Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
Herein is an assortment of issues, canon errors, bugs, and subjects that I have personally witnessed during gameplay. I do not maintain that these issues are pressing in need or even huge; it is merely a set of observations, that all have the same common trait: they have been present after every season patch. (Please keep thread responses polite, professional, and on-task. Issues are not in any particular order.)

1) Inconsistent Heights
To put it quite simply, avatars and NPCs alike do not follow the scale except in an arbitrary manner. I can have two characters who are exactly the same height, say 6'2'', but one will often be shorter than the other. Why? Because even though they are set to the same height, if one of them has Leg Length or Torso Length or what have you longer than the other, the person will be taller anyway. As a result a 6'2'' avatar can be on the same level as someone approaching 7' as long as they max out the leg and torso lengths. This is not how height actually works. These different lengths should be adapted in some fashion so that every avatar follows the same height scale, regardless of how long their legs or how thick their feet are. My roommate and I are the same height; I have shorter legs and a longer torso, and he has a median length between the two, yet one of us isn't magically taller than the other in real life.

2) The Height Scale Itself
I think heights would also be easier to do if a simple addition could be made to the height scale slider. Either a text box could be added so a player need merely type in the base height they desire (in the acceptable range of course) or the readout on the slider could be changed. When you currently slide the height slider, from 5'9'' to 5'10'' for example, there is this period where the numbers don't change. You sit there moving the slider, but it continues to read 5'9'' while the character gets taller, and then it finally hits 5'10''. Some indication of exactly where we are on this in-between space would be appreciated, but I suppose not necessary.

3) KDF Aliens Only Allowed to Wear Klingon Armor
The alien option gives a player the unique opportunity to create an entirely new species to serve the Empire, and a plethora of options are available for many masterpieces to be created. But when it comes time for your alien to strap on his/her/its armor, they are only allowed to wear the default Klingon options. Wouldn't it make more sense for them to have the full range of armor to choose from, such as Orion and Nausicaan? Just like the annexed Gorn, I am sure not every alien is proud to wear the uniform of their occupying force, and the Syndicate is only in alliance with the Empire; surely there would be other races that have dealings with the Klingons but are not necessarily under their jurisdiction or control. Such an inevitability dictates that a wider uniform selection be available for alien characters, even if it is just the signature armor of Orions or Nausicaans.

4) Non-Canon Klingon Armor Canon Samples
The Klingon Defense Force is an ancient and irregular fighting force that does not focus on the same uniformity of clothing common with traditional militaries. There are many different forms of Klingon armor seen throughout the different series, from the famous floor-length skirts of the Duras Sisters, to Captain Klaa's and his First Officer Vixis' sleeveless options, there are many canon examples of Klingon armor a player would have to choose from. But instead of using all these fully-designed and canonical options, Cryptic elected instead to use many forms of their own design. There is an entire 5 series' worth of armor out there, and almost none of it is in the game. If the Federation can have the entire spectrum of uniforms to wear from Enterprise to Voyager AND a set of brand new options, why can't the Empire get the same opportunity? The ongoing neglect of the KDF Faction is rapidly becoming an embarrassment for Cryptic, as well as an insult to lovers of the Empire everywhere. And this embarrassment has just been made public to the entire European Union to boot...

5) Caitian Anatomy
It is understandable that the entire spectrum of unique traits that make up such a genetically diverse species as humans cannot all be crammed into one game. From freckles to moles to widow's peaks to cleft chins and thousands of hairstyles, there is just way too much to expect everything to be included. But the Caitian race is a much simpler, not to mention fictional, alien that does not present an eighth as much diversity as a human, but even they have very basic characteristics that make no sense to be left out. As can be confirmed in the Animated Series, Caitians are meant to have manes of a sort on their heads, and the males in all likelihood would also have an additional kind of lion's ruff on their upper chests. Yet all Caitians are bald. And while the legitimacy of Caitian manes is based entirely on the debates of whether or not the Animated Series is canon, there is one other trait that is most definitely canon. As can be confirmed by Star Trek V: The Final Frontier, Caitian females are triple-breasted. This makes a lot of sense when you consider that Caitians are a feline race, and it would not be particularly difficult to design. And now that I think about it, I just realized that the Caitian in The Final Frontier also had a mane, so my other point on this topic is even more valid.

6) Starfleet NPC Uniforms
Since I serve in the military (Air Force) myself, this is a specific pet peeve of mine. The definition of a uniform is a single specially defined set of clothes and personal gear items that are the same for all members of that military, which is the primary means of recognizing allies and assuring efficiency in all theaters of operation. But it seems that most of the Federation NPCs running around the galaxy in-game are from about twelve different militaries. I can understand how a wide variety of options and classic styles should be available for players so they can further personalize their avatars, but the NPCs don't have such feelings. If you look in any of the series, Starfleet officers all wore the same uniform, and when a new one was introduced, everyone upgraded to the new one as per official protocol. The same is true for real-life militaries. While there are of course different types of uniform for the different branches, a single branch doesn't wear six or seven variants of their duty uniform. Even if the players have all the variety, at the very least the NPCs should be standardized.

7) No Blood Decals
The Klingons often fight with bladed weapons. From the d'k'tagh to the bat'leth to the Vulcan lirpa and the tsunkatse falchion, there are many slicing and stabbing implements being used. Caitians and Letheans have vicious claws, and Gorn often try to bite their opponents in half. But there is not a single blood decal for the victims of such attacks. When a thalaron mine goes off, the player is shown crumbling into a hulk of dessicated flesh and dust, and many opponents will often be vaporized entirely. So why can't a player who's death blow was at the hands of a sword or bladed weapon get a few bloodstains on their uniform? It's not a love of horror and gore, it's common sense. There is plenty of blood seen in the movies and series (Who can forget the slashed-up Romulans in Generations or Chancellor Gorkon floating in zero-g with huge gobbets of Klingon blood drifting everywhere?). If Cryptic is worried about STO getting re-classified with a stricter rating, they can always have the option of the decals being turned off. Games like The Elder Scrolls and Heavy Metal FAKK 2 have such options; sensitive users can play in a blood-free environment, while the realistic players can have the bloodstains sword fighting would naturally include. I'm not proposing decapitations or entrails flying everywhere.

8) Plasma Grenades
Some people would say the change to plasma grenades to make them only damage enemies was an improvement, but I think with the revamp of the ground combat system it has become silly. It made a bit of sense in the past: You could only throw the grenade at an enemy, and you could not dictate where that enemy was standing, so what if it was right in front of you? But now that we have shooter mode, a player has the ability to throw grenades precisely where they want, so with this new-found freedom shouldn't there also be accompanying realism? You decide where the grenade goes, so it should be up to you not to be stupid enough to walk in the fire. Some people have also complained about teammates being irresponsible with grenades and setting their team members on fire. A valid complaint. So why not disable the ally burning on PvP maps only? Or even better, make it so plasma grenades burn allies on Advanced and Elite difficulty mode. I'm sure the hardcore gamers would appreciate the extra strategic challenge. All I can say for sure is that it looks ridiculous for my avatar to be standing unharmed in a plasma fire surrounded by burning Romulans. It looks more like magic then and not science fiction. ("Ferengi Mage used Fire of Retribution!" Seriously...?)

9) Tsunkatse Falchions
As seen in Star Trek: Voyager, the Delta Quadrant game of Tsunkatse is a hand-to-hand arena combat sport. Opponents use martial arts in conjunction with gloves and boots that deliver harmful shocks to the others' body. There are no swords, guns, or other weapons used, yet one of the swords you can pick up in the Romulan testing arena in "Coliseum" is a "Tsunkatse Falchion." A minor canonical error, but I mention it namely because it has the potential to be turned into a very lucrative update. The Klingon mek'leth is a very popular weapon seen used by Worf in Deep Space Nine. It has almost exactly the same dimensions as the current falchion. Klingon enemy contact groups can already be seen in-game fighting with them on occasion. So why not replace the incorrect falchion with a Klingon mek'leth? The only thing that would have to be changed would the appearance of the sword and the name; all of the movement animations and the damage could remain the same. Problem solved.

10) Food and Drink Items
This is perhaps the oldest and most pertinent of all the issues. Whenever any food item is consumed by the player, the player is shown eating a little candy bar in a brightly colored blue and silver wrapper. And when any drinks are consumed, a little soda can that looks spookily like a Red Bull can appears in their hand. There is no distinction between the different foods or drinks. Every food and drink has its own little picture on its icon in an inventory. Could these pictures be turned into textures that display in the characters' hands based on what is consumed? I think two years of eating junk food across the galaxy is enough.
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