Star Trek Online Season 8.5 brought A Step Between Stars featured episode which expands on the Solanae Dyson Sphere storyline. Four year anniversary event and few other features were released as well.
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We have finally learnt how the Dyson Sphere generates a large amount of Omega particles to jump to any area of space. Tuvok was leading a team to a nearby space stations that controls the jumps with a task to disable it. All communications with U.S.S. Dyson are lost. Something has gone wrong of course and captains are asked to help Tuvok to stop Voth advance.
Dr. Cooper was part of the team and he is freaked out since he seen so much blood and explosion. Unlike Vulcan, this scientist is trying to hide and likes to shout how we are all going to die. Although it was fun at first, Dr. Cooper became annoying and needed a lot of persuasion to continue with his work. Scientist is the only one who knows how to work with the Dyson technology and you will have to calm him down somehow.
The best part of the mission was flying around in Solanae Environmental Suit. Being close to the sun and not getting burnt is still science fiction that can only be experienced by playing Star Trek Online. Could be tricky getting into the right position to unlock doors, but the view was great.
The story was good, though there were some weird things. For example, when entering the second sphere Undine destroyed Voth Dreadnought with one shot. The same ship that U.S.S. Gold wasn't able to destroy for a long time. It is not that important for gameplay, but those who followed Star Trek could see this as a mistake.
Tuvok is there and that is awesome. He will fight with you all the way, help you defeat Voth and guide you through the mission. The logic and calmness was welcome after having to deal with that mad scientist. Cryptic has done an amazing job by bringing Tim Russ into a game. We can look forward to the nest Star Trek actor, or actress, in the following updates. Some captains would love fight side-by-side with 7 of 9.
Star Trek Online follows the same concept and features some new gameplay mechanics like flying above the sun in an environmental suit. There was also an area of the sphere where you could get killed instantly if system’s defence caught you unprepared. Despite few little bugs, the latest featured episode was fun to play. It expands the story from Season 8 and suggests we will fight more Undine in the upcoming content.
The anniversary event involves Q and his party crashers. Nothing new there, except the ship that can be gained by filling the Event project in your reputation system. Once the project has been completed, captains will get a Dyson Science Destroyer, or one of the variants if they play as KDF or Romulan officers. The ship is a good reward for playing Q’s event, although it is not really challenging and can be dull when you have to repeat the same event for days. This time the feature episode gives 400 Qmendations so you get a good start with the project. The anniversary event itself gives 40 and can be played every 20 hours.
Bugs and server downtime was there, though developers managed to fix all issues within several hours. Early federation missions have been revamped with new art and improved gameplay. More story updates and even better gaming experience. I couldn't see much improvement, but those missions were ok even before the update. Q is there and he is throwing a party. We can enjoy those “great” balloons and party guns again.
New content also included a Shuttle PvP where you can fly your favourite small spacecraft and see how you fare against other players. I was never that good in PvP, though the new Shuttle mission was an interesting approach to PvP tactic. With newly added Quick Equip feature which allows players to quickly swap the gear, captains might get more into PvP battles. Accessing an item from an inventory or bank just means you won’t have to fly to a space station and talk to Ship Selector in order to ready your starship in a way you want it.
Star Trek Online has grown so much in this four years, developers bring new features all the time. Weekend events and being able to change between ships with just a few clicks could bring more players to the game. More than 3.2 million captains already fly their epic starships. Despite a somewhat slow start, the game has become one of the best MMO’s and is completely free to play. Numerous missions, social activities or even space exploration can give tons of fun every day.
Thanks to Nexus for helping with the review.
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