Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 497
# 11
12-23-2012, 09:30 PM
Originally Posted by centersolace View Post
Quite a few. All the "Moar Story Missions RAWR" threads were getting to me.
I see your point. I generally tend to see the story arc of an mmo as the means of leveling, then I run around doing whatever activities of interest there may be. My take on that here would be "moar story if they increase the level cap to go along with it". But since the leveling arc was skewed you already have more story than needed for that so I feel like it's long enough. My issues with it would be better served by going back and writing variations into the missions that bring them a bit more to life. If you play as X race it's never acknowledged that you're playing as X race at any point in the story arc, most missions play the same for all classes, loose plot ends could be mitigated out, stuff like that.

I'm pretty abnormal though it would seem. I'm more in favor of things that make the game closer to a sandbox environment than a linear progression environment.
I'll sell you some weapons from New Romulus. Never fired, only dropped once.
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 11,110
# 12
12-23-2012, 09:39 PM
Originally Posted by curs0r View Post
I'm pretty abnormal though it would seem. I'm more in favor of things that make the game closer to a sandbox environment than a linear progression environment.
No more abnormal than myself. (Though that's not any indication of normality ) I too would like this game to have a sandboxy environment. Star Trek is all about exploration. Let me explore!!!
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 37
# 13
12-23-2012, 09:40 PM
I did enjoy the Klingon exclusive missions. The storytelling is not good by any means but they do have mood and are so over the top I can't help but to enjoy them even when I do replay them. The rest is pretty weak.

The worst offender I do believe is the overarching story. The set up with the balance of power being broken and the chaos that does follow was a nice one. Did it really need the Undine, the Iconians, the Borg, and everything else thrown in? I do believe it would be better if they had just told a story of war and politics with the major powers all trying to take advantage of the situation.

And either way it would have been better with actual writters on board. The dialogue and the flow of the plot are painful, and the need of the Federation to end most of the random Cluster missions with a half-assed Aesop being forced down our throats is almost insulting.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 144
# 14
12-23-2012, 11:08 PM
I half agree. that is, I agree that the stories and storytelling in STO are weak and poor, but I feel the answer to this is "make better stories", not "make fewer stories".

Moreover I feel like the gameplay really isn't that great either, either for an MMO or a game in general. STO as it stands is sustained almost entirely by its IP, and the gameplay is truthfully only just good enough to be passable. Without the Star Trek IP holding it afloat, STO would be dead.

Which is actually even more damning than it sounds. An IP capable of making that big a difference is a powerful asset that could be exploited/leveraged to make a much bigger, better, more competitive, and much more profitable game. Any ambitious company would kill for a opportunity like that: a gigantic built-in fanbase with enough momentum to both multiply any successes exponentially and to forgive/cushion the most ambitious risks, but Cryptic/PWE is content to squander it doing (and earning) the absolute minimum. It's such a fantastic waste, from a business, a fan, and a gamer perspective all at the same time, and Cryptic/PWE should be smacked upside the head for taking what they've got for granted.

It's like seeing a guy spend all night listlessly browsing crappy amateur porn on the net while Rachel Hunter sits dejectedly on the bed behind him. You just want to kick the ****er.

Last edited by connectamabob; 12-23-2012 at 11:14 PM.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 7,071
# 15
12-24-2012, 12:24 AM
Originally Posted by coldicephoenix View Post
Well in cryptics defence, it is a little harder to tell a story in an MMO as opposed to a single player. You could say if you are PvEing all the way to level 50 it is a single player. And for that it does have a decent enough story to keep you interested. Even Blizzard the current MMO-King relies on short stories, comics and novels for story progression.

It's only when you are leveling alts that things get a bit boring.

Oh and best part of this story arc is the fact the Klingons were actually right about the shapeshifters as opposed to how the Feds were during the Dominion war. (Gowron being led to belive that Cardassia was inflitrated by changelings).

If anything, the story needs to expanded onto further w.r.t the Iconians (the big bads in STO). In my opinion though, their hand was revealed a little too early in-game and should have been a later surprise.
I agree a lot with centersolace. Thing is, I think Kestrel is a better writer than STO's story execution would lead you to think.

And while I'm not in the mood to go digging, Cryptic doesn't seem concerned with SELLING story. Not just in the C-Store sense.

In an old thread, I dug up a bunch of MMO trailers.

Cryptic's are game system laundry lists and pretty maps/costumes. (Interestingly, whenever h2orat did a trailer, this reversed a bit. And he did the F2P launch trailer.)

Virtually everyone else in the MMO business sells their patches based on story progression, Blizzard especially. You get next to nothing about game mechanics in their trailers and a lot of them boil down to a fight scene starting and three people talking.

But, heck, compare STO trailers to Perfect World trailers (including trailers for virtually any game published direct by PWE aside from their MMOFPS). Their trailers say virtually nothing about game mechanics and tend to push story harder.

It's the corporate culture.

It's like when the Jennifer Hepler Bioware controversy happened. (She suggested that games with interactive cutscenes should not only have skippable cutscenes for action players but should have skippable action forplayers who only want cutscenes.) Like most game devs, almost everyone I follow at Cryptic condemned the threats and harassment people heaped on Hepler. But I've also saw more devs at Cryptic than anywhere else indicate that they thought she was wrong about skippable action, whereas the bulk of game devs I follow at other companies seemed to think she was right.

I've also observed how Cryptic seems driven by arcade style play and mechanics and how their job ads seem to glamorize things like fighting game design experience in spite of it being what I think many would perceive as a declining genre and only looselyapplicable to MMOs.

Just as Bioware in "cinematic", my ten dollar word for Cryptic is that they are "paleoludic."

In general, there's a rift in game design theory between ludologists (action/play proponents who focus on the fun of abstract mechanics) and narratologists (who focus on narrative, not just in game design but maybe also in things like learning to play or UI flow).

Cryptic seems to value "play" and has a fairly conservative notion of "play" when compared to luminaries like Will Wright. The result is that Cryptic focus more on building theme parks than sandboxes but focuses more on kinesthetics, systems, and play experience than narrative. They're more likely to bend narrative to kinesthetics and than bend kinesthetics to narrative.

Which is kinda funny because that's not what most ACTUAL theme park designers do anymore.

The result is kindof a Busch Gardens or Six Flags theme park experience as opposed to Disney or Universal.

The Superman ride at Six Flags is about the kinesthetic experience of the coaster with the Superman brand reinforcing the flight element. And it would get reworked and rebranded as something else if need be.

Whereas the Wizarding World of Harry Potter or even something simple like the Kim Possible Scavenger Hunt at Disney focus on immersion (halfway, silly, or ironic immersion sometimes) and the mechanics of the attractions reinforce the immersion aspect.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 144
# 16
12-24-2012, 12:58 AM
Which to be frank is part of the reason the game is weak. All of that encourages the game to be generic and non-innovative, not unique or ambitious.

That, or they suck at the very thing they're trying to specialize in.

Either way they need to give their philosophy a serious second look if they ever want to be a real player in the MMO market, 'cause right now they're limiting themselves to merely getting by... forever, while wasting what's probably the only IP other than Star Wars that could actually ever even come close to challenging WOW if it were handled with any ambition.
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 7,291
# 17
12-24-2012, 01:00 AM
STO's story is a rumble mumbo jumbo mixup of random short stories... Theres no clear (and probably unclear) connection between stories, and while later missions try to make up for that, it still fails to deliver.

If you ask me.
My name may say "PWE member", but I will never be.
-NEVER Forget the Screwups and ignorance made towards the people who supported the game through 2011
Don't look silly, don't call it "Zen-Store" - Don't waste devs time, Post proper bug-reports - I don't like Gekos
Survivor of Romulus
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 4,593
# 18
12-24-2012, 02:09 AM
We could kick WOW out of existance with a little work
we could be the SUBSCRIPTION only game king

but FTP and Grinding would have to die
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 2,318
# 19
12-24-2012, 02:12 AM
If you take a look at DC universe online people are receiving missions from iconic characters like superman etc. and not only interact with them during missions but even playing as them in pvp...

Why else have the license if you don't utilize the content.

Another thing I also expected coming into the game was learning through the academy.
2 minutes into the game you are made captain of your own ship, well game over I guess.

And of course adding to that the near total exclusion of bridge action or gameplay or involvement, am I even playing star trek.

Also I am a grown man. In star trek I saw torture and killing of innocents and what not.
It just doesn't add up with mixing a cocktail for scotty in night of the comet.

I didn't feel any type of involvement at any time knowing I was playing a linear generic story made for children. It didn't make any difference what I thought or did, all I had to do was find the right place to press "f" in a world that's completely off.

So basically I rushed to level 50 to play stf with the other faction we are supposedly at war with and here we are.

Albeit I have to say it's a huge undertaking because for me when I play I am the story, so it has to impact my actual gameplay and I have to be able to interact back, so I certainly don't expect anything out of the developers.
Given the choice I'd much rather have them work on items or maps than useless cutscenes.

It's a reporting error®
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 719
# 20
12-24-2012, 02:22 AM
Originally Posted by vestereng View Post
If you take a look at DC universe online people are receiving missions from iconic characters like superman etc. and not only interact with them during missions but even playing as them in pvp...

Why else have the license if you don't utilize the content.
I would imagine that it's one thing to license a character, but quite another to license the likeness of a specific actor who portrayed that character. Superman has been played by enough people, and existed on his own, for them to be able to make a generic character that people will recognise as Superman. Jean Luc Picard has to look like Patrick Stewart, and then you're into a whole other ball game of licenses and fees. It's one of the reasons why you're not allowed to depict characters from the shows and movies in Foundry missions.

This character is why I don't play my Romulan any more. Tovan Khev is NOT my BFF! Get him off my bridge!

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