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Cryptic, you need new PvE mission designers

telbasta7386telbasta7386 Member Posts: 761 Arc User
Pretty much every episode that has come out within the past year is set up like this:

- Put player in space or on ground
- Create endless spawns of 20+ enemies at a time
- Give all of those enemies shield penetrating weapons, annoying/frustrating mechanics (looking at you, viral impulse burst), or anything else to just add that little extra bit of "F You" to the player trying to do the mission.

This isn't starwars, and this is not good mission design. Sure, I can wipe these things out no problem on my 520 EPG, all gold mk XV science ships, but anything else? God forbid you're in an escort, you'll get nuked before you even get a chance to fire your weapons. Any new characters trying to do these, or this without absolute min-maxxed builds, are screwed.

These are single player episodes, not TFO's. Stop this TRIBBLE.
Post edited by baddmoonrizin on
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Comments

  • thegrandnagus1thegrandnagus1 Member Posts: 5,165 Arc User
    I agree the time gated fights are kind of annoying. I also agree the massive NPC battles are getting kind of tiresome. I can understand the need for an epic "final battle" at the end of a story, but when it happens in every single mission it does seem to lose it's impact.

    Personally, I wish they could come up with a better way to have a really tough enemy ship that delivers a challenging 1v1 fight than to have your ship just slaughtering waves of weak ships.

    The-Grand-Nagus
    Join Date: Sep 2008

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  • darkbladejkdarkbladejk Member Posts: 3,712 Community Moderator
    A ship with a basic cohesive build in only mk xii equipment you get for free can do any of the missions on Normal or Advanced. I'll agree they overdo it on the spawns sometimes, but you shouldn't be having that big of an issue. What are you running on your ship?
    "Someone once told me that time was a predator that stalked us all our lives. I rather believe that time is a companion who goes with us on the journey and reminds us to cherish every moment, because it will never come again." - Jean Luc Picard in Star Trek Generations

    Star Trek Online volunteer Community Moderator
  • telbasta7386telbasta7386 Member Posts: 761 Arc User
    I almost forgot, they also feel the need to add an NPC to every single mission that says "we're under attack!" or "we need help" every 2 seconds.

    Darkbladejk: "can" do the missions, sure, but you can expect to die a dozen times in the process and get pissed off because of it.

    I've got full phaser mk 15 and disruptor mk 15 setups on two characters, running builds that do well in advanced/elite TFO's, that still have issues with these episode missions even on normal difficulty. I don't know why cryptic feels the need to create such massive spawns in every single mission, and the repetitive spawns are even worse.

    have you tried fighting your way out of gre'thor yet in the leap of faith mission? The only character I have that didnt die at least once on that BS is my lukari science captain spamming AoE magic like crazy, and even she struggled (and that's the best ground character setup I have, by a long shot). Doesn't help that they prevent you from doing things like using your security team ability. Of course, ground combat has always been the worst thing about this game, it's clunky and poorly designed on the best of days.

  • telbasta7386telbasta7386 Member Posts: 761 Arc User
    On another note...

    How do any of these enemies even have ships and people left to throw at us? pretty sure I'm taking out 80+ ships per patrol/episode, at bare minimum, and that's gotta be in the thousands or tens of thousands of crew going down with those ships. How exactly do 'rebel' factions keep their numbers up like this?
  • garaffegaraffe Member Posts: 1,353 Arc User
    A prime example is the Widening Gyre TFO. This TFO is so boring that I just park my ship over the starbase and wait for auto complete. I engaged with the mechanics of saving crews and transferring them to ships the first few times, but it didn't seem to do anything (like strike teams in Counterpoint) because the ships would just get themselves blown up anyways. Terrible design. Just terrible.
  • telbasta7386telbasta7386 Member Posts: 761 Arc User
    edited February 2021
    I agree the time gated fights are kind of annoying. I also agree the massive NPC battles are getting kind of tiresome. I can understand the need for an epic "final battle" at the end of a story, but when it happens in every single mission it does seem to lose it's impact.

    Personally, I wish they could come up with a better way to have a really tough enemy ship that delivers a challenging 1v1 fight than to have your ship just slaughtering waves of weak ships.

    Exactly. Even in discovery, battle of the binary stars... there were only 24 (maybe 25 with the sarcophagus) klingon ships present.

    But do that mission in STO? Hundreds of enemy ships constantly respawning.

    Cryptic designing these missions is like JJ Abrams adding lens flares and explosions every 2 seconds to his movies in a failed attempt to make them feel "epic".
  • discojerdiscojer Member Posts: 533 Arc User
    I was thinking about this the other day when one of the Cryptic people said earlier missions weren't up to modern standards.

    Like what? Multiple time gates where you protect X for 2 minutes?
  • mikecobalt#1974 mikecobalt Member Posts: 39 Arc User
    Maybe for future story lines in a "Star Trek" fashion game designers could focus on umm.. *Coughs*.. something other then Ship battles? It could have one maybe towards the middle Or close to the end but not starting or the destination or the story.
  • spiritbornspiritborn Member Posts: 4,257 Arc User
    edited February 2021
    Maybe for future story lines in a "Star Trek" fashion game designers could focus on umm.. *Coughs*.. something other then Ship battles? It could have one maybe towards the middle Or close to the end but not starting or the destination or the story.

    They tried exploration with some light combat in the end and that didn't go over all that well, what more is there? Diplomacy is just a lot of dialogue, which I suspect most people wouldn't be interested in. science experiments would be minigames and again that's something that's not well liked.

    That's realistically all a Starfleet officer would do (never mind a KDF, RR or JH officer), colonial administration would be done by civilian administrators as full time job, not by Starfleet officers on the side, same for any serious R&D or ship building and I'm using Starfleet here as their portfolio includes the most amount of non-combat tasks as default.

    Branching storylines are near impossible to do in MMOs in a way that those branches are meaningful and not just be a different path to the same end. I'll ask you this would you really want to go thru a mission that was nothing but dialogue where you did nothing meaningful in the end? Since that's what a "diplomacy" mission would be and we've already seen what a exploration mission would be.


    EDIT:Like them or not combat missions are the best way to make it so that players have more or less a static world and any progress can be done in a way that doesn't split the playerbase (it might split the opinions of the player base but players are all still all playing in the same game world).
  • leemwatsonleemwatson Member Posts: 5,342 Arc User
    Pretty much every episode that has come out within the past year is set up like this:

    - Put player in space or on ground
    - Create endless spawns of 20+ enemies at a time
    - Give all of those enemies shield penetrating weapons, annoying/frustrating mechanics (looking at you, viral impulse burst), or anything else to just add that little extra bit of "F You" to the player trying to do the mission.

    This isn't starwars, and this is not good mission design. Sure, I can wipe these things out no problem on my 520 EPG, all gold mk XV science ships, but anything else? God forbid you're in an escort, you'll get nuked before you even get a chance to fire your weapons. Any new characters trying to do these, or this without absolute min-maxxed builds, are screwed.

    These are single player episodes, not TFO's. Stop this TRIBBLE.

    I'm sorry, but why should they remove abilities from NPC's that you yourself can use? This is not a case of 'git gud' but a case of 'if it's good for the goose, it's good for the gander'. There's nothing I love more than a challenge.
    "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.
  • koihimenakamurakoihimenakamura Member Posts: 135 Arc User
    Losing ~5 of your total forces in a single engagement -- against one enemy ship -- is not peanuts. That gets generals executed for incompetence....
    We lost 50% of our forces to the Iconians in a single battle because the Iconians were just that powerful.

    Also
    • losing 80 ships in a single battle against the player would be losing 1.06% of 7,500, not 5%.
    • We are almost never doing it alone. TFOs have us in small groups of at least 5, usually with other NPC ships there like Martok, or Kagran. Patrols have us being assisted by Lukari, Elachi, and Alliance forces. And story missions have had Alliance forces, and even J'ula, assisting us in space as well. It's almost never 1 vs 80.

    Please stop defending Cryptic at all costs. It's grating. TV-wise, outside of the *Dominion War* five ships was a large issue, and even when e get into the Dominion War, at most, it's 1 vs 10, not 1 vs 30+ unless we are talking large scale fleet actions which guess what? we never really take place in excluding certain stages.
    leemwatson wrote: »
    Pretty much every episode that has come out within the past year is set up like this:

    - Put player in space or on ground
    - Create endless spawns of 20+ enemies at a time
    - Give all of those enemies shield penetrating weapons, annoying/frustrating mechanics (looking at you, viral impulse burst), or anything else to just add that little extra bit of "F You" to the player trying to do the mission.

    This isn't starwars, and this is not good mission design. Sure, I can wipe these things out no problem on my 520 EPG, all gold mk XV science ships, but anything else? God forbid you're in an escort, you'll get nuked before you even get a chance to fire your weapons. Any new characters trying to do these, or this without absolute min-maxxed builds, are screwed.

    These are single player episodes, not TFO's. Stop this TRIBBLE.

    I'm sorry, but why should they remove abilities from NPC's that you yourself can use? This is not a case of 'git gud' but a case of 'if it's good for the goose, it's good for the gander'. There's nothing I love more than a challenge.

    My *14* deaths at the Battle of Procyon V (and not even a complete) look at you're challenge and die in hilarious laughter. (I had to switch from my escort cannon build (mkXII) to my beam boat (mkXII) to survive.)
  • pottsey5gpottsey5g Member Posts: 4,177 Arc User
    One of the problems is the mission designers seem to have fallen into a pattern and overuse that pattern. Its the overuse of the same design pattern that is the problem. Linked to this is the bad habit of doing everything in 3s and fours. How many times do we get given an action only to repeat that in an identical way multiple times? You just know when you defend that console you now need to repeat and defend console 2, then console 3 as an example. There are places where its suitable but it is over used often for no good reason other then to waste a players time.

    An example where it works well is Peril Over Pahvo. I like that one and it feels right in that case. Its not that the core idea is bad. Its just overused in to many areas half of which would be better without the pointless repeat design the devs overuse. This poor repeat design really stands out on the KDF recuit. The few mission that don't follow this pattern feel refreshing and good but there are so few of them.
  • fleetcaptain5#1134 fleetcaptain5 Member Posts: 4,782 Arc User
    discojer wrote: »
    I was thinking about this the other day when one of the Cryptic people said earlier missions weren't up to modern standards.

    Like what? Multiple time gates where you protect X for 2 minutes?

    Yeah, it's true that some of the older TFO's look a bit simplistic in terms of objectives nowadays. They were clearly made years ago. Slowly walking Borg aren't that threatening either.

    But time gates are even worse. At least in the older TFO's it matters how good you are at playing the game. You can finish fast if you're good, it'll take longer if you're not that good. With time gates, nothing matters.
    [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: 4,782 Arc User
    What I do want to say here, is that not all missions are time gated, endless waves of enemies spawning environments.

    Missions like Tzenkethi Front, Breach, Gravity Kills, Pahvo Dissension and so on, can actually be completed faster if you fly a faster ship, kill enemies faster, co-operate better when you blow up the bases, run faster to the next crystal and so on.

    Some other missions, like Counterpoint, have a decent variation of objectives. It's not just 'kill stuff', the player can choose to either kill stuff, zip around to beam over teams, defend DS9 or do a combination of things. You get to fly your ship there and the player can do more than just hold still and press spacebar.

    I do find such missions more enjoyable. Larger distances, objectives that are spread out, objectives that can be completed faster if you are faster: that's the kind of thing that makes some of the newer missions (and some older ones like Breach) stand out in a positive way. They're not all like Defense of Starbase One, fortunately. Time gates can be annoying and usually are, but they don't have to be. There are examples of content where the mission is at least sufficiently varied in objectives and dynamic enough.
    [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: 4,782 Arc User
    So, basically, what I think makes for a bad, good and ok mission based on the actual content (environment and rewards are a different story and more subjective probably) :

    Bad (especially when all are present such as in Def. SB 1, Peril over Pahvo) :
    - Time gates
    - Small maps that encourage holding still and only pressing spacebar
    - Simplistic objectives (protect, kill)
    - Almost all newer patrol missions


    Good (Breach, Tzenkethi Front, Gravity Kills) :
    - Larger maps that allow the player to fly around and use his speed to his advantage (in terms of being able to complete content faster)
    - Different objectives (kill, but also protect, close portals, collect particles etc.)
    - No time gates

    Also good (best example: Fleet Alert, Starbase 24) :
    - Missions that have simple objectives, and take place on small maps but which are at least not time gated

    Ok (missions like Counterpoint, Azure Nebula, Pahvo Dissension) :
    - Larger maps with different objectives that allow players to focus on different tasks, but still (somewhat) time gated.


    If I can actually fly my ship and there's a reason to move, if there are options to do different things and the mission doesn't feel like it's artificially lengthened only to keep me in there longer, it's generally (very) good content. If it's time gated, it can still be ok but then the mission itself has to be even more interesting.

    Likewise, if there are no time gates, even the most simple content can still be good if you can just shoot stuff and be done with it faster if you build a more powerful ship (ie, if those investments are rewarded).

    The worst type of content is time gated, simplistic stuff taking place on small maps.
    [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: 4,782 Arc User
    edited February 2021
    leemwatson wrote: »
    Pretty much every episode that has come out within the past year is set up like this:

    - Put player in space or on ground
    - Create endless spawns of 20+ enemies at a time
    - Give all of those enemies shield penetrating weapons, annoying/frustrating mechanics (looking at you, viral impulse burst), or anything else to just add that little extra bit of "F You" to the player trying to do the mission.

    This isn't starwars, and this is not good mission design. Sure, I can wipe these things out no problem on my 520 EPG, all gold mk XV science ships, but anything else? God forbid you're in an escort, you'll get nuked before you even get a chance to fire your weapons. Any new characters trying to do these, or this without absolute min-maxxed builds, are screwed.

    These are single player episodes, not TFO's. Stop this TRIBBLE.

    I'm sorry, but why should they remove abilities from NPC's that you yourself can use? This is not a case of 'git gud' but a case of 'if it's good for the goose, it's good for the gander'. There's nothing I love more than a challenge.

    Because there are more enemies than players?

    Note: I'm not saying that their abilities need to be removed. But saying that NPC's should have access to all the stuff players have just because, is a case of false equivalence. Such reasoning might be justified if everything else, including our and their numbers were actually equal. But they're not.

    In this game, we are put against many more enemies because those enemies were originally rather simple in terms of what they could do and how much they could do.
    That's the reason why we're fighting many waves of enemies in most missions: because the game has always followed that logic and because that used to make sense a long time ago. Gorn, Orions and the old Klingons never had many special abilities. Thus we were put against many of them.
    However, enemies have gotten more annoying abilities (which in itself is fine) but the developers are still following this logic of throwing entire waves of those enemies at players (which is not fine, if every single one of them uses all sorts of annoying stuff now).

    You can't give the enemy a numerical advantage and still have each and every single one of them use all sorts of tricks. That just makes everything annoying. Either make enemies more interesting and reduce their numbers, or keep their numbers the same but give them fewer tricks to perform.


    There are some enemies in the game that clearly show why it is a bad idea to give enemies a numerical advantage and still allow them to do all sorts of annoying stuff.
    Take the Na'kuhl on the ground for example, who have powerful weapons, but who can also be completely immune while their temporal ghosts hide around the corner and so on -
    or indeed the new Klingons who use all sorts of annoying intel abilities that may be cleared, but never for long enough before the next one shows up.
    Or the Hirogen in some of the patrols, about which people complained a lot too a while back.
    [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.
  • telbasta7386telbasta7386 Member Posts: 761 Arc User
    spiritborn wrote: »
    Maybe for future story lines in a "Star Trek" fashion game designers could focus on umm.. *Coughs*.. something other then Ship battles? It could have one maybe towards the middle Or close to the end but not starting or the destination or the story.

    They tried exploration with some light combat in the end and that didn't go over all that well, what more is there? Diplomacy is just a lot of dialogue, which I suspect most people wouldn't be interested in. science experiments would be minigames and again that's something that's not well liked.

    That's realistically all a Starfleet officer would do (never mind a KDF, RR or JH officer), colonial administration would be done by civilian administrators as full time job, not by Starfleet officers on the side, same for any serious R&D or ship building and I'm using Starfleet here as their portfolio includes the most amount of non-combat tasks as default.

    Branching storylines are near impossible to do in MMOs in a way that those branches are meaningful and not just be a different path to the same end. I'll ask you this would you really want to go thru a mission that was nothing but dialogue where you did nothing meaningful in the end? Since that's what a "diplomacy" mission would be and we've already seen what a exploration mission would be.


    EDIT:Like them or not combat missions are the best way to make it so that players have more or less a static world and any progress can be done in a way that doesn't split the playerbase (it might split the opinions of the player base but players are all still all playing in the same game world).

    Plenty of other sci fi games are making exploration interesting and deep enough to hold players' attention and make it fun.

    The problem here isn't that "exploration is boring" or "diplomacy is boring", it's that cryptic fails to provide the depth to make those things interesting. It's the same reason all of our missions are basically the same thing with different skins, or as another poster mentioned objectives always come in identical tasks you repeat 2-3 times. Cryptic constantly puts out this excuse of "this takes too much time or money" so they can keep giving us shallow repetitive gameplay. It's entirely a developer problem that could be solved if they'd put the effort into doing better.
  • saurializardsaurializard Member Posts: 4,386 Arc User
    3) There are *MANY* instances where the faster you kill them, the faster they respawn. 80? That's extreme low-balling. Megawells are fleet destroyers.
    ^This.
    With my current gears (which are definitely not optimized and consist mostly of universal clicky consoles), most of the time, doing the Ninth Rule patrol once is sufficient to wipe out enough fleets and go from mastery 0 to almost 5 with just standing at the same spot and spamming the same abilities with the only annoyance being enemies with Subnucleonic Beam.

    #TASforSTO
    Iconian_Trio_sign.jpg?raw=1
  • mikecobalt#1974 mikecobalt Member Posts: 39 Arc User
    spiritborn wrote: »
    Maybe for future story lines in a "Star Trek" fashion game designers could focus on umm.. *Coughs*.. something other then Ship battles? It could have one maybe towards the middle Or close to the end but not starting or the destination or the story.

    They tried exploration with some light combat in the end and that didn't go over all that well, what more is there? Diplomacy is just a lot of dialogue, which I suspect most people wouldn't be interested in. science experiments would be minigames and again that's something that's not well liked.

    That's realistically all a Starfleet officer would do (never mind a KDF, RR or JH officer), colonial administration would be done by civilian administrators as full time job, not by Starfleet officers on the side, same for any serious R&D or ship building and I'm using Starfleet here as their portfolio includes the most amount of non-combat tasks as default.

    Branching storylines are near impossible to do in MMOs in a way that those branches are meaningful and not just be a different path to the same end. I'll ask you this would you really want to go thru a mission that was nothing but dialogue where you did nothing meaningful in the end? Since that's what a "diplomacy" mission would be and we've already seen what a exploration mission would be.


    EDIT:Like them or not combat missions are the best way to make it so that players have more or less a static world and any progress can be done in a way that doesn't split the playerbase (it might split the opinions of the player base but players are all still all playing in the same game world).

    :) Yes, I thought as much. I've seen the topics of Exploration missions, or pathways of Solving Mysteries, Diplomacies and other I just think the same ole same ole of the of lesser Topics of Star Trek. Even the new TV shows have shifted away from Roddenberry's direction and more to Adrenaline. I just thought I'd throw that in as a "Change from the Typical". :)

  • paradox#7391 paradox Member Posts: 1,776 Arc User
    edited February 2021
    Personally I would love some exploration and diplomacy, while this might not be a popular opinion, I for one would love more ground and less space content please, there's nothing better than ground combat.
  • lianthelialianthelia Member Posts: 7,825 Arc User
    Pretty much every episode that has come out within the past year is set up like this:

    - Put player in space or on ground
    - Create endless spawns of 20+ enemies at a time
    - Give all of those enemies shield penetrating weapons, annoying/frustrating mechanics (looking at you, viral impulse burst), or anything else to just add that little extra bit of "F You" to the player trying to do the mission.

    This isn't starwars, and this is not good mission design. Sure, I can wipe these things out no problem on my 520 EPG, all gold mk XV science ships, but anything else? God forbid you're in an escort, you'll get nuked before you even get a chance to fire your weapons. Any new characters trying to do these, or this without absolute min-maxxed builds, are screwed.

    These are single player episodes, not TFO's. Stop this TRIBBLE.

    That would not only take effort....but money. Neither which they're willing to do
This discussion has been closed.