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?
Hmm. It's mixed, really. I'm running it on my 3 year old laptop. (a 1.66ghz core duo with an x1400 graphics chip. - I do have 4gb of ram, but that usually doesn't mean much.)
I get about 11 fps with everything except shadows and antialiasing turned on at maximum. (1280 by 800 resolution)(shadows tend to be very bad for performance, but aside from that, they also have serious graphical problems in the beta on my system that stop it even being worthwhile turning them on.)
However, 11fps is a bit on the low side (Even if it looks pretty good). So, I only do that in non-combat areas where it doesn't matter.
Other than that, there's a really handy option to run the game at half resolution.
This keeps all the UI at full resolution, but halves the resolution of the 3d graphics.
It's a bit of a shock at first compared to what it looks like otherwise, but once you get over it, you realise you can still see interesting detail, and more importantly, it now runs (on my system) at something like 28 to 40 fps...
So, long story short, it'll run on some relatively slow graphics hardware, if you're willing to compromise a bit. And it should run quite well on most mid-range hardware from the last 3-4 years, though it seems to have a few assorted issues with ATI graphics generally, and the latest Nvidia cards (though hopefully they'll fix that.
I personally haven't noticed the lag issue in ground combat that the review mentions though. It could be hardware specific, or they might have managed to fix it...
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.
Well, no. Most of the game area is open space that you fly around in going from star system to star system.
The star systems are usually mission instances, but the 'interstellar' space is usually full of player ships flying back and forth all over the place.
(you can visit the bridge of your ship if you feel like it, which feels a little strange. It's apparently possible to invite another player onto your bridge as well.)
The space combat isn't as 3 dimensional as it seems, though to some extent this kind of helps re-inforce the strange way starships move in startrek, which doesn't fit very well with real physics.
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?!
A direct consequence of the setting, I'm afraid. That's just something that's going to happen in Star Trek.
Fighters are practically non-existent, and space combat is relatively slow and drawn out.
That's Star Trek.
(Having said that, I've died in a matter of seconds on multiple occasions due to getting too close to a large fleet.)
I really didn't like Star Trek Online during my time with the beta. During the ship-to-ship combat, I found myself frustrated with the pace that was put into it. Phaser cycles were too quick, the lack of usable 3D space was present, and the animations for changing heading was just wrong. You are absolutely locked to the horizontal plane of the area, limiting various maneuvers you can make in a 3D environment and possibly even making them take longer than they should. Shouldn't physics result in the ability of being able to change facing while still having the same direction of travel? This is space.. sheesh.
Yeah, um... That's kind of to be expected. I mean, not being able to use 3 dimensions effectively is a bit irritating, but you certainly shouldn't expect 'proper' space physics from a star trek setting.
Shouldn't physics result in the ability of being able to change facing while still having the same direction of travel?
does not apply in the star trek universe. (go ahead. find me an example of it. There's even a technobabble explanation of it related to how impulse engines work - they rely on non-newtonian principles, and conservation of momentum doesn't apply to their operation, which makes them behave somewhat differently from how say, a rocket would.)
Still, personally I find it a reasonable compromise between the needs of an MMO and a game based on Star Trek.
The only thing that messes with my head, given my insane knowledge of the setting is the uh... 'economy'. It's the only aspect that to me feels incredibly out of place for the setting.
It seems strange to me to have starfleet officers buying and selling equipment that in all probability should be issued as and when the mission requires it.
(plus, you have to 'pay' to use the ship's replicator, which feels even more bizarre.)
Anyway, it's pretty rough around the edges, but it seems to have the right kind of feel to it.
Here's hoping it works out.