So over the holiday I was able not only to get a down to earth review of the game from a friend in beta, but I was also able to see and play the game myself. As with any franchise turned into a game there are things missing or things ones want. While I will admit to being a long time fan of Star Trek I am not the kind who will just whine and moan over minor changes or differences. With that said there were quite a few things that irked me about STO from the start.
One thing that upset me the most was the lack of a bridge. To me, sitting on your bridge and commanding your ship is one of the main parts of Star Trek. When I was first told that you could only view your ship from the outside I was quite upset because I remember the classic game called Bridge Commander.
In Bridge Commander you could view your ship from the outside or from the captain’s chair where you could interact with your crew. You had a number of on screen options to choose from and it truly gave you the feeling of commanding a ship.
So far, in STO the space part of the game is completely external to your ship giving it more of an Eve Online feel. Originally there was to be no bridge at all in the game, but in mid November Cryptic announced that bridges would be added. In a press release they wrote:
It appears Cryptic has decided to add the infamous setting to STO for players to enjoy as a social destination — a hang out for bridge officers and visiting captains from other vessels. The Associated Press has reported that the game will feature 20 bridges at launch, giving even the most discerning captains their own pick on bridge design.
Regarding the addition of bridges, Craig Zinkievich, the executive producer of Star Trek Online, told the AP, “We didn’t want to have interiors at launch. We thought it was just a little bit too much. We really wanted to make sure we delivered a really deep experience, but your bridge not being in the game, it really felt like a hole in the game, and it was just something that we had to put in.”
A hole is right, but my question is, is adding a bridge only as a social hangout zone enough? Is the bridge of your ship to become nothing more than a Pocket D? (Dance club in City of Heroes) I can appreciate that Cryptic is adding bridges, but the bridge isn’t a social club. Perhaps a meet and greet, but you don’t have a ton of people lounging on your bridge.
Personally I hoped for the Bridge Commander style of game-play for the space battles in STO, but for now it looks like I will have to settle with decorating my bridge with plaques and starship models to make it all pretty for my friends. Damn I just whined and moaned about a little thing.