(Disclamer: This type of fight does not exist within the game)
Released February 2010 by the people behind Champions Online, Star Trek Online has enjoyed a quiet amount of success. While no WoW-killer, it's certainly fun by giving players a chance to fly their own starship for either the Federation or the Klingons. Now, on January 17 (17-01) 2012, the game will officially become free-to-play, letting those who didn't feel like paying either fifteen bucks a month or 300 for a lifetime subscription a chance to try the game out.
What's It All About
Despite the recent reboot movie, the game follows the original canon of the franchise (yeah, even that one episode of Voyager) but set ahead thirty years or so after the events of the last original-canon movie, Nemesis. Within that time, things have gotten a bit...well, let's allow him to explain.
Who To Play As
Who To Play With
The game forces new players to start out on the Federation side, picking one of eight established races and nine more unlockable ones to start with and play up to Lv25. Then the Klingon side of the game opens, offering five established races and four more unlockable ones.
Also, for those who want to be creative, the game has an 'Alien' race to allow players to make any sort of character they'd like for either side.
From there, players choose a career. These careers are shared by your NPC Bridge Officers who come along on away teams.
The main damage-dealers of the game. They use a mix of melee moves, grenades and sneakiness to take down enemies on land while blowing up ships in space quicker with special attack moves and weapon overkill.
The masters of keeping themselves and their ships alive if a bit broken. Their ground abilities involve jamming their enemies' weapons and dropping stuff like shield generators, turrets and phaser blasts from high orbit while their space skills let them heal their own ships as well as others.
The most mage-y of the three careers. On the ground, they handle both regular science and doctoring such as healing hurt teammates and stunning enemies before they can act while in space they pull off technobabble skills like draining enemy ships' shields, hacking their computers or knocking crowds of them away with photonic shockwaves.
It doesn't end there as there's basically three different types of ships to roll with once you get a command. Each have slots for your Bridge Officers to lend their space abilities alongside yours'.
The steady workhorse of the fleet. Not the fastest ship but tough to kill with it's strong hulls. Oriented for Engineers.
Speedy death-dealers. They can bring a ship down quick but are also easily killed if one's not careful. Oriented for Tactical.
The in-betweeners when it comes to their stat-standings alongside the ships above. They bring special abilities that allow players to target certain systems of enemy ships. Oriented for Science.
The Klingon ships are mostly the same but forgo proper Science Vessels for Birds Of Prey which bring universal Bridge Officer slots to fill with whatever mix you'd like.
Besides the Bridge Officers, there's also the Duty Officers who come in the same career flavors as well as civilian ones like traders and diplomats. With the Duty Officer system, you send these extras out on little assignments that bring multiple rewards besides cash and experiance if you choose the right people for the job, said jobs ranging from 30 minutes to two whole days to complete. Choosing poorly ramps up the redshirt-factor of the system, putting them out of commission in sickbay for a couple of days if not outright death.
Penny Arcade has a presence in-game on both sides. To quote the G&T thread:
Penny Arcade has a fleet, the "Arcadian Defense Fleet"
We have a chat channel setup, this is where we Arcadians chat. To join, type the following:
/channel_join "Penny Arcade"
The quotation marks are important, don't forget them.
There is also a PA Klingon Fleet, called the "House of M'rch." Everyone uses the same old Penny Arcade channel no matter
One thing to keep in mind is that the game leans much more towards the Federation then the Klingon Empire, mainly due to a smaller amount of PvE stuff to do on that side. This is probably why the developers have players' new KDF characters start at Lv20 now. Hopefully this will change in the future.
Where To Go To Learn More
- The game's site where you can set up your account.
- The game's wiki, though some of the pages are out of date or non-existent.
Big (in size and file-size) detailed charts showing off the ships on both sides.
- A free 10-day trial key of the game that'll also unlock the NX-Enterprise as a starter ship and ST: Enterprise uniforms for you and your Bridge Officers to wear.