G & T Show SL – Cryptic Trip 7 – Captain Geko
G & T Show SL – Cryptic Trip 7 – Captain Geko is now available to download. Check it out here. For the final interview, Mike, Nick and Terry sit down with Al “Captain Geko” Rivera from Cryptic Studios to talk about Star Trek Online and other Science Fiction TV, movies and comics. Don’t miss this fun interview. Be sure to check out this interview and the others from Mike’s trip by visiting our G & T Show SL – Cryptic Trip Round Up page.
Nick starts off the show with the usual introductions and a tribble! The description of what Al is wearing in the studio starts the conversation off with the new summer costumes that have been created for Star Trek Online’s summer event on Risa. Terry says that she has been playing STO each day and not just the summer event but she has also been working on her three Delta Recruits as well. Al asks if anyone saw his tweet of the handmade TNG Hawaiian shirt that Maria “Zeronius Rex” “Zero” Rosseau made him. Listeners can view the tweet here. Everyone complements Zero’s skills.
Before the team get squirrelled away on another subject, Terry asks Al what’s new in Star Trek Online. Al replies that there is a new Featured Episode that is coming up soon to continue the Iconian War story. The release was delayed as the House of Pegh Featured Episode was delayed a week. Al announces that this episode will be starring Aaron Eisenberg who is reprising his role of Nog from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine. Spoiler alert! He also appears in the next Featured Episode too, so he doesn’t die in this one coming up! Al also mentions that STO is bringing back other voice talents from the Star Trek alum who have already recorded with them. Then, he tells us the ramifications of this story work their way through to the third expansion. Al also clarifies that they are not done with STO once they reach the end of the Iconian War. There is a lot more to come and he says that they have stories for well into 2016 and the 50th anniversary. Captain Geko also said that they had CBS licensing down a little while ago to discuss what they’ve been doing and what they have planned and to coordinate with them as CBS has so much planned for the 50th Anniversary.
Terry passes over to Mike as he had a question about the Featured Episode “House of Pegh”. Mike says that the episode had him cheering in regards to the use of characters and their relationship to each other and gave kudos to Cryptic for doing that and Mike asked Al if they intend to take more risks like that with their storytelling. *WARNING SPOILERS AHEAD* Al says that when they start planning stories they do so at a very broad level – he then goes into detail about how they wanted the story to be from a Klingon perspective and to be able to gain something (the information that leads to the next episode) but at great cost. Al says the team of leads started thinking about who should die – it’s hard to kill off a character like Quinn as their NPCs are everywhere. He also goes on to describe why they don’t allow the player to be interacting directly with a Iconian just yet, so someone like Khaless, who for all for all intents and purposes has a magical sword, would be ideal to play off especially with losing the sword too. After the overall story is decided on, it then goes to Christine “Kestrel” Thompson to flesh out before it goes to the Content Designers to decide how it will play. Their decisions will get approved once they have been checked that they hold true to the story beats. Whilst the Content Designers are creating the gameplay, Kestrel will create all the writing and characters. Al says that it was Kestrel that created all the controversial material – that should not have been controversial – and he says how proud he was of her for creating this storyline and how he wants more of that as it is the essence of Star Trek and it’s about diversity and acceptance and “how all of these silly things are behind us in the future”. Al also stated that he does not see having content like this in the game is a risk at all. Terry says they’re the torch holders for Star Trek and they’re carrying on the Star Trek tradition.
Terry talks about how she’s happy with the return to the regular Featured Episodes that have been coming out and the way the rewards are handled for replayability. Mike says he likes that level 10 characters can play the missions before the missions are placed in the journal at level 60. Al says that they’ve been playing with how and when these episodes and rewards are to released as they want to keep people in game. Terry says she likes the special account wide reward of specialization point or upgrade token that is rewarded in the first three weeks when it is featured as she is not someone who grinds for specialization points. Terry then mentions that she’s completed the ground Commando specialization and is now working on the Pilot specialization with the new Pilot Escort ships. She is learning how effective the barrel rolls are against the Baltim Raiders. Al says that the Pilot specializations tree is very good against the Heralds and describes how the Rock n Roll maneuver is especially helpful that he personally keeps it next to his Evasive Maneuvers. Mike mentions that you have to get through half of the Pilot Specialization tree to gain that ability. Al says that another thing that works well against the Baltim Raiders is Eject Warp Plasma.
Terry then brings up the last time that she spoke to Al when he told her not create a new character just yet which Terry eventually found out was because the Delta Recruit event was coming. She goes on to say that she created three Delta Recruits, one in each faction, and how she really liked tieing the future story with the Iconian War back into new players and how your character is important. Terry then asked whether new players could still roll a Delta Recruit character and Al replied that the event is over and new Delta Recruits cannot be created. Al goes on to say that if you created one during the event (played until you got the Delta Recruit accolade) you can continue to play as a Delta Recruit. Al says a big part of the Delta Recruit event was to get players ready for Season 10 and to tease people about the start of the Iconian War. Terry then talks about the extra communications you get from Sela by completing each of the tiers of the Iconian Reputation system and how many of her fleet mates did not even know about it and it turns out that either did Al until Terry mentioned it! Mike says that he has completed the Iconian Reputation system but has only listened to half of the recordings. Captain Geko says that Sela is very important to the story and there is no accident in that – Denise Crosby has been really amicable and excited to work with Cryptic.
Nick chimes in to ask the most important question that all players want to know… “when do we get lense flares?” and Al said that the game had them when it launched but they had to sell them off to JJ as he was collecting them from everywhere!
Terry then moves the discussion away from Star Trek Online and asks Al what has been his favorite TV series so far this year? Al says that two of his absolute favorites are Game of Thrones and Walking Dead. More of the nerdy TV he says Agents of Shield, Agent Carter, Flash, Arrow, Gotham and Daredevil. He’s started watching the new series of Orange is the New Black but he’s not taken to the new series so far. They then discuss scenes from Agents of Shield and plot holes in the Flash before there are some technical difficulties with Mike’s Motel wifi.
Once everyone is connected again Nick asks Al about the ending to Arrow and what his thoughts are on where they might take it. Nick tells Al that he should watch Orphan Black. It is at this point that they start talking about lots of different TV series and what works, does not work that also leads into talking about Netflix and how they work compared to traditional ad based TV series and how networks cancel shows without a proper ending like Alphas.
Nick asks Al about his thoughts on the East coast – West coast complaining about putting messages on social media before the other side of the country see the program. Al said it is worse than three hours for him as he sees everything on Hulu, so he is 24 hours behind, so he stays aways from social media for those TV shows. Al then starts talking about how he got caught out once with Denise Crosby’s appearance in the Walking Dead as the reveal was ruined for him as he follows her on Twitter and saw her tweet saying, “yay, I was on the walking dead”.
The discussion then moved on to trailers and Age of Ultron. Al did not like Ultron as he was too quippy and that he looked too much like a Transformer since his lips moved. After briefly talking about Guardians of the Galaxy, Al then asks a quick question, “Who’s better?: CW Flash, X-men Quicksilver, Age of Ultron Quicksilver – Mike likes Ultron’s Quicksilver, although both Mike and Terry did not like what happened to Ultron’s Quicksilver, but ultimately Mike says he’s a DC guy so he chose Flash. Nick said he loved X-men Days of Future Past Quicksilver – this lead to the scene in X-men Days of Future Past where Quicksilver is moving quickly around the room moving bullets. Then, Al found fault in the fact that the Flash could not outrun bees! Al then talks about how Flash can take the gun from the three people in one scene and then be caught by Captain Cold’s cold gun in the next and how he should have just taken the gun off him. Nick says he really liked Captain Cold and his attitude and his Sister. Al says the gold gun is stupid and wonders how Cisco is not just rich as he can so quickly create the gold gun! Nick says the one thing he likes about the Flash is that it has kept the goofyness of the comic books and how Cisco is the biggest Mary-Sue for the fans.
Nick asks Al if he’s seen Mad Max: Fury Road and Al says that he is going to see it or Jurassic World later that day. Al mentions that at he thought Mad Max: Fury Road was going to be awful, but he’s heard so many amazing things about it. He has since changed his mind and wants to see it.
After Terry takes care of an itch, Al asks Mike if he had a good visit to the Cryptic Studios for his Birthday. Mike said he had so much fun – Nick says he’s going to have to take a vacation and take a visit as he’s now the only G&T host that has not visited the studios, and he wants Zero (Maria “ZeroniusRex” Rosseau) to be his handler. Al says that Mike got a sneak peek at a new ship that has yet to be revealed and Mike says that his lips are sealed.
Terry says that she has some listener questions. The first question is in regards to Sector Patrols and have them show up as an indicator as you fly by them to better identify them? Al replies that they had not thought about it, but if they did, they would probably do something like ground MMOs do where a warning symbol is shown above the NPC to indicate a mission, but they are the way they are as it is supposed to feel like exploration. Al starts talking about how games add things for convenience like queues, flashing consoles, having crafting being able to be done from anywhere and then continues to say about how he played an old mission before Delta Rising that was created before the flashing consoles/items were added so he had to go find where it was and whilst he was wondering where the flashing console was he suddenly thought “what kind of monkey have I become that I need to have golden padds and way points to everything that I’m following the dotted line to play… I used to be a gamer! I used to be able to find this stuff!”. He said that this is not a bad thing, it’s just how games have evolved to stop so many people from getting frustrated like flying through the rings to go back in time, which is why they made it that if you fail three times it automatically does it for you. So going back to the original question – should we have big flashy things in game or have exploration like it was planned… Mike offered a suggestion about a toggle to turn them on or off but Al said that NeverWinter has a golden path throughout their entire game and he says you’re a fool to turn that line off, Al said that he would have preferred them to have something like the tricorder scans to get a direction, like in the new episode “House of Pegh”. He said that if it is a toggle you always have it on as you feel like you’re missing something without it but people resent that it becomes too easy. So Geko says if he were to have something added to show where patrols are, it would be something like the directional scan to show what is nearby.
The next question was from StarbaseUGC which was asking when will more be added to the Foundry? Al says “I don’t know!”. He did say that the Foundry Top 3 is working well and the next step he wants to add additional rewards to anyone accepting missions through that system as opposed to the normal search and list as this way extra rewards can be given without people exploiting it as it is a random choice. Al also states that Zero and Nick “TacoFangs” Duguid are always working to add art assets and critter groups to the Foundry.
The final question from the listeners is from Admiral on Deck who was confused with what Al said on a recent interview with our friends over at Priority One Podcast about the Iconian War only lasting through to Season 11. Al confirmed this is true – there are ten-ish episode that tell the Iconian War and Season 11 will be about the ramifications of the war. It was also made clear that the game is not over after the war and there are plenty more stories to tell in future missions, seasons and expansions. Al also hinted that all the episodes from Delta Rising the Iconian War might be squashed down to an arc and fit between the level 50 to 60 levels instead of being primarily level 60 missions – Terry pointed out that this move would help people who had level 50 characters before Delta Rising with levelling up.
Based on a post that Terry made about people complaining about reboots – Nick turns it around and asks the group what reboot has been the best of the last several years. Planet of the Apes, Judge Dredd, Batman, Ghostbusters, Battlestar Galactica and a lot more were discussed.
Terry wraps things off thanking Al for talking to the G&T gang and Al says they’ll be able to meet up in person at STLV as STO will be there but no details on what they’re doing as it has not been announced yet!
Steve will also, on occasion, guest host on the main G&T Show.
In real life Steve works full time in IT providing desktop support, creating web sites, databases and anything else that that needs an IT solution!
In his spare time he enjoys spending time with his wife and son, reading Star Trek novels, playing Star Trek Online, podcasting, audio editing and watching science fiction.