My off-time has been split between STO and my original hobby (online text-gaming/Mushing — go back to my very first entry if you don’t know what that is), so it makes it a bit harder to blog anything. With this new Delta Recruit thing on STO, I’m going to give it a shot today — along with some initial thoughts about the whole thing.
The premise is simple: the galactic powers are recruiting new officers specifically to fight the Iconian threat, which looks like it’s finally coming to the forefront in “Season 10”. There’s a bit of time-travel going on and a bunch of new perks are being attached to the new Delta Recruits; it’s also nice of them to change up the old story missions a bit… as well as throw in various booster/bonus packages along the leveling path. These changes help make the leveling process less tedious (especially if you’ve been through it half a dozen times already), and also nicely set up the expectation that the Iconians are coming.
Between Fungi and I we made a gaggle of Delta Recruit toons, but the ones we are running the story missions together are a pair of Klingon sisters, Vokme and Salassa (kinda like the Duras sisters, I guess, just… better-looking. ;D ). One thing I didn’t count on is that now I get to fly some of the low level C-Store ships that were either given out in past events, or I purchased solely for their consoles; so now Salassa is flying the Nausicaan Vandal Destroyer, which is definitely different than another old-fashioned K’Tinga battlecruiser. It’s also somewhat refreshing to see a whole whack of low level ships around ESD and in orbit around Qonos for a change — although doing sector Red Alerts is a bit of a crap-shoot now; three times I had to solo the borg fleet and the Unimatrix because everyone else in the Red Alert were brand new Delta Recruits.
Speaking of ships, Cryptic rolled out these three T6 “Iconic” ships: The Andromeda (new version of the Galaxy), Negh’Tev (Negh’var), and D’khellra (D’deridex). I think the STO players are happy about these for a change, and heck, for a day or two even I thought I’d want these! But when you look at their stats, these ships actually stay quite faithful to their predecessors: heavy on tanking, but lag behind on damage output because of the console slots and BOFF seating. I don’t see many Galaxy/Negh’var/D’deridex out there (even Fleet versions), and my personal theory is that it’s precisely because of their reduced damage output; so would that same problem cripple these new T6 iconic ships? Guess we’ll have to wait and see. This does give me hope though, that maybe other T6 iconic ships may be rolling out shortly (give me a T6 Bird-of-Prey!!)
For those of us who purchase Zen from the Exchange, however, it’s been a bumpy ride in the last… couple of months. There’s been a sale after an event after another sale, ad infinitum, and it’s been driving the exchange rate way high. When Delta Recruit hit last week, the exchange rate went through the roof — the highest I saw was 235 dil/Zen. Ouch! Harsh! As of last night it was still sitting at 214 dil/Zen. Call me baffled, but I’m not sure what people are trying to buy right now that would drive the price up so high; we’ve had all sorts of sales before, but the prices were never this crazy.
Another random thought about the featured episode “Uneasy Allies”: Spoiler Alert! I’m curious about the end of the mission, where it’s hinted that the Iconians have so many ships they “blot out the sun”. I’d love to see how this story seed plays out — if played straight and it is in fact true, then I’d think the story loses all logical and realistic consistency. Hopefully there is a logical explanation as to why a hyper-evolved race of brutal conquerors with such overwhelming firepower, would stay in hiding for millions of years.
All in all, Delta Recruit’s been a nice change of pace and a break from the daily grinds. I’m really looking forward to the new galactic map that Cryptic has been showing off, with new graphics and getting rid of the sector borders (and loading screens).