Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
Pretty much what it says on the tin.

As Trek fans, we were looking forward to an MMO that wasn't just endless combat in space and on ground. We were looking forward to a full range of options, including combat but also including diplomacy, exploration, and research.

Let's focus on exploration here.

"Actual" exploration would be pretty much taking your starship to point B, scanning everything scannable, dropping away teams to check on local anomalies on planets, and seeing what's out there.

How can exploration be made into a fun experience, other than going to point "a" and hitting 'F' to "Scan Area" or "Scan Anomaly?" An added challenge is to make it feasible within the existing engine and capabilities, and that isn't a horrible grind. Let's not go into pie-in-the-sky, if-I-had-a-million-dollars, need-Creys-on-the-backend. Ideally, if there's some way to do this without requiring someone to be chained to a desk making exploration missions, and if the maps already created by the Genesis system can be leveraged, we should go with that.

This question has been bounced about the forums a bit, but aside from annoying and interminable minigames, I've not yet found a way that exploration can be made 'really fun.' I have some ideas, but I want to hear what other forum regulars can come up with. Maybe, just maybe, we can come up with some fun, engaging ideas.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
01-11-2012, 01:06 PM
For starters, my "Strange New World" Nagus Daily(first link in sig) is an improvement on Cryptic's planet scan missions. You still have to go scan locations on the planet, but in between each location are wandering animals that will attack you if you get too close. So there is optional ground combat, and if you want to avoid them you have to actually pay attention to where your going.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
01-11-2012, 01:07 PM
If sector space was made into, mostly, one big map they could add in new versions of the scan anomalies/planets from the clusters into normal space. That'd at the very least give an impression of discovering something new while warping between Earth and DS9 for example.

I'd also say that sector space would need to be increased in size if that happened though, it'd probably feel too small at that point.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
01-11-2012, 01:17 PM
There's an idea in my sig that got pretty decent community support, but the devs never seemed to pick up on the idea.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
01-11-2012, 01:22 PM
I would like to see some diplomacy missions where you got to choose how you "research" each race or planet. For instance, at the start of the mission, you can either read through a computer database (and probably have to solve some sort of database error in the process), you can simulate some of said race's past rituals or ceremonies on a holodeck, or you can beam down and strike up conversation with the locals to learn their sociology some. But you couldn't do all three. Also, each path would lead you to different situations whether they be combat, puzzles, etc.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
01-11-2012, 01:34 PM
In STAR TREK, Exploration was always integral to the episode. In other words, you were never shown the Enterprise flying around and scanning things unless it had something to do with the episodes' content. I doubt therefore that any sort of free-roaming exploration will be worthy of STAR TREK in STO.

If missions were to include randomized objects, NPC's and settings and dynamic enough to allow the players to explore the mission as they work to resolve it, that in my book would be the TREK awesomesauce STO is missing.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
01-11-2012, 02:35 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by LordOfPit View Post
In STAR TREK, Exploration was always integral to the episode. In other words, you were never shown the Enterprise flying around and scanning things unless it had something to do with the episodes' content. I doubt therefore that any sort of free-roaming exploration will be worthy of STAR TREK in STO.

If missions were to include randomized objects, NPC's and settings and dynamic enough to allow the players to explore the mission as they work to resolve it, that in my book would be the TREK awesomesauce STO is missing.
Okay, I see what you mean.

Can I ask you to elaborate on that, then? What would the difference be between what you want to see, and, for example, doing three missions in an exploration cluster, where youre not sure if you're going to get a ground mission, a first contact mission, and aid mission, etc., i.e. the way things are now? Or do you mean some kind of meta-script that generates a mission script randomly when you enter a new space map or such?

I guess what I'm looking for is solid examples of what would be better than what we have now. We all 'know' that things can be better but in what ways can it be better? For me, defininig a fun and enjoyable exploration experience where things are unexpected and you can't go into a situation knowing you need to use Buff X or Gear Y has presented a challenge to define, and I'd like to see what folks think of when they think 'exploration.'
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
01-11-2012, 03:09 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by V-Mink View Post
...do you mean some kind of meta-script that generates a mission script randomly when you enter a new space map or such?
Basically, yes. Another concept that could help break the monotone gameplay experience would be random objects that may be traps and ways to diffuse them, or certain devices the player may find helpful.

The sad thing is, none of this can be directly translated into dollars that'd go into Cryptics' bank account and hardcore MMO'ers may be sometimes annoyed that players can go through missions using their brains instead of a min/max'ed build.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
01-11-2012, 04:37 PM
Essentially, what I have envisioned for true STO Exploration is based off the old Starflight PC game (which was inspired by Star Trek).

1) Open up the Galaxy

2) Use various methods to travel across the Galaxy
  • Long-Range Slipstream Travel
  • Transwarp Conduits
  • Slingshot
  • Wormholes
  • Subspace Corridors

3) First Contact is actually First Contact - per player (no trivia).

4) Various ranges of types of aliens you could encounter
  • Hostile to all
  • Friendly to all
  • Cautious
  • Religious
  • ...and more

5) Negotations or Diplomacy opens up new areas in space (or potentally closing them).

6) Discover new technology and ruins that could possibly end up being new dungeons.



This are things on top of my head regarding the potential for Exploration in STO.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
01-13-2012, 09:21 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by LordOfPit View Post
Basically, yes. Another concept that could help break the monotone gameplay experience would be random objects that may be traps and ways to diffuse them, or certain devices the player may find helpful.
So basically put in unexpected things. You're on a 'Scan 4 devices' mission and suddenly there's this not-a-device object there that you can interact with, and even based on its shape you have NO IDEA what it will do when you interact with it. I like it! Overcoming the unknown, the unexpected, the unusual. =D That could turn a boring 'scan five anomalies' mission into something possibly welcomingly altogether too interesting very quick!

There would have to be a large catalog of puzzles and interactions which could take some time to develop...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Azurian View Post
Essentially, what I have envisioned for true STO Exploration is based off the old Starflight PC game (which was inspired by Star Trek).

1) Open up the Galaxy

2) Use various methods to travel across the Galaxy
  • Long-Range Slipstream Travel
  • Transwarp Conduits
  • Slingshot
  • Wormholes
  • Subspace Corridors

3) First Contact is actually First Contact - per player (no trivia).

4) Various ranges of types of aliens you could encounter
  • Hostile to all
  • Friendly to all
  • Cautious
  • Religious
  • ...and more

5) Negotations or Diplomacy opens up new areas in space (or potentally closing them).

6) Discover new technology and ruins that could possibly end up being new dungeons.



This are things on top of my head regarding the potential for Exploration in STO.
... and which something like this could cover for in the meantime. I like this idea, as well! Again, it adds the unexpected to Exploration, and it's more than just 'Scan N anomalies in X Cluster.'
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