Should I try out Star Trek Online?

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The Romulan Republic
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Should I try out Star Trek Online?

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2015-01-04 12:42am

I recently saw that Star Trek Online is now playable on Macs as well as playable for free and I'm thinking of trying it out.

Is it good? And is it reasonably faithful to canon?

Also, if anyone has any tips/recommendations for playing the game they'd like to share that would be great.

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Re: Should I try out Star Trek Online?

Postby Lord Revan » 2015-01-04 08:48am

The Romulan Republic wrote:I recently saw that Star Trek Online is now playable on Macs as well as playable for free and I'm thinking of trying it out.

Is it good? And is it reasonably faithful to canon?

Also, if anyone has any tips/recommendations for playing the game they'd like to share that would be great.

it's decent enough though you should try to get a good fleet so it's more fun, the story is close enough to canon, though you can fly alien ships Starfleet, KDF or the Romulan Republic fleet (no pun intended the playble romulan faction is called the Romulan Republic) has normally access to in canon.

on ground it's essentially plays like WoW more or less though with greater focus on ranged abilities and in space it's fun as well.
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Re: Should I try out Star Trek Online?

Postby FaxModem1 » 2015-01-04 09:48am

It's a rather pessimistic take on the Star Trek universe. The Federation is at war with, well, everybody. Species 8472(called the Undine in this) has infiltrated everybody and is making them fight as a prelude to invasion. The Cardassians are experiencing terrorist attacks by fanatics, the Federation is having to quell riots that want an end to all these wars, and this doesn't even confine itself to our universe. The Mirror Universe's Terran Rebellion? They've become a new empire that is invading our universe.

Essentially, Star Trek has become a dark, gritty, foreboding universe with no real hope.
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Re: Should I try out Star Trek Online?

Postby RogueIce » 2015-01-04 10:07am

FaxModem1 wrote:It's a rather pessimistic take on the Star Trek universe. The Federation is at war with, well, everybody. Species 8472(called the Undine in this) has infiltrated everybody and is making them fight as a prelude to invasion. The Cardassians are experiencing terrorist attacks by fanatics, the Federation is having to quell riots that want an end to all these wars, and this doesn't even confine itself to our universe. The Mirror Universe's Terran Rebellion? They've become a new empire that is invading our universe.

Essentially, Star Trek has become a dark, gritty, foreboding universe with no real hope.

Except for the times when there is hope and the sides show they can work together.

Anyway the space combat is fun, though you'll have to put up with your starter ship but that's basically every MMO ever where it kind of sucks at the start but gets better. It's not terrible though; TBH I only notice it now when I go from my sweet endgame ships back to T1 when I roll a new character. When I first played through it wasn't too bad. But something to keep in mind when you decide to make use of those other two character slots.

As far as F2P goes it's really a pretty nice model, I think. Well at least compared to TOR which likes to kick you in the balls to remind you you're not paying.

If you want to give it a whirl feel free to ask me any questions, I've devoted entirely too much time (and money :|) into this game so I know a few things. A couple hints:

Start with the Federation first. Their faction story content is going to be better and more complete than the Klingons. They also got a revamp so your first series of missions (The Klingon Front) will be decent. The Romulan Mystery though is from back when the game first launched and shows its age. Still, better than the Klingons, which have decent missions but not a lot of them in comparison. The Romulans are probably the best for this, but that's why I say save them for last because, well, they're the best. :)

There's going to be a Double XP Weekend starting on the 15th of this month. So that's an ideal time to at least try to get up to Level 50 which is where endgame begins (the level cap is 60 these days). I would recommend leveling a Klingon to 50 during this time, but then I'm not a fan of their story content so anything that gets me through it faster is fantastic.
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Re: Should I try out Star Trek Online?

Postby Elheru Aran » 2015-01-04 11:54am

I enjoyed STO for about... three or four months. It's a very playable game once you get your controls down.

I will note that you will probably (if you can devote a few hours to it) burn right through your first 20-30 levels pretty quickly. It really isn't very hard if you're a reasonably competent gamer. Where it starts getting difficult is after you hit the max at 50, when you can start playing fleet engagements and all that fun stuff.

It's much easier to F2P with STO, especially if you make judicious use of the in-game 'exchange' to clean excess out of your inventory and pick up new toys. You won't get super-awesome stuff on that, generally, but you can pick up medium-to-excellent stuff pretty easily.

Ship-wise... one bit of advice on the Romulans: When you hit level 40 (I think), you get the option to get a classic D'Deridex Warbird. DO NOT DO THIS. It's a powerful ship... but it cannot turn for spit. Almost completely useless in battle unless you throw a lot of money into turning upgrades. If you can do that and can get your enemies in front of you, they'll probably blow up pretty quickly, but apart from that? So not worth it. Go with the other available free options on that level.
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Re: Should I try out Star Trek Online?

Postby RogueIce » 2015-01-04 02:41pm

Elheru Aran wrote:Ship-wise... one bit of advice on the Romulans: When you hit level 40 (I think), you get the option to get a classic D'Deridex Warbird. DO NOT DO THIS. It's a powerful ship... but it cannot turn for spit. Almost completely useless in battle unless you throw a lot of money into turning upgrades. If you can do that and can get your enemies in front of you, they'll probably blow up pretty quickly, but apart from that? So not worth it. Go with the other available free options on that level.

Level 30.

And the D'Deridex is not a bad ship, it's just a Cruiser in a line of Escorts, basically. If you've got a bunch of beam arrays ready to go, it's a viable switch. But most people probably don't, so it sort of sucks. And you don't really want to spend EC on gear you'll out-level soon enough anyway.
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Re: Should I try out Star Trek Online?

Postby Simon_Jester » 2015-01-04 05:30pm

Just to explain to Romulan Republic:

"Cruisers" are sturdy, relatively not-so-maneuverable ships. "Escorts" are a generic term for agile, somewhat less sturdy ships.

Cruisers tend to focus on defensive depth, engineering abilities that repair the ship during battle to add more defensive depth, and on having solid all-around firepower using (mainly) beam 'arrays' that have about a 240 degree arc of fire. The wide arc of fire is important because as noted, cruisers can't maneuver for beans. They can laugh off considerably more enemy fire than an escort, but they can't reliably force the enemy to stay in front of them.

Escorts tend to focus on raw, alpha-strike firepower from a battery of forward cannons with a 90 or 45 degree firing arc. This gives them more punch, and with the right modifications and officers they can reach truly ludicrous levels of firepower. The disadvantage in theory is that they're less sturdy- but in practice, the high-damage escorts seem to be more popular with the playerbase than the high-durability cruisers.

The third class, the "science vessels," I can't speak to from experience.

Obviously, playing a series of escorts and then suddenly being dropped into a cruiser is a big jump in playstyle. Instead of swooping around, trying to stage hit-and-run attacks, and blowing apart individual enemies rapidly with a barrage of fire from the forward cannons... you're playing a more attritional fight, getting into protracted hammering matches, and the enemy will very easily be able to slip out of the arc of any forward-firing weapons you mount.
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Re: Should I try out Star Trek Online?

Postby White Haven » 2015-01-04 06:19pm

The really odd thing, to expand upon what Simon had to say, is that at the very, very high end of DPS, cruisers and other heavyweights swing BACK in, due to their ability to apply sustained damage over a wide area in combination with assorted engineering tricks. Not relevant when you're leveling, just an amusing little wrinkle.

STO is fun to dip in now and again; it's not something I play for a long stretch, but every so often I get a bug up my ass to fly a starship, so I binge for a few weeks. It's a very mixed bag, there's a lot of really crap content, but also some genuinely high-quality experiences to be had.
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Re: Should I try out Star Trek Online?

Postby mr friendly guy » 2015-01-04 06:34pm

Do you get the ability to design your own ships, by mixing and matching parts?
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Re: Should I try out Star Trek Online?

Postby Vendetta » 2015-01-04 07:15pm

FaxModem1 wrote:It's a rather pessimistic take on the Star Trek universe. The Federation is at war with, well, everybody. Species 8472(called the Undine in this) has infiltrated everybody and is making them fight as a prelude to invasion. The Cardassians are experiencing terrorist attacks by fanatics, the Federation is having to quell riots that want an end to all these wars, and this doesn't even confine itself to our universe. The Mirror Universe's Terran Rebellion? They've become a new empire that is invading our universe.

Essentially, Star Trek has become a dark, gritty, foreboding universe with no real hope.


I think that's largely due to the requirement to have a constant stream of combat for the players to be involved in.

The nature of MMOs is that there's always some new threat bigger than the last to justify having a new tier of loot to grind it for.

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Re: Should I try out Star Trek Online?

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2015-01-05 02:23am

Well, I gave the game a try. I'm still figuring stuff out. While its okay, I'm glad I'm not paying for it, and I spend a lot of time thinking of ways it could be done better. The customization stuff sounds nice but I haven't figured that out yet. I'm still flying around in my start of game ship (Miranda class).

Edit: Also, I am going to have to create a Romulan character. I mean, the Romulans in the game are actually called the Romulan Republic. I can't pass that up.

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Re: Should I try out Star Trek Online?

Postby Brother-Captain Gaius » 2015-01-05 03:52am

mr friendly guy wrote:Do you get the ability to design your own ships, by mixing and matching parts?


Yes and no, depending on what you mean.

Every ship has some variant doodads, allowing you to customize the look of your ship. You can stick with a "purist" canon Galaxy-class, for example, or tinker with it by slapping on different nacelles and a funky-looking saucer. Colors can be changed, you can put the name of your ship on it, and so on. That's all cosmetic stuff.

If you mean in terms of functionality, there are different options. As mentioned, Cruisers, Escorts, and Science...ers have different specializations which impose some restrictions and implications for what thingamajigs you glue to your hull. Cruisers tend to favor putting lots of phasers on, while escorts favor pulse phasers, but there's usually nothing strictly stopping you from putting on whatever insane hodge-podge of disruptors and neutrino tachyon flux inverters strikes your fancy.
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Re: Should I try out Star Trek Online?

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2015-01-05 04:24am

Which is better, phasers or torpedoes? Or does it not really matter?

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Re: Should I try out Star Trek Online?

Postby Brother-Captain Gaius » 2015-01-05 05:12am

Both are important. The rule-of-thumb balance to it is that phasers are generally most effective at stripping down shields, thus creating an opening for the 1-2 punch of hull-exploding torpedoes.

It's been awhile since I last played, and I'm sure the exacting details of how to best optimize your weapon selections will require some experimentation, but that's the general flow of combat (not including the various special abilities, especially for Science vessels, which do crazy things like drain shields or reflect damage and so on).
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Re: Should I try out Star Trek Online?

Postby Lord Revan » 2015-01-05 08:49am

as a rule of thumb you should have 1 warhead launcher per facing at most unless you're going for a torpedo build (which need special torps to work) and the rest should be energy weapons of some sort if you're going for cruisers beams are generally better as they have widers arc of fire, where as with escorts cannons are better as they hit harder and most escorts have the turn rate to use them effectively, with science ships it depends on your turn rate, ships with slow turn rate should focus on beams, while ships with fast turn rate should focus on guns (and turrets at the back).

you essentially 2 main energy weapon types beams and cannons, beams have wider arc of fire being able to fire to the side also "beam fire at will" is a good way to deal with small crafts like shuttles, while cannons hit harder per shot but can fire only a small arc at the front (or back) of the ship, turrets are weak 360 degree arc cannons generally used in rear weapon slots in cannon builds to both boost the forward firepower and give the ship some fire power to the sides when dealing with mines or shuttles (which are too small and fast to be relibly hit with cannons).

torpedos have a small forward(or back) arc so cruisers use them only as boost to fire power when the can get their target to the firing arc as the slow turn rate of cruisers makes it hard to keep a target at front of your ship relibly, cruisers generally broadside the targets for which beams are pretty much the only viable option as turrets don't do enough DPS.

in conclution what's best for your ship depends heavily on what ship you're flying.
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Re: Should I try out Star Trek Online?

Postby RogueIce » 2015-01-05 09:00am

The Romulan Republic wrote:Which is better, phasers or torpedoes? Or does it not really matter?

The typical "rule of thumb" is to have a torpedo launcher fore and aft, and the rest being your beam/cannon weapons of choice. Except the starter ship which only has the one aft slot, anyway. Basically the way they come equipped by default (in terms of torpedo and energy weapon balance) is a good way to do it.

The thing of this game is that there's a lot of viable options to be had when you reach the Endgame Phase (Level 50 and beyond) but for leveling up to that point you can keep things pretty basic. For example: people run torpedo boats, which are exactly what they sound like. But that generally requires some knowledge of how the game works, as well as using certain types of torpedo launchers usually acquired through the endgame grind.
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Re: Should I try out Star Trek Online?

Postby Elheru Aran » 2015-01-05 12:16pm

Observations regarding ships in STO:

--The Galaxy is actually halfway decent for a Federation cruiser. I like it okay. It's still a slow, wallowing pig of a ship, but it's not as bad as the D'Deridex. Haven't gotten that far with the Klinks so can't say.

--The Ambassador class that you get for playing the... level 30? 20? special mission is very nice. It has a beautiful Warp Plasma attack that is really sweet paired with combat maneuvering. At that level, it's hard to find a free ship that will do you as well. I honestly preferred it to the Galaxy; the only downside is it doesn't have as many weapons, but the warp plasma is one in and of itself, so that's extremely useful. It takes some practice to get good with it, but what you can do is turn it on, hit the combat speed, zoom in front of your opponent and give them a faceful of plasma, and then hit them with a salvo from your rear torpedoes which will take advantage of the shield-loss caused by the plasma. I haven't played the Klingon equivalent ship (Kamarag class?) very much since I gave up around that point, but I think it's got a similar set of stats.

--You get three classes of ship to pick from, at least with Fed and to a lesser degree with Klingons and Romulans (simply because the Feds have a *shitload* of ships to pick from): Cruiser, Escort, and Science. In RPG terms this corresponds roughly to Tank, Rogue or Ranger, and Wizard. STO-wise, it's like this: Cruiser is your slow but heavy hitter. It's fairly decent all around. You get a set of 'cruiser commands' which you can use to bolster your shields, weapon power, whatever. Escorts are more attack-oriented, but lighter. They can fly rings around Cruisers, but a few good shots will put them down. Science ships are lighter like Escorts, but get more technological goodies like fancy shields and... I don't know, never played them. Not a whole lot of people do, AFAIK.

--Appearance wise, yeah, you can customize your ships to some degree (farther degrees of customization require paying or winning prizes). It's only cosmetic, though. Take, say, a level 50 Federation Escort. You get three different ships that you can mix and match stuff like nacelles, bridge, saucer, light patterns, hull paint, whatever. It's only a skin though because they have the exact same weapons and engine and whatever.

--Weapons: You have three basic types (with occasional variations): Beam, cannon and torpedo. Beam weapons have the broadest firing arc generally. Cannons are very directional-- 45 to 90 degree firing arc. Torpedoes tend to be like a 90-degree arc, but are guided so that helps, you can just fire them off as your opponent passes in front of you. Some 'turrets' are available, which have a 360-degree firing arc. There's plenty of variation on each type with different effects-- phasers will take down shields, and so forth. Too much variety to go into here. Typically the general advice is to put beams on cruisers and science ships, cannons on escorts because they can turn fast enough to keep most enemies within the firing arc. Turrets, IIRC, can only be mounted in a rear slot, so generally it goes something like one torpedo fore and aft, a turret aft, and the rest is whatever.

Oh, you also get bonuses if you have matching weapons. Say you have three beam weapons up front and one back. If all of them are antiproton (to pick a random example) they'll add up to give you a bit of an edge versus having three different types.

I forgot about mines. Some people like them. They can be pretty useful, especially when you can spam ten at once. This is pretty awesome when it happens-- wall of death in your pursuer's face.

--The Exchange. I don't much recommend faffing about on this at lower levels apart from trying to pick up cooler weapons because you really advance fast enough that there's not much point to it, by the time you get the credits to put a nicer set of phasers on your level 20 starship you'll already have a level 30 that does better. Besides, you can't really use higher-level stuff on a lower-level character anyway, so it just takes up an inventory slot doing nothing until you hit the right level, and there are enough drops (god so many drops) that your chances of picking up better stuff as you go are reasonably decent.

The exception: Sell your stuff purely for credits. This is a decent way to make credits fast. Best technique: Look up matching items to what you want to sell, see what the lowest price is, put yours a few credits lower. Watch your inventory disappear. This is especially useful now that they've revamped the crafting, if you have a lot of minerals and crap like that (there's so many random scanning locations on everything). The only downside is that you're limited to posting a certain number of items for sale, and if nobody buys them, they go right back into your inventory. At least there's an 'overstock' you can use, and a 'bank' where you can deposit excess stuff.

Random notes:

--Mogai Warbirds are the very devil to fight against in early levels. Tractor beam mines *suck* until you manage to get the Polarize Hull ability on your Bridge Officers. Do this fast. Until then, warp-plasma (or a fast trigger finger) are your best friend.

--D'Deridex Warbirds-- but of course not the free one you get later-- have this pretty awesome (for them) torpedo-spam ability. You can pick it up later on playing the Romulan Republic... damn if I remember what it's called but there's things where you can play in specific areas and missions to advance in that, anyway you can pick up that ability there. What happens with that is you go up against the D'Deridex... it hits you with a tractor beam and fires like five plasma torpedoes at once. Even if you can polarize hull, your best chance is to hit combat speed and get the fuck out of the way. Plasma torpedoes take down shields, and if your shields go down, well, they don't do the rest of your ship any good either.

--Elachi suck to fight against. I do not like them. Their capital ships have this nasty little super-gun that will total your ass if you're dumb enough to be in its path when it's pointed at you. Fairly tough, too.

--Romulans have a fairly interesting plot... shame it only lasts like fifteen levels. The Klingons go on a little longer. Ultimately however it's all just a knockoff of the basic Federation storyline because once your race is done with its storyline you're doing the exact same thing the Feddies do. You have to grind the exact same boring as fuck levels. Nimbus III, in particular, is agonizing. The Romulan Mystery is pretty lame, too (unless you're a Romulan and then it's called Vengeance... but it's still the same shit). Romulans also get the short end of the stick because you get far less ships to play with than even the Klingons, less customization options, etc. Seriously, Federation players get *9* different ship options to pick at each rank, barring cosmetic customizations... Romulans are lucky to get 3.

--Klingons and Romulans both have cloaking to play with. In particular with the Romulans, this can be extremely useful. Your shields knocked down and you're bleeding plasma, need a break to heal up? Cloak! Watch the other ships mill around, reload your torpedoes, hit the 'repair' button a few times, uncloak and unleash plasmic wrath. Klingons only get a battle cloak (which you can use while you're being shot at) on the Birds of Prey, which are Escort type ships, but they do get a regular cloak (can't use when at Red Alert) otherwise. This can be useful for sneaking around and surprise attacks-- you get a bonus for firing upon other ships immediately after uncloaking.

--As far as that goes, Romulans do have two advantages that the other races don't have: Every ship has a battle cloak, and the singularity-powered ships have certain very useful abilities. For example, you can eject your singularity core, which then explodes. You can use it to teleport your ship from one corner of the battlefield to the other. And so forth. You can't use them until they recharge, though, but apart from that.

--The only good thing about the Nimbus 3 missions? You do get a sort of fleet-support button that's very useful; you can summon pirate mercenaries to back you up. This takes like 5-10 minutes to recharge though, and only lasts about a minute, but it's pretty convenient sometimes. Almost better than the regular fleet support, which only summons one ship of a random class.
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Re: Should I try out Star Trek Online?

Postby Elheru Aran » 2015-01-05 12:18pm

Oh yeah. There are a few forums online where you can look up advice. Buckets of it. Odds are you can probably find your exact same question asked somewhere. The STO wiki is also pretty helpful.
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Re: Should I try out Star Trek Online?

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2015-01-05 07:57pm

Based on what I'm seeing here, my preference leans towards cruisers. But I might like to try a science ship at some point.

Need to play Romulans so I can get my hands on a cloak.

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Re: Should I try out Star Trek Online?

Postby Lord Revan » 2015-01-05 09:01pm

unless they added one in Delta Rising Rommies have 1 cruiser and no science ships in the free ship category and the selection for science ships is practically non-existant even with Zen-ships. KDF has more selection of cruisers but few if any science ships, Starfleet how ever has plenty of both and tbh the cloak is of Limited use in PvE and can be outright dangerous if you cloak the wrong time as you loose shields when you cloak and the AI will know exactly where you are when cloaked even though they can't fire on you.

with cruisers you want to go engineering officer for the class-based repair skills that allow you got counter the added damage cruisers will take, for tac officers you don't want to use cruisers until you got a decent tier 5-u or tier 6 ship with decent enough and with sci officers you want to wait for about the same as delta quadrant ships eat thru your shields like they weren't on in the first Place (alot of them use an energy type that gives added damage to shields along with torps that have the same damage bonus against shields).

that said if you insist on starting with rommies get a ship that singulary power that fixes your shields and gives you secondary "shield" of additional hitpoints to your hull allowing you to repair damage quickly, singulary jump is nice too if you can time it well enough, there's also a singularity power that allows you to boost your energy weapon power (cannons fire with faster ROF and Beams hit harder per hit) without using your bridge officer powers and in on a seperate cooldown meaing your use one after the other was a rather nice alpha strike.
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The Romulan Republic
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Re: Should I try out Star Trek Online?

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2015-01-05 11:24pm

Well, right now I'm playing a Federation officer. I'm still using my initial Miranda class ship, though I aspire to get a stronger cruiser down the line. I haven't examined the options thoroughly yet but something with an aft torpedo launcher and heavier shields would be ideal. A bit more speed would be nice too.

Edit: I'll keep your suggestions regarding Romulans in mind. Thanks.

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Re: Should I try out Star Trek Online?

Postby Brother-Captain Gaius » 2015-01-06 01:15am

Nah, my main is a Tac Officer/Cruiser build, and it works fine. I reject the conventional wisdom of Tac/Escort Engy/Cruiser Science/Science being the only viable way to play. Then again, I played a shit ton of Pirates of the Burning Sea, and STO's space combat is basically a slimmed-down lite version of PotBS's ship combat, so I knew my way around it right from the start.
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Re: Should I try out Star Trek Online?

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2015-01-06 02:23am

Well, I think I'm playing a science officer on a cruiser. Is that a bad call?

Edit: It seems to be going okay, but I haven't tried multiplayer combat yet.

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Re: Should I try out Star Trek Online?

Postby Simon_Jester » 2015-01-06 03:32am

The biggest issue I foresee with a science officer on a cruiser is that the cruiser doesn't really have the bridge officer slots to make full use of science officer abilities, or the science console slots to provide many bonuses to those abilities. The situation with regard to tactical is more flexible.

On the other hand, you'll still be able to use science officer captain abilities, perhaps at slightly reduced effectiveness. And assuming you cultivate your engineering department you'll have one hell of a tough ship no matter what else you do or don't do.
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Re: Should I try out Star Trek Online?

Postby The Romulan Republic » 2015-01-06 08:51am

A tough ship is obviously good.

You know, I keep thinking that it would be fun if this game was a Star Trek vs Star Wars game. I really wish I could engage a Star Destroyer with my cruiser, even if the battle would be short.


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