentially this becomes a worthwhile EC and time sink. Fleets will want to invest heavily in their fleets and Starbases to help their faction acquire these special bonuses.
Note toward your generation of EC; you say that for example, the bank generates 10 EC per-hour, but there isn't any mention on what specifically generates EC.
This should be a + and a - value, marked in white and red appropriately, that shows the current economic state of your base, as a self sustaining entity. Certain structures should generate energy credits, and certain structures should cost energy credits. In theory, the base should never generate so much energy credits to use as a form of farming, so as a result, important and essential components should cost significantly more energy credits per-tick than those you generate.
So in theory, at early development, the base should either generate a few or zero credits per-tick, so that if players choose to not opt into the system at all, they get no noticeable benefit. As they build structures, the structures will instead COST energy credits per-tick, at a very small increment, requiring players to put money into investment to keep their base operational. If the Fleet Bank runs out of money, then structures with an EC start getting shut down, in order of least important to most important structures (likely given a weight based on what uses the most EC).
Players should therefore have no cost at start, medium to low cost at initial development, and high cost at max level of development. Similarly, their fleet Starbase should give little to no functionality at the start, and build up to the most options. Their ability to generate credits would work in the same way, as well; little to no credit generation at the start, building up as you level to alleviate the innate costs as you build up your infrastructure.
Making it so that the EC Generating buildings require other tier buildings to research makes it so that its very difficult or impossible to generate more than a few energy credits per-tick, so that you can't 'play' this minigame just for generating an enormous sum of profit.
James_Bailey, I'm glad you like the concept, thank you but this concept is specifically a result of feedback from STO players, I can only take credit for the time I've spent creating the edited images, threads and YouTube videos.
Eminent, I like your ideas, especially the PvP suggestions.
SeijiTataki, it's good that you've noticed this and put forth your own ideas. When I put all of this together for the System Summary Concept Beta I decided to keep all of the information to a minimum and I've done the same here. This prompts discussion of the concept in greater detail.
Take a look at the Production UI (click), note that 5 of the 9 Type 8 Plasma Reactors are operational and maintained.
In Birth of the Federation I believe it's the population of the Star Systems that determines how many credits are generated per turn, though I'm not 100% sure.
When I first edited the images for these concepts, I decided that the Plasma Reactor structures would generate 2 energy credits each per hour, but only if they were operational. By operational I mean that a point from the labor pool has been assigned to one of the structures, just to be clear.
I think what you have typed up here though is absolutely brilliant and hope the others like your suggestions.
Well done Alecto.
For all us die hard STO players the concept of a Fleet base is something thats been on our minds for a long time. In this thread and especially the video you put it into a workable and conceptual realism and I hope Cryptic are listening and reading. Its got to happen at some point to move the game to the next level and for it to move into the socialable MMO that I dream and know it can be.
I like your reference to 'Battle against time' but not sure it would be a good idea for the base to ever degrade and disappear either due to time or maintenance this could leave certain fleet members jaded by the game due the lack of effort or game time of other players. However borrowing idea's from other MMO's I definately think that increasing effectiveness of base and fleet through point/score based scheme to rival other fleets who might attack would definately be of interest, just don't think it should ever scale down.
Adjusting environments internal and external to give the base its own unique image and look is definately something that cryptic must be able to achieve in the next few years through the foundry type programming.
Well once again here's hoping they are listening and watching and its something that will hit down in the near future.
I've made a transcript of this part of the show for those interested and will clear a couple of things up below.
Originally Posted by James@PriorityOne
So in this weeks game ideas we've got something from Alecto via firstname.lastname@example.org, it's about STO Fleet Starbase Summary Concept Beta, and he has a video on YouTube where he explains his principles to how a fleet Starbase should be built and how it should be run and managed through different metrics from a different game, an older game. Called Star Trek: Birth of the Federation, so it's a good video it's about 8 minutes long. It's very well thought out, I mean it's very technical, it's a brilliant way to do things but in my opinion, the only problem with it is as a fleet leader, it's over complicated.
When I think of a Fleet Starbase, I think of a social zone basically for my fleet to go to where we can be safe and where we can either socialize, or craft or build things, pass information, or bank stuff. You know just where we can get our everyday things done. As far as his concept, you'll find that there are a lot of things to be managed, as far as food and structures and growing things. It's just a whole bunch of more items to keep track of in the game as a fleet leader. We all-ready have five hundred people within our fleet, maybe more if your fleet is bigger than that, to manage. You know I have a ton of things all-ready, away from my own four toons, which for each of them I have to manage all of their stuff. You know I don't need another thing to baby-sit, and plus we have the DOff System coming which is going to be another system to baby-sit, so to me it's a little overly complicated.
I want something simpler, you know as far as defend-ability or if you want to use it in battle or anything like that. I think it should be done just like we do with the ships now, where another fleet can send you a challenge and you can either accept or deny that challenge. If you accept you get as many of your fleet members as you can together and you defend your base with it's defence systems against their onslaught for a certain amount of time and you can either do it or you can't and the winner gets points or whatever type of reward.
My concept does not mention building a Fleet Starbase, only managing it. Regarding the way James thinks of a Fleet Starbase, there's nothing stopping Cryptic from doings this. My concept is only about the summary UI system which allows the player to manage the Starbase. The concept doesn't include the creation of items (such as food items), only structures.
James sounds like he manages a fleet of 500 all by himself and has not thought that this concept is designed for many players in a fleet to manage, and not for a single player to manage. It's designed to encourage team work within a fleet.
The only other things to pay attention to, are research which is simple, allocate points and research accumulates over time, structures upgrade. And the intelligence points, which are either allocated to internal security, sabotage or espionage which is linked to the Duty Officer System. This isnít mentioned here, you can find more info on this in my thread.
Also, nothing stopping Cryptic from allowing other fleets to send you a "Defend the Starbase" PvP challenge, my concept is about management of the physical Starbase. Battle could still occur outside of management.
Originally Posted by Elijah@PriorityOne
I appreciate a lot the way super group bases were done in City of Heroes, you where that' what it was, you went in you had equipment that healed you, that provided teleportation and then it would queue up if a super group or villainous fleet wanted to fight you.
You're right; I think it is slightly over complicated. There are some concepts there like Hydroponics. I don't know about anyone else but I don't use the food items that I pick up.
What I do like about it is that it's generating energy credits, I like that idea and I know that with the new economy there's been talk about how Dilithium crystals are going to be generated and how you can actually collect them. So that's something that's a little interesting, that the Starbase will have some functionality on it's own as a stand alone entity almost generating some kind of energy, but you are right.
It's almost like he took the game and then put it into Star Trek Online, without realizing it is its own separate game. It's a completely new mechanic just like the Boff system is practically it's own little game.
It really is not complicated at all, the only things the fleet members have to check in on, is what structures they need to build. Then gather the resources or energy credits required for the structures to be fabricated, then add the selected structure to the build queue. Allocate labor to the structures that have been fabricated, also energy if required and the Starbase begins to become operated by the crew aboard and little management is required once you've got everything running.
Again, the concept doesn't include the creation of items (such as food items), only structures.
I did take game-play elements from Birth of the Federation (BotF) and add them to STO. I also realize that BotF is a separate game and that this concept, if it were implemented into STO would be a separate mini-game within a game, similar to the DOff system, and thereís nothing wrong with that in my opinion.
Originally Posted by James@PriorityOne
Right... I mean a lot of people will use that and wonít use it. You know there's only so many things that I want to have to keep track of before it just becomes a game of baby sitting a bunch of stuff and I'm not really enjoying a game anymore. You know it just becomes uh, oh great I'm going to go online and play my metrics game. You know it's no longer I'm going to go in and explore galaxies and have great epic battles and fly my Starship and do the fun stuff. It's going to beÖ ok Iíve got to check this metric today and that metric today and this metric today and do I have the newest gear and do I have this, and I got to check this and I've got to check that. And before you know it you've just spent 3 hours checking everything to make sure it's up to par before you've ever actually done anything.
You know, as it is right now when I ump in I have to spend at least the first 15-20 minutes doing all that now, checking e-mails, checking all the people in my fleet, is anyone due for a promotion, then this, then that before I even go anywhere within the game.
I know from experience that being a fleet leader is a great responsibility and can also be stressful; I would recommend promoting some of your trusted fleet members and giving them "leader" responsibilities, helping to elevate the stress you are under.
Also, much like the DOff system, this "game within a game" would be completely optional but as previously mentioned, is designed for fleets to manage, not for solo players. Which means fleet leaders would have to give permissions to fleet members who are interested in "baby sitting a bunch of stuff".
Originally Posted by Elijah@PriorityOne
Yeah it's a little overwhelming, it's a great concept, he put a significant amount of time into it. It's clearly it's own game though, I think it would be fantastic as it's own thing but within a game within a game, it starts to get to much.
Thank you, 48+ hours went into editing the images to show players the UI concepts.
Originally Posted by James@PriorityOne
So great idea, A+ for thought, the way the layout, I think it's all brilliant, I just think it might be to much to add to an all-ready existing complicated system, so.
To be honest, if you both think this is complicated, you're NOT going to like the Duty Officer System because that's currently a hell of a lot more complicated than this concept.
Originally Posted by Elijah@PriorityOne
I looked up the Birth of the Federation game and it's very similar, I think he grabbed some of the icons from it and it's great that he had appreciation for the game but I think in an MMO environment, you're right it will take up a significant amount of time, a significant amount of effort to maintain that concept.
HOWEVER, that's not to say that some of his ideas, so for instance it generating energy credits, it having defence turrets, things that degrade over time, he mentions. That's an excellent idea, you know something to consider.
At the end of the day, it's just a concept, full of ideas taken from an old game, thrown in with some new ideas from myself as well as others.
Originally Posted by James@PriorityOne
Yeah there were aspects of it that I thought were usable, for instance, they did have the umm... I think it was called the Terrarium where you could put pets, like a collection of pets, so basically a place where you could put your Tribbles and other new things, Hortas and things, whatever are going to come into the game. Where you could keep those for other members to pick up and use or put back when they don't need and things like that. I think those were great ideas and definitely think those should be folded into Fleet Starbases when they come about but as far as the whole system as a whole and having to manage so much. Even watch for degradation, I mean this is the future tings last so much longer and the materials things are made of and all that stuff. You shouldn't have to worry about all that stuff at this scale; you know he was talking about every 6 months you would have to replace like a whole system because that would go bad or whatever. Like really? Is the future so bad that every 6 months we have to replace a system?
You know so things like that I think would lead to over complication and more things to fill your time that you all-ready don't have enough of, so other concepts, like I said, great ideas, little things that can be thrown in.
So we'll see how it plays out, I'm sure Cryptic has their own whole set of ideas and systems for this anyway so we'll have to see how that plays out.
Great job Alecto, thanks for sending it in, we really appreciate it.
The original concept for "The Tribble Terrarium!" (click) was posted on the 14th of September 2010 by JPJappic, credit goes to this forum member.
The idea for degradation of structures over a long period of time was added to guarantee "that players CANNOT WIN that battle against time", this degradation idea as well as the idea of other fleets sabotaging your Fleet Starbase structures via the DOff system prevents fleets from being able to fabricate a huge amount of structures and WIN by being better than every other fleet in the game. When structures are either destroyed or are dismantled after the structures systems have degraded, other fleets get a chance to compete.
so as a huge BOTF fan, really i can't tell why i keep coming back to this game again and again .... i like the general direction for fleetbases. Much better then controlling actual systems. Needs a lot of finetuning but i hope cryptic sees the potential for Fleetbases beyond territory control and pvp challenges (those are great to of course)
I still believe that the only way for a SB to be taken away or degraded should be mutual FvF (fleet vs Fleet) pvp. You cannot keep a SB manned at all times to keep everything under control. Imagine the people that have new SB's that get them all up and running and then....lose it because of some random loss in pvp...even if you have the chance to get it back, it is NOT somethingthat I view as very Trek. Especially if it's fed v fed...Klink v Fed is different, and I think very few Klingon fleets can muster the forces to take on a large fed base, but still, the risk of losing it completely and having to raise the insane amount of resources, credits and such just to get another is NOT....imo worth it.
P.S.: the UI for the KDF side needs more polish...it doesn't look finished or as polished as the Fed side...the KDF can have a rough look to it, but needs to be polished in its own way.
I still believe that the only way for a SB to be taken away or degraded should be mutual FvF (fleet vs Fleet) pvp. ...
I would like to see an influence system. If you "loose" you base in a mutually agreed pvp fashion, you system has strong enemy influence, and is less productive, e.g. only generates 10 anaomalies instead of 500. For all intends and purposes its social hub functions should still work as before, maybe with some battle marks on the outside, or some npc klings walking around beating up ferengi ....