That old text-based Star Trek game may be the first computer game I ever played. It's certainly the first I remember ever playing. It was for the TRS-80. I'm not a big Star Trek fan, but I have grown to appreciate the original series, but I don't really like anything else. I'm surprised no one mentioned Star Trek: 25th Anniversary and Star Trek: Judgment Rites. They were a couple of excellent adventure games from Interplay. The CD versions had the voices of the cast. They were just really good games and I think they succeeded the most at translating the show into a computer game. FPS, RTS, and arcade-style Star Trek games never made sense to me because it just doesn't fit the mold of the show. I think those two games were very faithful to the original and are probably the closest you can get to extending the life of the original series since each segment of the game is like an interactive episode. I remember playing some fun Mac shareware Star Trek games back in the early 90s too using the World Builder application which was popular at the time.
I'm not a big MMO fan so not being a huge Star Trek fan or MMO fan, I can't say I'm looking forward to the Star Trek MMO. But if I were interested in it, I think I'd go a different route. Like you said, include different races but also include different ranks within Star Fleet or whatever other federation the game would include. It just doesn't sound right having everyone start out as a captain and I assume start out with their own ships to fly around in. You should start out as an ensign or whatever and work your way up serving under different captains until you finally earn the right to captain your own ship. I think the desire to reach that sort of level would be a huge motivator to keep playing and it will encourage teamwork. I'm sure it could work if done right. The idea of thousands of players flying around in their own starships sounds like too much though. Or maybe I'm completely wrong on how the game will be. As for customization options, I think you'd have to include some different uniforms and medals to show off, and of course offer a lot of options to customize your ship.
I'm sorry, but this new MMO looks like it's going to be about as bad as legacy, if not worse. There's so many good MMO's out that building a fan base for a star trek MMO will be difficult at best. I love star trek, the universe is so vast with a lot of good stories and character developments that it would not be hard to write a decent storyline or gameplay.... the fault is where developers try too hard to create a game that spans all type of gamers, when a star trek game should be specific to Trekies like myself, and let the others trickle in after hearing what a great game it is. Obviously a Star Trek MMO can't compare to WoW or EVE maybe... but I can't even think of parallels a Trek MMO could follow to make it an MMO worth spending time on. I'll be following it closely, though... maybe it won't disappoint... again...
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My favorite Star Trek game is Star Trek Aramada 2. Although you mentioned the original Armada, Armada 2 deserves special attention. I've played it countless times, even today. There is just something about zipping around an RTS map at warp speed that never seems to get old. That, combined with a good story, cool ships/races/weapons, and so on, make it pretty great. The borg and species 8472 races work quite differently from the others, so you actually get some variety. Also, it has a different feel to it than most of the other RTS games, (C&C, Warhammer Dawn of War, Empire Earth, etc. etc.) which all feel like they are just remakes of the same thing over and over.
I was so sad about Legacy, which is (to me) the "spiritual successor" to Armada 2. They are both from mad doc. Legacy, like Ben says, had a big scope, and featured voice acting from all the captains (I can't remember now if Sisko is in it or not, I don't think he is). Anyway, it was so obviously a bad console port, and what killed it for me was the control system, which just did not work well with a keyboard and mouse. I'll just have to wait for Armada 3 (yea, right- maybe there will be a Homeworld 3).
Oh yea, Second take is great! I look forward to it each week.