Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 598
# 51
04-30-2013, 02:10 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by ricorosebud View Post
Q: (psiamesse) How high on the whiteboard is the Exploration revamp for STO?

STO Team: With the success of the Foundry, in many ways player authored missions has become the Exploration content within Star Trek Online. Now that Foundry missions offer valuable rewards, they are much higher quality episodes than the Genesis maps that were shipped at launch. Sometime in the next two years, we would like to leverage the popularity of the Foundry as a legitimate way to explore the galaxy.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Well, that just killed it. While I thought player created material would have been a great ADDITION to the system, your prediction of the dev team giving a big 'screw it, let the players build it all for us' answer to this concern seems to have come true.

This seriously peeves me, as I was encouraged by the LoR work was really looking forward to what they could create reworking the exploration missions. And this little spitball thread had some really great ideas that didn't seem like they would be overly difficult to implement. Instead they decided to take the laziest approach possible.

STO community, let your voice be heard.

Is this answer acceptable to you?


(P.S. Cryptic: Yes there are GREAT foundry missions out there. But for every great one, there are two 'meh' and four 'terrible' ones.)
No. Just... no.
Captain
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 609
# 52
04-30-2013, 03:15 AM
Just when did the meaning of "exploration" change into "shoot everything"? The foundry has some pretty good missions but given the limited possibilities of STO to create an interesting non-combat mission with some true exploring (meaning peacfully) they are all just combat with an interesting story.

I was really hoping for a complete revamp of exploration just as I was hoping for a revamp of PvP. But now it seems that none of it is going to happen.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,036
# 53
04-30-2013, 03:07 PM
OK, so for the sake of my own peace of mind, I just have to assume that the devs can be convinced of how very wrong they are about exploration, and what it would/should take to fix it.

Clearly, nothing I have posted so far in this thread has made a dent; however, my suggestions may have been a little too ambitious for first steps. Perhaps I need to think smaller, if my goal is to persuade the devs that: A) improving exploration is not too much work for them to take on themselves on top of everything else; and B) that it is not necessary to wait 2 years for new tools to be developed.

So, mission types that could be added to exploration zones that draw upon stuff that is already in the game.

Provide medical assistance. Based on Breen Mission 'Cold Comfort', and Devidian mission 'Everything Old is New'.

Stop Saboteurs. Based on Fleet Event 'Starbase Incursion' (at least the first part of it; possibly include a disarming element should a saboteur get away, perhaps involving one of the scanning minigames).

Rescue crew from damaged facility/ship. Based on Mission 'Stranded in Space'. Circumvent or remove environmental hazards to rescue crew. If practical, some versions may include a space walking section to gain access to the facility/ship (setting up pattern enhancers once you arrive to allow the rest of your party to beam in) based on Dominion Mission 'Boldly They Rode'.

Rescue captives. Based on Breen Mission 'Out in the Cold' and Deferi Daily 'Emancipation'.

Save colony from comet/meteor. Based on Devidian Mission 'Night of the Comet' and Romulan Mission 'Saturday's Child'. Perhaps include a time limit. Perhaps make it possible to divert the thing with Grav Wells and Tractor Beams, so that having a high DPS Escort isn't the only way to win.

None of those (except the space walk bit) would require anything special map-wise; they'd just increase the diversity of what we might run into while out exploring.

Other things that could be done to mix things up (may or may not be easy, I dunno):

Toxic Environment (environment suit required, so mostly for higher level regions).

Harsh Conditions (maybe a sandstorm that applies an accuracy debuff, strong winds that apply a slow effect, earthquakes that apply a disable effect or make the characters fall over - obviously, these would be sporadic, not persistent).

Multiple Away Teams (so you have small groups of allied NPCs scattered around).
Exploration suggestions thread - give it a read

BTW, you'd pronounce it 'Cap'n Manks'

I protest the removal of exploration clusters
Commander
Join Date: Jan 2013
Posts: 441
# 54
05-02-2013, 10:59 PM
The above proposals from capnmanx would be a fantastic and seemingly easily implemented compromise. As stated, a revamp would be ideal but perhaps a bit too ambitious at this juncture.

I ask the Cryptic development team to PLEASE consider these and move this topic up in the order of important issues.

Simply allowing foundry missions to take the place of one of the features of the game and an important part of Star Trek is a substandard 'solution' and undermines the hard work you have already put into what is overall a great game. Please reconsider your stance.

Those who have taken the time to read this, post here, or are in general agreement I ask to not let this matter rest or this thread die/become buried. The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
Rihannsu
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 766
# 55
05-10-2013, 09:26 AM
The real problem is not that the devs couldn't come up with something new and exciting, I'm no Cryptic fanboi, and I think they've managed to hit the nail on the head a few times, but that they have directives to maximize money and minimize effort getting it. This is why all of the new stuff we get is either paid directly for (C-store stuff and lockboxes), stuff we have to pay indirectly for (all of the starbase stuff), or stuff meant to be big and flashy to get new blood into the game (Like Temporal Ambasador or LoR). Unless a new exploration system meets one or more of those points, it probably won't be done, IMHO.

And yes, maybe I'm being cynical, but that is what I see, so here is my suggestion, which steals shamelessly from a few earlier things I've seen in this thread and elsewhere. This also folds in a new crafting system.

Exploration should be the theme of one of the next starbase holdings. Like the embassy, there will be two tiers, one for exploration, and the other for research. The "exploration embassy" for this could be on New Romulas in the lava caves near the Iconian gateway, with Fed and KDF versions one to each side of the gateway. The backstory is that they have managed to get the gateway sorta working, and need experienced captains to go through it to see what is out there and either explore or conquer it depending on your side. Kinda like Stargate, seems interesting, lets nick it, in the words of my old MMO heros.

Each day, your captain can take an exploration mission on a random map. These would be similar to what the current exploration missions are, but more so. There would be a set number of maps, each with a different lighting and effect set, and all would be randomized, so that one map set piece could be shown in many different ways. Say there is a cave map, and one day it could be filled with a fog effect, and the next day, it could be filled with rainbox particles, or what have you. This would allow some repeatibility without having to have huge numbers of maps, or some sort of on the fly random map generator (though that would be best). Kinda like how they used the same set in TNG, with different lighting and plants.

Also, the mission objective would be randomized, so that is would be something like those games where you fill in the blanks. Something like, "Greetings captain. Your missions today is to (explore, attack, mine, recon) this new world we have discovered. Advanced probes have detected (enemies, vacuum, toxic fumes), so be prepared. However, we have also detected a (friendly species, dilithium mine, particle fountain, future slave race) so we need to go there. Good luck." The missions then generates the random elements. Again, if all of this is on the same few maps, you can have set spawn points for each thing you have to do or fight.

The different missions would also reward you different things. You could get dilithium, or diplomacy/maruder cxp, or particle traces, etc. Again, like today, but hopefully more dynamic with more mini games, like the mining one or the radiation scan one for the non-fighting missions.

There might also be special long range missions that you could take that are like the shorter ranged ones, but would be on much larger maps and involve more tasks in one, more like an actual story mission. These might need to be hand crafted, but hopefully could be worked in such a way that some random elemets could keep it a bit fresh. The large maps would also allow runing around in vehicles, that could be set up like the shuttles are in price. The basic free ones and then the dilithium and zen versions.

Also, the exploration tier would unlock access to more difficult, but mroe rewarding missions.

On the other side of things, your exploration embassy would also have research facilities for the stuff that gets brought back, and the more your fleet upgrades the research tier, the more stuff you can build. This would be the place to craft Mark XII weapons and stuff with custom mods within whatever limits Cryptic wants to set up. Maybe this would be a good place for the slightly strange stuff, like wide angle torpedos? Or ground stuff, there isn't a good source of that beyond the rep missions. Maybe you coudl craft your own sets? Say have there three things be a set, and then choose from a list of set effects.

Instead of the the usual tier missions on the research side, there would be a contributation bank. This would work so that fleet members could donate particle traces, dilithium, etc, and get some fleet credits for it as well as upgrade the tiers. Then the fleet crafters, could take the stuff in the bank and use it to craft new stuff. This would give crafters some fleet credit for making the stuff, and increase the research tier some more, and the stuff made would then go in the fleet store to sell. This system would also allow fleets to contribute to the "crafting guys" in their fleets, and let the "crafting guys" do crafting and get rewarded for it. Just to make sure, maybe make it so that the all of the research tiers can make Mark XII stuff, just different types. So Tier one is all pistols and shilds, tier two is rifles and armor, and tier three is assault weapons and kits. Or something. Just so that any crafting done at Tier one could be useful and not just inventory filler until you get to tier three.

There you go, exploration revamp that is tied into dilithium, and would be a new hyped thing given the fleet project status. And if they did vehicles there's the third part of PWEs goal sheet. And I threw in crafting for free. Anyway, sorry for the wall of text. I hope this was at least interesting to the Cryptic devs.
Joined September 2011
Nouveau riche LTS member
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,132
# 56
05-13-2013, 09:19 AM
I wanna say I've had a blast reading this thread and dreaming about things that could be.

Quote:
Originally Posted by haravikk View Post
More, and less repetitive, content is absolutely needed. If you brainstormed a thread I bet you could easily fill out 20+ mission templates that could make exploration actually fun, as your own post proves; would love to play some of these.

The main issue I see is that Cryptic just doesn't seem to care about exploration, because you can't slap a price tag on it. If they actually made the exploration areas expansive and detailed, and gave exploration ships perks that actually mattered, then maybe we'd have a different story, as truly exploration focused ships could then become viable monetarily, as opposed to just giving anything borg or MACO engines as we do now

Sorry, that's a bit negative; I love the ideas, and I'd love to see it; especially anything that could involve more space missions or stuff on ships rather than on the rubbish ground maps that we have now.
But there's the thing.

For as much as Cryptic is cash involved, they do in fact push lots of good free content. Feature episode series, limited time free ship promotions, hell a full blown expansion pack in a couple of weeks, even Remans for those of us who have put in the work, it's beautiful in many ways.

So I don't necessarily buy that they can't or won't do exploration because it's not a money pit. There's still a piece of the devs souls that believes in delivering good content. And if any one of them is a perfectionist, then this is a hole in the game. All aspects of the game should be good. The devs talk a lot about the end game, and no not Voyager's finale.

Exploration is Starfleet's primary function. The endgame should have more than a large amount of exploration.
Quote:
Originally Posted by brigadooom View Post
I would just like a simple /scan command that gives you a randomised list of elements of the space about you. "Twenty particles of space dust per cubic meter, fifty-two ultraviolet radiation spikes, and a class two comet."
You should be able to do that anywhere. In fact that should be something that comes up in like a ship's sensor log. Actually that would be a much better environmental hazard than something like the Donatu system repeatable where there's the EM field that scrambles your ability to come out of red alert and use full impulse (though that is good).

But depending on the conditions in a system, certain powers should work better.

For instance, Tachyon beam should have more shield weakening power if the system is saturated with tachyons, because of say a tachyon pulsar. And that same tachyon field should screw with cloaking devices. In a star system where the star is a supergiant blue star, the temperature should be high enough that Plasma weapons get enhanced damage.

And on the subject of that class 2 comet...this game has gorgeous visuals. So if you do a sensor scan of your sector and get that comet, then you should actually be able to have the comet appear on your sector space, or system map, and travel to it. Perhaps mine it for data samples, but in general, go to see it, chart it, and me personally, I'd say take pictures of it and hang them in your ready room. I know this is traipsing into ship interior territory, but it would be more meaningful to have pictures in your ready room and quarters of phenomena that you've actually seen.

Scans indicate a neutron star, and you can go there and actually mine neutronium or decalithium. (For whatever purpose, a new commodity, things to deliver to Starfleet like contraband, or for use in like a fleet project.)

So here's MY suggestion.

=================================

To start with, Exploration clusters should be true clusters. Every exploration cluster should be massively upsized. I initially thought that they should all just be endless expanses, literally, if you just press your engage in any direction, then you should never run out of space. Have a beacon dropped so you could track just how many light years you've traveled. And to add a little tension if you want to get back for something like a borg red alert, then you have to either use transwarp or since the network isn't actually out that far, physically travel back to your starting point. Or as a fleet project, build a transwarp gate in that cluster.

As much as I like that idea it may be difficult for the current engine so I have an alternative.

Exploration clusters should be the largest single areas in the game. Unexplored space will always be larger than claimed territories. Each exploration cluster should be at least 3x3 sectors in szie or better yet 4x4, or 5x5. Fully nine, sixteen, or twenty five sectors across truly huge. (If that's impossible then at least let's have 2x2 exploration clusters).

I don't see why that would be difficult for the engine, We already have four sector sector blocks in a square arrangement.

Which brings me to the next suggestion. To help navigate these huge tracts of space, (though I know many loathe Reputation systems, let alone bringing back exploration marks, Cryptic loves them and I'm cool with them) but there should in fact be an Exploration based equipment set. A deflector dish that provides better anomaly scans and wider system scans, high powered shields (instead of 20% damage resistance on plasma weapons that are anti-borg, a 10% across the board all energy type damage reduction so the crew is better protected against any type, or maybe an Aegis stacking resistance to the shield), and an extremely fast transwarp engine for traversing the large block. Maybe we could call it the Galaxy set, since that was the premiere exploration cruiser for fifty years.

To tie in to that, doff missions like chart astrometric anomalies could also gain percentage on critical success based on the deflector dish you have equipped. And a success on that mission would grant a speed increase (Based on the warp highways segment of this article, which I integrate into every ST fiction I write.).

I'm a huge fan of the idea of ongoing missions I think this game could truly use MORE follow up missions. I still want to go back to Hfihar to check on those miners.

And I agree, the usage of main game missions as the basis for exploration missions is extremely efficient and would be a lot more fun. Even better if they give us a twist ending so that these missions don't end in necessarily the same way, or we get to change up what we do a little.

Furthermore Cryptic has already done it, which is where we get our Deferi daily missions.

Lastly, on the subject of DOFF missions, I agree there should be more, and they should tie in to normal missions.

For instance, once you complete the colonial chain in a cluster. This unlocks a mission to actually go visit the colony you just helped finish building and see what you've accomplished. Maybe retained as the colony's liaison to the Federation. And I mean that as a larger thing, because the end of a DOFF mission chain, should also lead to a mission for you as a grand finale to the arc.

And the missions for those colonies could be repeatable. For instance, you go into a cluster and you have established a colony. You receive a distress call. Raiders hit the colony. You come to the rescue. Now depending on some factor, maybe how long it's been you've come to this cluster, they could have only taken light damage and you stopped the attack and sent the raiders packing, or it's been a while and they've been enduring regular attacks and you need to do more doff missions to help them rebuild. And depending on how many times you've done the repeatable colony missions. How many settlers you've brought, how many times you've built additional fortifications, that determines how strong the colony actually is.

The Duty Officers discover something that they can't deal with and need the full ship and crew, OR the DOFF missions were just laying the ground work for a mission for your ship, so if they say failed a mission to sabotage a weapons depot, then the enemies in your mission will have more weapons, sniper rifles, assault miniguns, mortars, and will be throwing grenades, whereas if the mission is a success then they will have rifles, grenades, and maybe a few weak turrets, and if it's a critical success then they'll be restricted to pistols and melee weapons and have half as many people. Man that sounds like fun just writing it.

Another way to use it would be have the DOFF mission be to chart the area, and if it's successful, then you get a general map of their base instead of going in blind with the fog of mystery on your map, and on a critical success they find a back door for you to bypass their defenses completely.

On the subject of the Nemesis system, I would also suggest that maybe you could tie it in to each character's account. For instance personal story wise, my Klingon captain IS my Starfleet main's nemesis. While my female Starfleet alt, is my main's best friend. So my Klingon would be my nemesis while you could also have an ally. So rather than design a separate nemesis I could simply link him in to the system instead. Or have a rival in the same faction who always is obnoxious, flies in to your battles kill stealing etc.
Yes I support This

"Rise like Lions after slumber, In unvanquishable number, Shake your chains to earth like dew, Which in sleep had fallen on you-Ye are many they are few"

Last edited by captaind3; 05-13-2013 at 09:56 AM.
Lieutenant
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 90
# 57
08-21-2013, 01:11 PM
I like the idea of a limited fuel supply you can fill up with certain elements or with EC. A bit like Battlestar Galatica Online. Smaller ships will have smaller tanks while Galaxy classes could have the larger capacities. I could be applied all over the game.

Vice Admiral Dylan Hunt
107th Fleet

and

Lt Brain
Stargate Command
Commander James
26th Fleet
Task Force Avalon - CO USS Intrepid

Captain
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 2,795
# 58
09-19-2013, 08:47 AM
I haven't read everything, but i must say there are some very cool Exploration concepts here.

/like
Commander
Join Date: Mar 2013
Posts: 292
# 59
09-19-2013, 10:57 AM
These threads are akin to masturbation. Or a circle jerk even. If you guys listened to what Dstahl says in his interviews, you wouldn't be posting post after post requesting things you'll never get.
Dstahl recently said in an interview that exploration will never be a focal point in this game and that this is a space combat oriented game first and foremost and it will always be a space combat game. He went on to say that the exploration/diplomacy Trek game that *we* (himself included) all want will be another game. ie. not this one.
Things you can look forward to in STO:

-More adventure zones
-More Rep systems (grind)
-More Fleet Holdings (grind)
-More half factions
-More ships and gear to buy or grind for
-More grind
-More grind

A poster in another thread said something which I think was spot on. Something to the effect of "People play and like STO for the game that it could be. Not the game that it is."

All you have to do is look to Neverwinter to see that Cryptic is fundamentally incapable of giving the fans of the IP what they want. These things are not compatible with the free to play model, nor the PWE grinder business model.
You can either come to peace with the writing on the wall and accept STO for what it is or move on.
Captain
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 1,036
# 60
09-19-2013, 11:05 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by panserbjorne39 View Post
These threads are akin to masturbation. Or a circle jerk even. If you guys listened to what Dstahl says in his interviews, you wouldn't be posting post after post requesting things you'll never get.
Dstahl recently said in an interview that exploration will never be a focal point in this game and that this is a space combat oriented game first and foremost and it will always be a space combat game. He went on to say that the exploration/diplomacy Trek game that *we* (himself included) all want will be another game. ie. not this one.
Things you can look forward to in STO:

-More adventure zones
-More Rep systems (grind)
-More Fleet Holdings (grind)
-More half factions
-More ships and gear to buy or grind for
-More grind
-More grind

A poster in another thread said something which I think was spot on. Something to the effect of "People play and like STO for the game that it could be. Not the game that it is."

All you have to do is look to Neverwinter to see that Cryptic is fundamentally incapable of giving the fans of the IP what they want. These things are not compatible with the free to play model, nor the PWE grinder business model.
You can either come to peace with the writing on the wall and accept STO for what it is or move on.
Actually he's made several comments about giving exploration some attention (if only in passing); including in his recent Mog Nation interview.

---EDIT---

Heh. 2409 views. Spooky.
Exploration suggestions thread - give it a read

BTW, you'd pronounce it 'Cap'n Manks'

I protest the removal of exploration clusters

Last edited by capnmanx; 09-21-2013 at 02:19 PM.
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