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STO's Story is Overrated.

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  • quiscustodietquiscustodiet Member Posts: 350
    edited December 2012
    hypl wrote: »
    The story is one of its strengths? Where in the ho ho heck did you hear that from? :confused:

    Seconded.

    STO's story has always been fanfic-level. And that might be insulting to some fanfics.


    If you want a MMO with good story, you have to look towards Japan/SE: that's one aspect of XI that always delivered; and I suspect XIV as well (but XIV fails in all other respects).
    Since this creature is immune to subtility and too cowardly to answer PMs, let's take the direct approach: pwebranflakes: you're a moron and I'd really rather be spared your "affections".
  • darimunddarimund Member Posts: 318 Arc User
    edited December 2012
    STO capitalizes on 2 things that a lot of nerds, prolly the majority, got out of star trek, space battles and hot chicks. Guys aren't running around in STO with half naked orion chicks for a compelling story =p You want action? go pew pew, you want sex? create a toon and shove that boob size up to max. You want story? go read a book or play an RPG from a real game developer =p
  • knuhteb5knuhteb5 Member Posts: 1,831 Arc User
    edited December 2012
    darimund wrote: »
    STO capitalizes on 2 things that a lot of nerds, prolly the majority, got out of star trek, space battles and hot chicks. Guys aren't running around in STO with half naked orion chicks for a compelling story =p You want action? go pew pew, you want sex? create a toon and shove that boob size up to max. You want story? go read a book or play an RPG from a real game developer =p

    More than the sex appeal, it's all pew pew baby. I bet if we got a hold of Cryptic player stats, it would show that of the people who play either STF's or PVP often, over 75% of them have alien main characters. And of those 75%, over 50% of them are females. The alien class should be done away with all together b/c it doesn't encourage valuing each class for it's merits. It's just a hodgepodge of the best skills so that we can be 5% better than the guy next to us.

    There isn't enough class diversification nor career diversification in game, TBH. It's too bad it turned out this way, too. It would have been cool if the original dev team had sat down and said: we are going to create three classes: tac, engineer, and science. From there, we'll diversify further by creating merchants, telepaths, diplomats, warriors, etc. Then, the storylines and systems will be developed around those career paths and classes.

    Whereas with the current STO storyline, most missions are geared tac players b/c tac players can finish them more easily and quickly than sci or engie. And there aren't even any sub classes like merchant, armorer, etc. Maybe as a merchant I could have owned a fleet or merchant vessels, had my own personal mini starbase, etc. As an armorer, I could have had special crafting bonuses. As a diplomat, I could have had special transwarp abilities that other players don't have. So much potential....
    aGHGQIKr41KNi.gif
  • markhawkmanmarkhawkman Member Posts: 34,446 Arc User
    edited December 2012
    knuhteb5 wrote: »
    More than the sex appeal, it's all pew pew baby. I bet if we got a hold of Cryptic player stats, it would show that of the people who play either STF's or PVP often, over 75% of them have alien main characters. And of those 75%, over 50% of them are females. The alien class should be done away with all together b/c it doesn't encourage valuing each class for it's merits. It's just a hodgepodge of the best skills so that we can be 5% better than the guy next to us.

    There isn't enough class diversification nor career diversification in game, TBH. It's too bad it turned out this way, too. It would have been cool if the original dev team had sat down and said: we are going to create three classes: tac, engineer, and science. From there, we'll diversify further by creating merchants, telepaths, diplomats, warriors, etc. Then, the storylines and systems will be developed around those career paths and classes.

    Whereas with the current STO storyline, most missions are geared tac players b/c tac players can finish them more easily and quickly than sci or engie. And there aren't even any sub classes like merchant, armorer, etc. Maybe as a merchant I could have owned a fleet or merchant vessels, had my own personal mini starbase, etc. As an armorer, I could have had special crafting bonuses. As a diplomat, I could have had special transwarp abilities that other players don't have. So much potential....
    I have to disagree. The only "issue" with Alien is that they can choose 4 space traits. Most of the traits that are the most powerful are racial. The two most commonly used for Space are the ones that give +acc and +def... most races can get those anyways.
    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
    My character Tsin'xing
    Costume_marhawkman_Tsin%27xing_CC_Comic_Page_Blue_488916968.jpg
  • cmdrscarletcmdrscarlet Member Posts: 5,137 Arc User
    edited December 2012
    twg042370 wrote: »
    The option? More PvP? I'd rather play a real PvP game.

    EVE Online.

    Seriously.
  • elandarkskyelandarksky Member Posts: 1,013 Arc User
    edited December 2012
    I know this might be out of place, but there were two things that struck in my head when playing through the game for the first time (ie actually listening/reading the missions as opposed to my speed runs for gaming value on toons), things i was a bit unfond of..

    'I am loathe to'
    An expression along the lines of that, it just sounded wierd, and cropped up a few times, otherwise why would i remeber it ?.?

    'In the words of____' / 'what's the ___ expression,.. ____?'
    e.g. 'In the words of the borg... resistance is futile'
    CRINGE.
    The big bad romulan guy of cutting the cord says that in pre/mid battle cutscene.
    I felt all dirty :(

    And a smaller minor gripe on my part..
    Involving Tv characters, what's the expression.. (see what i did<) a gary stu/mary sue?
    The timetravel missions involving spock/mccoy felt wrong, i mean at one point we teach mccoy basic/mid level biology >.>

    But alas, these gripes might just be down to me :3
    [Combat (Self)] Your Bite deals 2378 (1475) Physical Damage(Critical) to Spawnmother.
  • broadnaxbroadnax Member Posts: 340 Arc User
    edited December 2012
    ITL;DR The story isn't horrible. But I would much rather have one repeatable mission with randomized variables that throws me a bizarre curveball once and a while rather than 5 "meh" story missions with fixed objectives.

    I don't play STFs and rarely do Fleet actions. They bore me except for the occasions when I just want to do a shoot 'em up.

    Well-written storylines are where it's at for me. A good set of stories are immersive and will get me to replay them on multiple characters. The hamster wheel repeatables get old fast for me. To me, the Fleet events/fleet actions are just more side stories that I play on occasion. I do not want to do them over and over and over and over again.

    From a story standpoint, the main weakness STO has is too few missions as compared to other games. I mean, LOTRO just released an expansion with over 400 new quests, followed up by a free update with multiple instance clusters. CoH had hundreds of missions. Both games had enough storyline content that I didn't have to follow the exact same leveling path on any two characters (there was, of course overlap, but a ton of variety).

    81 missions is small even for the launch of an MMO, much less three years later.

    The game you describe is one I would never subscribe to or spend money on. I want to feel like my characters are part of the story; I want to feel immersed in the game world. I have FPS games for when the shooter mood hits me. That's not what I play an MMO for.
  • broadnaxbroadnax Member Posts: 340 Arc User
    edited December 2012
    No more abnormal than myself. (Though that's not any indication of normality :P) I too would like this game to have a sandboxy environment. Star Trek is all about exploration. Let me explore!!!

    But what does "explore" mean to you? If all it means is find more things to shoot, then what's the point?

    I like a mixture of things to do, but story is the single most important part for me. I keep seeing "sandbox" and "exploration" bandied about, but nobody clearly defines what that means. What mysteries are we going to solve, what races are we going to encounter and what are we going to do when we meet them? What are we going to *do* is the key question.

    Without story it's just running around shooting things in different places and settings with no other purpose than that.

    STO has the systems and mechanics to tell some *really* good stories. Several Foundry authors (with lesser tools than the devs have access to) are demonstrating that, in addition to the solid dev content. The main problem I have with Foundry sometimes is the length of missions; some need to be broken into arcs to make them more playable.

    For me, a good MMO will have a combination of solid (and plentiful) storyline content, fleet actions, dailies, "adventure zones", patrols, and the like. PvP and/or raids for those who enjoy them (I'm neither a pvper nor raider).
  • jcp26jcp26 Member Posts: 177 Arc User
    edited December 2012
    Um, I remember all of them. I love the story. Or, Stories. Attacking Impac Nor to capture Gul Madred only to have him murdered by his mirror universe "allies", capturing Taris on Iconia and her escape during an unrelated attack by some insanely pissed off Jem Hadar from the Dominion. Helping Miral Paris save the Klingons from their own genetic research gone wrong that left them without ridges. It's awesome how it develops. Now the Romulans are recovering from a string of disaster, beginning with the destruction of Romulus in 2387 and ending with the disappearance of Sela and the resulting civil war in 2409.
  • psycoticvulcanpsycoticvulcan Member Posts: 4,160 Arc User
    edited December 2012
    jcp26 wrote: »
    Attacking Impac Nor to capture Gul Madred only to have him murdered by his mirror universe "allies"

    Actually, Madred and the guy killed by the Terran Empire are two different people. :P
    NJ9oXSO.png
    "Critics who say that the optimistic utopia Star Trek depicted is now outmoded forget the cultural context that gave birth to it: Star Trek was not a manifestation of optimism when optimism was easy. Star Trek declared a hope for a future that nobody stuck in the present could believe in. For all our struggles today, we haven’t outgrown the need for stories like Star Trek. We need tales of optimism, of heroes, of courage and goodness now as much as we’ve ever needed them."
    -Thomas Marrone
  • tobar26thtobar26th Member Posts: 799 Arc User
    edited December 2012
    hypl wrote: »
    The story is one of its strengths? Where in the ho ho heck did you hear that from? :confused:

    As much as I love STO I have to agree, I've not often heard it referred to as a strength. It's not bad, but it's sure not great. Some of the newer stuff is pretty cool, the the game as an overall probably averages a C overall, with some of the feature series coming out at a B+/A-.


    That said that's pretty typical for an MMO I guess.
  • gavinrunebladegavinruneblade Member Posts: 3,893 Arc User
    edited December 2012
    broadnax wrote: »

    STO has the systems and mechanics to tell some *really* good stories. Several Foundry authors (with lesser tools than the devs have access to) are demonstrating that, in addition to the solid dev content. The main problem I have with Foundry sometimes is the length of missions; some need to be broken into arcs to make them more playable.
    Some of the foundry missions should be pulled out of foundry and added to the game officially.

    Edit: I mean because they are that good.
  • centersolacecentersolace Member Posts: 11,171 Arc User
    edited December 2012
    broadnax wrote: »
    But what does "explore" mean to you? If all it means is find more things to shoot, then what's the point?

    "Space: The final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. It's five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before."
  • leviathan99#2867 leviathan99 Member Posts: 7,747 Arc User
    edited December 2012
    I know this might be out of place, but there were two things that struck in my head when playing through the game for the first time (ie actually listening/reading the missions as opposed to my speed runs for gaming value on toons), things i was a bit unfond of..

    'I am loathe to'
    An expression along the lines of that, it just sounded wierd, and cropped up a few times, otherwise why would i remeber it ?.?

    'In the words of____' / 'what's the ___ expression,.. ____?'
    e.g. 'In the words of the borg... resistance is futile'
    CRINGE.
    The big bad romulan guy of cutting the cord says that in pre/mid battle cutscene.
    I felt all dirty :(

    And a smaller minor gripe on my part..
    Involving Tv characters, what's the expression.. (see what i did<) a gary stu/mary sue?
    The timetravel missions involving spock/mccoy felt wrong, i mean at one point we teach mccoy basic/mid level biology >.>

    But alas, these gripes might just be down to me :3

    Regarding Hakeev, he's the Romulan answer to Seven of Nine. An ex-Borg Romulan. So him using the saying isn't any more of a reach than Seven citing her superior Borg logic with Janeway.
  • leviathan99#2867 leviathan99 Member Posts: 7,747 Arc User
    edited December 2012
    tobar26th wrote: »
    As much as I love STO I have to agree, I've not often heard it referred to as a strength. It's not bad, but it's sure not great. Some of the newer stuff is pretty cool, the the game as an overall probably averages a C overall, with some of the feature series coming out at a B+/A-.


    That said that's pretty typical for an MMO I guess.

    I really don't think it is.

    Like I say, look at other MMO trailers. For them, it's all "Story, story, story." in the trailers. It's all "Next patch is going to up the campaign to retake the peninsula but be on the lookout for shocking betrayal."

    Now, in terms of how much of the story is good, that's a judgment call. But in terms of how much the story is a priority, I think Cryptic is way off the beaten path.

    When WoW designs an expansion, they started with the lore every time... except with Cataclysm. And that blew up in their faces. They do the lore and break it down into beats and use the lore to create zones and then see what mechanics they can feed in.

    Until S7, STO was "mechanics first." And it still kinda is, given that the planet was originally planned as a Gorn homeworld with the same basic setup.
  • leviathan99#2867 leviathan99 Member Posts: 7,747 Arc User
    edited December 2012
    I'll add that cataclysm did have some hugely thematic lore elements, especially with a zone like Uldum.

    A big difference is in team makeup.

    Basically, who's the "rock star" on your team?

    Read the dev interviews. Here, the design lead (Geko) came out of systems. Kestrel always identifies herself as a support role.

    Contrast that with WoW. The classic counterparts to Geko would be Tigole and later Ghostcrawler. And the community has rankled over Ghostcrawler's authority. Whereas at BlizzCon, look at the guy who gets the rockstar entrances, who comes out to a WWE wrestler style introduction in a leather jacket and shades.

    Who is it? Why, it's Chris Metzen. The guy portrayed as the showrunner behind ******** and Starcraft lore. What does he do? He writes lore and he voice acts half the characters.

    Is he a great writer? It's debatable but I'd say the consensus is, not typically. He's widely known to have his Mary Sues. I think Kestrel is a better writer than he is.

    But I think Blizzard gets a better product by investing their clout into him.

    Now... I'm not saying anybody should get fired or demoted or that management trees need dramatically rearranged at Cryptic. I don't know these guys personally or well enough to say that.

    I do think:

    Kestrel needs a partner or team. That team needs to be considered more seriously. Dan Stahl needs to be inducted into that team so that the head boss is a lorehead and can take point when everybody else starts giggling about how "IPness" sounds.
  • elandarkskyelandarksky Member Posts: 1,013 Arc User
    edited December 2012
    Regarding Hakeev, he's the Romulan answer to Seven of Nine. An ex-Borg Romulan. So him using the saying isn't any more of a reach than Seven citing her superior Borg logic with Janeway.

    Well that's news to me >.>

    In fairness it WAS a long time since i played and payed attention to the story ^^'
    [Combat (Self)] Your Bite deals 2378 (1475) Physical Damage(Critical) to Spawnmother.
  • centersolacecentersolace Member Posts: 11,171 Arc User
    edited December 2012
    Well that's news to me >.>

    In fairness it WAS a long time since i played and payed attention to the story ^^'

    That's kind of my point. :P
  • markhawkmanmarkhawkman Member Posts: 34,446 Arc User
    edited December 2012
    "Space: The final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship Enterprise. It's five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds, to seek out new life and new civilizations, to boldly go where no man has gone before."
    "And get your butt handed to you by races the Federation has never heard of before."

    :p
    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
    My character Tsin'xing
    Costume_marhawkman_Tsin%27xing_CC_Comic_Page_Blue_488916968.jpg
  • darimunddarimund Member Posts: 318 Arc User
    edited December 2012
    "And get your butt handed to you by races the Federation has never heard of before."

    :p

    no no no, you got it wrong. If you really wanna know what the story of STO is, here it is...

    Space, the final frontier. These are the attempts to empty your wallet. To seek out more profits for intangible items. To run up your debt, to milk this game for all its worth. dun, da da dun, da da dun, do da da da doo dooo dooo da da doooo.
  • centersolacecentersolace Member Posts: 11,171 Arc User
    edited December 2012
    darimund wrote: »
    no no no, you got it wrong. If you really wanna know what the story of STO is, here it is...

    Space, the final frontier. These are the attempts to empty your wallet. To seek out more profits for intangible items. To run up your debt, to milk this game for all its worth. dun, da da dun, da da dun, do da da da doo dooo dooo da da doooo.

    Oh you cynical sod you. :P
  • psycoticvulcanpsycoticvulcan Member Posts: 4,160 Arc User
    edited December 2012
    Well that's news to me >.>

    In fairness it WAS a long time since i played and payed attention to the story ^^'

    It wasn't explicitly stated, but if you look closely he has some Borg implants on the side of his face.
    NJ9oXSO.png
    "Critics who say that the optimistic utopia Star Trek depicted is now outmoded forget the cultural context that gave birth to it: Star Trek was not a manifestation of optimism when optimism was easy. Star Trek declared a hope for a future that nobody stuck in the present could believe in. For all our struggles today, we haven’t outgrown the need for stories like Star Trek. We need tales of optimism, of heroes, of courage and goodness now as much as we’ve ever needed them."
    -Thomas Marrone
  • markhawkmanmarkhawkman Member Posts: 34,446 Arc User
    edited December 2012
    Yeah, only his face isn't covered by his clothes and armor. And his face has Borg cybernetics stuck to it.....
    -=-=-=-=-=-=-=-
    My character Tsin'xing
    Costume_marhawkman_Tsin%27xing_CC_Comic_Page_Blue_488916968.jpg
  • stark2kstark2k Member Posts: 1,378 Arc User
    edited December 2012
    thratch1 wrote: »

    Let's be honest here -- all of the frontline content for STO these days is usually a new environment to run around in, and new ships on the C-Store. They try for story, but they really need to refine how they approach the story's presentation, and scrutinize their writing a bit more before pushing it out there.

    Thank you for pointing that out.

    STO weakest point are the storylines, which most of the time makes no sense or go unfinished in that it just stops without giving us explanations.

    I know they have a writer, she writes many of the storylines - what I do not know is if she is the only one at the studio that does the writing. They seriously need a serious storyboard review team that are well knowledgible in the lore of Star trek.

    Granted some stories are good, not great, but good, but the majority are seriously lacking.

    Let me break it down for you folks:

    STO Greatest Weakness - Story, Ground Combat, & PVP (What PvP?)

    STO Greatest Strength - This can be dabated - but I feel that the space portion of the game is its greatest strength.

    STO Greatest Strength - Graphics - The game is nice looking, that I admit.
    StarTrekIronMan.jpg
  • forcardassia6forcardassia6 Member Posts: 0 Arc User
    edited December 2012
    stark2k wrote: »
    STO weakest point are the storylines, which most of the time makes no sense or go unfinished in that it just stops without giving us explanations.

    STO Greatest Weakness - Story, Ground Combat, & PVP (What PvP?)

    STO Greatest Strength - This can be dabated - but I feel that the space portion of the game is its greatest strength.

    STO Greatest Strength - Graphics - The game is nice looking, that I admit.

    I disagree that Story should be the game's greatest weakness. Look.. when it comes down to it.. especially in regards to Trekkies.. Cryptic can come up and execute the best story ever and people would still complain about it. It's the nature of Trekkies. We are NEVER happy with what we have. I am going to go out on a limb because I like ALL of Trek and say that Trekkies are one of the primary reasons why Voyager / Nemesis / Enterprise are badly received in general. Trekkies are the reasons why we'll never see anything else from the Prime Universe again. Nemesis was not a bad movie. Yes, it could have been better.. but it wasn't as bad as people made it out to believe.. same with Enterprise.. same with Voyager. Trekkies need to learn to like things for what they are.. and stop nitpicking on every little detail. I'm not saying NOT to criticize.. but there comes a point where criticizing does nobody any good anymore and it just makes the fandom seem petty.

    Like Trek for what it is.

    Anyhow, back on track. There's no question that STO's greatest weakness right now is PVP and Exploration.

    I also have to disagree that the graphics are its greatest strength. There are TONS of games that look alot better than STO. Have you ever seen the game at the lower graphic settings? It looks unplayable like that. The graphics aren't bad... but they could have been alot better. The ships are probably the best thing graphics-wise that Cryptic can boast about. New Romulus is a step forward on the environment bits. Now if only we could have more planets to go down to.
  • evendzharevendzhar Member Posts: 209 Arc User
    edited December 2012
    Even Blizzard the current MMO-King relies on short stories, comics and novels for story progression.
    I have found that you can get most of the story just from playing WoW. The game doesn't force the story on you, you have to piece it together little by little from what npc's tell you. I think it's a really nice way to to tell a story in a big world where your character is just an adventurer of (relatively) little importance. However, WoW (as anything Blizzard, especially Metzen writes) seems to get most of its story inspiration from saturday morning cartoons, superhero comics and shounen manga/anime, so everything is horibbly predictable and clicheed.

    STO's story is terrible in its own way. In an apparent effort to mix things up, Cryptic has made made every major race come to the Alpha quadrant to wage war with one another. From that point we go back to saturday morning cartoons for inpiration. The way the story is presented doesn't help matters, either. I cringe every time I'm forced to watch one of those cinematic cutscenes.
  • foschiadanzantefoschiadanzante Member Posts: 37 Arc User
    edited December 2012
    broadnax wrote: »
    The game you describe is one I would never subscribe to or spend money on. I want to feel like my characters are part of the story; I want to feel immersed in the game world. I have FPS games for when the shooter mood hits me. That's not what I play an MMO for.

    You are as much part of a story in a good quality sandbox with only loose objectives and procedurally generated content. I would dare say you are more part of the story than in a heavily scripted game.

    In a heavily scripted game stuff does happen because of authorial fiat and nothing else. When your captain does save the day it was not because of your actions but because of the script. When your captain does fail it was not because of your lack of skill but because the script did demand so. What input did you have in the story? What part did you play in the plot? Your input has no value. It is not your character's story at all. You do nothing but to watch the story play before your eyes and imagine it was actually your character's accomplishment.

    Compare this to, to use an example I do know about, an MMO with heavy faction and guild based gameplay like territorial control that does actually matter and does make a difference. That enemy wizard you did finish off with an awesome critical hit while protecting city X or fortress Y from an enemy faction or guild? That did influence the world. A world that could have been different. And that did influence the outcome of the battle. A battle your faction could have lost. The way you did build your character, the way you did plan his or her development, the skill you did pick to use and the equipment he or she had at the time did write a few paragraphs in the story of that world. It was not scripted. It could have been different. Your skill and your choices did make it this way.

    Is that not to be truly part of a story and part of a world?

    There is a reason why most of the really interesting anecdotes in gaming do come from roguelikes, from Dwarf Fortress, from PvP heavy games, or from random ocurrences in an otherwise scripted game.
  • curs0rcurs0r Member Posts: 0 Arc User
    edited December 2012
    You are as much part of a story in a good quality sandbox with only loose objectives and procedurally generated content. I would dare say you are more part of the story than in a heavily scripted game.

    In a heavily scripted game stuff does happen because of authorial fiat and nothing else. When your captain does save the day it was not because of your actions but because of the script. When your captain does fail it was not because of your lack of skill but because the script did demand so. What input did you have in the story? What part did you play in the plot? Your input has no value. It is not your character's story at all. You do nothing but to watch the story play before your eyes and imagine it was actually your character's accomplishment.

    Compare this to an MMO with heavy faction and guild based gameplay like territorial control that does actually matter and does make a difference. That enemy wizard you did finish off with an awesome critical hit while protecting city X or fortress Y from an enemy faction or guild? That did influence the world. A world that could have been different. And that did influence the outcome of the battle. A battle your faction could have lost. The way you did build your character, the way you did plan his or her development, the skill you did pick to use and the equipment he or she had at the time did write a few paragraphs in the story of that world. It was not scripted. It could have been different. Your skill and your choices did make it this way.

    Is that not to be truly part of a story and part of a world?

    There is a reason why most of the really interesting anecdotes in gaming do come from roguelikes, from Dwarf Fortress, from PvP heavy games, or from random ocurrences in an otherwise scripted game.

    Wow... well put
    I'll sell you some weapons from New Romulus. Never fired, only dropped once.
  • leviathan99#2867 leviathan99 Member Posts: 7,747 Arc User
    edited December 2012
    You are as much part of a story in a good quality sandbox with only loose objectives and procedurally generated content. I would dare say you are more part of the story than in a heavily scripted game.

    In a heavily scripted game stuff does happen because of authorial fiat and nothing else. When your captain does save the day it was not because of your actions but because of the script. When your captain does fail it was not because of your lack of skill but because the script did demand so. What input did you have in the story? What part did you play in the plot? Your input has no value. It is not your character's story at all. You do nothing but to watch the story play before your eyes and imagine it was actually your character's accomplishment.

    Compare this to, to use an example I do know about, an MMO with heavy faction and guild based gameplay like territorial control that does actually matter and does make a difference. That enemy wizard you did finish off with an awesome critical hit while protecting city X or fortress Y from an enemy faction or guild? That did influence the world. A world that could have been different. And that did influence the outcome of the battle. A battle your faction could have lost. The way you did build your character, the way you did plan his or her development, the skill you did pick to use and the equipment he or she had at the time did write a few paragraphs in the story of that world. It was not scripted. It could have been different. Your skill and your choices did make it this way.

    Is that not to be truly part of a story and part of a world?

    There is a reason why most of the really interesting anecdotes in gaming do come from roguelikes, from Dwarf Fortress, from PvP heavy games, or from random ocurrences in an otherwise scripted game.

    Authorial fiat does allow for more epic stories with a controlled moral or message though as well as stories that build empathy for NPCs. You can't tell controlled moral fables or human "slice of life" stories about NPCs in a pure sandbox. That's the tradeoff.

    Well, you can have epics in a sandbox but they're emergent epics. You can't really have an epic lesson about tolerance, a morality tale, or social fable.

    I think both types are needed, sandbox and authorially controlled.

    And there are options in authorially controlled narratives with a planned ending which include both alternate outcomes and deciding which role you play in the story.

    For example: a Prime Directive violation story. Either you uphold the PD and face an NPC Captain who violates it or you violate it yourself (perhaps alongside the NPC) and face the fallout. That's resource intensive because it's designing two missions effectively with one outcome.

    Overall, if I had the game to magically redesign and an unlimited budget, I'd look at it like this:

    Main character progression in the open world? Sandbox. Probably adventure zones for all of the major planets and systems but more sandbox-y. Same basic missions/setup for everyone but some faction and profession specific mechanics that make the play feel different. Stuff like: Vulcan has a drought! Help fix it or exploit it by shooting things and gathering supplies!

    Touchstone missions which are tightly authorially controlled for the fate of the factions and major NPCs. Some choice but you choose your role in the touchstone mission. So instead of FEs, you'd have or two mega-missions where you can go in, replay, and experience it from multiple perspectives. Same final outcome and same basic messages but your role in the story is your choice. Probably 2-3 or these per front.

    And then Exploration missions would be almost totally by authorial fiat, morality tales with one or two key choices, basically. Welcome to a planet where the green people and the purple people don't get along and where the princess must be persuaded that racial harmony is worth fighting for.

    It probably seems counter-intuitive at first for the open world to be sandbox-y and exploration to be scripted and it's the reverse of what they did. But it has to do with the type of story you need to tell in each (Captain's progression and the Galaxy's progression versus morality tale/fable on a one off world) and also the tech requirements of each (open world needs more distinct original assets and new tech and attention from the full team whereas exploration really just needs writers using repurposed assets, kindof official, quality guaranteed Foundry missions).

    I think we may be moving there. Spotlights are nice. But I'd like to see, in essence, paid Foundry authors with editorial oversight acting as an official publishing operation, telling morality tales that focus on the small, human stories and moral yarns that procedural and sandbox-y content can't do well. And then the big team releases being more sandbox-y but also more vetted for story logic and quality NPC dialogue.
  • squidheadjaxsquidheadjax Member Posts: 51 Arc User
    edited December 2012
    Authorial fiat does allow for more epic stories with a controlled moral or message though as well as stories that build empathy for NPCs. You can't tell controlled moral fables or human "slice of life" stories about NPCs in a pure sandbox. That's the tradeoff.

    Well, you can have epics in a sandbox but they're emergent epics. You can't really have an epic lesson about tolerance, a morality tale, or social fable.

    Ahh, yes, epics like the Goon/BoB war.

    I see way too many people lumping in full-force PvP with sandbox to really hope for any sandbox game that isn't a Hobbesian, anarcho-capitalist cesspool like Eve* - or even worse, a PvE sandbox that merely apes such a design and is thus left empty of the actual drive.

    STO's story is often TRIBBLE, arguably, with over-reliance on references to what came before and really hamfisted stinkers of railroad missions like Divide et Empera. And then they started inflicting cutscenes on us**. But there was the Kuvamagh arc, which even managed to reference the Temporal Cold War in a way that wasn't stupid***.

    In aggregate, the Romulan featured series was definitely the high mark, with a memorable villain**** in Hakeev, a more understated and useful anti-villain in Obisek, and a relatively small (but still not absent) 'please strike me blind and deaf' factor to its cutscene pool. Things were looking up... and then the Great Content Draught. I'd hoped The 2800 would pick up the trendline, but between the insufferable NPC ranting in the first ep and the interminable fetch quest hell of the second, it really got off on the wrong foot. At least it improved from there. Though the presence of still-unfixed bugs (dialog failure in groups and broken conference room exits in the first segment, inexplicable auto-failures starting the conference room in the first ep and the spacewalk in the fifth, etc) is irritating after all this time.

    Where is this meandering blather going? When it's good, STO's story is actually interesting enough to be a draw and make me want to redo it. There's a lot more mediocre and a few steaming piles of bad, though, along with stuff that just makes me want to shake whoever wrote it*****, so it's easy to see why people get the impression that STO has horrible story. I haven't even penetrated New Romulus meaningfully because from the start, the story seems way too thinly smeared over the grind. If that's what they intend to drive the story with in the future, then yeah, STO-as-story is pretty much destined to stay TRIBBLE and get worse. What a lot of people are agonizing over is the potential shown by some, but obviously not most, of the previous content.

    *Which is not a failing of Eve. It's Eve's explicit design intent, and they're very good at that part of it. It just exhausts and depresses me.

    **I was looking forward to the remastered episodes... until they actually made them. Even the Klingon Opera bit falls flat after a couple times.

    ***Something I had previously considered impossible. At least it seemed that way, watching the Enterprise production staff attempt it.

    ****In the Bond Villain sense, memorable mainly for his flamboyant style and... 'debatable' competence.

    *****GET YOUR OWN ****ING DRINK IF YOU'RE GOING TO BE SO PICKY ABOUT IT, CASSIDY.
    SQUIRREL!
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