Archive for November 15th, 2010

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STO: Night Of The Comet

November 15, 2010

Note: Major spoilers!

Even the screenies!

Avert your eyes!

I hope that’s adequate warning for this week’s coverage of the latest Star Trek Online feature episode, “Night of the Comet,” because I want to talk about some of the challenges it presented. In my opinion, this finale to the Devidian arc was probably the toughest of all the weeklies we’ve had so far.

Looking back, having my husband with me on this week’s mission helped a lot, but I’ll get to that later.

The episode began with a hail from Section 31 agent Franklin Drake, who revealed his plans to send us back to the past in order to destroy the pesky comet that’s been the cause of all this trouble with the Devidians. To travel back in time in our ships, we first had to disguise ourselves as Klingon cruisers using holo-emitters. Then we had to make our way to a secret system to utilize the series of gates there that would essentially catapult us back to the 23rd century.

I didn’t realize this at first, but based on what I saw in general chat, a lot of people had trouble with this first part of the mission. Getting through the rings can be a bit tricky, but it’s completely doable if you steer using a combination of the keyboard with the mouse, or just using the two mouse buttons by itself. I’m more of a mouse-maneuvering captain myself, so the rings posed little problem. Also, there is no need to follow the highlighted trajectory; I found that passing through the gates at any angle from the front side will suffice. Lag would probably be the biggest enemy here. The good news, however, is that when I passed through all the rings on my run, my husband got the prompt to travel to the next map as well. So if all else fails, my last advice is to grab a friend.

Now we engage in a little ground combat with the Devidians at Drozana station, 150 years in the past. There is a wicked Phantasm to deal with here, but we brought strong healers and killed his buddies first, so he fell to our ghostbusting guns like all the rest before him. Hey, we even got to break up a bar fight.

Afterward, another legend graces us with his presence!!! Pleased to meet you, Lieutenant Commander Montgomery Scott.

Here, we encountered another challenge. Well, more of an annoyance, really. To help Scotty with repairs to the station, we first had to get a part from Cassidy — his useless blubbering colleague who has literally been frightened out of her wits. Luckily, Scotty figured a nerve tonic should bring her out of it.

Kill me now. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone so picky with their alcohol. I was so glad to have someone else with me on this part of the mission; we had my husband put together the drink at the bartender while I stood with Scotty and called out the preferences. Much easier with two people. Otherwise, be prepared to memorize details or take a lot of notes on how the little damsel likes her drinks.

And then we were on our way to destroy the comet. I didn’t think the episode would end so mundanely though, and sure enough, we had the Klingons to deal with once we beamed back into space. Silly Franklin Drake, he could have chosen a disguise that didn’t make everyone in the 23rd century hate us.

Not going to deny it — this final battle was hell for me. Between zapping the comet and having to fight the waves of Klingon ships coming to intercept us, I found it nigh impossible to stay alive. For some reason, those D7 Battle Cruisers seemed to find me no matter where I went, ignoring my husband completely even though in many cases he was closer. My little escort isn’t built to handle the kind of abuse that comes with being focus-fired on by multiple enemies, and I must have blown up after every single pass of the comet.

In the ugly mess that ensued, I accidentally destroyed the named Klingon enemy ship that we were supposed to keep alive, thus failing my orders to preserve the timeline. I thought I botched the mission then, since my tactical officer even told me that we had to go back to the beginning to attempt it again. I was all prepared to start over when…nothing happened. I was hailed by Franklin Drake when the last piece of comet was destroyed, but instead of a good tongue-lashing, all he gave me was a congratulations for a job well done, plus my mission rewards. I’m not sure that was how things were supposed to pan out, but I was thankful not to have to do the mission over again.

Despite the glitches, I thought “Night of the Comet” was a decent episode and a good ending to the Devidian arc. Story-wise, it was a winner, and I felt it gave players a bit of everything to do. Believe it or not, as pathetic as my performance was, I have to say that last battle was probably one of my favorite STO space combat encounters of all time.

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