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The Road to the Iconian War

Captain's Blog Stardate 93323.13

The Iconian War has been five years in the making and ended within a blink of an eye. Where did it come from? How did we get here? For those of us that have been playing STO for the past 5 years, we know it's been a long road. Join me as I explore the story that is known as Star Trek Online and take a walk through memory lane.

In 2010 the only story that existed was that of the Federation. The Klingon Empire had a few episodes, but it was mostly PvP related. So the story started with a Klingon-Federation war which sparked because they had a difference of opinion over the Undine, aka Species 8472. It was a plausible reason and one that I was able to accept. After all this is an MMO and we do need someone to fight.

We then somehow switched over to the Romulan front where the Undine were still an underlying plot, but we also got our first look at the Iconians. Not exactly who they were, but rather at one of their old bases. They were still a mystery to us and had on real influence to the story. That would surly change. From there we saw Deep Space 9, the Dominion, and the Mirror Universe. We also fought the Borg and ultimately the Undine.

Overall there was no clear story. It was a series of unrelated events that were fun to play through because it was new. None of it really mattered in the grand scheme of things. Eventually Cryptic added the "Cold War" series which introduced the Breen. This, in my opinion, was the first time Cryptic really put effort into a string of episodes with a story. Characters were introduced and it was fun playing through them just to see what happens. It still didn't affect much else.

The "Spectres" series was released, which is when the Devidians made their appearance. Again, it didn't seem like a larger story was part of the plan, but at least we were getting complete stories that were fun to play. Not only that but it brought "What Lies Beneath" into our lives. Like it or hate it, this is one of the most memorable episodes in Star Trek Online. "Bonnie kin. Bonnie kin. Dressed in red..."

"Cloaked Intentions" was next. In my opinion, it has some of the best environments in Star Trek Online. "Coliseum" and "Cutting the Cord" come to mind. It was also the first time shuttles became useful due to "The Vault". I think it is safe to say that this series triggered an age of change in Star Trek Online. Story and environment was key and the players loved it!

The next series, "The 2800" gave us some unfortunate episodes like "Of Bajor" or "Operation Gamma". It also gave us the "Facility 4028" map and finally "Boldly They Rode" which was loads of fun. Anyone who watch Deep Space 9 and the battles that occurred around the station could imagine they were part of that battle.

Over time we got additional Featured Episodes which were fun but the addition of New Romulus was another key moment. It was a large adventure zone full of areas to explore. It was definitive proof that Cryptic had the resources to give us amazing locations. I recall running through the map, trying to climb different areas, crossing the bridge, and so much more. I felt like this was finally Star Trek. Going to a new planet and exploring it.

The Star Trek Online story still wasn't taking shape. Cryptic may have had a plan, but even by the time all three factions were on par and loads of episodes were revamped, there still was no clear overarching story. Speaking of three factions, remember when the Romulan Republic was added? Those episodes were the best of the best. It was clear Cryptic wanted them to be amazing and they certainly succeed. Sure we got Tovan Khev in the process, but that's a small price to pay for some of the best episodes in the game.

Then we found out we would be visiting the Delta Quadrant. They pulled in a bunch of Star Trek actors to do voice overs (which was really cool) and wrote some stories about wars going on in this new quadrant. Let's not forget, we arrived here through the use of Iconian gateways. It may not have been clear that the Iconians would be returning, but we were certainly using their network to our advantage.

Now I've written a lot, so let's speed things up and jump a head to the final moments of the Iconian War. The conflict quickly escalated along with the episodes within it. Let's be hones, the stories weren't the best and the environments were ok. It's actually reminiscent of when Star Trek Online was first released. Sure there are some bells and whistles like cut scenes and voice overs, but overall it could have been better. The finale was definitely a lot of fun (despite the plot holes). For a story that has been five years in the making, it surly ended quickly.

Overall, it's been a long road full of emotional highs and lows. I can say with confidence that Cryptic has put in a lot of effort into this game over the years. We may not agree on everything, but at least we have a story. As time goes on I'm certain they will continue to revamp the old episode (as they are currently doing with the Cardassian stories). My only hope is that they rushed to the end only to start something better. Let's keep our fingers crossed.

In the comments, let me know what has been your most memorable moment in the past five years as well as your thoughts on the Star Trek Online story.

Written by Attilio on September 20, 2015 at 09:57 pm


LTropical (Guest) said...
September 21, 2015 at 05:25 pm

now if the would just stop doing the "rinse & repeat" story...

Reply to LTropical
TacPaddy (Member) said...
September 23, 2015 at 09:01 am

Most memorable?

When people gathered at Vulcan to pay their respect for Leonard Nimoy. I was very pleased to see, that Cryptic erected monuments on both Vulcan and Mol'Rihan and established a Memorial plaque at each factions's main hub to honor all those lost souls, that contributed to Star Trek.

Reply to TacPaddy

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