By now most of you have done the introduction mission with Worf. And you probably have started Season 8. What do you think?
I like it, for the most part. We have a new reputation system to enjoy and I think it is much better now than the way they they did it before. Of course the biggest thing is the Sphere. “Biggest” see what I did there? Yeah it’s big alright, 200 MILLION kilometers in diameter. In Season 8 we actually fly around inside a Dyson Sphere in the Delta Quadrant. I think Cryptic did a nice job rendering the interior. I find that the game runs a little slower in the Sphere so I guess they punched up the detail a little.
I don’t want to be a spoiler for the new season so I intend to be somewhat non-specific here. Season eight has a short “episode” list but has dozens of missions scattered about inside the sphere. We are introduced to a new faction enemy, The Voth. These guys are from the Delta Quadrant and they want to claim the sphere for themselves. They seem to have sinister plans for the Omega particles you will learn about when you play. This is a technologically advanced civilization and they have some cool ships and equipment. You will get an opportunity to own a couple of new ships as well.
It also has the aforementioned reputation system and a new fleet project called the Spire. I think some people may be underwhelmed since this new material had to follow the HUGE Legacy of Romulus launch in May. Those my friends are NBA center size shoes to fill. But when you look past that, the changes to the reputation system are most welcome. We will still have to grind a bit to get the real juicy stuff but to advance in reputation we no longer have to buy a bunch of stuff. Just run a qualifying mission or PVE event and shazam! You get a Dyson Commendation to use for filling the project and get 2500 rep points 20 hours later! Yes, Virginia there is a Santa Claus and Merry Christmas Mr. Potter!
This is an ambitious effort on the part of the STO team. Rendering that Sphere is much more challenging than traditional space environments. You are flying your starship in the atmosphere. It’s really cool. I think the detail is nice and the idea was thinking outside of the box to be sure. It was however not outside of the sphere, apparently 😉
There are new fleet goodies to be had as your fleet builds its “spire”. Science consoles and duty officers become available and even atmospheric flight training to reduce the “drag” on your ship when flying in the sphere!
The Voth are formidable, maybe not quite as nasty as the Borg, but still pretty tough. Look at the Voth Citadel Dreadnought Cruiser. That thing is as big as a Borg Cube, maybe even BIGGER!
Freeman Dyson never envisioned or theorized about an actual solid shell around a star, That of course is just how it morphed in the world of science fiction. So go ahead and call it a Sager Sphere instead. Hey that has a nice ring to it.
Overall I like the additional content and I strongly encourage you to look at the passive perks for the five tiers of the Dyson Reputation system. They are well worth the effort to acquire.
Now get out there and kick some Voth ass. I know I will.