Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 77
# 31
09-20-2012, 06:12 PM
The best part about leveling a new character is doing the stories again. Especially the low-level ones. I just find them fun to play over the higher level ones.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 236
# 32
09-20-2012, 08:09 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by offtheecliptic View Post
I absolutely agree that they don't need to be mutually exclusive, and in a perfect world, story content would also come with great rewards.

I am puzzled over the extent to which so many people seem (and this may or may not be an accurate impression) to value the rewards over the story. It feels very backwards to me.
There is nothing to be puzzled over. Different strokes for different folks. In other words, different people like different things, and neither side is "right" or "wrong".
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 952
# 33
09-20-2012, 08:47 PM
A friend/fleetmate of mine told me he was working one of his toons up to VA exclusively via DOffs... and once he gets to VA, then he'll go through all the story missions. The idea is to snag Mark XI versions of all the special gear offered as rewards. (For example, if you play the Klingon War story missions on the Fed side as originally intended, you'd still be only a LtCmdr or Cmdr when playing the Doomsday mission, meaning you'd only get, say, a Mk V Hargh'peng torpedo launcher for your trouble. By saving the story missions until you make VA, you'd get a Mark XI Hargh'peng for playing the same mission.)

I wouldn't be surprised if a lot of others are taking the same approach - not swearing off story missions outright, just holding off until they can get the best possible gear from them.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 5,839
# 34
09-20-2012, 09:01 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by kazapsky View Post
I'd play more story missions if they were written by someone who knows how to write. Out of the first three story arcs, you can count on one hand the number of missions that are better than outright stupid.

Oh, and I tire very rapidly of being forced to hold the idiot ball in a lot of these missions. As soon as I met that phony Vulcan ambassador, his bad acting told me straight-up that this was no Vulcan. The only questions were, who's hiding under that disguise? and why has the ambassador's aide not clued in on this? Pondering stuff like this while being railroaded into almost handing him his objective on a silver platter does nothing to make me like the writers.
Here's the thing. I think Kestrel knows how to PLOT and is really good at it. I the the content guys know how to make pretty interesting content scenarios.

I think there's a missing step 2. It's missing partly because that isn't everyone's tastes in gaming. I think it's missing partly due to deadlines. I think some really great designers like Jesse Heinig are able to pick up the slack and fill in that missing second step.

It's a bit like having a screenwriter and a good cinematographer but no director. And every so often the screenplay or a really good cinematographer make you forget there's no director, in the best of the missions. But at the end of the day, there's no director.

It also reminds me of comic books that have an artist and an editor but no writer.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,054
# 35
09-20-2012, 09:13 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by stoleviathan99 View Post
I think some really great designers like Jesse Heinig are able to pick up the slack and fill in that missing second step.
Or, conversely, there were folks like Gozer remastering those missions, and he did things like beam Orions onto your ship AFTER you blew up their ship in space. Seriously, that happens in "Stranded in Space" or whatever it's called. Another ship didn't appear. It was Orions beaming over from a ship that you just blew up.

I recall that he made some kind of "story smory" comment back in the day. It's just another example of how things get mucked up.

I will say this: I think Kestrel can be a good writer, judging from the examples of good writing in this game. I don't know enough about the behind the scenes stuff to know how many of the facepalm moments go back directly to her, or whether they're due to other folks. Ultimately, it's a question of who exactly is responsible for Divide et Impera and the mission where we kill bar patrons, let alone all of the other stuff.

But, IMO, any evaluation of STO's writer and how it all got mucked up doesn't change the fact that the clear majority of missions in this game, especially if we throw in patrols and exploration, are so riddled with plot holes, poor characters, and carrying the stupid ball (to be blunt), that we still kind of have to say:

The writing in STO is bad.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 5,839
# 36
09-20-2012, 10:12 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by kirksplat View Post
Or, conversely, there were folks like Gozer remastering those missions, and he did things like beam Orions onto your ship AFTER you blew up their ship in space. Seriously, that happens in "Stranded in Space" or whatever it's called. Another ship didn't appear. It was Orions beaming over from a ship that you just blew up.

I recall that he made some kind of "story smory" comment back in the day. It's just another example of how things get mucked up.

I will say this: I think Kestrel can be a good writer, judging from the examples of good writing in this game. I don't know enough about the behind the scenes stuff to know how many of the facepalm moments go back directly to her, or whether they're due to other folks. Ultimately, it's a question of who exactly is responsible for Divide et Impera and the mission where we kill bar patrons, let alone all of the other stuff.

But, IMO, any evaluation of STO's writer and how it all got mucked up doesn't change the fact that the clear majority of missions in this game, especially if we throw in patrols and exploration, are so riddled with plot holes, poor characters, and carrying the stupid ball (to be blunt), that we still kind of have to say:

The writing in STO is bad.
Well, I haven't seen Gozer around to defend himself but he was definitely part of that mentality, part of why I thought they needed to split the content team in two. With Heinig and Kestrel doing story stuff and Gozer focusing on stuff like No Win Scenario and DSEs.

I liked to think of Gozer as the Brannon Braga of STO (and attitude wise, he could be) but after watching some episodes on DVD with Braga's commentary track, I think Braga's plot soup boiled down to too much ambition for a one off episode (something I see in my own Foundry missions, all of which I'd describe as Braga-like) whereas Gozer seemed to reject the idea of things being immersive or episodic and did everything shy of deliberately fight against that, like someone who aspired to be the next David Jaffe.

For more on David Jaffe...
Quote:
David Jaffe thinks developers shouldn't tell stories in their games, and he spent his D.I.C.E. 2012 session explaining why. He called the combination of cinematic storytelling and gameplay two great tastes that don't taste great together, something like chocolate and tuna fish. The original God of War designer got into games specifically to do that, but he eventually came to think of it as a dead end and ultimately dangerous path to pursue.
http://www.gamespot.com/features/is-...-2012-6350116/

In general, I think most of Cryptic is in awe of Richard Garriott. I've had conversations with multiple devs who've cited him and seen them echo his philosophies. The buzz words for him are "interactive storytelling" and "social games."
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Garriott

Here's a taste of Garriott:
Quote:
Then we discovered Ultima Online which was right with the emergence of the internet. We were the first to cross the bow, to really take a major effort behind creating multiplayer game. Ultima Online is credited with being the first Massively Multiplayer game. That became the best place to try to do the best place to do interactive storytelling. With that preamble, here is what compels me about the new era. If you look at why each of these eras became bigger than their predecessors, solo player Ultimas, and solo player games in general, sell to millions players. Always have. But the bestselling MMOs sell to tens of millions of players and ten times the people are willing to play it, not because it?s cheaper, because it?s not, it?s more expensive. Not because it?s easier to get into, because it?s not, it?s actually a lot harder to get into and figure out how to play it. The reason why ten times more people are willing to play it or want to play it is because you get to play with other real people. That?s the power of playing with other people. But in MMOs, the other people you play with aren?t the same people you go to the movies with and out to dinner with generally speaking. You?re playing in an MMO with people you met online in that game who are equally devoted to logging in every night and six-o-clock and going on raids with you, which is still very powerful compared to playing alone. But the magic of new social media and these casual games, I don?t even like the word ?casual?, is really games that operate on top of a ?friends graph?, is that now everyone?s real friends are online with some digital identity, with Facebook or whatever.
http://www.gatheryourparty.com/artic...hard-garriott/

I'd say, personally as a follower of games, I'm more influenced by a mix of Richard Bartlett (father of MUDs) and Warren Spector, although I'm a bit less sandbox-y than either one and a bit (just a bit) more BioWare-y.

Here's some Spector quotes:

?Trying [controllers] on a conversation is very hard in the extreme. It doesn?t map very well to pushing buttons. It?s not what we?re doing right now. I find it annoying where people don?t try to solve that problem. But I understand why. It?s a very hard problem to solve...where I am in my life and my career, I want to explore things like, what does it mean to have a brother? How do you form a family??

?We focus a little bit too much on violence, but we all know how to do it. It?s easy. And a lot of players seem to like it. It isn?t all we can do and it certainly isn?t all we should do.?

?And then I?d say, ?Look I?ve made ? I really have lost track, I?ve gotta go back and count, this is either my twenty-second or my twenty-third game, I really can?t remember which ? and every one of them has been about the same thing at its heart, right? It?s about players making choices as they play, and then dealing with the consequences of those choices. It?s about you telling your story, not me telling mine. It?s about you. And, in that way, it?s just like Deus Ex. The content is a little different, I don?t deny that. The tone is a little different, I don?t deny that. But the heart of the gameplay is still about choice and consequence, which is what I?ve been doing since the 80s. So give it a shot; what?s the worst that could happen? We?re not curing cancer here; we?re making games, right? See if it?s fun for you.?

"We've gone too far. The slow-motion blood spurts, the impalement by deadly assassins, the knives, shoulders, elbows to the throat. You know, Deus Ex had its moments of violence, but they were designed - whether they succeeded or not I can't say - but they were designed to make you uncomfortable, and I don't see that happening now. I think we're just appealing to an adolescent mindset and calling it mature. It's time to stop. I'm just glad I work for a company like Disney, where not only is that not something that's encouraged, you can't even do it, and I'm fine with it."

"The thing I'm most looking forward to - and again, I didn't see much so it's very hard for me to say this - it's probably inappropriate for me to say it, but 'Oh my god, there's a new Paper Mario coming to the 3DS!' What could be more perfect than that? Like Disney Epic Mickey, the fact that people responded so well to the game speaks to the desire of people to feel some joy and have some fun and smile when they're playing a game instead of frowning in concentration and adrenalized intensity. It's nice!"

Here's the heart of it, though, for me:

http://www.1up.com/news/warren-spect...-games-keynote

I think Cryptic typically occupies a kind of middle ground between me and Gozer although I'm comfortable saying that the issues I ascribe to him stem from us being on opposite ends of the spectrum.

At the same time, I think he's an insanely hard worker. Just not somebody I'd ever agree with philosophically and I think a plurality of the issues you or I would have with the storytelling here can be chalked up to the kind of approach developers like Gozer took with the material.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 5,839
# 37
09-20-2012, 10:19 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by kirksplat View Post
Or, conversely, there were folks like Gozer remastering those missions, and he did things like beam Orions onto your ship AFTER you blew up their ship in space. Seriously, that happens in "Stranded in Space" or whatever it's called. Another ship didn't appear. It was Orions beaming over from a ship that you just blew up.

I recall that he made some kind of "story smory" comment back in the day. It's just another example of how things get mucked up.

I will say this: I think Kestrel can be a good writer, judging from the examples of good writing in this game. I don't know enough about the behind the scenes stuff to know how many of the facepalm moments go back directly to her, or whether they're due to other folks. Ultimately, it's a question of who exactly is responsible for Divide et Impera and the mission where we kill bar patrons, let alone all of the other stuff.

But, IMO, any evaluation of STO's writer and how it all got mucked up doesn't change the fact that the clear majority of missions in this game, especially if we throw in patrols and exploration, are so riddled with plot holes, poor characters, and carrying the stupid ball (to be blunt), that we still kind of have to say:

The writing in STO is bad.
In case all that was TLDR, I'd border on saying that the plotholes were borderline there on purpose because Gozer (and maybe some others) have such a diametrically opposed philosophy. And that the sheer number of them are there because the people who operated like that also happened to be hard workers and loyal team members who supported their co-workers, people who put in extra hours on projects... and saw story as somewhere between irrelevant and toxic, something they may have been ideologically opposed to. And that philosophy seeped through everywhere because the people who thought like that touched everything BECAUSE they were hard workers and good team members.

It's a bit like having a Wal-Mart cashier who works the nights and weekends nobody else will work but doesn't believe in department stores carrying groceries and makes a point of his opposition to it, to everyone who checks out.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 11,103
# 38
09-20-2012, 10:22 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by stoleviathan99 View Post
I think there's a missing step 2. It's missing partly because that isn't everyone's tastes in gaming. I think it's missing partly due to deadlines. I think some really great designers like Jesse Heinig are able to pick up the slack and fill in that missing second step.

It's a bit like having a screenwriter and a good cinematographer but no director. And every so often the screenplay or a really good cinematographer make you forget there's no director, in the best of the missions. But at the end of the day, there's no director.

It also reminds me of comic books that have an artist and an editor but no writer.
Suddenly I'm having flashbacks to the 2800. Awesome set pieces (Bajor, DS9, Facility 4028), Amazing Moments (The space-walk, blasting your way out of DS9), but it had some really dull moments (Of Bajor, hunting crap for Farek), and some really weird plot devices (DS9 had to be taken over again? Karu'kan managed to get all of his minions to rebel against the Founders? How?). I'm fairly certain a "Director" of sorts would cure things like that.
http://i1151.photobucket.com/albums/o633/centersolace/189cux9khvl6ojpg_zpsca7ccff0.jpg

So inhumane superweapons, mass murder, and canon nonsense is okay, but speedos are too much for some people.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,054
# 39
09-20-2012, 10:45 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by stoleviathan99 View Post

It's a bit like having a Wal-Mart cashier who works the nights and weekends nobody else will work but doesn't believe in department stores carrying groceries and makes a point of his opposition to it, to everyone who checks out.
LOL. With what little I know, this fits my mental image.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 3,054
# 40
09-20-2012, 10:48 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by centersolace View Post
Suddenly I'm having flashbacks to the 2800. Awesome set pieces (Bajor, DS9, Facility 4028), Amazing Moments (The space-walk, blasting your way out of DS9), but it had some really dull moments (Of Bajor, hunting crap for Farek), and some really weird plot devices (DS9 had to be taken over again? Karu'kan managed to get all of his minions to rebel against the Founders? How?). I'm fairly certain a "Director" of sorts would cure things like that.
I think in cases like this, you have to imagine a writer who is told: "Hey we built this set and this set, and the player has to go kill these guys, and, wow, isn't the space walk cool? Make a story out of it."

You gotta work with what you got. Which means, invent hair-brained reasons for x, y, and z.
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