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A Voyage remake brainstorming session ...

DittoDitto ✭✭✭
edited September 7 in Make It So!
I got to thinking that the current voyage is a bit ... underwhelming. It was advertised initially as a "longer term activity for crew" (paraphrased, it has been a few years and I do not recall the exact wording).

Voyages, however, require you to "babysit" them every 2 hours, which kind of takes away from the "longer term" part. Needing to login every 2 hours isn't really conducive to coming up with a longer term option.

Add to the fact that the "dilemmas" seem to be rather "static", and repetitive, and it seems like voyages have become a bit .. "dry"? rather quick. There's nothing new, nothing interesting to see in them anymore.
You slap your crew together, send them out ... couple hours later, get a dilemma, poke a random response (doesn't matter, since you have all the voyage crew already) .. and repeat every 2 hours. After (only) 6-8 hours for most people (I'm guessing) ... you recall, and then restart the entire process over again the next day.
In short (for myself anyway), it's just a mindless random clicking for a big chunk of chrons later on when it finally returns. I don't find myself reading anything anymore ... nor do I take any time to pick my crew .. I'm simply select the biggest crew I have, and send it off ... I always make 6 hours, and I'm hitting 8 hours more often now. And I'm not too worried about struggling to push harder on that at this time.

So I was giving it some thought, and I think I have an interesting idea to "Make Voyages Great again".

Starting off the same, the crew selection is (IMHO) the best part of the voyage. Put a crew together (12 crew) and pick a ship. Get some small bonuses based on some random traits generated .. check.

Send it off ... wait 4 hours (increase it from 2h to 4h, imho, would make it more manageable - if you're concerned over the timing affect of the smaller events, it's easy to adjust them as well, half as often, or somewhere in between - whatever .. doesn't matter much to be honest, those rewards are smallish in general). When you reach a dilemma ... rather than just a simple multiple choice question which is the same every time ... have an away mission instead of the multiple choice cookie cutter option.

To generate a random away mission is not terribly hard:

Some simple points to go through:
1) 3 different endings to an away mission. Each ending has it's own (randomized) prize/reward at the end.

2) 3 different paths - Start with a single path on each (ie upper, middle and lower) and then randomly add some linked paths between the 3 paths (just like current away missions .. you could go "north" to the top path, and then choose to come back down to the middle one .. etc.)

3) 5 nodes to clear the away mission. So 1 starting node, and 4 nodes on 3 paths: 1+ 4x3, so 13 nodes in total. (you won't visit them all .. you'll only visit 5 .. but it gives us "options" along the way - helps offset "bad RNG" giving us imposible nodes)

For some examples to view as a "template"
Delphic Expanse - Mission 2: A Tale of Forgotten Lore
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Episode 5 - Mission 7: Salvage the Chavez
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Both of these show the basic layout of nodes for a 5 node, 3 path away mission.

Episode 10 - Mission 2: Highway to Hell
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This one shows a much more complex possibility, with 7 nodes, 3 paths (coming back to a single ending, however, it's easy to see the 7x3 => 22 node layout possibility here).

So in short, it should be relatively easy to generate a certain random away mission "layout" .. either have a fixed 5 node mission, with 3 endings, fix the paths initially and just randomize a few cross paths to give options. Or even generate a more random, 4, 5, 6 or 7 node setup.

4) Next is to assign the missions. Easy enough to randomize the skill needed for each node.

5) Then set their difficulty. Base difficulty could be derived depending on length of voyage .. longer you go, more difficult the missions get. Vary it by +/-10% (so 90-110 .. or 900-1100 ranges ... etc)

6) Next assign some random traits to each node for bonuses. No need to worry much about the validity of them .. just let them rip and watch the fun :) These are just the bonus traits, so if you don't have them .. you can still do the node .. just without a bonus.

7) Last, pick 1 (or 2?) nodes at random .. and make them "Locked" .. meaning you would require that trait to even try the node. For example, you might end up with a SCI node that requires you use an Android, and it gives bonuses based on Jury Rigger and Resourceful.

8) Finally you could generate a list of generic task descriptions for each skill and pick one for each for a bit of flavor.

The main idea with these away missions, with the 3 path endings, would be that each path has a different reward waiting for you. You should be able to see which one has what (maybe path 1 has 1000 Credits ... Path 2 has 20 Chronitons, and maybe Path 3 has a 3* champ ... etc ) randomly generated from the usual picks/prizes or such .. but then it gives us somewhat of a choice/chance to pick which one we want.

Of course, we still have to get through the nodes, to get to it .. and it could happen that a node could prevent us from getting there, because we didn't bring the champion on the voyage we needed.

This whole layout could make voyage teams much more interesting to pick .. knowing that you only have these 10 champions to use for an away mission ...

Anyway ... just a rough draft of an idea for voyages ... hoping it incites more discussion than just bland complaints ...

Cheers all!

Comments

  • Prime Lorca [10FH]Prime Lorca [10FH] ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited September 6
    Thank you for putting this forward. I have a few questions.

    Currently, voyages use 12 crew - two for each skill. Was it your intention to reduce that? I would want two crew for each skill for a feature like this.

    Is the away mission basically replacing a dilemma?

    Would you want these away missions to be random, or would it me better to design 36 away missions to correspond to each dilemma?

    And finally, my take on the suggestion. I have seen other games have an "endless mode." I think this idea would be better suited to a new game mode. Pick 12 crew, then run progressively harder missions as you suggest until you just can't pass anymore. Not sure what kind of rewards for this or if you would need tickets or wait on a cooldown or something. It's basically my piggyback idea. :)
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  • DittoDitto ✭✭✭
    edited September 7
    Thank you for putting this forward. I have a few questions.

    Currently, voyages use 12 crew - two for each skill. Was it your intention to reduce that? I would want two crew for each skill for a feature like this.

    Nope, just a bad miscount on my part :) (I've editted/fixed that in original post . thanks for pointing it out)
    Crew selection is great as is ... didn't mean to suggest a change there

    Is the away mission basically replacing a dilemma?
    Yep ...
    Would you want these away missions to be random, or would it me better to design 36 away missions to correspond to each dilemma?

    either or ... I don't see it being hard to generate random away missions .. the structure is fairly simple.
    So it should be pretty easy to randomize.
    that randomization would add an element of unknown to every voyage ...
    if you use the same (insert #) fixed missions .. they become known, predictable and "boring" :)

    I understand too much RNG isn't necessarily a good thing, but in the right place, RNG can be very useful.

    And finally, my take on the suggestion. I have seen other games have an "endless mode." I think this idea would be better suited to a new game mode. Pick 12 crew, then run progressively harder missions as you suggest until you just can't pass anymore. Not sure what kind of rewards for this or if you would need tickets or wait on a cooldown or something. It's basically my piggyback idea. :)

    Fair point .. ;)
  • DittoDitto ✭✭✭
    I'm surprised nobody has any other thoughts on this? Am I the only one that finds voyages a bit "dry" ? :)
  • Dirk GundersonDirk Gunderson ✭✭✭✭✭
    Dry? Not really. It’s true that player interactions with voyages are a couple of hours at the very shortest, and that there isn’t a lot of thought required when clearing dilemmas (unless you’re trying to get the exclusive crew). But I find the process of trying to optimize a voyage’s stats and traits to be one of the few daily in-game activities that requires true strategy. Shuttle missions outside of events just require your strongest available crew, and even in events just require choosing the right crew to maximize effectiveness of each shuttle you send (thus requiring a bit of planning and experimentation early on).

    Once or more per day, voyages allow people to strategize how to best match skills and traits to maximize voyage length. This should be true regardless of how many crew of any given rarity you have...it doesn’t matter if your only legendaries are COM/SEC monsters if you have an ENG/SCI voyage come up, you’ll still have to work out which 3*/4* crew can give you the best possible skill distribution alongside a couple of those COM/SEC heavies.

    This is the reason I haven’t tried to build a voyage crew suggestion/calculation functionality into my Excel spreadsheet. I compile stats, yes, and use those stats to identify overall weaknesses in my crew makeup but I don’t plug traits and featured skills, press a button, and have it spit out twelve crew to choose. Figuring things out is fun...just this morning, I set up an ENG/DIP voyage and the first pass was a little short on SCI, nor did it really have a good balance between ENG and DIP. I ended up shuffling a couple different crew around (losing a trait match in the process) before I was happy with the final result.

    That being said, the idea of sneaking away missions in the middle of voyages is interesting. And, might I add, more interesting in terms of a Voyage Event than maybe for regular voyages...sometimes you’re only able to clear a dilemma because you’re on lunch or snuck away to the bathroom during a work meeting, and increasing the time/effort required might not be attractive to everyone.
  • DittoDitto ✭✭✭
    Those are fair points ...

    I find myself, however, with voyages, i do just pick the highest crew at the moment ... not too much thought. Although as I said, I do enjoy the crew selection portion of voyage .. feels fun picking a crew of 12 regardless of how you do it :)

    Having more variety out there .. such as away missions .. .means more thought into picking the crew to try to cover more bases/options ...

    Each away mission shouldn't be too bad/long .. as you only have 12 crew to pick from .. at the point of the mission, your choices are limited, so the time taken shouldn't be too much ;)

  • There is no need to babysit a voyage for 2 hours, instead make sure you have enough anti-matter let say 2000 to +3000, but should you only have 1500 anti-matter left then you need to check it once and a while.
  • DittoDitto ✭✭✭
    There is no need to babysit a voyage for 2 hours, instead make sure you have enough anti-matter let say 2000 to +3000, but should you only have 1500 anti-matter left then you need to check it once and a while.

    sorry, not sure what your point is? You focused on 1 minor aspect of my post . and misunderstood it, as well.

    I didn't say "babysit a voyage FOR 2 hours" .. I said "babysit a voyage EVERY 2 hours" .
    meaning once, every 2 hours, you need to login.

    regardless of that ... the bulk / main point of my post is far beyond/aside from whether we need to babysit it for 2 hours, or some other time.
  • Banjo1012Banjo1012 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I find voyages the second most engaging aspect of the game behind an event run. It’s a challenge to trait match while trying to get the gold and silver to 14.5. When the other four skills add up to a decent amount, it’s go time!! There’s no way I would put numbers into a computer and have it select crew for me. It takes all the fun out. I don’t think I would do an away mission in there. There’s already a game mechanic for that if that’s what you want. I wouldn’t increase the dilemnas to 4 hours either. You would have some upset people who try for voyage exclusive crew. I’m pretty sure a computer wouldn’t select numbers like these but numbers like hear have a possibility of going much farther than a computers selections. The thought put into it and the RNG gamble makes it all worth while when you hit 11:30 and made a serious run at 12

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  • DittoDitto ✭✭✭
    I've never suggested having any automated anything selecting crew for you . ;) that's another topic and unrelated to what I'm suggesting.

    Yeah, I know the shift to 4 hour might ruffle feathers ... any change is bound to annoy .. somebody ..
    I'm just hear tossing ideas around :)
    Not suggesting that I have the best ideas either .. :P

    I just find voyages at the moment not terribly interesting or engaging .. beyond the initial pick the crew ..

    I think it could be good to have other "things" happening during the voyage.
  • Ice ManIce Man ✭✭✭
    A much more likely scenario (because it's way easier for TP) would be to just add more useful crew to the drop tables...and get rid of all the trainers and replicator rations.
  • edited October 7
    Yes Please, Rework Voyages?

    I am curious what everyone's thoughts are on Voyages, but at this time I have ADD so I would struggle to read every comment.

    The thing I would add is something less simplistic: Encounters. There could be - I don't mean to be trite - new life and new civilizations, anomalies, which it already has some elements of. I was riveted by my first Voyage, reading every word, and enjoyed it all the while. I guess now what's lacking is more or more elaborate, without bogging down the game, content. Animated visuals of space, celestial bodies, aliens, other humans, ships, and more interesting story arcs. Maybe beam down to a planet's surface for an Encounter? Seeing what happens aboard ship, and out a view screen or window would be nice in my humble opinion; something three-d too. Maybe voiceover is needed, or character voices, like a virtual episode. Sound fxs? New music? Hmm, not sure. I really like rewards! Rewarding a journey, especially, but not necessarily always the best thing, are higher starred crew! If not much is happening on a Voyage, perhaps you could go to an on board holodeck, and pick a program to enjoy, with rewards, or make your own; people could decide, or Tilting Point, if their personal made programs are worth sharing with other Captains? Best Treks! (-Turen Counterpoint, Admiral of Avalon's Galactic Armada, oh I mentioned this because stuff could go on at the starbase too, but yet that's off topic! And all are welcome tenth level and above.)
    Admiral Turen Counterpoint at Avalon's Galactic Armada and Captain of the U.S.S. Divinity
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