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Fun and Frustration in Star Trek Online

I’ve been playing a lot of Star Trek Online recently. In fact, I’ve played more in the last couple weeks than I played in the previous couple years. The Risa Summer Festival is what got me back in, because I wanted a nice new ship (and it is a nice Escort class ship), but the recent release of Agents of Yesterday also brought me back in. This is a terrific way for the game to tie into the Star Trek 50th anniversary and to have our characters run around in 23rd century uniforms, including the short skirts for the female characters. It also added voice talent from wonderful Star Trek actor Walter Koenig, as well as Christopher Doohan and Vic Mignogna from Star Trek Continues. They also had some Leonard Nimoy voice acting, presumably from the game’s launch when he played a major role, so Spock was present too.

So I started a 23rd century character and progressed through the time travel story. It was fun, but the bugs were a little frustrating. Many times, a mission would end, but the next mission wouldn’t start, so I had to search for available missions to continue the story. Since I’ve been playing Star Trek Online since the beta, I know to how to do this, but a newbie that joined casually would be stuck and frustrated, which may lead them to quit the game. These tutorial areas need to flow better to keep people engaged.

Once my new character finished the timeline missions (i.e., the tutorial), she was unceremoniously dumped into the STO main universe and timeline to do the same old missions all my other Federation characters have done (boring). So then I jumped to a level 50 Vice Admiral to see what other time travel mission are available. I did those missions (in my fancy new ship I got from Risa), and it was kinda neat, including a visit to the JJ Abrams “Kelvin” timeline. But the stories came to an abrupt end with no real payoff, so that was disappointing.

Another annoying thing is that they’re trying their best to break the gamepad support in the game. Since STO is coming out for consoles, thus requiring gamepad support there, the devs must be experimenting with gamepad support on the PC. Well, they made it so any pull of the left trigger or left bumper along with any other button locks out the joystick controls, so you can’t turn the ship or the camera. This only happens in space mode, not on the ground, but it is annoying. I have found a workaround by unbinding the left trigger and the left bumper, which leaves them free for use in my control scheme mapping. But annoying, nonetheless.

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