With the Allods Online beta down, I was a pretty sad MMO’er. I have kept a fairly constant diet of Darkfall the last few days but I also like having a “themepark” MMO to play occasionally and Allods has filled those shoes admirably. So, after it went down I started searching for something to tide me over.
1. WAR. Meh. I gave it a real shot but I just don’t think I can ever return for the 10th or so time.
2. WoW. Dead to me. DEAD.
3. AoC. I almost reupped this, until I realized that I had uninstalled it and I really did not want to have to download and install it again. It would take too long. In retrospect, I should have just redownloaded it but I had no idea what I was about to get in to, with ST:O.
So after scanning my options for a bit, I remembered that the ST:O beta was now open. Actually I did not remember it, a little birdy reminded me. As I have said in a previous post, I am not a huge Star Trek fan but I do like sci/fi and a good sci/fi MMO would be great. So, I grabbed a key, created an account and started the download.
At 125-250 kbps. Seriously, this was the slowest download ever. I jumped on to File Planet but the speeds there were no better and I refuse to pay a subscription to File Planet so that I can download a “free” Open beta at faster speeds. So, I went to bed and let it finish.
After I got home from work yesterday, it had finished, so I got ready for some sci/fi action and logged in. Here are my first (and most likely last) impressions from Star Trek: Instanced.
Character creation is what you would expect from a Cryptic made game and this is to say pretty impressive. Tons of options. You can create a known species, like Vulcan, Human or Trill or you can make your own. Thousands of different looks are available. Different skin tones, facial ridges, strange horns and other crazy features are all available for your character’s face. If you want a hideous female monstrosity
with gigantic boobs then ST:I will be right up your alley.
After you pick the looks for your character you can then start setting up traits, such as “accurate”, “techie” or “elusive. Each trait gives a bonus in-game.
Picking a uniform is next and is almost as extensive as designing your face and body type. After finishing that up you name your character (First, middle and last) and name your ship.
And you are off.
You are immediately put into a standard tutorial instance. The first covers ground combat and is very underwhelming. The ground combat is slow, even for low level combat and has no “pizazz” to it. It probably gets better at later levels but its pretty underwhelming as a first impression.
After finishing the ground combat tutorial you head to space. Space seems to be a bit better and the graphics are good. Combat is more involved with shield management and the like being featured.
One thing noticed immediately, is how poorly the game runs. It is bad. Bad framerate. Bad lag. Crashes constantly. The whole nine yards. I have a fast connection and a monster machine and it still chugs constantly. It never feels fluid. I know the normal caveat; “its a beta!”, but even for beta (open beta for that matter!) it runs poorly. Expect the game to be a nightmare for the first few weeks after release. This game needs optimization badly, it is way worse than Champions Online which also ran poorly.
As you can tell by the headline on this post, the game is instanced. Heavily. So instanced that it feels claustrophobic. It never felt like space, it is just too confined. The need to change instances constantly, combined with the bad performance makes for a very poor experience. Frustratingly so at times.
Not being a huge Star Trek fan, this game had to be pretty damn good to impress me into playing it. This did not. Not even close. It feels tacked together and rushed. Short of the character creator there is nothing that grabs you. You can certainly see the fact that it had a short dev time.
Given a bit more time, it may become a decent game but it is entirely too instanced for me. It never feels like a world, just a collection of scenarios.