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Star Trekkin’ Across The Universe

August 22nd, 2010 No comments

In the month since my last blog post about Star Trek Online, I’ve had quite a career. I’ve been promoted from Lt. Commander to Commander, then again to Captain.

Friday night I reached the rank of Rear Admiral (Lower Half). Yes, “lower half” is actually part of the title; apparently there’s a similar demarcation in the U.S. military. Still, it’s kinda weird when the non-player characters in the game refer to me as Rear Admiral (Lower Half) Caitlin Howard.

I felt that my new rank deserved a new uniform!

I’m now Level 42, which means that I’ve gone a good bit higher in Star Trek Online than I have in any other MMORG I’ve played.* I consider it both a testament to my joy in watching shit blow up, as well as the copious amounts of “fan service” in the story-based missions.

Confronting the Crystalline Entity.

It did not go well.

There was a pretty nifty bit that involved stopping the evil son of the “Mirror Universe” version of Miles O’Brien from using the Bajoran wormhole to bring through a massive invasion fleet from his own dimension.

Another story was about the Founders (the shapeshifting leaders of the Dominion from Deep Space Nine) establishing a new “Great Link” in the Alpha Quadrant.

Swimming in the Great Link. Founder? You're soaking in it!

Then there was a mission to Empok Nor, a formerly-abandoned Cardassian station turned into a terrorist outpost. In an especially clever touch, Empok Nor always appears tilted, just as it did in the Deep Space Nine episode in which it first appeared.

It wouldn’t be Star Trek without some Tribbles, and I saved an entire planet of them from some scurvy Klingons.

There will be no songs of the Great Tribble Hunt this day!

Yesterday took me down into the Bajoran Fire Caves in search for someone who’d been possessed by the evil Pah-wraiths. I had fun kicking Cardassians off the catwalks into the lava below!

Each rank increase brings with it new ship choices. For the most part I’ve stuck with the canonical starships. As a Commander, I tooled around in an Akira-class escort.

Flying between the towers of a Romulan asteroid base.

With Captain came the option of a Galaxy-class cruiser (think Enterprise-D from The Next Generation), a Defiant-class escort (Sisko’s ship from Deep Space Nine) and an Intrepid-class science vessel (a dead-ringer for the U.S.S. Voyager). I tried out all three, but instantly fell in love with the Defiant, a scrappy, zippy craft that made the stately Galaxy look like a lumbering cow.

As a Rear Admiral (Lower Half) I opted for a Sovereign-class cruiser, similar to Picard’s Enterprise-E from the latter Next Generation motion pictures. It’s only a little bit sportier than the Galaxy, but it certainly packs a punch!

The U.S.S. McAuliffe battles a Borg sphere.

Nothing gladdens the heart quite so much as an exploding Borg cube.

There was a major update to the game a few weeks ago. Among the additions was a dabo game in Quark’s Bar, complete with the voice of actress Chase Masterson as a holographic version of her DS9 character Leeta. Admittedly, she gets a bit annoying after a while.

The game is still kinda buggy. Here’s a screenshot of the time I found a whole bunch of NPCs repeatedly walking into the wall.

And then there was the time when the walls aboard a starship vanished, opening into deep space.

The first step was a doozy.

Still, I suppose that’s par for the course in such an incredibly complex game. Doesn’t matter, I’m still having a blast!

I spend a lot of time petting my Tribble, if you know what I mean.

*And yet it took me until this weekend to realize that there was an option to “hide” the armor suits that my characters are forced to wear during planetary missions. I’d gone to a bunch of trouble to outfit my gals in Original Series miniskirts, and was annoyed that most of the time they wound up wearing head-to-toe speed suits. Chalk it up to shitty online documentation; the in-game instructions are maddeningly superficial.