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?

Feb 102015
 

As a ship collector, I’m really excited about this.

From the STO Website :

We’re very excited to announce the brand new Tier 6 Command Battlecruisers that will be released soon. With the release of our anniversary update we added the awesome new Command Captain Specialization tree and Command Bridge Officers. These new starships will allow you to truly take advantage of these new Bridge Officer abilities.

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Feb 042015
 

There’s a game that’s parts of Q’s Party Patrol mission where mini-Qs hide inside 3 presents, and you must keep track of Q’s position (which box he’s in) like a shell game. In actuality, you don’t need to watch Q at all. If you wait for the shuffling to stop, and for Q to ask you which present he’s in, you can simply hit the “B” key to go into first person view, and pass your cross-hairs over each present. You cross-hairs will change to a gear icon over the present that Q’s inside.