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Reader Comments (32)

Posted: Jan 14th 2010 2:23PM jpkustra said

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Now that open beta is happening for STO, what does everyone think? I stopped playing about a month ago so I'm curious if it's living up to everyone's expecatations.

Posted: Jan 14th 2010 2:23PM jpkustra said

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*expectations
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Posted: Jan 14th 2010 3:02PM CCon99 said

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Well it's buggy as all hell and shouldn't be released in its current state, but that doesn't mean anything to the dev's or the players who have no problem supporting an unfinished game and they're not the only company to do it sadly.

With all that aside, the game has lots of pros and cons. The most annoying thing I found while playing was I kept saying to myself how much potential the game could have had if it wasn't rushed along and had a proper 3+ years in development. It feels to me a lot like Champions Online did (though CO was much more polished at this point), when you first get your hands on it you'll likely be hooked and enjoy it for being different. Then you'll slowly start to lose interest in the late teens, then by the late 20's early 30's you'll want to pull your hair out because the missions are the same exact stuff just with different enemies. Some good features is the group auto join feature (which you can turn off) when you go to do a mission, despite having only 3 "classes" you can diversify your class by the skills and kits you choose, and of course customization is done as well as you would expect from a Cryptic game.

In the end it will depend on your play style whether you hate it, love it, or think it's just okay. If you like to solo, don't mind instance hopping, and like to jump in do a mission and jump off, you'll probably dig the game. If you like traditional MMO's with static maps and a social community, the game probably isn't for you. Most will probably fall in the middle somewhere, they'll like the change of scenery from a fantasy setting a lot the first few weeks, then slowly lose interest over 2-3 months of play which has become the norm in recent MMO's over the past 2 years. I would highly highly HIGHLY suggest anyone considering to purchase the game to get in the open beta or a later trial and play it a few sessions to be sure you like it after the newness wears off and decide if it's in a stable enough condition to play for yourself. I do find it funny they put a cap on levels at 16, because from my experience it was around 18-20 when I started to get bored with it.
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Posted: Jan 14th 2010 3:36PM Anatidae said

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Quick summary: Missing that special spark - just like Champions.

Longer review: On the surface, it seems like it is going to be fun. Cryptic's way of micro-instancing really makes outer space feel really tiny. In the STO universe, your ship is flying around in an invisible box and can hit the walls quite easy. This is a stark contrast to EVE which feels so expansive.

Ground play is basically a version of Champions with limited powersets. It is obvious they levered that title's underpinnings. I am actually surprised by the number of graphical glitches considering that. All said, not bad. Not exciting either. One sort of cool feature is the "c" mode where you enter a combat stance. This puts you almost in a 1st person view (can't zoom the camera out) and you do more damage with the disadvantage of having less visibility. Sort of neat. It does make the combat feel more action-like. I wish they would have made the ground combat FPS actually.

Ship play was my big hope for coolness. Again, it is ok, not great but not bad either. Some spark is missing. One big thing that I don't like is it is not true 3-axis flight. Try pointing your starship straight up and you'll find it does not work. Really, you are flying on a 2D grid and you can adjust your height in relation to that grid. But there is going to be no cool battles like in Wrath of Kahn where both ships pass one another on the X and Z planes. I'd like to have more free-form flight.

The actual combat is like any other MMO. The big difference is that the facing of your ship is important. Like your forward facing weapons don't do crap if you are not facing your opponent, and turning can be a slow process at times. Managing your shields is also new - but I find not that different than having a self heal/buff spell in a fantasy game. And finally, you can fine tune your energy levels, which is like adjusting your buffs (more attack, defense, speed). Again, it is a bit different.

STO also does open teams pretty well. Taking what Warhammer did, but taking it further. When you enter a zone for a mission - anyone else on that mission gets thrown together in a team. I really like it and I take the time to team chat too. It does bring back the random social elements that seem to have been lost in the MMO world. Great job with that Cryptic.

Now - I still don't know exactly why it lacks the spark. I need to play it a bit more to resolve it. My guess it is similar to why WAR didn't last for me, but I really liked WAR. It is the fact the game seems to be on rails. You go here, there, there and do X,Y,Z but every zone feels like a small cage. Comparing to the white elephant of WoW - there it feels like you can wander the world (many games have this). STO isn't a game that I feel I can set a course to the second star on the right and warp out to see what might be out there.


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Posted: Jan 14th 2010 3:52PM dudemanjac said

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It's funny. There weren't near ly this many server issues during closed beta. I took a few hours off yesterday to give them time to fix it. And when I came back i saw it was a little better than they go down to maint. for the night (shakes fist). I't a lot better today, even though I am writing this now because I can't log in.

This is so much more fun if you are ina group. The fact that you can talk to anyone regardless of which instance of the zone you are in pretty much negates any problem I have with the fact that there are seperate instances. If you join a group and the members are in a seperate instance, you will all be together when you go into the instance... most of the time. It's better than it was in beta, but every once in a while you will be in an instance by yourself and have to warp out and then back in.

They seem to have removed some of the enemies since closed, but it seems like there are still too many. They bad guys LOVE to team up on you, and even if they don't, a volley from a Neg'vahr cant take you out almost instnatly, reducing your teams effectiveness right off the bat.

TEAM UP ON THE SHIPS!!! Now that I have quantums, i can pretty much take out a Bird of Prey in the first pass. But the pproblem is that instead of going after the raptors, there always a couple of guys who decide to take on battleships alone. It might be a good idea later on for tanking but it doesn't seem to be too effective at lower levels.

If you like mmos, you are used to grinding throug mobs and missions. Ass of yet there does not seem to be a lack of missions. There is also fleet action and pvp you can jump into anytime. Not to mention the Starbase 24 public mission. The missions seem to be a mix of
1) go here, partol this planet's atmosphere and scan thes and/or kill them
2) do 1 and then hit then beam down to scan these and/or kill them
3) do 1,2 and then stop so and so from getting away.

There are a couple of surprises in a few of them. You will also have some that involve multiple parts. Like the missions where I had to team up with Klingons or some one else. I've only been to lvl 10 in closed, but I can say, server issues aside, it's much better than closed beta. And I haven't really minded that this is my 4th time through some of these mission.
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Posted: Jan 14th 2010 4:07PM (Unverified) said

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Great posts, CCon99 and Brian!. I'd tend to agree with both of you.

However there's another aspect to ST:O that *really* bugs me. I harped on about it in CB and I'm no less vocal about it now: interior architecture scale.

It's just bizarre. As some examples, when you're first beamed into '10 forward' at the very beginning of the game, you notice that the turbolift doors are about 3x larger than you. The room itself is like an arena, and everything is spaced out, sparse, and over-scaled.
It feels like you're a Star Trek Action Figure in a dollhouse or something. Or that you've arrived in an interior designed for mythical Titans.

This scale issue really hits home when you eneter your Bridge for the very first time as well.
I mean, of *all* the locations in the Trekkie universe, the most viewed and recognised would have to be a ship's bridge.
There must be close to a million photos and videos of an a-typical 'bridge' floating around the internets, and yet somehow Cryptic managed to make theirs completely unlike any of them. *boggle

It looks like a football stadium with a solitary chair bolted down in the middle of it.. ack.
And screens - I mean last time I checked, a Starship bridge set didn't have copious amounts of blank wall-space and red 70's carpet.
I seriously don't get it, and it bugs the heck out of me for some reason (possibly as a metaphor for the game in general).

Speaking of the bridges - to my mind that should be the 'large room' of the ST:O equivalent of player housing.
I mean when you're on your bridge, there's an option to invite other players (socially).
Yet, your bridge will look exactly the same as everyone else's (granted there are 4 styles to choose from but they're merely colour palette changes effectively).
Where are the captains quarters, a viewing deck, cabins, etc, leading off the bridge (through gargantuan turbolift doors argh), for decorating and utility and interacting with others?

I know - amongst the legion of other issues my ranting seems petty, but it's details such as this which leave me pining for what could've been, as is the feeling I get with many other 'features' in the game right now.

Who knows - maybe Craptic will do the game justice over tie, but given their previous track record I doubt it very much, which is sad for the franchise imho.

When I go to the holodeck, I play a custom program; it's where Cryptic get beamed out to the Neutral Zone and Bioware swoop by in the NCC1701 and rescue the game..

;)
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Posted: Jan 14th 2010 4:11PM (Unverified) said

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justice over time*
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Posted: Jan 14th 2010 4:37PM dudemanjac said

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To complete the Mec missions you just have to do the planet wit hthe new name. If i could get in right now I would tell you what it is. It is on the left hand side I i think it starts wit ha K or T. I don't know why they renamed it.
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Posted: Jan 14th 2010 4:34PM dudemanjac said

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I'm with Amana on the bridge issue. The way it is now, I don't even see a reason for it being there besides it pleasing ppl who want ed to see a bridge. I never really paid much attention to player housing, even when I was in EQ 2 and had so much I could do wit it. FF was nice because I could grow things. But here all you do is go in and go out. To use a term others have used for various things, it actually feels tacked on. And I don't know the plans they have for it. Wil I be able to move things around? Will there be any effect if I do?

The scale doesn't bother me though. They made the halls big but that was probably so there would be room to fight in them without everyone being on top of each outher. A big deal has been made about doors and ceilings, but it's one of the last things I"m worried about and I don't see them doing too much about it.
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Posted: Jan 14th 2010 5:30PM HackJack said

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I am enjoying this game very much (despite technical limitations due to my old PC).

I agree with the fact that grouping is GREAT! It really give you a feeling of EPICNESS!!!!!!!!!

Also a word for all you guys that love tanking out there: in this game YOU TANK WITH BRAINS! That's right! You need micro-management AND mobility AND brains to tank well.

I am one of those guys that can take on a whole squadron of enemies and manage to kill them all. I am one of those who can kill THREE battleships at the same time. I am AN ENGINEER!

LOVE STO!
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Posted: Jan 14th 2010 2:29PM Randomessa said

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It's met or exceeded my expectations except with the ground combat animations, which still need smoothing out, and the crafting, which is either minimal Guild Wars style or hasn't been implemented yet (I'm not sure).I look forward to logging on whenever I can actually get past Cryptic's server woes (sigh).

Posted: Jan 14th 2010 2:31PM saintnicster said

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I really like that config of the Shi'Kar. The default pylons just don't look as good.

Posted: Jan 14th 2010 5:15PM (Unverified) said

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I like the Centaur with Miranda pylons myself.
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Posted: Jan 14th 2010 2:43PM Aquaryon said

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I have been playing since closed beta but just like xslipperyx, I stopped around in November and just came back and I will be honest, I am really impressed on how far the game has come along. I am REALLY enjoying it and can't wait for release and this is coming from a hardcore WoWer. Not as nearly polish as WoW but its alot of fun and I really like the micro management within the game with the ship, your crew, the stats. It truly is a Star Trek MMO.

Posted: Jan 14th 2010 3:01PM (Unverified) said

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Am I the only one that thought everything on ground was clunky and unresponsive?

I liked the space combat and space aspect a lot. But everything on the grounded was not up to my expectations. Then again this was yesterday during primetime so it might have been lag related?

Posted: Jan 14th 2010 5:00PM (Unverified) said

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Definitely, I never saw any lag until yesterday, when it was unplayable in space and on ground.
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Posted: Jan 14th 2010 3:17PM Arkanaloth said

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so far I've enjoyed it a lot.. putting aside the various bugs and such which come with the beta territory, the game shows a lot of different thinking and is fun to play. I'll admit the space game is more engrossing than the ground game likely because the ground game is more closely related to stock MMO gameplay conventions, however, STO is pretty good for me and I'm *strongly* leaning toward making a pre-order.

Posted: Jan 14th 2010 3:31PM dudemanjac said

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Not a real fan of the ground combat either the animation or the over all mechanic. Once you understand the expose exploit deal it gets a little more interesting and getting some of the nicer kits makes it more fun also. I don't understand how ppl say it's like champions. It looks nothing like it. and the animation is nothing like it, but oh well

The crafting is kinda silly, but at the same time the explanation they gave makes sense. You're really only using a replicator to improve items so they is no skill or active participation involved like EQ2. It would be nice if you were at least standing in fron of a big machine replicating instead of talking to some woman. It essentially looks like you are selling parts to her and she is trading for nicer stuff. I hope that changes.

Posted: Jan 14th 2010 3:56PM jpkustra said

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Glad to see some positive momentum on this game after all the negativity previously(I was part of that crowd!). Still doesn't seem like anyone is in love with it though but with all the progress it seems to have made, maybe most people will be happy with it and it will be a surprise hit?

Posted: Jan 14th 2010 9:14PM (Unverified) said

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Really - I enjoy the combat system in the game and a lot of the ideas presented in it but I honestly feel that the IP actually kills the game more than the mechanics do. By trying to keep true to the Trekkie experience, you have to change the way things work. If this was just a generic or unique IP with space combat and ground combat and such I think this game would have been MUCH better than as a Trek game. My 2 cents only though.

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