Blog History

RSS Feed

Exploration in STO

Captain's Blog Stardate 92116.47

With the update to the crafting system Cryptic has decided to remove Exploration Clusters. Due to the crafting revamp and the amazing quality of new episodes, the clusters are a bit obsolete. Frankly, I haven't even been in one for a couple of years (possibly longer).

The main purpose of these clusters was the "explore strange new worlds" but let's be honest, that was a bit lacking. It was the same few missions that were reskinned over and over. So Cryptic has decided to let the Foundry take the place of the "exploration" part of the game. There are tons of amazing Foundry missions that can be played so I can understand why Cryptic would choose this path.

Still, a part of me would prefer a way to enter deep space and literally go exploring. A way to just travel and find myself in some sort of adventure that wasn't predetermined by the story of STO nor found anywhere in the mission window. After all isn't that why we like Star Trek? Hasn't it always been a universe of finding the unexpected? Maybe it's just me but that does seem to be the one major thing lacking from Star Trek Online.

If I may make a suggestion. It would be nice to hook the Foundry up to an exploration system. Episodes would be created by players that don't have an initial starting point (the Foundry would need an update for this) and these episodes, if approved by Cryptic, would be added to this exploration zone (not to the Foundry list). Then players could go "explore" and either a foundry mission would trigger while flying around sector space or when visiting a planet.

After the player has completed the mission it would be added to a reply mission journal, and would never popup again for that player in the exploration zone. This way if they want to replay it they can, but each time they explore they'll still have a unique exploration experience. In my opinion this is probably the closest we would get to true exploration.

In the comments let me know what do you think about Cryptic removing the Exploration Clusters and what would you like to see in place of it.

Written by Attilio on July 06, 2014 at 09:14 pm


Chris (Member) said...
July 07, 2014 at 12:17 pm

I like your idea of encountering foundry episode when you want to go exploring, especially if they gave you a time window.
(I might want to explore with a mission, but don't want to stumble into a foundry mission that is an hour and a half to two hours long....)

I still have a few exploration/colonization clusters I need to 'close out' for my Purple Doffs, so I should get on that. (They have stated that doff missions will be able to take place at map locations, but I should just put the time in and finish the last few off. ; )

Reply to Chris
Attilio (Owner) replied...
July 07, 2014 at 02:33 pm

Agreed. I wouldn't want to play a mission that long either. There would need to be some quality control for the missions.

Reply to Attilio
cmdrscarlet (Member) said...
July 08, 2014 at 04:46 pm

I started playing in December 2012 and within months I could see the 'monotony' of the Exploration Clusters. needless to say I was disappointed. But what was I expecting?

I think getting rid of them is a good thing - but I much prefer Cryptic replace it with an improved version versus straight up eliminate them.

So, the idea to use Foundry authors is a decent "in between". Frankly, there ARE amazing true-to0-Trek stories in there. It would be my hope that there be some form of QA for Foundry missions and the author get compensated in some way for their efforts. Free Zen, Dilithium, ships, hell a special TITLE is all some players may want ... something to make sure the Foundry-as-exploration keeps going.

Reply to cmdrscarlet
camvan1954 (Member) said...
July 10, 2014 at 05:15 pm

If it were possible Cyptic could do something like how Minecraft generates new terrain in a world. they could do something like that but in space and you could only go if you had certain qualifications (Missions, or Diplomatic or Exploration missions via duty officer assignments.) Its just a though most likely not going to happen though.

Reply to camvan1954
Brisingir (Guest) said...
August 03, 2014 at 03:02 pm

I can understand why Cryptic removed the exploration clusters, but they did serve a purpose. You could get tons of dilithium from them (from the associated missions ) and you could level Klingon and Klingon aligned Romulan toons faster, not to mention collecting crafting materials. Fed and Fed aligned Rommys have patrol misisons by the dozens to grind. KLingons don't have ANY patrols available except Empire Defense which gets repetitive as fast if not faster than the Exploration clusters. The least Cryptic could do is add patrol missions for the Klingons and make them less of a PvP faction.

Reply to Brisingir

Post a Comment

Spam Prevention Question:
Enter the stardate of this blog post.

(Under the Blog's Title)

Sponsored Links