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!


  1. Dang, I really, really, really need to get around to playing “Conjoined.”

    And I totally agree — some of these missions are The Best Thing Ever.

    (And hey! I even made a pretty okay one!)

    • Since I was just delving into it over the last week, I’d been only choosing stuff in the default first page…under “hot” or something, I don’t remember. I’m going to start looking up specific missions to do next, and I’ll check out yours!

  2. Indeed. The Foundry search will hopefully get improved soon. So far finding really good missions is mostly asking other players and word of mouth.

    • I’ve been sorting missions using the “hot” selection. My theory is that the good ones will all eventually make it to that list at some point.

      There’s also this list http://foundrymissions.com/?page_id=190 Some of the ones with links have information and screenshots which I skim to see if I think it’s interesting.

      • Yo. I will post the names of missions I liked on Twitter. Till then I will rely on TTS and STO forum info.

      • Thanks! I’ve been keeping a list.

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  4. When Mission Architect was introduced in City of Heroes there were many missions created that were better, more depth and/or thought-provoking than a lot of the content the developers had created – in particular some the oldest content.

    There will be a lot of content that does not fall into the “great” category also and a challenge here will be to still make it manageable for players to find good missions in an ever increasing flood of missions.

    Mission Architect has not done so well in that regard and hopefully this will work out better for Foundry.

    • It seems that this is something the Foundry will have to work on too. Thankfully, there’s still plenty of the “cream of the crop” I haven’t done so I have yet to run into this problem yet, but I can see how a better organization system can help players find quality missions as time goes on.

      Maybe even a tag system can help in this case, to help folks find even the types of missions they may be looking for.

  5. I second what Sente said, some of the best missions in CoX are MA missions. It doesn’t suprise me that some really high quality missions are coming out of the foundry. Hopefully the developers will see some of the betters ones as a tossed gauntlet and try to outdo them with future updates.

    • Heh heh, if I were Cryptic, I would hire some of these guys to be writers 😛 Certainly I can see the bar being raised by players getting innovative using the Foundry.

  6. I am really behind in STO. Haven’t one Foundry mission. I messed around with the editor, a bit. But I need to sit down and figure out a really good scenario.

    • Definitely play some, there are a lot of really good ones up there now. Some of them may even give you inspiration, you know, on what mechanics and scenarios are even possible in the editor.

  7. Hmmm your making me wonder if next month I should take a RIFT break and do STO for a while. Decisions, Decisions

    • Could be worth it. I can’t remember if you’ve caught up with all the FEs, but they’re all lot of fun. And there’s definitely enough in the Foundry to keep you busy…may want to wait a little while, so you can gather up all the good ones to do once they get that sorted out.

      • Nah I have caught up with all the FEs. I think I’m having too much fun in RIFT though i can’t take a break yet. Although STO always remains tempting.

  8. I know a bunch of role-players who enjoy STO, and I know they LOVE the Foundry! It really helps them plan events and stories for their RP groups.

    I canceled my STO account a little while back, but I have considered coming back for a month or two to see how the Foundry holds up. 🙂

    • So far, despite the acts of several troublemaking exploiters, I think things for the Foundry has been going well for the most part. Maybe give it a little while for it to get organized 😀

  9. Every night I think, “Man I really need to get into STO and play some Foundry missions.” Then I think, “Well, first let me just take care of a couple of things in Rift.” Followed by, “Holy crap it’s 2am!”

    At least I’ll have a good list of missions to play, I’ve been saving Twitter messages whenever someone mentions a good mission and I’ll get to them all eventually.

    • Yeah, so have I. I like doing one or two missions whenever I get online, usually right before I turn in for the night. It’s like the perfect amount of time I need to get my STO fix.

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