Cryptic Considering A More 'Meaningful' Death Penalty For Star Trek Online?

Death in Star Trek Online seems to be a disappointing experience for its fans, lacking narrative oomph and encouraging unreasonably risky behaviour. The game's executive producer says the studio is listening and considering a change.

"We are looking into finding a meaningful way to give players a deeper sense of loss when something bad happens," Cryptic's Craig Zinkievich told IncGamers. "But we want it to feel right, rather than just like an arbitrary penalty."

Zinkievich said Cryptic's philosophy has been that death penalties in the genre are typically just a time penalty, and they prevent players from getting back into their game and enjoying it.

"I get that people want to feel a sense of risk when they're fighting in battles, but if the only emotion you feel when you're playing a game is fear that you're going to lose some time due to an arbitrary gameplay mechanic, we're probably not doing something right, " he said to IncGamers.

He's got a point. And from the perspective of making a product, someone's bought the game, you don't want to discourage its use. But there can't be risk without consequences. So it's a vexing design issue.

I suggest that Cryptic do far worse than kill you, admiral. It hurts you. And it wishes to go on ... hurting you ... leaving you marooned for all eternity in the centre of a dead planet. Buried alive. Buried aliiiiiiiiiiive ...

Star Trek Online: "Meaningful" Death Penalty Needed [IncGamers via Blue's News]



    Noone's done it yet? Well okay, looks like its up to me...


    Hopefully it'll be an interesting penalty, XP loss would be a bit lame, energy credit loss would be more than a bit pointless given how easy they are to get.

    About the only thing I can think of would be a limited lives style system with a degradation in ships. Say you're a captain and you had an exploration cruiser, you get killed and you respawn but with the heavy cruiser you had at the previous rank. If that gets destroyed then you go back to the medium cruiser you had at lieutenant commander and then finally you get booted back to the light cruiser you started the game with (and thats as far back as you go no matter how many times you die) so each time you die, things get harder. The biggest issue there is the tranfer of equipment, unless they plan to spawn you with a default version of the lower ranked ships, it'd have to move the weapons off your current ship and onto the new one making some sort of decision about which ones to not equip if the ship has less slots

      That's gotta suck that someone DID say it, but the comment wasn't approved by the time you did it :p

    God please no. I can't understand people who whine that if there's no death penalty there's no fun. Um... aren't you big boys and girls? Can't you go "I don't want to die" and feel disappointed you died? Why do you need your mother standing over your shoulder with a wooden spoon in hand, ready to slap you for trying to take from the cookie jar? Show some bloody self control.

      I disagree, If we went by your logic then all games would come with GOD mode enabled by default.
      Where's the fun in that?

      Without the fear of repercussion, there is no care, If you don't care then your only playing because its slightly less boring than watching the fucking grass grow.

      I understand what you mean, but there are a hell of a lot of people out there who want some sort of death penalty, and it is mainly those who have experienced outright abuse of the death mechanic.

      In STO, you can fly into a hard mission and die, but then you respawn 15 seconds or so later and can get back into the fight where you left off exactly, which means that you could complete missions that the developers intended that you shouldn't be able to complete at your level or on your own.

      Have you also even seen PvP matches? There are a lot of people out there who will just constantly rush head on into the enemy team just to end the game faster as the death penalty is the same there, but the rewards you get at the end of the match are basically the same whether you win or lose.

      They need a set of death penalties, as one might not work properly for both PvE and PvP, which encourage people to actually "try" to win, try not to "die", have a sense of accomplishment when completing a mission without "dying".

      There are those out there who don't like time penalties or stuff like that, so it doesn't even have to involve time outs, it could be increased rewards for not dying, weakening of your ship/character, reduction of your rewards for dying a lot. It'd also be great for a better death penalty as it'd slow down people leveling so fast as well as making the game last longer for players, since they have no end game content.

    I still think EQ had it right.

    Death = You lose XP + your corpse dropped with all the items in it at hte spot you died. You then respawn at the nearest graveyard/spawn point & have to get back to your body before it decays & lose items. Taught you to not die, lest having to fight back through something nasty to get your stuff back.

    Hardcore, yes. Off-putting to newbies, yes. But was still a perfectly good death penalty system.

      The one problem with a death penalty like you've described Aaron Clement, is that a lot of STO players are casual gamers from other Cryptic games like Champions Online, and are also STO fans who may have not played MMORPGs before with death penalties. If you look on the STO forums, there are two quite large crowds, one that says we need death penalties like timeouts etc, and the other which is strictly against it as they seem to either think it'd make them waste a tonne of time and kill the enjoyment of the game for them. There are also another smaller group who is for a penalty which tries to please both the above crowds.

      Personally I wish they'd just do an EXP/Timeout or combination penalty, as the game is so fast to level in, even with such little content.

    They could make it an aesthetic penalty such as the more you die the more scars you have (was it Fable that did this?).

    They could have a survivor reputation system that nets you rewards, dieing reduced your score in this system and subsequently removes rewards if you drop below certain milestones. The more you complete missions whilst staying alive the more points you have.

    In fact, they could give you a higher XP or reward bonus for staying alive in missions rather than penalising you for dieing.

    I like the losing XP idea, or having to restart a mission. I've never been a fan of losing items- I think that's extremely off-putting.

    I was thinking about this actually. They should make the penalty that if your ship blows up, you have to wait a certain amount of time (20mins?) until its rebuilt.

    May sound bad, BUT, they let you have your ship from the previous rank until its rebuilt.

    Kind of like having a...spare car.

      yeah that would = the death of the game who the hell would wanna have to sit around for 20 minutes or if they only have an hour to play unluckly get killed at the start of there play time and loose half of it

      havent played PvP but surely you have some sort of limit to how many times i side can die ie oonly 10 reinforcements or something

      theres really nothing other than EXP to loose IMO but given the crowd thats not something you want to do ( especically since those who have trouble could end up with a point where there are no quests for them to do and keep digging themselves into a hole , as they dont want/know to grind

    Death can now be ranked:
    level 1) no repercussions, little/no reward
    level 2) you lose exp/progress, basic reward
    level 3) lose exp/progress and gear, some flashy loot on the line
    level 4) start all over again, godlike equipment
    level 5) hmmmm experimental mode, death is the beginning of your hellish existence :0

    Back in my day... (I'm 20 something) death meant restarting the mission, or being thrown back to the starting area/last save. If gamers can't live with systems like this then they don't deserve to be gamers. Yes, it's still like a death time penalty since you must do things over again, and we hate that, but to avoid it we would do what's necessary to improve. How are people with certain levels even accessing endgame material?

    I thought about the idea of having your ship totally removed if it were destroyed, and while it may be cool (especially with a cut-scene and whatnot), it would certainly put off a large portion of Star Trek Online's audience.

    A lot of people are in it for the fun. They want to log on and roll into an enemy signal contact with phasers blazing. They don't want to be constantly worrying about whether or not they're going to accidentally pull too many mobs and lose their pride and joy.

    But that's not to say that this idea is totally without merit. There is a certain subset of the audience who would probably welcome such harsh repercussions - Role-players. It would assist with keeping their simulated universe as realistic as possible, forcing them to play their characters correctly - picking their battles, knowing when to retreat and so on.

    It seems to me that the one way cryptic could keep everyone happy is to offer another option when you're creating a character - Normal or Role-playing - where normal is what we have now, and role-playing turns on permanent ship destruction.

    Hell, we could even have permanent Bridge Officer deaths too. Just make sure you don't take a blonde security officer near any black ooze monsters.

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