I don’t often take a stab at fanfiction, I’ve got too many different characters running around my head as it is and sometimes it’s difficult to prevent them crossing over. But from time to time I’ll get an idea for a property already out there. Like Star Trek.
I wrote one Star Trek fanfiction over fifteen years ago. I crossed it over with Hawkworld from DC Comics, where I had Hawkman and Hawkwoman meet each incarnation of Trek up to that point. Obviously, they didn’t meet up with Archer and crew in Star Trek Enterprise (had the show been around, though, I just might have). It was a long effort, my longest writing up to that point, and I finished it. However, I have no idea where the copy is now, so no, unfortunately, I can’t share it with you.
Since then, however, I’ve developed a new idea in Trek, based on characters I created in Star Trek Online.
The idea is based on a completely Caitian crew (the feline species in Star Trek) Captained by M’iaa T’Chall (she is the short one in the above picture). I’ll also be adding in my Klingon Defense Force character, S’Returru, who isn’t Klingon but Ferasan. Ferasan is the other feline species in Trek, and they are rather hostile to their Caitian cousins.
The idea came about that since J. J. Abrams reboot of Star Trek, one would think that the Temporal Investigators would have a field day attempting to fix all of the timeline irregularities. Usually they’ll recruit different Starfleet or other members to help fix the problems in the timeline (seeing how most often the ones trying to fix things are Starfleet officers from the 30th Century, they’d probably pick Starfleet officers). In the case of what took place in the events of Abrams’ Star Trek, Temporal Investigations wouldn’t require one person, they’d need an entire crew. Fortunately for them, of the events that created the alternate universe there were four constants. Meaning, as time progressed, there were always four events that took place in each timeline. Those four events were the destruction of Romulus, the disappearance of Ambassador Spock, and the crews of two vessels, one Starfleet another a stolen Klingon Raptor escort ship. The first ship is the U.S.S. Ocelot, captained by M’iaa T’Chall. In each timeline, she will captain the Ocelot, and her crew will be 100% Caitian. The second ship is called the I.K.S. Tigris, and is captained by a Ferasan by the name of S’Returru. Her crew happens to be 100% Ferasan. But in each timeline, those four constants always take place.
So Temporal Investigations recruits them in order to ensure the timeline continues as it should. The goal of the crews of each ship is to find a difference in the timeline, and fix it.
The initial setup is three chapters that will read exactly the same, with small difference. The Ocelot will encounter the Borg/Tholians/Iconians. They will chase down one of the fleeing ships to discover it’s attacking the Tigris. As the two crews realize who each other is, a third ship will arrive which they cannot recognize. That set up happens three times, until the fourth chapter will reveal the ship is a timeship, with the goal of recruiting the Ocelot and the Tigris.
So that’s the plan in a nutshell for a little bit of fanfiction. Just because the idea is there.
That is a damn fine uniform. It happens to be one of the really cool things you can unlock in Star Trek Online. There’s a lot of things you can unlock in the game, more than just uniforms. There’s weapons, armour, ship weapons, shields, devices to help in space and ground missions. Naturally, as you progress through the missions and episodes of the game, new missions and episodes unlock (the main story missions are called episodes, where there’s a series of missions that focus on one arc). If you collect certain weapons, shield and armour types together, they will unlock additional abilities to help you in combat.
The above uniform, I opened up while performing the duty roster missions (what I call XP while you are away from your computer, because you just set the mission and then walk away). Four ranks in Diplomacy of the duty roster missions and you unlock the uniform, plus the ability to transwarp to DS9 (at the other ranks you can transwarp to Starbase 39 and Deep Space K-7), plus you get the option to have an bridge officer from an enemy faction. I picked an Orion (I wanted a Ferasan but those are a species you have to buy in Cryptic’s C-Store… which I’ll get to in a bit).
You can also do actual missions that help to unlock ship items (weapons, shields, consoles, impulse engines and deflector) which unlock additional abilities, as well as personal shields, armour and weapons. I managed to unlock the entire M.A.C.O set of armour, shields and weapons for M’iaa (above) which gives the ability to replenish personal shields and remodulate weapons on the fly while fighting against the Borg.
That’s all great, it takes a long time to unlock this stuff and there’s a feeling of accomplishment when you do so.
However, for as much as there is this stuff you can unlock, it’s really annoying to see how much stuff you can unlock just by buying it. Cryptic has the C-Store, which uses real word dollars to buy in game currency. It is a lot of in game currency, mind you, as $20 will get you about 1500 which can buy some decent things. You can buy additional ship skins and types. For example, M’iaa’s ship is the U.S.S. Ocelot, a Defiant Class Escort ship complete with cloaking device. There is a Defiant Class ship you can unlock when you reach the captain’s level, but it doesn’t have the cloak. You can even buy playable races (like Caitian and Ferasan) and certain bridge crew species (like Caitain and Ferasan). I’ve taken advantage of that, plus I’ve taken advantage of all of the costume add ons. This I have no issue with, because it’s a quality of life aspect to the game. Customizing things so that you stand out in the game just a bit.
What really annoys me is one aspect of the game which manages to drop lock boxes. These lock boxes contain special additions for your character to use. Weapons, shields, duty rostes to complete your duty roster crew, costume pieces, and in the case of the Ferengi lock boxes, lobi crystals which can be used to buy a few other add ons. You even have a chance to open a box with a ship (Cardassian, Jem Ha’Dar, Tholian, Ferengi, Mirror Universe ships available). What picks at me is that the keys required to open the boxes require real world money to buy. And they aren’t cheap. Over 1000 in game credits to buy ten of them. Which isn’t so bad, but at the frequency of which the lock boxes drop, it can get very expensive.
These aren’t achievements you can unlock, but achievements you can buy. And even then, the chance of getting a ship is remote.
Costumes and ship skins I don’t mind paying for. It’s an added bonus to the game to help make you look unique. I do have an issue with being forced to buy keys to open boxes in order to have a chance of something really different. What I’d suggest is keep the keys in the store, but have certain missions that will offer the chance to get a key as a reward on completion of the mission. Make that drop rare enough, so when a player does manage to get one, it’s a real accomplishment. If players want to shell out cash to buy keys, so be it, be at least give players the opportunity to be awarded keys in game. Even make a key bundle of ten a reward option.
It’ll make the reward actually feel like an achievement.
For years there has been an MMO that has captured the imagination of players. An MMO that has filled a void in a genre. That genre was super hero comic books. And that MMO was City of Heroes.
Launched almost a decade ago, City of Heroes went from the single game MMO, to the expansion City of Villains, and finally City of Heroes: Going Rogue, which allowed heroes to go to the villain side and villains to go to the hero side. That being from Paragon to the Rogue Isles.
It was announced a couple of months ago that CoX, as it is more commonly called, was closing down. The servers will be shut down later today. Barring any eleventh hour save that has been pushed by fans. So that leaves many in a void that hasn’t existed for years. Granted, it’s not completely empty. CoX fans will attempt to find a new home, and many aren’t exactly looking to join a fantasy game. Some have already said they’re going to The Secret World, other are moving on completely, and some are going to the other super hero MMOs.
One is DC Comics MMO, which I’ve played but not fully. The other is Champions Online.
Champions is based on the old pen and paper game. The game has made news, and it’s received some rewards. And players from CoX will attempt CO. There’s naturally some pros and cons that come hand in hand with moving from CoX to CO
Those familiar with the CoX character designer will love the Champions character designer. Champions is very much as complex as City of Heroes/Villains. With a small addition. Champions allows players to change stances, manipulate individual shoulder pads, arm pads, gloves, bracers, leg attachments and boots, whereas City didn’t allow the differences between left and right side.
Champions game play is a bit more dynamic. Whereas in City, your hero/villain is rooted during an attack. So a gunslinger can flip and move and run while shooting, whereas in City, they remain stationary. Champions is also a lot more free when it comes to power choices. Unless you’re a free to play player, Champions allows the player to start their character, choose an opening power (say Martial Arts) and choose powers from other archetypes (like munitions, gadgets, might, ego blades, sorcery, fire, electricity and more). There is some limitations as to what powers you can take at certain times, but you’ve got a lot of freedom. In City, you are locked into a set of powers based on the archetype you chose, and what power sets you chose. Even when doing a retcon, which is basically going back to level 1 and choosing your powers and enhancement slots over again, you’re locked into your archetype and your power sets. The only exception is the power pools. You aren’t locked into that. In Champions, when you do a retcon, you can choose completely different powers, including different opening powers from a completely different power set (unless you are a free to play player).
Many of the larger team missions, such as Therakiel’s Temple or Shadow Destroyer, are not long, drawn out missions. That was one complaint I had about City, whereas a large task force would take hours to play, and often no one really cared how well we did by the time we got to the last couple of missions. The worst was the opening Task Force, offered by Positron which was also dubbed The Baton Death March. A level 10 Task Force, longest, hardest and most difficult due to lack of powers. Since then, Positron has been split into two task forces, but if you really like long, drawn out slogs (because we’re all a little masochistic at times) Positron’s complete Baton Death March is still available through Oroboros, a time displaced area where characters can go back and do missions they missed and claim badges that were available through missions they may have out leveled.
This is more a knock on Champions than a pro. City had epic powersets at level 41. Based on the character’s archetype, players could give their characters some extra power with these epic powers. They could choose four powers from a set and enhance them as much as they could. This went on until the player reached level 50. Further, players could continue to gain powers by doing some of the extra events that would allow characters to gain further powers through a series of trees that would give them a touch more flavour. The character would still register at level 50, but would seem like level 54 or higher. A lot of these missions to achieve these additional powers, however, while fast, were kind of a grind. It was essentially end game content and a lot of people complained about it’s set up. Champions, there’s just one epic power that a character can get once they hit level 35 and have unlocked the Vibora Bay content. Some of those powers are really kind of meh, and the players can’t level past 40 (though there has been talk of upping the level cap to 45, but that’s been a rumour for over a year now).
Vehicles! Champions has vehicles, City doesn’t. Though, the vehicles are more reminiscent of Star Trek, as they’re all fighter craft and hover tanks at present. There is talk about adding motorcycles and cars at some point. And the vehicles aren’t easy to acquire. Either using real world money to purchase a vehicle from the in game C-Store, or running an opening mission to acquire what’s called Drifter Points to unlock one of the vehicles he sells.
The biggest pro about Champions has to be the leveling curve. It’s not nearly as steep as City and casual players may find that it won’t take long to hit level 40. I did that with Rocket Fox in two weeks.
Regarding PvP, while Champions is like City in that it has specific zones in which players can battle players, players can also challenge other players out in the open. By right clicking on a character and choosing DUEL, the two players can engage in a slug fest in the middle of Millennium City or any other zone in the game (with the exception of Club Caprice or the Minefield, two of Champions social areas).
Unfortunately, Champions has a lot of cons, and quite a few of them don’t really need long comparative descriptions. One of Champions major failings is customer service. I’ve made support notes in both CoX and Champions and found CoX had far superior support. I never waited more than ten minutes before a GM would come to assist me with a problem that I had. In Champions Online, I have yet to interact with a GM to help solve an issue. And issues seem to take months to resolve, making some missions unplayable.
Champions is also plagued by the fact that while the first of Cryptic’s MMOs under it’s new direction (remember, Cryptic started City before NCSoft and Paragon Studios took over), it seems the team of developers for Cryptic is concentrating more on Star Trek Online and Neverwinter Online. The latter two are seen as the major money makers, and thus Champions development has suffered. Aside from vehicles and one new mission, there has been no new content, no new areas, and no new development on the horizon. Players are promised a lot of stuff, but some has taken over a year to complete, or has been completely forgotten.
Another con for Champions is the fact it is developed by Cryptic Studios. A lot of people who played City felt they got shafted by Cryptic. The studio left a huge bad taste in their mouth and anytime a new game would be announced like Star Trek Online or Neverwinter, there was some excitement until readers saw the developer; Cryptic Studios. That made their decision for them to never try the game because they had a bad experience with Cryptic.
In the end, the choice is up to the player. Already there have been several people who have logged onto Champions who have the tag in their bio that says “CoX refugee”. How long they stay will be another question entirely.
- Farewell to City of Heroes – and What’s Next? (mmomeltingpot.com)
- Requiem for Paragon (facesoftheranger.wordpress.com)
- Saying Goodbye to City of Heroes (andallofthem.wordpress.com)
- Farewell, City of Heroes (bronzeagebabies.blogspot.com)
- ‘Save City of Heroes’ campaign appeals to Disney (incgamers.com)
- Champions Online gets massive vehicle update (destructoid.com)
- City of Heroes Retrospective (geeksunleashed.me)
- Heroes at the End of the World: Living in the Final Days of City of Heroes (mediumdifficulty.com)
- How to Back Up your City of Heroes Characters (lurkingrhythmically.blogspot.com)
- Ten things to do in City of Heroes before it’s gone (massively.joystiq.com)
Decided to play around in Champions Online again, since it’s been a very long time since I did so. They added vehicles. Or at least hover craft. And some fighter jets.
This is the Hawkwing Stealth Fighter. It has three weapon slots, one defensive slot and a support slot. The craft acts as a device in the devices bar on your character. When you activate it, the craft becomes your character, complete with it’s own set of skills, powers and more. The Stealth fighter has stealth capability, booster rockets, a regenerative beam to help team mates, and has wing turrets and a missile launching underneath.
There’s also the Hawkwing Heavy Fighter, which looks like a little snub nose, has two weapon slots and two defensive slots.
The only thing I don’t like about them is the in game movement. They don’t pitch and yaw as well as I’d like.
Well, my issue with it goes more than that. Movement is the least of my complaints about the new vehicle selection. You’d tend to think that someone with the name Rocket Fox would have a pretty kick ass fighter jet. Unfortunately, the jets are pretty much all about speed and very lacking in punch or defense. You have to work on those, I suppose. Before I mentioned the Stealth Wing has five mod slots, three for weapons and one for defense and one for support. It seems when you travel through the world, complete missions and tackle huge bosses, you get lots of possible mods. In the form of lock boxes. Which you need to use real world money in order to buy keys from the in game C-Store so that you can open them.
The deal is, you pay XX amount of dollars (or whatever currency is native to your country) and get XXXX amount of Zen, the in game currency used to buy items through the C-Store. A lot of online games have this. Probably the best example is Guild Wars 2 selling costume skins and dye packs. But that’s just aesthetics. I don’t have a problem with that. Champions Online has things in their store that affect the game world. Sure there’s different power sets, travel powers, costume pieces, bases, and mini figures, but those are all aesthetic aspects that have no bearing on how well you do. The powers, for example, aren’t any better than the ones you get already. The travel powers, same thing. Many are just doctored up to look like different versions of things that already exist as travel power selections.
Vehicles, catalysts to make mods better, keys to open lock boxes. Those are also available in the C-Store, all of which you can buy in order to make your character, or your vehicle stronger. That’s more of a pay to win scenario which I’m against in games.
It ain’t cheap to get those keys. 1100 Zen there abouts to get ten keys. And that’s about 30 bucks in the real world. Those lock boxes are frequent drops as well. Currently Rocket Fox has 32 of those things in her inventory, and I did buy 20 keys just to see what was in those boxes. Each box has something different. XP boosters, Resource boosters (which is the currency in game to buy from vendors, not use at the C-Store), and level 1 defense or support mods. About 75 each. So you can craft them and get several level 2 versions of the same mods.
Sadly, this is the only thing that’s been added to the game in a while. No actual content in game, just more costumes and vehicles that you have to buy through the C-Store. No new missions, no new areas (such as Hudson City, which had been talked about before). This is rather disappointing, considering that City of Heroes is going off line in less than a week. There may be several CoX players who will venture over to Champions Online. Which means Cryptic better get their butts in gear.
Cryptic has been pretty weak in a lot of areas when making their games. They have terrible customer service, they’ve ignored Champions Online in favour of delivering new material and content for Star Trek Online and working toward releasing Neverwinter Online. It isn’t that difficult to level from 1 to 40 in Champions, but after that there really isn’t anything to do. Sure, there’s alerts, but those get old fast, as each alert is recycled with new villains. After a while, you tend to see those over and over again as well. There is something that could help, and that’s by implementing something popular in Star Trek Online into Champions Online. That’s the Foundry, which is user developed content played in game.
Sadly, I’m not sure that is being pushed forward, as Cryptic seems to just chuck small things at Champions and focus all their efforts on Star Trek Online and Neverwinter Online.
New stuff in STO (Star Trek Online)! Which is one of the reasons why I haven’t posted anything in a while.
Left the game for a bit (from boredom, really), but decided to come back to it after seeing something new.
They added the race called the Ferasan. Distantly related to the Caitians, the Ferasan are a more feral looking feline race. Longer canine teeth, different fur colouring and patterns. They are a playable race on the Klingon side of the game. Something nice about adding the Ferasan is that now the Caitians also have more additions for hair and fur patterns, so you can make some differences instead of just colour of the fur and eyes.
Displayed above is S’Returru (left) who is currently a captain in the KDF (Klingon Defense Force). On the right is my main character, Vice Admiral M’iaa T’Chall, who up until recently was commanding the U.S.S. Lynx, an Odyssey Class starship for which the latest Enterprise is built for (U.S.S. Enterprise NCC1701-F). But, the devs for STO released a new ship.
Thanks to efforts to match the Klingons with their carrier ships, the Federation has called out to other races to help match the intensity. The Caitians answered, making the Atrox Carrier class ships available.
The Atrox is a larger vessel (a little longer than the Odyssey Class starship) and doesn’t have the greatest maneuverability. However, it is powerful and has decent defensive capabilities. But the Atrox’s main attribute is she is an aircraft carrier.
She comes complete with a large squadron of Stalker Class fighter craft. So she’s basically a point and shoot, not fly in and take part in combat, though she does have her weapons banks.
I’ve been a little obsessed lately. Not in a bad way, but in a very good way. The planning of the Rocket Fox series has helped, in a large way, stir my interest in something I hadn’t thought of in a long, long time.
I’m obsessed with space.
Some might think it’s that vast emptiness of nothing, but I see it more as the opportunity to explore. That exploration either comes in the form of books or television series or movies. Even video games and art. Some of the greatest pieces of art come in the form of starscapes.
Some of those images are either composites of the Hubble telescope or images from the mind of an artist who has an idea of what some distant galaxy might look like.
Of course, there’s also been a renewed interest in watching television again. I’d grown really tired of television lately. Nothing had really piqued my interest. There was Battlestar Galactica, if only because I remember watching it as a kid, and I’ve been watching that a little bit. But I’ve also been watching a lot of the different Star Trek series. Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Enterprise. Even a few of the movies, including the most recent one.
There has also been video games, two of which include Star Trek Online (it is amazing to pilot a starship through the far reaches of the galaxy and explore) and Bioware’s Mass Effect Series. The soundtrack for the latter I find incredibly amazing, and it’s actually helped me with my own writing. Especially with Rocket Fox.
Champions Online has been helpful as well, if only to add a piece to that science fiction aspect. There is a hideout in the game that places your characters on a moon base which is well crafted and looks as though they’ll be adding to it in the near future.
This has also been giving me a little bit of hope. Hope for the future. Space exploration can be seen that way, because it’s the last great frontier of exploration. What’s out there, exactly? Well, we know what some of it looks like, but we don’t know everything about it. It is interesting to note that some recent discoveries, whether technology or announcements by NASA, were sort of predicted by science fiction.
Data pads in Star Trek look at lot like Kindles, Nooks and iPads now. A planet discovered by NASA’s Kepler Telescope looks similar to Earth like conditions, and is described in a way similar to a description of a planet in Douglas Adams‘ Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.
So there’s hope. Maybe one day, some one will set foot on a distant planet similar to Earth. Until then, there’s always science fiction.
- Here are 10,000 reasons to be excited about deep-space exploration [Rant] (io9.com)
- AAS Dispatch: Future NASA Telescope Could ‘Sniff’ Air of Alien Planets (space.com)
- Europe’s Orbiting Observatories Capture Stunning New Images of the “Pillars of Creation” (2012indyinfo.com)
- Hubble Telescope Reveals ‘Snow Angel’ in Space [VIDEO] (mashable.com)
- Astronomers share their galactic glories (photoblog.msnbc.msn.com)
- Oh, My Stars! (ginisnaturenews.com)
- NASA Finds 2011 Ninth-Warmest Year on Record (chimalaya.org)
- The Hubble Space Telescope Discovers the Farthest-Away Galaxies Ever Seen (pcworld.com)
- Mystery of 400-year-old supernova explosion solved – msnbc.com (msnbc.msn.com)
- Hubble Solves Mystery on Source of Supernova in Nearby Galaxy (spacefellowship.com)
- NASA’s Hubble telescope detects supernova – CBC.ca (cbc.ca)
- Rare Ultra-blue Stars Found in Neighboring Galaxy’s Hub (spacefellowship.com)
- Future NASA Telescope Could ‘Sniff’ Air of Alien Planets (livescience.com)
- Hubble telescope finds hints of ‘building blocks of life’ on Pluto (telegraph.co.uk)
- Strange new ‘species’ of ultra-red galaxy discovered (eurekalert.org)
- Gallery: The Splendor of the Orion Nebula (revolutionizingawareness.com)
- Celestial ‘Snow Angel’ Dazzles in Hubble Telescope Photo (livescience.com)
Regarding massive multiplayer online games, I have never played a sci-fi game. No Star Wars Galaxy for me. I didn’t even sign up for the Knights of the Old Republic beta. Don’t get me wrong, I love the look of the Star Wars games, and I’ve played a few in the past with Dark Forces, Dark Forces II: Jedi Knight and even Jedi Knight II. Light saber battles are always awesome.
But I’ve always wanted to fly and command a starship. From the NX class in Star Trek: Enterprise, to the Defiant of Deep Space Nine. Even with all of those games out there about Star Trek, none of them, with the exception of an old Commodore Vic 20 game, allowed you to fly a starship. Not Star Trek Voyager: Elite Force. Not Klingon Honor Guard. Not DS9 The Fallen. Not even Star Trek Elite Force II. Sure, there were Real time strategy games that did, but not like this.
One of the first things to find is the costume creator. You only have access to Starfleet crew, and cannot play Klingons until you reach level 25. Which is fine, because a lot of the Klingon missions involve Player vs Player activities. Most likely not something for someone faint of heart (really, anything Klingons do wouldn’t be for the faint of heart). Your choices for species are vast, including Vulcan, Andorian, Tellerite, Trill, Bajoran, and more (and yes, by buying ingame tokens, you can make a Klingon Starfleet member, along with joined Trill and a cat like race of beings).
The character editor is quite extensive, allowing you to create personal look right down to if they have bumps on their noses. Which means, yes, you aren’t just limited to each alien species, you can make your own and modify it to look however you wish. The character creator does have a large number of outfits, but if you have the Cryptic Points (in game money to use on the in game Cryptic Store) you can buy more. Such as uniforms from the Enterprise Series, TOS Mirror Universe Episode, Enterprise Mirror Universe, Wrath of Khan uniforms, STNG Uniforms, DS9 Uniforms, Dress uniforms, even outfits to use for holosuites.
Once the character is created you are thrust into the action. The action, in this case, being the tutorial which is almost a standard given with any game. But what a tutorial it is! You come phaser banks to phase banks with the Borg.
You enter the game as an ensign, and through a series of unfortunate events (apologies to Lemony Snicket) the command of your vessel is killed and you are the highest ranking officer to take command. Throughout the course of the tutorial you experience ship battles, ground battles, scanning, medicating, transporting and repairing. All simple stuff that gets expanded on in the game proper.
And what a proper it is. The map, or galaxy, really is huge. There are a number of different places to go, some friendly, some not so. Travel time is made easy between systems because each system is in a sector, each sector in a sector block. The sector blocks are not that hard to get across. It’s just a matter of memorizing where each important landmark (or space mark) is.
There are the standard missions, but it’s nice that you can get missions that are either away missions, ship based missions in space, or a combination of both. Such as fighting off Klingons in deep space, then having to beam over to a nearby station to continue the story.
Players can get in on the story building as well, as Cryptic has made the Foundry. The Foundry allows you to create a mission or series of missions that are only limited to the creator’s imagination. Players can access these missions through the interface commbadge used to contact any of the usual mission contacts (see? 24th Century! No need for running back to contacts in this game, they have commbadges!).
The mechanics are quite nice, as the space missions and the away missions do give you a nice variety. Space missions will include scanning anomalies, or fighting off enemy invaders, or chasing down smugglers. The weapon, shield and hull modifications a ship can get are quite vast as well. Ships can have multi target phasers, photon torpedoes, quantum torpedoes, photon mines and much more.
Away missions allow you to assemble a team and head to the planet or space station to continue a story. How your team is made up determines how easy or difficult the mission is. And in away missions, there’s always a chance to get in a phaser fight. That is, of course, on top of scanning for life signs, anomalies and much more. Your interface even allows for assisting teammates (whether NPC or player) if they happen to fall in combat. You even collect quick fix devices like hypo sprays, personal shield units, energy batteries, and different weapon upgrades and personal shield batteries and armour types. There’s even food which can help heal wounds over time. Everything from Starfleet rations to Ferengi Tube Grubs (yum!). The absolute best are the tribbles. Tribbles as devices that you can take out, pet and hold and they help heal you from wounds.
As rank systems go, they have a usual skill set up which you can adjust as you increase in level. You start as an ensign, end the tutorial as a lieutenant, and every few levels after you get a new rank. Level 10, Lieutenant Commander. Level 20, Commander. Level 30, Captain. Level 40, Rear Admiral, Lower Half. Level 45, Rear Admiral, Upper Half. Level 50, Vice Admiral. With each new rank there are new abilities to help in combat or in whatever you choose.
On top of rank, you also have three “classes” to choose from, which you can modify to suit your play style. Tactical, Engineer, Science officers.
The last is the duty officer system. Each ship has a crew, and you being the captain (or at least commander) have to give them all something to do. As you level, you gain new crew members and will eventually gain duty assignments for them to do. These are missions that the only part you as the player see are the assignment and the completion. You have to assign the appropriate crew members in order for the assignment to succeed. So, yes, you can fail (or at least your crew can fail) a duty assignment. Successful completion gives you experience, however, so load up on duty assignments for your crew, go out in the real world (away from your computer) and run some errands, come back and log into game a few hours later and they’re done. You’ve just received experience for it as well.
The game may not appeal to everyone, either by genre, branding, or play style, but the game definitely can be fun. If you do like Star Trek, you might find this a very nice game indeed. Best part, it’s now free to play.
- Star Trek Online F2P: Klingons Galore, Still Few Missions To Play (lezgetreal.com)
- Star Trek Online bringing the Klingons into the free-to-play test realm (massively.joystiq.com)
- STO: De-Borging the Manchester (westkarana.com)