Star Trek Online and the Traveling Problem

Posted by on August 16, 2008 - 5 Comments »

Beam me up Scotty!  Yesterday at PennyArcade they had a comic that illustrated the possible problem that might arise in the upcoming Star Trek MMO with traveling.  As with any MMO, developers must decide how easy traveling will be in the game.  How early should the player get a mount or vehicle.  Will there be teleporters?  Quick travel areas?  However with Star Trek, none of those things are needed if you can just beam from your ship to anywhere you want.

I’ll admit right now, I’m not a Star Trek fan at all, I’ve probably seen about a dozen episodes of the various series throughout my lifetime and 2-3 of the movies, but one thing I do know is that people can beam pretty much anywhere.  So how will this affect gameplay?

In the FAQ on the Star Trek Online website, states the everyone will be the captain of their own ship and as they gain skill will be able to command larger ships.  So perhaps the smaller ships will not have beaming capability until you reach a certain level.  This would delay the issue a bit, but what happens when you do eventually get a ship with the capability of beaming? Can I beam directly to where the quest tells me to go?  Perhaps traveling will be mostly in space?  But I do have warp drives, so perhaps not.

Many gamers including myself despise long traveling and see it as a waste of time and not actual gaming.  AoC was a good example of how not to do traveling.  There were many respawn points on a map and when you die you could pick any point to respawn at, which was a good way to travel around the map, however you had to die to do it.  Why they didn’t make it an option use these points when your alive is beyond me.   Just one of the many reasons that caused me to quit the game.  I did regularly ask other players to kill me so that I could use the respawn points, as being killed by another player did not give you a death penalty.   So with Star Trek Online perhaps having the ability to beam yourself anywhere will drastically speed up the game and bypass the grind of having to walk around everywhere.  However if they decided to restrict beaming, it will be interested to see how the community responds.

At this point I have no interest in Star Trek Online, however that could change if I start to hear good things about it.