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All Posts by yevoc42

All Posts by yevoc42

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33 posts found
Originally posted by Rdizzle
If so im in?

Starquest is the ultimate space sandbox MMO.  I've played just about everything that claims to be space+MMO, and this is still the only real one.  (Except for Shores of Hazeron, which is usually unplayable)  SQO is the *real* Star Trek online with some
Star Wars elements thrown in.

The problem is that the game interface is a "punch in the face" (to quote my first superior officer), and the bugs have remained unchanged since 2008.  The developers abandoned the game years ago, and the publisher is running the SQO server on a very old machine that's running other junk as well, which makes the game performance even worse than it used to be.

SQO is more or less feature complete, but it's just like real life: it's hard to have fun if you're the only person in the entire universe.  Oh, and the learning curve is almost as steep as real life.  You usually need someone to spend hours or days of their lives to get you up and running in terms of training.  (I'm not talking about XP/level training, but just learning the game.  A truly fully leveled character can take a month of AFK grinding, and you can never have enough fully leveled characters, provided you have enough ships that need crew.)

The plus is since there are so few people logged into the server, you shouldn't have lag issues anymore.  It also means you could theoretically build a one-man empire and take over the entire game universe if you were insane enough to spend that much time on it.

I recommend you don't.  The game is addicting once you see its promise, but it will ultimately disappoint you, causing you to leave and return to the game multiple times like the rest of us junkies who can't seem to permanently let go.  (The real problem is that the game starts to break down once more than 10-20 people log on, and that will never allow you to have the fun you're looking for)

As someone who's worked on both sides of the fence (gamedev and publisher), my experience resonates very much with Chris' statements. Granted, I didn't work for any super big publishers, but the idea was similar. Ironically, as a dev, I was far more insulated from public opinion on a game than when I worked on the publisher side, and I probably cared more about the games I was involved in when I was a publisher's lackey. That's not as sinister as you may think, as a dev, I was a server rules guy who "just needed to get things working," while I was knee deep in the marketing with the publishers.

HOWEVER, as a publisher, not a single dev studio appreciated us, and I can say that with confidence because we (publisher) were constantly manipulated and lied to, and once it even devolved into a legal battle. As a publisher, our big-wigs were very interested in the illusion that they could order the studios to do/make anything they wanted, and a great many times, we clearly dipped our hands into the game-sauce a bit too many times, as the fruit of our demands almost always ended up with watered-down implementations that clearly showed that either A) the studio was understaffed to handle it or B) didn't really want to do what we asked. Funnily enough, some of the dev veterans at the publisher outfit wanted to gather funds and pick up some of the dead games themselves. A few times that actually happened with games that you've probably heard of, but every last one of them fizzled or eeked out a painful existence because they simply didn't get enough funding to really do enough. At that point, it was more a love affair with a shell of a game that needed to be let go.

If you can get everyone on the same team/side/vision with enough resources (which never happened for me), that's the best chance you have at following through with a title. Virtually no game has the funding necessary to do absolutely everything on its own, so publishers almost always bring something to the table, but it obviously adds more cooks to the kitchen than devs would prefer. Star Citizen is wading into more or less uncharted waters with the kind of funding they've garnered, and it's the kind of waters that most of us in the industry would love to dive into.

Bottom line: Having a huge pile of money with no strings attached to do what you need really helps your chances. If they really do have enough to do it themselves ($27 million for everything they want to do? That's a stretch in my mind), then that's great. If they find themselves lacking near the end, I'm sure they can find a publisher. Even then, having the luxury of only seeking out venture capital when the game is virtually completed is still a great place to be.

TES stands out from other games with its twitchy first person combat system coupled with massive exploration. 

Seeing a bear sprint at you gets your blood pumping because you know your reflexes in the next 200 milliseconds will save or doom you.  (Same goes for stealth)

Based on what we've seen of TES Online, this kind of immersion/gameplay simply will not exist, and I will refuse to call it a TES game.

  Why they went for massively multiplayer instead of smaller multiplayer on a twitch-based game series is beyond me.

 

Originally posted by GeeTeeEffOh


    Originally posted by yevoc42

    

Based on my SWG experience, I think I met this person once. This person probably operated on my server based on his description of his Coronet analysis (A billionaire owned the best Coronet malls who made a lot of real $$ from SWG), and I'm forever grateful for his efforts.


    



    Why am I grateful? Because he did us a SERVICE. Not only did I probably spend $10 getting credits from him to get my own operation started (which saved me ENORMOUS amounts of time), but his amazing mall layouts breathed life into that city. A friend of mine eventually convinced him we'd be the best Shipwright vendor in Coronet, and once he leased us a prominent vendor spot, we got easily 100 times the viewing exposure we got at the other 6 vendors we had combined. Sure, he shaved off of my profits, and I plunked down $10 to start my SWG experience, but I made so much money in so little time that I was no longer mining/prospecting/crafting full time anymore and was finally able to spend much more of my time PvPing in Deep space with the best ship components on the server.


    

He without doubt jumpstarted my SWG experience more than any other player. Even more than my guild.


    

 


    

This person (and people like him) did not destroy anything. He took a valuable area and made it extremely efficient for all. A tangible service was provided, and we paid for it instead of traveling to the backward areas to get what we wanted.


So then, You broke the ELUA too?


 


 

 

I paid $10 for 1 mil creds about a week after I started playing.  That was probably breaking the EULA.  Otherwise, no.  I got a very good vendor spot in Coronet mall.  That's hardly an exploit of any kind.  The building owner (presumably the article writer) took a significant chunk of my profits, but the location/layout was picture perfect.

My point is, anyone can squat on digital real estate, but he put an enormous amount of effort into his land, and everyone benefited from it.  After I made tens of millions of credits, I eventually sold my ship items at his mall way below competitive prices, and he didn't replace my vendor despite the obvious drop in profit.  If he were a purely evil jerk like everyone may be led to believe, he surely wouldn't have let that go on for so long.

Based on my SWG experience, I think I met this person once. This person probably operated on my server based on his description of his Coronet analysis (A billionaire owned the best Coronet malls who made a lot of real $$ from SWG), and I'm forever grateful for his efforts.


Why am I grateful? Because he did us a SERVICE. Not only did I probably spend $10 getting credits from him to get my own operation started (which saved me ENORMOUS amounts of time), but his amazing mall layouts breathed life into that city. A friend of mine eventually convinced him we'd be the best Shipwright vendor in Coronet, and once he leased us a prominent vendor spot, we got easily 100 times the viewing exposure we got at the other 6 vendors we had combined. Sure, he shaved off of my profits, and I plunked down $10 to start my SWG experience, but I made so much money in so little time that I was no longer mining/prospecting/crafting full time anymore and was finally able to spend much more of my time PvPing in Deep space with the best ship components on the server.

He without doubt jumpstarted my SWG experience more than any other player. Even more than my guild.

 

This person (and people like him) did not destroy anything. He took a valuable area and made it extremely efficient for all. A tangible service was provided, and we paid for it instead of traveling to the backward areas to get what we wanted.

It's been many, many years since a non-admin has been president. Just over a week ago, the Alliance legislature (players) finally impeached the inactive admin president and re-instated a player president to run the game's main faction. Happy days!

1.  No.  The developers are gone.  The publisher remains committed to keeping the servers up as long as enough subscribers remain to pay the cost of running the game.

2.  Unless a miracle occurs,  the lack of future development is here to stay.

3.  Ironically, the developers tooks a super-active totalitarian approach to their game, so the game has picked up a little bit in activity once it was clear they were gone.  The playerbase remains healthy, and the number of battles/wars has actually been higher now than it was many times in the past.

4.  The biggest reason to play the game is that there's nothing else out in the market that anything like it.  If you want to immerse yourself in a true Star Trek-like environment with all of the complex gameplay you might imagine stemming from it, this is it.

The biggest reason not to play it is that the community is small, and everyone knows/hates/loves everyone else.  There is significant drama at almost all times.  The game costs $10 per month, and there are a very large number of bugs you must contend with.  The initial learning curve for the game is immensely steep, and it will scare off 95% of all new players who don't read the manuals or ask for help on global channels.  Space is big, so you need to be used to playing by yourself at least 50% of the time.

KOTOR II was NOT made by Bioware!! I feel a bit embarrassed for the author to include that game in a list of "high quality" creations.

Separating Dust onto the PS3 pretty much confirms my fears that space and planets will never merge the way a good sci-fi MMO does.

I'm really unhappy how the scifi MMO genre has taken a nosedive and has continued to dig lower starting with SWG.  I want SPACE, PLANETS, and to be able to walk around a damn ship with other player crewmembers!

I have definitely put 10 times more money into the sandboxes of the world than the themeparks.  Unfortunately, all of the true sandboxes are all but dead and gone now to the point where EVE is considered a sandbox.  Very sad indeed.


The industry has gone so far awry that I'm having to make my own MMO now just to have a single game to enjoy.


When small groups of people (or even single people) have very low hanging fruit to pursue, you know that overly large and myopic companies have been claiming the spotlight for far, far too long


Did you find and read the game manual?  It's much more complete than it used to be.  You can find it on a top link on the game's main site:

http://www.castlethornsoftware.com/SQOManual/gamemanual.html

Also be sure to start as a STARFLEET CADET to get the in-game tutorial (which isn't nearly as complete as the manual), otherwise you will be plunked on a planet and have absolutely no idea how to do anything and will log out in 3 minutes.

Don't forget that there is an in-game chat window.  Click on the middle left edge of the screen to open it, and press SHIFT+ENTER after typing to send your message to chat.

Did you find and read the game manual?  It's much more complete than it used to be.  You can find it on a top link on the game's main site:

http://www.castlethornsoftware.com/SQOManual/gamemanual.html

Also be sure to start as a STARFLEET CADET to get the in-game tutorial (which isn't nearly as complete as the manual), otherwise you will be plunked on a planet and have absolutely no idea how to do anything and will log out in 3 minutes.

While there are about 20 die-hard dedicated players now, word from the player trainers is that 1 to 3 new people are showing up per week.  It's just a question of how many decide to stick around.

The game gets more interesting with the more active players playing, so even doubling the number of players can make a huge difference in play experience.

Two of my friends went back to playing SQO, and the small but dedicated community is talking about how the devs/admins haven't done anything in over 6 months.   By anything, I mean not even a simple forum post or power tripping in the game, let alone sorely needed patches.

It is important to note that the company running the server is entirely different from the development company.  Their job is to keep the server running, nothing more, nothing less.

The good part about this is that players seem to actually be free to do whatever they please now, as the publishing company appears to have zero interest in changing the game.  The bad part is that the game is now static, bugs and all, and your $10/month are going to nothing but keeping the server running.

 

If the game ever managed to get a decent population going, it's dynamic enough for the players to generate the content needed without any admins/devs.

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.

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.

Wow!  SWTOR came out and we have no players.  That is really cool.  Oh yeah and there's a fun twist to our finale before we shut the servers down.  That's right, we're bringing Pre-CU back for 1 day so that you can all re-experience the fun we worked so very hard to destroy.  Awesome!

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

The training ship has been remanned.

Oct 11 2010 update:  The training ship is currently the only active ship in Starfleet with 2 or 3 semi-active players and 1 active player in its crew.   (Starfleet is the main faction)

The training ship which new players start in is unmanned as far as my latest excursions showed.  I will certainly update this if some brave souls start crewing the training ship again, but as it stands, one should expect to be alone (and possibly trapped) on the training ship for days.

 

This is a serious blow, as crewing the training ship with experienced players is very important.  Unfortunately, it's also a very draining job, as there is a lot of ground to cover with a new player before they generally have a clue.  (A truly trained cadet can take 5-20 real-life hours, and a well rounded Ensign can take 30-50 hours of player-to-player training. )

The game isn't dead, but it will certainly feel much emptier now to newcomers.

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