Delta Rising – First Look

Amidst all the excitement, anticipation, dread and outright outrage (overall brouhaha, really), Delta Rising finally hit yesterday. After struggling a bit with this weird Error 36 for an hour, I finally managed to log in to get my first taste of the expansion.

Granted, I haven’t done a whole lot last night. Like most people, my main focus on the first day is to check out the official T6 ships and how the T5 ship-upgrades work. Of my four main toons, two of them have not gotten an “endgame ship” — T’Leia still flies the free Hermes-class Patrol Escort and R’Jal has a Mirror Universe Mogai refit — I’ve been holding them off for the T6 ships. So it’s a bit of a long wait finally coming to an end for those two!

Anyway, upon checking the content changes that I’ve seen so far, here are some first impressions:

  • The 3000 zen cost for T6 ships is widely rumored and confirmed, so no real surprises there.
  • The upgrade token cost for T5 ships is 700 zen. This is on the high side and economically perplexing; if you buy a T5 endgame ship at 2500 zen and upgrade it to T5U, the whole thing costs you 3200 zen. It costs more to get a T5U ship which is slightly less effective than a 3000 zen T6 ship? Unless you already own one, there is no incentive for anyone to buy a T5 C-Store or Fleet ship ever again. To me the upgrade cost needs to be lowered to a maximum of 500 zen to keep the old ships viable.
  • Out of sheer curiosity, I queued up for a couple of STFs to see what’s changed. My first attempt at Crystalline Entity (Advanced) was a horrendously long battle; I think the team beat on that thing for 45 minutes before it died. It’s evidently not just the main baddie itself, but even the Tholian ships took forever to destroy. My second attempt, Infected Conduit (Advanced) was even worse; the mission failed us out after 10 minutes. Is this the same for all the STF missions? I should hope not, because I can’t see myself doing these at the current level of difficulty.
  • I got T’Leia a T6 escort, and took it out for a brief spin around Defera. Still need to get used to the Intel abilities, but on that first tour its performance doesn’t feel appreciably better than the old free T5 escort, even with the additional console slot. The difference is probably going to become noticeable as she levels towards the new cap, I expect.
  • Haven’t made the leap to the Delta Quadrant yet, and not yet in a hurry to. Probably this weekend… looking forward to that!

There will probably be tweaks coming as the player base finds out more about the expansion. Stay tuned!

Fiction – Shades of Grey 001

The evening’s events were unexpected, but also thought-provoking. Certainly, the presence of Tal Shiar spies on New Romulus was no surprise, but for one of them to beam directly into D’Tan’s personal office was alarming to say the least. If the Tal Shiar wanted to assassinate D’Tan, they have proved that they could achieve this without difficulty; the fact that the Proconsul of the Romulan Republic was still alive was a testament that things were changing.

But for the better, or worse?

Continue reading Fiction – Shades of Grey 001