Adventures of the Oculus

screenshot_2016-10-19-22-35-58Captain’s log, Supplemental – The last six weeks had been a flurry of inquiries and investigations around what happened on the moon of Aphis VI. Regardless of the fact that we saved over 6,000 colonists, and made friendly first contact with the Aphisians as a result, we still interfered in an interstellar conflict that crippled the Cassini… and resulted in the loss of twenty two of my crew. 

I know I made the right call, and Starfleet’s ruling last week vindicated my decision. Still, that doesn’t make me any less responsible for the twenty two brave men and women who lost their lives. Losing people under my command is not new – I have had plenty of experience in that during the Iconian War – but this was peace time, and we were on a deep space exploration mission. This wasn’t what my people signed up for.

As vast as the universe is, it feels increasingly small and crowded. With the virtually limitless amount of resources out there and replication technology, sometimes I wonder what everyone is constantly fighting over. The only answer I can come up with is FEAR. Fear that someone with better technology and a bigger gun is going to suddenly show up and annihilate your entire species. Fear that not being top dog means you are destined to be subservient to someone else. Fear that you will forgotten by history and disappear from memory. 

Which is why the Federation is so important…. because the Federation removes that fear. By promoting understanding and acceptance, the Federation is a community where a species doesn’t need to fear its neighbors. It’s easy for those who reject the Federation to decry and make fun of its idealistic tenets, but moreso now than ever, I understand why the institution is such a cornerstone to peace. It’s not so much about following some mighty Federation edict or expanding its influence; it’s the simple idea of providing a framework where everyone can peacefully sit down, talk, and understand each other without succumbing to that primal fear that we all have.

I owe the Cassini an apology, as well as a thank you; we have only served aboard for thirteen months, and she definitely went before her time. She held together long enough to get us back home, but I suspect the damages she took will prove fatal. In a sense, she is the twenty-third crewman that I have lost on this journey.

As I sit here in the ready room of the U.S.S. Oculus, a newly commissioned Nautilus-class temporal science vessel, I find myself wondering what the future holds for my crew and I. What can we do differently that can turn around this incessant fighting in the galaxy? What can we do to prevent more senseless deaths? 

P.S. I am also wondering why they welded the saucer section on sideways on this ship. It’s horribly disorienting.

P.P.S. I can swear this ship is bigger on the inside… Still working through the temporal mechanic calculations in my spare time.

~ Captain Heidy von Bach ~

Having finished tweaking and setting up Heidy’s new ship, the Nautilus-class Temporal Science Vessel USS Oculus, I have been putting her through her paces, running stuff I haven’t done in a long, long time. A few days ago I did another change and started slotting in my first Temporal Boff abilities, which was a bit daunting initially because it meant my already limited number of heals is being further reduced. So how did she perform?

Crystalline Catastrophe – With the modern power creep, CCA’s tend to go fast. Real fast. With the Oculus I just get her into range of the Entity, park and shoot. The great thing about it now is I always place top 3, and the 1st/2nd place reward items can occasionally be worth a good deal of EC.

Oh, the Oculus also has just over 27K shields. In CCA runs she can withstand the Entity’s energy explosions and generally only result in about 5k hull damage. Not bad for such a tiny, fragile ship.

Infected Space Advanced – I’ve avoided this since all the DPSers run it, and I don’t want to get yelled at for being SUCK. :p I ran the Oculus in ISA a few times this past two weeks, and for the most part she can keep up… she’s especially good at handling the nanite sphere mobs.

But ISA can be such a crap shoot, because it varies wildly depending on the rest of the team. The other night I got pugged with a monster DPS team in a 1.5 minute run; they killed things so fast I spent a lot of time doing nothing but flying from point to point, chasing after the action while waiting for my Red Alerts to clear (incidentally, that implies they were already on their way to the next point before the current one is completely cleared… something to keep in mind for future runs). That was definitely due to their familiarity with the STF and piloting skills, and less about ship builds.

I still don’t run combat parsers, but one of them did and they posted the results after the run. Three of them did 90K+ DPS (holy shit), while the last player and me only did around 45k DPS each. Still, considering I was just sightseeing for over a third of the run, that wasn’t so bad. >.>

Khitomer Vortex Advanced – This is definitely better suited for me, since it’s not a race to the finish line, so I can actually sit down, push buttons and play properly. It may take her a while, but the Oculus can comfortably handle one side on her own if necessary, and between GW and TBR no Borg probe can slip past her. I did exactly this the other night, with four guys on one side and lil ol’ me on the other; took a while before one of the players realized the imbalance and came over to help, although by then I’ve done half of it already. Still, this is quickly becoming Heidy’s favorite STF!

Badlands Battlezone – Battlezones should be no sweat for a ship that can do Advanced STFs and solo Borg Red Alerts, right? WRONG.

Okay, so this actually isn’t about the ship, but the way players handle the Battlezones. Why do people insist on traveling in vast wildebeest-like herds from cap point to cap point? Not only do they leave other cap points vulnerable to being recaptured by the Terrans, more players trigger more enemies, making things that much harder. I was capturing a point with relative ease when a horde descended on me, bringing with them a whole armada of Terran ships who all got angry at my exotic AOE attacks… and they sank me three times in a row.

Seriously, guys. Stop acting like lemmings.

Procyon V – So…. still no. Doable with the new ship, but still painful and repetitive. No thanks.

So overall, Heidy’s new ship is playing very well. With a fragile hull and small number of heals, survivability is always a concern, but for the most part the little ship hangs together.

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11 thoughts on “Adventures of the Oculus

  1. I call it “the pizza cutter.”

    And I really enjoy your writing, Heidy. It really felt like something from a Star Trek episode or movie. More of this, please. 🙂

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    1. Thanks! Glad you like it. I enjoy writing short snapshots like this to create illusions of an ongoing story… rather than writing an actual story. I’ve been using these snippets to explain why Heidy has been moving from ship to ship in the last year.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I like it. You should make it into a regular series of episodes, time permitting. I’ve been writing my own Star Trek stuff too, in what little spare time I’ve got left these days.

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      2. I never wrote anything out (which is funny since I’m a writer by trade), but when i play i act out dialog between my captain and my boffs. Part of why i don’t run queues is that this makes my reactions very slow.

        One of my friends sent me a collection of boffs with a backstory and relationships for all of them, which i am working into a short narrative to send back.

        I think one of sto’s strengths is that it is a great platform for storytelling since there are so many layers beyond just “mash attack button”.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. Well you should write about them. I love reading about STO characters and their adventures, arguably more so than “how to” articles about gameplay. I also love creating connections with other players’ toons, which is likely a habit I developed from my online text RP (Mushing).

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    1. The latter. She got badly damaged in battle, but managed to hold together and limp back to known space where she was towed back to DS9. Initial assessments indicate she may be too damaged and likely be decommissioned.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. A similar thing happened to my old main character Admiral Jay West’s ship during his 5-year mission to the Delta and Gamma Quadrants. His Odyssey-class flagship USS Phoenix was so badly damaged in a fight with a previously unknown and devastatingly powerful alien fleet that it (or should I say, what was left of it) had to be scuttled (self-destructed) after the surviving crew were evacuated to a nearby planet and later picked up by the remaining ships in his fleet.

        After that very costly (Jay described it as “Pyrrhic”) victory, the Arbiter-class battlecruiser USS Katana was sent to him to give him some much-needed firepower, which the Phoenix had lacked, and it became his new flagship from then on.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Actually, I have to make a little correction here: Jay’s first flagship that was destroyed during their 5-year mission was Sovereign-class USS Phoenix, not an Odyssey-class. Jay didn’t get the Odyssey-class Phoenix (probably Phoenix-A) until after they got back from that mission and started a second 5-year mission to a different part of the galaxy.

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