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The Vaadwaur, railroading the player, engagement, and so on.

fury#0751 fury Member Posts: 33 Arc User
edited March 5 in Federation Discussion
I am not a roleplayer. When I play my characters I play with *my* set of values. I think a lot of people do.

So, if we assume that
1. It is important to keep players invested in a storyline to keep them engaged.
2. Keeping them invested requires they are offered choices that they would actually make.

Then what the hell is with the disturbing moral choices we are forced into with so many of the storylines in this game?

I appreciate that the overall storyline cannot change, but my own captains interaction with it surely can. So

1. The Kobali - I find the entire Vaadwaur storyline very off. I found the actual ST:V episodes that dealt with it to be off too. At any rate, the moment my captain finds out the Kobali are hoarding Voth in cyro sleep pods there are no storyline options available that actually permit me to continue and remain invested in my character. They are all appalling and I just have to click them to advance to the next set of rewards.
2. The Iconian storyline: What the hell am I doing here? The Iconians have literally attacked earth, killed billions in the Federation. And I end up with a set of wishy washy dialog options with Sela. I actually save the Iconians from a different threat and 100,000 years in the future they're not contrite? And then the game continues with barely a mention that the Federation suffered like 90% losses.
3. Odo and the Hurq beacon. Need I say more.

I am not asking for full player agency. But:
1. Other MMOs do have "reputation" systems. Perhaps we could - realistically - be given the choice between allying with the Vaadwaur or Kobali.
2. At least write the episodes in a way that my captains choices can be consistent with the players values. I am not trying to roleplay a chaotic evil rogue - I am playing my best reflection of me - the choices I feel I'd like to be proud of if I lived in this hypothetical Universe. And, most of the time, Chaotic Good Paladin is my default.

Edit: Fixed Voth ~= Vaadwaur.
Post edited by fury#0751 on

Comments

  • angrytargangrytarg Member Posts: 9,686 Arc User
    It's Vadwaaur not Voth. The Voth are the Dinos in the Dyson Sphere. And a Paladin cannot be chaotic good, unless something fundamentally changed a Paladin is always lawful good. And that is what you do in the story: You are not rogue, you follow Starfleet's line and act in the interest of your affiliation, not your personal interpretation of it.

    Besides, I find it questionable to see the Vadwaaur as "good", they are also space TRIBBLE...
    2r2u1s2.jpg
    ^ 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
  • nightkennightken Member Posts: 2,545 Arc User
    angrytarg wrote: »
    It's Vadwaaur not Voth. The Voth are the Dinos in the Dyson Sphere. And a Paladin cannot be chaotic good, unless something fundamentally changed a Paladin is always lawful good. And that is what you do in the story: You are not rogue, you follow Starfleet's line and act in the interest of your affiliation, not your personal interpretation of it.

    Besides, I find it questionable to see the Vadwaaur as "good", they are also space TRIBBLE...

    actually the alignment restriction was removed and the favor kept via the oath subclass thingy.


    if I stop posting it doesn't make you right it. just means I don't have enough rum to continue interacting with you.
  • angrytargangrytarg Member Posts: 9,686 Arc User
    nightken wrote: »
    actually the alignment restriction was removed and the favor kept via the oath subclass thingy.

    I didn't know that. I must read into it, but essentially this makes little sense to me at the moment. A Paladin that is not lawful good is not a Paladin but any other kind of warrior, maybe a Knight or Mercenary.​​
    2r2u1s2.jpg
    ^ 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
  • spiritbornspiritborn Member Posts: 1,404 Arc User
    angrytarg wrote: »
    nightken wrote: »
    actually the alignment restriction was removed and the favor kept via the oath subclass thingy.

    I didn't know that. I must read into it, but essentially this makes little sense to me at the moment. A Paladin that is not lawful good is not a Paladin but any other kind of warrior, maybe a Knight or Mercenary.​​
    IIRC paladin must repesent their patron and order but doesn't have to be lawful good, essentially what makes a paladin is being a warrior with divine based magic at least in D&D.
  • fury#0751 fury Member Posts: 33 Arc User
    edited March 8
    angrytarg wrote: »
    It's Vadwaaur not Voth. The Voth are the Dinos in the Dyson Sphere. And a Paladin cannot be chaotic good, unless something fundamentally changed a Paladin is always lawful good. And that is what you do in the story: You are not rogue, you follow Starfleet's line and act in the interest of your affiliation, not your personal interpretation of it.

    Besides, I find it questionable to see the Vadwaaur as "good", they are also space TRIBBLE...

    Fixed the Vadwaaur / Voth confusion. Thanks.

    But as I did clarify I am not a roleplayer, so chaotic good paladin is just a metaphor for my inclination to mostly go about being heroic but when there is a conflict between law, and justice, I normally pick justice.

    The Vadwaaur situation is troubling to me because, both in the ST:TNG and in this game
    * It clearly seems to be a prime directive issue that the Kobali / Turei should deal with.
    * The Vadwaaur - for all that they are very angry - have legitimate claims against those races.
    All of which the writers try to ignore. The situation however is so untenable that the writers have to resort to forcing the Vadwaaur to act stupidly & inconsistently to continue their wonky narrative.

    i.e. a major injustice has been perpetrated against the Vadwaaur, and I want no part of it. In this issue I identify as Lawful Good. Once the Kobali and Turei have been outed as criminals ST should wash their hands of them, and frankly my captain should. But instead we stand there, on the surface of a planet, participating in a freaking genocide - which is what the Kobali are doing to the Vadwaaur.

    I am not ok with partaking in a genocide because the writers are to stupid to realize that that's what they've created and are now apologizing. So now, by virtue of this story, my character is a war criminal.

    Thanks ST writers.
  • majuracmajurac Member Posts: 5 Arc User
    The Vadwaaur missions bothered me a lot too. I get there was a story, and this is the Kobali culture, but to me this was siding with one evil with a legitimate grievance, against another evil trying to survive. Star Trek doesntd do grey morality well unless exceptionally well written, and this story wasn't, nor was the original. There were better ways to handle the Harry issue besides.

    What bothers me even more, after slogging through missions against stupidly overpowered enemies in defense of a race I didn't want to defend, you get one of those Kobali graverobbers -ADDED TO YOUR SHIP!-.
  • fury#0751 fury Member Posts: 33 Arc User
    Oh God I just got (again and was reminded about) the Harry mission; Dust to Dust.

    I can't even deal with how mind numbingly stupid the writing is for this one. Then, just two missions prior - The Kobali were reminding us to send us all our injured? Who in the Federation thought it would be a good idea to make the Kobali medics? I can't think of a more textbook case of conflict of interest. I personally think and hope that was an easter egg dropped in by a writer also frustrated with the drivel they were being forced to write.
  • viridian74#1359 viridian74 Member Posts: 43 Arc User
    I don't like the Kobali either, I thought Starfleet would have been better off enforcing a no-fly zone for both Kobali and Vaadwaur - instead of siding with the Kobali - and I admit I used a lot of emotes after those dialogue options to comment on what my Romulan *really* would have said. Somewhere, though, I remember the dialogue choices allowed me to side with Harry that what the Kobali are doing is not totally innocent, and isn't there some Starfleet NPC who then tells both Harry and you to shut up?

    Those missions felt a lot like "you are under orders, so now go and do it". In a nutshell, what happens when you are part of an organisation that is sent to pick up the pieces when diplomacy has failed and common sense is no longer an option. Went well with the constant rain and the trench warfare atmosphere, and the sense that everyone in charge was insane :p A bit like StarTrek goes World War I and II, with an exercise in what it feels like if good people are forced to do bad things. The Tzenkethi mission "Renegade's Regret" is another one like that.

    I opted out of Dust to Dust, so I can't comment on the writing etc. I thought of them as an exercise in "what happens when good people have to follow stupid orders", and so the Kobali missions worked for me. They weren't nice missions, to be sure - although in my personal list of dark and disturbing things in STO, nothing beats that Romulan mission where you infiltrate the Tal Shiar and are forced to play the part. In detail. And the more you try to weasel out of it, the worse it gets. Brilliant writing, and disturbing as **.

    In short, there seems to be some content in STO that deals with good people being forced to do bad things, and I do see the place for something like that. I'm thinking of the DS9 episode "In the pale moonlight". Morally very grey, but IMO one of the best.
  • warpangelwarpangel Member Posts: 8,314 Arc User
    I don't like the Kobali either, I thought Starfleet would have been better off enforcing a no-fly zone for both Kobali and Vaadwaur - instead of siding with the Kobali - and I admit I used a lot of emotes after those dialogue options to comment on what my Romulan *really* would have said. Somewhere, though, I remember the dialogue choices allowed me to side with Harry that what the Kobali are doing is not totally innocent, and isn't there some Starfleet NPC who then tells both Harry and you to shut up?
    No. She only tells off Harry. The only thing she addresses to the player is asking what happened. The scenes would have been a whole lot worse were she to actually lecture a superior officer in that manner. As it is, she (mis)quotes Prime Directive to Harry and the player character just ignores the whole thing.
    Those missions felt a lot like "you are under orders, so now go and do it". In a nutshell, what happens when you are part of an organisation that is sent to pick up the pieces when diplomacy has failed and common sense is no longer an option. Went well with the constant rain and the trench warfare atmosphere, and the sense that everyone in charge was insane :p A bit like StarTrek goes World War I and II, with an exercise in what it feels like if good people are forced to do bad things. The Tzenkethi mission "Renegade's Regret" is another one like that.

    I opted out of Dust to Dust, so I can't comment on the writing etc. I thought of them as an exercise in "what happens when good people have to follow stupid orders", and so the Kobali missions worked for me. They weren't nice missions, to be sure - although in my personal list of dark and disturbing things in STO, nothing beats that Romulan mission where you infiltrate the Tal Shiar and are forced to play the part. In detail. And the more you try to weasel out of it, the worse it gets. Brilliant writing, and disturbing as **.
    That is the general impression, yes. The Alliance wants something from the kobali, so the player character is told to overlook their unethical if not downright evil practices. It's perhaps unfortunate the game does not show those orders. We can't really judge if what we wanted in exchange for not putting our foot down on the kobali was worth it, since we don't know what it is.

    The only unambiguously stupid action we do is when we find the vaadwaur have developed a vaccine that would make people immune to kobali assimilation, and we destroy it just because "vaadwaur are bad, mm'kay." The existence of that vaccine would've not only been an important step toward peace between the two (along with releasing the hostages), but also made the kobali appear far less a threat to other races as well.

    On the other hand, the kobali do at least agree to stop most of their worst crimes during/after the story arc, so it isn't a total loss.
  • jandraelunejandraelune Member Posts: 100 Arc User
    Ran into some railroading in one of the kdf missions. Fed warps in, your able to convince them your not a threat...and the closing statement AFTER convincing the fed to leave in peace is your char calling to open fire on them >< What is the point of giving the option for a peaceful resolution if your just going to jerk it away in the end ???
  • scutofo#1689 scutofo Member Posts: 2 Arc User
    edited April 17
    What is the point of giving the option for a peaceful resolution if your just going to jerk it away in the end ???

    That's actually a very sneaky tactic; make the enemy think you're not a threat, then blow them up the moment they turn their back to you. Not terribly Klingon-like, but a viable tactic nevertheless. :p
  • mustrumridcully0mustrumridcully0 Member Posts: 12,280 Arc User
    (1) Kobali
    There is really no plausible way you could align with the Vaadwaur. They have already commited genocide against other species, and killed a bunch of harmless Talaxians in front of you. No matter how annoying you find Talaxian, their actions were morally repulsive and you can't just become allies with them.
    The Kobali ultimately only do weird things to corpses. That might be distasteful to some , but every Starfleet scientist can tell you that it's not actually causing anyone harm. Once you get them to keep the stasis chambers in working order and actively maintain them, you've done basically everything to make things clean.
    At best you could argue that the Federation should enforce a no-fly zone between Vaadwaur and Kobali,but letting the Vaadwaur extinguish the Kobali would make you basically an accomplice. And more than that, you're shooting yourself in your foot, because you're busy fighting the Vaadwaur anyway and you just handed them a source for more troops. (And as we learn, the first people that would be sorted out by the Vaadwaur when filling those stasis chambers are the non-military people).

    (2) Iconians
    The truth is, that the whole idea to eradicate the Iconians in the past cannot save you. If you just helped eradicating them, you might not even realize why your "present" is totally altered, but it should become obvious during the mission - the Iconians World Heart disappears - to everyone - as you take it to the future. THat means that none of the races that invade the Iconian Homeworld get access to all the Iconian secrets. With those secrets, history would likely develop quite differently, granting the attackers untold technological progress. There might be no Federation or Klingon Defense Force, humanity might be enslaved by one of the species there. None of the people that died in the Iconian War would have even existed in the first place! And even if you killed them all and destroyed or removed the World Heart - the Iconian clearly had an influence on the Milky Way. The world might be subtle different, or very different.
    So sure, Cryptic could allow you to act differently - but afterwards, you find yourself in a hostile world full of superpowered ships based on Iconian Tech and millennia of advancement. Your career is over, and you'd probably end in some prison camp, or dead, or both.
    Oh, and if you decide to play along but keep the World Heart to yourself. There is simply no peace with the Iconians, Earth gets conquered, and soon the rest of the Federation, with the other galactic nations soon to follow. There is peace on the Iconians terms, or the end of galactic freedom as we knew it.
    Star Trek Online Advancement: You start with lowbie gear, you end with Lobi gear.
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