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Hands-on with Klingons and PvP in Star Trek Online

Kyle Horner

If there's one thing that's almost more synonymous with Star Trek than classic catch phrases, it's the Klingons. They are the Captain Hook to the Federation's Peter Pan and thus it's important to several potential players that Star Trek Online do them justice. Understandably, when Cryptic made the announcement that Klingons would be primarily a PvP focused faction, people were concerned. Players don't want their beloved gruff 'n tough warrior race to become a second-tier faction.

My time with the Klingon side of Star Trek Online has given me a pretty good sense for what Cryptic is trying to do with the game. It's not exactly what you may be thinking. It's most certainly not anything like Lord of the Rings Online's PvMP, as the Klingons have a substantial chunk of the galaxy map to themselves.

Gallery: Star Trek Online Klingons | 28 Photos

After creating a Klingon Empire character you start on the surface of Qo'nos, the Empire's capital and Klingon homeworld. Here, inside a vast military base, you find yourself surrounded by oppressive architecture and lumbering Gorn. The very first order of business is to see if you're made up of the stuff of warriors. Thus, you'll be sent off to make battle with the very men you might wish to command into battle.

Once you've snatched victory from the hand of battle, you're given orders to see some key NPCs situated throughout the station. These are the same types of NPCs you'll discover in Federation play. They offer customization services, equipment and officers -- for a price.

Customization for your character and bridge officers is just as deep as Federation options, although the choices here are different. It's not just in the obvious places, either. There are noticeably different facial/head parts for Klingon Empire characters. It's all very lovingly designed by Trek fans, right down to the option of having Klingon spine armor.

Ship customization for Klingons isn't quite like Federation customization. However, you'll start with a Bird of Prey, which has several variants from classic to some new designs I couldn't help but choose. Immediately, players are asked to head to the border and fight some Federation NPC ships. Yes, that's right, it's not ALL PvP -- but much of it is.

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