A thoughtful and personal exploration of games

For the Love of a Good Ship – Star Trek Online

This past weekend I’ve been playing a lot of Star Trek Online. It’s strange though. A lot of what I’m doing is highly repetitive, so why do I continue to play? Why haven’t I gotten bored yet?

Well, I think it’s in part to something that happened Thursday. You see, they released the Assault Cruiser Refit in the store and I couldn’t help myself, I had to have it. So, my beloved Iowa has received a refit. A change in appearance and a slight change in abilities.

After a period of adjustment, I’m settling into the new Iowa with gusto. She’s lovely to look at and sometimes I just stare at her. Weird, huh? Here, have a picture:

That’s the newly refit Iowa sitting in front of our fleet starbase. As of this weekend, we’ve finally started in (and in some cases have completed) some upgrade projects. Right now, the Starbase itself is undergoing an upgrade to Tier 1, the Shipyard was finished a couple of days ago, and the Communications Array is already queued up for construction after the Starbase finishes. Things are finally moving along, but I’ve talked with my fleet mates and we’re going to be taking a break to recoup our resources after everything is Tier 1. We’ve contributed a lot of duty officers to the starbase projects and we’re all running low. Also, we need time to build up more dilithium and credits.

Ahem, as I was saying…

The Iowa has some new systems I’d like to share. She currently is using a new Wide Angle Quantum Torpedo Launcher that gives her a 180 degree field of fire with that weapon system (as opposed to the 90 degrees all torpedo launchers normally have). While this launcher does less damage per shot compared to all my other torpedo launchers, because I’m able to sustain fire over a larger arc, it’s well compensated.

Further, the Iowa now has access to Metreon Gas Canisters. This allows me to replicate the Riker Maneuver from Star Trek: Insurrection. Essentially I vent highly explosive gasses from my nacelles and fire into them, causing a large area of space to detonate over a period of time. It’s exceptionally useful against smaller craft like frigates, but I’ve been using it from time to time on unshielded cruisers. It’s very helpful in group maps.

I don’t remember if I’ve mentioned it, but I also have something called a Subspace Jumper. It allows me to fold space and teleport to a spot 3 kilometers behind an enemy. I can activate this ability from up to 10 kilometers away. I use this more often when it’s just me on a map fighting enemies. I tend to use this on solo maps.

With regards to the Iowa Doctrine, I’ve decided that while the ship is no longer horizontally slender, since space allows for three-dimensional combat, vertical size can easily meet the goal of being narrow enough to fit in tight places. Admittedly, I can’t turn my ship sideways (the game doesn’t allow for much more than a 60-75 degree bank while turning) but I really like the Regent design and I’m willing to compromise. Also, the Iowa Doctrine doesn’t really matter in space, but it’s a fun thing to consider. Therefore, the Iowa is really flat. Let’s see if I have a good picture to illustrate this…

I didn’t crank up the graphics for this shot, but there you go. Gone are the reinforced appearances provided by the Imperial-class components and the armored nacelles from the Noble-class. She’s sleek, slender, oh, and the hull is white. She dives into combat and dishes out a serious pounding to her enemies.

Mechanically speaking, I’ve replaced a couple of skills. The refit swaps the Lieutenant Commander Engineer and Lieutenant Tactical Bridge Officer slots, so I’m no longer fielding a second Engineering Team III and I’ve picked up Beam Array: Overload III. I’ve also shifted some skills around, so I’m using Beam Array: Fire At Will I, Torpedo: High Yield II, and Tactical Team I. I’ve replaced Emergency Power to the Shields II with Auxiliary Power to the Structural Integrity Field I and I’ve replaced Emergency Power to the Engines I with Emergency Power to the Shields I. Thus far, everything is working out really well. Oh! If I use both Polarize Hull I and Aux to the SIF I, I can get 48.9% damage resistance against most damage types. It’s a very useful combination!

I’m very proud of my Iowa. She’s a beautiful ship and I love seeing her in action. I think that’s why I’m far from bored with Star Trek Online. I’ll be taking a break from the game soon to keep from burning out, but in the meantime, I’m going to keep flying.

Until next time!

– Elorfin

P.S. This exchange from Star Trek: The Next Generation is quite funny.

Paul Rice: Tell me about your ship – the Enterprise, isn’t it?
William T. Riker: No… The name of my ship is the Lollipop.
Paul Rice: I have no knowledge of that ship.
William T. Riker: It’s just been commissioned. It’s a good ship.

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