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Is This Star Trek?

Captain's Blog Stardate 92882.71

Star Trek Online is just a generic sci-fi MMO with the Star Trek name slapped on top. How many of you would be playing this game if it was name "Space Adventure Online"? I know I wouldn't. The only thing that attracted me to this game was "Star Trek" in the title. I'm sorry to say but there is very little Star Trek left in this game.

Before I go any further let me say that I don't hate the direction this game has taken and I plan on playing for years to come. It just doesn't feel like Star Trek anymore.

Let's take a look at the reputation system, including the upcoming Iconian Resistance. Do some of the uniforms and armor from these reputations look cool? Of course! Now where in Star Trek do they have shiny pieces of armor? Where in Star Trek has officers picked up tech from the enemy and used in on a daily basis? When did Starfleet, the Klingon Empire, and Romulans get to fly around in enemy ships that have been commissioned by their faction?

Is it too much? Have the developers taken what was once a Star Trek game and simply made it a generic sci-fi game with shiny toys? Would you play this game even if we didn't have all these shiny toys that really make no sense in terms of Star Trek canon (and possibly non-canon)?

I don't know what to think anymore. I have fun playing this game and earning all these cool unique rewards, but sometimes it just doesn't feel right. I don't mean any of this as an insult to the developers, I'm just thinking out loud. Ignoring some of the major bugs, this really is a fun game. So what do you think?

Written by Attilio on April 12, 2015 at 10:39 pm


linkdown (Guest) said...
April 13, 2015 at 08:21 am

Stopped playing almost a year ago. It was fun while it lasted.

Reply to linkdown
Monkeyslap13 (Member) said...
April 13, 2015 at 09:09 am

"When did Starfleet, the Klingon Empire, and Romulans get to fly around in enemy ships that have been commissioned by their faction?"

Uhhh well.....

Deep Space Nine:
Season 5 episode 2 "The Ship": Sisko and crew fight to keep the wreckage of a crashed Jem'hadar ship.

Season 6 episodes 1 and 2 "A time to stand" and "Rocks and shoals": Sisko and crew take the Jem'Hadar ship they captured earlier into enemy territory to cut off the Jem'Hadar's supply of ketrecel-white and wind up crashing the ship on a planet.

Reply to Monkeyslap13
TacPaddy (Member) replied...
April 14, 2015 at 04:43 am

That was one small Ship, that Starfleet was lucky to capture at all.
It was used in a Covert Operation to deal a blow against the Dominion.

In the game, however, we get to command Ship in the long-term, that the enemy would have destroyed first rather to let it get into enemy hands.

I'm with Attilio on this, it is just not right.

Reply to TacPaddy
Edgewooddirk (Guest) said...
April 13, 2015 at 09:12 am

I think one thing the game suffers from is what happened in the actual cannon of the world - the complete scrapping of the entire timeline that brought us into the world in the first place.

With the cast basically walking away after Nemesis and then the reboot with the Hobus explosion, the game was given cart blanche to go wherever they wanted (with the blessing of CBS, of course), and to introduce whatever they wanted. I don't think this has helped to keep either the story or the feel of the world as strong.

Reply to Edgewooddirk
Wanderer (Guest) said...
April 13, 2015 at 09:13 am

In my opinion it is Star Trek.

Every generation faced its challenges and accusations about not being trek enough. Sure we forget it now but there was a hell of a lot of animosity to TNG because it can't be trek without Kirk and Spock. It can't be trek because it has no starship enterprise and based on a Bajoran station. It can't be trek because it's not got starfleet and it's just lost in space.

Truth is. Each media and generation will define their trek. Their way. This is our gaming generation's version of trek.

There is a lot to challenge STO on its success (?) in balancing the essentially pacifist Federation with the needs of conflict in gaming. But this is no more different than the need for drama in TV or film.

Aesthetically there are challenges sure. The Iconians look like they belong in WOW. Fair challenge. And your player can be attired with the starfleet uniform of your choice. Regardless of their actual equipment. You can choose to fly starfleet ships exclusively if that is your desire.

Equally you have the ability to create a character and crew that are a bit different. That fly a hijacked Jem Hadar ship or temporal ship. It's not like these were unheard of on TV

Cheekily one could argue that this is Trek because CbS or Paramount or whomever owns it, says it is.

I do feel I get a Trek fix from the game. The sight of ESD. The sound of a quantum torpedo. The threatening sound of a declining vessel. Or the synthetic dialogue from the Borg.

Just my two cents.

Reply to Wanderer
ruarimc (Member) said...
April 13, 2015 at 11:28 am

The MACO kit actually reminds me of Star Trek: Elite Force, a Voyager-based first-person shooter. The Romulans and Klingons get an even easier ride with this, as the potential for variation is wider and often, the basic sets are just plain cooler. The Federation has a problem - its uniform *is* a bit dull - so variants and armor sets allow players to be distinctive in a world which otherwise encourages you to be heterogeneous.

Ultimately, though, what makes this Trek for me - and yes, I hear your point about it being Space Adventure Online - is that it still feels like Star Trek when I log in. It looks like it, sounds like it, and when you play an away mission, the locations look like Star Trek should.

There was always a world beyond the Enterprise, a world beyond the Promenade, and a galaxy beyond Ten-Forward that was left to our imaginations.

Reply to ruarimc
Xhopeon (Member) replied...
April 13, 2015 at 12:23 pm

"There was always a world beyond the Enterprise, a world beyond the Promenade, and a galaxy beyond Ten-Forward that was left to our imaginations."

Thank you for making my day better!
This line could not be more true and hard to argue against it.
What we've seen in shows were just glimpses of things that actually happen in whole wide galaxy and beyond.
And as in Star Trek, we should boldly go through new times with open minds, not just with point of view that we enjoyed on TV.

Although I will never like facts like that we can fly some ships from factions which were "forbidden" to even think possible (Undine) or removing Exploration missions, but we can still ignore those things and enjoy what we like, and I'm sure that there is plenty of it.

Reply to Xhopeon
TheOctagon (Guest) said...
April 13, 2015 at 02:20 pm

STO stopped being Star Trek for me once Federation players were given WMDs. The use of bio-weapons, radiation clouds and sundry others is against the very ideals the Federation stands for.

There is nothing 'noble' about being a Starfleet captain in this game. Your just another thug flying around the galaxy shooting first and murdering on a regular basis.

That is not Star Trek.

Reply to TheOctagon
Andrew Koldwell (Guest) said...
April 13, 2015 at 02:45 pm

I've not played recently. The Iconian stuff isn't playing out the way I hoped it would, so I'll probably stop for a while and get my fix elsewhere. With that said, I always played the game as a real Fed. I only use phasers and ships that fit the character. I don't even deviate very much from the most official uniform guide I can find.

I'm going to agree with TheOctagon. The stock game has a lot of literal death, so I always played with the idea that I'm stunning/disabling rather than killing/vaporizing.

The STO battle system always felt like a modification of the Champions system (and Neverwinter has the same feeling), so I'm sick of it as gameplay, but I do keep coming back for the Trek parts in the game. Lots of the stories are just as good as anything Alpha or Beta cannon and lots of the Foundry missions do well to scratch my Trek itch.

Reply to Andrew Koldwell
Lerch2000 (Member) said...
April 13, 2015 at 05:00 pm

If this was just coming out, true most likely wouldn't touch it, but if they were to do a name change this late in the game I would stay to much time and money invested. The title is what brought me in, lets face it a lot if not all from the states grew up on the series of one form or another.

Reply to Lerch2000
cmdrscarlet (Member) said...
April 14, 2015 at 10:29 am

The problem is that "Star Trek" stopped with Enterprise which is now 10 years old. Even the novels (soft canon) are stuck in the 23rd century, last I checked.

The game developers had some options: stay stuck in time with the shows or move forward. I'd wager they chose the later in order to have the freedom to do whatever is needed for a game.

I play this game because it's Star Trek too. If there was better, then I'd move on. But I've tried a few other sci-fi games and they are not better to me. So, I deal with what Cryptic is doing. Besides, no other game lets me fly the EXCELSIOR!

Reply to cmdrscarlet
Volek (Member) said...
April 14, 2015 at 11:56 am

I believe much of that argument can be explained by those that chose to align themselves with a faction, but not be a part of it. In terms of RP or backstory for characters.

I, myself, have an alien character that has a back story. They use different ships and tech which are not something that the faction they work with would use.

That's the best way the game deals with this issue, rather than having a zillion different "confederacy, unions, hierarchy" factions.

Reply to Volek
greendragoon (Member) said...
April 15, 2015 at 04:34 pm

What is Star Trek is a very loaded question as it's a constantly evolving, and very subjective answer. A friend of mine has a funs saying, "Ask 4 Trek fans their opinion and get 8 different answers."

Every single fan holds up their piece of Star Trek as THE Trek. But it's only a piece. TNG is only a piece. Voyager is only a piece. I mean how many actually canon Trek events do you just want to cringe at. Were they not Trek?

Really I think what's important is how YOU play the game, not what everyone else chooses to do. Let everyone else keep their own versions and you can keep yours.

Reply to greendragoon
Jak Forcella (Guest) said...
April 15, 2015 at 06:09 pm

I always imagined Starfleet basically "contracting" missions in STO, to mercenaries and such. Hence why you can have a hundred "admirals", or people they trust with high clearances to do dangerous missions.

From a RP perspective, I assume anyone not in a standard issue uniform, or a variant thereof, are not commissioned Starfleet Officers like myself, but paid by the Federation to fight for them.

In my eyes, that makes so much more sense than just saying we're all Starfleet Officers we just don't act like it.

Reply to Jak Forcella
puckalish (Member) said...
April 15, 2015 at 07:28 pm

Echoing a lot of folks above said to cement my place firmly... on the fence.

I mean, nothing about this Iconian mess seems remotely Star Trek-y to me (quite Stargate-ish, really)... and, like others, the reason I picked this game because of the connection to the Trek IP...

That said, yeah, in ST, there were always fringe characters who didn't have the standard background... and it's only imaginable that there would be all kinds of diversity in terms of who captains what in the wide, wide galaxy. All that said, the chance that there would be scores of Federation and KDF officers captaining the ships of Species 8472... well, um... yeah...

Last two thoughts are to echo Attilio's admission that, well, I like the shinies... shoot, I just started up a Ferasan toon and you know they didn't exist, but it sure is fun to pounce, lol...

And that it would be cool to have some content, at some point, that wasn't so much about an escalating war as about exploration and creative ways to solve puzzles and diplomacy and all those other things that drew us all into Trek to start with.

Reply to puckalish
Pat (Guest) said...
April 16, 2015 at 09:03 am

Well the whole game does not really feel "Trek". I started playing the game because it was star trek. And it was the first MMO I ever played and payed even for the subscription (pre free to play).

I don't really like the direction of the lockbox ships. They can design really beautiful ships which were never see before. Like the presidio cruiser I really love the design of the ship. You can see that the hull is affected by the technology of the sphere but on its own right feels like a Star Trek ship.

I don't say that flying ships of another faction is the problem. The problem is that there is no immersive explenation why everyone uses non starfleet ships. They could say that the ships are "loaned" by other races like the cloaking device on the Defiant (DS9).

If this game wouln't have "Star Trek" in its name I actually would enjoy it more but on the other hand I probably would heve never started to to play the game due to its bad reputation.

Reply to Pat
Chan'Feilax (Guest) said...
April 17, 2015 at 04:11 pm

The game is what you make of it. You don't have to go for the alien lock box ships or exotic looking reputation items if you don't want to or if they don't seem Star Trek enough for you. Personally, I still wear the same old Odyssey duty uniform and fly around in my Akira-class and have never really been tempted to wear or fly anything else. Occasionally, I'll go for a rep item if it makes sense for my character or Boffs to have (like the Voyager phaser rifle). So I would say that the game definitely feels like a Star Trek game to me because of how the game lets me choose how to play it (within certain reasonable limitations, of course).

Reply to Chan'Feilax
Captain Orion (Guest) said...
May 02, 2015 at 07:11 pm

Why is everyone running around with "all energy" builds for the end-game content? Because torpedoes suck. The one iconic weapon to be feared when shields are down suck when hitting shields in this game. Shields are difficult to even get low with all the rubber banding healing happening. And skills like beam overload which now ALWAYS crit you successfully land a hit on the target make it pretty inefficient to bother slotting them for anything other than rp reasons.

Reply to Captain Orion
Captain Orion (Guest) said...
May 02, 2015 at 07:17 pm

I mean honestly. I agree with many of the other posters here. Starfleet should have unique ship and ground queues when downing an opponent. Torpedoes shouldnt suck. The same Exploit and expose method for ground would be great for space. Especially if every torp triggered a unique and annoying secondary effect. There should be a release of faction specific lock box ships to compete with the ugly looking alien ones they keep releasing. And they need to bring back exploration and explain through in-game lore the things that seem contradicting to the universe we know and love so as to be "immersed" appropriately from log-in to log-out! And thnx so much for opening this site up to the public. You've really been a great help to many of us. Cheers!

Reply to Captain Orion
Charles (Guest) said...
May 07, 2015 at 12:05 pm

We gamers are ridiculous sometimes with our demands. To say this isn't Star Trek is an absurd exaggeration. I get why some people are annoyed by the ship choices, but seriously, how many people would play this game if they only allowed canon ships and canon items on those ships? How many people would play if they didn't dare to introduce new species, occasionally? Without all this other content and choice, there would be no Star Trek Online at all.

Reply to Charles
Charles (Guest) said...
May 07, 2015 at 12:08 pm

We gamers are ridiculous sometimes with our demands. To say this isn't Star Trek is an absurd exaggeration. I get why some people are annoyed by the ship choices, but seriously, how many people would play this game if they only allowed canon ships and canon items on those ships? How many people would play if they didn't dare to introduce new species, occasionally? Without all this other content and choice, there would be no Star Trek Online at all.

Reply to Charles
yellowsunwarrior (Member) said...
May 10, 2015 at 02:32 pm

From the perspective of most 2 to 3 year veterans of the game, I have only just begun having started just under a year ago. It has taken this long to figure out many of the nuances, not because I'm slow but because this is a big game with many little details that can make a big overall difference. I can easily get lost in the game, which means it is a very good game from my perspective. I find that most of the other players do not interact much with strangers and I tend to be a bit shy as it is, so I struggled through the nuances much on my own, but I don't mind that so much.
Is it Star Trek? Yes, in that it has all the familiar locations and from time to time even some of the characters show up. I very much enjoyed being able to visit my bridge and run around the decks, but unfortunately that got old rather fast. No it isn't Star Trek because the common formula for most STO missions involve discovering something is up, blasting the hell out of some enemy ships, going to a planet or ship and blasting the hell out of them, then back to your ship for one final battle - such things didn't happen that much on the show. But it is a game and gamers are looking for action, which apparently means blasting the crap out of things and people. Personally I don't enjoy watching my ship explode because other gamers want a "challenge," and as another poster pointed out a Starfleet Officer would usually negotiate with a potential threat before opening fire as well as give their enemy a chance to surrender. If a ship was beaten a Starfleet officer would never finish it off, in fact they are more likely to render aid or attempt to re-open negotiations. In many stories the enemy turns tail and runs from the fight, rather than fight to the death. The Klingons on the other hand...maybe there could have been a different style of play for each faction, but that would have made an already complicated game, even more complicated. Cryptic is a business and they want to make money, that is the bottom line, a pure Star Trek game would be a huge undertaking and they must balance time management with making money. The result is a game with a Star Trek veneer. But, I believe it can get better, not that it isn't already good.
To start, I think rather than create a new enemy to fight, their next expansion should involve adding some more Star Trek nuances from the show and into the game. Missing is the interaction between the Captain and Crew. Countless Star Trek episodes take place aboard their ship. The Enterprise was an iconic character in the show that many cared about because so much of the story took place on her decks. How many fans gasped when the Enterprise exploded in Star Trek III? They should create a way or build missions that take place on our ships and have interactions with our Bridge Officers. Right now we trade our Bridge Officers and DOFFS like slavers and treat them the same as weapons or shields. It would be very Star Trek to integrate a more personal relationship with ship and crew. When I first started the game I had difficulty dismissing Elisa Flores as First Officer; where would should she go? What would she do? What had she done wrong? But there were so many Elisa Flores' running around the game I had to let her go as I wanted my own First Officer, not everyone else's. (I like to think Elisa Flores was the victim or a massive Ryker transporter accident and multiple copies of her were created or she is actually a hologram like The Doctor.) I like to use my imagination a great deal while playing the game, it helps to make it feel more like Star Trek.
The game is very good, I spend massive amounts of time in it and have spent money on it. But it is only an income source for Cryptic and I don't see them investing effort to make it more Trek as the majority of players are here to get the best weapons and ships to defeat the next challenging enemy, and strut their stuff. Which is perfectly fine, for a game. If we want a more accurate Star Trek experience in the game, The Foundry is likely the only solution. I do hope they update the Foundry with more options so we can build more accurate Star Trek stories.

Reply to yellowsunwarrior
Aelfwin (Guest) said...
May 11, 2015 at 10:38 am

I think that you invited any Devs reading this to ignore it even before you made your point , by saying that your planning to go on playing for years to come .
This game died when it went F2P .
What's left is a cash register covered up in pretty art, and a fan base which can't let go .

Reply to Aelfwin

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