Mini patch

March 8, 2010

Just a few bug fixes this morning – you can read the full notes on the official site.

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Awesome Ship Status updates

March 6, 2010

Just had my first chance to mess around in-game since last Thursday’s patch, and was extremely happy to notice the updates to your ship’s Status tab in the Character Status window. When scanning through the notes for last Thursday’s patch, it might have been easy to overlook this little gem:

  • Status Window: Improved the ship stats that are displayed on the status window.

But what it means is that a whole range of previously hidden stats are now visible in-game, and update according to your power levels and captain’s skills. Given the amount of time it’s been taking me to work some of these things out the hard way (with stopwatches, copious pages of scribbled notes and endless testing), this should make finishing the article I’ve been working on for a while much, much easier. Hopefully I’ll be able to get it done in the next few days, even with the potential changes in my current situation.


Getting Infected

March 4, 2010

The release notes for today’s patch have been posted, and the big news is the release of the first ‘Special Task Force’ (previously known as ‘raidisodes’) for maximum level players, Infected.

According to the notes, Infected will send you to Starbase 82, a Federation outpost that has been overrun by the resurgent Borg. The mission is designed for five players, and no bridge officers are allowed in the away team sections. The mission can be repeated daily, and as well as special Mark X loot drops, also rewards success with Marks of Valour, which will be used at a new store coming in the 45-day update.

It’ll be interesting to see just how tough Infected is, especially the ground sections, and how well all those players who have neglected their ground skills in favour of space combat builds will fare.

Gauging the difficulty of end-game ground content can’t have been an easy task for the dev team. To judge from most of the skill builds posted to the official boards, many players have decided to ignore their captain’s ground skills in favour of those that affect space combat – which is perfectly understandable, given that the ground combat in most normal PvE missions is, if anything, even less challenging than the space combat and you have your bridge officers to help you out in any case. Likewise, PvP is currently split between space and ground combat. There are no PvP maps or missions that involve both, which only further encourages builds that are specialised in one type or the other.

On the other hand, if they set the difficulty of high level ground combat low enough to suit those players who have neglected it in their builds, we might be forgiven for wondering why we have a ground combat skill group in the first place. Not to mention that those players who have made more balanced builds might find the supposedly ‘epic’ Special Task Force rather on the easy side.

In many ways, it’s a classic no-win situation for the devs (something that’s all too common in MMO design). If the ground sections are too tough, the space-specialised players will be unhappy. If they’re too easy, those that have taken the time and effort to spread their precious skill points around will be unhappy. And with respecs still somewhere in the future, whichever group ends up being upset won’t have any recourse other than to remain unhappy until the respec system arrives.

I’m going to be away for the next couple of days, but I’ll certainly be interested to see what the reactions are to Infected when I get back.


Patch note preview

February 26, 2010

The notes for this morning’s upcoming patch have already been posted to the official forums.

As well as several bug fixes, there are references to the character copy tool that should allow players to copy characters from the ‘live’ server (Holodeck) to the upcoming ‘public test’ server (Tribble). Hopefully this means that the test server should be up soon, as the ability to copy a character from live to test should make it a lot easier for me to investigate some of the game systems that I still don’t understand very well.


Bugfix patch

February 23, 2010

There’s a small patch today, which addresses a few bugs. Perhaps the most significant fix is to bridge officers with incorrectly ‘slotted’ abilities.

You can read the full release notes on the official site.


Patching the patch

February 19, 2010

There’s another patch today, mainly aimed at fixing some issues introduced by yesterday’s update.

The main change is that the restrictions to the contacts list are being ‘rolled back’ while the team work on some of the problems they brought up.

You can read the full release notes over at the official site.


No stopping the Teams

February 18, 2010

The servers have just gone down for today’s maintenance and a new patch featuring several bug fixes and UI improvements.

Perhaps the most significant change, especially for PvP, is that the various ‘Team’ space abilities can now be activated when a ship is under the influence of a ‘Hold’ effect – which means that you should be able to use Science Team to free yourself from the dreaded purple cloud of Viral Matrix, rather than having to apply it in advance or rely on an ally to break you loose.

This has obvious consequences for PvP, where Viral Matrix was becoming increasingly common, but should also help out solo players fighting Romulan D’deridex battleships and other opponents that make use of the ability.

You can read the full release notes on the official site.