Star Trek Online has been out for a year now, and no MMO in recent memory has made such a huge improvement in its first year. STO went from disappointing for some Star Trek Fans, to a great online version of the Trek Universe in less than twelve months. If you tried STO last year and haven’t played since many of the improvements have been implemented, or never tried the game out; here are ten reasons why you should play Star Trek Online.
Currently going through testing on the “Tribble” test server, the Foundry is going to change Star Trek Online in a big way. This tool allows players to craft their own missions and share them with everyone else. Star Trek fans have always been creative, and there are already some extremely impressive missions created using the tool. It won’t be long now, and you’ll be able to live out your favorite Kirk/Spock slash fiction in the game.
STO is currently in it’s third “season” of Featured Episodes. Every Saturday a new episode becomes available, and they’re really structured like an episode from one of the TV series. The current season deals with the Romulans and Remans, and the missions just keep getting cooler and with better rewards. A word of warning, however, there are currently so many people play Star Trek Online that the server has become a bit unstable on Saturdays with everyone trying to do the new episodes at once.
Diplomacy was one of the big things missing from launch, and it’s one of the things that kept people from feeling that the game was really Star Trek; as it was mostly combat back then. Last year, they added Diplomacy missions that are great fun. Sure, running to DS9 to get a Jum Jum Stick for Kirayoshi O’Brien is just a fetch quest, but solving problems on Vulcan and mediating disputes between warring Cardassian captains is exactly the sort of diplomacy you see in the series and the missions handled them well.
New Sector Space
One if the big improvements in Season 3 was a revamp of Sector Space. It now really looks like you’re flying through space. If you get lost, you can still turn on the astrometrics, but you don’t need to and it all looks great. They also reduced the lighting in Sector Space so ships look much more like they’re really in space with most light coming from the ships themselves.
Crafting on Memory Alpha was initially a bit boring and didn’t give out that great of rewards. That’s changed when they revamped the crafting system to be a bit more involved, but more rewarding at the same time. They also improved the crafting rewards, with Voyager’s Delta Flyer shuttle becoming a crafting mission reward (you can currently buy the shuttle from the C-Store).
Real Klingon Content
At launch, the Klingon faction was pretty much entirely PVP focused. That’s changed in the last year. There’s a lot of Klingon PVE content now and the Klingons can even take part in the new featured episodes. If there’s one section of the game that’s seen the most improvement, it’s really the Klingon faction. With them taken care of, now we need playable Romulans.
This is a minor feature that was added, but a lot of people wanted it and it’s actually pretty cool. By going to your Ready Room, and accessing the Mission Logs; you’re able to replay any mission that you’ve previously completed. This is handy if you missed anything in an earlier mission and want to go back to do it.
One of the other big changes that got the community all excited was the addition of mini-games such as Dabo on Deep Space Nine. It’s not just the gambling that the player base was jumping up and down for, but they managed to get Chase Masterson to reprise her role of Leeta for the Dabo game.
Cryptic has been making big strides with the game lately, especially in the graphics department. In addition to the afore-mentioned Sector Space; they’ve also been working hard to make the game look more like Star Trek. One big example is a recent upgrade to Earth’s Space Dock. Not only was the exterior changed to look more like it should, the inside was designed as well.
While every ship had a bridge at launch, they didn’t have ship interiors. That changed last year with the ability to explore your ship, and some further upgrades to them are on the wish list (such as being able to launch a shuttle from inside your ship). They’ve also added new bridges, and how could any TNG fan not get excited when beaming onto the bridge above?