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Reader Comments (23)

Posted: Jul 8th 2008 8:31AM koehler83 said

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Well I think EVE online is really stupid because you are a ship. So I'll have to go with "Control A Ship" for 1000 Alex.

Posted: Jul 8th 2008 8:48AM (Unverified) said

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I definately don't want another game where the characters are ships. But as great as the idea of commanding a single ship with your friends sounds, it has several design issues to be dealt with. Can the ships be used solo? If not then the ever so popular solo experience will suffer. And if they are soloable what will be the benefit of having multiple players in one ship. And will that benefit be equal or greater than all of the players using their own ships.

Posted: Jul 8th 2008 9:08AM (Unverified) said

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I'm quite curious as to how they are going to pull this off as well, especially in light of the fact that there are a large number of people who are going to want to be "The Captain." Clearly the size of a starship leads itself to having a large number of people operate certain functions, but beyond the Pilot, Gunner and Engineer who would really be regularly called on to "do" anything during the course of a battle. Figure out two more roles and you have the WoW model "five man dungeon," which could work pretty nicely.

Posted: Jul 8th 2008 9:17AM Arkanaloth said

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let's not have another Eve..

Posted: Jul 8th 2008 9:24AM (Unverified) said

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I'm leaning a whole other way with this: Why can't we have both?

My response to this article was a little to lengthy to put in a comment, read it here:

http://gamezig.com/mmorpg/star-trek-online-mmorpg

Posted: Jul 8th 2008 9:40AM (Unverified) said

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The original Perpetual idea of being a starfleet member who could in theory join a "crew" (guild) and help pilot a starship was a rather good one.

However... what happens to the ship when the bridge crew are all afk or asleep? Does someone usurp control? Does everyone just grind the holodeck?

Given the recent move in Cryptic to get away from enforced teaming and given the popularity of Eve, I'd be surprised if we weren't given personal starships up to a certain size to fly solo.

While I agree Star Trek is about community and working together, much like MMO's, does the mechanic of crewing and operating a ship lend itself easily to an MMO?
I have doubts.

Posted: Jul 8th 2008 9:50AM (Unverified) said

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I think Massively ate my previous comment.

Anyway..
http://www.gucomics.com/comic/?cdate=20040908 this sums up my opinion best.

I'd have to see how a ship will work with guilds/crews. I personally however would prefer the Earth and Beyond way. You have a ship and an avatar unlike in EvE where you're stuck (for now) in a pod of goo.

Yes Star Trek and MMOs are ideally about coming together and working for the good of all, but what happens if the only guy who can fly the ship goes to bed?

Posted: Jul 8th 2008 9:53AM UnSub said

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I think the answer has to be "be a ship". I've spent a bit of time in Puzzle Pirates where you part of a larger ship's crew; it's fun, but while some guys are there firing cannons, you're the one down in the hold, manning the bilges. Most people won't find that very Star Trek.

Posted: Jul 8th 2008 9:54AM Slob Zombie said

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Control a ship.

I thought this was a problem with Pirates otBS too. I wanted to work together with my teammates towards a tactical victory. I wanted to work together with them to build new ships that we would all sail. I wanted to take on ships full of other players of the same makeup.

Try the awesome UT2004 mod Air Buccaneers to see what it's like to work together on a single vessel. Granted it won't be easy to find other players still playing it, but you'll get the gist.

Posted: Jul 8th 2008 10:43AM (Unverified) said

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My vote is for option #3, which is neither... we should just be crew people ON the ship, but not in actual control of the ship. The way I imagine it, is "level progression" would consist of your career taking you from ship to ship, and as you get each transfer to a new vessel, your adventures would take you deeper into space on more dangerous missions.

For example, after your training missions at the Academy, at level 10 or whatever, you would start off as an ensign on a small scientific vessel, and you would go on away missions in whatever role your class/title is (science officer, security, etc). Then, when you're level 20, maybe you're on more like a Sulu-type ship. Then the end game... you're in super deep space, on an Enterprise-level ship, doing the high level away missions.

Basically, in other words, each "zone" would be a different type of ship, and for each stage of level progression, you would choose the type of ship you want to be on, until your next progression. To compare it to World of Warcraft, where there are dozens of "zones", Star Trek Online would have dozens of ships, and each ship would have different types of planets or missions you would go on, which would be instanced zones, etc.

Posted: Jul 8th 2008 11:04AM (Unverified) said

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"Be the ship"

I've been looking for a good "spaceship" MMO since Earth & Beyond went belly-up. Eve is ok, not my favorite, but I do play it occasionally. I'm signed up for the Jumpgate Evolution beta and I hope it has better gameplay than Eve.

Being a Star Trek fan, I would hope that you get to be your own ship. I'm really looking forward to seeing it in action.

Posted: Jul 9th 2008 11:50PM Donau said

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How about this?

Captain plots the course, pilot follows the course, science officer has remote viewing of the ship and sees enemies (pilot has a limited fov), engineer makes the ship go, weapons only become active at the captains command (otherwise they drain resources)(then weapons have a view like the science officers but more limited), and security is there in the case that the ship is boarded.

Posted: Jul 8th 2008 11:39AM Wouldzey said

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Hell yes. Whats Star Trek without being able to crew a ship? Walking around the Starship and performing your duties is one of the most enticing things about the IP. If you just board a ship and thats it then its a waste of the IP. The whole point of away missions is that they are away from your base. Whats the point of not allowing players to actually walk around their base or fly it?

For player controlled ships there should be 3 tiers. Large ships that need around 10 people to operate (captain, helm, engineers, security, science etc etc), Medium ships that need just a couple of people (captain, helm, security) then solo ships that just need one person to operate.

As well as being able to walk around and actually crew your ships im hoping that Cryptic add a lot of minigames because star trek is hardly just about fighting. Even in war times its mainly about keeping the ship up and running, finding a way to get around difficult spots and planning. The best role i'd want to play would be an engineer and it would be great if the whole class was filled with minigames to do and random challenges to accomplish to activate certain abilities.

Posted: Jul 8th 2008 2:21PM (Unverified) said

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I agree with this take. Per the IP, Star Trek was about the people, not the ships.
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Posted: Jul 8th 2008 11:54AM (Unverified) said

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I hope they have smaller ships that individuals can pilot but also have captial ships that require a crew. UnSub said that being down in the bilges isn't very star trek but I how many times was scotty pulled everyone's bacon out of the fire? I don't think it would be much different from being a priest or medic.

Posted: Jul 8th 2008 3:00PM (Unverified) said

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I prefer a modified version where you can go anywhere as an avatar but on ship you are the captain and you spend points on staffing the ship in different areas. For example more points on crew in engineering would give you Scotty quality miricles :-) At any time you could 'leave the bridge' and as your avatar, walk the halls of your ship and perform tasks. I envision the ships as Deus Ex interactible style internal building zones (like the hong kong lab) where tasks and fps action could occur. Ship battles would be an outside view of the ship and space around it with a small subscreen showing various functions that you have to manage while moving your ship and targeting; this part is sort of like homeworld or sins of a solar empire.

Posted: Jul 10th 2008 1:06AM (Unverified) said

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I'm pulled in different directions when it comes to ship interiors. While I think it would be fantastic to have access to different parts of a starship, I have to wonder if it would be feasible to have an open ship or even if it is technically possible.

Owen-lars idea of having different tiers of ship sounds like a good idea to me. A small ship for a single player, a medium ship for 3 to 5 players and 5 to 10+ players for a large ship. How much of the interior those characters could have access to could be determined by the size of the ship. In a small scout or transport ship you could go to just about every part of the ship. A medium ship like the Intrepid class and larger class ships (Galaxy or Sovereign class) could have access to the major parts that most people have seen in the shows or movies. They would be the Bridge, Ready Room, Turbo lifts and corridors, players’ quarters, Sickbay, Transporter room, Engineering, rec/mess rooms and some of the science labs and others I can't think of at the moment.

I believe while some may think that wandering the decks of a Galaxy class ship would be cool, I think investigating every nook and cranny of such a ship would get very dull, very quickly so why design and code the parts that player aren't likely to go to or need to be in. Who cares if you can enter into Crewmen’s Smith and Jones quarters anyway? If a part of the ship not mentioned before needs to be accessed it could be specific to a particular mission, i.e.: searching for an intruder or stowaway.

Bottom line: total access in smaller ships would work fine; bigger ships just have the major areas available.

Posted: Jul 14th 2008 10:14PM (Unverified) said

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Being the designer on the Starfleet COmmand series I have spent a lot of time thinking through the issues...

To sum up, the ship as the avatar is the safe and playable bet read more at my blog here:

http://erikbethke.livejournal.com/#asset-erikbethke-28780

To do the bridge and away crew correctly you would need to figure out how to replicate much of SWG and figure out how to avoid so much raw combat, as trek in person was all about diplomacy. Very hard to pull off for grind-able MMO content...

-Erik
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Posted: Jul 14th 2008 11:20PM (Unverified) said

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Erik, after reading through your thoughts on the subject I have to say I agree with much of your take on how to approach a Star Trek MMO.

I only have to wonder if figuring out a way to do the bridge crew game (forgoing the away team for an expansion later on) would actually flow well into your proposed housing system. It would merge the two play experiences and give players an overall sense of place since they would have an avatar both on the ships and on a planet, eventually.
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Posted: Jul 9th 2008 8:24AM Ves said

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Something that Pirates of the Carribean had. That was pretty nice. It required a full crew at some stages.

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