Friday, 25 May 2012

Star Trek Online, "Beam me up, Scotty"!

I've been playing this one for several months now, and I feel i know somewhat more to give a fair feedback about it.

Star Trek Online tries to be slightly different from most mmo games I've played. First off, most of the game action takes place controlling your space ship, which is already a nice change from all the avatar sort games. Here you control a Star Trek type spaceship on fast space combat, with tons of beams or torpedos flying everywhere. The game is full 360ยบ so one must be careful to consider that any action can happen anywhere in space. But for the more traditional players, there is also ground action, so you can expect a more traditional type of gameplay.

Ok but back to space. A player can choose at start between different specializations, like Science specialization goes for healer type spaceship, Engineer goes tank type while Tactical is everyone's favourtie dps sort. Depending on the specialization, players have a large array of spaceships to pick up, but one can always pick a ship that is more suited for a different specialization then his. So a Tactical officer can always go and pick a science ship. The difference on these ships usually is on the amount of customization slots it can carry, and the type of officers one can place on ship slots. Officer slots are like the officers from Star Trek, that would take a place at the bridge depending on their functions. On the game, each officer has a specialization, and offer different abilities that can either buff ship (weapons, defense or other), debuff enemy, recover shields or repair hulls. The array of options available on officers is big enough to keep players busy looking for the best set to place on slots. Then you have the amount of weapons one can choose from, and consoles (small buffs to ship stats), and other items. Well i can say ship costumization is quite nice for this game (not expecting to be as deep as, like Eve Online, but its quite interesting as well).

If you go ground adventuring, it's an different game from space. Sure it's a bit lighter compared to other mmo's but considering this one offers two types of game instead of one, I don't think it's bad either. When on ground , usually you go with your officers, and you and them have also a different set of abilities available to ground game. Basically, you take your team and go out adventuring over a planet with a set of objectives. I'm not sure there, like open wide planets where one can go and just explore and explore (probably there isn't). You can have the gameplay much similar to a traditional shooter (not as good of course), and just go out and blast everything that moves. It's fine as it is.

Gameplay wise, there are several different types of things to do in game. A player can, lets see, do quests, do pvp, do events (each hour an event is going that gives you a chance of more loot or more rewards), explore, do user created content, crafting, go accolade (achivements) hunt, etc. Most of this either ground or space depending on what you want.

The things I like about this game are, first and foremost being f2p and able to enjoy the game fully without have the need to pay anything. And i mean anything. I've reached max level (50) with both two characters (one federation and another klingon), I've done anything i wanted will that be either pvp or max level "dungeons" called STF, I can use any loot I want (as long as I can afford to buy them), and if I want to unlock anything from the shop I just need to grind Dilithium currency and trade it for shop points. But since everything is playable where do they make the money? Well the trick is on the ships. You see, the max level ships are only available if you buy them at the shop, so you either farm the points getting dilithium and trade it for shop points (and this process can take maybe up to 2 month of nearly everyday farming it - depends on the ratio between dilithium and cryptic points - or just go and buy the ship with real money. Also extra character slots, more bank space or respecs for your character can only be bought in the shop but as i said before if you farm the dilithium you don't need to pay for anything of these. That's what I'm doing.

Another thing i like about the game is that I can do different types of gameplay, instead of constantly be doing the same all over again. I want to do a STF, i do a STF. If i want, i do pvp that can either be regular arena, capture the flag, or many other types there is in the game (ground and space). I wanna fight Borg, i join a event to fight Borg. Same for Klingon. I wanna explore, several quests give me objectives while i explore. I wanna quest, I can do the different episodes (questlines) available in game, no matter what my level is - they adapt. I could go on. I like it that way.

But of course i dislike a few things. Foremost, there are no "raids", so most guild usually do is either STF in elite mode (which only takes 5 players), or run a few events, but I think it's very light game for players who want to be part of a guild and join it's effort. Also game can be a bit confusing at times to adapt to different types of weapons and gear, but nothing as a good read will help out.

By the way, I'm no trekkie not even a fan, but I can say this is a very entertaining game, and since it's like the most open f2p game I ever played (even better then LOTRO and DDO), I can say if you like mmorpg type of games, I don't think it's a waste of time giving this game a try. Who knows, you might like it.
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