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Umbaglo 02-01-2013 03:51 PM

These are the Voyages... Let's Play Star Trek Online!

Star Trek Online is one of my favourite online games. While it may not be hewing very closely to what you might think of as Trek, it is still one of the best video implementations of it that has come out; because let's be real here, most of what you would consider "Trek" is things that would be hard to make a game around anyway.

Star Trek Online was made by Cryptic Studios, and uses the same engine as their other title, Champions Online. It also has a similar character editor, though for obvious reasons some options are not quite as fully featured. Cryptic's strength has always been in it's high degree of customization, and while Star Trek Online is less-so of that then Champions, it still has way more then you would have expected from any MMO, let alone this kind.

Star Trek Online is currently Free-to-play, so anyone who wishes to join in in certainly welcome to!

In this series I plan to record a video of every mission in the game, which means that as special events come up I may deviate from the storyline I was following, or may switch characters if it's an event that, well. I would be more benefited from if I did it on my main instead of this character. But first, this is the part where you, the viewers, come in!

As mentioned in the video, there's a number of default races as well as an alien generator available when you choose to make a new character. What I'm looking for from you is four things:

1) What class do you want me to play as? In terms of what a player can do, there's not much that's limited by your class, though some missions have optional side objectives that people of specific classes are able to complete, and there's also the various unique abilities, which you can view at the STO Wiki.

2) What race do you want me to play as? The races available to the Federation, as well as their special abilities, can be found at the STO Wiki. For the most part, the choice of race isn't important, as they are designed to impart small bonuses

3) What ship category do you want me to focus on? This question is less important, though. Over the course of this series, I will attempt to show off as many of STO's ships as I can, as I do happen to own... quite a lot of them. But what ship type I would focus on also affects what skills I should put points into as I level, be it focusing on the "exotic" powers or on weapons or on defenses. Like with the other 2 questions, details about the kinds of ships I can fly can be found on the STO Wiki. There's 3 major ship categories in Star Trek Online, that I cover briefly in the video: Cruisers, Science Vessels, and Escorts.

Cruisers are the workhorses of the Federation. They're large, carry lots of people and equipment, and have the best defenses. They can fulfill any role, but are masters of none. Since Cruisers are generally so large, they tend to have poor maneuverability. This generally results in combat tactics for a Cruiser to be "circle-strafing" the enemy, allowing all of your beams to fire in a massive fussilade. For an in-series example of a Cruiser, every starship to bear the name Enterprise in Star Trek (minus one) is considered a Cruiser in STO.

Science Vessels are where the science happens. These ships were generally built for research, exploration, and to be incredibly ugly. In STO, these ships tend to have strong shields, but weak armour. Good maneuverability, but few weapons. They're very much the idea of a support ship. All Science Vessels have 2 inherent abilities: The first is Sensor Analysis, which gives a stacking buff to damage against a target the longer you have them selected, but is lost when you change targets. The second is that they inherently get all the subsystem targeting powers as a ship ability, when other ships need to get these powers from somewhere else. An in-series example of a Science Vessel is the USS Voyager.

Escorts are the fighters of the Federation. These ships are built primarily for combat, and are good at it. They tend to be small, and have relatively weaker hulls and shields, but are fast and maneuverable, while also able to equip beam cannons which can deal more damage then regular beams. Generally, an Escort would be doing fly-by attacks on an enemy, as the cannon weapons have a very thin arc of fire. An in-series example of an Escort is the USS Defiant and the USS Prometheus, though the Akira-class is also considered one.

A sub-type of the Science Vessel is the Carrier. Carriers are more common on the Klingon side, but the Federation has a few of their own that they got access to recently. Carriers are capable of having hangar bays that they can use to deploy small ships which can be used to attack enemies. As a result, Carriers tend to act more like a mix of Cruisers and Science Vessels: They have the reduced weapons and abilities of a Science Vessel, but they have the speed and maneuverability of a Cruiser. Carriers themselves are split into 2 main types: Carriers and Escort Carriers. Escort Carriers are a funny one, in that they tend to be much more aggressive ships in both weapons and maneuverability, in exchange for reduced hangar capability. In this sense, they're more like an Escort mixed with a Science Vessel instead, but they don't have the Sensor Analysis or subsystem targeting powers. As Carriers are fairly uncommon in Star Trek, there aren't really many canon ones, however the Akira-class was originally designed to be a sort of carrier, so Cryptic has made a variant of the Akira as an Escort Carrier.

4) A name! STO allows for a first, middle, last, and nickname. The nickname being what is generally used to refer to you by. Due to the way Cryptic handles character names, these don't have to be unique from other players, though it does have to be unique from my other characters. And I believe that it only looks at the nickname for that, and doesn't care if you happened to give all your characters the same full name.

That's it for my introduction. Next time, I'll actually build my character, and start the tutorial. Until then, please feel free to comment or ask questions.

Mogri 02-01-2013 04:43 PM

Bolian named Mot.

Büge 02-01-2013 06:47 PM

Make Garak. Add cryptic postscripts to every statement.

Posaune 02-01-2013 10:28 PM

I'm liking the antenna on the Andorians.

You can be a Gorn? Ha!

Umbaglo 02-05-2013 11:35 AM


[15:13] <@Blaine_Kodos> Ferenghi Engineer named Qlark with primarily Escorts
[15:13] <@Blaine_Kodos> That's my suggestion
[15:13] <@Umbaglo> Hehe
[15:13] <@Blaine_Kodos> You can also nickname your turret the Moneymaker
Posting here for a friend of mine.

And yeah! Gorn are one of the playable races on the Klingon side, though I'm pretty sure you can alien-gen one up regardless.

Nodal 02-05-2013 12:32 PM

Knowing nothing about Star Trek I played the tutorial mission to this with a Star Trek fan in Skype.
Me: "It seems like all training in Star Trek is to grab a machine and hit the F button with that machine near people, including doctor training."
Widds: "That's accurate."

Umbaglo 02-05-2013 09:03 PM

Life is pretty great in the future. Machines do everything for us; we just need to carry them around since if they're not mobile then clearly they can't take over humanity.

SabreKing 02-05-2013 09:24 PM

Be a Gorn named Nester Julian "Cadeus" Doogy.

Yes I want you to be the most ridiculous creature in existence.

Umbaglo 02-06-2013 06:32 AM

Oh, right. I meant to link this in the original post. This is the Path to 2409, which is the events that lead to Star Trek Online. It used to be on the game's website, but part of the site revamps that took place for the Perfect World and F2P changes ended up removing them.

Umbaglo 02-09-2013 09:12 PM

Episode 2

Star Trek Online launched February 2, 2010, which makes this past week it's third anniversary. To celebrate the game's anniversary, Cryptic released a special mission and reward for those who play from Feb 1 to Feb 14th. For those who want to play along, you only have a few more days to get to level 6 in order to be able to get the bonus reward for this mission! The mission will stay after the anniversary, but you'll only get one ship instead of two.

Umbaglo 02-14-2013 07:14 PM

I'm hoping to start things up for real next week, so if there's anyone else interested in suggesting a build, please let me know!

If there's any other comments or questions, you're certainly welcome to post them as well!

Zaidyer 02-14-2013 08:29 PM

Your character should follow an arc of Star Trek cliches. Begin life as a lowly, tortured Redshirt thrust into the Captain's chair. Guide his career as he becomes an Unstable Captain, the kind who frequently makes life difficult for the real heroes and is well known for giving questionable orders and pulling off one crazy scheme after another. Like making one-sided alliances with mortal enemies for short-term gains, casual genocide, violating Starfleet treaties, starting wars, breaking or upholding the Prime Directive (whichever is more destructive), and just plain being an asshole to the crew. And finally, go mad with power and become an Insane Admiral.

TirMcDohl 02-14-2013 10:47 PM


Originally Posted by Dart Zaidyer (Post 1481607)

Teaspoon 02-15-2013 02:30 PM

Do the Science vessels get any special advantages when it comes to the seeking-out-new-life and new star systems missions? They score my vote if the answer is yes.

Umbaglo 02-15-2013 03:17 PM


Originally Posted by Dart Zaidyer (Post 1481607)
Your character should follow an arc of Star Trek cliches. Begin life as a lowly, tortured Redshirt thrust into the Captain's chair. Guide his career as he becomes an Unstable Captain, the kind who frequently makes life difficult for the real heroes and is well known for giving questionable orders and pulling off one crazy scheme after another. Like making one-sided alliances with mortal enemies for short-term gains, casual genocide, violating Starfleet treaties, starting wars, breaking or upholding the Prime Directive (whichever is more destructive), and just plain being an asshole to the crew. And finally, go mad with power and become an Insane Admiral.

If this game had that kind of story customization, then maybe...!


Originally Posted by Teaspoon (Post 1482095)
Do the Science vessels get any special advantages when it comes to the seeking-out-new-life and new star systems missions? They score my vote if the answer is yes.

Not really. They added in a system for forging relationships with "new" races in their old "exploration" zones, but it's all ship agnostic. Instead it's about clearing missions and diplomacy.

Zaidyer 02-15-2013 04:16 PM


Originally Posted by Umbaglo (Post 1482129)
If this game had that kind of story customization, then maybe...!

I thought it did already!

You can write a lot of flavor text around the bones of what a canned mission objective gives you.

Umbaglo 02-15-2013 04:37 PM

The Foundry is really awesome. There's a lot of great missions in there... as well as a lot of slop. But hey, when you open the doors to letting people make their own levels, that's kind of what you expect.

Umbaglo 02-24-2013 01:15 PM

Episode 3

In today's video, I roll up a new captain. Unfortunately I didn't really get a whole lot in the way of suggestions, so I went with what a friend of mine suggested. The tutorial for STO was overhauled about a year ago, and includes a few new things to go along with a change in design that occurred a little before then, where they added tech to the game that allows them to have different mission paths depending on your character's class.

In the middle of the tutorial, you get awarded your first ship: a Miranda-class Light Cruiser. In STO, the Light Cruiser is designed to be a tutorial ship, as it is capable of using basically everything you can get for the first 10 levels, and has fairly balanced stats. There are 3 other alternate beginner ships, and I'll show off at least 2 of them in upcoming videos (I'd have to confirm if I've purchased the third one, since I don't remember...).

Lucas 02-24-2013 11:03 PM

I'm watching this! I wanted to get into STO back when it first went free to play and had to quit for the night right about as the ship tutorial was kicking in, never to return.

Olli T 02-25-2013 12:36 AM

Haha, a Ferengi, yesss.

LancerECNM 02-25-2013 07:50 AM

Aw. I wanted to play along, but my CPU isn't up to snuff. Oh well, I'll just live vicariously.

Umbaglo 03-02-2013 09:04 PM

Episode 4

In today’s video I introduce you to Earth Spacedock (ESD), and then go and complete the first real mission in the game. Stranded in Space has been a part of the game ever since launch, but during the first anniversary it was upgraded to make use of new tech that was developed for the Featured Series (sets of special missions); namely, the ability to have enemies that scale to your level, as objectives that vary depending on your profession.

In addition to this, I also show off a new ship: the NX-Class Light Escort. Based on the NX-01 Enterprise, this ship is a replica that has been overhauled to be compatible with modern technologies. Like phasers and shields. I got this ship through the C-Store, alongside the uniforms from Star Trek Enterprise. Unlike every other ship to bear the name Enterprise, the NX-01 is actually classified as an Escort in Star Trek Online, though to be fair it’s specs are pretty much in-line with the Light Cruiser so it’s not that tight of a distinction.

Umbaglo 03-09-2013 06:30 PM

Episode 5

In today’s video I briefly cover ship equipment in more detail, and then go on to the next main story mission, Diplomatic Orders. Similar to Stranded in Space, Diplomatic Orders was remastered, but not to the same level as Stranded in Space; the changes were primarily to make the mission flow better.

In this mission, I also talk a bit about skills. A list of all the skills that I can gain, either through applying skill points or by equipping gear, can be found over at the STO Wiki. A while ago, Cryptic did a pretty intensive overhaul of the skill system, and reworked things so that in general, any given THING that would benefit from a skill (core stat, weapons, abilities, etc) would only benefit from ONE skill, instead of a somewhat arcane configuration that wasn’t always obvious.

As well, I jump into another new ship for this video: the Original Series Constitution-Class. Based on the original USS Enterprise, this ship was originally given out with preorders, and later became one of the first ships for regular purchase to actually be a new ship, instead of a different skin for an existing one. As well, it was the first example of gear that scaled to your level, having phaser arrays that roughly matched gear you could equip at whatever level you currently were. Due to the way the scaling calculation works, however, it’s almost always possible to find gear that is, in fact, better, but it may require more work. Beyond the special phasers, the TOS Connie’s stats are a little better then the Light Cruiser, and lean towards the Cruiser side.

Umbaglo 03-16-2013 11:45 PM

Episode 6

In today’s video I finish off the last of the beginner tutorials. There’s still actually a few more minor ones left for me to go through, but they require higher levels before they come up. I figured this video was going to be half the length it ended up being, but things taking a while is pretty typical of Star Trek Online.

As well, we meet up with 3 characters that fans of the series might possibly recognize! Or, at least, 2 they should. I’ll admit that until I was preparing this update, I didn’t even realize that one of the PvP mission givers I had dealt with regularly was actually from one of the shows. Whoops.

The characters we meet this update that have also appeared in Star Trek shows are: Kirayoshi O’Brien, Icheb, and Naomi Wildman.

Next week I’m planning to be joined by a good friend who will partner up with me for the story missions. Folks may recognize him as being one of my companions in my Uncharted video series.

Mogri 03-17-2013 02:45 PM


Originally Posted by Umbaglo
Naomi Wildman

Gives Neelix and Wesley a run for their money in the "Worst Character" competition.

Umbaglo 03-24-2013 09:33 AM

Episode 7

With the beginner tutorials taken care of, this week's video dives right back into the main campaign, as we follow the trail left behind by "Sokketh", but instead find something unexpected...!

As mentioned last time, I'm joined this week by my friend Mechalomaniac, who decided to make a Science Pakled. He's still on the fence about what kind of ships he'll use, but for the moment he's going to focus on Carriers.

Next week I'm going to be unlocking a really rad new ship, but for this week I pull out a new ship: the Blockade Runner Escort. This ship is given as part of the Steam Starter Pack, in both Tier 1 and Tier 5 variants. People might think that calling a ship class Steamrunner is non-canon, given the relationship to Steam, but the ship actually has shown up in First Contact and Deep Space 9. Instead of the name of the ship, though, they decided to make the silly reference be the ship's special ability: the Resonance Cascade Modulator, aka "Team Fortress". This ability boosts the shields of yourself and your allies for a short time, which is a pretty nice bonus for an Escort.

On top of that, the Steamrunner is straight up the best Tier 1 ship. It has more HP and a better turn rate then the other ships, but on top of that it also has an extra Bridge Officer slot, giving the Steamrunner 4 abilities while all other Tier 1 ships only have 3. On the other hand, the extra slot is a Tactical, which just means it's an extra damage power. The Steamrunner also has an extra Tactical device slot for extra damage. Or, in my case, to fit more of my special consoles.

Mogri 03-24-2013 10:54 PM


Originally Posted by Umbaglo (Post 1504751)

This is clearly some kind of joke.

Umbaglo 03-25-2013 05:57 AM

They are smart.

Umbaglo 03-31-2013 09:33 AM

Episode 8

This week we have a 2-for-1, as we cover the next 2 campaign missions, and start to find out what the Undine are doing… just in time to ignore them and follow another shiny object.

As mentioned last week, this week I decided to show off another new ship, probably the last one before I advance in rank and unlock the next tier of ships. This time, it’s the Andorian Light Escort, which is given for having purchased the Hero of the North founder pack for Neverwinter. The Light Escort is based on the Kumari from Enterprise, which was also used as the basis for a recent set of max-level ships. For the most part, the Light Escort is on par with the other ships of Tier 1 (minus the Steamrunner), but it has an additional forward weapon slot that comes filled with a special scaling dual heavy cannon to represent the weapons in the wings. These cannons can be replaced with any other weapon, but the cannons themselves can only be put in other Andorian ships. As well, all the default phasers on the Light Escort are “Andorian” phasers, which means they have a blue colour instead. And once a player owns any of the Andorian escorts, they can purchase higher tier phasers of all types from the Dilithium store.

Next week, we get into a mission that has another “familiar” face in it, so stay tuned!

Umbaglo 04-06-2013 08:08 PM

Episode 9

This week is much more straight-forward then the last few episodes, however we start off with me showing off the First Contact Day celebrations within Star Trek Online, and then follow up with an introduction to the Duty Officer system. As Duty Officers award a lot of XP, and are generally a passive thing, I won’t play around with them much during these recordings. That said, though, the whole system is incredibly fascinating, and I hope Cryptic eventually allows players to manage their duty officers through the web interface or a smartphone app.

After that, we rescue another “familiar” face, this time Lt Miral Paris. Why the Klingons are so interested in her is something we will discover much later, but first we have some other shiny objects to look at.

Next week, both Mechalomaniac and myself will be showing off the Tier 2 ships, as completing this mission got us to level 10, and thus to our next rank. See you all then!

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