June 30, 2016 at 3:38 pm #6925
This isn’t exactly a new idea… But with the recent fire hose of potential new players from all the Social Media promotions, I’ve been getting a ton of emails and fb messages from old MTrekkers. These are folks who, as you can imagine, were excited to see their old favorite game back online.
Only… It isn’t quite the same game anymore. Most of these comms are positive in nature, but a common tone is starting to emerge. And that is, The game has changed. Everything “new”, from bots, to seeker probes, to Ursus being in the wrong spot, to Deneva’s Antimatter- has been pointed out to me at least a couple of times over the past month. (There’s also been a thing or two brought up as “wrong” that would actually have been correct for the old game). But the overarching grievance… the one that practically every returning old player has brought up, has been the ship classes. Even the pre-1995 classes are being referred to as “new ships”.
I have been told by some, that if it weren’t for having so many new classes to learn, they would happily pick up the game again. One such comment follows:
“… I loved this game before. [in the 90s] But theres too many ships now. I have a job and a family and I can only play a few hours a week. Its just too hard now. not the game I remember …”
“… the game is broken. I don’t get why there are so many classes. The robots are ridiculous hard. Let me know if the real Mtrek comes back online …”
Some of these folks are ok with the JavaTrek ships if they happened to play in the mid-2000s. While our current ‘regulars’, if nothing else, simply tolerate the broad array of ships. A few regulars even enjoy having the variety.
Maybe if these new (old) guys stuck it out a while longer, they’d get the hang of the additional classes, but as it stands, it seems to be turning off as many players as it’s entertaining.
So here’s the idea:
- Switch back to the 14 classes everybody knows from the 90s (II-A, EXCEL, LARSON, DY-600, RBOP, KEV-12, KPB-13, BR-5, BR-1000, CL-13, CV-97, CDA-180, CDA-120, WARBIRD)
- Restore the ship specs and gold earning rates back to “standard”
- Put the Quadrants back in order (Pretty much just the Ursus Cluster and take AM off of Deneva)
- Get rid of Seekers and Lithium mines
There are a few “inaccurate” features that I think we should keep no matter what though:
- Keep the 3rd page of high scores and the whole player/fleet functionality. In 90s mtrek, there weren’t player names- only ship names; it was up to each player to remember what ship names belonged to his fleet. -Literally no one ever has complained about this “new” feature.
- Keep the rank scale. -Again, no one has complained about the current system and the old scale had ships maxing-out too early as 500,000 DmgGvn Fleet Admirals.
- Keep the esc-@ and the esc-? features. The old “help screens a thru l” basically sucked in the 90s. There was no intuitive way to know what was on each page, and the only advantage it offered, was that it was all contained in the scanner portion of the screen. It had fewer commands listed than there are on today’s esc-? Page. Esc-@ is cool too, because it saves you from having to esc-c(shipletter) every ship in the game for the same info. Either one of these pages will still pass alerts onto the alt screen if you’re being attacked or damaged or messaged.
- Keep the bots. An empty server would not only make potential new and returning players not want to play; it would also drive away our current players. The game would likely be dead inside of a year without bots. The compromise is our already in-place method of reducing bot spawns as more humans log in. This system works great right now and I get excited over the prospect of more frequent PvP as more humans log in. I really (REALLY) want to see enough humans online to make the game shut down bots completely. Fingers crossed, it might happen within our lifetimes lol.
- Keep the website roughly the way it is (scoreboards). There wasn’t a webpage scoreboard until the mid-JavaTrek days, but having it doesn’t take anything away from the game itself.
- Streamline the docs and guides (This part will be easy). Since practically everything for the “old game” already exists documentation-wise, it would just be a matter of mentioning the handful of things we’re “keeping” as outlined in this list. Information about the new (6.0-era) ships would still be available, only- it would be separated and clearly marked as “not applicable” to the 7.X (classic game).
Now… What I’m not sure about:
Our current ship database: There are a few ways we could handle it if we ran with the 7.0 concept detailed above.
- It could be completely wiped. Give everyone a fresh start in the new (old) game, which might be in order since the entire balance will be turned on its head.
- All the ships could be marked as dead. All the dead ships would still show up in the “Dead Ship Scoreboard” and player stats on the “Stats” page would remain intact. I like this option better than a full wipe.
- We could wipe all of the ships that aren’t in the “Standard 14” classes. All the other ships II-A thru WARBIRD, would stay remain as they are. (Dead and Alive) This would significantly alter the Player Stats though, and would impact players who fly mostly newer ships more than it would players who fly mostly Old school classes. Not exactly “fair” for every one.
- Current (living) non-standard ships could be transformed into the most-similar Standard 14 classes. By that, I mean a Galor would become a Larson, a RWAR would become a WARBIRD, a Galaxy would become a KEV-12, a D-11 would become a KPB-13, and so on and so on. This idea is interesting, but it would be more difficult to pull off cleanly. And then there’s the issue of macros. Plus, not every current-gen ship translates nicely into one of the standard ships. Would a Sphere become a II-A, a Larson, or a DY-600??? CON-II might be simple enough, but is a Ferengi more like a CDA-120 or more like a Larson?
- We could leave all the current ships alive and as they are- the only new ships that could be launched however, would be the a-n standard ones. Bots would also start flying those exclusively. The problem with this, is that as soon as an announcement is made, some players would make a mad rush to stock up on powerful current-gen ships like the AVG. Players coming along after the fact would feel screwed over, and probably get a little salty over not having access to something other folks have.
-  Whoops- forgot to mention another option, which is to set non-standard ships to “dead” and leave standard 14 classes alive. Player Stats would remain unchanged this way, and we would have a populated top scoreboard ranging from about 9,000 gold up to about 300K..
Finally: this 7.O stuff is still just idle speculation. It’s meant to spark some activity in the forums, as well as floating the idea for a more classic server. Please don’t panic.
June 30, 2016 at 9:59 pm #6929
Oh Great. Sorry the old timer can’t spend the time to read the Docs. I did. I just got use to the current MTrek and now we are going backwards. Oh well so be it. It is pretty much the same as the the 90’s besides the new ships. Does that mean your resetting all the ships and scores?
June 30, 2016 at 10:42 pm #6930
Relax. No one is resetting anything. We are barely 3 months into our current software version. There were countless hours spent during the beta phase (by not just myself, but other players) trying to get this setup right, and I’m not ready to kick over the sand castle yet.
To clarify, I still very much like today’s game and will continue to develop it. There’s still an expansion in the works, forcast to be pushed later this year.
I just find it interesting to kick around ideas for future incarnations is all. If many people (regulars) support the idea for a 90s ship selection, I’m willing to explore the idea for 7.0. We are very far away from anything like that happening though.
July 2, 2016 at 7:25 am #6932
Srry 4 poor typing I’m on Mobile…
This is definitely an intersting and controversial topic… Itz a civil war between vets who want to relive classic mtrek and today’s players who are in love with their ships…. And they really really really really love their ships…. 2 sets of people that want the exact opposite for mtrek and are willing to fight to the death over it!!!!
Maybe that was a *little* over exaggerated but it makes the forums so much more interesting 😉
So first off addressing the 14 core ships..
I don’t really like the idea of changing or tweaking the core 14 ships to better compete with the newer ships. Having to re-learn a shop you’ve spent hours learning isn’t fun… Losing a fight to a vulture because you didn’t realize your ship was nerfed or his ship was upgraded isn’t much fun either… They 14 should always be the same and be the standard for adjusting the rest of the new ships.
Next for all the new ship classes.
Some classes should totally be removed or changed
1200 dmg drones
1200 dmg mines
2100 dmg torp dump
Phasers it can’t use
Maybe use it as a bonus ship of some sorts?
outclasses Larson galor ferengi(you can still get gold a lot faster in an avg than in a ferengi with gold bonus)
Maybe make it a warp 12?
It’s an impractical an silly camping ship… I made it to the top of the highscores by simply sitting on a sb and saving off whenever a dangerous ship came. I would lure bots (especially cardies) and then wreck them. Even if you run out of AM it has enough warp energy to camp without AM altogether.
I think the keldon should be completely removed
Sorry Rick I know how much you promote this ship, but it’s pretty much junk (no offense)
Other ships have impressive weapons to quickly destroy their opponents so they only have to be in range a few seconds. D-10 Arc 180 excel can deliver some serious dmg in only a few seconds. Before their opponent can react they’re already crippled. D-12 can’t. D-12 has trouble staying in range and does very little dmg in the time it is in range. Probably the worst Klingon ship in my opinion.
This one looks good on paper but isn’t in gameplay. 50 oblits and 35 phasers isn’t enough to destroy a ship. After a vorcha unloads its payload it’s still shooting 1 torp a second. d-11 can’t deliver consistent dmg. It took me like 30+ minutes to kill one bot….
Valdore > Vshar
Add a twarp XD
Those are a few that came to mind as examples but I’m pressed for time.
I think the game should only have 14 ships to start from, and the players have to upgrade with gold. So they’re only be about 1-2 next gen ships online at a time. It would give gold value, and players a goal to shoot for. It would solve the warbird/Rwar problem of some class upstaging others.
July 2, 2016 at 9:27 am #6934
You know… I think I like where you’re going with this.
I can’t say I agree with you on all points here, but switching back to an “upgrades” model like we had in 4.x (when you started playing) neatly solves the problem of what to do with all the existing ships in the database: Simple, keep them all alive.
A 4.x-ish version with upgrades also allows us to get away with the upgrade-ships being slightly more powerful than their “core-14” counterparts. After all, we ARE paying gold to get them. The cost for upgrading can also be a balancing factor for upgrade ships that are more powerful than other upgrade ships. ie, a KPB-13 to D-11 upgrade might be almost free, while a (standard issue) Warbird to (badass) RWAR might cost 10,000 gold.
Very interesting subject indeed!
There are a couple of problems to figure out though:
(1) What to do with the bots… If we’re trying to keep the game “classic” and simple enough for old vets to get back into it quickly, the bots would probably need to all come from the core-14 list. Anyone “clued” enough to be flying around in an upgrade ship would likely be a regular here already… and hopefully not dickish enough to trash the rusty oldbies with their fancy upgraded ships. I think we can manage that, and slowly ease those old returning guys into the whole “upgrade” thing while they re-familiarize themselves with the basic game and basic robot opponents.
The issue with core-14 bots, is that gameplay might become stale for the regulars who mostly fight bots and avoid conflict with humans. Tying into that, the regs will have upgrade ships, and will smoke the core-14 bots even more easily than we do already with 38 possible robot classes.
BUT! mtrek is a social multiplayer game, above all else. The multiplayer-ness above all else, attracts/keeps new players. Without m(shipletter) and m*, the game would die. Simple as that. Being a persistent-world MPG, there is a lot of politicking and conflict going on between players. If we can remain socially active, (there is somebody online more often than not these days) and keep doing what we do, the PvP element will emerge. That PvP element will help bring out the depth of an upgrade-class setup… And I think this will actually work in the long run.
So to summarize problem #1 (core-14 bots), I think we’d be perfectly fine with that- even if there is less variety in the bot department.
(2) As soon as a returning veteran player catches wind of the whole upgrade thing, his (or her LOL. I’ve only encountered a small handful of female MTrekkers in the 20+ yrs I’ve been playing this game – easier to just say “his” for now I guess) mind will be blown. It is almost the same thing as having close to 40 classes at the start menu, only they have to learn (a) the specs of the “new” classes and (b) how tf the whole upgrade system works.
This problem #2 is tricky, because we need to initially present the game in a way that seems familiar and is easy to pick up- at least long enough to get those players hooked again. Having standard ships and standard bots to start with will help, but as soon as I log in with my 80k AVG-IX, our cover will be blown…
If there’s one thing I regret about admin-ing this server, it’s my own lack of dedication to updating the documentation, player guides, maps etc… I can’t help myself; I’m addicted to the game, and if I have a spare minute or two, I’m more likely to log in and earn a few K or bs with whom ever is online- than I am to update the docs 😛 Forgive me, but maybe I’d be a better admin if I wasn’t also totally hooked on playing this game haha
Anyways, to support a 7.0 with a classic front window, but also with a deep underlying advancement system, everything would need to be well documented. I’m not sure how to overcome that obstacle, other than to step up my own game as admin and put my nose to the documentation grindstone, dammit! Lol
I can see one solution to this problem #2 (This is the lazy mtrekker in me talking): And that is, don’t document shit. Put up a standard players guide, mention briefly that there’s upgrade classes available, maybe even post the specs of those classes somewhere… but basically do as so many of today’s games have done, and leave it up to the players to figure it all out. Honestly, the “struggle-to-figure-shit-out” aspect of modern gaming has evolved not only from cutting costs and man hours to put a how-to guide into a plastic disc case, but also from the fact that it truly adds some depth to the gaming experience, and maybe these multi-$M corporations are on to something.
I could totally keep going with a #3/#4 etc… but I have stuff to do now. Anyways, I think I’m more on board with your ideas SQ, than I am with skinning the game down to a 1998 MTrek clone. Thanks for posting buddy!
July 3, 2016 at 12:06 am #6935
“”I can’t say I agree with you on all points here””
I didn’t expect you to. Especially the twarp on the vshar 😉 it was worth a try though XD
“”Warbird to RWAR might cost 10,000 gold.””
How’d you know I’d be willing to pay that much?
“”What to do with the bots…””
You could make a script to see if there’s any next-gen ships on. if not the bot will login as a next-gen with a raised gold cap.
“” but as soon as I log in with my 80k AVG-IX, our cover will be blown…””
1 unfamiliar ship isn’t nearly as bad as having to re-learn every ship in the game. 1 unfamilair ship will probably just peak curiosity.
Also, why not bribe the players to make the docs for you 😛 I’d make a guide or two to fly some of the mtrek-pro ships like the juggernaut clx sv1…..
July 11, 2016 at 2:56 pm #6998
its cool theres new classes because it gives you something new to try if you get bored…. but i don’t remember m-trek ever being boring when it was popular and it only had 14 ships
its ok to make things better but i want to play the old version of the game (sorry)
The upgrading thing sounds cool but Ill get mad if I spend my gold for a crappy ship or if have gold in a normal ship but someone kills me by a higher level ship. we don’t need leveling this isn’t wow
July 12, 2016 at 4:54 am #7006
Heheh I’m regretting the original post now. To reiterate my position on Version 7…
I want to let Version 6 to fully run its course.
90 days in, and the game is running well. We have more active players on mtrek.com now than we’ve had on any JavaTrek-based server since the mid-2000s, and for the most part things are good.
We’re ironing out our most recent ship balance patch right now, and then we’ll let things settle down for another 90 days or so. This will give us time to collect data and decide and see if any more adjustments might be needed.
And then this year of course, we’ll have the “Borg Invasion!” (don’t laugh- still working on the name) expansion into an all new Delta Quadrant.
All of this, plus periodic “leaked” eastereggs, weekend PvP events, and other miscellaneous promotions… should take us well into next year before we really begin to look at another major update like V7.
Many of you can already attest that your ideas can, and often will make it into the game. The first step is offering that feedback so we can chew it over and figure out what works.
The original post here was just a way to spark up some discussion for future updates and to gauge player response to the idea of a more “classic” type server. That idea sort of evolved into a blended approach of having a Classic game on the surface, but with some outwardly subtle features that add depth, like the upgrade system from version 4.x or the ability to purchase improved weapons systems, cloaks, etc for your “vanilla” ships.
Again, it looks like we’re still a looong way from any kind of version 7 though.
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