Saturday, May 18, 2013

Star Trek Online (Part Two)

Character Creation
While not as plentiful and unrestricted as Phantasy Star Online 2, Star Trek Online's character creation options are still fairly numerous and should allow for quite some unique customizations.

Star Trek Online - Character FactionStar Trek Online - Foundry Projects
First off, there are two playable character factions to choose, Federation and Klingon, however because of the need to have a Level 24 Federation character first before Klingon play will be unlocked, this section of the character creation will usually be "skipped" for first timers. But not only that, for those who desire to play as a Klingon, a further bad news is that free-to-play accounts only have one character slot and thus you will most probably need to "acquire" some additional character slots in order to create the Klingon character. (I'm not sure if deleting the Fed character after unlocking Klingon play would work, but personally, I dare not try it and would advise you not to either. It is simply much easier to just "earn" some Zen and purchase the slots.)

Coincidentally, this is also where you would find the "Create Content" tab which would house the Foundry Projects that you create or wish to create. But of course once again, you would need to buy some project slots before you can create anything. Anyway, since the idea of creating content sounds scary and would likely become more technical than I can handle, I shall conveniently skip it. XD
Star Trek Online - Choosing Career
The next part that comes about is the choosing of a career for your character. And as far as this part goes, there are three "paths" for you to choose - Engineering, Science, Tactical.
  • Engineering Officer
    If I were to sum up the role of an Engineering Officer in one word, then I guess the first thing that comes to mind would be tanker. From what I could tell, most of the Engineering Officer's skills and abilities focuses upon survivability.
  • Science Officer
    A Science Officer's role in STO apparently seems to be some sort of a "buff & debuff mage". Their strength in a fight lies upon their ability to weaken or incapacitate the enemy.
  • Tactical Officer
    If you still haven't guessed it, a Tactical Officer's job is likened to that of a damage dealer. His primary focus is to dish out damage to the target as swiftly and hard as possible.
While the choosing of a career path would likely limit some of your future options, it most certainly does not "end" it all. There is still a certain degree of freedom in STO to mold your character to suit your own taste and gaming preference. Though I can't tell whether this sort of freedom would allow you to gimp yourself or make an "ultimate" character.
Star Trek Online - Species and GenderStar Trek Online - Choosing Traits
After choosing your career, the next two sections of character creation involves selecting the specie, gender and traits of your character. And since the decisions made here are likely to stick with you forever, I would advise that you spend plenty of time thinking things through.
Specie & Gender
What you need to know here is that as far as specie selection is concerned, each specific specie has its own unique features as well as distinct traits that cannot be removed, only tweaked.

For example, a Human would have to look humanish of course while an Andorian would undoubtedly have antennae on his or her head. Trait-wise, Humans are tied down with Leadership and Teamwork as shown in the picture above while Andorians are stuck with Acute Senses.

As all of these are fixed and "sold as a whole package", you would have not much of a choice but to accept them as is (even though you may dislike certain aspects of it). But luckily for those who desire more "control", there is a specific specie designated as "Alien" down at the very bottom of the list. By choosing this option instead, the player would have total control over his or her character's visual looks as well as inherent traits. Even though you will still have to choose from a limited pool of options, the possible combinations are relatively-speaking, endless.

Traits are divided into two categories, Ground and Space. And as their names suggest, ground traits are useful to you during ground combats while space traits only kick in during space battles.

What you need to be concerned over here is mostly what sort of traits to choose for your character, how many of them should be ground traits and how many should be space traits...that sort of stuff.

Anyway, from what I do know, each character is only allowed to select a total of four traits regardless of its category and your character's specie type. What this means is that, if we use the previous examples, a Human type character would already have two traits (Leadership and Teamwork) predetermined and thus can only choose two more traits to bring along. An Andorian would have Acute Senses locked in and can only choose three more while an Alien type is free to choose any four that he or she likes.

So with the next logical question being what sort of traits to choose, I can only help you out a little by telling you that from what I've experienced so far, my encounters with space and ground combats have been relatively equal in occurrences. Most of the quests I've been doing would have a mixture of space and ground combats in for me the most logical approach would be to do a 2 : 2 ratio, i.e. 2 ground and 2 space traits (if possible).

However, that's just in my own case and for my own character. In your case, what you should ask is what sort of gameplay would you like and what kind of character are you building (for what purpose)? Would you be focusing on doing PVP, space only or ground only combat or would you like to have the freedom to do whichever you like (since circumstances may change)?

And once you have an idea of what your looking for, just take some time to read through all the traits and their descriptions. They ought to give you a fair clue of what the trait does, even though some words or technical terms may escape you for the time being.
Star Trek Online - Customize Head SimpleStar Trek Online - Customize Head Advanced

Star Trek Online - Customize Body SimpleStar Trek Online - Customize Body Advanced

Star Trek Online - Customize Outfit SimpleStar Trek Online - Customize Outfit Advanced

Names and Biography
Star Trek Online - Names and Biography
After clearing this hurdle, the rest of character creation is much more straight-forward. You will only need to decide on how to customize your head, body and outfit before finally naming your character to finish it off. Just remember that to access the advance customization panels, look for the "Advanced" button at the bottom right corner of the window (right above the "Next" button). And at any time you dislike what you've chosen, you can use the "Undo", "Reset" and "Back" buttons to undo a recent change, reset to default or back to a previous stage of character customization (note that you will lose whatever customizations you did at this stage if you do use the "Back" button).
Previous: Star Trek Online (Part One)Next: Star Trek Online (Part Three)