I figured I would lump all of these into one post since my thoughts on them are very brief.

Star Trek Online
Okay, it’s being done by Cryptic. That’s not a bad thing but I’m not super hyped about it either. Cryptic has a way of making ‘good’ games but nothing that stands out to me as ‘great’. CoH was far too repetitive and lacked the depth to hold my attention. The same fate is entirely possible for STO. A few things from the official site caught my eye.

1. “Developed for both console and PC formats” – How many have said this and actually delivered?
2. “Surface, Shipboard and Deep Space Adventures” – I have a feeling the standard Cryptic over use of instancing may crush this one for me. With Star Trek’s transporters the ability to mask the abuse of instancing can be done with ease. Fly up to a planet, beam to the surface and suddenly you’re in your own little instance. Same can be said for shipboard battles. I’m skeptic about this one.
3. “With customizable ships and characters from the Klingon Empire and United Federation of Planets” – Bummer… I was really hoping to be a Romulan or Borg.

The positive in all of this is that Cryptic is far more stable and capable of delivering a game than some companies that could have snagged the IP. It has potential but where there is potential there is room for devastating let down.  Being a huge Star Trek fan I’m mostly worried about being burned.  I want the Star Trek MMO to be amazing.

DC Universe Online
I saw this video over on Gametrailers (part1 part2) [Thanks to Graev for pointing it out]. At first glance the game looks pretty good. I’m impressed with the scope of the city, although the video being shown is only showcasing the game’s ability to instance a “World quest” where Brainiac’s forces are attacking the city. I want to see what the ‘normal’ world looks like so that I can get a better sense of the atmosphere when it’s not instanced. As for the gameplay, the animations looked a little stiff but those things can be fixed. I was impressed with how relatively effortless much of the character’s actions were and how the character could pick up cars, busses, and other stuff to interact with the environment.

This is another game with potential. I could see it being a really -fun- game but also lacking depth and much longterm appeal. After a while the ‘awesomeness’ of fighting alongside Batman and Superman will wear off. What then? This ties back in to the post I wrote about ‘The itch’ and how I want a game that will allow me to dig in. Don’t let me down SoE.

  • re: STO:

    Cryptic has a way of making ‘good’ games but nothing that stands out to me as ‘great’.

    They’ve only made one game. Two separate halves, sure, but one game nonetheless. And they’ve said numerous times they had zero experience going into CoH and learned many lessons.

    Not being a Cryptic fanboy, I can’t play CoX more than a couple weeks per year because of the shallow repetition of it all. I think Trek is a horrible IP for an MMO, no matter who the developer is.

    1. “Developed for both console and PC formats” – How many have said this and actually delivered?

    That is better split into two questions: How many have said this? Honestly? Not many. It’s just the ones who have have all been fairly recent so the perception is that there are more announced than really have been. How many have delivered? One.

    3. “With customizable ships and characters from the Klingon Empire and United Federation of Planets”

    Horde vs. Alliance. Seriously. Is there any doubt whatsoever that the reality of this is going to be nothing more than Diku-based WoW In Space?

  • Aren’t the Klingons and the Federation allies?

    And even if they’ve made 1.5 games they’re still ‘good’ but not ‘great’, imo.

    As for mmo’s saying they’ll be developed for console and PC but end up only on PC there are actually a lot more than a couple or even a few over the last… oh… 6 years. Given that there are only a handful of triple-a mmorpgs released over the past few years it’s almost a majority. (I don’t count shovelware F2P games or ones developed for the eastern market)

  • Okay good, I’m not crazy. Why would it be a Horde vs Alliance thing then? Are they planning on taking liberties with it? That could quickly kill it for me.

    As for it being EQ/Diku-based, I’m really questioning its ability to take on that formula.

  • Also…

    Realistically, they could be fighting a much more interesting enemy like the Dominion (Cardassians and friends from Deep Space 9), the Romulans (despite the fact the alliance and the federation have a treaty of non-aggression). I can’t see the Borg being a viable race for the other players to be. They are the sworn enemies of every other race in the galaxy. The Dominion is actually the perfect choice because several races have formed together to create them: Jem’Hadar, Cardassians, Vorta, Hunters, and other smaller races. Plenty of room for creative expansion given that there isn’t a tremendous amount of information out there.

    Good lord. I just exposed the depth and intensity of my Star Trek fanaticism.


  • Now THAT would be a spectacular way to make it a faction vs faction game. Introduce the struggle between the Alpha and Gamma quadrants. I would totally be a Cardassian or a Jem’Hadar!

    Graev and I are currently watching the DS9 and Next Gen series on DvD again. We’re on Season 3 of DS9 right when it’s getting good with the Dominion.

  • Well its deffnetly better news for STO then the past. Where they not going to make it a free to play game where you had to do micro transactions? Plus Base federation was the only choices for a long time.

    But yeah i doubute that they will be able to mix a game with ships, space and planet combat… When you try to focuse on multable areas it just degrades the whole.

  • I could see STO being a really good or terrible game, I like sci-fi stuff though so I’ll give it a try either way.

    DC Universe looks a little better after watching the GT stuff, but not much. The E3 trailer was just so terrible, and the gameplay looks pretty mindnumbing as well. Doubt I will give it a try.

  • I’m very hopeful for STO – I’ve always been a Marvel guy so DC really doesn’t appeal to me that much.

    I’ll be keeping a close eye on the development of STO though, hopefully they get it right. They also mentioned something about going into the 25th century with the game – isn’t that after the time frame from the movies/shows? The treaty with the Klingons/Federation could erode…or it could be like WoW where the Horde and Alliance technically have a treaty but tend to break it in contested areas.

  • On DCUO:

    Yeah I don’t think fighting alongside Superman or Batman is awesome at all actually. When I’m playing I’d like the emphasis on my character thankyouverymuchly. For the same reason I disliked the SWG NGE concept of pal-around with Han Solo and Luke Skywalker. We can already see all these bigshot characters in movies, comics, etc. anyway, I really don’t want to play alongside them.

    I also worry about the DCUO descriptions of dogfight battles that will have characters bouncing off buildings and being thrown down the street. Sounds like a great single-player game, but a chaotic mess in an MMORPG. They will have to heavily instance, in fact I’d prefer they instance it a lot.

    I’d said this of Assassin’s Creed everytime someone suggests it be made multiplayer: I wouldn’t feel special climbing rooftops if a thousand other players were already up there. A superhero game needs to keep players apart as much as together. If everyone is battling it out in the same space, I’d expect it to suck… hard.

    With DCUO’s scope, I don’t expect to see the game anytime soon, if it makes it out at all. Maybe DC will come to their senses like Marvel did and realize their IP won’t get any boost from this game whether it’s good or bad.

    Call me a sceptic.

  • It also depends on which period in the ST universe it relies on. There are so many different versions (original, next gen, ds9, voyager, enterprise) that realistically it can take any time period and make a game there.

    It could be like the relationship between SWG and KOTOR Online (or whatever they call it) same basic universe but different time periods (and games for that matter).

    So it will be interesting to see if they decide to choose one, or try to combine them all.

    That being said. I am disappointed that for now there are only the Federation and the Klingons. I was hoping for much more and I think limiting the race selection to those 2 might be the first step in damning the game. Unless, like Scott says, its really the Federation and Klingon factions – in which case it might be more interesting.

    Or it could be just those 2, but your specific race as a character in the federation, could vary.

    Time will tell I guess.

  • Right, they haven’t exactly said when STO is taking place and are the Federation and Klingons still allies? Now… if they are allies and those are the only playable races… pure PvE game just like CoX started its life.

    As for it being EQ/Diku-based, I’m really questioning its ability to take on that formula.

    Why? The genre and its players have so far been unable to move beyond it. Just look at Champions… “oooh skills not levels, oooooh fast action, blahblahblah!” Then the gameplay video came out showing the same old generic slow Diku-combat we’ve been doing for a decade.

    It’s going to have leveling, Kill Ten Tribbles quests, gear upgrades… everything Diku MMO’s do and none of what Trek is. They’re totally welcome to prove me wrong, but I’m not holding my breath any more.

  • Also, just to add. I think MMOs need a real flight sim sort of feel to it.

    I tried playing EVE but didn’t really get into it.

    There is a real untapped market there. Jumpgate Evolution may help satisfy it, but STO could be the flight sim and the traditional MMO (dungeons/away team, pvp/space battles, raids/borg fights, economy/mining etc.) all in one. That would be something truly amazing… as long as they don’t fuck it up. 🙂

  • On STO:

    With Star Trek it’s probably wise if they make just a small segment of the entire universe, perhaps a bit of the oldschool stuff with just the Klingons as the main focus would work well. There are too many fans who’d want everything under the sun and this is already a fanbase that spends waaaaay too much time picking apart every bit of detail and compares it against whatever they consider canon.

    So they’re kinda damned if they do, damned if they don’t on any of the content they choose or decisions they take. Cryptic gets my best bet for likelyhood to complete a Star Trek game because they just may know when to keep their scope narrow. Oddly, that’s what they get critiqued for the most with City of Heroes.

    I really enjoyed City of Heroes when I first played it in 2004, it was “great” when it came out and by that I mean it was the best (and probably still is) example of a niche MMORPG that simply did what it did and did it well. An enjoyable small MMORPG that’s fun for a few months. There’s a lot to be said for a game where there’s an ease of jumping into a group with your buddies and just smacking at mobs without having to worry about all the little side things: interface, what level you are, etc..

    But yeah CoH also got repetitive and obviously it was trumped after WoW was released. A lot of folks like myself played it while waiting for WoW, and now here I am again playing it while waiting for WAR.

    If Cryptic is hitting the consoles with Champions Online and Star Trek Online, then a CoH kinda style is the right way to do it IMHO. Easy to get in, easy to get out. Save the depth for WoW and WAR, to carve out a more console-friendly niche. Anyone else here that played Phantasy Star Online back with the Dreamcast version? That seems to me the targetted audience. So far they’ve not announced any 360 delays for Champions, so I’m going to assume their concurrent development is on track.

  • I suppose they could always be going the Starfleet Academy/FPS route. I would much prefer a sandbox style game instead.

  • “the standard Cryptic over use of instancing may crush this one for me”

    Keen, you’re greatly overgeneralizing here :p Cryptic has ONE game. That’s hardly enough by which to generalize their ‘standard’ development procedures. We have no way of knowing at this point whether STO will be instance heavy or not. It’s certainly possible it may be, but the fact that Cryptic made ONE game that was, doesn’t mean all games they’ll ever make, ever, will be.

    Also guys, keep in mind it says “united federation of planets” and “klingon empire”, not ‘humans and klingons’. There could be dozens of possible player races based on that description. We’ll see.

  • STO – Ship are going to be the games achilles heel. Much like jedi or dragons.
    Everyone will want one.
    How do you reward guilds?
    Will uber guilds get the best ships and run the (pvp) game much like it looks it will happen in War?

    DCU – Reminds me of those old Freedom Force games.
    But it’s made by SOE. I wouldn’t trust them not to f*up Pong-Online.

  • @Graktar: Yeah, I probably am over generalizing. I have to say though that I feel completely justified doing it. CoH’s was/is over instanced. That forces it to be repetitive and shallow for me. The exact same thing plagued Pirates of the Burning Sea. The exact same thing will probably plague that Champions Online game. The same thing that STO runs the risk of being ruined from.

  • @Isonox: How have guilds ever been rewarded? Seriously, they’re little more than a chat channel. At most, we’ll get a guild hall which is just another recall point with no real meaning otherwise. I’d love for games to start upping the ante for what guilds are for, what they can do, and how to reward them as well. Unless I’m missing something, it isn’t being done yet.

    @Keen: was CoX “over-instanced” or was it simply that they over-used the same instance sets that made it seem so repetitive and shallow? The second gets my vote.

  • @Scott: Good lookin’ out. Both, in my opinion. It was over-instanced and they over-used the instances that they over-instanced.

  • Posts are kinda old in reference to STO.
    It is shaping up to be not Star Trek other than skinned. Episodic adventures are sounding like WoW multi-level quests. What is missing at release being promised later, we know how that goes. STO is starting to look like the next MMO flop. I could be wrong tho it could be worse. WoW is not so bad but in space, I think Blizzard could have done a better job.