So this one mission, I have to put out these fires using a special gadget I found. I run up to one of the fires that’s in my way, prepare to put it out, and my bridge officers go scampering off into the fire and start taking damage.
It actually took me a little bit to get them to do it again so that I could take a screenshot.
I’ve been getting a little bit better at deploying my bridge officers, meaning that I’ve stopped just running into combat guns blazing and commanding my bridge officers to focus fire on my target from wherever it is they’ve decided to stand. I’ve actually started taking advantage of Flanking damage (where your shots do more damage if you attack from behind or to the side of an enemy) by sending my bridge officers off to surround the enemy and then run around them myself trying to get behind people and use my sciency powers to knock over people who have shields. And command my bridge officers to attack my target, because focus fire is important, dammit, and they won’t do it unless I tell them to.
I haven’t quite gotten aggro figured out, so ground combat is still a free-for-all. Either I have aggro and I maneuver the target into a position that lets my bridge officers get flanking hits, or one of my bridge officers has aggro and I maneuver myself into a position that lets me get a sniper shot off for massive flanking damage. I have kits that give me multiple powers now, and leveling up inexplicably gave me an additional ability to debuff my enemies, so now I’m constantly switching between stunning people, weakening their shields, and debuffing them so that they take more damage. I have other kits with healing powers, but since both of my science officers (I am a science captain, so I want to have more science officers) somehow both have healing abilities, I haven’t actually needed to heal that much myself. I’ve still got the healing kit sitting in my bag if I need to use it in the future though.
Remember that awesome Wrath of Khan admiral’s uniform I mentioned the other day? Well in a recent patch, they fixed the issue preventing the use of special uniforms on bridge officers. Now all of my officers have matching yet colorcoded uniforms. Yay!
And finally, today I reached Lieutenant Commander. I know, I’m slow, the game’s been out for nearly two weeks and I’m only level 11, but I’m playing this game to enjoy the lore and the gameplay as I go instead of speeding on to an endgame that’s understandably lacking content right now anyway. I keep reading patch notes, they keep saying things like “added more level 42+ missions to the game!” and I’m like “that would be awesome if I were a high enough level to care!”
I now pilot a science vessel that has an additional rear weapon slot. I have placed an additional photon torpedo there, so that I can shoot when flying away from enemies as well as flying towards them. This has proven to be quite useful. This ship also has an additional science console, which doesn’t help me a LOT since I’m still not entirely sure what the stats on the science consoles are good for, but I quickly alleviated that problem by promoting my Klingon science officer to Lieutenant so that she’d have access to a space ability that creates spacial anomalies that debuff nearby enemies, and purchased a cheap Spacial Anomaly-buffing Mark IV console off of the auction house.
The auction house is really a great thing, because there are SO MANY people posting things there, competition drives the prices down. Sure there are some people posting their starter equipment that EVERYBODY gets for 1,000,000 credits, but then there are the people posting stuff for just barely more than you’d get if you sold it to an NPC — which ends up being around half of what you’d pay to buy it off of an NPC. Because gear is so much more understandable than Champions, it’s easy to just search for the piece you want to upgrade. My engines are out of date? Search for a Mark III or Mark IV engine to replace them, and just keep scrolling through the pages until you find a low price.
I also really love the ship customization aspect. You’ve got three basic types of ships, for gameplay purposes. One is a tactical ship, with an extra tactical officer. One is an engineering ship, with an extra engineering officer. One is a science ship, with an extra science officer. In each of these types, you have three basic “classes” of ship, for purely visual purposes. Mine were the Aurora, the Nova, and the Quasar. You can choose one of four base colors, either a light gray, a more bluish silver, a dark military greenish, or a dark gunmetal. You can choose from four different window styles, five different bridge designs (which you’ll only see if you visit the bridge, I wasn’t impressed by any of them because none of them look like a BRIDGE what’s with all these giant rooms and 15-foot doors??? argh) and you can also paint designs on the ship.
The ship is separated into four pieces (body, saucer, nacelles and warp engines), and you can mix and match these pieces from the three different ship classes you have access to for that particular type of ship. I ended up combining the Aurora with the Nova, because I think the Quasar Class looks ugly. Each part of the ship can have separate designs painted on them, each piece has around a dozen different schemes whose names aren’t really descriptive to me at all, mainly named after constellations. You can specify two different colors for these paints, but can’t really tell the game which parts of the design will have what color, and you only have different hues, so I just made both of them the same so it would match.
I also suddenly have this new ability to target certain subsystems of enemy ships. I can choose to take out any of their four systems (weapons, shields, engines or auxiliary) but I know I’m going to forget to do this CONSTANTLY, just like I forgot to manage my power levels when I first started playing. Though to be honest, most of the time I just keep it on Weapons right now anyway, unless I find myself overwhelmed, when I switch to Shields. The game just got substantially more complicated, and it’s going to take me a few levels to get used to all of the new buttons the game gave me.
I’ll leave you with one further thing. I found an extra tribble on one of my missions, so I handed it off to a bridge officer who didn’t already have one so that they could use them to heal outside of combat (they’re obviously not consumed when used, so there’s no reason for every officer NOT to have one unless the sound of tribble cooing annoys you a great deal) and instead of the usual tribble noise, my science officer was holding it at arm’s length while it proceeded to scream its little tribble head off. And I thought to myself, “oh yeah, right, she’s a Klingon. Duh.” And handed it off to my Saurian science officer. Gotta love the attention to detail here.