Star Trek Online: Beyond Endgame
The recent Arena of Sompek Event in STO was immense fun and presented me with an opportunity to fine tune the ground build on my primary character. Furthermore, the current return of the Phoenix Prize Pack has allowed me to spend a lot of my surplus Dilithium. I obtained a Kobali Samsar Cruiser [T6] last night which allowed me to complete the Kobali Space Set. It’s also nice to be able to finally own the iconic Red Matter Converter, which was only previously available in the Collector’s Edition of STO on launch. However, for me the best item available from the Phoenix Prize Pack is the special Phoenix Upgrade Tech (equivalent to multiple Universal Superior Tech Upgrades, with no Dilithium costs). I have used a hundred plus and have now managed to upgrade a lot of my gear to Epic quality. Finally, after months of tweaking and customising, I’ve broken the 30K DPS barrier.
Once you reach level cap in STO you quickly find that the bulk of the endgame is focused upon experimenting with builds and striving to increase your DPS. Although featured episodes and events are regularly added to the game, there are no traditional dungeons offering fancy gear as rewards. Gear is created through the reputation system and then upgrading it offers the opportunity to add modifiers. Events and PVE queues are effectively used as proving grounds. Once a player reaches a certain level of DPS, it requires a comprehensive program of subtle changes to see any further improvements. It also requires a great deal of in-game resources, such as Dilithium and Energy Credits to facilitate improvements. Success requires multiple alts to farm materials and a liking of spreadsheets and min-maxing.
Eighteen months ago, I wrote a post asking advice about a suitable tactical build for a Guardian Cruiser. I fortunately received none whatsoever, which then forced me to trawl through various subreddits and websites and learn about the mechanics of STO. I’ve now reach a DPS level that is certainly above average and I’m pleased with that achievement. However, I don’t see any reason to pursue any further increase because I suspect it will not be that much fun. So, I’ve decided to take heed of my recent return to LOTRO, where I am currently starting from scratch with a new alt. In the case of STO, rather than create a new character I already have three that remain incomplete. The most prudent one to focus upon is my Agents of Yesterday Federation Tactical Officer. Working my way through all the old content will yield multiple account unlocks that would be very beneficial. I can already craft Ultra Rare Mark XIII gear due on all my alts due to a reputation achievement on the AoY character.
Accolades, duty officer missions and cosmetic customisation are all other potential avenues of interest and fun to pursue in STO. Something else that is always overlooked is the fact that you can play through the various story arcs in the game in a group if you see fit. STO is an MMO yet I’ve spent so little time of the game in groups, apart from STFs and events. Playing through some of the stories with others can put a fresh perspective on them. Certainly, grouping in the Delta Quadrant will definitely give you an advantage and allow you to progress through the zone a lot more quickly. And of course, there is always the potential to role play, if that is your thing. Although, I find some of the activities and chat that goes on in Drozana Station and Risa beyond my ken.
As you can see, the endgame in STO doesn’t have to be DPScentric if you don’t want it to be. Like many MMOs, you get out of the game exactly what you put in. The people you associate with can also improve or kill the game for you. Finding the right fleet helps and there are plenty out there. There nothing wrong with taking your time and trying a few before committing to one. Also rushing to level cap is not essential second or third time round. There is plenty of detail and lore to be experienced along the way in the old content. So, I’m going to broaden my outlook and return to an older character and see where it takes me. If everything else fails I can always fall back upon cosmetic changes and goals for my away team. If you can’t be good be beautiful.