STO: Looking Ahead to Season Two
Trek Online launched four
months ago, the initial shakedown cruise for the MMOG has not been
smooth sailing. To be honest, there are a lot of things broken in STO,
but I’m not here to beat a dead horse. Sadly, like every MMOG
on the market, the game was released before it was finished baking in
the oven. However, it does appear that the cries of the players are
being heard in Cryptic’s orbital space station. Recently, in
their state of the game letter, they discussed upcoming changes in
seasons two and three.
Some of the suggested expansions and changes are things that should have been in the game at launch, but at least it seems that they’re finally being worked into the live game. Hearing the details of what’s in season two has been heartening for me. To that end, let’s take a look and muse over what’s coming in season two. For most of the additions announced by Cryptic, I’ll first list what Cryptic states from their website and then examine how that addition can enhance the game.
Yes, ThomastheCat, there really is a Santa Claus. Or, at least, there really will be minigames in STO. As of update 1.3, you’ll be able to play Dabo at Quark’s. And we’ll be adding several more minigames throughout your ship and the galaxy in Season 2.
I’m always in favor of minigames within MMOGs. Having something that you can play in a really quick time period and is also fun can really help enliven a game and enhance the social atmosphere. Cryptic mentions that you’ll be able to play Dabo at Quark’s. How long do you think it’ll take before players start organizing tournaments? Not long at all. Events like minigames just cry out for players to take advantage of to throw down against other players in a fun, non-combat setting. Heck, Cryptic could even run sanctioned tournaments where they give out unique titles or costume pieces for the overall winner. Personally, I’m looking forward to Horta Twister!
I have walked the curved hallways of my crew deck on the way to MY ten-forward …
Also announced for season two is that players will be able to fully travel throughout their ship and not just be imprisoned on their bridge. Personally, I’m pretty stoked about this, but I’m a huge geek, so sue me. Being a life-long fan of Star Trek, I’ve always liked the ship designs that they’ve had over the various shows and for the different races. When STO was announced and it became common knowledge that everybody would have their own ship, my reaction was, “Cool! I can’t wait to walk around my own ship like Kirk or Picard used to do in the show.” I wanted to go to the engine room, the medical bay, the shuttle bay, and even a lounge area like Ten Forward (just as long as there’s no annoying Whoopi Goldberg character hanging around!).
Of course, with the addition of ship interiors, we could always hope that there will be missions that take place onboard your ship. I’ve always dreamed of having some bad guys try to commandeer my ship and make the fatal mistake of trying to take control of engineering first. Naturally, I would have Star Trek: TOS engineers where they seemed to be trained in both engineering and brutal hand-to-hand combat! Just think of random events such as you’re walking around and suddenly you see Borg appear and start assimilating your crew. What fun! Not for your poor crew, but for you.
Finally, there’s going to be wildlife in the game. I can’t tell you how disappointed I was to discover that you’ll encounter nothing but various enemy factions (Klingons, Orions, etc.) when you beam down to a planet. Star Trek is full of dangerous creatures that attack any unwary Red Shirt who has sentry duty. Hopefully, your away teams will now be swarmed by hordes of vicious Mugatos! Having alien creatures, including carnivorous plants if we’re lucky, will greatly add to the thrill of exploration on a new planet.
Love for Klingons
Because everyone loves Klingons, right? Season 2 has several Episodes just for Klingons.
For Klingon players, it looks like they’re going to get some long overdue love in season two. First, there’s going to be more Klingon episodes and episodes created that can be played by both Federation and Klingon players. Right now, we have to admit that the content for the Klingon faction sucks. I’m hoping that there’s a good deal of episode content for Klingons to keep them happy.
Second, Cryptic has announced that they’ll be updating the clothing options for the Klingon faction. Finally! Currently, no matter what race you play within the Klingon faction, you have a choice of a couple of variants of the standard Klingon battle dress. I want my Gorn to wear Gorn clothes! Or have my Orion woman look so hot and seductive that she should get bonuses in combat versus Federation males. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that there’ll be more than a couple of token outfits thrown our way.
Federation Diplomatic Corps
Federation players will be able to focus more on non-combat content and gain rank within the Diplomatic Corps. There are some very cool rewards in there, and some new diplomatic/exploration Episodes and missions.
This new content is both intriguing and frightening at the same time. I’m intrigued by what kind of episodes they make to showcase diplomacy in Star Trek. As of now, the experience of First Contact with a new species hasn’t been part of STO, but is a big part of the lore of Star Trek. It could be very interesting to see how Cryptic handles first contact situations within STO. However, I do admit that I’m a little frightened because it’s a real possibility that the diplomatic missions could be as boring as forced to watch a marathon session of Voyager episodes. If the missions revolve around just running back and forth and clicking on some mundane things, then the diplomatic corps are not for me. Sadly, there are no game skills for your character to reflect diplomacy, so I’m not sure how Cryptic is going to handle it in the final version.
In the end, any new content is good for STO and the players. Cryptic has announced some interesting tidbits for season two, and thus my hopes have been raised. I’m looking forward to playing the various minigames that will make an appearance, as well as enjoying walking around my starship and checking out the various sections. With the content additions to the Klingon faction, it might actually get more players interested in playing the blood-wine swilling warriors. The addition of wildlife should really enhance away team missions and add a needed element of danger. Finally, the Federation Diplomatic Corps could be a good thing or a really boring one. Since I’m a glass if half-full kind of guy, I’ll keep my fingers crossed and see what happens!