Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 1 The Review, Verdict
02-20-2010, 08:12 PM
Starting off.

For everyone who says it's the worst MMO out there. It's definitely not. However, it's very very far from being good in it's current state.

In fact. It's mediocre at best. This is actually difficult for me to write. Considering, I was one of it's defenders for a short time.. until I realized and played through more and more of the game of course.

I don't want to make a super long review.. and explain all the problems with the game.. Which by the way.. exists many that i'm sure couldn't be compiled in one review. I'm just going to score it with a short description and some of the bigger issues in that field.

Presentation:

B-
The game has a lackluster opening cinematic (in game graphics), which seems like everything else about the game... rushed and thrown in last minute. Beyond that, the music is halfway there in this game. The overall feeling of Star Trek has to be a very atmospheric thing, and this game when it first starts up only lands partially on that idea. If not for Leonard Nimoy lending his voice, it would have been scored lower. His voice alone, which is is INSTANTLY recognizable by anyone who knows the smallest about Star Trek was huge. But, that's okay.. its not that big of deal considering though it could help, it ultimately doesn't make the game. High points include one of the best character creation modes ever seen in not just an MMO.. but any game period. The ability to make your own race and add them to either Starfleet or KDF makes perfect sense in Star Trek (though more so in Starfleet). After the Character creator and Opening cinematic (which actually follows the character creator), it actually starts out very well.... Star Trek. You are an ensign caught in the middle of a serious problem. The Borg are attacking the ship you are currently on. It's your chance to be a hero like most games.. but this time it's finally a Star Trek game. Which is awesome. Some cool things like an in game tutorial blended into the action by an Emergency Hologram (voiced by Zachary Quinto) give a layer of polish to the game that unfortunately you will not see much more of. There is a neat scene where you actually have to beam borg drones into the vacuum of space. Yea it's done simply by pressing the action key (F) but it's the presentation of it that felt very right and unique. You don't see objectives like that in many MMOs. Unfortunately, you will pretty much never see this again. You do some ground combat, learn the ropes, go into space, space combat, learn the ropes there and then you are off. It's by no means a bad tutorial and in fact i'd rank it as one of the better ones in an MMO so far.

Graphics:
A-
Naturally, there are better looking games on the market. But if you have a powerful rig, there are not many, IF ANY, MMOs that can match STO's graphics at the moment. Except for a few areas that don't pop out at you as much as others.. overall the Gameworld is truly pretty. Especially some of the areas in space you will go to. The artists had a good time it seemed, and plenty of time seeing as some of the planets and space junk/debris/asteroids, gas clouds, or whatever floating around are truly breathtaking. I have counted many times where I say WOW when I warp into most systems. The ground zones, though still pretty clearly lack the magnitude of the Space Systems. Although, some planets on some of the missions look very amazing. One in particular is a mission where you have to siege a romulan facility. It's very amazing how you beam down to the planet with you and BO's or Players and see the outpost in the distance. You then have to fight your way down to it... it's pretty awesome looking. But the ground zones that look great are much fewer than the space zones in graphical detail. Some ground missions look good but not great... and they don't really catch your eye that much. The detail on characters is overall pretty good. Most of the animations, even idle character animations with hands moving/clenching and characters swaying is pretty good. There are some goofy melee animations that for some reason always seem to look very delayed. It does kind of take away from the overall experience of the game.. however, most MMOs actually feel this way. There can be some serious "clipping" problems and also, some of the animations tend to be buggy. Whether this is sometimes due to lag or just the engine is unknown to me. Clearly more time was able to be spent on the Starships and Space combat. Most of the Starships are true to their form from the series/movies and they for the most part all look well above the "good" marker. In fact, most look great. The space combat is also very pretty. All different weapons have a distinct look, and glare, and lighting is absolutely top notch. When a weapon hits your shield, it actually shows the best buble shields in a game I've played so far. You feel the weapons hit your ships.. the screen shakes, and the sound effects are dead on. Torpedoes look like Torpedoes and overall some of the explosions go anywhere from good.. to flat out awesome. Your ships even look damaged in different stages depending on the condition of your hull. Overall.. very few complains about Space combat and the ships involved. Most everything about space in STO is pretty. I don't think you will find TOO many complains from anyone here.

Sound:
A
If you haven't done it yet.. please try this. If you have a good pair of headphones, or just an awesome sound system.. crank that sucker up. The sound in STO is the best sound effects in an MMO i've ever heard. I was amazed by all the little things.. the "presentation" of the sound is awesome all the way down to the computer voice that warns you about things. Tricorders, phasers, torpedoes, are all awesome. Torpedoes even have different sounds for the kind that you are firing. Same with all weapons for the most part. I even love that if you zoom all the way in, as you fly your ship in either sector space, or a system.. you can hear that humbrumbhumbrumb of your impulse engines as you push your ship through the vacuum of space. The comchatter over stations, and even the whisping as you fly by asteroids or debris. The explosion sounds and effects of a energy weapon pounding into your shield.... The crack of a well placed and timed torpedo slamming into your hull.. the clicking and ratcheting sounds of using effects and buffs/debuffs on the ground. All top notch. The music is overall good too. But if you wanted you could turn the music off and still be just impressed with the atmosphere the effects give to the game alone. Well Done. This is one of the highest points of the game along with the graphics. It honestly may be THE best part of the game. It actually makes it feel like Star Trek even more than the graphics in the game . That's a pretty big thing to accomplish.. but somehow they did it.

Controls:
B
The space combat feels tight.. so tight that if you are the captain of a cruiser.. when making a hard turn, you feel like you want to press down that "A" or "D" key through the desk your keyboard its sitting on. (I know many of you feel me). But this isn't a bad thing always. Cruisers handle like you would think they would.. these are big ships people. Escorts are nimble but not overly nimble like an X-wing or something. They are still starships. Science ships handle like an in-between naturally. The hotkeys and controls are ALL completely customizable to be set up to your playstyle. That's always a good thing. The ground game... is once again clearly the red-headed step child of the game. It's by no means "bad", because i've played far worse.. but it's not good either. It has a very.. overall clunky feeling to it. It feels always kind of lagged.. even if the latency is awesome. Rolling, dodging and all that never really feels as fluid as it should. Targeting is VERY "clunky" because combat in this mode is so much more fast paced than the space game. At least in space, you have time and can concentrate on picking targets. In the ground game you have to be much quicker, and its sometimes harder to pick out the enemy you want to focus on. Also, overall controlling of the BO's on the ground is nice.. but it also feels.. well.. clunky as well. Ground combat in STO is just "clunky", stubborn, and feels rushed, but still playable. It needs to be improved. If it wasn't for the overall more polished and solid feel of the space combat, this would easily be rated a D- without any remorse.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2
02-20-2010, 08:13 PM
A theme you will start to see in this game by the way.. is that space flat out pulls the otherwise mediocre feeling of the ground game out of the hole to make this game anything but a disaster.

Still with me ladies and gentlemen??

Well here is where the game starts to fail.. and at times fail miserably.

Content:
D+
While I can't rate it as an F.. because some of it is truly cool and makes you think.. "heh", haven't seen that before in an MMO before..." it overall.. well.. sucks. Let me explain why I feel this way......

I'm going to go ahead and throw this out there. This game has some bugs... Well actually let me take that back. This game.. has an atrocious amount of bugs. Okay Okay.. let me put it a bit further. Everyone expects bugs.. especially in an MMO. You can't conquer them all out the gate.. It's never been done.. it probably never will be done. However, with that said. This game has some truly inexcusable bugs that show they didn't even TRY. They range from missions simply not being able to be completed by certain characters for some reason.. (EVER completed that is.. they just won't complete no matter how many times you drop and retake the mission etc.) to a bug at one time that had boarding parties disable your ships for up to an hour. Missions not loading, not completing, weapons not working.. icons disappearing from your action bars everytime you go form land to space.. unreponsive controls. Bugged characters.. Bugged gathering missions.. bugged docking at stationed, bugged landing on planets, bugged away team setups, bugged party problems, bugged everything. This game has some of the worst bugs in a game i've ever seen. It has so many bugs in it.. it gets an F by MMO standards. There are tons more and I've actually been so frustrated with them.. that I have exited out of the game for a day or so.. A note to Cryptic.. I'm a pretty easy going person, and I don't have a bad temper.. but one thing I think EVERYONE can agree with me on is this. If you are asking people to pay for a product. Don't sell it to them broken. When I go to the store and buy a vaccum. I expect it to work. If I get home and it doesn't work as intended. I'm not a happy customer. At least with the damn vaccum, I can take it back and get my money back. People can't do that with software. This is why they are upset. It doesn't matter if they are paying 10 dollars/euros or whatever for the game.. or 50. The principle remains the same. It's called customer loyalty. You guys are a business.. get your #$#@ together. Take the advice.

Here is how nice I am though. I'm not even counting in the bugs and all that as the review for this section of the game. These things can be fixed with relative ease and in no time if you concentrate on them. They are gaming changing and frustrating now, but easy to fix and patch up in the future. Trust me, they are not hard to find. They are as out in the open as the biggest bugs in a game can be. Your game looks like the beginning of a beta stage. Fix it.

Anyhow, so the game is filled with missions. You won't have a shortage of missions or storyline "episods". The storyline episodes range from being actually pretty damn cool.. to flat out suck. Some of them like the guardian of forever, or even the awesome wormhole mission that you get later on are so cool. The hirogen race adds quite a cool mission style to some of the later storyline missions, and same goes for the romulan conspiracy like missions. Some of them however are throwaways. Absent of anything compelling and just grinds to get to the next one. The all also seem to follow a vague storyline and all come together to make the game feel as if something much "bigger" is going on behind it all... Which is a welcome addition to any MMO. I like that, most people like that.. keep going "with that". The patrol missions are okay.. they are bland and lack a lot of story, but at the same time can be a good time killer with some friends for some fun xp and they offer a break from the much more involved storyline episodes. The defend missions are like practice for you ship combat skills but at same time they seem cheap and give way too much XP. They are like.. hmmm I wonder what we can do in here.. we didn't have time to add more episodic content so here... lets do a "deep space encounter" throw some ships at them 9 times, and then repeat the mission 2 more times and BAM quest is done. Oh yea, and make it repeatable because that saves more time from making anything with any depth. They can just XP off those for a level or two... Yea, its like that.. lame, and lazy. The exploration quests and content are laughable. I mean, they suck, they are terrible. I've had more fun surveying planets and looking up rare minerals to fuel the incredible depth of the economy in EvE Online. There is a crafting systems.. but its a joke. It's not really a crafting system. You go around and throughout the game on both ground and space missions you will find different kinds of matter. Anomalies etc. yield "harvestable" goods. You turn these in along with basic item types to upgrade them into better item types. It's boring with next to no tutorial or guidelines and it's more of a guessing game to what you can make next anyhow. It also requires no player involvement with other players for the most part which only further kills the game's feeling of community. The fleet actions range from totally awesome.. as in the best public quests in an MMO so far.. to flat out crap. Most of the space ones are awesome.. (that are not broken). Nobody does the ground ones it seems, but I understand why, it's because they are garbage. Also a big complaint is you are thrown a lot of them from lvls 6-25. Which are totally awesome and fun.. After that level.. There is about.. 4? until you reach max level. 2 of them are boring ground maps that are broken. One is a space map that used to be completed before you would even catch up with fleet. Now apparently it can't be completed at all. There is another one finally at Deep Space Nine!! Oh wait that one is broken too. After you reach the max level.. which is a fast 45 by the way. Like a 2 week 45 playing casually as can be. You will find that there is absolutely nothing to do. No.. not run a cool little mission here or there with a fleet for some cool drops and all that. You have a few they JUST added.. but it will last you know longer than a half day. No No.. there is nothing. For those of you who played Champions.. you complained about nothing to do at endgame... and you are certainly right.. there was nothing. Well.. Welcome to Star Trek Online.. the new LOW when it comes to endgame content. This game has the worst endgame content in the history of MMOs. I think there is more endgame content in Farmville which is an internet browser based game on Facebook.com. I'm perfectly aware, this game has only been out for a few weeks. We all are. However to launch a game with absolutely nothing for when players reach that ridiculously fast max level is flat out insulting to the consumer. The end game content is SO bad people.. that many players are literally cancelling their subscriptions until they release more stuff. That truly means there is NOTHING to do. Which leads right into an argument that many will throw at this.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3
02-20-2010, 08:14 PM
Why not play through as another class? Or better yet! Play as a Klingon now that you have them unlocked???!

Well I shall explain.. first of all playing through the game as another class adds next to no replay value.. Considering all of your quests will be the same, and there will be no difference in really how you play them. You will still be ultimately bored within two weeks again.. Actually about 1 week considering you will have no surprise upon how to complete missions.. even though it walks you through them anyways in the first place. So on to the Klingon Faction then. Or as I should say lack of a faction. First of all you have to unlock the Klingon faction. Which is stupid. In every way it's stupid. I know why they did this too. It's because they didn't have time to put in a seperate tutorial or storyline for this faction... or most anything at all. In fact, i'm not exaggerating... when I say they don't have one.. its not the same as saying: "it's there but it just sucks". No I'm serious. There ACTUALLY isn't either a Tutorial or Storyline. Nothing, nonexistent. NOSHOW. They don't even have one. Their explanation is.. you have to play up to level 6 in Federation. Then you unlock the Klingons as a playable faction. That's just a damn cover up for saying they didn't have time to put anything in. So they make you learn the ropes as a Fed Officer first.. and then just carry over the basic gameplay elements into the other side. Anyhow, the federation side feels about a 1/3 done from what it really should be at launch... The Klingon Faction feels like it was made up in about a month. You have 2 options. You can PvP.. or you can PvP. The only thing you can get out of being a Klingon, is being a Klingon and using the ships. The ships do offer a different playstyle.. which is honestly a welcome addition. But still lack depth. The PvP in Star Trek is actually fun.. but it ultimately doesn't matter. There is no ranking system or any kind of meaningful impact from it at all. No territorial control or anything that makes you feel like you accomplished something. No server kill counter that tells everyone you are one badass Klingon. You join a que.. blow up some ships.. usually which by the way you are waiting for players.. and then wash, rinse, repeat. You get XP.. YAY!! And then you get to spend ponts on yourself and your BO's. Here is some advice, don't waste BO Skill points on any of their ground skills. You will never need them in the games current state. But don't worry, soon Klingon play will include the already mentioned exploration content that federation players have. So now you won't have to blow up other players and "ratting" NPC ships to gain XP. You can go out and explore. And collect samples from asteroids.. and go down to a preset random "dungeon" like map... and gather more samples.. and a kill a few random mobs... and then beam up.. and do the same thing again. WOW. Sounds exciting, and while its welcome.. I feel the exploration could use an overall as well as just sticking it on the other side. The exploration missions do give you badge points by the way.. for federation players and I'm guessing soon Klingon players. They are used to purchase new equipment and stuff so they DO have a purpose. They are just not very well thought out and ultimately feel lame and repetitive.

Anyhow. The only reason I didn't give this section an F is because there is some cool stoyline elements and discovery to be had on the Federation side. Some of the episode style missions can be entertaining and actually worth thinking about. It looks like a good start, but then they just.. didn't finish it.

The ship customization is cool but ultimately I feel it was more of a gimmick. It's always nice to have it in the game, that goes without saying. But it doesn't overall affect gameplay. Also.. when you pick your career and pretty much choose to play a specific role in a ship. Cruiser/Escort/Science Vessel. You will be disappointed to find out that the game lacks a large selection of ships. For each class there are basically 5 ships not including your noob Miranda class. Those different tier ships have 3 variants, but they are PURELY cosmetic. So like I said... Only 5 ships in each class beyond the Miranda starting ship. It's even worse on the Klingon side. (Naturally).

The PVP, missions, Crafting, Ship Count, Almost everything in this game feels like its a "good Start" but not for a full release game. Many people have stated that the game feels half finished. I feel that is giving it way too much credit. This game feels about 1/3 finished.. if THAT. It has the start and basic game design to be so much more.. but just falls flat on its face in almost every category beyond its initial "Good looks". The game has next to NO depth.. not because of its design.. but because it just has NOTHING implemented into it. A crafting system where each class can pick up a trade and make different items according to their classes and add them with others would make the community economy a huge deal. Basically an engineer designs certain things, a science officer designs certain things, and bam you get a cool craftable deflector dish or something. Same with all the items. The game has a Unique ship customization of items and devices that show depth.. but with just no content to back it up. Depending on how you sklll yourself.. your BOs and the equipment on your ship can be nearly unlimited. But it all feels like it doesn't matter in the end.
PVP needs to matter. At least start off with a ranking system much WOW did when it added in ranks. It makes you feel something.. accomplishment to play good and people will know who you are. Later on, add the territory controls or some kind of active PVP in this game that makes a difference in the game.. rather than just a simple activity to do between downtimes or if you are sick of missions. You have based an entire faction of PVP(Klingons) yet have no content in PvP for them to even do. Fix the missions and make more compelling missions on the way up. Increse the difficulty of the game.. because I never felt challenged. You can't LOSE in STO. You only respawn and widdle down your opponents over time. If you are smart and do missions on your rank and lvl.. unless you are AFK you won't lose anyhow.

The game just feels like it passes you by.. and you are constantly feeling like.. Okay time to move on whats next? It's sad.. because a LOT of people and I mean A LOT OF PEOPLE have been waiting for a Star Trek themed MMO. This was there game Cryptic.. Listen to them and make it into something worth playing. In it's current state. The content of this game... or lack of I should say bring this game down so much. It's unfinished and unpolished in almost every area. I know its an MMO and they are alwasy growing and never truly finished.. but you really need something to base that growth on. This game lacks it on so many levels. I enjoyed some of it.. but ultimately it feels flat and stale after two weeks. I have taken breaks on it for days and had no intention of wanting to play it when I get home from work. It has already faded in my interests. I'm sure i'm not the only one who feels this way. I'm also a HUGE Star Trek Fan by the way.


There is so much missing from this review but at the same time.. I'm not trying to scare anyone away from playing it. On a positive note. The current King of Sci Fi MMOs is easily EvE Online.

However, its good to note that game Launched with abysmal reviews including its most reknown 55% in PC Gamer in 2003. Funny thing is.. that game grew into being the most successful Space MMO out there, and by pure profit margins, pretty much second only to WOW... even though it has like.. a 50th of the user base. (somewhere between 50k-100k active accounts) It also funny enough, has had many MMO of the year awards after its initial release in 2003. Including MMO of the year 2009 by guess who! PC Gamer. Ironic huh?

Star Trek Online has some good ideas going for it. But not nearly enough to overcome it's major flaws.. which by the way.. are gamebreaking. Star Trek Online.. We all want to love it.. It's a Star Trek MMO for goodness sake! But even we all have to come to our senses.. snap back to reality and realize.. its not the Star Trek MMO we have been looking for. Yet.

Cryptic, listen to your community. Form this game around them from them for them. You will have a hit. If you don't.. This game will not go far. No more than a few months unless BIG BIG BIG changes are made fast.

Hope this helps.. sorry for the long read!

OVERALL SCORE:

I'm mixed.. I feel its borderline C- quality. I want to give it a D

The gamespot 5.5 or whatever out of 10 review. That's pretty much dead on.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4
02-20-2010, 08:45 PM
Wow! Its a record! Not just one wall of text. Not just two. Three! THREE extremely long walls of text!

Congratulations! Its a new forum record! Woooo!
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5
02-20-2010, 08:59 PM
Very well detailed. I agree with the final verdict
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6
02-20-2010, 09:08 PM
If the game was a Christmas present, it would be a box of Mac-n-cheese wrapped in a very
pretty box with a bow.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7
02-20-2010, 09:15 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by CommanderReed
Wow! Its a record! Not just one wall of text. Not just two. Three! THREE extremely long walls of text!

Congratulations! Its a new forum record! Woooo!
\

yes, yes, a very accurate, wellish put together, voiced multi text wall record
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8
02-21-2010, 06:11 AM
Good and accurate review. Appart from the graphics, there's not much depth in the game. I can see why EVE would sell. It simply "feels" huge. STO (currently) feels like a flat tire.

If I had anything to say, I would remove sector space in the sense that the whole galaxy would be ONE instance. No stupid boxes keeping the population pinned it. I would have all the players in one persistant universe when in space.
That would of course require a redesign of sector space. In my mind it would be simple. Make it much much much larger and make the ships go faster by the same margin.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
02-21-2010, 06:16 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fatherfungus View Post
If the game was a Christmas present, it would be a box of Mac-n-cheese wrapped in a very
pretty box with a bow.
I would LOVE to get a box of mac-n-cheese for Christmas.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
02-21-2010, 06:21 AM
well I disagree with most of this review and Eve might be your king but it bored me to tears, ya the game needs work but I personally have not experianced that many bugs, matter of fact I havn't came across more then a small handfull of bugs, more content and polish will come, game actually brings back memories of DAoCs launch, wasnt much there, but it turned out to be pretty good for awhile...oh well, See ya, enjoy the next big thing or whatever you play.
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