Perfect Ten: Why Star Trek Online is an underrated MMORPG

I’m the type of player who has a stable of games that I return to from time to time, particularly when I’m looking for a dependable, enjoyable experience. I’ll stay with these games for a while until I can feel the fringe of burnout approaching and then let them go until they are needed once more.

Among these titles is a long-running favorite of mine — and an MMO that I feel is somewhat underappreciated by the larger community. The game is, of course, Star Trek Online. I was there at launch with my Del Taco cup in hand (there was a silly promotion that involved shuttles you could get from buying a soda), I’ve popped in for most of the anniversaries, and I’ve generally had a great time going through all of the featured episodes again and again while nerding out in my starship.

While I won’t argue that it is a perfect MMO or that it’s free from cash shop shenanigans, Star Trek Online does have a lot going for it that can get overlooked when players are hunting around for a reliable and slightly different gaming experience. Here’s why.

1. The IP

Perhaps even more than other IP-based MMORPGs, Star Trek Online’s greatest strength is in its connection with this famous franchise. Granted, if Trek turns you cold, then there’s probably not much here for you, but for Trekkies who have always dreamed of captaining their own starship, this is a dream come true.

And now that there are both the new Star Trek movies and the debut of Star Trek: Discovery, STO is a perfect way to get some of that “transmedia synergy” going with promotions and by the sheer fact that it exists.

2. The writing

Here’s something that I think is criminally underappreciated, and that’s the writing for this series. Christine Thompson (and others) know their Trek lore and have done a marvelous job writing stories and weaving in familiar elements. I don’t particularly care for the animations and (lack of) lip synching, but I’ll always stick around for the story anyway because of the TV-quality writing on display.

3. The quests

Related to the above, Star Trek Online’s quests are a cut above your average MMO’s mission log. There are some pretty rote missions, to be sure, but there are often plenty that require puzzle solving, diplomacy, exploration, strategy, and nerves of steel. If I was to make a top five list of the MMOs with the best quests, STO would have a spot secured.

4. The variety

Another aspect of this MMO that I really enjoy is the variety of pace that I get. There’s a lot of different activities to do, but having the change-up between ground and space missions keeps both feeling fresh for me. I know ground combat gets a bad rap, but I actually like it because I get to lead a party of NPCs rather than just one character. And if I’m getting a little bored with that, sooner or later I’ll be back on the bridge for another round of space combat. It’s good to mix things up.

5. The fanservice

Oh, the fanservice. There is so much of it here that even the hardest-to-please Trekkie might find him or herself geeking out. There are plenty of callbacks to well-known Star Trek locations, characters, ships, and episodes, but it doesn’t stop there. Star Trek Online has recruited a ton of the actors from many of the shows to reprise their roles. I still smile every time I hear Leonard Nimoy congratulate me for leveling up.

6. The duty officer system

Again, this might just be me, but I really dig offline progression systems in MMOs as long as they aren’t unbalanced. Duty officers, or “doffs,” earn you some nice rewards if you play this strategy game right. Collecting new doffs and putting them to work reinforces the notion of being a captain over a huge crew instead of a small team.

7. The character creator

This is a Cryptic game, so yes, it’s going to have an incredible character creator. You can choose from so many different Star Trek species (or make your own!), then modify their faces, bodies, and — my favorite — their uniform. Star Trek Online has added tons of the different uniforms and outfits from the show over the years, and I always take way too long to mix-and-match the perfect getup.

8. The ship designs

Seeing as how one of the biggest cash cows for STO is in selling ships, Cryptic has put in a whole lot of work to introduce practically every starship seen in the movies and in the TV shows (not to mention ones that the devs have made up altogether). There are few thrills greater in this game than finally attaining the ship of your dreams and getting to deck it out just right.

9. The continuing legacy

Star Trek Online is often seen by many as the true successor to Voyager, Deep Space Nine, and The Next Generation, continuing the timeline and exploring “what’s next” for this series. By putting the game 30 years into the future, the devs are able to keep one foot in the established TV franchise and one in a universe of their own creation. It’s a good balance and still the only sequel that we have in this era of prequels and reboots.

10. The visuals

On the surface or (especially) in space, Star Trek Online can keep surprising you with how pretty it is. Sure, the artists are taking a lot of liberties with space here, but I agree that keeping it visually engaging is pretty important when we are floating about in a mostly empty vacuum. Plus, space combat looks pretty amazing when you get a dozen ships jockeying for position and firing all manner of weapons.

Everyone likes a good list, and we are no different! Perfect Ten takes an MMO topic and divvies it up into 10 delicious, entertaining, and often informative segments for your snacking pleasure. Got a good idea for a list? Email us at justin@massivelyop.com or eliot@massivelyop.com with the subject line “Perfect Ten.”
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74 Comments on "Perfect Ten: Why Star Trek Online is an underrated MMORPG"

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Suikoden

Remember when Champions came out and if you bought the lifetime sub you got early access for STO? I think that was the deal. I just remember so many people pissed because they paid that out, and then STO had that rocky launch, not to say they haven’t completely turned it around, just something I always think of when I think STO.

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Christopher Pierce

I stopped playing it years ago because default interaction with conflict is battle 9 times out of 10, which is a huge betrayal of the IP.

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Brown Jenkin

Couldn’t agree more. The game is great and I’ve always wondered why it isn’t more appreciated. Particularly for a game built on a major IP it always seemed solid to me. People do hate Cryptic though.

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Victor Morales

Still doesn’t override the fact that all the damn lockboxes in the game ruin it. Get that crap out and I would come back in a heart beat.

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Jay Power

The game peaked around the release of the Romulan expansion a few years ago and has been in a slow decline since. The dev team is very small and they take literally years to make any changes to the game. The population of the game is small so not great for social players.
If you don’t plan on spending any money, don’t care about min maxing and PvP, and just want to putter around casually and enjoy some cheesy sci-fi story content and gaming, it’s ok for that. But not recommended for any real mmo commitment.

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Adam Asbury

Let’s not forget that they launched the game on PS4 and Xbox One, for those of you that prefer console gaming. The user interface has been completely reworked on those platforms to be used with a controller, and it works exceptionally well. There’s a lot of fun to be had sitting on your favorite couch or recliner and playing on your (probably) larger TV.

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Godson69

As a casual gamer STO scratches one of my Sci-fi itches, I really do enjoy the space combat, but dislike the ground combat and play style. Not the best game but if you enjoy Star Trek you should at least try it. And if you are like me avoid the ground stuff as much as possible. :)

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Loopy

I’ll always have a sweet spot for STO, even when i don’t agree with its direction. Every now and then i’ll jump back in and the nostalgia sweeps over me, reminding me of days when i was in one of the biggest fleets in the game, roleplaying throughout and just having a blast.

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Travis Laborde

I agree completely, and the only reason I stopped playing is… the space combat is just too hard! I realize that I’m probably just terrible at it. But… I am. and it means I can’t really play the game for very long without quitting in frustration.

But reading this article makes me want to try again. Can anyone provide tips? I’d be willing to buy a P2W ship off the cash shop if its reasonable, just so that I can survive space combat more regularly. I love everything else about this game!

Thanks

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Brown Jenkin

Haha same here actually! Honestly I figure I just must have missed something in the tutorial or something but I get lost and owned every time.

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Ken from Chicago

PREACH IT, Sypster! The writing in the game is top-notch (to say nothing of the best player-written adventures included in the Foundry). “Midnight”, the conclusion of their 5-year Iconian War story arc was not only epic but truly “Star Trek” in dealing with conflicting morals with cosmic consequences. Also, the Federation tutorial is something I think every single Star Trek fan should experience even if they not another minute of the game ever.

The Duty Officers (Doffs) gameplay is a secret Ace up their sleeve. On a nano-scale it encapsulate Star Trek stories of exploration, science, discovery, diplomacy, combat, even on-board shenanigans and even basic grunt work of Level 3 diagnostics, filing reports, restocking supplies, etc.

There’s only thing missing:

0. The business model.

STAR TREK ONLINE is completely free to play, from level 0 to max level with no pay walls in content. What’s sold in the cash shops is basically costumes and conveniences in your style of play.

The costumes sold allow you to mimic various Star Trek movies and tv shows, but their a good variety of uniforms included for free. Plus I think their default “Odyssey” uniform for Starfleet is my favorite and should be on tv and film.

The ships sold are not pay-2-win. You can reach max level entirely on the free ships included. The ships affect your style of play–and also look cool. The Odyssey class Enterprise-F is not only my favorite Star Trek ship but my favorite starship ever.

Yes, they include lockboxes, but items inside are not game-changers but merely more about style than substance. They aren’t required to play the game. Plus, since one of the Massively OP commenters explained how to turn off the notifications, I don’t even have to see constant reminders of said lockboxes existance (aside from the random loot, but then I can auction those off as extra credits for my characters).

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Cypher

Love me some STO! As mentioned, not great as a main mmo unless you’re new to the game but the sheer amount and variety of content is pretty amazing for an f2p game, plus I think the (space) graphics still hold up well to this day.

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Utakata

Silly question: Can you make your ship in this game any color? o.O

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John Mynard

Within reason.

Each ship has a small variety of base colorizations for the hull and then Captains can select a variety of “racing stripes” and choose from a fairly large number of colors for those. Additionally, certain shields(primarily the ones from the reputation system) will change the hull colorization in subtle or not so subtle ways.

So you can’t fly wholly pink Federation starships, but you can put pink strips on them if you want. There are a couple of ships that can be colored completely but they were event rewards from a few years ago and are not available except during certain promotions.

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Utakata

“So you can’t fly wholly pink Federation starships…”

:(

…but thanks for explaining that! :)

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mysecretid

Thanks for the article, Justin. Unsurprisingly, I agree with all the points you made. :-)

Cheers,

EDITHow To Turn Off The Lockbox Spam

Some commenters are very bothered by this. It can be turned off in-game.

1) Look underneath your mini-map on the top-right of your screen: you’ll see a row of small clickable icons.

2) Farthest right, there is an icon that looks like an inverted triangle. Click this — it opens a drop-down menu.

3) Go into the section for In-Game Notifications and click the requisite check boxes to tell Star Trek Online that you don’t want to see in-game announcements either on-screen as fly-ins, or in your chat box.

4) Close the menu and play. You’re done!

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NeoWolf

As I recall (unless it has since changed) that only worked for that login session, and you had to do that EVER single time you logged in.

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mysecretid

No. It turns off the notifications permanently. unless you intentionally change the settings back yourself.

Occasionally, a patch that affects the game’s global settings (or a re-install) will require a do-over — but I’ve had those notifications in my game turned off literally for years now.

Cheers,

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NeoWolf

Its nice that it now does it permanently now as it definitely didn’t use to. A definite step in the right direction.

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Jeremy Zharkov

I play it, but I think there is a lot of stuff that makes it more a game you come back to after a long break than one you play all the time.

Namely, lack of new content. We get a half hour episode every two or so months. They occasionally add new PVE queues or battlezones, but as the player base is static (or shrinking) it just means that older ones are done less. It doesn’t help that many of the new queues or battlezones aren’t fun or are broken (the Tzenkathi battlezone in particular is almost impossible to complete because they constantly recapture points if people don’t guard which isn’t possible due to a lack of people doing it)

Also I think the writing in recent episodes has been nothing short of awful, constantly lecturing us about ecology. Which makes no sense because a) video games are a complete waste of resources in the real world and b) in Star Trek, they have fusion, which is cheap, clean energy so ecological problems should not exist. Yet we have colonies using wind and water power (both which cause environmental damage, albeit minor, but still damage) while fusion would not.

And the lockboxes are ridiculous.

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CapnLan

I’ll always have a soft spot for STO. Been with the game since closed beta, have a lifetime sub and all that jazz. It does a lot of things right and scratches that Star Trek itch when I get it. I don’t regret any of the time or money I spent on the game.

Lately though my play time has dropped off significantly. I feel like the dev team has fallen into a rut. Every update is more or less the same now. A few new story missions (while nice, can be finished in 20 minutes or so), a new rep system, a new specialization, and new lockboxes. It’s just become boring. I hope that the new Dominion themed expansion coming out next year is enough to shake the game up, but it’s a long way off.

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Rolan Storm

You love it, don’t ya? :) Good article.

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Arnold Hendrick

My biggest problem with STO is the difficulty of everyday grouping. I routinely play with my partner, and we were frustrated missions that assumed (or required) that you do them solo. ESO and GW2 originally had this problem, but most to all of the quests were eventually fixed.

I haven’t checked back to see if two players and two ships could combine on routine space missions, and if the mission included a planetside option (or requirement), if the both ships could send down a joint away-team to pursue the quest. Is that possible now?

dixa
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dixa

STO is a good game if you are strictly casual and only there for the story end.

The minute you want to experience the rest of the game the problems become evident. No, you can’t earn it all in game without spending in the cash shop unless you run a couple dozen dill farming accounts. Those dill farmers control the economy on PC and because of this it is better for anyone thinking of trying the game to play it on console.

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Castagere Shaikura

The game used to be good. But PWE turned it into crap. Its a good game if you have no problem opening your wallet all the time. You want a good ship it cost you 30 dollars. Or maybe you will get one in a lockbox and if you open enough of them you can get one with lobi crystals. I get so sick and tired of the truth not being told about most mmo’s today. The genre is fading because most people are waking up to see it for what it is.

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Space Captain Zor

I tried to get back into this again not long ago and the lock box spam was nauseating. I did miss my little escort though. I played the game for a few years starting at launch.

The character creator was lacking severely in face/head types though. So many people look too similar.

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Zariarn
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Zariarn

I’ve said this for years. The game is vastly underrated. It provides so much content, story, and a complex ship and ground system, you’ll be busy for quite awhile. Fun game indeed.

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NeoWolf

The Space Game is first rate, the Ground game is still meh.. the stories are enjoyable..however sadly it all falls apart once your exposed to their unending lockbox spam and lockbox content only economy in ALL cryptic games. These things definitely made me lose respect for them and the fact they used to lie constantly about a great many things.

It may have been less successful when it was a sub game but at least you could respect them then, now..not so much.

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Green Dragoon

11. The Foundry

I can’t even tell you how many creative missions I’ve played in the Foundry. Yeah, there are some stinkers too, but finding an incredible story in the mission list is pretty awesome, and you never run out.

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Jeremy Zharkov

I can tell you how many creative missions I’ve played: Zero.

Maybe there are some good ones in there, but after a dozen or so “stinkers” to use your word, I’ve given up. Much like with City of Heroes mission editor, the bad stuff pushes out the good and makes it very difficult to find.

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Vice Vandal

Unless you’re playing KDF.

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Utakata

Kraft Dinner Faction? O.o

“I think that might be ‘Klingon’ in there somewhere, Uta.”

…oh yeah. o.O

dixa
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dixa

KDf is fine and has some of the best ways to make in game money.

Since in my opinion the best faction story is romulan, you can be either fed or kdf

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Rob

KDF is good in its own right. Sure it has its issues, especially considering that the majority want to be Starfleet Captains. However, if you enjoy the idea of the Klingon mythos then it is definitely worth your while to play it. Even if you don’t consider your KDF your main characters, the story alone is worthwhile.

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John Mynard

It’s worth noting that the Klinks can have female Orions as Captains and that they allow their personnel to wear traditional attire where possible. Hence, the Orions can wear bikinis as their standard attire.

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Melissa McDonald

I find the graphics to look like a 10 year old game in most respects, but they don’t suck, either. The avatar creator is good although bound to the limitations of the game engine. Honestly, it’s a pretty good game, although calling it an MMO is a little bit of a stretch. It’s always seemed to be a single-player console-friendly kind of game, with starbases and the odd away mission being the only thing “massive” or “multiplayer” about it. It’s Pirates of the Burning Sea in space, essentially.

I’ve said it before, my only gripe is in how I think they missed the mark in fundamental game design: The bridge is the core of the Star Trek experience. You have NPC crew members, playing vital roles, there is no convincing argument why those couldn’t have been live players also performing those roles and keeping that essence of ST intact (the bridge experience). I’ll never forget the devs turning fifty shades of pale when prospective players clamored for ‘explorable ship interiors’, something that honestly shouldn’t be that bloody difficult. It’s just an instance.

If they’d addressed that (ship interiors and multiplayer bridge scenarios) it would have been damn near perfect.

Richard de Leon III
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Richard de Leon III

Because you couldnt make those roles fun. Imagine being the doctor, but being stuck in the ship or doctors office to heal. Imagine being an engineer and all you do in fights is minigames to do repairs or to give ship buffs. Players want to be in control, at least the majority of players. The whole concept of the bridge crew is that they are subservient to the captain or commanding officer. Who wants to log into a game that simulates actual real life work on a ship.

Why do you think dungeon finders are for all intents and purposes required in most mmos, because people dont log in for someone else, they log in for themselves. Even if there is a small subset of people happy to truly roleplay, that doesnt work in a mainstream MMO. Especially one that needs to make money on a continuous basis.

As much as a star trek fan I am, if they ever followed the design principle you propose (which they did examine early on), I wouldnt have bought into the game. I’d rather spend my money on actual bridge simulators, which if you think about it, most of them put you in the role of the captain anyway.

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mysecretid

I agree. Being reliant on other people to play a game as intended almost never works out as planned.

Plus, I’m not personally interested in playing as Ensign Redshirt at the tactical console, taking orders from some random stranger who showed up three minutes ago on the Looking For Group channel.

The way the game works now, you effectively create your own private Trek TV show, tailored to your own Trek tastes and gaming playstyle (or not). Your ship, your captain, your crew.

If you want the “group experience”, join a good Fleet (guild) and run Special Task Force (STF) missions together. Groups of starships tackling big space-problems can be incredibly fun with the right people.

My preferences, anyway.

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Bree Royce

“Imagine being the doctor, but being stuck in the ship or doctors office to heal. Imagine being an engineer and all you do in fights is minigames to do repairs or to give ship buffs.”

I did both of those in Star Wars Galaxies. A huge number of people did. It was awesome.

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Jack Kerras

Yeah, that kind of stuff is fucking amazing for the right sort of person, and it can mean things like ‘recruiting a good engineer’ is something different than just getting an Engineer who ticks all the boxes and can hit DPS thresholds.

Then again, I played lots of Puzzle Pirates, so maybe I just don’t mind doing minigames as a way to contribute to the overall success of my team?

Also, fun fact: Perpetual’s Star Trek MMO was gonna be a lot like this, and they did some SUPER NEAT demos of the engineering systems and such. It looked brutal and I was very, very sad that it never actually existed. I’m eyeballing Bridge Crew as a method of getting back to multiperson nautical-esque space funtimes.

Good old Air Buccaneers (the UT2004 mod) scratched that itch a bit, as does Guns of Icarus and sometimes even Worlds Adrift, but it’s never quite as much as I want.

And yeah, I’ve played Artemis.

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Bill C

Agree with Bree. I was an entertainer/medic in SWG. Spent time in Cantina waiting for folks to come by for heals there then would move to Med Center for the other wounds.

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Melissa McDonald

Well, I completely disagree with you, so I suppose we cancel each other out.

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johnwillo

Well, they do have ship interiors now. Though they’re really boring. IMHO.

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johnwillo

Everybody’s an admiral, with a capital ship that could use the original Enterprise as a life boat. Not really what I think of as a Star Trek setting, but I do enjoy space combat.

Richard de Leon III
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Richard de Leon III

Canonically, star trek ships got bigger and bigger. Heck, the J was supposed to be city sized.

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Rob

Actually the Enterprise E was smaller than the Enterprise D. But thats apples and oranges anyways. If the in game J was as big as it was supposed to be it would dwarf the others more than it already does. Can you imagine the parking lanes outside space dock if the ships were the size they were supposed to be?

Richard de Leon III
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Richard de Leon III

true, but thats when the feds went into war mode and ships didnt bring families with em anymore, the trend supposedly reversed when most of the galaxy was in relative peace. Tho the iconians kinda miffed that part.

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Eric Schouw

@Polyanna thanks for this great comment! As soon as i am home tonight i will download and play this game! can’t wait…

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Rob

Its definitely worth a go, believe me. :)

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Dug From The Earth

People have said for years that with games, graphics dont matter.

Ive never felt this was 100% accurate.

STO is one of those games, that I simply dont enjoy playing, largely due to the old, dated graphics engine. It ruins my immersion, and annoys me quite often, which is enough to make me not play.

Richard de Leon III
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Richard de Leon III

I dare say that can be a more on a case by case basis. I personally prefer more simple styled grahpix. Which is prolly why I still play EQ1, WoW and DDO. The photo-realistic graphix that started to creep in all games actually put me off into uncanny valley territory.

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Dug From The Earth

true… i dont dislike all games with dated graphics. It really depends.

In the case of star trek, i guess i just expect it to be much higher quality… because… well.. star trek is high tech…

Richard de Leon III
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Richard de Leon III

true true, STdiscovery doesnt help in that regard since they put movie quality effects on the latest incarnation of star trek even tho its set before ToS…

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John Mynard

I still don’t see where they keep putting that supposed $8 million an episode though. I mean the effects are good, don’t get me wrong, but they aren’t that good. And are the effects so expensive they have to keep some of the lights off? Yeah, yeah, Lorca’s eyes are FUBAR, but is that the excuse they are going with when he’s not around and there is actual work being done?

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AngryDolphin

Any tips (or a suggestion for a good online guide) for the space combat portion of the game? I only have the use of one-hand so particularly looking for any hints at streamlining the multiple systems you are in charge of. I have discovered auto-fire which is a huge help! Thanks!

Polyanna
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Polyanna

Beamboat cruisers and auto-fire will be your friends. It helps that beamboat cruiser is one of the strongest setups in the game presently as well.

EDIT: Also, take a look at carriers. The pets are quite good and do very strong damage on their own when you use the epic quality. You can take a couple of key traits and skills that also buff their damage and health a lot to make them unstoppable.

If you use something like a 12-button MMO-style gaming mouse or a G13 gamepad you should be able to get a good set of your most essential combat abilities mapped onto the dozen buttons, even with movement keys in the middle.

The highest priority binds are any Rank III BOFF powers with short CDs or abilities that will be cycled often, if, for example, you’re using the common setup of slotting two copies of Emergency Power abilities to maintain constant uptime. Long cooldown stuff (2 minutes or more) can be relegated to unbound slots on your ability tray and clicked as needed.

For ground combat, try two Tac / one Eng (shields) / one Sci (heals), and put your ground points into buffing your own shields, resists, and health so you can sit back and plink with a Sniper Rifle or Compression Pistol while the red shirts do most of the work. You can get good set gear for yourself and your entire away team from mission replay that will make your away team able to handle most things on their own.

Command will be a good specialization for ground combat in your situation since you can choose the kits that all give long-running team buffs, and then focus on just keeping buffs up and designating targets instead of doing direct damage. And the hunker down ability you get that makes you immune to CC and gives a constant heal makes you near unkillable against most NPC enemies if you stay in crouch.

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mysecretid

Well articulated. Thank you!

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mysecretid

Put this comment in the wrong place and didn’t notice until now. Gah. You comment WAS well articulated Polyanna, but this wasn’t where I intended to comment. Oops!

dixa
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dixa

Stay away from carriers. The good ones are lockbox ships, the good pets require specific lockbox ships outside of romulan drone ships but the only dedicated romulan carrier (2 bays) is yet another lockbox ship.

Stick with straight cruisers. On console you can set many abilities to auto fire but I have never explored if that’s possible on pc beyond the ship weapons

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John Mynard

That’s a bold faced lie. The Tholian Web Weaver fighter pet is quite potent and can be slotted on any ship with a fighter bay.

dixa
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dixa

Bold faced lie? lay off the political rhetoric.

the only good carrier that doesn’t require lockbox equipment or drops are the t5 and t6 romulan dreadnoughts with romulan drone ships and that has everything to do with the very nature of those dreadnoughts and NOT the drone ships. Doesn’t change the fact that the best romulan carrier is a 400million+EC lockbox only thing.

I am and continue to be a dedicated carrier-only pilot in STO. I have most of the lockbox 2-hangar carriers including the Jem’Hadar dread + Jem’Hadar attack ship pet.

carrier gameplay continues to be destroyed from the inability to stack doffs anymore to have a sub 10s hangar cd to the atrocious changes to their ai and the nerfing of scramble fighters – good luck finding that trait.

bold faced lie. lol. tholian web weaver? Weavers are not any ship, Elite Tholian Widows are and are from tier 5 nakura reputation. Weavers are only useable on two tholian ships which are only available from – you guessed it – lock boxes. They can be bought from the exchange for money that a new player isn’t going to hope to have without several dil farming accounts or blowing real money on keys to sell for credits.

Your suggestion to our impaired friend to use fighters over frigates though..dunno about that. fighters die frequently. swarmers do better damage than the tholian widows but both are stupid squishy. My elite fleet romulan drone ships never die and they do great damage from all angles. the weavers using dual beam banks with current carrier pet ai is..well meh. same reason why the Vo’Quv is no longer THE carrier to have kdf side, it’s BoP frigates using cannons spend more time off target than on.

Richard de Leon III
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Richard de Leon III

For ground combat I prefer all engineers and their turrets and generators and minefields. I find the AI is so horrible that my guys just lay down a wall of pets and mines that nothing can get through, and my captain is designed to taunt and drag them through the death zones easily. Kiting never was so easy and fun as it is in this game >.<

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AngryDolphin

This is awesome stuff Polyanna! Thank you so much. I do use a Razer Naga MMO mouse so it will just be a matter of selecting the right bindings and practice. I’ll check out the build specs for beamboat cruisers too.

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BalsBigBrother

When I was more active in this game a few years ago I saw a number of videos on youtube of people successfully using the voice attack software to launch commands via voice while doing the space combat part.

At the time I didn’t have voice attack but I do now so should I ever get back into STO I may even give it a try myself.

I am not sure there are any guides for this but I imagine if you do a search for voice attack and STO you should come up with the vids at least to show you how it works. From my experience of using voice attack in Elite: Dangerous I don’t imagine it would be too hard to set up for STO.

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AngryDolphin

Using voice commands is a good idea and actually would seem to fit within the theme of being a captain on a starship. Thanks for the tip!

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Schmidt.Capela

I often find the writing in the game better than the series thanks to the limitations of the gaming medium, to tell the truth. It’s too easy for a series writer to just pull some unexplained phenomena or treknobabble mumbo-jumbo out of some subspace manifold and just use that for the plot.

Polyanna
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Polyanna

This seems like a good place to mention that “Season 14” just rolled out with new episodes featuring Levar Burton. And Cryptic teased a Gamma Quadrant expansion with the tagline “Victory is Life” at the recent STLV con; coming Summer 2018. Right now I’m just waiting for what I hope will be the upcoming Gamma Recruit promo event for the next expansion, so I can level up some new alts, particularly on the Romulan and Klingon sides.

dixa
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dixa

Levar also replaces generic admiral #384762 in lower level star fleet content now, although it can be funny when it glitches and you get Geordi face with that old VO track

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Iain B

I’ve never tried STO but I’m going to give it a shot. /thumbup

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Rob

Yeah if you dig Star Trek even in the slightest, its definitely worth a go.

Polyanna
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Polyanna

As someone who has played this game off and on with a lifetime sub since 2010, I agree with all of this. In particular, the way Cryptic and the STO team have handled the game and its relation to the canon series and lore is so starkly, startlingly far above and beyond what Bioware has done in continuously shitting on an equally beloved IP and fan base.

The fact that Cryptic over and over gets the real actors we know and love to come in and reprise canon roles, and has the writing chops on the team to make it worth their while, is a huge boon to this game and its enduring ability to please true Star Trek fans.

I would add that this game has far and away one of the best and most sensible, least annoying F2P models out there today. When I came back recently from a couple year break, I decided to do a full play through on a fresh, pure F2P account, with nothing lent or carried over from my old lifetime sub, to see how the game holds up today for brand new players.

I was pleasantly surprised to find that it is entirely possible to enjoy hundreds of hours of very nice old and new story line content, right up through the latest releases, without spending a dime, or feeling like you’re gimped or missing out on anything. You even can get well into the endgame, albeit with fairly limited options, if you take advantage of the two or three free T6 ships that are given out each year from the holiday events.

If you want to make the most of the crafting and admiralty systems (especially the latter), then you will hit a cash crunch, and all those shiny ships that you absolutely are going to want to fly at some point start to add up quick. But the wallet abuse of the ship store is handily offset if you are able to wait for big sales and buy in bulk, when you can get mega bundles of ships at 1/3 or less the price of buying them one off.

I also consistently appreciate the basic things that Cryptic does right with this game, like the single shard universe, the only actually sensibly implemented character naming system I’ve seen in any modern MMO, a competent and functional auction house interface (it wasn’t always, but it’s been vastly improved), and a flexible, intricate build system that makes flying a “Galaxy Class Starship” feel as fun as it sounds. The mixed space and ground game, with the excellent away team companion system, is just icing on the cake.

It’s not the biggest game out there, and never was going to be. But despite a few missteps at points, over the years it has done a stunningly competent job at carving out a niche and filling it well, and keeping a modest but loyal base of fans happily at play.

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mysecretid

An excellent summary of what’s good about this game. Thanks, Polyanna!

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Mattaui

Yeah I play STO off and on and I’ve only subbed a handful of times when I was playing it a lot and still leveling alts. Now all I ever do is occasionally buy some points, and I never feel like I’m really missing out on much. Great summary.

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Nick Castleton

This is one of the best responses and defiantly sums up how much i love STO.

I started out a a FTP player for a year and back then i was surprised at how much freedom you get, this is a FTP game that actually made me want to sub rather than forcing me.

The naming system is spot on i wish other mmos would have followed suit as you never have to worry about loosing a good name.

Im actually a lifer now, but i choose to do this because i felt this was one MMO that deserved may money but my friend is a FTP player and he hasn’t spent a penny and hes enjoying it just as much as me and sure it can be a little slower for him to get stuff but it doesn’t beat you into subbing.

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