I had been planning on updating my blog for the past couple of days, but things got in the way as they usually do. Those pesky things! Ce la vie. I suppose my failure to update the blog is fitting considering the subject matter that this entry will mainly cover, failure. Don’t worry this won’t be an entry full of QQ, it’s just that things haven’t gone quite the way I had imagined for the past week.
What else has failed you or have you failed to do?
I had aspirations to get my toon in STO promoted to Commander but I came up wildly short. I did manage to make it Lt.Commander 8th grade, but between finishing Darksiders and then proceeding to pick up Mass Effect 2, my motivation to log in to STO disappeared. Before I move on, I first must give Vigil games a big “Thank You!” for satisfying my craving for a Zelda’esque game. Darksiders was an incredible game and I am really looking forward to what Vigil puts out in the future, especially Darksiders 2.
However that wasn’t all that kept me away from STO this past week. There was plenty of beer consumption while watching the Olympics in HD. You may wonder why I decided to qualify the watching of the Olympics in high definition, so let me explain. Up until about a week ago I had plenty of HD programming available to me, but after a visit from a Comcast tech to diagnose my HSI issues, he switched the connections at the house to give my cable modem a better signal. In the process the signal strength to my television in the living room dropped to where I couldn’t get NBC in HD anymore.
Fortunately this was only a temporary problem because he also put in a request to pull a new line to the house from the street to eliminate approximately 120 ft of coaxial cable to greatly reduce the signal degradation. For some strange reason the cable connections were on the opposite side of the house from the circuit box which meant running a cable along the exterior of the house to ground it at the circuit box and then back again. Once the new line was finally hooked up to the house all was good.
But let’s move onto something you might actually care about …
I did sneak some STO time in during the past week as I’ve hinted at by mentioning my level progression. I’m in a strange place with STO, part of me really wants to keep going to get bigger and badder ships but I’m getting really sick of ground missions. Yes it might be QQ and I sound like a broken record, but I’m at the point where I just want /quit every time I’m prompted to select my away team. There just isn’t enough substance in ground combat to make it interesting and with the sheer amount of enemies you have to kill, I just don’t have enough patience to grind through it.
While the majority of space missions are similar kill-taculars, there are interesting encounters scattered throughout to keep things from getting too stale. It also helps a ton that space combat is actually FUN which makes killing 245082 ships during a mission not a chore. Okay, there are times where it does feel somewhat like a chore, but satisfying chore nonetheless. When I faced off against the Doomsday Device I had an absolute blast.
Protip: Don’t try shooting more than one Hargh’Peng torpedo after the thing fires. You’ll just waste the second. If you do waste too many torpedos you can refill/recharge them at the destroyed planet’s core.
Contrasting the awesomeness of the Doomsday Device encounter is the Crystalline Entity. Yes, I trekked back in to snap pictures and hope to not be grouped with epic-fail captains. I’ll be blunt about this encounter, it fucking blows. The mechanics are simple enough, kite the shards until phase 2 (~30%) and then avoid the large shards like the plague during phase 2. Inevitably someone always get hit by large shards and from what I’m to understand everyone then needs to burn down the small shards that spawn before they get back to the entity, healing it for a substantial amount.
Unfortunately these small shards still have a sizable amount of health, so taking them down quickly is nearly impossible unless people pay attention and switch their focus as soon as they spawn. So as inevitable as it is for someone to get hit by a large shard, the small shards go unhindered and suddenly the entity goes from ~28% to 40%, then 50%, 60% and occasionally back up to full if the group is particularly full of epic-fail.
After reaching phase 2 three different times within one encounter I gave up. This is just not an encounter that the majority of players are going to get on board with. Hell, it only takes a few special snowflakes to make this encounter nearly impossible. As such I don’t think I’m ever going to attempt it again, at least not until Cryptic gives us the ability to join the encounter as a fleet-raid. It’s just not fun fighting with other players on how to kill the damned thing; I got my fill of that in Alterfail Valley.
So as I stated, I’m starting to wane on STO. There’s still so much potential with the game that I haven’t completely lost hope yet, but I may stop playing for some time and give Cryptic a chance to remedy some of the issues that I have with the game … namely ground combat. They really need to give us diplomatic missions and one-off episodes that take place in the interior of your ship once they put ship interiors into the game. Even in a time of war there needs to be diplomacy and it needs to be weaved through the entirety of the leveling process.
At least the devs are listening to the player-base so there’s hope. I just hope that they’re listening but keeping true to their vision and the ideals of the Star Trek universe.