Yeah, those and the Wrath of Khan uniforms are probably the best Trek has ever done. I always wanted the Voyager crew to switch over to the Late DS9 uniforms once they reestablished contact with Starfleet but it never happened.
I'll admit: that, more than anything else today, truly surprised me.
And while I see where you're coming from, this only affects NPC's, not your own character or anyone else's player characters. What you wear (bought or not) is your business
It definitely has roleplay value, I think.
Oh. Definitely. I didn't mean to sound harsh. I'd rather the content folks and costume artists go through and purdy up the NPCs in social areas, though, because I don't necessarily like everything going through the systems team and the programmers, even when it gives players more control in the end, because it seems to me that it's always a Faustian pact when you get the systems team involved. They'll make sure you pay for it one way or the other. Never forget the systems head is the same guy who boasts that he's the "architect behind F2P monetization" in STO.
Thomas was saying on Twitter the other day how he'd like it if the NPC officers all wore the Odyssey outfit and enlisted NPCs all wore Sierra. I'd probably go with Odyssey for officers and Academy variants for enlisted to match the DOffs. I'd much rather the content guys make it look nice though because Cryptic's approach is generally that content is free and systems will always be tied into monetization. And I think the game is too heavy on systems that people have to learn and dig through anyway and too light on free polish passes that a new player will see the moment they login, without clicking any boxes or learning any new systems or digging through another UI layer.
I wonder if it was a money thing with CBS or what.
I wouldn't be surprised if it was more about time than anything money- or CBS-related. Considering how they pushed STO out on a timetable that didn't really allow a lot of tender loving care, it make sense that they'd just kinda crank out some cheap-looking leather getups and one or two vaguely uniform-reminiscent outfits.
After a certain point, though, when the game started doing pretty good (relatively speaking), the costume guy(s) would naturally have a little more wiggle room to spend more time coming up with things that actually feel right. The Admiral's coat is probably the earliest example of this, but the earliest and most obvious step up in quality was the Jupiter series of uniforms, which were head and shoulders (so to speak) above everything else. Nearly everything after that point, be it NPC or player outfit, have consistently been a step of from the one before.
Alternatively, it could be an example of "stealth feedback consideration". From pretty much the beginning, people have been displeased overall with the whole leather thing, as well as many of the designs. They've dealt with this two ways; the matte/glass option most uniforms have now, and the apparent ceasing of "new" leather uniforms Fed-side. The last we got was the Jupiter set, assuming you don't count the metallic-shoulder variants. After that? DS9 Admiral uniforms, TNG Season 1 uniforms, Academy uniforms, Racing uniforms, 29th Century uniforms, Odyssey uniforms... not a single one leathery.
I don't really care what the wandering crowds in my ship wear (and not least because my current ship doesn't have any), but it would be nice to be able to dress my Security Escorts...those are after all seen by other people, too.
We've seen how assets and tweaks are often developed as by-products of main feature development. So what would it take for Cryptic to deem it financially practical to actually develop this proposed tech?
Most of those uniforms come from the time when the devs were trying to be creative and and make original designs for ships and uniforms...hell they didn't even have th big mushroom for ESD.
Problem is...all that "original" stuff looks like ass and continued to look like ass until they finally went with more traditional looks.
I wonder if it was a money thing with CBS or what.
Anyway, I would also like to be able to set a uniform for NPCs in the game and on my ships.
I would also like the ability to hide armor, kits and weapons on other players on social maps.
I believe Havraha from Podcast UGC spoke with a dev who said that one or more of the original designers was a bigger fan of Halo and Mass Effect than Star Trek and that, over time, the team cycled around to more traditional Star Trek fans who didn't think the core Star Trek designs needed "fixing" quite so much. (I know that before the game launched, Cryptic had ILM artists doing the map concept artwork; ESD and Memory Alpha were designed by one of the Pirates of the Carribean artists. And I think there was a skew towards people whose background was in film/video game design but relatively little Trek background.)
The Jupiter uniforms were old Perpetual designs with a few touch ups and since then, it's been hardcore Trek fans designing everything. I think Thomas himself did the basic concept sketches for the Odyssey uniforms.
I know there was a definite shift in ship art. At launch, the idea was that ships were supposed to be cartooned, stylized versions of Trek ships. Logan and later Jamjamz were instrumental in making ships look more Trek accurate, when the original idea was that they weren't supposed to be, that they were shooting for caricatures of Trek ships.
I really think art direction overall is one place the community has had a tremendous role in the feedback process. It's not just that Cryptic "got better." It's that what they were shooting for changed. At launch, the inaccuracy was pretty deliberate (not accidental but intentional deviations; there was a desire to change what Star Trek looked like) and the community and new hires over time really changed that.