If you’re not playing Star Trek Online as a massive, bipedal lizard SCIENTIST that BITES PEOPLE, then you’re playing it wrong.
After an extremely long hiatus of over a year, I decided yesterday to download STO and give it another shot. Many moons back, I purchased a lifetime subscription for this very purpose: the ability to drop in and out of the game at my leisure.
Several years back, Melmoth wrote an incredible piece on returning to old MMO characters. Being Melmoth, it’s both well written and funny:
And that’s pretty much your standard reasonably high level character in an MMO after you’ve been away from them for any significant period of time. You start looking at all the buttons and, if you have any sense, run away screaming. If you don’t do that, then you’re possibly the sort who laughs merrily at all the power that your character must possess, because look: there are six finger-aching hotbars worth of buttons there! So you immediately run into a fight with three or four mobs of plus five levels, and as your character’s health starts to careen its way off the side of the screen you start maniacally pressing buttons in the order that you seem to vaguely remember from several months ago, and it all goes downhill from there. You find the button for ejecting your character’s armour, you find the button that sends up a flare in order to attract all the other mobs in the zone, the button that changes your hair colour, the one that launders your underwear (which you note down because it’s about to become quite useful), and you find the button which announces in General Chat that you’ve taken off all your armour and are currently flashing your whiter than whites at fifteen hundred angry orcs. And that’s when you remember that you were thinking of the buttons for another character, from a different game entirely; you watch your character vaporise into a cloud of bloody droplets, and all you can think is ‘well at least I know which button gets those stains out of my character’s underwear’.
Aaaaaaannnnnnnnnnddddddddddd that’s what happened to me, except even worse. Well, maybe not worse. But I’ve not played STO since the game went free-to-play, so eighteen months of updates flashed before my eyes: here are your 600, 700, 800, 900, 1000 day awards! Let’s drop those old quests, and here are a few new ones! Now here are some quest givers, chatting you up! Respecs! New currencies!
So I did what any self-respecting returner would do: I made a new character.
“My Hegemony, right or wrong.”
Ragnar Wrex is a gorn of science. Before the outbreak of hostilities with the Klingon Empire, he was an up-and-coming figure in the field of applied quantum manipulation, with two published papers in press and a joing Federation-Gorn research appointment lined up on Cestus III. In fact, during the Siege of Gornar, one of Ragnar’s papers was presented in absentia to the Vulcan Science Academy.
But times change, and now the Gorn King Slathis has sworn fealty to the Klingon Empire. The KDF, always short capable engineers, humbly requested that its newfound “ally” supply a cadre of technically minded gorn for advancement in the Klingon navy. Ragnar’s engineering abilities soon caught the eye of a particularly technologically inept Klingon captain — and the ignorant Klingon, taking Ragnar’s height and strength as proof of leadership capability, submitted the gorn’s name for officer training.
In private, Ragnar despises the Klingon Empire. A true believer in the Hegemony’s manifest destiny, Ragnar believes that some day, he and like-minded gorn will overthrow the Klingon occupiers and restore the Gorn Hegemony to its rightful place as a first-tier interstellar power. Then, and only then, will Ragnar be able to run his experiments in peace.