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Tag Archives: STO

“It’s going somewhere…” – Star Trek Online, Season 9

The last week, season 9 for Star Trek Online has come out on its Holodeck server. This means I get to check out what’s new and the challenge to unfold for a Starfleet captain. To start it off the developers have provided a review of what the universe has been through since the game’s conception.

Story in short so far, Klingon’s are suspicious of everyone and started to wage war against the Federation. Romulus is destroyed by it’s own supernova star, thus ending the Romulan Star Empire. The Borg returned in their attempt to take the Alpha Quadrant. The Jem’Hadar provide a friendly reminder the Gamma Quadrant is still dominated by the Dominion. The Undine have been undermining the superpowers to dismantle them. Within the conflicts from the past, the Federation and Klingon look forward to the future. The Federation and the Klingon Empire forge a “no touching” alliance to hold off the Borg and assist in the resettlement of the former inhabitants of the Hobus star. In the Tau Dewa sector in the former Romulan territory, Romulans and Remans have created the New Romulan Republic. Learning from past mistakes of the clandestine Tal Shiar, the Republic work toward establishing a new homeworld and to create a future for the Romulan people based on unity and cooperation. Recently, the Romulan, Federation and Klingon alliance has found an Iconian gateway which lead to the discovery of a another gateway which lead to a Dyson Sphere in the Delta Quadrant. At the same moment, the Voth have taken interest with the Sphere, specifically the Sphere’s Omega particle technology. Old enemies are united to enter the year of 2410. And yes, it took 8 seasons for the year to change once unlike the TV series.

The dubbed features for this content update is mostly visual changes to Starfleet’s Earth Spacedock and character customization additions, introduction of the Undine as the main protagonist for this season and instances and missions associated with it. First thing I did once the patch was install was examine the visuals. At first the patch pushed the graphics up to display the new aesthetics of the characters. Once I was loaded in the game, I set a course right for Spacedock. Coming out of warp above Earth, it was indeed different. The ships moving to and form the drydocks and the station seems to be lively. Upon docking, it was definitely a new sight and definitive change in the colour palette. In short, I’ve spent a long play session just looking at every decal, object and NPC in the changed social zone. Apparently they have added a reason why the zone layout has changed. To avoid spoilers, please play it for yourself. In short, we the players lose a little to gain some different. Like the exteriors, the zone is lively with NPC’s and have much of a shopping mall feel when it comes to the item NPC’s. If the item and exchange area feels like a mall, then the ship interaction NPC’s is the information desk. Aside from the tall ceiling and open space, it’s easier to navigate and feels less crowded unless you walk into the high traffic area.

To the story content, the Borg missions have changed to include a prelude to the Undine storyline. The missions feel long which can be good and bad. Good being it feels like an episode, the bad is the voiceover gets interrupted by accident in certain areas. Double upside, the Borg storyline no longer feels out of place and supplemental. Now the bulk, the Undine story.

To avoid spoilers in short, the action is intense and the story is an obvious changer.  It takes away from classic games concepts and maintains the feel of the Trek intensity once enveloped in the series. This is the season where there are no exclusive additions in fleets but a lot of additions to hold people over until new episodes are released such as the Voth Zone in the Solanae Sphere being overrun with Undine.

Change in the reputation mechanics does make it way easier and less of a grind. First off, main rep projects are separated in two; 20 hour dailies and 1 hour hourly projects. Each of the projects reward a box containing a random object from the project’s store. Also it seems, the project item sets are more linear to be easier to find and redeem which results in making missing set pieces a bit impossible to receive unless you have the project queued prior to the update. Overall, it allows the content to be easier to experience and less of a time gate.

Lastly the Undine STF of two space and one ground 5-man instance. The ground mission is part combat and part detective work. You figure out who on Bajor is an Undine spy and rid the city of Hathon from the Undine spy network. One of the space instances is assault against the planet killer shipyards in fluidic space. The other instance is a counter-offensive above some of major species’ homeworlds. This instance requires attacking on 3 lanes and destroy 2 fluidic rifts. If this idea sounds similar then yup, it’s that kind of game; great way to suck the DOTA crowd.

It’s a balance in art and content changes which slowly advances the storyline. There are small bugs at the moment of this post but negligible. Of the start, season 9 of STO is a good start; the only surprise would be fulfilling season unlike the last few seasons which were devoid of episodic content.

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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.

Decking out my Delta – How to gear up in STO

For awhile now, Star Trek Online isn’t a much in the shuttle combat area. Recently they provided players with a shuttle instance which rewards Fleet Marks and Romulan Marks. I’ve dropped into a few matches and realized my tiny Delta Class shuttle was way underpowered to fight the new new enemy, the Elachi. With the new enemy, I had to refit my shuttle for solid combat. I might as we shed on light on a few builds I’ve created and inspire some of you to create ships that can be a beastly damage dealing machine.

With shuttles, it seems very limiting to create something that can pull out a hefty punch. Shuttles and fighters are dubious against heavier targets but it comes back to the fundamental concepts of specialization or your spec. Each MMO follows these specializations regardless of a class structure. When creating a spec, keep it to a few simple rules:

  1. Speed
  2. Endurance
  3. Capabilities

Speed

Agility and firing speed can be critical when you have the lowest health in the team. The other person can have the hardest hitting weapons; but if you can pull out more damage in a short amount of time, you can easily turn a bad situation to a good one. When all else fails, a tactical withdrawal may be necessary to regroup and re-engage the enemy. In the latter case, you will need speed to run while the former requires speed for quick encounters.

In Star Trek Online, speed is separated into 3 sets; cooldowns, engines and DPS. DPS for most games is simple, Damage Per Second. The faster you can throw torpedoes or cannonade those cruisers, the quicker the enemy will fall. Engines doesn’t refer to the items in the game, though partly related. The speed you can turn and run can help determine how well you can keep the enemy exposed long enough to deliver the critical blows. There are consoles and skills available to increase engine speed and even subsystem power. Though overlooked, having a strong engine subsystem can prevent death through precisely timed disengagements to make repairs. Having the necessary set of buffs and debuffs ready throughout combat can be extremely helpful in a pinch when it comes to weakening or strengthening a position. Having alternating tactics or skills here would be helpful in situations when you have to stay in a firefight longer than you would expect.

Utilize abilities like Evasive Maneuvers in situations where you need to reaquire a target. If you are caught in a cooldown with this, you might want to consider RCS Accelerators to boost your turn rate. As well having a stack of Deuterium Surplus can mitigate Evasive and even provide enough distance to make the repairs you need.

From my experience in game, I usually use Evasive Maneuvers for certain situations like closing into my target or needing to back away a chaotic situation. I also receive a lot of deuterium surplus which can double or triple the distance you will get from Evasive Maneuvers. As a personal rule I try and keep debuffs at a minimum and focus on repair skills and offensive buffs like Tactical team. I keep a minimum of two Tac Teams ready to help rebalance shields and provide a small damage buff. At the same time, I try and maintain one shield healing skill at all times in case my shields drop under 50%. Emergency Power to Shields is my main skill for that though some of my ships have this and Science Team. The major skills I keep on me aside from those is Tractor Beam and some skills that augment the efficiency of a few skills I have. So skills to make skills better rather than having a large splattering of skills.

Endurance

This is the section about hull and HP maintenance. I covered shields in the speed portiona bit, but here it’s all about resistances and triage. Tanking is a powerful thing, but in PvE it has another dimension. Considering you are one ship of any size and shape, you are the only target and therefore vulnerable. Having a teammate by your side or even increasing your group size can be beneficial through NPC’s you can cast or spawn.

If you have it, Photonic Fleet is a power skill to get a lot of baddies off your tail despite the health of these holographic ships. It’s a bit of room for you to focus on healing or taking on a specific target without the other team pounding on your hull. Do or don’t, you will need additional support whether you are in a group or not. Directly, focus on healing through healing buffs like Reverse Polarity, Science Team, Engineering Team and Extend Shields. They’re only a few I’ve listed here to get you started. It would be advisable to pick skills that can target friendly ships as well than those can you can only heal you since the biggest asset you have is the teammates you have.

Out of combat, you have a lot of consoles which increase resistances to energy types as well as increasing resistance to holds and placates. For the latter, Inertial Dampeners help prevent you for standing around. weapon resistance is a disadvantage at times but with the right ship, your resistance to certain or all energy types can be as high as 40% or more. Hull Plating increases specifc energy resistance while alloys resist kinetic attacks. The trade off is you may have to specialize the ship to be more resistant to certain types or have an overall resistance lower than other kinds of Hull Plating since some Hull Plating consoles resist more than two energy types at a cost of a lower resistance.

As a science officer, I have access to Photonic Fleet. However since they can be easily wrecked, I depend on mostly buffs and consoles to ensure I stay in the fight longer. At the moment I don’t operate with Hull Plating so I have to defend myself with quick short bursts followed by self healing or Tac Team provided by one of my Bridge Officers. Before I use a skill to heal shields and hull when I’m getting battered, I usually use my Enhanced Plasma Manifold to increase the effectiveness of defensive buffs like Brace for Impact and Scattering Field. The Manifold is available if you purchased the Oberth Class Light Science Vessel.

Capabilities

Lastly, knowing what you can do. Having abilities is one thing, but how you optimize the use of them can increase the effectiveness of other skills especially stackable skills which can be used in sync with other players or skills. Having a variety of skills can give you a fun time in splitting between playing defensively an offensively. The draw back is your character would be less effective than a specialized character. It would be like a hockey player who players both a left wing and defense. It would be like spending 78 cents in a bottle of cola then realizing it gave you a stomach ache because it was pretty old (true story).

As I said before, focus a few skills you will need rather than spreading out to try and over your bases. If you have the Zen, spend it on ships with consoles you need rather than ships you will find handy. Such consoles as Enhanced Plasma Manifold and Transwarp Computer provide either an active or passive boost to a skill or a subsystem. Stick towards abilities that would benefit you and a team like heals and AoE buffs as well as sticking to stats that specifically buff the weapons you use such as Rapid Fire for cannons and High Yield for torpedoes.

Since I command an escort for a starship, I rely on my nimble speed to position my forward cannons. Because of this fact, I load my skills to exploit my fire arc to maximize damage. So I have Scattering Volley for a cone AoE buff on my cannons, Rapid Fire for precise and quick shots with Spread and High Yield working respectively with torpedoes. Couple with these skills I have a Transwarp Computer to increase warp core efficiency to allow more power to subsystems as well as ensuring my weapons subsystem is powered beyond 100 to maintain high damage potential. Whenever I need to heal, I stick toward two abilities supported by Enhanced Plasma Manifold which boosts shield and auxiliary so I can use Scattering Field or Brace For Impact when I need to hang on until I can heal again.

For now, let us  focus on the ship rather than allocating skills. The offers a larger variety of ship specialized weapons, which are:

  1. DPS (Phasers, Photon torpedoes and mines)
  2. AoE (Tricobalt Devices and Plasma mines and torpedoes)
  3. DoT (Plasma weapons)
  4. “Shield Busters” (Tetryon energy weapons)
  5. “Subsystem Disabler” (Polaron and Phasers)
  6. “Ship Slowers” (Chroniton torpedoes and mines)
  7. Damage dealers (Quantum and Transphasic weapons, Tricobalt devices)

Now to build a ship. You can set it up three ways; energy and kinetics, all kinetics or all energy. All kinetics can provide the highest damage but at the same time suffer a long cooldown and may be ineffective against shielded opponents. All energy is the opposite, it has good potential to drop shields but some aren’t that great in taking down the hull. Recommended is a mix of energy and kinetic since you have the option of shield dropping and damage dealing. Pick one energy type, having a ship firing skittles and rainbows does not mean it’s powerful but rather inefficient in the use of your ship. Stick to one energy type so the consoles you choose of the tactical consoles would be optimal for those weapons. Next part is easy, assigning BOFFs and consoles. Under tactical consoles, focus on boosting your energy weapons the most since kinetic weapons are fairly powerful with a potential of 1000 damage and higher. I would recommend at least a console for your kinetic weapons and the rest for your energy weapons. Science consoles aren’t necessary though it would be good to launch with something ready. Either shield regeneration or universal consoles work best here, also recommended is Inertial Dampeners to increase resistance to holds, confuse and placates. Under engineering consoles, Either armour would be handy or subsystem power. Would be noteworthy that you should study which skills will use which subsystem so you can allocate enough power to maximize output when you use the skill. You can also use engineering consoles to boost power to a certain subsystem. If you have more universal consoles, it’s not recommended to put them in engineering unless you are absolute that your combat style is purely offensive.

Onto ship items, I prefer end game ship sets because of the fact the set bonuses do provide some incentive to build towards a certain type of ship. If you are wanting a ship with a lot of shielding, go with the Assimilated Borg set because of it’s auto-regenerative ability when you have a two piece set; the full set also regenerates shields. The MACO provides less shielding but resistance to subsystem drains. Aegis allows for a passive 10% defense with one of the most powerful shields only beaten by the shield in the Assimilated Borg set. At the moment, all other ship item sets provide a passive damage boost to certain energy types.

Shuttles on the other hand are much more picky in terms of what you can do; however the principles are the same if not limited. Pick how you want to play it, then gather the items to assemble it. In the case of shuttles, it’s important to keep note that you weapons and shields are top priority. You will need a lot of defence while your weapons need to hit as hard as fast as you can get them. Which leads me into my Delta Class build.

Starting off, I stripped off all my components; deflector, shields and impulse engines were reallocated to another ship as well as all the consoles and weapons. At this time, the most powerful weapons I had we on the Isaac Brock; my Tactical Escort. I decided to cannibalize the Cutting Beam and the console so I would maintain the first set bonus. However the beam relies on kinetic damage and is highly inaccurate against fighters and shuttles.So I looked into the final piece of this puzzle, the complimentary Omega Plasma Torpedo Launcher which is one of the fastest with DoT due to it being Plasma energy as well. After a trial test, I noticed the torpedoes are great so I looked into Plasma weapons until I found the Romulan Hyper-Plasma Torpedo Launcher. This launcher sends out 3 destructible torpedoes which if they aren’t shot down, hits the target as well as AoE plasma to other units nearby. Since I had the console from this set as well, I could send 7.8% more plasma damage than just my torpedoes alone. Since the Delta Class shuttles have the highest hull points in all the shuttles. However to ensure it can keep up being a sharp poisonous spearhead, I’ve attached the Assimilated Borg Technology set so I have high shield capacity while having my shields a random chance to heal upon being hit. Under the one tactical console I have an Ambiplasma Envelope that requires an upgrade to a MK XII variant so I can maximize the damage further. The Delta Shuttle comes with a Science and Universal Ensign Bridge Officer slots which I’ve taken the liberty into having Emergency Power to Weapons and Tachyon Beam. First off to increase damage and secondly to provide as much power to help my teammates drop shields while my torpedo’s plasma is slowly burning the hull down (a two pronged attack of sorts).

I’ve field tested the design a few times and has shown a lot of promise despite not having the most powerful Ambiplasma Envelope in the game. This kinetic combo shoots fast to compensate for damage but powerful enough to act as a anti-fighter shuttle to destroy small escorting craft in Atmosphere Assault. I haven’t tried it in The Vault yet but hopefully in time, I’ll pit it against the Romulans there.

Until next time, keep calm and build ships!

I Done Did It…

Sometimes in a oddest situations you find yourself considering the weirdest things. This comes especially if you can’t sleep because the heat is getting to you and the heat is making you think of some really loopy things. This early morning was one of those times.

I dear friend of mine in Star Trek Online joined me on a loot farming excursion on Nimbus, the new instance in the Legacy of Romulus which came out recently. This guy (or at least from their avatar) and I go back a long ways when I first started doing Special Task Force missions for end game loot. We usually just hang out and talk and exchange items from time to time when the need comes for it; trust building and all that. He’s been keeping me up to date on his fleet and even at times came for me about advice on management issues. After when the loot boxes were introduced, I knew I won’t be able to open these without a bit of help. With no one to turn at the time considering I have two active people on my friends list, I struck a deal with one of them; my old pal Gibbs. Fast forward to today, about a year after.

Still providing the lock boxes I’ve found to Gibbs and the joint venture into splitting the contents within, of course Gibbs gets dibs, the friendship is fairly mutual. Nowadays we just talk and trade lockboxes and their contents; but tonight I committed to doing one thing I would hardly consider in the past with my experience in guilds and clans. Quite unthinkable of me, but I’ve decided on joining a fleet. No recruiting pitch, no incentive, just out of friendship to see what it’s about. So I made the call while farming some loot with Gibbs, “invite me”.

In the sands of Nimbus, I joined a fleet. Like many times before, I hope later on I will not regret it considering most of the time I felt there were ulterior motives attached to my recruitment.  That why I it took me this long to really decide to join a fleet. Also I never found it necessary to play STO in a fleet, seemed like one of those thing you would join just to put more time into to waste away more stuff that’s been piling up. Maybe this time, I will take it lightly and maybe keep away from any responsibilities. Well maybe take on some responsibilities because from what I can tell I could help out in some nonmaterial way.

Well, here we go again…

After a month of putting up with my laptop malfunctioning, I finally tried to fix it. At first it wasn’t serious, it would not shutdown properly on occasion; it either hangs or freezes. Then recently it was failing to wake after it went to sleep. Either solution was to hold down the power button, which in my mind isn’t proper procedure when shutting down a computer. Considering my laptop had an almost clean slate, wiping the hard drive again to reinstall windows wasn’t a tough choice. Rather than using the CD I used before, I chose to use the one I used when I first installed Windows 7 on my desktop.

Rather than keeping the system up to date, I’m going to keep the operating system from updating and look into every update. I rather know if I should use Windows Update for a certain update than letting every update running the risk of messing up the system again. Probably not all blame should be placed on the OS, I did have some drivers and utilities which may have conflicted with certain files. As I said before, I didn’t have any personal files so starting over was a breeze. With a stable Internet connection, I downloaded all the programs I need; CCleaner, Avast Antivirus and so on. I’ve tried shutting down and putting it to sleep; it works fine now.

I recently finished Assassin’s Creed III by blazing through the single player. It’s definitely a tougher game than the Renaissance storyline. I believe I’ve did it within 20 or 30 hours in a span of 3 days. It’s something to celebrate considering I hardly play story driven games. So I thought, why not mix Coke and vodka? I still have a third of a bottle so I mixed two shots into a can. As anyone who has drank alcohol, I don’t have a tolerance for it. Tolerance I mean in terms of the taste and consumption, I have very little of both. Also I’ve gained enough Zen points in Star Trek Online that I can begin building a Vesta from the Vesta pack. I haven’t purchased it but at the moment, I’m gathering all the necessary items so I can slot them. With the surplus gear I have in my bank, I will have to push myself into buying or hunting for engineering consoles that improve auxiliary power since the Vesta comes equipped with a cannon powered by auxiliary and I usually focus on keeping either shields or weapons powered up. Since I still haven’t made the purchase, I could buy the Kumari escort pack but I already have an escort.

While on the STO currency problems, the dilithium market is rebounding after a low of an average of 90 dilithium for over a month in the winter. For the past few weeks, refined dilithium exchange rate has steadily increased. So at 122 dilithium from my last log in yesterday, I’ve decided to continually stockpile the dilithium when I can and probably spend it on the dilithium store. Since the Kumari was added, they began adding more items to the game within this obscure store. For one thing, they’ve added a very rare Tholian hangar pet which is much more effectie than the Widow fighters you can get from redeeming the Recluse carrier. Just another way Perfect World Entertainment saying “I love you…r money.” If anything, I will buy two hangar pets and it will be the rare times I bought something in the dilithium store. Though I’m unsure what I should get, well I have a surplus of refined dilithium so I could but I would still prefer converting to Zen (hopefully soon since I doubt any one would want to trade at that price).

Coming to full circle, I’m taking the Sunday easy. Than just sitting here and finding a job, I’m heading out there in the city and hopefully find something. Maybe also get out and enjoy the sunshine. So until next time, have an amazing weekend.

Troubleshooting life – Much more complicated…

We all have our moments of weakness sometimes and we just overindulge a bit more than we should; like candy, or bacon, or buying those Big Macs with large fries and drink. Before long, you get fat or start having problems; or both which would suck doubly.

So how does this affect me? Well, I had a visit to my doctor recently and I feel like I have to do what I can to maintain a better life for myself. After being irradiated and examined, I apparently developed some health problems that have been from recent developments. Cut to the chase, the human digestive can only handle so much meat until there is some clogging of the plumbing and my leg is in pain.

The first bit means I would have to have a diet change. This means rather than cramming beef and chicken, I will have to put in some more vegetables and fruits. Cramming vitamins and fibre; so diet myself for that, that’s totally doable. For one thing, I’m on good terms on vegetables and fruit which solidifies my stance on my Chinese zodiac sign (Horse FTW!), wish something else would solidify a bit more; hopefully all the fibre my body is taking in would help.

My leg has been acting up since mid-winter, like at first it just felt like a slight aching from time to time. Around Christmas, I think I caught a bug from someone and my leg just felt worse to the point where being bed ridden didn’t help. Around February I just went, “screw it, I’m going to sit around and live with this.” So I went to the doctor, this was after I got better from whatever bug I came in contact. Okay maybe “the doctor” may be misconstrued as my doctor, I went to a clinic just a few blocks from my house because it was cold and my leg was begging me to stop walking. She gave me some painkillers; they worked for a week and after the meds wore off, it came back with a vengeance. After a month of just being super careless about it, I went to the doctor; my family doctor who I’ve been seeing since I was a kid. But apparently my back has been pretty much in a bad position for so long that something something and my leg hurts when I walk. Yup, I don’t understand. Pretty much the prescription from my doc is swimming or sit ups to strengthen the lower back. Signs of getting older, so I have to start taking care of myself more closely.

So before this week happened, I started to run again. My legs felt like they were on fire. I think I may have pushed myself too hard and too fast and tired myself out (Yeah, that’s not out of context at all…), for now I think I’m going to lay off the cardio a bit and just focus on working my lower back since my leg needs to be pain free. I don’t like describing pain since your definition could be a bit different from mine; I would put as soreness, but it could be kind of that pain when that muscle is bruised and it’s just a light bit of pressure is applied.

So I have to recover quick and recover fast since I really want this out of the way so I can focus on doing life stuff. Life stuff sucks a lot. Moral of the story here, if it hurts for more than half a week…see a doctor.

Upside to all this, I got my ship pack in Star Trek Online; WOOP WOOP! Now I have to farm for all the gear I want to have on it and choose which ship I want to equip. The Vesta is kind of hard to distinguish, but I think I’m going for something a bit more engineering to boost Auxiliary power passively. Also they released the revamped Crystalline Entity event with some Reputation stuff, I rather play the event than really focus on the Reputation since I consistently placed third on the first day it came out. The Ambassador Support Cruiser I got a month back is starting to receive some gear. I’m planning on equipping some old school Phaser arrays like the ones from the Original Series. Maybe add in some armour and power stuff to keep shields and defense up. The Dilithium market recently skyrocketed so I’m definitely staying away from the exchange for awhile. I still have a large surplus of dilithium so likely I’m going to put it into buying some Hangar items or put it towards a ship set. For now, not worried about what I should get next and more focused on real life problems.

That’s it for now, have an awesome-sauce weekend!

Decommissioning Some Old Friends

Well, it’s been coming and it’s a bitter sweet to really plan for it. It has to be done for the new ships that will be coming in and the new officers I will need to help command them. Still, to only think I was going to keep them and my ship just about a year ago.

When I started playing Star Trek Online, I only used two of the three ships at the time. My Nova class Science Vessel and Intrepid class Long Range Science Vessel. Back then before I really began farming dilithium, I had the three to help me get things done. The Light Cruiser got me my Nova and my Nova I played right up to the end of the storyline prior to The 2800 Series. Then there was the Minerva (NCC-64259), built with one purpose in mind. It was originally designed to be mostly a light support ship with strong defences to provide fire support. Yes, she did fullfilled it her job well until I got the retrofit version. Ever since she was relieved of duty about 5 months ago, she’s been sitting the drydock trying to assign her to a task. But as more ships roll out with more capabilities, it was inevitable she would be decommissioned. 

Along with the ship I will have to dismiss two bridge officers that also have been with me since the start. Jhren is probably the most fielded Engineer I have on my roster that was trained to repair shields and hold the line in ground combat. Sero; she’s a damn good bridge officer, with the abilities to hold back the enemy in space. At the moment, I can’t spare the resource to keep them with me and I do need better Bridge Officers for the new ships I will be receiving. 

This week, I managed to trade for a Tholian Recluse and I’ve been adding on the gear I’ve accumulated for it. I’ve given it a quick test flight and it seems very durable in PvE. The trade comes in just in time since in about 2 weeks, I might get a hangar pet from the Romulan reputation stream. 

Bigger news comes with the Ambassador class ships coming on Thursday. I’m intrigue and interested so I may want to check it out and definitely keeping the ship. From past experience, the ship in the anniversary event usually ends up as part of the fleet advancement system. That’s where my Odyssey is and where my future Ambassador may end up. For weapons and gear? Where one journey ends, another begins. The Minerva is being decommissioned just in time to transfer the consoles and weapons to the Ambassador. No, I didn’t plan it. I wanted to very sure that I don’t need a dilithium ship and that decision has been thought over since I got my Long Range Science Retrofit. 

As for my two bridge officers, they’re being replaced for a Very Rare Science Officer and Engineering Officer since the passive bonus are higher based on rarity. When I will dismiss them will depend on when I will find a suitable replacement. For now they’re on the chopping blog. Awhile back I had an idea of a MACO ground team. I still want that team, just going to take awhile to find some good tactical officers. At the moment, I have my Photonic Tactical Officer on the list but I still need 3 more bridge officers with some good offensives on the ground and a mix skill set for space since they will be reserve tactical officers for any ships wherever I may need them.

It’s going to be a long 5 months ahead in STO for me. My “To get list”:

-Vesta ship pack (value: 5000 Zen)

-Bridge officer packs x 3 (250 each)

-Costume Slot (250)

Grand total: 6000 Zen

Doesn’t help with the Dilithium prices going back up into the 90’s. Well, until next week; happy hump day all!

It’s a Winter Wonderland!! Besides in real life…sad face

I’ve been really into holiday events in games ever since I started playing MMO’s about 12 to 13 years back. The whole idea of getting some really fun loot make the event a bit special especially if it is to get into the spirit of things. Ever so fabled, enter Q’s Winter Wonderland in Star Trek Online. I’ve literally spent the last four days farming goodies from this majestic white wilderness, obviously to turn it into something interesting. This is my second holiday event, first being this year’s anniversary and release of the Odyssey class ship and Phoenix pet. So where am I at in this festive season, in game I collected everything; the clothing, pets and weapons (excluding the Snowball consumable, they’re kind of sucky). In reality, the truth is a bit different.

Toronto from my recent memory, hasn’t really received that much snow. The last time I remember any actual snowfall suitable for snowball fights and such was about 5 years. I’m not pulling the climate change card out just yet considering it’s always nippy downtown since it’s not that cold in winter it seems now to really sustain a surface of snow. Hopefully, there will be more snow later on in January. For the time being, it is going to be chilly and rainy. Speaking of which, the other night was raining and cold.

On my mind most of the time is the Breen ship released in the Winter Wonderland event. The screenshots of it makes it even worse considering what I would have to do to get it. The specs for it isn’t that great, it would make a nice thing to have but not something you would want to play with most of the time. I’m still rocking in my Tactical Escort Retrofit and planning on getting the refit in about a week’s time. I have most of the weapons and consoles laid out, all I need is a ship to put them all on it. So, it’s going to be a very Cryptic Christmas this year.

Until next time, folks!t