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Thinking vs Hand-Eye coordination?

SleepEKat

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POSTS: 10

Report this Jun. 19 2005, 12:31 am

I'm an engineer in real life.  I enjoy problem-solving and thinking.  I think hand-eye coordination is an essential part of any game, but I'm worried that this MMO will not be mentally challenging enough for some of us.  I know that the Star Trek audience has a good chunk of older fans who love to tackle difficult problems.  I'm going to give an example of what I am hoping the game will include.  Let me know if it sounds feasible, and if you guys would like to see problems like these for, say, Lt. Cmmdr CEs.


In starfleet academy, you are taught in a very detailed course/book (which will actually be read or listened to hopefully) how a phaser works.  You are also taught how to manipulate phaser settings internally, and by using external devices (such as a tricorder, or something along those lines, in order to manipulate the phaser's output...).  You are on a mission and you encounter a ship which is shielded using a low-frequency, alternating polarity energy shield.  Assume that your ship's phasers use a constant polarity energy beam.  Assume that you had the resources available in starfleet academy to know how to manipulate your phasers into having extremely concentrated and short bursts of energy.  The ship fired on you, and you fired back.  The ship has you disabled, except for your phasers and photons which had absolutely no effect on the ships shields.  What do you do?


Is an engineering problem like this feasible for a CE?  In this case, I specified the fact that it is possible to manipulate the phaser into a sort of "pulse" weapon.  Will un-helped players ever encounter problems of this difficulty?  I think this would be extremely rewarding to figure out.  





My suggested solution would be to use the sensors to determine when the shield polarity changes from positive to negative, at which the shields would be less effective (if the time differential is finite... which it must be).  Find t=0, and find the interval at which the polarity of the shields is 0 Joules.  Modify your phasers to fire a concentrated burst of energy at their shield generators at the exact point in time that the polarity changes signs.  Maybe throw in a photon or 2.

Ellessar

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POSTS: 1848

Report this Jun. 19 2005, 12:50 am

I don't think we can expect to see that kind of problem. For one, you mentioned reading techno bable while at the Academy. That will almost certainly not happen. The type of gammer who would sit around and study techno bable is in the extreme minority. Most people would not put up with that. They are not going to have to 'go to school' in order to play a game. If the material were at least real world practical you might attract a few more interested in such things. But as it stands, having to study material of no real world consequence represents a waste of time. You will have very few gammers who would enjoy that.

As for your specific problem, I have never heard of any video game let alone an MMO in which you will be doing complex mathematics. Again it would be an uber niche gammer who would enjoy that. Plus now you are adding real world skills and knowledge into the mixture. Anyone without probably a college level grasp of physics would not even understand what to do. You would frustrate people right out of the game.

I just don't see this kind of thing being very popular. I suspect this game will require more thought than your typical MMO, but I don't think it will be as complex as you might like.

BTW I have seen this many times now. CHENG is the short hand of Chief Engineer not CE. It is an acronym that you pronounce just as PHASER is.

SleepEKat

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POSTS: 10

Report this Jun. 19 2005, 2:01 am

Thanks for the input.  I guess I will have to be satisfied with the fact that you will probably have to think in STO moreso than in other MMO's, but not by any significant amount.  I'm just dreading the potential for the game to be overrun with obnoxious individuals calling you a "noob" or a "fag", etc. etc.,  every chance they get.  I see this population being smaller at the upper levels of the game if you have to use your head once in a while.  I have no idea what the player base of new MMOs are like in general.  I am going by my experiences with a game called Continuum or Subspace.  Visit www.subspacehq.com if you want to learn more.  It's put a sour taste in my mouth for MMO games.  The people who play that game are downright obnoxious.  I guess I am also hoping that the target audience for this game is over 18.  I think that this is feasible, and would increase the maturity level of the players in general.  I'm 23 and this is the first video game I've considered coughing up the cash for in close to 5 years.

JarekStorm

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POSTS: 51

Report this Jun. 19 2005, 2:32 am

Unfortunatly even a level of problem solving such as you mention would not keep the idiots down for long.

Spoiler sites would eventually pop up and disclose the answers for any and all to see.

Games have to appeal to a wide audience, and even though we are hardcore ST fans and many would enjoy that type of problem solving, I seriously doubt the average gamer would get into it.

I feel you though brother... I feel you...   ;)

Cormoran

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POSTS: 1609

Report this Jun. 19 2005, 3:09 am

Quote
I guess I am also hoping that the target audience for this game is over 18.  I think that this is feasible, and would increase the maturity level of the players in general.  I'm 23 and this is the first video game I've considered coughing up the cash for in close to 5 years.


if you think age is a sign of maturity i can surmise you haven't met any of my mates. we make even the worst immature teen look like an upstanding member of society.

I could quote a few of the immature things we've done since our 18th but they'd definately get me banned from this forum. I'll leave it at when we want to be, we can be far more immature than any teen could ever hope to be.

Tal_Shiar_Officer

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POSTS: 1652

Report this Jun. 19 2005, 4:46 am

I would imagine that most stuff would be handled by minigames. Stink100 had a good idea for a welding minigame where engineers would need to follow the lines perfectly in order to weld a damaged piece of equipment. It sounds easy and useless, but imagine that in the thick of battle. The captain wants you to go faster, but you cannot without screwing it up and having to try again.

I was thinking about Lights Out and Mastermind for minigames. Trying to do those quickly while in the heat of battle or something would definitely be a challenge. Mastermind would probably be for bypassing security systems. Lights Out I have no clue what it could be used for, but it is a nice game and you could just chuck that where need-be.

Mountainforest

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POSTS: 128

Report this Jun. 19 2005, 8:01 am

I'd like all ships systems to be drawm in an enormous diagram linking systems that depend on eachother. In combat a couple of those systems can be knocked and the results of that will be seen throughout the whole diagram (because other systems that are directly or indirectly dependant on the damaged ones will not function fully anymore). Eventually something like that will result in a visible error, like lights not working anymore or phasers not responding. It should be the engineers task to find which systems are causing the defect (wich could be a huge task considering how many systems a starship has) using diagnosis programs and after that repairing the problem (with tools based your XP level). The last bit can be done in the form of minigames (like reorganizing those little memory thingies by shuffing them in and out).

Kinneas

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POSTS: 1877

Report this Jun. 19 2005, 12:21 pm

I think Academy should be 'super involved' and people should be required to learn, or they can just go the hell away and realize they are not smart enough for Star Trek...even when it's dumbed down to a sim level for people.

I think every system listed in the technical manual should exist. Therefore you have to know what they do and why they are there.
Here's an easy example: Before you can leave spacedock you MUST have these systems in a SHIP (F.J. Tech Manual) for basic navigation: (basic tracking elements)
1). Physics Lab Telescope
2). 3 directional scanners + an upper and lower scanner
3). Main Scanner
4). Civil Spaceways Beam Rider
5). S.I.N.S. Platform Module
6). Galactic Time Base Pulse Module
7). Main Propulsion Output Module
8). Course Records Data Banks Module
9). Impulse Power Output Module
10). Ships Helm Control Response Module
11). THE LOGIC and Integrating unit
12). the Chart Room
13). Astrogator
14). Navigation Bridge Control Station.

If people cannot come to grips with having to learn those basic systems, how to monitor them, test them, replace them or even understand WTF they are then they should realize Star Trek the MMOG may not be for them.

I hope this game is ESPECIALLY kind to those in engineering, flight, command and science. I hope it challenges you beyond your wildest expectation and keeps the simple minded as far away from you as possible. You are elite and deserve to be treated to game as elite as you.

The rest of you should reconsider just how Star Trek you are.
Because Star Trek, easy and simple do not go together and since Sta Trek first came out kids are just getting dumber and have less attention span and can't be bothered to learn something as valuable as what Star Trek has to teach.  They just want the 'fun'.  

If you cannot learn something or not expect those die-hard technical fans are going to let you get away with dumbing it down, or that you should not have to spend six weeks in the Academy before thinking you are even cool enough to lick the deck plates of a startship...You're mistaken and you do not deserve to be in Starfleet.

Ellessar

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POSTS: 1848

Report this Jun. 19 2005, 3:50 pm

Quote (Kinneas @ June 19 2005, 9:21 am)
I think Academy should be 'super involved' and  people should be required to learn, or they can just go the hell away and realize they are not smart enough for Star Trek...even when it's dumbed down to a sim level for people.

  I think every system listed in the technical manual should exist.  Therefore you have to know what they do and why they are there.
  Here's an easy example:  Before you can leave spacedock you MUST have these systems in a SHIP (F.J. Tech Manual) for basic navigation: (basic tracking elements)
    1). Physics Lab Telescope
    2). 3 directional scanners + an upper and lower scanner
    3). Main Scanner
    4). Civil Spaceways Beam Rider
    5). S.I.N.S. Platform Module
    6). Galactic Time Base Pulse Module
    7). Main Propulsion Output Module
    8). Course Records Data Banks Module
    9). Impulse Power Output Module
   10). Ships Helm Control Response Module
   11).  THE LOGIC and Integrating unit
   12). the Chart Room
   13). Astrogator
   14). Navigation Bridge Control Station.

  If people cannot come to grips with having to learn those basic systems, how to monitor them, test them, replace them or even understand WTF they are then they should realize Star Trek the MMOG may not be for them.

  I hope this game is ESPECIALLY kind to those in engineering, flight, command and science.  I hope it challenges you beyond your wildest expectation and keeps the simple minded as far away from you as possible.  You are elite and deserve to be treated to game as elite as you.

  The rest of you should reconsider just how Star Trek you are.
  Because Star Trek, easy and simple do not go together and since Sta Trek first came out kids are just getting dumber and have less attention span and can't be bothered to learn something as valuable as what Star Trek has to teach. They just want the 'fun'.

  If you cannot learn something or not expect those die-hard technical fans are going to let you get away with dumbing it down, or that you should not have to spend six weeks in the Academy before thinking you are even cool enough to lick the deck plates of a startship...You're mistaken and you do not deserve to be in Starfleet.

[QUOTE]

Well let me simply say I hope none of that actually happens.  There is no way I'm going to sit at my computer for hours and hours and study techno-bable that has absolutly no bearing on the real world or anything I do.  When I want to play a game I want to play it.  I don't have time to first have to sit down and poor through pages of crap that has no real world consequence.  

Most people have enough real world concerns to worry about without having to go to work or go to school when they play a game.  

I don't have the time to waste to learn how fake technology works.  

Kinneas I am sure you want this level of involvement and I'm sure there are some other tech head who also would love this.  But, you would represent the uber niche game players.  You would absolutly turn most people right off of the game with having to actually study.

JarekStorm

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POSTS: 51

Report this Jun. 19 2005, 4:08 pm

I'm sure there will be game systems to learn, as there are in all MMO's.

I mean, after a while you fill your head with tons of meaningless info in MMO's, like massive spell lists for every class and such.  Most good MMO players know every spell of every class and what they all do, as well as almost every piece of loot and its stats and where it drops, and every mob type and they're special abilities and loot, all the quest givers and they're rewards, etc...

However, having to actually study and work in an MMO would be a bit much for the majority of the playerbase imo.

Tal_Shiar_Officer

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POSTS: 1652

Report this Jun. 19 2005, 4:16 pm

I agree with Ellessar. Kinneas, people would be turned off. The game would die a brutal death, probably even worse than G&H will, if you do that.

MountainForest, I agree with you that engineers should be doing that. I haven't put togehter a functioning model yet, though, something I should do one of these days. It is more of a pain than you think. Just try creating it. :(

Ortus_Sapienta

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POSTS: 1468

Report this Jun. 19 2005, 4:36 pm

As usual Kinneas, going for the convoluted game.

Why cant people accept, Star Trek appeals to all ages and all walks of life. People will want to be engineers without learning complex equations, people will want to be helm officers without learning the ins and outs of propulsion systems.

People generally want clean simple escapist fun. Only a small core of people want a game that makes them reach for a reference book.

I'm afraid that as far as gameplay is concerned, tech heads lose out and rightly so.

~Ortus

Mountainforest

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POSTS: 128

Report this Jun. 19 2005, 5:15 pm

I like Kinneas ideas, they would most certainly form the ultimate startrek game (and experience). Still I agree you can't force people to know that much (you can forget any non-startrek person to enter the game, and Perpetual needs their money ;)), so I think players have should have the option to just know the basic stuff, or to get a real expert (if they want too) with of course apropiate ingame advantages.

Tal, what I just said can be seen as a functional model to create random assignments for engineers. Just knock out any system or let it function at half capacity, the ship diagram will calculate what systems will be affected by this damaged system and the engineer can start searching for the problem (and whit large numbers of systems come large numbers of scenarios). He uses diagnosis programs for that (I can imagine what programs you can use depends on your level) to find it out in some kind of mini game. Finding out what systems are damaged using diagnosis programs can, to get back on Kinneas ideas, be a lot easier if you actually know the ship systems and what they do. It won't be necesary to know (you can do fine with diagnosis programs) but if you know it gets a lot easier, and more satisfying when you solve something.

After that stage an engineer goes to the damaged system and repairs it (multiple mini game possibilitys here) using tools (you will probably unlock new tools while leveling). I hope having real knowledge will be a help here too.

That's how I'm seeing it anyway.

Kinneas

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POSTS: 1877

Report this Jun. 19 2005, 5:16 pm

How can you have a Star Trek game like this without it is my question?

  Those are established canon systems?  Are they not going to be on a Starship?
  All those systems are 'required'...and that's just the course tracking elements.

  How are you going to operate the Physics Telescope and relay that info down to charts?   How is Command going to get the data from Science, the chart room and plot in courses to hand off to Helm?
 
  You guys don't seem to know jack about what a Star Trek Starship is and how it operates at all and when CANON of HOW a ship works is shoved in your face you get all "I'm not going to learn that!"

  Well we're demanding CANON. So far PE has said they will be as acurate to can as they can be.  So guess what?  You may have to learn those systems.

  If your not incllined.  You can go play a MILLION other games that don't bore you.

  Because that stuff IS Star Trek and is what me and a million other Star Trek fans have been waiting for our whole life and we're not going to let you pukes get away with screwing up another Star Trek game because you are too stupid.

  Why was SF3 'dumbed down'?   Because the 'general audience' found it too hard!  While us technical players found it too easy and sickening.

  NO MORE!  No more crap Star Trek games that cater to the lowest denominator.

  If you can't be bothered to get excited about that SMALL list I put up you are NOT a Trekkie. YOU are a POSER.
  I've been hanging around 'slide-rule' , Star Trek fans my whole life and I have never once in all my years heard a Star Trek fan talk about 'dumbing anything down'...UNTIL I started hanging out with 'fans' on these game boards.
  YOU are the only Trek fans who would cut all our throats because you can't hack what Star Trek really is.

  I sure hope to GOD you all get a very rude awakening.   If 'I'm' the one who is in for a rude awakening...something is seriously wrong.

Mountainforest

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POSTS: 128

Report this Jun. 19 2005, 5:19 pm

Kinneas, could you please read my post above (your writing is quicker) :D

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