Searching for Something in Star Trek Online

These are the voyages of the gamer J3w3l
Her continuing mission, to play strange new games
To seek out new gameplay: new mechanics..
To badly play what I have never played before

And so begins my escapades into Star Trek Online and yes, that is not a misquote as I am rather bad at playing so far. For a mmo I’ve never played before it does feel rather familiar with the controls, movement and skill use. It has the same hotbar type of controls, the usual menu and inventory system and the same style of quests but the Star Trek makeover really makes it quite unique.

It’s been a bit over a week now and I still find myself interested enough to log in to complete a few missions from Starfleet and slowly progress my character, ship and her crew. There is a decent variety in the mission types which range from killing, to collection, a couple of puzzle type ones and a bit of familiarising myself with the mechanics. The difference between ground and space combat is extremely drastic too which makes it almost feel like 2 games in one.


I really like this kind of space combat, you’re constantly manoeuvring in order to share the hits amongst your shields while using the right skill at the best moment. Your ship has various defence components, there are options for changing it power focus and so many terms that seem rather alien. At the moment it seems like I can mostly get by with equipping and doing what I think is cool but it’s getting to the point where I’m going to need to be a little more optimal in my build. I don’t understand the difference between many weapon types or what might be good, my only saving grace I think is that I have a bit of a tactical mind and can kind of judge what to do and when.

The ground combat is rather poor; limited skills and strategies while fighting although it is definitely interesting how you can gear up an entire squad. It is here though that you can really see either how cheap they were with the engine, how dated it is or just how bad they are at modelling and animations. It’s serviceable and acts to break the action up nicely but I haven’t been engaged or impressed yet.

When not on a planet’s surface though the game does look rather remarkable. They have recreated some amazing space environments in terms of the planets, their atmosphere and any other environmental pieces. Even with a painted backdrop it creates a wonderful backdrop for the space combat.


While the combat and universe exploration is interesting, the greatest strength has to be its grouping functionality. It’s very easy to group with others, there are many options for groups and most instances and quests are extremely adaptable to larger group sizes. It was a lot of fun joining in with others and we were guaranteed interesting space combat; a greater number of ships to fight against with the occasional more heavily shielded and armed ship, a variety of new mechanics to be careful of like mines and conditions as well as more need for group strategy. Even with the ground combat its ok as the normal group size is 5 and your group just takes over spots from your crew, it’s a very adaptable system

However, the part that I think has me hooked is just the prospect of getting more of these amazing ships unlocked. I Stayed up to midnight last night just because I was really close to the lieutenant Commander rank which meant a new shiny ship and of course I had to customise the look and colour before logging off with my trademark purple and orange trims.


Overall I’m enjoying it though it makes me think I might not be as averse to spaceship games as I had previously thought. Maybe I should give Eve a go although, that would take a lot of time away from other games.


4 thoughts on “Searching for Something in Star Trek Online

  1. Awesome. I love STO, and am a big fan, despite not having played in ages. True that ground combat is rather bland, but they couldn’t have Star Trek without it, and I think sometimes it only looks as bland as it is because the space combat is so much fun. It just sucks when you’re roped into a ground mission killing 50 guys on the same linear path, but you get just as much reward (if not more) from a space mission that takes so much less time, and is so much more fun. I’ve heard the new zone lets you run around in space, though, which is a welcome addition, though I haven’t played it yet.

    As far as weapon types, the main theory of thought is (for space), pick a weapon type and stick with it. The bonus on weapon type is so small, that it only adds up if you have multiple weapons firing. So, if you want to knock out their attack, disruptors; disable their systems, phasers; DoT, plasma; +crit, antiproton, etc. It’s more about a style of play than an actual advantage. I like DoT’s, so my main beams are plasma, and then augmented with a +plasma damage console. I’m no spreadsheet jockey, of course, so it may not be the most optimal, but it sure as heck is fun.

    • ooo awesome. Well it’s Eriena in game if you want to catch up.. and that’s Commander Eriena now of the USS Amethyst. I always go for jewel names haha.

      I tend to enjoy phaser bank spam, it just looks awesome and my bridge officer has a skill for it. That and some torpedoes as well as mines. Tractor, deploy mines, phaser overcharge on the skills… turn and face and just after the mines explode the shields usually go down and they cop a couple torpedoes.. BOOOOM. so much fun.

      On sunday I spent most of the day queing up and just doing those group pve .. dungeons? and they are so much fun. Everyone’s firing everywhere, enemy ships zooming all around. This is where i get to use my science ship properly as well and I think people really appreciate getting a shield boost

      Recently started a Romulan Character, Eriana< (yep, there's a pattern) as well and their animations are much better, although might make my Romulan romp its own post.

      • Are you of level to do the Breen arc? One of my favorite weapons in the game that is SOOO satisfying is the Breen Transphasic Cluster Torpedo. Not too long of a cooldown, but longer than normal, it shoots a torpedo at the target. If the torp is hit, or if it reaches the target, it spreads into 10 transphasic mines, which follow the closest target, and rain hell when they hit. If it crits, it’s pretty much an instant kill.

        I never really use my sci ship for healing, more for causing sciency damage. Favorite ability is the gravity well. Places a AoE DoT that draws enemies into the center, then when stuck I throw the Cluster Torp from above, and if they explode, they usually take with them any other ships that were also stuck. The screen just explodes with yellow damage numbers.

        You’re really tempting me to come back now. What with the new stuff with Michael Dorn, and apparantly new stuff with Tim Russ, I haven’t tried out the Rommie faction, or some of the new Klingon stuff, now the new reworked Klingon War arc, or the dinosaurs with lasers…

        STO really does just keep improving itself, adding different things for every playstyle, and does a metric ton of stuff right. The lifetime I bought years ago, I still consider one of the best gaming purchases I’ve ever made. 🙂

        If I see you on we can run a Starbase 24 duo. It’s meant for 10, but I’ve soloed it before. Loot rains down like crazy with fewer players, and it’s a blast to play. 🙂

      • No, don’t think I’ve done that one yet. Just finished the Klingon super weapon mission the other night. The does sound pretty awesome too.

        I get where your at with the science damage, some of those skills are amazingly awesome. My favourite has to be the one that makes them shoot each other.

        The Rommie factions is much better designed. Animations are much smother, their ships are highly manoeuvrable and there quests are nicely streamlined. Really quick Leveling and after a few hours I was level 9.

        The one broken thing I noticed was that if you get aggro while in a group and then stealth, everyone will stay focused on you but won’t attack. You can stay stealth er hole everyone else in the party kills everything without any retaliation

        And yeh, definitely get me in game or through steam and I’d happily run a few instances. I’ve actually done that one the most so far.

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