List of things I will never do...

Lieutenant Radd, standard MMO character
  1. Facebook account.
  2. Play an MMORPG
  3. Gaming on PC
  4. Gaming with keyboard/mouse
I'm sure there's more I'm forgetting, I say a lot of things and really don't think them through. So here I am, another year goes by, and I'm doing things I said I never would.  I must be getting old...  Nah that's not it.  It's these damn company executives green-lighting these projects to tempt me. First Facebook on Xbox, and now Star Trek Online.

As you might have guessed, I bought it.  And I'm gaming on my PC, which I said I'd never do.  I'm playing an MMO... with a goddamn mouse and keyboard! I'm working on the latter, gonna get me an Xbox360 pad for PC.  Keyboard and mouse navigation is not for me.

So there he is...  The young fellow pictured is my character, Lieutenant Radd.  Here he his slacking off at Earth Starbase.  The game takes place 30 years after Star Trek Nemesis (the last Next Generation movie).  It takes into account the events of the New J. J. Abrams movie, in as much as Romulus was destroyed, but is not affected by the events of the alternate timeline that was created.  Confused?  Look is all simple time travel stuff, look it up.

So the destruction of Romulus (and Remus) has caused galactic turmoil in the Alpha Quadrant.  A Romulan civil war to claim control over whats left of Romulan space, the Kilingons are back to their old ways, trying to lay claim to whats left of Romulan territory, and the Federation has finally been dragged into the chaos against the Klingons.  The Klingons have become powerful by conquering the Gorn and Orions, the Cardassians are still rebuilding from the Dominion War, and the Borg and Species 8472 are on the move.

So needless to say, the Federation needs all the able-bodied Starship captains it can get.  That's how Star Trek Online starts. I began as an Ensign on the U.S.S. Miranda, defending against a Borg attack. Conveniently, all the senior officers were killed, leaving me to take over and save the ship.  My actions are recognized by Starfleet, and I'm quickly promoted to Lieutenant and given my own ship.  Not a bad day's work.

So I set to customizing my character and ship.  The available options are rich, you can make your character one of many Federation races, Human, Bajoran, Betazoid, Vulcan, Andorian, etc... I chose to be human to start off, picked my area of expertise, (Tactical, Science, or Engineering) Tactical, 'cause I wanted a red uniform... and headed to the Shipyard.

You start with a choice of three very basic classes of ship, (No Galaxy or Defiant Class yet) so I chose the Miranda Class.  The U.S.S. Reliant from Star Trek II was a Miranda Class to give you an idea, so here's my first starship of my very own...

Miranda Class Starship hanging out above Earth, not getting much done.

So once you've customized your ships overall design with everything from custom saucer, neck, nacelles and even war paint, it's time to name your ship and enter a registry number.  I decided I'd let the name of my starship reflect my playing style:

U.S.S. Solitude:  NCC-93555

So then I was off on my first mission.  Well, I should've been, but when you turn a Star Trek nerd loose with his own starship in the Star Trek universe, some things have to take priority.  I promptly ignored the hails of the admiral with the Solitude's first mission, and decided instead to explore.  Goddamn tachyons interfering with communications I suppose will be my excuse. I'm off to my favorite destination, Deep Space Nine.

Lieutenant Radd on the bridge of the U.S.S. Solitude, currently AWOL.

Luckily my entire crew agreed that a trip to DS9 for some Dabo and Holosuite time was more important than any proper missions the admiral might give us. I'm a good captain. So I explored the DS9 promenade, and then took off for Wolf 359, The Badlands, Bajor, Vulcan and then back to Earth for my first real mission.  I was joined by my pal and fellow slacker Lieutenant Danyon, and together we took on some Orion Raiders who were attacking a cargo vessel.  Pretty sweet!

The U.S.S Solitude in orbit of DS9, about to crash into Upper Pylon 3

I definitely like the starship combat, you have to really pay attention to your shields, you have to keep your weakest shields away from your enemy, and adjust systems mid-combat.  It's a lot to manage at first but I'm getting used to it.  Ground combat and missions aren't as exciting, but hey, it's Star Trek! There's always a few boring episodes...

So far I'm limiting the amount of time I spend playing it, but the few hours I've logged so far were a lot of fun.  I'll update you as I get more involved.  But so far so good.

For the record, I'm STILL NOT a PC gamer.  Just wanted to throw that out there.


Photo of the Month - March 2010

In Street Fighter, a Shoryuken is done by pressing "FORWARD, DOWN, DOWN-FORWARD+PUNCH". It's NOT "DOWN, FORWARD, DOWN-FORWARD+PUNCH". Only a Mr. Bungles gets a tattoo without proper research first.

Street Fighter tattoo epic fail