Captain’s Log: Engines To Full

My summer session is finally over, and I know have roughly a month of summer vacation left before graduate school begins anew. This means I know have as much time as I want to devote toward playing STO.

A Tale of Two Captains

After an extended period of soul searching, I was finally able to surmount the indecision that was plaguing my STO experience. To briefly recap, I was uncertain if I wanted to play a Science-oriented officer, or if a full-out damage dealing Tactical officer was more to my liking. Secondary to this were the facts that I wanted to finally make a male character, that I didn’t know what sort of ship I wanted to fly, and that I wanted to play a Cardassian.

I finally internalized the fact that Cardassians are coming, but that waiting around for their arrival was just going to annoy and frustrate my gaming experience for an indefinite period of time in the present. Furthermore, I was really impressed by the quality Cryptic put into the new Caitian race – the character designs make the feline race look very lion-like, without devolving into being too ‘furry.’

While these thoughts percolated through my thick skull, it slowly dawned on me that I could play two characters simultaneously. I had my doubts about this – I mean, I’d be playing two characters through the same content simultaneously, and that could get old fast – but I was given hope by the fact that Rowan seems very content with his dual-captain playthrough.

And so, two Federation captains were born!

She Blinded Me With Science: Shahi Xerxes Kahn

The bridge crew of the U.S.S. Pascal.

I really like the survivability of Engineers, and I think their class-specific abilities (Rotate Shield Frequency, etc.) are extremely useful. However, I also really dig science Bridge Officer Powers, and I want to fly the Luna-class (or the Intrepid refit) in the end game. Xerxes, my current main, was the result: she’s an Engineer by class, but her traits – Astrophysicist, Joined Symbiote, and Warp Theorist – are science oriented.

Currently, Lt. Commander Xerxes is actively engaging Klingon forces in the Xarantine Sector, with short missions of exploration into the Hromi Cluster. These exploration missions have brought her to the attention of the Diplomatic Corps, and she was just yesterday given the diplomatic title of ‘Consul’ of the Federation.

However, there is a downside to all of my exploration excursions…

I've got a backlog!

… I’ve leveled far past the storyline missions! To rectify things, I’ve skipped over two of the patrol mission chains in the Regulus Sector block – they’re a fantastic way to get good gear and XP, but being 4+ levels ahead of my enemies resulted it some pretty boring fights. However, I currently stand only two levels ahead of my NPC opponents, so I’m thinking I’ll being patrolling again in the Pi Canis Sector. Alternatively, I could increase the difficulty – but I’m afraid that action would just make the fights longer, not better.

Dang, the Constitution-class looks good.

Also of note is the fact that I was, for the first time ever, able to place first in a Fleet Action! Hurrah for the advent of level-limited Fleet Actions! My Constitution-class looks fantastic!

While messing around at Starbase 24, I joined up with FNS member Oakstout, and the two of us beamed down to fight off Klingon boarders overrunning the space station. Unfortunately, we had both just been promoted to Lt. Commander, resulting in the enemies being four or five levels higher than us. We both died half a dozen times, but despite the difficulty, it was also very fun!

Oakstout and I made a pretty awesome team, and I hope to team-up with him again!

The B-Team: S’Rros ‘Tan’ Tanaj

This might be the most fantastic screenshot I've ever taken.

Of the two characters, Xerxes is definitely the Kirk of the group; I even envision my Vulcan bridge officer as being ‘her Spock’. In keeping with the theme, I see Tan as being more like Picard or Sisko – despite being a tactical officer, Tan has an even personality, taking the measure of an opponent before acting decisively. And like another great captain, Tan likes his artwork.

Tan is my secondary character, and I’ve been using him to experiment with playstles differing from my ‘norm’. With Xerxes – and with all my pervious alts, for that matter – I’ve been all about phaser beams and devastating broadsides. In contrast, Tan’s light cruiser has been equipped with disruptor cannons and turrets. I’m not certain how I feel about the change – I definitely like the disruptor’s debuff proc more than the phaser’s system offline proc, but I really prefer the wide arcs and broadsides of my beam-oriented ships. Maybe I’ll like it better was I’m actually flying an Escort.

(On that note: what are considered to be the ‘best’ first tier tactical powers? High Yield Torpedo I is clearly a good choice, but what other power do Escort captains use?)

Yep, that short, chubby guy in the back is a Pakled! He's my top tactical officer.

Tan’s traits (Feline Instincts, Pounce, Teamwork, Physical Strength) are all oriented toward ground combat, also a break from my previous characters. It might not be the most ‘ideal’ way to construct a character, but his lack of a clear strength in space (unlike Xerxes’ edge toward science abilities) freed me to do whatever I wanted with him. Furthermore, I’ve read that melee combat is very effective against the Borg, especially in the Task Forces. I’d very much like to explore melee  combat with Tan, and eventually have him wield a bat’leth.

So what did you guys think? Was this post in any way interesting? I liked writing it (which is all that matters I GUESS), and if it isn’t too boring, I was thinking I’d try to make it a semi-weekly feature. Anything else you’d like me to include? Also: were the screen captures too big?

5 thoughts on “Captain’s Log: Engines To Full

  1. Excellent write-up. I like the size of the screencaps, but I’m running a high-ish end rig. Let me know how you feel about the Caitian’s abilities. I would love to have a Caitian BOff, but my Captain slots are full, and I don’t think there’s enough content to warrant the purchase of more.

    I should say that, though I plan to bring Locke up to Admiral level, Right now I am concentrating on getting Rowan there, and she’s only Captain 6 or 7 after what, seven months of play? I’m in no hurry, though.

    What happened to Nezi? Is she on hold or did you drop her for Tan?

    • Caitians – They’re cool, albeit completely focused on ground combat. Like I said, I really dig their look, and I’ll probably keep one around as an alt.

      As for having a BOff Caitian, don’t sweat it – they’re not in the game yet! Given what Cryptic wants to do with Season 3 – the ability to promote Bridge Officers to full captains – they’re currently holding off on releasing more another C-Store race as a BO.

  2. Although I have fallen behind in my blog reading, I have to chime in that this post was great (and I agree on the best screenshot). I would love to see more in this vein, so keep posting. 🙂

    • Thanks for the kind comment! I was just gearing up to write my next ‘Captain’s Log’, and this was a really great morale boost!

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