Star Trek Online Open Beta LiveBlog Bonanza Part 5

Continuing on from Star Trek Online Open Beta LiveBlog Bonanza Part 4. You could also head to the beginning of this saga with Part 1

00:01 am GMT, Day 3

Upon logging on after getting cut off by the emergency maintenance last night I find myself back in the Delta Volanis cluster. There is a button on the right that offers me the opportunity to return to the mission I was in, and I accept.

Beaming down, the planet is the same as I remember it, but my number of objectives completed has changed from 2/5 to 0/5. This would be fine, except that my objectives were to defeat groups of Klingons, and there no longer appear to be any Klingons to be found. Never mind, I’ll just abort, and find another planet to explore.

Before I go I have a quick run around to try to find the two anomalies my scanners say are here, but they prove as elusive as the Klingons.

00:19 am GMT, Day 3

It turns out that in the Delta Volanis cluster map, only some of the anomalies lead to missions. Some are harvested for resources as normal.

System Rho Equulei Y821-Rho is another “find the anomalies in space” mission like the first exploration mission I did, though on a completely different map. This time it is salvage from the Tzenkethi war I am looking for. Finished up with no problems.

On arriving at my final exploration mission I am attacked without warning by Orion pirates.

Star Trek Online Tutorial 22 Orion Corvette 300x161

Space views are frequently breathtaking.

After defeating the initial assault, I am authorised to destroy five more groups of enemy ships. It is done, and with that I have completed three exploration missions, and fulfilled Lieutenant Grall’s request. He does not offer me anything further at this point, but it seems I can come to Delta Volanis and do Explorations whenever I choose.

01:00 am GMT, Day 3

With that out of the way, lets try a Secure type mission now, which I’ve been given by Commander Akira Sulu, who deals with patrol and secure missions. I know..Akira. It’s like they shouted around the office for a Japanese sounding name, and the only person who knew any was an anime fan. He is the great-grandson of Mr Hikaru Sulu of the Enterprise, and I wish they had taken a bit more time on naming him.

Anyhows, a secure mission involves looking for enemies in Sector Space, in this case Sirius Sector Block. They’re the only orange things on the map, so they’re easy enough to spot. Akin to public quests in Warhammer, you’ll be thrown into a pitched battle with a large number of enemies on one side, and a random selection of players on the other.

The good thing about Cryptic’s single server policy is that you will almost always find an ample number of people in the world doing the Secure mission as you, so a sufficient supply of allies is almost certain.

Star Trek Online Tutorial 23 Secure Sector 300x177

Federation vs Klingons. Battle Royale!

In this particular one we had to defeat 8 groups of Klingon warships. Doing that gives you one completion of the secure mission. As Mr Sulu wants 3, I found it best to stay in the instance and wait for it to reset for another battle.

The only fly in the ointment is that a lot of people seem to just be hanging around at the spawn point. As you get credit for victory just for being there, some folks would rather just take up space and not participate. Rather a shame, but I’m sure it would be easily rectified by only giving credit if you spend some time in combat mode.

1:53 am GMT, Day 3

I’ve been avoiding what seems to be the main plotline, from Admiral Quinn, while I checked out some of the repeatable content. Now it is time to rejoin it, with a rather mundane job delivering a Vulcan ambassador.

Star Trek Online Tutorial 24 Ambassador Sokketh

He doesn’t actually look particularly Vulcan, though he does have pointy ears. I’m told that a lot of the appearances ingame at the moment are placeholders, and I guess this chap might be one of them.

2:30 am GMT, Day 3

One mysterious thing at Stardock is the cluster of merchants at the centre of the station. They sell a variety of nice items, for all levels, for a currency called “badges of exploration”. To date, nobody has figured out where these can be obtained. The name suggests you’d get them from Exploration missions, but as yet, badges of exploration do not seem to have been implemented.

P’Jem isn’t very far at all, being in the Vulcan Sector, so I’ll head off and drop the Ambassador there.

03:21 am GMT, Day 3

On arriving at P’Jem we are hailed by a Klingon vessel. Their captain accuses Ambassador Sokketh of being an Undine, better known (to me at least) as Species 8472. Odd, as I don’t remember them being shapeshifters, and this situation is more reminiscent to me of the Klingons accusing everybody of being Changelings back in the Dominion War. (Update: Turns out they do have the technology to reconstruct themselves to resemble another being. This is a serious undertaking though, and I would think they could not take multiple forms like a changeling can. They can revert to their original form though.)

Star Trek Online Tutorial 25 Undine Menace

The Klingon Captain believes the Vulcan Ambassador is an Undine

Our pleasant and informative chat turns nasty, and we’re forced to destroy the Captain and his cohorts. As the smoke clears, Mr T’Rix informs me that the scanners are picking up Klingons on the planet surface, and the monks may be in danger. They’re going to be pretty upset when they find out I’ve blown up their ride home, so I’d better get down there and “pacify” them. Though if I know Vulcan monks they’ve probably already got them tied up in a sack.

3:57 am GMT, Day 3

The monastery of P’Jem is a beautiful place. I’m not far enough into the game to know whether this is a unique map, or whether these maps are regularly reused, but this one is a nice bit of work, with some impressive architecture.

Star Trek Online Tutorial 26 PJem Monastery 300x178

P'Jem. Come for the Klingons, stay for the view.

After fighting our way up the hill, we discover that the Klingons were quite right, and Ambassador Sokketh is indeed a shapechanging fiend. Sorry about that. He beams down to the planet to rough us up a little, then runs off. We pursue, having to fight through various groups of Klingons who didn’t notice the Undine run past them. Once we get to the bottom a scan reveals residual transporter energy, so we deduce that he has transported to a hidden ship. These Undine are totally working from the Changeling playbook, it seems. Beam us up, Mr T’Rex!

Stuck loading for a few minutes, then when I get back in the “floating man in space” bug rears its ugly head again. Once he returns to ship form, I’m in for a treat.

The Undine ship is much too powerful for me to handle on my own, so Starfleet is sending reinforcements. I have to survive two minutes under some heavy bombradment. The situation can be helped by destroying the Undine’s shootable torpedos when it launches them. Might as well, as my guns can’t scratch their ship.

After two minutes the cavalry arrive, and between us we destroy the Undine vessel. We move in to scan the debris. The information gained will be very useful to Starfleet Intelligence.

That was an interesting little variation on the regular space flights there. Liked that a lot. Back to Sector Space we go.

4:59 am GMT, Day 3

That’s something I don’t much like about Sector Space. You’re supposed to be at warp, but it just feels so crowded. There is none of the blackness of space as you travel from star to star. Other players are everywhere. They’re not really there in a way that you can interact with them much, but they’re all buzzing about messing up the view.

Star Trek Online Tutorial 27 Sector Space 300x179

Just seems a bit busy and confusing.

It just seems a bit busy to me. I’ve no idea what the sweeping blue curvy river-like things are. It feels more like you’re flying around in the Enterprise’s map room, than in space.

Enterprise Stellar Cartography

The Enterprise's Stellar Cartography Map Room.

7:05 am GMT, Day 3

Carrying on the main plot, I’m going to head down to the Paulson Nebula in the Lackey System, Orion Sector. I’ve not shown the mission log UI yet, so here’s a pic.

Star Trek Online Tutorial 28 Mission Log

Star Trek Online Mission Log

12:39 pm GMT, Day 4

The adventures continue in Star Trek Online Open Beta LiveBlog Bonanza Part 6!

6 comments to Star Trek Online Open Beta LiveBlog Bonanza Part 5

  • The sector space thing has been bugging me from the first, but I think you’ve hit the nail right on the head with the way they’re really presenting it. This is not a realistic view of a sector of starships on patrol — it’s a stylized tactical view like you might get in Stellar Cartography or Seven of Nine’s Astrometrics Lab. Which is fine, if they’d just go ahead and call it that, because I find the terminology “sector space” to be very jarring.

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