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Browser-Based Deep Space Nine MMO Coming In 2011 153

Posted by Soulskill
from the to-boldly-stay-home dept.
A publisher based in Germany has announced Star Trek: Infinite Space, a browser MMO based on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. The game will be free-to-play, and it's planned for sometime in 2011. "Gameforge also contracted Michael Okuda, who served as scenic art supervisor for every live-action Star Trek series except for the original program, as a consultant. His wife Denise Okuda, who was a video supervisor and scenic artist for several of the sci-fi series' films and shows, will serve as a consultant, too."
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Browser-Based Deep Space Nine MMO Coming In 2011

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  • It can't possibly be worse than Star Trek: Online.
    • As a casual, free-to-play MMO set in the darkest of the Star Trek series? Yes, it absolutely can.

    • From my experience with trying a lot of MMOs... yes it can. You don't even need to try hard to end up with something that sucks more ass than the toilets on the space station.

      Add one of those "free to play" (but you need to pay a few hundred bucks just to get the same you'd get in the first month on WoW, and generally we'll try hard to make your character suck if you don't) setups, and it can really really suck.

      And generally, don't underestimate how much room downwards there is in any domain. Just about any

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Canazza (1428553)

      ST:O was a solid game. It had fun moments, and I found it to be quite entertaining. Mainly the space combat though, the ground combat was horrific mainly due to the dumb as shit AI.

      Apart from the dumb AI it suffered mainly from lack of variety. Once you'd hit max level (which you would do after about a month of casual play) there was bugger all to do. I hear it's changed a bit now and there is actual end-game content, but I've not gone back to play it since then.

      So yes, it is possible to be worse than Star

      • by Etrias (1121031)

        What? Did you read your own comment? Anyone who describes a game to me like you just did with STO, I know I'd take a pass on that game. I regret I even played a month of STO because it was so shit. Yeah, space combat was fun until you realized it was the same damn thing over and over and over again.

        Plus, did you know there were people who hit level cap before the game officially launched, essentially getting there in the two day head start period for those who pre-ordered? STO is not a solid game, but

      • by Fozzyuw (950608)

        Mainly the space combat though, the ground combat was horrific mainly due to the dumb as shit AI.

        ST:O was something I was interested in at one point, and for a while I made a point of trying out most 'big' MMO releases, but I skipped this one.

        With that said, how is their AI "dumb as shit" different than any other MMO? There hasn't been an MMO that I've played that has smart AI. All NPC's simply do is "aggro PC, take direct path between PC and NPC neglecting most boundary pathing and obstacle, and auto attack, cast spell/ability when not on cooldown".

        Boss AI? Nothing but a scripted event. "at x% hea

        • It was a bastardized 3rd person shooter. You could use positioning and cover but it was awkward. You had 5 pets (bridge officers) who were supposed to help you out but they usually got stuck on some tree somewhere. The mobs would just all hit you and you had to figure out how to use your bridge officers as meat shield. Had they tried something like a cheap version of a FPS it would have been great. I had high hopes for STO. Sadly they botched the release (to early, 1 year would have given them time to fix
      • by MaWeiTao (908546)

        The moment I learned the same developer who had built City of Heroes was working on Star Trek Online I knew I'd never touch the game. From what I've seen of screenshots it almost looks like City of Heroes reskinned.

        Not that City of Heroes was a completely bad game. What it did well, combat, it did extremely well. It was more engaging than almost any other MMO out there. And at release it offered a more robust character creation tool than any other MMO out there; it was exceedingly rare to see clones running

        • by anyGould (1295481)

          Disclaimer: I only did the demo for ST:O, and it didn't impress me enough to think of buying. Maybe it's all double rainbows in the paid version...

          My problem with ST:O is twofold.

          First, it didn't feel much like Trek. Here, Mr. Starfleet - take your phaser and kill X rebels. (Um.. don't these things have stun settings? Ones that knock people out and down, not debuff them?). Oh, and since everyone's shooting to kill, here's a Halo-brand shield to keep your ass alive. By the way, hope you picked tactical for

  • by Vectormatic (1759674) on Wednesday September 29, 2010 @06:34AM (#33732518)

    Will i be able to play this in chrome on linux, or will this be some windows only plugin for IE/FF job?

    and yeah, DS9, not my choice... (despite the copious involvement of romulans in the later seasons)

    • by Canazza (1428553) on Wednesday September 29, 2010 @07:16AM (#33732666)

      yeah, of all these browser-based MMO's coming out I wonder what engine they're using.
      It is an off-the-peg one like Unity, is it a converted-to-plugin like QuakeLive, or are they all building their own from scratch?
      I develop browser-based e-Learning (don't snigger) and we've seriously been looking into Unity.

      • WebGL is on the way. I hope it wins out in the end. No difference in downloading a plugin (for unity) and upgrading your browser in most cases.
    • by Inda (580031) <slash.20.inda@spamgourmet.com> on Wednesday September 29, 2010 @07:49AM (#33732798) Journal
      I've played browser based MMOs. All HTML and JS, no plugins, all free(-ish).

      The people with the biggest bank balances always win. This week's hot item is a red shirt of death, only $5, recover your health 1% faster. Next week's hot item is the blue shirt of death, only $6, recover your health 2% faster.

      I played one where the richest player constantly begged the developers to make him the pink shirt of death with 50% health recovery. They sold it to him for $100. Rumour was he spent well over $2,000 to become top-dog.

      I stopped playing at that point.
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Vectormatic (1759674)

        Sounds good (the tech part)

        as for the bank balance, i remember being absolutely pissed about the fact that in battlefield 2, people with the special forces expansion could use a sniper rifle which basically was a combo of the best bits of all others, giving them a noticable edge over me.

        i did end up buying the expansion, partially for the improved weapons, but i ended up also really enjoying the extra maps

        But microtransaction for better items will be a deal killer for me too

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by delinear (991444)
        I don't mind so long as it's possible to earn the awards through play. There are times when I have more free time to play, other times my free time is non-existent. If I'm enjoying a game, I don't want to fall behind just because we have a few busy weeks at work, if I can offset that by laying out some cash then I see that as a reasonable alternative to grinding. I agree that the ones where cash buys equipment that's not otherwise available are evil, simply because I'd rather buy a game outright and know wh
        • I don't mind so long as it's possible to earn the awards through play.

          I mind. The problem is that it isn't the same as "Pay $5, save 4 hours." It tends to be more along the line of "Pay $5, save 400 hours."

          The term "you can earn it through play if you don't want to play" is a copout by the developer in order to justify a rather nasty mechanism.

          You will end up with situations like WoW, where database changes which are nothing more than a few lines in a script are being charged at $20-30. (Server transfers

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by N1AK (864906)
        Makes about as much sense as the original model, grind 100 hours for blue shirt of +1% health, then buy the expansion and grind 200 hours for grey shirt of 2% health etc.

        I don't play any subscription or 'free to play' RPGs (I have a bit in the past). Giving an edge to people who pay isn't inherently less fair than giving it to whoever spends the most time playing. I tend to stick to games which give little if any advantage to either (beyond the increased knowledge of greater play time).
        • by Abstrackt (609015)

          Giving an edge to people who pay isn't inherently less fair than giving it to whoever spends the most time playing. I tend to stick to games which give little if any advantage to either (beyond the increased knowledge of greater play time).

          This is where I liked Guild Wars. If you didn't feel like getting the skills you wanted/needed you could buy them outright. Everyone could also get the best armor without too much trouble, but if you wanted to grind to get armor that had the same attributes but a better appearance you could do that too. That way your casual players don't get left in the dust and your hardcore players still get an ego boost from having different gear.

          If a DS9 MMO implemented something similar I'd definitely give it a shot

      • by Mad Merlin (837387) on Wednesday September 29, 2010 @09:02AM (#33733330) Homepage

        It doesn't always have to be that way. Game! [wittyrpg.com] is completely free for example, no buying your way to victory.

    • by Shrike82 (1471633) on Wednesday September 29, 2010 @08:20AM (#33733002)
      FTFA (emphasis mine):

      The firm said it had two titles under development: a Facebook game developed by a German studio (presumably Star Trek: Infinite Space), and another release by a studio in California.

      So those of us who are not sad enough^W^Won Facebook won't be able to play? Or what? I'm not signing up to the world's biggest self-incrimination website just to play a DS9 game.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Vectormatic (1759674)

        heh, completely missed that, i'll forget about it right away

        i already HATE having to set up ubisoft/ea accounts and that shit, but creating a facebook account is where i draw the line

    • by Saiyine (689367)
      Gameforge games are all flash based, at least the three or four I've played from them. I've always stopped playing for the same reason, too much advantage for the paying gamers (I can't stand it even as a paying customer myself).
      • by Qbertino (265505) on Wednesday September 29, 2010 @09:57AM (#33733860)

        [Disclaimer: I work for Gameforge]

        Gameforge games are all flash based

        Wrong. You're talking nonsense.

        I've always stopped playing for the same reason, too much advantage for the paying gamers (I can't stand it even as a paying customer myself).

        Which is up to you. A fact is that 80% of our players don't pay anything at all and they seem to enjoy themselves just fine. As for the pay-advantages: Yes there are some. But most of them are of the meta-advantage type, like additional slots in building-queues, better overviews and such which means you don't have to check your status as often as without them.

        Most of our paying customers get by very fine with 1-3 dollars worth of pay-features per month. For hours and hours of fun in return - a fair deal if you ask me.

        As for those publishers taking 300$ from someone to put him at the top of the highscore list - that is shortsighted and stupid and pisses off your userbase beyond repair - which is why we don't do it. OGame has been running for approx. 7 years and still is a successful Browsergame for that very reason.

        Maybe you've been mixing up our games with others?

  • by vlm (69642) on Wednesday September 29, 2010 @07:34AM (#33732722)

    Rather than tell stories like a real RPG, MMORPGs keep people playing by grinding. In the DS9 universe, what could they grind?

    A situation with replicators in every cafeteria is going to make grinding pretty difficult.

    Quest - "Go to the replicator and fetch me ten cups of racktageno."

    • Easy (Score:3, Funny)

      by arcite (661011)
      You start as DS9 Janitor, cleaning the bulkheads... then work your way up to waiter in Quarks bar. Eventually you earn enough experience to start crafting, such as becoming a seamstress in that cardassian tailor sweatshop. You can then work your way up in the tailoring guild to earn enough to purchase a bachelor suite on the officers deck (no more slumming around in the lower quarter with the pirates and refugees! [p]From there you will be able to purchase credits to use the replicators and make furniture f
    • by Superchip (1874486) on Wednesday September 29, 2010 @08:19AM (#33732996)
      Well, the 100 gross of self-sealing stem bolts was interesting. I had to trade a couple thousand wrappages of yamok sauce for those. The epic quest is to obtain a 1951 Willie Mays rookie card. In order to get that you're gonna need to grind out the neodymium power cell, and the hardest part is the five liters of anaerobic metabolites suspended in a hydrosaline solution. That part requires you to steal a damned teddy bear.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by delinear (991444)
      I always wondered why there was so much gambling and why the Ferengi were so obsessed with making money in a universe with replicators. Surely replicators would pretty much eliminate most of the commercial sector, and gambling is all about the risk - take that away by allowing players to go replicate some more cash and where's the fun? Having said that, the last 15 years has gradually taught me that even where there is no scarcity to create value, governments will bend over backwards to artificially create
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by operagost (62405)

        Surely replicators would pretty much eliminate most of the commercial sector

        Because energy is free? Besides that, latinum cannot be replicated.

        • by wampus (1932)

          That one line of throwaway dialog sure did tie up some loose ends...

        • i wonder about that, if (dont really know) latinum is ever transported on the show that pretty much proves to me it can be created from energy, given a molecular pattern, allowing it to be replicated.

          Unless of course the Fed banned replicators from doing that, and imposed a DRM scheme on transporter data streams to prevent them from producing coppies from the same buffer data.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Some MMOs have quite a lot of story, it's just that

      (a) some players don't care about the story and focus on other things, even to the extent of clicking "skip" on important story developments.

      (b) hugely long play times (it's not unusual to spend literally days playing these things) exhaust a lot of story material

      Take Stratholme in World of Warcraft. There's a rich history to that place, you could spend a few hours of WoW finding out about it, visiting the scourge infested modern instance, rescuing a captive

  • by Qbertino (265505) on Wednesday September 29, 2010 @07:39AM (#33732746)

    [Disclaimer: I work at Gameforge]

    Ok, so hear me out.

    1.) Approximately 70% of our company is comprised of Nerds and Geeks, most of which are your Type A RPG, Comic, Star Wars and Star Trek fan. I can go on babbling all day about *anything* that interests me and I'll never get a stupid look, since nearly everybody knows what I'm talking about all of the time. Be it obscure Monty Python references or anything computer and software related. Or, as the case might be, SciFi stuff.

    And since a lot of us are Trekkies, nobody here wants to screw this up. Every inhouse title goes through thorough inhouse play-testing, so the Trekkies will be all over the Product Team like a pile of bricks if they screw around with the StarTrek universe. It's convenient for this sort of thing that we *all* are in the same complex, 300 meters appart at most. From Alex (our CEO) and the upper Board across development and marketing all the way to Community Management.

    2.) We actually know how to do Browsergames. We've raked in quite a few prestigious rewards and gained a solid reputation with our inhouse titles like Ikariam, Europe 1400, Wildfire and OGame and judging from the numbers they are *very* successful - and for good reasons too. I've been playing OGame and Wild Guns and both are solid fun right up to flat out addictive. We do have some not-so-spectacular acquired & redone B titles to fluff up the Portfolio, but even most of those astonishingly fun to play, although I really couldn't say why (play a round of Tanoth [tanoth.us] to see what I mean :-) )

    Bottom line: We have a hoard of Trekkies right here on our team and we know how to make a fun game. IMHO that's a good foundation for building a neat DSN MMO.

    My 2 cents.

    • by dr_strang (32799)

      I'm a Niner and am waiting to see what comes of this. Should be interesting... I hated ST:O. Good luck.

      P.S. It's DS9 not DSN :)

    • For one there's just the problem with browser based MMOs seeming to universally suck. However also the fact that there's a lot of Trekkies is not a good thing IMO. Trekkies, or really anyone over devoted to a given universe/philosophy/whatever have a tendency to get a little dogmatic. Things have to be "right" above all else. Well in a game, that isn't how it should be. Things have to be fun above all else. That can mean some major changes to franchises sometimes. This is something people like Trekkies (ESP

    • We've raked in quite a few prestigious rewards and gained a solid reputation with our inhouse titles like Ikariam

      Oh lord, does this mean we're going to start out on a space station near a single luxury resource and have to make more space stations in other solar systems if we want more than one luxury resource?

    • I just hate it that you guys are german and not dutch (or the other way around, that i am not german), because if you were, my resume would land on your virtual doormat within seconds after reading this post

  • And thank the prophets it isn't on Facebook. I wonder if it will follow the show, and - if so - will it wade into the unmitigated awesome of the Relaunch series? (Disclaimer: Switch awesome to failure if you didn't like DS9:Relaunch. I thought it was very well done, but that was me.)
    • by Shrike82 (1471633)

      And thank the prophets it isn't on Facebook.

      Dude, I strongly suggest you read the article before rejoicing...

  • Because that's all DS9 was. A truck stop on the interstate.
  • As in, the game will only use standards such as HTML5, WebGL, Javascript and CSS?

    If it requires a plug-in, then why bother making it "browser-based" at all? If I can't play on both my Mac mini and my iPod touch, it's not browser-based.

  • When DSN came out it was the result of a rush-job(quickest to date in the industry at the time for a major series) by Paramount in an attempt at dealing with Babylon 5 and its perceived threat. As such, it was boring, inane, and the single worst Sci-Fi series by a major studio in the last couple of decades, with the possible exception of Andromeda.(The recent Flash Gordon series would have gotten third place, but it was mercifully killed off). Thankfully almost nobody under *40* remembers it, so for a

    • by Shrike82 (1471633)
      I'm sorry but you're spouting your opinion like it's fact. I'm well under 40 now and was obviously much younger when DS9 came out. I enjoyed the show and so did many of my friends that were Star Trek fans. The first series was admittedly a little slow, but got better as time went on. Towards the end of the DS9 run the Dominion storyline was excellent and truely gripping.

      Just because it wasn't all flying round space blowing the shit out of people doesn't mean it was a bad show. You may feel that way but t
      • by Plekto (1018050)

        I'm sorry but you're spouting your opinion like it's fact. I'm well under 40 now and was obviously much younger when DS9 came out. I enjoyed the show and so did many of my friends that were Star Trek fans. The first series was admittedly a little slow, but got better as time went on. Towards the end of the DS9 run the Dominion storyline was excellent and truly gripping.

        But the thing is, almost nobody who wasn't already a huge fan of the previous series actually gave a damn about DS9. It was purely a means

        • by Shrike82 (1471633)

          snip

          You assume a great deal here, such as who was and wasn't a fan of the show, and their attitude towards the previous series in the franchise. Sorry, but I seriously doubt you're in a position to make that sort of statement, unless you've met the majority of the world's people in person, or have managed to cut through the trolling, geekism, elitism and general mish-mash of opinions that appear on Internet forums.. The rest of your text becomes less relevant based on that fact. An MMO of Knightrider would be s

          • by Plekto (1018050)

            If you can't see why those are bad ideas and why an MMO based on DS9 has the potential to be good then I think you have a problem with reasoning
            I think you are the only person on the planet that failed to realize that I was being sarcastic there. That just shows how focused you are on defending your precious TV show at the expense of looking at the troubles that it has as a MMOG platform.

            First, young kids who know nothing of the series will not play it. There's zero tie-in. Name me the demographic under

  • We'll apply the famous "Jayne Cobb" bargaining theory to this particular announcement

    Will there be shootin? Hmm, didn't really say..

    How about brawlin? Hmm, not specific as to how..

    Well hell, will it not be gorram dull? Let me do the math here...

    Nuthin, plus nuthin, minus nuthin..

    I'll be in my bunk.

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