STO Uplink: Greeting Readers Of Subspace Communiqué!
(Intro from Captain Pyke -- Subspace Communique would like to give a warm welcome to blogger & columnist Terilynn Shull and introduce you to a new article series focused solely on Star Trek Online called "STO: Uplink". This new series will be written from a player perspective and cover the latest news and happenings in the STO universe. Be sure to leave comments below welcoming Terilynn to the site. We're sure glad she's here.)
Greeting readers of Subspace Communiqué! I’m Teril …
What do you mean there’s no accent over the ‘e’?
Oh! Would you look at that?! Sorry, my bad. I think my word processor is much too intuitive sometimes. Let’s try this again:
Greetings readers of Subspace Communique!
Oh look, that worked. *grins*
Allow me to introduce myself. My name is Terilynn Shull. I am a HUGE Star Trek fan, columnist, blogger, fan-ficcer, reader, podcaster and all-around Star Trek geek.
I am truly honored to have been asked to come to Subspace Communique to write about one of my favorite Star Trek subjects – Star Trek Online!
I have been playing the Star Trek-themed MMORPG since open beta in January, 2010 and since then I have found myself becoming deeply involved in one of the more unusual, and dare I say passionate, Trek communities I have ever known.
To be clear, Star Trek Online (or STO as we call it) is the first and the only MMORPG I have ever played. I do not consider myself a gamer, nor do I consider myself a “good player” by any stretch of the imagination, but I think that’s what makes STO such a great game, not only for Star Trek fans, but for casual gamers on the whole.
For those of you who might be unfamiliar with what an MMORPG is, (cuz trust me – in January 2010 I was a clueless as they come) an MMORPG is a “Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game”, which is essentially a really fancy way of saying, “a lot of people play this game at the same time and in the same computer server.”
STO allows you to create a character, affectionately referred to as a “toon”, who becomes a Starfleet (or Klingon) captain in a universe set approximately 30 years after the movie “Star Trek: The Next Generation – Nemesis.” Your character commands a starship and undertakes missions (both battle and diplomatic) and most importantly, he/she does so inside a computerized world that contains thousands of other players.
It’s an incredibly fun way to interact not only with fellow Trekkies, but with the people who have come to the game who don’t necessarily have a depth of knowledge about the show. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard a player tell me that they came to the game because of the new J.J. Abrams’ film but found themselves buying DVDs of “The Original Series” or “The Next Generation”, etc., so they can learn more about the “Prime Universe” the game is set in.
Contained within STO there are a multitude of ways one can interact on a social level with other players, including fleets, role playing and PvP (player vs. player) battles; however for those who prefer to play a game quietly, without having to interact at all – STO is perfectly geared as a solo game as well. You can undertake all missions on your own and you don’t have to be bothered by anyone else if you don’t want.
It really is the best of both worlds. (Sorry, couldn’t help myself there. I have a tendency to Trek-speak from time-to-time so just go with it.)
BUT! The first thing I want to share with you is the new and completely remarkable feature that was released to STO players on March 28th – and that is: The Foundry.
The Foundry is an amazing new set of (admittedly rather complicated) technological tools that players have been given that permits them to create their very own missions for the game; publish them to the game’s server and allows all the other players to undertake those missions for themselves.
It is called “User Generated Content” or, as I fondly call it: really cool fan-fiction for STO.
Using The Foundry tools, a person can design the characters that interact with players, write their dialogue, as well as design the maps of the space, ship interiors and planet terrain (in other words, the entire universe) the missions are set in!
It’s an extraordinary new way for creative players to share their talents with the rest of the subscribership and one I don’t think really exists in any other game.
Since The Foundry went live onto the main server a week ago, many missions have been published. Some are great, some are good and some are not so good; but there has been a virtual explosion of new and creative ways people have used to “advertise” their missions, including spectacular video “trailers” that pitch their missions to the masses.
If you would like to check out The Foundry and learn how to use its tools, StarTrekOnline.com has a great listing of recently made tutorials created by the player base and funneled into one place: http://www.startrekonline.com/foundry_video
For a more general overview of The Foundry, check out Star Trek Online’s official announcement video here: http://www.startrekonline.com/foundry
I am very much looking forward to seeing what’s being created by the fandom as time goes on.
I plan on coming back here to Subspace Communique to talk about what’s new and anticipated with STO, as well as just give you a “new player’s” perspective on the game-play, news, rumors, new content and other rants and raves as time goes on.
In the meantime, if you would like to discuss anything I write about, always feel free to comment below; you can also follow me on Twitter at @TerilynnS.
In the meantime, go boldly!