Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 1 DOFF Autopilot
04-03-2012, 02:59 PM
While watching Heretic's interview on STOked and the talks of the First Officer system and Apping the DOFF system, it occurred to me of having the First Officer somewhat Auto-Piloting the DOFF system.


In TNG, Commander Riker was the one responsible for managing the Duty Officers, Departments, and the shifts. So why not have a similar system implemented in STO?

For example, you have one character that's at Tier 2 Science and Recruiting and want to focus on that more than your maxed out Diplomacy and Espionage. So you set the list of priorities that has the DOFF system focus on those areas. That way if you're in the middle of an STF or a casual player that's only limited to a few hours online per day, you can still progress on your DOFF system without depending on apps (or if apps become available, saving you having to buy an iPad).

Of course, there likely would need to be somekind of balancing where Autopiloting isn't as rewarding as you manually assigning missions when you are online. Or the First Officer not exactly choosing the best candidate for the job.


So, what do you think?
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
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# 2
04-04-2012, 06:48 AM
"Number One, fly us to DS9. I'm going to lunch."

I like it.



[Edit to add]

I misread the OP as suggesting that we could let the DOFFs or First Officer fly the ship for us, to some destination farther than the current sector block.

That kind of auto pilot would be cool, and a chance for a much needed break while doffing around the galaxy.

Automating the doff gameplay, I wouldn't support, other than massively cleaning up the UI for it.
Lt. Commander
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Posts: 120
# 3
04-04-2012, 08:38 AM
So basically, setting a preference for one (or two) commendation categories and letting the system slot the recommended crew?

I think it's outside the scope of what the DOFF system is intended to be, for one thing. But let's set that aside as it's not necessarily a bad idea just on that basis.

There are other technical issues, though.

1. Assignment selection would be the main problem. This very human element of the DOFF system would be difficult to automate. But let's assume that the goal of Autoassignment is to focus in on the highest return on CXP for the commendation category you're interested in.

The system would have to sort through all the available assignments in that category and initially weed out all of the ineligible ones. It would then pick the available assignment with the highest return on CXP and slot in the recommended crew. At that point, it would need to recalculate which assignments are still available and repeat the process.

2. Inputs. A lot of assignments require commodities or some other consumable input. Autoassignment would burn through your stored consumables and then all of the assignments that require them would become unavailable until you logged in and refreshed them.

3. Assignment Slot limitations. Autoassignment would basically keep you topped off at the maximum, unless some kind of threshold could be set on how many slots can be devoted to autoassignment. That leads into the next issue.

4. Acknowledging assignment completion. The current system is rigged so that assignment awards don't happen until you push a button. Autoassignment would have to be set up so that it would automatically complete your assignments for you. Otherwise, you would max out your assignment slots right away and then autoassignment would be useless. And this leads into the next issue.

5. Inventory Slot limitations. Many assignments result in some output, or reward, that goes to your inventory. If Autoassignment is completing your assignments for you, it is going to fill up your inventory very quickly. Then, when your inventory got full it could no longer complete any assignment that needed an open inventory slot. This also includes limits on DO's and BO's that come out of the assignment system. Then you're back to the problems cited in # 3 and # 4 above... all your slots are full and autoassignment stops.

6. Assignment location. Nearly all of the best assignments are location-specific in some way. If you aren't logged in, you don't move your ship, your location never changes, and autoassignment would never be able to pick up any assignments that don't appear in that location. Also, the DO system seems to be very event driven... you do "x" and "y" assignments become available for selection. If you're not logged in, there are no events that trigger assignment availability, so they would have to create artificial trigger events on some kind of timer.

7. Personal assignment refresh intervals. This is related to the previous issue. Personal assignment refresh is intimately tied in to when you log in to the character. If you don't log in, you don't refresh.

It very quickly gets to the point where autoassignment requires a lot of additional automation to make it work as intended and leads to all kinds of issues that are difficult to solve with automation. Nice idea, but I don't think it will happen.
Lt. Commander
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# 4
04-04-2012, 08:48 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Azurian View Post
. . .
So, what do you think?
I certainly do not intend to sound harsh, because I understand where you are coming from, but automating the system completely removes the purpose of the doff system, which is primarily to give us something to do.
Lt. Commander
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# 5
04-04-2012, 01:10 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Malcolm_Kakuri
I misread the OP as suggesting that we could let the DOFFs or First Officer fly the ship for us, to some destination farther than the current sector block.
If we ever do away with sector zone boundaries, like was suggested a few times by Cryptic employees in the past, this won't be necessary anyway. Just click on the destination on your map and go get a beverage.

But, ultimately, I think automating the duty officer process is not only counter to design intent, but I don't think I want a computer system telling another system automatically what it thinks is best for my duty officer progression. I often change priorities to either max out one type of ranking or cancel assignments and put duty officers on a higher priority assignment.

A computer will not intuitively understand what my goals are. Nor would I expect it to do so. Automation is fine, to a point. But, this is not a point that would make sense to either the player or the developer. (Often, for example, my duty officer recommendations given by a department head are not always as good as the ones I put in their place.)
Lt. Commander
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# 6
04-04-2012, 03:00 PM
I dare say you will complain bitterly the first time it sends your Purple Refugee on an Asylum and you get NO DOFF in return, or it sends one of your Ultra Rares out on a Keremma Exchange and you get a white in return. But ever since people started wanting the Department Heads to suggest the best possible result I've said this suggestion was coming, and I said it then and I'll say it again, if you are too lazy to DOFF, then don't. If you are going to ask for an entire aspect of the game to be automated, why not just automate everything? We could automate all the missions and the game can level me while I'm not even on, I'd be at max level while I sleep. If you honestly believe that Automating the DOFF system wouldn't be the same as automating the Missions, or STFs I'd really like to know why...
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# 7
04-04-2012, 11:56 PM
I can understand that point, but surely you can have it the system ignored such missions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rastafari_Ken View Post
I certainly do not intend to sound harsh, because I understand where you are coming from, but automating the system completely removes the purpose of the doff system, which is primarily to give us something to do.
True, but wouldn't it be the same if it became an app? Just that instead of you handing fate to a computer, you're doing it remotely. And not all players want to log in to do DOFFing, when they want to do other things as well. So I thought this would probablly free up some of their time.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
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# 8
04-05-2012, 02:56 AM
A self-solveing macro-puzzle...

Brilliant.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
04-05-2012, 05:05 AM
Picking 20 20h assignments once a day is already the less rewarding auto pilot for casual player you are looking for, me thinks.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
04-05-2012, 12:06 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Azurian View Post
I can understand that point, but surely you can have it the system ignored such missions.



True, but wouldn't it be the same if it became an app? Just that instead of you handing fate to a computer, you're doing it remotely. And not all players want to log in to do DOFFing, when they want to do other things as well. So I thought this would probablly free up some of their time.

I would actually consider that a different topic. The fact that they are entertaining the idea of a stand alone app is evidence to me that the Doff system is poorly integrated into regular gameplay. That is doubly troubling because, as many have suggested, the duty officer concept has great potential to make this game REALLY feel like "Star Trek."

But if we did have a stand alone app, we would still have to interact with the interface, monitor its progress, an ostensibly move from sector to sector to locate assignments. So unless my interpretations of the App whispers are wrong, then the answer to your question is "no, it is not the same."
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