Posts Tagged ‘Space Combat’

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Star Trek Online: Sphere Of Influence And Fun With Worf

November 4, 2013

world

My playtime in Star Trek Online had tapered off somewhat at the end of the summer’s Risa event. After all, I’d done my part and earned my Risian corvette, and the only thing left to do was to fly happily into the (figurative) sunset as the captain of the classiest ride in space.

gateway

Another event brought me back this weekend, though, and the temptation of another free ship had absolutely nothing to do with it. And if you believed that, I have a very nice bridge to sell you. And not the starship kind either. But still, last week did see the launch of the latest Feature Episode “Sphere of Influence”, and all characters from every faction level 10 or higher can hail D’Tan and get a mission to travel to New Romulus where you’ll serve as a representative during the reactivation of an Iconian Gateway.

worf

Sounds awesome. And all right, fine, even though I was never the biggest The Next Generation fan, I have to say the prospect of working side by side with Worf (whom the game got Michael Dorn back to voice) is pretty amazing too.

console

I played through the mission this weekend, and it was a lot of fun, and, as you can see from the screenshots, visually stunning. I took my main T’Androma on this mission and in the process got Worf all shot up, but hopefully I didn’t get him too annoyed with me. The Obelisk Carrier you get to fly at the end in the huge space battle is also a blast!

obelisk battle

And of course, if you complete the mission before December 5, you’ll also score yourself an Obelisk Carrier of your own. Surely, I did mention the free ship?

Obelisk

It has the benefit of a pretty wicked looking bridge too. Disturbing undertones of Prometheus notwithstanding.

obelisk bridge

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It’s A Perfect World

May 24, 2013

Cryptic/Perfect World seems bent on taking up all my gaming time lately. Though I can’t seem to convince my husband to come back to Star Trek Online with me, I myself have been sucked back into the game big time.

Romulan starting area

Um, yeah. This is definitely not the STO I knew and remembered. It’s bigger and better. I am still set-phasers-to-stunned by how much has changed. I know a lot of features have been added since I left, but it’s also the little things too. Stuff has been tidied up and streamlined, from the user interface to combat mechanics, the visuals and environment and effects have been updated or improved. This was something I played for almost two years before I stopped, but coming back again now feels like discovering a brand new game.

And yet, memories of gameplay inevitably flow back to me while I’m playing. Sometimes it’s a good thing, like during ground combat. Remembering the Expose/Exploit system helped me decide which weapons to give to myself and my bridge officers, and mobs went down without any trouble. But sometimes, half-remembering the game can also hinder. During space combat with my new Romulan character, I’m maneuvering my beached whale of a starting hunk of metal and wishing so badly I was still back in my main’s escort ship. A lot of the battle tactics I developed I mastered using that little Maelstrom, and that baby turned on a dime.

Space combat

Perhaps not surprisingly, my first foray back among the stars did not go so well. I even forgot the golden rule of STO space combat: DO NOT hang around exploding ships! I guess my MMO-player instinct to run up to enemies I’ve just killed in order to loot them was just too strong, and I was almost blown up for it, bleh.

It’s a shame I can only fit in about an hour or less of time in STO during the afternoons, because like I said, the mister doesn’t seem to have any interest in captain duties anymore. As for the game we’re both still playing, the obsession with Neverwinter is still holding strong and I’m glad to report we’re slowly climbing the levels every evening.

Ebon Downs

It’s a good balance, don’t you think? Sci-fi by day, fantasy by night.

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SWTOR: Asteroids Do Not Concern Me, Admiral!

December 19, 2011

Got some decent game time in with Star Wars: The Old Republic this weekend, played both my characters to or past that sweet spot around level 16-18 where they get their ships. You know what that means…

SPACE COMBAT!

I never thought I’d say this but, I’m starting to like it. Starting to like it a lot. Sure, the encounters are heavily scripted and on rails and heck, I even panned it during beta, but lord help me if I’m not finding it terribly addictive right now.

I’ve known for a while that space battles are meant as mini-games within SWTOR, but I don’t think I fully understood the niche they’re meant to fill until yesterday while watching football with the husband. Since most of his attention was glued to the television, questing was hopeless — what with all the voiceovers and story you had to follow while playing. So we jumped into space and did some flying and shooting. As most of these encounters end up being around 5 minutes or so, it was the perfect activity during commercials breaks.

I got really into them. So far, I’ve experienced about five scenarios. The objectives are varied, from straight-forward escort missions to shooting down enemies while dodging asteroids, so I’m never bored. Some of them can be tough, like the Archenar Interception where you do the aforementioned asteroid-dodging. While I’ve yet to fail a single space combat mission, I always, always end that particular one as a smoking ruin with just a sliver of life left on my ship:

Ugh, what can I say, I am no Han Solo. Maybe I’ll make a video of myself doing Archenar one day; I am apparently highly amusing to listen to while doing that one.

That said, the first thing you might want to do before engaging in battle with your ship is to outfit it with some upgrades — even just the rudimentary starter pieces at the ship vendor will help a lot. I was also floored by the amount of experience gained doing space combat, since they are tied to some dailies. If you’re looking to grind out some levels for whatever reason, it’s a very time-effective and entertaining way to go about it.

Those who have tried it, what are your thoughts on space combat? For me, it’s a part of the game I didn’t think I would enjoy at all but now I find myself slowly warming up to it. That doesn’t happen a lot, but it’s always a pleasant surprise when it does. While the space aspect of SWTOR still pales in comparison to the rest of the game, it does serve as a fun distraction when I need it. In that, it does the job really well.

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SWTOR Beta Test: The Obligatory General Impressions Mega-Post

November 18, 2011

The time has finally come — you know, where I start assaulting you all, my poor readers, with my impressions of Star Wars: The Old Republic from general testing over the last five months, now that the NDA for testing has been lifted.

I do have plans to expand upon much of the following in future posts (as if only one gargantuan wall-of-text won’t be enough, right?) But there are quite a few thoughts I do want to toss up on here first. I took a bunch of notes throughout my testing experience, which are a mess right now and which I should really try to consolidate into something coherent. While I love the game and had a lot of fun testing, much of this ended up being the basis for the “constructive criticism” I offered up during feedback, so hopefully this impression piece will come across fair and balanced. I aim to be completely honest.

Overall Thoughts

You’ll probably hear this a lot, but it’s true — the first thing that came to my mind when I first played SWTOR was “Knights of the Old Republic Online”. That is, if I was forced to reduce my description of the game to a diminutive label. I don’t like to, but if I must.

I get the feeling that BioWare determined their target audience early on, and that was how they approached the game. What I mean is, this is an extremely linear MMO and it is never going to be anything but a theme park, so if you are into sandbox type games, it is not for you. Likewise, if you loved KOTOR and came to this expecting to recapture exactly the same single-player experience, it also won’t be for you. Despite what you might hear, SWTOR is a massively multiplayer online game. You can play this solo, but if you want to get the most of it, at some point you’ll have to interact with other people.

I think too many people will expect this to be an revolution and the next step in how MMO games are made, but if so, you’ll be disappointed. SWTOR is simply another iteration of the MMO, taking many things that work and making them better, but it’s by no means a complete redesign of the MMO philosophy. BioWare set their sights on one thing and went about to do that one thing very well — and that’s story. The focus isn’t so much on gameplay, but on the interaction behind it.

Now, with all those caveats out of the way, I’ll say this — I’m a gamer of fairly flexible tastes, and I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed every minute I had with this game. Despite some nitpicky issues I had, in general my overall view of SWTOR is extremely positive.

Character Creation

I’m happy to say I found it adequate, though customization options are still not as robust as I would like. APB or Age of Conan this is definitely not, but there will still be plenty of choices available for you to fiddle around with to make the chance of you running into someone else looking exactly the same as you very, very slim. You can also have apostrophes and hyphens in your character name — a small, trivial detail, but it made me happy nonetheless.

UI

Not a big fan, personally. But then again, I was coming off from playing Rift (which came with a highly customizable and flexible UI right out of the box) and for a couple months this year, World of Warcraft: Cataclysm (whose UI I modded up the wazoo). While I played, I yearned for more action bars and a way to move my modules around, and other little things like see-target-of-target. For now, it serves its purposes though, and I give it that it’s very neat and clean.

Advanced Classes

Each class branches off into two paths, and you choose one to follow once you reach level 10 or so. Your Advanced Class is a permanent choice that then determines your role for the rest of the game. I tested both ACs for the Trooper class, and I’m pleased to say the two paths offer up very different and varied styles of play. As a Vanguard, I also wasn’t only limited to defense and tanking; I could also choose to be more damage-oriented if I wanted. Same deal for the healing-capable Commando. It depends on how you allocate your skill points, and this part can easily be respecced.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been praising SWTOR for the flexibility in their class roles — that is, the astute and observant player can quickly access a situation — say, in a flashpoint — and offer whatever support is needed despite the role they’ve been invited to play. You can be the DPS Jedi Guardian but still be a halfway decent tank on the fly, if it was suddenly required of you. The “hybrid” ACs enjoy this perk. I find the two that lack this advantage, however, are the straight-DPS Gunslinger and Jedi Sentinel, and I hope in the future BioWare will give them more utility in group play.

Combat

If you’re an MMO veteran, I’m sad to say you probably won’t find combat during the first 10 or so levels very exciting at all. To be fair, BioWare no doubt calibrated difficulty and complexity to balance the experience for gamers of all backgrounds, and to be honest, I would rather them err on the side of caution than risk frustrating newcomers to the MMO genre. So the bad news is, combat doesn’t feel “heroic” right off the bat, and some might even find it boring.

The good news, however, is that as you level up, the combat gets a lot more interesting. By the mid 20s, I was really getting into it. And by 50, I was having a ton of fun. The XS Freighter Fly-Over FTW.

After you choose your Advanced Class, more abilities become available to you. A lot of them play off each other, and depending on the points you allocate to your skill trees, you can start to vary your strategy a little depending on the situation. Say, your tank’s health is low and your healer needs some time to catch up? My Gunslinger, even as a ranged DPS, never passed up the chance to run up to a mob just to kick him in the balls. It buys the group a few seconds, and while I was in melee range anyway, here’s a blaster whip and a cheap shot to the face too! A smuggler never wastes a good opportunity.

Crafting

It’s very…interesting. For better or worse, I can honestly say I’ve never experienced a crafting system like this. The great thing is, you can order your companions to do the grunt work for you, and so I can be happily questing to my heart’s desire while 3-4 crew skills are ticking away (at higher levels). Of course, this also means the process is less hands-on.

I’m generally not big on crafting in most MMOs, however, and in SWTOR I have to say I’m still not seeing a great incentive to do it, other than the fact I can keep working on it while I do my usual leveling. Plus, mission crew skills eat up your credits really, really quickly, so it’s something I still might want to save for later when I’m all leveled up.

Questing

Your class has a main story line, but there are also general planet quests that everyone else can get.

Class quests are the cream of the crop. These are integrated into your story, and this is where the innovation is, and what makes SWTOR so unique. Here, the choices you make will determine whether you are, say, praised by your commanding officer (in my Trooper’s case, this was General Garza), or get majorly chewed out by her (and boy, can she be a real nag). These quests are crafted to your class story, so they often turn out to be the more interesting, humorous, impactful ones.

Then there are the general planet quests, which I have to admit are similar to those in any other themepark MMO — but on steroids. Voiceover and cinematography makes these otherwise mundane quests so much more immersive. Unlike other MMOs where I have to read a wall of text, I never had to force myself to focus on a quest in SWTOR. It just happened effortlessly and naturally, because the objectives are always delivered with context and emotion. I actually cared about the reasons why I had to rescue 5 nexu pups from the dirty pirates, or salvage some poor refugees’ lost belongings. And at the end if I get to make a light side/dark side choice out of it, SCORE!

On top of these, there are also the “Bonus quests” which are almost always of your kill-ten-rats variety. They are scattered everywhere, and pop up around the same area where you are doing your quests. But they are labeled “bonus” and hence are completely optional. Often, you’ll find you are doing it and completing it while working on the main objective anyway. It’s extra experience, and no harm to you if you find you can’t stomach the grinding and decide to skip them. You’ll probably want to skip them anyway, if you find you are in danger of outleveling content.

Interesting thing I observed though — as much as you hear complaining about the tediousness of kill-ten-rats quests, every single group I’ve ever played with in beta always insisted on completing the bonus — even after the main objective was done. Never underestimate the desire for more XP, or how deeply the instinct is ingrained in us to be completionists, whether you hate KTR quests or not.

Dark Side/Light Side

Not all decisions are black and white, which I was surprised to see. Some definitely are — but it also greatly depends on whether or not you want to roleplay your character, and if so, what class you choose.

I will say one thing though — going full dark side is freaking tough. Nothing makes you feel more like a bag of crap than screwing over a group of orphans, so congratulations to you if you can find it in yourself to soldier on through the tears or berating you get from your quest giver afterward.

Planets

In a word, they are HUGE. So huge, you will be crying tears of joy by the time you get to buy your first speeder. Quest indicators on the map are almost a necessity; otherwise, the game is so big you’d never be able to figure out where to go.

They are also gorgeous. Even wastelands like Tatooine and Hoth are places of beauty, and BioWare has captured the atmosphere of these and other Star Wars planets very well. Other, lesser known planets like Belsavis and Voss are also given the same detailed treatment. Every planet from Nar Shaddaa to Corellia has its own unique charm. There’s plenty to explore, especially if you’re into hunting down datacrons. Most of them you won’t come across while playing, the majority will be off the beaten path and you really have to poke around the entire planet to find them. And that’s the easy part! Then you have to figure out how to get to them…

PvP

I admit, I didn’t do a lot of PvP, other than a warzone here and there. I did play on a PvE test server, however, and so that’s probably why my opportunities to engage in fighting other players were minimal.

Still, my beta guildmates who were involved in a lot more PvP had much to say, and one who has a lot of experience and enjoys PvP gameplay immensely thought it was lacking in SWTOR compared to most other MMOs. To quote him, “3 warzones and 2 open world PvP areas makes SWTOR PvP worse than Warhammer which was head and shoulders above SWTOR PvP.”

I’m no expert, but from the handful of times I’ve PvPed in SWTOR, I would also have to admit it’s nothing very special.

Space combat

Didn’t like it. Well, okay, maybe “didn’t like” is too strong a term. Let’s just say I didn’t “feel it”. I test it once every build, and never really go back to it. BioWare has made many changes and improvements to it over the past few months, but I came to the conclusion very quickly that it just wasn’t my thing.

Don’t get me wrong; it’s great for what it is — a little side-game designed to be a fun distraction to the main game. While it’s on rails, it’s also fast-paced and quite challenging (but you can upgrade your ship to help with that). If you feel like varying your activities a little, you can always jump in, grab some space combat action, jump out. The problem is, I enjoyed my class story and the planet quests way too much, and often that was what I’d rather do. To be honest, this to me is a good thing — it’s what I call a “happy problem”.

Grouping

There were concerns that “story-mode” would make players feel like playing a single-player game, but I really didn’t get that feeling. On top of group quests and flashpoints, BioWare has added a lot of features that really encourage grouping. I just adore the social rank feature, for one. Being in a group conversation and involving yourself in “convo-loot” rolls will rack you up social points. Get enough social points, you gain social ranks. With social ranks, you buy social gear and goods. I came across a Jedi Consular one time decked in a full Leia gold-slave-bikini outfit, and it was awesome. Yep, social gear. So fans of vanity and cosmetic items will probably like this. Not to mention being in conversations with others is a lot more fun than expected.

Doing a CLASS quest with someone else can get a little tedious though. The most you get to be is a spectator, watching your friend go through their cutscenes. It’s almost like living their story vicariously through them, so if you don’t want spoilers, take this time to grab a drink or take a bio break.

Flashpoints

Most impressed I have ever been with an MMO’s instances. Still, not all FPs in SWTOR were designed equally, that’s my feeling, but I do have a few favorites — Esseles, Maelstrom, etc. It’s not so much the boss fights and the combat (though, as I’ve alluded to before, that can be quite interesting in a full group) than the execution and presentation. The FP isn’t just another instance you zone into and clear, it’s a self-contained story you become personally involved in. The ones I liked best were the ones that also gave you a ton of opportunities to make light side/dark side decisions.

Meanwhile, things are constantly happening around you, like exploding consoles or crashing ships. It’s an environment that’s hectic and alive, made even better by high production values — graphics, sound, cutscenes, cinematography, music, etc.

Another reason to do FPs — for the stories that are part of the game world. In your mid-30s, there’s a couple great FPs that shouldn’t be missed, and I won’t say anything more because it’s a big ginormous spoiler, but those who enjoy Old Republic lore will be very pleased.

Companions

They are a joy to have around! I was initially worried about seeing a ton of other Corso Riggs or Bowdaars running around the world ruining my immersion, but honestly, after a while that just fades into the background. It almost becomes like seeing someone else with the same combat pet, which is sort of what they are but also so much more.

You end up with five companions (not including your ship droid) by the end of your class story line, and classes don’t all receive them at the same point in the story/on the same planets. Each has different skills, and you are free to switch them in and out depending on what your situation calls for.

With most conversations you’ll have a chance to gain affection with your companions. I like how gaining it is easier than losing it, i.e. I often receive 15-20 points when I do something my companion approves of, but when I don’t I only lose 1 point (unless I really piss them off, in which case I can lose hundreds, but you see it coming a mile away). They each have their own history and personalities, and become a big part of your character’s life. You can please them or you can mess with their heads. In the case of Vette, my Sith Warrior kept the slave collar on her and generously zapped her with it all the way into the mid-20s. She never did warm up to me, as you can imagine.

Romances with your companions are also possible, and I heard from several of my buddies they even got to marry theirs at high levels (my husband wasn’t too pleased to hear that). Corso and I never got to that point, but we did become a “couple”.

Story

I saved the best for last. This is where BioWare’s forte is, and what they have accomplished here is phenomenal. And looking around, that seems to be the general consensus.

I was sucked into my class story right from the start, and it just gets better and better the deeper you get into the game. You’ll probably hear me say this again and again over the next week — but I can’t get over how well done my Smuggler’s class story was, from level 1 all the way to level 50. As in, I wished I knew the names of the writers for my Smuggler’s story, so I can send them each a personal thank you note telling them how much they have enriched my MMO experience. They made me laugh. They made me rage. They made me giggle with girlish glee, they made me gasp in surprise and ask out loud “Holy crap, did that actually happen?!”

You should have seen me freaking out to my guildies in guild chat when I was around the mid-40s, going, “OMG OMG OMG the best thing ever just happened to my Smuggler but dammit I can’t tell you because it will spoil!”

Much more on this topic in the future, but all I’ll say now is this: kudos BioWare, you have officially proven that story truly does matter.

Hope you enjoyed.

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Star Trek Online: Remastered “Diplomatic Orders” And “Doomsday Device”

May 31, 2011

Star Trek Online keeps giving me reasons to hop back into the captain’s chair. This long weekend saw the release of two remastered episodes and I thought I’d take some time to share some thoughts and screenshots — because some of the new changes the devs have made to “Diplomatic Orders” and “Doomsday Device” are seriously neat.

Diplomatic Orders

Not surprised at all that this was one of the episodes that got remastered, since in my opinion it was always one of the best missions in the game. In fact, “Diplomatic Orders” was also the first episode I did again when the rerun feature got put into the game, way back when. The story has since been updated, with new cutscenes and voice overs.

Just a couple of highlights — I absolutely adore the new Vulcan. The environmental tweaks to it are especially impressive — lines making up the landscape are much smoother, easier on the eyes, and looks more natural. No more awkward structures and strange dips in the sand. As to why I feel this is noteworthy, the fact that I got my stupid ass stuck behind a monolith the first time I ever set foot on the old Vulcan might have something to do with it. This new Vulcan, on the other hand, is beautiful and dummy-proof!

My other favorite part about this mission is the new reward — Data Recorder which allows you to replay Leonard Nimoy’s lovely Spock voice over again and again as much as I could ever want. I’m also quite keen on the likeness, which by the way, Cryptic, any chance we can ever get a Spock holo? T’Androma would love something like that to put on her bridge so she can…um, okay, never mind.

Final verdict: Excellent.

Doomsday Device

Not that I didn’t appreciate the alterations to the story, the conclusion, and all the good stuff like the new cutscenes, but…simply put, I felt out of my element for this remastered version of “Doomsday Device”.

Firstly, T’Andy gets beamed over to the Klingon ship alone. I had some NPC back up, but I was never able to shake the nagging feeling that my bridge officers should really be the ones doing this with their captain, or at least the part where we clear the ship. Secondly, much of the space combat in this episode now happens in a Klingon ship. It felt different, but wouldn’t have been so bad if it didn’t also feel so grossly under-equipped after being so used to flying and fighting in my own Maelstrom.

Speaking of which, T’Andy’s Klingon disguise is hideous, her unfortunate features only offset in the image above by the awesome sauce that is the majestic Bird of Prey docked in the background.

The new cutscenes and voice overs were great as usual — I honestly never expected to be serenaded to by a Klingon! Albeit it was a war song, probably about breaking my spine, or some such. A rousing tune, nonetheless, and what is arguably one of the most epic cutscenes in any game.

The new story elements, however, have its costs. Maybe it’s just me, but I seem to remember the old version of this mission being a little more action-packed, with a lot less chatter and running back and forth. The mechanics for the final fight has also been changed, which confused me at first — I kept wondering where to go to pick up my special torpedoes as that was what I remembered most about from the original! As it is now, the Hargh’peng torpedoes are already loaded which made life a lot easier, but the doomsday device is just as deadly.

Good thing I’m not above getting myself blown up for a couple of nice screenies!

A lot more where that came from, as the remastered environments are probably what I appreciated most about this episode.

Final verdict: Didn’t like the remastered “Doomsday Device” as much as I thought I would but it’s still a lot of fun, and in my opinion much improved from the original.

In fact, I would recommend my fellow STO captains give all the remastered episodes a try if you haven’t already; it’s worth it, and if anything the new rewards are nice. Even “Stranded in Space” has a new Azura Personal Comm Code reward that will allow you to access your bank, mail or a store from anywhere in the galaxy! It’s very handy.

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STO: Of Reruns, Peregrine Fighters, And Horta Armies

May 24, 2011

It’s always an ordeal when family comes to visit, even when it’s my kid brother and his roommate, so I knew I was looking at a busy schedule this last weekend. Thursday, I took the opportunity to play the Star Trek Online “Cloaked Intentions” rerun the night it debuted so I could get what I wanted done before real life got crazy.

I saw Blue Kae on at the time, so we did the episodes together. For “The Vault”, both of us decided to buy the new Peregrine Fighter, or what I personally like to call the mini-manta ray. Indeed, if my Maelstrom Class Fleet Escort ever got herself knocked up and had a baby, it would look like this:

Having been a fan of cannons for a long time now, you’d think adjusting to this thing would be easier for me, but handling it right out of the box was still a learning experience. At first, space combat with cloaked Scorpion Fighters in “The Vault” was almost like trying to pelt rocks at a moving target with a slingshot while bungee jumping. Ironically, part of this is because of how beautifully smooth it flies.

After we grabbed the new dual cannons reward, Kae and I moved on to the second episode “Mine Enemy” to earn ourselves the combat Horta schematic. Being able to “craft” a living creature is weird, but no weirder than being able to buy, sell, trade or send bridge officers through the mail like chattel I suppose.

At first, our combat Hortas just sat there when summoned, like the lumps of rocks they resembled. But in a fight, it turns out they go right up to engage in some hand-to-ha — um…brick? — combat with the enemy. Here, mine takes punches for me like a champ:

The upgrade from the Horta hatchling to one that can fight for you is a permanent change, however, so of course, I redid “Mine Enemy” once more to get it back.

Mark my words — with my Horta army of two, I shall take over the galaxy!

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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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