star trek

June 25, 2012

Where No One Has Gone Before… Back to STO

“Become part of Star Trek. Adventure in the Final Frontier. You are the Captain.”

 

Rallying words indeed and with Destination Star Trek London coming up in October 2012, what better way to get into the spirit of Trek than to whip out a pair of Spock ears and delve into some Star Trek Online (STO). Challenge number one was trying to remember the account name and password I registered back in 2009! Unless I have missed something totally obvious I cannot find one link which allows you to retrieve any of this information; if there is a reason for that I would love to hear it. Anyway, after realising it was going to be a rather long drawn out process to retrieve this information, I opted instead for creating a brand new account. Now the game is happy to let me in and is busy patching itself, 41% and counting.

 

Back in 2009 I was so excited about this game and couldn’t wait to get into it, so I am quite ashamed to say that this will be my first time actually playing it all these years later, better late than never though right. I’m wondering what the game will be like now since back in 2009 when it was released I remember that it took quite a bashing, as quickly as people were joining the STO community they would also be leaving. I think by the time I was ready to get going, all my friends had quit. Since I already had a WOW subscription running I wasn’t sure I wanted to subscribe to a second MMO, especially one with so much negative feedback; I now regret basing my decision on what other people thought of the game and I try not to do that anymore. But in January 2012 STO moved to a free-to-play model and jumping into the game has never been so easy, instead of charging to play or to download the game they use other means to generate revenue, such as charging for certain in-game items from the Cryptic Store (C-Store).

 

The game is a Cryptic Studios creation and is set in the 25th century and in the Star Trek timeline occurs after Star Trek Nemesis and I’m expecting numerous nods to famous Star Trek storylines and characters from the TV series. It follows the general pattern for MMOs including: player customisation; character advancement; crafting; player rewards and grouping – both into fleets, the same as guilds in WOW, or as usual, grouping with other players within the game to achieve goals or perform Fleet Actions (Raids). You can choose to play as either the Federation or the Klingon Empire, and there are certain races attached to each of these factions.

 

Over the past three years the game has been updated 6 times, into what are termed Seasons. I’ve included some of the highlights below, you can find more information on the <a href=”http://sto.perfectworld.com/”>Star Trek Online</a> website.

 

  • Season 1: Common Ground (Skills and PVP Updates, New Missions and Ships…)
  • Season 2: Ancient Enemies (Level-Cap Increase, New Klingon Episodes…)
  • Season 3: Genesis (Episode Replay, Sector Space Revamp…)
  • Season 4: Crossfire (Shooter Mode, Klingon Updates…)
  • Season 5: Call to Arms (37 Skills, Mission and Economy…)
  • Season 6: Under Siege (Fleet Advancement System, New Max-Level Content…)

 

With all these seasons added STO should be a totally different game to the one which was released in 2009. I would be really interested to hear from other gamers who have played STO, or are still playing STO, but right now the only thing to do now is wait for the patch to finish and then decide which race I’m going to play – the important part, obviously.

July 2, 2011

Space Battles!

The title says it all, it’s a nerds wet dream, watching massive starships slugging it out.  It doesn’t matter if there is a reason for it or if they are just there because they can be.  It’s exciting and entertaining and today we are going to take a look at some of the best games and movies to play and watch space battles in and we are going to link you to all of the best space battles videos that we can find in one spot.  While this does stray from our usual article style I think everyone here loves space battles so I don’t think we will have any complaints!

I am one of  ‘those’ individuals that could watch a 2 hour movie that consisted entirely of spacebattles and I would watch it over and over again.  I’ve actually gone on youtube and spent hours searching for random videos of space battles that I can find.  What is it about space battles that entertain us so much?  Is it the flashing lights?  The majestic sight of million ton starships slugging it out for supremacy or perhaps it’s just the notion of an epic firefight in space.  Whatever it is it has lead to the creation of usermade videos and websites such as SpaceBattles.com which has a very large user base and games dedicated entirely to space battles such as Gratuitous Space Battles and Star Wars: Empire at War.  The ways space battles are portrayed has changed drastically over the past 40 years.  The original Star Wars films used individual models for their space battles and large sets and self made and timed explosions.  Creating a space battle such as one seen in Star Wars: Return of the Jedi would have been extremely labor intensive and if you messed up you would have to rebuild a model and that could be expensive and time consuming.  Now fast forward 25 years and we have CG generated space battles and they can be created from small to large scale without having to setup scale models and filming them one by one.  This allows companies and fans to generate large scale space battles at almost no cost.  Granted the ones you see in cinema cost a great deal of money to create but they also look a great deal better then ones you might see in a fan made movie. 

Star Wars: Return of the Jedi –   this was the first space battle that I was ever exposed to as a child.  My father told me I should watch these movies and that he thought I would love them.  I believe that I was 8 at the time and he was correct.  I loved the movies and still watch them to this day and even though it was made over 30 years ago it still looks amazing

 

Star Wars: Revenge of the Sith – the intro this film is intense and probably one of the best in the series

 

Serenity – this is one of those movies that you either love or you hate and it’s sadly a underrated title and really good film based in the firefly universe.  Firefly for those of you who don’t know was a very short run show that was cancelled very early during it’s run.  If you haven’t watched it you should do yourself a favor and pick it up at your local store.  Serenity coincidently contains one of the best space battles in current live action cinema.

 

*I apologize for the bad music*

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine  – Probably the best space battles a Star Trek series has boasted if not the most grand.   Deep space nine actually sported several large space battles including two sieges on Deep Space Nine, one by the Klingons and one by the Dominion and several other large engagements

 

 

Mass Effect –  The battle of the citidel is the best example of a space battle rendered in game.  It’s also one of the best I’ve seen as well. 

 

Babylon 5 – One of the best Sci-Fi shows ever to see the light of day and it also has some of the best space battles.  There were many space battles through Babylon 5’s five seasons and several made for TV movies.  I’m going to pick the ones that I thought were the best. 

 

 

EvE Online – The creators of EvE and fans have created several impressive space battle movies.  Here are a couple for you to enjoy. 

 

Battlestar Galactica –  While the name suggests there would be alot of space battles in this show there really isn’t.  That being said it has some truly gorgeous ones that shine when they come about.  I pulled a couple of videos that I think really showcase this.

Fan made – I’ve gone around and collected a group of what I consider to be the best fan made space battles.  I’m sure there are more out there and if there are more that I don’t have and you think that they should be on this epic list I would encourage you to post them in the comments and I will try to add them. 

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