So, yes – Star Trek Online. Starts, officially, today. Today being Feb 2, 2010.
Star Trek Online (or, more simply, STO) is a game I’ve been following with much anticipation since it was first announced back in 2004, and then again when it was “reveled” – as such – by Cryptic at the Las Vegas convention in 2008. Shoot, I still have (my much too large) t-shirt they handed out at that event.
I was enthralled during the sneak-peak held at the 2009 Star Trek Vegas con, and thanks to Nadia, was able to both talk to some of the developers and get into the early invite only beta.
A beta that I played, off and on, both on my highly underpowered Macbook, and my highly overpowered iMac. I then transitioned to the open beta, again playing, learning and looking for bugs – of which there were many. I looked forward to the early head-start, which kicked off (barely) last Friday.
Which brings me to today – launch day, zero hour. When the servers are finally thrown open to the masses, to crash and – eventually – stand tall as a game others can enjoy for at least a couple years to come.
What do I think of this game, having two years of passive interest, and several months of play? Well, I bought the lifetime subscription, if that’s any sort of answer for you.
To be frank, it’s fun. A lot of fun. Maybe not fun for absolutely everyone, but fun for me. The ground based stuff is a bit meh, but I’m hopeful it will pick up once I get a better handle on what I should be doing, and who should shoot when. Sometimes the camera isn’t quite where I’d want it, and sometimes I just don’t fire as often as I think I should, but all said it’s solid, and it works. It feels like an action-heavy episode of, say, Voyager – small crew up against another small crew, shooting and dodging, hiding behind cover and generally trying to vaporize the other guy first.
If the ground based is like an episode of Voyager, then the space combat is very much like an episode of Deep Space 9 – lots of ships, flying around (sometimes fast, sometimes not so much) shooting the shit out of one another, moving shields around and generally trying not to get blown the fuck up. It’s a bit more frantic, if a lumbering ship the size of a small building can be frantic. It takes a bit of skill, but it also takes a bit of patience.
Totally worth it though.
Hopefully, tomorrow night I’ll be able to toss a couple screen shots up. Probably one of the USS Random Encounter, and her Captain -Ambassador Carl Dunsforth Dunnington-Wells, Liberated Borg Drone.