Star Trek Online holds the torch for City of Heroes


I’ve been gaining traction in Star Trek Online nicely since returning from my vacation. It took a little bit of searching, but I think I found a welcoming fleet — Access Denied — to join. Even better, I’m rocketing up in ranks thanks to pushing through the episodes and doing DOFFs as much as possible.

I know that getting new ships is a major carrot to the leveling in this game, but after having gone through it a few times, I have to say that I think I would prefer having and sticking with a single ship from start to finish. I keep getting attached to various models, only to have to abandon them a few hours later for the next tier. I’m really partial to both the Ambassador and Intrepid-class ships, and while I know that there are retrofit versions later on, right now it feels like I have to keep my distance.

Oh, this time around I’m giving my ships names like Happy Chicken and Uppity Llama. I assume that Starfleet does not approve. I do not care.

I am very much looking forward to getting to tier 5 so that I can settle down with a ship. The summer event is coming up quite soon, and with it should be an opportunity to score a high-level ship for free. I might still drop a few bucks on one of the Federation carriers even so, although probably just a tier 5. I still have a free T5-upgrade boost on my account to use, so no sense wasting money I don’t need to.

Another thing I’m anticipating? Getting into episodes that I haven’t seen before. I have the full Delta Rising expansion that I’ve never touched as well as the Iconian War and other episodes that have been added over the past year or so. That should more than keep me busy until the expansion launches in July. Hearing good things about Agents of Yesterday so far from people on the test servers.


Perhaps it’s just in returning to the game with a fresh perspective, but this time around it’s remarkable how much Star Trek Online is reminding me of City of Heroes. I think it’s one of those things that’s always lurked in my subconscious but I’ve never articulated.

Makes sense, of course. Both games were developed by Cryptic, and the studio no doubt brought some of its City of Heroes tech into Star Trek Online. Now that I’m looking for it, I see it everywhere, from the character creation to the font to the floaty nature of character animations to the pop-up text boxes. Foundry missions. The layouts of ground mission instances. STO just has that CoH “feel” to it in a way that Champions Online and Neverwinter, two other Cryptic properties, does not.

It’s its own creature, naturally, but I enjoy seeing and feeling those City of Heroes echoes as I’m playing. More than anything else, each MMO has a distinct feel that’s made up of its sounds, music, animations, gameplay, systems, and such. When you’re playing those games, you can’t mistake them for anything else, and sometimes even the smallest trigger can flood you with memories of those titles. So should it be that surprising that I’m getting CoH flashbacks left and right?

Nice to know that its spirit is still alive in a currently running game, at least.


8 thoughts on “Star Trek Online holds the torch for City of Heroes

  1. Ocho June 3, 2016 / 9:37 am

    If you’re a fan of the condensed stories with interesting twists (which I’m pretty sure you are), you’ll like both Delta Rising and the Iconian War, though both take quite a while before the stories finally hit home, maybe a little too long.

  2. tyrannodorkus June 3, 2016 / 9:53 am

    STO is a good game I like visiting from time to time. If it does have CoH mechanics, I’m glad I could at least experience it since I’ve missed out on the game.
    By the way, I’ve seen where people like to challenge themselves by sticking with a low tier ship in the later game. I’ve done it a bit and it’s fun.

  3. romeomoon June 3, 2016 / 9:56 am

    A lot of my friends from CoH play on STO. I’ve tried it a couple of times, but it still hasn’t stuck with me. I even created a controller layout in Xpadder, but I still feel a bit overwhelmed by all the information the game throws at me while swapping out weapons and ship parts. I’ll still probably go back because while all the details can be bit too much for me the first few times I play, I eventually learn to look for the key details.

  4. Nick June 3, 2016 / 10:14 am

    Delta Rising was the expansion that got me to really start to play Star Trek Online a whole lot more. It certainly had a few missteps at launch (locking up so much new functionality, like Intelligence ships, behind the cash shop — and then never doing anything with them after launch)… but the story is a real testament to the strength of the writers for the game.

    It does one thing that most media-tie-in games fail at… it makes you want to go enjoy the source material while you play. You go through some of those stories, and suddenly you want to go watch TNG and Voyager (that in itself should be considered a miracle). By the time the Iconian war comes into play, you can tell that the writers are weaving a pretty intricate tapestry of very different threads spread across trek canon, and it’s actually quite beautiful how it all ties together.

  5. Syp June 3, 2016 / 1:30 pm

    Tyranno — Some of my guildies were talking about just that last night, trying to play with a tier 1 through the entire game.

  6. tyrannodorkus June 3, 2016 / 4:56 pm

    Nice. 😀
    It can be tough, though. Taking on larger enemies with less shielding and hull and only teir 1 and 2 skills, but it’s really fun with multiple people.

  7. MidnightHaze June 6, 2016 / 8:12 am

    Reading your comment about spending money on a T5 ship instead of a T6 and then using a token to upgrade it. I feel I should point out that the T6 ships get an extra unlock that can be used on other ships. So it might be worth getting at least one of these if you are going to be spending money anyway.

    No need to go mad getting them, as you can only select 4 at a time (5 with the unlock from the R&D fleet holding). However given your love of the Intrepid, I suggest picking up the T6 Pathfinder. It may even still come with the Voyager bridges.

  8. Syp June 6, 2016 / 10:03 am

    Well I went with the T5 for two reasons — the first is that I liked the model a lot better than the T6 carrier, and the second is that I already had an upgrade unlock sitting on my account that I could be used for free. But that is good to know!

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