Thursday, June 20, 2013

Star Trek Online (Part Six)

Remember that I've said that there are a couple of types of starships available in Star Trek Online? Well...there are roughly altogether three types. Regardless of your chosen career profession, you may choose to pilot any of the starship types. However, depending on the type that you choose to pilot, your general roles and abilities in a space combat would slightly differ.

Star Trek Online - Tactical EscortEscorts
Escort-type starships can be considered a tactical officer's best friend. They are built to be small, fast, maneuverable and hard to hit. They have higher-ranking Tactical bridge officer stations, are heavily armed and can equip all kinds of starship weapons, including Dual Cannons and Dual Heavy Cannons, but have medium hull and weak shields.
Star Trek Online - Exploration CruiserCruisers
Cruiser-type starships are large and resilient. They have higher-ranking Engineering bridge officer stations, strong hulls, a large crew complement but average shields. Additionally, due to their large sizes, they cannot turn very well, are slow-moving and easier to hit.
Star Trek Online - Long Range Science VesselScience Vessels
Science Vessel-type starships are medium-sized and versatile. They have higher-ranking Science bridge officer stations, weak hulls but strong shields. These starships are most noted for a passive ability called "Sensor Analysis" (a powerful damage resistance debuff).
Although these will still have variants that fall under one of the three starship types mentioned, carriers are purposely singled out and placed here due to their ability to house hangar bays from which you can launch all sorts of AI fighters or small crafts.
Star Trek Online - Caitian Atrox Carrier
Small Crafts
They are exactly the same as that found launching from carriers. The only difference here is that these can be piloted and customized by the player while the carrier ones cannot. Your only purpose of using these small crafts are for participating in shuttle-only maps or events. Using them in starship-level space combat is equivalent to suiciding as you will be swatted like a fly.
Star Trek Online - Peregrine Attack Fighter

Roles & Bridge Officer Station Ranks
One of the major reason why your starship selection plays a part in your space combat role is due to the difference in type, quantity as well as rank of the bridge officer stations found onboard the starship.

Generally speaking, Tactical bridge officers have skills that are mostly related to upgrading your attacks and damage capabilities, Engineering bridge officers have skills that are more in line with increasing your starship's resilience while Science bridge officers have crowd control skills that roots, disables or are otherwise AoE in nature.

And since Tactical bridge officers can only man Tactical stations, Engineering bridge officers to Engineering stations and Science to Science stations, you can now understand why your roles would differ depending on your starship selection, right? (The only exception to this is a Universal station which can be assigned with any bridge officer.)
Star Trek Online - Starship Stations
Anyway, the above shows the stations found onboard one of my starships (apparently a cruiser-type). As you can see, since it is a cruiser, it has 2 Engineering stations, 1 Tactical and 1 Science. However, you should also note the ranks of the individual stations. One of the Engineering stations is of "Commander" rank while all the other stations are of "Lieutenant" ranks.

In essence, a station of "Commander" rank would allow a bridge officer of the rank of Commander to use all of his or her bridge officer skills while if the same bridge officer were to be assigned to a station of the "Lieutenant" rank, he or she would only be able to use skills up to the rank of Lieutenant. So if you refer back to the "Starship Stations" screenshot, you can see that despite all of my assigned bridge officers were of the rank of Commander, only "Shooraz" has access to all skills because she was assigned to a Commander station.

Star Trek Online - Starship TailorStar Trek Online - Starship Customization
For the most of this part, you would only need to know that the "Ship Tailor" NPC allows you to customize the look of the starship and shuttle that your currently piloting.

If your doing it to a brand new ship (for the first time), most of the "regular" options will be free of charge. However, subsequent changes would require that you "surrender" some Energy Credits for the modifications.

If one of the options you have selected is a cash shop design, you will need to pay "Zen" (the in-game cash shop currency) for those particular selections regardless. But don't worry, those designs will have their prices clearly labelled right beside the options so its hard to miss them.

Switching Between Starships
For the last part of this section regarding starships, I will be talking about how to switch between active starships or even to a small craft.
Star Trek Online - Starship Selection OfficerStar Trek Online - Starship Selection Window
First of all, you will need to locate an NPC officer with a starship logo as shown in the "Starship Selection Officer" screenshot. After interacting with the NPC, you will then see a Starship Selection window. From there onwards, you can select whichever starship that you wish to pilot via the list on the left hand side and then click the "Ready Starship" button down on the bottom right corner. The same applies when you wish to select a current small craft from your pool of existing ones.

Do note that doing this is merely flagging to the system your preference in ships so much so that whenever you get into a space combat, the game system will automatically spawn you into your selected starship when participating in regular space combats and into your selected small craft when participating in shuttle-only fights.

If what you desire is to pilot a small craft wherever you go and regardless of the situations, you may do so via the "Set Active" radio buttons found on the bottom left of the same window. By leaving the radio button on "Starships", you will be traveling around the STO universe in your selected starship and performing in-game activities as per normal. By leaving the button on "Small Craft" instead, whatever space activities that you do will all be done in your small craft and that includes fighting in regular space combats as well.

Star Trek Online - Currencies
If you look at your inventory, right under the "Assets" tab will show you all the sorts of currencies that are being used in Star Trek Online.
  • Energy Credits
    This is the most common form of in-game currency that you will come across. It is used to buy basic equipment and commodities, trading on the "Exchange" as well as purchasing outfit modifications and customizations for you yourself, your bridge officers or your ships. It can be easily acquired by selling the loots that you get or as rewards for completing certain missions and quests.
  • Reputation Marks
    Star Trek Online - Reputation ProjectsStar Trek Online - Azure Nebula Rescue
    Reputation Marks are used in personal reputation projects that becomes available to you when you've reached level 50 (Vice Admiral). Completing these projects will help you to unlock special equipments, commodities and perks. These marks can be earned via completing special PVE missions.
  • Fleet Assets
    Star Trek Online - Fleet DonationStar Trek Online - Federation Fleet Alert
    Fleet Credits are used to acquire special equipment from NPCs found in your fleet's starbase. They are obtained when you donate resources, personnel, fleet marks (earned via participating in fleet missions) and other whatnots that are required to fleet upgrading projects. You will only start to come across these when you've actually joined a "Fleet" (a player-made guild).
  • Dilithium
    Star Trek Online - Breaking the PlanetStar Trek Online - Dilithium Exchange
    Dilithium comes in two versions, "Ore" form and "Refined" form. The ore form is what you would get when you participate and clear specific PVE maps, daily missions or finish some types of quests. The refined form is what you would use to purchase special starships, bridge officers, duty officers and equipments or even exchange them into Zen (cash shop currency). The conversion rate of Dilithium Ore into Refined Dilithium is 1 : 1, but you may only process 8,000 of them a day.
  • Gold-Pressed Latinum
    Star Trek Online - Dabo MinigameStar Trek Online - Gold-Pressed Latinum Prizes
    Gold-Pressed Latinum seems to be some form of currency that is won by playing an STO minigame called "Dabo". Access to this minigame can only be found at specific locations like for example the bar onboard Deep Space Nine (space station).

    As far as I can tell, the minigame appears to be some sort of roulette where you place your bets (in Energy Credits) at particular slots found on the ends of some circular device. The inner rings with the symbols will start spinning and eventually stop...upon which the system will calculate the symbols that align at your selected slots and then pay out your winnings to you in the form of Gold-Pressed Latinums.

    Do note though, that the rewards that you can exchange using these Gold-Pressed Latinums seem to be purely cosmetic consumables so I reckon that they aren't really worth your effort to obtain.

Previous: Star Trek Online (Part Five)Next: Star Trek Online (Part Seven)