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StarQuest Online

StarQuest Online 

General Discussion  » Finally free to shape History in SQO?

17 posts found
  yevoc42

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/27/08
Posts: 33

 
OP  7/26/10 11:17:52 AM#1

EDIT:  This thread is probably obsolete now.  The devs and admins have probably disappeared and no longer care, leaving the players FREE to play and shape history!  Considering my bitter past, I consider this an opportunity instead of a bad thing.  You only need good players and patience to generate content in this game.  The publisher doesn't meddle with in-game affairs and has even lifted bans on old players, so as long as enough of us pay the monthly fee, the game can continue however we see fit.

 

From the game description:    you and players like you will shape this world and its history into whatever you make of it. The designers of StarQuest Online have created the starting point, it is up to you to bring the world to life.

(Read the last 2 sentences to get the gist of this post)

Unfortunately, the above game description isn't quite the truth, as countless players have attempted to make a dent in this game's history in their own unique way, only to have the administrators completely wipe their efforts from the game either because it made other players unhappy or because it didn't mesh with the admins' own arbitrary view of how the game's story should unfold.

I'll give two potent examples of this:

#1       The most common occurrence is pirating.  In terms of gameplay mechanics, you are completely free to pirate other players.  In reality, the administrators restore assaulted ships and usually ban the pirates from the game.  A friend and I spent a great deal planning a pirate assault of a manned military vessel, and when we actually pulled it off, our efforts were completely reversed by the admins, and we came within inches of being banned even though we had played our parts perfectly without any foul play.  (Also keep in mind that military players get everything for free, so it was a very slight "death penalty" even if the admins hadn't restored them)   According to my friend, his group of pirates had all been banned over time by simply playing the game as a pirate, which I now completely believe.

#2      The Government.  Originally, players made up the entire political body of the Alliance and filled all of the positions in its military, allowing players to shape the game as the above description depicts.  In 2009, the admins became the permanent President of the Alliance with elections for that position permanently suspended.  Not so long ago, the admins took over the highest ranking military position as well instead of assigning it to another player.   The reason I decided to write this post revealing the ugly truth is that these actions are in direct violation of the Constitution of the "democratic" Alliance most players live in.  When I attempted to bring the current dictatorial form of government into the game's wiki documents, the admin president (who does virtually northing in the game itself) was very quick to remove them all.

I have other examples, such as taking a war to the home system of the enemy which is heavily frowned upon.  (See the "I was suspended" post.  A very similar thing happened to me when I attempted to end the war with the Klinshayans with a final battle.  Despite the amazing victory, it was reversed, and the war was ordered to never end, by the order of our permanent president)


In short, you are free to do what you please in this game as long as it doesn't run contrary to what the game admins want, and they have very, very specific desires for what the game will and will not do.  If you are a mover and a shaker at heart, this game will most likely frustrate you when you find out you are NOT free to shape this sandbox as you please.

  SnarlingWolf

Novice Member

Joined: 6/23/09
Posts: 2728

7/26/10 11:24:04 AM#2

You chose your words carefully and made all of your actions sound fun and exciting. However, at least to me, several of the things sounded like deliberate griefing of others. Maybe this is wrong because I haven't played the game, nor do I know its mechanics. But I find that usually when someone post on MMORPG about how bad and evil the admins/devs are in game X, they tend to tell their side as a innocent person just trying to have innocent fun. But when the full story comes out they typically broke many rules, or were purposely trying to grief others. So I will admit to being jaded to people posting such topics here.

 

I read the post as this: Players were trying very hard to go against the intent of the game and were griefing other players. The player run government was likely not working due to players getting into positions of power and then forcing everything to be beneficial to themselves/their guild. Seeing this the admins took over those positions so it would not happen in the future and tried to set the world on a course they felt would be more fun for the majority. I could be wrong, but that's how this post read to me.

  yevoc42

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/27/08
Posts: 33

 
OP  7/27/10 12:22:10 AM#3

You're right that many people feel that losing a fight = grief in this game, and that's a grey area the admins aren't willing to compromise on, due to their fear of losing the small but loyal playerbase they have.  (Aside from military players, the death penalty is the harshest imaginable, losing your ship and everything on it)

The issue I have is that the game is still advertised as being free-spirited, and the permanent change in the game was/has never been made explicit.  New / prospective players are fooled into thinking the main faction is still a player-run, democratic one because any mention otherwise is heavily censored.  If they were open about the game's changes instead of deleting posts about how players can no longer aspire to become leaders, it would've saved a lot of frustration of many players who thought they could make a difference in what was being done poorly.

For example, very recently our highest-ranking military player (who'd worked well over a year for his position) was stymied several times by the self-imposed military and political leaders in his attempt to make events happen.  He had to resort to extreme measures to give the players anything to do that the admins wouldn't slap him for doing.  He eventually quit the game partially because of how impossible it was for him to do anything without permission or reprisal, and I assure you several of our previous brass have quit, telling me they never would have played so much or worked so hard if they had known about this impending frustration up front.

Granted, openly stating that you don't trust your playerbase and will always rule with an iron fist isn't exactly good PR either, but advertising the exact opposite of what you practice doesn't settle well with me.  If I'd known about this situation before I got started, it would've saved me countless months of effort against what was by definition an immovable object.

  yevoc42

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/27/08
Posts: 33

 
OP  7/28/10 1:43:53 AM#4

I would like to call this thread vindicated before laying it to rest.

Some players found out about the permanent Presidency today, and there was quite a public outcry when people finally realized from the admins' attempted censorship that there actually is no democracy and that a player election was long overdue.  The admins acted quickly and within hours made a different admin character President, saying she'd won the "election" when no election was actually held.  Players who've been playing only a few months are feeling betrayed and cheated because they're finally realizing what should have been told to them plainly and honestly from the start....

 

The admins make the history.  You are along for the ride.  That is Starquest's true game description.

  TravBurger

Novice Member

Joined: 10/08/07
Posts: 7

7/28/10 6:45:28 PM#5

It has never been a secret that the admins of SQO made the Alliance Presidency an NPC a long time ago, for the reason that unless the President was an NPC , the President was nothing but a target for every whiner, griefer and wanna-be to throw dog-poo at.

 

Some players with wishful thinking may have misled you, but the admins did not.

  SoloAnakin68

Apprentice Member

Joined: 10/04/07
Posts: 4

7/28/10 7:05:41 PM#6

The Alliance president is too much power for one player to have, it should stay NPC

And I played with Fleet Admiral Zane back when she was Captain Zane, and she is not an admin

Hopefully she is a better shot now than she was back then, and got gunned down on the steps of fleet HQ by a bunch of Tikopai marines when they invaded Earth  LOL

  yevoc42

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/27/08
Posts: 33

 
OP  8/11/10 10:53:33 AM#7

A brief aside about the griefing talk earlier...

I'd like to point out that when we attacked the military ship as pirates, they did so badly in the fight that we took pity on them, revived quite a lot of their dead crew, repaired most of their ship for them, and I even created a new character, leveled it to perfect gunnery skills, and left it on their ship for them to use as crew, as their gunner had died in the fight. I know I wasn't being accused directly of griefing in this thread, but it would pain me to be put in that category in our attempt to make some interesting battles in an otherwise boring universe, where the military crew was talking of quitting the game out of boredom.  (They ended up quitting later anyway)

After all that, we were still almost banned, and the military ship was completely restored by the admins a few hours later, even though the cost of them fixing the battle damage themselves was very little and would've given them something new to do.

  Morrok

Novice Member

Joined: 12/26/08
Posts: 132

8/19/10 5:08:13 AM#8

Two potent examples`?
I don't see anything potent.

#1 Piracy:
1) it is NOT the "most common occurrence".
Perhaps it is/was for you, but not for everyone else.
Not the least reason being that pirates aren't generally liked much, and especially because those "pirates" more often than not resort to exploits to perform their "pirating".
The actually "most common occurances" are exploring, cargo-delivering and mining.
i.e. generally people minfding their own business, as far away from others (that are only potential griefers anyways) as possible.
Kind of what comes with ANY PvP game, really.
2) military players do NOT get "everything for free".
They get the SHIP for "free, yes. And some equipment they can buy for prestige which refreshes over time, yes.
But fact is that most military players also HAVE to keep a civilian ALT around to sustain their military career.
3) something you completely ignored in your "evaluation" is the invested TIME.
Yes, "even" military players spend time working on their "free" ship. Decorating it, tweaking it, giving it their personal touch.
This invested time is completely wasted by people pretending to be pirates but that more often than not are simply petty exploiting thieves.
Since you did not really indicate which ship you "pirated" and how, i won't comment on that, keeping this reply rather general.
4)
so no, loosing a fight is NOT automatically griefing.
What matters most is the HOW and followed by WHEN/WHERE.

#2 Government:
Yes, players once formed the so-called government and yes, players held all the positions from MP's to president, from ambassador to fleet admiral.
And what was going on on the forums?
Strife, false accusations, fingerpointing, blame being thrown in all directions.
Not much fun, for either "side".
And eventually it got to the point where the then-acting president threw it all away and had Admins take over.
A discussion followed.
And Admins then decided that it's in everyone's best interest to withhold the "power" that comes from certain outstanding positions from the players themselves.
Yes, that way they can direct more what's happening in the game, and how perhaps too.
But fact is, it's become a lot quieter since then - and not only because some aggrieved players left.
Fact is, players CAN still make political decisions, but it actually takesteamwork and co-operation now to win over fellow MP's instead of winning one vote per year or so and then DICTATING policy.
But fact is too that players simply don't seem to WANT to work together, which is why we see posts like the OP made by people who liked (even embraced) the dictator-like positions and are now crying because they cannot reach that "goal" anymore.

#3 Home system:
Taking the war to the enemie's "home system" is NOT heavily frowned upon, it is outright forbidden.
It is also kind of useless, since you cannot actually conquer territory in SQO.
So there also is simply no such thing as a "final battle" - except perhaps from a player's perspective, meaning that one battle might be HIS final one in the game.


Yes you cannot really shape the universe a whole lot in SQO.
But that is due to missing game mechanics and the game design, not to some rules or recent actions.
AND that's a completely different discussion too.
As it is, you can still leave your mark in SQO's universe though, for better or worse.
 

  yevoc42

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/27/08
Posts: 33

 
OP  8/23/10 10:24:29 PM#9
The previous player position continuously required the majority vote from the main faction players, and the original player president would have lost the next election if the admins hadn't made the deal to make that person a permanent president.  Why I'm being accused of embracing "dictactor-like" positions makes no sense when the whole reason for my making the post was to bring light to the current dictatorial setup while lamenting the past democratic setup that wasn't given much of a chance.
Originally posted by Morrok

But fact is too that players simply don't seem to WANT to work together, which is why we see posts like the OP made by people who liked (even embraced) the dictator-like positions and are now crying because they cannot reach that "goal" anymore.

  yevoc42

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/27/08
Posts: 33

 
OP  9/21/10 3:18:46 PM#10

Since everyone who's posted on this topic are all former players (myself included), here is the recent forum post from the current SQO players on this very issue:

 

http://forum.castlethornsoftware.com/showthread.php?12604-The-fix-to-the-unhappy-new-players

  SimperFi

Novice Member

Joined: 7/18/08
Posts: 108

"Dance with me death...I am ready"

1/19/11 6:19:22 PM#11

Pirating is part of the game or they would not have built the mechanic for it. If the administrators are actual players in the game banning people for playing it, then clearly the 8.99 a month is not something I dont want to give them. Let alone my time.

 

 

I was literally about to subscribe to try this game on the other tab of my web browser. As it happened I read this first. Thank you OP you've just saved me money and frustration because I would never put up with that. I'd attack the admins instead.

 

 

To the administrators: The Nazi Empire has fallen, grow up or commit suicide, your defunct genetics are not welcome in my world. *insert ban*

  yevoc42

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/27/08
Posts: 33

 
OP  2/12/11 1:22:26 PM#12

Just to be fair to the game.... (read the bolded parts for the short version)

It's difficult to understand pirate/anti-pirate stances that SQO players have when looking from the outside.   Every undertaking in Starquest Online takes an enormous amount of time to accomplish because the game is so open-ended, which also shows that a lot of "mechanics" weren't intentionally coded by the developers.  For instance, attacking and killing NPCs on an enemy homeworld wasn't intended, but there was nothing stopping you until the devs finally hard-coded NPC invulnerability on core worlds (which took them years to implement and also has unintended/unknown consequences, such as making shark-hunting on Earth impossible).

Pirating is much the same way.  There's nothing stopping you in this open-ended game from taking weeks/months to build a ship and attack other "innocent" players, but it's generally frowned upon by developers because of how severe the death penalty can be.  (In a single minute of being AFK, a player could lose what took months to achieve)  Unfortunately, this mentality has led to the admins being overprotective against most unconventional forms of attack, which is intensely frustrating in an open-ended game.  However, the evolution of this mindset makes sense when considering the stakes.

After re-reading my OP pirate endeavour, I should also clarify that our successful attack should have had little "death penalty" upon the military ship, but it turned out they had no real engineers in their crew, so our attack's effects would have effectively crippled the ship until they could have either recruited or trained an engineer from scratch to replace the components.  (Materials are free for military, and each component replacement takes 30 seconds IF you are fully trained, but going from nothing to fully trained takes 10-30 hours of AFK grinding, presuming you have a character to train)  In the end, the crew was so unprepared that the ship probably would've been decomissioned as a useless hulk if the admins hadn't waved their magic wands, so that IS a pretty steep death penalty.   In contrast, a properly prepared crew would've taken 10-20 minutes to undo the damage, and in SQO, 20 minutes is a very, very light penalty for failure.

That was actually the whole reason we targeted that ship.  We knew they were unprepared, but that choice came at a price: unprepared means their crew not wanting to do the *work* (yes work, not really play) involved in fixing/securing their ship, and that path either results in a dead ship or whining to admins.  You can see how many players might resort to whining instead of doing the work, as their problems were fixed instantly with no effort.  (I should also state that we thought such a large ship with so much crew would have at least one engineer as a matter of course.  We wanted to win and make a point on how un-prepared the military was, but we weren't in our wildest dreams expecting to actually perma-cripple the flagship)

It's ironic really.  We spent over a month preparing for that attack (as good players do), we got lambasted by the community/admins and suffered perma-death, while the opposition made no effort, got instant gratification after complaining, and were even awarded as heroes later for their screw-up just to keep them playing.

Ultimately, it's a mixed bag with variable results and reactions each time.  A friend of mine who still plays made a 100% legit, legendary sneak attack which was immediately reversed by the admins, and he was shunned by the community for many months.  Fast forward to today, and he's one of the highest ranking, most influential players in the game.  I wouldn't be surprised if he still pulls some awesome stunts from time to time and just covers his tracks better than before.

  Morrok

Novice Member

Joined: 12/26/08
Posts: 132

3/13/11 9:14:58 AM#13

Don't you agree that it's pretty lame and a sure sign of frustration and try to "get even" when someone keeps on griping about an incident that's happened over half a year ago?

Especially when that someone has been proven wrong about the core of his argument?

 

Your most recent claims and my reply to them, just to put them into perspective for someone who does not know about you, your action(s) nor the game:

1) Every undertaking in SQO takes an enormous amount of time?

Well...

Most of that time is simple travel-time which can be cut down on by compromizing on "security". The closer you are to the core, the more prone you are to attacks from wanna-be pirates and other low-lives.

Getting a ship and shipbuilding facility and a ship to mine the resources for the new ship takes less than two RT weeks and is a one-time time-investment. When you have your template scan and ship factory the replacement of that ship is a matter of hours spent on mining and travel, plus 1-3days to build the ship, depending on type.

2) over-protective admins?

Well, for one thing it's been a while since Admins were doing anything really.

Second, they were never "overprotective". Had they been, they'd had simply implemented the safe-zones for all colored space for example.

Admins have a rather clear policy about what constitues griefing in their game, and have issued a FEW very simple-to-follow rules.

Alas, there are ALYWAYS players - like you presumably - who cannot even respect the most basic rules if they somehow conflict with their idea of "fun".

3) Your "pirate attack" that supposedly took months to prepare for:

ROFL....

Come on, get real!

You purposefully still don't mention exactly WHICH ship you attacked, nor where or how.

This is enough indication for ME to conclude that the target was the training ship of a faction and the place most likely even the core-system of that faction.

Which would clearly violate at least two of the about 3 to 5 basic rules that Admins have established in this game (but which are not fully enforced by mechanics, which means human action - like Admin's restoring destroyed or damaged ships - is still necessary).

Preparing for an "event" FROM SCRATCH in this game is a matter of hours, perhaps days but never MONTHS. And i speak from first-hand experience. You build a ship (takes 1hour to mine for plus travel time and the building costs max 3days), you take it to where the target is (takes max. 15hrs, if you have to fly from one end of populated space to the opposite one but usually much less than that). Then you wait for your target to appear (This can take long, unless of course you TALK to people and - god forbid - even SCHEDULE the event to some extent, for example by informing the CO of the enemy ship on at least your general location to have him come hunt for you).

Space is big, population is sparse so yes unless you inform people that you are there (and at least roughly where), you can sit on your rear for a loooong while without anything happening.

4) Your friend that still plays:

"HIghest ranking", "Most influential"... ROFL!

Come on...

Don't you know that the two are not connected in ANY way?

There are exactly 3players i would grant being "influential" in any meaningful way. And then there are many wanna-be's.

And your friend is most likely one of the latter - especially one name comes to mind by your description, but that's not here nor there.

Simply because of the low player-base, there ARE next to no secrets in this game, no "covering your tracks". You KNOW which player is prone to do which action in this game. "Proving" an involvement is - for the normal player - almost impossible though, which leads to the strange situation that the same player can be the head of an insurgent movement while at the same time being head of state or at least a member of the government he's trying to overthrow.

Generally frowned upon since it would at least be borderline to metagaming, but the norm in SOQ. Just some players do "it" better than others, and your friend seems to have - going by your description - learned to separate the involved characters a bit better than before.

  yevoc42

Advanced Member

Joined: 12/27/08
Posts: 33

 
OP  3/13/11 11:25:40 AM#14

I've stated multiple times that I want other prospective players to understand the experience they're in for.  I've been seriously misled in a few games, and this is one of them.  That's why I'm here.  I belabor this particular incident because it perfectly embodies why people should steer clear.

-We agree that travel time is the biggest time drain in most SQO activities.  We also agree that admins are generally inactive.

 

As for the pirate attack, there was little point in giving specifics to prospective players, but since you lept to the wrong conclusion....

-We infiltrated the Roosevelt, which was NOT a training ship and completely fair game.  (In fact, it was the only non training ship active in the Alliance at that time, making it the only legal Alliance target)    I strongly disagree with the don't-attack-training-ships rule, as new players have such a good time when they experience the thrill of combat and get their butts kicked.  (There's nothing quite like the bridge on fire with life support down, with the whole ship shuddering from torpedo impacts)  Despite my disagreement with the admins on that point, we respected that rule, as attacking newbies wouldn't have proven our point of Alliance insecurity anyway.

-It took us months because we built a spy network, recruited people, and trained them over time.  We drilled the attack several times and heavily monitored the Roosevelt for a time.  These activities actually involved 3 new players who decided to subscribe to the game from enjoying our mission so much.  We did NOT spy by placing crew in Roosevelt, in case you're going to leap to another conclusion.  We even dropped hints for a week that something would happen, and it went right over their heads.  The whole event even started with a communique stating that something was wrong and to be on your guard.  (The fleet people were armed and had rifles pointed at us from the start)

Bottom line:  It was one of the most enjoyable and heart-pounding undertakings for all 5 of us.  It was completely player driven, the enemy knew something was up, we thought we didn't stand a chance (but did it anyway for the heck of it), experienced the thrill of victory with our lone survivor....and it was completely reversed instantly by higher powers.  You'd better believe that all of us (even some of the ones attacked, once they were told the whole picture) were heavily disgusted. 

-As an aside, it turned out later that the game completely failed to render(display) a few players for one of the Alliance security players, which probably cost them the fight.  All I can say about that is *play from Europe at your own risk* and don't get worked up if nothing works properly in a fight, like weapons firing when you press the FIRE button.

-Your talk of meta-gaming with my friend is completely off-base, as it's all the RP actions and behaviors of a single character that's been around for years.  Every thing he's done is in-character (he's very particular about that), and it's still provoked admin action a few times.

  Morrok

Novice Member

Joined: 12/26/08
Posts: 132

3/31/11 3:58:46 PM#15

Thank you for the details.

I was obviously not on either the affected ships s i cannot comment much on that particular situation nor on what followed.

I guess we will have to take your word on it for now. Those truly interested in the other side's point of view can probably read up on it in the AAR's and forum posts of the time.

 

However, you still go a bit too far in my opinion with your "advioce" to other players.

Your experience is obviously not mine, even though i agree on some points you have raised.

Yes the game is buggy.

That is not tied to location you play from though - the lag and other issues (like the rendering you mentioned) are the result of amateur programming. Still, that's kind of to be expected from a bunch of guys who (have to) work on this in their free time. Especially since by now there is reportedly only one of them left, due to economical circumstances.

These guys have published prematurely, yes. Bugs exist, yes. Fixes are slow in coming, yes - unless it is a VERY impacting bug.

Still, within the limits of the flawed game design - which relies on "player-generated content" far too much - you can do a lot and have "freedom" that far exceeds ANYTHING i have seen elsewhere.

Which leads to the game's single most important flaw: It's community.

I said it above: One man's fun is another guy's harassment.

You said you dropped hints which went unheeded and all that. Has it occured to you that they were not interested or simply focused on their own business?

You also claimed that the Roosevelt was the only viable target at the time. I dispute that claim. You have a number of other races' ships, and you have civilians (some of which are very much open to the prospect of "hostilities". So why did you choose this particular target? Could it have been because the other guys, those more inclined to PvP were too tough for you?

And when you say "they were pointing guns at us from the start", then i put the whole thing (i.e. the fact that you "won") down to bugs. If that was the case (and you yourself supported that idea by your reference to the rendering issue), it IS natural - again in EVERY game - that bug-related losses are restored. Especially if the loss  means a lot of time-investment (yes fleet players invest a lot of time into their ships too, even - or rather especially - if they do NOT PvP).

So the question remains:

What are you griping over, especially that long a time after the fact?

You claim you had fun doing what you did, that even some of the others were enjoying it. Why don't you leave it at that? It's not like you could capitalize in any from such a stint anyways now, is it?

Other games would NOT have given you the freedom (bugs or not) to "spy" and infiltrate and subdue the ship's crew.

  Morrok

Novice Member

Joined: 12/26/08
Posts: 132

3/31/11 4:13:29 PM#16
Originally posted by yevoc42

-Your talk of meta-gaming with my friend is completely off-base, as it's all the RP actions and behaviors of a single character that's been around for years.  Every thing he's done is in-character (he's very particular about that), and it's still provoked admin action a few times.

That might be true in this particular case - as i said above, before that post of yours i didn't know exactly which incident you were ranting on about.

Still, take my word on it or don't, i have first-hand experience and "proof" of people claiming NOT to metagame doing just that, even people i otherwise respect for at least being somewhat fair while doing it.

And "in-character" is a matter of perspective too.

If you create a character in team A and have another of your characters in team B approach him and "bribe" him, it might be "in-character" for the player doing it, it still remains metagaming though. And yes i have seen and experienced exactly this, so my claim above is not as "completely off-base" as you want people to believe it were.

This game's boon is also it's bane: It's players.

I've met very decent and "caring" people there, and i have met what probably is the snot of the world.

Problem is that a few of the latter can spoil "it" for all the rest, due to the bugs (exploiters are rampant, especially among the PvP "community" just like in every PvP game i've seen so far) and the often-mentioned lack of mechanics (which other people call "total freedom").

 

And strill, despite all this, this is a game with unique qualities like a) a space-sim with b) multiple crews in c) a huge and "scientifically accurate" universe.

It deserves that every potential player makes up his own mind on it, not you "advising" people against even trying it because you FEEL wronged.

 

My personal take on the game:

It is flawed, it needs a lot of work yet, but it is unique in more than one ways and definitely on my watchlist.

  DLangley

Novice Member

Joined: 1/13/10
Posts: 1430

3/31/11 4:14:50 PM#17

Please do not necro post in old threads.