Cryptic Talks Star Trek Online's Space Combat, Away Missions, and Competing with WoW

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Oathbreaker

Tons of good info here, thanks for this I'm getting excited to check it out.

 One hint for Cryptic, don't listen too delicately to your audience, 95% of MMO forums is bellyaching.  I loved WOW for years but after reading the forums for so long I got pretty sick of the people that post on there.  Hell that's all game forums I guess.

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kiaghi7

I couldn't agree more, and to add to that sentiment...

The demise in quality for a MMO is when the developers acquiesce to board monkeys who do nothing for the game but complain about every trivial thing until they get their way.

Cryptic needs to take the hard-line and run it by the numbers. If X thing results in Y result, then the equivalent must be present for all involved, even if the method of achieving that end is different.

For instance if a federation phaser fires twice as fast as a klingon disruptor, but only does half the equivalent damage in the same measure of time, the methodologies are different but the balance is maintained by trading one benefit for one penalty in a structured ratio.

Obviously when unique skills, attributes, and abilities are factored in many difficult combinations or scenarios could arise and result in imbalance for one side or another, but again everything should have its counterpart. That being said, those whining that their “level one laser pistol of newbieness” isn’t sufficient to take on the most powerful enemies in the game should be ignored, not pandered to.

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mesiah

I think there is a good middle ground to the entire controversy about not losing your ship when it gets destroyed. A good alternative would be to have a sort of durability meter. As you progress through content your ship slowly loses durability during battles. Your crew members can repair your ship but at a very slow pace. The durability would be different than whatever is used to determine the equivalent of hit points. Losing durability would cause your ships overall stats to decline, speed, accuracy, etc. The rate of durability loss would depend on the kind of beating you are taking. If you get into a battle and only take some minor phaser damage you suffer very little durability loss. If you get one shotted by a massive photon barrage you take a large durability loss. Being destroyed and forced to respawn automatically gives you a certain percentage of durability loss.

The second part of the equation is repairs. Since your crew performing repairs will be extremely slow or limited, if large repairs need to be made you will be forced to go to a star base and switch to another ship while yours is being repaired. Depending on the damage the repairs could take an hour or even a day. If you allow your ships durability to reach 0 with no repairs you will either be forced to dock for an extended repair session or possibly your ship could even be destroyed completely.

I think a setup like this would give some repercussion to being destroyed while at the same time not cause players to lose their ship just because of a couple inopportune encounters.

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Muerte

Hmm.  Personally I think if you lose your ship you should lose your ship.  But I understand the other point of view.  But really how much value can you have in something you have no chance in losing?

Oh well, someday I'll develop my own game for me and the 10 other people who agree with me.

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Biceps

Then when I blow your butt up, you will lose your ship and we will both be happy :)

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nekollx

 So post on the offical forums for a Hardcore mode. "after you hit Admerial rank you unlock hardcore mode, where ship loss is permanent and escapepods with your crew can be targeted"

 

It could happen

------------------------------
Coming soon to Lulu.com --Tokusatsu Heroes--
Five teenagers, one alien ghost, a robot, and the fate of the world.

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fdiaz78

If STO has any similarity with EVE I'm done with it. I played that game for over a year and it was such a chore to get anything done even with a good corp. Honesty I spent more time offline waiting for skills for finish. What a deliberate time sink. Trust me I gave it a chance but I was not willing to grind mindless missions for weeks just to build up my PVP fund.

 Don't get me wrong, EVE has a rich, deep story but the game mechanics reward griefers and sociopaths who find joy in hunting other players and making their life impossible while calling them carebears. The worst part is that you actually pay a monthly fee to be harassed!

 Cryptic, please disregard any suggestions for any EVE-like game mechanics. Let those miserable people stay in that screen saver they call a game.

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aviaggio

You've obviously never been to Stranglethorn Vale on a PvP server...

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kiaghi7

you must be joking?

WoW PvP is a MMO with training wheels compared to EVE online... There are no PvP servers, the game itself is one big cluster and even in the most protected, safe, and secure zone in the game, you can and potentially WILL get ganked if someone really wants to get you.

 

It is very literally the wild west, and while in "high security" space, it's uncommon and usually a suicide/kamikaze attack, quite often the benefits outweigh the risks associated with attacking players with NPC guards around. Namely popping player freighters full of insanely valuable items on board and having your fellow corp-mates scoop them up and all you lose is some comparably cheap ships/gear in the process and can -potentially- collect the insurance on even that!

 

PvP in EVE is "for keeps", nothing in WoW even remotely compares. At the very worst possible scenario you lose time and a repair bill in WoW. Maybe on the outside you have some griefer "camp your corpse" and continue to harass you, in EVE online, you can have everything you've ever attained in the game taken away from you at the business end of an aggressor's guns... And if they pop your escape pod, you better have a sufficient clone up to date, or you can even lose your skills (sort of like levels and talent points in WoW).

 

I'm not saying that EVE is better or worse than WoW, just different, but if you think WoW PvP is even worth disucssing, or try and compare EVE to a WoW PvP server, you've got an entirely new universe to discover about what real PvP is about... Hardcore doesn't even begin to cover it, but that is part of what made it fun/exciting.

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dracoress

I can't wait to give this game a chance.

 I've been waiting for a space combat MMO ever since the wrong that was done in Star Wars Galaxies.

 Hopefully it is better the EVE.  It was good, just not good enough to commit my time to.

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SpaceWorthy

Great interview.  Looking forward to the game.

 I think the only MMO out right now comparable to this is 'Pirates of The Burning Sea'.  Slow ship battles, firing arcs, and defending armor sides (shields).  There's ground combat swashbuckling and high seas sailing avoiding pirates, or being one.

 The 'death' penalty with your ship in that game works pretty logically.  If you get sunk, you head back to your last port and drop into your next most powerful ship.  Some ships have a depleting strength, like a cat's lives, so you can sink it a few times, but after it's all used up, then it's lost for good.

 Respawing at the begining of the zone is a bit out of canon for Star Trek.  I mean, why alow me to customize the placement of the escapepod hatches on my ship, if we're never gonna use them? You really should have to recover back at a Starbase, or be beamed out to your ship or something.  But I do understand that this is still a 'game' and people want to have fun.  I think there are a lot of 'simulation' expectations from the fans out there who might be in for a bit of a let down.

I'm wondering if the Klingons will work like they do in 'The Lord of the Rings' MMO, where the 'bad guys' are in a walled off high level area that you have to unlock and create a charater for.  I don't think they are going to be set up like the 'Horde' and 'Alliance' in WoW with equal gameplay.

 I guess we'll see in February.

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kiaghi7

I'm thinking a lot like you are about STO... At the end of the day,
until I see it in Feb I doubt I'm going to get overly focused on
partiuclars, but of course there are a few sticking points I'm sure
many would like clarification on.

 

First of course is:

Death and Dying... Is it like EVE or WoW?

In
EVE online (which I played from early beta for several years mind you),
if you got in a fight (NPC or PVP) and lost your ship, you lost your
ship... That's the price of the venture, hopefully of-set by the gains.
Clones and Insurance could help take a bit of the "sting" out of the
loss, but the lost ship and items can readily be impossible, or
effectively impossible, to replace.

In WoW, if you die at the very most you've lost some time and a repair bill, as far as "permanent losses" go.

 

Frankly,
I'd prefer at least a more WoW leaning experience since I'm feeling
that STO is a more casual player oriented game. Not that EVE's system
isn't perfectly good, but the best thing STO can do is try to NOT "out
EVE" their most obvious counterpart in sci-fi MMO games.

EVE is clearly intended for more hardcore players, while STO should lean more toward the evenings and weekends
category. As such, penalties for failure would/should liken themselves
to WoW, where time and repair cost are lost as punishment for being
overzealous.

 

I'm not saying either system is better, or that either system is without faults... I can see and have very literally been involved in both. While in EVE I never lost a ship (luckily), I most certainly was part of the "taking" of innumerable ships from other people. Of course it's good in that environment of game, but I'm just not getting that same sort of "vibe" coming from how STO is shaping up to be.

 

Perhaps there are going to (at some point) be "Hardcore" servers setup on STO for people who want to crawl up the mountain with the very real threat of losing everything should the battle not go their way... Who knows, I may even go that way, but initially I'd actually prefer to play -that specific game- with a more forgiving curve.

 

I do completely agree though that the "respawn" should happen back at starbase... Explained with a narrow escape at the last second emergency warp, and a hefty penalty/fine to get back to "good".

 

As for other races, I'm not sure how I'd like to see them represented, but probally I'd like to see them open up as players advance through the ranks, and thus go to different sectors within the Alpha Quadrant. I am a bit concerned how PvP will be handled, hopefully a lot like WoW did (again, not that I think WoW is the best answer to everything), but PvP on a "regular" server, as opposed to hardcore/PvP servers, should allow for choice in player on player combat. If someone wants to be a carebear let them, and if someone wants to play their entire experience in PvP they should be able to, but nobody should be able to make that decision FOR someone else.

I like the idea of large swaths of neutral zones between "empires" where a free-for-all could be set, but even then if it's a "highway" of sorts between the major sectors that can be blockaded by PvP griefers I forsee much potential for trouble.

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Quakindude

 I personally wouldn't mind seeing STO be kinda like EVE Online in the way losses are done. I played Eve for four years and enjoyed the hell out of it, but it got to the point where large Corporations and Alliances were holding so much space, it was rather boring after a while. You could either be near the n00b's or be in 0.0 space where your ahip could be lost due to the way Corps and Alliances were manning gates or, you could be caught up in 0.0 for weeks just trying to get out without losing shit. Like I said, it got boring.

 

The only MMO I've played is Eve. The Wizards and Warlocks shit simply do not appeal to me in the slightest. So I really hope STO builds on the fun factor of Eve and learns to stay away from some of the fubar factor of Eve.  

MaximumPC Moderator

***The views I express are my own and do not represent the views of MaximumPC Magazine or Future US.***

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RuinsofWar

There has to be some sort of middle ground between teh soft end and the hard end.  Everyone knows that if the game is too simple it'll come down in flames just like WoW did in it's later years when instance runs averaged 10-15 minutes.  Even with the players hands bound and eyes covered.  And then there is the obvious lose months of work to bastardly people across the country (eve side for those who don't know).  There should be some penalty preventing you from just "hopping" right back into battle right after, but something not to severe.

 

For those of you who are in support of the instantly popping back into battle path, just listen to this.  I'm not sure which game it was, I jsut remember playing it and remember how horrible it was for this fact.

 

I'd engage someone, I'd win, and about 10-15 seconds later (not wow)  i'd see them respawning across the map to have the adv and kill me... but then i'd respawn in that same area and now have the adv and kill them. and the pattern would continue until i lost the will and moved onto another area... to unfortunately have the exact same thing happen with another person. (space is a big place, i hope the game environment is big enough to where we're all rubbing hulls)

 

Whatever happens happens... gonna give the game a shot either way, if I don't like it I'l wait and bide my time until a middle ground is found by some other gaming company (still many other spacy mmo's coming IE: Jumpgate evolution and SW old republic)

 

The thing that upsets me the most right now are the ships i'm bound to b/c i'm dead set on the federation and I love their ships and all... but I know the federation has more to offer than the standard (IE: vulcan ships). *drool*

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fdiaz78

You call grinding 300 Mil ISK for a month to buy a battleship just to have it blown up at a gate camp or lag spike "fun factor"?

 Buddy there is no point to EVE. Its grind, grief, change skill that took three months to complete, rinse and repeat.

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Delazure

.... this will probably be the only MMO I'll ever need !

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icecreaman

Still waiting on some tough questions to be asked. Something dealing with the complete lack of diplomacy in a Star Trek IP, how servers will be set up, CO style or the standard fare, etc. And a follow up to the Klingon content answer would be nice. Did he just tell us we have to play as Federation to unlock the Klingon content?

We've got maybe three months til launch and there is n awful lot of questions still hanging around that weren't touched on. 

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Caboose

 I agree that we need some answers, but on the flip side, there could very well be a good reason as to why these questions are unanswered as their answer may reveal too much info about the game which Cryptic doesn't want to do so as to keep the surprise come launch day!

 

-= I don't want to be dead, I want to be alive! Or... a cowboy! =-

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rico_51

the  game looks great and sound good will have to give it a try... finally someing diffrent

 

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Black Lable 69

Looks inviting but I do have some concerns as well, you should have a way higher penalty for losing something as massive as a ship "Not a shuttle". & I can only imagine how many people will reach the status of Admiral in a short amount of time. I think it takes a lot of fun out of a game when theres very little fear of dying. Maybe you could lose some exp, drop in rank, drop in ship class, retain severe damage to your ship to name a few. Its your choice but minor damage & even lose of some crew "Which could always be replaced" I think is a little lightweight. I'm not trying to compare it with the likes of Diablo or Online Shooters but there was always something about possibly dying & losing all your crap or dropping in rank. Even better, incorporate an option for the players to decide how much realism they want in the game & only allow those types of players to play with each other. That would clearly show what type of skill & finesse each player has.

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aviaggio

While I understand where you are coming from, the biggest problem with punitive death is that there is often little one can do to prevent death other than constantly having to tiptoe around the game world, which simply isn't fun.

Some battles are easy, some are hard. And sometimes you get into situations, thru little to no fault of your own, that there is no way to escape from. Then having a serious penalty placed on you isn't going to endear anyone to the game.

Now if it's a matter of playing stupidly or recklessly, then perhaps. But I find that most of the time I die in MMOs is simply due to bad luck -- more a function of the AI, the game's design, or lag than my own skill or playstyle. And who wants to be punished for that?

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Black Lable 69

Like I already said, it could be an included option in the game. Also why would you have to "Tiptoe" in the game world if all you lose is some exp or something? Plenty of other games have done that & I hear very little complaint. Did you develop the game? Because your talking like you have or either spent long hours playing it already. I'm tired of some games practically spoon feeding the players, now why would I pay for that? This type of attitude or play style is exactly why you have so many players attacking "Noobs" giving them little chance & cheaters. If you glance over what I said again, you'll notice I just gave my opinion like mostly everyone else so there is no need to attack or try to add your two cents in. As I said, its an option, argue all you want your wasting your time.

 Wait for it......"If you don't want the game then don't buy it" We are adults right? I already know that. 

 WoW & the Wii have a lot in common to me anyway, they both have hordes of players with little to no skill that are spoon fed, that's why you have so many people playing those types of games. "Not saying everyone who plays them but I know for a fact that a large percentage of them are". Now if its a game like OBLIVION or FALLOUT3, being spoon fed doesn't really matter as much because its single player only.

Bottom line, all I'm saying is that its too bad they don't at the very lest including an option "Like Diablos Hard Core Mode or something" to add more challenge into the game.

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razr90

razr90-IT Student

 

Wow, did you develop the game??  Personally, I don't care if you would pay for it or not.   

You are the absolute classic example of why I don't play MMOs.  It is arrogant, sarcastic jerks like you who bring your arrogant, sarcastic attitude along with you into the game and ruin it for everyone.  It doesn't matter what game it is, you people always exist.

I can tell you for a fact that I won't be getting the game for that very reason.  Hot tempered and arrogant.  If you can't listen to other people's comments without getting all hotheaded and bucky; I really hope you don't plan on spending time in the world of SSO.  I'm sure there are plenty more where you came from.

By the way, can you read English??

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DontCrossTheLine

He's got every right, as much as you, to put his two cents in too. And I'll raise you a dollar. I gather being penalized doesn't matter much to you. To him and me, I've played mmo's with penalties, and for guys like us it matters a great deal. Tiptoeing, as the only way to survive is unnecessary stress, wasted time, disparity as the steep difficulty curve seems hopeless. And in my experience, most of it is rough AI NPC's. The point of it being free and forgiving of player death, allows the game to feel like a welcoming environment to all players whether they started day 1 or day 1000 of the game. You're suggestions are worth hearing, they voice options that would improve your enjoyment of the game. But you're not the only person playing the game. For more than one of us those suggestions would completely ruin it. So ask this, "Why risk a small improvement for some, and completely ruin the fun of others?". Or in other words: "The needs of the many outway the needs of the few".

That's what we're fighting for.

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Black Lable 69

You guys can read English right? I've said it many times over & over again that it could be an included "OPTION". So tell me, how could it possibly ruin the game for EVERYONE if its an option? Besides, I usually just post a comment on what the article was about, not wast time fighting other comments.

 http://www.almostgaming.com/wow/article/world-warcraft-too-easy

 

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DontCrossTheLine

Been a long day.

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Black Lable 69

on Sat, 11/21/2009 - 2:07am

Even better, incorporate an option for the players to decide how much
realism they want in the game & only allow those types of players
to play with each other. That would clearly show what type of skill
& finesse each player has.

on Sat, 11/21/2009 - 1:53pm

Like I already said, it could be an included option in the game. Bottom line, all I'm saying is that its too bad they don't at the very
lest including an option "Like Diablos Hard Core Mode or something" to
add more challenge into the game.

"NEW"

I'm cool its just I find I repeat myself over & over again, we could continue this until Maximum PC goes offline & that's exactly what I was trying to say. Everyone has their own ideas & opinions & we could all argue with one another. So the argument is mute, you both keep arguing about something I have already "Clearly said" I take back what I said about you guys not being able to read English but again if you read what I said then there would have been no need for a lot of what both of you said.

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aviaggio

First off dude, I never attacked you. I just disagreed with you. But I don't have a problem with adding your idea as an option. I think in that way it would be interesting. Those that really wanna play it to the edge, under the threat of great loss, would then be able to do that.

All that I said was that I think many people, us casual gamers, would be turned off if that kind of penalty was the norm. Like it or not casual gamers are the bread and butter of MMOs these days, and developers are going to tailor their game to please the greatest # of people. This is not to say they shouldn't add features that will appeal to the hardcore crowd, but ultimately that will be of a secondary concern. I'm not trying to sound snide or bitchy, just calling it like it is.

As an option I have no issue at all with your idea.

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Black Lable 69

This is getting old real fast, by the way, most of what I said wasn't against you if you followed the conversation.

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tracygrant1

Nice article, can't wait for the game to come online

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destruya

I know it's no fun to lose things permanently in an MMO, but STO seriously needs to rethink things.  If you can't lose ships, make it possible to lose crew.  The "no permadeath" rule merely means everyone's eventually going to be sitting in top-of-their-class ships making PvP completely impossible and meaningless to anyone who hasn't grinded their way to the top.

Sure, videos I've seen make it known that you can "customize" your ships and specialize your crew, but that's the case with a lot of MMOs.  People will find the best combinations, try to sit on them, fail, and then you've got the neverending cycle of "nerf the FOTM, find the new FOTM" ad infinitum.

Another decent step would be to institute limitations on highly-advanced or larger hulls.  I could see it now:

"Hi, Utopia Planitia shipyards?  This is Captain Kerk (swidt).  I just got these shiny captain pips and I was wondering if you could start building me my own personal Sovereign-class hull.  ...  Why are you laughing?  YES I'm being serious!  What do you *mean* eight month lead time at the earliest?  Just use a Defiant?  But it's TINY!"

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To0nces

What's with the care bear MMO's? Respawn a ship with little to no damage? That sounds really lame. At the very least it should require you to take some time to repair your ship, instead of just respawning and getting back into the action like you're playing Unreal Tournament or something.

Disappointing.

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aviaggio

But how is this different than any other MMO? He says that when you die your ship takes damage. Damage I assume takes time to repair.

What happens when you die in WoW? Not much other than some gear damage. CoH? Not much other than a minor loss of XP. This is pretty standard fare.

So by the logic presented by you two, when you die in WoW you should lose all your gear and have to earn it all over again? How much sense does that make?

I think the idea of the ship taking damage over time (like a durability effect) is a good idea. For example, as your ship's durability declines the shields might only charge to 80% instead of 100%, weapons might become less accurate, maneuverability is impaired, etc. This then forces you to periodically visit a starbase for repairs -- just like the in the series/movies. Durability can be lost in small amounts due to simple wear and tear, and greater amounts when you're defeated, much like gear damage in WoW.

But to lose rank, officers, or even your ship when you get defeated?!?! Sorry, that's just crazy.

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Caboose

 I agree. THat's one sure fire way to have no customers. As someone that's never played an MMO before, if I lost my ship, crew and everything after playing for hours upon hours. I sure as hell would be royally pissed and not renew my subscription!

 

-= I don't want to be dead, I want to be alive! Or... a cowboy! =-

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nekollx

 People need to stop thinking of the ships as "something you ride in" and more as "your gear." STO isn't angeling for EVE it's angeling for it's own Niche. And let's be honest how many times does a Prominent (ie Player) Starfleet captian PERMANTLY loose their ship. Even Picard had like 5 Enterprises but he never has to tool around in say the "USS Constitution" after fighting the Borg to his (ship) death.

 

------------------------------
Coming soon to Lulu.com --Tokusatsu Heroes--
Five teenagers, one alien ghost, a robot, and the fate of the world.

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nekollx

 very interesting info.

------------------------------
Coming soon to Lulu.com --Tokusatsu Heroes--
Five teenagers, one alien ghost, a robot, and the fate of the world.

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MrGeek

I luv WoW.

 

Star Trek is another beast altogether. Space, sci fi, etc.  The only real competition out there would be Eve, Anarchy Online, and perhaps that new space mmo Jumpgate (if it ever opens). SWG is dead so is no contest.

I will probably not bother with Star Trek... unless it has first person dog fight on smaller crafts! LOL!

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DontCrossTheLine

With a great SP, lots of free modpacks, (best mod community I've ever seen for a game), huge multilayer community and lots of fair play. I don't know why I'm not playing it right now. . .

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norman

the freelancer community is still active? damn, i loved that game. 

-- Norm

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Caboose

Oh ya. Freelancer was awesome! Kinda like an MMO but in your own PC. Multiplayer was pretty good too. I'd like to see a sequal.

 

-= I don't want to be dead, I want to be alive! Or... a cowboy! =-

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iamchrismoran

Frankly, I have no intention of playing STO... I'm a fantasy person and loyal only to LotRO with potential to try out DDO now that it's free... but I'm excited that there's something I might be able to get my dad interested in trying. Watching him play flight sims on his laptop kills my soul. I'd like to see him play something with more ... more <strong>something</strong>.

With LotRO, there's a lifetime subscription option many of us grabbed - $199 for as long as Turbine keeps the game going. After over 2 years, I've more than made back the money compared to monthly plans. It would be cool if these guys offered something like that.

 If I'm lucky enough to get one of the beta invites, I'll be passing it on to my dad... a 60 YO old school Trekkie.

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Shiroi98

First to comment? Cool! Would like to win one for a friend. Can't wait till Feb when it is released!

EDIT: why does it say contest ends  Monday, November 20th? today is friday, nov 20th.. and oops i just realized not suppose to post the comment here. my bad!

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