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Captain's Log: Guide to the Klingon tutorial

Ryan Greene

Captain to engineering! We've been hit! How bad is it? Our graphics card is shot to oblivion, you say? Of all the dratted luck! Divert auxiliary power to onboard graphics processors. Oh, no, you're right, that's awful. Wow. Yeah, no, it's like an old-school Lucasarts game up in here.

Oh, hey there, everyone. Welcome to a woefully damaged edition of Captain's Log, Massively's weekly column on all things Star Trek Online. Sadly, a Terran Federation attack knocked out our graphics card, and the U.S.S. Bob Wiley has seen better days. So while we limp to our nearest starbase for repairs -- Lieutenant Newegg assures me we'll have a new card replicated within three business days -- I'll hand this week's column over to our Klingon ambassador, Captain Trout. As we've already covered the Federation tutorial, he'll explain the basics of the Klingon beginner's experience.

Greetings, human dogs. I am Kilgore Trout, captain of the I.K.S. Vonnegutesque. You weak-minded fools might have learned how to enlist with the Federation, but now it's time you did something useful with your miserable lives. Prepare to join the Klingon Empire!

Character Creation

According to the script that idiot Federation captain left me, one must advance a Federation officer to level 5 to unlock the ability to create a Klingon character, whatever that means. Sounds like Earthling gibberish to me.

At any rate, once you're able and willing to join the Empire, hit the New Klingon Character button on the character select screen. This is assuming, of course, that you haven't used up your three available character slots. If you have, then you can rot for all I care, feeble-minded swine.

Now choose your career path. You've covered this before with Captain Gil, but Klingons have access to the same three paths as Federation trainees. To recap:

  • Engineering Officers are known for fabrication abilities. They can make turrets that spew grenades, emit energy shields or heal allies.
  • Science Officers get most of the healing abilities, as well as some nifty ways to stun, control and otherwise harass enemies.
  • Tactical Officers specialize in tanking and in dealing damage.
Remember, any officer you choose can pilot any type of ship. So an Engineer, for instance, can captain a Bird of Prey or Raptor just as well as a Tactical Officer. The main difference from one career path to another is the selection of usable Kits. Kits are the equippable items that determine abilities in ground combat.

For the sake of this guide, I select a Tactical Officer -- the better to serve cold helpings of revenge. Now you may select one of the Empire's five prefab races -- Klingon, Gorn, Lethean, Nausicaan and Orion -- or create your own custom species.

Massively's guide to character traits recommends Klingons for tanking, Nausicaans for DPS, and Orions for support and healing. But Cryptic Studios made the customization process so enjoyable, I prefer to craft an entirely new breed of killing machine. Take your time and have fun, because boot camp in the Klingon Empire is no picnic, you miserable sons of targs!

I select the Alien option and choose my character traits. The guide to traits proves useful once again. Being able to tank and DPS sounds good, so I go with the recommended Balanced Tanking/Damage traits: Elusive, Efficient Captain, Aggressive and Soldier. After a few minutes of messing with brow ridges and enormous shoulder pads, Batroc of the I.K.S. Leaper is born.

Welcome to Qo'nos

The Klingon tutorial, such as it is, begins in the Great Hall of Qo'nos, the Klingon homeworld. Always playing second fiddle to the Federation in STO, the Klingon Empire apparently doesn't rate a Leonard Nimoy-voiced intro video.

But enough whining! Chancellor J'mpok has work for us to do. He sends all new trainees to find B'Elotja, the sparring master. He tells you she's on the lower level, but the Great Hall is a little maze-like to newcomers, so hit M to open your map. B'Elotja is southwest of your starting location, conveniently circled on your map.

You'll find B'Elotja at the edge of a fighting ring. This is the Hall of Warriors, and the sparring master tasks you with Assembling a Bridge Crew. Unlike the weak-hearted Federation, which simply offers you Bridge Officers, the Klingon Empire demands that you earn yours through combat. Choose to enter the ring, and you will face off against three challengers of your choosing.

Training for Battle

Before B'Elotja allows you to fight, however, you must train your skills. Hit K or the Skill Up button in the upper lefthand corner of your screen. That brings up the skills window, which you'll recognize from your time with the Federation. Notice you have 3,100 skills points available to spend -- the same number of points you earn by completing the Federation tutorial. Because you've already completed that tutorial, Cryptic figures you know what you're doing by now.

The Klingon skill tree pretty much offers the same options as the Federation tree, just in a different order. Scroll to the bottom to find Starship Command and Starship Attack Vectors, which is where I like to put my first 1,800 points. Max out those two to reach Lieutenant, and then look around for places to allocate your remaining 1,300 points.

Located at the top of the tree, Starship Energy Weapons Training and Starship Projectile Weapons Training are both solid choices. Those provide a passive boost to their respective weapon types while improving certain Bridge Officer weapon abilities. I choose to max out Projectile Weapons and to dump my remaining 400 points into Energy Weapons. The choice is yours, but boosting starship weapons is never really a bad idea.

Now that you're all trained up, B'Elotja will allow you to do battle. Speak to one of the NPCs surrounding the ring and challenge him to a fight. Before you battle, notice that you already have two weapons and a Kit equipped, and your kit's abilities are already located in the 4 and 6 slots on your hotkey bar.

After you defeat one opponent, return to B'Elotja. She tells you to prove your worth by defeating three more challengers. Possible opponents include Klingon Swordmasters, Gorn Ra'wiq and more. The opponents you choose have no bearing on the Bridge Officers you receive, so go nuts.

Win three battles and speak with the sparring master again to complete your mission, which grants you three Bridge Officers. Now accept the quest Leading the Way, which sends you on a tour of the building.

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