Star Trek Online comes to Steam and it's Free - Page 2
While at the starbase you have opportunity to outfit your character and ship as well as collect new missions. You can also purchase items and upgrades at the starbase using refined dylithium which can be obtained in-game or purchased using cryptic points. Cryptic points are akin to diamonds in Lord of Ultima and Godfather: Five Families but are not directly usable in game. There is a conversion rate between the two that can vary. Conversion value is dependent on the conversion offers available in the marketplace while at a starbase. Outside of the game Cryptic points can be used to directly purchase upgrade packages and game items without the need for conversion.
Playing the game it's evident that the developer has put a great deal of effort into creating an immersive experience designed to encourage you to purchase a membership and/or upgrades. From detailed interior environments to faithfully represented ship designs, care has been taken to intrigue the most diehard Trekker.
In my time with the game I've found three basic mission types. Space combat, away (ground ) missions and exploration. Other reviews have noted that most missions lack depth with objectives relatively simple and rarely varying from a formula. I've experienced some of that but I've also noted a number of social features such as in-game voice chat and the opportunity to join user created fleets or play community generated missions. There is some in-game advertising such as the periodic commercial for the voice chat service provider while docked at a starbase but it hasn't been intrusive.
The game itself seems to combine elements from World of Warcraft for the socialization features, Star Trek: Legacy for the space based missions and Star Trek DS9: The Fallen for away missions. All good models for a Star Trek MMO but in some cases the worst aspects of them have been replicated. Annoyances such as vague ship control in space combat missions and an overall unintuitive control interface impose a relatively steep learning curve.
New players will likely fumble through these deficiencies for the first few sessions but can eventually adapt to master basic functionality in the game. There are tutorials but the control interface is too complex to master by relying on them exclusively. It's not a trait exclusive to Star Trek Online, however, as most newer games have limited documentation and rely on this same sink or swim model. For a game hoping to secure a steady flow of revenue through subscriptions and upgrade packages this may not be a good trend to follow.Continued on the next page