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Why can't STO have something like this?

sirsitsalotsirsitsalot Member Posts: 2,338 Arc User
Elite Dangerous is introducing a new player-driven narrative mechanic called "Interstellar Initiatives". Essentially, they are rolling out scenarios that will run for about a month, which give players different ways to get involved and potentially result in persistent changes to the game.

So why cannot something similar be added to STO.

I've talked in the past about how I feel that STO lacks that certain element that connects players to the gameworld they play in. How I feel that everything is so fire and forget in nature that nothing we do as individual players has any real meaning beyond our own personal gameplay experience. Something like this would resolve most, if not all of those issues.

Here is a youtube video describing how the system works and offering a breakdown of how their first Interstellar Initiative will play out:

("Not advertising" advertisement removed. :unamused: - BMR)

I am NOT trying to advertise another game. I don't even play Elite Dangerous. The video came up in my "Recommended" list, and I watched it and immediately thought about how STO could benefit from something like it. It is on that basis alone that I post this here.

So I ask you, if STO DID have something like this, would it be something you would invest gameplay time in?

If not, what would something like this need to offer in order to appeal to you?
Post edited by baddmoonrizin on
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

  • rattler2rattler2 Member Posts: 52,984 Community Moderator
    Would be interesting, however STO has far more structure in its story, and not only that... I don't think the Engine can support that kind of thing. STO is a lot older than ED, and that is some SIGNIFICANT mechanics work that is put into a game that actually is newer than STO is.
    66998372863950ee98cf7da9786e2ea9-db80k0m.png
    I can't take it anymore! Could everyone just chill out for two seconds before something CRAZY happens again?!
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  • duncanidaho11duncanidaho11 Member Posts: 7,611 Arc User
    edited April 2019
    its' a good example, STO doesn't exist in a vacuum and if other games are pushing the format forward then STO should at least be cognizant of those changes. I think fleet holdings were STO's answer to "connect players with their game world" (by letting them contribute incremental progress in building it) but the format seems a little played out and reduced to a simple grind for store unlocks. It's very fire and forget since we're well past the original novelty of the concept of collective ownership of designated environments.

    Personally, what I'd love to see Cryptic do (for world building) is to make a concerted attempt to build setting through a new social map with a dedicated cast of original characters. Interacting with them over missions, map activities, and other content (ex. TFO's) would help build a sense of place and who else occupies it. Then, keep adding onto it. There wouldn't be a dedicated mechanic of investment and growth but the emotional sense of that (through narrative) could be conveyed (and in a more impactful way IMO.)

    Basically, (and this comparison is more for Cryptic) build a social map like one of my Foundry maps. Then re-use the space to add on mini-missions, dailies, optional character dialog (ie. content besides TFO's to release between episodes) as well as for episodes and TFO's (where appropriate.) Set on-map content to a daily or hourly rotation to allow more expansions (without cluttering the space) and prevent players from burning through everything their very first time there. The players wouldn't be putting resources in to access the place necessarily (though it could be tied to a rep) but the key idea is to provide a place for players to emotionally invest in through related activities, shared environment, and a dedicated cast (in the best spirit of Trek, not simply monologuing mission-required exposition. ;) )

    We kinda had a part of this with cameo NPC's showing up on DS9 and we kinda have something like this with the event zones; just nothing that puts the pieces together (critical for it to work long term) and provides a new avenue for content add-ons outside the customary formats.
    Bipedal mammal and senior Foundry author.
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  • davefenestratordavefenestrator Member Posts: 8,778 Arc User
    > So why cannot something similar be added to STO.

    Because the STO narrative is scripted rather than emergent from a sandbox, and because the scripted narrative is intended to be available for new players and for replaying.

    These ED events are one-time things that happen and allegedly make permanent changes to the sandbox.

    The Iconian War needs to remain the Iconian War a year from now.
  • seaofsorrowsseaofsorrows Member Posts: 10,037 Arc User
    Why would this not be in STO?

    Simply put.. it doesn't need it.

    Let me explain..

    I am a long time Elite Dangerous Player. They have done things like this before, they're basically a revamped version of the 'Community Goals' that they have been running for years. This idea is intended to supplement the fact that Elite Dangerous honestly has no game at all. This is from someone who has hundreds of hours into this game, I have billions of credits, every ship, full engineering.. and I am telling you that outside of grinding for upgrades, there is no game in Elite. These events have been done before in this game and they don't feel nearly as immersive or cool as they make it sound.

    It's usually something like the community has to contribute a certain amount of a resource to a station over X period of time and those that do it get a share of the overall reward. This is something that wouldn't go over well in STO as it already has things for players to do on a daily basis, from running queues, Battle Zones, story missions.. etc. The game we're comparing to has literally none of that. If you did this in STO it would just feel like more grind.. more daily things you need to do.. I honestly don't think it would go over well at all.

    Don't let this pretty advertisement fool you.. this is Frontier Developments pretty way of packaging more endless grind that will be completely non immersive and contain no story at all. As someone who has played a ton of both of these games, trust me when I say you don't want to take queues from Elite Dangerous. They're really good at making things sound cool, but this isn't what you think it is.. and it wouldn't fit in STO.
    animated.gif
    Discovery is good, it's you that sucks.
  • rattler2rattler2 Member Posts: 52,984 Community Moderator
    Its not over. They picked it up for a 3rd season.
    66998372863950ee98cf7da9786e2ea9-db80k0m.png
    I can't take it anymore! Could everyone just chill out for two seconds before something CRAZY happens again?!
    The nut who actually ground out a Delta Pack, Temporal Pack, and Gamma Pack
    The resident forum voice of reason (I HAZ FORUM REP! YAY!)
  • somtaawkharsomtaawkhar Member Posts: 8,968 Arc User
    edited April 2019
    If not, what would something like this need to offer in order to appeal to you?
    Guild Wars 2 tried something similar with its original "Living World" updates, where maps and stuff would be changed, new dungeons added, and collect-a-thon events added, which would stay for a few months, then get replaced by the next Living world update elsewhere.

    The result was near universal backlash from the playerbase, who felt like they were being forced to play all the time, and were getting large bits of the story removed never to be seen again, creating a huge gap between the end of the base game, and the part where Arena Net eventually stopped doing that, and started doing more regular content updates like STO has.

    This sort of thing doesn't make people feel more connected to the game world, it just makes the game feel vapid, and never really expanding.
    Basically, (and this comparison is more for Cryptic) build a social map like one of my Foundry maps. Then re-use the space to add on mini-missions, dailies, optional character dialog (ie. content besides TFO's to release between episodes) as well as for episodes and TFO's (where appropriate.) Set on-map content to a daily or hourly rotation to allow more expansions (without cluttering the space) and prevent players from burning through everything their very first time there. The players wouldn't be putting resources in to access the place necessarily (though it could be tied to a rep) but the key idea is to provide a place for players to emotionally invest in through related activities, shared environment, and a dedicated cast (in the best spirit of Trek, not simply monologuing mission-required exposition. ;) )
    This makes sense as an "end-of-game-life" sort of thing, to squeeze a last bit of longer term content out of the game. But, within the context of STO's story, where we are constantly crisscrossing the galaxy, and have large chunks of the Alpha, Beta, Delta, and Gamma Quadrants to explore, the idea of some sort of centralized base makes little sense.

    Like, if this hub was placed in the Beta Quadrant, but Mirror Leeta returned and was harassing the Gamma Quadrant, why would this Beta Quadrant hub be our main hub for that story? Same if the hub was in the Alpha Quadrant, but Cryptic did a Borg expansion whose story takes place in the Delta Quadrant, or whatever combination you can think of.

    This sort of thing would only really work if Cryptic knew whatever story they did it for was going to be the last major story arc they were going to do. If it wasn't, the moment players complete said story they will quickly abandon this thing for whatever, and wherever, the new story arc takes us.

    This not getting into the fact that I doubt most players will ever really care about most Cryptic made NPCs, since people who play games based off of an existing IP do so to see characters from said IP, and characters like Jordi, or Worf, or Tuvok, will always overshadow any new character. People liking Obsiek and Kuumaarke, were honestly luck of the draw, more then anything else. I can already see the "OMG MORE TOVANS!" complaints/
    Post edited by somtaawkhar on
  • sirsitsalotsirsitsalot Member Posts: 2,338 Arc User
    If not, what would something like this need to offer in order to appeal to you?
    Guild Wars 2 tried something similar with its original "Living World" updates, where maps and stuff would be changed, new dungeons added, and collect-a-thon events added, which would stay for a few months, then get replaced by the next Living world update elsewhere.

    The result was near universal backlash from the playerbase, who felt like they were being forced to play all the time, and were getting large bits of the story removed never to be seen again, creating a huge gap between the end of the base game, and the part where Arena Net eventually stopped doing that, and started doing more regular content updates like STO has.

    This sort of thing doesn't make people feel more connected to the game world, it just makes the game feel vapid, and never really expanding.
    Basically, (and this comparison is more for Cryptic) build a social map like one of my Foundry maps. Then re-use the space to add on mini-missions, dailies, optional character dialog (ie. content besides TFO's to release between episodes) as well as for episodes and TFO's (where appropriate.) Set on-map content to a daily or hourly rotation to allow more expansions (without cluttering the space) and prevent players from burning through everything their very first time there. The players wouldn't be putting resources in to access the place necessarily (though it could be tied to a rep) but the key idea is to provide a place for players to emotionally invest in through related activities, shared environment, and a dedicated cast (in the best spirit of Trek, not simply monologuing mission-required exposition. ;) )
    This makes sense as an "end-of-game-life" sort of thing, to squeeze a last bit of longer term content out of the game. But, within the context of STO's story, where we are constantly crisscrossing the galaxy, and have large chunks of the Alpha, Beta, Delta, and Gamma Quadrants to explore, the idea of some sort of centralized base makes little sense.

    Like, if this hub was placed in the Beta Quadrant, but Mirror Leeta returned and was harassing the Gamma Quadrant, why would this Beta Quadrant hub be our main hub for that story? Same if the hub was in the Alpha Quadrant, but Cryptic did a Borg expansion whose story takes place in the Delta Quadrant, or whatever combination you can think of.

    This sort of thing would only really work if Cryptic knew whatever story they did it for was going to be the last major story arc they were going to do. If it wasn't, the moment players complete said story they will quickly abandon this thing for whatever, and wherever, the new story arc takes us.

    This not getting into the fact that I doubt most players will ever really care about most Cryptic made NPCs, since people who play games based off of an existing IP do so to see characters from said IP, and characters like Jordi, or Worf, or Tuvok, will always overshadow any new character. People liking Obsiek and Kuumaarke, were honestly luck of the draw, more then anything else. I can already see the "OMG MORE TOVANS!" complaints/

    It seems to me that this can be gotten around if instead of a starbase or outpost, you use a ship as the hub. And I cannot think of a better ship to use other than flagships of the Alliance. Put them in orbit of, or in close proximity to where the latest event is to take place. There is no reason why they cannot make the interior of an NPC Starship into a social hub.

    And after all, it is kind of silly to only roll the flagships out for the anniversary events. Why not make them a part of the late-game narrative?
    When it comes to MMOs, I wear prescription glasses. Whether or not they are rose-tinted is beside the point.
  • nikephorusnikephorus Member Posts: 2,727 Arc User
    STO is content to run repeat event after repeat event giving players random rewards to try and keep people logging in.
    Tza0PEl.png
  • sirsitsalotsirsitsalot Member Posts: 2,338 Arc User
    Why would this not be in STO?

    Simply put.. it doesn't need it.

    Let me explain..

    I am a long time Elite Dangerous Player. They have done things like this before, they're basically a revamped version of the 'Community Goals' that they have been running for years. This idea is intended to supplement the fact that Elite Dangerous honestly has no game at all. This is from someone who has hundreds of hours into this game, I have billions of credits, every ship, full engineering.. and I am telling you that outside of grinding for upgrades, there is no game in Elite. These events have been done before in this game and they don't feel nearly as immersive or cool as they make it sound.

    It's usually something like the community has to contribute a certain amount of a resource to a station over X period of time and those that do it get a share of the overall reward. This is something that wouldn't go over well in STO as it already has things for players to do on a daily basis, from running queues, Battle Zones, story missions.. etc. The game we're comparing to has literally none of that. If you did this in STO it would just feel like more grind.. more daily things you need to do.. I honestly don't think it would go over well at all.

    Don't let this pretty advertisement fool you.. this is Frontier Developments pretty way of packaging more endless grind that will be completely non immersive and contain no story at all. As someone who has played a ton of both of these games, trust me when I say you don't want to take queues from Elite Dangerous. They're really good at making things sound cool, but this isn't what you think it is.. and it wouldn't fit in STO.

    Thank you for clarifying things. I guess it really all depends on how good the developer would be at defining the parameters of any given scenario, and exercising enough creativity to avoid just rehashing the same thing over and over with just a different thematic skin.
    When it comes to MMOs, I wear prescription glasses. Whether or not they are rose-tinted is beside the point.
  • somtaawkharsomtaawkhar Member Posts: 8,968 Arc User
    It seems to me that this can be gotten around if instead of a starbase or outpost, you use a ship as the hub. And I cannot think of a better ship to use other than flagships of the Alliance. Put them in orbit of, or in close proximity to where the latest event is to take place. There is no reason why they cannot make the interior of an NPC Starship into a social hub.

    And after all, it is kind of silly to only roll the flagships out for the anniversary events. Why not make them a part of the late-game narrative?
    That would necessitate creating three separate copies of the same thing, one for each flagship, along with the required ship interior, NPC dialog, and objective description, differences for each faction. On top of that, they would now have to try to make each flagship's crew likeable, instead of just one group of people shared between factions, which means each flagship NPC would get significantly less development then had it been a shared hub, and they would likely have little to no dialog outside "go here and do this thing!" and "thanks for doing that thing!"

    Also, the flagships are part of the late game narrative, they are mentioned several times throughout the Iconian War, and Hur'q conflict, lore blogs as being out there fighting the Iconians and Hur'q. And we have seen the flagship captains, or at least the ships themselves, in most every arc since the Dyson Sphere.
  • leemwatsonleemwatson Member Posts: 4,208 Arc User
    > So why cannot something similar be added to STO.

    Because the STO narrative is scripted rather than emergent from a sandbox, and because the scripted narrative is intended to be available for new players and for replaying.

    These ED events are one-time things that happen and allegedly make permanent changes to the sandbox.

    The Iconian War needs to remain the Iconian War a year from now.

    Not just scripted, but overseen, with a potential veto by CBS.
    "You don't want to patrol!? You don't want to escort!? You don't want to defend the Federation's Starbases!? Then why are you flying my Starships!? If you were a Klingon you'd be killed on the spot, but lucky for you.....you WERE in Starfleet. Let's see how New Zealand Penal Colony suits you." Adm A. Necheyev.
  • somtaawkharsomtaawkhar Member Posts: 8,968 Arc User
    leemwatson wrote: »
    Not just scripted, but overseen, with a potential veto by CBS.
    Ehh, true, but also not.

    Cryptic has talked about it before, they pass everything they do along to CBS, but they don't talk to CBS daily, weekly, or sometimes even monthly. Its just every now and then, and CBS pretty much just auto-approves everything they do because Cryptic's team is well versed in Trek lore/canon that they never really do anything CBS would veto to begin with.

    CBS is far more concerned with seemingly trivial things like who can fly what ships, use what costumes, and what colors on said costumes, rather then the high level plot.
  • sirsitsalotsirsitsalot Member Posts: 2,338 Arc User
    It seems to me that this can be gotten around if instead of a starbase or outpost, you use a ship as the hub. And I cannot think of a better ship to use other than flagships of the Alliance. Put them in orbit of, or in close proximity to where the latest event is to take place. There is no reason why they cannot make the interior of an NPC Starship into a social hub.

    And after all, it is kind of silly to only roll the flagships out for the anniversary events. Why not make them a part of the late-game narrative?
    That would necessitate creating three separate copies of the same thing, one for each flagship, along with the required ship interior, NPC dialog, and objective description, differences for each faction. On top of that, they would now have to try to make each flagship's crew likeable, instead of just one group of people shared between factions, which means each flagship NPC would get significantly less development then had it been a shared hub, and they would likely have little to no dialog outside "go here and do this thing!" and "thanks for doing that thing!"

    Also, the flagships are part of the late game narrative, they are mentioned several times throughout the Iconian War, and Hur'q conflict, lore blogs as being out there fighting the Iconians and Hur'q. And we have seen the flagship captains, or at least the ships themselves, in most every arc since the Dyson Sphere.

    Okay... Something new then. An Alliance Command Ship, Something not of any specific factional design, but crewed by NPCs of every playable species regardless of faction of origin. The spearhead of true cooperation between all sovereign races making up the Alliance.
    When it comes to MMOs, I wear prescription glasses. Whether or not they are rose-tinted is beside the point.
  • duncanidaho11duncanidaho11 Member Posts: 7,611 Arc User
    edited April 2019
    This makes sense as an "end-of-game-life" sort of thing, to squeeze a last bit of longer term content out of the game. But, within the context of STO's story, where we are constantly crisscrossing the galaxy, and have large chunks of the Alpha, Beta, Delta, and Gamma Quadrants to explore

    Except when we don't. See. DS9 across multiple arcs or, more basically, the main faction hubs. :|

    (I am describing facets that exist in STO now, with the suggestion being directed integration when the opportunity comes to develop another main location which will feature across more than one episode. It's pretty basic and something Cryptic might be interested in developing. See. Kael's comments on the last Ten Forward. He's been pushing for something like this, but I think it could come together through the integration with either added mechanics to an existing social map or a new social map enabling narrative expansion and character deployment in ways we haven't seen much outside the Foundry or Cryptic's short story blogs [hence: me suggesting it through forum feedback, in addition to comments I made then.])
    This not getting into the fact that I doubt most players will ever really care about most Cryptic made NPCs, since people who play games based off of an existing IP do so to see characters from said IP, and characters like Jordi, or Worf, or Tuvok, will always overshadow any new character. People liking Obsiek and Kuumaarke, were honestly luck of the draw, more then anything else. I can already see the "OMG MORE TOVANS!" complaints.

    So basically folks won't care because you've hand-waved away examples of when they do care (also add Kurland, Marimat, and Van'Ziel) per personal assertion as opposed to critical analysis of character dynamics and story appreciation. Also, for context you're talking to a Foundry author here who's probably spent more time both analyzing, experiencing, and wrangling how STO players appreciate original characters across multi-season arcs. Ie. testing hypotheses as well as simply formulating them. When I say "Cryptic could do that too for greater effect" (because they've done it in isolation and would benefit from adopting a more Star Trek-like cast format for their Star Trek game, I've seen how players respond when that's done well) I'm not just going with my gut and reckoning from a reductive view of the STO population.

    Cryptic is more than capable of writing and deploying a character cast folks would care about over the long term. What's needed to achieve that for full effect is a good venue and off the top of my head I know of one that could serve (and bridge classic Trek with DSC season 2 and 3 while answering a long-standing question in STO.)
    Post edited by duncanidaho11 on
    Bipedal mammal and senior Foundry author.
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  • somtaawkharsomtaawkhar Member Posts: 8,968 Arc User
    edited April 2019
    Except when we don't.
    Which isn't often
    -Klingon War arc hub: Earth Space Dock
    -Specters arc hub: Drozana
    -Romulan Mystery arc hub: Starbase 39 Sierra
    -Cardassian Struggle arc hub: Deep Space 9
    -2800 arc hub: Hathon
    -Breen Invasion arc hub: Defera
    -Borg Advance arc hub: Task Force Omega(RIP)
    -New Romulus arc hub: New Romulus
    -Solanae Dyson Sphere arc hub: Dyson Sphere Joint Command
    -The Delta Quadrant arc hub: Delta Quadrant Command
    -The Iconian War and Temporal Cold War arcs didn't really have specific hubs, unless you just count the Krenim Lab due to how often it comes up
    -New Frontiers arc hubs: K-13 and Drannur
    -Gamma Quadrant arc hub: DS9
    -Discovery arc hub: Main faction hub(so far)
    (I am describing facets that exist in STO now, with the suggestion being directed integration when the opportunity comes to develop another main location which will feature across more than one episode. It's pretty basic and something Cryptic might be interested in developing. See. Kael's comments on the last Ten Forward. He's been pushing for something like this, only lacking the mechanical basis and elaboration of format to also solve other problems [hence: me suggesting it through forum feedback, in addition to comments I made then.])
    And like I said, its a good idea, it just needs to be done in a VERY specific context of us staying in one place for a very long period of time for it to be able to be built up in a worthwhile fashion, and our typical travel schedule in STO doesn't normally fit that kind of scenario.
    Kurland
    No one likes Kurland as a character because he has no character. People like Kurland because of a meme, and as a meme.
    Marimat
    Literally who.
    Also, for context you're talking to a Foundry author here who's probably spent more time both analyzing, experiencing, and wrangling how STO players appreciate original characters across multi-season arcs.
    This isn't really good qualifications given that the Foundry wasn't used by the majority of STO players, and the people who used it did so for reasons other then why most players play STO. Your basically trying to use a minority with completely different desires to guess the wants and desires of the majority who don't care for it.
  • duncanidaho11duncanidaho11 Member Posts: 7,611 Arc User
    edited April 2019
    Which isn't often

    So? They don't write themselves to use an environment for more than one arc but that's a very, very long way to substantiating argument that it couldn't be done prior to the final sunset of the game. See. examples where it has been done even with respect to player driven social zones. Ex. the Krenim research lab between the Iconian War and Temporal Cold War.

    I'm not arguing for remapping the game, only restricted application of a concept (ie. the one social map. They don't have to keep building more after that, the format would work best with smaller levels of incremental investment rather than replacement.)
    Post edited by duncanidaho11 on
    Bipedal mammal and senior Foundry author.
    Last missions:
    Evolution's Smile [SSF:3-3]
    Epoch, Part 2 [AEI]
    Transcendence, Part 4
    Memorial Tour

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    Looking for something new to play? The interactive Foundry Mission Database has you covered.
  • somtaawkharsomtaawkhar Member Posts: 8,968 Arc User
    edited April 2019
    So? They don't write themselves to use an environment for more than one arc but that's a very, very long way to making a coherent argument that it couldn't be done prior to the final sunset of the game.
    That wasn't the argument being made.
    See. examples where it has been done even with respect to player driven social zones. Ex. the Krenim research lab between the Iconian War and Temporal Cold War.
    Which was used in all of 4 missions between the two arcs, then dropped and never revisited.
    You're arguing for negation (per usual) when the evidence points towards restricted application. That's not a likely path to a constructive discussion.
    I argued for nothing of the sort. If I was arguing for negation I would have argued that it wasn't viable at all, ever, instead of in certain circumstances.

    And constructive discussion has to be built on ideas that are tempered by realism, and realistic goals, something few grasp, or even care to consider. Hence why I am forced to come off as so negative all the time, and shoot down so many ideas.
    A strawman
    That isn't a strawman, that basic facts stemming from why UGC content isn't popular among a majority of gamers in every game its included in, except for those built entirely around UGC content, and thus whose audience is entirely UGC players.

    The overwhelming majority of video game players do not care about UGC content, or how its designed. Any argument based off of it is ultimately flat, and hallow, and doesn't represent the average game player. If you wish to make the argument you did do so based off of actual data from the game itself.
    If you're going to talk about how people appreciate characters and story, talk about how they appreciate characters and story.
    Fine

    The fact of the matter is, in a game based off of an established IP like STO is, most people don't give two flips about actual "characters", or character development. They just want to see "that person" or "that thing" from the TV shows/movies, so they can wallow in their nostalgia. So long as the original character or thing acts similar to how they did in the source material, they don't really care about how much their story is actually substantially developed, it simply being there and doing things is enough for them.

    This isn't even exclusive to STO. In Lord of the Rings Online you know who cares about Random Hobbit McHobbitton? No one, people care about hearing about how cool Frodo and Sam are by the various NPCs in the game. Even in WoW, which is based off of another video game, 90% of the major characters people sperg over are people like Proudmoore, and Sylvanas, characters from the previous games. While 99% of the games new characters are quickly forgotten because no one plays WoW for those guys, they play them for the characters from past games.

    There is occasionally a few new characters in these games, like Kuumaarke, that rise to the status of being somewhat liked by the larger fanbase, but even characters like Ethan Burgess, and VanZyl, are still forgotten by a large part of the playerbase, and Kurland is only remembered because hes a meme. I remember seeing people ask, in several different runs of Battle at the Binary Stars, and the Pahvo TFOs, if those characters were in the game before, because they seemed somewhat familiar. Despite both of them being in like a dozen mission each, many people couldn't remember who they were. Even many long time players forget they exist because, why would they care enough in the first place to remember them? This is STAR TREK ONLINE, remember those episodes of Star Trek that Ethan Burgess, and VanZyl showed up in? Nope, because they didn't, so most people don't care.

    If Cryptic did an announcement where they said they got the entire TNG cast back you know who would care? Probably most STO players, since most people like TNG. If Cryptic said they got VanZyl and Woadie to be main characters in the next story arc you would probably get most people saying "who?", or at least "why?"

    These kinds of characters are good of occasional cameos, like how the mirror versions of the Disco tutorial BOFFs were the bosses of the Pahvo ground TFO, but that's about it. Trying to force these kinds of characters on players in some sort of larger situation near universally results in Tovan situations. People don't care, and they don't want to care, and trying to make them care, or force you to listen to them, just results in backlash.

    And 9 years into STO, the ship has pretty much already sailed at trying to make a cast of new characters that the player interacts with on a substantial basis to form any sort of relationship with them where being around them for a long period of time would be fun.
  • jagdtier44jagdtier44 Member Posts: 341 Arc User
    edited April 2019
    Fine

    The fact of the matter is, in a game based off of an established IP like STO is, most people don't give two flips about actual "characters", or character development. They just want to see "that person" or "that thing" from the TV shows/movies, so they can wallow in their nostalgia. So long as the original character or thing acts similar to how they did in the source material, they don't really care about how much their story is actually substantially developed, it simply being there and doing things is enough for them.

    This isn't even exclusive to STO. In Lord of the Rings Online you know who cares about Random Hobbit McHobbitton? No one, people care about hearing about how cool Frodo and Sam are by the various NPCs in the game. Even in WoW, which is based off of another video game, 90% of the major characters people sperg over are people like Proudmoore, and Sylvanas, characters from the previous games. While 99% of the games new characters are quickly forgotten because no one plays WoW for those guys, they play them for the characters from past games.

    There is occasionally a few new characters in these games, like Kuumaarke, that rise to the status of being somewhat liked by the larger fanbase, but even characters like Ethan Burgess, and VanZyl, are still forgotten by a large part of the playerbase, and Kurland is only remembered because hes a meme. I remember seeing people ask, in several different runs of Battle at the Binary Stars, and the Pahvo TFOs, if those characters were in the game before, because they seemed somewhat familiar. Despite both of them being in like a dozen mission each, many people couldn't remember who they were. Even many long time players forget they exist because, why would they care enough in the first place to remember them? This is STAR TREK ONLINE, remember those episodes of Star Trek that Ethan Burgess, and VanZyl showed up in? Nope, because they didn't, so most people don't care.

    If Cryptic did an announcement where they said they got the entire TNG cast back you know who would care? Probably most STO players, since most people like TNG. If Cryptic said they got VanZyl and Woadie to be main characters in the next story arc you would probably get most people saying "who?", or at least "why?"

    These kinds of characters are good of occasional cameos, like how the mirror versions of the Disco tutorial BOFFs were the bosses of the Pahvo ground TFO, but that's about it. Trying to force these kinds of characters on players in some sort of larger situation near universally results in Tovan situations. People don't care, and they don't want to care, and trying to make them care, or force you to listen to them, just results in backlash.

    And 9 years into STO, the ship has pretty much already sailed at trying to make a cast of new characters that the player interacts with on a substantial basis to form any sort of relationship with them where being around them for a long period of time would be fun.

    Hate to say it but the man has a point, I had to google who Ethan Burgess was and than I was like.. oh yeah.. that guy.. and had to read who he was to be like OH RIGHT!

    VanZyl is memorable to me and Jarok, I think Jarok got really lucky in being put into a ton of content in a fairly decent way that she is remembered. A lot of the STO characters just drop off the radar like Shon because instead of making the current gen Enterprise crew and original sto characters your usual go between they wanna use those guest stars and it makes a lot of them forgettable because of that.

    But yeah it's a good point.. I care a lot more about seeing Garak than seeing whoever it was he replaced making a return /shrug
  • somtaawkharsomtaawkhar Member Posts: 8,968 Arc User
    edited April 2019
    jagdtier44 wrote: »
    Hate to say it but the man has a point, I had to google who Ethan Burgess was and than I was like.. oh yeah.. that guy.. and had to read who he was to be like OH RIGHT!

    VanZyl is memorable to me and Jarok, I think Jarok got really lucky in being put into a ton of content in a fairly decent way that she is remembered. A lot of the STO characters just drop off the radar like Shon because instead of making the current gen Enterprise crew and original sto characters your usual go between they wanna use those guest stars and it makes a lot of them forgettable because of that.

    But yeah it's a good point.. I care a lot more about seeing Garak than seeing whoever it was he replaced making a return /shrug
    Whats funny is that Shon actually shows up regularly, he just gets so overshadowed by all the VA work from the characters from the shows that people don't notice he is there.

    I made the chart below based off of what the wiki says about what missions the three flagships, or their captains, appear in. Shon, Koren, and Jarok, pretty much appear at least once in every single arc since the Dyson Sphere.

    Just a quick color chart for those who might not get it
    -Blue = Shon
    -Green = Jarok
    -Red = Koren
    -White = all three
    0ghLQ07.png
  • mustrumridcully0mustrumridcully0 Member Posts: 12,894 Arc User
    Regarding the ide aof a hub that is grown due to communicty activity, but doesn't get lost just because we move the story to a new spot in the galaxy.

    The "Alliance Operations Gateway Hub".

    A jointly build starbase equipped with transwarp gateways that connect to outlying adjunct bases that can be installed based on local needs. Allowing anyone to enter the station from any hub in the galaxy, and leave it to any other hub in the galaxy. A precursor of Iconian Gateways or Borg Transwarp Hubs. The outlying hubs merely consist of a small operation center and some defense and docking installations, where as the major action happens inside the station somewhere at a specific and fixed point in the galaxy.

    Something in size between Earth Space Dock and the Kelvin Timeline Yorktown Station, which is expanded as needed.

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  • shadowfang240shadowfang240 Member Posts: 35,830 Arc User
    Regarding the ide aof a hub that is grown due to communicty activity, but doesn't get lost just because we move the story to a new spot in the galaxy.

    The "Alliance Operations Gateway Hub".

    A jointly build starbase equipped with transwarp gateways that connect to outlying adjunct bases that can be installed based on local needs. Allowing anyone to enter the station from any hub in the galaxy, and leave it to any other hub in the galaxy. A precursor of Iconian Gateways or Borg Transwarp Hubs. The outlying hubs merely consist of a small operation center and some defense and docking installations, where as the major action happens inside the station somewhere at a specific and fixed point in the galaxy.

    Something in size between Earth Space Dock and the Kelvin Timeline Yorktown Station, which is expanded as needed.

    sounds like an upgraded version of Unity One​​
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  • sirsitsalotsirsitsalot Member Posts: 2,338 Arc User
    Regarding the ide aof a hub that is grown due to communicty activity, but doesn't get lost just because we move the story to a new spot in the galaxy.

    The "Alliance Operations Gateway Hub".

    A jointly build starbase equipped with transwarp gateways that connect to outlying adjunct bases that can be installed based on local needs. Allowing anyone to enter the station from any hub in the galaxy, and leave it to any other hub in the galaxy. A precursor of Iconian Gateways or Borg Transwarp Hubs. The outlying hubs merely consist of a small operation center and some defense and docking installations, where as the major action happens inside the station somewhere at a specific and fixed point in the galaxy.

    Something in size between Earth Space Dock and the Kelvin Timeline Yorktown Station, which is expanded as needed.

    You know, back when they gave us the Dyson Spire holding, they dropped this picture of the Dyson Sphere Crew.

    I remember being intrigued by it as it resembled a cast photo of a Star Trek series, and couldn't help but wonder what these characters' stories were. I knew we were getting the spire as a fleet holding, but this is where I started getting the idea for a social hub we could build as a full player community, not just as fleet members. The Dyson command map, while aesthetically similar to the spire holding, is different, suited to facilitating players from the UFP, the KDF and the NRR. Players from all three of these factions could have been sent by their respective governments to do what they could to get the command center restored to full functionality. As we would have completed the tasks, using the same sort of progression mechanics in fleet holdings, we, that is everyone, would see the command center grow from a non-functioning, damaged, and empty shell to a fully functional hub. And at each stage, one of the NPC shown in that picture would arrive and take their place as the official crew of the outpost. Once completed, (and this was just my armchair developer idea) an entire ongoing series of missions would begin rolling out.

    I even had this idea of them adding one each of those three Dyson Ships as part of the plotline. Missions that would involve members of the official DJC crew leaving the base would involve one or more of those ships, with some story elements taking place on board. So there would have been full interiors designed for them (which would also be available to players who owned those ships). They could have really made the DJC a thing, instead of yet another fire and forget thing.


    In my mind, a 12-part story arc spanning a full year was a realistic thought which included the notion that the entire story arc would be written in advance, with all story dialogue recorded and at least a 3-month lead on mission production before the first part goes live. The result would be a developer narrative that goes like this:

    "This is what this year is about."

    Of course, that is not the way it happened.
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  • duncanidaho11duncanidaho11 Member Posts: 7,611 Arc User
    edited April 2019

    The fact of the matter is, in a game based off of an established IP like STO is, most people don't give two flips about actual "characters", or character development. They just want to see "that person" or "that thing" from the TV shows/movies

    Because they care about character development. Your ascribing diametrically opposed motivations per convenience. In one case people can care, but in the other they can't because reasons (down to the personal character of players as opposed to differential mechanics.)
    Even many long time players forget they exist because, why would they care enough in the first place to remember them? This is STAR TREK ONLINE, remember those episodes of Star Trek that Ethan Burgess, and VanZyl showed up in? Nope, because they didn't, so most people don't care.

    So rather than taking a truism by faith ask yourself what dynamics allow players to become more attached characters to than others, why Kuummarke in particular stuck around to the point of being "liked" to take your point at face value. The Foundry provided some great demonstrations but because we can't talk about that (per hand waving) let's instead point to everything else in the field of human literature. Ie. well realized character arcs which elicit an emotional connection with the audience per the mechanics of writing and its cultural and personal context. STO could take greater advantage of that in light of how it tends to compartmentalize characters both in cameos and original (plot device) characters.

    If you say "they can't" I'll simply say that's demonstrably incorrect (see. Foundry and what players did to build lasting appreciation of characters within a niche community and in spite of all the limitations of the system and attenuated population dynamics.) There is nothing alien about appreciating new characters to any group in humanity provided the effort was done effectively per context. While the STO player base deeply cares about Star Trek (to overgeneralize, there's levels of appreciation and attitudes towards existing characters) one can still connect with them (on a human level) with well realized characters and story telling (such as what connected them to the IP on the first place.) You may not appreciate that point (per your comments) but consider that your appreciation is not required for a suggestion to be posted to a feedback forum without extensive (and often derailing) conversation (discussion is certainly due but let's first establish that we're having one.) I'll direct your attention again to the fact that this is something that Cryptic has some interest in (through Kael's comments and the broader effort to tell richer stories through short story blogs and a greater emphasis on secondary characters in recent seasons. Kuumarke was an experiment and a successful one at that from their POV [she didn't become Khev 2.0, though that's glossing over a core mechanical reason why he isn't appreciated generally.) They sell the game on cameos but they recognize how limiting that can be to character arcs such as what the IP was founded on. Who cares, in the first place, that person X was cast to play character Y for series Z? It's the presentation and writing that build those connections and that most certainly doesn't stop when you move into STO (people don't stop being people when they sit down at a keyboard.)

    Ie. appreciation of writing is not arbitrary and its worth examining the mechanics of how STO uses its characters and how they may be improved in ways which are financially and technically accessible (see the suggestion and pointed at original character as opposed to cameos, which I could just have well suggested if I wasn't thinking about practicality from the get-go.)


    PS. minimizing the Foundry per population statistics still employs a set of invalidating statistical and mechanical assumptions which you should probably address if you want to continue using that point in cogent and constructive discussion (ie. work on the application or address the failings in the use of statistics.) For example: the existence of distinct tribal groups separating Foundry players and non-players, such that the disparity in population statistics could be used to comment on the specific application of character arcs (without, incidentally, considering what that actually entails per realistically grounded discussion. Ie. whether there was in fact a disconnect in this area of writing which would preclude integration as well as the role any disconnect had in the population trends in the Foundry.)

    To use a statistical analogy: you're arguing from a Z-test of a proportion to make the case of a mixed effect linear model. You don't have to overreach like that, it's secondary to your main point in discussion.
    Hence why I am forced to come off as so negative all the time, and shoot down so many ideas.

    Then perhaps you can address the practicality of suggestions per their mechanical implementation (ie. realism) rather than trying to negate the impetus for constructive feedback with regard to STO. :|

    The scale of development here is a single social map, pre-existing mechanics, and creative decisions RE. characters in writing. I've made direct analogs myself. This is an achievable goal and there is a stated interest in the company for perhaps one day pursuing it in a dedicated fashion (something I was hoping to contribute ideas to here.)
    Post edited by duncanidaho11 on
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  • rattler2rattler2 Member Posts: 52,984 Community Moderator
    I wouldn't mind seeing more VanZyl and Jarok.
    Hell... I'd love it if we got to see Ezri at some point. Then again... I am kinda biased in favor of Trill.

    Anyways... characters like VanZyl, Jarok, Koren are pretty much recurring characters. Just like you'd see in a series. They're not the frontline stars. Our characters are.
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  • somtaawkharsomtaawkhar Member Posts: 8,968 Arc User
    edited April 2019
    Regarding the idea of a hub that is grown due to community activity, but doesn't get lost just because we move the story to a new spot in the galaxy.

    The "Alliance Operations Gateway Hub".

    A jointly build starbase equipped with transwarp gateways that connect to outlying adjunct bases that can be installed based on local needs. Allowing anyone to enter the station from any hub in the galaxy, and leave it to any other hub in the galaxy. A precursor of Iconian Gateways or Borg Transwarp Hubs. The outlying hubs merely consist of a small operation center and some defense and docking installations, where as the major action happens inside the station somewhere at a specific and fixed point in the galaxy.

    Something in size between Earth Space Dock and the Kelvin Timeline Yorktown Station, which is expanded as needed.
    So, basically the Fleet Starbase holding?

    The thing that serves as the functional hub of our fleet, and uses the transwarp gateway network to connect to a number of smaller bases across the galaxy that our fleet uses for various other purposes and several of which, such as the research lab, K13, and Dranuur colony, have been featured in missions?
    rattler2 wrote: »
    I wouldn't mind seeing more VanZyl and Jarok.
    Hell... I'd love it if we got to see Ezri at some point. Then again... I am kinda biased in favor of Trill.

    Anyways... characters like VanZyl, Jarok, Koren are pretty much recurring characters. Just like you'd see in a series. They're not the frontline stars. Our characters are.
    Seeing Ezri would be cool, shes on the short list of Trek actors not in the game already that I would actually think would do it, or would be affordable. Ezri, Sulu, O'brien, some of the TNG cast.
    their context is easy to appreciate
    The context is irrelevant to the discussion at hand as the Foundry is and was... sorry... was, a totally separate game from the rest of the game, with a different fanbase, and set of design goals that holds no bearing on the fanbase or design goal of the rest of the game. The Foundry, and everything in it, has literally no bearing on this conversation, and I would ask that you stop constantly try to derail conversations to shove in your Foundry plugs, especially now that it doesn't exist anymore.
    Then perhaps you can address the practicality of suggestions per their mechanical implementation (ie. realism) rather than trying to negate the impetus for constructive feedback.
    I did and have already, just like I have with the ideas people made for a new exploration system, or trying to salvage the Foundry. You just don't like it, and call everything some attempt to negate it.
    Post edited by somtaawkhar on
  • duncanidaho11duncanidaho11 Member Posts: 7,611 Arc User
    edited April 2019
    The context is irrelevant to the discussion at hand as the Foundry is and was... sorry... was, a totally separate game from the rest of the game, with a different fanbase, and set of design goals that holds no bearing on the fanbase or design goal of the rest of the game. The Foundry, and everything in it, has literally no bearing on this conversation, and I would ask that you stop constantly try to derail conversations to shove in your Foundry plugs, especially now that it doesn't exist anymore.

    Well, you were eager to escalate.

    Let's get to the point here, per context of discussion (review posting procession) this is your attempt to derail my original suggestion and any use of the Foundry (irrespective of context or clarification to specific application) to provide direct mechanical analogs for the use of characters in episodic story telling and, more specifically, the STO format per the invocation of a simple statistic beyond the remit of said statistic to factor in this discussion. Ie. grounding a suggestion in the realism of a practical example that I know some devs have experienced and can point to if the need arose through preserved archives. Not many suggestions have working examples or demonstrations deployed in this game (at some time), and while the Foundry doesn't represent a full test of Cryptic-deployed content it is substantiation of a type that grounds feedback.

    (Note your contrasting use of personal assertion instead, as with the above post.)

    The Foundry is out of your area (I don't think played it often, from what I recall of our previous conversation) but rather than accepting that the experiences of the community are many and various you've tried to exclude those points of view from discussion (intensively.) You didn't spend much time for the Foundry, therefore it cannot mean anything to discussions regarding mission structure, character use, gameplay, or any other aspect of content (because of a simple statistic which you've taken to reinforce your point of view.)

    Sure.

    If you had a practical turn of mind with respect to these discussion you would have discussed the mechanical implementation of content as opposed to arguing (vociferously) for lacking need, incompatible context, or lacking comparable example. There are definitely points to get into there. For the mods: I'll note that Som hasn't addressed the mechanics of my suggestion but rather ranted (at length) about it simply having no place through the pacing of season arcs, original characters (not realizing that this highlights the call for the original suggestion, ie. improving appreciation given the low hit rate [attributable to the form of story telling STO has mainly employed. It's plot focused]), and now the Foundry simply because I made the comparison between what I and other authors actually did (ex. Starbase Invictus, the Alliance Exploration Initiative) with points of potential evolution in the social map format per character-driven stories and settings (in line with the original OP's comment about what could the game do to further invest players in setting.)

    Literally no one could have played these and they would still function as direct analogs for future content (with appropriate preservation, which we have) and considering that I'm making a suggestion for the devs (who know of this work) I don't feel that it's at all a problem to invoke those examples for support of a constructive argument made in a relevant thread.
    You just don't like it.

    Explicitly disregarding my ability to hold a contrary opinion in line with respectful discourse (the assumption here is to have given a definitive review from which further disagreement cannot be justified by a rational argument. To each his/her/their own this is not.)
    Post edited by duncanidaho11 on
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  • somtaawkharsomtaawkhar Member Posts: 8,968 Arc User
    Let's get to the point here, per context of discussion this is your attempt to derail my original suggestion
    No, it isn't.
    The Foundry is out of your area (I don't think played it often, from what I recall of our previous conversation) but rather than accepting that the experiences of the community are many and various you've tried to exclude those points of view from discussion (intensively.) You didn't spend much time for the Foundry, therefore it cannot mean anything to discussions regarding mission structure, character use, gameplay, or any other aspect of content.
    How much or little time I spent on the Foundry is totally irrelevant to my opinion on why it isn't a valid comparison to the current discussion. Stop trying to make the comments of anyone who doesn't care about the Foundry as much as you did into some sort of personal attack, its beneath civil discussion.
    I'll note that Som hasn't addressed any specific mechanical detail of my suggestion
    Except I have. Specifically, more then once, I have commented on the viability of such a location within the context of the STO universe, which necessitates us flying around over large areas constantly, thus making the prospect of a singular base impractical, as well as the viability of trying to make a cast of new characters the playerbase will actually enjoy getting to know and connect too, both of which are major mechanical aspects of such a proposition.
    Literally no one could have played these and they would still function as direct analogs for future content (with appropriate preservation, which we have.)
    Except the Foundry was built using different tools, with different standards, different design goals, different implantation, and pretty much different everything else. Its only analogous in the same way apples are to oranges, not at all.
  • sirsitsalotsirsitsalot Member Posts: 2,338 Arc User
    Hence why I am forced to come off as so negative all the time, and shoot down so many ideas.

    The problem is that you seem to shoot down EVERY idea that might help this game rise out of its own mediocrity, even though people point out how it can be done using mechanics that already exist but used in a new way. Sure, some suggestions would involve a massive reworking of mechanics, and are therefore not practical, given Cryptic's small size. But when it is pointed out how already established mechanics can be used for wider effect, the only reason I can think of for you shooting it down is because you actually WANT the game to remain less than what it could be.

    Why is that?

    I've been here from the very beginning. I know full well that the likelihood of Cryptic ever being in a place where they can actually start making STO into more than the mediocre game (for the size of the IP) that it is. But it will not stop me from pointing out what I perceive can be done within the scope of what they have already done that could help the game be a little more than it already is.

    Maybe you are satisfied with STO as it is. I'm not. Because I know that it CAN be more than it is. So why don't you stop telling everyone that things cannot be done, especially if what is suggested has already been done in a way that's just smaller in scope? Would it really hurt for you to get on board with forward-going ideas for a change? Will it?
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  • duncanidaho11duncanidaho11 Member Posts: 7,611 Arc User
    edited April 2019
    Except I have. Specifically, more then once, I have commented on the viability of such a location within the context of the STO universe, which necessitates us flying around over large areas constantly, thus making the prospect of a singular base impractical, as well as the viability of trying to make a cast of new characters the playerbase will actually enjoy getting to know and connect too, both of which are major mechanical aspects of such a proposition.

    Except that STO has used singular bases for more than one season arc (DS9, Krenim research lab fleet holding) making the "impractical" argument an overreach and one principally defined by context in the path of STO development (not mechanics.) What your point highlights that a persistent crew tied to a social zone is atypical and this context has been freely acknowledged. It would be very important to incorporate a persistent cast in with the plot in a sensible way which justifies having a focal point, this is very basic (and I didn't need to feel that it had to be specified in making a suggestion to devs, they know this.)

    The point implying that making a "new cast of characters that the player base will actually enjoy getting to know" is an invalid effort is further an overreach taken from the lack of engagement with characters who have not been incorporated into character arcs (it wasn't done, so therefore it can't be done.) Ie. context, not specific implementation (the how never entered into it, just that it probably wouldn't work per an overgeneralization by the community tautologically justified by existing original characters, specifically ignoring the mechanics of how effective characters are written and what STO could do to further incorporate these to improve player appreciation of the STO original setting in line with the OP.) It's always a challenge writing a compelling cast but note that this suggestion is being referred to professional writers with demonstrated capabilities. I took this as read and didn't belabor the point for how to write casts well (I'm not concerned whether they could pull it off, considering the strength of STO's writing generally.)

    Consider then the impetus for posting so intensively with respect to factors taken as read in the original post or not in contention.
    How much or little time I spent on the Foundry is totally irrelevant to my opinion

    I'll take that as a "totally unfamiliar" then. The easy refutation would be to say "I played X but the story telling mechanics there leaned on a content form which is difficult to translate to an official mission without switching the basic mode of story telling re. plot driven or character driven. Take for example how so much more time was needed with X because things like cutscenes aren't available. The need to emphasize character-driven story telling is an inevitable product of the format which (because of the specific differences with respect to key mechanics, ex. voiced pop-up dialog and cutscenes) the main game would have trouble trying to adopt in any extensive fashion."

    Ie. if you wanted to actually comment on the specific writing problems here and what fundamental limitations there are on applying this idea the easy point is (and I know because I like trying to falsify my own ideas prior to posting per principles of honest intellectual debate) "what Cryptic does is valid in its own right and while it doesn't yield [as frequently] the range of experience found in character-driven story telling there are high points which could be more effectively invested in [see. playing to your strengths] with a concerted effort to emphasize plot-driven story telling principles. While Cryptic could develop a character-driven season arc or two an equal effort could yield more rewards with novel development in improving plot-driven story mechanics, assuming we're talking about making any changes at all. They could probably put something together with a crew, but it's not the necessarily most compelling choice among ideas in this vein (though this depends on the creative directions the devs want to take the game.)"

    As is, you didn't (and spent an inordinate amount of time trying to gatekeep what examples I used), I've had to take on both sides of discussion for the sake of illustration (I have a rebuttal too. the Foundry isn't so reductive to character v. plot driven mechanics, but as I had to make the respectful counter argument I'll hold onto it for the time being.) Sufficed to say, there's a lot you can learn from here.
    Post edited by duncanidaho11 on
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