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What's up with Star Trek Online? 79

Posted by Zonk
from the can-i-get-a-glass-of dept.
MMORPG.com has a piece talking with Daron Stinnett, producer for the preproduction-phase MMOG Star Trek Online. They discuss the decision to only include the Federation in the game's launch, the gameplay both on starships and planetside, and the many ideas still being nailed down for the title. From the article: "The uniforms are a good example of an area where we've needed to evolve the look of Star Trek to support the game. Star Trek uniforms from the shows tend to be very subtle in their variation, which of course works when you're filming close enough to make the actors themselves the stars of the show. But for an MMO, It's well understood that giving players the ability to customize their look as their character evolves is an important part of any MMO as is the ability to recognize player rank and specialty from a distance. So we have created new uniforms that are still very recognizable as Star Trek, but with recognition and customization features that will work well in our game world."
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What's up with Star Trek Online?

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  • They're... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by thesandtiger (819476) on Friday March 10, 2006 @06:58PM (#14894893)
    ... called "UNIforms" for a reason. One form.

    I agree, in a game they need to be a little more dynamic, look different etc. It'll be interesting to see how this gets pulled off.
    • Yeah, they're so uniform in appearance.
      • So for years we had to play males in games because that's all they offered.

        Then they finally introduced females, and for years that's all we played for the novelty.

        Finally, it has come full circle. I can now play a male in a skirt. In a uniform skirt.
        • I can now play a male in a skirt. In a uniform skirt.

          Great Scotts! Your a member of a bagpipe brigade?
          • No, this is an 00ber-dork reference to one of the very first episodes of TNG, wherein a male was briefly seen in the background in a female-style skirt outfit. Not a kilt, a skirt/dress thing similar to Uhura's.

            Though I'm sure it was attempting some kind of openness in dressing styles, it was mocked heavily and was never seen again on anyone.
  • by thewiz (24994) * on Friday March 10, 2006 @07:12PM (#14894986)
    when you play a Betazoid?
  • by GmAz (916505)
    I would probably try the game if I could be a Klingon or a Furangi (spelling?). But I guess I will wait until they add that in, or if they add that in.
  • by Tackhead (54550) on Friday March 10, 2006 @07:19PM (#14895041)
    NPC-Teacher: Your quest is to recover five Vulcan brains and re-implant them in their owners. Return here when your quest is complete for your payment of 100 quatloos.
    Eym0rg: "Brain, brain, what is brain?"
    CSR-Bones: "I'm a doctor, not a scriptwriter!"
    JimmyTheKirk: "eym0rg ur hot! asl? cyb0rz?"
    JimmyTheKirk adjusts his pants
    CSR-Bones: "And from my observations, it seems they're bisexual, reproducting at will."
    NPC-JamesTiberiusKirk: "I know, but really."
    CSR-Bones submits his resignation. CSR-Bones: "It's dead, Jim."
  • by creimer (824291) on Friday March 10, 2006 @07:21PM (#14895063) Homepage
    As William Shatner said in a video clip for one early Star Trek game, "Space is boring."
  • Meticulously sticking to details on the lighting of the carpet, but the uniforms need to be redesigned, yeah. The ones in their gallery just look wrong (example http://startrek.perpetual.com/images/gallery/conc e pts/large/1.gif [perpetual.com]), like they have hard plastic pieces attached on shoulders and chest and added some giant boots. Looks stupid and certainly not different enough from a distance to justify it, sorry, they fail.
    • Uniforms! (Score:2, Insightful)

      by fm6 (162816)
      On that same note: I'm still waiting for an explanation of the sudden change in uniforms coincident with the "First Contact" movie. Not the real-world explanation, which is quite obvious: the old, brightly-colored uniforms didn't go with the somber mood they wanted for the movie. But I've yet to hear an official trekverse explanation. Something like, "Star Fleet Command Directive 33863: Although it has only been a year since we last redesigned our uniforms, it has come to our attention that a planet which r
      • Probably because First Contact takes place during DS9. A surprisingly real-life reason too since they had to shift from peace-time uniforms to war-time uniforms.
        • Because the Navy dumped their post-cold-war peacetime uniforms for something more sinister when we went to war in Iraq. :-)

        • Actually, there was already a uniform change for DS9 -- the thing with the cute little collars. My first thought was that this was supposed to be a "space station" uniform, since initially only the DS9 folks wore them. But later they became standard on Voyager, which held onto them until they came back, presumably because they don't get Starfleet GQ in the Delta Quadrant.
          • The following should go without saying on these boards, but never the less:

            NERD ALERT!

            I think the show producers liked the idea of having different uniforms help give each series a different look just in case some Trekkie's brain explodes in the three seconds of confusion before realising what trek show is being shown. So DS9 looked different from TNG when they were on TV at the same time, and then when it was DS9 and Voyager they again choose to use different uniforms though I think there was some ove
            • Not a bad theory... you may be on to something there.

              I think that the uniform change could be explained in cannon but I won't bother.

              My guess is that as budgets got bigger they developed more elaborate uniforms (they made an effort to show a transition in Generations there where a few of both TNG and DS9 uniforms if I remember correctly) the origonal 2 TNG uniforms where rather simple and so was the first DS9/VOY uniform... when First Contact was made they redesigned the uniforms to fit with the style
    • I agree. But that's art folks for you. They're never satisfied to just give you what you WANTED.
    • For engineering, I can see that.

      But wouldn't the boots for medical be the same as the boots for Conn?

      And why is security wearing a girdle?
      • Well, it's bad enough if you drop a normal scalpel - imagine dropping a magic torch scalpel from the futar!

        As for the girdle, dunno. The whole thing does tend to remind me of an article in Gama Sutra (by Toby Gard, I think) once about how to design a character. They showed an 'enhanced' version of Lara Croft. Basically she had too many accessories and gubbins, and just looked too 'busy'. The security uniform in particular reminds me of it. Those boots don't look very practical, for instance.

    • This looks shit. And why? Because "customising your uniform is a big part of MMOs"
      BULLSHIT
      Just because its a big part of EverCrack or whatever MMO is trendy this week doesnt mean its carved into a fucking stone tablet that all MMORPGS must be the same. The concept on an MMORPG is great, but its totally ruined by:
      Different servers, I cant play with my buddies
      Leveling-up. Who gives a shit, some of us have a lfie and dont want to be outgunned as a result
      Grinding - I have a day job thanks, no need for another o
      • Maybe you should play EVE online then?

        - Everyone plays in a single huge server
        - There are no levels
        - You gain skill over time. Meaning you set a skill to train, and it trains - even when you are offline. Instead of 'grinding exp' it becomes 'optimize your skill train choices and train time'. Yes, it also means you won't be uber in two weeks if you madly whack the bunnies, but thankfully you can do lots of stuff in EVE just after couple of days of training (and learn the ropes from the get go). You, however,
        • Absolutely. Eve is the closest I've seen to a proper MMORPG, and I've played it on-and-off for years. The only negative thing it has is the way in which you can be so massively outgunned. Gate camping means that fairly newbie players literally have no chance. an ultimatum of "2million isk or we pod you" isnt much gameplay-wise when you dont have the cash.
          But eve is pretty good, and something other MMOPRGS should learn from.
          • So, you bring 10 friends and blow the wannabe pirate gatecamp to bits.

            I Do agree that EVE sucks if you want to play your _multiplayer games_ alone. However, as a cooperative game, in big corp belonging to a 0.0 alliance, it just rocks. Sure, you need to have some social skills, and be willing to play with others towards common goals, but if you don't want that, why play multiplayer games at all?
            • To escape my Drab, dreary life in a large moving universe in which I can operate independently and explore?

              No wait - the inability to simply do that and have fun is why I *don't* do MMORPG's . . .

              Dammit, when's Oblivion coming out again?
            • So, what 10 friends do you have when you're truly a newbie player?

              At least when skill = time, or skill = real skill + time, you never have the problem of "I am your God because I've been here since Beta."

              I like Nexus. I'll never have a Legend mark that says "Born before the Great Shift" (translation: been here since Beta), but I always have a chance to become more powerful than the guy who has.
        • One other bump for EVE in recognition of the GP's opening point: it has an extremely rich portrait creator. When I had an active account I only used two character slots. I kept the third so I could play with making faces. I'd pay $15 for the facemaker software to use as a party game.

          I suppose some could complain that you can't do much with the look of your ship, but I certainly wouldn't want every detail of my configuration available to anyone who can get a visual scan on me.
      • Hm, Ferengi... Imagine the trouble, rating-wise, they could maneuver themselves into when allowing players to stay on Ferenginar :-D Or a Betazoid wedding... That's R for no-nipples-nations like the USA I bet (though I wouldn't mind making the thing M, as long as players are expelled from starfleet (aka their account) for "gross public indecency" :-P)

        Instead of something interesting the aim for "Elite Force Online" (The plastic harnesses were crappy there, too, but at least they wore standard uniforms und
      • by cgenman (325138) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @03:31PM (#14899083) Homepage
        Everyone making an MMORPG has NO ideas and is copying the people who went before them, its really very sad. Why not get some people who
        a) Have some ideas on how to do an original and fresh MMORPG and
        b) are die hard trekkies who would laugh customisable uniforms out the room


        Because when a financer sees a 30 million dollar MMORPG development price tag, they want to ensure that the game will be a financial success by copying everyone else's financial successes (doesn't work, sadly). They want lots of control over who gets into positions of power in the game development team, and largely put in other toothbrush salesmen who also don't know the industry. These people generally hire the kinds of people who will do their bidding like a good employee, and listen too much to the marketing department.

        With so much money riding on the line, the project generally changes direction in a major way a few times over its life, depending upon the nervous whims of the leader or financers. Workflow and cost considerations ensure that the moment-to-moment content for the game is created by interns with no shipped titles under their belts. Employees get quickly burned out like some resource to be expended.

        On the other hand, you really do need some degree of visual customization of your avatar in a mmporpg, much more so than in a regular game. Otherwise the world quickly becomes a creepy endeavor of bumping into your long lost twins.
        • And so is reality.

          There's always going to be someone dressed exactly like you, with the same haircut, who generally creeps you out.

          But anyway, if you really want this to be customizable, do it with the faces, and have the build react to what the player is doing (so we don't all have super-hunks/bimbos).

          Leave the uniform the hell alone.
    • The uniforms are not Star Trek material. The 24th century is supposed to be an era where humanity has overcome the "look important" sydrome.
  • by Rob T Firefly (844560) on Friday March 10, 2006 @09:51PM (#14895940) Homepage Journal
    Dug up a script from my old Sealab fansite for this...
    Marco: So, are you married to orange for those jumpsuits, or what? Because I'd really like to wear blue, for a change.

    Sparks: The thing is, I already bought, like, five thousand orange ones.

    Marco: Because, when I wear blue, I am like the wind! A hot, Latin, wind! Whistling down the -

    Sparks: Look man, it's a uniform. Everybody looks the same? It's more terrifying that way.

    Marco: Could my pants at least have a boot cut? I'll pay for it!.

  • by Dachannien (617929) on Friday March 10, 2006 @11:50PM (#14896370)
    Picard: Number One?
    Riker: Yes, Captain?
    Picard: Let me ask you something. If I whispered in your ear that Commander Worf's head looks like a fanny, would you join me in a laugh?
    Riker: Yeah, I could get in on that.
    Picard: All right! Here it comes. (out loud) Commander Worf's head looks like a fanny!
    (Bridge crew laughs, except for Worf)
    Worf: You can both suck my ridges!
  • suggestions: (Score:5, Interesting)

    by cgenman (325138) on Saturday March 11, 2006 @12:43AM (#14896554) Homepage
    Allow all characters to participate in space combat in a meaningful way. If you have a minor ship, you may have to hide behind a major ship to keep from getting squished, but you should still be somewhat useful. Likewise, a swarm of 10 or 20 low-level ships should still be able to take down a high-level ship. Play the packs of rabble rousers against the single monolythic guardians.

    No single overarching "level." If players have engineering experience, they have engineering experience. If they make money and can afford a larger ship, their status in ship size is better. But no player should be "level 19" or "Level 105" or level anything overall.

    Put showmanship into your missions. Don't hire entry-level game designers to setup missions: hire entry-level film students.

    Shake up the world. The satisfying climax of Star Wars is the transformation of the galaxy. The interesting parts of Bound are the ones where the rug is pulled out from underneath you. When the player doesn't expect it, transport him to an alternate universe. Or temporarily dissolve the fedaration council, allowing him to get attacked with impunity. Or do any one of a number of things to alter the course of history. Maybe it is for everyone, like AC, or maybe it is just for them... like Guild Wars.

    • Re:suggestions: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by jdubois79 (227349)
      The satisfying climax of Star Wars is the transformation of the galaxy

      Are you just trying to start a fight or something?

      Trekkies have killed for less than that.
      • Trekkies have killed for less than that.

        As slow as those phasers are, I doubt I'll have any trouble dodging out of the way.

        -Eric

    • Re:suggestions: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by GundamFan (848341)
      There should not be "money" or "XP" involved with Starfleet advancement.

      Here is the way I see it:

      1. First day(s) of the game you start as a first class cadet on earth (A kind of tutorial but after a while it becomes more open to free play), and work your way towards graduation.

      2. After sufficient time at the academy (40 hours or so depending on the player) the player should have accumulated enough credit (advancement points) to graduate and take the rank of ensign.

      3a. At this point the player can take an NP
      • 12. Ongoing player content (endgame content if you will) should involve diplomacy, trade or conflict with neighboring aliens...

        This reminds me a lot of MULE. I could see doing something where players are Klingon, Vulcan, or Human aligned and any of the three factions can enter battle with any other one, then strip the loser for supplies. But all 3 would need supplies that only the other races can provide. Add in some feedback systems which encouraged a degree of pilfering without going overboard, and it
        • I agree, conflict is rare in Star Trek (unless they intend to set this game during some kind of war) so shooting back and forth should be only one way to solve a mission... But then again, the game would need to be inclusive to everyone including security.

          The trick would be to make a system where all classes are fun, people will fill all of the roles by them selves the Developer's role would be to make it so people don't regret those choices. For example: someone who is attracted to Science Officer should b
      • 40 hours for the TUTORIAL?!? Wow, even Trekkies aren't THAT obsessed.

        -Eric

    • Seems alright, but let's remember, not everyone should get to be a Starship captain.

      You could make it like any Star trek episode, where most of the noticeable characters are on the bridge, and each has their part to play in combat, and each can be part of a landing party.

      And one more thing: To make it at all like the series/movies/whatever, you're going to need a hell of a lot of content. That alone would separate it from being yet another WoW/EQ: To boldy go where, truly, no man has gone before, and hav
      • Exactly... the game should not be a "tread mill to Capitan" any rank should be fully palyable.

        Having said that... knowing gamers many would personaly set there goals to become a Capitan and "win".
  • this just goes to show that the producers are wasting a great opportunity to innovate in the MMO market. this bit of news tells me that they are reproducing the standard MMO. big mistake. and quite boring.

    if this is emblematic of the kind of imagination going into designing this game, i can already assure you that it will be a failure.
  • I'd play it. :D
  • Red shirt? (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    If you want to see some real action in the game, choose a red shirt....you won't last long though.

  • I want to play as a tribble.
  • Gamer: Ok crew, let's explore the galaxy!

    (moments later...)

    Gamer: Damn, our warpdrive failed and we have no impulse. Will someone send a petition to the GM?

    *FLASH*

    Gamer: OMG, it's Q.

    GM: No, it's just the GM. Because I have God-like powers, I take the form of Q.

    Gamer: Well, can you restore WD and IMP for us?

    GM: *snaps fingers* It's done.

    Gamer: Dude, your so 1337! Ok, last request. Sends our crew someplace awsome that will give us uber EXP real quick.

    GM: *snap fingers and vanishes*

    Gamer: What the hell is that
  • I, for one, can't wait to entertain my holodeck addiction.
  • Games like this would tend to have everyone piloting their own starship, so a guild would form a small fleet and do things together, but I could imagine another idea where ships over a certain size (like runabouts and up) allow you to have multiple crew onboard, and only become truly effective when staffed with multiple guildmates.

    For instance, one person could command the enterprise with computer assistance to do everything, but you can only concentrate on one thing at a time. However, someone with tactic

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