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Author Topic: Star Trek Online - Good for noobs?  (Read 933 times)
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TK-421
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« on: January 11, 2011, 07:45:49 PM »

I know there's a 45 (+/-) page thread about the game but before I read through that I wanted to ask a few questions and gather some information.

A friend has been bugging me to join him in an MMO type game and this is the only thing I could think of that I would even be remotely interested in.  (At least until Old Republic comes out.)

First, I have never played an MMO before and I wanted to know if this is newbie friendly.  I don't plan on devoting hours per day to this and would prefer to play with a small group of 3-5 people max.

Second, I assume this is one of those monthly fee type things.  What's the current pricing structure?

Is it something that can be played in short bursts in addition to long hours?

Are there structured missions and clearly defined areas that will prevent a level 1 nub from wandering into a level 60 Klingon-Romulan-Borg insta death trap?


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Blackjack
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« Reply #1 on: January 11, 2011, 09:39:56 PM »

My Quick Answers:
1) Yes, it's newbie-friendly. Oh there's a lot of crap to learn, and a lot of ship components and skills and everything to fiddle with, but if you follow the tutorial you'll figure out the basics fine.  icon_smile
'
2) Pricing is laid out at the official site (it's the typical $14.99 monthly; slightly cheaper per-month with long-term subscriptions -- and lifetime is still offered at $299.99):
http://www.startrekonline.com/subscribe

3) You don't have to treat this like a grindfest at all. On my return, I enjoy playing maybe a couple hours a night and only go crazy a bit on the weekends. You progress pretty fast.

While I have little luck forming or finding teams, the "open teaming" feature will lump you in fairly often with appropriate level teammates to tackle stuff. Since an away team is 5 members, I think that's the group size max (or is it 4?).

4) Yes there are structured missions. I call it a mix of "hand-crafted" storyline type missions, which you can generally tell by how interesting the plot and dialogue are. And the more recent "featured episodes," (see: http://www.startrekonline.com/feature_episodes) which are generally pretty awesome 5-6 mission arcs that showcase the game at its best imho. And the less memorable "patrol" and "explore" missions, which are (as I understand it) randomly-generated missions of more generic content that do help in terms of you leveling but generally aren't much interesting to go through.

Please note you can play the free demo of the game. It's just the tutorial and one mission, i believe, but it at least should tell you whether it's something you'd enjoy from a basic gameplay standpoint. Lots of ST fans wanted this to be Bridge Commander MMO and it is not that.

Other active STO players here include ydejin, and Destructor. I think there are others, sorry I forgot you guys!  icon_smile I can post more later but those are some quick thoughts.
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ydejin
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« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2011, 09:41:56 PM »

Quote from: TK-421 on January 11, 2011, 07:45:49 PM

I know there's a 45 (+/-) page thread about the game but before I read through that I wanted to ask a few questions and gather some information.

A friend has been bugging me to join him in an MMO type game and this is the only thing I could think of that I would even be remotely interested in.  (At least until Old Republic comes out.)

First, I have never played an MMO before and I wanted to know if this is newbie friendly.  I don't plan on devoting hours per day to this and would prefer to play with a small group of 3-5 people max.

Second, I assume this is one of those monthly fee type things.  What's the current pricing structure?

Is it something that can be played in short bursts in addition to long hours?

Are there structured missions and clearly defined areas that will prevent a level 1 nub from wandering into a level 60 Klingon-Romulan-Borg insta death trap?

STO is very easy to play in 30-60 minute chunks.  Random exploration missions can usually be played in about 20-30 minutes, and I think most missions can be played in about one hour.

Standard monthly fee is $14.99/month with additional discounts available if you subscribe for longer periods.  You can see the full fee structure here.

3-5 people should work well, although I've done the bulk of my play solo, so you should probably wait for other people to chime in on that.  IIRC the maximum party size is 5 as that's the size of a ground team.

The game areas are divided into sectors and different sectors are appropriate for different levels.  You won't have any problems staying in level-appropriate sectors.
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TK-421
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« Reply #3 on: January 11, 2011, 09:53:51 PM »

Sweet.  Sounds like something I might actually enjoy.

So, are there multiple factions?   I assume Federation/Klingon each have their own storylines/missions but can't imagine them getting too far beyond that. 
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ydejin
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« Reply #4 on: January 11, 2011, 09:56:45 PM »

Quote from: TK-421 on January 11, 2011, 09:53:51 PM

Sweet.  Sounds like something I might actually enjoy.

So, are there multiple factions?   I assume Federation/Klingon each have their own storylines/missions but can't imagine them getting too far beyond that. 

Klingons are a mostly PvP faction.  They have been slowly adding PvE to Klingons, but unless you want to PvP you're better off sticking to the Federation.  At some point Romulians will get added, but my guess is that they're at least 9-12 months out.
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Blackjack
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« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2011, 04:07:09 PM »

Quote from: TK-421 on January 11, 2011, 09:53:51 PM

Sweet.  Sounds like something I might actually enjoy.

So, are there multiple factions?   I assume Federation/Klingon each have their own storylines/missions but can't imagine them getting too far beyond that.  
The devs say they're working to bring more Klingon PvE content online (not at the cost of Federation content, plans are still moving on several fronts it seems), and they probably won't introduce a third faction until they've introduced substantially more KDF content to do.

The dev tracker responses also suggest that the Featured Episode #3 starting Jan. 29 might introduce some new passage ways between sectors for easier access (for both Federation and Klingon players) to the sector where said episode's storyline takes place. I don't think it'll ever be an open PvP game (you'll always be able to click a checkbox and ignore all PvP challenge invites, etc.), but it sounds like you'll eventually see Federation and KDF players having access to more of the same areas.

It seems like the executive producer's long term dream is to get rid of at least most of the sector divisions so that you don't have that annoying loading screen every time you pass into another one, and can feel a little more immersed that way. That seems a long way off though, probably requiring some programming and server changes at some point.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2011, 04:09:21 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2011, 04:40:17 PM »

I just bought the game over Amazon download service - Where on earth do I input the activation key? Seems like it should be under "Account" on the main startrek online site, but it doesnt seem to be there - help anyone?

edit: Amazon downloader seemed a bit slow, so used their bittorrent tracker version - that shouldnt' matter right? And, there's no us and eu servers, right?

editedt: figured out the account activation thingie.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2011, 04:51:20 PM by Razgon » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: January 13, 2011, 06:09:43 PM »

Quote from: Razgon on January 12, 2011, 04:40:17 PM

And, there's no us and eu servers, right?

Correct. Champions Online and Star Trek Online both use a single server located somewhere in the US, and everyone who plays the game worldwide connects to said server.
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TK-421
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« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2011, 07:40:31 PM »

Well, I downloaded and played through the entire demo. 

The ground movement/combat interface was terrible.   Maybe it's just all my time playing FPS but moving and fighting during the ground sequences was painfully counterintuitive.  I'd find myself sprinting at the enemy instead of moving out of their line of fire, I'd try to change directions only to end up changing my viewing angle (often to staring straight up or down) but walking in a different direction than what I intended.

As a result I spent more time fighting the interface than the Borg or the Pirates.

Space combat was ok though.
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« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2011, 08:48:51 PM »

Are you sure you don't have your mouselook view axis' reversed or something (some people prefer more of a "flight sim" configuration where moving the mouse forward points your view down, and moving it backwards pulls it up; I don't though, sometimes I have to re-set that)? You might check under Options, there's a tab for key bindings that might affect that. Ground combat needs work but I don't think I've had issues like what you're describing.

Movement animation is klutzy, especially compared to Champions, and "New Running, Sprinting, and 8 direction of movement animations" (I guess it's only 4 right now, which might account for the awkwardness of movements sometimes) are among the things they're working on.

The demo won't get this across, but once you have a full away team crew and some decent skills, ground combat mostly is just bulldozing every mob in sight unless you're on a higher difficulty setting -- risky for now because of a bug over-powering some enemy weapons (pistols they seem to say) in the higher difficulty settings. An exception might Featured Episodes 1 and 2, where the enemies (Devidians and Breen) were tough enough to provide something of a challenge, at times, on the ground even when I had a lot of tactical toys at my disposal.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2011, 08:55:05 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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« Reply #10 on: January 14, 2011, 09:21:54 PM »

Quote from: TK-421 on January 14, 2011, 07:40:31 PM

The ground movement/combat interface was terrible.   Maybe it's just all my time playing FPS but moving and fighting during the ground sequences was painfully counterintuitive.  I'd find myself sprinting at the enemy instead of moving out of their line of fire, I'd try to change directions only to end up changing my viewing angle (often to staring straight up or down) but walking in a different direction than what I intended.

That sounds strange to me. I just finished the tutorial last night. Its pretty much the exact same controls as any other MMOG. In fact its even better. I had just gotten done discussing with my wife about how every MMOG needs a shift to sprint option (we had just gotten done playing a month of WoW without it). I also really like the 'c' to crouch option. I wish more MMOG's had that good of controls.

The animations on the other hand....
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« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2011, 01:11:47 AM »

STO should lower their pricing to like $6 a month. I'd play for that and most likely keep a sub even when i wasn't playing  so as to jump into every now and then. At $15 i can't see doing that as little as I actually played when I was sub'd.
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« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2011, 01:20:52 AM »

Quote from: Aganazer on January 14, 2011, 09:21:54 PM


The animations on the other hand....

I remember them being pretty harsh.
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« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2011, 01:44:55 AM »

Quote from: Daehawk on January 15, 2011, 01:11:47 AM

STO should lower their pricing to like $6 a month. I'd play for that and most likely keep a sub even when i wasn't playing  so as to jump into every now and then. At $15 i can't see doing that as little as I actually played when I was sub'd.

This^     I played early on.  Theres was just not enough of a game to keep me interested.  The ground missions were really poorly done, so the better part of the game was in the ship.  Fortunately ship combat was decent and the ship based missions were far better than the ground ones.  It kind of seemed to me that your ship was really your character and the character you chose was more of a symbiotic parasite for your ship.   
Anyway,  I would probably play this if it were like $5 a month and would definitely get it if it goes free to play ( there are rumors, even from the staff, that this is a possibility ).  Its a fun game in short bursts but falls far short of being worth $15 a month for me. Of course my opinions are based on the early build so it maybe better these days.
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TK-421
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« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2011, 01:00:52 PM »

Quote from: Blackjack on January 14, 2011, 08:48:51 PM

Are you sure you don't have your mouselook view axis' reversed or something (some people prefer more of a "flight sim" configuration where moving the mouse forward points your view down, and moving it backwards pulls it up; I don't though, sometimes I have to re-set that)? You might check under Options, there's a tab for key bindings that might affect that. Ground combat needs work but I don't think I've had issues like what you're describing.

I have my Y axis reversed.  I always do when playing PC games.  Console games I don't reverse the Y axis.  Regardless, that's not the issue, the issue is the third party mouse look vs WASD movement scheme is so different than standard 1st/3rd person shooter games that I'm familiar with that I'm spending an inordinate amount of time fighting the interface and not the bad guys.  If the mouse look was tied to the character orientation like every friggin shooter out there I wouldn't be having this problem.  I'm trying to use the mouse to look in the direction I want my character to go which of course results in my moving in a wrong direction.

It's difficult to explain but easy to sum up.  It sucks.  smile

Quote from: Aganazer on January 14, 2011, 09:21:54 PM

I just finished the tutorial last night. Its pretty much the exact same controls as any other MMOG.

Which is likely why I'm having this problem.  I have never played any MMO ever prior to this.  It is a completely new (and terrible) control scheme to me.
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« Reply #15 on: January 15, 2011, 01:41:49 PM »

Then your tip for movement:

Holding down LMB and moving the mouse moves the camera around your player.
Holding down RMB and moving the mouse moves the camera to where your character is looking.
Holding down RMB changes the default control scheme to: W+S moves forward and back, and A,D strafes your character left and right.
Otherwise W+S moves forward and back, A,D turns your character left and right.

And honestly, I think there's plenty of content in STO right now, especially for the 'less than $10' it's going for on Amazon and whatnot. It's just a question if you find stuff to do to keep paying $15 a month.
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« Reply #16 on: January 15, 2011, 02:31:37 PM »

Quote from: TK-421 on January 15, 2011, 01:00:52 PM

Which is likely why I'm having this problem.  I have never played any MMO ever prior to this.  It is a completely new (and terrible) control scheme to me.

FWIW they are reworking ground combat to provide an alternative view point.  My impression is it may be some kind of 3rd person shooter viewpoint with more direct control, but we'll have to wait and see what it really looks like.  I think it's about 3-4 months out, and will probably be on the test servers a bit sooner.

[Edit] Saw Blackjack's post in the other thread.  Guess ground combat changes are still 6 months out  icon_frown
« Last Edit: January 15, 2011, 02:43:35 PM by ydejin » Logged
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« Reply #17 on: January 17, 2011, 04:22:47 PM »

Quote from: ydejin on January 15, 2011, 02:31:37 PM

Quote from: TK-421 on January 15, 2011, 01:00:52 PM

Which is likely why I'm having this problem.  I have never played any MMO ever prior to this.  It is a completely new (and terrible) control scheme to me.

FWIW they are reworking ground combat to provide an alternative view point.  My impression is it may be some kind of 3rd person shooter viewpoint with more direct control, but we'll have to wait and see what it really looks like.  I think it's about 3-4 months out, and will probably be on the test servers a bit sooner.

[Edit] Saw Blackjack's post in the other thread.  Guess ground combat changes are still 6 months out  icon_frown
It's a major change, so lets give them time to get it right.  icon_smile

Producer Stahl has tried to explain one ground combat change as making weapon types more truly unique, esp. in terms of ranges. The idea being a snipe rifle should let you shoot accurately at a distance, while a pistol shouldn't; and certain assault weapons maybe should be devastating at close range but less effective further out. But the way things are now, I can blast things a mile away with my phaser pistol, and none of the ground weapons have any meaningful differences in terms of range; and certain scaling rare weapons are so good, you find no reason to switch as you level. If they do that right, it should make ground combat more interesting, and weapons choices more meaningful.

The other change is more of an option (that you don't have to use) to use a targeting crosshair for aiming at targets, rather than the "tab to select next target" type thing it is now. Maybe if you use crosshairs, it'll do more damage or something (guessing).

My other thing is right now Tactical, Science, Engineer etc. away team members on the ground are certainly different in terms of skills available but there's really little compelling reason to give a Tactical officer a certain kind of weapon vs. a Science officer.

I don't know if they'll change that, but if Science officers got a bonus from pistols, Tactical got a bonus from assault weapons and Engineers got a bonous from single shot rifles (that's hypothetical), it might get closer to a class-based game -- or you could require certain classes to use one or two types of weapons, but a lot of people blanche at limitations like that. And I'm sure some would argue "hey I'm Starfleet, I should be able to use ANY weapon." I guess maybe some of the race choices do affect ground weapon specialization, though I've paid little attention to it.

As a different example, in SWTOR, smugglers will be using all sorts of pistols but they won't use the massive assault weapons that certain other classes can use. In STO sometimes I'll get like 15 different types of ground weapons dropping during a mission with a zillion stats, most of which I just trash in favor of old reliables of the proper rank level. If I knew "ew, my Science officer has a bonus when using pistol phasers," at least I'd know right away to try those with that officer type; then you might start seeing more variety and stop seeing away teams that are all using giant, slung assault weapons that look like chainsaws and cordless lawn trimmers.  icon_razz
« Last Edit: January 17, 2011, 04:29:04 PM by Blackjack » Logged

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