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Star Trek Online: How I spent my Winter Holiday

During the last week of December I made a cursory recommendation to a coworker regarding STO.  In hindsight I thought maybe I should eat the porridge I’m going to serve and play the game for more than 5 minutes during beta several years ago.

So it being Free to Play and me being something of a Star Trek fan I set my download for Friday night and started in Saturday, December 22nd.  At no point in the following week would I have told you with a straight face that “I liked the game”.  66 hours in, it became rather apparent that whether or not i could vocalize my appreciation, I found something there worth my time.

STO breaks the traditional quest model a little with allowing you to phone in your completion, saving you a lengthy trip back to Spacedock or Planet 12 or wherever you need to go.  Space is big and reading your mission text carefully is necessary to know where you’re going.  All the missions are level adjusted to your character so as you move along you’re constantly fighting klingons and romulans and borg within your reach.  Missions are a nice variety of exploration, combat vs the local antagonist (I killed a LOT of Orions Raiders) all with a mild level of puzzling built in.  At one point I had to help a Ferengi put his replicator back online by routing power in a necessary order.

For all my time playing I only got 1/3 the way through the second mission ‘Episode’ arc, involving Romulans, and can easily guess I’ve got another week of just solid story mission progression.  Each arc having a theme, i’m looking forward to the Borg arc.

If you like Star Trek, don’t mind the massive multiplayer nature of MMO’s and have a hankering for space combat you should give Star Trek Online a chance.  It’s only available on PC and for Star Trek there aren’t a lot of alternate options out there.

Addendum –

There I was.. midweek.. sitting at my computer exploring some cluster on the edge of space at 2am.  I beam down to a planet that some colonists had commented on strange detections.  I’m scanning a plant-pod and look up to see the rocky formations that form shaded areas.  The abstract nature of it all just kicked in.  “Oh yeah.. i’m playing Star Trek.”

Strange new worlds indeed.