Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Devidians

The latest Feature Episode series, The Devidians, wrapped up this weekend in Star Trek Online.  Overall, I thought it was an excellent quest line.  I even went back and watched the Time's Arrow episodes from The Next Generation to get in the mood.  I won't spoil anything, but STO's weekly episodes have impressed me.

These quests were clearly not just thrown together and shoved out of the door.  They had great artwork, new sounds and interesting new game mechanics to play around with.  The story was not half bad either.  I found myself looking forward to the next episode... much like I did with the TV series.

In a time where MMO quests are just treated as a form of progression, STO's feature episodes remind me of how fun they can be.  Most quests are a result of needing to give a player X amount of experience so they can progress to the next level/area.  With that as the driving force, it is no surprise that so many are uninspired.

The purpose of these weekly episodes is to give the player something interesting and new to do.  New is the operative word.  For me, new content is what makes a PvE focused game interesting.  New is also better a lot of the time.  It is utilizing their latest tools and methods.  So a steady stream of new stuff just makes the game feel fresh and alive.

Sadly, I don't think the next Feature Episode will be out until January.  During a recent interview, the STO devs talked about how much time goes into making these weekly missions.  They also posed a question, "Would you rather have more frequent episodes or less frequent but higher quality?"  It goes to show, high quality content just takes time, no matter how good your tools are.

With Season 3 being the current focus, it seems that the Feature Episodes will go on hiatus for a little bit.  Of course, part of Season 3 will be the release of their user content creator tool, The Forge. I am very much looking forward to seeing what the STO community can come up with.