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» Flare Sci-Fi Forums » Star Trek » General Trek » Star Trek Online, is anyone playing? (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Star Trek Online, is anyone playing?
Saltah'na
Chinese Canadian, or 75% Commie Bastard.
Member # 33

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As some of you know, the game is due to be released on Feb 2. Those who pre-ordered have already been given the go-ahead to play the game already.

A couple of weeks back, a friend of mine gave me a key to the open beta for Star Trek Online. Given that I am unemployed at the moment, I essentially spent the next week playing the game.

Plus things first: although I usually shy away from MMORPGs, this is one I would like to play, although it wouldn't be good for my relationship to my SO, nor would it be good for my wallet as I would be unemployed.

The space battles are a nice touch and require a bit of strategy to participate in. The away team missions are a different matter and present a serious problem: motion sickness. The constant spinning of the screen at times and the graphics at some places (Memory Alpha comes to mind) has induced many headaches for myself. As a result, I find myself standing in one place while fighting the enemy. The sniper rifles are very powerful in the game and are my preferred primary weapon on away team missions.

My friend, who was a fan of the Ultima Online and WoW iterations, has said that the game mechanics are more simplistic than the other games he has played and for him, it would not be his choice to participate in.

So my Beta has expired and as I sit here, unemployed and bored out of my skull, I wonder if I could pass the time by getting this game, and stretching my already stretched budget. Only problem is that the game is indeed addictive but then, that's just the initial thrill for me. And if I go back to work, can I wean myself from this game?

Anyone also tried the beta or planning to get this game?

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"And slowly, you come to realize, it's all as it should be, you can only do so much. If you're game enough, you could place your trust in me. For the love of life, there's a tradeoff, we could lose it all but we'll go down fighting...." - David Sylvian
FreeSpace 2, the greatest space sim of all time, now remastered!

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Reverend
Based on a true story...
Member # 335

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You'd be better off getting a single player rpg. You know, something you only have to buy once.

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Dark Knight Adventures & Batman Beyond:Stripped - DeviantArt Gallery
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OverRon
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Being in the same boat job-wise, I managed to grab myself a beta key a few weeks back. So for about a week and a half I was playing this, when the servers were up, that is.

I just made it to the rank of Rear Admiral before the end of open beta, so I saw a lot of the content that was available during beta.

The Good:

- Space battles. I loved them, they're my favourite aspect of the game. Especially the bigger battles, like the Laurentian system fleet action. Fighting the Dreadnoughts at the end almost feels like fighting the Borg cube in First Contact. You need to use some tactics in the space fights, like having to distribute shield power to make sure your shield facing the enemy is holding. Energy weapons are good against shields and torpedoes are good against the hull. So you would knock down the enemy shield with phasers, so you can fire a high yield spread of quantum torpedoes into the enemies unprotected hull.

- The customisation. I like how it gives you the option to customise a lot of things. So you can customise your looks and uniform, and your bridge crew looks and uniform. I opted for a First Contact/latter DS9 uniform.

The Bad:

- The button mashing. The game only allows you to set one forward facing weapon and one aft facing weapon into auto-fire mode. Which is okay on the starter ship but when you reach Rear Admiral and using one of the higher tier ships, you can have upto 4 fore and 4 aft weapons. To fire all your energy weapons you need to mash the space bar every few seconds, and after a few hours of this you thumb starts to cramp up. Admittedly, the more weapons you use, the greater the drain on your power reserves. The same is true with reinforcing shield facings, as you need to keep hammering an arrow key to reinforce a shield. When you're using your left hand to manoeuvre, use key bound abilities, tab between targets and fire your weapons. Your right hand on the mouse to move the camera, target ships, use bridge officer abilities and having to take the hand off the mouse to spam the arrow keys to reinforce shields, you end up running out of hands to do stuff with. A better way to do this is that you should be able to pick and choose which energy weapons you want to auto-fire, even all of them, and then you can balance your offensive power against the drain on your system power. Use the space bar to toggle the auto-fire weapons on and off, and save your thumb from RSI. With the shield reinforcing, they should be toggles as well, so you hit an arrow key and it'll keep reinforcing that shield till you tell it to stop.

- Camera controls. I don't know about you, but when fighting in space combat, I'm also fighting the camera controls so I can actually see what I'm shooting at. Using an Escort vessel with phaser cannons with a small forward firing arc, it can be hard to judge if enemies are in the line of fire. They really need to add a fixed chase cam mode, so you can look around with the mouse, but as soon as you let go, it'll move back behind your ship. And change the face target camera mode, so that it'll centre the enemy on your screen, rather than be just at the edges of the screen.

- Mission diversity. 95% of the missions are combat oriented, and the space combat is great, but I would like the option to be able bluff my enemy, use diplomacy to avoid a fight, or subterfuge to get around enemies. Out of all the missions I did, I think a grand total of 2 of them were diplomatic ones and they only loosely fitted into that category.

- Exploration mission. These are very poorly fleshed out, generally falling into these categories, scan 5 anomalies in space, scan 5 probes on the ground (sometimes with killing random enemies on the ground), scan 5 derelicts/wreckage in space (Also killing enemies some of the time), protect a station/ship, and give colonies 10 of a certain commodity (which you have to head back to a starbase to get as you can't use your replicator to make them). I was hoping for mission which required a bit of thought. Like mediate disputes between 2 worlds. Find an artefact and have to puzzle out the meaning/riddle/markings/whatever to find out where to go or what to do next. Or explore a nebula where you can barely see 10 km around your ship and follow beacons, or wreckage or whatever. Have a chance to find unique pieces of alien technology to put in your ship, some positive and some negative, or have your bridge officers gain unique abilities from artefacts/parasites/virii.

- Latency problems. During the open beta there were some serious lag problems throughout. Rubber-banding, where you keep being shifted back to a previous spot as the server didn't realise you had moved. Going from ground to space and vice-versa, often ended up as you as your space ship on the ground and no away team. Or you appear as your humanoid avatar in space, and end up falling through space. And sometimes when switching zone, you'd be greeted with a "server not responding" message and be booted to the login screen, and then your character is stuck in limbo for 10 minutes, until the server catches up and remembers where you are and allows you to log in. I'm hoping these were just issues in open beta, as they were using a small amount of server hardware and bandwidth, and that on release they've got some meatier hardware and connections to alleviate these problems.

The Mediocre:

- Ship designs. Some of them are great, especially the venerable older designs from previous shows, but most of the ones designed for the game are horrible. Also some of the designs seen in old screen shots were not in the game, unless they were being saved for the full release. Other canon designs are notably missing, you can fly around in a Connie or Miranda, but not an Excelsior, Ambassador, Nebula, or an Oberth. I think the Klingon side of things was bad as well, didn't play much on a Klingon character, but from my understanding they only get a handful of ship designs with the better tiers of ships just having more slots and better stats.

- The music. Some of the music used in the game was good, but I missed some of the more iconic Trek scores from the shows and movies. I'm not sure of the licensing issues involved here but surely permission could have been given to use past music. It would have been great to hear the DS9 theme when you approach the station, or hear the Klingon battle theme when you come across them in battle.

- Ground combat. This is a bit hit and miss. Some parts are tediously easy, other bits are very hard, with little in between. When you have a full away team, with your NPC allies having decent abilities, you can almost go AFK during fights. The NPC pathing has issues as well, as they can be come stuck on bulkheads or in rooms while you're half a map away. The outdoors maps are generally good looking with some nice varieties of scenery, but quite small when you realise you can only move about in a small square area. That and the fact they could do with more types of randomly generated scenery, like proper cities, or airless moons or toxic atmospheres where you need an EVA suit. They are very static as well, no animals running about, or shuttles flying in the sky, and most of the NPC's you meet are hostile. There are some missions where you have to deactivate probes/artefacts to save the indigenous species and avoid breaking the prime directive, trouble is, you never see any of these natives.

- Sector space. The first time I saw it I thought it looked pretty good, but that wore off pretty quick, once your realise that each sector is fairly small and boxed off from the other areas. I was hoping for a more seamless version of sector space without artificial borders put in, and if an artificial border is needed, exploration areas for instance, just have a transwarp node that you need to fly to, to transport you to another area.

- Doesn't feel like an MMO. For the most part I'm just flying about on my own doing my own things. With rare smatterings of fleet actions with 10+ players, and even then there wasn't much interaction or communication with the other players, or even any discussions of tactics or whatnot. There are enemy signal contacts about the place, which are instances for upto 5 players to fight in, kinda like a left4dead or COD MW2 co-op play. These ones feel like I'm playing a multi-player game, where you have to stick in groups and have the cruisers go in get the enemies attention so the escorts can pound on them. In general it feels like 70% single-player, 25% co-op, and 5% MMO.

All-in-all, I like this game, the bad and the mediocre points I made can be fixed in future patches hopefully. I'm seriously thinking about getting this game. The only problem I foresee is the inevitable endgame. Once you reach Rear Admiral and have done all the missions, what then? As in MMO terms, it was very quick to reach the maximum level, within a month or two casual players would reach RA, and for hardcore players I can see some people hitting RA in days or a week at most. Unless it was just accelerated levelling for the open-beta, I see people hitting a brick wall content-wise very quickly. There'll be the inevitable MMO grinding for better gear, so you can a ship with full "very rare" ("epics" of other games) items, and a smattering of PvP, if there are enough Klingon players to support this that is.

I may wait a month or two to see if any future patches will bring in some endgame content that will give the game replayability, before subbing for the game. As I have tried other MMO's which haven't had full endgame content at the start or brought in soon after release which have then died due to lack of subscribers, like Tabula Rasa for example.

Registered: Oct 2007  |  IP: Logged
Saltah'na
Chinese Canadian, or 75% Commie Bastard.
Member # 33

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"I may wait a month or two to see if any future patches will bring in some endgame content that will give the game replayability, before subbing for the game. As I have tried other MMO's which haven't had full endgame content at the start or brought in soon after release which have then died due to lack of subscribers, like Tabula Rasa for example."

Good point, the lifetime subscription costs a whopping $240 USD on top of the game....

--------------------
"And slowly, you come to realize, it's all as it should be, you can only do so much. If you're game enough, you could place your trust in me. For the love of life, there's a tradeoff, we could lose it all but we'll go down fighting...." - David Sylvian
FreeSpace 2, the greatest space sim of all time, now remastered!

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Mars Needs Women
Sexy Funmobile
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Yeah I'm of the opinion that once you buy a game you shouldn't have to continually pay for it. The only exception for me has been Fallout 3, since I have actually enjoyed the Download-able content Bethesda has offered. Though I've also run into a problem with RPGs in that it takes me alot of time to do things, time I don't really have, but time I need to fully explore levels and complete missions.
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Charles Capps
We appreciate your concern.
It is noted and stupid.
Member # 9

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I purchased it but haven't had much of a chance to play lately. Or rather, at all. I'll get around to it...
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Saltah'na
Chinese Canadian, or 75% Commie Bastard.
Member # 33

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You using a monthly subscription, Charles?

--------------------
"And slowly, you come to realize, it's all as it should be, you can only do so much. If you're game enough, you could place your trust in me. For the love of life, there's a tradeoff, we could lose it all but we'll go down fighting...." - David Sylvian
FreeSpace 2, the greatest space sim of all time, now remastered!

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Charles Capps
We appreciate your concern.
It is noted and stupid.
Member # 9

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I will be once I actually get it all set up and stuff. The game comes with one month free.

I do intend to hit the level cap and see what's there, but I'm not in a rush.

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Krenim
Unholy Triangle Fella
Member # 22

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I'm playing as well. As I said in another thread, it's not a perfect game, but it's good.

Would anybody else here at Flare be interested in forming a fleet?

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"Kirito? I killed a thing and now it says I have XPs! Is that bad? Am I dying?"

-Asuna, Episode 2, Sword Art Online Abridged

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Fabrux
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There will come a day, someday, when I have disposable income and I will get this game.... no time soon, though. [Frown]

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"I am going out to find myself. If I should get here before I return, please hold me until I get back."

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Hobbes
 Homicidal Psycho Jungle Cat 
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One of the guys I work with bought the game. Apparently Del Taco is doing a promo to get a small shuttlecraft pet with their macho-sized meal. Gave him the code on my cup.

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I'm slightly annoyed at Hobbes' rather rude decision to be much more attractive than me though. That's just rude. - PsyLiam, Oct 27, 2005.

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Jason Abbadon
Rolls with the punches.
Member # 882

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Okay, THIS looks waay the fuck better than the Trek online stuff.

It's a mod for "Sins of a Solar empire'- anyone play that?

Not real keen on some of the TOS design Romulans in there though...

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Justice inclines her scales so that wisdom comes at the price of suffering.
-Aeschylus, Agamemnon

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Axeman 3D
Active Member
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I play SINS quite a bit, it's more addictive than crack once you get into it. I might give this a go, it cant be any more unstable than the SINS game itself. This is purely a top-down RTS though, not at all like Star Trek Online is supposed to be. You never really use the cinematic view, it looks nice but is no use for actually playing the game.

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www.kennyscrap.com - where I download crap I make.

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Saltah'na
Chinese Canadian, or 75% Commie Bastard.
Member # 33

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quote:
Originally posted by Krenim:
I'm playing as well. As I said in another thread, it's not a perfect game, but it's good.

Would anybody else here at Flare be interested in forming a fleet?

Well I do have some extra money kicking around despite my unemployment. And I am seriously tempted. Playing the beta was kinda fun, never played a MMORPG. Can anyone hook me up with one of those free promotion thingys? [Big Grin]

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"And slowly, you come to realize, it's all as it should be, you can only do so much. If you're game enough, you could place your trust in me. For the love of life, there's a tradeoff, we could lose it all but we'll go down fighting...." - David Sylvian
FreeSpace 2, the greatest space sim of all time, now remastered!

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Reverend
Based on a true story...
Member # 335

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Looks interesting, but right now I'm busy being hooked on Mass Effect 2. It's already gotten that chronic I fully expect to be attending Mass Effect Anonymous meetings within the month.

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Dark Knight Adventures & Batman Beyond:Stripped - DeviantArt Gallery
================================
...what we demand is a total absence of solid facts!

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