I’m writing this review for my casual readers, but at the same time as feedback for any member of the production team of Star Trek Online.
My background: I’m a big fan of Star Trek, although I’m not a collector or a “Trekkie”, I do have enough knowledge of the Star Trek Universe to critic an MMO which encompasses this game universe. I’m also a gamer.
Overall experience so far with production process
I have to say, it has been a long time since I’ve felt this excited about any MMO. I picked up this game a month ago, and since then I really get the impression the product team are working around the clock to bring new features and content to the game. This is a communicative product team, they are transparent in the forums, they tweet and bring out web casts. They have a clear goal on what they want to achieve and they’re not kidding around.
I really can’t congratulate the team enough for what they managed to release in 2012. As a developer myself, anyone involved in software development will understand the massive undertaking it was to release all those new features in 1 year.
The progress in 2012 proves just how serious the product team is, and 2013 although just getting started, is already showing tremendous promise.
Star Trek online is what I would call a rapidly expanding MMORPG. The game has enough content to pick up and enjoy as it is, and besides this there is high quality player generated content. Initially I was completely focused on space combat, and having spoken to a few members in my fleet I found a few players who completely neglect ground combat, this is a big mistake. Ground combat offers some of the most rewarding game play in my experience so far.
Although there are a few minor bugs which are being ironed out, the team driven ground combat really offers a lot. Most of the time I’ve come across polite players who really try work as a team. I’ve had the pleasure of being teamed with experts who know exactly what they’re doing – and the whole mission is carried out professionally. I’ve also grouped with extreme noobs, where none of us know how to complete the mission, and then in this case we too need to communicate and formulate a strategy to overcome the mission. I’ll be clear – usually if you have a full team, even the biggest noobs who can communicate and work together with some patience can overcome great challenges. And a lot of these missions are challenging – which is great.
Map Design / Stage Design Quality
Outside of the story missions, the PVE group maps are heavily focused on team work. When I play these maps I feel like every member of the team is essential and has a part to play. Maps like Mine Trap are multi part, and although I’ve played this map dozens of times now, I would still gladly play it over and over again. It is without a doubt one of the best maps in the game, and deserves some general MMO award too for being the most fun mission.
There are some maps which are hard and challenging, and only a few I don’t care for much.
The product team is aware of this: More ways to earn Romulan marks.
The duty officer assignment system adds so much to the game. One of my long term objectives is to have a crew of just rare duty officers. This will take time, but it is possible – imagine finally getting there!
It would be awesome to have STF’s which award credits. I’ve seen these pop up from time to time as PVE events. My credits are running dangerously low because I’m investing a lot in Omega / Romulan upgrades.
A clear warning to new players who access mail from the mini map icon, and not a mail box, that attachments must be picked up in person from a mail box would be good.
Sometimes in ground combat when hitting specials nothing happens, an example would be a full auto fire. Would be great to have this cleaned up a bit.
Other than that – an outstanding game, love it and fully invested now….