has probably the deepest reservoir of lore from which to draw from. In
fact, there are few other intellectual properties that have as much
lore as does the Star Trek universe. With six television series (you
didn’t forget about the cartoon, did ya?), eleven movies,
countless books and comics, computer games, and role-playing games like
the pivotal edition released by FASA in the mid 1980s, there is enough
lore to drive the most die-hard Trekkies insane!
With such an abundance of riches, it’s surprising that a lot
of gaming possibilities haven’t been explored yet in style="font-style: italic;">Star Trek Online.
To that end, our goal is to look at some lore-based events and places
that could enhance the gaming experience of style="font-style: italic;">STO.
Hopefully, future updates and expansions to style="font-style: italic;">STO
might include some of the suggestions listed below.
Before we get started, I must first offer the following disclaimer.
Most of my suggestions will come from the original series as that
I’m a fanatical follower of the original series. Subsequent
Star Trek series have been a pale imitation of the original (way to
politically correct most of the time. Where are the go-go boots?), but
each series does have quite a number of great episodes that we can use
for inspiration for gaming possibilities in style="font-style: italic;">STO.
For the record, Kirk is the best captain!
We’ll begin with Romulans. I have loved the crafty Romulans
since they appeared in only two episodes of the original series:
“Balance of Terror” and “The Enterprise
Incident.” Both episodes are definitely within my top ten
episodes of Star Trek. In the Next Generation, Romulans looked less
cool with their weird bowl cut hair and their insanely padded shoulder
jackets, but their space ship, the Warbird, was the coolest ship in the
series. Who wouldn’t want to fly around the galaxy at warp
speed in that baby?
I’m stunned that the Romulans aren’t a playable
faction at the present time in style="font-style: italic;">STO.
Who wouldn’t want to play them? First, they’re
emotional Vulcans who don’t mind giving in to their emotions
and fighting all-out. Second, they’re based on Romans, with a
Roman hierarchy and command structure. So far, you have Roman
militaristic Vulcans, which is insanely cool, but then you get to add
the cloaking device. Oh man! Being able to have a ship that can cloak
makes me drool. When style="font-style: italic;">STO
was announced, I began to make plans with some friends to play Romulans
and spend our hours ambushing Federation
stooges with our cloaked
ships. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be.
I assume that the “Mirror, Mirror” universe will
one day make an appearance in style="font-style: italic;">STO.
How could it not? Again, the original episode is in
everybody’s top ten of episodes, and the Deep Space Nine
series took advantage of the setting to have a few episodes set in this
amazing other dimension. Who can resist a setting where the good guys
are now completely evil and vile? Who doesn’t get goose bumps
when evil Chekov tells Kirk, “Now you die, Captain, and we
all go up in rank!”? Sheer awesomeness! Plus, every Vulcan
player would kill for the coveted “cool Spock
goatee” costume drop.
Being able to have storylines turned on their heads by having the
players either attempting to stop the actions of their evil
counterparts or willfully joining in the mayhem would add a nice bit of
spice to STO.
Getting Federation players to throw out the namby-pamby Prime Directive
for some good old fashioned oppression would be great to experience.
Later on in the timeline, players could help to liberate the Terrans
from the Klingons and Cardassians.
Naturally, one aspect of the Mirror Universe that would definitely need
to be in the game would be the Agonizer. The Agonizer could be a cool
device or ability unlock that would temporarily shock an opponent,
stunning them and making them vulnerable. You should be able to use
your Agonizer on other players while hanging out in the Mirror Universe
starbase. Think of the fun that would ensue!
By going native, I mean making sure that the players fit in with the
normal populace of the planet and are not recognized as being
outsiders. In many episodes throughout the various series, the main
characters would dress and talk in a manner to fit in with the locals,
be it on an alien planet or the holodeck. Probably the most famous
episode of this is “A Piece of the Action,” where
Kirk and Spock dress up as gangsters to figure out how to stop the
cultural contamination that was committed by a previous Federation
ship. The Next Generation featured tons of episodes with Picard
masquerading as private eye Dixon Hill on the holodeck.
The main purpose of going native
purposes would be to have an arc of missions in a specific setting with
a new costume for the player’s character to wear. Completing
the mission arcs could result in rewards of the costume pieces for the
characters to use outside the mission instance. This would add a nice
bit of variety to the outfits worn by characters in the game, and you
would definitely expand the type of missions that a player could do.
Players would also be able to travel in interesting settings that
aren’t just jungle or futuristic looking. Imagine playing as
Dixon Hill in 1940s San Francisco (on the holodeck). The player could
be trapped by something going wrong in the program, and he needs to
complete the mystery to get out alive. The mission arc could begin with
the character being attacked in their office building, which leads them
to heading out to the local seedy hangout to get some information. That
information, which is that a local mob boss wants to bump you out so
that you won’t interfere with his plans for a big heist,
leads you to the heist where the player foils the mobsters. Finally,
the mobsters are tracked back to their lair where they are confronted
and defeated. Each part of the mission chain could be a separate
mission, allowing players to enjoy the arc and the new setting.
As you can see, there are plenty of lore-based possibilities that could
be used to make style="font-style: italic;">Star Trek Online
better. Having a new faction, Romulans, with new abilities, cloaking,
would add some variety to the game. In addition, having missions set in
the Mirror Universe would definitely twist the storytelling around.
Players could be the good counterparts from our universe working to
stop the evil plans of their Mirror Universe counterparts, or they
could be from the Mirror Universe and strive to be ruthless bastards.
Finally, going native would expand the type of missions and settings
available to players, and players could be rewarded with new costume
pieces. This is just a small sampling of what could be taken from the
vast lore of Star Trek to make style="font-style: italic;">Star Trek Online
a more enjoyable experience. Let’s get to it, Cryptic!
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