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STO: You Can Cold Call Me Anytime

August 30, 2010

Last week was a pretty eventful week for me in Star Trek Online, having leveled to Vice Admiral just days after grinding my diplomacy experience to Attache rank. With this flurry of activity, also came a downside. I knew that soon after reaching both these goals, my interest in the game could very well wane again. For some reason, I’m faithful to a fault when it comes to my character in STO; all I want to do is work on T’Andy and I can’t bring myself to start an alt or a Klingon. But just as I was thinking of freezing my subscription (again), STO rolls out their feature weekly episodes.

See, I’m not always impressed by the improvements they add to STO. Sometimes, I even think the decisions they make over there are downright nutty. But I’ll give credit where credit’s due and I’m always grateful when Cryptic exceeds my expectations and comes out with something awesome. And the first ever feature weekly episode, “Cold Call” (detailed wonderfully over at West Karana), which debuted Saturday was an example.

Color me blown away.

“Cold Call” wasn’t a long mission by any means, but from beginning to end, I felt like I was part of something coherent. Like my fleetmate the Combat Archaeologist observed while we were in the in-game chat yesterday, it felt like being in an actual Star Trek episode in some ways, complete with all the ingredients of a great story:

A dash of diplomacy…

"Quick question, Ambassador -- anyone ever tell you your vessel looks like a Republic warship? Oh, you don't even know what that means? Never mind then."

A beautiful planet with an intriguing population…

Honestly, the most gorgeous place in the game by far. Right off the bat, it felt like a city that was full of life, with NPCs milling about and Deferi ships dotting the sky.

Like the financial district at lunch time.

Mix in a ruthless (but oftentimes humorous) foe in the form of the Breen…

Oh, they’re fun to fight too.

"Like the Romulans say, 'Never turn your back on a Breen!'"

Throw in a healthy dose of ground combat…

"And stay down!"

Add some space combat for flavor…

"Sorry, Defera, but I'm going to be leaving your orbit with more space junk."

Finish it off with just a hint of mystery…

"I solve a puzzle and then nothing? Illogical!"

And everything comes together to create this intense, plot-oriented experience. In theory, there was nothing new — still the same type of mission to escort, find and kill enemies, do some patrols…but I was surprised at what a difference the details of the weekly episode made. When all is said and done, it’s just another mission, but I had a great time with it and feel that the devs deserve a pat on the back and a huge thank you from me for all the effort put into its design. This is why I play STO, and why I’ll continue to play STO if the future weekly feature episodes are released at this caliber.

Well played, Cryptic, well played.

And while I’m showering the devs my appreciation, might as well thank them too  for my fluidic space tribble!

"Whoa, so fluidic that my brains are turning to mush."

Looking forward to “Episode 2: Out in the Cold” next week.

12 comments

  1. Hmm I may have to investigate this. Am I right in thinking that it adjusts to level? (Rowan is still Captain 6.)


    • Yep, all you have to be is level 10+. Do give it a shot when you can, it’s very well done.


  2. I’m so glad that the promise of weekly episodes is keeping you in the game (for now). Happiness!

    Also, that puzzle: I think the correct sequence ended up being 314 – as in, pi. If so, that’s a really awesome, Trek-like answer – how else would ancient aliens communicate, except through a universal constant.


    • That’s really cool if that’s the case. I didn’t really notice when I was doing it, just clicked randomly after each configuration until my science officer told me it worked :P


      • Well, I think the real moral of the story is: thank God for science officers. They went to science school so we didn’t have to.


  3. I get like that too, if I don’t have some goals to work on I grow bored in some of my games.

    I read about those weekly episodes and they do sound really cool. I think many games could benefit from similar mechanics, something to freshen up things!

    Very cool pics, looks like a lot of fun :D


    • I agree, goals are nice. As soon as I’m fresh out of things to do, I get bored easily.

      I gotta say, for one the weekly episodes are better than repeatable dailies. Even if it’s the same mechanics every week, at least hopefully we’ll get a good story out of it each time.


  4. If they are adding content of that caliber once a week, I may have to check it out before the rumored FtP version. It’s sort of like an episode of Star Trek you play instead of watching, very neat.


    • Exactly…they even added the mission name on the screen as you first warp into the zone, just like an actual episode of Star Trek! I felt it was a pretty nice touch.

      Also, the good thing about the weekly episodes is that you don’t have to be that high level to do them. As I understand it, even the new player can jump in and start participating in these every week as soon as they get to level 10, which doesn’t take long at all.


  5. I was totally in for the episode from the moment the “Cold Call” title came up during warp in. I’m looking forward to seeing if they can keep the quality levels that high through the rest of the arc. Even more interesting will be to see if they can put out the second arc on time and at the same level.


    • Yeah, those words just appearing as you warp in was such a treat. As for whether or not they can keep up this quality, I foresee success for the rest of this arc. After that is another story :P I’m hoping they can, but with every week the stakes also become higher.


  6. [...] anything could top the visual feast I received last week the moment I stepped foot on Defera for “Cold Call”, but I was wrong. But seriously, can anything truly prepare you for a comet tail in your [...]



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