Star Trek Online Open Beta LiveBlog Bonanza Part 9

Continuing on from Star Trek Online Open Beta LiveBlog Bonanza Part 8.

Or you could start at the beginning (It’s a very good place to start) with Part 1!

9:08 am GMT, Day 8

Onwards and upwards. For Lieutenant Reh’s next mighty deed we go on to the 4th sector patrol with “Patral the Kassae Sector”. The Kassae Sector is of the Regulus Sector Block.

It seems that each sector is progressively more difficult, giving you a very simple progression through space. You’re lead forward by the missions you receive, especially the patrol ones.

The Servin System is a space combat. I have to confess I did this one last night before going to bed and forgot to write it down, and it has now blurred into every other space combat I’ve done. That is the problem with STO missions. They do mostly all seem very similar to eachother, without the distinctive locations or opponents that might cause them to stick in your memory.

At the Dace System, an archaeological research team has been unearthing proto-reptilian artifacts, and the Gorn (who’s empire once covered this area, and lay claim to the territory) are taking an interest. This may tie in to the Researcher Rescue mission I did yesterday, or alternately just be a rehash of the same plotline. Star Fleet has detected increased Gorn activity and, because diplomacy is SO 24th century, needs you to kill 5 squadrons of them. And thus the scientists are safe to go plundering the Gorn’s history.

I transwarp back to Earth Spacedock to have a rummage through the Fleet bank, which is getting a bit full. Transwarp is an instant teleport to Sol, with a 30 minute cooldown. Quite handy as the Regulus Sector Block does not appear to have a starbase.

10:24 am GMT, Day 8

After flying back to the Kassae sector, it’s time to get on with the patrol. To the Sardah system! A world ringed with the debris of ancient battles. Prime salvaging opportunities for the Sardahians, but the Nausicaans are harrassing their efforts, seeking the salvage for themselves. Up with this we shall not put!

At the final stop on the Kassae sector patrol, we find the Cernan system. All seems quiet.

But wait, Ensign Rosseau is picking up signs of ship debris from the planet surface. A ship may have crashed there recently. We should beam down to check for survivors. I hope they were lava-proof, whoever they were.

Star Trek Online Cernan Orbit 300x177

I really don't want to go down there.

I can only pick one member for my away team this time, so I choose Ensign Luc Rosseau, the USS Madrigal’s Chief Medical Officer. Because I suspect I’m going to need a doctor pretty quick down there.

On arrival, it’s a lot more habitable than it looked from space. Scanning the wreckage, we discover is is from the Benzite ship, Ranek, which went missing some years ago. Our task is to find four more pieces of wreckage on the planet.

It’s hide and seek, and we find them pretty quickly. With the extra scan data we ascertain that the Ranek was taken by surprise by an Orion vessel, presumably after it’s cargo.

And that’s that. It’s over. Very often with STO missions you feel a lot like you’ve just watched the first fifteen minutes of a Star Trek episode, and then the power has cut out so you never got to find out what actually happens. Where are the surviving Benzites, driven mad after years trapped here? What were the Orions after?

And with Cerdan done, we finish the overquest, “Patrol the Kassae Sector”

2:09 pm GMT, Day 8

We travel to the Arucanis Arm in the Regulus Sector Block. Like the Delta Volanis cluster, this is an area for doing Exploration missions. Presumably slightly higher level ones than in Delta Volanis. Once again, it is a zone filled with anomalies, some of which allow you to explore an unkown planet, and others being harvestable for resources. Some of the resources harvested here are of the blue tier 2 variety, and it turns out it’s a great spot to come if you’re after them.

Let’s visit an unknown system!

System 710-U18 turns out to not be terribly unknown, as when I arrive I am asked by Starfleet to check out a mining outpost here. They’re not responding to out hails, so we’ll go closer.

Aha. It’s that odd green and red fellow again.

Star Trek Online Tutorial 41 Mining Station Hail

A miner difficulty. Oh wait, did I use that joke earlier?

That little fellow pops up everywhere. I’m told that he’s actually from Champions Online, so presumably he is a placeholder for a wide variety of interesting folks.

Anyhows, the Klingons are coming so I suppose I’d better go blow them up.

A few waves of Klingons later, the miners cheer and send me on my way.

Lieutenant Grall gave me a mission to do three of these Exploration missions here, so I’ll do a couple more.

2:40 pm GMT, Day 8

System Sigma Majoris 0723-D is little more than an asteroid field. Ahh, we’re being hailed.

Our green and red friend, now working for the local law enforcement, asks me to find sign of some freighters that have gone missing near my coordinates. My task is to find one of those ships within this asteroid field. Luckily, it’s right there 20 kilometers in front of me.

Scans reveal that foul play was probably involved, but now I need to find two more ships, just to make sure.

After finding two more wrecks, scans are revealing some residual anti-protons. To gain more information, we must find another two wrecks.

Star Trek Online 41 Asteroid Field 300x177

They seek it here. They seek it there.

I find the 4th wreck, but the 5th is proving to be extremely elusive. I’m not saying it isn’t there. I’m just saying that I’ve used the best search pattern I can think of for the last 15 minutes and not found it. In the interests of sanity, I abort the mission.

3:16 pm GMT, Day 8

Rho Equulei Y821-Rho is an old battlefield, from the Federation-Tzenkethi war. Sensors show some odd readings, and I am to search for 5 anomalies. While very similar to the last mission, at least this time what I’m looking for is a bright red glowey thing, rather than something that does a good job of impersonation a rock from a distance.

Wait a minute. This all seems terribly familiar.

We’ve been here before, back in part 5. In those distant days Rho Equulei Y821-Rho was part of the Delta Volanis cluster. I had assumed the star names and missions were being randomly generated, but it turns out this in not the case. I wonder how many of these exploration missions there really is then.

Oh well, at least I managed to complete it with no difficulties.

3:44 pm GMT, Day 8

System Delta Mensae X-Q VB is where we arrive at next. A genuinely unexplored world, we detect a warp-capable civilisation, and move closer to make First Contact! Woot! Now this is why I joined Starfleet!

They hail us from the surface. They ask if we have any medical supplies. The last time we had a mission like this, back in part 4, I didn’t have the 10 shield generators required. To ensure I was never so embarrassed again I have since bought 10 units of each sort of supply, just in case. Except that I ran out of energy credits, and couldn’t get 10 medical supplies…

I abort the mission, and sadly it does not give me the option of going back there. I do still have a button asking if I want to continue the Sigma Majoris one looking for wrecks, but I have no intention of ever going back there.

Never again shall I be caught out by this! I transwarp back to Sol to go shopping. Because clearly Starfleet wouldn’t give my medical supplies unless I sold them some torpedo launchers first.

3:58 pm GMT, Day 8

You do occasionally find the different sorts of supplies planets ask for as loot, but very rarely. I’ve found maybe 5 so far, of different types, and the planets ask for 10.

After the five minute trip back from Sol, I head into another unexplored world. System Xi Chi 829 has an underground Klingon base that needs clearing out. I ready my away team for action.

At first the bunker appears empty, and we go in search of a computer to find out exactly what the Klingons were up to here. We find one, but its memory files have been wiped.

Ensign Rosseau warns me that Klingons have just beamed down into the base from their ship. They should be able to give us some answers so I decide to track them down. This was a mistake.

Star Trek Online Tutorial 42 Incapacitated 300x178

I'm just resting.

This is the view from the floor. The Klingon team was a little larger and better prepared than expected and has put everybody except Ensign Jandara out of action. Astonishingly, she manages to defeat the remaining Klingons. Her ability to recharge personal shields helped a lot with that. Would have been nice if she’d used that a bit more on the rest of us while we were all still concious. Still, once she has sorted the Klingons out, she revives Ensign T’Rix. He, with far better priorities, runs over to revive me.

A rather painful victory, but victory nonetheless. We finish up, and move along home.

4:50 pm GMT, Day 8

I travel to System R-603 Q by mistake. I’d contacted Lieutenant Grall to hand in my “Do three explorations” mission, but when I hit the button to accept my reward, it instead sent me back into the anomaly. But seeing as it is another planet desiring resources, which I have yet to succeed at, I’ll give it a go. I’d like to know what happened when you actually have the right resources to help them.

The answer is that they take my 1000 energy credits worth of goods, say “Thankyou very much,”, and then that’s the end of it. You get 26 skill points, but it hardly seems a particularly efficient sort of mission to do. If the mission was more than simply:

a) Fly up to planet.
b) Press the button to find out what resource they want.
c) Press the button to give it to them.

then I might be a bit more satisfied from a roleplaying perspective. But, by golly, this variety of mission is utterly primitive. It’s a sop for folks who said they wanted more than just combat missions. I do not feel sopped. I do not know if I can even use the word “sop” like that, but at this point I don’t care. Give me my resources back, you green and red omnipresent placeholding disgrace!

Deep breath.

This liveblog shall now calmly proceed in Star Trek Online Open Beta LiveBlog Bonanza Part 10

7 comments to Star Trek Online Open Beta LiveBlog Bonanza Part 9

  • Your review is very entertaining… but I’m not leaning towards getting STO as a result. :D (Not that i was beforehand – pulling your leg here.)

    I’m getting the feeling, from the blogosphere reviews, that this one *may* last for rabid Star Trek fans and maybe for the PvP crowd? Then again, City of X is also incredibly simple in design and that’s lasted fairly well for what, almost 5 years. Simplicity appeals to some (for me, it gets tedious fairly quickly).

    • I think Star Trek fans are the ones most disappointed by STO. So very little of Star Trek is actually about ship combat, but that’s what STO is essentially all about. It has no real character interaction. I’m going to sum it all up eventually. As it stands, it’s an entertaining little game, and I’ll play out my free month, but I don’t know how it could possibly hold my interest beyond that, as there really is not much variety..

      Before I make any conclusionary post I want to get a few more levels, and see what the upcoming major beta patch does.

      I consider CoH/CoV to be vastly superior to Champions or Star Trek Online I’m afraid.

      • I will be putting this dainzlzg insight to good use in no time.

      • Seriously, since I fear my comment at 2/14/2008 12:39 PM reads awfully glib, there are times I find I’d like to be alone, there are times I’d like company, there are times when I’m down where I need to honor that feeling, and there are times when I just could really use a good laugh or two.In Shakespeare, most of the tragedies focus on an individual. Most of the comedies are about a whole community. That is not a coincidence. But I’m commenting too damn much.

  • I will admit that I’m still holding out some hope — possibly in vain — that they will in fact begin writing better quests once they have five seconds to breathe. I gather that the development of this game was extremely rapid, something like 18 months for what is usually a 3-5 year project.

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