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.