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Offline Sideswipe

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Star Trek Online
« on: February 01, 2010, 08:32:02 AM »
STO is comming out soon.  Anyone planning on playing?  Anyone heard any good stuff about it, or is it going to bomb?

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Offline Compound

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Re: Star Trek Online
« Reply #1 on: February 01, 2010, 10:26:55 AM »
I was in the beta since November and I'll be picking it up tomorrow as well.

I like it, but it isn't without its faults.

Pros:
*The space combat is a lot of fun.  Unlike a lot of MMORPGs, you can't just stand in one place and spam an attack button. You've got to manuever to hit the other ship's down shields and keep them away from your own while timing your own attacks to hurt them.   It bears a lot of resemblance to Pirates of the Burning Sea (or a really stripped down Starfleet Command).

*There's a lot of Trek lore in it. It's set in the TNG/DS9/Voy universe, roughly 20 years after the last episode of Voyager. (And Nimoy does a voiceover during the opening connecting the old series and the Abrams one.) During the beta, I managed to run into The Borg, Klingons, Gorns, Orion pirates, Naussicans, Ferengi, the Undine/Fluidics/Species 8472, DS9, Cardassians, the Terran Republic, and Romulans, and I suspect that there's Dominion and Jem'Hadar forces (and possibly Hirogen) lurking about too, but I didn't see them during play. And I know of other things that pop up during gameplay as well. Crystalline entities, stuff from TOS, references to TNG episodes, etc. And there are references to a lot of minor characters in Trekdom as well. Early on , you'll run into Harry Mudd's Trading Company, Naomi Wildman, Miral Paris, Sulu's grandson (who is in the frigging Admiral's office), Mackenzie Calhoun, and probably more. And I think one of the characters on Memory Alpha is supposed to be the little girl who was trapped on an elevator with Picard in "Disaster." Which is disappointing as I wanted to use her as a character as she has a rather... unfortunate... reputation in some sections of trek fandom. But anyway, they're making a lot of use of the background.

* The space graphics are pretty gorgeous. I mean, look at this:


Those are just random screenshots from the beta. The space fights are durn pretty.

* There's a lot of customization. You get a lot of control over your main character and ship. For your character, you can choose from about a dozen races or create one of your own. (No Caitians though.) For looks, it's a modified version of the Champions Online builder, so you've got a lot of control  over your physique. And there's lore in the game which basically boils down to "We don't care what uniforms you wear in Starfleet) and as a result you've got a lot of different outfits out there. (An example- during the beta, I and two other players were invading a Klingon base and midway through I realized that we'd each modified our uniforms so that one of us had TNG outfits, one had DS9-themed ones and the third had TOS ones. It was kinda neat.) And your ship can be tweaked as well in much the same way.

But you also get a Bridge crew to play with. Bridge Officers are basically a type of loot, providing different skills and such to you. But they can also be tweaked and modified. For example, right now in the head start, I've got an Andorian tactical officer, a Klingon engineer, a Betazoid doc and a Trill science officer following me around on away missions, with a couple of extra folks on the ship.

* There's a nice variety to missions. Some are space, some are on the ground.  (It's about 2/3 space.) A lot of missions are "blast the bad guys", but there are also non-combat ones. One early one has you investigating problems at a mining site, for example, and another has you investigating sabotage at a starbase. And the missions design breaks them up. In some missions, you'll fly to a system, fight someone, beam down and do a mission there, beam up and fly to another system and do a mission there. And most missions are short (around 15 minutes for patrol missions) so you're not trapped in a raid for hours.

But there's some downsides too:
* I've run into a number of Trek fans who don't like the lore. "It's too militaristic" is a common complaint. I'm not quite sure how to do a MMORPG without a lot of fighting, but they seem to have wanted one. (And yes, I know of A Tale in the Desert)

*The Klingon side is a bit weak, content-wise. They're mostly set up for PVP play right now, so if you want to have a game where you run around doing missions like the Feddies, just as a Klingon, you won't be able to.

*The combat is a bit frentic. I know a few folks with physical problems who simply couldn't do well at it since it wasn't "stand still and hit the buttons."

*Some folks don't like the ground combat, calling it "uninspired and bland." (Shrug) I like the ground stuff, personally.

*The server's been rather unreliable this weekend. This bodes ill for tomorrow when it goes live, but hopefully they've got the problems fixed.

*There's grinding. It's a MMORPG, after all. But it'll take about 10 hours to get your non-starter ship and longer from there. You may or may not have a tolerance for grinding, depending on past experiences.

*On the non-gameplay side, Cryptic and Atari seem to be in the "milk the trek fans" mindset. Cryptic has a DLC store on the side for Champions online, where you can buy extra things for your accounts. Costume options, pets, extra character slots, respecs, character renames, etc. None of them are necessary for gameplay, but available to buy.  In Trek, they're doing the same thing, but more so. The store hasn't opened yet, so we're not sure what the damage will be, but people are expecting the worst. And personally, I'm not happy that you only have 3 character slots, as I play a lot of alts in MMORPGs.

*There's still some bugs. Ships and characters get stuck in things. You won't get credit for some missions after finishing them. That kind of thing. They'll fix them (and speaking as someone in the beta, they fixed *a lot* of the bugs that we found) but they haven't stomped them all flat yet.

*And one thing that isn't Cryptic or gameplay related. During the closed beta, everyone was fairly professional. Character and ship names were either random or adhering to Trek lore. During the open beta, they got a little less Trek-ish.  You'd see Captain Duke Nukem or the USS Obamanation, for example. With the actual release of the game, you're going to have a lot of people in there who aren't serious Star Trek fans interacting with folks who are hardcore about Star Trek.  Let me use this as an example:



I'm not a hardcore fan, but even I got a little annoyed after the hundredth question of "where can I find Tatooine?" or "How can I unlock my Jedi slot?" in chat.  The more serious fans may not react well to people making fun of their favorite setting. I feel for them, and suggest that they may want to turn off the "zone chat" at least for the first few days. I've already had to ignore a couple of folks, which isn't  a good sign.

Overall, I like it enough so that I'm delaying reactivating my LotRO account for a few months so that I can play this instead. I'm probably going to pick up the Collector's version tomorrow. But if you're on the fence, wait a few weeks. It's an MMORPG. Bugs will get fixed. The idiots will move on to other games. Content will get added. Things will get better.

I can't guarantee that you'll like it. On another forum, some folks tried the beta and loved it. Others hated it. It's a divisive game. But I'm in the "liked it" camp.  Cryptic has a system where each player has a handle that differentiates them from other players, so that you can find them no matter which character of theirs they are playing. This also takes away the "deliberate bad spelling" thing that other games have for character names, so multiple people can have the same character name, it's just one will be Spock@spockiscool and one will be Spock@klingonssuck, for example. If you do get in there, my handle is, oddly enough, @compound


Offline mrbasehart

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Re: Star Trek Online
« Reply #2 on: February 01, 2010, 12:36:41 PM »
Giantbomb had a pretty good look at the game over several videos:

http://www.giantbomb.com/star-trek-online-beta-set-phasers-to-fun-part-01/17-1871/

I thought it looked pretty cool.  Cool enough for me to check the specs and see if my computer could run it.  A shame that my computer runs *just* under the minimum specs. 


Offline beavobeave

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Re: Star Trek Online
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2010, 07:30:32 AM »
I picked the game up yesterday... They have a lot of work to do with patching the game, with some bugs and game play.  It's not bad though, and its entertaining.  I decided to cancel my WoW account after playing this (maybe just because I was getting bored with it, or because I'm a huge Trek fan..... or both)


Offline Sharktopus

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Re: Star Trek Online
« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2010, 07:45:12 AM »
I wish there was a way a bunch of us could serve on the same ship. I know that wouldn't work as a game, but damn it would be fun. The USS Riff?


Offline Sideswipe

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Re: Star Trek Online
« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2010, 07:55:20 AM »
We could form the Riff Fleet though.

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Offline Sharktopus

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Re: Star Trek Online
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2010, 08:05:27 AM »
We could form the Riff Fleet though.

We'd just zoom around the galaxy, making fun of other people's ships, torpedoing harmless science vessels then jumping to warp with no explanation. "Curse you, USS Rudimentary Lathe!" Sorry, classified. Sector 37.


Offline Sideswipe

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Re: Star Trek Online
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2010, 08:15:16 AM »
Captain Rowsdower of the U.S.S. Flannell

I was bieng threated with death by wolf raping before it was cool!.


Offline Sharktopus

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Re: Star Trek Online
« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2010, 08:19:41 AM »
Captain Torgo says "MaKe iT sO, nUmBeR oNe."


Offline James of LinHood

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Re: Star Trek Online
« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2010, 10:13:05 AM »
Meanwhile, Captain Dave Ryder is rolling around in a golf cart in the cargo bay of the USS MOVE, MOVE, MOVE!, screeching out orders in between sudden moments where he screams like a woman....
Imrahil: Don't care about Riding with Death.

Bob: Turkey.

Action Batch:  Woah, let's all mellow out and rap about this.


Offline Sideswipe

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Re: Star Trek Online
« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2010, 10:53:42 AM »
LOST POWER!  LOST POWER!

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Offline Sharktopus

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Re: Star Trek Online
« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2010, 04:54:49 PM »


MY PURSE! THOSE KLINGON BASTARDS STOLE MY PURSE!


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Re: Star Trek Online
« Reply #12 on: February 04, 2010, 04:59:19 PM »
I can never own this game.  If I ever own it I will waist every second of my life playing it,I will not be able to stop.  Never let me buy it.  If I ever tell you I am going to buy it do whatever it takes to stop me.


Offline jewishcarpenter

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Re: Star Trek Online
« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2010, 12:10:27 PM »
I'd buy this game only to see what kind of other people play this game. I work with a guy that played the beta of it and he said he ran into a few absolutely insane people.


Offline Compound

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Re: Star Trek Online
« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2010, 02:49:33 PM »
Let me give you one example:



Most of the hardcore Trekkers I known rage quit after the beta, claiming "It wasn't Trek enough for them."