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Reader Comments (22)

Posted: Jan 27th 2011 11:31AM Ironraptor said

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If STO would to go freemium it be around 2012. They would have to prove to CBS Studios that freemium is a good business model to renegotiate the contracts. Then rework and internally test a lot of the systems currently in the game to appeal to new and former players. Add a few months of player testing. Avoid overlapping a release date with Neverwinter Nights and other MMOs releasing this year.

Posted: Jan 27th 2011 11:44AM cowboyhugbees said

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"Starfleet is not a military organization. Its purpose is exploration." - Captain Picard, "Peak Performance"

I'm tired of endless instances, in which my options are "to fight" or "to fight" or maybe "to fight in space". Even the exploration missions devolve into fighting wave after wave of enemies that take 15 minutes to kill.

Give me more mission variety, branching dialogue trees, and give me less instances. Please.

Posted: Jan 27th 2011 12:43PM mko said

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@cowboyhugbees
"I'm a soldier, not a diplomat." (TOS: "Errand of Mercy")
James T. Kirk
courtesy to Memory Alpha
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Posted: Jan 27th 2011 1:43PM StClair said

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@cowboyhugbees & @mko:
Different eras, different sensibilities. Roddenberry gave the network the action they wanted back in the day, but when he had the chance to write his own ticket for a new series, he pushed for a utopian vision... that had the slight flaw that it lacked any drama whatsoever and wasn't entertaining to watch. TNG's first season was full of flat characters and smug condescension to anyone who wasn't as advanced as the Federation. It took other writers and some conflict and development of the characters to make it actually interesting.

What does this have to do with MMOs? Well, firstly, a lot of MMO players do want to shoot people (and starships) and break things. Maybe not all the time, but there's the expectation. Even the most committed diplomat eventually gets tired of standing around on a beige bridge and longs for some action. Also, as cowboyhugbees touches on and is probably aware, "more mission variety, branching dialogue trees" require a lot more developer time to tell a good, enjoyable story; simply throwing more Romulans at the player is almost always quicker and easier. You can either have a lot of not-so-good story content (as you probably will once the Foundry gets going, and everyone is able to post their borderline-illiterate "masterpieces"), or a few polished gems.
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Posted: Jan 27th 2011 1:47PM Seldra said

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I think both of you make good points. There does need to be more variety in missions. If you want to be more of a Kirk capt you can go fist to face and mate with blue women as much as you want. If you want to Picard it, go be a diplomat and progress the social ladders in the governments in the galaxy.

Political intrigue can be fun too what with all the backstabbing and backroom dealings. Couple that with Iconian's having infiltrated all major governments in STO that certainly lends a great way to engage players in another way.
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Posted: Jan 27th 2011 3:11PM NomadShadow said

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@cowboyhugbees
"We never should've trusted Starfleet! I warned you about dealing with the military."
-David Marcus, The Wrath of Khan


Let it not be forgotten as well that Starfleet (of the United Federation of Planets, not Earth Starfleet as seen in Ent.) was founded for the express purpose of fighting a war with the Romulans. (And never mind that whole Dominion War shenanigans on DS9)



All that said, yes, I totally agree that there needs to be more variety in the missions. I seem to remember reading early on that each quest was roughly analogous to one episode of a television series; and very seldom on the shows do they just fly around blowing the crap out of everything. More "Non-combat" missions (not too dissimilar from the diplomatic missions, or that one doctor mission [the name escapes me at the moment] in the Breen feature episodes) would be a very welcome change.
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Posted: Jan 27th 2011 4:04PM cowboyhugbees said

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@StClair I can agree with everything except the insinuation that a more diplomatic focus "lacks drama".

Worf yelling to blow stuff up was always our visceral response to a tense situation, but the most entertaining situations, for me, were the ones in which a non-violent solution could be found when there apparently wasn't one initially.

I'm not saying take fighting out of the game, I'm just saying that flexing the diplomatic side of the Star Trek ideology could be entertaining and more true to the series. MMOs don't always have to be fighting, as any crafter will tell you.
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Posted: Jan 27th 2011 12:31PM BubleFett said

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If I were Cryptic I would buy Tabula Rasa from NC Soft.
Use the maps from that game and vary them up some what so they don't
look anything like they were. Use the animation and re-skin some of the creatures to suit the Star Trek universe.
And plop there you go, you have a new expansion.

Posted: Jan 27th 2011 1:33PM Super Nerd said

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If STO goes Free to Play (And I fear it might) It'll lose me. I know that it's likely there would still be a "subscription model" like they've done with Champions, but honestly I'm not in love enough with STO to stick around when Free to Play games are something I dislike.

Just me I guess. I just don't like Free to Play.

Posted: Jan 27th 2011 1:50PM StClair said

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@Super Nerd:

I'm not a big fan of Free* to Play either, but even as a long-time fan of the series, the commitment inherent in a box and a subscription is still too much of a hurdle for me at this time. So I'm waiting for the day when I can just dip my toe in, putter around with a Miranda or maybe even a Connie, and walk away for a month or six if I want/need to.

(* unless you actually want anything cool, in which case, let's see your credit card.)
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Posted: Jan 27th 2011 2:03PM iowahawkeyedave said

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@Super Nerd Any particular reason or reasons you dislike Free to Play?

Personally I never really have any issues with Free to Play. Way I see it, is if the game entertains me, its worth it, whether its subscription or free to play.
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Posted: Jan 27th 2011 2:16PM Super Nerd said

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@iowahawkeyedave Main problem I have with Free to Play games is the problem I already have with Cryptic games now (Though I'm still playing STO) which is the cash shop. Cryptic already puts so much stuff into the C-Store when the game has a subscription fee, I can't imagine what they'll if it goes Free to Play.

I suppose we'll see with Champions.

I guess it isn't really that I don't like Free to Play games, but more that I just don't like Cryptic running Free to Play games.
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Posted: Jan 27th 2011 5:06PM Seldra said

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I think the issue really is that companies are still struggling on how to balance cash shops. Games like STO, Maple Story, even Wizard 101, can take it too far. Until there's a company out there that can pull it off right there will be a lot of people out there disliking F2P MMOs simply because of poor implementation of the cashshops.
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Posted: Jan 28th 2011 7:50AM Zeig said

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@Super Nerd

So you dont like free to play, but current STO is Pay-to-pay and that upsets me even more.
Your paying money, but if you want any of their bonus content you have dish out more money. And its not just that, your buying C-store points for real money.

You could spend $20 on c-store points, and buy something that uses up most but not all said points, then you have like, 100 points left that you cant use on anything, but you cannot get your money back for.
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Posted: Jan 27th 2011 2:05PM Liltawen said

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There is already going to be a Star Trek F2P game. I just don't see there being two of them out there.

Posted: Jan 27th 2011 3:40PM pcgneurotic said

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When the Foundry goes live, it's going to make a huuuuge difference in terms of non-combat gameplay.

Posted: Jan 27th 2011 4:06PM cowboyhugbees said

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@pcgneurotic Of which I am quite excited.
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Posted: Jan 27th 2011 5:12PM Tom in VA said

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Oddly, it is the ground missions I enjoyed most in STO. The space battles felt really impersonal and tedious.

Unfortunately, both the space and the ground missions in STO start to look the same pretty quickly. "Destroy 5 groups of this", "defeat five groups of that." I finally just couldn't take it any more.

People have referred to Tabula Rasa. TR had a sense of place and story progression. I also prefer having fewer locations done rich and well (TR) to a bazillion cookie-cutter planets and locations (STO).

Posted: Jan 27th 2011 6:21PM Harley Dude said

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Is that first pic a ship going down a giant toilet bowl? Pretty good guess for the future of STO.

Posted: Jan 29th 2011 4:19AM startruck said

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What a strange article.
I see no evidence Star Trek Online is barley above water at all, in fact If anything I've seen the population increase. It's strange that even writers that should know better are falling into the "unless it has 13 million subs it's bombing" mentality

I mean even AOC had an expansion last year, and it was going down in flames....wasn't it?

Star trek online has continued to pump out regular content updates at a faster pace than most MMO's, it's not for everyone, and it has a way to go, but claiming it's barely holding it's head above water and supplying no hard evidence or numbers is terrible journalism.


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