New Ships, Keybinds and Voice Acting
There has been a degree of controversy over the Discovery Operation Pack that has recently been made available for purchase in Star Trek Online. The bundle featuring ships, bridge officers, cosmetic items and more is displeasing some core players who feel that it is over priced and lacks anything relevant for Romulan and Klingon races. Personally, I’m only interested in two specific items from the pack, such as the Tier 6 Gagarin Miracle Worker Battlecruiser and the combat pet Tardigrade but at present they cannot be purchased separately. So, I shall not be parting with any money at present. The Gagarin Miracle Worker Battlecruiser is relatively similar to the Tucker Tactical Miracle Worker Cruiser, which I already own. However, it is an improvement aesthetically speaking (a subjective point, admittedly), so for me the obvious compromise is to purchase the fleet version and forgo the unique space trait and settle for an additional console slot. As I’m not a high-end player, the look and feel of a ship has as much appeal to me as its stats.
Although not as bad as some MMOs, STO does suffer from a degree of skills bloat, which means that space combat can be somewhat of a “clickfest” at times. Therefore, a lot of players, especially those who pursue high DPS, use keybinds to facilitate the efficient activation of skills. There are third party tools that allow multiple abilities to be assigned to a single hotkey. Most people tend to use the spacebar for this, which can then be quickly used to activate each skill, one after the other. It certainly removes extraneous mouse movement and furious clicking but after some recent experimentation, I have decided return to the old school approach. Manually picking skills and making tactical decisions is half of the fun of space combat and automating this process robs the game of some of its allure, or at least for me it does. Oddly enough, while doing some research as to how to use keybinds and what software to use, I discovered that the console version of STO allows players to automate skills use, as well as weapons fire. On the PC version, only the latter is available. I wonder if Cryptic intend to address this disparity?
Finally, I read this week about allegations of sexual misconduct made against voice artists and actor Vic Mignogna. I am only familiar with the man through Star Trek Continues and his voice work in STO as Captain Isaac Garrett and was not aware that he was well known in the Anime community for his vocal talents. A few contributors to the STO subreddit have raised the question as to whether his dialogue should now be removed and replaced with an alternative actor. It certainly made me stop and think. I am by no means an advocate of kneejerk reactions, but I can also understand why companies, especially those based in leisure industries would want to distance themselves from such a situation until due process has run its course. It will be interesting to see what (if anything) developers Cryptic decided to do. Irrespective of Vic Mignogna’s respective innocence or guilt, the entire matter is escalating and potentially getting subsumed into the wider ongoing culture wars. #Animegate is sadly now a thing and as such I wouldn’t want to see that anywhere near STO or take root in its community.