Sphere of influence: first weekend
A week ago season 8 of Star Trek online was released. Of course it was released on on Tuesday which meant that I wouldn't get to it until the weekend. Oh well, it was worth the wait. Over the weekend I spent some time trying out the new areas on the Solenae Dyson Sphere with my main character (federation tactical captain) to get a bearing. Before the season was released I was really excited about the prospect of sponsorship tokens, but I guess I didn't really understand how they worked, until this weekend.
Initially I though that if I finished one reputation (any reputation) I could speed up subsequent reputations on the same character. Thus, if I finished the romulan reputation set, ie specter to be able to speed up, and get double XP, on the dyson reputation system. Well, I guess not. If I finish the romulan reputation system on captain 1, I can give a speed up token for the romulan reputation system to captain 2. I guess I need a shared bank account to be able to do this between characters, but this isn't an option for the free to play players.
That said, I now have a speed up token for the Borg STF reputation system, so if I ever start a 4th character (cardassian faction coming soon? :) ) I guess I can use that to speed up their reputation progression and minimize the mind-numbing grind. No one wants to play to grind. That said, the new dyson reputation system is pretty nifty! To level up in this reputation system you need a commendation which you've t once daily by doing an STF. If you get enjoy tokens (350) you can start a mission to exchange those for 5 commendations. This means that for a little work over the weekend I can have my character doing work all week while I am away from the game. The other nice thing: no XP, Or commodities required to partake in these missions to level up in the reputation system. Sweet! The addition of store unlocks automatically as you level up is nice too. I never really got why you had to waste XP, dilithium and/or EC to unlock things in the dilithium store.
From a game play perspective, the ground PvE missions are actually quite good. I never really liked the ground combat missions, but this is pretty nifty. The flight missions don't do much for me. Even at full impulse it feels that the motion is pretty slow. I guess this is to be expected since the Dyson sphere is pretty huge. The "breach" Group PvE is actually pretty cool. The first few times I got stuck in walls and couldn't get unstuck, but once I got my bearings it progressed quite quickly and it was an easy way to get some dyson marks and commendations. The one thing I noticed that my main ship, an Atrox Carrier, one that I've been flying for the past 9 months, is a little hard to maneuver in such a small environment. So, I brought back the Prometheus advanced escort with the Borg space set, out of retirement, since it can turn on a dime and zip around corners. I just need to grind a bit to get the Mark XII borg set since I left it at Mark X last I played.
All things considered, this is pretty cool. I will leave my klingon and romulan characters off the Dyson sphere our for now until I can get some speed up sponsorship tokens for them. I really don't want to grind...games should be fun, not work.