Star Trek Online is a third-person shooter MMORPG made in 2010 for the PC and it also got released for Xbox One and PlayStation 4 in 2016. Customization of the character As you start the game, the player is provided with a choice between 6 playable factions:
- Klingon Defense Force
- Romulan Republic
- TOS Starfleet
- DSC Starfleet
Each faction provides its own story line and unique missions related to your selected faction. Overall, there are 6 unique story lines for a player to select. However, there is one faction, Dominion, which is designed for more experienced players, and before confirming your selection for the desired faction you will be informed of that. Each faction provides a selection of at least 2 different playable races. For instance, Romulan Republic and DSC Star fleet has a selection between 4 and 3 different races respectively, and Star fleet provides an enormous selection of 14 free playable races, with additional 6 unlockable races.
As you select the desired faction, you have a selection between 3 different careers, or classes:
• Engineering – you will be able to provide buffs for your allies, increase shield levels for both your teammates on the ground and your ship in the space, you will also be able to create support drones, deploy mines and bombs, which will be used against your enemy.
• Science – you will be able to heal your allies, deal Area Of Effect (AOE) damage to your enemies, and massively debuff your enemies.
• Tactical – your main focus will be in dealing massive damage to your enemies, provide fire support to your allies and increase their damage output
As soon as you finish selecting your career, you can customize your character by changing hair colour, body structure, body stance, uniform and its colour. There is a huge variety of character customization, which is always a good sign. Afterwards, you can name your character and your ship however you wish. And you are set to go.
Introduction to the game
Now you are ready to do the tutorial, which essentially consists of teaching you basic movements, how to interact with NPCs, access inventory, how to fight in a combat, how to navigate the ship, teaching the basics about your ship, etc. For a new player it might present a huge challenge to get used to the controls of both your playable character and your ship. For instance, to lock onto the target you either press right mouse button or TAB to focus and to shoot either press 1 or Spacebar.
What will be even more challenging is deciding on the equipment for your playable character, your team of officers and your ship. There is an enormous variety of different equipment with their upsides and downsides, which is always neat and cool. However, all equipment has many different traits, which will make it really hard for a new player to make a sense on what most of these traits even do in the early gameplay. This will make it even more difficult for players to make their own judgement about which equipment is best suitable for you and which are not. It will require a large amount of trial-and-error until the player will understand the equipment mechanics.
Some factions, for instance, Klingons, have access to melee weapons, which penetrate the target’s shield and deals damage straight to its health points (HP), unlike guns, which have to destroy the target’s shield before you can deal damage to its HP. Also, you can create various combos with melee weapons that will deal certain effects to the target, for example, stun the target, deal exploit damage, deal AOE damage, etc.
The battle system in Star Trek Online is fairly interesting and can be engaging at times. It is divided into two sections: ground battle and battleship battle. In ground battle your player character and your selected officers will battle against the enemies on the ground. You will use your guns and melee weapons to defeat your enemies. Also, you will be able to use skills that can be used only in ground battles. In battleship battle you will be controlling your ship and have an objective on defeating enemy ships by lowering their shield levels and destroying them. Your ship will be assigned with up to 3 officers that will have their unique skills useful in variety of situations, for instance, boost your ship’s damage for a certain time, decrease close-by enemy ships’ shield levels over a certain time, heal your ship instantaneously, etc. These skills, however, can be used only in battleship battles.
As you progress through the game, you will have an opportunity to recruit other officers to your team and use whoever you wish in any upcoming battles, whether it will be on the ground or in the space.
Skill system in Star Trek Online is fairly unique in comparison with most MMORPGs. You are provided with two skill trees. First skill tree is for your skills used in ground battles and the second skill tree provides skills for your space battles. Second skill tree is divided into 3 sections, based on selected career. However, if you have chosen, for instance, engineering career, you still have an opportunity to learn most of the skills provided in all 3 sections. As you progress through the game and earn higher ranks, you will receive more ground and space skill points, unlocking new skills or advancements for your previously learned skills. Based on your selected career training nodes for your officers and ultimate abilities will be available.
In addition to the skill system you also have access to Traits. Traits mostly include passive skills that can enhance your damage output from specific weapons, increase your shield capacity, increase critical hit chance, etc. You will begin your adventure with already equipped 3 ground and 3 space traits, which can be changed anytime during your gameplay. The amount of traits you can have at a time will increase as your rank or level increases. Your character can have up to 10 ground traits and up to 10 space traits. Also, each race, and not faction, has its own “Species Trait”, which is unique to that race only, but it occupies one of your trait slots.
This game would be highly recommended to any Stat Trek franchise fans or people that know the Star Trek lore fairly well, since along the gameplay you are marginally introduced to each of the factions and how things work in Star Trek Universe. For any new players that have no knowledge of Star Trek will find the story really complex and it might become really boring for the player over time, which will make it difficult to engage them into this game or the franchise.
+) Player is provided with large variety of factions to choose from
+) Player is introduced to a basic idea of careers and what to expect from each of them
+) Star Trek Online is one of a kind MMORPG that involves massive battles in space
+) Players that are interested in varying gameplay will enjoy battles in space
+) Player can focus on either becoming really good in ground battles, or space battles or complement both play styles
+) Large selection of equipment for characters and ship
+) There is a good variety of skills and traits for the player to choose from to enhance their character
+) Star Trek fans will be invested into the story of this game
-) Players will need to spend quite some time adjusting to the control system in both ground and space sections
-) Equipment traits are terribly explained on what they do and how they work
-) New players will find space battles really complex due to constant need of checking in your ship’s shield and health levels, skill cooldowns, controlling the ship and other things at the same time
-) Battles in both ground and space sections can become boring over large period of time, i.e. enemies just idly standing and shooting, having no additional movement whatsoever (ground section), or not having an idea whether your ship deals any damage to the enemy or not (space section)
-) Following previous statement, players may find the gameplay mechanisms fairly repeatable
-) You are forced to complete an arc of missions alone before you can play with your friends
-) Players with no knowledge of Star Trek franchise will most likely find it confusing and difficult to grasp
I would rate it 3/5 overall.