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With all of the current Sci-Fi MMO's that are out there right now, Star Wars The Old Republic, Star Trek Online, and Eve Online, to name a few of the top ones for right now. we have so many to play and yet none feel truly Sci-Fi.
One of those games has proven one thing it can be better. star trek online is a fun game, and like myself, many fans of Star Trek play it solely because it is set in the Iconic TV Show by the same name's universe. but if anything it does prove is that all games in that genera of the industry can learn allot from it.
one of the many things I look for in Sci-Fi is that it should have a varied experience. and that is what the one game i mentioned above offers, but I still would like a game that has everything it does, but gives us a fresh new universe to play in.
So, to point out a peak purpose for this thread, I thought it would be fun to analyze the genera, and find out how would others agree would be the best way to make one that does just that.
In order to do this, lets first ask some needed questions about the genera.
until Star Trek Online came along, Why do most of the ones in the genera we had, only let us play only either, in space on spaceships, or as a person on the ground?
Star Trek Online has both, and even in spite of the issues with that game itself, both now and at launch, that was a good thing for the genera. star trek online isn’t that revolutionary in technology.
So the argument of not being possible before it came out seems to be unsupported and untrue, by the evidence it presents, simply by existing at all. it could easily run on computers which were so old that they still had a dial up modem installed. (I know because I play it on one, even though I upgraded it to DSL still, if the hardware inside of the computer is still stock as the day i bought it. then you cant argue that the tech for the game, shouldn’t have worked both ways before) the fact that it can shows it could have been done at any time before. they simply chose not to try.
another question for the genera to ask is, Why do most of the games in the genera have to be themed after some TV Movie or other media industries setting?
in the list of games I have posted above only one, is outside of the conditions of that fact. the game called EVE Online does not exist in some movie, TV show, or other media's, setting. that is refreshing, but it also is limiting because the makes of it were so unoriginal, it stagnated the possibilities that it could have had. they decided that all the players in the game could only play humans. (Don’t fucking quote the website bullshit, that the factions are different breeds of humanoid. to me they are all boring fucking humans! the word is even the first part of the term used!) that is against what I look for in a Sci-Fi setting of any kind, as I said I like variety, one race choice is pretty damn closed minded for such an amazing diverse visual game that EVE is, and that is just plain sad. it would have been fun if only they had given us more.(trust me however that is not my only complaint about the game, we just don’t have all day so I'll move on!)
for the most part those are both good questions to ask and difficult to also even answer. the thing is, they are trick questions. There aren’t even good answers. but with those questions come the most important one of all,
Why can't someone already made a new MMO in the genera that has everything that those others have?
my requirements of such a game would have to be the following,
It must have the ability to play both as a person on the ground (or any solid platform available. It's SciFi, so be creative. Space Stations Anyone?), and on a spaceship in space.
It must have more than one playable race. and that means besides a human! not just a humanoid. it must also have several choices to play with. I like variety!!!!!!
it must also have the interesting enough setting.
those are high requirements I know, but to get me to play, they are key points. the last one is much more flexible, I'm not against a movie or TV setting, it just needs enough interest to make me want to play in it.
The first requirement is the most important, if star trek can do it then damn it so can someone else. i always want to try an idea of a space setting with starships that actually work like starships. having space battleships dueling out like ships at sea but with the ability to fight in 3D space sounds like allot of fun. Star trek does it well, but it so far is the only one that does it well, and lets you go down to a planet and kick ass just as good! this game isn’t perfect however, it's just the best example.
how I would make it work? good question. lets start with the two game modes in star trek online. its the game I find does it the best., (lets just call them ground mode, and space mode, for easy reference from now on.) both are really fun to play.
in ground mode, when the game first came out, it played much like another game of the fantasy genera, World of Warcraft. basically walk around and click targets and attack them hitting buttons with the cursor just like WOW as most call it. but, months after release, they went back and changed all that, they added a revolutionary feature called the "Shooter Mode" this allowed you to shoot anything anywhere if you simply pointed at it with the built on screen cursor, this turned it into a shooter type game, and this made something, unfun and grindy, into something entertainingly fun and exciting. if I could make my own game I would have it work the same way, I wouldn’t even change anything.
in Space Mode I would make it work similar to the way it does in Star Trek Online, this is the best way to do it, but not the only one. the way weapons work in it, I would have a more "Space Battleship Yamoto" style feel to them.( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Space_Battleship_Yamato ) where basically the mouse cursor would control where the guns fire with the similar cursor the game uses in 'Shooter Moe" on the ground, but the keyboard controls the ships maneuverings and speed just like it does in Star Trek Online now, with few to no changes there.
The trouble with star trek online space weapons targeting is the fact that you cannot change targets quickly enough and that's its weak point. if you play the game for yourself you will likely agree. with the mouse cursor controlling the weapons by simply clicking on the target like WOW, this is the dumbed down way to do it. if we attach the camera to the mouse, and have a space based version of the games "shooter mode", it frees up the targeting to be like it does with the Ground modes controls. why the makers of the game haven’t done this is beyond me, as the fact that they changed it to do that on the ground months after the game came out. but still, they have in my honest opinion improved it as opposed to what it was. So, I still have hope they eventually will do it for space mode some day.
i also have an idea which isn’t possible yet, but its worth mentioning.
well, what if the space and the ground avatars could be able to affect one or the other? right now that is the only weakness of star trek online. the two don’t play together, and that one is the only way the tech argument would be plausible, as even Star Trek Online cant do it Yet. but, if you could, then it would open some good possibilities. I have heard that star wars galaxies did recently find a way to do it, but as its now going to close its hard to state it as a success.
so what do you guys think what else would you want in "A true Sci-Fi MMO"