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Content: at what point does quantity become more important than quality?

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  • faxmachine#9639 faxmachine Member Posts: 119 Arc User
    asuran14 wrote: »
    I would rather ask if you would rather be hungry after eating that same delicious fries, or be full an yet grossed out by how terrible those soggy greasy fries you ate were.

    Here is what everyone in this thread, and especially you, is missing:

    It shouldn't be a choice between 2 bad EXTREMES.

    It shouldn't be a choice between 1 awesome french fry that still leaves you hungry or a bunch of nasty fries that leave you sick.

    NEITHER of those are good options.

    The happy medium is not a single perfect fry, but rather a bunch of "pretty good" ones that fill you up.

    IMO, this game has gone too far in the "single fry" extreme. Yes, the episodes are really good. But they are so few and far between at this point it's essentially like a drop of water when you are thirsty.

    No, I don't want them to rush to have a crappy episode every single week. But how about 1 a month?

    Is 12 episodes in an entire YEAR really too much to ask for?

    This. This. This. All the way this.
  • duncanidaho11duncanidaho11 Member Posts: 7,623 Arc User
    edited March 2018
    If an amateur (in so far as it's not their day job) can produce a better player experience with both writing and gameplay, on their own than a team paid to do that same task then something isn't quite right.

    A lot of the tricks and conventions we've found have come through the examples we've set for each other and that Cryptic's set for us. With the volume and frequency of missions we create, this crowd-learning can be a very rapid process that explores a lot of new directions that a single development team might not consider.

    That said, it's difficult to take us out of the mob and place us into a rigid role of "content designer" or "writer" since we've acted as single writer/developer playing off of an active community without having to consider "am I going to be able to continue doing this tomorrow?" Devs have a tough job and it doesn't allow for the crazy indulgence that we in the Foundry get up to quite regularly, and benefit from in the context of Cryptic having to build more conservative (though also more refined) missions for everyone to enjoy.

    There's things Cryptic can do better with (ex. world building, optional dialog, open exploration in the context of an episode, and developing more than one or two characters per mission) but I don't think that having great Foundry missions is ultimately a failure to harness community talent. It's the strength of the format (whoever the individuals may be) playing out.
    Bipedal mammal and senior Foundry author.
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    Looking for something new to play? The interactive Foundry Mission Database has you covered.
  • leemwatsonleemwatson Member Posts: 4,663 Arc User
    edited April 2018
    Response to moderated post redacted. — StarSword-C
    Post edited by starswordc on
    "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.
  • lagomorphic#0794 lagomorphic Member Posts: 28 Arc User
    edited April 2018
    Discussion of moderation modded out in favor of gratuitous tribble.

    trialsandtribbleationshd1315.jpg

    Have a nice day. — StarSword-C
    Post edited by starswordc on
  • arionisaarionisa Member Posts: 1,421 Arc User
    The foundry is for sure a strength of STO but at the same time it also highlights the weakness of STO.

    If an amateur (in so far as it's not their day job) can produce a better player experience with both writing and gameplay, on their own than a team paid to do that same task then something isn't quite right.

    Duncan somewhat addressed this, I am just going to throw my two bars of latinum worth in. (latinum because, just like Latinum in the game, it can't actually be used for anything worthwhile)

    I have played some Froundry missions that are extremely well done and yes, better than a lot of the stuff that Cryptic has produced. I have also played some Foundry stuff that left me wondering why the Author wasn't too embarrassed to publish, (then I think about all the people who audition for shows like "The Voice" although they sound like a cat with throat cancer that just had thier tail stepped on.......) I have also never, as of yet, played a Foundry mission that, to me, was a better player experience than some of the better stuff Cryptic has published.

    Foundry authors have advantages that the staff at Cryptic does not, and never will have. One, They can publish a new mission any time they think it's ready, they might have worked on it for a week, they might have been working on it off and on for a year or more. The thing is, they have no schedule and no deadline to meet. Although I don't follow any of them, I have seen posts from Foundry authors stating that they spent literally months brainstorming the idea behind thier mission, then even more months actually working on it before ever publishing. A luxury the Cryptic team doesn't have.

    Two, and even more significant (to me) they have (almost) total free reign over content. The Cryptic team has a specific, long term story line to follow, and missions have to fall within, and continue, that story line, while maintaining consistency with previous story lines. For example, if Kurland is supposed to be instrumental in mission sevens final battle with the hurq, they can't very well kill him off in mission four. Well, okay, they could and just use temporal shenanigans to have him in mission seven but I think you see the point. Foundry authors don't have that limitation. If they want to write a mission having the Feds suddenly turn on, and completely destroy the Klingons, they can do so, and turn right around and make another mission where the Klingons won instead, then another where it all never happened to begin with. Foundry authors can make missions about anything and everything that they dream up, and they don't have to have it be consistent with anything else, it doesn't even have to be consistent within itself if they don't want. Canon ? What canon ?

    The most important thing of all, again, to me, is that Foundry authors have nobody pulling the strings. Everything the Cryptic team does has to get a stamp of approval from a number of different places,CBS, board of directors etc, and all of those entities can also tell them stuff that they can, can't and even must put in the story and all the Cryptic team can do is re-write the story based on that input. If the executives decide that Quark is going to single handedly destroy an entire Hurq armada, all the writers can do is say, yes sir/maam and then try to rewrite the story to make it somehow plausible and consistent.

    LTS and loving it.
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  • evilmark444evilmark444 Member Posts: 6,817 Arc User
    edited March 2018
    Another thing about the foundry is that it's rather limited in terms of capabilities, and those limitations are unlikely to change any time soon. For example, there is no way to have a combat objective that involves disabling a Target rather than destroying it, so if you want to create a story where you disable and board an enemy vessel you need to either have the combat happen in the dialog (boring), or have the player destroy the target and then spawn a non-combat NPC version of the same ship with the disabled animation turned on (awkward). So even the best author can only do so much.

    Also, most foundry missions I've played have been rather long, with complicated stories, which does nothing for the issue of the game not having proper balance between short cheap missions and long, high production value missions.

    Edit: oh edit monster, please spare me from your wrath
    Lifetime Subscriber since Beta
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  • arionisaarionisa Member Posts: 1,421 Arc User
    That being said, I used to play WoW, a lot. Absolutely gorgeous open world maps, very fluid animations etc. I have to admit, on those points WoW does have STO beat. Sto does have absolutely gorgeous maps, some quite breathtaking and it is really only the open world aspect where I think WoW has STO beat. Unfortunately STO has a long ways to go to match the fluidity of the character animations WoW has.
    As for content, I personally think STOs content is better. Both games have an overall story line, however STO uses actual mission story line to further everything, whereas WoW's story line consists of "go kill x number of this, that and the other and then I'll deliver the next line of dialogue in the actual story and send you to the next person, who will have you go kill x number of this, that and the other before giving you the next line of actual story dialogue" rinse and repeat a hundred times till you get the final line of the story, then go back to fishing/crafting/raiding until the next expansion, which will again consist of killing hundreds or thousands of this, that and the other in the process of visiting the various NPCs that each deliver a few more lines in the story. And most of those are way worse than the patrol missions in DR as they mostly consisted of making you travel (a sometimes quite long distance) to go kill a bunch of stuff, go all the way back to turn it in, then go all the way back to where you just came from and kill a bunch of something else, usually something you had killed boat load of the first time there but since you didn't have the mission to kill them yet, the previous kills don't matter.

    IMO only thing WoW does better is the random encounters. Although the objective is always the same when rerunning a quest/mission in WoW, and certain things will always happen when reaching specific trigger points, the random encounters keeps it from being too much of the SSDD syndrome. STO missions always have the exact same enemies appearing from the exact same locations and performing the exact same initial actions. Knowing that as soon as I step across a certain spot/open a certain door/ activate a console, these specific enemies are going to come from that specific location, in those specific numbers, and once they are defeated nothing is going to happen again until I hit the next trigger makes mission re-runs more than just a little boring. If STO could somehow add random spawns to missions it would make re-runs a bit less boring.

    Random encounters would make STO a lot better in other ways. Don't want to run and STF, or re-run a mission ? Fly to Nukarra and select random. Enemy ships will now start appearing in random numbers and groups and will keep appearing randomly as long as you remain the random map. If you get tired of fighting Tholians, warp out, fly to Klingon space (if you're a Fed), select random and hang out and fight Klignons, Orions, nausies etc to your hearts content. (Yes Dev's, that's on my wish list)
    LTS and loving it.
    Ariotex.png
  • leemwatsonleemwatson Member Posts: 4,663 Arc User
    arionisa wrote: »
    That being said, I used to play WoW, a lot. Absolutely gorgeous open world maps, very fluid animations etc. I have to admit, on those points WoW does have STO beat. Sto does have absolutely gorgeous maps, some quite breathtaking and it is really only the open world aspect where I think WoW has STO beat. Unfortunately STO has a long ways to go to match the fluidity of the character animations WoW has.
    As for content, I personally think STOs content is better. Both games have an overall story line, however STO uses actual mission story line to further everything, whereas WoW's story line consists of "go kill x number of this, that and the other and then I'll deliver the next line of dialogue in the actual story and send you to the next person, who will have you go kill x number of this, that and the other before giving you the next line of actual story dialogue" rinse and repeat a hundred times till you get the final line of the story, then go back to fishing/crafting/raiding until the next expansion, which will again consist of killing hundreds or thousands of this, that and the other in the process of visiting the various NPCs that each deliver a few more lines in the story. And most of those are way worse than the patrol missions in DR as they mostly consisted of making you travel (a sometimes quite long distance) to go kill a bunch of stuff, go all the way back to turn it in, then go all the way back to where you just came from and kill a bunch of something else, usually something you had killed boat load of the first time there but since you didn't have the mission to kill them yet, the previous kills don't matter.

    IMO only thing WoW does better is the random encounters. Although the objective is always the same when rerunning a quest/mission in WoW, and certain things will always happen when reaching specific trigger points, the random encounters keeps it from being too much of the SSDD syndrome. STO missions always have the exact same enemies appearing from the exact same locations and performing the exact same initial actions. Knowing that as soon as I step across a certain spot/open a certain door/ activate a console, these specific enemies are going to come from that specific location, in those specific numbers, and once they are defeated nothing is going to happen again until I hit the next trigger makes mission re-runs more than just a little boring. If STO could somehow add random spawns to missions it would make re-runs a bit less boring.

    Random encounters would make STO a lot better in other ways. Don't want to run and STF, or re-run a mission ? Fly to Nukarra and select random. Enemy ships will now start appearing in random numbers and groups and will keep appearing randomly as long as you remain the random map. If you get tired of fighting Tholians, warp out, fly to Klingon space (if you're a Fed), select random and hang out and fight Klignons, Orions, nausies etc to your hearts content. (Yes Dev's, that's on my wish list)

    But the thing is Blizzard's Dev team is mammoth sized compared to Cryptic's! Needless to say, considering a 12 year old engine, that undergone 3 major upgrades, and surviving on a mainly non-subscription model, I'd say Cryptic are out-performing for their size :smiley:
    "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.
  • starswordcstarswordc Member Posts: 10,951 Arc User
    [Mod Hat] I'd like to remind certain people that discussing moderation is against the forum rules. [/Mod Hat]

    > @evilmark444 said:
    > Also, most foundry missions I've played have been rather long, with complicated stories, which does nothing for the issue of the game not having proper balance between short cheap missions and long, high production value missions.

    Speaking from experience (I've published one mission and started a few more), a lot of that is because we're trying to write the kind of stories we'd rather see in the game but really aren't getting in the official content. I, for example, am a dyed-in-the-wool Niner and grew up on more serious military science fiction, and I frequently wish the game would take itself a little more seriously, especially WRT having people react more realistically to various events and having more consequences and ripple effects from same. Others want to see more exploration or more diplomacy, which is where we got such gems as "Conjoined" and "No Prize for Second Contact".

    Also, because we have more limited capabilities in level design than Cryptic does, we often rely more on telling rather than showing by necessity, meaning more descriptive dialogue to read.
    "Great War! / And I cannot take more! / Great tour! / I keep on marching on / I play the great score / There will be no encore / Great War! / The War to End All Wars"
    — Sabaton, "Great War"
    VZ9ASdg.png

    Check out https://unitedfederationofpla.net/s/
  • evilmark444evilmark444 Member Posts: 6,817 Arc User
    starswordc wrote: »
    [Mod Hat] I'd like to remind certain people that discussing moderation is against the forum rules. [/Mod Hat]

    > evilmark444 said:
    > Also, most foundry missions I've played have been rather long, with complicated stories, which does nothing for the issue of the game not having proper balance between short cheap missions and long, high production value missions.

    Speaking from experience (I've published one mission and started a few more), a lot of that is because we're trying to write the kind of stories we'd rather see in the game but really aren't getting in the official content. I, for example, am a dyed-in-the-wool Niner and grew up on more serious military science fiction, and I frequently wish the game would take itself a little more seriously, especially WRT having people react more realistically to various events and having more consequences and ripple effects from same. Others want to see more exploration or more diplomacy, which is where we got such gems as "Conjoined" and "No Prize for Second Contact".

    Also, because we have more limited capabilities in level design than Cryptic does, we often rely more on telling rather than showing by necessity, meaning more descriptive dialogue to read.

    And there's nothing wrong with that, long missions certainly have there place. The one mission I currently have published is much longer than I expected it to be when designing it (some parts of it were only added because I was unnecessarily afraid of it being too short to qualify for rewards, lol). My point though was that anyone arguing that the Foundry fills the gap in content is simply wrong, and it's on Cryptic to find the balance between long and quick missions, not player authors.
    Lifetime Subscriber since Beta
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  • dareaudareau Member Posts: 2,389 Arc User
    Is 12 episodes in an entire YEAR really too much to ask for?

    Hmmm...

    7 Episodes here in April, about a half dozen more this fall, if the usual 6 months between "seasons/massive releases" is continued... Sounds like 12+ episodes here in 2018 to me, which matches or even exceeds the called for desire...

    So, the "answer" to this is only to play one mission of the story per month, and you'll have your spread... :tongue:

    On a more serious note, this exchange is an excellent demonstration for my point: STO's "problem" isn't in the releases, it's in the contradictory nature that we players, both individually and as a aggregate playerbase, behave, especially when we are keeping "reasonable expectations" in mind...

    Do we, as players, really want the "Iconian/Temporal War" style mission releases where we'd only get one mission a month and have to play that mission once a week to complete the set, or do we want AoY/LoR/DR style releases where we get the entire mission pack at once to play the entire story at our desired pace?

    Do we want predictability (know the missions/maps, know when we're going to get reward X, etc.) or randomness?

    Do we want a true variety of missions - think about it seriously for a moment, "Of Bajor" is an excellent example of a "diplomacy themed" mission - complete with diplomatic busy work necessary to earn the trust, etc., especially once you consider that it has to be shoehorned into a combat-oriented engine - but even this very thread seems to dissuade the creation of more "diplomatic" missions because "busy work" is tolerable (maybe fun even) once, "forced drudgery" thereafter (or it wouldn't be busy work) - at least combat is "a game" that can be repeated in different manners... Step Between Stars (I think, the mission where you have Tuvok and that doctor with the spacewalk portion) is a great "exploration" mission - again, exploration isn't necessarily "fun" when you've seen it all before. Yet players "praise" the combat missions where the fights are thematically appropriate, fun to engage in any ship/playstyle, advanced the story enough to get to the next fight, then complain when an arc releases 5x missions in this pattern, because we aren't getting our doses of diplomacy and exploration...

    So, is STO's "problem" really a "problem", or just the fact that we're contradictory beings by nature that always desire to "have our cake and eat it too" but are never going to get it because of "reasonable expectations" setting limits on what we're going to get?
    Detecting big-time "anti-old-school" bias here. NX? Lobi. TOS/TMP Connie? Super-promotion-box. (aka the two hardest ways to get ships) Excelsior & all 3 TNG "big hero" ships? C-Store. Please Equalize...

    To rob a line: [quote: Mariemaia Kushrenada] Forum Posting is much like an endless waltz. The three beats of war, peace and revolution continue on forever. However, opinions will change upon the reading of my post.[/quote]
  • potentialbff#9168 potentialbff Member Posts: 16 Arc User
    asuran14 wrote: »
    I would rather ask if you would rather be hungry after eating that same delicious fries, or be full an yet grossed out by how terrible those soggy greasy fries you ate were.

    Here is what everyone in this thread, and especially you, is missing:

    It shouldn't be a choice between 2 bad EXTREMES.

    It shouldn't be a choice between 1 awesome french fry that still leaves you hungry or a bunch of nasty fries that leave you sick.

    NEITHER of those are good options.

    The happy medium is not a single perfect fry, but rather a bunch of "pretty good" ones that fill you up.

    IMO, this game has gone too far in the "single fry" extreme. Yes, the episodes are really good. But they are so few and far between at this point it's essentially like a drop of water when you are thirsty.

    No, I don't want them to rush to have a crappy episode every single week. But how about 1 a month?

    Is 12 episodes in an entire YEAR really too much to ask for?

    Was going to write a post, but this guy sums up my feelings better. Best post in thread by far.
  • szimszim Member Posts: 2,490 Arc User
    I think the quantity vs quality ratio in this game is decent. But I could do without all the famous Star Trek actors doing voice-overs if that meant more money would be available to create more content. I keep asking myself how much bigger the new expansion could be if they hadn't spend that much money on hiring former DS9 actors.
  • postagepaidpostagepaid Member Posts: 2,870 Arc User
    Beyond the nexus was done to promote the enterprise interior that arrived in the store at the same time.

    Just as the son'a mission was for that batch of lockbox ships, and of course the R&D ship that was so popular it triggered the arrival of the infinity r&d box.
  • mirrorchaosmirrorchaos Member Posts: 9,825 Arc User
    szim wrote: »
    I think the quantity vs quality ratio in this game is decent. But I could do without all the famous Star Trek actors doing voice-overs if that meant more money would be available to create more content. I keep asking myself how much bigger the new expansion could be if they hadn't spend that much money on hiring former DS9 actors.

    i also wouldn't mind forgoing the expensive voice actors for a little bit to get more content and bring back neglected characters within the star trek online game, for far too long Quinn, J'mpok and D'tan have been the narrators for the start and end of each mission, for too long Shon, Koren and Jarok have been missing, for too long has other minor characters like T'Nae, Drake and Obisek have been left ignored from the universe.

    there needs to be a little more focus inward, while expanding the game not to ignore the core elements of the game, Cryptic's own canon universe within the game.
    T6 Miranda Hero Ship FTW.
    Been around since Dec 2010 on STO and bought LTS in Apr 2013 for STO.
  • starswordcstarswordc Member Posts: 10,951 Arc User
    edited April 2018
    szim wrote: »
    I think the quantity vs quality ratio in this game is decent. But I could do without all the famous Star Trek actors doing voice-overs if that meant more money would be available to create more content. I keep asking myself how much bigger the new expansion could be if they hadn't spend that much money on hiring former DS9 actors.

    i also wouldn't mind forgoing the expensive voice actors for a little bit to get more content and bring back neglected characters within the star trek online game, for far too long Quinn, J'mpok and D'tan have been the narrators for the start and end of each mission, for too long Shon, Koren and Jarok have been missing, for too long has other minor characters like T'Nae, Drake and Obisek have been left ignored from the universe.

    there needs to be a little more focus inward, while expanding the game not to ignore the core elements of the game, Cryptic's own canon universe within the game.

    Agreed with this. Although the only reason I'd bring Drake back would be to arrest him for the bulls**t he pulls in the KDF arc. That arc either conclusively proves Section 31's incompetence, or it proves that they in fact aren't actually Federation-backed and only aspire to be. Because if they were, they could've avoided the entire plot, including the destruction of multiple Federation starships and a Starfleet Intelligence field headquarters, by sending Worf an email. "Hey, Mr. Ambassador, House of Torg's plotting to kill you and Drex's heir, you might want to look into that."

    Not to mention the sending of a false distress signal, which is a bonafide war crime.
    "Great War! / And I cannot take more! / Great tour! / I keep on marching on / I play the great score / There will be no encore / Great War! / The War to End All Wars"
    — Sabaton, "Great War"
    VZ9ASdg.png

    Check out https://unitedfederationofpla.net/s/
  • locutusofcactuslocutusofcactus Member Posts: 650 Arc User
    For me, I want quantity. A quantity of quality that is. But seriously, I want a large retained player base. I would assume that the size is correlated to quantity while retention is correlated to quality. I'd need a line graph showing the metrics of the game to pick the point I'd target for both of those aspects of the game. That's a bit of a vague answer but it's hard to give a quantified response without seeing data points.
  • fakemirage#8763 fakemirage Member Posts: 24 Arc User
    A number of people in this thread have pointed to the foundry as a solution to slow content production.

    Some people don't seem to realize that the console versions of this game don't even have the foundry.

    The foundry cannot be a valid solution to this issue when 2/3 of the platforms this game is is on don't even have it.
  • nimbullnimbull Member Posts: 1,552 Arc User
    I want both. I don't want another mission where I have to walk on catwalk framing instead of the plating to try a cross an area like I did the last time I was leveling a toon. It has been a while so hopefully they fixed that delta quadrant mission. Not only do I want new good content but I want the old stuff maintained in working order.
    Green people don't have to be.... little.
  • fleetcaptain5#1134 fleetcaptain5 Member Posts: 3,430 Arc User
    We don't even know how long those episodes will be.

    Maybe they'll be much longer than some of the shorter episodes we've seen recently.

    Until we know more about that aspect of 'quantity' it is really difficult to say whether the next expansion will be a disappointment or not.
    Simply counting the episodes doesn't feel like a fair comparison anyway, as they have also already stated that there will be entirely new progression systems (wording that make me assume that we're talking about things similar to reputations or specialisation trees) and an entirely new feature in the form of sector battlezones.


    Those things require work too and they make applying a relatively simple quality-quantity equation to compare seasons a bit difficult. Even if there are only 7, 3 or 2 very short episodes, if these other systems are interesting then that small quantity will matter less than if these new systems are not interesting.
    [4:46] [Combat {self}] Your Haymaker deals 23337 (9049) Physical Damage(Critical) to Spawnmother

    [3/25 10:41][Combat (Self)]Your Haymaker deals 26187 (10692) Physical Damage(Critical) to Orinoco.
  • fleetcaptain5#1134 fleetcaptain5 Member Posts: 3,430 Arc User
    STO has a steady stream of stuff.

    BUT that is a stream of ships to rerun existing content with.

    Whereas actual content that in theory should have the most longevity like the tzenkethi BZ arrives as a buggy mess and still hasn't been fixed. They had some interesting ideas for that zone but because its a mess I don't find much enjoyment in it even for a mindless way to level a ship.

    Yes there are also new episodes but of late those have been a tad lacklustre in the writing and execution so that, combined with rerunning them for a month for the rewards on various alts, makes me much less likely to return to them.

    The Tzenkethi battlezone looks great, visual-wise though.

    I may be an exception here, but usually I don't go to battlezones to complete them anyway. Either I go there for some quick daily mark packages, or just to walk around, shoot a bit here and there or fly around doing the same thing, leisurely.

    It would be nice if they made it more completable though, that I agree with.
    [4:46] [Combat {self}] Your Haymaker deals 23337 (9049) Physical Damage(Critical) to Spawnmother

    [3/25 10:41][Combat (Self)]Your Haymaker deals 26187 (10692) Physical Damage(Critical) to Orinoco.
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