The War against the Iconians is on hand in Star Trek Online.
Last week, the new feature episode was released that featured the return of the Iconians to the Alpha Quadrant from…well, let’s just say farther away than one might expect. And the initial indications are bad-they’ve come loaded for bear. Can even the alliance of the three great powers of the galaxy (okay, of the Alpha/Beta Quadrants; the Dominion doesn’t seem to have been invited) be able to stand up against this invasion?
Apparently not. This week, the Delta Recruitment has begun. New characters created over the coming weeks who go through their faction’s tutorial will find themselves contacted by an unexpected source-from the future, one year from the beginning of the game. (For those unaware, the game’s timelime moved up to 2410 fairly recently, but the beginning episodes in the game take place in 2409. Don’t look at it too closely; it’ll make your head hurt.) The sources warn that these new players will be instrumental in preparing the galaxy for the Iconian treat-and they must succeed, because otherwise the future won’t have happened. Or something like that. Time travel makes my head hurt.
That’s our basic storyline. Now for the practical realities. New characters created going through the tutorial gain the accolade “Delta Recruit”, which opens up special objectives during certain missions, and allows for assorted special rewards that apply to that character-and open up special rewards for all character on an account, which is a clever way of convincing folks to run through all the content in the game again. This has, shockingly, made some folks very annoyed. I’m not one of them, but then, I’m an altoholic, and that’s not likely to change soon. Once the Delta Recruitment period ends, characters who have that accolade can still work towards all the rewards involved-the period of time only requires you have characters created and run through the tutorials in that time. Some of those are faster than others; you can get through the Klingon and Romulan tutorials fairly quickly, but the Starfleet one take substantially more time. I’m guessing this is Cryptic’s figuring that new players will naturally gravitate to Starfleet before trying Klingons or Romulans. I’m not gonna judge them here.
Is it really so shocking, then, with all of this, that I’d build three new characters? Would I do something so insane?
Not convincing anyone here. I took some time to create a new character for each faction: Federation, Klingon, Romulan. We’re in the early days, but I have good feelings about them; the Iconians won’t have a chance against them! Hopefully.
The Wrath of Raa’th is coming.
As noted in previous posts, until the advent of something resembling exploration returns to STO, the Klingons will be my primary go-to characters (even if my Starfleeters see action to help get that starbase built up), so the character who will go through the Delta Grinder first is Raa’th. Yes, my concept around the character is pretty much in the name when you consider homonyms. He’s a Gorn Science officer; I really considered making him a Tactical guy, but I have a bunch of ships claimed over the years from free promotions, and I wanted to run with them-and one of the higher tier ones is a Gorn vessel-which has more Science bridge officer slots. That ship may or may not wind up being the endgame ship for this guy; I may also wind up giving him the science version of the Bortasqu’ ship. Fortunately, I’ve got a long way to go. This character is definitely going to be more of the debuff/buff Science than the medical/healing Science character. Finally, just because it amuses me, he’ll only be using one ranged weapon; the other weapon slot will remain unarmed, because I enjoy watching Gorn smack around his opponents. (He’ll probably have to use a bat’leth for one of the KDF missions, though.)
Green is such an unrepresented color for a Romulan, isn’t it?
On the Romulan side, I have Xenon, a Romulan Tactical officer. The character creator helped me decide his general concept, oddly enough. When looking at the pre-built uniforms in the creator, one option was called “gunslinger”. Well, that triggered a chain of thoughts in my head; the Romulans start on a colony world, and that puts me in mind of the Old West, and that puts me in mind of the presence of gunslingers in that era…and so the idea was born. I imagine the character will primarily use pistols as his weapons, and probably one of them will be the “dual pistols” because that’s just how he rolls. The Romulan ships are pretty much locks, however, due to the fact that even with Delta Recruit Dilithium bonuses, I won’t have enough to be purchasing allied-faction ships. That said: I do have some from the giveaways over the years, so I might see if I can claim those on the character. The endgame ship, almost by necessity, will be one of the Scimitar variants. Not sure if he’ll ally with the Klingons or the Federation yet, but I’m leaning Fed-because I need more characters capable of generating common duty officers to feed into starbase construction. Plus, there are Delta Rising awards for joining a fleet and hitting level 30, so why would I deprive myself of that?
“Can you read my mind?” Chances are, she can.
Speaking of Starfleet, Dynah Istori is my final Delta Recruit, and she’s a Betazoid Engineering officer. I was really iffy about species on this character; I’d considered a Bolian, a Talaxian (hey, gotta consider one of those lifetime sub benefits!), and a Ferengi, but finally settled on Betazoids. Since that species is known for its telepaths, I figured I could eventually work a concept around that. Since Starfleet is at the bottom of my chain at the moment, I haven’t given much thought about the direction of development for the character; I’ll need to look over the kit abilities and figure out how I want to go. I’m tempted to go the fabrication route where she builds in turrets and generators, but my main Klingon does that. Shipwise, it’ll likely be cruisers all the way, where I can take ruthless advantage of the character’s class to train up skills for Engineering bridge officers to use. That said, I need to look over the free ships I’ve accumulated over the years to see where she’ll land. Endgame-wise, I have a number of options to go with for the character, and the Engineering-specific Odyssey seems like a front runner. But I could also see myself using the Vet-Chimera, which has the benefit of effectively being a tier-5U. She is, of course, likely to join my preexisting Fleet so I can use her to help churn those duty officers for the Starbase. (When you can get, realistically at best, 2 officers of the type you need every four days, and you need 30 to advance a project, you sort of need to have a bunch of characters contributing.)
I figure this should do a good job on occupying some time in STO. These characters, despite their Delta Recruit status, are still not considered my main characters, although they’ll likely displace other characters to reach secondary status. They’ll probably not max out all Reputations (although the Delta Rewards will allow them to get legs up on some of them), and they’ll certainly not end up as kitted out as Walt, Kelleth, and Ailar. But they should likely wind up in a position to sit at the same table with them. Obviously, when new content comes out, I’ll certainly be going back to those mains to do it first-but it’s always interesting to develop new characters, especially in a time when my interest has been lagging.