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Can we get bigger maps?

Champions online, and nominally uses the same engine as STO. In champions a vast ground map spans levelling zones for 1-20, 10-20 and 20-30 and contains a seamless social / crafting hub, with a specialist training area where you can go to train your character to level up and you are not charged any skill points until you leave.

Now, STO has more complication - we frequently transition between ground and space so the content is all very fragmentary.

But, it would potentially go a very long way to improved immersion if at least a select few ground maps could be extended to include this kind of concept. The Academy, Vulcan, Qo'nos, New Romulus, Bajor could all benefit from feeling more planetary, and we could re-locate the event holidays and festivals to take place on these maps rather than having specific instances only at certain times of year.

Risa is almost there, but I'm confused by the continued existence of old-risa which is really pokey and not fun at all to visit.

Also, even as a long term player, I don't even know where all the available social maps are - both fully public and fleet.

Comments

  • duncanidaho11duncanidaho11 Member Posts: 7,541 Arc User
    edited December 2018
    It's not a simple task to simply expand those maps. Champions built itself on an open world in a similar vein to other games (ie. popular MMO's at the time.) STO opted to adopt a structure much more similar to action RPG's. For my money I prefer the latter because the large worlds have drawbacks to performance, detail, and dev time. You, quite simply, can't do as much when trying to fill a massive space and that very often results in fluff and dead zones whose only purpose is to create the impression of scale but without the real-world substance to give a large, open environment any kind of real texture or depth.

    Personally, I'd rather see existing social maps improved by adding more NPC interactions and optional activities to existing environments. Many of these maps are already empty enough as it is without adding in more volume to compound the problems (which factor into why many long term players don't use these environments for more than the occasional hangout or RP jaunt.) Previous attempts IMO were...insufficient to the task and a more serious effort now (when Cryptic is much more skilled in character writing, gameplay design, and incentivization) I think would have a much better outcome.
    Bipedal mammal and senior Foundry author.
    Last missions:
    Evolution's Smile [SSF:3-3]
    Epoch, Part 2 [AEI]
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    Looking for something new to play? The interactive Foundry Mission Database has you covered.
  • ihatepwe735ihatepwe735 Member Posts: 337 Arc User
    It's not a simple task to simply expand those maps. Champions built itself on an open world in a similar vein to other games (ie. popular MMO's at the time.) STO opted to adopt a structure much more similar to action RPG's. For my money I prefer the latter because the large worlds have drawbacks to performance, detail, and dev time. You, quite simply, can't do as much when trying to fill a massive space and that very often results in fluff and dead zones whose only purpose is to create the impression of scale but without the real-world substance to give a large, open environment any kind of real texture or depth.

    Personally, I'd rather see existing social maps improved by adding more NPC interactions and optional activities to existing environments. Many of these maps are already empty enough as it is without adding in more volume to compound the problems (which factor into why many long term players don't use these environments for more than the occasional hangout or RP jaunt.) Previous attempts IMO were...insufficient to the task and a more serious effort now (when Cryptic is much more skilled in character writing, gameplay design, and incentivization) I think would have a much better outcome.

    In general I agree. Why they hell then do they keep on adding more fleet holdings as though we give a damn?

    "Oh look - a TOS themed station! Yet another place for me to never bother to visit".

    It would be nice if they spent more time making us visit fewer maps is really the essence of my thought.

    Perhaps they could consider rolling all the fleet holdings into one big map, just with different starting points, so we can visit them all without incurring endless map load cycles.


  • duncanidaho11duncanidaho11 Member Posts: 7,541 Arc User
    edited December 2018

    In general I agree. Why they hell then do they keep on adding more fleet holdings as though we give a damn?

    "Oh look - a TOS themed station! Yet another place for me to never bother to visit".

    It would be nice if they spent more time making us visit fewer maps is really the essence of my thought.

    Perhaps they could consider rolling all the fleet holdings into one big map, just with different starting points, so we can visit them all without incurring endless map load cycles.

    Because fleet holdings are content delivery and fleet progression systems. The map itself is a bonus to work towards.

    Rolling all fleet holdings into one big map (I'll just go a head and state) is probably not on the table. That presumes the reason why they were separated in the first place was entirely arbitrary and, not, say due to performance limitations and the detail of these maps relative to other open zones (too many polygons and the game does suffer, the asset limit in the Foundry is a rough guide to what the engine can handle and we can test there what happens when you go overboard.) You can either go big or you can go intricate. STO does the latter with respect to its own baseline, more so.
    Bipedal mammal and senior Foundry author.
    Last missions:
    Evolution's Smile [SSF:3-3]
    Epoch, Part 2 [AEI]
    Transcendence, Part 4
    Memorial Tour

    For the latest Tardigrades and other creative output: @Gorgonops_SSF
    Looking for something new to play? The interactive Foundry Mission Database has you covered.
  • somtaawkharsomtaawkhar Member Posts: 5,759 Arc User
    In general I agree. Why they hell then do they keep on adding more fleet holdings as though we give a damn?
    Well
    A. Fleet holdings give you powerful Boffs, kit modules, and ship weapons/consoles that makes doing them very useful.
    B. They encourage at least some sort of community cooperation to get the resources needed to complete them. Which is, you know, the point of MMOs.

  • ihatepwe735ihatepwe735 Member Posts: 337 Arc User
    In general I agree. Why they hell then do they keep on adding more fleet holdings as though we give a damn?
    Well
    A. Fleet holdings give you powerful Boffs, kit modules, and ship weapons/consoles that makes doing them very useful.
    B. They encourage at least some sort of community cooperation to get the resources needed to complete them. Which is, you know, the point of MMOs.

    The boffs, and things on sale? All good. The community to build them? Good. The new fleet social hub? Really? No one actually wants that. The only reason these maps are visited 99% of the time is to buy the items. Ive been in one fleet that managed to stage the occasional meeting in the meeting room of the Fleet Research Lab.

    Because fleet holdings are content delivery and fleet progression systems. The map itself is a bonus to work towards.

    Rolling all fleet holdings into one big map (I'll just go a head and state) is probably not on the table. That presumes the reason why they were separated in the first place was entirely arbitrary and, not, say due to performance limitations and the detail of these maps relative to other open zones (too many polygons and the game does suffer, the asset limit in the Foundry is a rough guide to what the engine can handle.) You can either go big or you can go intricate. STO does the latter with respect to its own baseline, more so.

    Again - we know the engine DOES support very massive maps. In champions it only renders the immediate area in full detail and in STO the fleet holdings would be far away and not visible. Not paying the rendering costs for not visible things was invented in 1969 and were used by Doom in 1991. I'm sure Cryptics little engine can manage.

  • duncanidaho11duncanidaho11 Member Posts: 7,541 Arc User
    edited December 2018

    Again - we know the engine DOES support very massive maps. In champions it only renders the immediate area in full detail and in STO the fleet holdings would be far away and not visible. Not paying the rendering costs for not visible things was invented in 1969 and were used by Doom in 1991. I'm sure Cryptics little engine can manage.

    We also know that the engine doesn't support infinite polygons or maps of infinite scale. There are limitations beyond "well if I don't see it it's not having a performance impact." Big maps work on a compromise with detail. You cannot simply stitch all existing fleet holdings together without making similar compromises at the expense of both dev time (incurring opportunity costs) and the quality of those maps.

    I'm sure of that from direct experience breaking STO. Again, you're making an unrealistic presumption in that the current structure of STO is entirely arbitrary (the devs just didn't care about load times) and can be "fixed" by simply hitting cut-paste across geo and dumping everything together on one map.
    Bipedal mammal and senior Foundry author.
    Last missions:
    Evolution's Smile [SSF:3-3]
    Epoch, Part 2 [AEI]
    Transcendence, Part 4
    Memorial Tour

    For the latest Tardigrades and other creative output: @Gorgonops_SSF
    Looking for something new to play? The interactive Foundry Mission Database has you covered.
  • where2r1where2r1 Member Posts: 5,901 Arc User
    edited December 2018
    I use my Fleet Starbase almost exclusively for everything. I am sorry that you only use yours for shopping.

    Only reason I am at First City with everyone right now is: it is where all the WW Doff assignments exist.
    "Spend your life doing strange things with weird people." -- UNK

    “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” -- Benjamin Franklin
  • ihatepwe735ihatepwe735 Member Posts: 337 Arc User
    where2r1 wrote: »
    I use my Fleet Starbase almost exclusively for everything.

    Do you mind me asking why?

    It is my assertion that the game already has too many social hubs and adding more dilutes, rather than increases their value.

    This page lists 10 major hubs and 8 minor hubs. Fleets add another 7.

    I want to include ship bridges in this list because, presumably Cryptic sell them because we buy them, and we buy them to spend time in them and perhaps invite people to them.

    Some of the larger bridges are a multi level affair, and with a trophy room are the closest analogue to custom player housing we have. I even bought the T5-U Ferengi ship that has built in access to the exchange.

    It would be nice if the space-based Fleet Holdings had some "docking" slots and a certain tier of fleet member ship would allow a player to "dock" a ship, locking it to the fleet holding and allowing that ship map to be freely navigated from the station.

  • valoreahvaloreah Member Posts: 9,944 Arc User
    It would be nice if they spent more time making us visit fewer maps is really the essence of my thought.

    Cryptic cannot win with this. One person calls for less maps while the next will cry for more places to visit.

    Dear Devs: I enjoyed the Legacy of Romulus expansion much more than the Delta Rising expansion. .
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  • glassguitarglassguitar Member Posts: 424 Arc User
    The Fleet Holdings are actually in different places. If you actually LOOK at the overview map you can easily see that. (Embassy on New Romulus, Mine in the Asteroid Field, Sphere you know, in the sphere)That's why we use a Transwarp Gate to go between them.
  • where2r1where2r1 Member Posts: 5,901 Arc User
    Do you mind me asking why?

    Because my Fleet Starbase is awesome.

    Everything is there that I use all the time...bank, mail, personnel officer CXP exchange console, bartender/vendor (who is next to the fireplace and Blood Wine), security officer for Contraband, Shipyard, Tailor...and there are Targs walking everywhere. I like Targs.

    Before everything got unlocked at the Starbase, I had to stop at Qo'nos or Drozana, first, then go to my Fleet holdings. Not any more. :)

    The Transporter guy lets me go to Dilithium Mine every day for DOFFing. Every DAY, with every character I am Doffing on. Refinement of extra 500DL a day per character is important. I used to go to K-13 and Research Lab, too...but I ran out of spots for Marauding by going all over the Fleet holdings for assignments, so I quit that.
    It is my assertion that the game already has too many social hubs and adding more dilutes, rather than increases their value.

    So? I don't understand what the big deal is. Let people go where they want to go....
    I just land in those places to get whatever clicking done before I am off to the next character, anyways.

    "Spend your life doing strange things with weird people." -- UNK

    “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” -- Benjamin Franklin
  • davefenestratordavefenestrator Member Posts: 6,642 Arc User
    valoreah wrote: »
    It would be nice if they spent more time making us visit fewer maps is really the essence of my thought.

    Cryptic cannot win with this. One person calls for less maps while the next will cry for more places to visit.

    Exactly. There have been many threads asking for additional social zones and holdings.

    People need to realize that because they personally want or do not want something does not mean everyone else feels the same way.

  • risian6#1997 risian6 Member Posts: 128 Arc User
    Perhaps if everybody didn't make their characters over 2 meters in heigth, the maps wouldn't feel so small!

    ;)
    Formerly known as Risian4. Risian6 is my new PS4-account. Fleetcaptain5 is my main PC account. I hope to actively play again on PC in a few months.

    Now that that's made clear... on to the next issue: when are playable Voth coming, and where's are my T7 Vesta and C-store purchasable real life shuttle? :)
  • risian6#1997 risian6 Member Posts: 128 Arc User
    One way of making maps bigger would be to add different levels btw.

    Take the Khitomer ground map for example. I've never had the idea that that is a small map - even though it actually is when you look at how few rooms there are and take into consideration that those corridors are not that long.

    So it kind of works to add those different levels.
    Formerly known as Risian4. Risian6 is my new PS4-account. Fleetcaptain5 is my main PC account. I hope to actively play again on PC in a few months.

    Now that that's made clear... on to the next issue: when are playable Voth coming, and where's are my T7 Vesta and C-store purchasable real life shuttle? :)
  • lordmerc22lordmerc22 Member Posts: 32 Arc User
    Perhaps if everybody didn't make their characters over 2 meters in heigth, the maps wouldn't feel so small!

    ;)

    |Meh, my Gorn Engineer is only 8 feet tall, not a biggie

    And personally I would prefer more keeping these holdings and make them even more detailed
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