Star Trek Online Open Beta LiveBlog Bonanza Part 3

Continuing on from Star Trek Online Open Beta LiveBlog Bonanza Part 2

7:02 pm GMT, Day 2

There’ve been no further patches or patch notes since the emergency patch of last night.

Our replacement hero, Arkturos Reh is getting ready to leave Stardock in search of new adventures. So he beams back to his ship, and heads, for the first time, to Sector Space! And then gets disconnected before I can take a picture, and I can’t get back in just yet.

Think of this as a commercial break during an episode (though I suspect everyone just watches them on DVD or downloads them these days!).

7:23 pm GMT, Day 2

We’re back in. This is Sector Space:

Star Trek Online Tutorial 11 Sector Space 300x173

Sector Space in Star Trek Online

This particular sector is called the Vulcan Sector, lying in the Sirius Sector Block. From here we can see a variety of star systems, and other points of interest. When you select them, you can choose to warp to their location, but it seems like you can also choose to chug about at impulse speed so I’ll do that for now to get a feel for it. You can also see a wide variety of player and NPC ships going about their business.

Lieutentant Reh’s purpose here is to find a merchant vessel called the SS Azura which has gone missing. Turns out it really isn’t all that missing as I can see it from over here. We’d better go make sure they’re alright.

7:51 pm GMT, Day 2

Star Trek Online Tutorial 12 Distress Call

A Damsel in Distress!

Jinkies! A distress call! Now we’re cooking with gas. Answering distress calls is just the sort of thing a Star Fleet Officer ought to be doing.

Can’t seem to stay more than 10 seconds in the game at the moment. Not long after loading into Sector Space a big red “Server is not responding” appears, and I get kicked. I shall persevere though! The SS Azura needs me! As I (rather kindly, I thought) keep stressing, it’s Beta, and this sort of thing is expected.

8:48 pm GMT, Day 2

Stability returned, and we made it to the Azura, and my toughest fight so far.

The SS Azura is beset by Orion raiders, four of the nasty folks, and they know how to use their weapons. I lost my shields completely on the port side, but managed to dispose of them eventually. Heading back over to the Azura, we can’t raise anyone, so we beam on over.

There are plasma leaks all over the ship. These’ll need to be vented by using consoles along the way. I expect the ship is also snooing with Orion pirates. Good thing I brought a little assistance!

Star Trek Online Tutorial 13 Away Team 300x171

The Away Team!

As I only have one bridge officer, the mysterious T’rix, whose favourite meal of the day is breakfast, I’ve got a few security officers along for the ride. I’ll *try* to be a better Captain than Kirk when it comes to keeping them alive.

You can get a good look at the group UI in that pic. Standard pet commands like passive mode and attack, though they’re generally pretty smart about making themselves useful without being micro-managed.

In a game with so many customisation options, it’s a bit odd that two of my security officers appear to be twins. Maybe life expectancy is so short as a red shirt they had to start cloning them.

9:14 pm GMT, Day 2

So far so good. I’ve found some crewmembers and stabilised their wounds, but we can’t get them back to sickbay until we’ve dealt with these plasma leaks.

Next to the first plasma leak is a handy console for turning it off. Unfortunately, when I wandered up to the console, T’Rix decided to take a shower in the plasma. Not smart Ensign T’rix. Not smart at all. I managed to turn off the plasma before he was too horribly burned.

I also found my first loot! A barrel with a couple of bits of consumable gear. The enemies also occasionally drop some too.

The Orions are tough. It’s a good thing I have a full team or I wouldn’t stand a chance. In combat my away team is fairly intelligent, moving to flank, rolling around, and healing eachother.

Out of combat though they have a tendency to get stuck on things or go wandering off. I just had to revive two of them that somehow managed to wander into another plasma leak that I never even went near. Cryptic need to make sure that the AI understands that fire and plasma are bad things to stand in.

9:42 pm GMT, Day 2

We fight our way through to the Captain of the SS Azura. The warp core is going critical, and she asks us to escort her crew to safety, while she remains to try to buy us time before the warp core breaches. A noble gesture that I really hope doesn’t end with me having to watch the ship explode with her still onboard.

On the way back, we continue to be menaced by rather scary Orions. We do finally get them all back to the aft cargo bay, far enough from the core to be able to beam out. I am suddenly informed that more Orion ships are on the way, so I beam back ready for battle.

But what’s this? They want to talk!

Star Trek Online Tutorial 14 Orion Captain

It's not easy being green. Arkturos knows this well.

Actually they just wanted to threaten me a bit before the fight started. Anyhows, they were taught not to mess with the Federation, and I was able to beam Captain Brott to safety mere moments before the SS Azura exploded.

10:07 pm GMT, Day 2

Has a bit of a chat with Captain Brott, who explained a little about what is going on in the quadrant. The Orions have allied with the Klingons, and need to be stopped! Seems a bit of an odd choice of allies for the oh so honourable Klingons, but there you have it.

I’m about to return to Sector Space when we pick something up on the scanners. An anomaly! We go in for a closer look.

Star Trek Online Tutorial 15 Anomaly 300x173

I prefer paradox.

Anomalies appear to be akin to harvesting nodes in other MMO, as you can use the various bits and bobs you find in them in a rudimentary form of crafting. You take them to a scientist back at the Spacedock, and she’ll turn them into handy gear if you have the correct amounts and combinations of ingredients. I’ve encountered a few already, including onboard the Azura.

10:36 pm GMT, Day 2

After checking in with the Admiral and getting my reward (including a new science officer for my bridge crew) for saving the crew of the Azura I decide to give the patrol mission I picked up a try.

In “Patrol the Vulcan Sector” I am asked to visit four star systems within the sector to make sure they’re alright. Lets see how it goes. I’m sure they’re all perfectly fine! But first I’m going to have a snack.

11:10 pm GMT, Day 2

The first stop along my patrol, the Kei system, has been completed. That took a lot longer than I expected, with me needing to destroy 10 ships about the place. It was the Orions again, this time menacing a mining outpost. It might have gone a bit quicker if my photon torpedo launcher button hadn’t become permanently greyed out for no apparent reason so I was stuck with only using phasers.

I might leave the rest of the patrol for later. I want to try an exploration mission, but haven’t quite figured out where you get them yet!

00:09 am GMT, Day 2

I decided to continue with the patrol mission, and headed to the Bhea system. There again the Orions had been busy, and I was instructed to destroy seven dry dock facilities they had there, along with any defending ships. T’rix helpfully informed me that the Federation had authorised using force for this.

I haven’t yet encountered any problem that the Federation won’t authorise force for, and that has me a bit worried. I was expecting to be able to disable vessels by shooting out their engines or neutralising their weapons systems. That’s what Picard would do if he could. Instead all my enemies are dead. That’s pretty efficient but feels more like Galactica than Star Trek.

Anyhows, I exploded all those drydocks, along with anybody unfortunate enough to be on board them. They had no offensive capacity without their ships, so I’m not sure why they needed to be blown up so urgently. Lieutenant Reh begins to wonder if he has inadvertently stepped into the Mirror Universe.

Onwards to the Pico system, where I strongly suspect someone will need killing.

00:29 am GMT, Day 2

Or perhaps not!

Star Trek Online Tutorial 16 Pico Transport Rescue

An errand of mercy!

I found the ship amongst the Asteroids, and lead it back to safety.

Star Trek Onine Tutorial 17 Pico Asteroid Field 300x171

Asteroid Rescue in Star Trek Online

Mission accomplished, with no shots fired! Some of the space zones are pretty breathtaking. That was a great asteroid belt.

Last stop for this patrol mission is the Beytan system.

00:56 pm GMT, Day 2

Another peaceful mission.

Star Trek Online Tutorial 18 Beytan Miner Dispute 300x191

A Miner Disagreement

In this one you beam down to the planet, and have to talk to various miners to find out whats making them so upset. You then return to the chap above, and he quizes you on what they said, with insultingly simple yes/no answers. If you get them right, that makes the miners happy, and off you trot on your way.

The Vulcan Sector Patrol is done! Crikey, that was a long business, though you get small rewards at the end of each system’s submission. I pick a Bolian engineering officer as my reward, though it turns out to be a Bajoran woman.

Finishing that patrol seems to have unlocked exploration missions, so I’ll do one of them next.

The antics continue in Star Trek Online Open Beta LiveBlog Bonanza Part 4!

16 comments to Star Trek Online Open Beta LiveBlog Bonanza Part 3

  • I really hope diplomatic missions like that last one get more challenging. I was also feeling a little insulted by the simple yes/no answers to get past it. It was a memory game, not diplomacy, and that’s just kinda dumb. I’m hoping it’s that way for tutorial purposes, or even better, as a beta placeholder for something smarter later.

    There ARE a couple of situations (you’ve probably already found them, but I’m still catching up) where you get to be more merciful, but so far there doesn’t seem to be any option to merely disable enemy combatants…

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