Character Design: Star Trek Online

I bought Star Trek Online about a week ago for 3,50€ at Amazon. Yesterday, it was on sale at Steam for 2,75€. A friend and bookahnerk both bought this version and I was a bit jealous when I saw that it came with 500 Atari Tokens and the costumes from TOS (The Original Series – Kirk etc. ;) ). TOS is what got me hooked to Star Trek when I was a little girl. So it always has a special place in my heart. Also, those skirts are sexy! ;)

Then I found out that I could buy this special edition from Steam and add it to my current account. What I hadn’t known until then was that the paid time also stacks! So far, whenever I added a second key (if it worked at all), I only got the extra goodies but never the paid time. So now I got TOS costumes, 500 Atari Tokens and 60 days of paid time for not even 6,50€. That’s what I call a great deal… although, only if Cryptic doesn’t get closed within the next few days. ;)

I know that Cryptic doesn’t have a good reputation with their games Champions Online and Star Trek Online. Too early release, not enough content, bugs, crashes? I’ve read a lot of bad things about those games. By the way, Star Trek Online has been very stable and bug free so far. I also can’t complain about a lack of content which is probably because my character is still small (Starfleet Lieutenant – level 8). I especially love that players can design missions and even though I’ve only done three so far, I enjoyed one very much, another one was also good and the third was a bit boring. Still, it’s great to see what players come up with!

But above all, I love the customisation. At the same time, I hate how a lot of options have to be bought first – for real money! It just lets me hope that STO will maybe go down the freemium way like Champions Online did (and LotRO and Global Agenda and soon Age of Conan,…).

You can create the look of your character and can later change it in the game! Only the most basic decisions will stick (if you decided for a human, you can’t become a vulcan later on). You can also choose “alien” which gives you every option available apparently. My Paeroka started as a blonde. Then I decided that I didn’t like her hair. So the ended up taking off her wig and stopped filing her little horns. She’s also a kind of reptile-like alien who switches skin colour every now and then (especially when I decide to redo her costume and change the colours… can’t have her skin colour and clothing colours clash, right?).

Here are a few more samples. Some are “human”. The rest is alien. Pretty easy to distinguish, I’d assume. ;)

But that’s not everything. You can also change the design of your spaceship – and get different spaceships later in the game. But I don’t think I’m far enough into the game for that. I’m also much too confused about skills and how to decide for which skills and which spaceship and how to spend your skill points for your space ship abilities etc. I am just happy I have a spaceship whose design I like. That’s all I need for now. ;) So here’s my slightly pinkish spaceship:

There are Klingons as well, of course. Federation Klingons have to be bought from Cryptic’s item shop (I actually really dislike Cryptic for designing their game that way. You need to pay a monthly fee and on top of that, half of their customisation has to be paid for. Add that to the critics of not having enough content and launching too early and you get very bad business decisions if you ask me! Also, it’s annoying to see those Atari Token signs next to every other option when you just want to make your character or spaceship look pretty). Klingons that belong to the second faction (“Klingon Empire” consisting of Klingon, Gorn, Lethean, Nausicaan, Orion, Joined Trill and Liberated Borg) are free, thankfully! You just have to reach a certain level (I think it was the 6th) and get the second faction unlocked then. I haven’t played my Klingon much yet. I just played with the customisation feature (she’s blood-pink, of course! Makes her look more vicious ;) – the character in the picture below isn’t my Klingon, I forgot to screenshot her. This is just a Klingon I got by clicking on “randomise”).

Last but not least: Tribbles! Made me squeal. You can even breed them. I accidentally created another one by putting food into the same container and then forgetting it in there.

This entry’s gotten rather long now. In the end, I can only say that I adore their character design and the vast amount of options to choose from! Of course, I’d prefer not having to buy half of the options (mostly costumes, though)… unless they were f2p. Which they aren’t. So boo to them for that!

I’d really like to ask ArenaNet whether Guild Wars 2 will have a character customization like STO. When asked if it’s more like Aion or Guild Wars, they said that it’s not going to be like Aion (where you could create horribly distorted characters and there, you don’t even have aliens!), so more like Guild Wars. But Guild Wars is really restricted and it’d be a shame if GW2 was like that. But well, that’s a topic for another day. ;)


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