Captain's Log: Bridging the gap

Captain's Log, Stardate 64711.7...

Hello, computer (and players)! Wouldn't you agree that all MMO players have felt, or will feel, some sort of boredom with their games of choice at some point in their lives? Whether it be because they have leveled up four toons, maxed out their gear, completed all of their dailies for months, or can run raids in their sleep, a little bit of boredom is no reason to launch the escape pods between content pushes. This is especially true in the Star Trek Online universe.

I recently felt the boredom mentioned above and started playing RIFT as a way to "take a break" from STO; as I started my journey through the lands of Telara, I could not help but think that I was "cheating" on STO. I say "cheating" because I can honestly say I love STO and am so proud to be a lifetime member. So why did I start to play RIFT? Well, I leveled up four toons, maxed out my gear, ran my dailies for months, and can now run the raids in my sleep. But the thing is, I know that MMOs are evolving, living creatures, and I know that STO's future is quite bright. But while you wait for that blinding future, let me outline some ways to bridge the gap.

Ensign, warp 10! Let's talk about some things to do...

With Weekly Series Three just a couple of weeks old, many players are having a desperate cry in the STO forums for new content, especially since the next series is not due for a few months. While we know the developers are working on multiple projects that will bring an influx of new things to do, let's visit some of the current ways to spend time in STO:

Crafting -- While it's not the best system out there, crafting at Memory Alpha is a great way to make some in-game money in STO. While this may bring out your inner Ferengi, a lot of people are gear-hungry and looking for the best gear for the least amount of time spent, even if it means playing a few extra million for it. Play the exchange right and you could become the richest captain in the galaxy.

Accolades -- Accolade-hunting is not for the faint of heart; it can take hours to earn one title that usually goes for nothing in most games. In STO, every accolade you earn gives you a small boost to a particular stat, including DPS, strength, or armor, among others. While one accolade will not give you the advantage in PvP you may be looking for, completing the hundreds of titles the game has to offer will.

Level a Klingon -- One of the common responses to overcoming boredom is to "roll a Klingon toon." Now, this seems like an obvious answer, but as the developers have publicly said, less than 25% of players actually have a Klingon character. If you don't know, the Klingons have their own missions and gameplay style. While a majority of it currently is still PvP-oriented, you can skip PvP altogether by completing the episodes as they became available, using the deep space encounters and exploration clusters. Qapla'! Today is a good day to die!

Dailies for emblems -- Can you feel the joys of repeating the same mission for weeks at a time? Most can't... unless you are playing STO. Cryptic has done something other games with microtransactions stores wouldn't dare to do: You can actually acquire items that you would normally buy in the C-Store (for real money) by doing dailies. Don't want to pay $15 for the newest ship? Get to workin' and earn those emblems.

Diplomacy -- With the launch of Season Two last year, the game saw the addition of a new form of non-combat gameplay through the Diplomacy System. Do you dream of becoming an Ambassador for the federation? Now is your chance. As you embark on non-combat missions, the higher you level up, the better those missions become. Once you start approaching the Ambassador level, you will start to be sent on First Contact missions on which you are given the task of representing the Federation as you attempt to make peace with a new alien race.

STFs -- No excuse here; go find a group and raid a bit! While some folks complain about these missions, I have literally completed them hundreds of times and still find them an enjoyable challenge. And if you can't find a team, just hang out by the system's door or join a fleet. Now, I typically tell everyone to "say no to PUGs," but sometimes you luck out and find an experienced group that just needs someone to listen to directions.

PvP -- Queue up and get ready for some high-octane action. Yeah, you might blow up the first couple of rounds, but that is the point -- no one should be "scared" of PvP (I actually hear that a lot!). As you fight in round after round, you will begin to refine your combat skills, learn new tips and tricks, and maybe make some new friends. Start out by inviting someone to a 1v1 PvP match and work your way up to joining into random queues.

As you can see, the above list is quite extensive; you can have some great fun in-game doing these activities. Now, if you are teaming up alone, it won't be as entertaining -- make sure to find a fleet that suits you best and team up as often as possible. If this is still not enough for you, you are in luck: Executive Producer Daniel Stahl just posted his Engineering Report for March, and there are some awesome new items that made the list. Make sure to take a look at it here.

Well, Captains, we have come to the end of this week's log entry. Although I will still be playing RIFT, I plan to split my gaming up between the two games. There is a lot to come, and I wish I could speed up time. Make sure to tune into these frequencies next week as we talk about fleets, including how to find one that is best for you. I'll even feature some fleets that have gotten in contact with me. Until then, boldly go where you haven't, or have, gone before.

Computer, terminate recording.

Boldly going where no one has gone before, Brandon Felczer transmits Captain's Log through Subspace right to your PADD every Thursday. Join him as he discusses the latest news, gossip, and dev interviews about Star Trek Online. Hailing frequencies are always open to his bridge through brandon@massively.com.

This article was originally published on Massively.