Wednesday, May 12, 2010

STO: Bloodier Than You Might Think...

As most of you know, I’ve undertaken a special challenge to become a “Gamer.” This is especially hilarious considering the fact that my talent in video games is exhibited by the total nerdgasm I get when I reach level four in Tetris.

I have yet to make it to level 5.


You can stop laughing now.

No really, I am HORRIBLE at video games and always have been. My hand-eye coordination is even put to the test when I sew a button back onto my blouse. I have yet to be able to do so without drawing my own blood.

So what the hell made me think that not only could I play Star Trek Online, but that somehow I would find it … enjoyable?

Apparently, I live for self-annihilation. It’s the only explanation.

I have a deep-seeded need to punish myself vicariously through the character I operate on the screen when I play. I even went so far as to join a fleet and subject OTHER people to my grave ineptitude.

Luckily for them however – they were spared my pathetic attempt to join them last Saturday and I ended up in a heap of screaming laughter after I was separated from my fleet. Even the computer thought my attempt to join them was a wildly ridiculous idea and prevented the calamity from occurring.

Last Saturday I met my fleet mates from United Federation Armada in our first ever “fleet action.” This is a team gathering to undertake a fleet mission within STO.

The one we decided to join in on was the “Starbase 24” Fleet Action. This is a mission, like all fleet actions, that can be repeated over and over again. This particular mission has three distinct parts to it: The first part consists of a massive space battle where you have to destroy a set number of a particular kind of battleship and get close to the actual Starbase which has been overrun by the enemy. The second phase is the “ground” portion of the battle where your character beams down with your team and you must defeat numerous enemies and rescue the diplomats that are being held hostage. The third phase is back in space where you must defeat some more enemies and safely transport the hostages to an allied vessel.

All in all this isn’t such a bad mission. I’ve completed it on my own three times. The problem with my most recent attempt was the fact that my utter n00bness revealed itself to my newly befriended fleet mates. I’m not exactly sure how to live this down to tell you the truth.

I showed up on time for the mission.


I brought my Lieutenant Commander character who is a Science Officer and hadn’t yet completed the mission and I figured I might as well kill two birds with one stone by letting him use it to level up a little bit.


No wait! Boo! Bad move Ter – bad, bad, bad - stupid move…

You see. Everyone else in the fleet brought their Admirals.

I showed up in my teeny tiny little science vessel (whopping crew of 100) and sidled up alongside a bevy of Admiral-sized cruisers – each of which had individual nacelles which dwarfed my own entire ship. (Yes, I experienced nacelle envy. How could I not?)

None of us really thought about it, we were all just so determined to accomplish our mission – we kind of forgot about the fact that the system doesn’t necessarily have the capability of letting such ridiculously incompetent officers rub elbows on the same teams as the much more capable Admirals.

I got teamed up with three wonderful men. The decision was made that we would play on the “Advanced” setting – which would be a good medium for those like me who usually played on “Normal” and those that loved the extreme challenge of the “Elite” setting.

I understood that "injuries" could be received on the “Advanced” setting – but didn’t think much of it because I had good teammates to rely on. The team leader made sure that I knew whose lead I was to follow and which baddies I was supposed to shoot first and we all jumped in.

Except I was sucked into a temporal vortex.

My character arrived in the space surrounding Starbase 24 and I flew around shooting enemies but couldn’t for the life of me see where my teammates’ ships were. Were they really that much faster than me? Had I been left in the dust already? I looked at the screen and talked to my fleetmates…they couldn’t see me either. I just shrugged it off and kept shootin’ like a good little Starfleet officer and waiting for a change in orders. But no change came. I busted my ass to make to the Starbase – hoping that my teammates and I would find each other when we got inside…

Alas – that temporal vortex has really done its job well. I had been surgically removed from my team because I was a measly Lt.C. and didn’t have the tools necessary to fight the harder enemies my teammates were fighting in the other dimension.

I stood in the foyer of the ground action – “spoke to” the NPC in the corner to get my mission orders – all the while, still trying to see if my teammates were merely just kicking Klingon ass down the corridor when …

… all hell broke loose.

Suddenly my poor LtC Science officer – armed with a sniper rifle and standard issue personal shield was engulfed by a raging pack of Klingons. Four Warriors, two Swordmasters and a Targ Handler swiftly rushed in upon me and within a single breath, my shields were down and I was sliced into targ treats.

The red flashing light and the word “Incapacitated” bellowed at me from the screen.

Incredulous, I clicked on my favorite “Respawn” button but this time was greeted with a notice I had never seen before. “You have received a Major injury. Broken Ribs.”

I was like… “Fuck you Klingons! Give me broken ribs, will ya?” and I moved forward with my self-esteem packed sniper rifle and took aim at the rat-bastard Swordmaster that had the audacity to break my ribs!

I never got the shot off.

POWPOWPOW – bat’leth rises…bat’leth descends.


Sigh. Click “Respawn.”

“You have received a minor injury. Concussion.”

“Fuck you Swordmaster! I’m so going to get you!” Run forward, aim.

POWPOWPOW – bat’leth rises…bat’leth descends.


Grrrrrrr. Click “Respawn.”

“You have received a major injury. Muscle tear.”

“Muscle tear–schmuscle tear – I’ll show you - you mother fucker!”

Run forward. “There’s the dirty bastard!” Aim.

POWPOWPOW bat’leth rises…bat’leth descends.


“GOD DAMMIT!” Click “Respawn.”

“You have received a major injury. Muscle tear.”

“I’ll show you muscle injury you fucking Klingon scum!”

Run forward – oooh this time I’ll try a new tactic! That’s right I have a KIT! The Kit will save me! Click on Sonic pulse.

Sonic pulse releases.

Pisses off 12 Klingons instead of just 6.

POWPOWPOW! Bat’leth rises…bat’leth descends.



Click “Respawn.”

“You have received a major injury. Combat fatigue.”

*Wipes tears from her eyes. Nods* “Uh huh. I am tired. I’m tired of big mean Klingons. I want my mommy.”

Click – “Abort Mission.”

“Are you sure you want to depart the system – your mission progress may be lost.”



Transwarp jump to Sol System.

I drag my bloodied, sorry-ass little Lt.C. to the Chief Medical officer. “Cost to treat: Muscle Tear 800; Muscle Tear 800; broken ribs 800; Combat Fatigue 800; Concussion 100”


“No. 3700 ECs please.”

“But…but I only have 8900! I’m a god damned Lieutenant Commander! I just got my commission yesterday!”

“3700 ECs please”

“Fuck you. Fuck you and your Ferengi-like attitude. Here! Here’s your stinking money! Now heal me!”

“Thank you – you’re healed.”

“I’m not saying you're welcome, you Bajoran dillweed.”

No answer.

“Fine. Be that way.”

No answer.

Grumbles and walks away.

Later that night I realized what I had done. In my excitement to play with my fleet mates, I didn’t remember that I wouldn’t be allowed to fight along side my teammates due to their elevated experience levels, weapons strength, etc. But my biggest mistake was not leaving the team immediately after I had discovered the game sent me to an “alternate universe battle.”

By staying with my team – I stayed adhered to the setting of the team leader. On Advanced. When I beamed into the Starbase – I should have beamed in with teammates. But they were on a different starbase and I was left ALONE in the starbase scenario I was shipped to. If I had left the team immediately after realizing I had been separated, my NPC bridge officers would have joined me for the ground battle that shattered my character and my self-esteem so brutally.

I only had myself to blame.

I paid my credits – got healed and learned a very valuable lesson.

ALWAYS bring a battle buddy. :)

I’m busy trying to level up my Captain character in order to fully participate in the next “Admirals” fleet action our fleet does.

But – I’m still hording the injury repair kits…just in case.