I’ve been playing video games for as long as I’ve had access to devices that would let me play videogames, from begging my parents for quarters to our first home computer in 1983 to my computer, phone, and console today. Next to reading, it’s probably the biggest way I relax. I try new games regularly. Sometimes they hold my interest for a while and sometimes they’re gone quick.
There’s a lot to be said for a shooter or an action game or a puzzle game or a platformer or… well, I enjoy a lot of different kinds of games, but I particularly like games that have a lot going on. There are things to explore, things to build, things to do, and it takes a long time to figure out what all of them are and then a lot longer before things start to drag or get boring.
When I finally got around to trying Star Trek: Fleet Command, it seemed like it was placed directly in my wheelhouse. There are things to explore, things to build, missions to run, and a lot of things builds on each other or on previous things. And it has a Star Trek theme.
It also has the seeds of what will eventually drive me away from the game built right in. PVP combat. I hate player versus player stuff in games. I’m not competitive and don’t really want to play with people who are. I just want to kick back, run the missions, and build stuff.
But PVP is not just built into the game, it appears to be encouraged and rewarded. Find someone at an earlier stage of the game than you are, blow up their ship and take their stuff. Or get together with a group of likeminded jerks and take on someone you couldn’t on your own. It’s quicker and easier than mining and developing stuff yourself. Probably, you can do the same with their base. Yes, you can run repairs, but it becomes lost time that you could have spent building and exploring. A ship might only take a few minutes early on, but the base might take hours and your resources have been plundered in the meantime. Yes, there are ways built into the game to protect your stuff while you’re not online, but that takes time, energy, and resources, too.
It could be worse, but I don’t see why it needs to be a thing at all. Preying on weaker characters isn’t something that should be encouraged, much less catered to. It doesn’t feel likely to me that more people want it that way than don’t. The jackals annoy everyone but not everyone is a jackal, and it seems like it would be easy enough to not build the jackal-encouraging behaviour into things in the first place.
I’m honestly getting fed up with multiplayer games and the reason is simple: people ruin them for me. In the case of Fleet Command, the game play is fun, but it’s getting spoiled for me by the small collection of idiots who thinks it’s fun or funny to wreck other people’s stuff. It doesn’t have to be part of the game. Given the option, I don’t do PVP. Not given the option, I don’t play.
So to forestall those idiots ruining the game for me completely, I’ve moved my base to an out of the way system with little in the way of resources but that leaves me access to those resources when I need them. I’ll move it to a different out of the way system every few days in case someone stumbles across me and decides I have an anthill they want to kick over.
Hopefully, this won’t turn into a love-hate relationship with the game. I don’t have a lot of hope for that, but I’ll play for as long as the fun outweighs the irritation.
Be well, everyone.by