There And Back Again

I’ve just wrapped up the Klingon front’s pair of time-traveling missions (City of the Edge of Never/Past Imperfect) for what is probably the third time, and I have to say — I’m still impressed with Cryptic’s handling of the Kuvah’magh prophecy.

Oh, that’s not to say that there aren’t problems with the story line. If the crazed Augmented Klingons escaped from Amar Singh, why is B’vat still leading them? Are they still allied? Just why does Captain B’vat feel it is necessary to mention that the Augmented Klingons arrived a month ago, but only brought with them a 25th-century warship weeks later? Was curing the ridgeless Klingons part of B’vat’s plan — and was curing the crazed Augments just an added bonus?

But looking at the mission in its entirety, the writers at Cryptic did a great job combining two large pieces of Star Trek lore — the prophecy of the Kuvah’magh, filled with its near indecipherable promises that “You would know me before I know the world” and “You will follow in my footsteps before I have made them”; and the cure to the Klingon augment virus, something that must have happened at some point — Klingons eventually got their ridges back! — but was unrevealed in the series. The combination of these two plots is so well done, so subtle, that all the missions’ other limitations aside, I’ve enjoyed playing it each time.

And getting to hear the Guardian of Forever talk is an added bonus.

One last bit of nerdiness for ya: the captain of the other Federation starship encountered during the “The City on the Edge of Never”, the U.S.S. Kirk, is an Andornian named Thelin. In the TAS episode “Yesteryear” — an episode involving the Guardian of Forever, and the only TAS episodes to be considered truly canon — Thelin was also the name of the Enterprise‘s Andorian first officer, in a universe where Spock was never born. Cryptic and their tricky references!

Captain’s Log: What the…?

A strange thing has started to happen in STO — I’m actually enjoying ground combat.

I don’t even think I’m doing it right. I love my Engineers, but seriously? Their ground combat abilities are almost completely unappealing. Yay, I can build a bunker anywhere I want! Go forth, my little drone! Who cares. An emphasis on turtling and attrition draws out ground battles far too much. What I really want is to expose my enemies quickly and then disintegrate them with my split-beam rifles.

(In STO, there are few noises more satisfying than “AAHHH–WOOSH” noise of a vaporized enemy. In my heart, only the angry Klingon computer reporting that my enemy’s shields comes close.)

In this regard, I’ve come to appreciate two kit-based engineer abilities — Weapons Malfunction (an expose attack which disables an opponent’s weapon) and Quick Fix (which grants a significant boost to ranged damage output for a short while). Unfortunately, only one Engineer kit has both of these abilities, and its confined to Lt. Commander rank.

My solution? A team of science officers (and several Weapons Malfunctioning engies) expose my enemies, while I crouch and Quick Fix-it-up. It’s a one-trick pony, but it’s damn fun. Especially because my ugly Reman bridge officers creates an inordinate amount of exposed states. I guess his terrible looks frighten the enemy into submission?

But at some point, I should really consider making a science officer.

Foundry Mission: “Old, Unhappy, Far-Off Things”

After several days of tinkering around with the Foundry, I’ve published my first mission — “Old, Unhappy, Far-Off Things.” A training cruiser in the Wolf 359  is attacked by Nausicaan pirates; your ship responds to the hail and quickly figures out that things are not exactly as they seem.

The mission was inspired by one of the first Foundry missions I saw — a  Nausicaan farming mission out of Wolf 359. The Nausicaans are notoriously difficult to find in game, meaning that their kill achievement is all but impossible; a mission farming them was to be expected. But it was out of Wolf 359, the site of the famous first battle between the Federation and the Borg, which compounded the mission’s distaste.

But my interested was piqued, and I decided I’d try to tell a legitimate story about the Nausicaans and Wolf 359. I hope you enjoy.

New Blog: “Scan Complete”

I have just started a second WordPress blog, Scan Complete. STO‘s Foundry launched yesterday, and I’m crazy excited. I’ve already started to draft my own mission, but I also wanted to raise awareness of the quality player-generated missions that I’ve played. Scan Complete aims to do just that.

No, my loyal readers, I’m not throwing in the towel here at C-A.net; hopefully, I’ll post more than ever. However, I’m pretty proud of the quality reviews I’m pumping out over at Scan Complete — you should check them out!

Captain’s Log: Rebellions

The message came in via encrypted channel, only two days out of space dock. Trajan took all of the appropriate security measures, plus a few extras that he considered necessary — the sound-canceling devices hidden throughout the Cardassian’s ready room weren’t mandated per se, but in this day and age one could never be too certain.

“I trust the shakedown cruise is going well?” Admiral T’Nae inquired, her cold tone belying this opening pleasantry. Even for a Vulcan, her voice was particularly frigid. Trajan replied with a warm smile. “My crew and I thought we were done flying historical reenactments, but the Meridian is slowly growing on me.”

“However,” he added smoothly, “I doubt you called to just ask me that.”

“No, I did not. Are you aware of  ‘the Vault’, commander?”

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This RIFT Thing

Okay, so the entire blogosphere seems to be playing some game called RIFT. And I’ll admit, it looks pretty cool. So, uh, should I try it out? And if I do, will I be able to play with anyone?