Archive for November 10th, 2010

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STO: Everything Old Is New Again

November 10, 2010

Note: Major spoilers!

Even the screenies!

Avert your eyes!

In this week’s feature episode of Star Trek Online, T’Androma and the gang must battle the Devidians in the past by traveling back in time to an era of legendary heroes and gaudy colors. Section 31 agent Franklin Drake has informed us that our blue ethereal friends have infested the 23rd century and turned the Starfleet presence at Drozana station into their own private buffet! We can’t have that now, can’t we?

What a treat for TOS fans. The nerdgasm upon seeing the old interior designs must have near put my husband into a coma.

No sooner had he recovered from that, a legend shows up to ask us for our help.

Working alongside him was a real treat. I could practically hear his voice in my head while doing this mission.

As a side note, I never thought what I learned from my human physiology course in college would ever come in handy in an MMO. Let’s just say I’m glad I was paying attention during that lecture on neurons and the nervous system because it made his puzzle that much less confusing.

You're the doc, Doc.

The mission itself was a ground-based affair with a handful of mini-games and puzzles sprinkled about. Despite the 23rd century setting, I felt that it would have been wholly unremarkable experience if  it wasn’t for a couple interesting twists that Cryptic implemented for this episode.

The first twist was a realization that every fight except for the final showdown with the Devidians can be avoided in one way or another. Like it or not, the 23rd century personnel you encounter on Drozana station are still the good men and women of Starfleet. Hmm, to phaser or not to phaser?

Think the worst of T’Andy if you must, but I did actually try to avoid conflict. As a matter of fact, the idea of zapping someone in a Starfleet uniform does kind of make me feel bad. There were also rumors of an accolade to be had, so I did my best to move around unnoticed. I hid, ran away, or talked my way out of a fight whenever I could. However, I failed to sneak away fast enough during one of the later encounters (was too slow to get into the Jefferies tube, dammit) and ended up having to set my phasers to stun after all.

Sorry, sweetcheeks, I just had to borrow that tool for a second.

But the fact of the matter remains — Cryptic has given us an important choice in this episode: fight your way through the mission, or find a more diplomatic solution. I’m hoping to see more like this in future updates or episodes.

The other thing I noticed were the small differences in dialogue options with McCoy, depending on your profession or whether or not you have reached Ambassador status. If you ask me, STO can do with a lot more of that. Meaningful dialogue is always welcome, and I’ve always felt that the game needed more ways to give me a sense of my own character’s uniqueness, or something that sets her apart from her science or engineer counterparts.

A few other screenshots from the mission:

The final battle with the Devidians.

Bathed in radiation.

A little help from our "new" friend.

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