G & T Show 40 – Foundry Missions & Fan Fic. What’s the Difference?
G & T Show 40 – Foundry Missions & Fan Fic. What’s the Difference? is now available for downloading. Give it a listen here. This week Nick and Teri are back with an all new discussion about foundry missions and fan fiction and the difference between the two, if there is one. Mike (Soriedem), Paul (CaptPFDennis), and Oliver (CerberusFilms) joined them in the studio for the discussion. They also have a Star Trek Las Vegas Update, several items from our mailbag and forums, and a new Ask Dayton #25 – Do the Ooby Dooby and Other First Contact Day Celebrations.
Nick kicks off this week’s show by sharing with us that he was up late watching a classic sci-fi movie marathon on TCM (Turner Classic Movies) that featured Logan’s Run, West World, and Soylent Green. He warns us that as a result, he only had a couple of hours of sleep. Nick sends a shot out to his movie buddy HokiAndrea. After discussing it briefly, Teri moves us along by introducing this week’s guests. She starts off with Mike. Although, he’s not really a guest, they describe him more like Andy Richter without being ambiguously gay. Nick asks if Ed McMahon was ambiguously gay, which caused Teri to describe Johnny Carson Slash. Nick feels dirty. Also joining them this week is Paul (CaptPFDennis).
Paul is from Rhode Island, the heart of Red Sox land. Nick mentions a recent Red Sox game where they were leading 9 to nothing, but ending up losing 15 to 9. Teri shares that she is definitely not a Yankees fan. Paul shares that he likes the Yankees, but it doesn’t mean anything to him. Nick shares a theory between Red Sox and Yankee fans. Bottom of the 9th, down by two, and Red Sox fans expect to lose, while Yankee fans expect to win. Nick shares his belief that Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium, and Wrigley Field should be on the National Historic Landmarks list. Paul says that Fenway is 100 years old this year. Teri agrees with Nick’s suggestion. Teri is a Giants fan. Nick asks if she’s ever heard of Ebbets Field – Giants win the Pennant. Teri says that Willie Mays’ catch didn’t happen there, it occurred at Candlestick. Nick says that Bobby Thompson’s shot heard around the world did.
Nick blames his crankiness on Michael York and Logan’s Run. Paul chimes in and says that he would have dumped Al Rivera for that. Nick tells us about how he had been tweeting back and forth with HokiAndrea during the film. He shares the experience he had with her and Trek Jen in watching all three of those movies. He also mentioned the making of show that had aired between Logan’s Run and West World. He says that he’s not a fan of remakes, but thinks that West World is screaming to be remade using the latest technology. Teri says that it’s slated. Nick says that Logan’s Run is also going to be remade and will star Ryan Gosling. Teris says that Logan’s Run wasn’t one of her favorites, but West World was. They mention Richard Benjamin, and Yul Brynner who both starred in West World. Nick would love to Ridley Scott get his hands on it. Teri adds that as long as it’s not scary. It could be creepy, but not scary. Nick mentions Black Rain (Michael Douglas and Andy Garcia) as an example of a creepy but not scary movie. He goes on to say that the soundtrack is definitely something to write to.
It reminded Teri that David Mack was recently interviewed on Trek Radio (it’s available on their On Demand page) and announced an upcoming event. Deyvid_KDF was in the chat room and provided some of the details. David Mack will be doing a show on Trek Radio that will feature the music that inspired as he wrote for Star Trek Vanguard. While they waited for a response from Deyvid concerning the date and time of the episode, Nick rants about the network delay, especially since they’re allowed to curse. He’s going to go Keith Olbermann on them about the studio. The show will air April 23rd at 3pm EDT, Noon PDT. They wonder if it’s going to be On Demand afterwards. Teri is looking forward to listening to it to find out what kind of music he listens to when he writes for Star Trek.
Nick shares a comment Mike made before the show concerning our forums. Lanny and JohnnyQ must have spent the night drinking and posting on the forums. Teri is confused, because there’s someone that she follows on twitter named Johnnycakes. Since Paul mentioned it, Teri asked Paul about his interview with Al Rivera. Paul hosts two different podcasts: Bitesize UGC and Primetime UGC. Bitesize UGC is a 3 minute foundry review show, while Primetime UGC is a talk show for foundry authors, by foundry authors about of course Foundry and foundry authors. It is a video podcast animated with the Foundry. The recent interview is for Primetime UGC and will be aired in three parts over several days on CerberusFilms’ Livestream. Email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Teri loves the advertisements that he has created, including Law and Horta. He’s hoping to add the next installment to it soon. For our downloaders, we’ve included the audio from one of his two newest commercials into the show: The Andorian Express Card and Crazy Chalaskie. Watch new episodes when they air on the livestream or watch them afterwards on Starbase UGC. Teri explains what the Foundry is to those who may not be familiar with it. Because of the all the UGCs Teri sometimes confuses them with Broadcast UGC.
Moving along, Nick asks if Teri had seen what Bryan Fuller had said during an interview with Entertainment Weekly concerning Mockingbird Lane, a reboot of the Munsters. He’s also developing a series called Hannibal about Hannibal Lecter. He’s often talked with Brian Singer about bringing Star Trek back to television, but said that it won’t happen until JJ has finished with the movie, since JJ is the current guardian of Trek. Teri disapproves and believes that many Trekkies are bitter that he is its custodian and doesn’t even like the universe. Nick explains that JJ is making the new movie, it’s coming out in 2013, and we’re getting new Trek. Teri is disappointed that we aren’t getting prime universe Trek. Paul points to what JJ has done to fandom. Mike suggests a petition to allow the fans to create a new Trek show. Teri says that petitions have been floated around for years. Nick suggests the New Housewives of Starfleet Academy and the 100,000 Gold Press Latinum Pyramid, while Mike suggests Klingon Fear Factor.
Nick takes a moment to share that Dick Clark among others had passed away this week and admits that he never really liked Dick Clark. Nick mentions the $25,000 Pyramid, Password, The Price is Right; and how it reminds him of being home sick from school. Nick respected him for being a great business man. Teri sends our condolences to the family of acclaimed Science Fiction author K.D. Wentworth (Kaleidoscope and Moonspeaker) who also passed away this week. Keith R.A. DeCandido was saddened by the news. Nick shares that Levon Helm (The Last Waltz) also passed this week. Teri adds that Jonathan Frid who had played Barnabas in Dark Shadows is no longer with us as well. Dark Shadows is currently being remade. Teri is looking forward to it.
Nick and RJC_Foxtrot in the chat room had misunderstood and thought that Jonathan Frakes had died. If it had been Frakes, we wouldn’t have a show this week, or it would be all Riker, all the time. Teri agrees that we should have an all Riker show sometime. Paul asks if it’s true that Trek Radio has a Frakes interview coming soon. Nick didn’t see any new announcements to STLV, but Teri did, which moves us into the STLV update. Rene Auberjonois (Odo) and Ethan Philips (Neelix) have been announced. Nick says that Rene made Benson. They will be appearing on Thursday and will be performing a special live theatrical performance together. Paul suspects that it means that Nana Visitor may not be going, because she usually performs with Rene.
Before making the next big announcement for the convention, Nick shares an email from JohnnyQ concerning STLV. He wonders if Patrick Stewart is going to be at the convention, since they’ve designed the promo posters advertising four captains, while the Star Trek London has five captains, and the Canada Con will have the entire TNG cast. Teri answers the question by explaining that she had received an email from Creation months ago that he would be at Las Vegas, but says it could have been an error. Unless he had a prior commitment, she can’t imagine why he would not be there. Creation has been known to work around their guest’s schedules. She’s going to be bummed if he doesn’t show up, since this is the 25th Anniversary of TNG after all. Teri, then, explains that tickets for STLV have sold out in record time without Patrick Stewart even on the bill. The Preferred Weekend, Preferred Daily Seating, and General Admission tickets are now available. She’s hoping that they use Patrick Stewart as the final linchpin to sell out the remaining tickets. Considering that Gold and Captain’s Chair tickets sold in record time, and Preferred Weekend sold to the point where they opened up General seating in record time; she’s not worried about attendance. Nick shares that he had gotten his tickets in June for last year’s con, but he had to get his in April this year. Paul got his tickets almost as soon as he got off the plane from last year’s con. Teri says that both parties at the Voodoo Lounge have sold out, along with a lot of the breakfasts among other activities. Nick says that’s it because of their live broadcast from last year’s con. Teri doesn’t disagree. Paul has gold seating, while Nick has preferred. Mike will be in the Vendor’s room with Chase Masterson and everybody else.
The chat room asked if there was any word on Cox yet. Teri said that there was no word about his appearance yet. Teri moves on to the big announcement. Massively and Trek Radio will be co-hosting a Discussion with the Devs Panel. Mike is excited to hear the news. Teri and Risa will be moderating the panel on Saturday morning at 11:00 am PDT. Nick won’t be there, because that’s when he was planning to go to the SciFi brothel. He was only pulling Teri’s leg; of course, he’s going to be there. We still don’t know which devs will be in attendance, but the date, time, and location (The Deforest Kelley Theater, which is the secondary ballroom) have been set. Cryptic is planning some really fun stuff for those who can attend. They’re also working on another Dining with the Devs event for Saturday night; but they’re looking to avoid the issues with last year’s event. The restaurant didn’t have the room for everyone that wanted to attend the event and people were turned away. Teri still doesn’t know what they’re going to do, but she’s working with the Rio to find an appropriate venue for it. The Dining with the Devs is more of a casual get together. The Discussion with the Devs will be an hour long and will be broadcast on Trek Radio, while the Dining with the Devs could be longer.
Nick returns to baseball and brings up the Perfect Game Philip Humber pitched. They talk about the game for a moment. Teri said that she had seen the perfect game being thrown by Dennis Martinez of the Montreal Expos against the LA Dodgers. She still has the ticket stubs and the front-page of the LA Times from the following day. She tells us about the experience. Nick mentions David Well’s Perfect Game and how he was completely hung over from the night before. Oliver (Cerberusfilms) asked “when did this show become about silly sports”. Mike replied that it was linear, and Nick said that he’s a baseball fan, while Teri is a sports fan, except for basketball – she prefers contact sports. They chat with room for a few moments about sports. Teri said that all we need now is Parrises Squares. Nick adds Fizbin and tells us about his doffs that managed to get a critical success in Fizzbin Tournament, but failed in a snow ball fight. Speaking of his doffs, he obtained a new addition to his crew: Helna, who’s learning what it means to be a member of Stonn’s crew. Teri hasn’t gotten her yet.
Nick tells us that we’ve got a lot of mail this week. Teri adds the Ask Dayton, and the topic this week about writing. Nick explains that he had forgotten to talk about something last week. He shares his recent drive to visit his kids, which gave him an opportunity to refine his thoughts about it. They will get to that later.
Nick takes us into this week’s mailbag. Woghd tells us about his Klingon foundry mission “Grazorak City”. It’s a roleplay story-driven mission. Nick says that reviewing foundry missions is part of Podcast UGC’s charter, but he may play it in order to see how it relates to this week’s topic. However, he didn’t see the email until last night, which is why the will not be discussing it this week. They will try to play it and hopefully talk about it next week. Paul thinks it’ll be quite a mission.
The second piece of mail came from Christopher13. The question was for Teri, but Nick’s input would be acceptable as well. He had sent the email to Podcast UGC (Tuesday nights around 9pm EST on Trek Radio and JustinTV), but still hasn’t heard the reply, so he shared it with us a better venue for it. He asks if either of them had read the Dark Mirror novel by Diane Duane. It’s a sequel to the TOS episode Mirror Mirror. There’s an audio book version read by John deLancie. Nick and Teri agree that they can do an entire episode about it and will be the topic for next week’s show. They even provide a brief preview of what to expect next week. When Nick thinks about the Mirror Universe, he thinks about vampy Intendant Kira, while Teri describes the women of the Mirror Universe as much stronger than their prime universe counterparts. Once he realized that she was referring to the novels, he agreed. He points out Marlena in David Mack’s Rise Like Lions or Hoshi in Shards and Shadows. They’re looking forward to discussing the Mirror Universe next week. Teri wonders why the women are stronger in the Mirror Universe. Mike thinks it the sashes. Teri adds the knives. CerberusFilms agrees that it’s the daggers.
Oliver joined them in the studio. Paul was surprised that he was even conscious. The next piece of mail comes from JohnnyQ in the forums. He had finished reading the Deep Space Nine novel The Soul Key a few months ago. He was disappointed with that they had discontinued the Eav’oq story line had been discontinued in order to jump ahead to coincide with the Destiny Trilogy. He wondered if there was any fan fiction that dealt with the Eav’oq to bridge the gap between the DS9 relaunch and the Destiny Triology. Neither of them had heard of some. Nick finished reading Andrew J Robinson’s A Stitch in Time and was completely satisfied with it. It explained Garek’s disdain for Dukat. If Nick can sit down with Marco Palmieri at Shore-leave, he will ask him to elaborate on the decision to abandon that story line with the Eav’oq. He suspects that it will be similar to what had occurred with the Crisis on Infinite Earths. They ask the audience if they know of a fan fiction that deals with this and email them at email@example.com or to tweet them @SundayGandT, @TerilynnS or @Gettysburg7.
Finally, also on the forums, JohnnyQ had replied to the episode 39 thread. He wasn’t sure if Nick had read any of the novels prior to Gateways. He recommends Star Trek Invasion (Nick has the Omnibus), Dark Mirror, Q Squared, Fallen Heroes (the audio version is narrated by Rene Auberjonois), and Vendetta. Mike encourages him and everyone else to keep posting on the forums. He thought about Millennium, when he tried to recall another cross-over novel, but it was in the DS9 series. They move on to the this week’s Ask Dayton #25 – Do the Ooby Dooby and Other First Contac Day Celebrations. During it, Dayton makes a reference to Tom Hanks in Bachelor Party and Gasparilla Day in Tampa and Mardi Gras. Teri reminds everyone to keep the questions for Ask Dayton coming in via email, twitter, or Facebook. They send a thank you to JohnnyQ for his emails and forum posts.
Before moving on to this week’s discussion, Teri brings up the topic that they did not get to discuss last week: Star Trek Online’s Q Bonus Weekends. He’s not a fan of these events. When he stumbles over his words, he begins to talk Twitter with the #Fail statement. He continues by explaining that last fall Vicky was a Lt. Cmdr 9 and by the end of the weekend, she was a Vice Admiral by simply completing the Q weekend by simply running Deferi missions. Afterwards, he had a lot of missions, including the Romulan featured episodes to do, but he felt no impetus for completing those missions, because they offered very little to advance his Captain. Then, the states one of the biggest issues with Kirk becoming a Captain from a Cadet in the JJ movie, and yet, in game players perform the same feat with surprising ease. Mike refers to a statement made by Dan Stahl that Star Trek Online starts at end game. Nick thinks that from a story telling stand point, it hurts the game, although he does enjoy being turned into a spider and jumping on Kestra.
Oliver thinks he’s wrong, while Mike and Teri didn’t think it hurts the game. Nick said it affected how he viewed playing that character, because she had made her rank. Paul said that it hurts immersion, but not the game. Nick was looking at the missions as a means of earning his rank, despite what Oliver had said that they’re quite enjoyable and offer some great rewards. Teri found his viewpoint interesting. He wonders if it’s the soldier in him that is having difficulty accepting it. Teri thinks he plays the game to achieve rank, rather than just to play the game. She doesn’t care about her rank; she’s more interested in story, mission content, and more Star Trek. She hasn’t played the new Vault mission, but decides to defer her reasoning for later in the show, but she does say that she wants to know what happens. Nick says that we come up with stories for our characters and quotes Saving Private Ryan by saying “Earn it”. He goes on to say that Vicky had since earned it, but it was after she had already been a VA for a while. Teri explains that we now know that Cryptic wants us to level quickly and have those story missions available as end game content. Xander in the chat room recommends looking at it as time. Although it may only take you 30 minutes to run a mission, a week or month could have gone by for your captain. He points out how quickly we are able to travel across the quadrant. Teri says that if the game actually progressed in real time, it would be the most boring game in the world. Oliver would love it. Teri says that Vicky has all of these missions that she’s yet to play. Nick adds that she has since completed them, but it had affected his interest in completing them.
Oliver suggests that Nick should instead role play and ignore the game’s ranking system. Mike suggests that Cryptic should rework the rank system so when a player gets to end game, they will finally be a Captain. Teri states that they’ve already said that they’re not going to do that. She refers to an Al Rivera interview on Stoked where he outlined the rank roadmap for STO, which would eventually reach the rank of Fleet Admiral at level 60. Teri goes on to explain that they didn’t use Commodore because CBS wanted them to use modern ranking conventions. Nick said that he used to work for a Commodore in the Navy. She thought it was silly to have Rear Admiral Upper and lower half. One of them should have been Commodore.
Teri tells us about her recent Massively interview with @Cryptic_Kestrel, Christine Thompson, the lead writer for Star Trek Online. She discussed some of Christine’s plans for the game prior to the release of Star Trek 2009 that had been thrown out the window when CBS informed her that Romulus and Remus both had been destroyed. Christine is a huge Romulan fan, especially with Dianne Duane’s Rihannsu novels. Nick says that’s the reason the Obisek stuff in the Romulan Featured Episodes were so good. Teri says that’s another reason why people are unhappy with JJ. Instead of fleshing out that world, he killed it and ruined it for everyone. Nick shares that he has an open character slot. Havraha has been trying to convince him to create a Klingon character. He had tried it once, but found the experience aggravating because he couldn’t finish a mission. But he’s holding out for Romulans if they ever enter the game as a playable species. He goes on to say that there is more love for the Romulans than most people think. Teri says that Christine has the coolest job, because she was able to write 30 years of missing history following Nemesis in the Path to 2409. Michael A. Martin took all of that information and turned it into the Star Trek Online novel. Mike suggests that she should write the next Star Trek Online novel. What she writes for Star Trek Online has to be approved by CBS, and they tell her which stories to write. Teri shares that part two of her interview with Christine will reveal some of those details. Look for Captain’s Log at Massively.com under columns.
Oliver says that he wants to get Teri, Kestrel, and some of the foundry authors on to Primetime UGC to do a writing panel for foundry and STO. Nick states our plan to get her on our show as well. Nick comments on the fact that he was once again excluded from the festivities. Mike shares a friendly barb, and Nick promises him a good time in Vegas. Teri says that is why they invited Paul and Mike onto the show. She extends an invitation for him to stay and join in the discussion about Star Trek Online and the Foundry. Although not all foundry missions are considered fan fiction, there are fan fiction stories in the game because of the unique way it allows us to tell our stories within the Star Trek universe. The missions have run the gambit, from diplomatic to pure combat to console clickers, which Teri said with a bit of disgust. She goes on to say that there are amazing authors that are making some of the most incredible Star Trek missions and telling amazing Star Trek stories in a way that transcends fan fiction. Last week, the question was asked: when does something cross-over fan fiction and become something that is truly Star Trek. Nick mentions a Podcast UGC – Episode 60, where Hav and Bob talked about Checks and Balances by mygod_itsfullofstars that he decided to play after hearing their review. He agrees that it was a playable fan fiction story. He also refers to Paul’s Class Dismissed series and Chronitons and Klingons as specific examples of playable fan fiction.
Paul describes Chronitons and Klingons touchstones on TNG. In it, he takes us back to the Khitomer Massacre. Teri says that the beauty of fan fiction is that you can take an event or a character that only had a mention, or a small appearance and expand on it. Paul’s mission explores how Worf came to end up on Earth to be raised by humans. Through the UGC tool, the player becomes the pivotal character and is the reason why certain things happen. Like in First Contact, the player goes back in time to ensure that the timeline remains intact. She says that it was one of her all-time favorite Foundry missions. Nick shared that he gave it a one star rating out of rage over a bug, but amended it later after he had a chance to replay it. It likens it to a novel missing its last two chapters.
Teri asks Paul what lead to him writing that story. Paul explains that it was a story he liked, and wanted to know what happened. He says that it started with the Khitomer map and the story developed from there. The shares his process with us; he doesn’t write it in Word, because the story can change depending on the limitations of the foundry. Worf isn’t the pivotal character in the story, because of the EULA. However, he was able to slip in a younger version of Sergey Rozhenko. Teri said that he did a good job before Nick points out a comment that Deyvid_KDF made in the chat room concerning the use of canon characters in the foundry. Paul clarifies by explaining that we can use all of the characters from canon, as long as we don’t use the likeness of the actors. Nick explains that Sergey was a good choice, because we saw him as an old man on the show and had no idea of what he would look like as a young man. Mike says that we also never saw Worf as a child. Teri mentions that you don’t see him in the mission, but Paul says that you do now. He added children to the mission once that technology was added to the foundry. Teri thinks it’s a great addition, but hasn’t played it since then. She’s looking forward to seeing the changes. It’s got a combat element to it that some players will enjoy in the form of participation in the Khitomer Massacre.
Teri says that there are diplomatic missions as well that don’t require any fighting, but rely heavily on reading and thinking. Paul has not made a mission without any combat, but tries to use the combat in an intelligent manner that makes sense to the story. Teri explains that it’s done to attract players that prefer combat in their missions. Paul describes how he used combat to create a rift such as the one the Enterprise C had in TNG’s Yesterday’s Enterprise. Teri turns asks Oliver and Mike if they created any diplomatic missions. Oliver responds first and explains that he doesn’t have a diplomatic mission. He has been developing a Klingon mission for more than a year where all of the combat in it is completely optional. However, it’s still in development. It’s a Klingon love story. Mike chimes in with a mention to the social zone that he’s been developing. Also, he’s got a couple of missions that are mostly diplomatic. Come Babel or High Water is a diplomatic mission, while Clouded Intentions has one space battle, but it’s driven by the plot. Teri asked him about Risian Sunset. It’s a shuttle mission with ground and space combat. Teri points out that its deals with diplomacy, while having plot driven combat.
Nick asks the panel, about fan fiction and tries to get them to define the line where a mission becomes fan fic. Mike never imagined that he would be writing fan fiction until foundry came along. For him, they are the same thing. One led to the other. When he created his first Foundry mission: Unholy Alliances I, he realized that he likes this stuff. Paul agrees with Mike and adds that if it weren’t for foundry, he wouldn’t even have gotten into Fan Fiction at all. Oliver says that he tried to write some stuff years ago, but quickly stopped. When Foundry came along, he began to write about his characters.
These three authors found an appreciation for fan fiction through the Foundry. Teri asks if Paul has written any prose, or if he keeps his writing within Foundry. Paul shares that he began writing a Star Trek series years ago. He had gotten away from it due to real life issues. STO and the foundry had that element of excitement that allowed someone to come along and actually experience it. He finds it completely addicting. Mike and Oliver agree. Teri shares that Soriedem and CerberusFilms have moved beyond Foundry to write prose. Oliver has been writing as Dax Hamiliton, a STO and Star Trek: Reunion character, in a personal log about Dax’s life as a cadet in the academy. Teri follows it on RSS and is enjoying seeing the little snap shots of Dax’s life between the times she sees him in game and on Star Trek: Reunion. While most fan fiction writers role played their characters in STO and adapted their fiction for foundry, they had started with STO, moved on to foundry and have now moved beyond it to write their own fan fiction around their characters. Nick adds that there are even people creating Twitter accounts for their characters, making it seem like a living fan fic.
Teri agrees and mentions something that Dan Stahl had said and states that unlike Nick who likes the leveling aspect to the game, she would love to start and play a game where she doesn’t have to worry about leveling at all – where someone can simply do whatever they want within the Star Trek Universe. Mike states Teri’s bar. Before the game came out, Teri’s hoped to be able to set up a bar and simply operate as a bartender and have people walk in, order a drink and just start talking to them. Although, it can already be done in Second Life, the ability to do it within the game would be a remarkable thing. She wants the game to evolve into something much more open world. Mike says that’s the beauty of foundry, we can create these places and stories to share with your friends He’s surprised that she hasn’t created her own little social zone where she or an NPC of her can tend bar. Teri explains that the way the foundry currently works; players get their own zone and are alone. They can enter it with a team, but she still wouldn’t be her behind the bar. Oliver thinks we may possibly obtain that capability with the introduction of some Neverwinter tech. Teri is interested in seeing Neverwinter and what it does with the Foundry, and how it will evolve STO’s Foundry.
Shifting gears, Nick asks the panel if they have taken a look at the new Vault mission, and what their thoughts on the current rage against Cryptic. Mike says that this one has gotten him pretty upset about. The sky is falling when Mike’s mad. For our listeners that may not know about them, Teri tells us what the Featured Episodes entail in general and more specifically the Vault shuttle mission in the Reman militia (the Romulan) series. This week, they released a sequel to the Vault that marks the return of Obisek. The problem is that it’s an event and available only a couple times a day for an hour at a time, instead of being readily available to play whenever you want it. Throw in the fact that the mission is fail-able, and must be completed with a team of five in shuttles, it makes the entire experience frustrating to play. It has upset a lot of people that are unable or willing to play on Cryptic’s schedule. Teri gives Cryptic a piece of her mind on the topic. Oliver says that’s the nature of the MMO experience. They’re catering to fleets. Teri agreed with that, but said that it took her an hour to find a team. She shouldn’t be expected to change her life in order to participate in these events. It should be made available 24-hours a day just like the other 5-man STF (Special Task Force) missions. They’re preventing a portion of their player-base from experiencing the content.
Nick compares it to the Countdown Comics and how it expanded the Star Trek 2009 movie. Not everyone that went to the theater got the full impact of the story. He’s got a lot of obligations on his time, and by restricting his access to the mission in this way, they’re excluding players like him from experiencing the story. Oliver said that it might be available when he gets home and has time to play. Teri says that might isn’t good enough. He goes on to say that there’s precedent for them to expand the amount of time it’s available just as they had with the Defera Ground Borg Invasion. Teri explains that she hasn’t played the Deferi or the Mirror Universe events either, because they’re timed. However, the timed events that she does enjoy are the Metaphasic, the Crafting, the Dilithium Mining, and Academy Events, because they provide a bonus to something that she may already be doing and if it occurs while she’s doing it, she gets the bonus. The Deferi event should be available 24-hours a day for whenever players can get a group together to run it. The game should be available for the player, not the other way around.
Nick mentions the Hearts and Minds mission for Friday the 13th. He got Stonn through it, and didn’t think it was all that great of a mission, but if he had to have his surgery on that day, he would have completely missed it. She should be playing the game. The game shouldn’t be playing her. Nick says that people sign on to play the game. We all have demands on our time. He mentions their fleet, Caspian Division. They have lives and some of them aren’t able to sign in until 11 pm and only have a set amount of time that they’re able to play. Teri says that our fleet has people from all over the world and they’re not all able to be in game at the same time to play together. However, when we are all happened to be together in game at the same time, we want the freedom to choose what to play together.
Mike explains that he’s a fairly busy person and doesn’t have a set schedule as to when he can play. Usually, it’s between projects and for a short period of time. He also is a member of multiple fleets, and it’s hard enough for him to scrounge together a team together from all of the different fleet to even run an STF. He’s not even going to try to play this mission, because it’s going to be impossible to get everything together within the allotted time frame. It takes them longer than that to get organized and it’s over and they missed it. Teri adds that it must be frustrating for the content developers to put a lot of effort into creating these missions and have people say that they’re not even going to try. Mike said that he’s excited about this mission. He wants to play it, but as it currently stands he cannot. Paul said that he’ll never have to time to do it either. Oliver isn’t disagreeing with us, but explains that it works for some people. Teri points out that Cryptic has recently said that they are looking for ways to make the game accessible to more people; however, this doesn’t make it more accessible. It’s exclusionary. Although Oliver says that it works for a lot of people, Teri says that it’s not a majority.
Nick and Teri have not heard of a single person that likes the way that this is set up. Teri asks our audience if there’s anyone happy with the way this event has been handled to email and let her know your reason. Oliver explains that they are trying to get people in the game at specific times of the day. He doesn’t think it’s the right thing to do. Teri says that if that’s what they’re trying to do, then they’re going to suffer the the wrath of the people they are rejecting for doing this stuff. Oliver offered would it be any better if it was offered once or twice a week. Teri didn’t think so. Deyvid in the chat room mentioned the Needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few. Nick asks us to look at the big picture. Although, they may say that they’ve added new content, he asks whether or not they really have, since they also made it difficult for people to play it. Teri said it’s not content for her. Mike said that it is content for people that have the ability to play the game all day, every day; but it’s not for the casual player.
Nick shares that next week, he’ll be in the hospital and any events that may come along, he will not be able to enjoy. Teri says that what she craves most in this game is story, and she won’t be able to enjoy it because her life doesn’t revolve around their schedule. She asks everyone to imagine trying to read a book that is only available online once a day for fifteen minutes. Mike agrees with Teri’s idea of having the mission available all the time, but reward players with extra bonuses if they’re able to play during this window. Teri doesn’t really care about the MK XII gear rewarded by this mission. She just cares about what happens to Obisek. Nick says that it’s the story telling that made you care about him in the first place. It’s an insult to those who play the game for Star Trek as opposed to just gamers. Oliver says that there are people that want this type of game play. Teri invites them to contact her.
Mike asked what do her friends at Massively think about the timed event? In the recent What Are You Playing article, Teri’s response to a question about what game mechanic would she like to see die a horrible death, was scheduled play. Some of the other things that they had mentioned were leveling, and servers / shards. As a STO player Teri doesn’t have to deal with the later, because everyone is essentially on the same server. Oliver hates the technology and Mike shares a story about the last game he played that used servers and the difficulties he had playing with his friends on different servers. Teri says that Nick is one of those people that will quit playing the game as soon as he encounters an obstacle that prevents him from completing his goal. She asks if he’s planning to play the mission. He replies that looking at his life schedule for the foreseeable future, he will not be playing the mission any time soon. He explains that he had left the game for a few months, but remained in contact with friends in the fleet who continually told him about the new content added to the game; including the new featured episodes taking place on DS9. He thanks Kestrel for going such a wonderful job with the story. However, he says that this isn’t really content, it’s the appearance of content.
Oliver mentions the interview with Captain Gecko that PrimeTime UGC had completed a few hours before the show about this topic. He had some difficulty recalling it exactly, Paul chimed in and said that this mission would become more universal and accessible as time when on. Teri is pleased by it She’s all for events that provide her with bonuses, such as the metaphasic event because Beth has finally gotten to the point where she can craft. She enjoys passive content where she doesn’t have to worry about teaming, which includes doffs, explore strange new worlds, and farm anomalies during the bonus event and she feels as if she had accomplished something worthwhile. She, then, spoke about Dilithium Mining. It’s available whenever she wants to complete it. However, if she notices that the event is approaching, she put off doing it until the event starts so she can reap the rewards. She says that is how the event should be. She goes on to say that if she missed the event, she can still do the mission and obtain the same rewards as usual. However, it’s her choice as to when she will do it. The new vault event takes away her ability to choose.
Winding up this week’s show, Teri gives everyone a chance to pitch their projects. Oliver goes first with Dax Hamiliton’s Personal Logs. He’s also working on Star Trek: Reunion. He asks everyone to keep an eye out for the new amazing things that are coming to STO this week. Teri doesn’t know what it is, but has heard that something big is coming. In closing, he wondered if the events bring in a sense of community. Nick responds to it by saying that his fleet will get together for STFs when they get a chance. They also run the featured episodes in much the same way. They will either plan something or do it when everyone is in game together at the same time. Teri says that is what builds community. Nick shares that there’s a guy in the fleet that only runs the STFs and he will often look for team. Under normal conditions, Nick would never run an STF mission on Elite, but he will run them with his fleet, because they know what they’re doing. That’s what builds community. Oliver wondered if fleets were to receive their own event calendar where they can set which activities their fleet mates can perform to earn rewards. Teri loves the idea and Caspian Division would be all over it.
Mike asks Paul if he’s got anything to pitch. Paul points everyone over to PrimeTime UGC which airs every other Monday at 3 pm PDT, 6pm EDT on CerberusFilm’s Livestream. Mike tells everyone about Gates of Sto’vo’kor and their Foundry Contest. They got ahold of a Ferengi D’Kora Marauder vessel that they will be giving away to the best Klingon Foundry mission involving the Ferengi. The official announcement for it is included in this week’s episode. Nick adds that he has an announcement. On May 7th, he’s going in for surgery. He will be recovering in the hospital for 3 to 7 days. Then, he will be on bed rest for 3 to 4 weeks. So look for him in STO and on twitter, because he will going out of his mind. Everyone in the studio hopes that it goes well. Teri pitches Podcast UGC on Tuesday night around 9pm EDT, 6 pm PDT on JustinTV and Trek Radio with special guest Brandon Felczer, Star Trek Online’s Community Manager. Teri asks the Foundry authors in the room, whether the publishing bug has been fixed. They say that it has. Finally she pitches the Discussion with the Devs formal panel at Star Trek Las Vegas, which is co-hosted by Massively and Trek Radio.
Nick adds that our Tribble Squirrel contest is still going on. Also, our Audio Fiction Contest will begin in about a month, but it won’t hurt to get started early for a chance to win. It can take place at any time in any universe with any characters, but it must reference the Kobayashi Maru in some meaningful way. The MP3 must be no longer than 5 minutes. It runs from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Nick says that there are special rules that apply only to Oliver. Mike mentions that he is not allowed to win, but Gates of Sto’vo’kor has is planning an entry without him to enter into the contest. Oliver and Paul both will be participating in the contest.
Nick asks how many people are involved with Gates of Sto’vo’kor, because he’s been hearing from everywhere about people getting involved in the project. Mike explains that there are four members of the team. They have a couple of audio engineers that occasionally will lend their voices. Finally, they have asked the community to help us fill some of the additional roles that we have on our show. They’re always looking for more help. If you’re interested in helping Gates of Sto’vo’kor contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Teri thanks all of our listeners and apologizes for the rants, but they were passionate about the topics and wanted to bring it to everyone’s attention. She thanks all of our guests and invites everyone to tune in next week for Mirror Universe.