For good or ill, STO has my full, undivided attention this past week, to the point where I haven’t logged on WoW or Fallen Earth at all. Chalk it up to first week excitement, but the truth is I’m genuinely having a lot of fun. Now, how long will the fun last? That’s the question, isn’t it.
Last night, pokey little Syp of the starship Bio Break finally dinged Lieutenant Commander — the first significant rank in the game. It really takes far, far too long to get there, considering you have to spend upwards of 20 hours before getting there. Why’s it so important? Because at Lt Cdr — aka “Level 11” — you finally get to choose your first ship type past the default light cruiser you get at character creation. General word of mouth says that the tier 2 cruisers aren’t worth it, but I already had my eyes on a science vessel anyway. I don’t like the look of escorts, and I want more options than just tanking power.
So as midnight drew near, I docked with Starbase and picked out my new ship — the Bio Break B. I was eager to choose a look for it, and as I went to the ship customize screen, I noticed something I missed the first time around: the “Advance” tab. This opens up a second batch of options for ship customization, namely letting you swap parts from the three standard ship templates for that tier/type and throwing on some funky paint decals.
So while there are three types of ship per tier/class (i.e. 3 visual types of tier 2 science vessels), you can mix-and-match between the three: the hull, nacelles, nacelle struts and saucer sections are all up for grabs. If my middle school math serves me well, this means that, for each tier and ship class, there are 81 visual ship configurations — and that’s not counting decals, colors, hull type or window types. Impressive!