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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
One of the very few peeves I have with STO at present is the lack of development in ship interiors - I am somewhat dissatisfied with simply limited to changing between bridge styles and having common generic corridors / rooms.

From my perspective, storylines and adventures based on the main character's ships were just as prominent as planetary exploration in most Star Trek TV series (except possibly DS9, of course)

Having already seen a fair number of ideas made by other members, and with an understanding that fleshing out ship interiors is of an undetermined priority to Cryptic / will likely to be resource-intensive, I'd like to pitch in some of my (rough) ideas.

For the purposes of this discussion, I will be using the USS Odyssey, a Intrepid-class Long Range Science Vessel, to highlight how various "general" ideas would be implemented.

I will also consider a Defiant-class ship as smaller example.



1.0 Aesthetics and Customization of Ship Interiors

I believe that future versions of the Foundry would play an integral role in allowing player captains to customise ship interiors, as such a possibility has been mentioned in the February 2011 edition of Ask Cryptic:

Quote:
Q: Triela_Hilshire: Will we be able to set the races, genders and standard uniforms of the NPC crewmen wandering the interiors of our ships?

A: My goal for ship interiors is to see the Foundry used as a tool that will allow you to customize your own ship. This includes creating your own ship layout, all the way down to selecting the crew uniforms, and individually customizing all of your random crew members if you want. So I'm a big fan of making this happen someday. The sooner the better.
It goes without saying that a whole new system for laying out ship interiors and skins would be required, however.

The overall idea is that ship interiors would be dynamically generated based on the following information:
  • Ship class (influences floor and room configurations)
  • Decor packs / choices
  • Positioning of custom elements added by the player
  • Considerations for maximum draw distances (some corridors may involve corners or those ESD-style hairpin loops)


1.1 Level and Floor Plans

I will be working with the assumption that, despite the modular ship construction favored by the Starfleet Corps of Engineers in STO canon, key areas and rooms would still be placed in appropriate (relative) levels and locations for each starship class.

The following rooms I feel would be important to a ship interior map are (in no particular order and depending on ship size / configuration):
  • Bridge
  • Captain's Ready Room
  • Briefing Room / Observation Lounge / Conference Room
  • Mess Hall
  • Captain's Quarters
  • Transporter Room
  • Science Lab
  • Holodeck
  • Sickbay
  • Astrometrics
  • Shuttle Bay
  • Engineering
  • Turbolift to various levels

Typical of most Intrepid-class vessels, the Odyssey has 15 decks, with the following ones available for players:
  • Deck 1 - Bridge, Ready Room, Briefing Room, Turbolift
  • Deck 2 - Mess Hall, Turbolift
  • Deck 3 - Captain's Quarters, Turbolift
  • Deck 4 - Transporter Room, Science Lab, Turbolift
  • Deck 5 - Holodeck, Sickbay, Turbolift
  • Deck 10 - Astrometrics, Shuttle Bay, Turbolift
  • Deck 11 - Engineering, Turbolift


On the other hand, Defiant-class ships are limited to 4 decks, with the following ones available for players:
  • Deck 1 - Bridge, Ready Room, Transporter Room, Captain's Quarters, Turbolift
  • Deck 2 - Engineering, Sickbay, Mess Hall, Turbolift
  • Deck 4 - Shuttle Bay, Turbolift
    (At Cryptic / CBS's discretion, the other rooms not canon to the Defiant-class such as a dedicated Briefing Room, Science Lab, Holodeck and Astrometrics could be integrated on an "utility" Deck 3)


Rather than having Cryptic staff laboriously recreate complete maps for every starship class, the relationship between the rooms, corridors and levels could instead be stored as branches and nodes from a software standpoint, and be represented spatially in the Foundry as interconnected volumes of undetermined dimensions / decor.


1.2 Interior Decor

Whilst players would not be able to change the relative locations of the rooms for each starship class, they would however be free to change the interior styling. This could be accomplished in an improved Foundry system at three levels:
  • At the most basic level, players simply choose a complete interior decor pack (25th Century defaults / Franchise-canon designs / C-store variants) applied shipwide
  • Intermediate players may specify different decors for whole rooms / corridors / levels
  • Advanced players may mix and match individual design elements (doorways, arches, LCARS panels, colors, shapes, panels) to create their own custom decor packs

As a homage to Voyager, the Odyssey is outfitted with the canon Intrepid decor straight from one of the shipwide packs. However, the player has decided that from time to time, s/he would switch between 25th Century blue and the classic 24th Century colored LCARS schemes.

Another player has decided to outfit his/her Defiant-class ship with room designs from different Starfleet vessels (e.g. Intrepid Sickbay, Sovereign Ready Room, Defiant Belfast Bridge)


1.3 Custom Gimmicks

Aside from Trophy Walls and Shelves, additional player-placed custom elements could simply be stored as entities with relative 3D coordinates to each ship's room.

For some illogical reason, the player commanding the Odyssey has:
  • A golf bag leaning against a corner in the Sickbay office
  • A shot glass pyramid left standing on a vacant table in the Mess Hall
  • A damaged corridor section that has never been fixed (apparently, it was pretty low on Engineering's list of priorities)
  • One corridor wall segment outside the Mess Hall covered with photos and mementos of deceased crew members (a la the reimagined Battlestar Galactica)
  • A Borg Alcove in the Shuttle Bay where a Liberated Borg BOff / DOff would use to regenerate
The player commanding the Defiant-class ship has opted simply for Sisko's Baseball on the desk of the Ready Room, despite the fact that the real baseball is still on DS9.


2.0 Ship Interior Functionality

It goes without saying that there's not much point to customizing ship interiors if one seldom uses it (other than inviting friends to Role Play). Therefore, some features, mini-games and even shipboard missions should be included when the player visits ship interiors.


2.1 Standard Features by Room
  • Bridge
    • Initial spawn point whenever a player enters their ship interior
    • Player is able to choose which BOffs sit at which consoles (RP)
    • BOffs periodically give randomised generic status reports (e.g. Chief Science Officer - "Long range sensor readings within normal parameters, [Rank]")
  • Captain's Ready Room
    • Wall Trophies (already implemented)
    • Mission Replay (implemented?)
  • Briefing Room / Observation Lounge / Conference Room
    • Gather BOffs for meeting (RP)
    • Possible integration into Diplomatic missions (e.g. Standoff)
  • Mess Hall
    • Wall and Floor Trophies (already implemented)
    • Mini-games for rewards (e.g. Poker, Bridge, Kadis-kot, Kal-toh)
  • Captain's Quarters
    • ?
  • Transporter Room
    • ?
  • Science Lab
    • ?
  • Holodeck

    • Shortcut to Foundry (without having to log off and on as Foundry test character?)
    • Integration with Investigate Officer Reports (daily)?
    • Velocity for rewards(with BOff / other player Captains as opponents)
  • Sickbay
    • Treatment of some crew injuries (major ones relegated to Starbases)?
  • Astrometrics
    • ?
  • Shuttle Bay
    • Switch between shuttles
  • Engineering
    • Warp core ejection (for fun or potentially as part of a Foundry mission)

2.2 Shipboard missions

Depending on the availability of rooms in each ship classes, random ship interior missions may be available as soon as one visits one's own bridge:
  • Ship Boarding Scenario - Enemy forces have boarded your ship. Defeat all hostiles to gain a temporary/permanent ground combat buff

  • Equipment Upgrades - Completing these missions allow you to upgrade ship weapons, consoles, equipment etc to higher Mk levels / rarity

  • Viral Outbreak - Crew members are succumbing to an unknown pathogen accidentally picked up from your last away team mission. Synthesize an antidote and successfully treat N crew members to gain a temporary/permanent Toxic Resistance buff.

  • Infiltrated - One or more of your crew has been replaced with a Changeling / Undine imposter. Question suspects, detain the imposter and (possibly) rescue the real crew member(s) to gain a ground combat buff against those species

  • Shipboard inspection / maintenance - Complete various tasks to gain ship equipment buffs. Random occurrence of critical situations (e.g. Warp Core Overload, Deck Power / Life Support Failures)

  • Diplomatic Conference - Invite N player Captains aboard your vessel and have them all present concurrently for X minutes to receive (Diplomatic ?) XP


This is by no means a complete proposal in any way - there are obviously going to be plenty of implementation issues, although it should at least not adversely affect existing core gameplay.

C&C Welcome.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
03-13-2012, 12:29 AM
Good ideas!

Captain's quarter:
-Wardrobe: Display certain outfit that you have at the tailor and offers a limited tailor shop function.
-Medal case: A display of your accolades.
-Mini-game: You mentioned having golf equipment in sick bay, why not those small golf set in your room?
-Bathroom: To change minor details about physical appearance like hair style/colors and visors and such.

Science Lab:
-Mini-games: cloning tribbles!! or just tribble breeding in a control environment.

Astrometrics: database with all reachable planet in the game. There will be nice view of the planet some pictures of local wild life and cultures.

How about adding an armory?
-You can display weapons that you don't think you'll be using by removing them from you inventory (giving you more room) but you can later get them back if you feel like it. Same with armors, kits, and shields.

PVP shipboarding?
Since all of the resource for the ships interior are already in the games file, transferring of the modular location shouldn't take up that much bandwidth.
This will let other people easily visit your ship and even PVP battle would be easier to implement.
1 vs 1 PVP:
You and your Bridge Officers will defend your ship's key points (engineering, armory, sickbay) while another player and his/her officers try to capture them. Holding each part give advantages for the players. Holding armory gives higher shieldings, sickbay improves healing.
5 vs 5 PVP:
Basically the same as 1 vs 1 but without the Bridge Officers. This will be really fun too since every ship will be different. The only person with the advantage is the owner of the ship.
1 vs 1 PVP with simplified space battle:
Same idea with 1 vs 1, but add a twist! The invading captain also has limited command of his/her ship. The invading captain can order his/her ship to attack specific section of the ship, even the one the defending captain is in (decompression and suck out into space). But the game can turn, the defender may become the attacker if he/she is doing well enough. This gametype will be very channeling since both players will have to mange their ship/crew while battling. The defender can manipulate force fields and plasma conduits.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
03-13-2012, 12:36 AM
Move mission replays and foundry missions to the holodeck.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
03-13-2012, 04:47 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by archofwinter
Captain's quarter:
-Wardrobe: Display certain outfit that you have at the tailor and offers a limited tailor shop function.
-Medal case: A display of your accolades.
-Mini-game: You mentioned having golf equipment in sick bay, why not those small golf set in your room?
-Bathroom: To change minor details about physical appearance like hair style/colors and visors and such.
I'm not entirely sure how much use one can have for a "lite" tailor shop function, as the player can already switch between purchased outfits just by right-clicking on their toon's info box. It may be possible to limit wardrobe options to just purchased costume pieces.

The medal case is certainly interesting, as it would be a nice way to display your accolades in an intuitive manner rather than scrolling through a list.

The golf bag is meant to be a static "decoration" that the player can add via the Foundry.

The bathroom...sounds a little much, IMHO.

Quote:
Originally Posted by archofwinter
Science Lab:
-Mini-games: cloning tribbles!! or just tribble breeding in a control environment.
Controlled breeding areas for tribbles is definitely something I like to see. I don't have / breed any tribbles myself, but I can imagine the frustration that comes with saving up some food items for combat buffs, only for a tribble to gobble it all up the next day.

Quote:
Originally Posted by archofwinter
Astrometrics: database with all reachable planet in the game. There will be nice view of the planet some pictures of local wild life and cultures.
I'm not quite sold on simply using it as a data terminal for planetary data. I'll have to think a bit more about this.

Quote:
Originally Posted by archofwinter
How about adding an armory?
-You can display weapons that you don't think you'll be using by removing them from you inventory (giving you more room) but you can later get them back if you feel like it. Same with armors, kits, and shields.
Rather than simply act as another inventory bank, I have another idea to extend the armory that would require some fundamental changes to the inventory system:
  • Rather than buy individual gear from requisition vendors, players buy schematics for gear and (near-unreplicable) components e.g. phaser crystals?
  • The ship's armory would hold only a limited number of schematics.
  • The player can replicate as may copies of gear they want from purchased schematics, but will consume those "components"
  • The player may also use other "components" to upgrade existing gear to higher Mk levels, which will give the opportunity for true crafting (data samples floating around in space seems rather silly to me)
This system could potentially be extended for ship weapons and components as well, since in the TV series Lt. Malcolm Reed was sometimes seen in the Armory on NX-01 upgrading and developing improved weapons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by archofwinter
PVP shipboarding?
Since all of the resource for the ships interior are already in the games file, transferring of the modular location shouldn't take up that much bandwidth.
This will let other people easily visit your ship and even PVP battle would be easier to implement.
1 vs 1 PVP:
You and your Bridge Officers will defend your ship's key points (engineering, armory, sickbay) while another player and his/her officers try to capture them. Holding each part give advantages for the players. Holding armory gives higher shieldings, sickbay improves healing.
5 vs 5 PVP:
Basically the same as 1 vs 1 but without the Bridge Officers. This will be really fun too since every ship will be different. The only person with the advantage is the owner of the ship.
Now this is what I'd love to see!

Players who own their respective ships could take advantage of the Foundry system for authoring ship interiors by creating choke points, hiding places, obstacles etc.

The fact that no two interiors will exactly be the same will add a sense of realism to such scenarios, because you can't meta-game your way through such PvPs (unlike story missions).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sobekeus View Post
Move mission replays and foundry missions to the holodeck.
Now that I think about it, this definitely makes sense. Effectively, one would use the holodeck to "relive" past adventures or to "examine alternative scenarios".

I don't think I ever understood why mission replays were once implemented in the Ready Room - the place seems more like where one reviews reports...
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
03-22-2012, 08:25 PM
With the recent announcement of the new ship interior duty officer assignments, I was somewhat pleased that a fully-featured ship interior map was one step closer to reality.

One minor peeve was that the NPC contacts were based on generic defaults, rather than one's BOff toons. Cryptic mentioned something regarding "lacking the technology" to replace them with BOffs, although I find this difficult to believe given that changes in your Bridge Officer roster are quickly reflected upon in the Bridge interior.

Another consequence is that these NPC contacts will need to spawn in appropriate rooms / locations, so each room layout variation will need to have location placeholders for whatever NPCs that are required to spawn there.

I'll update my original post to describe how this could be done.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
04-08-2012, 12:34 PM
One other thing I'd like to see personally is that being that you've purchased starships, or obtained them throughout your STF Career (or KDF), is to allow full customization to your ships with the current configs available...example...

You get a Nebula Class ship...you already have a Galaxy, Star Cruiser, and a Venture Class (Galaxy Varient). Now seems to me that if you wanted to place say the Venture Class Nacelles on a Nebula Class Starship (which would look bad *** by the way) you should be able to do this. Or place them on whatever ships you have (with the exception of things like the Captain's Yacht, but keep them within the same area.)

Also, no matter what ship you're on, be able to get into your shuttle, runabaout, or Cpt's Yacht whenever you like. And when you do, show a little cut scene of it leaving the shuttle bay (of the correct ship of course)... Capt's yacht undocks from saucer mod, etc.

One last point I'd like to make is how in the world to any of the skills effect you in the game. Plz keep in mind, I'm coming back from the original skill set, and these new skills don't seem to do a damned thing for my char. My ship is less stronger than it was originally, and I'm constantly getting my *** handed to me...any help on this particular topic would be greatly appreciated...
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
04-12-2012, 08:40 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Henry_J_Anderson
One other thing I'd like to see personally is that being that you've purchased starships, or obtained them throughout your STF Career (or KDF), is to allow full customization to your ships with the current configs available
I'm not too keen on kitbashing ship parts to build custom classes. Besides, I believe this discussion was for interior functionality and aesthetics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Henry_J_Anderson
Also, no matter what ship you're on, be able to get into your shuttle, runabaout, or Cpt's Yacht whenever you like. And when you do, show a little cut scene of it leaving the shuttle bay (of the correct ship of course)... Capt's yacht undocks from saucer mod, etc.
That would quite nice, yes. Similar to a suggestion for a cutscene that plays each time the player switches ships at a starbase.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain_Henry_J_Anderson
One last point I'd like to make is how in the world to any of the skills effect you in the game.
Again, off topic.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8 someday
04-13-2012, 06:07 AM
hopefully they get the foundry stuff done... (not holding my breath)
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