Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 101
02-13-2012, 11:31 PM
lets face it star trek was never a barrel of laughs with captain archer fighting genocidal aliens who live in space that warps the body or kirk fighting Klingons who stab his son or mad men who believe themselves to be better then picard who in the very first episode has to stop Q from wiping out humanity and then proceeds to try to do it himself as a Borg drone and then later stops a clone of himself who dies upon a metal pole. then janeway who comes up against space thugs with corral on there heads who maroon them on a volcanic planet with a sick child or end up being assimilated by the Borg. Then DS9 where millions seem to die daily in the Dominion war and there is a battle between Gods who are fighting over the rule of Bajor.
Star trek has never been the brightest place now. sure they were interspersed with humour but that overall story doesnt go away because wesley falls into some water or odo and quark have a funny argument its still a dark future.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 102
02-13-2012, 11:46 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ProfessorSTAFF
I really like Star Trek Online but I really dislike the dark, depressing hopelessness that seems to be its most prevalent themes.

Star Trek has always been about hope, and optimism, progress and peace.

When I was playing "Second Wave", an episode that I thought they did a really good job on, I despaired at the admiral saying "The Federation has about 3 years left before we are completely destroyed by the borg!"

THAT IS SO DEPRESSING! 3 years??? Do you know how bad that makes things? That is all but hopeless. That is not humanity reaching out to the stars and evolving to the next level, it is our inevitable doom.

Now, I am not complaining about this one line, but I think it represents what Star Trek Online is thematically all about: we're at war WITH EVERYONE, we're killing and being killed, and we're doomed.

I remember when the game launched and I'd get those missions in nebula where you investigate an empty base. As you read the reports on the terminals, in each every single one, you learn that EVERYONE YOU'VE COME TO RESCUE IS DEAD. This is what eventually was called a "diplomacy" mission. The scientists opened a wormhole to the Delta Quadrant? Dead. The advisors on the Gorn border? Dead. They're all dead, never saved at the end by your team. One group died ina cave-in. How horrible and sad!

I'm not saying we shouldn't fight the borg. I'm not saying we need non-violent missions. Obviously these things should be what the game is about. But I'd like to see more of an emphasis on hope and optimism.

I'm still hoping that the 3800 end up allying themselves with the Federation at the very end of the saga and flying off to fight the borg to help save everyone. I want to see an entire series about Deffera joining the Federation. Throw in attacks and battles, but have the objective be us fighting for unity, not just fighting a hopeless battle to survive.

Does anyone else agree? Again, I am focussing on theme, aesthetic, and feel. I'd like more of this game to feel like Star Trek and not Starship Troopers.
Ever eatch Tjhe Best of Both Worlds (part One and Two) or DS9 Seasons 4 -7? (and if you want a couple DS9 episodes of 'bleakness' try Homefront and paradise Lost.

As for coming on ships/baseds where everyone was already dead - TNG's - "The Naked Now" or where a rogue captain is blowing up fullt crewed Cardassian ships called "The Wounded

Yes, overall Star Trek has shown an optoistic future, but within that has shown times of impending doom and destruction - which is eventually heroicly averted by the main characters of a given show. Well - in STO, you're the main character, and when you decide to climb in the Captain's chair of your ship, there's some adventures waiting for you which, afyter you palye through them usually have you and the Federation/KDF coming out of top and making some progress towards ending the war/improving the lot of some planet or species.

So far, I don't see the issue with STO's background and setup. It probably barrows more heavily from DS9 as far as the general setuop goes; but it's still got a very 'Trek' core.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 103
02-14-2012, 12:52 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Armsman View Post
...So far, I don't see the issue with STO's background and setup. It probably barrows more heavily from DS9 as far as the general setuop goes; but it's still got a very 'Trek' core.
Having recently rewatched Carl Sagan's Cosmos TV series, it was interesting to see how the commentary of the show highlighted the tensions of the Cold War. I'd speculate that TV and other media throught history has echoed the state of global affairs at the time it was written. While combat and conflict does help with the fun nature of flying a massive Starship around where you can fire your phaser banks and torpedoes, the conflict within STO may also be a subconscious reflection of our view of humanity at this hour.

Great thread btw...
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 104
02-14-2012, 01:15 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Armsman View Post
So far, I don't see the issue with STO's background and setup. It probably barrows more heavily from DS9 as far as the general setuop goes; but it's still got a very 'Trek' core.
strange...
90% of the game feels way to TOS heavy to me and not TNG / DS9 / VOY enough.

Exploration Sectors are pure TOS, beam down onto cheaply build set, do your thing, only the random monster that kills a redshirt is missing from those.

The Devidian Series was pure TOS.

The Reman Series had Lirpas and THAT TOS BATTLE MUSIC.



What i am saying is, there is more to Star Trek than only TOS, about 4 Series more by now, and i'm a TNG kid, only watched TOS one time for *historical value*, anything TNG / DS9 / VOY is what i want to see, and that includes epic DS9 style battle scenes, especially because this is an MMO.

PS: where is that DS9 Fleetaction?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 105
02-14-2012, 01:22 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by dstahl View Post
Having recently rewatched Carl Sagan's Cosmos TV series, it was interesting to see how the commentary of the show highlighted the tensions of the Cold War. I'd speculate that TV and other media throught history has echoed the state of global affairs at the time it was written. While combat and conflict does help with the fun nature of flying a massive Starship around where you can fire your phaser banks and torpedoes, the conflict within STO may also be a subconscious reflection of our view of humanity at this hour.

Great thread btw...
See... I think in many respects Enterprise was sunk by the time it inhabited.

Questions about enhanced interrogation, war, militarism, etc. were compounded on a show that took place in an era where we didn't have firm answers to those questions. That's not to say it didn't make for an interesting show, mind you. I just think it tackled problems that we as Americans especially were not in a very strong place to deal with. We've spent much of the last 11 years in a state of shock and re-evaluation and that didn't allow Enterprise to decide where it fit into the culture very comfortably.

Whereas the other series had a more defined emotional and moral center. Even a dark series like DS9 was rare and deliberate in its deviations from its moral center. Much of the morality was very black and white and echoed the west's view of itself in a war like WWII. The rare deviations such as "In the Pale Moonlight" held weight because they were deviations from an established moral and philosophical center.

If Sisko conducted assassinations and faked data rods weekly, it would have been a meaningless episode. It was because we understood him to be a man of great compassion, loud conviction, and empathy that we could both understand and feel betrayed by his choices there, seeing him as he saw himself.

Enterprise didn't have a well-defined core to deviate from.

I think a real and present issue in STO is establishing a status quo and creating deviations from that status quo that hit home when they happen.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 106
02-14-2012, 01:24 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by CptBANG View Post
strange...
90% of the game feels way to TOS heavy to me and not TNG / DS9 / VOY enough.

Exploration Sectors are pure TOS, beam down onto cheaply build set, do your thing, only the random monster that kills a redshirt is missing from those.

The Devidian Series was pure TOS.

The Reman Series had Lirpas and THAT TOS BATTLE MUSIC.



What i am saying is, there is more to Star Trek than only TOS, about 4 Series more by now, and i'm a TNG kid, only watched TOS one time for *historical value*, anything TNG / DS9 / VOY is what i want to see, and that includes epic DS9 style battle scenes, especially because this is an MMO.

PS: where is that DS9 Fleetaction?
Yeah the things lost here from the TNG DS9 and voyager are TNG was mostly about exploration and helping mediate differences between others, DS9 started out in various forms of exploration and a station life rather than a starship but then transformed into mostly war like STO is now but STO doesn't grasp that concept because the only feeling of war or battle is with the borg nothing more to that, and then voyager was exploration based but yet lost and was exploring just because they were lost which there would definately have to be some kind of thing where you can only have one character on an account lost at time or something like that to get that in the game because it would have to be limited to where you either didnt run into other players or either a small chance that you could run into another player. Overall I do agree it hasn't touched based on those series only ships and a few uniforms but nothing more than that.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 107
02-14-2012, 01:33 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeuxidemus
Yeah the things lost here from the TNG DS9 and voyager are TNG was mostly about exploration and helping mediate differences between others, DS9 started out in various forms of exploration and a station life rather than a starship but then transformed into mostly war like STO is now but STO doesn't grasp that concept because the only feeling of war or battle is with the borg nothing more to that, and then voyager was exploration based but yet lost and was exploring just because they were lost which there would definately have to be some kind of thing where you can only have one character on an account lost at time or something like that to get that in the game because it would have to be limited to where you either didnt run into other players or either a small chance that you could run into another player. Overall I do agree it hasn't touched based on those series only ships and a few uniforms but nothing more than that.
We never lose anyone we care about. DS9 was about the cost of war.

There are penalties you can have in a game like this and to some extent I agree with Jack Emmert when he says things like a death penalty are unnecessary obstacles that are designed to suck subscription dollars out of people. On the flipside, you have Jane McGonigal who, in her book "Reality is Broken", seems to view the heart of gaming as being about unnecessary challenges.

You need that balance of flow and fiero, tension and pride. And you don't want the artificiality or unnecessariness of a struggle to be apparent.

I've got some very concrete ideas about how to do this in STO.

And a big part of that is giving players nice things and then taking them away. The point being, you don't lose your dilithium or gear or XP but you get a taste of something that gets taken from you in the course of a mission. And once it gets taken from you, content designers can do all kinds of nasty things with it that get you invested.

For example, getting an uber bridge officer and then having them get kidnapped before your eyes in the same mission where they're looking at a transfer to your crew. And then maybe having very special means of getting them back after you've had a taste of how awesome they are but that's where the work comes in. And suddenly, you have this longterm goal of freeing them from a Dominion camp. And it's not something you can solve today but it becomes a campaign to take back something you lost, maybe over missions, maybe through dilithium investments and Duty Officer assignments.

I have a very concrete idea along these lines but my new year's resolution is not to hand out free ideas like sticks of gum but to keep things nice and vague.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 108
02-14-2012, 01:51 AM
The feelings of TOS deja-vu may come from our main lore-Dev writer being a hardcore TOS Kirk fan-girl, if I recall that STOked interview correctly.

Actually nothing wrong with that. TOS was an entertaining show holding up a mirror to the oppressive US Zeitgeist of the 60-70ies.
Which is actually where we are at right now again.
Only with more drugs&wars, a prevailing oppressive mindset sugar-coated in "political correctness" while wearing a flag&cross and also on the verge of the final world war.

Trek is mainly entertainment. What makes it seem to stand out is that it mirrors current problems (or other TV shows running concurrently *coughBabylon5 :p ).
TNG was the right show for the 90ies, but not without itīs flaws. Dito with DS9 and Voyager. Copying those shows will not fly.

STO has to find itīs own "Zeitgeist", while hopefully avoiding the big problems of the old TV shows. That is mainly the "reset button" at the end of every episode which probably drove of great writers like Moore.
If that means going back to the TOS roots and building on that, Iīm fine with it. As long as there spring actual noticeable consequences in-game from all these episodes.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 109
02-14-2012, 01:52 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Commander88 View Post
I can point out the dishonorable soldiers in DS9, led down the path of war by their own lust for battle, power, and foolishness.
...and those bad guys are somehow always the ones the DS9 protagonists are fighting against.

A good counter-example would be Gowron. It was obvious from the moment Picard and Worf met him that this guy was a S.O.B. Gowron's role in TNG was both to highlight the dangers of getting in bed with a known S.O.B. even if the alternatives seem worse, and to illustrate that sometimes, you just don't have any alternative. That is a real grey area - not DS9.

In DS9, when Gowron got out of control. Worf found an easy way out, for a happy ending. Not everyone in that situation - hell, most - can just challenge the guy to honorable combat. And what if Worf lost?

War, as they say, never decides who is right, only who is left. DS9's story never really meets a better criteria than the Dominion War deciding who was "left".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Commander88 View Post
Yes, Vorta are bad...because they're supposed to be. They're an example of every slimy middle manager/bureaucratic machine gone wrong...but, did you forget about Weyoun 6? And, DS9 didn't corner the market on "bad" admirals...it also had some good ones in there too.
That's the point, though. DS9 didn't really have any "bad" admirals as its central characters.

TNG had characters like Nechayev, who disappeared after the second season of DS9. The "bad" admirals in DS9 were minor extras who somehow are willing to be dictated to by a lowly captain because he happened to be possessed by aliens. Then there's Ross, who does most of the talking, and comes off as just another uncle-like Hogan's Heroes stereotype.

Again, TNG captures the grey - how do you strike a balance working for the stupid and evil while maintaining your integrity?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Commander88 View Post
Seems to me someone has issues with sex in general...gonna let that one lay there, since there's plenty of examples of good and bad sexuality for whatever gender you want to look at in DS9.
It's a perfectly valid point.

Notice that in TNG, Cardassian soldiers were both male and female. In DS9, however, all Cardassian soldiers are male. As with the Jem'hadar. Also note that there are Bajoran - but not Cardassian - female supernumeraries in DS9. Central to the feminist agenda is legitimizing violence against men while demonizing violence against women. This is also why Kira resolves every situation with disagreeing with men through overt aggression and knocking out men twice her size. It's another study in "might determines not who is right but who is left", and it makes for a superficial and unconvincing story, driven entirely by the dysfunction of contemporary society.

Quark's sex drive is constantly portrayed as somehow disgraceful. Characters like Bashir or Worf or Sisko always regard the male sex urge with shame and awkwardness. Then there's Dax, whose totally outsized libido is lionized, and she encourages a recalcitrant Kira to adopt the same attitude. It's a glaring contradiction, and makes no sense in the context of a more "mature" society. By contrast, in TNG, the attitude towards sex is much more mature. Picard and Geordi, for example, clearly suffer from insecurity and an inability to fix sex into their professional lives, but this is portrayed as a moral flaw, not as inherently good and normal as it is on DS9. Again, honoring the female libido while disgracing the male is part of the feminist agenda.

My views aren't motivated by misogyny or repression or some sort of political ideology, simple analysis of the facts, both of the show and the society that created that show. Watching Star Trek and asking how its themes reflect upon our cultural attitudes towards sexuality is no different than reading Shakespeare or Dumas or Sophocles and taking into account the sexual beliefs of those cultures.

Sexuality, the drive if not the act, is fundamental to the human character, and if you refuse to impartially evaluate the values contained in the show out of - fear? rigidity? cognitive dissonance? - then you are choosing to not see the entire picture and failing to truly consider what things mean.

Don't just say "eww". Analyze the facts I laid out, and come to your own conclusions.
Don't let fear control your thoughts.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Commander88 View Post
The Klingons and Cardassians shift depending on who they're fighting, and when...kinda of like the U.S. shifted its stance on Asians, Germans, etc. in the course of its wars...or are you forgetting yellow journalism, freedom fries, and internment camps on American soil?
I highlighted the contradiction.

You're approaching real life and fiction from opposite angles - the antagonists changing depending on whose side they are on, and the protagonists attitudes towards the antagonists changing depending on who we're fighting.

Example: that scene where Sisko busts up a Klingon for mockingly announcing he killed a friend of his. How is that Klingon killing some Benzite who happens to be friends with Sisko worse than tomorrow him killing some Vorta or Cardassian who happens to be friends with someone else?

Again: war does not determine who is right, only who is left. Sisko is a morally weak character because he can't rise above the most petty of drives. He can't take life and accept death with equal equanimity.

Or Martok. He's portrayed as ruthless and bloodthirsty - but only as long as he's the enemy. When he's on the protagonists' side, he's instantly the chummy war buddy. Weyoun, by contrast, never gets such favorable treatment, and Weyoun 6 doesn't apply because it's made expressly clear in the episode that he's damaged goods (i.e., his surreal, schizoid dreams).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Commander88 View Post
Sisko's son makes very stupid mistakes that any young person would make seeking the thrill/glamor/excitement of war and adventure.
The point is that Sisko tries to keep him safe while sending hundreds of thousands of other men's sons to their deaths.

Again: courageous men accept death as easily as they dish it out. Sisko can't do that.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Commander88 View Post
Bashir is a POW only saved after Worf/Martok get the snot beat out of them and Garak nearly goes insane in a botched attempt to rescue Inabrin Tain from his botched attempt at genocide with the Romulans against the Dominon. Terribly uni-dimension that.
It's totally uni-dimensional. They are right and the bad guys are wrong. They live and the other guys die. A better example of "grey" is Picard's relationship with the Borg or Ro's relationship with the Maquis or Spock's relationship with his father and the Romulans.

"Grey" means...you can't have it all...you have to make mutually exclusive moral choices.

The point of Star Trek, as a drama, is to compare those choices. How does a morally superior culture deal with situations beneath its level?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Commander88 View Post
So, you mean they filled out O'Brien's character and had him grow and change his opinions on some things as he got married, had children, etc...and you're calling him out for being a gamer? Sorry, I wasn't aware we were playing Farmville here, and I'm sure there are plenty of current/retired members of our armed forces who enjoy this game.
It's not him "being a gamer". There's a difference between enjoying challenge and glorifying militarism.
And there's a difference between character growth and character regression.

As a matter of fact, in Germany, this distinction is upheld by law, because they have learned the hard way - the very hard way - the cost of failing to understand the difference.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Commander88 View Post
As one of my grandfathers (who fought in WWII) used to say...nothing worse than a man with a paper rectum...or someone who makes specious arguments about a Trek series he very obviously dislikes.
A lot of people fought in World War II.

Throughout history, men have shed blood for all sorts of causes. Some good, some bad. Whatever the cause - just or otherwise - the realities of war, and man's willingness to fight them, never changes.

Far fewer men have found the courage to make peace than to make war.

Obviously I dislike DS9. That doesn't make my views on it inherently incorrect. Rather, those valid views are the basis for the dislike.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Commander88 View Post
Bitter bandwagon of DS9 haters, your reservation for table of one is waiting.
There are others that feel as I do. Even were it not so, my opinion would still be inherently valid. Strange that this was one of the central themes of TNG...
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 110
02-14-2012, 02:07 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivarST
The feelings of TOS deja-vu may come from our main lore-Dev writer being a hardcore TOS Kirk fan-girl, if I recall that STOked interview correctly.
I think you're confusing Zeronius (Kirk fangirl) and Kestrel.

Kestrel's done a couple of radio interviews but I don't think she's ever been on STOked and STOked was generally quite hard on her work.

Zeronius is the peppy one with the dark hair who used to have the dog. She was QA. Now she's an associate producer. Her big contribution thus far is a lot of testing and feedback on bugfixes and The Foundry. She loves Kirk. She likes action games and hitting/shooting things. I think she's a bit of a HALO-type person and could probably beat any of us at fighting games. Background in customer service, scripting, and support.

Kestrel is somewhat older than Zero. Brownish blond hair. Glasses. Likes books. More of a Picard fangirl if anything but into TNG era Romulans above all else. Worked extensively on them pre-launch before throwing everything out due to the movie. Writes all the dialogue. Big into Skyrim and Catherine and Mass Effect and fantasy books. University educated at a prestigious school, I think in English.

If there's a TOS bias, I think that comes from further up the ladder.

Keep in mind, Al Rivera dished recently that they had established Trek writers prepared to get involved but they wanted a storywriter who would write around the game mechanics and team's collective interests and the established writers wanted the whole game to follow their story.
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