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Reader Comments (11)

Posted: Sep 30th 2010 5:33PM dudemanjac said

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So here's a question. If I jump in now, will I be able to do these episodes from start to finish?

Posted: Oct 1st 2010 9:56AM Malagarr said

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No.

You must be a Lieutenant Commander or higher to do these missions (lvl 11). But you can get there in a night, two at the most, fairly easily. I know because, as an altaholic I tried them on both my 4th Fed Alt and my Klingon Alt and couldn't get them until I hit LtC.

Most of the problems the article discusses (like jumping systems) are just part of the normal gripe most people have when it comes to travel in MMOs. There's a hell of a lot less travel involved in these missions than there are in some WoW quests (like The Missing Diplomat series). And since there are no DSEs in Orellious Sector you can just plot your course and go afk for 2-3 minutes while you travel to the new sector.

Personally, I absolutely loved this series. It made the game feel like Star Trek. There was plenty of action, but there were also puzzles to solve and people to meet. Combat wasn't easy, either. You actually had to think about your tactics rather than just walk in and lay waste to everything or spend 5 minutes burning down a Romulan Centurian who keeps recharging his shields (yes, I'm exaggerating).

This one gets a 5/5 for me on fun and a 4/5 for originality (the Preservers and Breen aren't exactly new to Star Trek, nor is the basic plotline).

Just my 2 ECs.
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Posted: Sep 30th 2010 5:53PM Tom in VA said

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Yes, dude, you can do these missions anytime, though you have to do them in order, of course.

I had read somewhere that some of the rewards are only available if the current series is completed before the next series (which looks interesting and starts in mid-October) begins. I was afraid this special reward might be the Breen bridge officer, so I plowed through the Deferi series on both my Orion and my Human characters ASAP.

Overall, I thought the 5-part "Cold" series was pretty good. It jumps around a lot, and some things seemed a bit "FedEx-ish" for my tastes, but overall, it was fun and felt -- to me -- very Trekkish.

As for the plinth puzzle, I don't like puzzles much, so I just placed all 4 of my officers on the 4 corners and then stood in the middle and "spam-activated" everything in sight. ;-)

The fact that my Orion captain could go through this series was a big plus, since there is still so darned little to do on the Klingon side of things in this game.

Overall, I'd rate the 5-part series a 3.5 or 4 out of 5 for fun and innovation both. But I am encouraged and am looking forward to seeing more episodic content such as this.

Posted: Sep 30th 2010 6:52PM Meurik said

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The only reward that is limited to "pre-series 2", is the final reward from the final episode (you get 2 rewards, 1 of which is the "end of series" reward). All other rewards should be handed out as normal even after the next series is released (and beyond).
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Posted: Sep 30th 2010 11:07PM XOR said

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I'm the dude, man.

Posted: Oct 1st 2010 1:51AM J Brad Hicks said

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There is some minor innovation in series 1 episode 2: the dilithium mine uses much better "cave" artwork than they developed for the exploration missions, including some lovely non-ambient lighting. It also does a nice job of steering you through what is (I admit) a linear mission without making the map look linear. Minor, but nice.

I liked the last mission, even though the first couple of characters I ran it with did so before one particularly obnoxious bug with the last fight got fixed. (I also still feel that the Achad Sentries' Cryogenic Mortar IIIs are way, way overpowered for Normal difficulty, and all the bosses have the same obnoxious overpowered-AoE bug that Cryptic has acknowledged that all of their minibosses have if you set the difficulty above Normal.) Yeah, it was linear, yeah, it was basically a kill-all with some dialog and a few ambushes, but the writing and the flow of it felt very Trek-classic-ish. I loved the big reveal, too; I paused to shoot a screenshot the first time I went through it when I got to the big reveal.

The non-combat mission, "Cold Comfort," really stood out for me, because it's basically a collection of three reading-comprehension puzzles. It's nice to see that added to what is basically an antique game engine. And the puzzle on the first part of "Cold Case" was nice, too, I thought. Way, way past time for more Star Trek missions that you have to work your way through or think your way through or talk your way through instead of non-stop pew pew pew.

The only weak spot in the whole series, I thought, was characterization. Ambassador Surah is bland, and after the first mission appears only as a talking head. All three of the Breen captains felt interchangeable to me, just three basically-identical big-talking bullies. I think what I really would have liked would have been to have introduced a Deferi NPC, even if they were a non-combat scientist of some kind, to sail along with you for episodes 2 to 5, appearing in the popup windows with dialog in the space missions and beaming down with your away team in the ground missions; offering a choice between a Deferi science officer and a Breen defector tactical officer, instead of just offering the Breen defector, would have been a nice touch. And as Paragon Studios' Melissa Bianco has proven repeatedly (using roughly the same game engine), recurring NPC sidekicks with /personality/ really make the story feel more emotionally involving. (Love or hate Fusionette, everybody remembers her. *Maybe* people will remember Combat Medic Tran from this, maybe, at best.) I'm hoping that Cryptic figures that out soon.

Cryptic says that if you do the missions between now and the end of October 14th, you get the Breen tactical officer (with Very Rare ground combat stats) in addition to the regular (quite lovely) end-of-mission reward for episode 5, the really obnoxious AoE Breen freezer rifle that you've been cursing every time it was used on you for the previous five missions; do it after that and you only get the freezer weapon. Whatever else ever happens with weekly episodes, these five missions will always be available to any level 10+ character that travels to the Orellius Sector. If it ships on time, series 2, set in former Fed/Klingon Neutral Zone and featuring the Devidians as the enemies, starts the 16th.

Posted: Oct 1st 2010 3:28AM pcgneurotic said

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How do you get the missions to kick off each series? Contact at a starbase, remote contact etc?

Posted: Oct 1st 2010 8:52AM Ocho said

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Just travel to the Orellius Sector, and you'll be contacted by the ambassador as soon as you get there. There is also an NPC on Sol Station as well, who basically just sends you to the Orellius sector...
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Posted: Oct 1st 2010 4:28PM pcgneurotic said

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Awesome, thanks Mike.
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Posted: Oct 1st 2010 9:09AM Ocho said

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Yes. If you jump in later, you'll be able to do the missions from start to finish as well. They are now permanent content to the game. The only difference is after the next series starts, you'll miss out on the special Breen BO reward. However, Stahl put out a letter on the forums saying they may bring the ability to get the special reward back in "re-run" weekends in the future and are possibly reviewing that. (of course, he also hinted they may not continue the weekly episodes as well... "But rest assured we love these featured episodes and plan to keep making them - at least in the short term.")

Posted: Oct 1st 2010 10:21AM Tom in VA said

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It wouldn't surprise me to see the Breen bridge officer eventually offered as an MT purchase in the C-store.

I think Cryptic is on the right track with these "TV" mission series, and I hope they keep up with it. If they want STO to work on a subscriber basis, they need to keep providing content like this as a regular, ongoing feature.

One small peeve: the Breen officer is not modifiable in any way except his name. It would have been nice if you could have customized the officer at least a little bit.

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