Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,495
# 1 Issue w/Reputation System
11-05-2012, 11:07 AM
As it is now the Reputation system is basically a clone of the Fleet Based system. My problem w/it is it's all about grinding gear and too simplistic. I don't have an issue w/the mechanic (some rewards continue power creep which isn't good imo).

Imo, the reputation system should take into effect all actions your character takes. For example, instead of what the current tribble system is they could have had an additional reputation system for the main factions in addition to the Omega and Romulan.

For the KDF you have natural House Rivals as well as sub factions of species. It's already touched on in some Doff missions, but there's no long term accounting w/long term effects. For the Fed you have sub factions as well as Covert Sections etc.

For both factions you could have antagonist missions sabotaging internal matters. Currently, it's just protagonist. The antagonist aspect has been touched on in Doff missions on KDF side as well as the Dominion FE.

Imo, there should also be a Fleet Reputation system. This is an MMO afterall. This would take into account not only Fleet projects and actions, but individual members of the Fleet while they were in the Fleet.

Imo, a key would be no matter what your reputation is with various groups while you may lose invididual opportunities for negative reputation, someone else will always like what you've done and provide a character/fleet with a different opportunaty.
Commander
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 426
# 2
11-05-2012, 11:31 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by p2wsucks View Post
As it is now the Reputation system is basically a clone of the Fleet Based system. My problem w/it is it's all about grinding gear and too simplistic. I don't have an issue w/the mechanic (some rewards continue power creep which isn't good imo).

Imo, the reputation system should take into effect all actions your character takes. For example, instead of what the current tribble system is they could have had an additional reputation system for the main factions in addition to the Omega and Romulan.
I think there's really two issues here:

1. We only really have two factions available for reputation at the moment.
2. Obtaining reputation is currently done in one way only.

As to the first, I think it's fairly sure that we'll see more faction reputation become available, because it's an easy way to put content into the game that's 'gated' so it's not immediately available. It also gives the devs a lot of flexibility.

As to the second, I think we're less likely to see this change. However, as I was running around on holodeck, I did have an idea, which the devs may or may not adopt, which would allow the system to be expanded dramatically.

The current system is basically buying reputation with a faction. You give them stuff, and they think better of you. This isn't exactly unrealistic, and it does fit nicely into the game's economy, so I can't object much (although what Task Force Omega is doing with ten billion seismic stabilizers or whatever I have no idea).

But it also means, as people have pointed out, that what you do doesn't much affect what happens in the game world. So how about adding the ability for mission rewards to directly alter your reputation status.

That is to say, you can get reputation in one of two ways:
1. Run the Reputation Project to buy 2000 Omega Reputation
2. Run a mission that Omega wants you to run, which might give you +100 Omega Reputation.

This could easily be hooked up to create a faction 'conflict' system, like the following example:

Mission: Assassinate Romulan Quartermaster
Faction: Ferengi
Description: One of D'Tan's quartermasters has started poking around in shipments that may not have been, ahem, complete. Deter him from doing so and we'll reward you handsomely.
Optional: Complete this task undetected.
Reward (w/o Optional): +500 Ferengi Faction Reputation, -500 New Romulan Faction Reputation, -100 Federation Faction Reputation, +250 Tal'Shiar Faction Reputation.
Reward (w/ Optional): +650 Ferengi Faction Reputation, -100 New Romulan Faction Reputation.

This would play flat into the current faction system- i.e., it would operate directly on the reputation you had with a faction. So if it takes 5000 reputation to reach Tier 1, and you had 5200 reputation with the Romulans and completed the task without the optional, you would drop down to 4700- and get bumped back to Tier 0 Reputation.

So there's an actual cost to doing things, there are choices to be made, and the like. I feel like this could probably be easily implemented in the current reputation system, but would make the game much more 'trek like'.

Especially with respect to the large world zone in New Romulus, and as they add new factions it could get hooked into those factions and just make the world more 'dynamic'.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,495
# 3
11-05-2012, 11:47 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by squishkin View Post
I think there's really two issues here:

1. We only really have two factions available for reputation at the moment.
2. Obtaining reputation is currently done in one way only.

As to the first, I think it's fairly sure that we'll see more faction reputation become available, because it's an easy way to put content into the game that's 'gated' so it's not immediately available. It also gives the devs a lot of flexibility.

As to the second, I think we're less likely to see this change. However, as I was running around on holodeck, I did have an idea, which the devs may or may not adopt, which would allow the system to be expanded dramatically.

The current system is basically buying reputation with a faction. You give them stuff, and they think better of you. This isn't exactly unrealistic, and it does fit nicely into the game's economy, so I can't object much (although what Task Force Omega is doing with ten billion seismic stabilizers or whatever I have no idea).

But it also means, as people have pointed out, that what you do doesn't much affect what happens in the game world. So how about adding the ability for mission rewards to directly alter your reputation status.

That is to say, you can get reputation in one of two ways:
1. Run the Reputation Project to buy 2000 Omega Reputation
2. Run a mission that Omega wants you to run, which might give you +100 Omega Reputation.

This could easily be hooked up to create a faction 'conflict' system, like the following example:

Mission: Assassinate Romulan Quartermaster
Faction: Ferengi
Description: One of D'Tan's quartermasters has started poking around in shipments that may not have been, ahem, complete. Deter him from doing so and we'll reward you handsomely.
Optional: Complete this task undetected.
Reward (w/o Optional): +500 Ferengi Faction Reputation, -500 New Romulan Faction Reputation, -100 Federation Faction Reputation, +250 Tal'Shiar Faction Reputation.
Reward (w/ Optional): +650 Ferengi Faction Reputation, -100 New Romulan Faction Reputation.

This would play flat into the current faction system- i.e., it would operate directly on the reputation you had with a faction. So if it takes 5000 reputation to reach Tier 1, and you had 5200 reputation with the Romulans and completed the task without the optional, you would drop down to 4700- and get bumped back to Tier 0 Reputation.

So there's an actual cost to doing things, there are choices to be made, and the like. I feel like this could probably be easily implemented in the current reputation system, but would make the game much more 'trek like'.

Especially with respect to the large world zone in New Romulus, and as they add new factions it could get hooked into those factions and just make the world more 'dynamic'.
Imo, the factions aren't homogeneous. This is obvious on the KDF when looking at the Doff missions:

1. Frame House X.
2. Infiltrate Orion group X.
3. Suppress Gorn uprising.
4. Kill spy.
5. Kill Mutineers.
etc

So, it's too simple to say there's just 2 reputations to have. There's plenty of opportunity to have various reputation catagories w/in the 2 main factions.

Basically there needs to be protagonist and antagonist options w/internally and externally w/in each chain that effect what mission offers there are both at a character level and a fleet level. There shouldn't just be a run project Omega X, it should be run Project Omega X and sabotage Project Omega X but make it look like Y did it. For example, a Doff mission to transport prisoner x, should have a side option to allow the prisoner to bribe you, or for you to take the prisoner and conscript them etc.

Like you mentioned the choices should have positive and negative impact and your standings with various groups. Which leads to different opportunities. The higher the positive standing the higher the opportunity you get to betray them if that's your thing.
Commander
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 426
# 4
11-05-2012, 11:55 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by p2wsucks View Post
Imo, the factions aren't homogeneous. ...


So, it's too simple to say there's just 2 reputations to have.
I agree, to a point. There are many more factions out there that can be, and probably should be, added to the reputation system.

But I can't see Cryptic adding sub-Federation or sub-Klingon factions before they add external factions (Ferengi, Cardassians, Deferi, what have you).

The issue is that i can't see how you'd effectively implement it. For example, it looks like they're setting up S.8 to include some internal tension in the KDF, with Gorn/Orion rebels and whatnot. But how are you going to effectively implement this from the player's perspective?

It's easy to say "Here's some missions go kill some Rebel Gorn" but what would then happen if your faction rep with the Gorn went up and the Orions went down? Orions ambushing you in the streets of Q'nos? That doesn't take into account the fact that various questgivers built into the main storyline seem to be neatly distributed racially.

It would be very difficult to implement effectively, and the faction reputation mechanics as they are are comparatively new. I wouldn't expect Cryptic to jump full hog into trying to split the main playable factions into separate subfactions.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,495
# 5
11-05-2012, 12:05 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by squishkin View Post
I agree, to a point. There are many more factions out there that can be, and probably should be, added to the reputation system.

But I can't see Cryptic adding sub-Federation or sub-Klingon factions before they add external factions (Ferengi, Cardassians, Deferi, what have you).

The issue is that i can't see how you'd effectively implement it. For example, it looks like they're setting up S.8 to include some internal tension in the KDF, with Gorn/Orion rebels and whatnot. But how are you going to effectively implement this from the player's perspective?

It's easy to say "Here's some missions go kill some Rebel Gorn" but what would then happen if your faction rep with the Gorn went up and the Orions went down? Orions ambushing you in the streets of Q'nos? That doesn't take into account the fact that various questgivers built into the main storyline seem to be neatly distributed racially.

It would be very difficult to implement effectively, and the faction reputation mechanics as they are are comparatively new. I wouldn't expect Cryptic to jump full hog into trying to split the main playable factions into separate subfactions.
Imo, they should add the internal Faction Reputation (political) systems 1st. For example, the Fed storyline mission where you murder Scientists should have a branching option to disobey the imposter. But, you'd then have a negative reputation w/everyone who the imposter has a postive standing with and get positive reputation w/Romulans at the same time. You would also gain positive standings from Secret Sections that agree with you.

The negative standing would impact what opportunities you'd be offered from Orions given your Scenario. The Doff missions are about going after Orions who've already tried to frame you, or are splinter groups. It's not a homogeneous thing already. It doesn't need to be that random faction member will try and kill you. But, it would be interesting if in various Bars to have NPCs try and pick a fight w/you depending on their allegiances.

By having the interal reputation systems 1st your interaction with external forces would be more complex b/c you would have different options based on what your interal allies want rather than the blander options presented.
Commander
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 426
# 6
11-05-2012, 12:14 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by p2wsucks View Post
By having the internal reputation systems 1st your interaction with external forces would be more complex b/c you would have different options based on what your internal allies want rather than the blander options presented.
While in the abstract sense that's probably true, in practice the internal reputation system is almost certainly a huge deal more difficult to effectively implement than an external one. This is especially true with the way that STO is released.

Phase 1: Release the Reputation system with one or two external factions (simple)
Phase 2: Add more options to the Reputation system, and another one or two external factions
Phase 3: Now that the reputation system is available and easy to program for, work in the main factions.

I also think you have to be very careful, especially in a MMO, to make sure that a player can't effectively block themselves by damaging their rep too badly. This becomes a huge issue if they can damage their reputation with their 'home' faction.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,495
# 7
11-05-2012, 12:28 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by squishkin View Post
While in the abstract sense that's probably true, in practice the internal reputation system is almost certainly a huge deal more difficult to effectively implement than an external one. This is especially true with the way that STO is released.

Phase 1: Release the Reputation system with one or two external factions (simple)
Phase 2: Add more options to the Reputation system, and another one or two external factions
Phase 3: Now that the reputation system is available and easy to program for, work in the main factions.

I also think you have to be very careful, especially in a MMO, to make sure that a player can't effectively block themselves by damaging their rep too badly. This becomes a huge issue if they can damage their reputation with their 'home' faction.
I think will have to agree to disagree, b/c to me the foundation for the interal reputation system is already there in terms of doff missions, storyline missions and FEs. It's a matter of adding a value to each mission and perhaps some slight tweeking.

Also, as long as closing 1 door opens 1 or more other doors and there's an eventual way to redeem oneself I don't see the issue w/losing standing w/home factions.
Commander
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 426
# 8
11-05-2012, 12:41 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by p2wsucks View Post
I think will have to agree to disagree, b/c to me the foundation for the interal reputation system is already there in terms of doff missions, storyline missions and FEs. It's a matter of adding a value to each mission and perhaps some slight tweeking.
None of those things are tied together. Having missions isn't the same as having a reputation system. 4 of 10 doesn't like you more if you do 500 Borg Red Alerts than if you do just 5. The Hunters don't hate you more when you gun them down in Alpha than they did before.

That's not the foundation for a reputation system at all. A reputation system requires, to some extent:

1. That you define a faction
2. That you have some mechanism for that faction to keep track of you and your reputation
3. That interactions with that faction or that affect that faction are somehow metered and reported back to the faction.
4. That the faction responds based on its reputation.

Just having a bunch of missions doesn't have anything to do with that. Mission outcomes and choices could be relevant: entities on missions might be part of a faction. They might respond to you and offer you choices based on your reputation with their faction. And what you do to them might affect their faction's reputation.

But here's the thing: none of the current missions have any of that hooked up. Someone would have to go through, create the reputation system, and then hook all the current content up to the reputation system. And that assumes that all the current content is balanced for faction effects, which it almost certainly isn't, so you'd have to go through and do a faction rebalancing pass on top of that.

More to the point, much of the content that you seem to think is faction related is only incredibly superficial. Inter-house feuds? KDF accidents to Orions? Rebel Gorn? Sure, that stuff is there. But it's superficial at best and doesn't really explain how you'd create a reputation system that integrates it. If blowing up a rebel Gorn ship damages your faction rep with the Rebel Gorn... does that mean everyone who runs Fleet Alerts is just going to tank their faction rep?

Quote:
Also, as long as closing 1 door opens 1 or more other doors and there's an eventual way to redeem oneself I don't see the issue w/losing standing w/home factions.
A reputation system is only meaningful it has effects for the player. But creating those effects with the player's home faction can damage their playing experience significantly, and may not give them a good way to make it up.

For example, suggest you are a Fed player playing through the storyline and you side with the KDF many times to the point where you tank your Fed faction rep sufficiently that they won't let you buy new ships from them.

...oops.

Balancing faction reputation is incredibly tricky if you want to integrate the factions like you're proposing.

Again, I'm not saying that it's a bad idea at all. I'm saying that you have to start at the beginning. That requires defining a faction reputation system, its effects, defining factions, and the like. That's easy to work with if it's hooked up to an external faction which doesn't have complex relationships with other factions. Once that's done, you can start adding more triggers, more hooks, and more factions and 'grow' it into the main factions.

But just starting from the main factions is likely to result in a half-baked system that nobody likes, or something that's an utter disaster of complexity and bugginess.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,495
# 9
11-05-2012, 01:02 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by squishkin View Post
None of those things are tied together. Having missions isn't the same as having a reputation system. 4 of 10 doesn't like you more if you do 500 Borg Red Alerts than if you do just 5. The Hunters don't hate you more when you gun them down in Alpha than they did before.

That's not the foundation for a reputation system at all. A reputation system requires, to some extent:

1. That you define a faction
2. That you have some mechanism for that faction to keep track of you and your reputation
3. That interactions with that faction or that affect that faction are somehow metered and reported back to the faction.
4. That the faction responds based on its reputation.

Just having a bunch of missions doesn't have anything to do with that. Mission outcomes and choices could be relevant: entities on missions might be part of a faction. They might respond to you and offer you choices based on your reputation with their faction. And what you do to them might affect their faction's reputation.

But here's the thing: none of the current missions have any of that hooked up. Someone would have to go through, create the reputation system, and then hook all the current content up to the reputation system. And that assumes that all the current content is balanced for faction effects, which it almost certainly isn't, so you'd have to go through and do a faction rebalancing pass on top of that.

More to the point, much of the content that you seem to think is faction related is only incredibly superficial. Inter-house feuds? KDF accidents to Orions? Rebel Gorn? Sure, that stuff is there. But it's superficial at best and doesn't really explain how you'd create a reputation system that integrates it. If blowing up a rebel Gorn ship damages your faction rep with the Rebel Gorn... does that mean everyone who runs Fleet Alerts is just going to tank their faction rep?


A reputation system is only meaningful it has effects for the player. But creating those effects with the player's home faction can damage their playing experience significantly, and may not give them a good way to make it up.

For example, suggest you are a Fed player playing through the storyline and you side with the KDF many times to the point where you tank your Fed faction rep sufficiently that they won't let you buy new ships from them.

...oops.

Balancing faction reputation is incredibly tricky if you want to integrate the factions like you're proposing.

Again, I'm not saying that it's a bad idea at all. I'm saying that you have to start at the beginning. That requires defining a faction reputation system, its effects, defining factions, and the like. That's easy to work with if it's hooked up to an external faction which doesn't have complex relationships with other factions. Once that's done, you can start adding more triggers, more hooks, and more factions and 'grow' it into the main factions.

But just starting from the main factions is likely to result in a half-baked system that nobody likes, or something that's an utter disaster of complexity and bugginess.
You're making it out to be something I'm not suggesting. It's not that hard.

For example:

1. Define: Main Faction Rep variable and 10 Sub Faction Rep Variable.
2. For each Story Mission, Doff Mission, FE mission and optional even give 3 values 1 for Main faction another for Sub Factions and zero in cases where there'd be no impact.
3. For each random NPC define the same values.
4. When a characters Reputation hits various thresholds ADD or Subtract various Doff/character missions. For example, go to system X planet Y and do Z. This is basically already in game in terms of Doffs mission chains and Exploration character missions. It could even get cute and tell you to assign an unqualified Doff to fail a mission.

If you start w/new Factions you have to create all Doff, Story and FE missions on tope of doing steps 2-4. Internally, most of that is already there it's just adding the values to rewards which should be scriptable quite frankly.

If you wanted to have the potential of severe negative "home" faction values, which I didn't suggest, you could always have another NPC on a home planet which would offer like services, so a player never loses out on access to basic things.
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