Star Trek Online. We meet again, for the first time, for the last time, for glory, and for Del Taco.
I’ve long since stopped fighting — or questioning — the pull of a different MMO when my brain demands it. It’s something that precedes my era in MMORPGs, as I’ve always been prone to getting an idea (I want to play game X!) and then seeing that idea turn into an unstoppable obsession by Day Two. Fortunately with online space, it’s much easier to indulge without dropping $50 on a brand new game all the time — $15 for a month’s play almost seems paltry.
I don’t know why I felt called back to STO, other than I really enjoy the look of the game and the feel of owning a virtual starship. STO feels markedly different than the fantasy MMOs that are a staple of my play diet, so it’s good for variety.
Of course, another one of my bad habits kicked in upon resubscription — I felt the urge to roll up a new character instead of continuing with my higher-level toon from a few months back. This is unfortunate, for while it’s nice to get reacquainted with the game at a measured pace and I had the ability to go back to an Engineer character, STO’s early game is still packed full of drudgery. It wouldn’t be too bad if you advanced to Lt. Cmdr a lot faster, but as it is, you spend so much time with your crappy light cruiser and paltry few options that every encounter plays out almost identically.
On the plus side, STO’s made some good improvements over the past few months, which I attribute to Dan Stahl’s better handling of the title. Gone is the crappy blue grid overlay in sector space — now it genuinely feels like you’re out in the black as stars warp by you. I also applaud the ability to replay episodes and (soon) try out player-generated ones. I’m not really interested in diplomacy, crafting, exploration or delivering 10 biosporgals to Fumus 9 — I just want to go on a series of adventures. This helps.