Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 51
02-13-2012, 04:15 AM
I'd say STO being all about war is not because of story/lore/canon reasons, but because of MMO expectations and tech limits.

Most / all MMOs are about hack&slash or in the scifi variant about blowing stuff up. So cryptic has to follow - welcome war. However it's getting boring to fight the same enemies over and over again. Thus you'll have to vary the foes - so you start with klingons and their "subspecies", go on with romulans, followed by the cardassians, Breen, 8472, the Borg, and the Dominion. And soon you are in war with everyone, not because it's realistic or what, but because it might become boring otherwise.

Well there could be other stuff like a real diplomacy system or territory control or real exploration to keep players busy and excited; however Cryptic doesn't have the tech to realize this (and might never will have).

And so we are basically stuck with war on all frontiers - because it's the only thing they can do.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 52
02-13-2012, 04:42 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Schneemann View Post
And so we are basically stuck with war on all frontiers - because it's the only thing they can do.
Have you played the Devidian Episode?

Generally speaking you´re right though.

But Cryptic basically had to save the license after the former Dev house managed to do zip in 2 years. The rush to deliver a game by making a copy of their "other game" still shows. And it will for quite a while until Cryptic starts actually using the Foundry to flesh out the game instead of the outlet for Trek-geek fantasies it currently only is.

Case in point our anomaly "minigame" and Dabo. These were supposed to be just the first of many minigames. I think they even hired the original creator who had many other neat ideas. NFI what happened to that guy. Probably working in frikken Neverwinter now or designing flashgames for smartphones.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 53
02-13-2012, 05:06 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Havraha View Post
What you're referring to is ultimately your own idea of what Star Trek is.
I have to agree with this statement.

But I also sympathize with the OP. If all I want is doom and gloom and relentless bloodletting, I would just be a Star Wars fan and play that other game. I think the duty officer system and the economy revamp has done a lot for non-combat "gameplay" but I would love to see more. But, as stated by other posters, there are technical challenges to overcome, inherent to the MMO format, to make such gameplay fun. I think the key will be more mini-games, meta-games (territory control, crafting improvement), and new types of missions.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 54
02-13-2012, 05:12 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ivarST
Have you played the Devidian Episode?
You make a good point there. I also didn't feel like the Breen episode was all about war either. Especially considering how you ended up with the Breen BOFF, as well as the diplomatic option for getting the Deferi prisoners free in that side mission.

Sure there was a lot of fighting, but that's because the Breen aren't warm or fuzzy. There was still a lot of bright-happy Trek in that story arc.

I think this series of episodes hinges on the fact that it is a DS9 story. So the darkness and the dread of war really fit the theme. The next arc could be about Vulcans and Andorians or something and not have any of the dark or bleak overtones you know? I think it builds off of the point you made about the Devidian episode. The topic can affect the tone. The Devidian episode had it's DARK and scary moment, but for the most part was a pretty bright toned story with time travel, Bones and Scotty.

The Breen episode had a lot of fighting, but felt like a pretty decent episode of Trek.

The Romulan episode had some dark overtones with the Iconian angle, but had a really good Trek vibe going with the on-the-edge diplomacy of the remans and romulans, and the melee focus with the coliseum had a lot of that old-school Kirk fist fighting vibe.

I think this episode needs another couple of parts to be released to really catch the vibe of what it's going for. But the topic of the conference and what happened with the assault on the station all fits the DS9-vibe of that series to the point where I'm willing to see where this goes.

Sorry to ramble.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 55
02-13-2012, 05:41 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Scoaler
During the Dominion War, like during the period that DS9 was occupied by the Dominion, there were plenty of despair. There was dialog about list of dead being posted weekly, moral being at an all time low, and losing the war without getting the Romulans on the Federation/Klingon side.

If you watch the Episodes "Favor the Bold" and "Sacrifice of Angels", you would see that the 2800 Dominion ships were coming to the Alpha Quadrent to take it over completely. The Federation and Klingons were the only forces available to prevent it, and they only had a hand full of fleets to stop them. The situation looked hopeless. The Alpha Quadrent was about to fall to the Dominion.
DS9, the latter half especially, was Hogan's Heroes in outer space.

It was a cheap and unimaginative rehash of stereotyped American perceptions of World War II meshed with radical feminism, and has no bearing on what actually made Star Trek a cultural phenomenon.

The creative limitations and bad writing imposed on the franchise by some writers and network executives shouldn't hold back good writing in this game.

For the game to have good gameplay other than blowing things up, it would be necessary to design it in such a way to be challenging in other areas than the strictly tactical - for example, encouraging players to keep different commodities, items, personnel on hand; use problem-solving, read quest text, make quests more open-ended. This would also necessitate making the underlying mechanics more complex.

Perhaps making DOFFs part of the ship crew, even present in the world environment, would be a good start toward this end.

Besides the question of whether the devs are up to that, it's also unfortunately true that most of what is seen as the audience for modern MMOs aren't able or willing to handle that sort of gameplay. Personally, I see that perception as just another self-fulfilling prophecy, but it's definitely the case that such gameplay would certainly evoke forum rage from quite a few people.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 56
02-13-2012, 07:00 AM
I am used to depressing Star Trek because of the novels.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 57
02-13-2012, 07:12 AM
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.
Humanity doesn't change unless pushed to the limits. Maybe knowing that there is only 3 years left they will get their stuff straight and will be able to build sufficient opposition to the imminent borg threat. There is always hope... Don't give up so easily.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 58
02-13-2012, 08:27 AM
I never understood why the game is set in this time frame. Sure, it's nice to keep somewhat of a connection to the familiar faces, names, and settings of the TNG era (to include DS9 and Voyager), but it would have made more sense to do what TNG did with TOS: move forward in time a hundred or more years and write your own story loosely based on the distant past.

For instance:

As a result of the fallout from the Dominion War, the Hobus Supernova, and other events, the Cardassians, Romulans, Ferengi, and even the Klingons have now all joined the Federation. Any and all of these factions may use their own ships as an official Starfleet vessel. This would open ALL the existing factions to be played and their ships used (plus new designs), but with a single story line that all could follow (with minor unique variations per faction). Then, you keep some old enemies (Borg, Undine, Dominion) and introduce some new enemies from the Beta Quadrant or the part of the Delta Quadrant that Voyager "skipped over" in the last episode. Plus, you could always have the inter-Federation diplomacy issues (Klingons and Romulans as allies would cause some tension...) for the non-combat interludes.

Whoever chose the current time frame, chose poorly.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 59
02-13-2012, 08:32 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanakar
I never understood why the game is set in this time frame. Sure, it's nice to keep somewhat of a connection to the familiar faces, names, and settings of the TNG era (to include DS9 and Voyager), but it would have made more sense to do what TNG did with TOS: move forward in time a hundred or more years and write your own story loosely based on the distant past.

For instance:

As a result of the fallout from the Dominion War, the Hobus Supernova, and other events, the Cardassians, Romulans, Ferengi, and even the Klingons have now all joined the Federation. Any and all of these factions may use their own ships as an official Starfleet vessel. This would open ALL the existing factions to be played and their ships used (plus new designs), but with a single story line that all could follow (with minor unique variations per faction). Then, you keep some old enemies (Borg, Undine, Dominion) and introduce some new enemies from the Beta Quadrant or the part of the Delta Quadrant that Voyager "skipped over" in the last episode. Plus, you could always have the inter-Federation diplomacy issues (Klingons and Romulans as allies would cause some tension...) for the non-combat interludes.

Whoever chose the current time frame, chose poorly.
The draw for an MMO would be the canon, not the IP theme. People want to live out their Trek fantasies they saw on screen. An MMO which had no real ties to 21 seasons of TNG era Trek would not be well received, IMO. While I would personally like to see a lot more focus on the 25th Century timeline (more new ships, races, gear, etc) I can understand why it was done this way.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 60
02-13-2012, 08:40 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanakar
I never understood why the game is set in this time frame. Sure, it's nice to keep somewhat of a connection to the familiar faces, names, and settings of the TNG era (to include DS9 and Voyager), but it would have made more sense to do what TNG did with TOS: move forward in time a hundred or more years and write your own story loosely based on the distant past.

...

Whoever chose the current time frame, chose poorly.
Your question is its own answer. Doing so would set definite limitations on their freedom to reshape the story in accordance with the nature of a MMO. Honestly I think they made the right decision here.

Consider Starfleet Command - it was set during the 2260s, in a time period similar to STO - after TOS but before TNG and Undiscovered Country - when the galaxy was in a state of chaos.

That said, the rest of the franchise, going forward, will probably have to write STO off as one massive retcon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanakar
As a result of the fallout from the Dominion War, the Hobus Supernova, and other events, the Cardassians, Romulans, Ferengi, and even the Klingons have now all joined the Federation. Any and all of these factions may use their own ships as an official Starfleet vessel. This would open ALL the existing factions to be played and their ships used (plus new designs), but with a single story line that all could follow (with minor unique variations per faction). Then, you keep some old enemies (Borg, Undine, Dominion) and introduce some new enemies from the Beta Quadrant or the part of the Delta Quadrant that Voyager "skipped over" in the last episode. Plus, you could always have the inter-Federation diplomacy issues (Klingons and Romulans as allies would cause some tension...) for the non-combat interludes.
I started writing a critical response, but thinking about it more, it's actually a pretty good idea.
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