Evening Reading: Boldly Going

With Star Trek Online going into open beta today (we've got 1000 keys below) and the full launch just a couple weeks off I can't help but wonder if it will fare any better than the first attempt at a Star Wars MMO. I wouldn't really call myself a trekkie but the idea of captaining the Enterprise (or a similarly cool starship) in battle sounds plenty enticing. And from what I saw at Gamescom in Cologne last year Star Trek Online has a pretty good chance at getting that part right.

It's the away team missions I'm not nearly so sure of. I can't help but be reminded of seeing Pirates of the Burning Sea a couple years back. The first time they brought by the game it was all about the ship to ship combat. It looked cool. But somewhere along the line it was decided that they needed third-person sword fighting ("swashbuckling") as well. First it was to be DLC but then it completed the creep making it into the released version. To me it didn't look that great, handled clumsily, and overall detracted from the game.

I appreciate the desire to create a more complete world with more than just one facet of the experience. The thing is; once it's in the game, there's no getting off the hook for it. I'd hate to see Star Trek Online pull off the large-scale starship engagements that really give the series (at least to me) the unique part of its appeal only to get bogged down in poorly executed adventures. But, at least with their experience on Champions Online, developer Cryptic Studios definitely has a shot at getting that part down too. I'll know soon enough as I plan to get some time in the beta hopefully this week and if not before then over the weekend for sure.

If you'd like to check out Star Trek Online we've got 1,000 activation keys to hook you up (UPDATE: All 1,000 have been claimed). All you've got to do is download this pretty picture of a Klingon bird of prey and our email system will shoot you a note with the code. (yeah, it's funky but our automated system needs something for you to click download on to trigger the email)

Then, while you're waiting for the game to download, check out today's news:

Apologies for not have a rest of the crap set of links today. Have to make up for that tomorrow.

Oh, and here's a link to the Star Trek Online beta client

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