Tag Archives: video games

In Our Moment of Triumph?

I made Lt. Commander last night in Star Trek Online.  This is a milestone event.  This is the first time you get to pick your new ship, the second specialization you make after creating your character.  I was looking forward to leaving the Miranda class light cruiser behind.  The Lockheed had served me well for the first phase of my career in Starfleet, but I felt a new ship calling.

Mainly because I didn’t play enough of the beta to make it to the first tier ship selection.

So I did what any Star Trek fan would do if they were going to get a starship.  I started to obsess. Continue reading

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Star Trek Online: Beyond the Beta

Lieutenant Karina Prax, of the USS Lockheed.

Captain’s log, supplemental.

Our assignment was simple, scan Gorn facilities in this remote asteroid belt to make sure that they weren’t stockpiling weapons of mass destruction of any sort.

The Gorn, of course, were having none of it, and we found ourselves on the receiving end of a volley of disruptor bursts after attempting to scan the first outpost.  Calling on my background as an engineer I rotated the shield frequencies before the impact.

The Lockheed’s shields held gracefully. Rotating the frequencies had the desired effect and managed to mitigate most of the damage to the shields.

But there were still three ships.  I ordered engineering officer Ensign Kort to reroute EPS systems to boost the shield systems while I sounded the red alert.

Shields were holding, but I could see that there was another incoming volley of disruptor fire, plus photon torpedoes.  I reinforced the fore shields and told tactical to open fire on the lead Gorn cruiser.

The Lockheed’s heavy disruptor cannons locked onto the Gorn ship and opened fire.  Their shields dropped quickly, and without shielding the disruptors quickly ate through the rest of their hull.  The Lockheed was too close, and the shockwaves from exploding cruiser shuddered through the ship.  Thankfully there were no major casualties.

We moved to three quarter impulse and engaged evasive maneuvers.  Full power to starboard shields soaked a torpedo volley as we brought the Lockheed around in an arc to end up behind the second cruiser.

My science officer Ensign Sadi jammed the targeting sensors of the third Gorn cruiser, preventing them from targeting us for some of the fight although she warned that it was but “a fleeting dream that wouldn’t last forever.”  She could have just told me nine seconds.  I forget that her previous host was a poet.  Note: I need to speak with her regarding combat expediency.

My tactical officer, Ensign Noros prepared a high yield torpedo burst to impact just as their facing shields were dropped.  Commendations for Ensign Noros for her impeccable timing.

To this day, many Starfleet officers protest the academy’s admission policies from some of the more controversial systems, such as Ferenginar, but every day, new recruits like Ensign Noros continue to prove them wrong.

One on one the last cruiser was no match for the crew of the Lockheed.  We scanned the installation and moved on, although it was not the last of the Gorn we would see that day.

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It builds, slowly.  It could be anything.  A stutter in framerate.  A texture tear.  Just the feeling that things could look better when I’m shooting Skaggs in the wilds of Pandora.  (Yep.  Still playing Borderlands.)  So I think about my current setup, and I have to wonder if there’s anything else I can do, other than reinstall Windows.

It’s mainly a gaming rig, so first it’s looking at  the video card hierarchy on Tom’s Hardware.  Then there is the requisite visit to the system guides on Ars Technica.  Then there’s window shopping for components on Newegg.  Maybe even a shopping list that gets created.

This process has repeated itself a couple of times over the last couple of months and it’s maddening.  Then comes the reading.  Dozens of articles to catch up with CPU, GPU, RAM, and storage advances that have come about since the last time I built a machine.

It’s approaching two years since I’ve built a new machine and I’m very much filled with the desire to build something new before I jump on the Windows 7 party bus.  There is a feeling of accomplishment after successfully putting together a working machine.  It’s something tangible.

Although ultimately, I may just scrap the whole project, pump two more gig of RAM into the rig, slap in a couple of larger, faster hard drives, configure RAID 0, install Windows 7 and then call it a day.

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Star Trek Online

Man, they patched the hell out of this thing.

UI improvements are the first thing that caught my eye.  I can’t say anything about stability yet because, well, I’m here writing this and not playing the game because it crashed out when I started typing in chat during a heated space battle.

Still, it’s a lot of fun when I’m not waiting around for it to verify all of the files.

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Last time, on Star Trek: Online

In the pilot episode, Trill Karina Prax becomes captain of the USS Lockheed.  After a surprise Borg attack kills off all other senior officers, she is surprised to find out that she is the highest ranking personnel remaining on board the Lockheed.  Unfazed (or should that be unphased) by this development, she finds a way to repair the critically damaged Lockheed, save the crew, and take part in a counterattack against the Borg incursion into Federation Space by destroying several Borg probes, a cube, and a sphere.

Considering that she’s an ensign, it looks like Starfleet academy started offering courses in Astroasskicking.

Upon her return to the Sol System, Admiral Quinn expresses his confidence in her and in a surprise move that shocked viewers everywhere, promotes her to Lieutenant and assigns her as the permanent captain of the Lockheed.

It’s yet another Cryptic Studios product, (City of Heroes, Champions Online) and a lot of their usual design can be seen throughout Star Trek: Online.

The ship to ship combat is a lot of fun.  There is something satisfying about rerouting power to the starboard shields and coming about to give them a broadside from both phaser arrays that takes down the facing shields just in time for a high yield photon burst to strike the unshielded side of an enemy vessel.

Away team missions are your standard MMO fare, with a third person point of view and a the usual take out X number of enemies or interact with Y, then report to Starfleet.  The ground combat tends to focus on the various firearms and their abilities found in the Star Trek universe, although that may be because I didn’t roll a tactical officer.

I’m playing the beta when the servers aren’t flooded, but so far I’m having a good time.

Protip: Enemy ships explode, and can destroy your vessel.

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