I have spent a gratuitous amount of time talking about the wonderful ships of STO. This is partly because I tend to favor the space missions and ship building aspect more so than the ground missions. Today however, I think I am overdue to touch on the whole other world of STO in the character creation, and ground missions side of the game.
I have five toons thus far. My original character that started off my Star Trek Online adventure is Tactical Vice Admiral Sager. Hey, that sounds familiar. I started this character in December of 2010 before the switch to the F2P model. This toon is somewhat loosely based on me. The good admiral is 49 years old and has had a long and illustrious career with Starfleet.
My second toon began shortly after Admiral Sager reached level 25. Before the Legacy of Romulus expansion Klingons began at level 20 and could not be started until you had a Federation toon at level 25. I have never actually started a KDF character at level one. I have also yet to experience the new Federation beginning at the academy. So I have my work cut out for me as I need to start two new toons to see the new material. I chose an Orion woman as my KDF officer. Tactical Lt. General Roddicka Esmarelia. I wrote an Orion Syndicate back story with her and Admiral Sager being romantically involved before the Klingon war.
My third toon was Engineering Vice Admiral Rodanna Selicious. She is an alien that made it to level 40 about the time of the Legacy of Romulus. I was excited for the expansion and started my 4th toon, Romulan Engineer, Vice Admiral Be’ina. She reached level 50 before Rodanna did. Finally I started Federation Science Officer, Vice Admiral, Rodessa Vhargal. I hadn’t done a sci yet so it just made sense.
As complex and detailed as the ships, captains and crew are, the ground is very similar. You create your team in the form of away team members. As you level up you acquire additional bridge officers that can accompany you on these missions. You can also just beam down with a standard red shirt security team but that may not end well… for them at least 😉
Success on the ground requires working on your Captain’s ground abilities and of course there is a balance between space and ground. You cannot max out both space and ground abilities. I like this since it requires your captain to favor one over the other if you want either maxed out. On the ground you also build up the ground based abilities of your bridge officers. Just as you assign skill points to your toon and the BOFFs space abilities, so you do with ground. A solid away team for me includes at least one engineer, one science officer and one tactical officer. Then I usually have an extra tac as the fourth BOFF.
If you like to earn reputation rewards I find the 20 person ground event, “Mine trap” is a good way to get around 30-40 marks. You will have fun wiping out those nasty salt creatures from TOS.
Honestly my ground setup is not all that amazing. I do have my Fed Science officer maxed out on ground abilities. Leave a comment with your ideas for a good ground combat setup. I said earlier that I favor the space side of STO. What do you prefer?
As you increase your ability scores in certain categories your captain is able to teach high level abilities to BOFFs in the same career path as you. These high level abilities are only available through captain training so players in another career path will not be able to have their BOFFs learn them.
My toughest character on the ground is probably Be’ina. Romulans are not only devious, but they are pretty good in a fight too. Star Trek Online lets you use a variety of weapons as diverse as you get in space and you can even go medieval on your enemies with a Klingon Bat’leth, Vulcan Lurpa or Falchion Sword.
The nice thing about ground is that it is less expensive to equip your toon for the ground. You do however have the ability to equip all of your away team BOFFS also and that can be expensive. I usually outfit my away mission BOFFs with good high mark stuff that is MOB dropped. For my character I’ll use good mission rewards like the Jem’Hadar ground set or other high quality rewards and of course Fleet gear is always good.
STO allows for impressive customization of your toons physical features and the clothes he or she wears. I have been a sucker for some of the add-on C-store clothing as well. Since STO is after all an MMORPG, there is a certain social atmosphere. We can hang out in the nightclub, gamble at Quarks on DS-9 or Drozana Station where the lovely Leeta talks us into spending all our latinum. We can even go to the beaches of Risa and lie in the sun. Sometimes a player will drop a 100 bars of gold pressed latinum and create a disco dance scene so addictive even the Klingons have to dance 😉
With all this non-phaser action happening, why not have some stylish threads for the casual aspects of Star Trek Online? The 21st century set offers up a variety of suit options for men and a less variable dress wardrobe for the ladies.
I would love to see the team at Perfect World make every chair, sofa, etc. avail to sit in. Seems odd that there are all these pieces of furniture that you can’t sit in? What’s up with that, Cryptic?
Perfect World and Cryptic have created a very large and immersive Star Trek Universe for us to explore and enjoy. So get out there and explore it, in space and on foot and with some sweet threads too.