Feb 282015
 

Thanks to Thomas “The Cryptic Cat” Marrone here are the official color codes for the Odyssey uniforms :

Feb 282015
 

In November of 2010, STO’s sector space got its first revamp. For the most part, it was cosmetic. Now it appears that one of the biggest changes players have been asking for is coming true. The sector block instance walls are coming down and each galactic quadrant will be a single instance. (Well, Alpha, Beta, and Delta anyway. Gamma has yet to be included in the game.) I’m really exited about this but I’m also exited about the cosmetic changes coming with this revamp too. Star systems will be at a much larger scale, and players will be able to fly to individual planets from sector space as well. Woohoo! Every time I start to lose interest in STO they always find something to get me into it again. (Insert Al Pacino Godfather quote here.)

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Full article HERE.

Feb 122015
 

One of the complains about STO is that as a player, especially a Starfleet player, you sure do have to kill a lot of people. That’s not very “Trek”. In many MMORPGs, the NPC have “fear” as part of their AI. (Or the player is able to “cast fear” on an NPC in the hopes that they’ll retreat.) This is something that STO really needs to implement in order to make the game more “Trek.” It could be used in 2 ways. Either 1) The NPC’s AI has a certain chance for “fear” to trigger (perhaps based on DPS the NPC takes) and when that happens the NPC retreats. (Either by running away or by beaming out. I bet the latter would be easier to implement) or 2) Player weapons with a “Stun” option would have a chance to trigger fear in an NPC triggering the death animation and then a beam out. Both these options would prevent the appearance of massive kills, and instead indicate the retreat of enemies.

Feb 122015
 

In my opinion, some of the most fun you can have in an MMO is when it’s alive, and unpredictable. In many MMOs this is accomplished by things like Open PvP where a group of players attacks another faction’s city or base. Since STO really doesn’t have opposing factions in the traditional sense, and probably won’t be introducing Open PvP any time soon, I suggest that STO expand on their “Red Alert” events.

Currently, while in sector space, there’s a chance that the Borg will spawn and you’ll have the option to enter an instance to fight them. (You can’t battle in Sector Space, it is for travel only.) While this is fun way to earn Omega reputation, it doesn’t really lend itself to world emersion because of the instance transition, and that in turn prevents you from feeling any excitement because there isn’t really any risk to you as a player. Entering the instance is optional. What if random encounters like these were implemented in maps, and not Sector Space? What if you entered the SOL system only to find a fleet of Jem’Hadar ships firing on ESD? Or if while on ESD, a large group of Elachi beamed down and started shooting people? I think these scenarios would be really exciting, and they could be opt-in only for those players who aren’t interested. (Each player could enable and disable character’s ability to enter an instance where “Chance Encounters” are possible. Cryptic would have to assign certain instance ranges for “Chance Encounters” based on player interest and activity trends. They’d also have to do a balancing pass on the friendly NPCs on those maps so that they’re effective against the enemy NPCs.) STO might not have truly opposing factions, but there are certainly enemy NPCs for all of STO’s factions to fight against. Elachi, Borg, Undine, Bluegills, Jem’Hadar, and True Way NPCs would be a lot of fun to fight against in base maps (ESD, Kronos, Starfleet Academy, Romulan Flotilla, KDF Academy, Fleet Starbases, etc.) and I really hope this becomes a feature in STO eventually. I think the framework is mostly there, but I’m positive load distribution would be a real challenge, as well as how they  would monetize it. Perhaps they could charge to unlock the “Chance Encounters” per character? Or they could make injuries mandatory in those instances and charge dilithium or zen for special regenerators?