Computer: Open Ship Log. Date: Stardate 96125.6
The aftermath of the war against the Hur’q has removed the threat against the Founders. But the numbers of Hur’q make the Bashir Solution impractical in many situations, particularly when the Hur’q are already in the process of decimating a Dominion world. I have been tasked with rooting out the infestations and assisting with evacuations if necessary.
My performance in this crisis has been noted by the Founders. This, in turn, has made me more…visible, perhaps, to the Vorta-and to other Jem’Hadar. As such, the Indomitable will likely be called to extended service and to take command of the situation. This will not always be so. Others of the Vanguard have served as well, and are my equals in authority. We remain subject to the command of the Vorta under most circumstances, except where it conflicts with the safety of the Dominion or the will of the Founders. It is good to have this structure in place. It is not good to question things frequently. Things will not be as they were, but returning to some structure allows the Jem’Hadar time to adapt to a future without the White.
We are approaching a world under siege by a swarm. I should go.
It’s wrap-up time for Jalot’iklar’s chronicle in Star Trek Online, as I take a brief look at the queue designed for the Victory is Life expansion, “Swarm”. It’s not exactly rocket science-few of the queues are-so there isn’t going to be a lot to go over. Then I’ll kick around a couple of possibilities as to what I’m considering next for STO.
Unlike the battlezone queues in the Gamma Quadrant, the Swarm is a stand-alone queue that can be joined anywhere you’re located in the game. Finishing it doesn’t give you any progress toward winning a battlezone-it’s basically just another source of marks for your Gamma reputation. (Or fleet marks, which are helpful for people working on holdings.) I have to admit, I’m not entirely sure why they left this as a separate queue. If the battlezone had been a traditional zone like the Undine or Badlands zones, it’d be one thing. But since the Gamma battlezone is pretty much all queues (albeit location-based), I’m not sure why they decided that the Swarm should stand alone. Maybe coordinating locations for four queues was more complicated than three? Couldn’t say. I have a feeling, though, that because of this, “Swarm” is going to fade in popularity quickly.
Does it deserve to fade away like that? Let’s take a look at how it works
“Swarm” is composed of three phases. In the first phase, you need to engage Hur’q forces while attempting to repair a number of Dominion ships. Every little bit of help is good here. Needless to say, if you’re under fire at the time, you won’t be able to do the repairs. There’s a timer rolling too, so you only have a limited time before the next phase begins. When the phase ends, you can get a mission report on the progress you’ve made as far as gaining marks. The next phase is to reactivate the planetary defenses-mostly this involves interacting with satellites, which in turn can allow you to launch tractor mines-very handy when you consider the speed and maneuverability of the swarmers. Again, there’s a timer, and a progress report when all is complete.
The final phase is the evacuation. There are three lanes of evacutation, and you need to assist ships in getting out alive. This is pretty similar to another queue that’s been around in the past-one of the Undine ones, I think; I’ve done so many queues over the years that I’ve lost track of what does what-and you can still activate those tractor mine defenses to assist. The more ships that make the journey from one end of a lane to the other, the more marks you get when the phase is complete. At some point, a Hur’q dreadnought will show up, but blowing it up is optional-I’m not entirely sure how much of a bonus it gives you, if any.
As far as queues go, this one’s pretty straightforward. No exotic rules, nothing incredibly insane. Just a nice, simple, “get them before they get us” sort of deal. Uncomplicated ain’t bad.
With this, I think it’s reasonably safe to say that the story of the expansion “Victory is Life” has reached its conclusion. Which sure happened awfully fast, really. I started up this chronicle on June 5th, and here we are in July wrapping things up. It’s tough to say if there was more or less story here than there was with the previous expansion “Agents of Yesterday”. (There is no comparison, however, to “Legacy of Romulus”, which beats almost all of them senseless, or “Delta Rising”, which-while reviled for certain mechanics-sure had a lot to do right out the gate.) Maybe there’s more coming down the pipeline than what appears, but the recently released “Home” episode sure felt like it put a capper on the expansion’s story-not to mention the whole Tzenkethi thing that had been going on since the tail end of the previous expansion.
Not that I object to moving forward to something new, but man, it’s hard to call this an expansion in the traditional sense. I liked the story, and I’ve always been fond of DS9, so I was predisposed kindly towards anything from that period (and hey, what about the whole thing with Sisko and the Orb of Peace? There’s a loose end waiting to happen…). I may be looking at things unfairly; AoY, after all, had no battlezones introduced, nothing really new as far as species go; it had a number of “tutorial missions” until it caught up to the current timeline, and then a few other missions available for everyone to wrap up the Temporal Cold War storyline. ViL, on the other hand, has a new subfaction, a level cap increase, a new star system map with battlezone included, and a handful of missions. One could make a case that an equivalent amount of work went into these expansions-it’s just a question, then, of what a player might enjoy out of the game.
Anyway, it’s time to move on. I’ve got two other factions to play with in consideration of a new chronicle. I haven’t done a standard Starfleet captain for one of these dives, but I’m finding that I think I want to delve harder into the Romulans-and for a change, align one with the Klingons, since I have so many Fed-related characters. Of course, that runs me into similar problems that I ran into with running my previous Klingon character’s chronicle, but there’s enough Romulan-centric content that I think I can pull this off. In the meantime, my attention is going to move over to another game that I’ve neglected for far too long recently, to close out another chronicle that’s been patiently waiting for me to finish.