Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 2,468
# 61
10-09-2013, 03:26 AM
I know that the ship interior is created individually but the map is a shared one. As far as I understand it there are three interior maps. "Large", "Medium" and "Small" and everyone visiting their ship spawns an instance of one of those three maps and what NPCs are spawned on that map is most likely tied to the map itself rather than the player. So a fed ship interior spawns "generic starfleet crew" while the academy spawns "generic academy crew". If everyone was to customize that instance with custom uniforms, wouldn't the servers have to keep track each of those maps instead of just spawning the generic one? I imagine that this means a ton of workload for the servers which already crumble under the weight they bear.

When you take a look at ship interiors right now you will notice that not even the bridges function as intended. At least on my bridge, since I started playing that game pre F2P, my BOFFs don't even sit on their chairs but clip halfway through the floor. With this level of effort used on ship interiors I don't think it is likely that Cryptic will invest resources and recode the whole interior to be tied to DOFFs and custom uniforms. It would be cool but I don't think that is likely.
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Commander
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 480
# 62
10-09-2013, 03:35 AM
As I said, lockbox ships, n#1 pwe money gabber doesnt even have ships interior (just the bridge). So this is not about how easy would teoricaly be doing this kinda improvements... Is not even in the top 1000 Cryptic's priorities.
Lieutenant
Join Date: Oct 2013
Posts: 78
# 63
10-09-2013, 09:47 AM
I'd just like to add that I too would enjoy this feature.
Commander
Join Date: May 2013
Posts: 287
# 64
10-09-2013, 06:41 PM
Sigh... ok... one more try, then I give up trying to make you understand...

Quote:
Originally Posted by angrytarg View Post
I know that the ship interior is created individually but the map is a shared one. As far as I understand it there are three interior maps. "Large", "Medium" and "Small" and everyone visiting their ship spawns an instance of one of those three maps and what NPCs are spawned on that map is most likely tied to the map itself rather than the player.
So far so good... tho I don't completely agree... as there is a difference between static constructions (walls, floor, chairs... stuff that doesn't move), and NPC's (mobile objects that take their behavior and appearance from a predefined set of instructions and characteristics), so while the interior map (or any map for that matter) does include a set of NPC's that are assigned to the map, they aren't tied to it, in the same way the desk in my ready room is tied to it.
Quote:
So a fed ship interior spawns "generic starfleet crew" while the academy spawns "generic academy crew". If everyone was to customize that instance with custom uniforms, wouldn't the servers have to keep track each of those maps instead of just spawning the generic one?
No, they wouldn't. The maps themselves aren't changing. If the way you are thinking about it was true, then the servers would have to keep track of every possible variation in places where the NPC will look like our BOFFs.

Remember when you were first starting out, and you only had 1 or 2 BOFFs? The rest of the stations where your BOFFs sit at now, were instead showing the random generic NPCs because you didn't have the BOFFs you have now.

This is because the NPCs are dynamically generated. You can see evidence of this anywhere you see NPCs. Notice how there are NPCs in First City and on ESD, that don't always look the same? Like... one day I could go to the fleet starbase and go to the vendor area, and one day, the vendor will be a male Klingon, and the next day, that same vendor will be a female Orion.

Those NPCs aren't named characters, like the Worf NPC at First City, or the admiral in his office on ESD are. Those NPC's will always look the same, because they are configured to.

The NPCs wandering around, and many of the NPCs working the counters, on the other hand, are not named characters... usually having a name like "Bartender" or something else generic. Same with the NPC's that are named "Security Officer" that you can beam in to join your team when on a ground map. Sometimes, the security that beams in are Klingon male or female, sometimes a Gorn, sometimes a Nausican or Orion.

Those security officers are categorized as "generic KDF security officer" or whatever label they chose. The label choice itself, is actually meaningless, but that label refers to a list of NPCs to choose from, when an NPC of that type needs to be spawned in.

You'll sometimes see NPCs beam out, and others beam in. That happens just to reset them, and change their appearance to another random choice of "generic starfleet crew" or whatever set has been defined to populate the map. That set could be anything, and changed whenever Cryptic wants to, by simply editing a configuration file to add or remove names of the pre-defined NPCs they want to include or remove from that location.

...and, here's the kicker. That label, "generic starfleet crew", doesn't necessarily have to refer to a configuration file directly, but could refer to a list of NPCs that would be all of the Star Fleet ones, and then as each NPC gets spawned in the map, it is assigned an appearance based on what is available in the configuration file.

When you go to your ship interior, or your bridge interior, all of the NPCs aren't the same as the time before. They are being chosen from the same set of available appearances, but just because an NPC was Andorian the last time, doesn't mean it'll be an Andorian the next time.

The NPCs aren't actually walking around at random, like they appear to be, but all walking a specific path from start to end, which could go back and forth and into different rooms several times before the path ends and it starts over. We just never bother to single them out and learn the paths they are all on, so it just looks like random walking around to us, and we never really bother with seeing if it is the same race or not. We only really notice this on the NPCs that don't move... like the counselor, or bridge crew, or the unnamed vendors.

Since they are already chosen at random, that functionality of having them reflect the makeup of our DOFFs, is already mostly there. It is only a little bit further, to scan the list of DOFFs first, to pick one at random of the appropriate department (if we need a specific department... otherwise, 'any' would do). So say I have 17 DOFFs in the medical department. When the doctor NPC is spawned, do a DOFF lookup to pick one of my doctors at random, and return the result. Picking one of mine at random right now, I ended up with a male Gorn with green skin, named R'iriz. So, the code that is spawning in the NPC's, would check the "generic KDF crew" list for one labelled "Gorn", "male", "doctor", "green" (for example)... if it finds one with all 4 matches, it will spawn in the NPC, and assign it the appearance that matched. (no matter how the NPC looks, it is always the same NPC object. Only the assigned appearance label changes, which is why the NPCs on your bridge, get replaced by the appearance of your BOFFs)

If you end up having 2 or more definitions that match all 4 labels, pick one at random. If none match all 4, but 2 of them, match 3 of the labels, then pick one of those 2 at random, always trying to get the best match first.

Same thing with the bio beds. You have 10 beds, but only 2 DOFFs being shown in sick bay. Pick 2 beds at random, and spawn in an NPC on the bed (which already exist in the database, I've seen em), give them both the best match appearance, to represent the 2 DOFFs in sick bay. Same with the brig.

While you are technically correct that our DOFFs do not exist in-world as NPCs, the are not just things on a menu to get stuff from. They are a list (or a roster) of the makeup of our crew, and using that list as an index to reference, when selecting which appearance to assign to an NPC when it is spawned inside our ship interiors, is definitely possible to do, to give our ship's crew some personalization. (keep in mind, I'm only talking about races and genders here... I also want a common crew uniform as well, but that is a whole other thing to be dealt with in another way.)

All of the races and genders found in our DOFFs, already exist as NPC characters. I've seen every single one of them (although maybe not every hair style and other minor differences).
Quote:
I imagine that this means a ton of workload for the servers which already crumble under the weight they bear.
No, not really. The only additional load would be the time it took to check the index of DOFFs for your character at the time the NPC is spawned. Other than that, each NPC would just keep remembering its appearance the same as it is already. Your NPCs are already doing this. All referencing your DOFF list would do, is pick the NPCs appearance from a different list.
Quote:
When you take a look at ship interiors right now you will notice that not even the bridges function as intended. At least on my bridge, since I started playing that game pre F2P, my BOFFs don't even sit on their chairs but clip halfway through the floor. With this level of effort used on ship interiors I don't think it is likely that Cryptic will invest resources and recode the whole interior to be tied to DOFFs and custom uniforms. It would be cool but I don't think that is likely.
That is a whole different issue, and completely unrelated to NPC appearance selection. Fixing the sitting-position issue is fairly simple. If they would devote just 1 person full time, who is responsible for going through those bug reports that keep getting pushed to the side as minor (because the big important things is what matters... not all the little easily fixable and highly visible to the customer ones) we would see a big (and probably, immediate) improvement in our experience.

So many of the things they need to fix, would take just minutes to do. Stuff like typos they never get around to spelling right... setting the Z axis a little lower for our sitting positions wouldn't take long, but would have a big impact on how the consumer sees the STO universe. Cryptic might be surprised just how much all those little things add up to customer dissatisfaction.

They don't have to recode the whole interior to change the NPCs. NPCs being chosen from DOFFs, or having different uniforms, has nothing to do with the interior whatsoever. They are completely different systems. You have to stop trying to think of them all together as a single object, because that just isn't how it works.

At this point, I think I've done all I can to try to explain it to you. If you still don't understand after this, then I give up.

I will give you this suggestion tho. Try out Second Life. It is a 3d sandbox environment. The users created pretty much everything you see, from the buildings, to the avatars (not counting the default ones to get you started, tho many of the default ones were donated by users) to the scripted items and animations. There is so much there that was made possible by the users who created and sold their own content there.

The reason I suggest it however, is that, even tho Second Life does have its issues, and is not designed for rendering efficiency, it is excellent for someone wanting to learn how to create your own content. You can't necessarily port it over to other platforms, but the concepts and skills you would learn by trying to make your own stuff, will help immeasurably in other areas where you may want to make content. Even if you don't, you will gain a much better understanding of just how a 3d environment works.

Aaaaand... that said, I'm done now... good luck! o/

-- Smoov

Last edited by smoovious; 10-09-2013 at 06:52 PM.
Ensign
Join Date: Dec 2012
Posts: 4
# 65
10-09-2013, 07:04 PM
Yeah, I've been playing the game since Beta, and that's always bugged me. Given that about 2/3rds of the show took place inside the series' respective ships (except for DS9, I guess), you'd think ship interiors would be something they'd devote a little more time to.
Career Officer
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 911
# 66
10-12-2013, 12:42 PM
This is such a basic, classic request from the playerbase since ship interiors were first a thing that it doesn't make sense how they haven't implemented it yet.

I bought the ds9 pack solely for the reasonably made belfast bridge, because I couldn't stand corridors built to accommodate runabouts reenacting Picard and Data's scorpion fighter antics whenever my junior officers break into the synthahol rations and take out their frustrations of years of training in the academy only to wind up on the USS Two for Flinching and being constantly scheduled to "build moar warp coars!"

Just make it happen already cryptic, I get that you screwed up and made the ship interiors a pointless place to go, like a mini captain's table we carry around with us, but still, we can work on that in the long run. In the mean time...

People like to walk around their own ships and see their crews. We can customize everything else. Let us put our crew in uniforms that match ours already. The default ones you made are just ugly.
Ensign
Join Date: Jan 2014
Posts: 3
# 67
01-14-2014, 10:55 AM
I would love to have the ability to at least have my crew look somewhat like my character and BOff's. This would even be something that I would be willing to spend a few dollars to get. I have purchased extra BOff's in the hope that I would have more people on my bridge, at least, that were in the correct uniform. However, that was saddly not the case. I still only had 2 or 3 at a time, and the rest were random NPC's.

I'm sure if it were an option in the C-Store there would be more than enough people that would buy it. I spend almost half of my playing time customizing my stuff. Being able to have your whole crew wear your uniform would be a great addition.
Survivor of Remus
Join Date: Nov 2012
Posts: 684
# 68
01-14-2014, 11:43 AM
I'm glad this thread hasn't died. I really think this feature whould be WIDELY accepted by the players of all factions. Yes, it's even something we'd pay for if the devs need a sound financial justification for adding this to the game. Some people don't care about ship interiors, but those of us who do will fork over cash to see this type of design element added to the game.
In the immortal words of Captain Sisko: "It may not be what you believe, but that doesn't make it wrong."
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