Prelude to the War

Well, I’ve finished the Delta Recruitment “arc” in Star Trek Online-at least for my Klingon-aligned captain, Raa’th.  The conclusion of the Breen arc, apparently, brings him to the future point where he got his initial contact.  The funny part is, though, that the temporal agent referred to him as “Dahar Master”.  The reason that’s funny?  Because that’s the rank for level 60, and the character is only level 55.  (He might be able to hit level 60 if/when I do the Solonae/Delta arcs, but that’s looking ahead.)  Something tells me that the temporal agents have been chatting with their own future contacts….

So, that concludes Raa’th’s story for now.  Now playing is Commander Xenon of the Romulan Republic-my tactical Delta Recruit, and that character’s been doing pretty well thus far.  My main tactical guy, Walt, tended to use grenades a lot-but I’ve been transitioning to having him try Intel kit modules; my other tactical guys have done combinations of melee-combat skills and grenades.  Xenon is moving more towards the strategic methods, though, like battle strategies and suppressing fire sort of things.  As my initial intro of the character mentioned, I see him as a gunslinger origin type, so he’s been primarily using a pistol, single target instead of wide-beams.  He does use a rifle when it feels appropriate-or he needs long range.  (I guess that sort of falls in the “appropriate” slot.)

In ships, I’ve mixed it up.  His second ship was a Starfleet escort (Gladius, I think), which had been one of the C-Store giveaways during one anniversary, and its speed console is something I’ve taken with the character as he’s continued advancing; it makes for a great getaway ability when being in the “cone of death” of Elachi ships when Evasive Maneuvers is still on cooldown.  Then I went with the always-fun Mogai for his Subcommander rank ship.  The Commander rank vessel almost ended in the classic D’deridex ship, the classic from the TNG series-but I found that I had another option that I don’t recall having seen before:  the Ar’kif tactical warbird.  Well, I couldn’t pass that one up-it fit in with the character better than the slow and lumbering cruiser.  (I have no issues with slow, lumbering cruisers; Walt uses a Tactical Odyssey, after all-but this was something I hadn’t used, and half the point of these Delta Recruits, for me, was to do new stuff.)  And that’s where it stands…for now.

Blending in with the locals

As far as progression goes, Xenon’s wrapped up the Nimbus Adventure Zone, and is now dealing with the last couple Elachi missions; I’m eager to see how this new ship (for me!) deals with the big battle over New Romulus, which during my initial Romulan characters’ runs was a really disgustingly difficult battle.  (Fun though.)  Strangely, the Romulans seem to have a strange hiccup in their episode order.  While I’ve been doing most of these arcs, the Devidian arc has been made available at the same time.  I’ve done that arc up to “Spin the Wheel”, since I’d had missions in Drozana at the time and it was convenient, but I’ve not continued with “What Lies Beneath”, which was always one of my favorites.  Time enough for that after New Romulus is saved!

However, all this is prelude.  This week, the next Season is released, officially named “The Iconian War”.  It looks as if Kelleth, Ailar, and Walt will again be the main focus at least for a short while to deal with the episode that is released as the first part of what will likely be a couple seasons worth of conflict.  Due to the structure of how STO is developed these days, I expect the episode to be a level 60 exclusive, unless they temporarily make it available to level 10 and up as they have with previous Feature Episodes.  I also expect the season to be more about queue grinding for the new Iconian reputation; I’m not sure if I’ll even bother with that one.  I’m undecided.  My main characters have all the reputation they really need/want, and the Delta Recruits will have most of the marks they need-particularly if I use the “Sponsorship” option to effectively half the needed marks to advance old reps.  So why put myself through the grief?  But then, we’ll see.

The bigger deal for the new Season, as far as I’m concerned, is the widening of the sector space maps.  One of the biggest gripes of the game since beta was the fact that the galaxy was divided into “sector blocks” of three sectors each-and when you crossed a border of a block, you got the popup window with a bridge officer saying you could warp to the adjacent block, and boom-loading screen.  Well, the loading screens are still there, but the borders have shifted, so to speak:  now there will be an Alpha Quadrant, a Beta Quadrant, and a Delta Quadrant-and all the sector block borders are gone, allowing a much longer journey before having to go to a loading screen.  Naturally, you still have the loading screens when you have to go to the planetary scale, but this is a really big deal.  It’s not EVE Online and its apparently seamless transitions, but it goes a long way to making the galaxy feel like a galaxy.

So I figure Xenon gets the go-ahead for the next couple of days; then on Thursday, I return to Kelleth the Klingon Engineer to begin his part in the Iconian War.  Who better than a Klingon to fight such a battle?  (The Federation and the Republic may disagree….)

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