STO: Klingon starter zones

Since I’m playing Neverwinter pretty regularly with my partner, I’ve been wanting to play Star Trek Online rather than just an alt in Neverwinter when I have a few hours to myself.

We created a duo pair of Starfleet captains when we initially tried the game, but even then I knew that I wanted to give the relatively new Klingon PVE campaign a go. Although I am a latecomer to the game I have always read articles about it since it’s launch in February 2010, the lack of a fully fleshed-out PVE campaign for Klingon characters was a point of contention and was only fully addressed by last year’s expansion, the Legacy of Romulus.

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The space combat is truly a shining feature of this MMO as it is very unique in the genre to have such a detailed and tactically interesting vehicle combat system. The Klingon campaign from what little I’ve seen so far seems to have, appropriately, a more no-nonsense attitude – less talking more shooting of enemy petaQ. It’s refreshing as the Federation tutorial was very dialogue heavy at least in the first few missions. There’s also the distinct difference in how the two starter ships handle in space combat – I had expectations from my years of playing the Starfleet Battles (SFB) board game and they were met by the MMO’s rather faithful adherence to the lore. The Klingon starter ship, a B’rel bird of prey, is all about offense and facing the enemy, rear shields are practically an after-thought as no Klingon would ever run from an enemy!

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I was surprised by the game’s apparent willingness to challenge me early on. I’m already ahead level-wise on my Klingon compared to the Starfleet duo character and the difficulty is ramping up.

In recent missions I have had to face three or four opponents, or as in the screenshot above one very tough opponent and defeat them by being tactical – sitting in front of them and mashing buttons on cooldown would result in a swift death I’m sure. Thankfully I remember the tactics from SFB of turning in combat to spread damage over the different shield arcs and it works just as well here if the enemy AI plays along. I do miss having the drain shields ability that science officers Fed-side get early on, that can really speed up a combat! But the tractor beam ability given instead does allow for positional tactics which work well enough with the B’rel class ship.

The ground combat missions are interesting as well, I particularly like it that NPCs seem to have conversations with you to fill-in plot as you walk or run around the zones.

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Ground combat seems to be less tactical – it has ranged and melee options. At least as a Klingon melee does seem a good choice but most opponents are ranged so it’s situational at best so far. I chose the tactical career path for my Klingon character, so I have grenades already as an ability, which makes combat a lot easier in the early missions as the game likes throwing large groups of weak opponents at you.

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