Star Trek Online Review, Part 2 - The New
Star Trek: Online - Review Score: 4/5
This is the second part of the Star Trek Online review. In the first part we went over the basics of the game as they were when it first launched. In this part we will talk about the changes and the evolution of this MMORPG.
Whether you like the Star Trek franchise or not, whether you like any of the other titles Cryptic has developed before, there’s one thing you really can’t fault them on: Their eye on the community. They are constantly in touch with their player base and they keep working on the game, trying to improve it. The developers added many features, some are new concepts, others are old successful ones that were implemented elsewhere. Star Trek Online has now 4 Seasons (expansions) under its belt with new features and content. I am going to try and list as many as I can, but I might leave some out because they are a lot. Obviously there have been several UI and quality of life enhancements which I might not cover.
Every so often, Cryptic issues a series of new episodes, which may unlock related dailies (it depends on the series, not all of them have dailies). The series might contain 4 or 5 episodes which are released once a week. If you do them during the week they have been first released, you can get special rewards which you won’t be able to get after the feature. These episodes are available for both factions and can generally be done at any level because they scale with your own. They are also re-playable, like all normal episodes (note that you could only play normal a mission once before).
If you think missions are easy mode, then you can set them to be intermediate or advanced for greater rewards and challenge. This is something that even a game like World of Warcraft doesn’t have. Yes, you can choose whether you want an instance to be done on normal or heroic mode, but in Star Trek Online you chose the difficulty of your day to day quests.
New Ships and Uniforms
Cryptic follows the same model of its earlier titles, and provides further customization items through their Cryptic Store. Some people don’t like this because they are paying a subscription already, and would like to have all content available to them. I do see that viewpoint, but on the other hand, Cryptic isn’t locking out any instances or any episodes. You can play all content, but if you want a certain look, a certain type of ship that is not already available in the game, then you need to buy it. Some items provided in the store aren’t just cosmetic, but none of them make or break the game. You can play Star Trek Online just fine without them. Their approach is different from what APB Reloaded adopted for example. APB decided to make special weapons available through their store, aside from a premium subscription, and those weapons have modified stats which sometimes are a clear advantage over normal weapons. It should also be noted how this business model with an item mall is becoming more and more common in games, even for big subscription titles such as World of Warcraft. I bet you still remember when the Celestial Steed came out – you couldn’t see any other mount.