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Bring back exploration clusters!

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  • vesterengvestereng Member Posts: 2,252 Arc User
    edited December 2014
    It is coming back

    But it's going to be in the shape of 800 patrol missions and 5 million dil sprinkled with time gates
  • flash525flash525 Member Posts: 5,441 Arc User
    edited December 2014
    Hell No!

    Exploration Clusters were boring as sin - and they offered nothing save for a drain on time. I much prefer them as they are now, mere interactive points for Doff Missions. The Star Cluster removals were one of the few things Cryptic did right.
    attachment.php?attachmentid=42556&d=1518094222
  • sirsitsalotsirsitsalot Member Posts: 2,727 Arc User
    edited December 2014
    flash525 wrote: »
    Hell No!

    Exploration Clusters were boring as sin - and they offered nothing save for a drain on time. I much prefer them as they are now, mere interactive points for Doff Missions. The Star Cluster removals were one of the few things Cryptic did right.

    the removal of content without a suitable replacement of said content is NEVER right. Especially in a game that is already lacking in content.

    What Cryptic really removed when they took out exploration was a choice players had in terms of how to progress. One of the big selling points was that we were not locked in to any particular way we could advance. Playing the exploration clusters was just as valid as playing the DOff system.

    Not everyone liked the exploration cluster content. But nothing forced them to use it. But to some, it was a welcome alternative or additional activity to do. Just because one group doesn't like something does not invalidate the enjoyment of the group who does like it.
    There can be no meeting of the minds between two parties
    if both parties are not willing to meet in the middle...
  • jellico1jellico1 Member Posts: 2,719
    edited December 2014
    It's getting boring just grinding away for reputation marks and specialization points. At least the exploration clusters allowed you to blast away enemies and was a good testing ground for new ship loadouts and ground weapons.


    it was ok for leveling

    If exploration was brought back i would rather explore a whole planet and its system

    mine resources from it like metals /lumber/food/animals

    build citys/colonys/shipyards staff them with duty officrers

    build defenses train/equip troops patrol the systems fight pirates marauders space monsters enemy empires

    help other players do the same

    This is what i would like to see
    Jellico....Engineer ground.....Da'val Romulan space Sci
    Saphire.. Science ground......Ko'el Romulan space Tac
    Leva........Tactical ground.....Koj Romulan space Eng

    JJ-Verse will never be Canon or considered Lore...It will always be JJ-Verse
  • zero2362zero2362 Member Posts: 436 Arc User
    edited December 2014
    jellico1 wrote: »


    it was ok for leveling

    If exploration was brought back i would rather explore a whole planet and its system

    mine resources from it like metals /lumber/food/animals

    build citys/colonys/shipyards staff them with duty officrers

    build defenses train/equip troops patrol the systems fight pirates marauders space monsters enemy empires

    help other players do the same

    This is what i would like to see

    we already have a system like that. its called fleet holdings
    343rguu.jpg

  • bcwhguderian1941bcwhguderian1941 Member Posts: 803 Arc User
    edited December 2014
    I have always missed these clusters. :( I know some say "glad their gone", but they did offer more
    variety to the overall game. They were "buggy" sometimes. but that was part of the charm.
    Having to collect/scan said items in the face of multiple "Orion" thugs, and all my Boff's stuck on
    the other side of a hill ! :eek: What fun ! Some of the best times I've had in game. :D

    These were also great for using Low End ships and gear (my Oberth/Miranda/Constitution are
    near useless in the "new" content). A reworked/improved exploration system would be great,
    but I'll take the old one over what we have now. NOTHING !!

    I think the one obstacle involved in the old system was the amount of "R&D Mat's" available in
    the missions. Do'nt know how easy it would be to cull these.

    Just a "mounful" rookie view.


    BCW. :)
  • lystentlystent Member Posts: 1,019
    edited December 2014
    It's getting boring just grinding away for reputation marks and specialization points. At least the exploration clusters allowed you to blast away enemies and was a good testing ground for new ship loadouts and ground weapons.

    Grind is all you are allowed to do; GET BACK TO WORK!
  • protogothprotogoth Member Posts: 2,369 Arc User
    edited December 2014
    I would really love to see them back as well, but revamped. The randomness was a major draw; it almost felt like actual exploration, because you were never quite certain what you would get.

    On the other hand, there were bad tiles, issues with teams winding up in different instances, mobs spawning in inaccessible locations, and several other challenges which needed to be fixed -- and could have been fixed, and should have been fixed.

    Yes, bring them back, but in a seriously improved state.
  • jellico1jellico1 Member Posts: 2,719
    edited December 2014
    zero2362 wrote: »
    we already have a system like that. its called fleet holdings


    I want some of what your smoking...................
    Jellico....Engineer ground.....Da'val Romulan space Sci
    Saphire.. Science ground......Ko'el Romulan space Tac
    Leva........Tactical ground.....Koj Romulan space Eng

    JJ-Verse will never be Canon or considered Lore...It will always be JJ-Verse
  • nightkennightken Member Posts: 2,808 Arc User
    edited December 2014
    jellico1 wrote: »


    I want some of what your smoking...................

    no comments like that are never drugs... that is inherent.

    if I stop posting it doesn't make you right it. just means I don't have enough rum to continue interacting with you.
  • mustrumridcully0mustrumridcully0 Member Posts: 12,958 Arc User
    edited December 2014
    angrytarg wrote: »
    A lot of people didn't get what "exploration" was about in the first place. Including cryptic themselves. The only way a game like sto can reach any longevity is through randomly generated content, not hand crafted missions without replayability. The game's selling point back then was the Genesis engine for a reason. Scrapping that was a big mistake and cheated players that bought in for that feature.

    I disagree. Randomly generated content is boring and lacks what Star Trek exploration stories really entailed. Star Trek explorations stories were (by the nature of the medium) always scripted, with moral and ethical dilemmas and what not. Unless you can find a way to generate procedurally, you'll have to rely on writers. And we're certainly not there yet to do it procedurally.
    Star Trek Online Advancement: You start with lowbie gear, you end with Lobi gear.
  • flash525flash525 Member Posts: 5,441 Arc User
    edited December 2014
    [snip]

    Not everyone liked the exploration cluster content. But nothing forced them to use it. But to some, it was a welcome alternative or additional activity to do. Just because one group doesn't like something does not invalidate the enjoyment of the group who does like it.
    Exploration Clusters didn't offer anything though. There was nothing unique about them. Whatever you could do within them can still be done without them; you still have the Doff missions, and you still have the Patrol missions.

    Star Cluster removal didn't actually take anything away from the game.
    attachment.php?attachmentid=42556&d=1518094222
  • robert359robert359 Member Posts: 355 Arc User
    edited December 2014
    I think with a little work a new exploration system would be good.

    By using a RNG branching tree. At each branch a new path is randomly chosen.

    It could start with is it space, ground, or both.
    Is it exploration, diplomacy, combat, or more than one.
    Then how many objectives there are, 1-4.
    What are the objectives scan, deliver aid, help someone.
    Combat fight raiders, rioters, wildlife.

    Branches can be added as content is made and different clusters can have different branches. Each branch would have its own XP reward so no mater what number of branches was generated the rewards would be proportional to what the player did. And of course have it all scale to the player level.

    Just my idea.
    "The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war."
    Douglas MacArthur - Quote on the dedication plaque of the U.S.S. Ranger NCC-97332-A Armitage class Fleet Heavy Strike Wing Escort.
  • robert359robert359 Member Posts: 355 Arc User
    edited December 2014
    I disagree. Randomly generated content is boring and lacks what Star Trek exploration stories really entailed. Star Trek explorations stories were (by the nature of the medium) always scripted, with moral and ethical dilemmas and what not. Unless you can find a way to generate procedurally, you'll have to rely on writers. And we're certainly not there yet to do it procedurally.

    And I disagree, with some of this.

    I didn't think the randomly generated stuff was boring. I think doing the same STF is.

    I do agree with you story argument. The written stories with the morals and ethical issues is good for episode content and the random stuff for the exploration clusters. Why can't we have both?
    "The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war."
    Douglas MacArthur - Quote on the dedication plaque of the U.S.S. Ranger NCC-97332-A Armitage class Fleet Heavy Strike Wing Escort.
  • thutmosis85thutmosis85 Member Posts: 2,358 Arc User
    edited December 2014
    flash525 wrote: »
    There was nothing unique about them. Whatever you could do within them can still be done without them; you still have the Doff missions, and you still have the Patrol missions.

    Star Cluster removal didn't actually take anything away from the game.

    Not True ... they offered pretty much the only "Non-Combat" Missions (like Scan 5 Plants, Deliver Commodities etc) ... granted, there are still 1-2 left in the "Old Patrols" but you can't repeat them ... so this aspect of the game is gone now ...

    Another important thing is "First Contact" - Missions, which were actually "hidden gems" of these Clusters ... gone as well ...
    robert359 wrote: »

    I didn't think the randomly generated stuff was boring. I think doing the same STF is.

    +1 ... Boredom comes from endless Repetition of the "same" Task (at least for me), and Clusters had at least "some" variety ...

    Sure I would prefer complex Story Content & Moral Dilemmas etc as well, but the one thing Cryptic has proven with DR, is that they can't deliver (anymore) ... so considering how things "are going" now ... I really really don't get, how they just scrapped them ...
    Patch Notes : Resolved an Issue, where people would accidently experience Fun.
  • architect13architect13 Member Posts: 1,076 Arc User
    edited December 2014
    While we are at it, can we have our bridge invites for the doff colonization missions back? I really do miss those . . . It would make my Cell ship happy.
    Have you tried the new forum on your phone?
  • baudlbaudl Member Posts: 4,048 Arc User
    edited December 2014
    robert359 wrote: »
    I think with a little work a new exploration system would be good.

    By using a RNG branching tree. At each branch a new path is randomly chosen.

    It could start with is it space, ground, or both.
    Is it exploration, diplomacy, combat, or more than one.
    Then how many objectives there are, 1-4.
    What are the objectives scan, deliver aid, help someone.
    Combat fight raiders, rioters, wildlife.

    Branches can be added as content is made and different clusters can have different branches. Each branch would have its own XP reward so no mater what number of branches was generated the rewards would be proportional to what the player did. And of course have it all scale to the player level.

    Just my idea.

    THe branching idea is really good, though it still needs some sort of relevant inplementation into the universe. Pockets in space with "anomalies" that turn into star systems isn't something that is in any way engaging.

    Now cryptic has a technology to do "random" story content: FOUNDRY

    What they still lack is some sort of filter system and REASON for the average joe to do them.

    SOme sort of reputation and or reward system and a team that sifts through user generated missions and select the few real good ones could make the foundry actually something worthwhile and fun.
    instead it is left to rott like PVP...

    Foundry has the potential to give this game something really unique and exiting, if tended to by the devs.
    Go pro or go home
  • markhawkmanmarkhawkman Member Posts: 35,231 Arc User
    edited December 2014
    I have always missed these clusters. :( I know some say "glad their gone", but they did offer more
    variety to the overall game. They were "buggy" sometimes. but that was part of the charm.
    Having to collect/scan said items in the face of multiple "Orion" thugs, and all my Boff's stuck on
    the other side of a hill ! :eek: What fun ! Some of the best times I've had in game. :D

    These were also great for using Low End ships and gear (my Oberth/Miranda/Constitution are
    near useless in the "new" content). A reworked/improved exploration system would be great,
    but I'll take the old one over what we have now. NOTHING !!

    I think the one obstacle involved in the old system was the amount of "R&D Mat's" available in
    the missions. Do'nt know how easy it would be to cull these.
    Not as many as you'd think. The missions had 2-6 scan points, and gave out a random quality of stuff. When converted to the new system, the scan points would give you the same materials, in the same quantities, at the same rates. IE, not much better than story missions. The only "fast" way to get mats was to cruise around sector space looking for scan points in sector space. Which wasn't that great when there were others doing it too.

    Yes, I've been collecting R&D mats since season 3. :P
    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
    My character Tsin'xing
    Costume_marhawkman_Tsin%27xing_CC_Comic_Page_Blue_488916968.jpg
  • flash525flash525 Member Posts: 5,441 Arc User
    edited December 2014
    robert359 wrote: »
    I didn't think the randomly generated stuff was boring. I think doing the same STF is.
    It wasn't really true random generations though, was it? The clusters operated some sort of rotation system, and if I remember right, there were five outcomes;

    1) Collect Data Samples (from x5 points)
    2) Beam down to a planet/facility and access consoles (without any opposition)
    3) Beam down to a planet/facility and access consoles (with opposition)
    4) Defend planet/convoy/station from raiders
    5) Scan destroyed Freighters (with opposition)

    The ships and aliens fought changed, but the missions were one of the above. Hardly random. Compared to STF's the star cluster awards were pretty poor too, so what purpose was there to run three of them when you could run an STF (or two) in the same time?
    Not True ... they offered pretty much the only "Non-Combat" Missions (like Scan 5 Plants, Deliver Commodities etc) ... granted, there are still 1-2 left in the "Old Patrols" but you can't repeat them ... so this aspect of the game is gone now ...
    Yeah, non combat missions which were boring as ****. I'd much rather destroy a fleet of ships than run half way across a map to scan a friggin plant or console.
    attachment.php?attachmentid=42556&d=1518094222
  • robert359robert359 Member Posts: 355 Arc User
    edited December 2014
    True. The random elements was very limited. Where it selected a whole mission.

    That is why I suggested a branching system.
    "The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war."
    Douglas MacArthur - Quote on the dedication plaque of the U.S.S. Ranger NCC-97332-A Armitage class Fleet Heavy Strike Wing Escort.
  • markhawkmanmarkhawkman Member Posts: 35,231 Arc User
    edited December 2014
    flash525 wrote: »
    It wasn't really true random generations though, was it? The clusters operated some sort of rotation system, and if I remember right, there were five outcomes;

    1) Collect Data Samples (from x5 points)
    2) Beam down to a planet/facility and access consoles (without any opposition)
    3) Beam down to a planet/facility and access consoles (with opposition)
    4) Defend planet/convoy/station from raiders
    5) Scan destroyed Freighters (with opposition)

    The ships and aliens fought changed, but the missions were one of the above. Hardly random. Compared to STF's the star cluster awards were pretty poor too, so what purpose was there to run three of them when you could run an STF (or two) in the same time?
    R&D mats. :P Back then STFs gave out 0 R&D mats.

    There was a bit more variety than that to the objectives. But not a lot. There was a rather rare one where your mission was to destroy Gorgan(non-corporeal) invaders. The "scan X" objectives ground side had a variety of objects and reasons for the scans. One of the more common ones was assessing the value of Decalithium deposits. There was also a rather common one for collecting archaeological artifacts. This is where the "Third Borg Dynasty" came from. Another had the goal of restabilizing an alien planetary defense installation. (The locals can't do it because they didn't build it and don't really know how it works.)
    robert359 wrote: »
    True. The random elements was very limited. Where it selected a whole mission.

    That is why I suggested a branching system.
    the problem there is in getting the branching to be logical. You can't just toss out objectives at random.
    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
    My character Tsin'xing
    Costume_marhawkman_Tsin%27xing_CC_Comic_Page_Blue_488916968.jpg
  • thutmosis85thutmosis85 Member Posts: 2,358 Arc User
    edited December 2014
    flash525 wrote: »
    Yeah, non combat missions which were boring as ****. I'd much rather destroy a fleet of ships than run half way across a map to scan a friggin plant or console.

    Well after the 20th "Shoot 5 Waves of Enemies" - DQ Patrol in a row, I would have killed for one of these ... not sure why shootin stuff over & over & over would be more exciting, though ... because Explosions ? ...

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6qQJO2vlmKE

    But that was not the point, was it ?
    flash525 wrote: »
    Star Cluster removal didn't actually take anything away from the game.

    ... it's still something that's not in the game anymore, some people might have liked them, from time to time (like myself) & like others have already said (multiple times), no one was forcing you to do them ...

    PS : Also "First Contact"- Missions ... I could agree on, that "Scan 5 Plants" - Missions had "questionable" Quality ... "First Contact" - Missions on the other hand ... not so much ...
    flash525 wrote: »
    It wasn't really true random generations though, was it? The clusters operated some sort of rotation system, and if I remember right, there were five outcomes

    At least you got some change of Scenery ... Argala always looks the same, and there is only one Outcome -> Shoot Stuff till your eyes bleed ...
    Patch Notes : Resolved an Issue, where people would accidently experience Fun.
  • bobbydazlersbobbydazlers Member Posts: 4,532 Arc User
    edited December 2014
    It's getting boring just grinding away for reputation marks and specialization points. At least the exploration clusters allowed you to blast away enemies and was a good testing ground for new ship loadouts and ground weapons.

    try the 3 deferi mission on the mission folder available tab or even try one of the space or ground based farming missions from the foundry tab like royal rumble, they are all infinitely better testing grounds for new ship loadouts and ground weapons.

    most of the cluster missions were a total waste of time, scan a few anomalies or search a deserted instolation > boring.
    They may have been bad but they were still "content"

    And removing content is "never" a good thing.

    they were removed to make space for new content and they were chosen for removal as cryptic could tell 95% of the player base never used them, and removing content is a good thing when its a total waste of space as the cluster missions were.
    angrytarg wrote: »
    A lot of people didn't get what "exploration" was about in the first place. Including cryptic themselves. The only way a game like sto can reach any longevity is through randomly generated content, not hand crafted missions without replayability. The game's selling point back then was the Genesis engine for a reason. Scrapping that was a big mistake and cheated players that bought in for that feature.

    the problem was there wasn't enough random elements to make it interesting, after one or two visits to a cluster you just ended up getting the same missions over and over and over again.

    you might as well just print out a list of story missions shut your eyes and stick a pin in to find a random mission to play at least that would have a greater veriety.

    When I think about everything we've been through together,

    maybe it's not the destination that matters, maybe it's the journey,

     and if that journey takes a little longer,

    so we can do something we all believe in,

     I can't think of any place I'd rather be or any people I'd rather be with.

  • robert359robert359 Member Posts: 355 Arc User
    edited December 2014
    R&D mats. :P Back then STFs gave out 0 R&D mats.

    There was a bit more variety than that to the objectives. But not a lot. There was a rather rare one where your mission was to destroy Gorgan(non-corporeal) invaders. The "scan X" objectives ground side had a variety of objects and reasons for the scans. One of the more common ones was assessing the value of Decalithium deposits. There was also a rather common one for collecting archaeological artifacts. This is where the "Third Borg Dynasty" came from. Another had the goal of restabilizing an alien planetary defense installation. (The locals can't do it because they didn't build it and don't really know how it works.)the problem there is in getting the branching to be logical. You can't just toss out objectives at random.

    I am not saying it should be totally random. That is why the branching. One branch leads to 2 to 4 that relate to the previous branch.

    Just like enemies you may face, one cluster could be limited to Klingon, Orion, and Gorn. While a different cluster would be limited to Talk Shiar, Hirogen, and Elachi.
    "The soldier above all others prays for peace, for it is the soldier who must suffer and bear the deepest wounds and scars of war."
    Douglas MacArthur - Quote on the dedication plaque of the U.S.S. Ranger NCC-97332-A Armitage class Fleet Heavy Strike Wing Escort.
  • thutmosis85thutmosis85 Member Posts: 2,358 Arc User
    edited December 2014

    they were removed to make space for new content

    Yeah ... sure ... tell me how this works out ... oh wait, we already know ...

    btw : remember how the Client "shrunk" for "Farmcraft" in S 9.5 (yeah I don't remember either) & how fast the DR - Download was, in comparison (seriously ?) ...
    and they were chosen for removal as cryptic could tell 95% of the player base never used them.

    Yeah ... any source on that ? ... I seriously doubt it ... because, 95% of stuff is made up ... here you go ...
    Patch Notes : Resolved an Issue, where people would accidently experience Fun.
  • js26568js26568 Member Posts: 0 Arc User
    edited December 2014
    cryptic could tell 95% of the player base never used them

    How? The mystical, fictional "metrics"? HA HA HAAAA!

    The only way Cryptic ever finds out what players are doing is by going into the game and asking them.

    I don't remember Cryptic coming into the game and asking about exploration clusters. I would have said "remove them, they're boring" but they definitely never asked anyone.

    If Cryptic removed them because they were never used, why did they reintroduce the boring boring BORING (did I mention boring?) space patrol elements of the exploration clusters back into the game as brand new exciting content?
    [SIGPIC][/SIGPIC]
    Free Tibet!
  • bioixibioixi Member Posts: 764 Arc User
    edited December 2014
    I don't think there would be a problem with bringing them back, if you don't want to go there, then don't, it will be like deep space encounters, ignored by most people, but they don't harm anybody.

    If they bring exploration clusters back, I think they should start a monthly foundry contest, were several foundry missions are added per month to the official exploration cluster mission pool.

    Add a new foundry category, "exploration cluster contest", players should be able to decide if they want a mission to become part of the official exploration cluster pool by upvoting/downvoting a mission, every month a few become official missions.

    Give some rewards to the authors to encourage the creation of this kind of missions and problem solved with minimal effort.
  • cbrjwrrcbrjwrr Member Posts: 2,782 Arc User
    edited December 2014
    If you were doing exploration clusters for rewards you were doing them wrong. They, bugged as they were, deserved to stay.
  • bobbydazlersbobbydazlers Member Posts: 4,532 Arc User
    edited December 2014
    js26568 wrote: »
    How? The mystical, fictional "metrics"? HA HA HAAAA!

    The only way Cryptic ever finds out what players are doing is by going into the game and asking them.

    I don't remember Cryptic coming into the game and asking about exploration clusters. I would have said "remove them, they're boring" but they definitely never asked anyone.

    If Cryptic removed them because they were never used, why did they reintroduce the boring boring BORING (did I mention boring?) space patrol elements of the exploration clusters back into the game as brand new exciting content?

    check your mission log it has every single mission, accolade, promotion ext. listed there.

    I can even find out I got welcome to star trek online at 07:30 on 12/05/2012 with my first character down to joining my fleet on 01/06/2012 at 12:38 and taking the mission Cage of fire at 07:34 on 14/07/2012 right up to my first step into the delta quadrant on 14/10/2014.

    don't you think that cryptic can access this information just as easy as I can and can likely take all data from players to track their activity of what is being played and what is not, get real.

    When I think about everything we've been through together,

    maybe it's not the destination that matters, maybe it's the journey,

     and if that journey takes a little longer,

    so we can do something we all believe in,

     I can't think of any place I'd rather be or any people I'd rather be with.

  • thutmosis85thutmosis85 Member Posts: 2,358 Arc User
    edited December 2014
    don't you think that cryptic can access this information just as easy as I can and can likely take all data from players to track their activity of what is being played and what is not, get real.

    They probably "could" ... but I seriously doubt they have the manpower to do so ... remember : "Your Local Starbucks" ... get real -> First Step : Try to collect all data from all players, by yourself ... assuming Cryptic would have such an "Metrics Expert", which they probably don't even have ...
    Patch Notes : Resolved an Issue, where people would accidently experience Fun.
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