Star Trek Online: Legacy of Shoulderpads

romulans1
Fear our shoulder pads!

Despite my best efforts to keeping my MMO gaming roster small, it’s swelled from four to five titles this past week as Star Trek Online’s first expansion rolled out.  I’ve long since parked my Federation character in storage, pending any new featured episode series, and thus had no reason to play the game until now.

With Legacy of Romulus, Cryptic hasn’t just added onto the core game, but completed the game in a way that it’s needed ever since launch.  There are three major additions: A full Klingon PvE experience, the addition of the Romulan race and ships, and a UI overhaul.  All three contribute to a finished product and make STO feel “whole.”  I know a lot of folks are sore that Romulans aren’t a full-fledged faction (instead of being a third faction, they’re a neutral one that can eventually join Klingons or Federation), but I’m okay with it.  I think Cryptic is working within its time budget here, and finishing the Klingon content was far more important.  I can only imagine the outcry if Romulans had a full PvE leveling experience and Klingons were still left broken.

So I rolled up a new Romulan and took the maiden voyage of the Manatee.  Romulans — AKA “dark space elves” — have never really fascinated me in Trek.  It’s not just my hatred of elves, but the fact that their culture felt dull and their shoulderpads were far too paddy.  Plus, they were pretty dull in Nemesis and the 2009 Star Trek.

I can’t believe that rolling a Reman — AKA “super-ugly dark space elves” — is considered a premium slice of content.  You either have to grind faction or pay for a special pack, and I just do not see the draw.  It’s like going to Pizza Hut and having them charge you a lot extra for a personal pan pizza with alfalfa sprouts and anchovies.  Maybe you’d order it just to feel different and superior, but the rest of us are going to be eating tasty stuff.

What do I think of the expansion thus far?  I’m inclined to be quite favorable toward it, actually.  STO has always been a guilty pleasure of an MMO for me.  I know it’s not as full-featured or as Trekky as some would like, but the core gameplay has always kept me entertained.  More of it was welcome, indeed.  I like little touches, such as the new Romulan theme, the way the character select screen now shows your ship and crew, and how the UI has been cleaned up significantly.

Rolling a Romulan is basically starting over, so I’m back with a basic bridge crew that everyone else has, a tier 1 warbird that everyone else has (and looks like what you’d see in the Captain Kirk era), and only a small handful of skills.  Still, I look forward to logging in and going down this path again.  I never liked the goody-goody Federation attitude, so a change of pace is welcome.  The story puts you in the shoes of a colonist who flees his/her world when it comes under attack by a sinister Romulan faction.  Over the course of a few missions, you’re tasked with scouting for a new Romulan homeworld while building up your crew.

I chose a Tactical officer this time around, and I’m more than eager to ditch the basic warbird for something better.  I guess the big draw for Romulan/Klingon ships is the ability to cloak, although it doesn’t seem that thrilling to me — you have to stop firing just to reposition and get a brief buff to weapons when you de-cloak.  No thanks, I’d rather keep firing if it’s all the same.

We’ll see how it goes.  I’ll be joining the KDF side when I get the choice, mostly because I don’t want to do the same Federation missions all over again.  Also, forget those guys.  Their shoulder pads are puny and limp, while ours are large enough to launch small aircraft from.

shoulder2

8 thoughts on “Star Trek Online: Legacy of Shoulderpads

  1. I never played this game since I’ve never been much of a Star Trek fan, and I heard the game had a lot of issues at launch, After you called the Romulans “dark space elves” today though, I had to download it right away!

    I’m certainly happy with my elfish-ness so far, as well as the ability to customize my crew. I was also very pleased that I could roll any class or race to get going (or I guess most of them anyway that a newb would want) and fly around in open space, which avoids the weaknesses of TOR. The story like in most MMOs (aside from TOR, ironically) is not about my character, but surely the interaction with the head honchos will be more satisfying than in Secret World, plus it actually feels like you are making decisions in dialog sometimes. So far enjoying. May the dark space elves live long and prosper. Thanks for writing this post.

  2. Rolling Rommy (yes, I’m trying to make that a thing ><) is mildly disappointing for me. I like my character well enough. but all the Romulans come across as pointy-eared humans. There is no real sense of the uniqueness of their culture. Not that I want them running around as portrayed in the various incarnations of the series either. All in all, it's a good move I think.

  3. I’ve had a lot of fun with my Romulan so far. But I think they sped up the leveling curve. I’m gaining a level every time I complete a mission. Also, the missions at level 20 and 21, awesome sauce.

  4. @Greg, I assumed that accelerated leveling was just the tutorial up to level 10, You’re saying it continues through the teens?

  5. @Greg and Rowan: yeah, every plot mission seems to give an inordinate amount of experience, to the point that I pretty much get one level per mission. At this point, I’m level 40, playing missions that are recommended for the early 30s. To be fair, my experience has been complimented by both my Veteran +5% boost and my duty officer missions. Also, the missions scale to your level, so getting to level cap fast is, in my opinion, a good thing — I’m not outleveling the content, but I don’t need to replay missions for top-level loot.

  6. The Klingon-Romulans outfits are, in my humble opinion, much more awesome than the Fed-Rom outfits. The Fed-Rom outfits look like a terrible, bastardized version of the Federation uniforms, while the Klink-Rom outfits are super sleek, with great collars to boot. The outfits were almost enough to make me join up, but ultimately I prefer Diplomacy duty officer missions to Marauder-ing. (I know that means I’m depriving myself of a steady stream of Contraband.)

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