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A potential Lack of Depth

Ellessar

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POSTS: 1848

Report this Jun. 23 2005, 2:55 pm

I've been following the development of this game pretty much since the day it was announced.  Over the course of the last year the devs at PE have given us an outline of what they plan to do.  Howver, over the course of the last few months I have become a bit troubled as to the direction PE is taking this game.  In short they seem to be moving towards a very one dimensional game.  

We have heard from the devs that there will be one faction at launch.  We have heard from the devs that there will be no real meaningful PvP combat in game.  We will instead only have holodecks for PvP.  We have heard that there will be no crafting and no player economy.  We have also heard that everyone will be a Star Fleet officer.  

Well that all sounds wonderfully one dimensional.  Reminds me a lot of some other MMOs out there,  one dimensional and lacking in any real depth.  What are we to do in this game aside from go out and run missions for Star Fleet?  People like MMOs because they offer so many possibilities.  It is not enough to merely have a cooperative online mission based FPS game.  MMOs are about depth and player choice.  What choice is PE giving the player?  

How is STO going to compete with other MMOs that offer a more massive game experience?  The answer is, its not.  This game is going to end up like CoH.  It is going to be a one dimensional game that lacks any broad appeal and it will have no ability to hold players in the game.  

Why do you think CoV is going to add a second faction, meaningful PvP, and the ability to construct and customize a fortress (guild hall)?  I think it is because those things are what are popular in MMOs and they should have been included from day one in CoH.  WoW is the most successful MMO to date.  It is deep and offers players great choice.  THere are factions, there is factional warfare, there is PvP, there is an ecnomony, and there are crafters.  Take a hint from the most successful MMO of all time.  Players like depth.  

You cannot create a one dimensional Star Trek game and expect it to be popular and successful.  PE cannot do what CoH did and put out a one dimensional game and then hope to put in more depth in expansions.  CoH was relased at a different time and it was a different animal.  While people can all relate to wanting to have super powers and wanting to be a superhero.  Most people can't relate to wanting to be a Star Fleet officer.  It is a different dynamic.  CoH was also playing off of the success of popular movies like X-men and Spiderman.  STO will not have any such success to draw from.  And perhpas biggest of all STO will have far greater compeition at launch than CoH did.  

Lots and lots of missions does not equal depth.  It is not enough to make one interesting faction with lots of missions and nothing else.  There needs to be more to the game.  You can't sell a game when your only bragging point is "he we have a lot of missions."  Yeah great, what else can I do besides run missions for StarFleet?  What is going to make someone want to buy this game?  Name alone is not going to do it.  If name sold games then the Matrix would not be in the crapper right now.  There needs to be depth and choice.    

So while it may have been alright for CoH to be one dimensional it is not alright for STO to be the same.  Right now PE is heading for a one dimesnional game that will only target a very small audience and it will not have the ability to hold players in the game. A one dimesional trek MMO is not going to attract other MMO gammers. It will only attract Star Trek fans who are MMO gammers and in the end it will only be able to keep the most die hard trek fan/MMO gammer in the actual game.  MMOs are all about player choice.  PE is not giving any choice to the players.  And it is going to ruin the game.

Kinneas

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POSTS: 1877

Report this Jun. 23 2005, 3:24 pm

They've also said nothing is set in stone yet and everything is 'subject to change'.

JazH

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POSTS: 1849

Report this Jun. 23 2005, 3:30 pm

I agree with almost every word written.

Perpetual's aim to make Star Trek Online, more playable for solo people, more single player based is admirable, but unfortuntely its closing door to great opportunities and choices that make MMOG's enjoyable.

I'm hoping Perpetual will reconsider some major ideas, I'm certainly not here to play an MMOG where my character will do the same things as everyone, look the same and work for the same people.

Tal_Shiar_Officer

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POSTS: 1652

Report this Jun. 23 2005, 3:31 pm

First of all, Ellessar, stop overusing the word depth. It is such a relative term, and I could argue that in many ways your description of the word depth is correct. Would it be considered having more depth if you remove something from one feature and add it to another? Would the game have more depth if engineering is made simply pressing a button in lieu of something more interesting to make time to code another faction? Depth is such a subjective term that you should not use it.

Now then, you do seem to have a mistaken perception that all Perpetual will do is add static mission after static mission with their time. That is not all they can do, and that is something I hope they do not concentrate too much on. They could use the time, for instance, to work on a truly awesome engineering systems with tons of interdepencies. Someone goes wrong, and as an engineer you have to track it down. Wouldn't it be fun to have a system where you could tamper with internal sensors in order to make them think the ship is too cold so that they will send that data to environmental control and raise the temperature? What about adding in an emergent world, like I describe in Interaction Between Federation Members? That would certainly take time to create, but it has a huge number of benefits. No system like that has ever been in an MMOG before. What about giving players better tools to deal with circumstances, like how I describe with The Workings of Admirals? What about breaking the generic MMOG mold and making more interesting dynamic missions like I describe in Larger Mission Scope? There are an abundance of ideas that I would love to see introduced in the game. To just say they'll use the time to create missions is short-sighted.

In MMOGs I have played, I have never gotten into the PvP scene or any sort of real economy. I got bored of those MMOGs during free trials. The only one that really sucked me in was Toontown Online, and that is a truly cooperative game. I am the type of player that likes the idea of spending my time working with my friends to accomplish a mission. So I'm not going to bother to talk about the other points. I'll just say that I, as an individual, do not care much.

Xenesis

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POSTS: 1448

Report this Jun. 23 2005, 3:45 pm

You guys are already judging the game too much before it has even hit alpha.

How about we wait until they release the full list of their features and see what they plan on having before we start with the judging. Who knows, maybe they do have a plan for extra gameplay aside from questing that they haven't mentioned yet.

Tal_Shiar_Officer

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POSTS: 1652

Report this Jun. 23 2005, 3:50 pm

Perpetual has explicitly said a lot of stuff that would upset Ellessar, such as lack of factional PvP. I could see how it would make him upset.

Xenesis, I disagree with your attitude in general, though, and I applaud Ellessar for giving his thoughts, even though I disagree with him. This is early enough where Perpetual haven't even thought of all the features. This is early enough that we can change their minds. When they have a list of features, it will be too late for any major changes then. Now is the time to talk, not later.

JazH

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POSTS: 1849

Report this Jun. 23 2005, 3:58 pm

These thoughts have been lurking around for a long time, however not stressed enough as the voices of "we love canon, give me simulation instead of a Game" voices are loauder. I'm afraid the forum is not representative of the players that will eventually play the game.

The game is not aplha, but we are critical of what we have heard, Perpetual has the opportunity, to correct things we do not like at this time. I've said it before, and I will say it again... There is no need to suckup to the devs, honesty is called for at all times, in the end, pussyfooting around the developers will not gain you a better experience when playing the game.

Xenesis

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POSTS: 1448

Report this Jun. 23 2005, 4:33 pm

Quote
When they have a list of features, it will be too late for any major changes then. Now is the time to talk, not later.


No sorry, it won't be too late to make changes. Like I said, we don't know their full plans, and already you guys are labelling this a city of heroes clone based on the little information that has been passed to us so far, and moreover on your own assumptions.

Sharing your ideas is good, and like Kinneas said nothing is set in stone yet, not even after they go past their conception stage and into alpha, there is still plenty of them time to change things around, even in beta it's not too late.

A game doesn't need an economy and crafting and pvp to be successful. I play WoW which has all those features, wanna guess how much time I spend doing those other parts of the game rather than questing? less than 10% of my play time is devoted to those things, the rest is on quests and dungeons, you know, where the real content of the game is. Everquest is another game that had the top spot for mmog's for a long time, had pvp restricted to a few servers, crafting stunk as it was useless for a good number of years, and an economy? yeah was fun standing around in north ro for the first three years yelling out our items for sale, then it got automated and no one cared, you dumped stuff on your merchant overnight and checked on it in the morning.

I can do without pvp and an economy, provided the rest of the game makes up for that. If they do plan on making it exactly like City of Heroes, then we have a problem, as that game was boring after the first month, but do we know for sure? no we don't. Crafting I'd like to see somewhere, but does it matter much to me? no, cause most of the time it's just a money sink, hello armorcrafting in WoW.

I'm going to wait for them to update their faq and reveal their gameplan to us before I start blasting them about making a CoH clone.

Refresh your memories
http://boards.startrek.com/communi....3211314

I'm not sucking up either, just being a little bit more patient than the rest of you.

Mountainforest

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POSTS: 128

Report this Jun. 23 2005, 4:55 pm

There are multiple ways to put depth in a game, adding PvP isn't the only one. Depth is all about playing possibilitys, and because this is a startrek game we need to find these possibilitys in different regions then in WoW.

World of Warcraft is solely about fighting, ST:O will probably not be. PvP might play a less important role because of that (and be published later) but it also gives a lot of other possibilitys, like exploring. Or what about making gameplay a little bit more complex then WoW, could add a lot of extra depth too.

This is a startrek game, WoW was a warcraft game, different universes make different games. I wouldn't like a game simmilar to WoW, I'd like something truly new, and something that makes me feel being a part from the Startrek universe. I think that universe has more then enough depth to offer.

And this is my own opinion, no sucking up to the devs.

Ellessar

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POSTS: 1848

Report this Jun. 23 2005, 5:06 pm

Tal I would consider you points of depth in a single faction as possible if it had ever been done with any success in any other MMO. However, to date no MMO has yet mastered a fun MMO with such a linear approach to things. CoH would not be adding a bad guy faction and real PvP if they were not popular things. CoH has been consistenly slammed since its launch because you simply don't have enough to do. It all comes down to this: I don't think they are going to be able to make an enjoyable experience with such a limited scope.

You might not like economies and crafting, and PvP, and factional warfare. However, you cannot say that others do not like these things. These things are the components that make up the more popular and well known MMOs. The most successful and well known MMOs are the ones that are more massive and less one dimensional.

Your selling point for this game has to be more than just "Hey you can be a Star Fleet Officer." What else can I do? What is going to keep me in this game? Being a Star Fleet officer only appeals to certain types of Star Trek fans. Do you honeslty think that you are going to be able to sell this game to the other MMO gammers?

Mountainforest it is about more than just PvP.  You are only seeing one tiny piece of the argument.  The problem is that there is no real economy, no crafting, no real PvP, no factions, no bad guys, nothing but Starfleet.  It goes far beyond simply PvP.

Xenesis, I don't even know what to say to you. What would you have me do, save my concerns until the game goes to alpha and then say something? The purpose of these boards is to give suggestions and feedback to the devs. And as of right now, I'm not particularly happy with what has come out.

JazH

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POSTS: 1849

Report this Jun. 23 2005, 5:20 pm

Quote
No sorry, it won't be too late to make changes. Like I said, we don't know their full plans, and already you guys are labelling this a city of heroes clone based on the little information that has been passed to us so far, and moreover on your own assumptions.


We have followed enough posts to get a general idea of what the game is heading too, its much easier to complain NOW..than later. Afterall, I will not trust Perpetual, I will not trust anyone for that matter to make the best STO mmog, hence its better to let Perpetual know what you want.. Rather then..

"well...they havnt said anything..lets leave it till beta, then its too late" - This is typical of most MMOG's nowadays...People are just the 'yes' man, when it comes to beta, its all 'no,no'

PvP, Factions, freedom, creatvitity, economy, crafting is a massive chunk of MMO's, its not wise to to practically tell them to shoveoff - Which I believe Perpetual are planning to do for the economy, for the crafting, creativity and factions.

People keep themselves occupied, I can assure you, no one wants to do endless missions on their own, games like WoW are successful because your time is occupied with other things, crafting, trading, looting, pvping, roleplaying. I do not want an STO, where I do a mission, come back...HAve a go ont he holodeck. Do nothing, logoff. Log back on do missions, rank up, log off.

SWG has much freedom, but that game practically had no missions what so ever, you need to give alot of everything to get the best experience.

Renaikan

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POSTS: 11072

Report this Jun. 23 2005, 5:37 pm

I totally agree with Ellessar and JazH. They way Perpetual is headed with this game it is bound to fail.

Tal_Shiar_Officer

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POSTS: 1652

Report this Jun. 23 2005, 5:39 pm

Ellessar, I would encourage you to think again before you toss out buzzwords like depth. This time, my issue arises with linear. A single faction does not necessarily have to be linear. Linear simply means that you go in one direction without any form of choice as what to do. I would not call the game linear at this stage. Serving aboard NPC vessels, doing short-range TC missions, joining a crew, potentially joining a fleet, being able to decide between the gameplay of an admiral and a captain, and all of that is enough choice to not call hte game linear. These are just confirmed features, but there could be many more choices. Working in a shipyard to construct starships is one example. Deciding to go out exploring versus carrying out a mission is another example. If some of my thoughts were realized, the gameplay that admirals have to deal with would easily allow for a variety of choices as well. There is not enough evidence to call the game linear, and so please do not use a word which does not fit the description.

Ellessar, none of the ideas I put forth regarding having "depth in a single faction" have been done in an MMOG period. They haven't been done with any success, but they haven't been done with any failure either. Also, something that I believe you seem to be ignoring, is that City of Heroes is different than a lot of the potential thoughts for Star Trek: Online. There, you just go around, click on enemies, and when you click on enough enemies you get rewarded by having finished a quest. Star Trek: Online can easily have more to do with a single faction system. There can be far more complexity in ship systems for engineers, for example. Each system could have varies interdepencies with other systems, to make for a much more interesting damage model and to allow for a huge amount of emergent gameplay. Similar amounts of detail could go into each profession's tasks, which would definitely be a positive thing. So skipping the fact that doing duties will be different and more interesting than just clicking, there is greater choice as well. You could have the decision about what types of missions you want to do. You could go do a medical mission and cure a plague, you could go out and just explore, you could hunt for an archaelogical relic, you could be hunting for a rare resource to construct a component for your vessel, you could be working in a shipyard constructing a vessel, you could potentially be trying to win seats in the Federation Council, and the list goes on. Star Trek: Online has the potential for far more choice and far less repitition than City of Heroes when it comes to everything. I would stop comparing the two.

I admit that some people will want factional warfare and player economies. PvP and crafting will be in the game, so don't try to pretend they are not. Maybe in your eyes they are not extensive, but they will exist nonetheless and you should not deny their existence. As a player, though, I want detailed systems and I don't want my tasks as an engineer to be repititive and boring. I want Perpetual to go the extra mile there, and not just add in factional warfare and a player economy. Some players like factional warfare and player economies, and some players like to have greater detail in other areas instead. I prefer the latter, and therefore that is what I will argue for. I will argue for what will make the game more fun for me. If a lot of other people agree with me, then maybe that is the best way to make a game that everyone will like. If they don't, then maybe I am just a niche player. I won't argue for what some third party that I don't know about wants, though.

I actually have a different view of Star Trek: Online then just as an MMOG. I actually see it appealing a huge amount to non-MMOG people as well. Take a look at a Counter Strike clan, for instance. They work together to overcome the enemy in a game. They are well-coordinated and enjoy playing together. I see Star Trek: Online appealing to these types tremendously. They will be able to get together on their starship and experience a huge amount of closeness. The game is clearly designed to strengthen social bonds, which is why I think it will have a huge retention factor even if people run out of things to do. While in normal MMOGs you may occassionally group with friends, here you can be with them all the time. You will be relying on them, and every person will be contributing to the bigger picture. As an engineer, I won't just be doing small things for XP. I will be keeping the ship running well so that my friends can make use of it to complete the mission. I will be a part of a team, and that is where a lot of the thrill is.

Now I'm just caught up in some hype and I am babbling. So, I am going to shut up now.

Danubus

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POSTS: 140

Report this Jun. 23 2005, 5:46 pm

Not going to post a rant like some people in this thread, but I will say this: One faction, no pvp, and no crafting/player economy already makes me think twice about the game. Im not huge into pvp but like it if its done well. I do, however, love crafting and it would be a big plus to be able to make things and sell them. Not being able to do that really turns down the appeal notch by one.

Man, I have high hopes for this game. PE please dont shoot yourselves in the foot. Make the game dynamic and appeal to many types of players.

So far with what ive heard...well, Im crossing my fingers.

Tal_Shiar_Officer

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POSTS: 1652

Report this Jun. 23 2005, 5:52 pm

There will be crafting and there will be PvP. Crafting will be upgrading your vessel, potentially by creating new ship components or hybridizing alien components. PvP may not be factional PvP, but it will be in the game. There will be consenual PvP and the holodeck. So you can have wargames and fight with ships, or create your own custom scenarios in the holodeck and play them out. Stop denying that they exist.

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