Star Trek Online Beta Journal #1 - Welcome to Starfleet

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From the opening music there is
no mistaking what game has just
started, href="">Star
Trek Online

fires photon torpedoes right from the start.
It's also a Cryptic Studios game which means that the
character creation is crazy cool. I won't delve too far into
the character tools and uniform selection this week except to say that
people will
spends hours in this area of the game prior to even getting to the
first mission.

The first few hours of the game
highlight the fact that STO will be
pulling players from both single player games as well as MMOG veterans.
The launch of the game puts you squarely into tutorial mode
in the middle of an epic
battle. The Borg just won't rest and they're out
flexing their muscles by using some of our friends as punching bags.
Well we won't stand for that now will we? The first round of
missions will round out the introductory knowledge of the player-NPC
interaction mechanics, controlling a ship and ground combat. This all
happens in short order so strap in and get ready.

Borg on Board

The first thing any soldier
wants to know is how to get into the
battle. Star Trek Online
starts right off with showing the different
methods for moving within a ship and then between ships. The primary
objective is to clean out the Borg scum that have taken root in the
ship. While making your way there, you will learn about the high-speed
elevators and then end up in the teleporter room where you will indeed
be "Beamed up" to another ship. From these rooms
you can get to other ships or beam down for ground combat with your
crew (once you get some bridge crew members). Thus far I'm
pleasantly surprised with the lack of running. It's a high tech
universe after all, we shouldn't have to run, we should be beamed!

Borgs in Space

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Once the Borg expansionary crew
has been handled it's time to
go help other ships suffering a similar fate. At this point you are
launched into space and receive some tutelage in operating a space
vessel. The space travel is fairly straight forward and most of the
user interface is explained, but I still feel a bit weak in the knees
when it comes to prepping for all out warfare. Thankfully the first
targets are stationary or friendly, thus keeping my crew safe for
future journeys. Through the spaceship portion of the early tutoring
area there is plenty of margin for error and I used as much of that
margin as possible. Having played very few flying-type games,
I'm still learning the 3rd axis and the impacts of the lack
of gravity.

The space combat is interesting and really makes you feel the impact
of your decisions. Should you choose to go faster, your shields and
weapons are penalized with lower power. The inverse is also true, so
space flight and combat are a constant balancing of speed versus
defense versus offensive abilities.

Ground Borg, the other
other white meat.

After saving crew members of
other ships, the time has come to venture
down to the planet surface and really put the hurt on those Borg
invaders. Beaming down for the first time offers a glimpse into
gameplay with groups as you get to bring your bridge officer along for
the ride. The two of us sauntered into the Borg offensive and took out
the bad guys through ranged and melee combat. It always feels good to
save a few team members which is exactly what we did prior to taking
out the Borg technology. Each weapon has a special attack so be sure to
read the tool tips for optimal damage. I appreciated the crowd control
type mechanics at an early level when trying to rush a group of three
bad guys.

End of Round One

I'm sure much of the game will
change in terms of leveling
speed, rewards and details, but the overall game is well on its way to
launch. The first few hours offer a glimpse into the much bigger
picture of the game and it certainly has me gloomy when the server test
time comes to a close. I look forward to diving into the different
aspects of the game whether it's in my ship or on the ground.
Watch for our weekly updates as we march towards the launch of Star
Trek Online
in February.

Looking for more Star
Trek Online
content? Be sure to
check out our latest exclusive interview to learn all about href="">Klingons
and PvP. We also have an
excellent href="">FAQ
covering numerous aspects of gameplay, from combat to crafting and

Also, be sure to beam down to
our href="">Star
Trek Online
and join in on the discussions. Whether you want to voice your opinions
on the latest STO news or just want to share some of your awesome
Klingon haiku, Ten Ton Hammer's Star
Trek Online
forums are the place
to be!

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Star Trek Online Game Page.

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