ToT: The Beginning of Jalot’iklar’s Chronicle

Welcome to the Alpha Quadrant, Jalot’iklar. Hope you survive the experience!

Computer:  Open Ship Log.  Date: Stardate 96032.45

As of this date, I take upon the duties of First for the DV Indomitable-54188, for the Dominion.  Like most in its class, it has been granted a name in addition to a numeric designation.  The Founders have said that this practice will improve the loyalty of the crew to the vessel.  I do not understand this, but it is not necessary that I understand:  only that I obey.

Obedience brings victory.

Victory is life.

The crew is eager to cross the Anomaly.  I share this eagerness.  Few Jem’Hadar have crossed over beyond Dominion space since the Quadrant War, and the crew is eager to see if the tales of the Starfleet and the Klingons are true.  I am told the Romulans are not what they once were, and our former allies, the Cardassians, have not yet recovered from the Dominion’s final strike on their homeworld.  But I have been told that all have joined a larger alliance in the wake of the Iconian attacks, and they remain so.  But it is known that they all have no love for the Dominion.

My actions have earned the trust of the Founders.  Weyoun and Loriss have informed me that I may speak to them directly if the need is present.  Loriss tells me that I am an experiment, one of the Vanguard, engineered to be better than any of the Jem’Hadar that came before us.  Physically, we are superior.  Mentally, we are a match for the Vorta and more.  I believe that this has caused the Vorta some consternation.  The Vorta do not like it when the Jem’Hadar become more independent.  It goes against the order of things.  But the Founder Odo wished to establish a new order-and who are we to argue with a God, in this time of turmoil?

End log.

It’s finally here:  the Victory is Life expansion has landed for Star Trek Online!  This is likely to be a pretty abbreviated chronicle compared to previous ones such as Rick Masters and Dathiro’s.  This is mainly because of the brevity of the campaign.  Like the Agents of Yesterday story, the number of missions is very limited.  Unlike Agents of Yesterday, only the first mission is Jem’Hadar specific, and the Jem’Hadar start at level 60-not a lot of room for them to improve over 5 levels.  Nevertheless, there’s a bit more to the expansion than the episodes, and I’ll try to explore each of those in this chronicle.

This post will go into the first episode, so there may be spoilers lurking!  As usual, there’s a break below to help separate the spoilers from the non-spoilers.

First, the non-spoilerish stuff.  First off…well, the DS9 lighting issue continues.  It’s not as dark as it was in the early days on the test server, and I had actually thought we were okay now, as the last time I was on the server, the lighting seemed good.  But nope-we’re somewhere in between.  It is just DS9, as well, because Earth Spacedock is still as nicely lit as ever.  Secondly, well, it seems that with every publish, the power trays are screwed up somehow.  I had to redo the power tray for Walt when I was looking over some things in space.  Annoying.

Having made a purchase prior to release, I decided to start making immediate use of its bounty by making a Vanguard Jem’Hadar.  The backstory is…well, pretty much what I alluded to in the fiction above.  It’s sort of implied that there are a couple of differences between the Vanguard and the standard model Jem’Hadar.  From what I can immediately tell, though, there really isn’t much; they have a trait that allows them bonuses to space and ground (as opposed to just ground), and maybe a few different appearance options, at best.  I named the character Jalot’iklar, trying to stick with the naming standards you see off of the DS9 series Jem’Hadar, and immediately stuffed him into a carrier.  I haven’t played much with dedicated carrier starships in STO; while I’ve certainly flown ships that have hangar slots in them, such as the Scimitar ships, I haven’t really flown a ship that’s dedicated to the task.  Going further on the character, I eschewed the Tactical specialty that you might expect from Jem’Hadar; I mean, cripes, that’s been my go-to half the time, and I couldn’t stand that.  I like to balance things up.  So I looked over my primary characters.  I had a Tactical Starfleeter, a Science Romulan, an Engineering Klingon, and an Engineering Temporal Agent.  So, going really against type, I made Jalot’iklar a Science captain.

Since the Jem’Hadar start out at level 60, you might expect to have a lot of skill points to allocate.  But…they’re all pre-allocated.  I’d have liked to choose some of the abilities that came with having so many points in such and such path, mainly involving hangar pets, but ’tis not to be.  The specialties were trickier.  The carrier has Intel bridge officer slots, so it sounded logical to take Intel as one of the two specialties.  The tricky part is because the specialty points have already been allocated.  A respec can alter the skills if you so choose-there are probably respec tokens built up-but it turned out that I automatically had a Command primary and an Intel secondary, and you can’t respec that stuff.  It’s worth adding, though, that some of the Jem’Hadar you have in your bridge crew are good enough to have just about EVERY specialization available, so you will have no problems fitting crew to boff stations-which was the case with me and the carrier.

A final note on last week’s work:  thanks to double xp, I was able to push all three of my Delta Recruits, plus Vesehn and Jenled and Fralex all to level 60!  (Plus two or three others who have yet to appear on the Cast List, which I really should start up again soon.)  It helps that they were all at post-level 50, so I didn’t have to worry about that many missions.  Some characters dealt with things better than others; ships with not quite as elite equipment as my main characters’ ships (and my definition of elite has a pretty low bar) had trouble with some fights-I still won, but they were long and drawn out affairs.  So I’ll have lots of characters who will now be in striking distance of the new maximum level of 65.

Okay, enough prologue!  Read on for a brief synopsis and my thoughts!

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Aside

Well, looks like Champions Online decided to postpone committing suicide

I’m sure we’ll see a lot of what was planned still going in, but maybe they’ll figure a way to not screw over the current subscriber base in doing so this time.  I’d say I was doubtful, but then, I also thought they’d ram this one through, so hope springs eternal for CO.

Aside on Another Sub Model Sinks

Another Sub Model Sinks

It wasn’t that long ago that I posted my thoughts on the removal of subscriptions from Star Trek Online.  So I’m not sure why I was so surprised to hear that Champions Online is doing the same thing.  However, this hasn’t been greeted with all sweetness and light from the playerbase; quite the opposite, in truth.  Why would this be?

Well, it’s complicated.

Star Trek Online’s subscription model didn’t offer a whole bunch of extra stuff for subscribers that couldn’t be gotten from free play.  In fact, it was further degraded by the fact that you could subscribe for literally one month to get a bunch of unlocks that wouldn’t go away once you stopped subscribing.  So the smart thing to do in that game was to do exactly that.  Sure, you missed out on veteran rewards, but none of them are game breaking-not even the free vet ships at 1000 days.  In contrast, Champions Online gave heaps of benefits:  access to freeform character building, which meant you could mix and match powers.  That meant you weren’t locked into a number of freely available Archetypes.  You could color the powers, so you could have (for example) blue or red flame powers.  You got more (lots more) character slots.  You got the ability to open a new character slot when you reached max level.  You had more inventory slots to work with.  Et cetera, et cetera….

So while STO’s benefits could be conveniently boiled down to ditching subs and created a one-time purchase pack that did the same thing that most of the playerbase was doing anyway, CO isn’t that simple.  The pack gets you more character slots, but from what I’ve read thus far, they aren’t freeform slots-there is only two ways to get freeform slots at this point (well, starting on the 7th):  either purchase a freeform slot separately, which is overpriced to start with, or buy a lifetimer subscription, which is a hell of an investment at this stage of the game.  And that’s one of the reasons why the playerbase is up in arms:  for those who are subscribing, it means that if they let their sub lapse, their freeform characters are effectively gone forever.  (Unless they pony up the cash that they could’ve used to buy a whole new game with.)

Additionally, it seems that the devs have decided to no longer allow new character slots to open up at max level, and are enforcing a slot limit.  The devs claim that the limit’s always been there, but the free slots from leveling bypassed that somehow.  I’m dubious.  In any event, closing this up is a thumb in the eye for subscribers and lifetimers-that was a significant benefit being wiped out.  Of course, you can still get character slots for purchase.  One wonders how that’ll work if freeform slots are still just as expensive for either type of sub.

Like it or not, CO is getting ready to undergo a seismic shift in how it does things, and it might just be the last blow for a game where replayability relied upon alts, which relied on character slots-because the game sure doesn’t get new content at anywhere near the pace that many of the modern MMOs do.  And as another company I recall could tell, pissing off the playerbase in large numbers that you rely upon to stay afloat isn’t exactly what I’d call a good business model.  That sort of thing is why we have Star Wars: The Old Republic now.

Hm, Since There’s Double XP Just Lying Around….

I’ve mentioned recently that, thanks to the Victory is Life expansion coming next week for Star Trek Online, I’ve been reluctant to start up a new character for the other games I frequent.  This is because I didn’t want to get involved with those characters and then put them back on the shelf for what may-or-may-not be an extended period.  So I was on the fence as to what to do about it.

The answer came to me over the weekend.  Star Trek Online has a double XP event going on right now, up until next Monday-it’s like they want you to be ready for the expansion, right?  And it occurred to me that I have loads and loads of alts there (not quite to the level of my CoH roster of characters at their height, but it could still get there), most of which are sitting at approximately level 50.  The reason for that is this:  at the time I did most of these characters, level 50 was the maximum level-and for the other characters, the Delta Rising XP grind was so ugly that I couldn’t bring myself to go through the abuse again and again to get them to level 60, the current maximum level.

But that was then, and this is now.  The XP grind was made less onerous, and the double XP event means that it’s conceivable to get two levels per episode completed.  That means, at worst, I’d have to do five episodes per character.  And that’s not necessarily a difficult thing.  So, I’ve decided to start pushing some of my older character through to level 60.  None of my main characters have this issue-which means, my primary Federation, Klingon, Romulan, and 23rd Century characters-but I have a lot of other characters, including some who have been with me since the very first week of the game’s existence.

I figured it was time that I brush the dust off of them and give them a spin again.  Unfortunately, there’s always a catch:  some of these characters have been on the shelf for so long, they still are using the kits that existed before the kit revamp-which effectively means they have no kits now, since those old kits are just lumps.  Some of them have been on the shelf long enough that their skill points are completely reset, so I have to go in and allocate them again (and some predate the skill revamp).  And that’s to say nothing of the fact that their power trays are screwed up so I have to rebuild those to fit their abilities and any kit modules I pick up on the way.  Heck, one character even had a bunch of missions that can’t be acquired anymore, but were still available to play.  (Disgustingly, that only applies to “doing the mission”.  There’s nobody to turn the mission into anymore in those examples, so there was no way to claim rewards.  One character even still had a mission to craft a Delta Flyer!)

So, we’re off!  I’ve pushed a couple of characters through to 60-for those who recall the “Cast List” posts (Hm, those should be due for a comeback…), they’d be General Fralex,  Raa’th, and Bill of Borg-and the next ones on my list are my remaining “Delta Rising” Delta Recruit characters, Xenon, and Dynah.  They’re at various interims between 50 and 60, and I suspect that I should be able to get both to level 60 before the event ends.  Maybe I can even get Vesehn the Reman too….

Calm Before Victory

I’ve hit a quiet moment on the MMO front recently.  I’ve taken a brief pause in Star Wars: The Old Republic, after completing my work on Anthrandos, before I pick up with Sorshan and get her wrapped up.  On the other hand, I’ve kind of held back on any major activity in Star Trek Online, because the “Victory is Life” expansion is coming up in a matter of a few weeks (no, I don’t have an official release date for it as of yet, except “June”, so playing the odds here.  I’m a bit dubious, since the last time I was on the test server, the lighting in DS9 was pitch black and it still hasn’t been fixed to my knowledge unless you’re using the more machine-intensive “Lighting 2.0”).  As a result, I don’t want to start a new chronicle when I’m already expecting to do so with the Jem’Hadar (which will probably be a very, very brief chronicle due to how they’re being handled).  I’ve spent a little bit of time with Captain Rick Masters there, my Temporal Agent, who I figured could use some reputation ground gear, and since he had maxed out his Temporal Agent reputation, it seemed sort of obvious.  So, I figured the best way to get temporal marks would be to hit the Badlands adventure zone.  I never covered it with Dathiro, because, well, it’s a max level zone, so by the time he could go there, I was done with him.

The general conceit is this:  the Terran Empire from the Mirror Universe is attempting a foothold in the Badlands, and you (along with everyone else in the zone) want to kick them out.  It’s pretty similar in nature to the Undine adventure zone, where your ships are attempting to capture sections of the zone, which has one of three possible minigames; those minigames make a reappearance when all the sections are captured, as three starbases from the Mirror Universe appear-including the Mirror DS9-which require you to pretty much do all of those minigames to shove them back to their universe.  After that, if you manage to push out all three, you get the big fleet battle as Mirror Universe ships assault, including the I.S.S. Enterprise.  For the most part, it’s pretty much the Undine zone with a Mirror Universe paint job.  It seems to still be reasonably popular, though; there were usually about 8-15 people in one instance, which is enough, with some effort, to do the job.  Thus, I’ve gotten Rick two thirds of the ground rep gear, and the third may get enough marks any day now.

But that’s pretty minimal activity needed on my part to log in, do a capture of a section to get the marks, and log out.  And since the expansion could be landing at any time, I’m not sure about starting something new and having it get interrupted almost immediately.  One possibility is a new Champions Online chronicle, but my concern is that it’ll wind up too similar to Willforge’s; while CO isn’t as linear as SWTOR and STO, it’s still got a fairly repetitive path.  Another is to commit myself to pushing Sorshan in SWTOR since I need to get her through anyway-although I’m not greatly concerned about timing on that, since it seems the next story content is months away.  EVE Online isn’t the best choice, since it really does require a certain level of commitment to the game that I’m not prepared to give.

So, decisions, decisions.  We’ll see what develops.

EoA: The Eternal Commander

 

“At the last, the Eternal Empire is gone.  Zakuul is free.  The Republic is free.  Even the Sith Empire is free.

The only one who is not free…is me.

Valkorion’s manipulations were masterful.  I never wanted the Eternal Throne, but I found myself forced to sit in it in order to stand down the uncontrolled Eternal Fleet.  If Vaylin hadn’t somehow managed to regain control of the GEMINI droids that SCORPIO had freed, would things have been different?  Maybe.  Maybe they wouldn’t have been bound to destroy everything, and I might have been able to step away from this burden.

But I cannot.  The Throne needs an occupant, and this is the path the Force has led me to walk.  Someone must maintain the control, and it is better that I do it than Empress Acina, for example.  It had to be me.

But I will not rule.  I am no Emperor.  I am a Jedi-and until such a time as we can find a way to free the GEMINI droids from the Eternal Throne, and defang the Fleet’s ability to destroy autonomously, I will command the Eternal Alliance, free beings from the Empire and from the Republic, who chose to fight for freedom rather than live under the boots of the Eternal Empire.

Eternal.  I objected to the name.  Nothing lasts forever.  I don’t know how long this Alliance will last.  The Force has offered no guidance beyond this moment.

But as long as I follow the dictates of my teachings-as long as I behave as a Jedi Knight-I believe that the future will be brighter than the past.

Until I am free of this burden, I will depend on my friends…and the Force.

May the Force be with you.”

-from the Epic of Anthrandos

It took me heaven-knows-how-long, but I’ve at last finished the Epic of Anthrandos for Star Wars: The Old Republic.  I wrapped up the last of the Eternal Throne chapters, and I’ve chosen to use this as the end-point for the character of Anthrandos.  After all, I have a heap of other characters who have higher priorities in SWTOR, and of them, few have gone beyond the end of the Eternal Throne storyline (two because I consider them my mains; others got to go as far as Iokath because some of their old companions were tied to it).  I did wrap things up by doing the available Alliance Alerts to get the last available companions for Anthrandos (which, honestly, consisted of solely Darth Hexid), but that’s been about it.

That leaves me with but a single character left to run through the Eternal Throne expansion.  After that, who knows?  Will the next big SWTOR patch of content land before I wrap that up?  That would make a big difference as to what my next move here is.  All that said, with the upcoming Star Trek Online expansion about to occupy a chunk of time, it’s possible that it may be some time before I can get to that point.  Or maybe not-it depends on just how much is there to work with in that expansion.

Another possibility is doing another chronicle such as this one, but for one of the other classes.  I’ve mentioned this before; I’m disinclined to do a Jedi or Sith, because I’ll have just finished a pair of them.  So, could be an Agent, Smuggler, Hunter, or Trooper.  I won’t likely go as far as the Eternal Empire with them either-in fact, I’ll probably only get them to the end of their class stories, which includes Rishi for the Revan storyline (and honestly, that’ll probably be a little postscript).  I just like to make remarks on the class stories, and I feel that I’d be treading over the same ground over and over again beyond those; that’s the cost of having stories that aren’t class-specific anymore.  It’s certainly more cost-effective for developers to make content, but it does rob the assorted classes of what make them unique-especially since the leveling path is pretty linear in SWTOR.

Until then-one more to go!  Sorshan’s Story continues…soon!

Sinking the Subs

Recently, Star Trek Online made an announcement that I found…well, interesting, anyway.

It was nestled in a post about their new “Elite Starter Pack”, which sits in the C-store for 1500 Zen.  It includes stuff like bank slots, retrain tokens, credit cap increases, a character slot, stuff like that.  In other words, all the stuff that would unlock if you were to subscribe for a month.  They would stick around forever, so a lot of people would subscribe for a month, and then cancel and reap the benefits of having all the unlocks.

Cryptic/PWE seems to have finally noticed it, and effectively scrapped monthly subscriptions in favor of this starter pack.

It doesn’t do anything to current subs; they can keep on with whatever plan they’ve got-but the only real benefit they’re gaining at this point is access to vet rewards as they reach the usual 100/200/300/etc day marks.  (Oh, right-and the stipend of 500 Zen per month.  Can’t forget that.)  Lifetimers are in the same boat, except they don’t have to worry about time-gated vet rewards, since they get them all immediately upon taking the lifetime sub.  The big thing, though, is if the monthly subscriber were to stop subscribing at any point…they can’t re-subscribe.  There’s no more monthly sub to subscribe to.

On the one hand, it’s a little baffling.  Why get rid of a revenue stream?  I mean, sure, they’re having to give out 500 Zen per month, but that’s countered by the fifteen dollar monthly sub fee (well, possibly less if you had gone with a different plan-discounts happened for subs in blocks greater than one month at a time).  And it sure doesn’t impact the lifetimers in any way (yet).  This also kills the vet reward program entirely for any new players.  Are the devs considering the vet rewards to now be lifetimer-exclusive?  It sure seems odd.

The only thing that makes sense to me is that they’re planning a new revenue model.  And that’s where the misgivings begin, because I can’t think of any that wouldn’t be worse than what was there.  I can’t believe that they plan to continue to exist based on Zen sales alone; even with the lockboxes, they can’t possibly be getting enough to balance out the lost monthly revenue stream…can they?  If that’s a true statement, then that implies they’re looking at monetizing something else.  And I’d bet you that it’ll be revealed just prior to or just after the Victory Is Life expansion.  (That sort of strategy worked so well for Star Wars Galaxies, didn’t it?)

I don’t know.  I have a sense of dread on this sort of thing-maybe it’s needless.  But I just don’t see an upside to Cryptic/PWE on stopping the subs without having something waiting in the wings that they think will earn them oodles of money.  They have a couple of “Gamma Packs” with goodies on sale that go live with the expansion, but I can’t figure on the influx of cash being quite enough to counterbalance the loss of the monthly revenues.

Maybe I’m wrong.  I’ve often said that what the monthly sub gets you wasn’t worth doing long-term, and maybe a lot of other players agreed on that.  Maybe they aren’t really losing anything by doing this.  I don’t have access to the account books.  But something is still a greater value than nothing, and that’s why this whole thing puzzles me.

Stay tuned.  I’m sure we’ll be hearing about things before summer ends.

Eternal?

For a completely life-dead planet, it sure recovered fast, didn’t it?

Okay, let’s take Star Wars: The Old Republic, specifically the latest patch.

Let’s do the non-spoilery stuff first.  I don’t plan to go into detail about how the big part of this publish ends, but I’ve kept quiet on the identity of the traitor long enough-anyone who wanted to know likely knows by now.  It’s been a number of months, after all.

This publish includes the return of some more companions, again-for the most part-only for the Smuggler, Jedi Consular, and Bounty Hunter.  That said, the Smuggler and BH gets to get an extra companion for the price of one.  The first pair is the return of Mako and Akaavi Spar, who have gone into business for themselves.  Doing their mission can net you both of those companions (I suspect you can arrange to only take one, but why?  The more the merrier, I say-but of course, my way isn’t the only way).  Conversation with them may seem…interesting…if you haven’t done the big content piece of this publish, but it did give me a general idea of what was about to happen.  More on that later.  The other companion return is Felix Iresso, soldier of the Republic last known to be serving with the JC.  Life has not been kind to him in the interim, and he has some things to say that may very well match up with your character’s feelings towards certain governments.

Okay, now I’m going to slap in a break, so if you’re one of the people who really really don’t want to know about the Alliance Traitor, stop reading now!

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DO: Ordeal’s End

Wait-aren’t those attracted to movement? I’M SO DEAD!

Entry One Hundred Fifty

I think…I think I’ve done it.

It took my people some time to find all of Imperial Intelligence’s toys-and more time to make sure we got all of them.  We didn’t actually remove any of them, not at first.  After all, they could just come after us again-there’s nowhere in the Alpha or Beta Quadrants where they can’t catch up to us.

But opportunity struck when the Solonae Dyson Sphere was discovered-followed by the rediscovery of the relocated Jenolen Sphere.  This put the Delta Quadrant in reach.  And that’s when the plan began.

Unsurprisingly, II asked us to meddle involving Omega Particles and the Voth-a sauroid species.  So we fought for the Klingons, the Federation-looks like they’re friends again, who can keep up?-and the Romulan Republic.  And we grabbed any interesting looking bits of technology we could while there, and scanned everything we couldn’t carry or transport to the ship.  We filled our cargo holds with tech, and our databanks with information.  Then we blew through into the Delta Quadrant and never looked back.

It means we won’t be going home again, but what’s there for us, anyway?  We don’t want involved in their wars.  We want profits and a chance to live as we choose to.  Why stick around with the instability of our half of the galaxy?  I’d have preferred to go through the Bajoran Wormhole to the Gamma Quadrant, but the Dominion’s situation is a bit dicey from what I hear.  The Delta may have issues, but at least there isn’t any major empires with extradition treaties with the Klingon Empire.

I’ve made preliminary contact with a Ferengi named Qwen, who assures me he can move the tech in the holds for enough latinum to make our fortunes.  But I just want an assessment, so that we can pick up other trade goods-and make our fortune, here, in the Delta Quadrant.  We can never return, but at least we’re free.

That’s enough.

Signing off.

This is not what I would expect in an Undine-controlled region….

We’ve reached the endpoint for Dathiro in Star Trek Online-level 60!  Yes, I know the level cap is bumping up in the not-so-distant future, but I have other characters who need to move in that direction, and Dathiro isn’t one of them.

To close out the last levels I needed for Dathiro, I chose to do the simple “oh, welcome to the Delta Quadrant” related missions so I could access the adventure zones in the two Dyson Spheres.  One of them is a ground battlezone, which features battle against the Voth; the other is a space battlezone, and concentrates on the Undine (although if you do it right, the Voth do make a significant appearance).

Let’s take a look at them.

The Voth battlezone takes place in the Solonae Dyson Sphere, and centers around taking control of an Omega Particle silo.  The Voth want it, because they’re egotistical enough to believe they can handle messing with particles that can pretty much end warp travel.  The allied forces of Klingons, Romulans, and Starfleeters want to stop that.  So…to war!  The zone is divided into three sections (four if you count the briefing area), and each of those zones are divided into subzones, with minigames that you need to complete to gain control of the zone-there are three minigames, plus a straightforward “take over the transporter for this zone” area.  They ramp up in difficulty, if I recall right, with more players in that subzone.  You aren’t necessarily doing this alone, either-you can bring down two of your bridge officers as well.  That said:  my experience with the BOFFs was horrific.  Pathing issues all over-my officers wouldn’t follow me because of obstacles real or imagined, and wouldn’t go around them.  So nine times out of ten, I found myself doing a subzone without support from my BOFFs.  That’s not a good way to deal with subzones that are built around you having said support.  I made up for this by trying to figure out who else was in the zone, and assisting them in capturing subzones.

Once all the zones are taken and held-the Voth do try to retake subzones, but fortunately, it’s not at lightning speeds-they bring out the big dinos.  You know the phrase “Sharks with frickin’ lasers”?  Well, these are T-Rexes with said lasers-or antiproton beams, anyway; they were infamous on the forums when the Voth were announced back in the day.  One pops up in each of the three zones simultaneously, and there’s a time limit to take them all down.  It’s doable, though, if there are people in the zone-and there seem to still be people spending enough time here to do the job.  Shockingly (I know, right?) there’s a reputation involved with completing missions here, which give marks.

The Undine battlezone takes place in the same Dyson Sphere, but in a different region-and in “space”.  I have to use the term loosely, because it does have an atmosphere, but gravity seems to be an iffy issue, because huge starship can still operate in here.  More on that momentarily.  The Undine are attempting to make their own play here, and are opening their fluidic rifts to let in their big guns.  Your job is to close them off.  Similar to the Voth battlezone, this map is divided into zones-each of which has one of three minigames,  which all center around closing rifts.  Again, more players working to clear that zone, the harder the opposition gets-or at least, the more enemy ships show up to fight.  Once all the zones are under allied control…well, the Undine get desperate and shove in a trio of their “world-killers”.  The minigames show up again to allow you to help defeat the world-killers in the alloted time.

If you succeeded in wiping out all three-well, let’s face it, it’s hard to get to all three on your own.  It’s likely to happen if other people are in the zone, so that two can be taken down more or less at once, and then combining to deal with the last.  But if all three are destroyed, those party-poopers, the Voth, show up with their own fleet to assert control over the zone-so you have a massive free-for-all against the Voth as they keep trying to send in ships to beat the weakened mammals.  (Yeah, that’ll work….)  The goal is to simply rack up kills.  Again, there’s a reputation path for the Undine, which uses marks gained through this zone.  Fortunately, since I only had to worry about one thing (my ship) and not associated bridge officers having screwed up pathing, I enjoyed doing this substantially more.

With Dathiro in what I consider a completed state, I can take a short breather from major work in STO; I have a couple of characters I’ve been fooling with, but nothing significant.  With the Delta Recruitment event having returned, I made a couple of new characters, which I may or may not chronicle here; and I figure I may want to catch my primary Romulan up to the storyline of the game-spent too much time keeping my Klingon and Starfleet mains up to date.  I want to make sure that my primary characters are at the latest missions, including Rick, the temporal agent I chronicled previous to Dathiro.  But the next character to get chronicled is likely to be a Jem’Hadar from the upcoming expansion.  Details as they develop.