Star Trek Online Beta Journal #2 - Customize and Optimize

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The first few hours of Star
Trek Online
can be summed up in
a few words, character creation. As no
surprise from the Cryptic Studios, the granularity offered by the
character system
is amazing. Every facet of a player’s character can be
modified and yes there
is a “bust” bar that goes to eleven. As many of you
may or may not know, I’m
not a big character customizer. It is common for me to hit the random
creator and be off and running. My mood is changing now that I have
such a wide
variety though. I can actually make a character that resembles people
in real
life (my neighbor won’t know he is a star). In addition to
customizing your
character, you can then customize other facets of the game, and that is
something new and welcomed.

style="">Look Ma, no hands.

individual body part manipulation (wow, that sounds
dirty) that is available through the advanced character customization
allows a player to create almost any look imaginable. I watched a bit
of Austin
Powers this weekend and the part about carney people having small hands
gave me
the idea to see how small I could make a character’s hands.
The answer is very
small. Between lengthening the arms and shortening the fingers and
overall hand
size, I could almost make the hands disappear. I just hope that
preclude my character from holding a weapon.

selection process can be lengthy if you want it to be,
but there are also some streamline options through the basic character
set up.
Of course there is always the Randomize button to make all of your
choices for

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addition to the size, color and shape of a character,
players are given choices to add to the character’s
attributes known as Traits.
As with the previous log, I won’t dive into the numbers since
we’re still in
beta, but I can tell you that there are some tough choices to make
right off
the bat. Each race will have required traits and then a couple of
points for
players to pick and choose the remainder. With names like
“Lucky” and
“Stubborn” I’m sure you can find some
you’ll like.

the traits section, you’ll go right into the overall
look of the character. As discussed above, the physical characteristics
can be
modified to great lengths. Once the physical looks of the character are
complete, the player can also customize the uniform. Many Star Trek
looks can
be assembled so I’m sure fans will be pleased and Tim Gunn

style="">What’s in a name?

As if
you didn’t spend enough time on the art direction of
your character, you can also spend a ton of time naming your character
(including formal first, middle and last – and which order
you want them shown)
as well as your ship. This last one is critical because
you’ll be out in space
flaunting that name quite a bit.

style="">The only thing better
than me, is more of me.

One of
Star Trek Online’s unique features is the inclusion
of a player team of bridge officers. The bridge officers will be
along the journey of the player through the universe and those officers
can be customized
to  great
degree as well. Actually you
can’t change the gender or race but everything is else is
fair game. Being the
narcissist that I am, they all look like me. I have visions of me
beaming down
with 4 other “Me’s” and laying waste to
planets near and far.

style="">Holy Ship that is a
lot of options.

but certainly not least, players will be able to
customize their ship including insignias. This won’t be
available at the
beginning (insert cliff hanger music here) but once you get beyond the
introductory phase there will be some options. Depending on where you
plan on
spending most of your playtime, this might be the most important option
you. If you plan on being a space cowboy more than a landlubber, then
want to personalize your ride as much as possible. No word on whether
or not
spinners will become available.

style="">Business in the
front, party in the back.

personalization and customization options in the game
are staggering. The beauty of the system is that the decisions are not
though. If you don’t want to spend oodles of time tweaking
every facet of your
character, then don’t. No harm no foul. If you do want to
take that extra time
though, Cryptic Studios has chef’ed up a huge menu from which
to choose. Enjoy
it a lot or a little, it’s all up to you. The biggest
question is whether or
not to go traditional Star Trek or branch out and design my own style.
direction are you going to go?

Looking for more Star
Trek Online
content? Be sure to
check out our latest exclusive interview to learn all about href="">Klingons
from Cryptic's Zeke Sparkes. 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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