Saturday, February 15, 2014


Just a little heads up here -- for some reason my UI-based screenshots had a weird blue tint to them. I didn't have time to play with my settings to figure out why, so I just went with it. You'll get the idea. 

That being said, this post is based on the OLD Risa map. You know, the one you have to select now to beam to. I have highlighted the selection, should anyone have no idea what I'm talking about. The other option is for the event zone, which was designed for the Summer Lohlunat Festival. That map was well-utilized, though I could think of a few minor tweaks. I'll be saving that for another post. This is just the actual planet of Risa. When we do the DOff mission of Crew Leave on Risa, this is the map that comes to mind.

Risa from orbit
Welcome to The Pleasure Planet! Well...for a place designed to accommodate so many people, it really does look empty. I mean, wouldn't a crowded tourist destination constantly have ships coming and going? How about some sort of orbital array to keep things running smoothly? I guess not. I'll start there -- why isn't there a communications platform in this system? Perhaps a good starting mission here would be to gather materials from a nearby star cluster (presumably Delta Volanis, or even one of the planet's two moons) and bring them back here. Upon returning the next mission would be to help build an array. From our perspective it would just be various scans and repair-type stuff. The reward would likely be diplomacy and expertise. I wouldn't mind having it a repeatable.

Land and ocean
Interesting unnatural weather patterns.
So let's take a look at the planet. Risa is legendary for its use of seismic stabilizers and the famous artificial weather grid. A flight around the planet shows non-variable weather patterns. No large clouds, no volcanic eruptions, and no sign of planetary disaster.

"Twin moons," As Commander Riker would say.
There are two moons in orbit which are only there to look pretty. As mentioned, they could be used to gather building materials. They could also be used for a survey mission. Maybe something happens to the artificial weather grid and they think it's due to a shift in the orbit of one of the moons. Some technobabble about gravity and magnetic fields can fill in the blanks. Our mission, of course, would be to move the moon back into its normal orbit. Think Final Mission, minus the ionizing radiation). Short, sweet, and potentially awesome.

On to the ground section. This is long, so be warned.

Nice hut, man.

At the beam down point, we're greeted by some Risian Natives and Vacationers. Nearby are Commodity Brokers selling -- what else -- seismic stabilizers and entertainment provisions.

 In particular, we meet Commodity Broker Ariana. She's the one with the entertainment provisions.

Everything looks pretty mundane here, doesn't it?

I think we could make it less mundane and more tourist trap-y. It would be interesting if the commodity broker also sells felicium from the planet Ornara. She is a member of the Orion Syndicate. Her position, while not disclosed right away, is basically a mob boss (same rank as Thadial Bokar). She could also be a high-ranking Ktarian operative, should the dev's decide they don't like Orions. 

She introduces herself as a commodity broker with all the usual repartee. First it's the standard "I have cheap Entertainment Provisions" stuff. Then, upon buying them, she offers other services. She mentions that this is a vacation planet, and there are ways to enhance the vacation experience. There's some conversation and verbiage, and she offers to sell some felicium. It comes with a guarantee that it is the purest Onaran stuff ever, and the device used to use the stuff costs extra. So the exchange is made, and the character is given a consumable item that has several negatives to skills, much like Ketracel White.

Meanwhile, there are Brekkian operatives on the planet. The mission pointer thingy would mark this person on the map. upon talking to him, there is discussion of how Brekkian exploitation was well-documented by CPT Picard, and nothing has been done to prevent it (in the name of the Prime Directive). So, the obvious conversation happens. And gets to where they say they have a man inside the Brekkian government who informed them that some of the felicium they were supposed to receive has been found in the hands of black market traders. Then the mission continues with the player turning in the paraphernalia and naming the dealer. When the operative comes to arrest her, she beams out and escapes. Of course, there's some talk about how they'll find her now that they know who she is and whatnot. The reward would be EC (more than what was spent), diplomacy and expertise. If it was tweaked to make the character work for the operative and actively help him find the dealer, I could see some DIL being thrown in there.

This is just story and cut scenes. It adds some much needed TNG to the game, and some intrigue to Risa. It's a pleasure planet, yes. But it also has a dark side. I also wanted to develop a kidnapping mission, but it wouldn't work well. It would imply torture, rape, and things that probably wouldn't work with the game's current rating. I little reality thrown in there would be nice, though. 

Moving on.

Pool number 1
Pool numbers 2 - 4
I found these pools, almost like lakes. This first thing that came to mind was The Fishing Pond. You remember The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time, don't you? Well, I do. It's still one of my favorite games to this day, up there with Link's Awakening. Anyway, what happened was you had to go to the fishing pond and catch fish to get quest-necessary items. One was the Silver Scale, then the Gold Scale. After that there was a heart piece. And the legendary Hyrule Loach.

Good times. Good times.
Anyway, I think fishing is relaxing enough for a vacation planet, and simple enough to work in STO. We would pay a fee to the quest giver (maybe 50 credits or something) to rent the fishing rod and return with our catch. The fishing rod itself can either be kept as a first time freebie, like with the DIL mining mission, or returned to the quest giver. Dev's preference here. We would earn EC based on the size and number of fish, and DIL once a day. Once all the current records are broken, the final reward would be a wall trophy. It would be nice to have a few accolades in there too. Something to the effect of, "Caught a fish weighing 10 lbs," on up to 50 lbs. would work. Titles would go along with some of these, like Novice Fisherman and so forth. The last one (with the trophy) would come with the title of Master Angler. I mentioned the DIL would only happen once. I think that this could be like the explore missions -- we get the DIL reward but can repeat the mission all day (minus the cooldown) for the other rewards. I'm pretty sure that mechanic could be applied here.

So what of all these weird rocks around?

The surface of Risa is literally covered with these odd-looking rock formations. I wondered about them -- were they put there by modern Risians, or ancient ones? Were they functional, as in ritual pieces, or were they memorials? Is there someone buried underneath it, perhaps and ancient Risian warrior? It's entirely possible these stones predate the current technology-driven Risian culture. The mission I have in mind: Investigation. No, no, not the boring scan data samples from your ship, or run around killing enemies and scanning debris fields. This, while it would look similar, would involve an actual study of these rocks.

So the quest giver is a scientist/researcher/something similar. He says there's a lot of ancient artifacts that haven't been recovered that date back to the original civilization of the planet. Most have been buried due to the planet's geological instability. That conversation goes as you would expect, and you're told to start scanning nearby rock formations.

The first scan reveals whether the rock was already here or if it was quarried from elsewhere. Materials and age would be analyzed and recorded.

The next scan would show if the smaller rocks are of the same material as the larger ones. It would also determine if it was present or quarried.

This would go on for a few more scans (5 seems to be the standard number). Upon returning to the quest giver, the player would receive the last part of the mission. That, of course, to find a rock like the ones studied, dig it up, and bring it back. This wouldn't be difficult, as these things are everywhere. See below. 

I would like to say the conclusion would be that these are memorial stones. Planetary catastrophes have destroyed so much of this civilization that it would be a fitting tribute to the modern Risians' ancestors. We also don't really know what they were like, or if they were really as peaceful as the ones we know now. This mission could serve to shed light in Risa's distant past.

Shaka, when the walls fell..
There was a bartender at the top of a cliff. Nice guy.

Yes, there is a random bartender on a cliff. Hard to believe, but he's there. I didn't see a replicator nearby, so I'm really not sure how he keeps his bar stocked.

Anyway, he made a stiff bloodwine, and I raised my glass to him. He didn't have any, as Klingon booze wasn't his thing. No matter -- more for me.

Next door there's an empty bar, presumably devoid of all forms of alcohol. The mission that comes to mind here is similar to the Culinary chain we have for our DOffs, only direct. We would talk to the bartender  and he would say he needs ingredients. Lucky for us, they just happen to be spread all around the map.

There's a whole forest of unidentified plants and things that could be harvested or purified in some way. If we gather enough of these, we get a free drink, like a Risian Mai-Tai.

The main ingredients would be the most common. These are found in abundance virtually everywhere on land.

These flowers aren't ass common as the ones above. I'm thinking the list would call for fewer of these than the others.

 And the end would be to return to the bartender and receive expertise. This would be a great accolade -- something  along the lines of Botanical Bartender, with or without a title to go along with it.

Have you been to the most spectacular mok'bara studio in the galaxy?

That thing is way up there.
It is situated on top of a gigantic cliff face. It isn't visible from a distance unless you know where to look.

Hope no one is afraid of heights.

There is a long rope bridge leading to the cliff. No word on who put it there, or why. 

At the end of the bridge, There's a Trill Vacationer. She isn't interactive, much to the surprise of no one. BUT if she was, she would say she was joined a few years ago and her symbiont has lived 5 lifetimes. In that time she has learned a number of martial arts, to include Mok'bara. After a brief conversation, she decides to show you a few movements and do some practice.

This is the mak'bara studio that lies just behind her.

Land view
Ocean view
This wouldn't be a big mission -- all it would do is trigger a cut scene. Since we all already have the mak'bara emote, it wouldn't be purposeful to use it as a reward. I'm thinking just a small of expertise would suffice for this one. This is more about immersion than story or relevance. Actually, a good number of my ideas here are, aren't they? Well, I think you can see what I'm getting at here.

So, to close (I know, finally, right?)...

Just some misc images I didn't want to waste.

Contemplating my place in the universe
Chilling by the beach
This could have been a cave, like the other map. Maybe with something cool inside.
Another huge cliff
That trail looks a lot like the one on Vulcan, doesn't it?
Random afterthoughts

With all these cliffs around, it would be great if we could do some rock climbing. We've seen the real thing and the holographic versions in Trek. Such a minigame would work well here.

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