‘Tis the Season (Season Two, that is)

Season Two hit this week in Star Trek Online, and we’ve got a few bumps and bruises in the process.

Lag has been an ugly issue, but not insurmountable.  Devs indicate they’re working on that, and hopefully it will be better by the end of the week.

The diplomatic missions that are a part of the update are exactly what the game needed; the only problem is that there aren’t nearly enough of them.  That’s understandable-after all, no patch is going to put in the same amount of episodic content that the initial release put out, short of an actual expansion.  These things are incremental.  But if the devs commit to making more of this style of mission-which involves problem solving skills, yes (unless you go on the net and look up what someone else did to solve it)-the game will definitely have more of a Trek-like feel.  I can’t speak toward the first contact missions as of yet, as I have a ways to go before I can start getting those.  The comments I’ve heard about it are mostly positive, except for the “Trek Trivia” questions involved, which I feel is just…silly.  Fortunately, the Memory Alpha wiki is a resource I would expect would get past most of those, but still, I’d much prefer them to stick to using questions that mess with in-game lore more than external sources.  (Although if they were to include this stuff on the Library Computer in-game…I could see that working all right.)

The Klingon episodes have a number of significant bugs.  I’m afraid I can’t give personal experience on Live, but I certainly ran into them in the test environment, and forum comments indicate that this is still the case after the publish.  Given the usual attitude of the primary-Klingon players, I would hope the devs jump on this very, very quickly.  I think that most of them on the forums are drama queens, but if they’re going to get the content, they deserve to get it as solidly as the Feds-which is to say, if you see it bugged on the test server, fix it FIRST.

Ship interiors are one of those things that have mixed opinions about.  The downside is, aside from trophy displays, there really isn’t much point to them.  But they look incredible; I know that some of the assets were preexisting in other parts of the game, but you know what?  I don’t really care.  They look good, both on the Klingon and the Federation side of things.  What is needed now is functionality, and I am dead certain we’ll be seeing that at some point, sooner rather than later. What is the point of a research lab if there isn’t anything to research there?  And doesn’t the Sickbay just give you a really good reason to deal with those injuries from the difficulty system?  And by having these maps be more or less generic-while they might drive the folks who desire total customization crazy-it might enable the devs to include them in actual episodic content.  Who wouldn’t want to fight off attacking Klingons on your very bridge, or in your engineering section?  Who wouldn’t want to reap honor and glory by repelling alien boarders in your mess hall on a Klingon vessel?  A good portion of Star Trek took place on board the ships-if this design makes it possible to replicate in this game, I’m 100 percent behind it.

There’s other stuff I haven’t gotten to; there’s six new levels of advancement, to Vice Admiral 1; at that rank, there’s new “retrofit” ships available, although I’m unlikely to use them on my main (will probably consider for one or two of my alts, though, if they get that far).  New episodes to help get the player’s characters to that rank, and new ones at that rank which also include (not coincidentally) fleet actions and repeatable missions.  Plus the Klingons got new costume parts to play with for some of their assorted species, plus there’s new Mk XI equipment to start stuffing into those VA1 level ships.  There was also the nice touch of allowing a Fleet Patch to be created in-game; I was able to get a reasonable version of the one we designed on the Corps of Discovery’s site, which I immediately applied to my character’s uniform (and those of his bridge crew) and to my ship.

There’s a lot to like in this Season, and while there’s the usual chiming of complaints to be found, nothing really makes me feel that “oh, the devs should’ve done X and Y instead”.  What it DOES make me feel is, “I want more!”

And all indications are:  more will be coming.

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