Star Trek Online: Call of Valor

A Star Trek Online Fan-fiction.

Invasion!! and F2P?

On Thursday this week, 2 major things happened in STO.

We are the Borg. Our d*cks are bigger, and here's one to prove it. Just give up; you know you're gonna get f*cked by us. Just make things easy on yourselves; bend over and take it. Come on, we know you want to.

First, the Borg began their all-out invasion of the Alpha Quadrant. This invasion will be coming in stages. Stage one is the new Red Alert DSEs; they will be randomly happening in every sector at set cooldown intervals. When they appear, there are 2 ways to get into them.

A, find the huge Borg cube ship flying around the sector, and engage it the same as other DSEs. It’s frikkin huge and hard to miss.

B, there will be a flashing “Red Alert” button that will appear in the UI. Trust me, you can’t miss it ūüėõ It’s huge and flashy and bright red.

Gotta say that the one thing that made me squee with geekgasm delight over and over has to have been the epic voiceover work. I mean seriously epic. They nailed it. They frikkin nailed it. I’m not going to try to describe it, just go play and squee for yourself.

I’ve done a few of them now, both on my VA (maxed out level 51) Main character, and once on my Lt. (lowest rank after the tutorial) alt character. There’s two daily missions you can get in these; one gives you an item that grants a 15 minute increase to skill point gain, the other offers a choice of a level appropriate badge or a level appropriate item.

Now, what is interesting is anyone can join in, but they’re all no lower than level 45. What does that mean for all the low level players who want to participate? GOOD NEWS!!!¬†You guys not only get a temporary 15% XP boost, but you ALSO get¬†temporarily¬†raised to level 45! No, not your ship class or ability selectiona, your base stats and the damage/effectiveness¬†of the weapons/skills you have are just multiplied to be stronger and equal to a level 45 character. Honestly, though, even with this, as a lowbie, unless you’re going in with at least a couple high-level players to watch your back, expect to get your @$$ handed to you every few minutes, especially at the end (I’ll go into the end boss in a bit).

The other good news (as far as I believe, it’s good news) is that when entering these DSEs, they are not like other DSEs or FAs in that it’s not got a player cap of 20 to 25; the player cap is 5. You heard me, 5. I really like this. That’s enough for an average 5-man team to group together and hunt down invading Borg. That also works for PUGs who are smart, group together once inside, and co-ordinate via in-game voice chat (but since when are PUGs ever smart).

As a high-level player, I will say that these battles can be either extremely easy, or extremely hard, depending on the group you find yourself with once in the system. The Borg ships are not pushovers. They co-ordinate with each other, with scout vessels, and with spheres. They combine abilities to devastating effects. They’re weapons are beefier. Do not underestimate them. At some point, the command ship will transwarp in, and the test of the ships will transwarp out, leaving you to face the giant Borg space penis¬†Borg Command Ship. This mofo is huge. Really huge. And it looks like a giant d*ck. Sorry, Cryptic, but it does. And, I must say, some of the design is rather ¬†reminiscent¬†of VGER…

I'ma firin' mah layzaarr!!

The front of the ship is a giant cannon, shooting some kind of slow-moving plasma torpedoes bigger than my ship was. Not talking the energy glow effect, I mean the torpedo at the center itself seemed almost as big as my ship. And unlike other plasma torps, this one took several hits to get rid of, & often flew back and forth between a couple ships at a time. I don’t know if that is a glitch or intentional, but it got me irritated. The ship itself is also equipped with multiple tractor beams, plasma cutting beams, tractor probes, and other¬†assorted goodies of destruction.¬†Be prepared to deal with tractor beams. In all honesty, watching one of these things go down after a struggle of a fight with it is a beautiful site.¬†These can be either way too hard & frustrating, way too easy and not as satisfying, or they can offer a decent challenge.

Also, I’ve heard some concern raised that they are going to get old after a few weeks to few months. They probably will if left as they are; good thing Cryptic already said they were only the initial stage of a big, long series of events; this tells me they won’t be staying forever, so I really think we won’t get too bored with them before they are removed. If you get bored with these, remember that STO only just finished getting bought by PWI and resources are still being shifted, and new staff is still in the hiring process.

Actually, this brings me to the next big announcement: STO is going F2P. Woo hoo. We totally didn’t see this coming. </sarcasm> Seriously, I’m very excited; I have several friends that wouldn’t try it simply because it wasn’t F2P, so now they¬†have¬†no excuse to come play

Honestly, I think this is a good thing much more than a bad thing. There’s been a lot of doom & gloom, a lot of nay-saying, and a lot of bitching, especially by a lot of people who bought lifetime¬†subscriptions. The biggest complaint is people insist that the game going F2P makes their investment a waste and they will not be getting their dollars worth because the game will be free. This is complete and utter bullshit. This argument is moaned by idiots who have ignorantly neglected to actually investigate what a free to play model really is, and why it’s becoming adopted by so many games. It’s just proof that they have not used their brains and are not worth paying any attention to. The F2P scheme STO is adopting is going to be very similar to the Champions Online F2P that has been working very well for going on a year now. It’s not completely free. The majority is free, but there’s a lot that is for sale for real money in the C-Store; almost all of it is cosmetic, though there are also some balanced power sets, archtypes and mission packs as well as XP boosting items. Premium and lifetime subscribers will be the only ones to get some items for free as they’re released, and they are being given a few hundred c-points every month. As in they are giving you free c-store swag that everyone else must buy with cash!!¬†That sounds to me like lifers are getting even more awesomesauce than ever before. In the case of STO, as it is now they are getting the game for “free” but need to buy stuff in the C-Store like everyone else. Going F2P means instead of having to buy C-Points like everyone else, they are getting them given to them, so they’re saving even more money than they were before. That alone, to me, more than makes the Lifetime Subscriptions worthwhile. So STOP YOUR POINTLESS BITCHING!!!

I am really hoping I can afford to get myself a lifetime subscription before the year is out, or before they go F2P, whichever happens first. I will post updates about the F2P as they are released.


September 4, 2011 - Posted by | Geekgasm, Nit-picker's Guide

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