Beta
×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

'Weekly Episodes' Coming To Star Trek Online

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the no-janeway-holodeck-episodes-please dept.

PC Games (Games) 62

As Star Trek Online ramps up for its Season 2 patch, the game's executive producer, Daniel Stahl, spoke in an interview about an interesting new feature: weekly episodes. Quoting: "The team has wanted to capture the spirit of the TV shows by having something new to look forward to each week. We all remember when the various series were in full swing and there was the anticipation of tuning in every week to see what happened next. It wasn't always a continuing story, but it was always Star Trek in some way or another, and over time you became familiar with the characters and plots that developed. We are curious to see if this can be replicated through the game. Every week we plan to have something new for players to do. Sometimes it could be getting an assignment to resolve a trade dispute between two races. Other weeks it could be making First Contact with a new alien race. Other weeks you might find yourself deep in trouble and have to find a solution to your predicament."

cancel ×

62 comments

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Are legs coming in season 7? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32910206)

I'm still waiting to walk down the corridors and crawl through the Jefferies Tubes.

Re:Are legs coming in season 7? (2, Informative)

Ifandbut (1328775) | more than 4 years ago | (#32910370)

I am not 100% up to date on STO development but I believe some corridors and a few mini-games are suposed to be in for season 2.

Shame the ground game sucks. (4, Insightful)

Merls the Sneaky (1031058) | more than 4 years ago | (#32910214)

Space game was great but the ground game was shallow, boring and not fun (it was like playing CoH without the superpowers). Too bad I had such high hopes for it. If they can fix the ground game up I would probably purchase a lifetime sub.

Maybe if a game studio other than cryptic had made it it would have been awesome.

Disclaimer: I know some people like all aspects, I personally could not get into the away mission part of the game. I absolutely loved the space part though.

Re:Shame the ground game sucks. (2, Insightful)

werewolf1031 (869837) | more than 4 years ago | (#32910292)

Couldn't agree more. The space battles were ridiculously fun -- even though after a few weeks it just felt a bit grindy (but still kinda fun). Away missions, not so much. Instead of just proceeding to the next Objective To Kill Badguys, it would've been more entertaining if it was more like a branching quest where your actions determined the outcome based on that mission's story, rather than just being more or less on rails with a predetermined ending each time.

It seems as if the devs mean well, and really want to create a fun Trek-like experience, but just aren't sure how to actually go about it. Here's a hint Crypic: Trek wasn't only about combat, it was also about some very cool stories; some were fun and entertaining, some involved gut-wrenching choices, and so on.

Re:Shame the ground game sucks. (1)

nura78 (757740) | more than 4 years ago | (#32910510)

A mass effect type dialog tree might be in order perhaps. I don't know how they could implement something the way the game engine currently stands.

Re:Shame the ground game sucks. (2, Interesting)

werewolf1031 (869837) | more than 4 years ago | (#32910570)

I would totally settle for a few dialogue trees between fights in an away mission if it meant that your choices affect the outcome of that mission's story. (And I highly doubt that such a simple thing is beyond the capabilities of the game engine.) It'd be a damn sight better than the linear missions they have now. Sure, you can choose what order to kill stuff, but the end result is always the same; keep fighting to the next point, respawning as needed (respawning? wtf...).

Re:Shame the ground game sucks. (1)

smcn (87571) | more than 4 years ago | (#32918776)

I really hope BioWare implementing Mass Effect-like multi-player dialogue in TOR will start a trend. One of the first quests I did in WoW's Cataclysm beta even has a morality choice, though I doubt it has much of an impact on the outcome of the questline.

Re:Shame the ground game sucks. (1)

joeszilagyi (635484) | more than 4 years ago | (#32919378)

It's been leaked that City of Heroes is doing dialogue trees in the next major release, so it's coming. If Warcraft does it, everyone will.

Re:Shame the game pure combat! (1)

Joker1980 (891225) | more than 4 years ago | (#33005942)

I Joined up 3 days ago, created a science officer and have been dissapointed that EVERY mission has me as a soldier, no exploration, no boldly going where no toon has gone before just travel to here, beam down, fight a 1 man war then rinse lather repeat. When i do get a mission thats not combat based it usually takes all of 5 mins for it to degenerate into a frag fest. Its a shame too as theres a lot of things it does well, but for me it completly misses the point that star trek is not star wars. Ive got 2 months to run and will stick with it till then as it does have potential but ill have to seriously think about carrying on when the time comes.

Re:Shame the ground game sucks. (2, Interesting)

Ifandbut (1328775) | more than 4 years ago | (#32910362)

I enjoyed the time I spent with the game. I got one character to max level and did a few raids all in my first free month. I tried to level a second character but I was doing the exact same missions in mostly the exact same way as my first character (I did not touch Klink cause I hate pvp).

I still plan on coming back for season two and enjoy all the cool additions (ready rooms for one).

I enjoy the time I spend with STO but it does not have the staying power that WoW or Final Fantasy for me.

Re:Shame the ground game sucks. (1)

pkarlos_76 (751116) | more than 4 years ago | (#32910714)

The game has been changing drastically since launched, season 2 it is gonna be a huge change again for the better, like 10x better then season 1 patch.

Re:Shame the ground game sucks. (2, Funny)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#32912366)

Riker better have a beard

Dunno, I liked ground too (1)

Moraelin (679338) | more than 4 years ago | (#32911344)

Dunno, I actually liked the ground game too. Charging in with a bat'leth was a nice adrenaline rush. Granted, it wasn't something deep or complicated or with tremendous lasting power either, but sometimes playing slice-a-mole with the Romulans is good fun anyway :P

Re:Shame the ground game sucks. (1)

andrewd18 (989408) | more than 4 years ago | (#32913326)

Glad you're enjoying it.

I found PvE space combat to be ridiculously boring. Fly forward, hold D to start circling my target, and let phaser turrets and photo torpedoes auto-fire until it's dead. Select next target. Hold A this time so the enemy wears down a different shield facing. Repeat. Occasionally press F to scan something. PvP combat at least had enough "oh crap I'm being primaried aaaaaaand I'm dead" excitement to keep me somewhat interested.

Ground combat wasn't any better: walk forward, fire a few times, if something comes into melee range, punch it. Repeat. Occasionally press F to scan something.

I'm sorry, but weekly installments of more of the same just isn't going to get me to resubscribe.

Re:Shame the ground game sucks. (1)

Mydnight (817141) | more than 4 years ago | (#32915512)

I agree, but for a different reason -- I literally can't play the ground game when there are more than about 5 people around (It takes me about 45 minutes just to switch ships at spacedock)!. I mean seriously, Cryptic, is it that much harder to render 5 or 6 people walking around than it is to render massive spacefights flawlessly? Even twenty-man fleet actions seem to work fairly good.

Re:Shame the ground game sucks. (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 4 years ago | (#32917408)

I didn't like the space part myself. Not high level, but it felt that most of the time I was flying around trying to get to the next place where something happened. When combat happened it was slow as well. Ground based was pretty silly for the most part, either run to a set of locations and scan them (or at least click on them), or else quick combat of the "kill everything that moves" variety. Ie, take an hour of a tv episode, strip out all plot and characterization and end up with 5 minutes of gameplay. Ie, "there are unusual plants on the surface, go check it out", and then you just run to all 5 plants in an extremely limited area and you're done. Eventually I realized there wasn't much game play at all.

Space battles probably could have a redeeming feature in large groups, and at higher levels when you've got some more capabilities. The groups I was in (open missions) were somewhat dull though. But you could do this sort of space battle in any game - there was nothing at all "Star Trek" about it.

Re:Shame the ground game sucks. (1)

joeszilagyi (635484) | more than 4 years ago | (#32919356)

The ground game sucked on the "random" encounters. They were completely dull and boring. The big scripted ground events were absurdly fun--for example, the one where you rescue diplomats at the beachfront starbase. It felt like a movie.

Re:Shame the ground game sucks. (1)

Eudial (590661) | more than 4 years ago | (#32919362)

I feel much the same. Besides being very repetitive, ground combat does -not- deal with high-ping connections well (which means that it's going to suck unless you live in the US). It requires you to quickly respond to combat events . Except, the quickest you could possibly hope to respond is in 150ms, and that is if you guessed what was going to happen and responded before you saw it on screen.

I wish every MMO had stuff like this (2, Insightful)

mykos (1627575) | more than 4 years ago | (#32910218)

There haven't been very many worldwide events in the current leading MMORPG. The gates of Ahn Quiraj was probably the coolest (and laggiest!) event I ever experienced before I quit.

I don't play STO, but I approve of any developer effort to keep a sense of wonder in the world.

Re:I wish every MMO had stuff like this (2, Informative)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 4 years ago | (#32910638)

AQ opening, the undead invasion when Naxx 40 launched, the undead invasion for Lich King, the Sunwell event are big ones.

Now the holiday events are big - Christmas, Lunar New Year, Children's Week, Love Fest, Halloween, Brewfest, Nobelgarden, Pilgrim's Week

Re:I wish every MMO had stuff like this (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32913352)

there's going to be drives to free the currently occupied fourth capitals of both factions--the troll home islands and the gnome city--sometime this fall as part of the ramp up to cataclysm. sort of like the materials drive that led up to AQ.

Re:I wish every MMO had stuff like this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32912180)

... before I quit.

So you haven't played in over 3 years. What makes you qualified to talk about what's gone on in-game since then?

Re:I wish every MMO had stuff like this (1)

PPalmgren (1009823) | more than 4 years ago | (#32913134)

The most memorable events for me were from Asheron's Call. The whole PK Baelzharon event was fantastic. Devs would log in as the characters and play out their parts, and the players had an effect on what was going on.

Re:I wish every MMO had stuff like this (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32922158)

I don't play STO, but I approve of any developer effort to keep a sense of wonder in the world.

Hmm.. I don't play STO but I play a lot of MMO's and I've heard plenty of marketing lingo (working in said department) to think this "weekly episode" sounds a lot like simply a weekly quest, not unlike the "daily" quests you might see in WoW, only you do it once a week and maybe it's got multiple parts. I would be skeptical if it were actually dev. driven events.

Cosmic Retribution (4, Interesting)

Rollgunner (630808) | more than 4 years ago | (#32910244)

For every Balance of Terror, the universe demands a Spock's Brain...

Seriously... I wonder how long they'll be able to keep it up until all that's left is... well... Spock's Brain 'episodes'.

Re:Cosmic Retribution (4, Insightful)

Comboman (895500) | more than 4 years ago | (#32911470)

Seriously... I wonder how long they'll be able to keep it up until all that's left is... well... Spock's Brain 'episodes'.

If Next Generation is any indicator, about five seasons.

Re:Cosmic Retribution (1)

nura78 (757740) | more than 4 years ago | (#32914914)

As long as we don't get a rehash of "Threshold", I think we'll be fine.

Re:Cosmic Retribution (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | more than 4 years ago | (#32917434)

Well, a Spock's Brain episode would be high art compared to more STO plots.

Re:Cosmic Retribution (1)

FireIron (838223) | more than 4 years ago | (#32924984)

"Brain, brain, and brain! What is brain?"

A week's a short time in software development (4, Insightful)

boundary (1226600) | more than 4 years ago | (#32910284)

Too short to base a reliable release-to-live cycle around, at least, especially when dealing with the complexity of MMOs and the legendary lack of forgiveness of MMO players. So unless they have a bucketload of these weekly releases already saved up, and fully integration tested, I'm betting that these will soon start to slip to weekly-and-a-day, then weekly-and-2-days, then they'll move them to fortnightly. Then scrap the idea entirely.

Re:A week's a short time in software development (1)

ashvin213 (1602795) | more than 4 years ago | (#32910320)

A week is short even to make TV Soaps. How do they do it? Typically, the soaps are shot continuously for an entire season and delivered piece meal over several weeks. I suspect the model will be quite similar here too.

Re:A week's a short time in software development (1)

boundary (1226600) | more than 4 years ago | (#32910498)

Yes I agree that they'll have a bunch of stuff lined up, but software's much more difficult to produce *well* than teevee will ever be. And a week's still too short a schedule to *reliably* release new content. With a release schedule this frequent, we'll see speed wobbles at Warp 9.

Re:A week's a short time in software development (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32910576)

I don't know about that, the guy is vague enough that he could satisfy his goals through the introduction of a chain of 5 quests (or whatever the STO equiv is).

Sometimes it could be getting an assignment to resolve a trade dispute between two races. Other weeks it could be making First Contact with a new alien race. Other weeks you might find yourself deep in trouble and have to find a solution to your predicament.

He didn't elaborate any further in the article so there doesn't seem to be any reason to assume it would be something complex.

Re:A week's a short time in software development (1)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 4 years ago | (#32910700)

They could take a leaf from a Japanese anime show called "Naruto". It's been airing new episodes [i]every week[/i] since [i]2002[/i]. In that time there have [i]also[/i] been 6 movies, with a 7th due shortly.

Just to show that it can be done.

Re:A week's a short time in software development (1)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 4 years ago | (#32910706)

Bullcrap. Pressed the wrong button on the preview after I realised which site I was on.
Should have looked like this:

They could take a leaf from a Japanese anime show called "Naruto". It's been airing new episodes every week since 2002. In that time there have also been 6 movies, with a 7th due shortly.

Just to show that it can be done.

Re:A week's a short time in software development (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32910772)

Not sure you can compare this to Naruto. The anime show is following an already-written manga story, so there's no writing involved. The only decisions involved are in the manner of adaptation.

For the actual development, they use a lot of tricks. They reuse graphics and soundtrack a lot. They use tons of review and flashback scenes (as much as 5 minutes out of 20 sometimes; they get away with it if you watch one episode per week but it's ridiculously annoying if you save up several episodes and watch them back to back). They do lots of scenes that are 90% still images and the illusion of action is created by animating just a person's mouth and panning the "camera" around. Not to mention that the hi-tech animation techniques nowadays are very "grindy", repetitive and often automated.

By contrast, STO would have to at least write and implement that new script every week. Whether they'd also have to do programming depends on how flexible their engine is. If it's been designed to be highly flexible they only have to use its features to set up the script. If it needs expanding each week... then they may have a problem.

Re:A week's a short time in software development (1)

TheThiefMaster (992038) | more than 4 years ago | (#32911212)

Not sure you can compare this to Naruto. The anime show is following an already-written manga story, so there's no writing involved.

You're forgetting just how much of Naruto is "filler" stories, which do have to be written to keep up with the one-a-week schedule. They're actually a better comparison, because they are really short stories which don't depend on each other much, some only being one episode long.

For the actual development, they use a lot of tricks. They reuse graphics and soundtrack a lot.

I would imagine that there would be an incredible amount of asset re-use in STO, and using the same mission objectives as the ordinary missions (go here, kill these guys, scan that, etc) which makes for nearly total code re-use. And unlike a TV show, they don't have to record anything. There will be no new sounds, voice, video or animation data in these missions, you can count on that. (well, they might find the time to do a voice snippet or two)

They use tons of review and flashback scenes (as much as 5 minutes out of 20 sometimes; they get away with it if you watch one episode per week but it's ridiculously annoying if you save up several episodes and watch them back to back).

And an MMO can get away with padding missions with "walk to here" and "long grindy fight". There will be a lot of that. The missions will have only 5 minutes of real content, even if they take an hour to play!

They do lots of scenes that are 90% still images and the illusion of action is created by animating just a person's mouth and panning the "camera" around.

Compare with MMO NPC-dialogue boxes, where you just sit there and read through text. You won't even get the illusion of action, you'll be lucky if they bother to move the person's mouth.

Not to mention that the hi-tech animation techniques nowadays are very "grindy", repetitive and often automated.

Compare to a dev tool where you place down a few dozen spawn points and it does the work of making the enemies actually spawn and attack the player. It's also mostly automated, with just a little tweaking required to get it right. The backgrounds (levels) will either be re-used or have to be made, but that's no different either.

By contrast, STO would have to at least write and implement that new script every week. Whether they'd also have to do programming depends on how flexible their engine is. If it's been designed to be highly flexible they only have to use its features to set up the script. If it needs expanding each week... then they may have a problem.

There's no way they'll need to do programming every week. There will need to be a little mission scripting, and perhaps bugfixes in the mission code, but the vast majority will be shared.
As for coming up with enough scripts to do one every week, either do multiple-week arcs (just stretch out the story!) or just have enough people submitting story ideas. Not only can you queue up finished missions in advance, but you can queue up scripts too. I wouldn't be surprised if when this launches they have enough missions for the next few months, and enough scripts for months more after that.

As you can see, the fact that I think they can do it doesn't mean I have any faith in it being any good.

Re:A week's a short time in software development (1)

Zironic (1112127) | more than 4 years ago | (#32911642)

Well, they do make horrendously massive use of recaps, footage recycling and fillers. If you removed all the fillers and recaps then barely half the show would remain.

Re:A week's a short time in software development (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32935828)

There's this really good anime series called 'Gintama', that in addition to parodys, and a lot of good plot arcs, does that constantly, while lampooning the fact that they do :)

Solution (3, Insightful)

maroberts (15852) | more than 4 years ago | (#32910728)

Assuming the budget is big enough, you have a set of development teams working on a cycle of independent episodes.

e.g if you have 4 or 5 teams, each team only has to release one episode per month.

I would also presume that the MMO already has the generalised rules for handling quests built in, so its a matter of generating a scenario within the MMO, not coding the MMO itself

Re:A week's a short time in software development (3, Insightful)

zwei2stein (782480) | more than 4 years ago | (#32910740)

Chances are, it would be content and not code. If they have good tools and people experienced at using them, it really can be that fast (week is ample time to create modest quest chain in Bethesda engine for example, and i do not expect moroe than modest half an hour mission for each weekly episode).

It is differece between adding new feature to CMS and writing new article.

Furthemore, chances are that they have several team working on different episodes and alternating in releasing. They could as well have two-three-month release cycle.

Easier solution (1)

Rhys (96510) | more than 4 years ago | (#32912382)

Patch monthly, turn the NPC on for the next quest stage weekly. Done! AC has been doing it for a while and it seems to work well for them. The problem is it means monthly patching, which from all reports out of classic AC is really really rough on the dev team and burns them out quickly. They seem to have cut back the amount of content each month just a little, which seems like enough to let the team handle it nowdays, so STO could maybe make it work.

Then again how much new content do you need to entertain players who's space battles consist of "fly around the other guy in circles, try not to be too close when he blows up" and the fps-on-rails on the ground?

I think they may actually be able to do it (1)

Tinman_au (1004053) | more than 4 years ago | (#32910688)

I really hope they pull this off, one of the things I really liked about Asherons Call from Turbine was the monthly updates and I played that for years thanks to the constant "hit" of new stuff.

From what I've seen of the engine (In both Cryptic games), I think they have some very good tools and can add stuff very quickly, so I think they may actually do it

Universe regardless... (3, Insightful)

Robotron23 (832528) | more than 4 years ago | (#32910792)

All I've heard about this MMORPG is its mediocrity. Whether it be its mixed reviews, low scores from players across all the review sites - or simply the fact that Star Trek Online does little to actually expand the frontiers of MMOGs; the glaring fact is that STO is just a forgettable game that is too entrenched in tried-and-tested formula to merit excitement. The grinding crutch that most games of the genre rely upon to retain players is very much intact in STO. I guess for diehard fans who make up much of the game's audience it can provide a great experience in the Trek universe, and there were clearly some competant artists employed to recreate Trek in this fashion.

However whereas EVE which is unique among MMOGs int that actually carving out an adventure or saga of one's own which can (albeit rarely) become something significant for many and even 'make history' as it were...STO just doesn't offer that. A friend of mine who partook in the beta lamented the lack of ease in gathering people together for activity, and as you'd expect from something so generic the philosophical and wondrous elements of finer episodes of Trek are mostly absent too.

If one is looking to experience life in the Trek universe then - as is true with many well-established franchises - one can look to past consoles and eras for Trek themed games: I don't mean pedestrian FPSs like Voyager Elite Force, but earlier with consoles such as the Amiga or early Windows titles: Star Trek: The Next Generation – A Final Unity and the 25th Anneversary edition (for fans of the original 1960s show). Oh yeah, more recent is Bridge Commander which I personally enjoyed for a good long while back in 2003.

Primarily it's these two that stood out in the 1990s era, but there are more worth playing: This page [wikipedia.org] is a good point of reference. Acquiring the titles on PC whether emulated or not is not too much trouble in many cases with the titles mentioned.

Re:Universe regardless... (1)

empty_other (1116615) | more than 4 years ago | (#32911072)

What to say about this game? It is not as bad as the reviewers are saying.

* It have a lot of bugs. It still feels like it should have been a beta.
* It has the most non-combat missions i've ever seen in an MMO. A lot (relatively) of missions is just "beam down, talk to a person, go to another person, scan something, done!".
* The most fun aspect of the game is ship combat, both PvP and PvE. If you liked Pirates of the Burning Sea for its ship combat (and didn't care much for the pirate theme) then you will probably like ST:O ship combat.
* It is pretty consistent story-wise towards Star Trek-canon.
* A few of the models and graphics, mostly the uniforms, ships and spacestations, feel a bit to non-trek.
* Some missions make federation "evil". Example would be a mission where you scout a planet for resources, but some aliens were there first. So as a Federation officer it is your duty to kill them and take their stuff! :O
* It is easy to earn money/credits in game, so unlike other mmo's you don't have to worry about mis-spending them.

I started playing Bridge Commander a few days before i started playing ST:O. I found BC to be very authentic to the Star Trek experience, but a bit boring in the long run.

Re:Universe regardless... (1)

Robotron23 (832528) | more than 4 years ago | (#32911300)

Bridge Commander felt like playing an above-average plot arc during one of the later TNG or DS9 seasons; the staff on board for the writing fits with this concept. A notable exception was that you as the commander never went on away missions - navigating an area on a planet was never implemented.

The gaming did become repititive; hitting the underside of a few Cardassian Galors with torpedos became less a novel strategy and more routine humdrum. I did get about 30-40 hours out of it which isn't bad for a game. I guess we have to remember that Trek games haven't had as much of an illustrious history as Star Wars has.

Bugs are expected with any modern game; it's not of matter of if but rather how many. I guess the point in my original post was that ST:O is just another average MMOG - yes it isn't awful or unplayable or ends up with a life cycle of under 12 months...but it isn't a classic that redefines anything profoundly for the genre.

This is the broad opinion of most player reviews I've perused as well as gaming reviewers; and whilst the gaming press are shameless when it comes to being on the take to express views disproportionate to reality on this title I think they got it about right:

Unless you are fond of grinding, and what MMORPGs have generally played like for the past decade or so, you may find that ST:O gets 'a bit boring in the long run' as well after the novelty of the Trek franchise wears off. Unless that is you are a big fan who sees merit in the plots of quests, and if that is the case then kudos to that crowd for being dedicated trekkers.

Re:Universe regardless... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32911218)

I would argue that STO should be experienced by every Trek fan for a month or two, but is in no way, shape or form worth paying a monthly fee for.

The PvE is boringly repetitive, both in space and on the ground. The "raidisodes" are annoying, but not especially challenging...and there are a whopping 4 of them. One can get a character to max level in 2 weeks of decent play and then repeat the process.

The PvP, while interesting for a while at the higher levels of player skill, still gets boringly repetitive.

The game also has what I can only describe as a very dumbed-down feel to it. After some thought I can only really attribute it to taking the Star Trek universe and trying to cram it into a paint-by-numbers MMO development plan. There are some mechanics that plain don't make sense in the ST universe. For example, shields are at best a secondary form of defense with hull filling the primary defensive role due to hull healing (a laughable concept in the ST universe).

The game just lacks any real depth.

However, it is pretty, and it is Star Trek, so any Trek fans out there should at least try it out. But speaking as an MMO player and a die hard Trek fan who owns every episode of every series and every movie on DVD, I won't be going back to STO any time soon.

Re:Universe regardless... (1)

pandrijeczko (588093) | more than 4 years ago | (#32911440)

I'm a Trek fan, more than a fantasy fan, but I've no inclination to try the MMO.

I tried WoW for a month after my friends finally convinced me to give it a go, it didn't "float my boat" whatsoever. Having tried WoW, it left me more mystified as to what the actual appeal of them is, if I'm honest.

There was no co-operative play with my friends because they were all too busy off elsewhere doing their own missions...

Even on a "role playing" server, when you tried to engage others in a friendly fashion, most of them ignored you...

There were, of course, plenty of people making nuisances of themselves trying to ruin it for everyone else and I seemed to spend most of my time ignoring them...

The whole gaming experience was flat and unrealistic - "go to this person and do his mission" over and over again, plus waiting behind someone else on the same mission to kill an NPC only to have that NPC stand up again for me to kill him.

For all its faults, Fallout 3 is about the best gaming experience I have ever had for realism - plus I can load it up and play it when I feel like it, rather than having to keep playing at the same rate as my friends just to keep on a level par with them.

I enjoy online gaming a lot also, but only so far as online deathmatching in UT2004, World Of Padman, Nexuiz and TF2 - log on, play for half-an-hour then log off again, it suits me fine.

I also keep going back to a lot of old Star Trek games like Birth Of The Federation, Elite Force I and II, and the Starfleet Command games - but MMOs are not for me.

Re:Universe regardless... (1)

gknoy (899301) | more than 4 years ago | (#32915124)

The whole gaming experience was flat and unrealistic - "go to this person and do his mission" over and over again, plus waiting behind someone else on the same mission to kill an NPC only to have that NPC stand up again for me to kill him.

A big part of enjoying it is willing suspension of disbelief, just as when we go see a Bond film.

As a player, I know that I am one of twenty thousand "heroes" on my server, each of whom has killed the same zombies, done the same "fedex" quests, and raided most of the same dungeons. When leveling and questing, I ignore them. (I solo most of my quests because it's easier and more fun, usually.) I experience the quests as (often miniscule) parts of a larger story: why are we here, what is going on, why is that guy bad, etc. I accept that respawns happen (just as when playing Mario or Mega Man, I accept that enemies respawn off-screen), but treat that as an abstraction. There are bad guys, we go kill them. I ignore that there are 42 other players who will want to come do the same thing in the next hour.

In dungeons, since they're repeatable, I treat them as mini-games: how quickly can we do this, how flawlessly can we execute, etc. I seek perfection at the encounter-level, to demonstrate mastery of my character's mechanics (as different classes and roles use different patterns of behavior/spells/attacks) and of the nature of my enemies. (Do we kill healers first? Casters? That mean troll berserker?)

At a certain point of play, enemies are basically target dummies for you to do your rotations on, and bosses are loot pinatas whose fight mechanics you have to master. But ... Fallout and Mega Man are the same way: Pavlovian practice until you Get It Right, and then it's suddenly "boring". ("Hey look, I can snipe mutants' heads off. I think I'll do that from now on.")

You can focus on the big plot (why is the Lich King such a jerk? Man, he's a jerk. We should march up to Northrend and apply torches and pitchforks to his pain-feeling parts). You can focus on the medium-level plots (Wow, these frost giants are pretty misunderstood. Their gods and leaders have been totally manipulated by old gods!). You can focus on the fight-scale picture. (Soloing this guy is hard. Maybe if I fight him here, then jump down there and heal while he runs to me, then drag him back up ... I can kill him before he kills me. Shoot, I forgot to interrupt/avoid that nasty thing he does.) Each of these are different ways you can enjoy an MMO -- it's neither a mutually exclusive list nor a complete one.

Re:Universe regardless... (1)

Greyfox (87712) | more than 4 years ago | (#32912720)

EvE is unique among MMOs in that your actions can really affect the game world. It's not a gear grind where the whole purpose of everything you do is to obtain the latest uber gear which will be obsolete in the next patch. A newbie can hop in a frigate and make as much of a difference in PvP as a 5 year player in a titan. It's really about the player corporations that carve out their own chunks of space and how well they manage to hold it. The people who are playing make their own story.

Re:Universe regardless... (1)

FuturePastNow (836765) | more than 4 years ago | (#32922894)

I can't disagree with any of those criticisms, but it's not a terrible game. A number of the missions, I thought, were well-done and interesting (though as another poster noted, for every episode, there's a Spock's Brain). There just wasn't enough stuff. After I played through all of the episodes, it became a boring grind.

I quit the game, but I'll go back when I feel they've added enough content to justify paying for another month.

Re:Universe regardless... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32924592)

birth of the federation is still my fav. star trek game. it came out for win 98- but still plays just fine in win7

in other words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32910868)

they're having problems with subscriber retention......

They missed the point. (1)

g051051 (71145) | more than 4 years ago | (#32911518)

I'm not interested in the "spirit of the TV show". I loved the show because of what it represented, it someplace I wanted to be. The whole weekly episode thing was just an artifact of the medium, and with an MMO, you don't need structure it like a TV series.

What, no pictures? (1)

Surasanji (938753) | more than 4 years ago | (#32911558)

I love Star Trek. I am also a roleplayer. The Trek universe offers an amazing opportunity for Roleplay. Brave new worlds, things that spark the imagination. I'm not sure that's possible to capture in an MMO setting. Its /too/ large. It has to many players. I, personally, get my Trek Roleplay Fix on the various Mush games that still exist out there. Good Ole' Telnet. Sure, it birthed the often awful monstrosities that MMOs have become- but the base is still there, still roleplaying and generally still using their imaginations and words to find those brave new worlds and go where only man in his mind can go.

Re:What, no pictures? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32912420)

When I started in STO, I was looking forward to the role playing element almost as much as the world(s) they have built up around the IP. But I found that most of the players have been more interested in power-leveling than in playing in the sandbox.

My hope is that after the initial wave of type-A players gets bored, the hardcore Star Trek fans will remain. Then maybe I'll get to play Star Trek, like I used to at recess in grade school. (I was always Captain Kirk--guess I was a bossy kid.)

In the meantime, it's still fun to go exploring in the world they have created. After weeks of passing Vulcan by, I stopped in and found out you can get a deal on Medical Supplies there. DS9 is lovingly recreated. The mission with the Doomsday Machine was cool, and the Guardian of Forever, and Leonard James Aka'ar shows up. The devs are fans. They love this stuff as much as we do.

This week on Star Trek Online... (1)

ME-tan (995456) | more than 4 years ago | (#32911938)

... features a group of exploration ships discovering a new form of life, just before Starfleet Dental (aka Goonswarm) crashes into them for fun and starts both a war with the creatures and a monolithic threadnaught on the forums...

TrekMUSH (1)

Wh15per (1526101) | more than 4 years ago | (#32912110)

Point your telnet machine to ats.trekmush.org, port 1701. Now -that's- Star Trek RPG'ing. :) Seriously, the best RPGs were the text based, MUD/MUSH games where (most) people had to think about their actions, write out a nice action, etc. Not this point and click MMOPRGclickclick stuff. ;) -Bitter and Old

FirsT post (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32913226)

Your own beer There are t4at has lost

As an outsider, it sounds interesting (1)

KlomDark (6370) | more than 4 years ago | (#32914274)

Haven't ever played the game, but the weekly episode concept sounds intriguing enough to make me think about trying it out.

A good idea seems rarer and rarer these days.

the future of MMOs (2, Insightful)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 4 years ago | (#32916572)

Personally, I think this is a foretaste of the future of MMO's.
Certainly, they may or may not be able to successfully implement, but I've always wondered at how STATIC MMO's are.

Certainly, for those of us who used to buy a computer game, you were pretty much stuck with whatever the designer(s) envisioned was possible when the game went gold. Occasionally a content patch would be released that might add some little thing (now they sell these as "DLC").

Strangely, MMO's - despite their dynamic foundation and constant-connection to the source servers - have mimicked this pattern. AFAIK the only game that ever tried to really let content change over time was Ultima Online where players could impact (in fact, drove) the economy, and perhaps today EVE, where the player-sourced economy dwarfs whatever is hard-coded by the game.

I'm talking about something less economics and more "world". Certainly the complexities of balance, loot, xp gain mean that it would be a hellish effort to try to add significant BALANCED content on a weekly basis. But would it be so impossible to have NPCs change their clothes over time? Maybe quit jobs and be replaced? Have a merchant vessel arrive on infrequent occasions into a port city, offering rare or unique items for sale? I think WoW has discovered that, between meaningless achievement points and holiday celebrations that players really ENJOY things that add depth to a world without necessarily increasing their dps. The WoW world-events are fun (of course there's some bitching, because change is scary) and memorable.

Now if they just didn't seem quite so "bolted on", discrete, and above all, repetitive we'd be getting somewhere.

Face Facts in MMO Development (1)

Idgarad (530269) | more than 4 years ago | (#33046042)

My personal quote: "If you cannot suprise the developer (yourself), then you will never suprise the player" Emergent and procedural content is necessary for MMOs to continue. YOu can only do so many "pumpkin quests" regardless of the genre or theme of the game. The key is to have solid, developed rules for missions\quests\content and have a systematic way to deploy that content for players to explore. No where in the rules of MMOs, RPGs, etc that ever fight need be winnable, rather that the payoff is acceptable to the player. So a well crafted Random Quest Generator, even in the event of an unwinnable scenario can still have a payoff for the player they can accept. Remember you can have adventures in which defeat is the outcome. (Case point Firefly fans, the whole story is driven by the fact they lost the war.) Imagine an infinite dungeon that doubles it's difficulty every floor. There is a point that a player can not mathmatically continue (the point where the mobs would 1 shot you for instance) but the player is free to push as hard and as far as they want to go. An arbitrary mechanism for mission\quest deployment is viable so long as there are controls (Mandatory Car References as needed): Clutch: a mechanism in a quest in which the flow of events is disenaged and success\failure conditions cannot be effected. This is common in FPS where they put you in a room and you have to kill all the mobs before continuing. Brake: A mechanism in the quest chain that allows the events to be suspended such that the player can do other things not impacting the quest(return to base for instance.) Step Reset: A mechanism in which the quest line of conditions can be backed up (e.g. you accidentally destroyed a quest item in your inventory and you need another one) Full Reset: A mechanism, depending on the nature of the quest to restart it (even if it is as simple as an abandon\re-get sequence) Re-deploy: A mechanism to reset the position\staging of objects. Triggers: Events that move along a story Hitch: A mechanism that links two quests\missions together Pay-it-forward: Always track the quest conditions to see if the player has already completed the quest (nothing worse then blowing up random named bad guy only to be told an hour later to go back and kill him. You did already!) etc.... (I actually have a prototype Q-Engine that makes 3 passes to randomly generate quests. QE1 is the casting engine, Q2 is the linking engine, Q3 is the deployment engine). Star Trek is about endless possibilities but at every turn they try to lock down the gameplay to conform to some IP that was never crafted for open ended, player driven game play. If you want Star Trek, go play Eve Online, seriously. If you cannot suprise the developers, you won't suprise the players... it comes back around to more grinding then.
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>