Hello, computer (and players)! It has been said that the development of a MMO and the direction it takes can attributed to those who were not afraid to speak out and gather followers who are in support of abstract ideas. As I have preached about since I took over the helm of the Captain's Log, the community has been at the forefront of the Star Trek Online universe. Bolstered by numerous fan sites and thousands of fleets and cemented by transparent developer posts and interviews, STO wouldn't be where it is today without such a passionate community. A lot of this passion takes its form through posts in Cryptic's official forums.
Whether the residence of your most beloved troll or the dwellings of your favorite developer, a game's official forums are a place to come together to rant, rave, and be that person who stands out and speaks up. The STO forums are no different. While the past few columns of mine have been about what the developers have said are coming in the future, I thought we should set a course this week for the forums and blaze a trail through the vast expanse filled with wants, desires, and demands. Shields up. Red alert.
Ensign, warp 10! What are the players asking for this week?
Now, before we start taking a look at some posts, it is important to note that not every forum post has lead to the fruition of a new feature; frankly, a majority of posts go unnoticed. If you're lucky, a developer takes a look, makes a post (which gets the thread into the closely watched the dev tracker), people catch on, start /signing, and eventually, change is brought forth... maybe. If you are even luckier, Cryptic buys your idea from you as it did ThomastheCat's idea for minigames. Thomas is now actually an employee of Cryptic and is on the web development team; listen about his adventure here. Without further ado, let's shed some light on some of those unnoticed posts with no replies.
This player has a very valid point -- the STO webpage features a ships section, which allows visitors to look at the various vessels available in game and some of their stats. The post is asking Cryptic to update the page and add in Klingon ships. While this may be time-consuming, I, as well as many others, believe this will help draw attention to the faction believed to be "unloved"; not having any representation in this section of the site does not help Cryptic's case that the Klingons are seen as equal. Want to see your Klingon faction represented? Tell the community.
"Ground weapons idea" by TrekTheStars
This poster would like "old-style" guns placed into the game, guns like Tommys, Lugers and Action Revolvers. While this thread has had no replies to it, I could see where these additions couldn't and could fit in. I could not imagine walking down corridors of a Borg cube and attempting to take out drones using a MP40. On the other hand, one aspect of Trek that I have always wanted to see in-game was the use of Holodecks -- being able to use these "ancient" guns in Holodeck programs, featuring the mobster era, would work perfectly. If you would like to see your favorite gun make it into the game, tell Cryptic about it.
"Automated defense battery: Let the masses enjoy it" by Asakara
This topic seems to pop up every week. Before the game launched, pre-orders from various merchants allowed you to collect exclusive items that were only obtained through that particular pre-order. The debate of the past year or so has suggested that some of these items have helped players have an advantage over others. The item in this discussion was one that, when equipped, shoots down incoming, targetable objects that can damage your ship (i.e., certain torpedoes, boarding parties). This has proved very helpful in PvP for me and has saved my ship many times. I agree that this item should be attainable by anyone, but for a price -- C-Store, anyone? If you have an opinion on the matter, share your thoughts.
One of my favorite events that I have been involved with includes the shuttle races my fleet put on -- participants had to carefully pilot their shuttles, and they were allowed to have only their engines equipped; whoever made it through the course first, won. This poster is asking for similar events to actually be set up in-game and be static maps that players can visit. Rather than seeing Cryptic create this, I would love for the Foundry to be used by the community to come up with different maps. I could see myself making a race that would take place in and around the planets of the Sol system. If you have some ideas on how shuttle racing could become a reality, make sure to post them.
"Self-sustaining endgames?" by Startruck
Currently, the biggest discussion going on in the forums seems to be about the lack of endgame content. While I have mentioned that there are plenty of things to do, even for someone like yours truly who has been max level for months, this poster mentions that there is some work to be done and calls for your suggestions; sadly, no one has responded. This thread could potentially receive dozens of ideas that could get noticed by a dev. In my own vision of endgame, I would like to see missions that are only available at the level-cap and that have a large reward for increased risk. For example, going out on a first contact mission could end in a new race's joining the Federation or a new war that sparks and brings you into battle. If you have some ideas for endgame content, rekindle the discussion.
Well, Captains, we have come to the end of this week's log entry. As we have discovered this week, no stone should be left unturned -- seek out those threads with little visibility and turn your ideas into the future of the game. If you have time, I invite you all to join me as I livestream STO next week. We'll spend an hour leveling up my Massively-exclusive toon, Bojangles, so tune in next Monday at 7:00 p.m. EDT. Finally, if you have a forum post that went unnoticed, one you think could be a positive influence on the future of STO, email me at email@example.com with the link -- I would be happy to post my thoughts into it and give it a little nudge. Until next time, cancel Red Alert and lower shields.
Computer, terminate recording.
Boldly going where no one has gone before, Brandon Felczer transmits Captain's Log through Subspace right to your PADD every Thursday. Join him as he discusses the latest news, gossip, and dev interviews about Star Trek Online. Hailing frequencies are always open to his bridge through firstname.lastname@example.org.