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Trekking into space

January 31, 2010

So this weekend the headstart for all Star Trek Online pre-orders started and time to play the game for real. I had not played the game since closed beta, so was a bit eager to see if they had actually changed something or if it was similar to the end of closed beta. I think it has changed a bit, and most of it for the better, I am happy to say.

Zorian Zugy, science officer commanding U.S.S. Tactical Grace

Zorian Zugy, science officer commanding U.S.S. Tactical Grace

My start in the game was to recreate one of the character from the beta period, Zorian Zugy.  Or at last as close as I could get. The standard races are all fine I am sure, but not being a Trekkie I did not have any preferences for the existing options. And if you have the option to make your own race, why not do that? Now, I have not figured out the details about Zorian’s background yet, but I will work on that.

Entering the tutorial I found that the STO world was a much busier place than in closed beta. There were over 1000 instances for the tutorial zone, judging by the chat channel indicators. Probably not too many players in each though. But certainly looks like a fair amount of people – that was European evening, so probably a lot of people on US side had not jumped into the game yet.

After completing the tutorial it was time to head out into other areas and I was happy to see that the the Open Team option was still default and without the a bit annoying instance selector which one could not select from anyway. I like the auto-PUGing that it brings with it, good fun to jump in with a few others. I think this mechanic worked fine most of the time – just one exception where part of the team seemed to have other things on the agenda. But overall it has worked well I think.

In general I found the mission difficulty to be smoother and more even; possibly a bit on the easy side. A pleasant surprise was that ground combat actually seemed to have improved and that there was a need to put in a bit more thought at times, or the away team could get wiped. I has started to be fun now, good work Cryptic. I was struggling a bit with camera movement in the ground combat fights, but will see if I can get this to work better.

My next goal now is to get to Lieutenant Commander so I can pick a new space ship, a science vessel. Most but not all of the missions I have played so far has been material I have played before in closed beta. For the most parts I have not noticed the dings, which is a good thing I think.

Away team: Officers of U.S.S. Tactical Grace, plus cannon fodd...brave crew members

Away team: Officers of U.S.S. Tactical Grace, plus cannon fodd...brave crew members

The game play was not all good though – there has been multiple “unexpected downtimes” and there has also from time to time been fairly long loading times when going to a different zone. Not directly suprised by that and something I expect to happen around launch for an MMO. Hopefully though they can sort out these issues soon. The gameplay itself has been quite fun though and I am eager to continue play a bit next weekend when I get back home again.

Picking a fight with a Vorlo...Undine Dreadnaught

Picking a fight with a Vorlo...Undine Dreadnaught

This does not look like the beach, are you sure the coordinates were right?

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Categories: Star Trek Online
  1. February 1, 2010 at 02:13

    Your dude looks sort of like a Klingon and that green woman from the original series had a love child. I applaud, and I wish to join your race.

    I’m glad to hear that the ground combat has improved. However, it’s a bit hard from your post whether is is now good or only “better than before, but still sub par.” I’m curious as to how you’d stack the hround combat up against other MMOs you are playing.

  2. February 1, 2010 at 04:43

    I had fun with the ground combat. It is a bit different beast from regular MMO combat and there is some need to learn how to approach it I believe.

  3. February 5, 2010 at 15:01

    Did you play PotBS? I’m trying to find some opinions on how the ground combat compares between the two. The avatar combat in PotBS drove me away from the game… it was that bad.

  4. February 5, 2010 at 19:17

    I tried PotBS briefly perhaps close to a year after it was released. It was quite bad indeed.

    STO combat has its quirks and is a bit different from regular MMO combat, but I find it definitely more enjoyable. It is not something that in itself would keep me in the game, but is not either something that would drive me away.

  1. February 16, 2010 at 00:13
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