Category Archives: Star Trek Online
Starfleet has lost contact with one of its star bases. More than 400 officers could be lost, including a key member of Starfleet’s Borg Task Force. Infiltrate the base and take the fight to the Borg!
- Retake the Sibiran system and shut down a transwarp conduit being used by the Borg to establish a foothold in the Gamma Orionis Sector Block.
- Investigate the strange new nanovirus the Borg are using to assimilate entire worlds at alarming speeds.
- Retake Starbase 89 before it is fully taken overrun by the Borg, and save what is left of the Starfleet personnel that are still there.
- Locate Captain Ogen’s Strike Team and Rebecca Simmons, the lead Borg Task Force researcher working on a cure for the nanovirus. Both went deep into the Borg infected starbase and haven’t reported back in quite some time.
- Infected is an extremely challenging a five-man mission, designed for a full party of players level 43 and higher.
- Lockstep teamwork and strategy will be required to defeat one of the toughest challenges yet in Star Trek Online.
- Releasing February 2010.
STF: The Cure
The Klingon Defense Force has been conducting its own investigation into the Borg advance, and they believe that the Collective’s next target is the Vorn system. Enemies may have to unite when confronted by a greater foe.
- Assist the I.K.S. Kang in a desperate battle with the Borg.
- Explore a planet that has been completely assimilated. Can you rescue the warriors before they are taken over by the Borg?
- Fight at the side of Ja’rod, son of Lursa.
- Free Klingon ships from Borg control, and gain their assistance in a final battle with a Borg fleet.
STF: Khitomer Accord
Finally, the mysteries of the Borg attack on Vega Colony are revealed! Why did the Borg attack there, and how was an unprepared Starfleet able to defeat them?
- Confront the Borg before they can use temporal anomalies to change the past of the Federation.
- Warp back into your own past, in the hours before the attack on Vega Colony.
- Discover a base where thousands of Borg drones are being held in stasis. What are the Borg’s plans for this hidden army?
- Starfleet’s not ready for the Borg. A defeat here could mean that the entire Alpha Quadrant falls. Balance the scales and fight the Borg for the preservation of the quadrant.
- Learn the fate of a missing Romulan empress.
STF: Into the Hive
The fate of the Alpha Quadrant hangs in the balance. Enter a unicomplex and confront the Borg Queen herself.
- Rescue civilians trapped on an assimilated world.
- Follow the trail to a unicomplex, and penetrate deep into the Borg stronghold.
- Confront the Borg Queen, and fight for the fate of the galaxy.
STF: Children of Khan
Amar Singh escapes from Federation custody, and he and an underground group of Augments steal the U.S.S. Asgard and race toward the remains of the Mutara Nebula. Can you stop them before they start a new Eugenics War?
- Fight a fleet assembled by Princep Khan and his followers.
- Beam onto the Asgard, and battle through its corridors to save civilians and crew.
- Confront the Princep. Can you deal with his transporter tricks?
- Save the divided Asgard and give the saucer section a chance to escape!
I am a pretty big Star Trek fan, and have been since Star Trek: The Next Generation came out. I never really appreciated the original series, but in the context of this post, I don’t think my lack of love for the Original Series really applies.
Star Trek Online was instantly the MMO for me, just because it was Star Trek. I knew it wouldn’t be held in the Original Series era, and as such, I’d be familiar with the technology, races and ships.
This review won’t be overly optimistic or excited about Star Trek Online, and I am sure I am not the only Star Trek fan that will feel this way.
What Cryptic Did Right?
A few months ago, the Star Trek Online site looked and worked quite differently. The main focus wasn’t on game reviews, but instead, building the universe that Star Trek Online would take place in.
They slowly released informatino on new ships, and most interestingly, they had articles entitled The Path to 2409 which were amazing updates on the span of time between the last Star Trek movie, and the starting date of the game universe.
Since just before closed beta began, these posts have stopped. There was a little more on the ships, but nothing that really excited me. I was looking forward to playing as a Federation character, but the lack of Klingon related content was almost laughable. How could anyone be convinced to play the Klingons with only two ship related posts, and only one or two paragraphs dedicated to them in each Path to 2409 post?
These posts, related to ships, the universe, and the eventual gameplay, were released at perfect intervals to keep people hooked. Add to that an open forum where anyone could post about their hopes and dreams for the game, as well as organizing fleets, and you have a dedicated and happy community, excited about a Star Trek MMO.
Then they redesigned their site and had their closed beta. Their site was amazing, but the actual gameplay wasn’t.
What Cryptic Did Wrong?
Missing that Star Trek feel. One of the biggest complaints I have about the game is how combat focused it is currently. You take your ship and fight Klingons, and then beam down to a planet, and fight more Klingons. After you’ve defeated things on the ground, you go to warp, move to the next area, and fight more Klingons. It all feels like one big grind-fest.
Your character can be customized, but the uniform customization feels both limiting and too extensive for Star Trek. You can customize your ship, but until you level up a dozen times don’t expect to change how it looks compared to others in your level.
Star Trek wasn’t ever really about personalization, so I can’t really knock the game for that. We should all have the same uniform, and ships of the same class should look the same. But if we are all going to be the same, why can’t I easily make it so that bridge officers I add to my crew have the same uniform as myself?
It is glaring issues like uniformity in uniforms that ruin the feel of the game, and the lack of diversity in missions and objectives that destroy the rest of the game.
Star Trek is about exploration, but in my advanced star ship, I rarely know exactly where to go. I have to hover over planets, to see if it matches the name that I have in my mission briefing.
Star Trek is about crew interaction, but all of my crew are NPC’s, and they don’t really mean anything to me. I have two engineering bridge officers, and if one died, I wouldn’t worry about the chracter, but instead, just the loss of their special ability.
Star Trek is about fleet interactions. Some of my favourite episodes of Star Trek included bigger battles but Cryptic hasn’t made fleet interaction easy, simple, or fun. You can’t send commands out to lower ranked people, nor can you organize your attack.
Everyone just moves towards the enemy, wears it down with phasers, and then, if they are trying to be tactical, wait until its shields are down to fire torpedos.
Usually though, everyone just spams buttons, and buffs until whatever enemy is on the screen dies. Then if you can tell what colour the loot drop is, you can possibly get a new item.
Playing Star Trek Online isn’t fun, and beyond that, it doesn’t feel like Star Trek to me. You could have called it “Future Battles Ground and Space”, and I probably would have been nicer to it in this review.
Star Trek brings so much history, information and fandom with it, that to mess up the simple concepts of the Star Trek universe in order to deliver another generic MMO is just shameful. I now see why so many companies before Cryptic haven’t been able to bring the dream of a fun Star Trek game to people’s computers.
I can’t go through everything I dislike about this game, as that would take all week, but hopefully this review helps open your eyes, and give the game serious consideration before jumping in and buying the year long, or lifetime subscription. Try the open beta, open until January 26th, 2010, and decide from there.
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.