Preview: Star Trek Online

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Preview: Star Trek Online

Playing the open beta of Star Trek Online really does feel like you are captaining a starship in the 24th century.

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It's not so bad for a beta.
If they fix things up in the next few weeks I think i'll subscribe for a few months.

There are a few things which I like, no split servers which mean no walls between you and your friends because you started on a different server, the optional auto grouping which I hope people start cooperating in.

It's worth seeing through till march or so and give it a chance.

Hmm, interesting.

I was initially very skeptical of Star Trek Online, as while I am a massive fan of the series I wasn't sure that it could be made into a good MMOG. It seems as though Cryptic know what they're doing though. If they get those lag issues sorted out, it actually looks like it could be good. I'll probably give it a try at the very least, though I'm not sure about a long-term subscription as I'm currently really looking forward to The Old Republic and I doubt it will be better than that.

Haven't really been following this game, and in fact this is the first footage I've seen of it ever. I am, however, liking what I see. But honestly, while I do so love space warfare and sci-fi and soforth, I doubt I could get into this. I can't exactly explain it, but somehow it doesn't just look like an MMO.

But as I said, not seen much footage of it, so peraps I'll try it out sometime.

Greg Tito:
Ditching the whole kill-ten-rats thing,

Oh no you don't...

Mr Borg stumbles down the corridor at you. Phaser Shot, Phaser Shot, Phaser Shot. Loot the Borg.

There's still the ten rats thing in there, it's just that they're cyborgs now.

But...and here's my big screaming fit with it...

You beam aboard a Starship under attack by the Borg...taking Borg down with the 3 repeated Phaser hits...(credulity stretching)...get to the bridge with the 'working' turbolifts..(stretching) and find everyone looking nonchalant on the bridge, with no rocking from side to side, huge pulsing red lights or console exploding.

*SNAP*...There's certain things that are as Star Trek as the building montage in the A-Team; and leaving it out leaves a massive hole. Not to mention that a lot of the accouterments are way outside normal canon.

BoTF still holds as one of the best Star Trek games of all time. This is just a mod for CoX imho.

This sounds fun. My favorite ST game is Bridge commander, and this sounds like an expended form of that (very expanded). I'm, hopefully getting a new PC soon so maybe I'll be able to play! What are the requirements like, and how does it run on low end?

I have never liked Star Trek (don't hurt me!) but this doesn't look to bad, especially the space combat, i may just give it a go.

Looks like fun!!

*must play*

I can't wait for this to be released! It looks so cool!

I've preordered this! The Open Beta is fun but, as you say, laggy ;) And now it looks like I'll be moving in the near future, so I might not even have time to play it when its released :(

Tried the beta with a few friends, and we had fun with it. The ship combat was alright, but I have a feeling it gets better when your group branches out into the different ship types.

About the early grouping and why no one talks: there is really no need too, because of your first ship.

[Segway] Once you reach level 10/11 you unlock the next line of ships and you can choose what type of ship you get: Cruisers are ye olde tanks, Escorts are your fragile damage dealers (rogues..) and science vessels are your generic healer/de-buffer.[/Segway]

Problem is now that your first ship is a "bard" in essence; A jack of all trade and master of none, therefore there is no real need to coordinate with your team mates. The only thing you need to do is focus fire on one enemy and that can be done without talking about tactics. The other part is also that most quests can be done solo, so far I only encountered one boss battle, where you really need at least one mate to help you (damn you gorn slaver/hostage ship!)

I actually disabled the auto grouping because

a) I have one fix mate I play the Beta with
b) More team mates means more enemy ships and whatnot and sometimes the game thinks it is a good idea to throw 4 Battleships at your puny lvl <10 group of 3.

c) I don't like playing in random groups, the white noise of the zone chat alienates me enough as it is.

That game looks really fun I must say.

The_root_of_all_evil:

BoTF still holds as one of the best Star Trek games of all time. This is just a mod for CoX imho.

yeah Birth of the Federation was a good Star Trek game. I still have hopes that Excalibur releases "something" in the near future

The_root_of_all_evil:

There's still the ten rats thing in there, it's just that they're cyborgs now.

I get your point, the intro is still easy and the Borg Drones are not terribly difficult to kill. But I think the difference between STO and other games is that you are introduced to the game with a tutorial that has some drama in it. The Borg are attacking, and you have to save the ship. The Borg are a familiar enemy and their forced collectivism can feel very terrifying.

Contrast this with meeting Farmer Joe, who happens to have a rat problem in his basement, and would you mind helping him, perhaps he can scrounge up some coin for you. There is no drama there.

You can argue whether or not it was successful (your points about the calm bridge and working turbolifts are valid) but at least STO tries to engage the player from the beginning of the game with a compelling story.

If you're using an nvidia graphics card the ground missions are going to be super slideshowy until you update to the latest drivers that were released yesterday. One you have them in all the ground stuttering problems should be gone, at least that was the case for my GTX 285 lol.

Definetly looks pretty sweet...hopefully as mentioned the lag issue will bve fixed. But that aside I think I would really like to have a go...

Especilly in killing Borg! =D

Greg Tito:
But I think the difference between STO and other games is that you are introduced to the game with a tutorial that has some drama in it. The Borg are attacking, and you have to save the ship. The Borg are a familiar enemy and their forced collectivism can feel very terrifying.

Which is why they're relative ease of dispatch is so upsetting. If I was a level 10 UNIT Soldier in a Doctor Who MMO, and a Cyberman - or worse, a Dalek - appeared, I wouldn't even bother running for it, as I knew I'd be dead. If I despatched them in 3 shots while they walked towards me, I'd lose all respect for them as a foe.

See, this happened in SW:G and to an extent LotRo as well. You're made out to be a hero in the first cinematic - just so they can fit the big bads and big goods in there, and then being dropped back down to a farmboy really hurts.

But if you start, like in Guild Wars, EQ, Conan, CoX as a pleb, and build up to meet these people, they're SO much bigger.

LotRo does gain mega points for the first time you meet the Nazgul though, you're almost literally cacking yourself. And that's how it should be.

If Kirk met the Borg, even being the level 60-odd Charismat he is; he'd be scared. It's a case of "all up front", which I really don't like in games, because it means lots of bums on seats to begin with, and then the servers drop to empty.

If it were me...

Congratulations Cadet, you've just mustered out of Space Fleet Academy. We're expecting Admiral Kirk to be here shortly to start the celebrations. Ah, here he is now...

Close up on Kirk as he walks through the door and pauses for a moment. Your character steps forward and sees the skin peeling from the cyborgs face.

You turn to shout a warning, but the Cyborg Kirk explodes.

Fade to black...

You awaken to find your mentor lying next to you; he beckons you over and gives you his tricorder to check him.

"I'm dying Cadet, but you must warn Star Fleet Command of the plot to..."
and he dies.

You then have to race through the corridors, taking down the other cyborgs before they can reach their detonation points, and contact Star Fleet.

That could take you from level 1-5 and teach you most of the stuff. Even starship combat if you have to get away from the ruined Academy. It also gives you a overall goal (find out who was responsible), a dead mentor who you can get flashbacks from, the whole kaboodle.

Wouldn't that be more fun?

Looks fun but I really have no knowledge of Star Trek beyond the awesome Borg collective. I think I would get my ass beat hard if I tried coming into this game .

The_root_of_all_evil:

Greg Tito:
But I think the difference between STO and other games is that you are introduced to the game with a tutorial that has some drama in it. The Borg are attacking, and you have to save the ship. The Borg are a familiar enemy and their forced collectivism can feel very terrifying.

Which is why they're relative ease of dispatch is so upsetting. If I was a level 10 UNIT Soldier in a Doctor Who MMO, and a Cyberman - or worse, a Dalek - appeared, I wouldn't even bother running for it, as I knew I'd be dead. If I despatched them in 3 shots while they walked towards me, I'd lose all respect for them as a foe.

See, this happened in SW:G and to an extent LotRo as well. You're made out to be a hero in the first cinematic - just so they can fit the big bads and big goods in there, and then being dropped back down to a farmboy really hurts.

But if you start, like in Guild Wars, EQ, Conan, CoX as a pleb, and build up to meet these people, they're SO much bigger.

LotRo does gain mega points for the first time you meet the Nazgul though, you're almost literally cacking yourself. And that's how it should be.

If Kirk met the Borg, even being the level 60-odd Charismat he is; he'd be scared. It's a case of "all up front", which I really don't like in games, because it means lots of bums on seats to begin with, and then the servers drop to empty.

As far as I know the Borg in the intro are disconnected from the collective and are wounded/damaged/not all there in the head, so they really can't adapt to your phaser fire. Plus you're not alone taking on the damage borg cube/sphere near the end either.

Flying around at level 11 I found a Borg area of space that they were using as a drydock to repair and stuff, and the cubes were around level 5. I tried to see if I could take one out, and the cube proceeded to kick my ass sideways without suffering a dent lol. They're still badass and scary, don't worry :P

The_root_of_all_evil:
/snip

The borg in the intro are damaged/not working properly, and they don't know why, thats why you can beat em easily, beam them into space, etc. While the bridge seems miraculously untouched (considered all the senior officers are dead) the rest of the ship as you run around is pretty banged up and looks impressively broken. (especially one bit where you're stood next to a containment field and can see into space)

The game is fun...ish. Its not perfect, it feels too much like a singleplayer game with a few shared moments. Much like Guild Wars really. THe space combat is great, but the ground combat feels like a poor man's Tabula Rasa.

While its still Beta and they can make improvements to it, I don't think they'll do enough before release, and consiquently it won't survive with reasonable subs past a year. (Much like WAR, released too early, lost all its subs, then scrapes along with just enough subs to keep the servers online).

This covers a lot of the same point I've seen in my open beta experiences, both good and bad.

Nicely done, Greg. I hope I don't seem too derivative when I post about those experiences!

I was in the closed beta for a while before open beta, and I've been having a lot of fun with Star Trek Online. They've made a lot of progress since closed beta. Space combat is just awesome, its definitely one of the best parts of the game. Ground combat isn't quite as much fun as space, but its still pretty cool. You'll be spending more time in space anyway during the game. I can't wait for the game to be released.

Greg Tito:

The_root_of_all_evil:

There's still the ten rats thing in there, it's just that they're cyborgs now.

I get your point, the intro is still easy and the Borg Drones are not terribly difficult to kill. But I think the difference between STO and other games is that you are introduced to the game with a tutorial that has some drama in it. The Borg are attacking, and you have to save the ship. The Borg are a familiar enemy and their forced collectivism can feel very terrifying.

Contrast this with meeting Farmer Joe, who happens to have a rat problem in his basement, and would you mind helping him, perhaps he can scrounge up some coin for you. There is no drama there.

You can argue whether or not it was successful (your points about the calm bridge and working turbolifts are valid) but at least STO tries to engage the player from the beginning of the game with a compelling story.

Not only this, but the mission architecture is really made in a great way. Its in a form of episodic game play. And some of them contain truly amazing storytelling. The current missions I have worked on take about 45 to an hour to do, and they feel like an episode!

So far its Love it, Love it, Love it. I cant wait to have a conferance with my fleet-mates in my ready room :)

Itīs like I-War meets Mass Effect.
*sight*
I wish another I-War came out.

Hmmm, nice vid, interest in this game is steadily rising

AHHHHHHHHHHH seeing this is good makes life hard for me. I want it but i know i get addicted to MMORPGs dead easy. i've been clean for 2 years. I CANT GO BACK :S

What is the experience gain from ship and ground combat like?

I worry, because in Champions Online, the xp obtained from dispatching enemies in combat-heavy quests is so minimal that they're best avoided, rather than engaged. (Their idea was that quests would be more important than "grinding," but it leads to not feeling rewarded for doing well in combat.)

i am so torn! i want to try it but i dont want to buy it first to try it!

And they have a lifetime subscription offer for pre-orders only :( and im always for that!

But what i hear ppl are saying its fun but not fun enough for all the bugs in game.

me want a beta key without having to buy game first! >.<

Do we get to have Hazard teams later in the game? Are we stuck with hand phasers or do we get the nicer compression rifles? Is the Shatner lag present on ATI systems?

Looks to be a very nice game, will likely get it, hope the lag is one thing to be fixed very quickly.

what is ship control like? does it rely on keys to direct you around, or is like EVE, wher you state "orbat at distance" or "keep at distance", or stay still or whatever?

008Zulu:
Are we stuck with hand phasers or do we get the nicer compression rifles?

From what I saw in the footage you can equip a variety of hand weapons - from dual wielding hand phasers, phaser rifles, bat'leth and there is at least 1 slug thrower as one of the pre-order bonuses is the TR-116 rifle from the Deep Space Nine Episode.

TR-116
A player equips this phaser rifle into one of his two ground weapon slots. The TR-116 is a rare projectile weapon is used in dampening fields and other challenging environments, it is also modified with a micro-transporter which beams the fired projectiles to targets at close range so that a user can fire without a direct line of sight.

I don't like it at all. the space combat is super slow (I would want to send out smaller fighting ships or something) the ground fight is pointing a remote at eachother and shoot some light (the sniper rifle i got later on was a bit cool tho) but still I don't like Star Trek and i don't like this game. the ground fights are ok but the space combat is so boring you go from moderate speed to super slow, why?!

The lag part must be a something with some peoples computers. I have been playing from closed beta and not had any problems with lag other than the one or two times they really messed up the server with a update. Open beta runs very smoothly for me :)

The only thing I might have a beef about, is the part where everything is instanced. The way you put it, Greg, is you can't just casually meet another player short of maybe on starbase. But I guess I am spoiled to WoW, and meeting people all the time except when I go into instanced dungeons. But maybe it works better for this, and when the game comes out I hope the people are more chatty. MMO's are for being social, IMO.
I do like the starship interface and view. It reminds me of Starfleet Command, only now in three dimensions. That is a selling point to me.
And Starfleet Command is the best Star Trek game thus far, IMO. At least until we can really crack our knuckles on STO.

Archaon6044:
what is ship control like? does it rely on keys to direct you around, or is like EVE, wher you state "orbat at distance" or "keep at distance", or stay still or whatever?

It's not like Eve at all. You control pitch and yaw with WASD and can change your throttle with E and Q. There is full impulse, which gives you a sprint but it quickly drains power from weapons and shields. There's no locking on or orbiting of targets.

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