Fire Phasers! How to Maximize Your Trekdom in Star Trek Online
One of the joys of being part of a major fandom is sharing your love of that particular franchise with others. This is normally done via social media, online forums, and at conventions. However, there are some great mmorpg games that allow fans of a franchise to have adventures within that franchise's universe. Two of these are Lord of the Rings Online and Star Wars: The Old Republic, but an absolute favorite of mine is Star Trek Online. There are a lot of ways to get your Trek geek on through some great Star Trek Online features. It's time to live long and prosper as we examine how Star Trek Online features can maximize your Star Trek fandom.
The first of the Star Trek Online features that I want to discuss is the ability to play races specific to Star Trek lore. There are ton of playable races for players to choose from, and STO (which you can play for free here) also allows you to create your own alien race for your character. The most tempting option for many players is to create a Vulcan so you can adventure across the quadrants in all their logical, pointy-eared glory. My preference for a Federation character is an Andorian, as that they are my second favorite race in all of Star Trek (and my favorite Federation race). When the game first started, players had to reach level ten as a Federation character in order to play as a Klingon, and tons of players raced through the levels in order to unleash the Klingon warrior inside them within the game. I gave a squeal of Trekkie glee when Romulans became available to play as a faction. They are my single favorite race in Star Trek as they're militaristic, Roman-style Vulcans. You just don't get cooler than that!
Another of the Star Trek Online features that allows you get your Trek geek on is the many locations found within the game's virtual world that are taken from the movies and TV shows. Like every player, I've made a pilgrimage to Vulcan to stand upon the arid surface of that world where Spock once fought Kirk in Amok Time. Now it serves as a place of honor with the statue of Leonard Nimoy presiding over the landscape. There are other notable locations, such as Deep Space Nine, the Earth Spacedock, and Qo'noS (the Klingon home world). Who doesn't want to travel to Deep Space Nine and play a few hands of Dabo at Quark's Bar? It's absolutely tremendous to be able to visit iconic locations from the franchise within the game, and it honestly never gets old for me.
Starships are another of the Star Trek Online features that help get your Trek joy overflowing. I love that the game allows players the ability to have a good number of ships within their personal fleet, with many of them taken directly or inspired by the TV shows and movies. My friends who grew up watching Star Trek: TNG couldn't wait to get their hands on a Galaxy class ship, and the Defiant class starship is popular with those who followed Star Trek: DS9. Personally, I plan on snagging a Constitution class ship. Of course, one of the ways that a Trekkie can really get into the mood is to get involved in some ship-to-ship combat. One of the strongest Star Trek Online features is the game's incredible space combat, which is well designed and just plain fun to do. Players can engage in PvP as well as multiple queues to scratch that starship combat itch. Starships in STO also have another function to allow fans to geek out a bit - the ability to walk around in them. Nothing gets me feeling that I'm in the Star Trek universe more than by visiting my bridge and walking around the interior of my ship. Even better is that you can invite friends to join you, so the ship interiors are a great way to have some role-playing without the worry of being interrupted by other players. As I'm a huge Star Trek: TOS fan, I had to pick up the bundle that had an original series theme for the interior. I like to just hang out on the bridge, listening to all the pings and other sounds I grew up with while watching the show in syndication.
While you can walk around a themed ship interior, it would behoove players to actually look the part. Another of the Star Trek Online features that helps players maximize their Trek fandom is the large number of cosmetic gear that can be picked up. Players can wear uniforms from all of the TV series as well as some of the movies. A popular choice is attire from the Mirror, Mirror universe. Sometimes, I slip into my character into her Wrath of Khan uniform as I think it looks sharp (usually followed by screaming the Khan emote while at a hub). There's even uniforms from Star Trek: The Motion Picture (a really dull movie) if you're really into the pajama look. I'm saving up my Zen so I can pick up the original series costume for my Romulan character.
Finally, the last of the Star Trek Online features that really gets my Trekkie juices flowing is hearing actors from the franchise lending their voices to the mmorpg. This is a huge plus for the game and really makes it stand apart from every other franchise-themed mmo on the market. The number of Star Trek actors who have appeared in the game is staggering. Some of them include Michael Dorn, Garrett Wang, Denise Crosby, Jeri Ryan, Tim Russ, Chase Masterson, Tony Todd, Robert Duncan McNeill, and Walter Koenig. Then there is hearing Leonard Nimoy offering you his congratulations every time you level. With the Agents of Yesterday expansion fully opening the game to time travel, I hope that we will eventually see every major actor from the Star Trek franchise voicing their character within the game. I know I'm really geeking out over this, but it's damn cool to see and hear the characters that I've watched on the big and small screen be in the game.
As you can see, there are quite a few Star Trek Online features that really allow fans of the Star Trek franchise to totally nerd out. Visiting iconic locations from the TV shows, playing a favorite race, being able to use ships and costumes based upon the different eras, and getting to listen to actors reprising their roles are all ways that the game really allows player to maximize their Star Trek experience by simply logging in. I didn't even bring up those pesky tribbles that seem to breed whenever you're not looking!