Captain's Log: Shop till you drop (out of warp)

Captain's Log, Stardate 64997.8...

Hello, computer (and players)! Over the past couple of weeks, there has been much heated debate about microtransactions within MMOs. Whether those microtransactions involve an accessory for your character, additional character slots, or a new mount, players have mixed emotions on spending real money to obtain such items. No matter what your position is on the topic, one thing for certain is that microtransactions are not going to disappear. In fact, they seem to be the future when it comes to how most studios will be delivering exclusive content and items.

Star Trek Online is no stranger to such transactions -- the infamous Cryptic Store (C-Store) is full of items priced from just a dollar all the way up to $25. If you are new to the game or have never made a purchase before, at first glance, you may be wondering what you should buy. While some items are simply there as cosmetic enhancements, some will actually help in your battle against your favorite enemy. To help shed some light on your choices, this week's Captain Log is going to explore the top 10 must-have C-Store items that every STO player should not leave spacedock without.

Ensign, warp 10! It's time to go on a virtual spending spree...

While I have my favorite items without which I cannot explore the galaxy, I still wanted to reach out to the community to see what it thought, so earlier this week, I tweeted my followers and asked them what their favorite C-Store items were. After compiling the results and adding in my own favorite past purchases, I came up with this list of items (in alphabetical order) worth spending your real money on.

Advanced Heavy Cruiser Retrofit: Excelsior Class

For $15, you could become the proud captain of an Excelsior Class starship. As seen in many of the movies and series, the Excelsior is an iconic ship that provides an in-game tactical edge. While billed as a cruiser (typically used as a support ship in STO), it is flown by many due to its Tactical Lieutenant Commander Bridge Officer seat, which is usually reserved for Escorts. Purchasing this ship on one character will unlock it for all of the Federation toons on your account, including an alternate costume for it: the "Enterprise-B" design.

Enterprise Value Bundle

Not enjoying leveling up in your Miranda class starship? This bundle is the answer to your woes. Not only will purchasing this bundle for just over $15 save you 20% off buying each item separately, but the bundle provides you with an NX Class starship replica that is valuable during your first 10 levels. While the NX Class is hundreds of years old, the replica has been updated so that you will not be blown to smithereens in one shot. The ship also includes a special grappling hook space-power. Your entire account will also receive the Enterprise Federation, Enterprise Mirror Universe, and T'Pol costume packs.

Federation Light Science Vessel: Oberth Class

Like the NX Replica, the Oberth Class is a federation ship that can be used for leveling up during your first 10 levels. While I would recommend using the NX over this class, the Oberth comes with a nifty console that can be used on any Federation ship throughout the entire game. When activated, the Enhanced Plasma Manifold universal console provides you with additional shield and auxiliary power for 20 seconds; this can come in handy for any ship that is flying as support and alone is worth the $10 price tag. Purchasing this ship on one character will unlock it for all of the Federation toons on your account.

Federation Peregrine and Klingon Empire To'Duj Fighters

While these two fighters are separate purchases costing $5 each, I did not want to leave either of them out. Currently, one mission in the game, The Vault, must be played in a shuttle or fighter. The devs have also mentioned that more shuttle-only missions are en route to the game. Purchasing one of these would be great for playing shuttle-only PvP or running a daily explore mission that must be completed in a shuttle. If you want both fighters unlocked for both factions on your account, you will need to purchase both.

Multi-Vector Advanced Escort

Those of you who have read my past entries or watched my STO livestreams know that the Prometheus is my favorite ship in Star Trek canon, specifically for its Multi-Vector Assault Mode (MVAM). While the Prometheus has been in-game since launch, it wasn't able to use the MVAM power until it was placed in the C-Store. For $15, you too can scream cries of joy as you watch your escort separate into three pieces, leaving you in command of one of your choosing as you wreak havoc. As this is unlocked for your entire account, I recommend this ship for any Tactical Escort captain or anyone wanting a little fun in his gameplay.

Playable Federation Caitian

The Caitian race has been a fan-favorite since the early days of the Star Trek franchise. Whether you are allergic to cats or not, you will want to make sure to pick one up for only $2.50 and roll a new toon. I personally think that these felines make great Engineers as they are able to jump much higher than any other species; this allows for strategic placement of any Engineer's turret abilities. Each Caitian also has a special ground ability that allows you to pounce on your foe from 25 feet away.

Sehlat Cub/Pet Targ

These cute and not-so-cute pets are fun little companion pets that travel around the galaxy with you. The Sehlat Cub is for Federation officers and the Targ is for Klingons. Neither of them sticks around during combat, but both are fan favorites nonetheless. You can pick up an account-wide unlock for them for $1.50 each. Note: You will need to purchase both if you want each of your toon's factions to have this pet.

Skill Point Boost: Eight Hours

This is easily the best $9.75 you can spend in the C-Store! As you are leveling up, activating one of these boosts will increase the amount of XP you receive by 20% for eight hours. Now that is what I call power-leveling! These can be purchased as many times as you would like, but they are only given to the character for whom you purchase them, and they can be traded or given as a gift. Luckily, the timer only counts down when you are in-game (it pauses when you log off).

The Original Series Value Pack

Unlike the Enterprise bundle, Cryptic's TOS value pack is a limited time offer and provides you with some unique items available only with the pack. Your $17 nets you the following: TOS Federation Bridge, access to the Federation Shuttlecraft Class F (with free pet for any of your other Federation ships), a black-and-white TOS-style Type 2 Phaser Variant (this increases in effectiveness as you level), and three TOS costume packs (TOS Dress Uniform, Medical Uniform, and Command Tunic). This was a Twitter favorite, so you will not want to miss out!

Tribbles

Tribbles in STO are no longer the annoying pests that you saw in the original series -- these are clickable pets that are placed onto your in-game "paper doll" to provide you with buffs. While there are some that can be obtained in-game, the ones in the C-Store are exclusive. Choose from the Tribble of Borg (provides buffs when playing against the Borg), the Fluidic Space Tribble (provides buffs when playing against the Undine), or the Golden Tribble (provides a damage resistance buff against all enemies). Each of them is $1.50 apiece, which price unlocks them for your entire account, including your Klingon toons (however, not all Klingon faction species can use Tribbles).

Well, Captains, we have come to the end of this week's log entry. Before you finish spending all of your money, I wanted to make sure you all know about something amazing that has been created by some members of STO community, that being Star Trek: Reunion (ST:R). ST:R is a machinima series produced by Cerberus Films; it will feature full-length episodes made by actual players using in-game footage. Make sure to check out the press release as well as the debut of the first episode. Also, I hope you join me on Wednesday, July 6th, at 7 p.m. EDT for the next STO livestream, when we will check out some of the items listed above in-person. Until next time, start saving up -- there are going to be some C-Store additions coming soon that you won't want to miss out on.

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.