DO: Cut Free

Ferengi prisons aren’t really all that impressive. I think the prisoners are just still here because they like to troll the Ferengi.

Entry Seventy-One

I’ve finally been able to try to get back to doing what I was doing before I got conscripted by the Klingons.  Wait, lemme make sure my encryption is on.

Good.  Hopefully, Imperial Intelligence can’t read this entry.  I’m not sure why I’m making it, but I need some record out there so I can refer back to this.

It’s been sort of a mixed blessing, wheeling and dealing with the Ferengi.  I managed to swipe a heap of latinum from the a Ferengi smuggler, and planned to donate most of it to the KDF-and keep a good chunk for personal use.  At least some of my crew were willing to assist, which is a good sign for the future.  Unfortunately, thanks to his associates, and his own inability to stay marooned where I left him, I got jumped at a neutral outpost and wound up killing him-and just in time for one of the Ferengi’s FCA friends coming in to arrest me.  Fortunately, they didn’t get my crew, which meant after I got through a sham of a trial, they were able to rescue me from a prison world-which wasn’t as hard as it sounds.  Ferengi prisons seem to have regular riots, and it wasn’t hard to incite one as cover to leave.

I had better luck at an auction for an old weapon, the last surviving Varon-T disruptor.  I was serving as an intermediary for a significant chunk of latinum-for a Ferengi, of course.  He tried to weasel out of things by including a clause in the fine print that forced me to be an assassin.  I didn’t actually kill the target-who was glad to hear I had no interest in killing a fellow Orion-and the Ferengi tried to get out of paying me.  Of course, he probably should have acquired the disruptor from me first before trying to scam me.  So now I’ve got feelers out to some of the other people who had attended the auction-who all ran when Starfleet showed up-and I’ll just take the best sounding offer.

Then I made my biggest mistake yet.  I went to First City to talk to some contacts about certain plans that are getting close to fruition-and the Varon-T may help here-and wound up being shuffled into a “Winter Wonderland” by a being calling itself Q.  I HATE Winter.  I got into space so I wouldn’t have to ever deal with Winter again.  And I wound up fighting for my life…I think…against a crazy Klingon legend called the Kramp’Ihri.  With a name like that, you’d figure it would tie into Klingon Hell-again-but it seems a bit less insane than that.  Only marginally.  Because you would think that a good disruptor would be the way to deal with this, but turns out that no weapons work in the Wonderland except packed balls of snow, a device that spews out hot sugary substances…and foam darts.  Even crazier…they work.

I miss the days when I wasn’t stuck commanding a bunch of Klingons and getting involved in the insanity they like to share.

Signing off.

How does this sort of thing keep happening to me?

The journey through the Foundry has begun for Dathiro’s adventure through Star Trek Online.  As previously mentioned, I’m avoiding the “common” episodic path through the game to avoid putting up awfully similar posts to what I’d done for Rick Masters’s run, and that means doing stuff like this.  I’m so happy with it so far that I might have to consider doing something similar with a Fed-aligned Romulan at some point so I can comment on Starfleet and Romulan side missions.  But for now, it’s all Klingon, so let’s take a peek at the offerings I’ve done lately.

First up, we have Raktajino in a Jar, by drogyn1701, a tale of treachery and backstabbing.  I was thrilled to see that we had a mission that suited a character of substantially lower moral value than your average Klingon-one might’ve gotten that impression of Dathiro from his logs.  The mission would’ve worked just as well for said average Klingons-you don’t have to scam latinum off the top, and you don’t have to maroon the Ferengi.  But, Dathiro sure did.  There’s a couple of spots where it’s good to just leave your bridge officers behind for story purposes; one of the Foundry’s weak points is that it has no ability to limit the number of bridge officers to travel with you, so unlike the episodes, you are always with your entire away team.  The trial is cleverly done, and I’m pretty sure that in spite of what may appear, there’s no way to avoid being sentenced to prison-the math doesn’t support it, and I’m sure if you enter in a larger number that you’ll be accused of lying and sent off anyway.  It was a pretty solid and enjoyable mission.

Next, we have The Honour of Profit, by Bazag, where you can indulge in the seedier side of life again by assisting a Ferengi in bidding in an auction.  The story was pretty solid and straightforward, but there were a couple of bugs I encountered that triggered some events early-not sure how it happened-like the Starfleet attack.  Fortunately, beaming out of the mission and restarting that segment reset everything, allowing things to get back on track.  Interactions with the bidders felt right, and the Ferengi’s attempt to stick it to the player character was exactly what I’d expect from a Ferengi.  It’s also perfectly possible the bugs came about with the recent patch; quite often during new season releases, the Foundry goes down and when it comes back up, sometimes things wind up broken-it’s one of the reasons why reviews are usually not turned on until a while after the Foundry is brought back up.  It’s perfectly reasonable to assume that’s what happened here.  And again, after I reset the mission segment, things went smoothly.

I got sidetracked hard by the Foundry being down, so I filled in some time by running lots and lots of duty officer missions.  They’ve helped the leveling experience quite a bit, but I expect another slowdown because the Winter Event has begun in STO, and due to the somewhat lengthier time it’ll be running, there’s actually a microscopic chance that I can earn up the grand prize for this Winter, the Breen Plesh Tral Heavy Raider.  It’s a Tier-6 ship, and acts like a Klingon Raider ship, and also has a Pilot specialization bridge officer seat, which makes this highly attractive as I keep getting spread among characters officers who can use those seats, but no ships that actually have them.  I don’t plan for Dathiro to take this ship, though-even though he’ll be the one putting the work into earning it.  I’ve already got too many plans for Dathiro’s future T6 ship.

Be peachy keen for a future character, though.

Now that the Foundry is up again, I’m hoping to run some more of those missions.  In between running the “Fastest Game on Ice” endless times over the next month….

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DO: We’ll Have to Destroy Them, Ship to Ship

The U.S.S. Sol is having a bad day.

Entry Fifty.

As things have settled down on the political front, I can now “indulge” in the “glorious” tasks of assaulting the Empire’s enemies.  I can’t tell you how many Starfleet vessels my ship has destroyed recently-they seem to have an endless supply of these ships.  I don’t remember there being this many a few years ago; I think I can blame the war between “our” governments for this.  Nothing encourages ramping up starship production than a good war.  Wish I was in a better position to profit from it.  But since my conscription, I’ve been unable to get to my usual contacts to try to make a killing from all of this.

The Romulans are beginning to nose around, too.  Not as much as Starfleet, but the crumbling Star Empire’s warfleet has been poking around our borders.  Since their involvement with assisting the House of Torg, I’ve had no complaints about going out and blowing up their ships as well.  They’ve got a lot of ships out there, too, but I suspect that attrition will catch up-after all, I’ve been hearing more and more about the “Romulan Republic”, which has to be annoying the Empress.  How sad.

I’ve also been hearing rumblings about yet another transfer to yet another ship.  And unless I manage to pull off a coup (not a literal one!  I don’t need Imperial Intelligence reading anything more into my entries than I’m putting in!), I’m likely going to end up in yet another Bird of Prey.  I’m not in much of a position to defy the shipmaster, but the time may come where I might need to see if I can get someone to kill him off.  Maybe then I can get into a vessel where my odds of survival go way up.

Either that, or I have to get creative.

Signing off.

Honor among thieves…yeah, that’s cute.

Man cannot live on the Foundry alone in Star Trek Online-at least not if you are avoiding the episodic missions like I’ve been doing.  This gives me the opportunity to talk about the lesser known methods of advancing skill points (particularly at lower levels).  So, here we go!

One of the big methods I was hoping for doesn’t actually exist:  patrol missions.  Starfleet characters can go to a random planet, and if it isn’t already tagged as being a location for an actual episode, odds are that it has a “Patrol this system” prompt when you arrive at it.  Those tend to be simple and straightforward missions, involving the old “find 5 things”, or “kill 5 groups”.  In the old days, they’d be possibly on the ground or in space, but I’m not sure where things are at with those nowadays.  I’ll make a note to investigate further on that.  But Dathiro’s not Starfleet, so what’s a KDF ship commander to do?

Glad you asked!

The first method is running dailies.  The dailies are actually sort of “wrapper” missions, which ask you to do certain other missions to complete.  Those missions also allow you to advance your skill points (aka XP in most games), so you’re kind of getting a double dip with these dailies.  They give a decent chunk of SP, so it’s good to make sure those are running before you do the missions called for.  These missions are either PvP related or PvE related.  I can’t really speak to the PvP stuff (as usual, I tend to avoid that sort of thing, and I’m not sure what the state of PvP at lower levels is at in STO these days.  I’ll defer to those more experienced in those matters in that regard).  So that brings us to the PvE side of things.

The earliest daily I know of involves “Empire Defense” missions, which can be picked up either at First City or-more conveniently-in your missions tab, under “Available Missions”.  These missions involve going to a star cluster/nebula/whatever and fight enemy ships there.  At Dathiro’s level, there are separate ones for Romulans and Starfleet ships.  You enter the cluster, and go to “hot spots” that you scan-if your scan works, you enter a standard instance where there are heaps of groups of enemy ships; blowing up six groups of ships (which may be groups of fighters, frigates, or single escorts/cruisers) means you have completed 1/3rd of your requirements for the daily.  For the mathematically impaired, that means you need to hit three different “hot spots” to complete the daily, so figure on blowing up roughly 18 groups of ships.  I found that I could do this fairly simply with my raider; attacking after a decloak helps, and I highly recommend bridge officer abilities that impact groups of enemies instead of single target for these missions.

Another daily is the “Pi Canus Path of the Warrior”.  The name comes from the old days of sector blocks, before the maps got consolidated into quadrants:  all the missions involved meant going to systems in that sector block.  Fortunately, even after the map change, the planets are in relatively close proximity to each other, making it no chore to do.  The Pi Canus missions have two parts: an Alpha and a Bravo sortie.  Each sortie involve going to a system and doing a mission in that system.  For the most part, they are smash and grabs; you blow up ships, and you grab supplies when appropriate.  No ground content involved here.  There are also optional goals in these missions; if you want to get the reward for the wrapper mission, though, they’re actually sort of required.  All that said, things must’ve changed a bit between the last time I’d done those and now; I used to fail on at least a couple of these missions, but I had no trouble completing them with Dathiro.  I don’t know if that says something about changes in the game, my relative amount of gear, my proficiency in playing over the years, or the fact that I’m using a raider instead of, say, a battlecruiser.  Regardless, it’s a handy batch of skill points, and worth doing if you want to get away from the episodes for a bit.

Did I mention that the wrapper missions also give you Dilithium?  It’s nice when you can get added benefit from these missions.  That said, you can grind out the sorties and the defense missions without the wrappers and still get skill points off of them, so while the wrappers are only daily, you can still work on leveling the character that way.  I’m not sure if the Dilithium gain is all that time effective, but honestly, my main point in doing these is for the skill points, not the Dilithium-that’s a bonus.  It’ll come in handy if I want to do apply any upgrades to gear I gain; I’m tempted to apply them to the Efficient engine, which last I checked gives bonuses to just about all the power categories (Weapons/Shields/Engines/Auxiliary) but I’m not married to the idea.  I may go for reputation gear instead.

Another method-although not horribly reliable-are the Deep Space Encounters.  Those have a history:  back in the early days of the game, you had wandering blobs of ships that would ambush you on the way to whatever planet you were going to mission on next.  You could go after them, but they were famous for just jumping on ships whose players had gone AFK.  There was much complaining, and they got nerfed like there was no tomorrow (which is to say, they became static).  They’ve mutated a bit over the years, but the basic premise is the same:  go in, destroy a heap of enemy ships, reap rewards.  These days, they’re similar to the assorted adventure zones that would have tiers of participation rewards; it’s also worth noting that they aren’t necessarily solo events.  You can have other players of either faction showing up to also participate in the fun.

Of course, these are really grindy methods of leveling up; not impossible, but it can start to get boring fast.  Fortunately, there’s the queue system, which has a number of group missions available-well, at least if you’re at high level.  At the moment, Dathiro has the choice of a space mission and a ground mission-and both are single-faction, which means that unless other KDF players are queuing up, there just isn’t a lot of action.  It should get better at level 50.  A ways to go, but I’m up to level 30 now, and things are going well.  And hopefully, I’ll be able to participate in the Mirror Invasion event that will be kicking off tomorrow, which might also assist in the skill point gain.  Stay tuned!

DO: Klingon (Episodes) No More

Well, looks like resistance wasn’t futile for SOMEONE….

Entry Forty-Seven.

The House of Torg seems like it still wants to make something of itself.  Bad enough it was allying with Romulans, but now they’re trying to steal Borg tech.  Because using Borg technology always ends so well for the users.  Idiots.  I’m having a hard time figuring out just why that House went so long without being stepped on.  Klingon politics….

I’ve a new ship-yet another “Bird of Prey” variant, Norgh-class.  It’s like Command wants me to stay in charge of ships with the relative hull strength of tissues.  At least the cloaking device is up to spec; it’s kept us intact against a number of inconvenient problems.  I’m making noises that I’d like to get in a ship that has a bit more muscle to it, but it seems that the shipmaster has a grudge against J’mpok’s House-and since the Chancellor seems to enjoy personally sending me missions, and since my reputation seems to be growing, he takes great delight in putting me in these crates.  I’d prefer a battlecruiser, or maybe one of the flight-deck cruisers that Empress Melani-may she contract a disfiguring disease-had the Syndicate churn out for the KDF.  Even a raptor would be better-it may be fragile, but it at least has a potent array of weapons to balance that out.  My ship must go into hiding if it wants to survive.

At least the crew is still with me.  My android bodyguard no longer has to make examples out of the crew, and some of the Klingons say that it’s an honor serving under my command.  What is with these people!?

Speaking of the Empress:  seems she’s playing both ends against the middle.  Some of the House Torg problems have had a large number of Orions involved.  We’re better than Romulans, at least.  The Orions are supposedly secessionists, but I’ve played that game before myself-it might work on the whole “we’re so honorable that lying would never occur to us” Klingons, but I’m more skeptical than that!

I’m getting a distress call from a downed KDF ship.  Guess it’s time to clean up another KDF mess.

Signing off.

Welp. Tricorder scans say he’s definitely dead. I’m sure the lack of movement or breathing could’ve told me that, too.

Well, it’s a sort of bittersweet entry in Dathiro’s Ordeal in Star Trek Online, because it features the last of the Klingon-specific episodes.  From here on out, it’s uncharted waters, as I have no plans nor intent to do the standardized mission path, in order to have a truly Klingon-centric experience.  This means that I’ll be running Foundry missions (well, when it’s up; at this writing, the Foundry missions are currently disabled), queues, some dailies, and “Empire Defense” missions.

I should probably mention that, technically, the Vigilance arc includes a mission that isn’t actually a Klingon mission; it’s the Temporal Ambassador mission.  Now, originally, I would’ve added Beyond the Nexus to that list, but it seems the devs sneaked it out of the Vigilance arc when I wasn’t looking and into one of the much, much later arcs.  That’s a good thing, considering that originally it was in a slot where Klingons would be asked to help Starfleet in a time of war with them!  Kudos on the recovery by the devs, there.  It just made no sense for Klingons to be helping Starfleet prior to the Undine attacks.

With my turn away from “joint” missioning (because honestly, that’d just be rehashing what I did with Rick Masters during my Agents of Yesterday run), that left just a trio of missions, two of which involved the House of Torg, who for some reason blame the player for the fall of their House (they’ve got a case there, although a better case can be made that they did it to themselves), and appear to be meant to tie into the next episodic arc Wasteland, which takes place in the Nimbus system.  The last mission features a crashed Klingon vessel and a confrontation with the Hirogen, who were brought in to ally with the Romulans early in STO’s run.  I always thought that was a missed opportunity for the Romulan expansion; they had exactly three species to work with (okay, maybe a liberated Borg version, too):  Romulans, Remans, and Aliens.  It could’ve used the Hirogen to round out the possible species for the Romulan faction, but I guess it just wasn’t meant to be-that the Tal Shiar would be the ones who had Hirogen on their side exclusively.  Ah well.

The specifics of those missions are mostly standard fare, although “Alpha” at least had a bit more to it.  If memory serves, that predated the Legacy of Romulus expansion that brought Klingons a full leveling experience, and made it one of the few solely-Klingon missions of that era.  So it’s sort of fitting that it’s the last solely Klingon mission in the leveling experience.  You can easily make a case that some of the missions in the episodic arcs are Klingon-centric:  I can think of two just off the top of my head without doing any research, and one can make a case for one more.  And maybe I’ll do those missions when my level gets high enough for it.

On the other hand:  I may wind up having no choice BUT to do some of these episodes; I can hit the “Skip” button on most of these missions, but some of them have that button grayed out and it won’t allow further skips to later episodes.  It’s likely that to proceed on those two (or three) missions, I’d have to do a couple of others.  But as I’m a long way from that, I think I’ll just leave that be for now and continue on with the Ordeal.  Hopefully, the Foundry will be back up soon, and I can take a look at some of the other works there.  Wait and see!

DO: Keeping with the Season

If there’s something strange in your neighborhood, who you gonna call?

Entry Thirty-Three.

There is something worse than Klingon politics after all.

Being in Klingon Hell.

I wish I were speaking figuratively.  But I’m not sure how much of it was a fever dream, and how much of it was real.  The real stuff first.

A bunch of aliens calling themselves the Fek’Ihri with a grudge against the Klingons started taking shots at the Fleet-and at their homeworld.  Crazy stuff, though-there must’ve been something involving sensor warfare going on, because I could swear we were picking up ghosts flying around my ship.  Then again, when we landed on Qo’noS  to help with the defense, we ran into more of those “ghosts”, not to mention a bunch of other strange weirdness.  The Klingons say these Fek’lhri are some kind of demon from their version of Hell.  It’s tied in with their creation myth.  Fortunately, Chancellor J’mpok sounds a bit more rational about it-which is to say, he says that maybe it’s real, and maybe it’s some science thing made to resemble their myths.

From there, things got weird.  Cloned emperors.  Battles for a weapon of legend.  A barge of the dead.  A battle against Ultimate Evil in the Heart of Hell.  I don’t know…I don’t know if it was some kind of drug, or a gas, or what.  The only thing I’m sure of is that there’s no way under the stars that any of it could’ve been real.

Except stuff did happen, and after that fight, the Fek’Ihri stopped attacking.  We did something.  I…just can’t remember what.

Not unless it really happened.  But that can’t be, right?

Right?

Signing off.

When I say “I’m in Hell”, I usually don’t mean it so literally.

For the longest time, this was the Klingon arc for Star Trek Online.  It highlighted their mythology, their outlook, everything from their creation, their devils, and their afterlife.  Plus, ties to the greatest Klingon (according to the Klingons) and his most legendary weapon.  It may not have been as iconic as Klingon politics, but it did feature more about what it meant to be Klingon.

Of course, the Fek’Ihri Return arc has a bit less of an impact if your captain isn’t an actual Klingon.  For Dathiro, it was just an adventure into insanity.  Well, I figure he took the “science” view of things.  Easier to believe that then to believe he’d been hip-deep in Klingon mythology-made-real.  (If I were really demented, I’d have him use the Fek’Ihri Kar’Fi battle carrier when he ranks himself up.  He’s lucky I have other plans for him.)

The arc itself is a pretty decent one, mostly ground based as opposed to space based; the set pieces are impressive, though.  For long-timers in STO, it features a brief visit to what was once First City before it got a massive graphical revamp; and it featured the Barge of the Dead, as seen in Star Trek: Voyager, back in the day.  Finally, instead of seeing where the honorable Klingons go in their afterlives, you go on a raid into where the dishonorable ones end up (and at the same time, you have the opportunity to rob the place of some folks destined there by giving them the chance to reclaim honor).  For Klingons, this arc is as about as epic as it gets.  Nothing else comes close until you get to the DS9 arc and the invasion of the station.

But that’s not going to be an issue on this character, since I’m avoiding the joint mission arcs shared between Klingons, Starfleet, and the Romulans.  This arc has improved my character level to 17, which means I can directly go to the next-and, sadly, final-Klingon specific arc.  After that, it’ll be all queues, the Foundry, and the Empire Defense missions which basically involve nothing but blowing up enemy ships.  And maybe some Red Alerts, if I qualify to enter them.  The bad news is that (at the moment), the Foundry is down; this happens distressingly frequently in the game, often just after major publishes because things break.  Hopefully, it’ll be back up by the time I wrap up the next arc.

As a final note:  some promotional items have returned to the C-Store for free until the end of the month.  The uniforms from Star Trek: Discovery are back, as well as the Next Generation’s Type-7 Shuttlecraft.  If you didn’t nab them earlier, now’s the time-they’re in the Promotional section of the C-Store.  They’re free, so for heaven’s sake, don’t pass ’em up!

DO: Hearts of the Hero

Assault on an Odyssey-class bridge? Not exactly…

Entry Twenty-Six.

My great deeds with the Empire seem to have caught the attention of the people at Qo’noS.  Which is to say, I’ve got stories being told about me.  Some of them are even true.  Even minor incidents have been inflated to some seriously epic tales.  I have to say that I’m honestly surprised I got singled out for this.  After all, I’m an Orion, not a Klingon.  Maybe the High Council is trying to engender greater loyalty with the non-Klingons in the KDF by hyping a non-Klingon “hero”.

Well, at least it’s getting me a lot of free drinks when I’m in First City.

Things have finally quieted down ever since the whole thing with the House of Torg.  The biggest thing to note has been an odd incident with a lunatic Vulcan and his…experiments.  I saved a copy for my ship’s use, and I wanted to burn the entire facility to the ground (so to speak), but II wants to comb over it, and who am I to interfere with what Intelligence wants?  (Do I get points for saying nice things about you this time?)

I’m still a little worried about those stories, though.  Becoming more famous means less opportunities to escape this trap-and more opportunities to “die gloriously in honorable battle”.  As I find that low on my list of priorities, I’m trying very hard to avoid that fate.  There’s at least one extra benefit, though-my crew seems less likely to want to kill me off to advance in their positions.  So as long as I don’t screw up or do something that they seem “dishonorable”, I should be safe from assassination attempts for the near future.

So I just have to act like a Klingon.

I have got to find a way out of this.

Signing off.

I’m not sure what I was expecting, but it sure wasn’t this.

With the conclusion of the Warzone arc for the Klingons in Star Trek Online, I found myself at a crossroads.  The next episode arc is the Devidian arc, but I’ve said that I have no interest in retreading that territory for this run for Dathiro.  So I can reveal my leveling plans at last for such periods.

My primary method to continue advancing will be to utilize the Foundry:  player generated missions.  It should be obvious, but I will be avoiding the blatant farming missions (blow up 1000 Starfleet ships!), but will instead be going for story based stuff.  I’ll be starting with the missions that the devs have featured in the Foundry menu, but I do expect that I may be branching out at some point.  I truly doubt that the Klingons have anywhere near the content in the Foundry that Starfleet does (which amusingly echoes the content and goodies the devs work on).  I also expect to hit some of the queues, particularly at later levels when I have better odds of actually seeing one kick off.

I’m not sure how many Foundry missions it’ll take for me to level a character up; it’s likely that I’ll be putting only the ones that impressed me the most up on the blog here if it tends to be a large amount.  I’ll try to correspond each post with the level ranges of the content I’ll be skipping; in this particular case, I only had to worry about one level before I could start the next Klingon-centric arc, so I only did one Foundry episode so far:  “Hero of the Empire”, by Rogue Enteprise.  This mission starts out with a secret mission delivered by one of J’mpok’s personal aides, to simply escort a freighter back to Qo’noS.  But nothing is ever that simple, and the mission quickly goes off the rails thanks to the freighter captain.  The real adventure, however, begins once you’ve made it back to the homeworld….  I found the mission to be interesting enough with the early part of the mission, if somewhat standard fare.  What really elevates it, though, is the back half of the mission.  I won’t go into further detail on that-I can’t bring myself to spoil it for people who haven’t played it-but its rationale at the end makes perfect sense, and says something about player habits as much as it does about the Klingons in general.  I found myself nodding at the character revealing the whys and wherefores, and thinking “He’s absolutely right.”

I had been fairly close to leveling when I did the mission, so I was all set to move on to the next arc, but timing worked out nicely for another mission.  Every Friday the Thirteenth, STO opens up a special mission called “Hearts and Minds”, which is touted as a scary mission of sorts, and offers a special duty officer at the end.  The interesting thing about this officer is that you can get him repeatedly with succeeding runs (although not on the same day; you have to run it again on a different 13th to get a working duplicate).  I’ll confess, though, that I wasn’t exactly finding much in the mission that caused me any dread or fear; if you’re looking for something that gives a good sense of foreboding, better to play the Devidian arc mission “What Lies Beneath” (“Bonnie-kin…Booooonie-kin….”).  But it’s still an entertaining mission, and it’s a very, very short mission, so even the most crazed altoholics can run all their characters through it in a single evening.  But no fear-because in addition to the Friday the Thirteenth releases, the mission is also available on (wait for it) October 31st:  Halloween.  One final note:  there is a new reward (or maybe it’s been there a while, since I don’t recall seeing it the first time I played it when this started to be a thing, and I haven’t really done it since) on the 31st only:  a zombie dance emote.  So if you want to add the ability to dance like the undead to your character, get ready to blast through this mission on the 31st upon its release!

Next up:  a return to Klingon-specific episodes!

DO: The Game of Houses (Hah-I bet you thought I was going to use Thrones again, didn’t you!?)

I never liked going to funerals….

Entry Twenty-Two.

There are worse things than serving on a Klingon ship after all:  Klingon politics.

Thanks to “K’mtar”, I found myself embroiled in a plot to save the famous Worf of House Martok from assassins and worse.  It became a bit bigger when it became obvious that not only was there a Great House of the Empire looking to advance in an underhanded manner, but they were allying with the Romulan Tal Shiar to do it.  Feh.  Romulans.  I can’t imagine a more sneaky, underhanded, treacherous species in the galaxy.

*Cough*

Moving on….  While it managed to expose House Torg to all as an honorless bunch of Klingons, and managed to get them kicked out of the government (I never understood the whole discommendation thing), it did leave a trail of dead bodies from Klingons fighting Klingons.  I’m all for that, naturally-I don’t have any great love for any of them.  (Hi, Imperial Intelligence!  You can red flag this log, too!)  But what I didn’t appreciate was the effect it was having on my primarily Klingon crew.  We managed to paper that over with a new ship, thanks to impressing the hell out of Chanceller J’mpok, the IKS Arumso (who names these things?), and then giving them something to build their morale further-a strike on a Federation starbase, followed by an attack on one of their primary shipyards.  Unfortunately, some Klingons had the bad taste as to get captured alive, so I was authorized to go in and give them a chance to die with honor.  I hope they weren’t too disappointed when I brought the prisoners back alive.  Klingons being Klingons, they probably killed themselves after they left my ship out of shame.

It’s not hard to imagine why I hate Klingons, sometimes.  Or all of the time.

Signing off.

I love invading Federation ships, though.

I got sidetracked a bit with the new Season, but Dathiro is back on pace!  I completed the Warzone arc for the Klingon Empire in Star Trek Online, which is a sort of unholy blend of character arcs that existed prior to the Legacy of Romulus expansion, retrofitted to fit in with the now-complete leveling experience for the Klingons.  It can pretty much be divided itself into two halves:  the first half involves a conspiracy of a Klingon House and the Romulans against one of the most well-known (to fans, at least) Klingon Houses:  the House of Martok.  That house formerly was named for the previous Chancellor before he got “killed” (which itself had new shades of information shown in a much later mission that came out relatively recently), and includes the most famous Klingon in Trek lore-yes, Worf is still involved as he was in the close-out of the previous arc.  Then again, I did say that the previous arc felt like “part one”, didn’t I?  All of it leads up to a nicely dramatic confrontation in the Great Hall before Chancellor J’mpok himself, involving blood, tragedy, and resolution…and a whopping loose end that won’t see final resolution until that aforementioned recent mission.

The second half of the Warzone arc brings it back to external threats:  that represented by Starfleet, as you’re called upon to go after a starbase set up in Klingon-claimed space, and that leads to a daring strike in the heart of Federation space-and then another to help clean up the mess left over from that.  Hopefully, you got your fill of fighting Starfleet on this one, because unless my memory has gone completely faulty, this is pretty much the only time you really get to fight it out with Starfleet outside of the tutorial.  That’s right:  while Starfleet gets a whole long bloody arc fighting Klingons, while Klingons get two missions.  Meh, whatever.  Given the miracle of getting a full leveling path at all for the Klingons, I shouldn’t complain; when pigs learn to fly, it’s impolite to comment on how badly they do so.

Despite this disparity, the missions are still fairly entertaining, with the first couple of missions immersing a character further into Klingon intrigue, and the second demonstrating their commitment to the war against the Federation.  (It suddenly occurs to me how the devs are handling the Beyond the Nexus mission; it features Geordi La Forge heavily, but the Klingons are still at war at the point the devs stuck the mission in.  Why would there be any cooperation with Starfleet in this matter, particularly since it only seems to involves Starfleet vessels and crews?  This might require me to look into it once I get that far….)  It’d sure be nice to take more shots at Starfleet, wouldn’t it?  Stay tuned, because in spite of what I’ve written above, there is such a way!

Finishing this arc also-as shown in the little fictional snippet-got my character promoted up so that he could swap ships.  Still using the Birds of Prey here, although I went with a C-Store version (the Qaw’Dun) which I’m fairly sure I claimed from one of the anniversary promotions or some such.  I’d already committed to raiders (well, until I get to the right time in the rank structure), and given a choice between them, I’ll usually grab the C-Store version over the generic version, as it includes goodies like the shield destabilizer.  As I go along, I tend to start taking the special consoles with these special abilities with me to newer ships; so I’m also using the console from my B’Rotlh Bird with the induction coils that boost up power levels temporarily.  Consoles that can be used on any ship are often worth taking along-although some are better than others.

Bridge crew is growing; it now consists of three Klingons, one Naussican, one Gorn, and one Android (taken as a vet reward).  I’ve held off on using my Klingon/Borg bridge officer, as that sort of goes against the narrative I’m building for Dathiro; indeed, I’ve already sidelined one of those three Klingons (sorry K’gan!), and the other ones are on the chopping block if I get other equally alien-ish bridge officer candidates.  Sadly, I’m unlikely to see a Breen officer (I can’t recall the last time they were made available), and the Jem’Hadar officer is a little too much like the Klingons for Dathiro to be comfortable with; that leaves the Kobali and Hierarchy officers from the Delta Quadrant as the only other likely prospects of the more unusual species.  (Okay, technically, there’s one more-the Borg science officer-which isn’t too likely to happen, but not impossible either.)

DO: Imperial March

I’m sure my aim would’ve been better if I wasn’t shooting in the middle of a snowstorm….

Entry Seventeen.

Things had been going just fine, or at least as fine as I could expect aboard the IKS Dravoni.  I managed to climb over the bodies to become the engineering chief, and third in command of the ship; the second was happy to have someone with no further ambitions below her in the chain of command, and I had no desire to deal with the captain beyond the usual “we need more power” demands.  And since the second didn’t want someone more ambitious challenging her, she was happy to help shield me from attacks from below me.  All in all, it was about as tolerable as one could ask for aboard a Klingon bird-of-prey.

Then that idiot captain decided to deal with the Federation-specifically, a supposed expert spy-and the second challenged the captain.  To nobody’s shock, he killed her.  Which meant it fell to me to deal with the captain.  And as a result, I’ve not only gained command of this ship-something I was trying to avoid!-but also came to the personal attention of Chancellor J’mpok!  Which means, naturally, that the eyes of Imperial Intelligence are on me (and I’m sure they are reading this entry.  Drop dead).  So any hopes of an escape are pretty much dead; I might’ve been able to eventually slip away at a reasonable port-of-call on some border planet, but as a commander of a starship, I’m more likely to be hunted down and given what the Klingons call a “dishonorable death”.

Yes, Analyst-of-II-Reading-This-Log; I’m coming right out and admitting I’d jump ship if I could.  Since I can’t, I won’t.

Naturally, my first assignment was to take the Federation spy-I later learned his name was Franklin Drake-to the prison at the First City.  Which, from the looks of things, was exactly what he wanted-he had his own little spy cell there, under the noses of the Great Houses, and got away with it!  When it comes to espionage, the Klingons are like infants.  I tracked him to Rura Penthe, and lost him there-only to get entangled in an even worse scenario than captaining this ship:  I’ve been sucked into Klingon politics!  I am to meet with Lady Sirella of the House of Martok in the morning to see if she will listen to the information I have acquired involving illegal supplies being sent to the Tal Shiar.

This can’t get much worse, can it?

Signing off.

So this is supposed to be some Klingon legend? I’m not impressed.

And so the Ordeal begins for Dathiro, an Orion KDF captain in a position he’d rather swallow broken glass than be in.  And it’s begun through the Klingon tutorial mission, which is very much steeped in the classic tradition of Klingon Promotion, and the first episodic arc, simply entitled “Empire”.  The arc is, honestly, not much of an arc; it’s more of the first portion of an arc.  But it’s probably being treated as a standalone because the following missions predate the Klingon’s full leveling experience.  Nevertheless, it does introduce some important elements, such as the son of the arguably most famous Klingon in Star Trek, as well as an interaction with said Klingon; a visit to a famous prison planet; and of course, the opportunity to blow up Starfleet and Romulan vessels.  Of course, there’s a kind of odd bit where the Romulan Republic makes its first appearance (from the Klingon POV), and they have already settled New Romulus; I’m not sure how that fits in the STO timeline, but I will leave it to more dedicated minds than mine to figure that out.

I’ve tentatively decided that most of the ships he’ll be flying will be the raiders, aka Birds-of-Prey.  It seems appropriate for a former Orion pirate (let’s face it-if you couldn’t read between the lines of the little vignettes I put in these posts, then I haven’t been doing my job right), and the raider playstyle isn’t one I’ve done much of.  There are two big details about these ships, and they go together like peanut butter and chocolate.  First, the use of the battle-cloak.  Unlike most Klingon ships, and like virtually all Romulan ships, the Birds can cloak in the middle of a fight.  It’s not an instantaneous thing, though, which means you could wind up eating a torpedo…with no shields.  And unlike the late, lamented General Chang, my ship can’t fire when cloaked.  Which brings us to the second feature:  raiders do extra damage when attacking the rear arc of a starship.  In theory, you’d think that this would work out just great for a cloaked ship; go in invisibly to the rear arc of a ship, and fill it full of disruptor bolts.  Unfortunately, if a ship isn’t aware of where you are, they tend to circle a lot-and it’s awfully hard to get behind them to start tearing them up as you decloak.  Did I mention you also get a damage bonus for a couple of seconds after decloaking?  I can’t prove that the enemy ships can’t track my ship, either-they may be circling solely because I’m trying to circle around them….

Of course, my opinion may be colored by the fact that I’m still effectively in the beginner ship, with low level gear, with limited bridge officer slots.  That’s another big deal for the Birds; all the bridge officer slots are universal slots, which is a mild misnomer.  Once, it meant you could put any bridge officer in those slots.  With the advent of boff specializations, though (such as piloting, intelligence, etc), they aren’t as universal as it sounds-you can’t use the specialization abilities in these slots.  Like it or not, you can only use specialization abilities on starships that specifically are designed to use specialization abilities (most of which are-SHOCKER-Zen purchases).

Despite the synergy with my captain, I probably will not be flying any of the Orion-specific starships.  I wouldn’t want the Ordeal to be too comfortable for Dathiro….

Most of the bridge crew are still Klingons, but thanks to the storyline, I have a Gorn science officer, and thanks to my veteran status, I have an android tactical officer; I held off on claiming my Borg engineering officer, because Borg or not, she’d still be Klingon.  I’ll think about it as I go along; a lot will depend on the officers I pick up during the leveling experience.

I should probably comment more on the story.  Despite the odd nature of the arc mentioned above, it’s still a fairly entertaining set of missions.  There is a big issue I have with them, though:  there is a fair distance to travel between some of those episodes, and as mentioned above, you’re flying a ship that’s got low level gear…which means you have a long chunk of flying time ahead of you.  It doesn’t particularly bother me all that much-in my SWG days, I had no issue using a swoop bike going from Coronet City to the player city of Horizon far to the southeast, even when we finally got a shuttleport in.  I want to say that this is a result of the great remapping when the game chucked all the sector blocks out the window and just use three major maps:  Alpha, Beta, and Delta Quadrants.  Some systems didn’t wind up as close to one another as they used to be.  Then again, it could be I’m using rose-colored glasses on this one; the Omega Leonis sector block where the Klingons spent time was three sectors long, and Qo’noS was on the border of the left and center sectors, and early missions had you cruising to the far right sector.

So, leaving out the travel details, the episodes are entertaining.  The biggest issue I have with them-and this extends to virtually every Klingon POV episode-is the presumption that your character is a Klingon.  Unlike the Federation, which has Starfleet as the melting pot where you share the same basic ideals and command structure, no matter your species, the Empire is more along the lines of chunky stew.  I have trouble seeing Gorn, Orions, and the rest having gone to Klingon Academy to learn how to gutturally growl at one’s crew (even though the Klingon Academy DOES exist in the game, so maybe I’m doing the Empire a disservice here!)  Would all the captains of the Klingon Defense Forces adopt the Klingon codes of honor (or at least pay it lip service)?  Maybe they would-they ARE still flying (mostly) Klingon starships.

I’ll close up on a semi-related note:  the anniversary events for the Next Generation has arrived, and there are a few goodies to claim.  Firstly, on the Promotions tab of the C-Store, you can claim a Class-7 shuttlecraft (which is good for only Starfleeters) and **GASP** the long awaited arrival of the Skant uniform!  This will even have a version for Klingons, and-to celebrate the coming of the Miracle Worker specialization in the next Season, Scottish kilts!  These are all apparently account unlocks, so you’re safe from having to go through every character.  However, what is not an account unlock (unless things changed when I wasn’t looking) is a special mission at either Academy in the holodeck areas with a hologram of Worf, which will net you a Klingon sash like Worf’s, and for some species, the Worf hairstyle.  So if you’ve got someone who wants to emulate the most famous Klingon in history, better get in game and run that mission, because it may be years before this returns (if ever).  Also to help celebrate the anniversary (although it has been out for a bit now) is the Galaxy-class interior.  However, the downside on this one is a hefty price tag:  2000 Zen.  That’s asking a bit much, even if it includes the bridge as well as interior sections.  It’d be one thing if we had missions that had people explore their own bridges and ships, but as this is solely a vanity item…well, it’s a damned pricey vanity item.  For comparison:  the Belfast interior (aka the Defiant’s interior) came with two more uniforms, three doffs, a shuttle, two weapons, and a pet…for only 250 more zen.  The TOS interior came with three uniforms, a shuttle, a pet, and a weapon for 2000 zen.  Compared to those two roughly similarly priced items…well, the Galaxy comes up a galaxy short, if you ask me.  (There was one more, for the Intrepid-class; that was a lot more pricey at 5000 zen, but it included three starships along with two interiors; one of those ships at least was a T6, which usually comes in at 3000 zen.  I’m not sure if this bundle is still being offered offhand, though.)

New episode comes out next week, so Dathiro may take a short pause while I run through that-and I will have things to say about the upcoming Season as a whole at that time!

DO: Dathiro’s Ordeal Begins

This is not how he figured his career would go at this point in his life.

Entry One.

So I have to keep a personal “Record of Battle”, do I?  I hate Klingons.  Fine.  Let’s take it from the beginning.

I am Dathiro of Nava, from the planet Rigel VIII, former bhar of the freighter Golden Opportunity.  I say “former” because my ship had the bad luck to be impounded by the Klingon Defense Forces, who, in an act far more piratical than any I have been accused of performing, disabled our ship, and conscripted the useful members of our crew.  The rest they simply spaced.  I mourn the loss of the ship more than the ones cast into the void; I’d expected to be cutting them off anyway, and this way I didn’t have to pay them.  But of course, now I’m in no position to profit from that.

All of this, of course, was considered perfectly legal as per the treaty signed by the “Empress” Melani D’ian (may grishnar cats dine on her liver!) with the Klingon Empire:  any and all Orion trade vessels may be considered acceptable sources for resupplying the crew of the KDF.  The whole point of serving on the Opportunity was to avoid getting sucked into their wars!  Fortunately, I am a skilled technician, and better than most of these Klingon imbeciles operating the engine room.  I imagine that I might have to make examples out of some of them; with the work I’ve seen thus far, I should have ample grounds to kill them off and take their position.  I’ll probably be running the place before too long.

So here I sit, recording an idiotic record where I’m simply counting time before I wind up getting killed by a Klingon who’s better lucky than good, or better yet, blown up with the rest of the ship by one of the Empire’s many enemies.  So, in case Imperial Intelligence is snooping, I’d just like to say:  Thanks.  That’s sarcasm, by the way.

Signing off.  Good riddance.

Looks like it’s time for me to once more create a new character for Star Trek Online, and this time, I’ll be looking at things from the Klingon point of view-or more accurately, one of the aligned species with the Klingons.  In STO lore, the Klingons have managed to put together a coalition of species to fight against the Federation; one of those species is the Orions, famously known for their green skin.  Being a guy who likes to play against stereotype, though, I chose not to make an Orion female (which I’m sure the KDF is littered with as captains), but instead an Orion male.  I went with a white/dark reddish look for his Bortasqu’ inspired uniform, with a bit of other outfit parts.  My goal is for my non-Klingon characters to have a distinctly mercenary-ish look, while the Klingons keep their more traditionally Klingon look.  Having plenty of uniform slots, you’d think I could work up multiple looks for this character, but as I’ve pointed out before, the vast majority of outfits on the C-Store are Starfleet-only.  Annoyingly, the most likely location to find other, more unique outfits is the Lobi store…and of course, Lobi comes from opening lockboxes.  Lots and lots of lockboxes.  I don’t really do that in STO-the price of keys on the exchange are significantly higher than I’m willing to dish out; and there’s still enough stuff on the C-Store that I’m willing to horde Zen in anticipation of purchasing stuff there for account unlocks.  Oh, and some outfits can be unlocks as armors from various Reputations, but since that really doesn’t come into play until high levels, that’s really sort of useless.  (Additional note:  as I was drafting this post up, STO released new uniforms from the upcoming Star Trek: Discovery show.  Also Starfleet only.  People wonder why KDF and Romulan players feel like second class citizens sometimes….)

Obviously, I had to make some early determinations about the character.  I vowed to myself up and down to not make yet another tactical captain, and wound up making him an engineering captain.  I’m not sure what route he’ll go as far as that’s concerned:  I’m a big fan of the fabrication units like turrets, portable shields, and medical generators, but it’s BECAUSE I’m such a fan of that stuff that I’d like to avoid it.  I haven’t made up my mind as to what specialization he’ll get when he reaches the lofty heights of level 50+, but I have lots of time for that.  Likewise, I haven’t decided what starships I will have him focus on, except that I have one specific one in mind for the “final” ship he’ll be on (followers of this blog may be able to guess at this one).  I do have a long term goal of having his primary bridge crew eventually having absolutely no Klingons on it, but that will depend a lot on the quality of the officers I get.

While a great deal of the storyline for the Klingons is redundant with the storyline for the Federation-particularly once one gets to the point of dealing with Cardassia-I do have a plan that will both make this less repetitive, and more interesting.  More on that as I get there.  But it’s safe to say that the early arcs are pretty Klingon specific, and I’ll be treating them pretty similar to the way I deal with my Agents of Yesterday run with Rick Masters:  posts will come with each arc, unless the arc is huge (and I don’t think the KDF arcs qualify as huge) and needs to be split into two.

Why did I decide to run another STO-centric run instead of starting, say, a new Star Wars: The Old Republic one?  Well, I’m not ruling out doing that sort of thing while this one is going on, but I’m still at work in getting my existing characters through the Eternal Throne expansion (my Sith Warrior is about to crash a party), and I’d been slacking off hard on that.  Plus, I still want to wrap up my Dark vs Light characters through the arc as well.  So not too much time to start up a new character there, but who knows?  I may manage to get done sooner than expected.  I’m sure it’d go faster if I were the type to just spacebar/bypass all the dialogue, but heck, that’s half the fun in SWTOR.

So there’s likely to be a lot of STO oriented posts incoming, including my thoughts on the new season that will be landing in a few weeks.

WF: To All Things, An Ending

Synopsis:  FINAL ISSUE!  Willforge discovers that his nemesis, Mindhunter, is plotting to use the VIPER Draysha formula for his own ends.  Can Willforge stop Mindhunter once and for all?  Join Willforge on his final adventure!

At last, the character of Willforge has hit level 40 in Champions Online, and thus it’s time to close the book on him.  Let’s take a look back on the things I was able to accomplish, the things I missed, and final thoughts.

I was able to put the character through a pretty good leveling experience.  Thanks to the XP Alerts, I never really felt any real issue with leveling-at least when I was able to dedicate some time to it.  I was able to go through story arcs through every major zone in the game, including the it-gets-a-bad-rap Lemuria zone.  Also got to do the Vibora Bay Apocalypse arc, which I’d only done with one other character in the past, and although I didn’t complete the post-Apocalyptic Vibora Bay missions, I did do more than enough to get the levels to reach 40, which was the primary goal here.

I got to see the power-and the limitations-of the Telepathy powerset; as I hit the stretch from 30 to 40, I was able to hold my own against most opponents, and a fair chunk of groups of opponents.  It wasn’t perfect, and there were times I got myself into serious trouble with too many enemies at once, but for the most part, the character survivability went way up from where it had begun.  The character didn’t have raw damage on his side, nor did he have high resistance to damage, but he did manage to incapacitate opponents long enough so that he could survive and defeat them.  Usually.

Unfortunately, there were instances where it just wasn’t enough.  I had hoped to get to the final Nemesis mission, “Deathray Demolition”, but one of the two-parter missions more or less put that to a standstill with a giant robot with a large sack of health, a large capacity for damage, and a knockback that made most of Willforge’s powers almost impossible to get going.  So when I hit 40, I decided that I’d just hang it up there and just let the mission sit in his journal.  Probably for the best, though-because the Deathray Demolition probably would’ve been even worse, given that he’d have to deal with not just one, but three versions of his Nemesis, and a swarm of the minions; even with the assistance you can get in that mission from a pair of aggro-magnets (except, naturally, when you need them to be), it would’ve been a rough go.

Another regret was Adventure Packs.  I’ve done the Serpent’s Lantern pack on my own in the past with other characters, but Willforge wasn’t really geared up to handle that, so that got put aside.  Likewise, I didn’t bother with the Demonflame pack, which I’ve never managed to complete with any characters.  Since I wasn’t doing those, I never went to do Resistance, either, which is a shame because one of the missions there features the use of a very large robot stomping around-I’m always a fan of that kind of thing.  I could have done the comic series arcs, but decided against it-my leveling path was working well enough that I didn’t feel a need to go in that direction.  Finally, there is a story arc that involves Mechanon which would’ve been on my list except for the fact that the final mission is a grouped mission (unless the character is a seriously well geared and leveled one, and…well, Willforge isn’t).  Also, it occurs to me there’s another similar sort of arc called Fatal Error that’s sort of cyberspace oriented, but again, that arc closes out in grouped content that I’m not entirely sure is available at the present time.  And again, level of difficulty solo in the other missions there gets in the way.

Despite the things that were missed, and the challenges that were not overcome, I enjoyed running this character through Champions Online, and will undoubtedly do so again at some point in the future with another character-perhaps one who will be a bit more geared towards damage or toughness than Willforge was.  But for now, Champions Online is going to get set to the side now while I focus on my other games.  I think my next bit of focus is going to be getting the rest of my remaining Star Wars: The Old Republic characters through the Knights of the Eternal Throne story (including Anthrandos and Sorshan; they will get their conclusions!), before kicking off a new focus character for Star Trek Online.  (This character is the one I put myself through many days of Risa this summer for.)

That said, I won’t ignore CO completely; now that Willforge is out of focus, I will probably start putting up Cast List entries for some of my other CO characters, who may be chronicled elsewhere as far as their fictional stories, but haven’t been covered anywhere as to how I decided to build them.  Watch for them!

WF: Mayor SMASH!!!!

Synopsis:  After a harrowing experience in Vibora Bay, you would think that Willforge would get a break to recuperate.  But his nemesis Mindhunter has other plans in mind.  When the archvillain clones the mayor of Millennium City, Willforge must fight across two nations to keep Mindhunter from replacing the real mayor!  But what hidden allies has Mindhunter mustered to deal with Willforge’s interference?

With the Vibora Bay Apocalypse in the past (or is that the future?  Time travel makes my head hurt…), I’ve been focusing my time in the post-apocalyptic Vibora Bay (or is that pre-Apocalyptic?  ARRRRGH!).  The Vibora Bay missions are nice and uncomplicated for the most part, although some of them involve drop-hunting missions that drive me mad because the drop rate of the items involved seem so pathetically low.  That wouldn’t be so bad, if it weren’t for the fact that the respawn rate of some of these criminals is so annoyingly slow.  Well, it could be worse.  I could also have to be dealing with timed missions that require you to fetch items in a predetermined order that you don’t know in advance.  Oh-there’s one of those, too.  (After my second attempt, when I had a better idea of what I was doing, and still came up short, I said, “yeah, you go get those things yourself-I’m out of here” and dropped that mission.)

I also occasionally went back to Monster Island, to clear out a couple of lingering missions in my log-including one that had accidentally finished when I was doing…something-and to help ensure that I could spawn Nemesis minions so I could get the Clues needed to run a new Nemesis mission.  I knew that they would spawn in Monster Island, but I had a feeling that they wouldn’t in Vibora Bay.  I was wrong, by the way; after a fruitless period in Monster Island at one point, I went back to Vibora to do some missions-and was delighted to see those robots pop up and ambush me as I was going after the Sovereign Sons.  All is right in the world-especially since one of my goals before finishing up the character is to lock that Nemesis away for good!

To that end:  there tend to be two types of Nemesis missions that drop from the Clues.  The first kind is almost painfully generic:  the minions of the Nemesis are up to no good, and you have to stop them from doing what they’re doing.  It’s usually as simple as getting up a radio tower in Canada fighting through spawned minions, or blowing up barrels of toxic waste in Millennium City as the minions guard them.  I’ll note that this can occasionally cause fits for poor lower level heroes doing their level missioning in the areas.  I’ve had at least one occasion where another player blew his top because he was doing missions in the desert around a VIPER prison and a bunch of high-level Nemesis minions suddenly spawned and blew him to greasy chunks.  For this sort of reason, I always try to clean up my minions even if my objectives are complete-no sense in letting those guys hang around and beat up lowbies.

The second type of mission is a lot more fun.  They tend to be instanced affairs, and feature the Nemesis in some way, sometimes physically, sometimes via some communications method, and involve a more elaborate plan.  For example:  the aforementioned cloning drama.  This is actually a matched pair of missions, one starting right after the other-one in Canada, where you discover the cloning plot, and fight a couple of “named” supervillains, and then another encounter in the City Hall of Millennium City, where you have to fight at least three other supervillains, a gigantic clone of the mayor (you did see that cover above, right?)-and oh yeah, your Nemesis (who, of course, in classic fashion, gets away).  And of course, scattered all around are the minions of the Nemesis.  Good times.  Well, usually-sometimes fighting two supervillain level threats at once is a little rough; I got taken down by one plus Mindhunter, but fortunately, the two weren’t keyed to each other as far as aggro logic goes.  I was able to engage one of them at a time after that faceplant, and things went a lot better.

So, hopefully, in the not-distant future I hope, I will be able to chronicle the final battle between Mindhunter and Willforge-and celebrate level 40.  It’ll be interesting to see if I can wrap up the Vibora Bay missions prior to then.  Signs point to “probably not”, because I’m pretty sure that some of those missions are intended for level 40 content, but we’ll see.