Friday, June 28, 2013

Star Trek Online (Part Seven)

Duty Officers and Assignments

Star Trek Online - First Complement
Duty Officers and their associated assignments are something that you will only unlock upon reaching level 7. And once you do, you will receive a quest that directs you to claim your first batch of duty officers from Lieutenant Ferra at the Starfleet Academy.

But anyway, the things to note here are mostly as follows...
  • Overview
    Star Trek Online - Duty Officers OverviewStar Trek Online - Commendations
    The Overview tab monitors the overall state of your assignments, duty officers as well as commendation advancement. While the previous two aren't in urgent need of an explanation, the thing to note about commendation advancement is that there are quite a few commendation categories that you may advance in.

    Each category has a total of 5 ranks and as you advance into the next rank, you will be given various titles, unlocks and access to purchase duty officers (of that category and rank) from Lieutenant Ferra at the Starfleet Academy using Refined Dilithium.

    To advance in any particular category, all you have to do is complete assignments that reward you with Commendation XP for that category (e.g. Trade XP for Trade Category) and keep on doing it until you eventually rank up.
  • Assignments
    The Assignments tab is where you would often be referring to when looking for stuff available for your duty officers to do.
    Star Trek Online - Assignments TabStar Trek Online - Planning an Assignment
    The "Current Map" shows you a list of available assignments found at your current location or sector. These assignments will mostly be errands that you are performing for the natives found there. "Personal", on the other hand, would give you a list of duties that are more related to your starship or own self. The assignments found on these two lists appear to be generic and will update or refresh itself periodically (refer Sector Update & Shipboard Update).

    For any one assignment, there will be certain criteria or requirements of course, without which you may not proceed. These may come in the form of items (like Medical Supplies or Provisions), currencies (like Energy Credits, Refined Dilithium), personnel specialization (like Geologist or Quartermaster) or a combination of them. And while most of the assignments would only consume the non-critical stuff like items or currencies and leave the personnel part intact, there may be some special ones which would permanently remove these duty officers from your roster (like duty officer reassignment or prisoner exchange).

    Do note that you are only given 20 assignment slots and so may only perform up to a maximum of 20 assignments at any given time. And though each assignment may require some time to complete, you will only be required to start them and they will automatically complete themselves after the stated amount of time regardless of whether your online or not.

    Breakdown of a Typical Assignment
    Star Trek Online - Assignment DetailThis part shows a brief description of what the assignment entails. Usually ignored, but this is where you should look to see if completion of the assignment would result in the removal of duty officers sent.
    Star Trek Online - Assignment RewardThis part shows what sort of rewards you would get for completing an assignment. Typical rewards would be stuff like varied amounts of Energy Credits, Dilithium Ore, Commendation XP, Skill Points and Expertise Points. However, some of the more special assignments may reward you with items, equipments, bridge officers or duty officers.
    Star Trek Online - Assignment Duration COS RiskThis part shows the duration of the assignment, chances of success and its casualty risk level. Scoring a critical success will net you a better (or more) reward than a mere success, while failure would give you nothing. If you unfortunately get a disaster, then the duty officers that you've sent would be in risk of either getting injured and landing in the sickbay for a certain duration or worse, get killed.
    Star Trek Online - Assignment RequirementThis part shows the requirements of the assignment, like what sort of items, currencies or personnel is needed. The thing to note here would be the traits that is asked of the persons that you are sending in for the assignment as they would alter your chances of success. For example, if the Geologist your sending in is "Congenial", "Emotional" and/or "Tactful", your critical success chances would increase. Conversely, if you've sent in one that is "Unruly", your chances of a disaster would go up.
  • Duty Officers
    Star Trek Online - Duty Officers
    For the duty officers tab, this part tells you the details of all the duty officers found onboard your crew roster, including prisoners and civilian passengers. The part to note here would be the ability to flag 10 duty officers as "active" crew members (5 Ground, 5 Space).

    The reason for making a duty officer active is to harness their special talents. For example, Shellar Kurn in the above screenshot has the ability to reduce the recharge time of any subsystem targeting attack (bridge officer skill) by 5 seconds at a 50% chance. So if you use this sort of skill often, you would want to make him an active officer to activate this proc.

    Do note that any duty officer only has 1 of such talent (either Space or Ground and according to their specialization) and you may not flag more than 1 duty officer having the same sort of talent as active. Finally, the potency of such talents (proc rate) would depend on the rarity of the duty officer.
  • Recruiting Duty Officers
    Apart from the buying of duty officers from Lieutenant Ferra, there are a couple of more ways in which you can get more duty officers, some of which are free of charge while some are not.
    Star Trek Online - Personnel OfficerStar Trek Online - Tellarite Personnel Officer
    First of all, there is the "Personnel Officer" right behind Lieutenant Ferra where you can engage in recruitment of duty officers at regular intervals. Next, there is also the Vulcan, Tellarite and Andorian Personnel Officers located around the Starfleet Academy. These too can be performed at regular intervals and are free of charge as far as I know.
    Star Trek Online - Fleet Personnel Officer
    Alternatively, you may also use Zen to purchase duty officer packs from the C-store or fleet credits to purchase duty officers from the Fleet Personnel Officer.
  • Department Heads
    Star Trek Online - Department Heads
    From what I can tell, assigning of a bridge officer to be the First Officer or department heads doesn't seem to do much apart from enabling you to get recommendations on who to send for an assignment. But nonetheless, I still visit this tab often to look for various assignments that may have "escaped" from being shown in the Assignments tab.
Now crafting in Star Trek Online is something that you can only do at Memory Alpha in the Alpha Centauri block (for Federation characters at least). And from what I can tell, it is at best something that you would engage in when you have free time.

This is because, while most of the items crafted aren't too bad (probably at par with stuff you can farm from PVE missions), they do not have sufficient "power" (in terms of specs) to outrank those that you can acquire from reputation projects or your fleet's starbase NPCs.

Furthermore, you will also need to spend quite a decent amount of time and effort to increase your "General Research Skill" to craft the "better" items as well as gather the materials needed so I'ld say they aren't worth your time. But if you still wish to proceed with it, then let us continue.
Star Trek Online - Crafting Requirements
First of all, to craft something, you would have to satisfy its "General Research Skill" requirement. As far as I know, this is just a numeric value wherein if you keep crafting something (anything), you will eventually reach the required amount.

Next, you will need to gather the materials needed to craft the item in question. From what I do know, these materials can be gained from two sources.
Star Trek Online - AnomalyStar Trek Online - Waveform Matching
The first source is from anomalies such as that shown in the screenshot above. These anomalies can be found in anywhere from sector space to ordinary space to even on the surface of planets that you beam down to. A nifty way to check whether there are anomalies around you is to press "V". Upon doing so, it will tell you the number of anomalies lying around as well as point you in the direction of the nearest one.

Once you find one and interact with it, you will then have to play a simple "Match the Waveform" game. Whether you win or lose in this game, you will still get crafting materials, but from what I can tell, winning will net you better results (in terms of quantity and materials). And as a tip, I find that its easier to win if you match the amplitude (height) first and then the frequency.
Star Trek Online - Dilithium Ore Extraction 1Star Trek Online - Dilithium Ore Extraction 2
The second source is from when you are performing your "daily" asteroid mining for dilithium ore. The crafting materials will come out as a "by-product" in the process of your mining, but like with the previous anomaly deal, you will also have to play a simple game here when mining too. And as far as I know, the quantity and quality of the crafting materials that you get from here will be dependent upon the "score" that you achieve.

Anyway, the name of the game is to keep aligning the pinkish scope to the three red points. And when I said aligning, I not only meant orientating the scope but also adjusting its size so that it fits like as shown in the second screenshot above.

Upon doing so, your score will keep increasing until the system messes it up for you to re-align the scope once more. This process will keep repeating until the 60-second timer runs out and you will then collect your reward (dilithium ore and crafting materials).
Star Trek Online - Research Supply Vendor
Finally, depending on the item you wish to craft, you may sometimes need a schematic design. These schematics can either be crafted yourself or bought at 10k Energy Credits each from the Research Supply Vendor.

Previous: Star Trek Online (Part Six)