One of the earliest purchasable species in Star Trek Online was the Klingons.
No, you read that right. I don’t mean, though, Klingons of the Klingon Empire. I mean Klingons for Starfleet. As this was in the era of the Next Generation-well, really, 30 years past it-it wasn’t unreasonable to assume that Starfleet had gotten more Klingons in Starfleet, but not enough to rate being in the base set of species for Starfleet. Or maybe they figured it was a money-maker. I’m sort of cynical that way.
This was not a purchase I made right off, though. If I wanted to play Klingons…well, the Klingon Empire was there. With Klingons ships! Surely, that would be sufficient for my needs. But eventually, as the years rolled on by, and I found myself looking at my collected Zen from my lifetime sub, and thought, “I can spare some of this for a Starfleet Klingon, right?” And that was the genesis of the plan to make yet another character. In keeping with the Original Series traditions, I kept the first letter of the name as a “K” and created Kalox.
He was going to be a tactical captain; there was just no way around that. Yes, I could’ve gone against type and made him a thoughtful science captain, or a creative engineer, but when push comes to shove…sometimes it’s good to play with type. (Besides, I already had an engineering Klingon in the form of Kelleth in the KDF.) The concept I had in mind for him was also pretty straightforward: I would go in the opposite direction than what I imagined for the character of Koreth (who I had imagined as “the cavalry” for Starfleet). Instead of being a reactionary force, Kalox and his crew would be a proactive one; the tip of the spear, the vanguard. I was inspired substantially by the MACO troops from Enterprise-guys who knew they’d be looking for trouble, and dealing with it when they found it. This crew was designed to have graduated in the thick of the Klingon War of 2409, knowing that exploring strange new worlds was going to have to come in second to holding onto the ones they had.
I went to take an interesting direction for my character uniforms for this one, and it went a route that I generally don’t take. Some backstory: back in the days of the early game, the armor you picked up would replace the uniform you wore. That, unsurprisingly, led to outrage from players-what was the point of painstakingly designing uniforms if they were always going to be hidden by the armor? So the devs put in a “disable visuals” switch so that you wouldn’t have to see the armor. Later on, those armor pieces got thrown in the woodchipper entirely, no longer linked to the armor you got in-game. Instead, they got put into the tailor, but different variations would unlock as you leveled. Well, I’d eschewed the armor stuff entirely for my other characters-but decided that this sort of thing worked just fine for Kalox and his crew; if you’re going to be the tip of the spear, you better be wearing something that gives you a reasonable shot at coming out of a fight intact.
The ship I went with for his “final configuration” could have been an Escort; it could’ve been one of those C-Store “Pilot” ships. But instead, I decided to go with something recognizably Starfleet, but still up for battle: one of the battlecruisers (I might have mentioned having a chunk of spare Zen). This was tough enough to take a hit in the face, and strong enough to punch back hard. The U.S.S Kashima felt like the right fit for Kalox.
Kalox is sitting comfortably at the level 50 area, and is likely to stay there for a while until I decide to pull the trigger on the Cast List Revival Party. While the Klingon War is over, the Iconian War lies ahead of him-not to mention all those other annoying conflicts that are in the later portions of the game. When you’re at the vanguard of a war and survive, time and time again, you can sort of expect to lead the charge whenever called up: as a Klingon, Kalox would desire nothing less.