I last posted about the massively multiplayer PC game Star Trek Online during the open beta phase. The game hit retail release in early February, and now that it’s been several weeks since then, what’s the current state of the game? Am I still playing?
In fact, today was the first time I logged onto Star Trek Online in almost two weeks. I have Mass Effect to thank for this — as much as I love all things Trek, Mass Effect is simply a far superior sci-fi RPG in every conceivable way. But I like to bounce back and forth between my hobbies (and obsessions!), and because today was a Star Trek day in every other regard (hint hint), I decided to change things up and take a seat at the helm of my Constitution-class starship once more.
Star Trek Online has been steadily improving over time, and a number of the more irritating bugs have been fixed since I last ventured out into the Alpha Quadrant. Notably, my ship’s bridge officers are finally allowed to wear the custom Next Generation style uniforms that came with my Collector’s Edition of the game, so now we all look pretty spiffy as we tool around on those away missions. (Also, if you have the TOS-style uniforms, the “Roddenberry Special” miniskirts are now available to your female officers, for which I’m sure they’ll, ah, thank you.) There has also been a litany of gameplay enhancements, new missions, new ship designs and other errata that are detailed in much depth on the STO website. If you hate the lack of content on the Klingon side or have a beef with the overall gameplay mechanics, you’re going to continue to be disappointed — probably forever. But there it’s clear that Cryptic does keep improving and evolving the game as we go.
I’m still a lowly Lieutenant Grade 6, which essentially means I haven’t amounted to a hill of beans in the STO universe. Unlike two weeks ago, now I find myself surrounded by huge Galaxy and Sovereign-class ships as I fly through sector space, a grim reminder of the fact that tons of other players have leveled way, way past me while I was busy recruiting the galaxy’s best and brightest for Commander Shepard’s suicide mission. (Hey, the Normandy ain’t gonna fly herself, no matter what EDI might tell you. I make no apologies.)
While I haven’t yet spent enough time to offer a more in-depth review of the new content and the other enhancements that lurk just beneath the surface, I did take a bunch of screenshots that might give you a glimpse into the exciting and ever-changing world of Star Trek Online. If you have a soft spot for the original Enterprise as I do, some of these shots may be a real feast your eyes.