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Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 21
04-04-2012, 06:49 PM
That hidden functions of the doff system are poorly explained is something you won't find much argument on - it doesn't really make sense that stuff like "this assignment awards a prisoner on crit" isn't visible from the ui. I mean, I guess it's "exploration" for the first day or two an assignment exists, but after that it's just secret knowledge that everyone (except new players) knows.

However, the idea of making all missions immediately visible while sitting in ESD and "pointing you to the good stuff" and "showing you a path" is basically contrary to what the DOff system is. As I have understood it, part of the purpose of the DOff system is to send you out into the galaxy to explore. That some of us have figured a way to partially circumvent that - by sharing information through a channel and spreadsheet - doesn't mean that should be built into the game by default.

If the ability to know where every assignment was without leaving ESD was built into the default UI, it would also have the effect of killing much of the social interaction that currently exists around the exploration and sharing of information.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 22
04-04-2012, 09:18 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by bluegeek View Post
DO Assignments are not supposed to be yet another mindless grind of "go here, do that".
They're a grind, otherwise it wouldn't require so many assignments to gain ranks.

I know the 24 hour glued to DOFFjobs with the spreadsheet up crowd probably thinks I'm nuts, but if a system is going to be successful it needs to engage all players of all levels.

The DOFF system is just that kind of system. If it only makes sense to people who are completely hardcore about following it constantly, it's not being successful (especially as it's a potentially huge source of revenue).

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluegeek View Post
Ironically, it was the addition of colonial assignment chains that made the spreadsheet. Assignment chains are good things, in the sense that they create a story-like feeling of progression.

But then people began to feel like the only way they could complete them was to hop all over the galaxy looking for them. Naturally, people didn't really want to do that... the maps are big and travel can be slow. The spreadsheet added efficiency... once someone found a good colonial assignment, they put it up for everyone to share. Basically an extension of the Doffjobs channel, so you didn't have to repeat yourself fifty million times in chat.
Without the DOFFjobs channel and the spreadsheet, the average player has about a snowball's chance in hell of just stumbling on and completing one of the chains in anything that resembles a reasonable time frame.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bluegeek View Post
I DON'T think that the system should take all of the guesswork and "legwork" out of doffing. I don't think that the element of serendipity should be completely removed.

Honestly I've just given up on the system.

I recruit new DOFFs, I grind DOFFs I don't want. I do whatever is up on sector and personal.

I sometimes use my dept heads, but I forget its even there. I never visit my ships interior.

I tried completing a few chains but gave up, it got frustrating and I lost interest. It's not a story, it's a minor background plot. It shouldn't require a huge time investment to get it done.

I used to log on all of my 6 characters to set up DOFF missions, but with the current state of the system total apathy has set in and I only bother setting up recruitments, grinding DOFFs and maybe doing diplomacy or marauder on whatever character I'm actively playing.

I'm not someone who is adverse to grinding, I've been running Elite STFs every single night and running something like 20-40 Elites on weekends.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Latinumbar
They pop in different sectors for a reason. They are random for a reason. Players came up with external spreadsheets to circumvent the 'randomness' of the assignments, but that is the way the system is designed, not because of the UI. It's not that hard once you run a few assignments, imo. I wouldn't say it's a steep learning curve at all.
Is that reason so the average user of the system grows apathetic and stops bothering?

Because that's a terrible reason.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 23
04-05-2012, 04:51 AM
tldr

"Spreadsheet + Calling = Substitute for Bad DOff UI"

@OP:

no my Sheet is NOT a Substitute...
and the UI is not "bad" either (ok it could use some refinement here and there, obviously, but it's far away from "bad").

The Sheet is an awesome piece of collaboration of Players to find the good missions in a CHAOTIC and RANDOM System and to tell others what you've found.

The DOff System is NOT supposed to tell you where to go for the good stuff,
we organized ourself in the DOFFJOBS channel to find the good stuff, the game itself will never do that for you.

We are the 1% at the front, the most hardcore fans of this System.
The DOff System also has to work for the 99% that never heard of DOFFJOBS or the Sheet, just like the STFs have to work if you don't use the EliteSTF channel.


If you take *us* out of the picture, the DOff System works just fine for the other 99% who just play around with it casually, click on the good things they find on their own or just use the *don't care / fire everything* mentality.



The only thing i would want in the UI is a note how long the cooldown of certain assignments is,
that is the only thing really missing (i don't even need a timer for it, just a simple note so i have a number to work with that is always up to date, without molesting Heretic about it every time a cooldown changed).

BUT the cooldown is just a problem for us DOFFJOBS-users because we HUNT those missions every day.
The casual user will never know these cooldowns even exist and just do the stuff as it comes along.

So the missing cooldown in the UI is a problem for the Hardcore only.

It also would not be as bad of a problem if Heretic would just leave his hands off from existing missions, but nooo he has to change stuff around all the time

So even if we nail down a cooldown, it can change with every Patch, so a Number in the UI is the only real reliable way to get the Data to us, WITHOUT updating us with some *out of game* source ...all the Time.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 24
04-05-2012, 05:27 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by USS_Ultimatum
Without the DOFFjobs channel and the spreadsheet, the average player has about a snowball's chance in hell of just stumbling on and completing one of the chains in anything that resembles a reasonable time frame.
can't agree here either

i am still doing my Colonial Chain on my 4 Klingon Characters, there are not enough KDF Players active on the sheet to really point me everywhere i need to go (i am lucky if 2 or 3 sectors have been visited already and marked as negative so i do not need to check those, and once every few days i even get a positive),

i still have to go out there and *do my rounds* myself.
i find one or two colonial chain assignments EVERY Cycle i do my rounds, and that is with the currently, "lower than intended" rarity of these chain assignments (Heretic said so, and it's patched on Tribble).


What you define as "reasonable time frame" for yourself probably does not line up with what Heretic intended to be a "long term" System.

A Casual STF player will never get his hands on the Mk XII Maco armor, and a casual DOffer will never get his hands on all of the Purple DOffs from the Colonial Chains.

And honestly, if it was any easier, i would loose interest in the System.

The best example is that Dilithium Mining Event they added a few days ago.
That minigame is so mini that it is just boring.
Yet i loved a lot of these games back in the day on the Gameboy or NES,
let me put it like this: if it is as complex as TETRIS i go nuts over these things and waste time on it and have FUN when i am getting good at it.
If it is as *casual* as the mining minigame... i actually feel like wasting my time because it is so easy that there is no skill required to complete it.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 25
04-05-2012, 08:18 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by CptBANG View Post
The DOff System is NOT supposed to tell you where to go for the good stuff,
we organized ourself in the DOFFJOBS channel to find the good stuff, the game itself will never do that for you.

We are the 1% at the front, the most hardcore fans of this System.
The DOff System also has to work for the 99% that never heard of DOFFJOBS or the Sheet, just like the STFs have to work if you don't use the EliteSTF channel.


If you take *us* out of the picture, the DOff System works just fine for the other 99% who just play around with it casually, click on the good things they find on their own or just use the *don't care / fire everything* mentality.
Quote:
Originally Posted by CptBANG View Post
What you define as "reasonable time frame" for yourself probably does not line up with what Heretic intended to be a "long term" System.

A Casual STF player will never get his hands on the Mk XII Maco armor, and a casual DOffer will never get his hands on all of the Purple DOffs from the Colonial Chains.

And honestly, if it was any easier, i would loose interest in the System.
These posts have by far done more to prove my point than anything else. Listen, I get the defensive positioning here since you're the author of the spreadsheet. At the end of the day there's no good reason for this system to be as complicated as it is and many of you agree that the documentation here is sorely lacking.

This whole thread is the classic MMO argument of the "pro" players versus the "casual" players where one camp feverishly (and condescendingly tbh) protests to exclude the other as if somehow including them makes your previous investment diminished. It's true that they might have to invest less effort to achieve similar results but that doesn't equate to time wasted for you - it's more people to play with and more opportunities if done right.

I'll concede the social aspect of this arrangement is a positive development. It's the most Trek content currently in STO but it's also the most multiplayer too aside from the mindless STF zerging. But I shouldn't be forced into this to do well just like you wouldn't want to be forced into PVP to improve your ship weapons.

I do not accept those as justification for this UI and system being this complex. I do not accept that casual players should be forever shut out of anything better than regular assignments without wandering the entire galaxy every day hoping for assignments or knowing all the "insider" information. There absolutely is a happier medium than the status quo with a central comm system and a cooldown timer.

Heretic and Falling Sky, your input would be appreciated.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 26
04-05-2012, 08:42 AM
The single biggest problem for the DOff system as I see it is not the complexity of the system. That is part of the joy of it. The problem is the shockingly bad UI. There are so very many sub menus to filter through all over the place.

When it was sector and aboard ship it was manageable but now the various heads of department have missions, some of them in chains, and they seem to vary depending on your sector block. This is madness - if the location is a trigger then make it available from that location window.

Just travelling around and watching for variations you have 9 (two main, first off and 6 departments) menus to look through - which is franky obscene. GIven the nature of rare assignments and chains it is important that we search through them all.

I used to think the EDC vedor was bad from an interface perspective, but this one is terrible. Not because it is truly bad, but that the nature of assignments mean you have to constantly search so many menus.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 27
04-05-2012, 09:58 AM
Some of you really don't get the point of the DOff system.

Heretic even said that the system is designed to reward those who spend time in game playing and exploring. Shorter assignments have a better CXP/time ratio for the most part to reflect that attitude. Logging in once per day and setting up a whole bunch of long term assignments will not get you the most out of the system and that is working as intended.

I'm not a hardcore DOff'er. I spend usually an hour a day or every second day to set up some assignments or hunt for assignments. I use DOffjobs to find some rare assignments but I generally patrol a small set of sectors at a time, completely the colonials there. When I'm done I move one to another area. For example, I started in Fed space doing the colonials, Detal Volanis, Arucanis and Hromi. Then I moved into cardarssian space and then I'm going to move over into romulan the klingon space.

When you first get access to DOffs, Lt. Ferra pops up and tells you, and I'm pretty sure you are given information about the system there or at least given directions to where you can find that information (Lt. Ferra in SFA).

The System is working pretty well and quite frankly, all I'm hearing is QQing from people who want to reap all the benefits and bonuses from the system but who are too lazy to put the effort into it.

I've done almost 6 colonial chains for 5 of my fed characters. I have 1 more fed I havne't started DOffing on and I still have my 4 KDF character. I don't expect and don't want them to easily catch up to where my 5 other characters are currently.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 28
04-05-2012, 10:09 AM
Personally I spend as much time as it takes to spam 20 new mission assignments.

And sometimes I go with one char of my 4(50)s to different clusters and try to look for the (1 of x) missions to complete the chains. I do find it slightly annoying to fly around looking for the good missions BUT I understand that this is something entirely optional.

If you wanna freak out and go @Zer0bang Crazy over #doffjobs and maybe loadup a spreadsheet do so... but let there be some mystery for people who want that ingame imo. Why do you deserve to get everything served on a silver platter?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 29
04-05-2012, 10:15 AM
OP, I think you are missing the point of the system. I have the perspective of both sides of the 'casual' vs 'hardcore' argument you are trying to make. I have been casually doffing for the most part up until just the last week or so. So from a doffing standpoint, I was pretty much a new player. I saw getting commendation ranks as something 'nice to have' but not necessary, and had the attitude of 'I'll eventually get there'. Most my time was spent running STFs so I was mostly waiting in the que at ESD. While waiting, I would run the doff assignments that I could. My impression at that time was that the UI was not overly complicated, and pretty straight forward to understand. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to doff. I had heard about 'chains' from people talking in zone chat, but meh, I was perfectly happy slowly getting my CXP while waiting at ESD and/or SFA.

What changed for me was when I found out about the mark XII consoles. That's when I started to look into it more deeply, joined the doffjobs channel, and found out about 'the spreadsheet'. Frankly, it's easier to just farm EC to buy the consoles off the exchange instead of making them yourself. The amount of 'work' involved in making them yourself is quite significant as it requires the right components, and very specific doff traits. However, in doing so, I found doing the other various chains to be quite enjoyable and addicting. I find myself hunting the assignments down now, even the ones that don't have anything to do with the XII consoles. I guess this meets the definition of 'fun' for me. Surprise surprise.

Yes there are some issues with the ship interiors/dept heads, but hopefully a lot of this is fixed in the most recent patch. But I think the system is actually functioning as intended. It works fine for new players. IF you want to take it to the next level, the system is deep enough to allow you to do that. This is a GOOD thing. Just like the STFs, you are not required to play it. But unlike the STFs, many of the rewards here can be had via the exchange if all you want is the loot. (Although I have to ask, if you don't like doffing, why would you want the rewards cuz most of them are... doffs)
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 30
04-05-2012, 12:38 PM
The way I read the OPs comments, they want to be able to get all the good stuff in a week or two and be done with it. This is a long term part of the game. There is enough people who complain that the game is too short (you can fully level a character to max level in a matter of days).

As I see it, there are really 3 types of people that play STO. You have (1) lazy people who want everything handed to them (there is even a thread out there about completely automating the DOFF system), you have (2) chronic complainers who are always complaining about something (game is too short, there isn't enough of X, everything sucks, ect) and then there are (3) those that play to have fun, and you almost never hear from them about problems as they just roll with it (either because they don't know there is a problem or it doesn't bother them).

Legitimate problems are one thing (a mission won't let you slot the required DOFFs, or doesn't ever show up) as are suggestions (I would like to see X mission, would it be possible to..., ect), but complaining because you actually have to use that squishy organ between your ears (I know, a novel idea for some) or you can't max out in a day is stupid.
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