Entertainment, Games, MPOGs, Star Trek Online, Video Games

Improving Crafting in Star Trek Online

The following is almost my own idea. It’s actually a combination of several ideas I’ve see thrown around on the STO forums made a little more concrete.

First I’m going to provide a quick overview of how equipment in STO works:

Most equipment comes in ten levels, starting at “Mk I” and going up to “Mk X”. The stats increase through the levels and which you can use is restricted by rank. Lieutenants can only use up to Mk II, Lt. Commanders up to Mk IV etc. all the way up to Rear Admirals using anything up to Mk X.

Equipment also comes in four rarities: common, uncommon, rare and very rare. Increased rarity adds modifiers to equipment. Uncommon gains one modifier, rare gains two and very rare gains three (some equipment types like tactical consoles don’t specifier modifiers – in this case just think of it as only having one possible modifier and it’s just that modifier applied the corresponding number of times).

Now we have that out of the way, on to the actual crafting.

The basis for this idea (which many people have suggested on the forums) is a new type of item (called, for example, an “Improvement”) which provides modifiers to other equipment. You would craft the improvement (using the existing anomaly data), and then combine it with existing equipment to make better equipment.

For example, consider Impulse Engines. Impulse Engines have four possible modifiers:

[Aux] which allows you to move at 25% speed while engines are disabled
[Spd] which provides a speed boost
[Turn] which provides a turning rate boost
[Full] which provides a speed boost to full impulse.

My idea would require an improvement for reach of those. For instance:

[Aux] Additional Auxilliary Thrusters
[Spd] Increased Reactor Efficiency
[Turn] Additional RCS Units
[Full] Increased Reactor Output

These improvements would come in different levels like normal equipment (Mk I to X), but with a couple of important points (to avoid unnecessary complexity). Firstly they would only be available in even levels (Mk II, Mk IV, Mk VI, Mk VIII, Mk X) like existing crafting options. And secondly they could be used with lower level equipment (mainly for using a Mk X improvement on Mk IX equipment etc.). The different levels would require rarer anomaly data to provide, like the existing system. (What happens in Season 2 with Vice-Admirals with Mk XI (but no Mk XII) equipment, I don’t know yet :P).

Something else to consider is that this idea would apply to equipment of all rarities, so you could combine uncommon “Impulse Engines [Aux]” with the “Additional RCS Units” to get “Impulse Engines [Aux] [Turn]”. To maintain balance between rarities however I think improving uncommon equipment (to rare) should require two improvements, and improving rare equipment (to very rare) should require four improvements. So to go from common “Impulse Engines” to very rare “Impulse Engines [Turn] x3” would take a total of seven “Additional RCS Units”.

PS – I recently sold a very rare “Hyper-Impulse Engines Mk X [Aux] [Turn] [Spd]” for 5,000,000 energy credits. If anyone sees a “Combat Impulse Engines Mk X [Aux] [Turn] x2” I’d quite happily pay that much for them…

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Entertainment, Games, MPOGs, Star Trek Online, Video Games

Improving sector space in Star Trek Online

Perhaps I should just go ahead and rename my blog “Star Trek Online Forum Highlights”…

Pendra37 on the STO forums has come up with the first idea to improve sector space in Star Trek Online that actually seems it could be done without majorly overhauling the game engine.

The coolness basically boils down to one change: “If you hit the Drop out of warp button, you drop out of warp. A random deep space instance map loads up. The map may be completely random.” For more detail, read the post Sector space makes sense.

This reminds me of the fantasy RPG Rings of Power on the Genesis/Megadrive. In that game, for most of the time you controlled and oversized character walking through the landscape. At any time you could press B and the map essentially zoomed in showing you were you “really” were (and that the oversized character was just you represented on a map). Most of the time there was nothing interesting around, but there were things hidden in places that you could find and some quests required you to go to specific places.

Entertainment, Games, MPOGs, Star Trek Online, Video Games

The Voyage Home and BOff Story Arcs in STO

Another pair of interesting ideas for STO I found on the forums.

The first is “The Voyage Home“, a framework around exploration type missions based on the story of Voyager.

The second is Bridge Officer Story Arcs, missions based around your bridge officers, after you set up some personality options (most importantly, sympathies to certain factions and vendettas against certain factions).

Entertainment, Games, MPOGs, Star Trek Online, Video Games

Star Trek Online Gold Edition going cheap at Zavvi

Yes, it seems I’ll be obsessed with Star Trek Online for a while…

For those of you (at least in the UK) who would like the chance to become obsessed, Zaavi are selling the Gold Edition of STO for £17.95 £23.95 (oddly enough the normal version is £29.95).

The Gold Edition comes with loads of extras including a T-Shirt and download code for DS9 style uniforms.

Of course you should try the free Star Trek Online demo first 😛

Entertainment, Games, MPOGs, Star Trek Online, Video Games

Star Trek Online minigame ideas

A few people on the Star Trek Online forums (notably ThomastheCat) have come up with ideas for minigames (discussed here). The idea is that they would replace the “find an item and press F” mechanic with something more interesting and situation specific.

The forum post has more detail, but a lot can be communicated with just the mockups that have been made:







And if you’re not already a player, remember you can get a free trial of Star Trek Online.

Entertainment, Games, MPOGs, Star Trek Online, Video Games

Some cool ideas for Star Trek Online

I’ve been playing Star Trek Online since the open beta at the end of January and my opinion of it is generally positive. That isn’t to say there aren’t problems, in fact I agree with most of the complaints about it (and the forums have a lot). The difference with me is I still think it’s fun to play in the mean time (I still think the space combat is the best any Star Trek game has ever had).

I recently came across a series of ideas to improve the game posted on the forums by the player Daren Kitlor (although many others were involved in developing the ideas). This is my attempt to make a few more people read them and hopefully support them (since they are all really good).

Here they are, in my order of liking:

  1. Iconic Worlds Proposal : “Create large, exterior world maps for various factions. These maps would be populated with many short missions”
  2. Explore the System Proposal : “Creating new challeges to add variety to existing exploration missions.”
  3. Intel Missions and Urban Settings : “Urban Environments, Espionage Mission Archetypes (to include Co-Op and Solo)”
  4. Memory Alpha Tweaks : “Most items have an attribute in [blocks] for each level of rarity it gains. Why not let us select what attributes we’re looking for, based on the tier we have unlocked?”
  5. Territory Control Proposal : “Help create persistent, PvP territory control without drastically changing the PvP Queues themselves”
  6. Fleet Starbases and Fleet PVP : “The construction of Fleet-constructed starbases or space stations. Sieges of Fleet-constructed starbases.”
  7. Ground Combat Proposal : “Star Trek Online has some great space combat. However, the ground combat is often criticized as being lackluster.”
  8. Socialization Content Proposal : “Enhance the game experience through role-playing or to enhance the role-playing through a game experience.”

And remember, if you’re not yet a player you can play a limited demo for free (sadly without the cool ideas above yet).

Entertainment, Games, MPOGs, Star Trek Online, Video Games

Play Star Trek Online for free (for a bit)

Cryptic Studios have just launched the Star Trek Online referral program. They encourage old players to bring in new players by giving them free in game stuff (specifically the future Enterprise from All Good Things with three warp nacelles as a ship option).

To make it easier to persuade people, referred players get to try a demo of the game for free. It does seem the demo will be made freely available in the near future anyway though.

The demo has the following restrictions:

  • Cannot trade player-to-player, send items via mail or use the Exchange.
  • Cannot send in-game tells except those on the friends list (but can receive all tells)
  • Cannot participate in zone chat
  • Cannot send a friend request, or team/fleet invites (but can receive and accept them)
  • Cannot play beyond level 3, or access missions other than “Stranded in Space,” once outside of the tutorial Episode

The last is the important one really.

Anyway, if anyone wants an invite, send me an email (each player can only have five pending invites).
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The following are keys I’ve issued to myself (but not used). Each one can only be used once so if one doesn’t work, try the next. I’ll keep checking which ones are claimed and replace them.

STRAF4HTD3UYLRHM8WTLDBMDL
STRAF4HTJJGHKW99RLX6LHFWA
STRAF4HTK4N868K39XNP8JG8K
STRAF4DB77VRX8CGFXXJX6UEP

Additionally, to download the client go to the download page.
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