Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 21
03-02-2012, 12:38 PM
Originally Posted by MinosOne
Beyond the post from StormShade that Nagus linked to, Dstahl and others sure did paint a picture last year that we could expect a pretty regular stream of FE series (ranging from 5-10 per year). Given the context of the Dev communications we got last year, I don't think it is unreasonable for anyone to expect there would be more than 2 series per year, especially given that was what so many players have been clamoring for.

There has always been some roadblock in the way of them rolling out the content, and when that roadblock is overcome, the plans change. Stephen said he was okay with the players being skeptical of their ability to produce. We've all hit them over the head about the long content drought last year. They have to prove they can do it. The current FE series is a nice step in the right direction, but I'm not putting any faith in any plan they announce until I see it on the calendar. It isn't worth the frustration anymore.
They can always remove a roadblock but the big roadblock, at the end of the day, is that FEs require the whole team and take 6 weeks to make.

This is a Russian nesting doll of a problem.

Because they committed even pre-launch to missions being a 15-45 minute content dump that requires a full team to make really memorable.

Look at content rich games and what do they have? Lots of 5 minute missions. Not only lots of 5 minute missions but -- and here's the key -- old gen MMOs had missions/quests that could be made by one person.

Now, in STO, we can make a mission in a few hours if it's light or a couple of days with the Foundry tools.

But in a game with a persistent world, comparable content can be made in minutes or hours. Because the map's done. Because the gear doesn't need designed every time. Because it comes down to writing it and placing it.

We can get close to that here using prefab maps but, really, right now, take a look at it:

Missions that the entire team builds - take 6 weeks each to develop. They can get maybe 15 out a year.

Missions that one person develops, ala the DOff system, hundreds releasable every few months.

I like the FEs but I think, as a player, that we don't need missions that are total team projects. We need missions, period. And, also, more things that are smaller than "missions" like the Klingon wrapper missions (ie. kill 50 turrets) with a lot of specific and interesting objectives that yield specific and interesting rewards. Ie. Kill 50 turrets to get satellite turret platforms.

I'll spill a little bit of something I WISH I worked on STO so I could do:

Story crafting.

I think the Academy daily is nice but kinda simple and dry. I think crafting is interesting but expensive and shallow.

Now... Imagine that we had "clues". Some drop off of enemies. Some can be bought off of certain NPCs but only during certain events. Some require cooperation and STFs. Some are rare spawns in strange places. Some are mission rewards.

You mix large quantities of these clues (which come in many varieties) in less than predictable ways. And you get "theories."

And a "theory", when used on a holodeck, plays a cutscene that reveals some hidden truth about an NPC, an alien species. It's a projection. It's a hypothesis built from data about a secret, a mystery, a scientific phenomena. These take a long time to build.

And when you build one, you then get a mission to go out and test your theory by doing a scan or questioning someone or otherwise testing the idea. Just a quick mission, really.

And then you find out if it's true or not and get a reward.

Many of these may be simple, like a Deferi scientist who's being blackmailed or a Ferengi tampering with a probability generator to cheat at gambling or a new starship in development. Some go deeper. Some go much deeper and can expose secrets about the world of the game that are not public knowledge. Secret experiments. Undine imposters. Backroom deals. Dark secrets -- someone is an augment, someone falsified data to justify war... and some of these -- Conspiracy Theories -- make claims about events that are deeply entrenched in Trek history. True or not, an informant may claim that Riker was Section 31 or that Kirk had a half-Orion child who was covered up. And most of these can be debunked, preserving the honor of our heroes. But the answers to some may be surprising.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 22
03-02-2012, 12:59 PM
From my own personal experience with the Nagus Dailies I've learned that a single person can make a short but fun patrol type mission on a daily basis. And if Cryptic actually had someone doing that those would add up really fast, and would help fill in content gaps. I know at least one of the Devs thinks they are pretty good:

Originally Posted by @thomasthecat
Playing a few Nagus Daily foundry missions with a friend in STO tonight. Fun, short little missions, perfect repeatable content!!/thomasthecat/...07974397906945
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 23
03-02-2012, 01:16 PM
Originally Posted by The.Grand.Nagus View Post
From my own personal experience with the Nagus Dailies I've learned that a single person can make a short but fun patrol type mission on a daily basis. And if Cryptic actually had someone doing that those would add up really fast, and would help fill in content gaps. I know at least one of the Devs thinks they are pretty good:!/thomasthecat/...07974397906945
Honestly, if I had a magic wand, I think a big part of what I was getting at in that last wall of text echoes what you're saying.

Ideally, I think the division of labor could be shifted so that you have a "story content" team and a "mission scenario content" team. Story needs to be delivered in the Trek IP. Fun content needs to be delivered in an MMO.

Missions don't necessarily need to be the only story delivery method and stories don't necessarily need to sync perfectly with the fun content.

Having the whole team work on everything slows things down and "content" is a bit of an everything bagel of a department.

FEs, a few times a year, could be where the teams all intersect but Heretic has really showcased the power of somebody working on a smaller scale and more independently.

I think a "scenario team" could build your style of missions faster... and a "story team" could go to work delivering story throughout the game's many systems, through crafting systems, drops, coordination with other teams, integration with DOffs, etc.

But without trying to step on anyone's toes here, I'm saying I'd split that down the middle and have the two types of content teams work faster, leaner, lighter, and more independent of one another.

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