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Remembering Exploration

One thing I remember about the exploration system that really felt so amazing to me was the actual sector space areas for the clusters. The vast emptiness with nothing but the starfield in all directions really gave it a mood of being out there, exploring the depths of space with an ever-present sense of the unknown.

I've always liked looking at the stars, and as a kid who grew up in the city with too many ground lights to truly see the night sky in all its wonder, I remember going on a camping trip and seeing the sky fully for the first time. The exploration sectors made me think of that experience from my childhood.
When it comes to MMOs, I wear prescription glasses. Whether or not they are rose-tinted is beside the point.

Comments

  • thegrandnagus1thegrandnagus1 Member Posts: 4,528 Arc User
    For any new players reading, the old system called "exploration" was not actually "exploration". It was actually just patrols with different enemy types depending on the location. Warp into a system, kill 5 groups of ships, the end. Beam down to a planet, kill 5 groups of NPCs, the end. There were some non combat mission where you would either scan 5 anomalies, though. So, fun stuff!

    The-Grand-Nagus
    Join Date: Sep 2008

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  • jexsamxjexsamx Member Posts: 2,782 Arc User
    Vast emptyness?

    I mean, it was definitely empty, but vast? You call those soupy shoeboxes vast?

    The rose-colored glasses for that terrible old "exploration" system baffles me.
  • thegrandnagus1thegrandnagus1 Member Posts: 4,528 Arc User
    jexsamx wrote: »
    Vast emptyness?

    I mean, it was definitely empty, but vast? You call those soupy shoeboxes vast?

    The rose-colored glasses for that terrible old "exploration" system baffles me.

    Correct. The little exploration cluster maps were smaller than the regular sector block maps, so all the OP has to do is turn off astrometrics and fly around in sector space and it will pretty much look the same.

    The-Grand-Nagus
    Join Date: Sep 2008

    og9Zoh0.jpg
  • sirsitsalotsirsitsalot Member Posts: 2,338 Arc User
    jexsamx wrote: »
    Vast emptyness?

    I mean, it was definitely empty, but vast? You call those soupy shoeboxes vast?

    The rose-colored glasses for that terrible old "exploration" system baffles me.

    Hey... they were vast enough that new players were getting lost in them... :p

    Anyway, I did not start this thread to argue about the quality of the exploration system. It was sub-par and always felt to me like a placeholder for what could have, and should have been a much more involved and robust system. I did like a lot of the artwork that was used.
    When it comes to MMOs, I wear prescription glasses. Whether or not they are rose-tinted is beside the point.
  • jonsillsjonsills Member Posts: 9,288 Arc User
    Beam down to a planet, kill 5 groups of NPCs, the end.
    Or, often as not, beam down to a planet, kill three groups of NPCs, the other two spawned under the map and you can't touch them, no end.
    Lorna-Wing-sig.png
  • davefenestratordavefenestrator Member Posts: 8,778 Arc User
    edited June 2020
    jonsills wrote: »
    Beam down to a planet, kill 5 groups of NPCs, the end.
    Or, often as not, beam down to a planet, kill three groups of NPCs, the other two spawned under the map and you can't touch them, no end.

    Also, kill them by yourself because your boffs spawned under the map too, or fell into a ravine, or tripped over a boulder, or got distracted by a shiny object.

    I don't miss those. Or the other "fun" mission type where a planet needed 5 antigen commodities to repair their stargate.
  • seaofsorrowsseaofsorrows Member Posts: 10,037 Arc User
    I have very different memories of the exploration system. There was pretty much nothing about it that I miss.
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    Discovery is good, it's you that sucks.
  • sirsitsalotsirsitsalot Member Posts: 2,338 Arc User
    edited June 2020
    I have very different memories of the exploration system. There was pretty much nothing about it that I miss.

    That's you… It isn't just about you any more than it's just about me.

    But you see, what I miss is not what was, but what could have been. It's all a moot point now. And like I said, the artwork associated with the exploration clusters instilled within me the sense of wonder of exploring the unknown. Exploration could have, and should have become so much more than it was. But it didn't. It doesn't change what I look back on and the parts of it I appreciated.
    When it comes to MMOs, I wear prescription glasses. Whether or not they are rose-tinted is beside the point.
  • salazarrazesalazarraze Member Posts: 3,764 Arc User
    The old exploration system was awful as pretty much everyone agrees. It's also been gone for more than 60% of the entire lifespan of the game. They clearly don't plan on replacing it in any way. I wouldn't expect to see anything so daring or bold at this point in the game. Patrols and the odd mini game are our exploration and have been for the last 6 years.
    When you see "TRIBBLE" in my posts, it's because I manually typed "TRIBBLE" and censored myself.
  • theanothernametheanothername Member Posts: 1,458 Arc User
    edited June 2020
    Every now and then a few exploration missions where fun. Also interesting to see what the randomizer came up with in maps and aliens.

    It had its faults and probably a lot of people where looking forward to a reworked system. But as with foundry, crews, memory alpha, the STO "armory", the calendar and probably quite some other stuff Cryptic did what I fear is by now their standard reaction when things get a bit rough: delete it and argue that ppl did not used it (while acting oblivious to the reasons why in some cases).
  • rattler2rattler2 Member Posts: 52,984 Community Moderator
    I actually got lost a couple times in those clusters. And it really wasn't exploration. It was randomly generated "kill 5 mobs" or "scan 5 objects".

    It is also the source of the ever popular "3rd Borg Dynasty".

    And that's when it actually worked. There were many instances of what jonsills described that basically broke ground based exploration missions.

    Also... we still have something similar to the old Exploration Clusters. Anyone remember the old Empire Defense stuff KDF side? They still have their clusters.
    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!)
  • sirsitsalotsirsitsalot Member Posts: 2,338 Arc User
    rattler2 wrote: »
    I actually got lost a couple times in those clusters. And it really wasn't exploration. It was randomly generated "kill 5 mobs" or "scan 5 objects".

    It is also the source of the ever popular "3rd Borg Dynasty".

    And that's when it actually worked. There were many instances of what jonsills described that basically broke ground based exploration missions.

    Also... we still have something similar to the old Exploration Clusters. Anyone remember the old Empire Defense stuff KDF side? They still have their clusters.

    I never liked the actual exploration system. It was always a janky, buggy mess. The idea behind it was awesome, And what we got with launch was good as a foundation to be built upon and refined over time. But they neither built upon it nor refined it. It proved to be too hard for them to fix, and as a result got removed. But they did tell us that they hoped to deliver a better exploration system in the future. Last word on that was several years ago, at which point, we were told that a new exploration system was in concept on a whiteboard, but there was no ETA on it going into the development pipeline.

    Hope was rekindled after the Iconian War arc ended and the next season was touted as being about getting back to exploring the galaxy. This came after that poll Cryptic posted asking us what we wanted them to focus on next. Exploration was the highest voted choice on the poll. But the only thing representing exploration in the new season was the narrative at the start of it. Everything else played out the same way as all the other content we had gotten before. Kill or blow up everything that moves.

    Ah but wait... We were encouraged to use the Foundry to get our exploration rocks off... Foundry, which went unsupported and neglected until it too was declared too hard to fix and arbitrarily removed.

    When this game was officially announced, exploring the galaxy was touted by Jack Emmert himself as one of the pillars of the game. I can only wonder, had Cryptic had a full development cycle to work on the game, instead of just two years, How much more refined and built-out Exploration might have been. We'll never know.

    I do not miss what exploration was. I miss what it could have, and should have become. And I miss the exploration sectors themselves. More specifically the way they looked and the mood they instilled. At least for me.
    When it comes to MMOs, I wear prescription glasses. Whether or not they are rose-tinted is beside the point.
  • ltminnsltminns Member Posts: 12,280 Arc User
    But, but, we got a whole load of mini-games to assist us in exploring. :)
    'But to be logical is not to be right', and 'nothing' on God's earth could ever 'make it' right!
    Judge Dan Haywood
  • thegrandnagus1thegrandnagus1 Member Posts: 4,528 Arc User
    edited June 2020
    To repeat the point for those who keep using the term, the system in question was not actually "exploration", it was patrols. Warping into a system and killing 5 groups of enemies that are already known species/factions (Klingons, Romulans, Cardassian, etc) has nothing to do with "exploration". Granted, the maps where you are scanning anomalies might quality for that term, but none of the combat missions did.

    That said, I actually DO miss the system. No, it wasn't exploration. And yes it was buggy. But I don't mind admitting I enjoyed running the daily to do 3 missions. It was kind of fun, to me, to not know what kind of mission I was about to warp into. And while I know you can get that same "random" experience by queuing for a random TFO, I am honestly getting sick of all these "huge battles" in game. I do actually miss the "small" missions where it's just you fighting 1 or 2 other ships at a time.

    I understand why the devs removed it, but I wished they could have just tucked it away in some corner where it wasn't bother new players but people who wanted to do it still could.

    The-Grand-Nagus
    Join Date: Sep 2008

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  • ltminnsltminns Member Posts: 12,280 Arc User
    Those Exploration Patrols we still have in the non-repeatable System Patrols.
    'But to be logical is not to be right', and 'nothing' on God's earth could ever 'make it' right!
    Judge Dan Haywood
  • valoreahvaloreah Member Posts: 10,691 Arc User
    Of course it was an exploration system. How else would we have learned the Borg were searching for artifacts from their 4th dynasty?
    Dear Devs: I enjoyed the Legacy of Romulus expansion much more than the Delta Rising expansion. .
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    Anyone calling Valoreah a "Cryptic fanboy" must be new to the forum.

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  • rattler2rattler2 Member Posts: 52,984 Community Moderator
    valoreah wrote: »
    Of course it was an exploration system. How else would we have learned the Borg were searching for artifacts from their 4th dynasty?

    3rd Dynasty. Get it right man! Geez. You disrespect the 3rd Borg Dynasty! ;)

    Anyways... I would like to see those non repeatable patrols revisited, maybe revamped with some of the new stuff that's come out since, and made repeatable.
    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!)
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