Back home for the weekend and it was time for a bit of adventuring in space and Star Trek Online. Since the game has been released for real now also I went and picked up the box I had pre-ordered. There was only one choice available from the store, an edition with a T-shirt, some post cards and a map and some in-game items – a gun and some kind of uniform, I think.
Most of the content I have played through so far has been quite enjoyable, even the patrol missions, which sometimes are a bit light on the story side. The story focused missions have been pretty good though and I do like that there is a thread going through some of these missions with various plots orchesterated by ambassador B’Vat.
One of the goals I had for this weekend was to reach the next rank, Lieutenant Commander and start exploring ships and skills that start at least to diverge a little bit more than the initial set-up. That goal was reached and in fact most of the time played during the weekend was as Lt Cmdr.
With the new science vessel, U.S.S. Spinal Tap, I could fit on two science officers in addition to the tactical and engineering officers. However, as I soon discovered there was only one of the science officers that I could expose a tier 2 ability with, even if I promoted all my officers (good work, crew!). Apparently most of the bridge officer slots are still only for ensign class abilities. Hopefully that gets improved later – I guess that will come with later ships.
The science vessel also had a few new abilities available for beam weapons – to have a chance at disabling some subsystem entirely with a shot. I guess it might be available for all tier 2 ships, but I have not checked. Neat thing – while it does not trigger all the time, it did happen from time to time.
Initially I tried with the default weapon setup (1 beam and 1 torpedo each at front and back), but decided to switch to mines at the back instead of the torpedos. That worked out better for me, plus it was also more fun to play 😉
In a previous post I mentioned that I found the ground combat to be better than before, as I remembered it from closed beta. And this weekend it has grown on me even more and I do quite enjoy the pew-pew sessions on the ground now. Animations are certainly better than in beta and when I started to move around a bit more also and trying a few different patterns of handling the away team it flowed quite well.
In particular the Fleet Action (aka Open Mission/Public Quest) with the Ice Mining operation in the Laurentian system show that ground combat can be very enjoyable with a large group of people. Quite nice one!
Speaking of groups of people – while I still have my team setting set to Open Team, there was not a single time during the weekend when I was automatically teamed up with someone else on a regular mission. I am a little bit disappointed here, but I guess that either most of the players are at different stages in the missions and/or too many have turned off the option to automatically join a team. Personally I much prefer the open option when PUGing, at least in STO.
Overall it has been a quite good time in STO and playing a bit on the weekends suits me quite fine. I have seen people reach Admiral rank already and I do not quite get why people try to push through so fast. But as long as they have fun. I managed to get a bit of time in City of Villains and Mabinogi also, but less than STO though.