Star Trek Online Review, Part 1 - The Old - Page 6
You have 4 sides to your shield, front, back, left and right. If a ship is beating on the same side for too long, it will go down and it will expose your hull to damage. You have to rotate around to make sure you don’t allow that to happen, but you can also use skills to strengthen or repair your shields (or those of your allies), or you can route power from other systems to make sure they are not going to be destroyed in two seconds. If you route power from other systems however, for example from your weapons, you’ll find those systems will underperform to a degree, so you need to choose wisely.
Shooting a ship isn’t the only way to get shields down, there are skills that aid with that. There are also skills to repair your hull, while others will deactivate enemies’ systems, rendering them useless for a certain amount of time. There are buffs, debuffs, the lot, exactly what you’d expect from any MMO.
The abilities you use on your ship are dependent on your Bridge Officers. They are not only NPCs that you can use in your ground combat as your henchmen, a bit like you can do in Guild Wars, they also give your ship skills. So let’s say your ship has a tactical slot, you can assign your Tactical Bridge Officer to that slot and you can use whatever skill he is trained to use in space combat. For example, some Tactical Officers have a skill called Torpedo: High Yield that enhances the next torpedo you launch so that it deals more damage. That means your OWN class doesn’t have much importance in space combat, because the skills that you will use are dependent on what Bridge Officers you utilise, how they are specced and what slots your ship has. However your class brings a few unique skills that are not available to other classes during space missions and that are not influenced by how many slots your ship has for any role.
Ground combat requires you to beam somewhere, usually on a planet, but sometimes on a ship or in an enemy base, and kill mobs as you meet them in groups, while you fulfill the mission’s objectives. Since all the missions are scripted, you can’t grind mobs. Once they are dead, they are dead, move onto the next step. Ground combat is where some people found the game wasn’t so great. Some of the landscapes and scenarios aren’t exactly breath taking in contrast with the space environment, which looks stunning. Further there are little annoyances to do with character movement, which to me are just minor and don’t bother me too much, but to some they can be unsettling. For example, it has happened to me a few times that I ordered my character to stumble forward, and it would stumble backwards if there was something blocking my path. The game has collision detection for both allies and enemies, which might be annoying for some. That’s totally fine by me, as many other games have that. Cryptic however keeps working on these issues, so you should hardly find any at the moment.Continued on the next page