I'm all installed from Steam and ready to give this game a try tonight. It finished patching this morning before work. I've been in kinda an MMO rut recently. Came back from a long internet hiatus and tried jumping into something I"ve played before, WoW. But it's not sitting well. I downloaded Eden Eternal and Aika Online and I'm not feeling them right now either.
I was deciding between this and Argo and while I wouldn't consider myself a "Trekie" I do enjoy watching Star Trek shows, my favorite series being Deep Space Nine.
Not sure what field I will specialize in. While I don't role play persay. I do what I call semi-role play. I try and portray my character with traits or decisions I may do in real life. I typically just try and immerse myself in the game world of the MMO I play.
Maybe you could help pinpoint my proper path? Lets see in real life my education, I have a degree in Computer Electronics Engineering. So one would think I could choose the engineering path. However I'd say my passion lies more in the sciences. In real life I always really wanted to be an Astronomer or Marine Biologist, I love and become immersed in documentaries about universe discoveries and such. So maybe I should be a Science Officer? However I should probably factor in how i like to play my games. I still really don't know how STO plays gameplay wise, but in MMOs like WoW, LoTRO, RIFT. I tend to stick to myself, solo most of my time in the game. I enjoy PVP more so than raiding (open world pvp most, and battlegrounds, I don't really care for arena). So I'll probably enjoy playing something that is more able to be independent.
tacs do more damage, engineering does more defence and turrets and shield 'pets', science is more debuffs and healing.
as its your first run though id suggest tactical or engineering as being easier. science can be a bit harder. you may also want to factor in what type of ship you prefer.
ie escorts, cruisers or science ships. its best to match up your career with the ship you prefer. if you ultimately want to fly a defiant, go tac, if you want to fly a galaxy class then go engineering. (you can still be a tac in a cruiser, or a science in an escort but you might not find they fit as well, at least until you know what you are doing)
there is no wrong answer, so dont worry.
levelling is quite fast so even if you make a mistake its easy to start again or to make a new alt and have two different types.
- Science, Engineering and Tactical are a bit more functional/mechanical than story driven. So you could choose any of the three, and still semi-roleplay it to fit yourself.
This game is raiding light.
It's also PvP light. But there is a dedicated PvP community and if you enjoy PvP you should give it a try.
Role playing and PvP might end up at odds, due to you needing certain builds, setups, ships, etc. to be successful in PvP. Also, a dedicated PvP team helps you do better at it than being a lone wolf. I think the last time lone wolf and PUG PvPing was enjoyable in this game was late 2010.
That being said, you can pretty much go a long way in this game as a lone wolf, in terms of story, content consumption, etc.
I lone wolfed my way to max level in under 3 weeks.
But then I got myself a team and rerolled a new character and slowly enjoying team missions all the way up.
Playing all the episode content in a group changes things totally because each single mission becomes an epic task force battle requiring strategy and tactics. As aforesaid, tactics and loadout changes a lot once you work as a team. It's not just about damage per second and with so many enemies around, on higher difficulties you cannot sit still but must maneuver actively to try and gain local space superiority before the enemy starts swarming and taking down your friends.
So one would think I could choose the engineering path. However I'd say my passion lies more in the sciences.
You can mix classes somewhat. A science captain my pilot an engineer's cruiser or vice versa. As far as gameplay differences between the classes, science ships and officers focus on healing and crowd control. Engineering ships and officers are tanks -- every battle is long, but you win if you survive. You can change your ship anytime, but your career path is fixed for your character.
I guess the question is do you expect to team up with other players often or are you a solo gamer? A science class is meant to team. The only missions this game forces you to team up for are the end-game missions, by which point many players start over with a new character anyway.
Tactical captains are very straight-forward, especially with a couple of Tac Bridge Officers in the away team - they buff themselves up and do impressive damage. Engineering is a slower, more conservative path; making the most of your abilities requires some setup time before each fight. (One successful build for an Eng captain has you and your BOs setting up a forest of turrets and standing back behind a force field while they blast your foes to vapor.) Science is all about holds and debuffs, making the enemy weak and easy to kill. It's faster now than it used to be, but still slow compared to Tac play; you nerf and freeze your foes and then plink away at them.
All three solo well (as I can attest, having leveled all three to the cap), to the point where some actually complain (and others praise) that it's a "massively multiplayer" game where you hardly ever have to team with other people; but as you can probably see, the consensus is that Tac and Eng solo better.