Star Trek Online: On the front lines of war

by: Ben Berry -

Stardates: 2010.35-37: I've been outside the Sirius Sector for a good part of the past 2 days, within striking distance of the Neutral Zone. I've heard other junior officers talking about significant action against the Klingons, but those people have no idea what I've seen. I've been assigned some specific orders by one of the admirals at Starbase One. The Klingon High Command seems to be split between those who want open war with the Federation, and those who would prefer to rebuild the Khitomer accords. I've been escorting diplomats, rescuing prisoners, and I've even gone up against one of their ambassadors in a high end Klingon Battleship.

I was involved in a major fleet action at Starbase 24, where 15 Federation ships took on several Klingon battlegroups. On the way home, we took a side trip to visit Wolf 359, and pay our respects at the site of the worst Borg attack in the Alpha Quadrant. As I type this entry, we're on our way to the Briar Patch, a particularly nasty part of space that's seen some worst skirmishes.

What's amazing to me is how fast some of the folks I graduated the academy with are being promoted. The Federation shipyards must be working 24/7 to keep up with demand, as It seems like everyone in my class is now commanding a ship. And with good reason too. There seems to be almost constant action on any number of fronts whether with the Klingons, Romulans, even the Borg. My first mission out of the academy wound up face to face to those soulless bastards. It led to me getting my own ship, but I don't think it was worth the cost.
 

Now that I've gotten my players story up to date, here's the news on Star Trek Online over the past few days:

  • Demand on the servers has brought down the servers a few times a day. To Cryptic's credit, the downtimes have been mostly shortlived. That said, when you're basing a MMO on an IP this popular, you should probably buy a few more servers than you need, just to be safe.
  • The mission content has been both better and worse than I thought. The scripted missions from the Admiral at Starbase One are very good. Lots of enemies of various difficulties, and a good path to follow to really set the feeling for the launch of the game. Sadly, the resource farming missions are beyond terrible.  This is the first thing they need to fix, even before the skill tree.
  • The skill tree makes no sense. It's inverse to the way it should function, there's no clear guide as to what skills provide the outcome you're looking for in your characters development.
  • Variety is an important part of any game where you have repetitve actions. Again this is a mixed bag. Where you can see a lot of diversity is in the various mission types. Where you dont see it is in the implentation of most of those mission types, especially on the ground.
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