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  #31  
Old 04-14-2013, 10:53 AM
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Episode 10


This week has us forgetting about the ongoing war for a moment, while we help some researchers in a weirdly designed nebula, and then investigate a theft.

As well, in a patch released this week, Cryptic has overhauled the Crystalline Entity mission, so expect a video at some point to show off the new battle.

Finally, both Mechalomaniac and I reached level 10 last week, which means we increased in rank, which means we unlocked the next tier of starships. I upgraded to the Escort, which is based on the Saber-class of ships. Mecha upgraded to the Cruiser, which is based on the Constitution-class Refit. At this tier of ships, they start defining their differences between the categories, unlike the Light Escort (if a player never bought any of the alternate Tier 1 ships). Escorts get a +15 power bonus to weapons, but generally have lower shields and hull. Cruisers have +5 to all power ratings, and generally have higher hull. Science Vessels have +15 to auxiliary power, and generally have higher shields. Thereís also differences in weapon and Bridge Officer leans, but once you get to the max level thereís enough of a spread of these that itís less important.
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  #32  
Old 04-21-2013, 10:42 AM
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Episode 11


This week has us continue our tour of the universe by visiting one place you might not recognize, and one place you might. But we get back to the actual war effort, at least!
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  #33  
Old 04-28-2013, 10:48 AM
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Episode 12


This week, we start off by ignoring all the ongoing plot threads to run around assisting a group of people who are in various states of distress. We then follow that up by being ordered around by a mysterious figure into investigating a ghost ship.
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  #34  
Old 04-28-2013, 01:44 PM
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Yeah, you definitely need to post that ACE footage.
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  #35  
Old 04-28-2013, 02:02 PM
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ACE:R is SOOOOOOOOOOO BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAD.

There is very few times where I regret spending money for something. 90$ for ACE:R was highway robbery. But I'll probably get around to it eventually, since the level I recorded was especially egregious.
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  #36  
Old 05-05-2013, 10:32 AM
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Episode 13


This week continues on with the ghost theme, as we help out one of Franklin Drake's informants, and then delve into the bowels of an old and run down space station.
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  #37  
Old 05-12-2013, 09:51 AM
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Episode 14


This week we go back in time (twice!) to save the present from the threat of the Dividians!
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  #38  
Old 05-19-2013, 08:38 AM
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Episode 15


So, now that we have saved time and space from the threat of the Dividians, we return to the Klingon war and resolve two of the hanging plot threads we started a while ago.
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  #39  
Old 05-26-2013, 09:23 AM
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Episode 16


After stopping a rogue Klingonís plot to make genetically augmented troops and control a planet-destroying superweapon, we go back to finish off the story of the Klingon War arc in a traditional Star Trek way: through time travel.

Before we do this, though, our heroics and feats have earned both Mechalomaniac and I a promotion, and access to the next tier of starships. I upgraded to the Heavy Escort Refit, which is the C-Store alternate version of the Heavy Escort. The primary ship class that the Heavy Escort is based on is the Akira-Class, which is a fan favourite design. The Refit is specifically based on the USS Thunderchild, though, which explains it's alternate design.

Mecha upgraded to the Heavy Cruiser, which is one of the few chassis in STO where a bunch of the alternate skins are actually canon ships. In this case, it's based on both the Cheyenne-Class and the Constellation-Class (specifically, the USS Stargazer). The C-Store alternate for this category is also unusual for being one of the few times that the alternate is an entirely different ship; in this case, the Advanced Heavy Cruiser, which is the Excelsior-Class.
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  #40  
Old 06-01-2013, 11:33 PM
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Episode 17


Whatís a better way to celebrate saving space and time from evil Klingons then to go to the Planet of Galactic Peace? Sounds like a vacation!
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  #41  
Old 06-02-2013, 12:03 AM
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I totally thought your dude was wearing a cowboy hat in that screenshot there.
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  #42  
Old 06-02-2013, 12:20 AM
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i totally thought your dude was wearing a cowboy hat in that screenshot there.
racist!
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  #43  
Old 06-09-2013, 11:19 AM
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Episode 18


This week we return to Nimbus III, hot on the trail of the thalaron triggers, and also pirates and secret agents.



In this update I talk a bit about the new Warp Core and Singularity Core items that were added as starship gear in Legacy of Romulus. Iíll cover Singularity Cores when we get to the Romulan faction, but for the most part the two cores work much the same. One main similarity is that both types of core now determine maximum warp speed in sector space, instead of it being based on your level. Some special Impulse Engines were used in the past to provide the ability to go past the normal warp limit, and while the items that provided this buff still will, in the future this kind of bonus will only come from a Warp Core now.

Warp Cores are broken into 3 primary categories, and then have a large number of different prefixes for separate buffs. The 3 primary types of cores are:
  • Field Stabilizing, which gives a bonus to Shield energy while also increasing the maximum possible shield energy rating to 130.
  • Hyper Injection, which gives a bonus to Engine energy while also increasing the maximum possible engine energy rating to 130.
  • Overcharged, which gives a bonus to Auxiliary energy while also increasing the maximum possible auxiliary energy rating to 130.

In addition, Warp Cores improve various Engineering-based skills, such as Starship Batteries, Starship Driver Coil, and Starship Warp Core Efficiency. They can also have special prefixes that improve transwarp cooldowns, or bonuses to the Quantum Slipstream, which is an ability players get at max level thatís basically Full Impulse for sector space (but is on a cooldown).

In addition to these bonuses, as Warp Cores raise in rarity, they also get special ones. Blue rarity Warp Cores increase the power rating of one subsystem by 7.5% of the rating of a different subsystem. For example, [W -> S] as a prefix means that if the shipís Weapon energy rating is 100, then it will gain 7.5 bonus Shield energy. This bonus does not take the energy from the primary subsystem, however. Purple rarity Warp Cores also have this bonus, but in addition gains a ďcapacitorĒ power, where you can ďuseĒ the Warp Core to provide a bonus similar to a consumable battery. Itís not as strong of a bonus as the consumable items, and the cooldown is longer, but it is also not consumable and doesnít take up a Device slot.
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  #44  
Old 06-16-2013, 11:30 AM
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Episode 19


With the situation on Nimbus III resolved, Starfleet has decided that our skills are best used to help deal with the Romulan situation near the Neutral Zone. So off we go to deal with traitors and set up physics-defying minefields.
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  #45  
Old 06-23-2013, 10:31 AM
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Episode 20


After cutting our teeth on the Romulan front, Mecha and I have been promoted to the Captain rank, earning ourselves a new tier of ship. This tier can also be seen as the iconic TV ship tier, as everything in it was the main ship from a show, and all the C-Store variants served in the Dominion War.

For myself, I upgraded to the Tactical Escort Refit, which is based on the USS Sao Paulo (also known as the USS Defiant). The Tactical Escort is pretty much the smallest ship you can fly in the game that isnít a shuttlecraft. As an escort, it focuses on forward weapon slots (having 4 forward weapons and 2 rearward ones), and speed/turn rates (the Tactical Escort line has the highest turn rate of all ships in the game), but suffers from lower hull and shields in response. Generally, though, Escorts make up for having lower shields and hull by having a higher Defense rating due to their speed.

The gimmick of the C-Store variant of the Tactical Escort, though, is that it comes with a Quad Phaser Cannon automatic leveling weapon, as the quad cannon is the Defiantís iconic weapon. The quad cannon was, at one point, the highest DPS weapon in the game, but the addition of Mk12 weapons has lowered itís effectiveness a bit. Though apparently there were some upgrades done to it in a previous patch. We definitely seemed to be tearing things up easily, so it couldnít have been too bad. The cannons can be mounted on any ship that can equip cannons, but you can only mount one set on any ship.

For Mecha, he changed gears and upgraded to a science vessel; the Long Range Science Vessel, which is based on the USS Voyager. Much smaller then most cruisers, the Intrepid-class is also more mobile, though trades lower hull for higher shields. But the big thing is that, as a science vessel, the Intrepid also has the passive Sensor Analysis ability as well as the built-in subsystem targeting powers. And science vessels also, as you would expect, focus on Science bridge officer slots, so Mecha has been able to make use of a number of the more exotic powers in the game.

As Mecha hasnít been able to put QUITE as much money into the game as I have, he went with the core version of the Intrepid. The C-Store variant is based on the USS Bellerophon, which served with distinction during the Dominion War. The special console of the variant causes the next torpedo you fire to cause a massive AoE explosion, a technique The Doctor made use of during a brief time he was in command of Voyager.
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  #46  
Old 06-30-2013, 12:12 PM
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Episode 21


After showing our skills at saving a planet from an asteroid, we get sent off to rescue some captured Federation crewmen that were preparing for a strike against the Romulans, and then rescuing some kidnapped diplomats.


As well, the summer event started this past week, so Mecha and I take a tour of the new Risa map, fly around on jetpacks, find hidden idols, and show off our ďbestĒ moves on the dance floor.
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  #47  
Old 07-06-2013, 10:38 PM
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Episode 22


This week we rescue some scientists, and then go and see what horrors they uncovered. Because researching Borg technology always ends well.
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  #48  
Old 07-14-2013, 10:45 AM
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Episode 23


This week we discover the greatest mystery of the last 40 years, and then move on to a surprise that no longer has any impact because of the changes to mission order over the years.
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  #49  
Old 07-21-2013, 10:54 AM
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Episode 24


This week we have a triple feature for you, as we cure a plague, resolve the greatest mystery of the last 40 years, and then save a ship trapped in the most overdesigned trap.
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  #50  
Old 07-28-2013, 09:38 AM
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Episode 25


This week, we start off by facing an unimpressive superweapon, and then infiltrate a massive base with shuttlecrafts.
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  #51  
Old 08-04-2013, 10:04 AM
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Episode 26


This week we infiltrate two different secret bases, as we hunt down a group of Reman terrorists. Or are they freedom fighters...?
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  #52  
Old 08-05-2013, 10:39 AM
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This week we infiltrate two different secret bases, as we hunt down a group of Reman terrorists. Or are they freedom fighters...?

I boan't know!
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  #53  
Old 08-11-2013, 10:12 AM
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Episode 27


This week we help a gang of terrorists freedom fighters as they fight back against an oppressive regime.
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  #54  
Old 08-18-2013, 11:59 AM
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Episode 28


This week we visit Deep Space 9, pick up some new ships, and then take a dip into the Badlands.

At Level 40, players get access to Tier 5 ships, which are the end-game vessels. Now, there are still a bunch of ships that you can only get at Level 50. That said, however, regardless of whether they're L40 or L50 usable, they're all balanced against each other; it's arguable that the lockbox ships are some of the best ships in the game, and they're only usable at L40! But "best" is debatable, since it's all tradeoffs, things I'll probably talk more about as we get to max level.

Not counting lockbox ships, then, once you hit L40 you actually get two different ship choices, each focusing on a separate secondary class. Science Vessels and Cruisers also get some C-Store options; two of which are upgraded versions of T3 ships, and one is an entirely new design. And if you were able to complete Temporal Ambassador during the third anniversary, you also got a L40 version of the Ambassador. Amusingly, Escorts do not have any alternates at L40 that do not come from a lockbox or other special event, however on the other hand it also has the MOST of these ships, compared to any other Federation ship category.

For me, I upgrade to the Patrol Escort line of ships, which has Engineering as it's secondary focus, giving more Engineering power and console slots, as opposed to the other L40 Escort, the Advanced Escort which focuses on Science. The Patrol Escort has an uncommon distinction for being one of the few pre-L50 ships in the game that actually has no skin that's based on a canon ship. The Advanced Escort, on the other hand, is based on the U.S.S. Prometheus.

For Mecha, he was originally planning to upgrade to the Reconnaissance Science Vessel, which has Tactical as it's secondary focus. This class of ships is also arguably all non-canon ships, other then the fact that the leading example of the model of ship this category represents is the U.S.S. Titan, from the Titan series of novels. The other category of ships here, however, the Deep Space Science Vessel, is entirely non-canon designs.

However, he actually chose to pilot the Advanced Research Vessel Retrofit, which is a C-Store ship, and an upgraded version of the Nebula-class. He's only flying this one because the Nebula was given away as the final free ship as part of the Summer event finale. In my opinion, the T5 Nebula is the best ship for a support Science captain to fly, though the Vulcan D'Kyr might be a close second. Or you get lucky with lockboxes, in which case the Wells is also an option.

Going back to lockbox ships, one of the prizes from each lockbox is a url=http://en.memory-alpha.org/wiki/Mirror_universe]Mirror Universe[/url] variant of the normal L40 ships. These variants are actually kind of confusing to deal with, as they are basically taking the names and stats of the L40 ships and swapping them, leaving the skin alone. In other words, a Mirror Universe Patrol Escort is actually a Prime Universe Advanced Escort, but with a different name and the Patrol Escort's BOff and console slots. The benefit of this system is that if you really like the look of one of the L40 variants, but don't like their slot loadout, you can get the Mirror Universe one instead to get the opposite type. And since these ships are not really a big deal, they tend to be really cheap on the Exchange; I regularly see them around 60k Energy Credits, which is pretty dirt cheap when you get to max level and start doing repeatable content.
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  #55  
Old 08-18-2013, 01:10 PM
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Yeah, I got one of the Tal Shiar Adapted Destroyers out of one of the lockboxes with my leftover space bux from way back in the day. It's a pretty nice ship, though most of the benefit derives from the special drive core and consoles rather than the shrapnel missile. Passive transwarp is pretty okay too.
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  #56  
Old 08-18-2013, 01:50 PM
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I was going to buy the Adapted Cruiser for my main for my Cruiser build, but when I saw the new Monbosh I decided to spend my Lobi on that instead.

I'll get the Adapted Cruiser when I get more Lobi, though. I'm really looking forward to them allowing for space NPC teams using the rest of your fleet.
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  #57  
Old 08-18-2013, 02:06 PM
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Yeah, for whatever reason I had a ton of Zen and dilithium on my old character, so I went and bought the odyssey pack and a bunch of master keys. It's probably a great cruiser selection for engineering types, but the tac cruiser of the lot definitely pales to the adapted destroyer for what I wanted out of it.
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  #58  
Old 08-18-2013, 02:27 PM
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It seems that a little bit ago, they greatly upgraded the Odyssey 3-piece set bonus, which makes it a ship I really need to go back and try out again. They changed the old 3-piece bonus to be a 2-piece instead, and added a new 3-piece that lets the Saucer have it's own healing summons and can also use an additional power.

It's, from what I can tell, still one of the best ships for a defensive Engineer build.
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  #59  
Old 08-18-2013, 02:33 PM
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Oh yeah, it's pretty neat, no doubt, but the lack of cannon capacity makes it lacking for tac captains unless you're going the tanky route there. The romulan character I'm working through on the engineering class will get a heck of a lot more use out of it though.
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  #60  
Old 08-18-2013, 05:03 PM
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Sadly Romulans can't make use of T5 ships of the faction they're allied with. You'd be able to give him lockbox or Lobi ships you haven't unpacked, but the Ody is restricted to Federation captains only.
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