Archive for the “Star Trek Online” Category

Computer, freeze simulation Tipa alpha six

Computer, freeze simulation Tipa alpha six

Sooooooo I log into Star Trek Online after being away for several months. With the Romulans coming, I’d better get familiar with the game again, right? My monthly stipend of Zen (cash shop currency) for being a subscriber has built up enough that I could get the three-pack of Andorian escort ships I’ve been wanting since pretty much Day One for free. Free in a sense, given I’ve been subscribing to a game that I haven’t been actively playing. But, I wouldn’t be out any _additional_ cash.

But… Romulans as a playable faction are something I’ve been wanting ever since I maxed out Tipa D’zoph’s level, but with that not available, played through the Klingon storyline with my sexy old school Klingon captain.

Now, though, they’re on their way! And with a whole bunch of new ships!

Problem is… I can only play two MMOs at once, and that is one more than I probably SHOULD play. Before Neverwinter, it was EQ2 and DC Universe Online. When Neverwinter launched, DCUO dropped to our Sunday night game. I am really hoping that The Elder Scrolls Online and Wildstar would be considerate and space themselves out enough so I could finish Neverwinter before moving to one of those two…..

…. And then yesterday’s bombshell: Rift, my most recent “Play just one MMO, for a year” experiment, has gone F2P. I’d dropped the game when I’d finished all the group content at the time and had found, again, that the raiding lifestyle is not something I can deal with any longer. They’ve added a whole lot of new content since then, but once gone, it’s not easy to return, especially since I’d be pulling out the checkbook to even check out the new stuff.

In June, that won’t be an excuse.

I just have no idea, whatsoever, where I’m supposed to get the time to return to the game. But, it’s definitely worth checking out once more.

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The Enterprise C and a time ship battle a Tholian fleet

There’s only so much reading about all the fun the people in the Federation News Service were having in Star Trek Online before I had to patch up, log in, and check for myself.

It’s been a very long time since I last did more than just log in; since that time, the stalwart Publishers and Editors of FNS tirelessly constructed a starbase and even sent an embassy to New Romulus.

Since I’ve been gone, apparently the Rommies have finally found a new world to call their own. And, being Romulans, immediately set to fighting among themselves, since they don’t (yet?) have the power to band together to conquer everyone else.

The USS Manchester approaches an anomaly

My ship had been in space dock for the past year or so, being repaired and refitted while my bridge and duty officers took on additional training and some much needed time to reconnect with their families. To shakedown the re-fit Manchester, Starfleet ordered us to the New Romulus area to check out some mysterious anomalies.

We chased anomalies around the sector as they opened and closed until we were able to close enough on one to give it a good scan, and then —

Aboard the freighter Manchester

And then I was the captain of the Freighter Manchester, docking with a Tholian space station. The Tholians (I somehow knew) had been paid off with this section of the Beta Quadrant by the Dominion during their invasion of the Alpha Quadrant through the Bajoran wormhole.

I was offered a free trip to the replicator by a disgruntled human after I dropped off the cargo. He seemed familiar. I spotted familiar looking faces all over the station, actually, and when I was approached at the replicator by a human who claimed to be from an alternate reality, I had a good guess why.

He introduced me to a woman who claimed that not only was she a Starfleet officer, but that she was from the _past_, and that she had on the way to a place even further in the past, but had been thrown to this future instead. (This character was voiced by “Southland” and “Mad Men” star Denise Crosby).

Her ship, the Enterprise C, had been dragged to this base by the Tholians. We needed to free it and bring things back to the way they ought to be. Unfortunately, a Tholian in an environment suit blocked the way — and he had no issues with stunning me to unconsciousness when I tried to snuggle past.

Well, he WAS sexy, in a spidery sort of way. You know, for a Tholian.

Nobody ever checks the maintenance tubes

I managed to convince one of the refugees to cause a distraction; I hacked through the lock console and headed into the maintenance tunnels.

The environmental controls, inexplicably put in the maintenance tunnels, could be tuned to replace the poisonous, broiling hot atmosphere in the control room with one more suitable to humanoids. These controls were in the maintenance tunnels. And could not be overridden in the control room itself. Just pointing that out. Environmental controls should always be placed in inconvenient places and unguarded.

(The maintenance tunnels were kinda fun; as I crawled through them, it filled in a “hand drawn map”. There were many things besides maintenance controls in that labyrinth, and each one was another accolade.)

With the Tholians incapacitated by the retuned environment, I exited into the control room and let the rest of the merry crew in, including Tasha Yar (voiced by Denise Crosby, best known as Dr. Mary Speake in “The X-Files”). We set to work freeing the Enterprise-C without resistance. Ran down the docking tunnel, and escaped the base.

Enterprise C escapes the Tholian base

Home free! Just need to get to the closest anomaly and… And then the reinforcements came, Tholian Web ships to keep us pinned down, then a flotilla of other ships and lastly a Tarantula/Recluse-class dreadnaught… We fought back, destroyed many ships. All power to weapons and shields; the Ent-C was a “yar” ship (as was Tasha Yar, voiced by “Baywatch’s” Emily Morgan). Wasn’t looking forward to taking on the dreadnaught, when a mysterious, unfamiliar ship warped in and took it out for us. Together we cleaned up the rest of the ships.

It was a timeship! Come from the future to ensure the integrity of the past. The way was clear to the anomaly; the Ent-C dove in and then….

Aboard the Time Ship

… and then I was beamed onto the time ship by a “Captain Walker”. Who held me there until the Ent-C’s return to the past reset the timeline and I found myself back on the bridge of the USS Manchester, trying to get a lock on a spatial anomaly, but… no anomalies here.

When I reported back to Starfleet, they informed me that an “Ambassador”-class starship, the same class as the Enterprise-C, had unexpectedly been found mothballed in a distant system, and would the Federation News Service accept its loan in exchange for installing modern consoles and weapons?

Could happen….!

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In the cellar of any tavern

It took a long time, too long, before it all connected: there was a reason Bonnie Anne kept wanting to meet me in the cellars of any tavern. I’d noticed before that its patrons were all companions, of course; what I didn’t realize until after I’d recruited Rat Commander Ratbeard that they were all of MY companions.

So there ya go. If you want to see your companions outside of battle, head down to the cellar of any tavern. Also, on your companions screen, look for an exclamation mark on their portrait. This means that they have a promotion quest available. Bonnie Anne got hers at level 8; Ratbeard was recruited with his already active at level 10. I haven’t gotten to promotion level on any of the others, but in a random group, I heard that once Subodai, the horse barbarian, is promoted, he is pretty powerful.

Promotion for Ratbeard and Bonnie Anne got them each two “epic” powers — passive abilities which make them more dangerous to be around.

I finished up most of the quests in the Skull Island area and have moved to Puerto Mico, just in time to the headstart to end and millions of new players to start playing. The harbor master in Puerto Mico wants me to upgrade my ship, but I was poking around a bit and saw that for a bit more gold and a couple more levels, I could buy the next class up from THAT ship, a full on galleon. Though it’s doubtful I could also afford the fittings, still, we’ll see how long I can stick with my current ship.

The couple random encounters I’ve had haven’t been hopeful. I spent some time raising my nautical level, but the Monquistador ships still give me a pounding. I might have to take that minor upgrade and then start squirreling money away for the galleon. Maybe the money will be better in this new zone. I remember in Wizard101, you literally could not spend all the gold you’d get. But that was at the end game, where things are different.

Star Trek Online

I’d heard on G+ that Cryptic was giving away some pretty cool ships for their 1000 Day subscriber veteran reward. I like cool ships! There’s been issues with the counting for my vet rewards, though, and I didn’t really know if I’d passed the 1000 day point by their reckoning. Turned out I hadn’t, but I was eligible for the 900 day vet rewards, which weren’t all that incredible, but did include a special ship texture.

So I flew my Nebula-class science ship, the Concord, to Earth Star Base, and saw the ships master about a paint job. There it is above. It’s not very distinctive, especially considering how ornate some of the standard paint jobs can be, but it’s nice enough in a subtle way.

I saw work was progressing on the fleet starbase, but I didn’t travel to it, nor did I do any of the missions Starfleet had waiting for me.

They must consider me a sort of rogue captain, sailing the stars deep in some far quadrant, answerable only to my own missions of exploration. Probably Captain Kirk is out there, somewhere, chasing me down.

I still don’t know why I stopped playing. I was working all my characters through the last featured story arc, and then I didn’t feel like logging in again. I like the game, I like flying through space, I love internet spaceships, the game just lost its pull. I hope I get it back. A game really just needs to be more fun than watching TV or reading a book.

But, unfortunately for MMOs, there’s been a lot of good books this year, and TV has managed to be worthwhile, several times a week.

When an MMO gets all grindy, it’s really, really easy to find something else more fun to do. Just saying.

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I’ve been struggling to get through this comic. The only good joke I had was toward the end, and it was a slog getting through to that point. So, I’m going to just make a NEW comic that speeds through all this beginning stuff. Since it shouldn’t go to waste, here’s the prologue to part 2.

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