[Star Trek Online] - Free to play from Jan 17th 2012!

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[Star Trek Online] - Free to play from Jan 17th 2012!

Postby CardiffGreens » 22 Jan 2010, 16:43

So... since I've not bothered posting here for a bit, and it seems very rare that anyone else is even on here, I'd thought I'd slowly add another notch to the post count, and carry on regardless.

So yeah, I got into the Star Trek Online Beta, spent a week downloading the install file (though that's blamed on Sky providing me with the worst broadband connection in the world), got in, played for a few days, stared at more than enough "server is down" messages, played some more, waited during more downtime, joined in with the big end of beta event, watched the official forums erupt as the game released and after nearly a month after the release the impression looking is it's already circling the drain.

The best way to summarise the game is "evolution, not revolution" - it takes a lot of ideas from space games and other MMO and throws them together, some work, some don't and some really irritate. (Quick example it's a space game - but really it's in 2 dimensions - you can't pilot ships straight up or down).

To paraphrase Bones McCoy, it's a Star Trek Game, but not as we know it.

So, in a nutshell
Currently there are 2 factions - but you can only unlock Klingons after 6 levels of playing Federation - worse still was the lack of any PvE content at launch for the Klingons (though this was one of the first content patches to hit).

Game play is split between prancing about in ground missions with your away team (chances are since you can design your officers, they'll be femail, largely busted and wearing miniskirts) and zooming around in your fancy spaceship.

Unlike other space games, space travel is less than seamless - you'll either navigate your way in a small portion of space (where you do your space missions - in an area centered around a planet, asteriod belt etc) - or in "Sector Space" which is some sparkly pseduo-trippy map designed to show how spread out the systems and planets are from each other.

Main problem with space travel is that unlike other games where the sense of distance is created by having you move at high speeds (relative to the scenery) for long periods of time, STO has you moving at what appear to be pedestrian speeds for slightly-too long periods of time.

Missions
It's an MMO, so naturally it's a one-way-trip to Grind Central. Worse is the a) lack of variety in missions and b) pretty poor implementation of what is offered.

As expected, some missions are dealt with in space and some on the ground. Usually they'll be a mix between the two during your gameplay. Unfortunately 80% of the time you'll warp to a sector to be confronted with "Kill X Enemy patrols" or some variation. A mission to explore strange new worlds this is not. You'll be seeking out new lifeforms only to kill them and loot the remains. The ground missions offer little variation - more often than not you'll be beaming down to kill those damned aliens again, that or whip your tricorder out to scan 5 anomalous anomalies.

Unfortunately ground missions are incredibly clunky - as despite being a 3rd person shooter, all shooting is ability-based, and which abilites you have are dependent on what type of kit you're wearing. It feels very inorganic and kinda forced.

There are also "relief" missions in space - where you'll warp to a planet's space area and get hailed - turns out some civilization is in need of help in order to have its faith in the federation restored, do they ask you to beam down and mediate in some diplomatic task, ask you to understand their crazy traditions and cultures, perform some contrived and convoluted puzzle-based task?

No, all they want is 10 of some generic medical/industrial/warp/commerical goods items (delete as applicable) - which if you don't have you have to warp out, find a trader then high tail it back again at your lesuire.


I'll add some more (along with some pics), but I feel I can wrap it up ok here. Basically it's a fun game, but not terribly chalenging for the first 10 or so hours (the lack of a penatly to getting your arse kicked is interesting) - some bits are nice (space combat is somewhere between EVE's 3d chess and freelancer's arcade shoot-em-up) - some not so (such as the hilarous "bridge mode" - which was exited by beaming out(!) - and the frankley awful itemisation of gear and skill system that is equivilent to playing pin the tail on the donkey).

But really it's not a Star Trek game, sure there are the "shields up" / red alert noise as you enter combat for the 400th time that play session and the orange phasers. But it's not a game of seeking out new life and new civilisations and boldly going where no-one has gone before (because everyone's hit the level cap by now and is hanging out at the newbie zones) - it's a game of grinding the same missions for loot and tokens, and killing stuff. Lots of killing.

Would I recommend it? If you can get a trial, I'd give it a blast - it's fun while it lasts, but really I think its more a wasted chance - a good game that should have been great. And that's what's irritating because the way the game is, I don't imagine anyone risking another Star Trek MMO again - which is a real shame, because people deserve a better game to have than this.
Last edited by CardiffGreens on 25 Nov 2011, 21:36, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: [Star Trek Online]

Postby CardiffGreens » 05 May 2010, 22:16

For those interested, there's a free demo available from this Friday - not sure how long it runs for (as a "welcome back" weekend for old players is also running Friday-Sunday)

Info Here!
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Re: [Star Trek Online]

Postby CardiffGreens » 24 Nov 2011, 20:03

Thread necro!

Interestingly, 17th of January next year will see the game become Free to play! (I presume they'll be relying on super amounts of people using the cash shop in that case! - but DCOU did have a 700% increase in playerbase and spend in the weeks after going F2P.)

Personally, I'd be a bit irked if I had spend close to $200 on a "lifetime" subscription prior to the game's release!
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Re: [Star Trek Online] - Free to play from Jan 17th 2012!

Postby Menacer » 27 Nov 2011, 13:16

lol indeed it would suck if you did have a lifetime sub :x I have an account on it and so do a few others sadly however the content in the game doesnt last long :(
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Re: [Star Trek Online] - Free to play from Jan 17th 2012!

Postby CardiffGreens » 28 Nov 2011, 13:36

Well, looking at it - seems there are 2 levels of play - free + paid, but with the "paid" ($15 per month) features consisting on stuff like making fleets, a bigger limit on resource storage (10x) and inventory space along with some repsec tokens and 400 points for the c-store each month, I'm not really sure that there is enough being offered to make it worth the 15 bucks.

Though the lifetime sub currently covers the "gold" membership - so it's not as bad as first thought.
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