Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 1 Detailed Mission Reviews
04-13-2012, 12:26 PM
With permission given by BranFlakes, I'd like to continue a thread, where I share my experiences playing STO all over again.

I'm going to pretend that I'm a new player, who has no idea that there is a STO novel or a path to 2409 on a third-party website. Rather, I'm going to try to figure out what's going on in the Star Trek universe of 2409 simply by playing STO.

I'm also going to hunt for a good story, while sharing my thoughts about the stories that I experience.

Consider these similar to detailed reviews of Foundry missions. Only this time, we'll be reviewing the Cryptic-made content.

Please tell me if my reviews are fair.

Please also try to appreciate the spirit of this thread. Yes, it's satirical and critical, but, in the end, I hope it's brutally honest in a way that is constructive for Cryptic. The devs appreciate all kinds of feedback, so hopefully these types of reviews will add to their list of feedback for future improvements of the game.

Please Be Civil. If you don't appreciate what I'm doing here, then please ignore me and my threads entirely. Please don't make any comments that will require moderation.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 2 Review #1: The Tutorial
04-13-2012, 12:28 PM
Edit: There are so mistakes here that I got called out on, lol. I'll include it so others can call me out on them.

OK, I'll start off being lazy, because I have a Lt. 1 who played the tutorial last week. I'd probably have more to say if I had played it today, but I'll go from just a few points from memory here.

1. Seriously, the Capt. needs me to go to the bridge to push a button and hail a ship? There are like 6 people on the bridge. I could spend 5 minutes thinking of 20 alternative excuses that would fit. What an incredibly lazy Captain. He can't get off his butt and walk to the console himself? This makes no sense.

2. You just gave me a ship? You just game ME a ship! And I'm a Captain, but still a Ens., but still a Capt... er, I don't understand. Please explain?

3. Wow, these Borg must be tough from what they did to the first ship that I'm on and what they've done to disable all these ships in space.

4. These Borg are easy. Why is everyone having such a hard time killing them? And why can't that doctor walk two feet to scan a patient himself?

5. Holy moly, these Borg are super squishy. What happened to the Borg by 2409 that they are so easy? They are also acting strange. I hope that this will be explained.

6. OK, I just blew up a Borg cube! Yes, a Borg cube, in a Miranda class ship. What is happening to the Borg? Why are they even a threat? How did they get this far? This better be explained at the end of the mission, because none of it makes any sense.

Clearly, the Borg are tough guys. Look at all the damage and destruction... but I just blew up a cube, in my Miranda.

Did someone upload a virus? Did we put a hue in there? What just happened? Seriously, it would take as little as one popup dialogue, explaining that a virus had temporarily weakened the Borg, and that I was super lucky to survive. But, alas, none of it is explained. I'm sorry, but that's not a good story.

Then, cut from Borg invasion to Nimoy telling me about Hobus and the supernovae.

Um... wait a second. Spock, aren't you in the alternate timeline? How did you get back? Will you explain? Am I in JJ Trek or the prime timeline? Spock's here, so it must be JJ... er, wait, no, because... er, I'm confused. What's going on?

What does the Borg invasion have to do with all of this?

OK, so there is my first experience with this game. Am I missing something?

Next up will be Saving the Azura, if I remember.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 3 Review #2: Stranded in Space
04-13-2012, 12:29 PM
Alright, so now we have the gem of a mission called "Stranded in Space." I don't know where to begin, so I'll start at the beginning.

According to Malcolm shipyard guy, Starfleet hasn't received a message from the Azura in 20 hours. My task is to find this missing freighter, which is piloted by a woman who has a Starfleet daddy. So, I exit sector space. Let's see: how to locate a missing ship? Ah, it's on the map. Better yet, it's in the middle of a well trafficked area of space. I see about 12 other ships flying around it. I engage engines and 12 seconds later, I get to hear their message to any ship in range... please... warp core...

Apparently the great mushroom cannot hear the distress signal of a stranded ship that is in the visible distance from ESD. All the other ships ignored it. But, ok, I will rescue you!

When I find the Azura, I discover that it's being attacked by Orions. Ah, Orions. I've always wanted to learn more about that species, since we gained so little info from Trek. This could be very, very interesting. Are the men slaves to the pheromones? I want to know more about the Orions, so this should be fun...

Er, but wait a minute. Game, are your really telling me that Orion pirates can attack a civilian freighter that close to the very center of the Federation itself, in a major area of traffic, when their distress signal should theoretically reach ESD and other Fed ships?

Wow. These Orions are serious risk-takers. There must be really important cargo on the Azura. It's like a suicide mission into the heart of the Federation.

Ok, so here goes. Take that, Orions. Pew pew! I destroyed their ships. I beam down to discover there are boarding parties. Take that, you have nowhere to go. Your ships are dead.

Then I talk to the captain, who has no personality, apart from seeming to be very dedicated her ship and crew, as all are. I want to ask her what she's hauling.

What could be so important that the Orions would do this suicide mission? Please, tell me.

"They wanted my ordinary cargo ship. I won't let them have it.!"

What! Are you serious? /facepalm You're not even carrying valuable cargo or an important person? They just wanted your ship?

ugh... OK, maybe something will redeem this mission. I start to rescue the passengers and more Orions beam in.

Where did they come from? I destroyed their ships. That makes no sense, unless they were hiding in another part of the ship watching their friends die, before they decided to do something about it. UGH. The only explanation: There must be a new Orion ship that just came out of warp and sent an away team.

So I kill them, save the passengers, and a few bad cut scenes later... I get back to space, where I discover: there is not another ship. So where did they beam in from? What's going on? Then new ships arrive. Can the Orions transport while in warp?

Ah, but at least now I finally get to speak to an Orion. Will they reveal something that explains all the plot holes here? Will they also give me an introduction into what Orions are like, as well as their role in this ongoing drama? Who are they allied with? What is their role? Are they complex characters?

"Leave now if you know what's good for you!" End transmission.

sigh. 2 stars.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 4 Review #3: Diplomatic Orders
04-13-2012, 12:30 PM
Now onto "Diplomatic Orders."

When I played this mission the first time, I absolutely hated it, but it's a bit more bearable after the remastering. In fact, I would say that it's one of the better missions in STO. However, that doesn't mean that it is a well-written story. In fact, the story is terrible. Here's why:

Let's see here:

We have a strange and nervous-acting Vulcan Ambassador who is desperate to get to P'Jem. He refuses to say why. He openly admits his discomfort around fellow Vulcans, and you learn that a great change in his personality has occurred. He is emotional, angry, and even aggressive at times. Something is up with this guy and he's just not normal.

But, you agree to take him to P'Jem. It's a sacred place that must be protected from outsiders, and no outsider is trusted more than you to accompany him to P'Jem, especially since all transports of high level ambassadors require a Miranda to protect them when traveling the 12 seconds from Vulcan to P'Jem. Personally, I'd feel a lot safer in a Vulcan ship, if I were the Ambassador.

But, anyways, you find Klingons who tell you: "He is an Undine! Hand him over or we kill you all!"

You ask for evidence, but this is an especially dumb Klingon. He seems to know that you are not willingly and knowingly transporting an Undine to infiltrate the Federation, since he is trying to warn you. He also has some of proof or rumor, or else he wouldn't be there. Remember when Klingons invaded Cardassia Prime? They thought that the civilian coup was sure evidence of changling infiltration. I guess this is a similar case of Klingons acting on their own. However, he doesn't even try to persuade you or tell you what he knows.

He does know that you have mutual interests here. He probably knows that you would work with him, if he at least gave you reason for an investigation. But, you have no reason to suspect the Ambassador is an Undine, right? No reason at all, except for the litany of evidence that already made you suspect him as being up to something. How outrageous are these Klingon lies! Yes, now plug your fingers in your ears and make blurber sounds.

Or, your instincts are probably as follows: "OK, let's work together to figure this out. We don't want Undine infiltration. Let's contact Vulcan and see if they have any advice on how to test him. There are lots of diplomatic solutions here, brave Klingon warrior."

"No, you insult my honor with your rationality!" Yes, he a particularly dumb Klingon who would rather sacrifice 5 ships (containing however many brave warriors), plus at least two dozen brave warriors on the ground, just because you asked a rational question. All in the name of protecting a religious monastery of his foe, the Federation.

A particularly bad Klingon commander if you ask me.

But, after all, you are dealing with a particularly dumb Undine who doesn't try to think of a lie that would pass as a legit reason for going to P'Jem. And, of course, this undercover Undine is openly admitting his alien feelings, while doing everything that he can not to fit in. A particularly dumb Undine who is terrible at his job.

And all the while, there is a particularly dumb Starfleet officer (according to the writer) going through the motions of slaughtering brave Klingon warriors only to have a moment of absolutely unforeseen plot twist: The Ambassador is an Undine! You never saw that coming, you dumb Starfleet captain. Take that ninja plot twist!

So, then you fight the Undine, but realize your ship is no match for a 8472 battleship. What do you mean, I just blew up a Borg cube! Man, the Borg must really be devastated in the Delta Quadrant!

What is the lesson? The Undine were trying to infiltrate P'Jem. Why? Who knows, since the monks on P'Jem live as hermits and don't even use subspace radio. Perhaps this Undine was looking for an isolated spot to attack notable Vulcans, since he obviously could not get access to them as a high-ranking Ambassador on Vulcan! Go figure.

So there we have it: A dumb Klingon, a dumb Undine, and a particularly dumb Starfleet Captain.

But, on a positive note, this mission contains some Memory Alpha research, which shows that the author took some time trying to make it richer than it was. For that, it's one of the better missions. For everything else, it earns a long, drawn out carrying of the idiot ball.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 5 Review #5: Hide and Seek
04-13-2012, 12:31 PM
OK, next up for review: "Hide and Seek."

I was initially excited about this mission, because the grant mission dialogue showed that the game was aware of my adventures with the Undine. It said something like: "In the subspace messages that the Undine sent, there are many mentions of the Paulson Nebula."

First, I don't remember the Undine sending subspace messages in the previous mission. But, let's roll with it. This should be good. Maybe I'll learn more about this Undine infiltrator who is bad at his job, as well as how the Klingons knew that he was an Undine. Set course, Ensign.

Starfleet wants us to find out more about this nebula!

I get to the nebula, and I discover that there is a Starfleet ship under attack by... It must be more Undine! No, sir, It's the Gorn!

Ah, the Gorn. That's interesting. The game's first introduction of the Gorn. The writer has so much room here to expand on canon, create an interesting story about a lesser known Trek villain, and do all kinds of things. This should be interesting. I can't wait to learn more about the Gorn. But, first, let's save the Starfleet ship!

Pew pew. "Hey thanks for saving us. We are the U.S.S Valor, a ship assigned to chart the Paulson nebula and learn more about it."

OK STOP. A message by an Undine who flunked Infiltration Academy contains many mentions of the Paulson nebula. Starfleet wants to know more about this nebula. Starfleets sends my ship, when the U.S.S Valor is assigned to chart the nebula.

/facepalm.

"Ok, hang on," I think. This mission could still get better. It's going to introduce me to the Gorn, right?

"Excuse me, Captain. Yes, this is the Valor again. We're out of dilithium crystals, so we can't go to warp. Can you please fly around the nebula at impulse, gathering dilithium for us, so that we can go to warp later? Otherwise, we'll be sucking vacuum."

/double facepalm.

Ok fine, I'll get dilithium for you, but in the meantime, teach me about this nebula. "Tell me about the Paulson nebula." A: "It has many dangers, including swirling dust clouds that make it difficult to navigate." Next question: "What are the dangers?" A: "There are swirling dust clouds that make it difficult to navigate." Yes, I know that, thanks.

Suddenly, there is a random factoid from Memory Alpha thrown in, something like: "The Enterprise-D hid in the Paulson nebula during the battle of Wolf 359... If the Enterprise could hide from the Borg, then an entire Klingon fleet could be here."

Note to self... this nebula could be hiding an entire fleet of ships, perhaps ready to launch a massive surprise attack on the Federation. Think of the lives lost!

So I gather the Dilithium, since the other Captain appears not to know the difference between warp and impulse. Once done, a Gorn cruiser appears out of nowhere. It doesn't warp in. It just appears, out of nowhere.

"Wow, these Gorn must have cloaking devices. I wonder why he just watched me kill his friends. Meh, maybe he was late to the battle. Pew pew. You die, lizard men. Sure wish I could see what you look like. Yes, I wonder what the Gorn of STO look like. I hope that i get to talk to one soon.

But, back to matters at hand, it turns out that the Gorn are illegally mining dilithium in this nebula. They have a facility on an asteroid and another jamming station. Hmm... yes, that sounds like a treaty violation of some sort. At the very least, it's an unauthorized use of the Federation's resources, in Federation territory. I suppose we should tell them that they've been discovered. Clearly, this is something that diplomats and lawyers need to be aware of. Ensign, hail them.

Ensign? Ensign? Hm... ok, so we must not be in hailing range. I guess my only option is to fly in guns blazing. Alright then, you punks. Steal our dilithium? You have just earned the Federation death penalty. Die! Die! Die!

After killing a new batch of Gorn...

"Captain, we need to beam down spatial charges, but there are people down there. Perhaps we need to send a warning."

/facepalm.

Suddenly, I care about the people. Wow.

I blow up the jamming station, and more Gorn ships appear out of nowhere, followed by another ship that appears out of nowhere. Their cloaking technology is good, but why aren't they all attacking me together? But I kill, kill, kill. pew pew.

"Congrats, captain. You've beamed up the crystals and improved engine performance by 4.7 %." Really, is that all I get for that body count? Don't make me start executing engineers!

Anyways, I eventually discover more ships to kill and objects to scan, one of which is a satellite. Wow, how did that satellite drift to the middle of a planet-less nebula? Is it ancient? Is it special? No, it's just random space junk in the middle of a nebula. I have to scan it. I don't know why a ship was protecting it. Nothing to see, here. Move along.

Suddenly, I get closer to the sensor range of what looks like an enormous fleet of "enemies." It must be a fleet. I have to warn Starfleet! Think of the death toll!

Ensign? Ensign? No, I can't contact Starfleet. My only option is to fly right into sensor range, where my tiny Miranda will be detected. Yes, this is very smart. Thank you for not objecting, First Officer. Let's fly right into the fleet. After all, this little ship destroyed a Borg cube, remember!

Ah, darn. It's just a bunch of mines. I cut a hole through the mines, and navigate inside of the minefield, in order to scan the asteroid. After scanning, my BO says: "Captain, I recommend that we punch a hole through the minefield to beam down to the asteroid mining complex."

In big, green text: "Infiltrate the Minefield." I already had to do that to trigger that dialogue prompt.

/triple facepalm. Um, hello Cryptic dev, whoever made this mission. Did you playtest your mission? Seriously, this is inexcusable from a QA perspective. What happened? Did you move objectives and dialogues around and just not care to fix? It's like if a Foundry author told a player: Open the door. After the player opens the door, the BO says: "Captain, I recommend that we open the door."

Wow. I have to just stop thinking now, as if there is anything that will redeem this arcade shoot em' up mission that doesn't have anything even remotely resembling a story, let alone a well-written story or an interesting character introduction to the Gorn.

Pew pew pew. Story gets 1 star.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 6 Review #6: Outreach
04-13-2012, 12:32 PM
Next up is a mission called "Outreach."

When I saw the description for this mission, I got really excited. The grant dialog prompt is well-written, and it's the first mission I've seen in the game that sounds like it will be non-combat diplomacy. Admiral Quinn tells me to help the Federation spread humanitarian aid in various sectors. He says that he's seen the program save lives.

"Wow, Quinn had a personal experience," I think. This is the first time in the game that he almost comes close to having a personality.

"Alright, Admiral! I'm jazzed." He tells me to find a broker on ESD. Why I need to go to broker to get medical supplies, provisions, and shield generators is not explained. Can't I replicate some of this stuff? Shouldn't I have some of this stuff already? This seems very strange to me. But, let's go find this salesmen.

I find him on ESD, and he's a very nice guy. He tells me that different sectors of space contain both known and unknown worlds. All of these worlds in a specific sector need medical supplies, provisions, and shield generators. "How does he know what unknown worlds need?" I wonder. Maybe that just means that known worlds needs these 3 specific things.

"That's very strange," I think. I want to ask him how so many planets in one particular region of space have such similar needs.

Anyways, he tells me what I need and where to go. But, he doesn't sell them to me. He is a broker with no commodities of his own. Luckily, I find a dealer right next to him, willing to sell me the goods.

This is my first experience with a vendor in STO, after completing the tutorial and playing missions in the order that they pop up aggressively in my face. I found this exciting mission by taking a break from that aggressive spam.

Unfortunately, the vendor is asking me for "energy credits" and I don't have any. Luckily, I secretly know what to do here, so I sell off my inventory and buy a ton of medical supplies, provisions, and shield generators. I can't wait to show that I'm a "shining example" of Starfleet, as the mission suggested.

Alright, so I have the commodities, and I set off to help people. It confuses me that somehow I've completed this mission without delivering the goods. No worries, I think. I'm eager to help folks. I enter the region of "known and unknown" worlds. "It's very strange," I think, "that a large region of mostly unexplored space is literally right next to the Sol system. Does the game explain this? No. Apparently, the human urge to explore the cosmos doesn't go in a SW direction, according to the galaxy map.

It also confuses me that I see no systems. There are just anomalies, and my ship sensors cannot tell the difference between an anomaly and an "unknown system" until I get within 3 light years of the anomalies.

"Explore Unknown System" - Alright, let's go... kill Orions. "We are the most feared warriors!" pew pew pew. What are they doing here? I don't know. Illegal mining? I don't know. 20 minutes of story-less combat. Nothing to see here.

OK, next up: "Explore Unknown System" - Will I find the planets in need? No. Instead this unknown system contains an asteroid field. I get hailed by "local authorities" who ask me to scan some ships in the asteroid field, since they've disappeared. Who are these unknown people who know about the Federation and Klingons, but seem to lack their own ability to fly out to a nearby asteroid and look for missing ships?

What's the story? I scan 5 ships to confirm that it was Klingon weapons fire. Why did they attack? There is no explanation. The closest thing to a story is the fact that this unknown, but knowing society seems to have some tension between the civilian and military leadership. Interesting, but where are people in need?

Next up: "Explore Unknown System" My BO immediately tells me about a scientific outpost in this system, and no one has heard from them in many weeks. My BO knows a lot of information about this unknown system, which is known by Federation scientists. They have an underground research facility, which consists of exactly 5 computer consoles in a confusing system of caves. We beam down to scan one computer, and then another, and then another, and then another. Why do they not have internet?

What's the story? There isn't much of one. The scientists were debating about the implications of their discovery. What was the debate? I don't know. The only thing that I know is that they tried to escape some kind of seismic event by storing themselves in a transporter.

There is no transporter on the map, just 5 computer consoles. Their signals have been lost. Oh well, time to help those people in need.

"Explore Unknown System" My BO immediately tells me that "our orders are to investigate" a scientific research outpost, where Federation scientists killed each other for unknown reasons. I want to tell my BO that those are not our orders! But, OK, that sounds interesting. It's a mystery and no one has the slightest clue what could cause scientists to kill each other in fits of emotional rage.

I beam down to find that I am to scan exactly 5/5 computers to get the needed information. The first computer tells me that they were doing experimental research in powerful pheromones. And, yes, the brightest minds of the Federation have no idea what happened here.

Yawn. 1.5 hours of my life wasted. I can't find a planet in need, and I can't find a decent story. I'm now concluding that an entire of region of space, right next to the Sol system, contains dozens or more throw-away stories that are not stories at all.

This mission called "Outreach" gets 1 star.

What started out with a good premise failed miserably. 5 missions into the game, I still have no clue about what's going on.

But, let's recap:

I somehow destroyed a Borg cube in my Miranda, and I don't know how I did that.
I was instantly given my own ship without much of an explanation.
I saved a ship from Orions, after barely escaping the plot holes.
I discovered that the Undine are very bad at their jobs.
I discovered nothing except "Hide and Seek" was a terrible mission.
And, now I know that an entire region of unknown systems are really known systems, with maps that are not worthy of a foundry review.


Oh yeah, and now I have cargo bays full of medical supplies, provisions, and shield generators. I'll have to sell them to a Ferengi because I'm not going to randomly search for people who need my help. Hopefully, in the future, they will be smart enough to send me a message and tell me where they are located.

Alright, let's see what's next in my adventure to find a good story and discover what's going on in the Trek universe of 2409.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 7 Review #6: Stop the Signal
04-13-2012, 12:33 PM
Next up for review is "Stop the Signal."

Quinn tells me that Starfleet has detected a "signal repeater," which indicates that there might be a listening post. "Can we count on you to keep Starfleet communications safe?" he asks.

Sure thing, Admiral. I don't want to disappoint you since you give me presents for doing my duty. I am to go to the Bomari system. Along the way, I pass 4 Klingon ships/signals in sector space.

As I approach the Bomari system, I take a look at the system description. which says that maneuvering near the asteroids is very dangerous. Upon entering the system, my BO says, "Captain, I recommend that we maneuver near the asteroids. It may make us invisible to their sensors."

"Isn't it dangerous?" I want to ask. My BO stares back at me with lifeless eyes.

But, she recommends that we proceed with caution because enemy ships are known to be in this area. Yes, they seem to be everywhere as well. OK, let's go.

I fly as close to the asteroids as possible, but it doesn't make me invisible. It's also not dangerous.

My BO tells me that the listening post is protected by "a Klingon transporter disruption field," which is also powered by 4 "transporter disruptors." I'll be the first to admit that I'm terrible with technobabble, but something seems awkward there. Isn't the correct term a dampening field or something like that? Anyways, that isn't a big deal.

It's a little hard to escape the feeling that my BO is just ordering me around from this point on. I know what I'm supposed to do. The Admiral told me to take it out, beam down, and destroy the facility with spatial charges. But, that doesn't stop my BO from giving me "recommendations" at every turn.

I'm excited. This is the second time I'm meeting the Klingons, and I'm curious about the war, how it's going, what started it, etc. I wonder how STO will flesh out the Klingons.

Unfortunately, they don't even hail me, and I don't hail them. I destroy their "transporter disruptors" and beam down to plant the spatial charges. "Sir I recommend that we plant the spatial charges." There are exactly 5 of 5 places to plant the spatial charges. There are also mobs of very weak Klingons.

I'm still using the sniper rifle from the tutorial, and I haven't paid any attention to my skills or equipment. I'm killing them with 1 or 2 shots max. It also amazes me how one group of Klingons can just stand in the corner of a room and watch their fellow warriors get slaughtered. They don't run to help. They don't even seem angry about it.

Anyways, I pew pew pwe (oops, Freudian slip) and then upload the intel from the computer. Wow, this should give me some info on the war and the Klingons, right? I wonder how the Klingons are breaking our codes.

Suddenly, there is an ambush. A group of Klingons beam in and attack me.

Did they try to lock onto the spatial charges and beam those out? No. They sent a mob to kill me instead. I quickly kill them, when suddenly an Undine appears.

The Undine! Where did he come from? What is their role in this listening station? Have they also infiltrated the Klingons? Who did they just beam up? They beamed up "someone." Was it one of my BOs? Quick head count, and the answer is no. OK, so they must have beamed up a Klingon. Or, wait, did I just see a Klingon turn into an Undine to escape?

Yes, that must be it. I want to warn the Klingons like they tried to warn me, but I can't. Instead, I continue to fight a Klingon ship in space, while I'm searching the map for the Undine ship.

Pew pew pwe, kaboom. My BO tells me that a Klingon fleet is fighting the Undine ship on a different map, and an unnecessary map transition occurs. My BO then gives me pseudo-orders to join in the fight.

Sure thing. I really want to know what's going on. We destroy the ship together, and the Klingon hails. Finally, some answers...

"In honor of your actions against the Undine we will not destroy you... today."

End mission.

Hmm... 2.5 stars.

I hope that suggestions for revisions are implicit in this review.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 8 Review #6: Researcher Rescue
04-13-2012, 12:34 PM
We now move on to review ďResearcher Rescue,Ē which is the next mission that spams me after completing ďStop the Signal.Ē Letís see how the writing starts:

ďStarfleet has lost contact with the Federation science station in the Kassae system of the Kassae sector of the Regulus sector blockÖ Proceed to the Kassae system of the Kassae sector of the Regulus sector block.

Itís almost like there is a minimum word count for this mission.

Anyways, itís an interesting premise. A scientific research outpost goes dark. This has been a hallmark of much SF. Iím especially fond the 1950s version of The Thing, where some of these scientists are butting heads with the military-minded elements who just want to kill it. Maybe there is something comparable to ďThe Devil in the DarkĒ here. Poor, misunderstood brain-sucker, do you have a soul?

Letís see whatís happening. This is my first venture into the Regulus sector. I hear Nimoy! Finally, Nimoy will tell me more about the plot of this game. He mentions the war with the Klingons, but doesnít mention how it started. He says that many are afraid to travel in this sector due to the Klingons. No offense, Mr. Spock, but so far they are squishy. In my list of enemies, Iím most scared of those Undine ships. It takes a fleet of ships to kill an Undine ship. Honestly, I am now the least scared of the Klingons and the Borg. Bring on the Borg anytime! My Miranda will crush them!

OK, I get to the Kassae system and I read about it. According to the system description in sector space, starships should adjust their communications systems to compensate for large amounts of metreon isotopes. Duly noted. I also find out more about the science team stationed there: they are archaeologists studying underground ruins that may be linked to an ancient common ancestor of the Gorn and the Saurians.

Now my hopes are very high. This could be best mission that Iíve played so far. An interesting setup and I might learn something that relates to Trek canon, history, and species. I expect to learn something about the Gorn. I wonder, what if there are elements of Gorn or Saurian societies that refuse to accept this science of evolution as fact. Think of the possibilities to explore Gorn or Saurian religious beliefs. All of it could so easily be related to issues of today, in a way that Trek does best.

Engage! This is going to be awesome! Letís begin this mission!

Ah, there are the Gorn, just like I thought. I bet that theyíve come to destroy the research, since they refuse to accept the science. Letís see how this turns out.

Well, the Gorn are sure aggressive. Itís like we are at war with them and the Klingons too. I wonder if the Gorn and the Klingons work together. Yes, there seems to be evidence of that from the ďHide and SeekĒ mission. Then again, the game hasnít explained that. Should I know that the Gorn are part of the Klingon Empire? Itís hard to judge that based on two episodes of Star Trek that featured the Gorn.

Pew Pew. Kaboom. Turns out the Gorn have damaged the satellite. My BO is now attempting to contact the surface. Heís having no luck. I want to tell him to adjust communications system to compensate for Metreon isotopes, but that is not an option. What is with my BOs not reading the system descriptions? I wonder if there is a way to train them to do that.

Wow, an npc just stopped what she was doing and ran to me. Iím used to them standing around. Thatís cool.

She confirms that the Gorn have destroyed and stolen her research. There is no doubt in my mind that they want to destroy the science. That must be their motive. Creationist Gorns!

What follows is interesting and well-written info on the ancient race. Why did the Gorn attack? The scientist believes that itís due to their long memories of thinking that they own this planet. Also, she thinks that itís due to their alliance with the Klingons. I want to suggest that it probably has more to do with the evidence of a common ancestor between the Gorn and the Saurians, as told to me by the system description.

But, ah ha, the Gorns are allied with the Klingons. Thanks for telling me, random civilian scientist. My admiral doesnít share that type of information with me. Thank you, Iíll happily rescue your scientists now.

I start putting out fires and rescuing scientists. An option to ďtalk to scientistĒ results in a beam out. Thatís strange. I would suggest using an invisible object so that you can give my player talk animations. Also, why is every enemy group just standing there waiting for me to shoot them? Turn on wander settings in your dev Foundry.

Oh yeah, and could something besides the concrete floor be burning? Maybe put some wood down, if you have some wooden assets.

Back to the mission: I rescue the researchers and my BO tells me that there are more at the dig site on Kassae IV. She canít contact them. ďDid you adjust communications to compensate for Metreon isotopes?Ē I want to ask. That is not an option.

So I go to Kassae IV, kill lots of Gorn, beam back to the ship and have my very first dialogue with a Gorn. He says, ďYou are meddling in affairs that you do not understand. This system was home to our ancestors! It belongs to the Gorn by ties of blood and conquest.Ē

Ugh. Really? There was so much opportunity here for an interesting story. Instead, they just want territory back? Then why did they steal the evidence and try to destroy the science? Ugh. Really? He calls Starfleet grave robbers. We disturbed hallowed ground.

Well, at least that is something that Iíve learned about the Gorn. They respect their ancestors and burial traditions. Thatís interesting. But what does he think of the connection with Saurians? I donít know. The mission doesnít explain.

Sigh, now I get to kill them all. The researchers want to stay and clean up the mess. See you later.

Uber Ugh, so much potential here for a good story. Great maps. Great environment. Great effects. Bland and cautious story about the Gorn that barely does anything to make them more than 2D characters.

I feel utterly depressed now about what else this game has in store for me.

If this were a foundry mission, Iíd give it 5 stars for the sets and effects. The story by itself gets 3 stars. At least it held my interest before it destroyed its own potential.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 9
04-13-2012, 12:38 PM
I still don't think your reviews are fair, for the reasons I gave in the other threads. I don't see the need to rehash them all, but the common issue is an unwillingness to accept not knowing everything.

You also seem to miss details, such as the ship being on battle stations, a heavy jamming environment and other Boff trying to compensate for that and failing to do so, whereas your character does (apparently) have the necessary skill in that particular field.

And you have repeated that oversight despite having been called out on it in one of the prior threads.

As humor or satire your reviews are great, but as actual reviews, not so much.

No offense.
Lt. Commander
Join Date: Dec 2007
Posts: 120
# 10
04-13-2012, 12:43 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by kimmera
I still don't think your reviews are fair, for the reasons I gave in the other threads. I don't see the need to rehash them all, but the common issue is an unwillingness to accept not knowing everything.

You also seem to miss details, such as the ship being on battle stations, a heavy jamming environment and other Boff trying to compensate for that and failing to do so, whereas your character does (apparently) have the necessary skill in that particular field.

And you have repeated that oversight despite having been called out on it in one of the prior threads.

As humor or satire your reviews are great, but as actual reviews, not so much.

No offense.
Thank you for your feedback. Please ignore me and this thread. I'd like to continue adding more reviews to my list.
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