MMORPG.com STO Preview Overview
Finally read through all three of the Star Trek Online previews on MMORPG and going sum it up by pointing out the good stuff (or least my opinion on the good stuff). But the previews are a good read and worth the time to read them all the way through.
You can read all three articles in full here:
Refreshingly, they took advantage of future communications and don't actually make you return to the quest giver every time. You simply hail him from your UI to redeem completed missions and pick up new ones.
Having to not go back and forth to a NPC to turn in quests is a much welcome addition. And the author described the eposidic missions as being well done. You will have some space action may beam down to a planet to fight a mini-boss and then beam back into space for some more fun and hail the Admiral saying your done.
Especially since it's not like one click is one shot. It tends to fire a phaser burst that takes a couple of seconds.
Sounds like it isn't a FPS style combat engine but maybe a turn based but something you cannot see. Because in FPS there really isn't any wait on player firing a weapon unless reload time per shot is long. In STO you will have three types of attack (some beam weapon, special attack and hand-to-hand).
One totally unexpected feature that comes up often in away missions is the ability to pause the instance. Yep, you can pause in an MMO. This is a useful thing when you need to hit the head, and also helpful for the ability to analyze a situation and micro-manage your crew if that's your play style.
Not sure how I feel about this one yet in group play until I see it in action. But for solo play with your crew it is a nice feature, 45s timer.
There was a few paragraphs on combat tactics and your crew and how learning weapon placement and ship direction during combat will mean whether you will be successful or space dust. But your crew (science, engineer, tactical officers) help with buffs/abilities to get you through. It comes down if you are using them correctly. I really like the tactical aspects of the combat and that your decisions will reflect how good you are in combat.
From the first loading screen, the music is dead on what you'd expect. Once in the game, the voice of the computer, the sound of phasers and doors is all exactly what you'd want it to be. The computer on your ship, which provides helpful tips like "Enemy's shields are down" either is the voice of the "computer," or someone who did a bang on impression.
Can't have a good ST game without the right soundtrack and ambient sound effects 🙂
When you kill opponents or complete missions, you gain three pools of points:
Star Trek Online
* Character skill: These points can be used on your character to improve their various skills.
* Bridge Officer Skill Points: These points are in a common pool to improve the skills of any of your bridge officers.
* Starfleet Merit: Merit is used to requisition new bridge officers, promote them to new ranks or requisition new starships.
Author has some issues with the sheer size of the skills/abilities that you can pick from and there descriptions not being thorough enough. But you can level at anytime and you don't have to visit trainers. I myself like a bigger abilities pool so players can be unique and not be just carbon copies of each other because everyone has the same skill path.
Early in the game, I hated my crew. It was really bad luck, but in my brain, I wanted more humans and a better male/female split. I also could never remember who was who.
Then I discovered the customization NPCs. It didn't fix all of my problems, but it did help a lot. I first changed all of their names. Then, I begin to fiddle with their uniforms, faces and bodies. The controls are exactly like the player creation, save a few decisions are locked. Unfortunately, gender reassignment and race changes were not in the cards at that point. Although, according to my inbox, race changes have been added. Nonetheless, it was enough.
This is nice to know I thought they were all generated and no way to change them. I know you can customize your avatar fully. Will be nice to see the bridge officers really get some special treatment so you grow attached to them and would never let them go for another.
Looting, in ground or space, is another issue. When you blow up a starship or take out a Borg cube, sometimes they drop stuff. This is represented through a golden orb that glows above the corpse, or a satellite looking box in the wreckage. That's fine, they're even color coded in group situations. Gold means they're all yours, while white means someone else earned that loot.
Personally there should always be auto-loot enabled in all games. You always have the ability to drop items and the system will let you know when you can't carry anymore so auto loot 🙂
Another issue is navigation in space. The game has 3D space, but not upside down. That sounds good on paper, but can get really silly at times. I understand that the IP always had everyone "facing up," and have no issues at all with that.
The problems start when there is a target you need to get to a long way above or under you. There is a maximum pitch up or down a ship can travel at to keep them on the correct axis. Normally, you see targets coming so you slowly angle down or up to get to them as you close the gap, but when you find yourself directly above an enemy, for example, you quite literally need to "circle the toilet bowl" to corkscrew your way down to them. It's quite silly.
Tis issue seems like a no brainer. I know large ships have issues in turning upside down or making a 90 degree dive/rise put least let the user do it. Let them see the consequences of their actions because they are doing maneuvers your not supposed to do in larger ships. But scout ships and the like should be able to be very agile an perform these maneuvers without issue.
I know in all my reading of articles there has been a really in-depth PvP discussion. I kind of want STO to be a really story driven game to immerse you you into the ST universe. I know there will be a lot of instances and you can group and do PvP but I thin STO if they do it right will have a nice MMO if they can really create some great story trees and missions for the players. They have the universe already they just need to create conflicts and mass battles etc. Really use the lore that is there for you already and make an almost endless content stream.
I like the bridge officer concepts and hope they grow this area as STO matures. But with reading that the Klingon race isn't near as content complete as the Federation is a disappointment for me. I know STO is still in beta but Cryptic had to know that people will want to play a Klingon 🙂