Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 314
# 121
12-31-2012, 01:46 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by foschiadanzante View Post
You are as much part of a story in a good quality sandbox with only loose objectives and procedurally generated content. I would dare say you are more part of the story than in a heavily scripted game.

In a heavily scripted game stuff does happen because of authorial fiat and nothing else. When your captain does save the day it was not because of your actions but because of the script. When your captain does fail it was not because of your lack of skill but because the script did demand so. What input did you have in the story? What part did you play in the plot? Your input has no value. It is not your character's story at all. You do nothing but to watch the story play before your eyes and imagine it was actually your character's accomplishment.

Compare this to, to use an example I do know about, an MMO with heavy faction and guild based gameplay like territorial control that does actually matter and does make a difference. That enemy wizard you did finish off with an awesome critical hit while protecting city X or fortress Y from an enemy faction or guild? That did influence the world. A world that could have been different. And that did influence the outcome of the battle. A battle your faction could have lost. The way you did build your character, the way you did plan his or her development, the skill you did pick to use and the equipment he or she had at the time did write a few paragraphs in the story of that world. It was not scripted. It could have been different. Your skill and your choices did make it this way.

Is that not to be truly part of a story and part of a world?

There is a reason why most of the really interesting anecdotes in gaming do come from roguelikes, from Dwarf Fortress, from PvP heavy games, or from random ocurrences in an otherwise scripted game.
But there is no story to be a part of in what you describe. It's just a shoot 'em up and min-max fest, neither of which interest me. I don't like pvp, period. These "unscripted" scenarios you are describing all feel the same over time because it's just a series of battles. I like battles, but I also like a reason for doing them beyond just fighting.

Story brings mystery, it brings personality, it brings emotion (well-written ones do), it brings a variety of activities to further along the story beyond just having the best equipment/stats/hand-eye coordination.

So, no, what you are describing is not immersive to me on it's own. There is no purpose other than see who can get the best build and gear or who uses the best tactics. That's great for a FPS, not so much in an RPG. If I want to play an FPS, I'll do that in a game dedicated to that, not in an MMO.

Note as I've said before, I like combat and adventure zones and dailies and the like -- in addition to immersive storyline content. But -- for me -- simply relying on game mechanics to carry the game doesn't cut it. It gets old and repetitive. As much as I enjoy combat, it's not enough on it's own to hold my interest.

Also note that your comments about character build, equipment, and development apply whether there is storyline content or not.

Without good, immersive storyline content, STO could become that game I come back to every once in a while for some sci-fi action, but would not be my main game, and certainly not one I would invest money in.
Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 314
# 122
12-31-2012, 01:57 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by centersolace View Post
"Space: The final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. It's five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before."
Sorry for the delayed response, I've been out of town.

I agree with what you posted, but only because it screams "storylines!" to me.

"to explore strange new worlds" - What does this entail? What do we do when we get there?

"to seek out new life" - What do we do when we find it? Just shoot it or something more meaningful?

"and new civilizations" - How do we interact with them? Again, just bomb them or is there more to it?

It's not the "to boldly go" that's the issue; it's the "what do we do when we get there" that is the question.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 11,100
# 123
01-01-2013, 01:13 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by broadnax View Post
"to explore strange new worlds" - What does this entail? What do we do when we get there?
Journey through the randomly generated gravity wells, and space fire storms in order to reach the newly discovered planet...

Quote:
Originally Posted by broadnax View Post
"to seek out new life" - What do we do when we find it? Just shoot it or something more meaningful?
...of the eight foot tall squid people...

Quote:
Originally Posted by broadnax View Post
"and new civilizations" - How do we interact with them? Again, just bomb them or is there more to it?
...proceed to learn how to say "cease and desist" via interpretive dance...

Quote:
Originally Posted by broadnax View Post
It's not the "to boldly go" that's the issue; it's the "what do we do when we get there" that is the question.
...and after the initial awkward introduction, discover a mutual love of pistachios, popcorn, and Mystery Science Theater 3000. Use your **** imagination.
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.
Lieutenant
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 37
# 124
01-01-2013, 03:09 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by broadnax View Post
But there is no story to be a part of in what you describe. It's just a shoot 'em up and min-max fest, neither of which interest me. I don't like pvp, period. These "unscripted" scenarios you are describing all feel the same over time because it's just a series of battles. I like battles, but I also like a reason for doing them beyond just fighting.
"The Three Kingdoms period is just a series of battles."

"The Seven Kingdoms period is just a series of battles."

"The Sengoku period is just a series of battles."

"World War Two is just a series of battles."

Oh, wait. They are not.

Emergent storytelling is as complex as the mechanical enviroment in which it does exist.

Quote:
Story brings mystery, it brings personality, it brings emotion (well-written ones do), it brings a variety of activities to further along the story beyond just having the best equipment/stats/hand-eye coordination.
A story does not need to follow a script. Do put a couple hundred competitive people and a few thousand nugus in an enviroment where there is meaningful warfare to be done and meaningful rewards to be obtained from it and you will end with more betrayals, revenges, intrigues, conspiracies, power plays, etc, than you can shake a green dragon crescent blade at.

Quote:
So, no, what you are describing is not immersive to me on it's own. There is no purpose other than see who can get the best build and gear or who uses the best tactics. That's great for a FPS, not so much in an RPG. If I want to play an FPS, I'll do that in a game dedicated to that, not in an MMO.
I did never say anything about it being about combat alone.

Quote:
Note as I've said before, I like combat and adventure zones and dailies and the like -- in addition to immersive storyline content. But -- for me -- simply relying on game mechanics to carry the game doesn't cut it. It gets old and repetitive. As much as I enjoy combat, it's not enough on it's own to hold my interest.
This post has been edited to remove content which violates the Perfect World Entertainment Community Rules and Policies . ~syberghost

Last edited by syberghost; 01-01-2013 at 08:23 AM.
Captain
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 596
# 125
01-01-2013, 03:39 AM
I really miss the episodic missions. I WISH they would add a new episode monthly. It would be something to look forward to.

Also with the new Trek Movie coming out this year hey should have some stories connected to that.. or at least something for celebrating it. I guess getting their TOS cloths is out of the question?
Captain
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 596
# 126
01-01-2013, 04:02 AM
You know that is a cool idea.

I wish there was an option to switch side.. that is a FED Captain to become part of the Klingon Empire .. or a traitor.. that there where some additional fractions. Maybe on merchant side that goes to both sides depending on where you stand.

That way.. there would actually be a reason for you to create more characters to explore the different options in your career which is dependent on what choices you make. I just hate the fact that whatever you choose as option in a mission the outcome is the same. It should not be.., for whatever option ou make in the critical point in that story a scene should play put that is a result of that option.. I am also claiming that should shape your career.

That would also mean that every fraction does NOT have the same missions available. That depending on what career (and if you switch side) you can only do the fraction related stories.

I really hate the fact we have some of the missons at KDF are basically the same as the FED ones. That should not be the case, because you get bored to fast. I realize its hard to implement if you have few missions but over time that will no longer be an issue.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 11,100
# 127
01-01-2013, 01:34 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by thestargaze View Post
I really hate the fact we have some of the missons at KDF are basically the same as the FED ones. That should not be the case, because you get bored to fast. I realize its hard to implement if you have few missions but over time that will no longer be an issue.
You know, it wouldn't be so bad if the events happened in a different order, there were different dialog options, and there maybe one or two radically different objectives.
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.
Ensign
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 15
# 128
01-01-2013, 07:56 PM
I think if more people of my generation had ever played Dungeons and Dragons they'd realize that there's a lot of story to made in between the notes that come in a standard adventure.

There's also a reason that most people in MMOs are divided into two end game player types: RP and PVP/PVE Gear Grinders.

RPers seek to enjoy the environment and to create their own original sense of belonging to it. These things are of course supplemented by good environment and social game mechanics. Its one thing to roleplay a bard who can play better drunk than sober, but if you don't feel like there's a good bar or tavern to do it in then the RPer kind of rolls his eyes, gives it a shot, then rage quits to find a better game.

PVP/PVE Grinders live for the experience of success. They don't like story because its a pointless intellectual distraction from the validation of their senseless waste of valuable man hours in pursuit of an arbitrary status symbol. In many respects its consumer capitalism versus the liberal intelligentsia all over again.

Do you sit around and play silly games and read your stupid books or do you go out there and achieve and win and have gawdy tasteless things to demonstrate your success?

Frankly I try to be polite, but ultimately I start getting more and more annoyed with pure linear content freaks. Ultimately there is a big difference between the sandbox open world nerd versus the content nerd. The weird thing is that the sandbox nerd is easier to satisfy, but there are more content nerds so they ruin the fun of sandbox nerds because nobody ever builds a sandbox, they're too busy courting the endless needs of the more populous rollercoaster gamers.

Here's the problem with you rollercoaster lovers. You require constant new content. You consume then demand more, like some fat guy at a deli. Sandbox nerds are content to sit in the sandbox and play with the same stuff over and over and define it a new with their imaginations. Some gear, some toys, and a few nick nacks pull it together, but overall it takes much less maintenance to keep a sandbox gamer happy. You just need to give him a flexible environment to play with.

If more people had the patience to enjoy a game like SWG then there wouldn't be a need for a game like TOR or STO to disappoint everyone and lead to endless debate.

What does this have to do with story in STO? I dunno, probably not much of anything. I think the story telling in this game is laughably derivative. They mined the ever loving crap out of every single episode of Trek they could. They rehashed everything with only the most basic of alterations and took advantage of every young character grown up into a mission string possible. Stories are wooden and generic, and when they aren't derivative of Trek they're just derivative of every unoriginal story.

Ultimately the problem isn't even the story. Thats not what makes story good. Story is about characters, personalities. The events and their details are only variables that exist to give the personalities something to vary their behavior over. In a war movie its not so much about machine guns and bunkers and death as it is about how the characters you're following interact and participate and ultimately change and grow from that experience. Most people, even many writers with years of experience, don't really get this. This is also why MMO based story is pretty much a joke as well, at least when its done in lieu of proper end user RP.

The reason so many people are ardent sandbox RPers is because they know that absent their own creative involvement and interpretation of the environment any so called story is just an empty generic plot line with no real characters to populate it. This is why STO is wooden. Heck, this is why even BW's TOR is pretty bland. An MMO is a hard place to examine complex characters because the user is the character and there are thousands, potentially millions of us who have to feel a part of it. But its not like playing a single player game where the experience is the story and the levelling is almost background and something that comes as a matter of course.

In a single player game like say KOTOR (absent many good single player Trek games I choose for the obvious comparison to TOR) you experience an identical path, with the variation of your class which is mostly superficial in most cases yet its personal because its totally wrapped up in the story. You can even have open world elements in it like with GTA. Problems arise in MMOs because you just can't balance it properly to be satisfying as a canned story. You need more combat, you need more levelling, you need to drag out the experience without spending years and years building necessary content for even a 60 hour play through.

Now that isn't to say that you can't have a better natural universe to play in than STO writes for us. But its obvious that the story is pretty lame, pretty derivative and only exposited enough to keep the trekkies from utterly revolting, at least the ones that have bothered to stay.

Why does STO reuse so many strings from Trek? Why do we have to have Miral Paris in stead of a new character? Because they trick us. We remember an episode of Trek, we fill in so many blanks that way, and they can just reference it through the mission and otherwise have massive combat content in between. Going to Empak Nor? We didn't get the passcode from a Cardassian source. No, its a chance to bust out Elim Garack. Why? Does he show up? Nope, but we use the name so Trekkies can pee their pants and think "YES YES, THIS IS STAR TREK!"


Does STO's story appeal to me? Not really. Almost every story line is just... awful. The less I read the stories, the less I feel ripped off.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 11,100
# 129
01-02-2013, 12:18 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by pfunk49 View Post
I think if more people of my generation had ever played Dungeons and Dragons they'd realize that there's a lot of story to made in between the notes that come in a standard adventure.

There's also a reason that most people in MMOs are divided into two end game player types: RP and PVP/PVE Gear Grinders.

RPers seek to enjoy the environment and to create their own original sense of belonging to it. These things are of course supplemented by good environment and social game mechanics. Its one thing to roleplay a bard who can play better drunk than sober, but if you don't feel like there's a good bar or tavern to do it in then the RPer kind of rolls his eyes, gives it a shot, then rage quits to find a better game.

PVP/PVE Grinders live for the experience of success. They don't like story because its a pointless intellectual distraction from the validation of their senseless waste of valuable man hours in pursuit of an arbitrary status symbol. In many respects its consumer capitalism versus the liberal intelligentsia all over again.
I think you raise a good point with this. But both kinds of players are not wrong in their thinking, they just derive pleasure from different activities. This is why I think that New Romulus is the best thing that has happened to this game, and I hope that future content continues this trend.

The thing that makes New Romulus special is that it's set up for both RP and PvE activities. It's not perfect, and it could use some more locations with friendly NPCs and decorations set up for RP, and some rewards/trophies for PvE'ers.

We should be encouraging both kinds of play styles.

One of the ways I thought this could be done, is with a Starship Graveyard Space Adventure Zone. Take a huge space map and fill it full of derelict starships. Amidst all these wrecks, place random invisible gravatic distortions that range from harmlessly knocking your ship around, to turning your ship inside out in half a second.

Make these gravatic distortions fixed in place, and have them activated by a variety of triggers. Some would be activated simply by a ship traveling past them, others would be activated by abilities like warp plasma.

You could also put random NPC scavengers in these fields, some hostile, others friendly, some provokable. And you would have to make it a PvP Zone like Ker'rat.

An adventure zone like this would be perfect as it supports all three play styles. NPC's for PvE'ers, PvP turned on for PvP'ers, a massive zone full of destroyed ships of all types ripe for RP, and horrible, dangerous environmental hazards everyone has to worry about.

This could lead to awesome situations where two people RPing get attacked by a group of PvPers, but the PvE'er fighting the scavengers a little ways away triggers one of the gravatic distortions on purpose, killing the PvP'ers and saving the RP'ers.

This game needs more moments 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.
Commander
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 314
# 130
01-02-2013, 12:27 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by pfunk49 View Post
I think if more people of my generation had ever played Dungeons and Dragons they'd realize that there's a lot of story to made in between the notes that come in a standard adventure.
In D&D we had total control of the storylines and mechanics. We had dice to roll, we could set up scenarios, traps, hazards, conundrums, and the like. The story could take some wild twists and turns, but the GM still had a base story and goal for the group and the means to redirect paths if necessary. If we had the ability to set those types of things up on the landscape in a PC game (set up our own glowies, traps, etc. via the game systems) that would be spectacular.

[edit]In a PnP scenario, the GM controls the NPCs (townsfolk, villains, and so forth) words and actions. The players interact with NPCs via the GM. In a PC game, the only way NPCs interact is with prescripted text and actions. This is especially important for villains and bosses. In PnP, the GM has set up the bosses and key components and handles the interaction with the players. In a PC sandbox, that side is missing, so there is a limit to the complexity and capabilities of totally unscripted characters and events.

Unfortunately, we don't. The only way for the game systems to support anything other than plain combat is through linear stories, whether dev-created or Foundry.

There are many things we can do in a PnP game that we can't do in a sandbox PC game for that reason. In a sandbox, we can RP (often just chatting for hours on end) or fight landscape critters.

Quote:
Frankly I try to be polite, but ultimately I start getting more and more annoyed with pure linear content freaks. Ultimately there is a big difference between the sandbox open world nerd versus the content nerd. The weird thing is that the sandbox nerd is easier to satisfy, but there are more content nerds so they ruin the fun of sandbox nerds because nobody ever builds a sandbox, they're too busy courting the endless needs of the more populous rollercoaster gamers.

Here's the problem with you rollercoaster lovers. You require constant new content. You consume then demand more, like some fat guy at a deli. Sandbox nerds are content to sit in the sandbox and play with the same stuff over and over and define it a new with their imaginations. Some gear, some toys, and a few nick nacks pull it together, but overall it takes much less maintenance to keep a sandbox gamer happy. You just need to give him a flexible environment to play with.
I guess you would consider me a "content nerd" (although I like the sandbox aspects as well) because I want to do something more than chat and fight. I want to solve the puzzles, I want to rescue the princess (or what have you ), I want to repair the life support systems, I want to do things that sandbox-only games can't do via game mechanics only.

Ideally, I'd like to take the PnP capabilities and use them in a PC game. In PnP games there are many prewritten aspects -- it's how the group gets to them that brings in the variability and challenge for the GM.

That kind of freedom, i.e., the ability to set up objectives and goals, hazards and events and the mechanics to make them work, and then let the players create their own RP story as they begin their quest is what is lacking.

Given the choice between sitting around chat RPing and/or fighting who- or whatever happens to be around or playing a complex, lengthly, linear storyline, I'll take the episodic content.

But, like you, I would like it to be more than that.

For me, STO needs to add a significant amount of episodic content to bring it on par with other MMOs. That combined with the sandbox elements would flesh out the game and bring greater replayability. It's not an either/or concept, it's a both/and. The only real gripe I have with STO with regard to story is that there is so little of it in comparison with other games.

For my family, I do intend to set up scenarios at our starbase, etc., where we can "roll the dice" as it were to accomplish specific goals in lieu of having game mechanics to do so (e.g., I can't add a clickie to a starbase computer), but I don't have time to do that very often.

If I didn't have a job and other RL responsibilities, I would spend a lot of time creating PnP scenarios to play out in the STO environment. But I don't have that time, so I rely on the dev team or the Foundry to create stories I can jump in an play with limited playtime.

Last edited by broadnax; 01-02-2013 at 01:13 PM.
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