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Author Topic: Star Trek Online (Cryptic's "other" new MMO)  (Read 102195 times)
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Zekester
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« Reply #1880 on: February 08, 2011, 02:23:34 PM »

My 30 days is almost up and i'm afraid i'm gonna have to drop the account. Just won't have the time to play it.
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« Reply #1881 on: February 08, 2011, 03:47:17 PM »

Ran 'The Vault' this morning. Was a pretty fun mission. Shuttles should not be trying to solo Mogai escorts.  Birds of Prey are fair game though.
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« Reply #1882 on: February 08, 2011, 03:51:42 PM »

Quote from: Zekester on February 08, 2011, 02:23:34 PM

My 30 days is almost up and i'm afraid i'm gonna have to drop the account. Just won't have the time to play it.
Farewell, I salute you for giving it a try.  icon_smile

Assuming you're too busy to return when the Foundry goes live (supposedly near the end of February), this summer when there's supposed to be a major codebase update for the engine that enables STO to do its promised ground combat revamp would be a good time to revisit. That may seem a long time from now, but June is only about 4 months away.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2011, 03:53:22 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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« Reply #1883 on: February 08, 2011, 03:58:19 PM »

sounds good.

I never even got to explore much.
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« Reply #1884 on: February 10, 2011, 04:17:30 PM »

The whole Duty Officer system seems very much still in the brainstorming stage. Stahl laid that out more:
http://forums.startrekonline.com/showthread.php?p=3344449#post3344449
Quote
Keep in mind the Duty Officer system is still in design discussions and that is the "brainstorm" whiteboard - so nothing is definite yet.

For now, here's some basic concepts.
- a shuttle with new recruits shows up at your ship
- you meet your new recruits and then decide where they should be assigned on your duty roster
- you have an "active" duty roster - people that are assigned to continuously work in a specific department
- you have a "reserve" duty roster - which contains all the recruits that are not currently assigned
- active duty officers provide: passive abilities and bonuses, mission assignment unlocks, crafting unlocks, etc
- reserve duty officers can be sent on "assignments" (think Assassin's Creed Brotherhood)
- players have a maximum number of reserve officers they can have on their ship at any time
- some assignments are permanent (stay and study life on this planet; leave diplomats here; etc)
- some assignments have a difficulty and danger, with a chance that it could fail

so that should give you some idea of what we're thinking.

again - nothing final - but ideas about how we want you to use "crew" on your ship.
==============
Right now I think of assignments as missions your duty officers perform for you. For example you could be in an exploration sector and an assignment could become available to send several duty officers to go investigate something. They go away, and after a while they return with the reward (well maybe they return and maybe they don't - depends on difficulty and danger). Greater risk - for greater reward.

That's one idea.
This sounds vaguely familiar to me. Wasn't there some other MMO that had the concept of sort of sending someone off to do something for a while, and they'd eventually report back with what they found/accomplished etc.? I don't think it was another space type thing though.
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« Reply #1885 on: February 11, 2011, 03:29:02 AM »

Jumbo King Size Collosal "Ask Cryptic"
http://www.startrekonline.com/node/2291
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« Reply #1886 on: February 11, 2011, 04:19:01 AM »

Quote from: Blackjack on February 10, 2011, 04:17:30 PM

The whole Duty Officer system seems very much still in the brainstorming stage. Stahl laid that out more:
http://forums.startrekonline.com/showthread.php?p=3344449#post3344449
Quote
Keep in mind the Duty Officer system is still in design discussions and that is the "brainstorm" whiteboard - so nothing is definite yet.

...

Right now I think of assignments as missions your duty officers perform for you. For example you could be in an exploration sector and an assignment could become available to send several duty officers to go investigate something. They go away, and after a while they return with the reward (well maybe they return and maybe they don't - depends on difficulty and danger). Greater risk - for greater reward.

That's one idea.
This sounds vaguely familiar to me. Wasn't there some other MMO that had the concept of sort of sending someone off to do something for a while, and they'd eventually report back with what they found/accomplished etc.? I don't think it was another space type thing though.

Not sure about existing MMOs, but it sounds a lot like what Bioware has proposed for SWTOR.
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« Reply #1887 on: February 11, 2011, 08:17:57 PM »

A thread reminded that the devs are sharing some pics here and there via Twitter (seems like Stahl uses an iPhone, and Tweets that way). Stahl's is at http://twitter.com/Cryptic_dStahl. For example:

http://yfrog.com/h3f1kkqj
"Testing episode 4 [of Featured Episodes series #3]: coliseum. Gotta stay low and stay outta site of those fighters overhead."

http://yfrog.com/h6eigbpj
"Geoff (systems design) sitting next to the Duty Officer system brainstorm whiteboard. Can't wait to see mockups. "

------------------
Yeah I remember the SWTOR stuff, thanks for jogging my memory. As far as something else, I might've been thinking of some single player RPG where you could send off companions to do this and that, and eventually they'd report back to you with what they found.
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« Reply #1888 on: February 12, 2011, 02:02:30 AM »

Quote from: Blackjack on February 11, 2011, 08:17:57 PM

Yeah I remember the SWTOR stuff, thanks for jogging my memory. As far as something else, I might've been thinking of some single player RPG where you could send off companions to do this and that, and eventually they'd report back to you with what they found.

I'm pretty sure I saw references on SWTOR fan boards that their system was similar to something in an existing MMO.  I don't know which one it is though.
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« Reply #1889 on: February 13, 2011, 08:10:46 PM »

Although the 2nd mission in Featured Episode 3 caused another server-bleep that required some emergency maintenance and further upgrades (according to Stahl, it's more to do with the server code responding in odd ways and not slotting players onto the less crowded machines on their server cluster, something like that), the mission has gotten many raves for its ground portion:
http://forums.startrekonline.com/showthread.php?t=201906

Many players are saying it's the best mission they've ever played in the game to date, some even saying it feels a bit like they're playing Baldur's Gate (!) or something. Apparently some very cool environmental stuff (a roving spotlight among other things), lots of chatty NPCs and branching dialogues, new Romulan miner costumes, lots of cutscenes, a new mini-game (for decoding something), and a decent amount of voiceover work, as well as a fun completion reward item, among other things.

The "testimonials" obviously spoil the show, so lets try spoiler codes.  icon_smile
Spoiler for Hiden:
I loved this mission. It is quite likely the best mission I have played in STO. The reasons I like it:

1) The place actually felt alive. People walking around. Animals at play. The "mine" car traveling between buildings. All added a depth of being alive I really adored.

2) There were people I could talk to that had a bearing on what I felt about the place without having them actually be needed to complete the mission. Very nice touch.

3) The cut scenes were well done and I actually had a little bit of sympathy for Jana.. yeah she was a romulan but she seemed dismayed over killing innocent civilizians. It made it that much easier to spare her life later.

4) The diplomacy solution. The guard that could be won over with enough diplomacy points... just cool. Sadly I didn't have enough so he died... still I like that diplo rank actually had a use. More of this please

5) Decoding the data. Just way to cool. Actually have a use for all the missions we have done. All that knowledge gained actually was usefull. Again more of this please.
==================
Also a shout out to the character artists.... those new romulan models and their uniforms are EPIC. When I saw Janek and Hareev in that cutscene, I was floored, they looked amazing, and the various disheveled looks of the poor civilians outside really stood out against them.
-----------------------
My favorite touch was the moving, dynamic searchlight on the tower: it felt very dire with that touch alone.

Don't take offense: I felt like I was playing a Bioware RPG during the Ground Portion due to the cutscenes. It didn't feel like an MMO. It felt like a really good mission in a really good SP-RPG.
======================
I agree with this in general ; but you FORGOT the to mention 'roving spotlight' too . The whole ambience of the Mining Colony was GREAT, SUPERB, can't say enough good about it - and I wish ALL content - even random eploration missions had a portion of this type of ambience. PLEASE consider this wjhen adding ANY new mission content.
======================
This mission was out of this world good - you know one of those really high quality console sci fi games (like Mass Effect for example)? You buy the game and you play it and that's it, other then the occasional DLC? Well today I felt like I was playing a high quality console game and not "just a MMORPG." [Yeah, I know, odd thing to say  icon_razz-bj] The graphical quality level was raised so high I think you're going to have to work doubly hard to maintain this level of quality, the mine town was THAT good. The active NPCs that actually were doing things was amazing as well.
------------------------------
the mission was probably the best mmo mission ive played let alone in sto. it reminded me of old school baulder's gate. an active town, people to talk to, random attacks by paranoid visters, side missions, roaming animals outside. even little things like the roaming spot light and the mine car on the tracks.
Alas, I haven't gotten around to completing the first mission. The stealth shuttle mission just plain confounded me.  icon_redface
« Last Edit: February 13, 2011, 08:12:40 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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« Reply #1890 on: February 13, 2011, 10:51:22 PM »

I preferred The Vault to the second mission overall, but, it does have a lot of interesting features to it.  If the ground combat were better I would have enjoyed it more.

Helps to have someone along with you.
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« Reply #1891 on: February 14, 2011, 10:33:37 PM »

Quote from: Blackjack on February 11, 2011, 03:29:02 AM

Jumbo King Size Collosal "Ask Cryptic"
http://www.startrekonline.com/node/2291

Quote
Q: John_pain: Will we ever see the Children of Khan as an STF or a Feature Episode series?

A: We wanted to get this in for Season 2, but it has been postponed since then. So yes, we want to see the Children of Khan in game at some point, and you may see them in a Feature Episode series in the near future.

KKKKKKHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAANNNNNNNNNN!!!!!! kiddies?
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« Reply #1892 on: February 16, 2011, 01:22:47 AM »

If you're gonna reference Khan, at least reference a YouTube video clip.  icon_cool

KHAAAAAN!
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRnSnfiUI54
=================

Nice News today:

Integrated Voice Chat Coming With Season 4 update
http://forums.startrekonline.com/showthread.php?p=3361636#post3361636
Quote from: dstahl
I'm working on the Engineering Report now, but wanted to share this tidbit -

We have signed a deal with Vivox [http://www.vivox.com/integration-services.html] to do in game client integration with their voice chat software - so you can expect in game voice support as part of the Season 4 release.

We talked about doing something like this at launch, but at the time we felt there were better clients out there than what we could get in game. Now that we've had time to investigate, we feel this will offer a great solution for players who want in the box integrated voice chat.
This should be useful, esp. for pickup groups. Until you realize how obnoxious everyone sounds and turn it off.  icon_razz

Also, Stahl seems to provide at least some hope that IF they can find a way to make the engine's camera work OK with more realistically sized (i.e., not gigantic ceilings and gargantuan bridges) bridge interiors, then they would take the time to re-do at least the bridge interiors and C-store bridge interiors, and people would at least have one less thing to whine about.  icon_smile
http://forums.startrekonline.com/showthread.php?p=3361586#post3361586

Talk is of course cheap but over the last few months they have gradually done many things that seemed like "pie in the sky" promises at one point.
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« Reply #1893 on: February 16, 2011, 05:17:22 AM »

Aaand, Stahl has the new Engineering Report...
http://forums.startrekonline.com/showthread.php?p=3361885#post3361885
The "In Development" section is usually worth a look, and it's a bit changed since last time.
Quote
In Development
These items are actively being worked on by the at this time by the development team.

    * New Ground Combat v 2.0 - major update to weapons and a new over shoulder aim and shoot (optional) reticle system
    * Fleet Action Lobby System (organize teams up to 4 teams and join or launch Fleet Action map)
    * New Running, Sprinting, and 8 direction of movement animations
    * Removing the concept of "Off-Duty" costumes and simply giving everyone "costume slots" you can use to store costumes
    * Vivox Voice Chat integration
    * Recipes to craft shuttles and fighters (including the Delta Flyer)
    * Recipes to craft additional melee weapons
    * Ability for shuttles to gather special data samples from anomalies
    * Prometheus Multi-Vector Assault console
    * Starfleet Jackets Pack (2409)
    * Additional TOS Uniforms (Dress Uniforms with Insignias and Kirk Green Wrap)
    * TOS Replica Bridge and Ship Interior (Bridge, Ready Room, Engineering, Hallways, Dilithium Lab, Lounge, Captain's Quarters, Transporter Pad)
    * New craftable consumable items
    * New Gorn customization options
    * New Loading Screens
    * More detailed Sector Space and Galaxy Maps
    * Reviewing designs of the STFs to determine areas that need improvement and ways to make these episodes better
    * Ongoing support for new Foundry features and updates
    * Explorable Sol System
He also mentioned they've decided to let players create Klingon characters from the get-go, rather than requiring you to get a Federation character to Level first. It'll require adding a new tutorial for new players who choose to go with a Klingon.

The Duty Officer system is still more of a discussion-stage thing at this point.
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« Reply #1894 on: February 17, 2011, 01:39:26 PM »

There's a peek at some way-early possible-conceptual art for the duty officer system:
http://forums.startrekonline.com/showthread.php?p=3364131#post3364131

And a player there pointed out that the "go send some characters [duty officers] away, and then they return from their own mission with some stuff" idea concept is one the turn-based videogame Final Fantasy Tactics also had.
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« Reply #1895 on: February 17, 2011, 07:38:44 PM »

Quote from: Blackjack on February 17, 2011, 01:39:26 PM

And a player there pointed out that the "go send some characters [duty officers] away, and then they return from their own mission with some stuff" idea concept is one the turn-based videogame Final Fantasy Tactics also had.

Has anyone tried FFT?  Any opinions on how well this system works?  The system just sounds bizarre and quite dull to me, but I might feel differently after playing it. 
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« Reply #1896 on: February 20, 2011, 05:24:48 PM »

Quote from: ydejin on February 17, 2011, 07:38:44 PM

Quote from: Blackjack on February 17, 2011, 01:39:26 PM

And a player there pointed out that the "go send some characters [duty officers] away, and then they return from their own mission with some stuff" idea concept is one the turn-based videogame Final Fantasy Tactics also had.

Has anyone tried FFT?  Any opinions on how well this system works?  The system just sounds bizarre and quite dull to me, but I might feel differently after playing it.  
The PSX version was one of my all time favorite games, and FFT: War of the Lions was good on PSP too.

I don't remember the whole "send some guys away and check with them later" aspect. Keep in mind it's not intended to be the meat of the game, or for STO, it's just some interesting flavor stuff on top of the regular gameplay, and maybe getting a nice surprise now and then when your duty officers report in - that's how I read it anywho.
=-===============
One apparently welcome breakthrough for STO, "the Star Trek murder simulator" (as some cynics called it  icon_razz) is that the dev Dozer (in charge of the "remastering" of some key missions but also part of the Featured Episodes team apparently) came up with a way to put targets in a "stun" state once their health drops to a certain point.

So at least now there's some hope of some objectives that don't involve annihilating an entire map -- you might stun key officers and beam them up (if they can find a way to do that as well), for example, or maybe stun some sort of alien wildlife to bring them up for more research etc. Really opens up the possibilities for more truly Trek-spirit stuff, if they can bring that option game-wide and to the Foundry.  icon_smile
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« Reply #1897 on: February 20, 2011, 05:38:52 PM »

The Old Republic has you choose crew to go do missions for you.
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« Reply #1898 on: February 20, 2011, 07:29:56 PM »

Quote from: Blackjack on February 20, 2011, 05:24:48 PM

So at least now there's some hope of some objectives that don't involve annihilating an entire map

but where's the fun in that? icon_twisted
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« Reply #1899 on: February 20, 2011, 11:33:24 PM »

Honestly with several of the mission types that are in the game currently, I've always wondered why I couldn't designate an away team to go take care of it. Go check on whatever it is and report anything notable to me when you get back.
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« Reply #1900 on: February 21, 2011, 06:55:11 AM »

Well, cancelled my subscription now, since I've logged on three times I think, since buying the game. There simply isnt enough of interest for me here. I will pay close attention to what the Forge thingie will do to the game though.

Thanks for keeping us updated, BJ!
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« Reply #1901 on: February 25, 2011, 03:20:00 PM »

Quote from: Jarrodhk on February 20, 2011, 11:33:24 PM

Honestly with several of the mission types that are in the game currently, I've always wondered why I couldn't designate an away team to go take care of it. Go check on whatever it is and report anything notable to me when you get back.
imho, that wouldn't be a game, it would be more like "this game is so boring, I don't want to have to actually play it." icon_smile And I agree that's my problem with most of the system patrols and the randomized stuff. A lot of that is mindless, and feels like the equivalent of doing "kill 15 rat quests" in a medieval MMO. It seems a better solution is to fill in the cracks with more compelling storytelling content and make leveling less contingent on doing generally boring, randomized stuff.

The Featured Episode stuff is great imho, and maybe a half dozen or so of the missions going back to launch are OK (Doomsday Machine, City on Edge of Never, Ultimate Klingon etc.). I think if the whole game were full of stuff as fun and interesting as the Featured Episodes, people wouldn't keep saying "I'm bored" and "there's nothing for me" but Cryptic didn't seem to have the resources to do that much.

If you have to search hard to find anything worth playing in an MMO, you won't stick around. They've also done a poor job of advertising the featured episodes in-game, aside from a one-time obnoxious popup menu when a mission launches on Saturday -- Stahl said they're adding a tab to the journal to make featured episodes easier to find, and be aware of. The only reason I even stumbled onto the first featured episodes when I returned to the game was because I was scouring my mission journal contacts list -- I could've easily missed the contacts for the featured episodes, as they (if I remember correctly) only pop on your list when you reach the level requisite for them.

As for the Foundry, I would've told Razgon to log onto the Tribble test server and hammer away at the user content there (though to be fair, the Foundry's been down for a while as they internally test a major update apparently). There is tons of stuff to play there, and the player creators are all pretty starved for feedback. I salute him for trying STO regardless.  icon_smile
===========================
Part 4 of Featured Episode 3 launches tomorrow:
Quote
Episode 4: Coliseum
Trapped on an alien world, the captain is forced to fight in order to survive.
So I assume they've got you doing some ground mission stuff sans your away team, which might actually make ground combat challenging for reasons other than the difficulty slider.  icon_smile

Also, the new melee weapons went on sale in the C-store today (I think you'll eventually be able to craft them, and probably there's some cheap way to get one when you do the Featured Episode tomorrow).

I think an earlier mission in the FE introduces doing some things on your bridge or elsewhere in your ship in terms of using computer consoles. So they're taking some baby steps into using your actual ship interiors for something other than window dressing.
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« Reply #1902 on: February 25, 2011, 11:44:58 PM »

Well, the missions where all you do is fly to the planet, beam down with one BO and wander through 3-5 items scanning... why is the captain of the ship doing this? Designating the science officer to take an away team to head off and do that while the ship does something else would have been far better for my tastes.

I like the system patrols myself, I really enjoy the space combat for one thing. I do agree that the featured episodes are of a much better quality overall.

That said, for me, most of the TV episodes/movies would be extremely boring to play in a game. I enjoy watching/reading that kind of thing, but, if I'm playing a game I want more action.
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« Reply #1903 on: February 28, 2011, 03:43:31 PM »

Quote from: Jarrodhk on February 25, 2011, 11:44:58 PM

Well, the missions where all you do is fly to the planet, beam down with one BO and wander through 3-5 items scanning... why is the captain of the ship doing this? Designating the science officer to take an away team to head off and do that while the ship does something else would have been far better for my tastes.
That seems like what the Duty Officer system will let you do, you just won't have to sit there in your bridge tapping your thumbs for 15 minutes waiting to hear back from AI about what they're doing.  icon_smile

Ultimately it seemed like what the original producer thought would be best for the game was a lot of fairly generic content randomly spat out at regular intervals so you'd always have "something to do." But really this is STAR TREK. Endless stories, characters and history to use in content, while hopefully still making it fun and interactive to play. The more generic the content gets, the more a complete waste of an IP the game seemed to be.

The current producer and team seem to "get it," and the hope seems to be that Featured Episodes, remastered versions of the best earlier missions, and whatever players create via the Foundry will fill the game with so much compelling content that you won't feel the need to do generic missions that could just as well be, well, Tabula Rasa as much as they could be STO.
-----------------------
I finally made some progress on Featured Episode 3, doing "The Vault," and "Frozen."

The Vault at times feels like -- for better or worse -- Descent, because you're piloting your little shuttle through tunnels basically. I got hit by an awful wave of Descent-like motion sickness on Sunday morning and had to "shut it down" for a time. There are some issues with a final exit door not being passable -- I found that logging off and logging back in later seemed to work things out and I was able to pick up beyond said door OK.

What I forgot about the shuttle is it can still use maximum impulse so that made it fairly easy to stay out of range of the space patrols.

It has a pretty cool consumable reward,
Spoiler for Hiden:
which lets you call in a squad of friendly Scorpion fighters in space.
=================
Frozen does have a cool ground environs with moving mine cars and the moving spotlight I mentioned a while back. It uses a substantial amount of cool voiceovers for some cutscenes, and briefly for some gameplay passages too. I think the only issue when a game adds voiceover for some things, and for others not (within the same mission) is it sort of confuses your expectations. Kind of like when AoC had voiceovers at NPCs in the early game and then not, after that.

It concludes with a fairly interesting "decryption" procedure you do using a console in the ready room connected to your ship's bridge. It's not anything too painful. If you're into it, and read carefully, imho it's fairly satisfying to figure out. If you get stuck, you just click a few buttons to run through the possibilities until you get it right. It's more of a text thing than a visual puzzle.

It also has a cool reward,
Spoiler for Hiden:
which lets you call in a Horta pet (if you recall the TOS episode, "Devil in the Dark"
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« Reply #1904 on: March 01, 2011, 04:17:05 AM »

I finally caught up on Featured Episide 3, completing part 4. Gotta say the best part of part 4 is the extensive voiceover work. They seem to have found a couple excellent "no-name" voice actors for it, and it's used quite a bit in branching dialogue as well as in cutscenes, and here and there during gameplay. I was telling Destructor I hope they use one of these VO actors to re-do that dreadful VO in "City on the Edge of Never," which while it was intended to be cheesy, is "bad cheesy," most of us agree.  icon_razz

Hopefully at some point they can animate the NPC's portrait pic a bit while they're talking. As it is, it seems as if they're communicating telepathically...

Wanted to share some of the VO, so check out a couple vids I uploaded to Photobucket. Crank up your sound.  icon_cool If it prompts you for a password, use: GamingTrend

Voiced Branching Dialogue in Featured Episode 3, Part 4: (this is the guy I think oughta re-do the City on Edge of Never VO)
http://s4.photobucket.com/albums/y121/corporalgeo/StarTrekOnline/?action=view&current=bd5d628a.mp4

Voiced Cutscene in Featured Episode 3, Part 4 (spoiler-ish but I cut it before you see how things turn out):
http://s4.photobucket.com/albums/y121/corporalgeo/StarTrekOnline/?action=view&current=65a44034.mp4

Gameplay voice during coliseum melee battle; plus, some familiar music TOS fans will enjoy  icon_smile
http://s4.photobucket.com/albums/y121/corporalgeo/StarTrekOnline/?action=view&current=1c99f084.mp4
*I gotta say, the melee battling in the coliseum felt crisper than the pew-pew battles in ground missions. Though maybe it's just that I never really tried to develop a melee character for the away team stuff.
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« Reply #1905 on: March 01, 2011, 08:59:22 PM »

Cryptic's seeking some feedback on some assignment ideas for the duty officer system (still mostly a "whiteboard exercise" at this point). That's, as I understand it, assignments you send the officers to go work on while you do your own thing, and eventually they return when they've completed (or I guess failed) the assignment.

Duty Officer Assignment Ideas
http://forums.startrekonline.com/showthread.php?p=3398623#post3398623
Quote from: dev Heretic
We've started putting together some categories of assignment and some ideas for specific assignments, and I was interested in getting your feedback on what you thought of them.

Note that the idea is that only some of them are available at any particular time depending on what sector you are in, your faction, your captain's rank, what achievements you've done, and so on:

Assignment Category Ideas
Diplomatic (e.g., "Host Peace Treaty Ceremony between X and Y")
Scientific (e.g., "Research Photonic Algorithms", "Research Borg Nanomachine Micropathways")
Engineering (e.g., "Level 1 Diagnostic" - regular xp reward plus death penalty removal)
Military (e.g., "Suppress Gorn Uprising on S'Yahazah", " Troop Transport to X")
Exploration (e.g., "Archaelogical Dig on X", "Decrypt Alien Sensor Traces")
Espionage (e.g., "Eliminate Orion Corruption", "Spy on Romulan Praetor")
Medical (e.g., "Medical Relief of X")
Colonial (e.g., "Supply Run to X", "Establish Forward Base at X")
Development (e.g., "Crew Leave on Risa", "Engineering Conference on X")
Recruitment (e.g., "Starfleet Andorian Cultural Exchange", "Klingon Gorn Conscription Order")
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« Reply #1906 on: March 01, 2011, 09:24:56 PM »

Quote from: Blackjack on February 28, 2011, 03:43:31 PM

...

The Vault at times feels like -- for better or worse -- Descent, because you're piloting your little shuttle through tunnels basically. I got hit by an awful wave of Descent-like motion sickness on Sunday morning and had to "shut it down" for a time. There are some issues with a final exit door not being passable -- I found that logging off and logging back in later seemed to work things out and I was able to pick up beyond said door OK.

...

Ugh.  I've been planning to play through the new Featured Episode sequence soon, but Descent used to make me feel like vomiting.  Definitely no longer looking forward to this.
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« Reply #1907 on: March 02, 2011, 01:20:48 PM »

Quote from: ydejin on March 01, 2011, 09:24:56 PM

Quote from: Blackjack on February 28, 2011, 03:43:31 PM

...

The Vault at times feels like -- for better or worse -- Descent, because you're piloting your little shuttle through tunnels basically. I got hit by an awful wave of Descent-like motion sickness on Sunday morning and had to "shut it down" for a time. There are some issues with a final exit door not being passable -- I found that logging off and logging back in later seemed to work things out and I was able to pick up beyond said door OK.

...

Ugh.  I've been planning to play through the new Featured Episode sequence soon, but Descent used to make me feel like vomiting.  Definitely no longer looking forward to this.
It's not THAT long, and it's not that hard.
"That's what she said!"  smirk
Um. I just mean, it doesn't take that long. Just know that some of the doors in there are "pass through" -- there's sort of a circle on them that illuminates and then you can ride through.

If you get stuck on the final exit door, try logging off and logging back in later (you shouldn't have to start the entire thing over), which for me picked up beyond the stuck door OK.

So, as a fellow motion sickness sufferer, I say, please don't be scared away by my comments earlier.  icon_smile Also, I believe there is at least one respawn point within the Vault. So if you do get ill, you should be able to log out and return to that point or thereabouts OK.
----------------
"Amok Time" is the TOS music theme you get to hear in the Coliseum mission (#4 in the FE). Someone at the forums suggest they try to get permission to use the Doomsday Machine TOS music ("DUH-duh DUH-duh DUH-duh Duh-duh... repeat") for the remastering of that mission, which sounds like a good idea if it's something CBS has or can get the rights too.
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« Reply #1908 on: March 04, 2011, 09:20:38 PM »

So the limited reward for completing Featured Episode Series 3 (all of its 5 missions) by March 24 is... (was revealed on the web site's calendar)
a Reman Bridge Officer

imho, a bit of a letdown compared to the individual mission rewards, which include a Horta pet (a la TOS's Devil in the Dark), and a one-time space combat consumable item that summons a friendly squad of Scorpion space fighters. icon_cool

The 4th mission has some of these Scorpion fighters (enemies in this case) flying overhead while you're on a ground mission. It's a neat effect though I think maybe it's more of a window dressing thing, sort of like an animated sky backdrop.
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« Reply #1909 on: March 07, 2011, 03:27:04 PM »

I finished the last part of the Featured Episode over the weekend.

The last mission introduces some interesting things, including a funky blue "map guidance" feature where clicking a button causes an animated blue line that goes through the environment (rather than your map or minimap) to guide you to an objective. It's useful on maps where you have different elevations and things overlapping each other.

They also do some cool things with calling in "space bombardment" from your ship against ground targets. You don't see your ship but you see phasers, torpedoes or whatever crashing down.

An earlier mission rewards you with a 50-use Scorpion space fighters call-in consumable. It's very useful and fun (basically, like having 5 fighter pets whenever you want).

I still think the first two Featured Episodes were more fun, and The Breen to me had better - or at least 'cooler' imho - dialogue (I hope The Breen eventually gets some more voicework in it). This latest one does have awesome voiceovers, cool mission rewards and introduces various cool technical features we'll probably see more often in FEs down the road, and I suppose eventually in The Foundry too.

I'm pretty close to finally getting my Tactical officer to Admiral and I'm eager to see what kind of ship I can get. I think I can get the cruiser that has "saucer separation" as an ability.
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« Reply #1910 on: March 14, 2011, 03:10:19 PM »

Producer Stahl shared a little blurry glimpse of the revamped ground combat 2.0 (over the shoulder):
http://yfrog.com/h0zxmyzj
Quote from: Stahl
Farkaly is cleaning up in the ground combat 2.0 playtest. I am liking the new recharge times. Combat feels better.

A little more explanation here (that particular PC is connected to an image projector so the screen resolution is off (the reticle is likely smaller at the proper ratio), he says):
http://forums.startrekonline.com/showthread.php?p=3425585#post3425585
Quote from: dev Farktoid5000
That picture's not ideal because I had the resolution running 16:9 on a 4:3 monitor. It was necessary because we've got a projector hooked up to that particular computer and that's how it has to run. So if you run the game in the proper resolution, you get a larger FOV than you see in that picture.

I'm also in aim mode there, which is our version of 'iron sights'. Normal view is further out.
Some of the other changes are supposed to be "8-direction movement animations" (which should get ground combat characters less klutzy in combat), and weapons having varying maximum ranges (present in Champions but for some reason not in STO). Whether that will all be enough to turn a sow's ear into a silk purse (or a sow's purse into a silk ear?) is anyone's guess but it sounds promising enough.
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« Reply #1911 on: March 16, 2011, 04:55:12 AM »

Stahl's latest engineering report:

Engineering Report - March 15, 2011
http://forums.startrekonline.com/showthread.php?p=3433463#post3433463
All that's really important to know is...
Quote
March 28th is the tentative date on when we expect the Foundry to go live on Holodeck. The team is diving through all the Foundry bugs and working to get as many of those last minute assets as we can into the system before it is unleashed.
The bad news is they've concluded it just isn't technically feasible to move the Foundry missions from the test server to the live server. The code is different, and sometimes put stuff in their Foundry missions that aren't in fact on the live servers etc. Apparently moving the handful that they did was a helluva tough thing that required a lot of hand coding and changes to make it work.

So a lot of what is good on the Foundry on the test server now would have to be replicated from memory, so to speak.

Just about everything else that's really promising, including the Ground Combat revamp, building up staff so they can do maybe 7-9 featured episodes a year instead of 5, and more of the remastered early missions and the Duty Officer system etc., is a ways off. So I think I'll keep on Rifting for a while and see how the game shapes up in Spring and early Summer. icon_smile
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« Reply #1912 on: March 25, 2011, 07:24:51 PM »

The Foundry Goes Live Monday, March 28:
http://forums.startrekonline.com/showthread.php?p=3452967#post3452967
Quote from: Stahl
The Foundry is now in final internal testing ON HOLODECK - so our QA team is now creating test missions using last night's build update. So far we are on track for the Monday release. This is a big technical switchover as well so we have a lot of coordination going on with our Network Operations team since the Foundry requires a new integrated server farm in order for people to edit and publish missions into the real game.

As with any launch of a big feature, we'll be watching closely and if anything does arise, we have our software gurus on tap to make sure the release goes as smoothly as possible.
Since they ultimately found it technically unfeasible to bring over test server Foundry creations to the live server, it'll be interesting to see how quickly some of the more lauded authors can replicate some of their content.

I'd be more excited if the ballyhooed ground combat revamp was in place. That's not likely to come into play until June or later as part of the Cryptic-wide major code update (I think that's what it's called), from what I've read.
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« Reply #1913 on: March 26, 2011, 04:59:32 PM »

The new ToS bridge and ship configuration are now available on the Cryptic Store.  As an old school ToS Trekkie I may have to check it out.  I should hit max level in Rift sometime in the next week or two, that might be a good time to go back to exploring the galaxy in STO.

These look very nicely done representations of the ToS Enterprise.  The bridge still looks a tad bit too big, but certainly much better scaled than the current mondo-size bridges.





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« Reply #1914 on: March 26, 2011, 08:17:03 PM »

As an old-school Trekkie myself, I only have to say this: That. Is. Awesome.
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« Reply #1915 on: March 28, 2011, 05:48:13 PM »

It's alive!!!! The Foundry, that is...
http://forums.startrekonline.com/showthread.php?p=3459501#post3459501
Quote from: producer Stahl
As you may have noticed, we have enabled the Beta Foundry service on Holodeck [live server] this morning.

This means that you will now be presented with two options on the character selection screen - Play and Create.

In order to Create Foundry missions, you must select the Create tab and define a "testing" character that you will use for play testing any missions you create. [important point to know, if you haven't dabbled in The Foundry on test server-bj]

Any Foundry missions you create will not become available for others to see until they are published.

Once they are published, they will not show up in the player created mission tab until they have been peer reviewed. If you would like to review newly created missions, there is a review content option that will allow you to search for new missions waiting to be tried. Be warned, with many new players getting their hands on the editor, there may be a lot of "hello world" missions at first.  icon_razz

As with any Beta, we will be monitoring the systems closely and if we see any problems we will address them asap. This is a complex new system and this is the first time it has been open to the public on our primary shard Holodeck. Be warned that we may need to turn it on/off at a moments notice to address any concerns, but our goal is to have a smooth launch ::crossing fingers::
*Just a reminder -- they couldn't figure out a feasible, smooth way to bring stuff over from test server so don't expect to see the good stuff from there right away. I haven't stayed up on things, so I don't know if some of the creators of the best stuff on test will try to replicate their stuff, or if they'll just do something new.

Thanks for the ToS shots, definitely glad they're scaling down heighth/expanse of bridges to something in the vicinity of what we remember from the shows. I think they're supposed to eventually go back through the existing bridges to see what they can do about scaling those down a bit too. Supposedly it was a limitation related to not letting your 3rd person camera view get wonky (Champions' interior missions have some cathedral-size areas too), though it sounds like they've found some good workarounds to that.
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« Reply #1916 on: April 07, 2011, 02:48:14 AM »

Ask Cryptic for April
http://www.startrekonline.com/node/2370
And the Magic 8-Ball predicts most of the answers are:
"We're working on it."
"Maybe later."
"It's a possibility."
"Maybe in the next big update." smirk
With that out of the way, some highlights...
Quote
Q: deeboboy Are there any intentions of making ground pvp first person shooter like star trek elite force?

A: Elite Force was a great use of the Quake III Arena engine, and while MMOs are much different underneath the hood (dealing with a wealth of additional client to database transactions for starters) there are some first person shooter aesthetics we are considering optional as part of our ground combat updates.

For example, players will have the option to switch to a reticle aiming mode, where instead of tab or select targeting an enemy, you can aim your reticle over a target to select it, and then use mouse buttons for primary, secondary, or tertiary firing. That is only a secondary and optional portion of the ground combat changes.

The biggest changes you will notice is the increase in responsiveness when using your weapons. Our goal is to have weapons respond as fast as possible when you click an attack power. This involves various speed improvements such as reducing the frames between when you click a power and when the client registers the input, to reducing frames for various weapon powers to animate, to speeding up FX times for the weapon to draw on screen and then matching audio to this new speed.

The end result is that when you click to fire your weapon, it should feel much more responsive and give you a greater sense of control.
======================
Q: picardalpha2clearance What is the ETA for voice chat in game and will there be a special hailing UI? Also, Is the new ground combat going to have a cover system?

A: The Vivox voice chat integration will go live when Season 4 releases this summer and there will be in game UI to control the voice chat features.
[no to cover fire system, but some more emphasis on changing aggro targets when getting behind cover]
As part of our ground combat update we will be tuning our LOS rules so that if you manage to duck around a corner or break LOS with your enemy, they will be more likely to switch agro to something that they can see. This has been in the game for a while, but something we are fine tuning to make it more obvious.
=====================
Q Narosian: How is the ground combat revamp coming along and when can we expect it to hit Tribble?

A: Kit changes are mostly done. Power bar speedup is mostly done. We have prototype weapons done for pistols and most rifles, and are now working on the assault weapons. Once the prototypes are done, then we need to propagate all the changes to the thousands of weapon items in the game. We expect to have the first batch ready for testing towards the end of May.
======================================
Q Russell-KV4S: We are already coming up on April, how many Feature Episodes could we see in 2011?

A: While we are still adjusting schedules and hiring the necessary staff, our current projections show us starting up Feature Episodes after Season 4 launches and then continuously releasing the Episodes from that point forward with a maximum of 2 weeks off between series. This puts 3 Feature Episode series definitely on the books, and we’re trying to get in one or two more before the end of the year.

So out of the 26 weeks in the second half of the year, we expect there to be Feature Episodes at least 15 of those weeks and we’re shooting for 20 and if we’re lucky then maybe 25 weeks of episodes (but that’s a huge stretch with no downtime between series). Much like a TV series, we are limited by the amount of time it takes to make the episodes, and we are doing as many as we physically can without burning out the team.
I just hope the ground combat revamp makes it at least a little more challenging without forcing you to have to slide the difficulty slider to max to get any sort of challenge (and in my exp it then makes space combat horribly tedious by giving enemies ships a ridiculous amount of HP).
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« Reply #1917 on: April 07, 2011, 05:09:14 AM »

I have a few days left before my subscription runs out again. Should really log in for a bit.
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« Reply #1918 on: April 07, 2011, 02:37:56 PM »

Quote from: Jarrodhk on April 07, 2011, 05:09:14 AM

I have a few days left before my subscription runs out again. Should really log in for a bit.
At the least, the Foundry creations are in full swing now. You can at least get a taste for what players much more clever and committed than me can accomplish with it.  icon_smile

I'm sort of on hiatus, I suspect when the ground combat revamp goes in is when I'll most want to re-visit. Though I might dabble in the Foundry again at some point.
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« Reply #1919 on: April 08, 2011, 09:29:56 PM »

Well, this is interesting. The much maligned original STO producer Craig Zinkievich has returned to Cryptic, now in some sort of executive position (chief operating officer), overseeing all of their games.  paranoid
Quote
I felt a great disturbance in the Force, as if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror and were suddenly silenced. I fear something terrible has happened.
Oops, wrong franchise!  icon_razz

So Zinc is back
http://forums.startrekonline.com/showthread.php?p=3481318#post3481318
Quote from: dstahl
I'd like to reiterate as I did in the interview that I am very happy that Craig is back at Cryptic Studios. He and I have been in regular contact ever since he left and having him back in the Studio is a huge benefit to STO because he knows the game and knows what the team has done with it since launch. He and I work well together and you're only going to see more goodness in the updates to come.

It is no secret that we've always had a smaller than normal team compared to other studios. Even wikipedia seems to point to the different staffing levels of various companies. The point is, our team kicks huge amounts of butt and we will continue to deliver the massive levels of updates moving forward that we already have in the first year.

Over the last few months I've been talking about how we have been rearranging schedules and working towards more content. All the changes happening around the STO team and have Zinc back are going to help that.
Ultimately, they had to edit and lock the thread because of all the Zinkievich-bashing.

Fair or not, Zinkievich is viewed as the "over-promising launch producer who focused the game on bland, randomized patrol missions" and Stahl is seen as the near-savior who helped steer STO from train-wreck status into something that a realist would admit still needs a lot of work but has a lot more compelling content (Featured Episodes) and content creation (The Foundry) going on.

I would liken it to Age of Conan's launch producer (most of AoC's improvements were under his replacement, Craig Morrison, who cut his teeth on Anarchy Online and seemed to have a better handle on what a post-launch MMO needs) suddenly showing up at Funcom as an executive. Or it's like in my newspaper job once or twice where a horrible co-worker went away only to suddenly show up at our sister paper and then in our building. This did happen to me once, quite terrifying.  paranoid
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