Star Trek: Tirpitz

Acting Captain’s Log, Starbase 24

The Tirpitz received a priority one message from Admiral Grigori Yanishev at Starfleet Command.  At 1400 hours station local time, Starbase 24 had come under attack by a Klingon fleet.  Admiral Yanishev ordered several ships in the region to reinforce the starbase.  

Starbase 24

When we arrived in the system, Starbase 24 had already suffered severe damage.  It’s defensive shields had failed in several locations, and large sections of the station’s structure had been utterly destroyed.  A sensor sweep showed that there were still life signs aboard the station, though it appeared as if the majority of them were now Klingon.  Our sensor sweep also picked up several Klingon ships still in the region.  They were mostly Birds of Prey and smaller, one man fighter craft.  And they weren’t using cloaking devices to hide their presence.  They wanted us to know they were there and what we would be up against should we choose to engage them.  The captains of the other ships Starfleet had sent quickly organized ourselves, and then we headed in. 

The Battle for Starbase 24

The battle to reach the station was brutal.  The fighters fielded against us weren’t much of a threat unless there was a full fighter wing of them.  And the Tripitz had engaged in battle with Birds of Prey before.  But the number of ships present was staggering.  As soon as we had managed to disable one ship, we found ourselves under attack from another.  As their numbers began to dwindle, their reinforcements arrived.  The system was filled with every class of Klingon ship I’d ever seen recordings of in the academy.  Everything from Negh’Var class warships that had first seen action during the start of the Dominion War, to K’T’inga class cruisers that had seen action during the days when Kirk commanded the Enterprise.  The Ellison and the Straczynski got caught out of formation when the Klingon reinforcements arrived, and were lost to concentrated fire from the warships.  It looked as if we may lose the entire fleet for a few moments there before a second wave of Starfleet ships arrived to reinforce our assault.  With the aid of the newly arrived ships, we were able to punch a hole though the Klingon lines and reach the starbase to begin evacuations. 

Starbase 24 personnel

To speed up the evacuation, each Federation ship that reached the station was assigned a specific section to search and evacuate.   I ordered our transporter chief to try to find a safe point within our assigned area to beam our rescue away team to.  Even with what I’m sure were the chief’s best efforts, the away team beamed into the middle of a fire fight.  Their arrival was able to turn the tide of the fight, and we were able to get a situation report from one of the station’s security officers.  As soon as the station’s shields had failed, the first wave of Klingon boarders had beamed over.  They had been fighting a losing battle to hold parts of the station ever since.  She had received reports that it looked like several of the Klingon teams had attempted to take prisoners, but she feared that most of the station’s crew had been killed in the attack.  I ordered the away team to attempt a rescue of the captive crew members. 

Klingons hold a Federation scientist prisoner

The first scientist we rescued provided some much-needed insight into why the Klingons had attacked.  She had studied the Klingon language while at the Academy, so she was able to understand what they were saying to each other.  The Klingons wanted to capture several Federation Scientists, as well as the research stored within the station’s computer core.  We alerted the away team to this information, and made the rescue of the scientists and their research the top priority of the mission.  It was a hard-fought battle, but in the end we were able to retrieve six scientists and their data before the Tirpitz again came under Klingon fire. 

Ambushed by Birds of Prey

We found ourselves being assaulted by two Klingon Birds of Prey when we were hailed by the USS McCoy.  The medical ship had been sent to recover wounded from the starbase and to return them safely to Starfleet command.  As we worked to dispatch the Klingons attacking our ship, the McCoy came under attack as well.  Several starships from our defensive force broke off to render aid to us, and with their help, we were able to defeat the Klingons.  With the Klingons defeated, we were able to transfer personnel and data to the McCoy, before we received orders to return to stardock for repairs. 

Our casualty reports from the battle show thirty-one injuries, with three fatalities.  Services for crewmen Bickham, Hunter, and Lu will be held shortly. 

 Out of Character

Starbase 24 is the first fleet action players have access to in the game.  Fleet actions are open to players above a certain level and are pretty much just a big battle.  For Starbase 24, there are two waves of Klingon ships, the first being the easier ships that the players have previously battled, with the second wave being made up of more advanced ships.  The goal of the mission is to reach a set number of ship kills for each wave.  It’s a collective effort.  The players that join a fleet action aren’t automatically placed on a team with other players like the game tends to do with Patrol Missions, but the efforts of everyone in the mission count towards the goal of the mission.  It does help to try to stick close to other ships in the fleet action, or you’ll run the risk of finding yourself alone against an overwhelming force.  Once all the waves are defeated, a scoreboard pops up, and players are rewarded according to their position on the scoreboard.  For Starbase 24 specifically, there also seems to be a solo secondary mission.  Once a player reaches the station, they have the option to beam down and perform the station evacuation.  I think from that point to the end, it’s no longer part of the fleet action, but a separate mission. 

Personally, I have a few concerns about the fleet action as it stands now.  The first thing is how the score at the end of the fleet action is handled.  I believe that the final score is determined based on the damage output the players do.  The more damage you do to enemy ships, the better your final score will be.  This is a problem due to my second concern, which is that currently there’s no level cap or level sorting for the mission.  I saw someone in mine flying around in an Admiral level cruiser, a ship which can equip several more weapon systems than the starting level ship.  So someone who’s much further along in the game can enter these starting level missions, and earn rewards that can be sold at auction instead of put to good use by someone who needs it. 

As for the casualties sustained in the battle, there really isn’t any kind of permanent death in the game currently.  Ships can be blown up, your crew can be hit by disruptor fire, and you can be cut down by an angry Klingon with a sword and all you have to do is press the respawn button and everything will be alright.  This has led to a lot of suicide tactics within the game, because there’s no drawback to dying.  There have been reports that Cryptic is looking into adding in a death penalty eventually, and I’m curious to see what they have in mind.  To me, it didn’t seem realistic for the setting that there would be this huge battle that you take part in, and you get away completely scot-free.  More than one person has gotten caught standing in front of the wrong panel at the wrong time when engaging in a battle on the various different Star Trek series.  So I figured I could get away with creating a couple red shirts to kill off for the needs of the story.

3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

Regarding fleet actions, I agree there needs to be a level cap. However, score being determined based on damage output is fine, I think…one would think escorts will have an advantage here, but a player going all out on damage will also run the risk of drawing aggro and being destroyed in seconds, losing precious time to the respawn timer.

Comment by mmogamerchick

In the starting ships, I would agree with you. There’s not that much of a difference at that low a level between the different career paths to make one’s damage that much better over anothers.

I’d also be willing to believe that it may be fairly balanced at each ship level. I would think it would depend on how much focus players in cruiser and science class ships have to put into doing what their ship is designed to do over doing damage themselves.

But if there’s a level difference, you have ships with access to more weapons and more powerful weapons that are going to have an advantage over those that are stuck with the three weapons we start with.

So I guess my second complaint is more of an explanation of why they need to fix the first complaint, rather than its own seperate problem.

Comment by captainruz

Yeah, I’m with you on that. I would think putting restrictions on player level on fleet actions would be common sense. Or make the rewards bound, too much potential for abuse otherwise.

Comment by mmogamerchick

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