Season 14 for Star Trek Online has landed! So let’s take a peek at where things are at with the latest release.
This season, with the moniker of “Emergence”, is appropriate in so many ways. The most obvious one is that we finally get to see what’s behind the maniacal quest of the Tzenkethi to wipe out planets with protomatter weapons. Obviously, some kind of crystals are involved, based on the events of previous Episodes, but in the new feature “Melting Pot”, secrets are laid bare. Partially because the new colony of the Kentari and Lukari decided to examine some odd crystals from the moon of their new colony world. Which, of course, matched the composition of the ones that are being targeted by the Tzenkethi. You get warned that the scientists are eccentric, but man, does THIS take the cake.
Fortunately, you aren’t alone. As indicated in the last episode released, Geordi La Forge is here, along with the Lukari Captain Kuumaarke. Like proud parents, they’re happy to show off the colony that they hope will be the new home for a reunited Kentari and Lukari species. Enjoy the tour while you can. Not only is it going to become ground zero, but it’s also the last time you’ll see it so pretty unless you’re in a large active fleet. This colony is also the new Fleet Holding, which is more on the scale of the Starbases than others like the Mining Asteroid or Romulan Embassy. I’ll hold off on any long term judgments as to how doable even getting tier 1 is, but I’ve not heard encouraging things. (Small, mostly inactive fleets like, say, the one I’m in is probably right out.) Also like the Starbases, you will see the colony go from a skeletal framework to something to be proud of as it advances in tiers. One of the more interesting aspects of this holding is being able to trigger a Tzenkethi invasion where up to ten captains can try to repel. This requires access to tokens gained via fleet projects. How well this would work out for small fleets, I’m not entirely sure.
The episode itself is another one that has a feel of the Next Generation series, although it still has more of those “phaser everything!” moments that you don’t expect from the series. Maybe from the films…. If it weren’t for the revelations that take place during the episode, I would’ve said this was just to taunt players with what the colony world holding will look like when it’s fully built. It’s probably mildly spoiler-ish, but I’ll also say that it is also refreshing to find a rational Tzenkethi who does something crazy and actually TALKS to you. (This is a good thing. Because maybe those Tzenkethi actually have a good reason for going nuts with protomatter weapons….)
Of course, there’s a little bit more with the new Season than just a fleet holding and an episode. There’s a new specialization geared towards the Engineering branch: Miracle Worker. Guess you can’t guess who inspired that name. I haven’t had any characters put points into it yet (I may have Dathiro go into it, should I take him that far), but from what I can tell from looking at the tree, it feels like a very defensive sort of tree that will see best expression on a ship that can do lots of healing and take lots of damage. In other words, cruisers and the like. I haven’t looked at the kits available for this specialization yet, so can’t speak to that-but the fact that it does have a ground component is a welcome sign. Likewise, I haven’t seen a ship with Miracle Worker bridge slots yet, but you can be sure it’s coming soon. There’s also a new pair of queues: the Dranuur Beach Assault, which is a ground scenario where ten captains can push the Tzenkethi off planet (this is double the usual number for a ground queue) for level 50+ characters, and the Dranuur Gauntlet, a battle in space to stop the invading fleet from an assault before defenses can push them back, for level 60 characters. Finally, there’s a new Red Alert available where the Tzenkethi are out to protomatter bomb more planets out of existence-so your ship is called upon to help repel the attacks, for level 50+ characters. I will probably at some point detail my thoughts on each of those as I put a character or two through them.
So there’s a lot going on with the new Season under the belt. The major storylines that have been building have started to converge here, and it’ll be interesting to see where things lead from here.
A further note: “Beyond the Nexus” has apparently been placed, of all places, prior to “Temporal Ambassador” for all factions. This seems to me to be one of the dumber places they can put this mission. In the first case, 2409 is a year prior to when the Nexus was supposed to be back in the neighborhood again, and the kickover to 2410 tends to be during the Delta Rising stuff, if memory serves. I suppose there could be some wiggle room to work with, though, particularly in light of the fact that we never really know how late into 2409 the game starts, or the exact timing of the Nexus’s last visit (was it near the beginning or end of its trip through the area at that time?). Secondly, while the devs managed to remove comments on the Lukari/Kentari (which by this time haven’t been met yet), he mentions having met you again-I’m not sure when the first time was. His ship did appear in a previous mission, but unless that mission got updated to include comments from La Forge, I’m not sure that really qualifies. Have to make a note to replay that one and see if something happens.