Things are starting to ‘Escalate’

Well Season Thirteen is here and I have had a couple of days to play. Hardly enough seat time in the Escalation to really gauge the new tweaks they claim to have made in the character skills. Here are some initial observations.

The easy part is the new content which is not exactly overwhelming. Cryptic is giving us the standard new ‘featured mission’ and a couple of new PVE and PVP queues. The PVE missions will earn Competition Marks for the new Competitive WarGames reputation system. These PVE are actually two teams of players trying to defeat the enemy first. I like it, it’s a little different kind of PVE with a PVP element.

The space version has puzzles, I hate puzzles. So far I have been flying relatively high DPS ships in the event so I just wipe out the baddies and let other players solve the puzzles. Did I mention how much I hate puzzles? I have to be in the mood for puzzle solving. When I am playing STO, I am generally not in that mood 😉

The featured mission is nothing special, just another series of space and ground scenarios. There is a nice back story element however and I believe we will get some insight into that story as new missions arrive. One thing though that is just cheesy. If you haven’t played the mission yet, close your eyes there is a tiny spoiler headed your way… So the farming moon is wiped out and part of the mission is to “fix it”. Abra Kadabra, and a wiped out planet is terraformed in seconds. WTF Cryptic you lazy turds. You gotta do better than that. Star Trek is not about Hocus Pocus, well unless the Q is involved, which however, in this mission HE IS NOT!

I added the new Ion Stream Heavy Weapon to a couple of ships to try it out. It is a pretty badass weapon. The electrical damage is treated as exotic so many enemies may not have strong resistance to it. Plus it looks real cool when it fires 😉 I ran a couple of runs in my Andorian Kumari which is the ship I got my personal best in Japori. (58 second run). I didn’t match or beat that 58 but I ran a pair of sub 70s which is pretty good. The extra punch afforded by the heavy weapon may make it possible for me to beat that standing record which in all honesty was a lucky run where everything just fell into place perfectly. You can get one of these Ion units from the dilitium store for free if you have any escort or raider ships that have the heavy weapon slot.

This week I am going to run several of my toons through some missions to see just how effective or ineffective the new system tweaks are for the characters. Are we still just living in a DPS world or can we all choose other alternatives? We shall see as the week(s) progress.

Here are a few more observations thus far. The pets were supposed to be improved with this new season and my limited experience shows that it appears they are a little better at surviving. I ran Rodessa (FA 60, science) through some patrols and the pets seemed to be more resilient. That may have been due to the fact that they can survive and or avoid a warp core explosion now. That is welcome for sure. I still haven’t had enough seat time with a science cap to see if STO has achieved the goal of making non-DPS choices usable.

I mentioned a few weeks ago my previous declaration that they had solved the dialog box decloaking was premature. Most dialog boxes will still decloak you including some unsolicited ones. As it stands yet another season has come and this problem still remains. This is an affront to logic and the very goodness of humanity. What the hell is wrong with these idiots? Cloaking devices NEVER disable communications nor do communications disable a cloaking device, in any trek incarnation ever! ARRRRGGGGHH! Fix this shit Cryptic, seriously you guys are definitely in the ‘fucktard’ zone with this. 7 years and still no fix? My God, this is a new level of total incompetence never before witnessed by humans. The hatred of the cloaking device continues at Cryptic and as I wrote in the Top Ten Peeves post, they should fire that asshole and fix that shit NOW!

Sorry raging again 😉 Season Thirteen so far is just another ‘ho-hum’ release, we shall see over the next few weeks just how effective the skill set tweaks are.

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