I had my initial run through of the new AOY content in the last couple of nights, with a brand new TOS toon: the sassy and funky Foxy Brown! Long live the 60’s and 70’s! And boo for no huge Afro ‘do! Small ‘fro is the next best thing.
Anywho, here are my initial impressions of the latest STO expansion.
For someone who has minimal attachment to TOS, and thinks the TOS 1966-decor are outright tacky…. AOY surprised me with how fun and refreshing it turned out. Granted, there was no change in gameplay, but the TOS aesthetical overlay was cheesily charming. The ships look appropriately crude, the ground environment look like cardboard sets, and there is no shortage of weird 60’s costume choices to be seen… all of this in a good way.
The new AOY missions feel fresh even though the gameplay is the same, and again it’s the TOS aesthetics that sold them. There is something wonderfully endearing with slowly maneuvering around in old TOS-styled cardboard ships and firing blue phasers with the screeching noise, and chasing smooth-headed klingons in budget set corridors. Cestus III look and feel like what I remember from the episode, and ohmygod rubber-suit Gorn are so squee-worthy. I particularly liked the Taureans, with their very B-movie monster feel, and the way their spears impale you every time is quite frightening. On a tangential note, this makes me really appreciate what TOS was able to do with low tech and limited budget; TOS actually went out of its way to make aliens look and feel properly different, something the rest of the franchise seems to have mostly forgotten with their infamous “forehead alien” designs.
The 23th Century Spacedock is charmingly drab compared to the 25th Century one (this is like going to your dad’s old Grease-inspired malt shop!), but because the place is filled with new AOY toons with fairly homogeneous costumes, it has a far more uniform appearance and is better for it. By comparison modern Spacedock looks like a comic book convention overrun by Cosplayers! Same goes for space — it’s filled with new toons in their starter T1 Pioneers, and an occasional T1 Connie — the uniformity makes it look more like a military harbor of standard ship designs.
I haven’t yet decided whether to get the AOY starter pack, or the full AOY pack, or not get any at all, but Fungi did end up buying the full pack cuz he’s a TOS fan. There’s some funky goodies in the pack, including a crapload of ships ranging from 23c leveling ships, 26c Temporal ships and 31c Temporal ships, plus some TOS costume bits and assorted stuff. Personally I would never pay for leveling ships, and I don’t really like the design aesthetics of the 26c (although that Nautilus looks weird enough that I’d actually consider flying it) and 31c Temporal ships; stat-wise nothing is significantly better than what my toons currently fly, so I may decide to opt out of dropping money completely. That said, if you have a Romulan or KDF Science Toon, you may want to seriously consider the cross-faction Eternal-class Science Vessel; this may be the answer to a lot of Rom/KDF Sci-toons’ prayers.
Speaking of ships, the latest favorite appears to be the Vengeance from the JJ-verse… oh pardon me, it’s now officially called “Kelvin Timeline”. I was parked in ESD orbit last night and spotted three Vengeances already!
As for lockboxes, the JJ-Enterprise is going to be the big draw, but gosh the JJ-D4x-BoP and JJ-Rom-T’laru Carrier Warbird look delicious as hell too. Unfortunately since I don’t play the lockbox game, so I’ll never own any of these ships. Still, eye candy for me!
I haven only tried the two new STFs once or twice (“Days of Doom” and “The Battle of Procyon V”), but not enough to write about them intelligently, except for the problems that jumped out. I will likely post an update once I’ve run these a few more times.
All in all, my initial impression of the Agents of Yesterday expansion is very positive — certainly a lot more so than of Delta Rising. Cryptic managed to successfully capture the look and feel of TOS, and packaged it in a fun and refreshing way. My main complaint is that our stay in the 23rd Century is very brief, as at the end of the AOY missions we get whisked away to the main 25th Century timeline and I assume we become just regular Federation toons. I think that’s unavoidable, but also a bit sad that once we get past level 10 we are forever leaving the 23rd Century behind. I bet a lot of players would love to dress up in 1960 Sci-Fi costumes and hang around 23rd Century Spacedock, right? Surprisingly, AOY has managed to make someone like me want to spend time in a TOS setting, and that’s no small feat.