Some Star Trek Online (STO) Foundry players do not want to be told how to play. The idea of developing a specialized mission (which could be rejected by the player community) becomes a truly daunting challenge!
The developers at Cryptic Studios have the ability to augment game play. If they want players to enter a mission with a shuttlecraft, then they can force the code base to only accept players in their shuttles. Foundry authors do not have that luxury. But there are other options, such as role playing (RP). In this case, Foundry authors are incorporating the EV (Extra-Vehicular) suits into their work.
Phaser rifle: check. Bat’leth: check. EV suit: …
Within various official STO missions (examples: The 2800: “Boldly They Rode”; the Vlugta Asteroid Field mining mission), the player has the ability to gain a spacesuit for their primary character. Savvy players can also collect more than one suit to provide to their Bridge Officers (BOffs). Unlike the costumes that come with each player’s toon, a spacesuit is not standard issue. It must be earned or purchased in-game.
Some Foundry authors are counting on players to a.) have a spacesuit; and b.) have the open-mindedness to “suit up” when called upon during a Foundry mission.
Consider the following when requiring an EV suit in Foundry missions:
On the downside:
- Do not expect all players to have EV suits in their inventory.
- Understand that some players have no idea what an EV suit is! (Or where to get it!)
- Authors cannot make suits available in their mission at this time.
- Most players will not have extra suits for their BOffs.
- Be careful not to use too many RP options, e.g. booster shot of tri-ox compound or a TAS life support belt. This creates more questions in the player’s mind. (“Where do I get a life support belt?” “Tri-what?” )
+ Make EV suit use optional, not mandatory.
(If you are requiring players to suit up to walk into the vacuum of space, an airless planetoid, etc., then offer options in the dialog box. You can suggest the player can survive in their armor, or may want to change to an EV suit if they have one.)
+ Don’t confuse players with too many requirements. Keep it simple.
+ Use color text in the dialog box to give clear instructions.
+ Suggest that players “park” their BOffs before their main toon traverses in an EV suit. (That is, assuming the mission map can be played with one character.) Make sure the player can leave their BOffs in a safe area (airlock, corridor), not standing in the very environment that requires a suit!
How did other Foundry authors introduce EV suit requirements?
Good question! And we have examples for you to review… (Warning: Foundry mission spoilers below.)
Example #1: “Golems” (Federation faction)
STO Foundry author Chooch99 gets the prize for the first use of EV suits in a Foundry mission. In his mission, “Golems” (Extended Edition), players are asked to wear their EV suits when facing an environmental hazard.
|(Click on the images to enlarge.)|
The EV suits are NOT mandatory. The use of suits is intended to enhance the player’s experience… and with a touch of role playing excitement!
Example #2: “The Song of Circe’s Demise” (Klingon faction)
STO Foundry author Tucana uses a combination of seriousness and humor to allow players to choose an EV suit. The only drawback here? The authors hopes the player has an EV suit for their toon. And if you think about it, the player would need enough extra EV suits to dress up the entire Away Team, too!
Fortunately, there is an option to skip the EV suit requirement.
Example #3: “The Sphere of Destiny” (Federation faction)
(Under development, as of 5/3/2012) STO Foundry author woghd notes, “The player is sent to the surface of a Dyson Sphere. Gravity is low, and the atmosphere is mostly vacuum, with small patches of thin poisonous gases that have vented off from the ancient object over the years.”
The player has the option of wearing an EV suit. This enhances the role playing aspect. It is NOT mandatory to wear the suit.
StarbaseUGC hopes Foundry authors will continue to innovate with in-game assets that are widely available to players, including EV suits.