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So... Where is the exploration?

This season was promoted as being about getting back to exploration following the Iconian war. As it turns out, that was the prospect that the Alliance was looking forward to. What it got was a brief interlude before the next big "Oh Sh--!" moment. Now here we are, right back to facing bigbads.

So I ask... Where is the exploration? See what Season 11 was presented as is what made me come back to the game. What it actually turned out to be, essentially more of the same in a different package, is what has made me take another break from it. Just for once can a real attempt be made to make this game have at least an ASPECT that tries to be what Star Trek has been about from the beginning? Yes, Star Trek has involved a lot of space battles over they years, and there have been big threats presented such as the Dominion. But all of these things that have made good plotlines in the shows have been triggered as a result of Starfleet's exploration efforts.

So rather than just throwing out the title question, I'm going to share what I would do if it were MY call:

First, I would bring back the star clusters, but in a different form than what they were before. I would take the alpha and beta quadrant sector maps we have now and stick them at the heart of a massive star cluster that rests across the alpha-beta divider on the galactic map. I would then surround it with star clusters of varying size and shape. I would make it where these clusters are procedurally generated as they are entered for the first time. So first, the sectors are populated with one to five points of interest, stars being the most common and anomalies being the least.

When a star is first approached, a star system map would be generated with that star at the center, with anywhere from 3 to 10 planets placed on the map around it. Hint... star system maps would be similar to sector space, except that they would contain a solar system.

When a planet is approached, a planetary system map would be generated. It would work just like a star system, except the planet is at the center, and its moons are placed around it.

When a planet is discovered that has sentient life on it, the civilization is procedurally generated with a wide variety of factors including its disposition towards off-worlders, what sort of commodities it produces. What commodities it lacks, what sort of raw materials it possesses and how rare they are. How advanced they in terms of technology would play into it as well. The general appearance of the people of these worlds would also be procedurally generated using elements from the Alien character generation system. Once these life forms are generated, they will be persistent. A civilization's starships, if it has any, would rely on new tech. Essentially something that works behind the scenes like the old Starship Creator program... Essentially a kitbash of ship parts to create something not seen in core Star Trek. All of the ship parts for this would be generic, so nothing specific from UFP/KDF/NRR ships. We don't want to see a ship that looks like the Enterprise E with Klingon warp nacelles. So this part would require some work from Cryptic's art team to create the components and making sure that they can snap to each other in a logical manner. And they would need a LOT of variety for each component. It could be a resource library and functionality that gets added to the Foundry as well, so more than one system would benefit from it. The kitbashing would maybe draw from one to three different component styles, and they would be consistent through the different varieties of ships the civilization has. So if the first ship generated draws from Styles A and R, than all the other ships would use those styles. All styles would need to be compatible for maximum efficiency. What do I mean by ship types? Science vessels, Battle cruisers, Support vessels, etc. Essentially the ship classifications players have across player factions would be possible, though which ones are actually generated would be based on what sort of civilization they belong to. A civilization of peaceful explorers would lean more towards science vessels and less towards warships.

So the rules governing the civilizations we discover would be different for each one.

Oh... and each civilization would get its own "deck" of duty officers that players could earn and use in an extended doff-oriented minigame that involves colonization and facility operation, perfect extensions to the Admiralty system. Bridge Officers could also be recruited from civilizations with whom a player's faction has good enough standing.

That's just the tip of the iceberg, but I have to go to work, so I'll need to continue this later...

When it comes to MMOs, I wear prescription glasses. Whether or not they are rose-tinted is beside the point.
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Comments

  • saurializardsaurializard Member Posts: 3,624 Arc User
    The exploration is about exploring time itself. Therefore, beginning of the Temporal Cold War. Yeah, it's not really what exploration is but that's how it's being set and advertised in this game.
    #TASforSTO
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  • angrytargangrytarg Member Posts: 10,413 Arc User
    What @saurializard said. Advertising season 11 with "Exploration" was a ruse at worst and a bad choice of words as best. They mean it in a story sense, we explore the final frontier of time. Unfortunately, a lot of people already have a set expectation of the term "Exploration" in STO as it was the name of a whole part of the game they cut out before. Of course those people got their hopes up.​​
    lFC4bt2.gif
    ^ Memory Alpha.org is not canon. It's a open wiki with arbitrary rules. Only what can be cited from an episode is. ^
    "No. Men do not roar. Women roar. Then they hurl heavy objects... and claw at you." -Worf, son of Mogh
    "A filthy, mangy beast, but in its bony breast beat the heart of a warrior" - "faithful" (...) "but ever-ready to follow the call of the wild." - Martok, about a Targ
    "That pig smelled horrid. A sweet-sour, extremely pungent odor. I showered and showered, and it took me a week to get rid of it!" - Robert Justman, appreciating Emmy-Lou
  • valoreahvaloreah Member Posts: 10,691 Arc User
    While a nice idea, I believe it safe to say we're not going to see anything like what you suggested in STO. Dev created FEs, Foundry, Admiralty and DOFF missions are what we can expect going forward.

    To build procedurally generated worlds with civilizations to interact with that is different for everyone is a monumental undertaking.
    Dear Devs: I enjoyed the Legacy of Romulus expansion much more than the Delta Rising expansion. .
    thecosmic1 wrote:
    Anyone calling Valoreah a "Cryptic fanboy" must be new to the forum.

    Get the Forums Enhancement Extension!
  • kavasekavase Member Posts: 771 Arc User
    valoreah wrote: »
    While a nice idea, I believe it safe to say we're not going to see anything like what you suggested in STO. Dev created FEs, Foundry, Admiralty and DOFF missions are what we can expect going forward.

    To build procedurally generated worlds with civilizations to interact with that is different for everyone is a monumental undertaking.

    Exactly. Your basically asking for an entirely different game all together.
    Retired. I'm now in search for that perfect space anomaly.
  • dirlettiadirlettia Member Posts: 1,629 Arc User
    We did go and explore. We found a planet which was having star issues and ultimately pulled us into a time civil war, but we DID actually go and explore something.

    Still waiting to be able to use forum titles
  • kjwashingtonkjwashington Member Posts: 2,529 Arc User
    As I understand it, the exploration was the beginning of that one mission where we saved that race's star. And that was it.
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    Support 90 degree arc limitation on BFaW! Save our ships from looking like flying disco balls of dumb!
  • thegrandnagus1thegrandnagus1 Member Posts: 4,529 Arc User
    IMO, there are 2 main types of "exploration":

    1) meeting new people

    2) going new places

    Both of these are currently in game. The Defera arc is an example of the first. New Romulus is an example of the second.


    The-Grand-Nagus
    Join Date: Sep 2008

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  • nikephorusnikephorus Member Posts: 2,730 Arc User
    You explore via the admiralty system. Sending ship's off to do stuff for you while your character does whatever it is he/she does. Epic.
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  • nikeixnikeix Member Posts: 3,972 Arc User
    In other games. Space ones even. I sincerely hope Star Trek Online can find fresh footing and draw in new customers via the 50th anniversary events outside of STO, because there's an over 100 million dollar crowdfunded sci-fi game with a heavy exploration element expected to breach like a great white shark before the end of this year. The voice acting credits alone look like a major motion picture and the tech is state of the art. No matter how fanatical about Star Trek the people already here may be, Cryptic has to know that behemoth is going to suck all the air out of the room when it arrives and they need to get their nets cast far and wide beforehand. There's a reason for the headlong dash to get the skill revamp done so quickly.
  • kingmj4891kingmj4891 Member Posts: 55 Arc User
    In Star Trek exploration means to explore strange new worlds to seek out new life and new civilizations. This New Dawn Arc and the game in general come nowhere close to that and it is a shame.

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  • somtaawkharsomtaawkhar Member Posts: 8,993 Arc User
    kingmj4891 wrote: »
    In Star Trek exploration means to explore strange new worlds to seek out new life and new civilizations.
    Except for the fact that most episodes of Star Trek involved races and civilizations already known to the Federation in some way.

    People need to stop posting this crock of **** as if it ever meant anything in the shows themselves, when it didn't outside of maybe Enterprise since the Federation didn't even exist then.
  • farranorfarranor Member Posts: 559 Arc User
    Can you imagine what the Cryptic/STO version of "The Inner Light" would be like? Approach a probe, press F, and a fleet of ships warps in and you must defeat them. Then you go into the probe, and have to defeat waves of ground enemies. Then you press F to play the flute. Then you're back in space, defeat three more waves of ships, press F when hailed, and wake up on your bridge. Mission complete.

    How many Zen ships do you need to buy to walk up to a new alien and press F to scan it with your tricorder? None, and that's why the archetypal game of this genre is called "Word of Warcraft."
    nikeix wrote: »
    In other games. Space ones even. I sincerely hope Star Trek Online can find fresh footing and draw in new customers via the 50th anniversary events outside of STO, because there's an over 100 million dollar crowdfunded sci-fi game with a heavy exploration element expected to breach like a great white shark before the end of this year. The voice acting credits alone look like a major motion picture and the tech is state of the art. No matter how fanatical about Star Trek the people already here may be, Cryptic has to know that behemoth is going to suck all the air out of the room when it arrives and they need to get their nets cast far and wide beforehand. There's a reason for the headlong dash to get the skill revamp done so quickly.

    I'm sure that project with enough money and time to make three triple-A games will totally deliver everything that they've promised, on time.
  • kingmj4891kingmj4891 Member Posts: 55 Arc User
    kingmj4891 wrote: »
    In Star Trek exploration means to explore strange new worlds to seek out new life and new civilizations.
    Except for the fact that most episodes of Star Trek involved races and civilizations already known to the Federation in some way.

    People need to stop posting this crock of **** as if it ever meant anything in the shows themselves, when it didn't outside of maybe Enterprise since the Federation didn't even exist then.

    Except Star Trek Canon memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/First_contacts says otherwise.

    firstcontact.gif
  • somtaawkharsomtaawkhar Member Posts: 8,993 Arc User
    kingmj4891 wrote: »
    Except Star Trek Canon memory-alpha.wikia.com/wiki/First_contacts says otherwise.
    Nice ignoring that
    A. that page lists tons of first contacts which never happened on screen, and were mentioned only in the episodes listed.
    B. A disproportionate number of those first contact come from Voyager, which was the ONE show set outside the Alpha/Beta quad, and is thus the exception that proves the rule.

    Historical revision rears its ugly head here on the forums yet again. The liars just cant stop lying.

  • risingwolfshadowrisingwolfshadow Member Posts: 619 Arc User
    And here I thought season 11 was going to be the PvP season... ^^
  • blazeritterblazeritter Member Posts: 203 Arc User
    Let's see if this works. Apologies on the poor quality, but you just need to hear Q speak anyway.

    Q explaining exploration from "All Good Things"
  • nikeixnikeix Member Posts: 3,972 Arc User
    edited April 2016
    farranor wrote: »
    I'm sure that project with enough money and time to make three triple-A games will totally deliver everything that they've promised, on time.

    Triple A games generally take about 5 years. Star Citizen started development in 2011. The fact the public heard about it when it started instead of 2-3 years in the way most privately funded ventures start making announcements doesn't mean they're not pretty much right where you'd expect from an industry perspective.
    azrael605 wrote: »
    What game would this be? Certainly not that game which will never actually launch known as Star Citizen.

    I promise the people whose livelihoods depend on this game aren't counting on that. And there's not one soul in the entire office who would turn down 30-70 thousand dollars a DAY strolling in Cryptic's door. With no pre-established license taking a cut and no publisher overhead.

    Even if it were to never come to pass, it's already devoured an enormous amount of money from pretty much the exact demographic STO dreams of courting. If it can do that with a vision and a smile -- and a reputation earned delivering a slew of titles -- try to imagine what a voracious maw it'll become when it's a fully formed persistent universe inviting people in for actual sale rather than just pre-orders. Love it or hate it, it IS something Cryptic's execs have to think about as they plan for the future.

    STO's even benefited from it indirectly: after buying a few ships for Star Citizen I was much more patient with paying the prices Cryptic asks for ships.
  • bernatkbernatk Member Posts: 1,089 Bug Hunter
    nikeix wrote: »
    In other games. Space ones even. I sincerely hope Star Trek Online can find fresh footing and draw in new customers via the 50th anniversary events outside of STO, because there's an over 100 million dollar crowdfunded sci-fi game with a heavy exploration element expected to breach like a great white shark before the end of this year. The voice acting credits alone look like a major motion picture and the tech is state of the art. No matter how fanatical about Star Trek the people already here may be, Cryptic has to know that behemoth is going to suck all the air out of the room when it arrives and they need to get their nets cast far and wide beforehand. There's a reason for the headlong dash to get the skill revamp done so quickly.

    It won't happen again. This is not the medieval fantasy genre. Sci-fi fans are rather niche target and Star Trek is a monster of IP. I think that game will also find its own niche. And again this not 2004 anymore.
    Tck7dQ2.jpg
    Dahar Master Mary Sue                                               Fleet Admiral Bloody Mary
  • farranorfarranor Member Posts: 559 Arc User
    nikeix wrote: »
    farranor wrote: »
    I'm sure that project with enough money and time to make three triple-A games will totally deliver everything that they've promised, on time.

    Triple A games generally take about 5 years. Star Citizen started development in 2011. The fact the public heard about it when it started instead of 2-3 years in the way most privately funded ventures start making announcements doesn't mean they're not pretty much right where you'd expect from an industry perspective.
    azrael605 wrote: »
    What game would this be? Certainly not that game which will never actually launch known as Star Citizen.

    I promise the people whose livelihoods depend on this game aren't counting on that. And there's not one soul in the entire office who would turn down 30-70 thousand dollars a DAY strolling in Cryptic's door. With no pre-established license taking a cut and no publisher overhead.

    Even if it were to never come to pass, it's already devoured an enormous amount of money from pretty much the exact demographic STO dreams of courting. If it can do that with a vision and a smile -- and a reputation earned delivering a slew of titles -- try to imagine what a voracious maw it'll become when it's a fully formed persistent universe inviting people in for actual sale rather than just pre-orders. Love it or hate it, it IS something Cryptic's execs have to think about as they plan for the future.

    STO's even benefited from it indirectly: after buying a few ships for Star Citizen I was much more patient with paying the prices Cryptic asks for ships.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-purchase_rationalization
  • daveynydaveyny Member Posts: 8,227 Arc User
    edited April 2016
    I wish there was some way to connect "No Man's Sky" to STO.
    Would love to be able to fly my STO ship off the edge of our current Trek map and into that universe.
    Keep all the stuff we have, but use that game for exploration.

    Ah to dream...
    B)
    STO Member since February 2009.
    I Was A Trekkie Before It Was Cool ... Sept. 8th, 1966 ... Not To Mention Before Most Folks Around Here Were Born!
    Forever a STO Veteran-Minion
    upside-down-banana-smiley-emoticon.gif
  • sirsitsalotsirsitsalot Member Posts: 2,338 Arc User
    valoreah wrote: »
    To build procedurally generated worlds with civilizations to interact with that is different for everyone is a monumental undertaking.

    Well... I'm not talking about a different experience for everyone. I'm talking about the game generating new sector space maps that will remain persistent, and therefore visitable by everyone. So the game would essentially grow itself, similar to how a Minecraft world expands as you explore further and further. Every new life form you encounter could potentially be a new bigbad if you TRIBBLE them off badly enough. Diplomacy could be brought to bear on issues like that, smoothing out relations. And if done right, Cryptic could drop their latest episodic content into the system, so that the next star cluster reached contains it.

    The biggest benefit to what I propose is that there would ALWAYS be something meaningful to participate in, so even in those long delays between mission content releases, exploration could play a major part of things.

    Random selection of elements would generate thematic content that could result in something missing from many MMOs these days: Emergent gameplay.

    Now obviously, some controls would need to be in place to keep from adding too many new clusters at once. Each faction could get a new cluster opened for it, but because there is an alliance, it would be open to the other factions to participate. So three new clusters at a time, at any given time. Certain thesholds would need to be met in terms of exploration of those clusters before the next one opens up.

    I know that what I propose is ambitious. But Ambitious concepts are what heralded the MMO genre to begin with, and I don't think that there is enough underlying ambition in the MMO industry these days. Wouldn't it be something if STO came out from nowhere and did what not even Blizzard can be bothered to do?

    I am never going to stop hoping that someone behind STO would grow a pair and step outside of the status quo that seems to plague the MMO genre these days. It doesn't have to be what I suggest, but something needs to shift in the genre...

    ...In my opinion.
    When it comes to MMOs, I wear prescription glasses. Whether or not they are rose-tinted is beside the point.
  • angrytargangrytarg Member Posts: 10,413 Arc User
    Nice ignoring that
    A. that page lists tons of first contacts which never happened on screen, and were mentioned only in the episodes listed.
    B. A disproportionate number of those first contact come from Voyager, which was the ONE show set outside the Alpha/Beta quad, and is thus the exception that proves the rule.

    Historical revision rears its ugly head here on the forums yet again. The liars just cant stop lying.

    Excuse me? Every second episode of TOS or TNG was about some strange new world, usually semi-omnipotent beings to the point it even became a trope. The crew went on a friggin amusement park planet. Claiming that new worlds and new contacts didn't play a role in Star Trek is delusional.​​
    lFC4bt2.gif
    ^ Memory Alpha.org is not canon. It's a open wiki with arbitrary rules. Only what can be cited from an episode is. ^
    "No. Men do not roar. Women roar. Then they hurl heavy objects... and claw at you." -Worf, son of Mogh
    "A filthy, mangy beast, but in its bony breast beat the heart of a warrior" - "faithful" (...) "but ever-ready to follow the call of the wild." - Martok, about a Targ
    "That pig smelled horrid. A sweet-sour, extremely pungent odor. I showered and showered, and it took me a week to get rid of it!" - Robert Justman, appreciating Emmy-Lou
  • nikeixnikeix Member Posts: 3,972 Arc User
    Well... I'm not talking about a different experience for everyone. I'm talking about the game generating new sector space maps that will remain persistent, and therefore visitable by everyone. So the game would essentially grow itself, similar to how a Minecraft world expands as you explore further and further. Every new life form you encounter could potentially be a new bigbad if you TRIBBLE them off badly enough. Diplomacy could be brought to bear on issues like that, smoothing out relations. And if done right, Cryptic could drop their latest episodic content into the system, so that the next star cluster reached contains it.

    The biggest benefit to what I propose is that there would ALWAYS be something meaningful to participate in, so even in those long delays between mission content releases, exploration could play a major part of things.

    Random selection of elements would generate thematic content that could result in something missing from many MMOs these days: Emergent gameplay.

    It would be nice if the Foundry hit a critical threshold where it could fuel some of the larger system you're describing. I'm not done going through all the official content yet, but for the most part I find it comforting to see all the "popular missions" pop up as I race past the various stars.
  • angrytargangrytarg Member Posts: 10,413 Arc User
    sophlogimo wrote: »
    (...) as long as it is not another paperwork nonsense that everybody just plays because we need the skill points and/or rewards for our actual gameplay.

    I fully agree. I'm sometimes worried STO is "done" now the way it is. We get singleplayer missions with voice over and guest actors once in a while but other than that only timegated mobile games and a new lockbox now and then while running ISA still five years from now on.​​
    lFC4bt2.gif
    ^ Memory Alpha.org is not canon. It's a open wiki with arbitrary rules. Only what can be cited from an episode is. ^
    "No. Men do not roar. Women roar. Then they hurl heavy objects... and claw at you." -Worf, son of Mogh
    "A filthy, mangy beast, but in its bony breast beat the heart of a warrior" - "faithful" (...) "but ever-ready to follow the call of the wild." - Martok, about a Targ
    "That pig smelled horrid. A sweet-sour, extremely pungent odor. I showered and showered, and it took me a week to get rid of it!" - Robert Justman, appreciating Emmy-Lou
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