A Beginners Impression of Star Trek Online
Like a lot of other bloggers out there, I managed to get myself a key for the STO ‘open’ beta, and after a lengthy (8+ hours) patch, found myself faced with character creation. Unlike a lot of other bloggers out there – I have never watched Star Trek before. I know, I should be flogged, and my geek card (do I even have one of those?) promptly removed from my hands. Sci fi is one of those genres that simply doesn’t appeal to me on any level. Why? I have no idea. I’ve never been a fan of space exploration, I fell asleep during movies, and I just am not into it. That doesn’t mean that I’m adverse to trying out the games though, and the fact that I have both STO and EVE on my radar at the moment speaks mountains about what I’m willing to play.
So how does a non-IP fan feel about this game?
I’ve only managed to log in once so far (bogged down with work deadlines) but I actually enjoyed it. I really loved character creation and I knew I would because of Champions. I know, the two games are nothing alike, right? Well, yes and no. Character creation still has a vast amount of options in both games, and I absolutely love the amount of choice. I decided on an unknown race for the maximum amount of customization and it was a lot of fun. I could spend hours creating characters and making background stories for them, which is important to me.
I squealed in excitement as I ‘warped’ places and used my ‘phaser’ to take down drones. A good friend of mine remarked “Dear, put down the phaser and take up your +5 sword of dexterity!” which just sent me into fits of laughter, because it was completely true. Hearing any bit of sci fi talk come out of my mouth is sort of like watching a baby learn their first words. In a very literal sense, I am learning a lot of new words. I think I’ve learned more about Star Trek in this last week or two (especially from twitter conversations) then in my entire life.
Movement reminded me a bit of Fallen Earth (ground movement in any case), your character feels a little ‘stiff’ as they walk around. I’m pretty sure that’s also due to my (lack of) handle on the controls, I don’t use a mouse to move and that makes things seem much smoother then key commands. I managed to finish the beginner tutorials, and did some space flight which was pretty fun. I went with my typical ‘I want to heal’ stance, and picked a scientist. I just feel most comfortable being support even in those games that I know nothing about.
Maneuvering my ship around was pretty easy (especially after just coming from EVE) though it feels a little clunky. I suppose ships are supposed to feel that way, especially beginner ones. One of the hardest things for me was to come up with a name for it, I mean what do people call space ships? I don’t have the faintest idea. I have to admit, I’m not a huge fan of the ‘auto target the enemy’ feature that a few games have. Sure, it makes sense, but I’d rather have no target at all until I actually tab (or click) on the subject. It’s not a bad feature, it’s just something I’m not used to.
I don’t see myself pre-ordering the game, or playing any time past the beta unless I need to for work or I get a huge knock to the head that makes me a fan of sci fi. Not because the game is bad, it’s not, it’s fun. It just doesn’t appeal to me on a personal level and that’s got nothing to do with the game itself it’s more to do with my personal likes and dislikes. I’m still very glad that I’m at least getting a chance to check out the beta and try to figure out what everyone is talking about.