Archive for September 27th, 2010

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STO: Keeping Things Warm In Cold Storage

September 27, 2010

What do you do when you arrive to find the Breen and the True Way beating the crap out of each other? You join in, of course.

Once again we take this lovely Monday to look at the latest Star Trek Online featured weekly episode, which by the way I had the pleasure of experiencing on Advanced Difficulty with my fleet of brave Federation News Service correspondents — Longasc, Thomas, Thumupp and Tipa (who has written a very comprehensive account of the mission this week as well).

More on how that turned out later. First, I can’t believe it’s been five weeks already. What is it they say, that time flies when you’re having fun? Anyway, what a ride this last month has been — I’ve encounter new species, new planets, and new technology. I’ve defended newfound allies, held off hostile enemies, and negotiated myself out of sticky situations. I’ve been unceremoniously blown up, knocked on my ass, and zapped by ice beams. It all came to a head on Saturday with “Cold Storage”, the final episode of the Breen story arc.

A tribute to TOS's "The Paradise Syndrome"

I knew it was coming — showdown at the lost Preserver archives! — but I still nearly fell out of my chair when I saw the giant obelisk. While this arc’s conclusion was somewhat predictable, I still have to appreciate these little homages they throw in to honor the various Star Trek episodes. I don’t think you have to be familiar with the shows to enjoy STO, but being able to spot these little touches do add to the game. Sure makes me glad I spent all those months devouring everything from the original series to Enterprise, or else I wonder how much would have gone over my head.

If we stay together, we survive.

Combat on this mission proved to be a formidable challenge. In space, I was just a sliver of health (at one point, just 2%!) away from being completely obliterated and only survived thanks to the concerted efforts of my fleetmates healing me. Still, my starship is an Escort, a flying tin can not known for being terribly sturdy, so admittedly being blown to smithereens (or close to it) isn’t so much of an irregular occurrence.

The difference was more noticeable on the ground, however. Apparently the Breen wised up, as evidenced by a new ability which appeared capable of one-shotting unsuspecting Federation officers. I’m not sure how much of it actually had to do with our group doing it on the advanced difficulty setting, since another member of or fleet doing this quest individually also noticed this happening.

Er...what tones?

In the underground passageways beneath the obelisk, we came upon a mini-game of sorts. Three consoles which supposedly would emit a tone when activated, and doing them in the right order based on sound would unlock the Archives proper.

Well, I couldn’t hear anything when I activated the first one. Granted, it could be my sound settings or the possibly the ambient noises in the room, but I know my hearing’s fine and I still wasn’t able to pick anything up even when I leaned into my speakers. I left the task to someone else who might have better luck hearing the tones, but regardless, there are only a handful of possible combinations to try, so getting into the final room shouldn’t be problem.

Anyway, you can never go wrong with a boss fight.

Wow, aren't you a big boy!

So, great episode and nice ending and all, but in the end what I loved best were the rewards — finally, a chance to be on the giving end of an ice beam for once with the CRM 200 ground weapon, and also a new Breen tactical bridge officer to call my own, whom I named “Pran”. I had to fire one of my other Boffs to make room for him, but it was worth it. High time for me to get rid of the freeloaders anyway.

Ice to see you! /lame joke

An interesting thought came to me as I was setting Pran up aboard the U.S.S. Taiga — might “special Boff” collecting become a new trend for STO players?

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