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Zaddik

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POSTS: 123

Report this Oct. 28 2005, 11:31 am

I for one am happy with this post, specially with this part:

Quote
It's worth saying explicitly: we aren't making a star ship simulator here.


A lot of people seem to be hell bent on what ships are we gonna be able to fly, what weapons are we gonna use. They seem to forget that this is gonna be a MMORPG which, in general, are not about that. This is about living in the Star Trek universe, not about flying around in little ships killing little aliens. That is a children's game. That is exactly what happened to Star Wars Galaxies, at first it was a deep and engrossing game in where you could live out as anything you wanted. Now is just little people with glow sticks against little people with guns (Jedi vs. Bounty Hunters) and look at the state the game is now, people are leaving and even the players ask for server merge so that the servers aren't so empty.

MrJuliano

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POSTS: 345

Report this Oct. 28 2005, 11:43 am

Ok, now, I am not on the development team, and I know just as much as you guys, but I think I understand what it is PE has in mind, and so I am going to attempt to describe it to you here, in order to help you better understand their vision.

Imagine you are on the U.S.S. Exploration (my ship), and you are my helmsman. We have just dropped out of warp and are responding to a distress call. I order you to set course for the ship.

Question: what do you, the player, see? Are you looking at a 3D model of the ship in front of you? Or a console? I wouldn't think you would want to see a model of the ship in front of you, you'd want to see the Bridge, with your fellow officers around you, and me (your jolly captain) barking orders at you. So, if what you are seeing is your console, a flat surface with representations of the Exploration and other ships, why would you want it to be in 3D? That would be very, very difficult to deal with, and would make combat even more complicated.

As we approach the wounded vessel, a strange sensor echo pops up on your screen. You focus the sensors in on that echo, and see it for what it is: a Cardassian cruiser that was hiding in your blind spot. You call tactical's attention to it just as the Cardassians fire two torpedoes that scream towards your hull.

Now, let's assume that you were viewing the ship from an outside reference point. The aforementioned sensor echo wouldn't have been detected. The Cardassians would have been able to pull up and fire at point-blank range because you were too busy admiring the curve of your ship's engineering section.

Understand that the helm has no control over firing weapons. Tactical does that. So, if you at the helm engage in a complex, twisting manuver that takes you way out of plane, without telling tactical exactly what you're planning as you're planning and implementing it, tactical may fire the wrong weapons and miss, or put power to shields that don't need to be fortified. If combat is so slow that all of those things could be planned beforehand, then it wouldn't be very fun, either.

You guys are thinking of BC or EVE where the player has control over every aspect of the ship at all times. It's not like that here. The whole team must work together to win, and work together seamlessly. That's why they left out complicated 3D moves. Trust me, you will have plenty to do.

Xenesis

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POSTS: 1448

Report this Oct. 28 2005, 11:58 am

LoL, hey guys, leave the WoW money examples out of STO, cause there are things that made that happen for WoW which STO will not have, like having a rabid player base from all their previous games for ten years on all continents especially in asia where most of the mmog junkies of the world live, does Star Trek have a big asian following? I doubt it.

You can keep dreaming that STO will pull in the same numbers as WoW just because of it's fan base, but it's more realistic to look how all the one time fee Trek games have sold in the last ten years(poorly) to the one that will feature a monthly fee, it certainly won't grab the numbers WoW did after blizzard served up warcraft starcraft and diablo hits to their fans. Turning the game into a complex virtual star trek simulator won't help it grab much fans from outside the small star trek game base. Current scifi mmogs are doing poorly compared to WoW, EvE has about 60k, SWG has about 200k, E&B dead, AO on life support, MxO on life support. You also forget that what made WoW a hit was the ease to play it compared to the previous games like it, the very thing you all are fighting against having.

They have a budget and a timeline they must try to follow. It's a bloody game they're making, they can and will take shortcuts in it's development. They can't wait five-ten years to make the entire Star Trek universe in one shot and then release it to the masses, for one thing, that will cost more than their current budget of 6 million(did Kinneas just pull that out of the air? and I'm sure Blizzard spent more than that in 4 years of development), two, they don't even know how the product will perform after they release, it could be a surprise hit like WoW (YES A SURPRISE HIT! not even blizzard expected WoW to do so well when for almost ten years games in the same genre only pulled in a 1/4 of their numbers) or could be a bomb like MxO, they don't know, and certainly wouldn't be stupid enough to think it will be an instant hit just because Star Trek has a general fan base like Kinneas seems to only think. That's why we're getting one faction, and simpler gameplay, and release in two years, and not a real life simulator on super computers, and release in five years, that would potentially cost them more money than they could make for years.

Right now there is no guarantee that STO will be a hit, PE can't bank that they'll be making 300million like Blizzard in a year, all they can do right now is make sure the game is built to attacted as much customers as possible and let it go at that.


As for this whole 2d/3d fight, just take a minute to think about the whole situation and how you would play it. They want to make navigation a 2d system, what does that do to the universe play area? They'll certainly have less playing space they need to make all around the player, but that could be converted to a bigger spread of playing space from one end of federation space to the other, remember there probably is a timeline for making the play area, they can't make the entire fed/klings/roms areas, it's cut at some point and they'll have to start working on content within that area. People in the future it seems like to stick to 2d navigation, look at Star Wars, for the most part on planets you see people flying in lanes rather than flying any which way they please, there's most likely established flying lanes in space to avoid things like planets, you think when you go to warp the helmsmen is manually flying the ship? all he's does is plots a course to the destination and lets it go auto, if there's something in the way he'll input adjustment and let it go again, there's no manual flying with a joystick in there, for everything out there that you can fly over you can most likely fly around, so again 3d navigation isn't a big deal.

3d matters for combat, but think about that more closely. Fighters certainly need room to maneuver, to dodge and line up their weapons, but they are not going to be fighters in this game is there?, just mainly the big ships and shuttles. Flying up into the z axis or flying to the right of a ship makes no difference in Star Trek, because guess what, ships can hit you in almost any position with phasers or torpedos, ships don't have to be lined up exactly in front of you like in fighter dogfights in this day and age, the only thing you can do is try to go out of range from the weapons or turn the ship for them to hit a different shield area, and going up or right in this case makes no difference.

Also just think of all the battles all these bigger ships go through, they don't go flying loops over their opponets, they might maneuver to the side of a ship to target specific areas or systems, but they hardly move to high speed, they don't need to once you're in range of weapons. When you're able to move your weapons to shoot in wide angles you don't need to move that much. They will have 3d maneuvers and again that will be even impressive to pull off at the right times to dodge weapons fire and such.

Those are my opinions, go ahead and continue to disagree with their intentions if you want, I just don't see it as being that big of a deal. /shrug

Zaddik

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 123

Report this Oct. 28 2005, 12:49 pm

Quote (68th @ Oct. 25 2005, 1:37 pm)
Quote (Xenesis @ Oct. 25 2005, 11:37 am)
Ship to ship fighting in Star Trek IS about out thinking your opponent, discovering their weakness and using it against them, not just flying around in a circle like a maniac just trying to hit each other until one runs out of shields.

Hmm...
Well thats not entirely correct. Most battles to me just looked like ships 'flying around in a circle like a maniac just trying to hit each other' which is what attracted more fans to the series. Take episodes like DS9 5.13, 6.3, 7.13, in my view the more entertaining episodes because of the simple fact that hundreds of ships were blowing hell out of each other and for Star Trek, that was a nice surprise. Yeah there were some cool 'strategies' and 'weaknesses found' like with the Breen (not sure on spelling lol) energy weapons which rendered ships powerless, but just as often, if not more, the battles were just ships blowing hell out of each other.

Actually, you're not entirely correct either.  I guess it all depends on which of the series you saw and/or liked best.  In TNG for example, most of the times the 2 ships just stood their ground and shoot each other.  Hell!  It could almost pass for being turn-based.  Only seldomly did you see Picard go to "Evasive Manuvers" (sp?).  The only other time I can remember "real" dogfighting was when the Klingons almost went to civil war.

Ellessar

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POSTS: 1848

Report this Oct. 28 2005, 12:54 pm

Hey I am in agreement with you here Xenesis.  I've been saying from the start that complex game emchanics only make for small subscription numbers.  

There is not going to be any instant success here with STO.  First off there aren't a whole lot of Star Trek gamers out there based on the way Trek games have done in the past.  Plus, I realise people think this is a large pre-launch community, but really it isn't compared with many of other MMO pre-Launch communities I have been a part of.  Really, you could sit down and hammer out a list of the active memebers of these forms rather quickly.  

STO will launch with a history of bad trek games behind it.  With a monthly fee on top of that.  In an MMO market that is becomming more and more competitive.  In a market where their own supposed fanbase is extremely fickle.  How many folks here have said STO will not have a problem because all Trek fans will play?  Are you serious?  The problem with Trek fans is they don't play because they are easily put off a game when a developer does something they think is not Trek like.  How many people have threatened to leave over this 3D vs. 2D thing already?  

STO needs to appeal to the masses of the MMO community.  If STO focuses on making a trek sim for Trek fans STO will at best do as well as Eve Online.  I mean look at Eve Online, why do most people say they never got into Eve online when you ask them?  You get some pretty standard responses.  The tutorial was too long.  Learning to play was too difficult.  If that is the direction you want STO to go in then it is never going to do well.

Tapping into the Asian market, easy simple gameplay, and fast leveling are what makes games like WoW and even to some extnet Guild Wars successful.  Very complex games don't do as well.

In terms of 3d.  Well again I would enjoy 3d combat a bit more I think.  The SFCIII style was not bad, so I suppose I can live with 2D combat if that is the style they choose.  My main hang up with combat is seeing how they are going to make it a fun team event.  Right now I don't see that happening, but we haven't heard much about it yet.

The only thing I would say to the devs is you can't keep doing things that large portions of the community don't like even if you think it makes more sense.  There have already been two major issues that large portions of the community weren't happy with.  2D space and single faction launch before that.

MrJuliano

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POSTS: 345

Report this Oct. 28 2005, 1:05 pm

Elle, once again, for the hundredth time, I agree with you :)  Everything you said was right on.

But, I did find it promising that PE seems to be willing to make things complex, if you want them to be. In other words, as Chief Engineer, you can either click a button that realigns the warp core, or get in there and do it yourself, making things more efficient by doing them manually. Wouldn't that be cool?

More on topic, how many times have we heard from the helm "Engines/controls aren't responding!" "Switch to manual!"? Was the computer doing complex moves, and if so, what was the helmsman doing? Or, was the computer initiating a move like "Run away" and then the helmsman takes over and inputs "Run away at a 90* angle for 2.3 kilometers, followed by a 35* yaw and 12* pitch accompanied by a 20% decrease in speed"?

Something to think about, I suppose.

ElevenThirtyOne

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POSTS: 77

Report this Oct. 28 2005, 1:59 pm

The tired argument of "3D combat maneuvers has realy been seen in Star Trek" is completly false. If you focus on TNG or TOS then maybe but it you look at ALL the series and movies you'll notice that 3d maneuvaring is very much present in ST. Only until the FX department switched from models to 3D computer renderings this was previously impossible. Ships facing off on the same plat 2D plane is ONLY for dramatic effect and to fit in your TV screen (mostly only seen in TNG).

Large ship dog fighting are very much shown in the last 4 seasons of DS9 and all thru Voyager. Furthermore, the last 4 or 5 ST films also showed heavy 3D maneuvaring in combat. Remember the opening sequence of First Contact? I've never seen so many ships flying in and out and around that cube!

MrJuliano

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POSTS: 345

Report this Oct. 28 2005, 2:42 pm

Yes, but you stil aren't thinking about what you'll actually be doing as a player. Your vantage point won't be from outside the ship looking at the vessel from far away, it will be from your console, or station, concentrating on your duties. Your character will be in front of you, sitting at his/her duty station, doing a task. This isn't a starship simulator, its an MMORPG. 2D/3D manuevering is inconsequential. It's irrelevant.

Don't bring up EVE or BC or SFC. They are about one player, and one ship. This is about a community of players on one ship, all doing different tasks to make the ship itself work efficiently. This is the point you aren't getting. Your argument has no legs to stand on because you are comparing apples to oranges. It is a flying city, not a miner ship in EVE. There are many, many people on board, all doing tasks that effect what the ship does and how it reacts to situations.

/rant off

68th

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POSTS: 527

Report this Oct. 28 2005, 8:27 pm

Quote (Zaddik @ Oct. 28 2005, 9:49 am)
In TNG for example, most of the times the 2 ships just stood their ground and shoot each other. Hell! It could almost pass for being turn-based. Only seldomly did you see Picard go to "Evasive Manuvers" (sp?).

This was because they either didnt have the special effects capabilities to pull off what they can in the newer series or they didnt have enough of a budget.

Frankly, we all know the large space battles attract a load more fans to Star Trek. If the TNG style of combat was used in DS9 and Enterprise, they would only have attracted a much smaller fan base. Why do you think in the latest episodes and movies, the action is more dogfighter style?... because it attracts a much larger audience...simple fact.

So I hope perpetual turn this into much more of an action game than some typical boring MMORPG where the action sucks. Using emotes and talking 99% of the time to fellow players doesnt really do it for everyone.

VulcanInfiltrator

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POSTS: 314

Report this Oct. 28 2005, 9:00 pm

Amen to that. What good is having a Defiant class ship if you have to sit there and get shot and hope your shields outlasts your enemies. The whole reason that ship was built was because big, lumbering capital ships proved ineffective against the Borg. Standing there and getting hit- reminds me of Everquest combat :sick:

TNM

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POSTS: 10

Report this Oct. 28 2005, 11:12 pm

Quote (MrJuliano @ Oct. 28 2005, 11:42 am)
Yes, but you stil aren't thinking about what you'll actually be doing as a player. Your vantage point won't be from outside the ship looking at the vessel from far away, it will be from your console, or station, concentrating on your duties. Your character will be in front of you, sitting at his/her duty station, doing a task. This isn't a starship simulator, its an MMORPG. 2D/3D manuevering is inconsequential. It's irrelevant.

Don't bring up EVE or BC or SFC. They are about one player, and one ship. This is about a community of players on one ship, all doing different tasks to make the ship itself work efficiently. This is the point you aren't getting. Your argument has no legs to stand on because you are comparing apples to oranges. It is a flying city, not a miner ship in EVE. There are many, many people on board, all doing tasks that effect what the ship does and how it reacts to situations.

/rant off

i dont think so, realy. i think every position can also see the combat from 3d view WITH the console for working on half the screen. Its all about presentation of the game, remember? Every player should have the feeling to see whats going on.
(also all the bridge crew can alsways look at the mainscreen on bridge....so its perfectly canon and logic).

what a boring game would it be if you would only see a 2d console without the possibilitie to also see the combat in in a window AT THE SAME TIME.

hey, today games can do that, u know? PE will find the right HUD for this.

AquaIllusion

GROUP: Members

POSTS: 90

Report this Oct. 29 2005, 1:11 am

Quote (MrJuliano @ Oct. 28 2005, 6:43 pm)
Question: what do you, the player, see? Are you looking at a 3D model of the ship in front of you? Or a console? I wouldn't think you would want to see a model of the ship in front of you, you'd want to see the Bridge, with your fellow officers around you, and me (your jolly captain) barking orders at you. So, if what you are seeing is your console, a flat surface with representations of the Exploration and other ships, why would you want it to be in 3D? That would be very, very difficult to deal with, and would make combat even more complicated.

From the dev blog:

Quote
One of our goals for space combat is to create a cinematic experience  we want players to really feel like they are living out scenes from an episode or movie. This means lots of camera angles are available, including space shots, bridge shots, and scenes from around the ship. We expect space combat to be, in a word, breathtaking.


Now which do you think most players would use? A boring view of the bridge and your console, or a breathtaking view of the ship?
And another question, which is easier to navigate in? A 3D view where you can see the enemy ship relative to your ship which you can react to quickly... Or a console which is scrolling off numbers that you have to actually think about?

Kinneas

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POSTS: 1877

Report this Oct. 29 2005, 2:26 am

Quote (TNM @ Oct. 28 2005, 8:12 pm)
PE will find the right HUD for this.

:)  They probably will.  :)

 I'll be eatin' a whole bunch of crow (but that'll be good) and I'll be the one singing the highest praises.

 ehehe.

 I'll keep my hopes up.

LtPowers

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POSTS: 65

Report this Nov. 02 2005, 9:50 am

Quote (Kinneas @ Oct. 28 2005, 2:26 am)
I'll keep my hopes up.

Everyone should.  I remain confident that the Developers are gamers and Star Trek fans as much as any of us are, and that they know what they will find fun.

The truth is, we simply don't have enough information yet to be making judgements.  Given the furor, PE would be wise to focus on getting a more detailed space-combat design out and publicized and see if it will fly with the community, rather than relying on the ambiguity they've communicated so far.



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