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Star Trek Online a month later

My son and I have been playing Star Trek Online now for about a month. We started out in beta and went ahead and purchased the game to continue trying things out.

 

 

Some folks have already maxed out their characters and then complained that there was nothing for them to do but that pretty much serves them right for racing to the end of the game when it was already known that there was no endgame content yet.

 

 

We created first our Federation characters since you have no other choice but to start out on the federation side. We went ahead and leveled our federation characters to level 6 which then unlocks the ability to create Klingon characters. The klingon play is focused mainly around PvP. There really isn’t any quests like on the federation side where you could go explore worlds or systems and have PvE missions to do. Klingons had a few space battle PvE missions but that was pretty much it as the only other action was PvP against the federation or against other Klingons.

 

 

A brand new Klingon character gets a bird of prey which isn’t too shabby and decked out pretty well with decent gear. You get the cloaking ability which gives the Klingons a slight advantage in the begin levels of PvP for levels 6-10. At level 11 the Federation then get’s science vessels and cruisers which gives them a little more survivability. In fact most Klingons believe that the federation actually has the upper hand in PvP for levels 11-20 (also known as Lt Cmdr or Tier 2). Klingons still win a lot of the PvP matches since most of their combat they encounter is only PvP type encounters while the Federation plays a lot of PvE missions for leveling, quests and loot. The computer AI in the missions are not that challenging and many of your abilities work very well on them. When the federation then faces seasoned Klingons in combat they get a rude awaking. I started to think that perhaps Klingons were the overpowered ones and I got my group of friends to then level up their Federation characters to level 11. I picked up a science vessel, my son an escort and another friend picked up his cruiser. The three of us could actually work pretty well together in 5v5 combat. The cruiser would focus on healing, the escort would focus on DPS and I would focus on disabling subsystems such as shields, engines and help do some damage.

 

 

I think if nothing else we proved that teamwork trumps gear and ships. It helps when you are using a chat program like ventrilo and are able to coordinate your attacks and pick out your targets instead of having to type them. You are also able to call out for help as well.

 

 

The thing that I’m unhappy with right now with Star Trek Online is the fact that if you make a mistake in picking out skills in their hard to understand skill tree you have hurt your character since there is no way of changing out skill points. They still haven’t discussed how they are going to do this and are being real vague about it along with many other things such as the future of Klingons in the game. Klingon play seems to have been slapped on at the last minute and most of the design of the game is based around Federation so if you want to experience more go Federation. If you only care about PvP and don’t want to do quests you may enjoy Klingons more as you will find more seasoned players there. If you want a good challenge though try some Federation PvP but make sure you find a good group.

 

Star Trek Online Beta review

I got the opprotunity to participate in Star Trek Online’s Open beta and I figured I would share my experiences with it.

 

First off Star Trek Online is a new MMO that will be officially released on Feb 2 however folks who pre-ordered may start playing on Jan 29th. They just closed their open beta on Jan 26th so let me fill you in on what I learned from playing it.

 

First off for those trekkies that are curious what timeline the game takes place according to their own website the events in the game take place 30 years after the events in Star Trek Nemesis with the year being 2409. Evidently there is now a war between the Klingon Empire and the Federation which then becomes the two opposing factions in the game. In beta you could only start off with a federation character but after hitting level 6 you could then start a Klingon character. It appears that with Federation characters you can do either Player vs Environment (PvE) play or Player vs Player (PvP) play and Klingon characters were mainly PvP.

 

Now I mentioned level 6 being the level that you need to play Klingon but you won’t find a level called level 6. In Star Trek they do levels a bit like military you have a rank and a grade. So actually you hit Lt. Grade 6 before you start a Klingon but once you hit grade 11 you get promoted to a Lt. Commander Grade 1. When it’s time to start your Klingon character you actually start out at a level 6 instead of level 1 so at least you don’t have to level up but can go straight into some action after a few training missions.

There is two types of action in the game with one being space missions where you pilot your ship and ground missions where you beam your away team somewhere and move your character around. Space missions normally include you engage in some sort of ship vs ship encounter although some times you are sent to explore, investigate or scan stuff. Most of my missions to go explore or scan normally ran into resistance from enemy forces that I had to destroy before I could finish my exploration. On the Federation side they start you out with a Miranda class light cruiser which seems to be a decent ship and can handle your missions unless for some reason you seem to be facing 5-6 ships firing on you at the same time. On ground missions you might beam into a ship in distress or perhaps a planet and will probably spend a lot of time engaging enemy ground forces as well. If you are playing by yourself you can beam down with an away team that is comprised of your bridge officers and some random security officers. You can control their actions but I generally let them do their own thing.

I guess I should mention that you have three careers to choose from which is Engineering, Science or Tactical and you get different abilities based upon which career you pick and what kits you happen to equip you character with. I liked how gear worked on characters in Star Trek as it seemed different that many other MMO’s. When playing World of Warcraft each gear piece added stats to your character such as strength, intelligence, stamina and more but didn’t do a lot more other than increase your abilities. Star Trek gear does not affect stats as there really aren’t any stats. Instead your gear affects your abilities directly or affects your resistances to your enemy’s attacks. You can equip two weapons and switch between them if you want. So a Klingon might have a ranged weapon and then his famous melee weapon to strike down his foe in close combat.

 

I had already burned out on World of Warcraft and the kiddies that seem to enjoy talking trash more than actually playing the game and it appears that Star Trek online has very few of these type of people. In fact I might of seen random general chat but when it was time to do missions and combat I saw little gripes or complaints from team mates if anything folks used chat to *gasp* communicate what needed to be done or organize the team into focusing on the same objective. That satisfied me as a father that my son won’t be exposed to the idiotic pointless banter that goes on in World of Warcraft and rarely moderated unless someone reports it. I think Star Trek Online will attract a different group of folks as the game play is different.

 

The game play and missions makes it appear that you can play this game casually if you want. Most missions only takes a couple of minutes so if I only wanted to play for an hour I could probably accomplish several missions and call it a night. Since I want to limit my play time compared to what I did back when I was in World of Warcraft and participating in raids and other long instances I think this game will fit my play style more and I think I will more comfortable sharing this game with my son.

 

There is a lot to cover with this game and this post was just a quick overview and I can go over more detail in future posts.