Firstly , sorry for the double post. As these post is slightly longer and has some info other may be interested in - I thought it was worth a bump.
I've had a good play - so here's:
A Guide for MMO Newbies That Are Curious About Star Trek Online
because they are Trek Nerds
I am not a MMO fan nor expert. But I do consider myself a Trek fan of a proportion only outdone by my Star Wars geekiness (eg. I know more SW EU > Trek) - but for most stuff in the Trek movies/shows, I'm pretty well versed.
Here's some questions I had going in - in answering them I hope it may be useful to others
Does the game feel like Trek?
To a degree. The space combat definitely does. It's pretty cool seeing your ship scoot along and engage in combat. I'm sure it will look even cooler once you upgrade to a nicer ship and can customise it. I'd love a Prometheus class ship - though I'm not sure if they are available - and I'd probably need to give up the next 18 months to earn it
The graphics are pretty decent for the space combat bit - I play at 2500x1600 and maxxed settings- I was quite surpised that MMOs allowed for that - for which I was pleased.
Ensigns are Captains?!
Yeah. I can see how Cryptic was stuck in this. They could have kept you in engineering made you responsible for recharging phasers for the next 18months, but this would be quite irritating
Hence, you are given command even as an ensign. Of course, you get a basic ship with threadbare capabilities - so if you do want something special, you will have to work your way up. Still, an ensign in command sounds weird. I guess 'acting captain' was too convoluted.
What's Ground Combat like?
If you think about combat in the Trek series, it was pretty straight forward - shoot phaser, take cover, shoot again! This is pretty much reflected in STO. In places it reminds me of elements of KOTOR - running around with both mouse buttons down for example. I think having just played ME2 makes my perception of this somewhat jaded - ME2 is so darn impressive so that it makes STO look even more limited and clunky than it is. That being said, it's not totally bad - if you can get your hands on some decent weapons and master movement and position, its OK. Still, those wanting something advanced best look elsewhere at this stage
Is it really that boring?
There has been alot said about the boring factor - most games involved travel/explore/combat/interaction - but how it's done is the clincher. Despite the depth of Trek lore, the ground missions are pretty simplistic - maybe they will get more complex as my character moves up? There is not much mystery or wonder to exploring and discovering things. Even in KOTOR had that, I remember wandering around in the fog on Kasshyyk and being impressed at how hooked I was into the story. Is this something MMOs can achieve - I dunno!
For launch specifically, its not suprising that Cryptic have gone for options that will make it easy for newbies to pick up. This of course will make MMO experts quiet frustrated - hopefully their needs can be satisfied with updates. who knows...
Can you play solo?
Yep, though you would of course be slowing your progress I imagine - especially on the space combat side. When you come across an NPC ship that can kick your ass, you simply have to run. If you had a fleet to play alongside with - this wouldn't be the case.
Again, being spoilt by ME2 - the character creations look OK, but somewhat cartoony. Look at my deadly/sexeh femshep(see avvie) - I tried to recreate that in STO, but she looks more like Anakin in the clone wars
I think female characters suffer from this more than males. That being said, the degree of customisation is pretty cool, and easy to do. The costumes are great IMO.
I think it's par for the course that this process is time consuming in MMOs. I've put in the same amount as my ME2 campaign(40 hours) and I'm still on my orginal ship, but do have snazzy weapons and armour. I guess you could pay for better stuff - but I haven't looked into it.
I think this is fairly well done - you can just click on map spots to get to places, or fly their on your own. Ground Maps however are very bad IMO. Maybe I havent selected something right, but it is nice to have rooms and such labelled on your map, particularly after youve explored them! In stardock its not too bad because there are big signs everywhere - but on bases and planets theres nothing to save you from getting lost except your memory
This was a surprise. All the netrants Ive read about STO whine on about many things - but none mentioned the music. It's pretty cool IMO. Epic in some spots, quirky in others - one mission had music accented by harpsichord... it might souund out of place for something futuristic but I quite liked it.
What, No Bridge?!
This was a disappointment. Apart from the intro level - I havent seen my bridge yet. Strutting around on the bridge is so integral to Trek - how could they leave it out! I know in ship customisation you can choose what your bridge looks like - so I'm hoping a bridge element will come along later. It would be nice to be able to manage certain things from your ship - rather than have to go to the research planet or stardock for everything. There are trading ships floating about on the galaxy map, which help a bit - but walking around your ship would be cool.
If you happen to be a Trek fan, before TOR comes out, it's worth checking out on a free trial. Cryptic will need to flesh things out if they plan to make both Trekkies and more serious MMOers stay on/come back
I have some 5 day trials if anyone is interested - PM me if interested.