Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 1 Essay: "What STO Means To Me"
09-22-2011, 07:55 PM
Recently the 106th Fleet asked its members to come up with an essay about what STO means to them. We selected two winners to have their essays showcased. I was hoping to directly contact Cryptic with them so they could feature them like they do for other fleets. However, I have no direct contact with them so, Cryptic, if your reading, please take notice...

Also fellow members, please feel free to post your essay on what STO means to you!

Originally Posted by @DrMackster
What does STO mean to me?

I will start by saying this, Star Trek Online is a fairly new game that I have delved into and the experience so far has been nothing less than intoxicating. I have been, and always will be a Trekkie at heart with no chance of that ever changing, so when a good friend of mine decided to try this game out, he talked me into trying it and I thought it sounded interesting so I gave it a try. Best choice I've made in sometime regarding online games.

What I have found so far with this game is the diversity it demonstrates when it comes to storylines, character creation, and the ability to follow the Star Trek Universe in its essence, and I am lucky enough to have a decent PC to enjoy the total experience this game has to offer. I find that in order to grow with your character, you need to pay attention to every detail and understand what it brings to the table which leads me to believe that it was the initial intent of the creators anyway. To have the chance to experience it leaves my imagination free to enjoy what my senses are telling me.

Within the STO community, I have found that there are a number of people willing to take you under their wing which is something this game promotes. When it comes to the community as a whole, I have felt it is a much easier place to come to and relax, leaving all the extra stuff at the door which means a much better experience by all. Having the ability to help others is an important part of this as well as I have played many different MMOs in my time and most have left me with a sour taste in my mouth when it comes to the 'humanitarian' part of the community. It is too simple for someone sitting behind their PC at home to ruin a great experience for someone else and unfortunately I have both seen it and been a victim of it in the past leaving me sceptical about opening up to yet another online game. So far, and I don't foresee anything really changing my mind on this, I feel this could make for a long lasting relationship between myself and this amazing piece of software someone had the privilege of creating.

It is my hope that this community keeps true to its origins and keeps the spirit alive for many years to come.

I think it would be a fair judgement when I say there are always good and bad when it comes to anything in front of you and what I mean by this is when I first started playing this game, I was very confused as to what I should be doing and where I should be going. Within a few days, I was then invited to the same fleet ( 106th Fleet ) that my good friend had the privilege of joining. In no time at all, I was on voice comms with new people and they were all more than willing to help out in anyway shape or form they could. This is what made my decision to stay put with this game that much easier. From what I can see so far regarding the mechanics of STO, is they have taken the time to create a world involving many different aspects of both the opinions of the gaming community and the Star Trek Universe in general keeping it real making this a unique and enjoyable experience. What I do know is there is a steep learning curve right out of the gate, but with patience and a great Fleet to back me up, it leaves me satisfied every time I finally drag myself from my PC. There are new people I have recently met within this game that puts me on the same playing field and feeling comfortable as well. This is also an important aspect of gaming in my books and I know it comes naturally to most that involve themselves within the STO environment. I live a military life in the Air Force and it leaves me feeling quite satisfied. The STO environment gives me the same feeling which is also important to me. If I was a betting man, I would say most would feel the same way I do if they were in my shoes.

Now, I feel there is something else I should say that lets me portray my thoughts into words regarding my feelings towards this game and the environment it has provided me. I have two children that also like to delve into the gaming world, and I feel that the STO world gives me that confidence to allow them to experience it as I would. Is it perfect? No, but I would be blind to accept the fact that nothing in life is perfect which always leaves room for improvement, but so far, I've yet to see anything that would make me question my thoughts on this matter.

STO.... is it the answer to everything? Of course not, but it sure comes close in my books. I hope to keep enjoying this world for some time to come and may the good times never end.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
09-22-2011, 07:55 PM
Here is the second one...

Originally Posted by @RaptorsGhost
When I first started investigating MMO's it quickly became obvious that they were uninteresting or dominated by seasoned players. Some were about building a town. Some were little more than adult sites under the disguise of an MMO. All seemed to be single player themed, first person shooter, building something, or just adult sites.

Then while wandering in the abyss a ray of light shown in the darkness an MMO that advertised as Build and Captain your own Starship, go along on away missions Star Trek online was about to launch. This was not going to be a first person shooter game or a build your own city game; this seemed new.

Scurrying around after the launch date the program was finally found; I quickly installed and the adventure began. There were things in this game that defied my imagination. The combination of ship builds, bridge officers that that needed to be trained, and skills your Captain could acquire. It was overwhelming, amazing, and I wanted more all at the same time.

At this time the game was early stages of Season one there were a lot of people flying through sector space. It was like nothing I had ever experienced before; everyone trying figure out the different ships, the different weapons, the many variations of bridge officer and personal skills.

Trying to keep up with the space skills while at the same time trying to stay strong both in space and ground environments it was and still is a balancing act, but there was something missing. The whole point of an MMO was interacting with others and was PVP the only way to interact? It turns out it is not; the game includes fleets some games call then Guilds among other things. After being invited into a fleet there was a feeling of disappointment, the fleet was inactive. A new chat channel had appeared but it was dead.

It took some time going from one dead fleet to another dead fleet. Finally I came across one fleet that was active and people actually talked to each other one where players helped one another with all the questions a new player might or seasoned player may have. That was when the real challenge and fun began.

Now it was not enough just to learn to set up a ship and ground skills, but now there was a need to get to know the other players. It was time to learn how to play with others as a team and less of me versus everything else.

Beyond this was the fleet itself a military structure fleet complete with a rank system with squads, wings, divisions, and much more. There was so much more to learn and explore; what were these raids everyone was talking about in fleet chat; it took a little while to figure out that they were a five officer missions in Gamma Orionis Sector Block.

For the first time since joining the game there was a sense of purpose to be part of a team. Everyone working together for a common goal; everyone was giving their advice on builds and tactics not just to make themselves better but the entire fleet better.

Groups were forming all the time to run raids starting with Infected then the Cure, moving on to Khitomer Accords and even Terradome which was extremely bugged for a long time, but was eventually was defeated.

This fleet I had joined has its own website and TeamSpeak and it didnít take long to get to know the players and recognize their voices. Then something awful happened a group of players left the fleet and started their own fleet. It felt like I had gotten punched in the gut and people we all knew were just gone with no explanation. The worst part was they formed a hate fleet whose sole purpose seemed to be to bash us and tear us apart anyway they could. This just added insult to injury, but in times of hardship those who stick together grow together and the fleet grew and strengthened.

When season two finally arrived it felt like and really was a new game with tons of new content and people that had become disillusioned and bored left the game were suddenly came back and a flood of new players appeared. There was new content, a new level cap and people swarmed to our fleet as well as others and some fleets became a real power in the game and others just mottled through. Rear Admirals eventually became Vice Admirals and it didnít take long before everyone was at an equal level again.

That is when the skill and talent started coming to the forefront. Since everyone had the same weapons to choice from and same skill tree to work with personalities started to emerge. Some people putting Science officers in escorts, others putting tactical in cruisers and there was an endless combination to choice from and it was unclear from week to week what the members of the fleet might show up flying.

Everyone was posting their builds on multiple websites for reference, guidance, and input. There were discussions flying back and forth about the different builds, Weapon load outs, and tactics. There was a lot of one on one PVP matches going on around at this point. Everyone wanting be the best, the toughest, the dominant. It was one of the best times of the game thus far.

All good things must come to an end and this fleet was about to go through hard times and we didnít know it. It had happened before and was about to happen again, only this time it was going be much bigger and more heart wrenching then before. The exact number is still unknown it is estimated that 60% of the fleet left over the course of a few days. This time it didnít feel like a punch in the gut more like a shotgun blast to the head.

This time it wasn't people that had played together for a few weeks or even a couple of months, but some had been together for over a year. We trained a lot of them, formed them into wings, PvPíd and Raided with them, help them with crafting and experienced Star Trek with each and every one of them. The fleet nicknamed it "The Mass Exodus" It could have easily ended the fleet, but it didnít .Thanks to the loyalty and dedication of a few people the fleet remained. It took time for those of us that stuck around to help rebuild the fleet. To this day it isn't as large as it once was, but it is still strong and is growing once again.

There is no telling where this game or fleet will go in the future, but I know I will be there to see and be a part of what happens. Star Trek Online has become part of my daily routine and the fleet has become my family with in Star Trek Online.

Who am I you may ask? I am Professor Moriarty@RaptorsGhost Commodore of the 106th Cavalry PVP wing of the 106th fleet.
WONDERFUL JOB @DrMackster and @Raptorsghost and to all the members of the 106th Fleet....

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