Follow Us & Boldly Be Social RSS Feed Like us on facebook follow us on twitter Find us on flickr Watch us on youtube

My Reasons Behind Not Buying Star Trek Online: A Fans Perspective By David West

My Reasons Behind Not Buying Star Trek Online: A Fans Perspective By Dave West

I have been a long time fan of Star Trek, watching old reruns on Saturday afternoons back in the mid-1970s. I was at the Las Vegas Star Trek Convention when Cryptic Studios made their announcement about the creation of Star Trek Online. In fact, I was in line to ask a question during the webcast but it ended 2 people before I got to the microphone.

I was at last August’s Star Trek Convention, and was 15th in line to see the preview of the game. I was extremely excited about it, and eventually even hooked up with Sata Alvarez and the STO Radio/MMOJunkies bunch.

But, ever since I got into the closed beta for Star Trek Online, my disappointment in what I was expecting and what was being shown to me started increasing. It is now time for the Open Beta and the Non Disclosure Agreement has lifted, I can now explain my statement:

I am not purchasing Star Trek Online at this time.

First, Star Trek to me is all about interaction. Exploring new worlds, meeting new races, confronting dangerous enemies, all of these things are interactive. Star Trek Online seems to have missed much of what I was expecting in interactions. Most interactions will be taking place as captain of your ship while on your ship. Space missions are 75% of the game, at least, at the moment. Most of the missions I’ve done in the beta had no component about beaming down, or really negotiating. Those that did seemed stale, and carted you through a predetermined path. Since there are no ‘factions’, like other MMO games you can work up to have races like or dislike you, it seems very stagnant.

Second, game balance is an issue with the combats. Some people like tough combats, true, but taking 20 to 30 minutes to take down one ship, when they seem to have unlimited energy and you do not is not right. Add to that ship imbalances as to what you are facing at the beginning of the game, and the game quickly turns into one where I want to toss my keyboard through the window. Any game that makes me scream at the computer is not a good one for me to continue playing. This issue is the primary reason my two good friends who have been in the beta will not be purchasing the game.

Third, lack of content. This is primarily focused on my favorite race, the Klingons, but I expect it will rear its ugly head in the ‘end game’ as well. Klingons are not a full starting race or alliance in the game. They unlock after the tutorial is completed, but their entire side is based upon player vs player combat and advancement. Let me point something out: I have arthritis. I am horrible at player vs player combat, except when I am the healer, and even then if it is a first person shooter (STO isn’t), I’m lousy. I wanted to go through player vs enemy level raising just like you can in the Federation. That’s currently not possible in the game. The lack of player vs enemy conflicts on the Klingon side is a game killer for me. Just look below at the blog and see my picture with Gowron and Martok. Klingons were the thing I most hoped to be able to play, and a wall has been placed at this time for me to be able to enjoy that experience.

Lastly, bug management. I don’t want to razz on Cryptic too much, as it is a different development team than from Champions Online, but you have to look at history. Bugs reported back in closed beta for Champions Online are still present in that game. Will the same thing occur with Star Trek Online? I sure hope not, but the track record is not very good. And, if the launcher for Champions Online goes out of whack, it also affects STO as they use the same launcher. Considering the login fiasco that happened opening day on Champions Online that took three days to resolve, I don’t really want to be near the bigger launch of STO.

So, these are the reasons I am not purchasing Star Trek Online at this time. I do expect after the first month or two that I will purchase the game. Like I said, I’m a Star Trek fan from a long ways back, and the game will eventually lure me in. But, it won’t happen until at least one MMO subscription I’ve maintained has dropped and the initial problems that will occur with the launch are over.

If you believe these not to be issues for you, I wholeheartedly endorse you purchasing Star Trek Online. Like I said, it will suck me in eventually, but right now I’m Odysseus resisting the sirens calling me to play.

Check out David's blog @

Bye Bye, Robot: Official Licensed Star Trek Fine Art