Iconian War Finale

Midnightsto_midnight, released yesterday, is the eighth and final episode of the Iconian War story arc in Star Trek Online. I got a chance to play it last night, and I think it’s my favorite episode in the entire game. It felt like a good TNG episode. I don’t want to spoil the mission for anyone but let me say that this entire arc has been great for resolving plot lines that were left hanging in TNG and Voyage.

Congratulations to Cryptic not just for a great episode but for finding a good release cadence for story missions. This year had seen a lot of quality new content released. Having a combination of monthly new episodes with rewards becoming available on a weekly basis to promote replays strikes a nice balance of giving players new content without overloading the developers. I can’t wait to see what’s coming with the next Season.

If you miss having Star Trek on TV, you really should give the game a try. The only downside is that the Iconian War arc is for level-capped players, but it’s possible to get to 60 pretty quickly between XP boosts and the Duty Officer system.

Gameus Interuptus

Some nights things just want to work out. For whatever reason my intermittent Comcast disconnect issue was being very consistently disconnecting last night. When it finally did finally stabilize, I tried logging into STO but was still getting disconnects in Cryptic’s games. Or maybe it was my connection being flaky enough that it was causing problems for a game while being fine for streaming video from YouTube. No idea.

Despite my short time in game, I did hit a milestone. Bryn Aev was promoted to Fleet Admiral, that’s level 60 and the current level cap in the game. Granted it was just as result of assignments completed by duty officers aboard the U.S.S. Vyrael, but I’m sure he played an important leadership role in their success. Or could just be Starfleet politics. Despite hitting the cap, I still have a few more missions to complete in the Delta Quadrant before Season 11 arrives, not that there’s a date for it yet but I’ll be surprised if it’s not planned for October some time.

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Since my internet connection wasn’t cooperating, I tried playing some KSP but my head just wasn’t in the right place for that either. Mostly because I’m getting to the point where I’m ready to fast forward to the transafer window for sending the Kerbol Explorer to Jool and didn’t have enough time to really finish the mission preparation. Instead I crashed on the couch and watched part one of the two part season finale of Dark Matter (which got renewed along with Killhoys which I like a bit more) and went to bed before midnight. It made me feel like such a responsible adult.

Cryptic Connection Woes

Blaugust 2015 Day 31

My multitasking experiment has hit a speed bump. It’s hard to rotate through three MMOs when two of them are having connection issues. According to the Neverwinter community manager, Cryptic is having an issue with their ISP. As someone whose been on the phone with Comcast twice in the last seven days and having a technician come out Thursday to check the wiring both inside and outside, I can sympathize. At least they’re taking care of players and extending active events.

I didn’t play any games last night. Yesterday’s Golem Arcana write-up took longer than I expected, and I burned quite a bit of time on YouTube and Reddit, but I did get some LotRO in on Sunday that I didn’t mention in yesterday’s post. My return to Middle-Earth had made Wininoid nostalgic, and we got together with a pair of low level characters (Loremaster for him, Champion for me) and completed the post-tutorial quests in Comb. I hadn’t done any of those since the last revamp was done. I don’t expect I’ll spend a ton of time on alts though, as my main goal in LotRO for the multitasking experiment is to get my hunter, Brynulf, back to the level cap, and more importantly experience Isengard and Rohan.

Tonight’s plan will be to check in with STO and Champions and see if I have any luck. I’d at least like to review my completed duty officer assignments and schedule some new R&D projects. Failing that, I’ll probably end up in Kerbal Space Program again. I still have a Jool moon lander to put in orbit and dock with the Kerbol Explorer 1.

Kobali Primed

Blaugust 2015 Day 26

Last night I got back on track with my multitasking experiment and logged into Star Trek Online. I loaded the game in the middle of a fire fight which made for an exciting start to things. I had forgotten I was in the middle of the Kobali ground combat zone when I was disconnected because of a Comcast outage. So once my away party had dealt with the immediate threats, I set about finishing the remaining missions.

I had four or five left but I did finish the Kobali ground missions finally. I’m a little late the the party on completing those as they finished with a teaser for the featured episode, Dust to Dust, that came out back in February. Still it was quite fun, although I don’t think my Captain, technically Admiral, and officers were well geared for Vaadwaur combat. They died quite a bit, which doesn’t normally happen.

Between finishing up some missions and the steady stream of XP coming in from duty officer assignments, Bryn is nearly level 59. I imagine he’ll be maxed out before hitting the end of the Delta Quadrant content. I hope to have everything finished before the next major release, Season 11, comes out. There’s been no official date announced yet, but I’m expecting sometime in October. I’m excited to see a more hopeful story line emerge.

Tempest

Blaugust 2015 Day 24

Sunday night I returned to my multitasking experiment and started up Champions. I logged into the six heroes, I had already created just to refresh my memory on what combinations of powers I had already played with before heading into the character creator and seeing what I could come up with for a new super hero.

Creating a new hero in Champions, and before it in City of Heroes, has always been a unique experience for me. My favorite heroes, the Blue Ram and Silver Hunter, have always come about because a specific part in the character creator caught my imagination. I started out by picking up some wind based powers, initially thinking I’d create a wizard type character. When I got into the costume creator though as I browsed through different masks and other parts, I happened upon some swept back hair and got the idea for a speedster. A pair of aviator’s goggles and leather jacket started to give me more of an idea on the hero’s background.

In City of Heroes, the last thing you do is name your hero. It was always the hardest part because not only was it difficult to come up with a name that was cool and fit the character concept, but you also had to come up with something that someone else was already using. More than once, I can remember scrapping a whole hero design because I just couldn’t find a name that I wanted that wasn’t in use. I’m so glad that Cryptic removed that issue by only requiring names to be unique per account. It’s so nice to not have to look up esoteric synonyms.

Thus after maybe 30 or 45 minutes, I had created the Tempest. A WW2 fighter pilot who vanished in a storm over Europe before reappearing in Millenium City, not having aged a day and with no memory of the lost time.

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I took Tempest through the tutorial and first few levels. I had the impression that the starting experience was more changed than it really was from the Ravenswood articles that I’d skimmed on the Arcgames site. The tutorial Qularr invasion is now framed as a simulation of an historic event rather than a live event, and some of the side quests have been streamlined out. It was fun, but I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t more to it. Completely a problem with my own expectations though and not the game.

GameClient 2015-08-23 23-30-59-26Past the tutorial, you’re dumped into the Powerhouse which avoids an old issue where you ended up in Millenium City first and needed to know where to go. Cryptic has also added some nice training videos, which are in-game cutscenes that explain some of Champions’ mechanics like charge-up powers and maintained powers, and tied the post-tutorial intro quest to watching them. That might sound onerous but they were all very short.

Once I got Tempest trained up and exited the Powerhouse, I was directed to Kodiak on the West Side of Millenium City, just like in the original game. I completed the first five or six missions that he gave me and not much seems to have changed there. It all felt very familiar and comfortable.

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