Archive for April 20th, 2011

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STO: There Are Always…Possibilities

April 20, 2011

I think it’s high time for a Star Trek Online post, because yes, I’m still playing. Although, I was THIS close to hitting the cancel sub button when their latest feature episode arc ended last month, but the news of the Foundry going live changed my mind. I figure if I can’t get my hands on a new FE each week, being able to play new user-created content is the next best thing.

I’ve found time to do this recently, now that I’ve reached level 50 in Rift and all the event shenanigans in that game are over. I’ve always touted STO as the best game to have around when you’re in the mood to jump-in-jump-out for some casual online play; when I get the hankering for some action and a quick space battle, the game scratches that itch perfectly. This makes the Foundry almost perfect for my playstyle, serving up what is essentially fresh content in manageable-sized morsels I can enjoy whenever STO calls to me.

What I can’t believe is how amazing some of these missions are. Some of them are just downright impressive.

I noticed a pattern after playing a handful — a lot of my favorites and many of the highest rated missions are those that appear most deeply infused with Star Trek lore and references. It makes me wonder if the Foundry is one of the best things to happen to STO, because it allows fans of a greatly beloved IP to stretch their create muscles and bring to life their own ideas.

A shot from the user-created mission "Conjoined" by Denizen06

In other words — it’s one thing to give a player the ability to make their own content…but it’s quite another to give a Trekker the Foundry. In the past week, I’ve gone back in time to ally with the Klingons in an alternate reality, I’ve gotten the chance to rescue  a planet from a legion of Borg, and I’ve made first contact with an unknown race that’s not even technically in my own universe. These could have been the missions their creators wanted to see from STO.  Heck, these could have been episodes they’d wanted to see on TV! It makes me wish I knew the Star Trek universe a little more intimately. I’d love to take a crack at creating my own mission, but my mind is drawing a blank when it comes to ideas.

And seriously, some of these missions are just soooo good. Should Cryptic be nervous? Because I thought a couple of the ones I did rivaled some of the best developer-created content!