The voice actor quality is pretty much the same as in my first review of "Second Wave". No worse or better. So I wont go over that again. On to the "social zone".
Bajor: Hathon. I generally love social zones, heck any new zone I generally like, because for nothing else, its new. Hathon however really pushed that for me. I will say the obvious work and detail were not lost on me. Hathon was a beautiful city. The architecture, the people, everything pretty much was Bajor. It was wonderful in that aspect and I really can't think of anything to complain about.
The Episode however was less perfect. From the start I did notice a lack of the voice actors we saw in the previous episode. This is disappointing. While the quality was less than perfect I believe it still added to the immersion effect of the episode. An effect which was notably missed in this one.
The missions were numerous, too numerous. Right from the start they have you running here and there and everywhere. Practically none of the contacts are near the others and they all seem to want to you do something nowhere near where they are. This cause you to spend an enormous amount of time just running from location to location. While some may enjoy this, I found this boring and eventual tedious.
I will admit I have only done this so far on my Fed engineer so I can only comment on that aspect of it currently.
Starfleet: Aggressive Assimilation: A Time sink mission, run here there and everywhere and quiet down some Klingons. While not horrible, it really isn't anything to write home about and is optional.
Engineer: "Help setup the Base" mission. Annoying hardly scratches the surface of this. Out of 16 possible pieces of equipment to repair in Operations, the same ones over and over seem to be in need of repair. This in itself isn't horrible, but the respawn of icon to fix the equipment isn't particularly fast and the equipment is located in 2 different rooms, often requiring you to run from one room to another to find the one you can actually fix at the moment. Now add in the enormous amount of people doing it after launch and what has the potential to be a standard click mission drags on and on. I wish I could say this was unique however now add to it that you have to do the same thing in the Infirmary and in Starfleet Command with the exact same problems. This mission was a large time sink. I am pretty confident that when its no longer new it will probably be a bit easier since not everyone will be competing for the same 3ish object in each area.
A note here, in this episode the developers seemed to go with the "choose your own adventure" mentality. I'm not sure if I really like that or not. So I wont really comment too much on it. But to do all the content you will need to do the mission at least twice.
Back to standard Missions.
Combat training mission. Ground Segment - Nice, but it was disappointing that of the 4 offered you can only do 2 of them per run. The Changling was an excellent fight and I like how they have changed it to make use of its unique physiology . Great job!
The Jem'Hadar wasn't particularly challenging but not bad. Definitely could have been more challenging.
Space Segment - I was a bit let down on the Capital Ships. The first one was fun, the next class up I don't understand why the developers thought you needed another ship to beat a battleship. Then 5 additional to beat the dreadnought. Personally I think 3 additional would have been acceptable. 5 just made it too easy.
The Small Craft, again I thought the difficulty could have been raised a bit.
Next set you only need to do one of these.
Occupation Overreaction. I enjoyed this one. I think taking to and listening to the protestor was actually well done, it definitely isn't a just click dialog mission and really requires a bit of reading. I was a tiny bit disappointed that I couldn't use diplomacy like I did in the previous episode conference scene, but not much.
Religious Requirement, was just a standard run and click mission and nothing special. I think many may do this so thinking it quicker, but I think it adds to the running all around problem and makes the episode seem longer.
Petition the Prophets. As I have stated before I love movies and having an "orb" experience was very nice and very much Bajorian. 2 thumbs up!
Soil Saver. Puzzle quest. you have to do everything pretty much right or start over. This isn't a particularly hard mission but can be frustrating to people who don't like puzzles. I think this one was just right in complexity and length.
Back to standard missions.
Gather Intelligence mission and submission Subspace Spyworks. Cute but unnecessary. The Episode is already at this point feeling long and these just make it drag out even more. I really feel these could have been removed without affecting the story.
Finally we make contact with DS9. This time a sort-of interactive movie where you influence what happens to a small degree depending on the topic chosen. Thus ending this episode.
Overall I am disappointed with this Episode. It is filled with the types of missions I enjoy the least. Puzzle, Talk, and clicks. There is very little combat and what combat there is, is brief and pretty quick. The type of missions definitely makes this mission take much longer than the previous episode and makes me sort of dread doing it on other characters.
This in turn has tainted my view of the zone to a degree as I now relate the zone to the time sink which is the episode. I am confident that will eventually wear off but initial impressions are the most important ones in my opinion.
It occurs to me that the quality of episodes would be dramatically improved if they were to include segments where you have to complete missions on the level and scale of an STF.
Except that would get the panties of the solo players caught up in a bunch, they'd scream "ELITIST! ELITIST!" Plus I don't think Cryptic would do that anyway. Hell, when word went out that the Odyssey would become available for a special event, the rumor was that it would require a Fleet Action. It didn't. It ended up being soloable, just like most of the game.
Honestly, compared to the first one, this one at least had abit less bugs then the previous one.
Granted I agree, it feels long, but a few of the little tidbits was nice.. and I liked the semi interactive Video sequence (A shame they couldn't have just left the Option buttons up above the video sequence screen and been abit more fluid)
All in all it wasn't horrible. Just long and drawn out as more of a "Welcome to Bajor" then a 2nd mission.
I actually really liked this episode, it wasnt just another, add some story and then add epic combat to make up for it.
However I also felt it was a bit too long. What it should have been is at the very beginning you get a mission to do, lets say 4 tasks, out of all the ones they had available. It would be fewer then what you currently had to do but you can choose any 4 that you wanted. It would make the mission less tedious and at the same time not require any loss to what we have, because I liked everything you had to do, its just by the end I was just wishing it was over.
I liked it pretty much. Yes, a bit too long, but it was some actual story, and it some thinking involved, even if at a low level. I liked the way the gardening sub-mission was set up, I liked the holodeck sequences, and the Changeling was iinteresting - and I say that despite of my dislike for ground combat. (Of course, being wounded and having your ship damaged by a holodeck mission played on level Advanced does not really make sense... I wonder if that can be fixed.)
The lack of translation will be a problem to non-English speaking people, but I guess this will be resolved given time.
This didn't feel like a featured episode. It felt like the tutorial missions we got when they added the new First City. The story isn't really progressed, and the timing doesn't seem to make sense. Have we been sitting around on our hands for a while after DS9 was taken over? Because it seems so. I mean enough time has passed that we've had time to set up a base, have bajorans get angry, and for Hadron to mention the Vorta coming in often.
And then there's the missions. I don't mind little side quests like these, if they're not required for the main quest. Adjusting soil PH, reading bajoran religious texts, quelling a disgruntled old man with logic, their all fun and interesting things to do, but I don't want to have to do them to get to the next bit of story, I especially don't want to have to do MANY of them to get to the next story.
And then there is 'the story' Which consists of us beaming down, learning that we've been sitting around for at least a week if not longer while clearly having superior technology on our side, and having the ability to assault the Dominion forces where they have no chance for backup thus giving us the tactical advantage. And after we learn that we... do fetch quests befitting a cadet. And after that we... don't do much of anything We have an unnecessary conversation with Hadron, and then finally Loris, or however he name is spelled, and the story progresses non. We're still at the same point we were at the end of Second Wave. Only this time, we have fewer bugs in the mission.
I was expecting a great deal from this featured series. It's our first new story content in 12 months. To date, I'm sorely disappointed.
And then there is 'the story' Which consists of us beaming down, learning that we've been sitting around for at least a week if not longer while clearly having superior technology on our side,
I was given the impression that until yesterday's episode, we had not known that we have a clear technological advantage, and we were thinking it was actually the present-day Dominion attacking us. In such a situation, attacking immediately would have been... not smart. Even if you ignore the fact that we have other things to deal with, like, the Borg.
and having the ability to assault the Dominion forces where they have no chance for backup thus giving us the tactical advantage. And after we learn that we... do fetch quests befitting a cadet.
Well, yes, but 1) this is not new in STO and 2) the mission is actually for level 10, not for Level 50.
And after that we... don't do much of anything We have an unnecessary conversation with Hadron, and then finally Loris, or however he name is spelled, and the story progresses non. We're still at the same point we were at the end of Second Wave. Only this time, we have fewer bugs in the mission.
Well, we now "officially" know that these ships are the 2800 that were lost 40 years ago.