Dressed to Kill

How many of you devoted fans of Star Trek Online have purchased a costume set for your character(s)? They have some sweet setups to deck out your toon with any motivation you can think of. Merc? 21st Century Playa’? 22nd Century Klingon? TOS? TNG? DS9? Enterprise? Voyager? You name it is there.

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Admiral Rodanna 21st Century
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Admiral Rodessa

Cryptic is nice enough provide a nice selection of outfits for your character free of charge in the game. They are also in business so yes, there are some C-store outfits that are hard to resist as well.

The game allows you to customize the basic outfits with a variety of patterns and a huge array of colors.  Some outfits are limited to specific factions others may be worn across factions. Check out the amazing options for your character and your BOFFs too, by visiting a tailor at Earth Space Dock, Qo’nos, the Romulan Flotilla, or one of the other locations such as DS9.

STO added a feature a while back allowing you to quick-change into one of your saved outfits by clicking on your character icon in
the top left of the screen and choosing the “change outfit” option.

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Admiral Sager 21st Century

Part of the fun of an MMORPG is creating a custom and unique character. STO does not disappoint in this regard. There are a variety of items you can equip on your character that will alter the appearance . A “kit” will add visible equipment to your toon and armor and shields may have a visual effect as well. Just like the ships these visual effects can be turned off by clicking the “eye” symbol next to the item in your character equip screen and selecting “disable visuals”.

While I was poking through the costume options I came across the Mercenary outfit and that got me thinking about the game. I came up with this idea for a new quasi-faction/career path. What if STO offered your character an opportunity for a career path outside of the KDF/Federation military? Here me out on this. When the Legacy of Romulus was created the new “faction” Romulans was created as well. The boffins at cryptic seamlessly inserted this faction into the game by offering the Romulan characters a choice of allegiance to either the Feds or KDF.

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Captain Rodamorak

I am proposing a new set of career paths integrated in a similar way. You would still choose your character to be a Romulan, KDF or Federation faction and the opening storylines would be the same. At some point early in the development, the character would decide to either enter the traditional military path KDF for Klingons or Starfleet for Federation, or choose one of four independent career paths. For Fed allegiance the choices would be Covert Agent, Mercenary or Trader. The Klingon faction players could be a Mercenary, Trader or a Pirate. The Fed toons on this path no longer report to Admiral Quinn but instead would report to Ferenginar for a series of missions some of which would be the same Fed missions in the main episode story line, just as they were merged in for Romulans. KDF toons would no longer report to the Empire but would report to the Orions.

Mercs and Traders would be essentially the same in both factions with some minor tweeks to the traders. KDF side would still have Orion slave trade obviously not for Feds, etc. These careers would not have their own set of skills and powers, that would still be determined by the original selection made are character start-up, tactical, science or engineer. Those skill sets however would be beneficial science for covert or pirate, engineer for trader and tactical for mercenary.

The mercenary would be able to run missions for cash, items and dilithium. These mercs would also serve as the opposition to the KDF or Fed in some of the same story-line missions. In other words the same mission that characters have run and encountered mercs they had to eliminate, now they are those mercs trying to stop a KDF or Federation npc from completing the same mission. You now are playing many of the same missions from the other perspective. The merc would receive missions as an employment offer rather than command orders. This part is a stretch but they could also be hired to run missions for other player characters through the exchange.  The mission specific loot goes to the player that hired them along with the mission complete, the merc gets dilithium. The merc could be hired by other player characters to PVP hit another player. When that hit is placed on the exchange and that target player enters an open PVP the contract goes live as a bounty.

The Trader would run broker missions and earn items, Lobi and latinum. Traders would also be able to unbind any item other than special event/mission items or Reputation items. Traders would receive a slight discount when buying on the exchange (would not effect other player selling, just a perc from the game) and they would receive a slighty higher price when selling items on the exchange (same as before would not effect other party). Traders would be able to access the exchange and the bank from any ship, anywhere. Where possible these traders would also be incorporated into some of the existing episode missions from a different perspective. Even on the KDF side the Ferengi would be involved in the missions for the “trader’.

Covert Agents would be “hired” by the Ferengi to find resources that they can exploit or spy on other factions for the information trade. The character would earn items, Lobi crystals and latinum.  As with the others these Covert Agents would be inserted into some of the episode missions to offer a different perspective on the same event. covert agents would get a passive 50% stealth boost on ground and space.

Pirates would be pirates! Pirates would get a 50% loot bonus all the time. Missions would be designed to feel like an independent meaning that rather than operating on orders they are operating on tips and information. They would be inserted into the missions that had players fighting pirates so as to create an opportunity to experience the same content from a different angle.

These independent careers would have some great advantages over the Military path in terms of loot, lobi, latimun and career percs, but would be limited in that they would not have access to the full line Starfleet or KDF ships. They would have access to all the ships of either the KDF or Federation that are not Klingon or Starfleet. For example a fed aligned independent can fly the Catian carrier, Andorian Ships, Vulcan ships, etc. KDF aligned independents can fly Nausican, Gorn, Orion, etc. A few special independent only ships could be added as well to fill in the void.

Come on Cryptic, this is juicy stuff… make it so!

DS9 Fans Love This Ship!

ns-new-11-2013-bI am a fan of all things Trek, and DS9 is no exception. It was a risky proposition that show. Star Trek had three series (TOS, TAS, TNG) with more than 300 episodes and six feature-length films going boldly where no one had gone before. Then they decided to boldly stay at the star base. And it worked! Commander Sisko running a former Cardassian space station with Kira Narisse and a shape shifting security chief. The show ran seven seasons my friends and that is nothing less than a stellar success.

DS9 introduced us to so great characters. Arguably the show had the best characters in all of Trek. The series was very dialog heavy and story driven. A real treat came with the introduction of the Defiant. Starfleet had quite the little firecracker and she got a gift from the Romulans, a cloaking device!

Star Trek Online of course honors that ship with not one, not two, nor even three but four ships along with multiple style variants. They are called the Tactical Escort. The first two ships are available when you reach the rank of Captain. Oddly Sisko got the ship when he was a mere Commander. That’s OK, Sisko was a boss and we are mere mortals.

The first is a standard version of the ship and can be purchased with Admiral Quinn’s promotion token. The second is a refit version also available at Captain for 1500 ZEN. It has quite a boost over the standard version. It gets an extra engineer on the bridge, an extra engineering console, and the famous Quad Phaser Cannons with [dmg]x4. Those quad cannons level up with the captain so they are a forever weapon.

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Once you make Vice Admiral you can whip out 2000 ZEN and purchase the Tactical Escort Retrofit. You can even bring the quad cannons over from the refit if you have them. This ship is boosted up to 30,000 hull (from 25,000) and has the full complement of bridge officers along with nine consoles. It also comes with the cloaking device. The cloak must be installed in a console slot. That seems fair since the cloak is a loaner from the Romulans according to Star Trek Canon. Many people may choose to lose the cloak rather than give up the extra console slot but I fly around with the cloak. I wish it was a battle cloak. You know how I feel about that ;) 

The final version is the Fleet Retrofit and that has the usual boost of 10% hull and a tenth console but NOT the 10% shield boost. I don’t agree with that. I have the fleet version and it should have received the boost to a 0.99 modifier on shields.  That said it is an awesome ship and is still flown by a great many STO captains.

ns-loadoutI have had this ship quipped with just about every set out there. I had the Borg four-piece set (back when it was a four piece set). I ran it for a long time with the Jem’Hadar set, first at Mk XI then at Mk XII. That was a good setup with the Jem’Hadar. I had all Mk XII polaron weps and the three-piece set offered a 13.6% boost to polaron damage. I never cared for the deflector on that set for a tactical captain. So now I just have it decked out in fleet gear. I still need to upgrade those Mk XII Tetryon weapons to fleet grade. It has the fleet positron deflector, fleet impulse engines, fleet covariant shield and fleet elite warp core. The engines and core offer nice boosts to power systems so this ship has plenty of juice in all systems. This is a great ship fully loaded and ready for combat with Admiral Sager in command, this ship has 56k hull, 14k shields per facing, 125% power transfer rate and a defense bonus of 75% at 3/4 throttle. The static power levels in attack mode are W-110, S-75, E-45, A-65. That’s all that boosted performance from the fleet gear! Those fleet enhanced neutronium consoles are nice also with +20 kinetic damage resist, +20 all energy damage resist and +10 structural integrity. The ship’s hull shakes off 50% of all damage. I am still working on the ideal BOFF setup with this ship. Three tactical BOFFs and just one each Lt for sci and engineering.  This ship is surprisingly resilient considering the BOFF arrangement. The ship turns at 17 which is the sharpest of any Starfleet vessel. Of course Starfleet captains have access to the Risian Corvette which turns at 21, the Jem’ Hadar Attack ship turns at 20 and the Breen Plesh Brek Raider turns at 19. Only the Jem Bug is more hull resilient however and none of those can equip the cloaking device.

I was flying this ship in some STFs and in support of a friend that was having trouble with some missions and the ship is just so fun! It has enough staying power to get out of trouble when the heat is really on, but it can lay down serious death with three dual cannons up front. If you haven’t flown this ship yet, Go get one. Start a new character if you have too and take the free version at level 30. You will probably end up with the retrofit in the end! It is that good.

 

 

Captain on the Bridge!

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Oh, the amazing world of STO, it takes us halfway across the galaxy to strange new worlds. We command starships, fight the good fight and save the day. Technically we do all of this from the bridge of our starship. But how often do you actually visit your bridge in-game?

Did you know that there are literally scores of different bridges. Some are free others are C-store items. I have pondered the more than 700 episodes of Star Trek on television and the twelve feature movies and I find that much of the screen time is in fact on the bridge. When screen time for engineering , sick bay or other areas on the ship is added, it is safe to say that more than half of the Star Trek experience is ON THE SHIP! Yet in STO we find ourselves wandering the corridors of our starships far too infrequently.

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The boffins at Cryptic have created some amazing bridge and ship interior detail. Some of the bridges are quite detailed and are even accurate representations of ‘real’ Trek ships. I do think most of the bridges are a bit larger in scale than they appear in the show. But that’s OK with me.

The game offers about ten to twenty different bridges for each faction for free. Then a great many more are available in the c-store or as part of a special ship package. I like adding a custom bridge to my ships to suit the style of the Captain and crew. There are several different designs each with a few variables on color and trim.

Some of the special alien ships like Breen, Dyson, Obelisk, etc. have special bridges. If you want to check out most of the bridges that are available you can go to the ship customization area and check what can be used on your current ship. You can also visit the Star Trek Online Wiki and find many of them in nice sized jpgs to view.

You1-klink-bridge can also decide on an overall interior package for your ship at the ship customization area. You can choose a from small to large ship interiors. The game allows you to visit your bridge by selecting that feature from the pull down menu under the mini-map. Once on the bridge you can go to the Captain’s ready room. You can access special DOFF missions here as well as the account bank if you have one. Once on the bridge your Captain is free to wander about the ship by using the turbolift. Sickbay, crew quarters, engineering, mess hall it’s all there. In the Captain’s ready room or the mess hall it is possible to display trophies you have earned in-game. You can even invite your friends to visit your ship. Klingons can visit a Fed bridge and vice versa, it’s all good.

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I think it would be really great if Cryptic would create a series of missions or events that take place on your ship. They could be accessed from the Captain’s chair on the bridge. Maybe a surprise attack with an enemy boarding party, or a special research mission in sickbay, etc. Hey Cryptic, you got that, that’s good stuff and you know it ;)

So go ahead and take a tour of your own ship. Check out the pulsating warp core in engineering or get comfy in your Captain’s chair on the bridge. Captain on the Bridge!