Summer Festival, Refits, and Shuttles

Star Trek Online has started their 2014 Summer Lohlunat Festival on Risa. Once again like the 2014 Winter Wonderland, I’m not even surprised the goodies in this event involves a ship. Last year’s inaugural festival contained the Risan Corvette, this year we have the Risan Luxury Cruiser. Ever since they released the ship specification, I’ve been comparing it to ships of it’s class and other ships to find a comparatively similar variant. There’s an underlying theme for Risan ships; speed, turn rate and flight speed. From the corvette and the luxury cruiser, they don’t necessary top out as the fastest ships but it comes close to being the fastest. By comparison, the corvette is close to a Tactical Escort and the cruiser this year is close to a Assault Cruiser or a Heavy Cruiser. In an escort, speed is important; not so much on a cruiser but it does help with getting away from sticky situations. In larger ships, you would also have to account for inertia as well; for the cruiser this year, she’s a big girl when it comes to slowing down and speeding up. With double the amount of inertia, it is predictable to see the drift effect seen in the Odyssey cruisers and carriers. Also it would take the ship long to reach top speed, so running in and out of combat would be a bit more difficult. Out of all the analogous ships she can be compared to, the closest resemblance would be the Odyssey for the fact of here lethality and configuration. In the Dev Blog, she boasts 5 engineering consoles, high hull damage and passive subsystem boosts to shields. Along with the obvious Cruiser Comms Array, it solidifies her position as a a busty boat. However what makes her Risan by design aside from the aesthetics is her unrelenting speed and unique console piece which completes the 2-piece set. Overall, I’m a bit excited to own the cruiser, however fitting her for a combat role would be a challenge.

Recently I managed to gather the credits in game to make refits to my Fleet Tactical Escort Retrofit, it was  a pricey operation to get her up to date with the new Fluidic antiproton cannons but it’s slowing paying off. More proof Cryptic pushes endgame with overpowered gear. My main priority now is to get my Jem Hadar Dreadnought ready to go with canon weaponry. At the moment I have most of the weapons excluding the torpedo launchers I need as well as engineering and tactical consoles being unfilled. Once again with my handy dandy escort, console grinding should be relatively simple much like bashing your head against the wall. With both the Dreadnought and Luxury Cruiser now taking up ship slots, I have to put up with grinding dilithum again for Zen for additional ship slots; I am not looking forward to it.

Underutilized, I still believe having an armed shuttle is a priority. With the new Counter-Command rep project and Cryptic releasing shuttle mission variants for a limited time, I managed the opportunity to experiment with the two ship sets. For the most part, the weapons are definitely underpowered when facing races with a high resistance to phaser and disruptor damage. The tactical console is weak considering the small boost to damage compared to other console. The powers provided by the set is really useless in a shuttle setting but the power and shield strength is pretty useful on a shuttle. Though I only tried it on my Delta class shuttle, I think both the stats and the looks make the shuttle useful, however the weapon/console set is off putting because of the lack of damage. I would just prefer an antiproton turret and quantum torpedoes compared to the special phaser turret and photon torpedo. So I scrapped the idea of a Counter-Command shuttle in favour of a mix of items that work well together. Even then, I still need to find more consoles to help me get it all together.

Summer of Star Trek, year two. I think this is the longest game I’ve played ever.

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Space Potatoes!

Uploaded another, this time the quality is still off and the sound is way to loud. Sound seems like I have to manually adjust per game. Also I’m starting to figure out that my resolution is based on Open Broadcaster Software’s encoding settings, perhaps I should figure out how to set it to record better quality video. I noticed my microphone is a bit loud upon view the uploaded gameplay so I’m not quite sure what’s going on there.

If anyone has experience with this software, please leave a comment and help me out! Until next time, here’s some gameplay!

Star Trek Online

How everything would be like as video games

Everyone has those ideas; for my daydreaming gamers, you know what I’m talking about and I’m not talking about 100-0 kill ratio. We all have that dream where we all wanted to live a life as a movie star, action hero and perhaps if you’re reading this, every video game we ever played. Realistically, it’s not going to be like that but as my third grade teacher once said “I can dream.” So lets give it a shot from my perspective, how would my dream life would be like if it was a video game!

Ideally, I think my ordinary life should be like The Sims. I can be self-employed and alone in a shack on the outskirts of town. Over a entire lifetime, I would be a successful writer sitting around watching TV and not paying any bills. As time goes on, I want to be hitting up all the social places and meeting new people; even though they’re like great grandchildren of the townspeople who once walked the Earth with me. I would never age a day because of a magical potion bestowed upon me. In the end, I would have all the money I could every want and I would just be writing really bad novels which later become best sellers. Perhaps when I get bored I can try and level cap all the jobs in my town so I could have “been there” and “done that”.

My interaction with the world in my opinion should be more like Grand Theft Auto. Seriously, probably would be amazing considering I wouldn’t need a license for a car or a firearm. I would be going on weird messed up adventures with some loopy friends and own houses for nothing. If I ever go anywhere, I can always I can always swipe a car off of someone. Also I don’t have to really eat since I can sleep for 6 hours to regenerate health and never sleep so I can enjoy living all hours of the day. If I ever needed to let out some steam I can drive on the sidewalk, against traffic and just randomly cause trouble. Don’t tell me you never pushed people onto an oncoming train in GTA IV? I may or may not have done it a few times to avoid using my own money for the train, I cannot confirm nor deny it. Also everything is wicked cheap; a burger is a dollar in GTA Land, I would pig out until I’m Wasted and lose a little to no money from a hospital visit. I’m mostly in it for making money and doing what I feel like doing because I would be carefree.

Of course I’m not all selfish, what about the world? What game would the world be like? It’s a tough one from my point of view. I want the world to be a paradise where poverty and violence is non-existent. It would have its flaws but it would be still be a wonderful world we can live on. The only one game I an think of is Star Trek Online and its universe. So expect a third world war and genetically enhanced experiments unleashed to the world. But in the end, we have a utopia where we an travel to other worlds and waging interstellar wars where conflicts don’t really end but new problems come up that unite 3 of the dominant organizations. Upside, don’t have to worry about money since you can get it anywhere and work is plentiful.

Realistically, I would want the world to be more of a co-op game. United under a common goal and we work together to get things done then bashing each other around. I do think we would go places if we all played life like a co-op game. Like if it was a zombie survival game and we all had to just survive the apocalypse together rather than pitting against one another. The more I think about, why are most sandbox zombie games recently force players to fight each other? I really do think there are a lot of good people out there. Misguided perhaps, but there’s a lot of good people wanting the world to be a better place. Even if it means having a cataclysm to bring us all together to do some good. I’m hoping for a world like Minecraft or Starbound but better graphics and complex game mechanics. It’s a fun place to be and you can just work together. Ideally it’s a world where the only rules are the ones you set for yourself…and also what’s limited to the mechanics of the universe…also no killing, definitely no murdering.

I would like to someday live in that kind of world. A place where living is like a video game, preferably not a MMO because I’m always alone in MMO’s and it becomes a grind which follows a very loose story. Until that day comes and next time, leave it to your imagination and play life like you live in a game.

The Little Things That Count Too!

Continuing from a post a wrote while on the Greyhound a few weeks back. This time, I finish up the short biographies for my Star Trek Online Bridge Officers. This instalment will tie up the standard Bridge Officers as well as the unique Bridge Officers I found in the episode series thus far. As well I’ve added a biography to my character as well. At the moment, I’m not sure if I will add more officers later on, when I do, I’ll share with you the biographies I will be adding to them.

Sindy Tawanna Vignaux

Majoring in Advanced Weapons Systems at Starfleet Academy, Sindy was the first pick from the Academy by Admiral McGrual to serve as a bridge Tactical Officer. During the Cardassian incident in 2409, she was reassigned aboard as a shuttle pilot. Not much happened until the Jem’hadar attacked DS9 where her services as a pilot was tested. The reports indicate, 700 reported kills in 21 dogfights. Notable distinguishing accolades from her commanding officer is the destruction of 4 Jem’hadar cruisers and a dreadnought.

Twelve of Twenty-Five

Out of the handful that have been liberated, Twelve was an Auxiliary System Adjunct of Unimatrix 074. Genetic profiling confirms he was one of the captured survivors of the Vega Colony attacks in 2409. Though most files are still redacted, all we know is he was a system technician prior to assimilation on Vega Colony. Engineering and Medical details the removal of his personal tactical systems and certain defensive capabilities. After debriefing and undergoing psycho-neural therapy, he enlisted as a Borg Advisor to Starfleet Command. Under the supervision of Romeo McGrual, his record indicates serveral instances where he might have attempted to contacted The Collective. On every occasion, Admiral McGrual reported “his humanity always reasserts himself, a struggle between what he knows and what he knows is right. Indeed a conflict I would never dare challenge.” After his ship was reassigned, he was promoted to serve as the bridge crew and as a Systems Analyst. On his off time, his crew reports he takes care of his 4 tribbles.

Irman’ika

Found on a desolate world in the Gamma Quadrant, Irman’ika was near death and lacking the ketracel supplies to live. Fortunately he encountered a Romeo McGrual on a science expedition. According to the report, Irman’ika demanded “ketracel or face death from the Jem’Hadar”. Over time, he began to trust the McGrual’s crew through negotiating goods for survival equipment. Even more to offer his instincts to teach the crew strategies when encountering his brethren. His ambitions grew to the point where he helped the crew destroy Jem’hadar supply convoys and sabotaged outposts during the 2409 incursion. For his efforts, he was granted a Tactical Advisor field commission.

Kel

Prior to his defection from the Breen Confederacy, Kel was a scientist working on enhanced energy dampening technology. Though there weren’t any breakthroughs, it advanced the Breen’s energy dampening technology. He also assisted in the development of of a energy dampening tractor beam which was later scraped due to accidently killing his science team during it’s initial field test. After much scorn for the incident, Kel fled the Breen Confederacy and is currently assisting Starfleet with energy efficiency studies to enhance power to ship systems.

Temerix

Regard as one of the most trusted officers under Obisek’s command, he is the intermediary ambassador. Prior to assisting Starfleet, Temerix was assigned to Vault in the Haakona System working on thalaron-powered subsystems under the Tal’Shiar. After the liberation of the Vault, his work focused on active thalaron dampening technology which has allowed ships to properly use this energy with little  exposure. After the Romulan Republic was founded, he took the opportunity to work with Starfleet to enhance some of their ship systems.

Romeo Jay McGrual

After the Borg incursion on Vega Colony, he was quickly field promoted. For his resolve, McGrual was granted a commission and began to negotiate peace with countless of species including the Cardassians, Romulans and Klingons. Due to the accumulated combat experience, he was accepted into a joint special task force – “Omega Force” working with Starfleet’s Military Assault Command Operations. After an extended military campaign against the Borg, he was reassigned to the diplomatic corps to assist with the newly founded Romulan Republic to settle in the Tau Dewa sector block. Suffice to say, Admiral McGrual has been around the galaxy.

The little things that make it count

After looking through the personnel files of my Bridge Officers, I keep regretting the fact I never written them a biography in the game. It’s not because I never wanted to, the problem is simply two fold. One being that at this very moment I have over a dozen officers which means over a dozen biographies that include non-Federation backgrounds. Second, I’m lazy even though I completed one biography already in game. Regardless of probably a spelling error, it’s pretty well researched to the best of my ability. The one biography alone took about a few hours reading and about an hour to type the entirety.

Corspa

Coming from a miltary background, she enlisted in the Andorian Imperial Guard at a very young age. As her achievements were distinguished, the Imperial Guard recommended her to Starfleet to assist in galactic affair. After completing tactical training, she was fast tracked into Military Assault Command Operations. Unfortunately the rising tensions between the Federation and the Klingon Empire resulted her career to send her to Vega Colony. She was later field promoted and commissioned under Romeo McGrual as First Officer and Tactical Officer.

B’ojok

Rarely seen is a Klingon with a hyperspanner, he started with humble beginnings. His parents were freighter captains and bounty hunters. Spending most of his time helping maintain ships throughout his childhood. After his admittance to his parents of joining Starfleet, he was quickly exiled. After graduating the Academy, he was quickly put on assignment at Deep Space K-7 to monitor the rising tension of the Klingon Empire before being assigned as Chief Engineer under the command of Romeo McGrual.

Yesus

From Trill, Yesus entered the Science Academy at a young age. After Yesus’ previous host died from radiation experimenting with exotic particles for experimental use in standard warp drives, the symbiote was transferred to the new host along with a few centuries of knowledge. As the host was going through Starfleet Academy at the time, both host and symbiote has a bad time adjusting to life in San Francisco. After graduating, she was quickly assigned to assist in the defence of Vega Colony against the Borg.

Kristi Dolly Cowans

New to McGrual’s senior staff, she’s the acting Shuttle Operator and co-pilot of the U.S.S. Pytheas. She was transferred due to her high aptitude for experimental engineering. Though most of her work was theoretical and performed in lab environments, her first assignment has tested her abilities as more than just an engineer or a theorist.

Devot Joel

Joel Devot is Bajoran means “Gateway within”.

Born to a couple refugees from the reformation of Bajor after the Cardassian Occupation, her career took her directly into policing her village. After studious training with the Bajoran police and military, she was assigned to Deep Space Nine as Junior Military Advisory Assistant to help continued security for Bajor. After the Jem’Hadar incursion, she was the remaining survivor of her security detail in evacuating and retaking the station. Her recognized courage and bravery was noticed and was recommended to Starfleet by Romeo Jay McGrual. She was quickly fast tracked as a Tactical Officer and later returned to serve as a Away Team Specialist.

So far that’s about half of my bridge officers, I still need the other half to be completed and also get a biography up about my character himself. Note to self, get it all updated after this trip.

Sphere of Influence – Prelude to Season 8

Hopefully not just one episode to open up this can of worms, Star Trek Online this past week has been revving up for their 8th season instalment continuing the franchise’s epic. This prelude covering the introduction to a new enemy as well as introduction of a new ship available through the fleet system mechanic.

The mission is available to players from level 10 and onward, which takes you in the depths of New Romulus to bring you to speed with the reactivation of an ancient Iconian gateway designed to take people from one place to another. As the ambassador of your faction’s delegation; the Romulan Republic, Klingon Defence Force or Starfleet, you are tasked to oversee the researcher’s work to reactivate the gateway. As power begins to breathe life back into this ancient device, something goes terribly wrong forcing the only escape through the gateway. You find yourself stranded in a room with survivors of the disaster to only find a dastardly plot be afoot. Along with you for the ride is Ambassador Worf voiced by Michael Dorn as you find out who might be behind this facility and its purpose.

Highly attentive to detail, I found a few errors in the script writing; just spelling errors. However very little can diminish the plot in bridging the story to the new content. At first I must admit, there wasn’t much in terms of new mechanics or graphics excluding new textures and Iconian technology in the form of hostile drones. Upon exiting the second map, leads you into a large surveillance room which I found to be very eerie yet spectacular. As you move platform to platform, the scenery changes depicting the worlds each platform describes. The last platform provides a “Simon says” like prompt in the mission does give some sense of urgency even though there were no necessary threats. Aside from the necessary pathway to take to the final platform, the side platforms provide additional information, if not cryptic, about the Iconians. The last transition before the space combat begins seems to be really rushed piece since it so happens to be identified as a bridge and the game puts you in command of an old carrier  loaded out with some heavy weapons and unique skills. Though it doesn’t necessary connect the episode to the main content of the Dyson Sphere, perhaps it is an indicator of the constructors of the structure and perhaps the reason why the Voth are occupying it. Without much context, I must say Sphere of Influence is much of a cliff hanger as you step into the last gateway at the end of the surveillance room.

For extra goodies, here’s some easter eggs I found:

  1. By walking off the main path, you can obtain very rare Swarmer hangar pets. Just go through every console off of every branch. Once you got the 4th auxiliary console, head back to the previous. You get 2 per console and 6 in total. Note: this item can be equipped on the new Obelisk class carriers only.
  2. In in gateway chamber when the researcher asks for the power variances, there are two number references significant to the entire franchise. One of the variances is “47” while the last two numbers when added is also 47.
  3. The commander that dies on the examination table is a red shirt. Reference to the original series.
  4. When Captain Shon is attacked, he’s wearing a yellow shirt. Possible reference to Voyager in which the Voth are introduced.

Overall the episode provides a diverse mix of in depth story and ever evolving gameplay to entice the generational demographic, either new to the franchise or veterans of the saga. For the moment it breathes new life to the game regardless of the upcoming gameplay problems when introducing new items or mechanics to the game. Where there’s new content, there’s always bugs.

Back to Basics

At the moment, I’m coming back into Star Trek Online. After a month being away from the game, the first session back I noticed a lot of change and yet everything looks the same. After my birthday, I’ve been way too into trying to finish one of my presents; a non-fiction book. So right now, I’m working trying to finish said book and working on a personal project. On top of everything else, I’m planning to do some more travelling next month for Thanksgiving. Well for me, it’s not Thanksgiving; for me, just another day in my complicated life. If you count trying to get a job complicated.

Like last time when I went on a short vacation, I’ll be out for two weeks in November. One thing I despise about my trip last time was the 12 hour overnight bus ride to my destination. So I’m thinking on the ride there and back, I’ll spend the good 12 hours to write and blog. Possibly write as much as I can, however big problem would be how to upload my work. The last time I rode the Greyhound there, the wi-fi was really weak and would not be great at times. So to solve that, I think I would try and write an article between stops and upload it quickly to WordPress when I reach a stop.

In Star Trek Online, I’m surprised the fleet I was in didn’t kick me for being MIA for such a long time. Being back to the game is kind of hard especially with unfinished projects. With a handful of Zen credits and a cache or weapons and in-game currencies, I’m not quite sure where to pick up. Was I grinding dilithium for ships? Was I building towards more ships parts or was I trying to grab some fleet parts. Back and in business, so I’m planning on starting with completing reputation projects I haven’t yet finished. If I didn’t stop, I would be really close to finishing but now I have about a set and two thirds from the end of grinding reputation projects. Then season 8 will be coming out, which would likely result in me going back to doing reps. No doubt there will be fleet projects within the new content. I read through it all the new shinies from the content update and I’m quite interested of how there co-op MOBA-like ground combat will work. Along with it is a space adventure zone; like Nimbus III, but in space! Also I’ve decided to take a bit of responsibility to help a fellow fleet member work on building new ships. He or she says she hasn’t put much time in since the free-to-play launch. Whatever the motivations, I think I’ll put in some time and humble myself in helping others. We were all newbies once in our lives; in real life or in game.

Until next time, help yourselves by helping others.