So this is gonna be a long post with no pictures, sorry.
ST:O has been out for two years now, and I never botherd to play it, not sure why I think it was set to far into the future or something, I expected all those cool ships from TNG/DS9/Voy to be gone.
But After beeing in such a space ship mood of late, and the fact that the game is now free to play and get.
Thats right, you can download it for free and play it for free. it cost you nothing to try it.
I downloaded the 10 gig game, in about 12 minutes, which is super fast. Not sure why it was so fast. Anyway like with all MMOs you need to register and all that, make a password, user name ect.
After that was done I started to create ny character, you only have two sides to choose from, Federation and Klingon, but you can only play klingon after reaching level 25. So you can only play federation at the start, but you do have many races to choose from, Human, vulcan, betaziod, trill, andorian ect.
You also have 3 classes, Tactical, engenereeing and science. So red, gold and blue shirts.
I choose Tactical. Before getting into the gameplay I have to point out a few things I do not like about the game.
If you have not seen TNG/DS9/Voy do not read this as it contains spoilers from all 3 series.
First the game uses some stuff from the new star trek movie, about romulus beeing destroyed, I hate that, that movie sucked.
Second, klingons and federation is now at war, which I think is totaly out of context, at the end of ds9 the federation/klingon bond is very strong, I don't think there would be any war between then in the near future, so that is totaly silly.
Second the Species 8472 is now an enemy, which if you have watched Voyager, is also out of context, the last episode with Species 8472 in voyager, shows this race to be rather nice, not evil one minded killing machines at first thought. and Humans and Species 8472 leave eachother with a tentitive peace. Now they are back and just seem to be archotype evil badguys. This is really scewing with what the diffrent series have put forward.
Now the gameplay, When you first start, you are helping other ships as they are attacked by the borg, verious things happen, and you get a command of your own, even tho you are only an ensgin, you get promoted to liutenant, The first ship I got was classed as a light cruiser. I named it USS Oslo, after helping stop the borg, you go to the Sol system, dock at the starbase and get your first missions. You got the whole alpha quadrent to play in, devided into sevral blocks and systems, all with sevral solar systems, you move from system to system in warp, a kind of map yet not a map thing, when you get close to a system like the vulcan system, you get the option to go to it, at which point you warp there. Also on this map that is not a map, you have random places were you can attack the enemy, so far the enemy have been klingons or Orian syndicate.
Each quest is quite long, ofte you go to a system, do something, go fruther into a system does something more.
You can control both the ship and be your self on away missions, so you get both epic space ship battles and phaser fights on the ground.
Besides your self, you also have a crew to upgrade, at first you only have one special crew member, then later you get up to 4, these go on away teams with you, and you can upgrade their kit, giving them better phasers and shields ect. When ever you level up, you get skill points and crew skill points, skill points are for you, crew skill points are for the 4 special crew members, As you and them level up you get specal abilities you can use on your ship, like my first tactial offiser got something called high yield tropedoes, that lets you fire two torpedoes that each does twice the damage of a regular torpedo, this can be very powerfull, And you can combine sevral skills to make a super attack, like I have one, when my back is turned to the enemy ship, I fire of a torpedo and fire my aft phasers, I then activate a buff called attack pattern alpha, this give 40% more damage to all weapons, I then active my high yield tropedoes, and finnaly avasive manouvre, that makes my ship trun faster, So I after fiering my aft weapons I do I quick 180, come straight at the enemy, and fire my phasers and high yield torpedoes with 40% more damage, this is a very powerfull attack, able to destroy medium hard enemies in a single attack, and even hard enemies lose alot of life.
Space combat is simple yet very fun, each ship had 4 shields, on on each side, fore, aft, port and starbord.
As long as the shield have full or nearly full power, the can stop almost any attack, but for each attack, the shield looses strength. battles involve trying to get good shots at the enemies weak shields while keeping your good shields toward the enemy, creating a sort of ballet, The shields are your first and most important defece, becasue if you get hit when you shields are down, you lose hull intergerty very fast, a single well placed torpede on an unshielded flank can destory you, and can destory the enemy.
So you got skills to use based on you and your crew, but it dosn't stop here, You can also upgrade your ship, your ship has a number of slots, then you can place gear and weapons in, my first ship, hand only 3 weapons slots, two fore and 1 aft, my second ship had 4, 2 fore and 2 aft. The Most people will fill one slot on each side with phasers and one with torpedoes, some of the big powerfull ships have many slots and so can fire lots of torpedes and phasers from all sides. but my ships are still low level stuff, not powerfull ships. I have seen Galaxy class ships(called explorer cruiser or heavy cruisers) that can spam like 6 tropedoes fore while fireing lots of phasers, so the later level ships are very powerfull. Other things to put on your ship besides weapons are shields, reserve power, better tactiacl consoles, better impusle engines ect. So there is alot to do.
The ranks follow Star Fleet, Liutentant grade 1-9(so level 1-9) Liutenant commander grade 1-9(so level 10-19) Commander grade 1-9(level 20-29) Captain grade 1-9(level 30-39) Admiral grade 1-10(level 40-50)
Ships are locked to ranks not grade, so you have only so many ships to choose from when a liutenant commander ect.
The game is free but there is something called micro trasactions, were you use real money to by money to use in the game, I have no problem with that as the game is free, the people that run the game need to get some money. And there is no requirement you spend money, you could play it totaly free, it just takes longer to get stuff.
The game is huge, there are at all times sevral hundred players close by, each with their own ship. When playing big battles, there are littraly dozens of ships on each side, creating a real sense of space battle, and the graphics is fantastic, the game is 2 years old, but still looks far better then new MMOs like The old republic.
The missions so far are very cool, I just played one mission were I'm in the briar patch(from star trek insurrection) and it's full of gas, that if you egnite the gass to close it can destory your ship, so you are batteling klingons in this cloud trying not to get to close to the gass, ofcourse if the enemy happens to be in the gass and you fire on the gass, then the enemy goes up.
The away missions are closer to regular MMOs you got your task bar, with special abilites, your away team gas abilities, so you fight your way through enemies, I must say alot of people don't like this part and say it's a total let down after the cool space battles, and I kinda agree, the ground battles are to MMO compeard to the space battles, but I've been so starved for phaser combat I actualy like the away missions, the last game were you had propper phaser battles were Star Trek Elite force, thats from 2001.
Each mission usualy have a space combat part and away mission part. The game has been critizied for beeing repetetive, So far I have not played it long enough for this to happen for me, mabye it will mabye it won't, only time will tell.
So har I'm having a grand time, I normaly hate MMOs, I've tried sevral, non have really worked for me. We'll see if this is true for this game to.