Tuesday, February 28, 2012

A little Star Trek Online rant

So I might have been playing a lot of Star Trek online recently. Perhaps a little too much. And I think it's high time for me to stop now because while the concept of a space plus ground gameplay is fresh, somehow Star Trek online just doesn't give me the normal feeling that I usually get from MMOs. Compared to previous MMOs like Ragnarok, Perfect World and Forsaken World that I've played (and truly enjoyed), Star Trek online seems to give less of the camaraderie feel. It feels that it's more like a single player game rather than a Massively Multiplayer Online game.

That's my human character in one of the ground missions

For starters, it is really easy to hit the max level, which is 50, in the game without much contact with other humans. In less than a month, I have two characters who are at the max level now and when you make the max level relatively easy to attain without any human contact at all, I tend to get bored real quickly. Because there's one less thing to achieve and one less thing to look forward to in the game, which can be a real motivation killer. And besides, the lack of human contact, although there are many playing around you, seems to make the gameplay so much lonelier. Isn't MMOs about meeting new people and forging new friendships?

Hundreds of starships around the Earth starbase, but I have not even talked to one of them

And also, the raid missions for this game is totally ridiculous. I have been boiling the Special Task Force missions, where five random players team up to fight the Borg, for days now and out of ten raids I do, more than 50% would end in failure. Failure as in us not being able to defeat the boss, despite numerous tries. Some of the ground raid missions are ridiculously hard, even though we are playing on normal difficulty.

For starters, some of the bosses are way overpowered. They can just down you with one hit and despite numerous strategies that your team might adopt, sometimes you have to repeat the boss fight a few times before being able to complete the mission. And some of the boss fights are designed in such a way that if there's one blur player in your team, you can kiss your rewards goodbye. If you ask me, I would say that the developers really suck big time in making the missions playable for casual gamers. I mean hello, it's the normal difficulty after all, not the elite. If the mission is so hard to beat at normal, I cannot imagine how elite will feel like.

Furthermore, the system that allows players to form random team also annoys me. If you're unlucky enough to be paired with 4 newbies, that's it for you. You'll scream and pull your hair hoping that somehow, the would learn the simple mechanics of the mission. And sometimes, it's just so hard to teach them that you would just quit and pay the leaver penalty grudgingly.

Still, despite all the complaints, and despite me wanting to quit the game now, I have to admit that I had fun. Because the game offered something completely different that the normal MMOs and it allows us Trekkie fans to sort of experience the Star Trek universe ourselves. Some of the single player missions are pretty good too. It's just sad to note that all these plus points are not able to cover up the flaws of the game. Like I said, they are bad developers.

Oh well, I guess I have to wait for Guild Wars 2 now.

One of the awesome missions in the game where to come face to face with a gigantic Borg sphere and if you look carefully, you would be able to spot the tiny red dot in the picture which happens to be my ship

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