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?
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!