Sunday, December 9, 2007

Star Trek Online

Listen, I'm gonna go ahead and come right out and say it: I'm a nerd. I like all the stuff nerds like: Star Trek, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, computers, video games, and the like. So when I heard that there would be a massive online multiplayer Star Trek game, I was obviously delighted. The concept of crewing a starship in the Star Trek universe was very appealing, and, barring some foul-up, should be a lot of fun.

See this article:
http://www.shacknews.com/onearticle.x/50065

For those of you who aren't fans of reading, the article says that a new company has taken over the development of the game, and is planning on setting it up to be a more casual (their word, not mine) experience.

Vomit.

Are you kidding me? The most enjoyable games are those that are in fact too complex. I don't want a game that has been dumbed down for the masses; I want the game that every gaming company wants to make: easy to learn, hard to master. When I hear that they want to make it a "casual" game, I'm thinking it's going to be more like the Sims online or something.

Also mentioned in the article is that the company is exploring a different payment structure, where there wouldn't be a month-to-month fee, but you would have to pay for extra features inside the game. Apparently this strategy has been very successful in Korea. Well that's great, except this isn't Korea. What exactly am I going to have to pay for inside the game? Flight school? Engineering lessons? Transportation? Food? I don't like this, not one bit.

I play World of Warcraft. I've tried out Star Wars: Galaxies, Final Fantasy XI, Dungeons & Dragons Online, and Lord of the Rings online, and I found all of them to be seriously lacking when compared to WoW. I was disappointed, but not surprised. The Star Wars universe has its own flaws and foibles, so it's only fitting that its video game counterparts have some of the same problems.

But when it comes to complexities and fanship, Star Trek blows Star Wars out of the water. You can't give "Trekkies" a subpar effort; they'll lose their shit. The one thing I like about that is that, in those vehement supporters of the Star Trek universe, I've got a group of dedicated advocates who will do their best to ensure the game lives up to the standard of Star Trek. Many previous Star Trek games have disappointed, but an MMO should be held to a higher standard. You're not just creating an adventure. You're regenerating the entire Star Trek universe that thousands of people already know cover-to-cover, so to speak. You can't mess this up; they won't stand for it.

The main difference is that the average Star Wars fan is a casual fan, often young, and not necessarily a critical thinker. The average Star Trek fan expects a high level of discourse when they talk about their show, and certainly will expect a genuine representation of their universe from a game purported to offer gamers the true "Trek" experience.

Maybe this is all for nothing, and it'll end up being awesome, and everyone will go home happy. But I'm not holding out hope.

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