Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
I wanted to spin this off the Of Bajor thread so that it doesn't get lost in that discussion. (And since it has been close to 48 hours since the release of Of Bajor, I'm not concerned about spoiler info getting out.)

A lot of people had a problem with their VA/LG doing what amounted to "crap work." And I can understand the thinking. I never recall my general filling up the generators with gas during a war game exercise; no, that was left to the low level enlisted soldiers.

So why is my VA/LG poking dirt with a stick? I don't recall them going into botany. The answer is, this is a game. And because it is a game some things have to accepted as such. If we were to be strictly canon, once we make it to Captain the rest of the game would be one giant DOff map as we would never leave the bridge. And so certain canon rules are bent to allow gameplay.

That being said, there is still room for improvement. Contrary to where you think this thread might be going, I am not in favor capping out at Captain. Even if there are 100,000 people logged on at the same time and all of them are VA, there would still be a smaller percentage of VAs to Federation population as there is three-star generals/admirals to the US population. So it really isn't that universe breaking. And one of the purposes of the DOff system is to give the feeling of a larger population of underlings for you to command.

So what would I suggest? A simple rewrite of Of Bajor. This was a great opportunity to introduce the First Officer system or some other form of selective beam down. Instead of my VA beaming down to light incense all over town, why not have me beam down a BOff that I would then control (while my VA attends a high level meeting or something)?

This would kill two birds with one stone. One, it would get rid of the totally immersion-breaking situation of having a commander bossing my VA around; two, it would allow even lower level captains the ability to control a BOff and the story still make sense with minimum rewrite. As our BOffs are capped at Commander anyway, having Kurland doing all of the talking with the Vorta now seems less silly than having a Vice Admrial standing two feet from him. This would also have the added benefit of allowing a single player to collect all of the accolades (assuming they want to play it three times).

This would be a precursor to the XO system but would also introduce a new technology that could be used in the future. Not every story in Star Trek is about the captain. Some times Worf or even Geordi went on missions by themselves. This could open up a whole new form of content while at the same time giving some backstory to some of our characters. Imagine sending your engineer over to help an alien ship get fixed up only to be taken captive. You could then jump back and forth between your engineer and your captain to play out the mission from both sides! This adds a new and unique story playing dynamic that would allow STO to stand out.

This is just an idea I had last night as I was lying in bed and thought I'd share it with you. I'd love to hear your thoughts and give ideas so that we could tweak it.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
02-20-2012, 05:27 AM
A fascinating idea. But they didn't have enough time, nor do they have enough staff currently employed (and employed in the right positions) to make your great idea actually happen.



I wish they did. But, alas, they don't. I don't see any of their current people in place capable of pulling off the coding to make it happen. Geko? Gozer? Heretic? DStahl?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
02-20-2012, 05:58 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by superchum View Post
A fascinating idea. But they didn't have enough time, nor do they have enough staff currently employed (and employed in the right positions) to make your great idea actually happen.



I wish they did. But, alas, they don't. I don't see any of their current people in place capable of pulling off the coding to make it happen. Geko? Gozer? Heretic? DStahl?
Obviously there would be some labor issues to figure out. But assuming that their hiring page isn't just for looks, they should be adding some more staff in the near future. Perhaps with those extra people something like this idea could happen.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
02-20-2012, 06:51 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Commadore_Bob
So what would I suggest? A simple rewrite of Of Bajor. This was a great opportunity to introduce the First Officer system or some other form of selective beam down. Instead of my VA beaming down to light incense all over town, why not have me beam down a BOff that I would then control (while my VA attends a high level meeting or something)?
There are probably more people opposed to the idea of playing your bridge officer than there are people opposed to capping your rank at captain.

I'm ambivalent.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
02-20-2012, 06:56 AM
Really have to agree with you here; but I do think it could be done differently to how you describe it.

I think rather than have your BOffs perform this "menial labor" the player should have a dialog option that allows either the player to perform the tasks him/herself or to assign some DOffs to do it within 5m; the later would be exactly like the optional with the Andorian Ambassador in the 1st episode and it would also prevent a lot of running around, but that's counter balanced by the 5m assignment waiting time.

The key is to make it optional via dialog triggers; one option to trigger the mission to run as it is now, the other option to trigger a skip of those menial labor tasks via replacing them with assignments.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
02-20-2012, 07:04 AM
^ Indeed, aside from simply being a technical hurdle, adding the ability to play as your BOff(s) would really shift this game away from being "captain-centric" to being "crew-centric" for main mission play. It would (should) change how we do everything.

For example, if we mess up on a mission, is it our XO's doing as sanctioned by Captain and might we be offered a means to make amends by transitioning then to our Captain? Or does the buck stop (mission-wise) with whatever character is playing. Its a bit of a pandora's box in my opinion that the game might not be ready for. But it sure is an exciting prospect to me anyways. All the mmos I have played are endemically centered around the single person character, SWTOR to a lesser extent.

I rather enjoyed running around as the mission did a fair job illustrating to me that this was an "all hands on deck" crisis. I imagined I had dispatched my crew on repair/relief duties across the battered remains of the DS9 fleet in orbit. - I forgot to check, but I don't think there were any Second Wave-esque doff assignments put into Of Bajor that could have really gone towards propping up that atmosphere of why the player Captain was manning the front by themselves. Would have been a nice addition.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
02-20-2012, 07:24 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by nynik
^ Indeed, aside from simply being a technical hurdle, adding the ability to play as your BOff(s) would really shift this game away from being "captain-centric" to being "crew-centric" for main mission play. It would (should) change how we do everything.
You can't say Kirk without Spock also coming to mind. You can't say Picard without Data coming to mind. Star Trek is a crew-centric series. And I think it would work.

When it comes to who holds final responsibility, it's whoever you are playing at the time. Remember the old NES game TMNT? If the player dies, you picked a different character to play. If your BOff fails the task, you can choose to play it again with that same BOff or play it again with another one.

Again, this is only for specifically designed missions. Obviously you are not going to send a BOff to handle high-level negotiations. But you can send a BOff to handle specifically designed crap work. The Deferi have a food replicator that's not working? Send your engineer; there is no reason for your captain to handle that.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
02-20-2012, 07:38 AM
^ I agree the series was very crew-centric. Its one reason why ST appeals to so many people who aren't into science-fiction/future tech. But as a game, we don't have that same mojo. Btw, when I think of Picard I think of him dancing around the Enterprise bridge with a straw hat and cane... then Data...

I agree with you on how this could be introduced. Feature-tech made for 'new' missions. While a task could be done by a tactical Captain, perhaps it could be done better by an Operations-type Engineer in your crew. Perhaps you could yield extra xp or unlock a chance to play a minigame arc..

Maybe this could open the door to more BO customization, such as character traits/personalities etc

Thats more than just an XO-switch though, which could be a good start. However, I think if its going to be done, it needs to be done fully, as Cryptic usually doesn't get a chance to revisit things with the same emphasis once put out.

One potential drawback of all this could be that we no longer try to run missions with other players of different classes to unlock accolades/missions/minigames and all that. "Why bother, when we can do it quicker solo" etc, unless such 'extras' were defined as being accessible only by other real players. (even if they are on their BOs)...
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
02-20-2012, 07:44 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by nynik
One potential drawback of all this could be that we no longer try to run missions with other players of different classes to unlock accolades/missions/minigames and all that. "Why bother, when we can do it quicker solo" etc, unless such 'extras' were defined as being accessible only by other real players. (even if they are on their BOs)...
Some accolades give bonuses, there could be a minor bonus for ones completed by teams. That way all accolades are available to all players, but the bonus only comes if you do it with a team.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
My second uniform slot is a lowly lieutenant and when doing such things as Bajor or other low tasks I play the part of a junior officer. I don't like running around as Admiral so I don't for the most part. Imagination is all in your head. There shouldn't be 300 admirals hovering around DS9 therefor there aren't because I use my imagination. Rank is what you choose to display on your uniform - not what Cryptic displays as a icon next to your name at the top of the screen.

Heck, my tactical admiral weird alien thing flipped uniforms into a human female science officer. I role played that this was the alien shape shifting into the form of her deceased foster mother whom she cherishes and being 'human' made her less scarey to those around her.

My crew were all promoted to commander to get the skills yet they are not all commander. My first officer and medical officer are but the rest are a mixture of chief to lieutenant commander if you look at their uniform.

You must use your imagination and you do even though you don't know you are such as did you destroy the dooms day weapon and become a hero or did every single other player do it also?

TLDR: Your character is what you make of it. If you don't want your admiral to do trivial tasks then flip uniforms and role play as a junior officer ordered to do it by the admiral and have fun.
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