Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: Star Trek Online - Azura, Star Trek: Online, Star Trek: Online - Sulu, STO, STO Azura, STO Sulu
With repairs to the Tirpitz nearly complete, Commander Akira Sulu requested to speak with me. A Bolian freighter, the SS Azura, that makes frequent runs to Earth had become overdue for its scheduled arrival. I received orders to take the Tirpitz and patrol along the Azura’s usual route to see if I could discover the what had happened to the Azura and to provide assistance if needed.
After leaving spacedock, we set course to follow the trade route that the Azura frequently used. Along the route, we encountered several Federation Freighters. None of them reported having had any contact with the Azura. We continued our search, and it wasn’t long before we picked up part of a distress call from the missing ship. Due to interference, we only received a few words: “Azura… attacked… Orions… breach”. We immediately set an intercept course.
When we reached the Azura, the Tirpitz came under fire from three Orion ships, while a fourth continued its attack on the crippled freighter. The class of ships the Orions were using would not have been a threat individually, but working together it’s possible they could have overwhelmed the Tirpitz’s defenses. The crew performed admirably and we were able to defeat the enemy ships while suffering only minimal damage.
With the assault turned back, we were able to scan the Azura. We were able to determine that the ship’s warp core was undergoing a breach. I ordered transporters to beam the Azura’s crew aboard, but due to the radiation levels from the damaged core, we were unable to get a lock on the crew. The only safe transport point aboard the ship was their aft cargo bay. I asked Amy and Dr. Franklin to meet me in transporter room 1, intent on beaming to the freighter and rescuing as many crew as we could. Mr. Scharf objected to my going along on the mission, stating Starfleet regulations regarding captains undertaking command of an away mission. I pointed out that remaining aboard the ship had not kept the last Captain of the Tirpitz safe. Mr. Scharf still required that I take T’Lol and a Saurian security officer along on the away team.
Once aboard the Azura, the away team headed for the engineering section. As we moved through the ship, we came across several plasma leaks that blocked our path. Amy was able to use nearby control panels to reroute the plasma and clear our path. The other thing we encountered on the ship were several Orion boarding parties. Several teams of Orions had beamed aboard the freighter during the battle in an attempt to take control of it. The away team did have an advantage over them, as they were expecting to only find civilians on board and not trained Starfleet personnel. We were able to make quick work of the Orions as we made our way to engineering.
Once we reached engineering, we met the Azura’s captain, a female Bolian named Brott. She reported that the warp core had not been damaged by the Orion attack. She suspected it was the result of the age of the ship. They had started to lose containment, she had ordered shield energy be diverted to reinforce the warp core. And when the shields dropped, the Orions took the opportunity to attack. Amy investigated the state of the warp core to see if she could stop the breach that was in progress, while Dr. Franklin treated some of the injuries among the crew. Unfortunately, Amy determined there was no way to stop the breach, though she did believe she could delay it long enough to evacuate the crew. Captain Brott volunteered to stay behind and delay the breach while we evacuated the rest of the crew. As we were making our way back to the aft cargo bay, we were assaulted by another wave of Orion soldiers. We were able to defeat them while only taking minor injuries ourselves. In short order we had every member of the Azura crew save Captain Brott beamed aboard the Tirpitz.
Once we were back on board the Tirpitz, we discovered where the last wave of Orions had come from. An Orion cruiser had entered the system and had picked up where their colleagues had left off. This ship was much more of a threat to the Tirpitz. In terms of weapons, shields, and maneuverability, both ships were on equal ground. It was the superior skills of the Tirpitz crew that turned the tide of the battle. After defeating the Orions, we had just enough time to beam Captain Brott off the Azura before the warp core exploded and destroyed the ship. We are now en route back to Earth stardock to drop off the rescued crew.
Out of Character
Commander Sulu is the first character the players encounter with a connection to a previous version of Star Trek. He is the great-grandson of Hikaru Sulu from the original tv series and films. His appearance in the game is what I expected of familiar characters from the Trek universe. The game is set 30-40 years after the events of Star Trek: Nemesis. Basically, the players are The Next Generation era’s next generation. Maybe Harry Kim is an admiral somewhere, but I would imagine Picard has long since retired to tend his vineyard.
The Azura mission itself is a pretty good example of what I think Cryptic had in mind when they talk about Episodic content. It starts with a space segment, where the player engages enemy ships. It then moves to a “ground” segment, where the player controls an away team that has been beamed to a location. And it ends with a final space section. I’m not sure all of the Episodes will follow a space-ground-space pattern, but the idea of three or more sections where what you’re playing changes may help to make the game less repetitive than if every mission was just space or just ground. Plus it does match the feel of Trek a bit more, as I think most of the episodes had both planet side and space segments.
As for the captain leading the away team, that’s part of the game design. I know with The Next Generation, Commander Riker led most of the away teams and Picard was left to keep the ship safe. And I think there may have been a couple references here and there about if captains were allowed to lead away teams or not in the other series and movies. For Star Trek Online, the player gets to put so much into designing their character’s appearance that to have their character stuck aboard ship all the time probably didn’t seem right to the developers. Personally, I’m okay with this choice.
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