Scaling Starships? Why not an upgrade path instead?

I have been reading up on the new idea of scaling starships. I suppose it's not really a new idea since we already had some ships that won't give you their full benefit until you reach a particular level.

I would like to point out here that I really appreciate the work the devs put into this game, and how they continue to add new content. That's one of the best things about STO (in fact, I recently purchased the lifetime membership).

Back to the scaling ships.
I have never personally liked the idea of these scaling ships. Maybe it's just the way they are implemented, but we know things don't just get better because you do. Your Chevy in the driveway doesn't suddenly change for the better just because you get a promotion.

However, you can take your Chevy in to beef up the engine, add some mag wheels, maybe even alter the bodywork (assuming you don't just buy a Porsche or something).

Another thing I wanted to mention is, it's too bad those docking bays floating around Earth Space Dock aren't actually used for anything. They look really cool, but they're just decoration.

Anyone see where I'm going here? Wouldn't it be a better idea if, when you level up your character (say every 5th level up, or every 10th level up), you are given (access to) new parts, or the ability to purchase them or trade for them, and you would dock at one of these bays and have it upgrade your ship (similar the the alien repair station in one of the episodes of Enterprise)? The specs of the ship would be the same as they are in the scaling chart, but you would upgrade the ship, it wouldn't just magically scale to be better. Building in a system like this may also open the door for using it for other purposes in the future, like incorporating alien tech into starfleet ships or something.

I guess I just don't like the idea of ships that upgrade by themselves, and I would love to see my ship getting upgraded while it's docked. Another thing that would add some bling is if the devs could make Utopia Planitia Shipyards that work in addition to making the docs at Earth Spacedock work. This is something sorely missing in STO, animations of cool things happening in space (not cut scenes, but in-game animations) such as ships being built, or docking at space stations, or getting upgraded. We're lucky we have animations of our ships entering and leaving warp, even though they don't work half the time. I'd love to see some changes like this that would just make STO a more visually interesting game.

Comments

  • postagepaid
    postagepaid Member Posts: 2,869 Arc User
    It's done this way because its the easiest way for it to be done.

    While it might be better for the ships to slowly grow and gain the slots as they level to be more on par with the other ships of that tier that'd be more complicated to implement.

    Simpler means less to (inevitably) go wrong as so often happens with new systems cryptic puts into play.
  • jslyn
    jslyn Member Posts: 1,747 Arc User
    I am not quite sure what it is that are saying. Are you trying to say that at level-up, you want a mission to park your ship next to a dock to get the scale increase?

    Also, we have Utopia Planitia Shipyards. It came up during a few missions, like the one that unlocked the Odyssey when it was released.
  • seaofsorrows
    seaofsorrows Member Posts: 10,889 Arc User
    I have never personally liked the idea of these scaling ships. Maybe it's just the way they are implemented, but we know things don't just get better because you do. Your Chevy in the driveway doesn't suddenly change for the better just because you get a promotion.

    However, you can take your Chevy in to beef up the engine, add some mag wheels, maybe even alter the bodywork (assuming you don't just buy a Porsche or something).

    The implication is that your ship is getting better as you do. As you increase in rank, you are provided upgrades to your ships.. just because you don't have a screen that pops up an explains this, does not mean it's not what's happening. As a player you have the choice of just accepting that it's a video game and your ship levels with your character, or you can engage your imagination and insert your own explanation.
    Wouldn't it be a better idea if, when you level up your character (say every 5th level up, or every 10th level up), you are given (access to) new parts, or the ability to purchase them or trade for them, and you would dock at one of these bays and have it upgrade your ship (similar the the alien repair station in one of the episodes of Enterprise)? The specs of the ship would be the same as they are in the scaling chart, but you would upgrade the ship, it wouldn't just magically scale to be better. Building in a system like this may also open the door for using it for other purposes in the future, like incorporating alien tech into starfleet ships or something.

    Again, can already do this.

    Every 10 levels, fly your ship into one of those docking bays and say that it's being upgraded. The only thing you're missing is the screen that pops up and says 'we're upgrading your ship.' You can do that part with your own imagination.

    The problem with making it a forced thing is that people that don't want to take part now have to stop what they're doing and fly back to ESD to finish their leveling process. The idea would be a disruption to the natural leveling process and can be avoided by those that want it simply using a little imagination to explain their ship upgrades.

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    Discovery is good, it's you that sucks.
  • salazarraze
    salazarraze Member Posts: 3,789 Arc User
    edited January 2019
    One man's "visually interesting" is another man's "time gate," OP.

    Every 10 levels, fly your ship into one of those docking bays and say that it's being upgraded. The only thing you're missing is the screen that pops up and says 'we're upgrading your ship.' You can do that part with your own imagination.

    The problem with making it a forced thing is that people that don't want to take part now have to stop what they're doing and fly back to ESD to finish their leveling process. The idea would be a disruption to the natural leveling process and can be avoided by those that want it simply using a little imagination to explain their ship upgrades.

    Just follow this advice OP. If you want "immersion" just use your imagination.
    When you see "TRIBBLE" in my posts, it's because I manually typed "TRIBBLE" and censored myself.
  • zaccar#5080
    zaccar#5080 Member Posts: 45 Arc User
    scaling prototype light recon cruiser thingy, with level 2 better then any fed ship till 30 with superior slots and weapons. bought the pack was all excited but then realized that every ten levels i just unlock the next tier ship to get the promotion quest done. at least the tier4 will be equal in stats, i wonder if my lil walker will fit mk8s in the end .


    scaling is great if everything on the ship scales i.e. give the scaling boats the same stats/slots as the normal tier boats for the level
  • reyan01
    reyan01 Member Posts: 15,510 Arc User
    edited January 2019
    To be honest there is NO point in overthinking such points. If we did, there are numerous things that make no sense. Think about it:
    - the ability to insta-swap things like warp cores
    - the way we can instantly change our ship appearance/skin
    - the way we can jump from one weapon loadout to another

    Realistically, even by trek standards, feats of engineering like those wouldn't be instant.
    Although I guess one could RP the ship being in dock for weeks and weeks whilst it receives, for example, a new warp core.............
  • leemwatson
    leemwatson Member Posts: 4,620 Arc User
    I have been reading up on the new idea of scaling starships. I suppose it's not really a new idea since we already had some ships that won't give you their full benefit until you reach a particular level.

    I would like to point out here that I really appreciate the work the devs put into this game, and how they continue to add new content. That's one of the best things about STO (in fact, I recently purchased the lifetime membership).

    Back to the scaling ships.
    I have never personally liked the idea of these scaling ships. Maybe it's just the way they are implemented, but we know things don't just get better because you do. Your Chevy in the driveway doesn't suddenly change for the better just because you get a promotion.

    However, you can take your Chevy in to beef up the engine, add some mag wheels, maybe even alter the bodywork (assuming you don't just buy a Porsche or something).

    Another thing I wanted to mention is, it's too bad those docking bays floating around Earth Space Dock aren't actually used for anything. They look really cool, but they're just decoration.

    Anyone see where I'm going here? Wouldn't it be a better idea if, when you level up your character (say every 5th level up, or every 10th level up), you are given (access to) new parts, or the ability to purchase them or trade for them, and you would dock at one of these bays and have it upgrade your ship (similar the the alien repair station in one of the episodes of Enterprise)? The specs of the ship would be the same as they are in the scaling chart, but you would upgrade the ship, it wouldn't just magically scale to be better. Building in a system like this may also open the door for using it for other purposes in the future, like incorporating alien tech into starfleet ships or something.

    I guess I just don't like the idea of ships that upgrade by themselves, and I would love to see my ship getting upgraded while it's docked. Another thing that would add some bling is if the devs could make Utopia Planitia Shipyards that work in addition to making the docs at Earth Spacedock work. This is something sorely missing in STO, animations of cool things happening in space (not cut scenes, but in-game animations) such as ships being built, or docking at space stations, or getting upgraded. We're lucky we have animations of our ships entering and leaving warp, even though they don't work half the time. I'd love to see some changes like this that would just make STO a more visually interesting game.

    The thing you are forgetting is that whilst you level, from level 5 to 50, you are upgrading your ship's capabilities and performance via the Space Skill Points allocation, and if you acquire ships that have higher tier levels available, you can use the alternative costume parts. In all, this satisfies somewhat your idea. Of course, this doesn't apply to all ships.
    "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.
  • forcemajeure
    forcemajeure Member Posts: 208 Arc User
    edited January 2019
    From an immersion point of view, I like the OP's idea. However, as others have said, after the first two times of 'hey that's cool', it would soon be seen as a pointless time gate that you have to repeat a half-dozen times on every character, on every levelling ship you have, forevah!

    Even a little pop-up that says "Your crew's hard work has paid off, the <ship name> now has new capabilities!" would soon be seen as an annoyance that you quickly clear off your screen to continue with whatever you are doing.

    Best I can suggest is to run some of those Engineering/Ship related DOff missions ("Test Hypercoils for Funny WooWoo Noises", "Experimental Blinking Thingy") and headcanon it that you are upgrading your ship.

    Or heck, author a Foundry mission where your ship gets shot to snot rescuing some space-puppies, and has to head to Utopia Planitia for a refit.
  • warpangel
    warpangel Member Posts: 9,427 Arc User
    Adding pointless hoops to jump through to get what in the end is just a free upgrade anyway seems like a waste of time for all concerned.

    But it is a missed opportunity to add more much needed reason to play in the game. Make players earn their upgrade paths. Starship Mastery is something, but it's too limited and uninteresting. I'd personally put a full level progression on ships, unique skilltrees with item-based unlock nodes and maybe even separate spec trees for T6's.

    Of course, you aren't going to get a lot of support for any reason to play from the "gimme everything now" -brigade on the forums. :p
  • davefenestrator
    davefenestrator Member Posts: 9,788 Arc User
    warpangel wrote: »
    Adding pointless hoops to jump through to get what in the end is just a free upgrade anyway seems like a waste of time for all concerned.

    But it is a missed opportunity to add more much needed reason to play in the game. Make players earn their upgrade paths. Starship Mastery is something, but it's too limited and uninteresting. I'd personally put a full level progression on ships, unique skilltrees with item-based unlock nodes and maybe even separate spec trees for T6's.

    Of course, you aren't going to get a lot of support for any reason to play from the "gimme everything now" -brigade on the forums. :p

    It also goes against the revenue model of selling new ships.

    Gear upgrades and even masteries aren't tied to the current ship. Spending weeks leveling up and customizing the ship itself will make players less likely to buy and jump to the new shiny.

  • littlesarbonn
    littlesarbonn Member Posts: 478 Arc User
    One of the reasons why I don't really care for scaling ships (and why I just upgrade to a new starship once I hit the next capable level) is that I really, really love getting a new ship when I hit one of the level 10s. I love that there is a new ship waiting for me after that promotion.
    Fleet Admiral Duane Gundrum, U.S.S. Merrimack
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  • trygvar13
    trygvar13 Member Posts: 690 Arc User
    Every 10 levels, fly your ship into one of those docking bays and say that it's being upgraded. The only thing you're missing is the screen that pops up and says 'we're upgrading your ship.' You can do that part with your own imagination.

    The problem with making it a forced thing is that people that don't want to take part now have to stop what they're doing and fly back to ESD to finish their leveling process. The idea would be a disruption to the natural leveling process and can be avoided by those that want it simply using a little imagination to explain their ship upgrades.

    I remember in the old days when you had to go back to ESD or Qo'noS every time you leveled to participate in a promotion ceremony. The first time was fun but after a while it got really boring. Limping back to the other end of the quadrant in a Tier III ship was not fun at all.
    Dahar Master Qor'aS
  • trygvar13
    trygvar13 Member Posts: 690 Arc User
    One of the reasons why I don't really care for scaling ships (and why I just upgrade to a new starship once I hit the next capable level) is that I really, really love getting a new ship when I hit one of the level 10s. I love that there is a new ship waiting for me after that promotion.

    Scaling ships had been a request from players for years. A lot of people were happy flying a ship and would prefer always flying the same one.
    Dahar Master Qor'aS
  • davefenestrator
    davefenestrator Member Posts: 9,788 Arc User
    edited January 2019
    One of the reasons why I don't really care for scaling ships (and why I just upgrade to a new starship once I hit the next capable level) is that I really, really love getting a new ship when I hit one of the level 10s. I love that there is a new ship waiting for me after that promotion.

    Yep, and for Feds it's also a chance to try a different ship type for the next 10 levels, like switching from cruiser to escort or science ship. (Less so for Romulans and KDF because of fewer free ships to choose from.)

    I see the appeal of both ways - I got the leveling ship for my Discovery captain so he could stay Disco through level 50.

  • warpangel
    warpangel Member Posts: 9,427 Arc User
    warpangel wrote: »
    Adding pointless hoops to jump through to get what in the end is just a free upgrade anyway seems like a waste of time for all concerned.

    But it is a missed opportunity to add more much needed reason to play in the game. Make players earn their upgrade paths. Starship Mastery is something, but it's too limited and uninteresting. I'd personally put a full level progression on ships, unique skilltrees with item-based unlock nodes and maybe even separate spec trees for T6's.

    Of course, you aren't going to get a lot of support for any reason to play from the "gimme everything now" -brigade on the forums. :p

    It also goes against the revenue model of selling new ships.

    Gear upgrades and even masteries aren't tied to the current ship. Spending weeks leveling up and customizing the ship itself will make players less likely to buy and jump to the new shiny.
    No, it doesn't. In fact it's rather common to see games in which everything comes as level 1 (of 100+) and requires significant gameplay and resources, possibly including unique content and items or even extra copies of the thing itself, to "max out." Buying (or winning out of an RNG) something is only the first step.

    But of course, in those games the "new shinys" are actually needed for something, as opposed to being "options" in a sea of options with their appearance as the biggest distinguishing feature.

    The fact that you can complete all content with one ship, a years-old free T5 ship at that, is what makes players less likely to buy new ships.
  • thatsgottahurt
    thatsgottahurt Member Posts: 30 Arc User
    From an immersion point of view, I like the OP's idea. However, as others have said, after the first two times of 'hey that's cool', it would soon be seen as a pointless time gate that you have to repeat a half-dozen times on every character, on every levelling ship you have, forevah!

    Even a little pop-up that says "Your crew's hard work has paid off, the <ship name> now has new capabilities!" would soon be seen as an annoyance that you quickly clear off your screen to continue with whatever you are doing.

    Best I can suggest is to run some of those Engineering/Ship related DOff missions ("Test Hypercoils for Funny WooWoo Noises", "Experimental Blinking Thingy") and headcanon it that you are upgrading your ship.

    Or heck, author a Foundry mission where your ship gets shot to snot rescuing some space-puppies, and has to head to Utopia Planitia for a refit.

    ^ This

    There were a lot of responses to my OP, I hope I cover most of them here.

    I personally don't think this would require a great deal of additional effort to implement. I feel it's so anticlimactic to just have your ship scale itself with no fanfare or anything.

    For people who don't want to sit through a short animation, I suppose they could include an opt-out feature via the escape key. Personally, I would enjoy some animations of docking, or upgrading, or any other possible actions you might do.

    When I first started playing years ago, one of the things I really wanted was to fly my ship into Earth Space Dock, and dock it myself. I was so disappointed when I found I couldn't do it. Flying up to DS9, approaching a docking port and having it extend and mate with your ship shouldn't be that hard either. These little things really add to the immersion, and for people who don't enjoy them, they can always use the transporter, or the escape key. I would likely use them too sometimes, but I always watch all the animations at least once, and the cooler ones I may watch again occasionally. If they were short, and quick I might watch them all the time (say, five seconds to dock once you're in range of a port at DS9).

    Doing something like an upgrade to a ship needn't be complicated or any more time consuming than five or ten seconds, not much different than activating a console in the ground game. Fly up to a dock (one that's "shimmering"), a prompt pops up, you select whatever is required (a simple affirmation would do), it would pull your ship in, flail a round a few arms and some lighting effects, and spit you out the other side.

    This really isn't any different than any other effect used in the game, such as the warping out effect, or the saucer-separation type of effect used on some ships. We could use our imaginations for all of it, but it's put in there to make the game look cool and more immersive.

    Overall, I really like the space engine and all the improvements they have made to the graphics and the general environment in that part of the game, but I've always thought it could use a little more bling when it comes to animating some of the smaller aspects.


  • thatsgottahurt
    thatsgottahurt Member Posts: 30 Arc User
    From an immersion point of view, I like the OP's idea. However, as others have said, after the first two times of 'hey that's cool', it would soon be seen as a pointless time gate that you have to repeat a half-dozen times on every character, on every levelling ship you have, forevah!

    Even a little pop-up that says "Your crew's hard work has paid off, the <ship name> now has new capabilities!" would soon be seen as an annoyance that you quickly clear off your screen to continue with whatever you are doing.

    Best I can suggest is to run some of those Engineering/Ship related DOff missions ("Test Hypercoils for Funny WooWoo Noises", "Experimental Blinking Thingy") and headcanon it that you are upgrading your ship.

    Or heck, author a Foundry mission where your ship gets shot to snot rescuing some space-puppies, and has to head to Utopia Planitia for a refit.

    That's actually not a bad idea. I would further it by having it in addition to more small scale animations, and maybe the mission could be a part of creating a new location in the Sol system, Mars Orbit. Have another month/several mission long story line culminating in access to Mars Orbit, with full shipyard and other possible awesomeness.
  • anubis0sarvour
    anubis0sarvour Member Posts: 141 Arc User
    Making those outlying spacedocks something you can choose to interact with when you approach them, and have some cool animations for what kind of 'event' you wish to transpire. Say, options for 'Maintenance', 'Repair' or 'Upgrade'. But don't bind them to the levelling process. Have it be a neat little thing that players who want to use it, can do so at any time, by approaching one of the docks and selecting the interaction from the menu. Menu would only pop up if you first chose to interact w/the dock, so it isn't forced on anyone.
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