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Castle Thorn Software / Nexeon Technologies | Official Site
MMORPG | Genre:Sci-Fi | Status:Final  (rel 09/21/07)  | Pub:Castle Thorn Software / Nexeon Technologies
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StarQuest Online Forum » General Discussion » An Unbiased Review...

4 posts found
  HalfEmpty

Novice Member

Joined: 10/20/06
Posts: 45

 
OP  11/08/08 1:48:41 AM#1

I've played StarQuest Online off and on for a little over a year, both Fleet and solo. These are simply my  opinions, related from a strictly neutral point of view. 

Graphics - They won't be winning any awards anytime soon, but that's not important considering the conceptual scope of what the game world has to offer. What it lacks in graphical polish, it more than makes up for in detail, depth and freedom of choice. While there is much room for improvement, the graphics are perfectly adequate for their intended purpose.

Game Performance - Assuming one meets the minimum system requirements, the performance is a mixed bag at the moment. It's not terrible, nor is it great - it depends on where you are and what you're doing (and often how fast you're trying to do it). Yes, there are bugs, lag and periodic crashes..however I've never seen any real "show-stoppers" (although hitting lag spikes in ship-to-ship combat comes close).

Most annoyances of this type will come in the form of things like using Lift Tubes, trying to go up/down stairs (I dreaded going to the Assayer at the starport) or having buildings disappear, etc. The Devs try to fix these things, but it's still somewhat rough at the moment, especially when it comes to moving around or dropping/placing objects.

Game Mechanics (Fleet) - Much attention is devoted to Fleet and most new players will start off here - it also encapsulates most of the mechanics a person will experience in game, so I use it here in the occasional example.

While one technically never has to set foot on a starship, StarQuest Online is primarily a starship simulator, and it does an excellent job of simulating it. The ships are fully realized structures (not maps) with many configurable systems onboard. Everything is treated with the degree of complexity such a subject deserves. It is a truly unique thing in the world of MMO's, and will give any player  something to put their brain into.

This degree of simulation also presents unique challenges when it comes to the human element of the game. In order for a ship (like a fleet ship) to be viable in combat, it must have a dedicated and experienced crew to operate it and keep it's systems repaired. This requires alot of time and coordinated work - and I do mean work. When you combine this with differing time zones, levels of player dedication and playstyles the contrast between Game Theory and actual Game Play can seem stark. Yes, it sounds cool, but it can be a real drag sometimes too.

When you've spent many hours getting you're skills up to par only to find your ship was destroyed when you were at work or out at dinner and have to start all over - this is where you may start to have second thoughts about the game.

Grinding/crafting for money to buy a ship is nothing compared to having to regrind your skills constantly everytime you die. Money, on the other hand, is easy to make. 

Community - It is a small, enthusiastic and loyal community. I've found most players to be mature and helpful, although, like most games it has it's few exceptions. As with any small gaming community where everybody knows each other on the forums, there are egos, politics, petty fueds and squabbles. But you get that sort of thing with humans. If you hate that stuff, you can always go solo.

For what it lacks in a manual, there is no question that will go unanswered if asked - no matter how incoherent. Just make sure you sign onto the forum. The devs are as engaged and responsive as you could ever expect, and for whatever flaws the game itself may have, that one thing goes a long way - for me anyway.

Interface - This is where the game fails unquestionably - and unfortunately, it's a terrible place for any game to fail. If the interface for a game presents a serious hurdle for average gamers - especially potential paying ones - it will hamstring the growth of the game.

Most people will eventually adapt to using any interface, no matter how klunky or awkward, if they have the incentive (like earning a paycheck). With games, it requires a certain elevated level of incentive on the part of the player. Only those with the highest level of interest will invest the time to conquer the interface, let alone the game itself.

In this case, it poses an unneccesary barrier. I've tried to get friends to join me in playing the game, but they all decline saying they don't like the interface (all say it's a cool concept - they'd reconsider if it were free). This game deserves a better interface. If the devs spent the resources to overcome this obstacle (and it is an expensive obstacle) I have no doubt the game would take off like wildfire. Getting new players to check out the game is one thing. Getting them to stick with it is another entirely.

There are so many aspects to a game like StarQuest, there is no way I could cover them all in one post...but for those curious about it, hopefully you'll find this generally informative.

But don't take my word for it. Try the 30 day free trial and decide for yourselves if you're really interested - you've nothing to lose.

  AlloughN

Novice Member

Joined: 12/13/07
Posts: 169

A team can never lose, even if it is defeated, as long as it remains a team.

11/08/08 2:39:29 AM#2

Very well written. Its the type of stuff I would want to read before starting in a new MMO.

 

  Mgoodman

Novice Member

Joined: 11/08/08
Posts: 8

11/08/08 4:06:52 AM#3

this is a fare review and your right the only way to know if it's right for you is to give it a go 

 

just to update on some of the problems you had with things like lag and using lifts, in less I have been very fortunate these things have now been fixed. And since we now have ship yards it is possible to save a version of your ship in one of these shipyards and have a new one built if it gets destroyed, it is now also possible to disable ships instead of blowing them up. Although disabled ships might get captured at least they can be taken back with some help and also disabled ships can be repaired now too. lastly from what I've seen skills do not take such a hit when you die anymore either.

 

This is a good point about the bugs (which is one of the things I love about it ), there are updates every week so as long as everybody communicates the problems they are having the admins are very quick to respond and fix them.

the interface is also slowly being improved with most of the patches we get.

 

I'm am not trying to go against your review I think it is neutral and fare, I just wanted to update you on the current status of it as it moves so fast.

 

but I'm glad you have took the time to write such a unbiased review

  A7XFan

Novice Member

Joined: 6/04/07
Posts: 19

11/08/08 3:57:46 PM#4

Very nice review. I agree with you on all of it.