the years, more and more development teams have thrown an end of
beta event for its players. The trend has been to throw swarms of
creatures at the players for some no-holds-barred free-for-all fun and
tonight's Star Trek Online event was no different. Well, there was one
difference the team may have forgotten - the fun. That's not an
entirely fair assessment for all players, but it certainly holds true
for the majority of the Klingon players out there. Those that stuck
with their Federation roots probably had a pretty good time, minus some
issues with being unable to leave an instance.
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The afternoon started off with Klingon players making their way into
the sector space just outside of Q'onos and being transported to
Federation space. In the beginning, the event was a lot of fun for
everyone. There was a Klingon fleet of players engaged in the battle of
Starbase 24. There were runs made on DS9. Attempts were even made to
infiltrate Sol. The skies were filled with cries of "KHAAAANNNN!" and
"Today is a good day to die!". All was well in the world of galactic
space as the final night of beta got underway.
Then something happened that should have been absolutely zero surprise
to anyone, especially the development team. The Federation players
started spawn camping every zone they could make their way into. For
those unfamiliar with the term, this means they would gather all their
ships at the location you appear in a map. The ensuing result was the
mass extermination of any Klingon vessel attempting to fly into the
instance. There's nothing wrong with the concept of players protecting
a system in the name of the Federation, but in a video game, even a
one-time live event, concessions should have been made. Whether
players had a few seconds of invulnerability upon entering a map,
implementing different spawn points in the area, or even forcing the
Federation ships to maintain a certain distance from the entry point.
Unfortunately, none of this happened and the resulting cacophony from
the Klingon players was deafening.
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Eventually, the Borg made their way into the fray and players of both
sides found themselves transported to deep space encounters that were
filled with Borg Spheres and even the occasional Cube. Excellent! Now
that there was a common enemy to be conquered, everyone would work
together (or at the very least *quit* spawn camping Klingon players),
right? Right? Yeah, keep dreaming. Despite the promises of riches from
the fallen Borg, the majority of the evening for Klingon players was
still spent in agony as even those few who got away were instantly
pounced on as soon as the nearest Sphere was destroyed. This pattern
continued, even when it appeared some of the developers were joining in
on the action with Sphere names such as 16 of 19. Those named Spheres
were targeted by all and everyone rejoiced as the immensely powerful
ships were destroyed. Everyone except the Klingons, because they were
summarily executed before being able to draw the breath required to
Throughout the night, this repeating pattern continued, until
eventually, there was nary a Klingon player left in sight. Most of
those players had either logged off to begin the wait for the game's
Head Start on Friday, or switched back to their old Federation vessels.
What started off as a fun event for both sides quickly devolved into a
one-sided slaughter fest.
For those fortunate enough to discover the ground activities, Earthbase
at Sol was a fun diversion from the space battles. The Borg swarmed
over the base with the intent of assimilating all organic life it
seemed. Though there was little (if any) direction to all the madness,
it was a lot of fun. Far more so than the debacle of the space high
jinx. My favorite moment was when a Bat'leth-wielding Klingon female
struck me down with a blow from behind. After the continual pounding
the Klingons had been receiving outside the station earlier in the
night, I thought it was appropriate.
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Before the evening's festivities were over, a number of speculations
began to form in the chat channels. They ranged from the sad to the
hilarious. There were players claiming they were canceling their
preorders because being forced to zone into a deep space encounter over
and over wasn't fun (as though this were indicative of the actual
gameplay). Others surmised that the end of beta event was nothing but a
sham to convince as many players as possible to hit the servers all at
once in a final stress test. My personal favorite though, was the rumor
the entire event had been designed to finally put the spam filters and
ignore features through their paces as there were plenty (and I do mean
*plenty*) of annoying chatters that insisted on leaving their caps
button on and spamming the channels over and over. There were even the
occasional gold selling messages sent too.
All in all, the night wrapped up everything about betas in one final
event. They can be insanely frustrating. They can be a lot of fun. When
it's all said and done though, all most players want is for it to have
been worth it. For some, that means some minor vanity item in a game to
show others they were there in the beginning. For others (and most, I
believe), it's simply about helping bring about the best game they
possibly can. As for me, well... I just can't wait for the Head Start
to kick off on Friday!
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