With Star Trek Online being the only Game to get on Both my Top 10 Games of a Year, and with a plan to get a Review out every so often. Given that there’s a Large update just has been released, so why not do a review of the New Expansion?
The big things Victory is Life include adding a New “Faction” or Race the Jem’Hadar, in this DS9 Themed Expansion. The Jem’Hadar Race were part of the main Villains in the DS9 show The Dominion, from Season 3 to the Finale. For many existing player characters, is the addition of the Gamma Quadrant, which is the area of space where The Dominion is based. As with every expansion to date, the game comes with new story Missions or Episodes, with one Exclusive to the Jem’hadar, and another 5 for all player characters. These Missions are voiced by many DS9 Actors who came in to record for these Missions or episodes. (Games like Star Trek Timelines often uses clips from the show.) Finally, there is a Small level increase from 60 to 65, and ability to get or upgrade to Mark 15 Gear.
Let’s go in to detail with the new Race, The Jem’Hadar, it start at Level 60, with several end game perks already unlocked. While you can play with as “Standard” Jem’hadar, which offers decent Ground Combat Bonuses (Reflecting the Nature of Jem’hadar as soldiers), you can play as a Premium Variant, known as the Jem’Hadar Vanguard, which has Bonuses to Space combat in addition to the Standard Ground Bonuses. Both Variants will get some End game progression completed in several of the game systems. This would mean step up for many players, as this would cut down at least a full month of play time. It some what reflection of the Lore of the Jem’Hadar, being a race grown artificially. This was shown in the TV Show Episode “The Abandoned” .
The Exclusive Jem’Hadar mission is partly a shake down Mission to let the player get a feel for the New ship given (or Purchased) to Jem’Hadar, and offers a New perspective of a previous mission Scylla and Charybdis.
As explaining what you do in that mission outside saving DS9 from Newest enemy to that the players encounter the Hurq, involves going really deep in to the lore and talking about a few lines from a single TV episode.
Bumper Robinson, one of the Actors who played the “Teenage” Jem’Hadar in Episode “The Abandoned” reprises this role, who now is a Jem’Hadar Elder. He acts as Odo’s right hand for most of the time. He also talks with player often.
Odo is now a leader within the Dominion, and is played by René Auberjonois. He is joined by Weyoun, a Vorta clone, played by Jeffrey Combs. This is the 10th Clone of Weyoun. It was previously believed that Weyoun 8 was his last clone in the Final episode of DS9.
For Gameplay reason, the games will ask a player to pick to Either join the Federation or the Klingons, similar to the Romulans. This is a permanent decision, as the game will grant that character access to certain privileges and block others. While this mission can be played again, this choice won’t be granted again.
Storm Clouds Gather is the first mission for all characters regardless of Faction, has the players exploring the updated DS9. This updated look is very close to the Show, especially compared to before. As the show only had one third of the full Promomade build as the Set, the game developers needed to add missing section. The main reason is to introduce yourself to most of the returning characters, while being escorted by Nog, played by Aron Eisenberg.
Nog was a regular on the show, and had featured in several missions in the game before this expansion. He showed us around DS9, introducing us to most of the Major political Leaders of the show.
Nog’s Father is the Leader of the Ferngi Alliance, Grand Nagus Rom, and for this mission is seen on Quarks Bar. Which I might add has Quark behind the bar. Both Rom and Quark are voiced by the actors who voiced them in the show. With Rom, comes Leeta, in her first appearance in this game. Chase Masterson, who played Leeta, has previously voiced her Mirror alternate of Leeta, and the Holographic copies of Leeta. Leeta even mentions both of these characters when talking to her.
Another returning Character is the Cardiassian Garak, the former Tailor on DS9. After the events of the TV show. Garak has become a leader within the Cardassian Union. Garak is Voice by Andrew Robinson, who played the character in the show. Garak is a Major Character in this expansion.
Nana Visitor’s character, while People may know her as Major Kira, during the TV show, is now Kai Kira (who is also a Starfleet Captain as of the last few episodes of DS9) returns for a major part this expansion. She does get a few decent scenes in with Odo, partly due to revelations in later Missions.
Finally, is Doctor Julian Bashir, who plays the good doctor. The Actor who played in during the show also returns. I however am going to butcher his name, so I wont say it.
Two characters from the TV show, and returning from previous updates are Martok and Kurn. Also an Enterprise Guest star returns voicing Captian Kummarke, a Star Trek online character. These characters only appear in Storm Clouds Gather, they don’t appear in Later Missions.
The remaining part of this mission has your character repelling an attack on DS9. During my playtime. This Mission appears to be buggy and enemies, and some Ally Characters (Bridge officers) got stuck in the level areas. This made the mission way harder as I had to fight with less allies and be forced to attack from certain angles.
“Armistice” is a new Mission that pickups the story of the TV Episode of “Battle Lines.” It has Kira and Bashir “rescuing” series of Prisoners and a Previous Leader of Bajor Kai Opaka, that where trapped on a moon. There is a really good attention to detail here, to represent the areas shown in Episode, as with many of the returning characters from that Episode. Sadly I am unable to work out who voiced the returning Characters in this Mission.
“The Search” is a Search for Quark, while he is out on a Busineess trip for Garak. In this Episode, we bump in to the Female Changling from the Show. The player had previously set her free in a Previous Episode arc, The 2800. This Character is also voiced by the Actress that played her in the TV show. This shows Quark and Garak in action, and it really works.
While “Doomed to Repeat” takes what the a player, and the Heroes have Learned, and this covers alot about Dominion history. We also get to find the Origins of a certain species that Klingon fought in their story. Both Kira and Odo work “well” together here.
Next up is my Personal Favourite Mission has to be “Quark’s Lucky Seven”. For the most of the game, you play as your Character and Your chosen ship, in this case, you play as other characters. Quark plans to break in to a certain Iconain Ship to get hold of Klingon Relic, the Sword of Kahless. The Sword of Kahless was last seen on a Iconain ship, after the current owner Iconain T’ket kills the Swords previous owner. So we get to play various characters and use their skills. Your Character gets in on the action as he, she, or as a member of transgendered species, provides the ship and flys the Ferengi in. You could say you play equivalent of the wheelman in the 25th Century. This mission is really brilliant to play, or just watch. The expansions story line is also continued here.
Unlike the previous Missions that let players be another Character than yourself, or fly use someone elses ship, this mission didn’t leave the player’s skill tray a mess at the end, which usually happens on the first week of release. The older missions now don’t mess up the player’s skill tray. While there are a few new returning Characters, we can’t find Details on Leck, but Brunt was played by the actor who played him in the show, Jeffrey Combs. This is second role on the expansion.
The Final New Mission “Tenebris Torquent” has us flying off to find the Location of the Hurq home world. This latest of a few Missions that require a EVA or Spacesuit. As with every other Mission that you require to use one game gives you a few use. While there is combat here, and also some Space suit flying, you don’t do both at the same time. You spend some of your time flying though twisty dark Corridors, which is apparently is appropriate given the name translated from Latin. There is a lot of stuff that happens in this mission, but This mission finishes with a “To be continued…” message at the end.
The Follow up Episode to Tenebris Torquent, “Home” was released before the review was released. As this is not a part of the expanion at launch, I had to omit it, partly for spoiler reasons.
At this time, this one of the shorter Expansions Star Trek Online have done to date. With a total of 7 New Missions, this is the least that was released in one expansion. These Missions are a lot higher in quality than of the previous expansions. In Addition to the 7 new missions, many older Missions had changes, many of them swapped out Star Trek Online only Characters, for the returning DS9 cast. With the Cliff hanger ending, I assume that the are additional missions are in the pipeline to be released later.
In addition to several DS9 cast members reprising their roles, at least cast members also reprised at least one other role within Star Trek Series. However, Jeffrey Combs’ third most well known character Enterpise’s Shran, has not been seen or heard yet. As players living over 200 years after him, we expect either Time Travel to be used, a hologram copy or for us to play “old recordings” of this character, if he was to appear.
For Most Reviews, I usually close with my thoughts on is it worth the money. However, as Star Trek Online is a Free-to-Play game, the cost to entry is essentially nothing. However unlike some other Free To play games, almost every ship or item and service can be earned without paying money. Star Trek Online only 9 Ships, and 2 races that are locked behind an actual pay wall. Almost every ship you have seen in the show can be earned with several weeks worth of work in the game. With the Increase to Level 65, all Federation Characters can now pickup one of the End game versions of the Ships in the shows.
I would not recommend a new player starting with a Jem’Hadar, as the tutorial is more or less non-existent. I still recommend playing a Federation Character to start with.
One Question, I’ve been asked is, Can you fly the Enterprise? My answer is: Which Enterprise? There are currently over 10 ships in game that resemble one of the Enterprise, including the one seen in “All Good Things…” However you can’t name your ship Enterprise. In one Mission, you do get to Fly the Enterprise-C, which will be to her final mission.