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