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Evening Reading: Star Trekkin

by Garnett Lee, Feb 02, 2010 6:00pm PST

For me two questions accompany the official launch of Star Trek Online today, neither of which the beta answered completely. First I want to know how well the planetary missions can stay the hell out of the way of my enjoyment of flying starships around. As I've noted before, I'm a casual Trek fan at best but I'm a complete pushover for the grand naval battle vibe evoked by its ship-to-ship combat. Star Trek Online delivers a solid video game version of that.

In the series, though, characters take center stage, not the ships, and most episodes dealt with their adventures on away missions. I get that this made them hard to leave out of a Star Trek MMO. It's also easy to translate those adventures into the standard MMO formula. But other than my laser gun being called a phaser and my scanner a tricorder this part of Star Trek Online teeters dangerously close to generic. Every quest I've seen before in another MMO that keeps me away from the next space engagement just annoys me. I'll either have to get interested enough in the world events to care about the away missions or see them develop some unique qualities or they need to be something I can decide to leave to others.

I'm also watching to see how the development of the other races in the game progresses. Same as with the Starfleet stuff already in the game I'm not all that concerned about the planetary missions. I'm really after being able to build up through and access the ships in the other fleets and whatever interesting tech like cloaks they have to play with. That is definitely something that could keep me engaged (hah) in the game. I also have in my head that somehow the space combat will be more open to letting me play off and on than the obsessive nature of most MMO's. That's probably wishful thinking and could wind up scuttling my whole STO career.

To keep you engaged with Shacknews Online our newsyard launched these key stories today:

Not sure whether I actually wanted to know but regardless, CNNMoney.com listed America's biggest consumer rip-offs. Text messaging topped the list.

This Arizona bust of 743 pounds of marijuana in a septic tank truck brings new meaning to "skunky" buds.

A couple of true Packer fans shared this video promising a return of one of their core fans

And, because it is the title of tonight's ER, here's the video for Star Trekkin' [with proprs to DrDemento]