Since I was a little boy, Star Trek has been something very near and dear to my heart. From the first time, I saw Kirk and Spock, to the last Star Trek movie with Picard and the crew. It is very easy for me to talk about all things Trek, ask anyone who knows me because I even have Star Trek trivia games. Star Trek Online, since its inception, was something I knew instantly I wanted to get into big time. The original game lacked a lot of things that make Star Trek, well Star Trek. After a short time, Perfect World Entertainment obtained the intellectual property for Star Trek Online and boy has it taken off, and not just for me, for everyone. Come with me on a journey into discovery.
I want to start by saying no one approached me about this article, and I one hundred percent wanted to do this myself. Star Trek Online: Age of Discovery, changes things up a little bit with its recent installment into the Trek world. As with all new characters, based on which era character you pick you will begin your story in that time period. With the Temporal expansion we became a temporal agent trying to save the timeline, now we get to start off in the era of Discovery, based on the new CBS show. You are an academy student on your first training cruise, and you have to meet with your Captain to see what your place on the ship will be. You find out very quickly, as with all STO storylines, that you are the Executive Officer, which is important because when something happens to your Captain then you become the Captain. If this weren’t the case, you would just be role-playing as a second in command the whole time. What fun would that be?
You will begin your adventure with someone from the cast too, Sylvia Tilly. She will help guide you through some of your initial training missions and will help when needed with anything in those first few levels. It is amazing the actors that want to be a part of the Star Trek Online universe. With most of the Deep Space 9 crew joining in for the recent expansion that introduced Dominion characters, you can see how much of a labor of love Star Trek is for these people. We have seen voice talents from all over the spectrum, including most of the voice-overs for different areas of the map done by the late Leonard Nimoy, as Ambassador Spock. In the Discovery era, you will quickly be thrust into battle against Klingons and they will want blood. Not to spoil any story here, you will complete a few missions and then Tilly will go back to Starfleet Academy for her senior year. This is where your real story begins as you begin your journey into the night. Let’s just say that you will meet one of our favorite time travelers in this story again, and no it’s not the Doctor, sorry Whovians, the blue box is nowhere in sight.
Now, what would a new update be without new ships? We have some new ships that we get to play around with and I streamed a bit of STO with them to show them off. That video is right here.
As you can see our initial ship is the Malachowski Light Cruiser. This is, of course, a beginner ship and you will quickly shed your need of it as you progress in your story. Every ten levels you get new ships to explore with. It starts yours with a fore and aft phaser beam, and a forward torpedo launcher. Now as with any ship you can move your weapons around, and upgrade them however you would like. For now, just upgrade with what the story gives you. We see that even though the beams are on the ship, they fire as cannons because of the timeline. Most of the earlier ships had cannon emplacements that would fire instead of the newer beam weapons we see today. Think of the forward phaser cannons on the Defiant for a small reference. It is a “tough little ship,” and it will serve you well until you make the next phase of the tutorial section.
Once you are able to get your new ship, you will. This is a good one too. The Prototype Light Exploration Cruiser. It is the next level for you to obtain after the tutorial and is a good ship to expand with. It is obtainable through the C-Store or as part of the Age of Discovery Pack (which was provided to us from the Devs at Perfect World for use in this article, thank you guys!). The Walker class ship is a scalable ship as well. This means that you don’t have to worry about trading out a comfortable ship with something new unless you want to try the other ships out of course. It can go all the way up to level 30 with you, which then becomes a normal T4 ship like any of the others on the C-Store. It is a cruiser so expect to use your cruiser commands as well. This gives you a good tactical advantage in battles with friends or solo.
The next ship we see in my video is the Europa Heavy Battlecruiser, which is obtainable also through the C-Store and Age of Discovery starter pack. Because it is a T6 ship I was not able to use it with my Age of Discovery Captain, therefore I chose to use it with my main Tactical Captain. To show how tough it is, I joined into a battle against a random Borg encounter with naught but the basic weapons and attachments. This ship takes a beating and can really become a powerful ship once you add all of your upgrades to it. This ship will also scale with upgrades purchasable at level 50 and upgradeable to level 60. Another great ship to use when you go out into the final frontier.
There were also a couple of lockbox ships added, but I have not been able to play with them yet so we will just briefly discuss them here. The first is the Hur’q Ravager Escort Carrier. It is a Rear-Admiral level ship, or T6, and comes from the Swarm lock box. It scales with you starting at level 40 all the way up to 65. Being a carrier, they are normally a little slower on the turn rate but tough as nails. Carriers also come equipped with hanger bays to add your own personal fighter fleet into. These are definitely a great help in your battles to come. I use the Jem’Hadar Dreadnought Carrier myself for T6. The last vessel we will talk about is the Hur’q Assembly Multi-Mission Science Vessel. With similar details as the Ravager, it will scale with you as you level if you are lucky enough to obtain one. It is a science vessel so it isn’t very fast, but science ships have the ability to use specials to help it survive in battle. It also has hanger bays to give it some defense when in heavy battle. These ships are used for defense and healing normally.
Age of Discovery part 2 is set to come out in January 2019 alongside STO’s 9th anniversary (oh my goodness have I been playing Star Trek Online this long?) and part 3 is set to release in May 2019. March is the set date for consoles for part 2 with part 3 to be announced later on. If you would like to get in on the fun go to www.startrekonline.com and begin your first mission as a Captain in Starfleet. Join the ranks of Captain Kirk, Captain Picard, and all the greats.
The Age of Discovery expansion adds to an already rich story and great gameplay that comes along with Star Trek Online. Nine years is a long time to be an MMORPG (I am a lifer for 95% of this time, I got mine on sale and there is one happening right now), and I believe Star Trek Online is going to be around for a long time to come, especially with updates such as this. With a new Picard show coming soon, I can only imagine the possibilities for Star Trek Online.
Editor’s Note: The Age of Discovery Starter Pack was provided to us for use by Star Trek Online PR.