Final Frontiers? Here We Go Again


The tourism bandwagon has been rumbling down the mountain for a couple months (well, more, if you count Mark’s curious lifetime subscription to Champions Online… yes… curious), and as it rolled past, I decided, “what the hell?!” and jumped on. In other words, I decided to preorder Star Trek Online. (For all those wondering: preorder bonus all the way. I can customize my ship nine ways to Sunday, making the Constitution class preorder bonus less appealing, but there’s no guarantee of a Borg officer like with Amazon.) It’s not lost on me that just last week I wrote how I am hesitant to get a new MMO when I can’t try it out post-release. That’s why my latest tourism bandwagon hop on is a bit last-minute. Perhaps if I don’t like the open beta I’ll cancel my order– can I even do that?

I’m not too concerned. But, lo, the kids on the forums sure are. I stopped over at to read the latest stories and forums posts, and there’s a litany of crap like, “OMG, my worst fears have been realized! STO is just like Champions Online!” (Okay, I added in the exclamation points and OMG, but not the other parts.) There are also more self-sacrificing martyr-style posts saying things like (paraphrasing), “sorry, folks, I have seen the game and it is not worth your time. I have uninstalled it and regret my preorder! Stay away! I am so sorry to tell you this!

Thanks for jumping on that land mine, buddy. I’ll decide for myself.

I won’t be surprised if this game is a lot like Champions Online. It’s coming from the same developer and not even half a year after CO‘s release. However, there are plenty of elements in it that are not CO

  • Ship combat (“It’s just the same as your avatar! It’s just an avatar in a ship form! It even has a task bar! OMG there are not shields on the top and bottom of the ship, so it’s basically 2D space combat!”)
  • Bridge officers/away team members (“You buy and sell them with in-game currency! It’s like buying and selling slaves!” “What’s the point of being in an MMO if you have a team of bots to heal you and do all the other work?! It’s another single player game ruining the concept of MMOs!”)
  • A galaxy full of randomly generated planets (“There’s no exploration, and what is there it’s all the same thing over and over again! It’s repetitive missions without a story! There’s no depth!”)
  • Missions that follow “five act” Star Trek episode structures (“Fight on the way to planet, fight in orbit over planet, fight people on the planet, then fight again in orbit! All I’m doing is killing people. Phaser attacks get way old! There’s no diplomacy! It’s nothing like Star Trek!” “No wait, I had two missions where I never shot anything!” wait… huh?)

I’m not an episode-referencing and -quoting Trekkie like Jason is, and unlike both Jason and Mark, I didn’t play through anything of note during my brief demo of CO. Will I notice Star Trek IP discrepancies like sandpaper against my skin? Will I feel like I’m playing CO all over again? Probably not and definitely not. What I do know is this is a sci-fi MMO that actually looks appealing, and that’s something I’ve been craving a long time. I could have waited for the more unusual Global Agenda to satisfy that urge, but since it has a free to play mode, I don’t have to spend anything to play it. And, shoot, Star Wars The Old Republic is at least one more year out, and I’m not waiting that long.

I may get burned… I know that I could have gotten burned by CO which is one of the reasons I avoided it. Pragmatically speaking, I made a choice on where I’d rather get burned– with a superhero game or a sci-fi space game. With that choice, I picked the latter. Soon I’ll see if all the whining and complaining is merit-worthy. If so, I’ll let you know, but probably without as much theatrical effect as the forum posters have done in the last couple days of open beta. Otherwise, I’m looking forward to playing with Mark and Blameful Gecko, and if you’re another supposedly foolish person getting this game, you should play with us, too. See you… IN SPAAAAAAAAACE!

2 Comments to Final Frontiers? Here We Go Again

  1. Blue Kae's Gravatar Blue Kae
    January 14, 2010 at 5:34 pm | Permalink

    Not that I needed it, but thanks for listing all the reasons why I should stay out of those forums. And welcome to open beta!

  2. January 19, 2010 at 1:07 pm | Permalink

    So have you had a chance to play it yet Noah? If so, how’s it look on your new rig?

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