Star Trek: Tirpitz


Onias Sector Patrol

Springing the trap

We’ve received new orders from Commander Genstra.  Starfleet has noticed an increase in attacks by Hirogen forces on ships passing near Romulan space.  Most ships have been lucky enough to get away with only moderate damage, but there have been reports of a few transports being lost to hunting parties.  We were being sent to the Aido system in an attempt to encourage the Hirogen to leave the sector.  Starfleet intelligence believed that the Hirogen used a planet in the system as a supply base.  Our orders were to set a trap for the hunters.  We were to patrol the system and engage any Hirogen ships that arrived to resupply.  It wasn’t long after we arrived before we spotted our first target.  Our engagements in the system were fairly quick.  Most of the enemy ships we caught were escorts.  There were no signs of any Hirogen command ships.   

Ambushed

Shortly after we destroyed our fifth enemy ship, we received new orders from Commander Genstra.  While repairs were being made to the USS Nobel, Starfleet engineering teams had made a discovery.  Even with all of the damage the ship had sustained when it was attacked by the Romulans, the emergency transponder system was still in perfect working order.  This ment that it should have been a simple matter of following the transponder signal to find the Nobel while it was missing for three weeks.  This raised concerns at Starfleet Command about the state of the signal relay satellites.  If part of the network was taken offline for whatever reason, any number of Federation vessels could be lost because no one received their requests for assistance.  We were being sent to check out the status of the satellites in the network, repair any that we found to be malfunctioning or damaged, and investigate why they had gone offline in the first place.  Our survey of the network eventually brought us to Khellian system, where we discovered the problem.  We picked up a small task force of Reman ships attempting to sabotage the satellites in the system.  We set an intercept course for the nearest set of Reman ships we detected.  A broadside of disruptor fire alerted us to the decloaking warbird our initial scans had missed.  We took several major hits before we destroyed the Reman vessel.  We suffered a hull breach on deck four, and experienced an energy grid blow out in sick bay.  We knew we would have to put into spacedock for repairs, but we were still in good enough shape to finish the mission first.  After an intense scan of the system to locate any other Remans we missed, we cleared the system of enemy ships and performed repairs on the damaged satellites.  

Broxx

Commander Genstra asked us to complete one more mission before we returned for repairs.  Starfleet had received reports of a plague on Merak II.  In order to combat the outbreak, the Federation had attempted to negotiate with a Ferengi named Broxx for his supply of zenite ore.  However, after being paid the amount agreed upon, Broxx never produced the ore.  We were being sent to locate Broxx and collect the zenite before the situation on Merak II worsened.  During the Federation’s negotiations, Broxx seemed very eager to deal with us.  Starfleet believed that there shouldn’t be any threat to the Tirpitz while we attempted to pick up the Federation’s purchase.  We were able to track the Broxx’s ship to Muso Prime.  When we hailed Ferengi vessel, the ship’s second in command informed us that Broxx had beamed down to a trade outpost on the planet’s surface.  Mr. Scharf accompanied me on an away team to speak with Broxx.  I half expected him to be upset by our arrival, but the Ferengi asked us to help him with a negotiation.  We didn’t have time for this, and I told Broxx as much.  He explained that he had made the deal to sell the ore to the Federation to get enough funds to attempt to complete his current negotiations, but the person he was dealing with didn’t want funds.  Broxx said he would return the Federation’s payments and keep the zenite unless we helped him.  When I finally agreed to assist in his negotiations, he explained the situation.  

Varna

Broxx, it seems, is a collector of rare holo programs.  He needed one final program to complete his collection, and had located a copy of the program in the possession of a man named of Rivv Enda.  Enda had been unwilling to sell to the Ferengi, so Broxx hoped that we would be able to convince Enda to give us a copy of the program.  We arranged to speak with Enda, and it quickly became apparent why he didn’t want to part with the program.  Broxx hadn’t informed us that Enda was a sentient holo program, and his objection to giving the Ferengi what he wanted was because Enda thought of the program as family.  We explained the importance of the situation to him and asked him to reconsider.  Enda decided that he would be willing to part with the program, if we could convince the program to go with us.  He allowed us to access one of his computers to speak with the program.  It was at this point that we discovered that the program Broxx and Enda were fighting over was a Vulcan love slave program named Varna.  We spoke with Varna, attempting to explain our situation and asking for her help.  It soon became apparent that Varna was a very basic program.  Whenever we attempted to explain our problem to her, she simply told us that our questions were beyond the scope of her programming.  In frustration, we returned to Enda.  He apologized to us and explained that it had been a test.  Most people still look at photonic lifeforms as simple computer programs.  Even though Varna was unable to effectively respond to our requests, we had still made an attempt to ask for her help.    Because of that, Enda was willing to give us a copy of Varna’s program.  When we gave him the program, Broxx had his crew deliver the zenite to the Tirpitz.  We are currently en route to Merak II to distribute the cure.  

I want to go on record and state that I’m not comfortable with the deal I had to make to get the zenite supply.  I can’t help but feel like I just took part in a photonic slave auction.  The only thing that makes me feel any better about it is the well-known Vulcan phrase:  “The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, or the one.”  

Out of Character

So the fate of a planet rests on my captain’s ability to secure Vulcan porn.  Now there’s a phrase I never thought I’d ever say.  

It’s kind of hard to judge what they were trying to go for with the Muso system mission.  It tries to set up the question of if holo programs should be considered a life form or not.  Enda is written to see all holo programs as equal, even those without the programming to understand that the nature of what they are.  Yet after going through his test, Enda is completely willing to give my captain a copy of Varna’s program, knowing full well that she’s going to end up in the hands of a Ferengi that’s going to treat her like a piece of property.  This is the kind of story an episode of Star Trek could explore in great detail.  Unfortunately, the writers for the game have to take the cop-out here because of the nature of some elements of the game.  As players, we purchase officers from a store, are rewarded them for advancing to a higher level of the game, can easily rewrite what they know, and can sell officers we don’t need or want in the game’s auction system.  But in the context of the game’s story, the officers that we treat as objects are supposed to represent living breathing life forms.  So how different are the players from Broxx in searching for those rare programs that will fill a gap in our collection?  

Ouch

Anyway, I decided to give the new difficulty system a try with this patrol.  The damage the Tirpitz took in battle with the Remans was the damage the ship took after being blown up twice.  I only jumped to the advanced level.  I can’t imagine how hard it would be to defeat a mission on elite.  At advanced, I barely scratched the warbird I encountered before I was wreckage.  The one tutorial I needed after giving the higher difficulties a try was one on how to reset the missions back to normal.  I’m not a hardcore gamer.  I’m one of those players that game companies hate.  For any game I get, I play through once to get through the story, and then I rarely go back and play it again.  So to experience the story of Star Trek: Online, I’m fine with playing on easy mode.



Hyralan Sector Patrol

We’ve received orders from Commander Genstra to investigate an emergency in the Hyralan sector.  A Federation outpost near Romulan space had requested assistance with a possible ecological disaster.  I was curious why we were being assigned to this mission.  While the Tirpitz has taken part in relief efforts before, she’s designed to be more of a battle ship than science vessel.  Genstra explained that while he believed the outpost’s report of the situation, he wasn’t sure that this was a completely natural event.  We were being sent in first to provide a better appraisal of what was going on in the system, including if we detected the presence of any hostile forces.  

Searching for the radiation source

 

When we arrived in the Chulan system we contacted the outpost.  We spoke with Kenneth Hughes, the outpost’s science officer, who provided us with more detailed information on problem.  Over the past few days, the outpost’s sensors detected slowly increasing amounts of Eichner radiation in the system.  If the rate of increase continued as projected, it wouldn’t be long before they would need to evacuate personnel from the outpost.  We needed to find the source of the radiation to determine if it would be possible to solve the problem.  Mr. Toran was able to fill us in on what the Federation knew about Eichner radiation and was confident that our ship’s shields would be sufficient to protect us from its effects.  He was also certain that the radiation would not interfere with our ability to detect cloaked ships in the system.  We conducted an extensive survey of the system, and found several asteroids composed of a material that emits Eicher radiation.  Our findings suggested that they had been passing through the system naturally, when the gravity of the planet the outpost was constructed on had pulled the asteroids into orbit.  Our scans also found no enemy presence in the system at the time we were present.  We contacted Starfleet command with our findings to let them know it should be safe to send a science vessel to assist.   

Klingons in Romulan space?

 

Starfleet Command informed us that the Tirpitz was not going to remain in the system to assist with relief efforts.  While we were carrying out our survey of the Chulan system, three listening stations along the Romulan boarder had gone silent in the Daise system.  As the closest ship, we were being sent to investigate what had happened.  Given the importance of the  listening stations, I was expecting some sort of fight.  When we arrived in the system, I gave orders to start scanning for Romulan ships.  I was quite surprised when our scans picked up several Klingon ships instead.  The Klingons have been long time enemies of the Romulans.  Finding a small task force of Klingon ships attacking a location that provided us a tactical advantage over our mutual adversary was quite troubling.  We ended up needing to engage several of the Klingon ships to drive them off so we could repair the damaged listening posts.  

Attacking the Romulan flagship

 

With the listening posts restored to working order, we received a priority one distress call from a Federation science team in the Hfihar system.  They had been sent to the system to study the unusual gravitational readings that region of space is known for.  But now they were reporting a series of attacks by Romulan ships.  It would seem they had used the breach in our monitoring efforts caused by the Klingons to sneak a task force past Starfleet patrols.  When we arrived in the system, we hailed the Romulans.  They told us that they were in the system searching several of the planetoids for artifacts from the time period when the Romulans had formed their own society and traveled to this region of space from Vulcan.  And that would have been fine if that was what they were doing.  Their archeological surveys of the planets should have had no contact with or impact on our study of stellar phenomena, and vice versa.  When I pointed this fact out to the Romulan commander, they cut communications and opened fire on us.  We defended ourselves from the initial assault before continuing on to clear the system of enemy ships.  When we disabled the Romulan flagship, the remaining enemy vessels retreated back to the safety of their territory.  We contacted Starfleet Command to report what had happened, and received orders to remain in system to guard the survey mission for the time being.  

Out of Character

So it’s definitely looking like three is going to be the new number of missions the player is going to be asked to do as part of a Sector patrol.  I’m a little conflicted on this.  I’ve always enjoyed the Sector patrol missions because they are more likely to tie in elements from the rest of the Star Trek universe.  The downside is that those stories never seem to pan out beyond the one shot they’re given.  I would like to see more nods to what came before, but maybe by cutting down on it in patrols, we’ll see more of it in the story line missions.  

I was genuinely surprised by the Klingons showing up.  Although in retrospect, it does make a little bit of sense.  There have been a few references in the past to one of the current leaders in Klingon society belonging to the House of Duras.  If I remember correctly, the Duras family has had ties with the Romulans as far back as the Next Generation, when Empress Sela was just a commander and was funneling weapons to the Duras side of the Klingon civil war.  So I could see where the Duras family would be willing to help return all the favors they’ve gotten over the years.  And an alliance of some sort between the Klingons and the Romulans would create a war on two fronts for the Federation.  But the problem is that this is a patrol mission.  As I’ve already said, it’s likely to have been a one time only event, and will never be mentioned again.



Vendor Sector Patrol

In the wake of the battles near Rator prime, Starfleet Command decided to increase patrols of Federation space near the Romulan neutral zone.  Our listening posts along the border have detected small forces of cloaked ships moving through the neutral zone, but so far there haven’t been any incidents.  The Tirpitz has been assigned to patrol a number of systems along the border.  

Trading fire with the Hirogen

Our first stop on the patrol route we were assigned was to a starbase in the Ra’kholh system.  The outpost was a key location in the Federation’s efforts to develop moblie holo emitter technology.  The idea is to try to find a way to remove the limitations that current holographic systems force on a sentient hologram’s freedom.  When we entered the system, we picked up a distress call from the starbase.  Their sensors had picked up a number of Hirogen ships approaching the starbase.  We set a course to intercept the enemy task force before they could mount an attack on the lightly defended outpost.  As expected, our arrival presented the Hirogen with a much more attractive target than the station offered.  Several of their ships altered course to intercept us.  We were able to successfully defend ourselves from the initial assault, and continued on to engage the remaining ships.  Once we had cleared the system of the Hirogen, we contacted Starfleet Command and appraised them of the situation. 

Studying the Tkon relic

As we continued our patrol, Mr. Toran picked up some unusual energy readings as we were passing through the Tepheri system.  We altered course to investigate the readings, and came across a series of artifacts that had been scattered into space.  After performing several scans of the objects, we were able to determine that they were relics from the Tkon Empire.  The Tkon were a highly advanced civilization that had collapsed after their home world had been destroyed by a supernova.  We documented our findings and the location of the artifacts and forwarded our information to Starfleet Command.  While the Tirpitz is equiped to perform a basic analysis of the find, a well equiped science vessel would have a better chance of possibly unlocking some piece of forgotten technology.  

Turning back the Romulans

As we returned to our patrol route, we were contacted by Commander Genstra.  A small task force of Romulan ships had been detected by our listening posts as it crossed into Federation space.  Their course and speed put them on a route to enter the T’Liss system.  We were ordered to head to T’Liss and ensure that the Romulans didn’t attack any of our holdings in the system.  The Romulans arrived in the system before we did, but it didn’t appear as if they were there to attack.  In fact, the only ships we ended up fighting were the ships that we both managed to detect through their cloaking systems and that we attempted to communicate with.  Perhaps they were sent to test our ability to detect and track cloaked ships.  In any event, after destroying several ships that attacked us, the remaining cloaked ships we detected retreated back into Romulan space.  

Out of Character

I would like to apologize for the delay in getting today’s post up.  Several unexpected visitors and events over the past couple of days led me to burn off the buffer I had been attempting to create.  With any luck, I’ll have something ready to go at my normal time tomorrow. 

So it looks like we were a little a head of schedule in discussing the Hirogen’s connection with holodeck technology yesterday.  Part of today’s mission had them attacking a holo technology research station.  In the game’s storyline (as presented on both the Path to 2409 and the novel tie in), the Federation is trying to replicate the mobile emitter technology introduced in the later half of Voyager’s run to allow the Doctor to leave sickbay.  It seems they want to give all sentient holographic programs the chance to live full and complete lives like any other members of the Federation.  The game makes it clear that the Hirogen want to get their hands on the research, but it doesn’t really explain why they want it.  Given how often the Holodeck seems to break down and endanger the users, one would think that the Hirogen would rather keep hunting holograms in the giant video game deathtrap.  Releasing the holograms out into the real world might actually make the hunts safer. 

The Tkon Empire is a throw back to an episode in the first season of the Next Generation.  It was in the same episode that introduced the Ferengi in all their… glory?  The Tkon were given a background as a highly advanced culture.  It tells about how they had the technology to move star systems if they needed to.  And yet somehow, they were wiped out by a supernova that destroyed the empire’s core worlds.  Much in the same way that the Romulans have been impacted by the Hobus supernova.  To me, that would have been a very interesting connection to make in the game.  Have it set up so that the Romulans had also found a source of Tkon technology, and had blown themselves up in the same way that the ancient empire had.  Unfortunately, I don’t think that’s going to be the case.  Besides the fact that this mission is part of a sector patrol set (which sadly never seem to be expanded upon by the game’s writers), the Memory Alpha entry for the Tkon already mentions what had caused their destruction.



Sierra Sector Patrol

As we were returning from our shakedown cruise with the Tirpitz B, we received a new set of orders from Starfleet Command.  Commander Genstra sent word that he needed our assistance in helping with a number of situations that had developed in the Sierra sector of the Alpha Centauri sector block.  He hoped that the presence of a Federation starship would be enough to prevent things from getting out of hand.   

Defending the Romulan colony

The major concern for the Federation in the Sierra sector was a colony in the Rhi system.  After the Hobus supernova destroyed the central planets of the Romulan Empire, several of their border colonies have attempted to go independent.  The Rhi colony has been attempting to establish their own governing body and has expressed an interest in developing a relationship with the Federation.  It’s believed, that once they’ve established a solid government, the Rhi colony may ask for admission into the Federation.  The problem is that the Romulan Empire doesn’t want let them go.  It seems Empress Sela wants to use every current and former Romulan world to return the empire to its days of glory, and she’s not above using force to retake what she considers to be rebelling colonies.  We arrived in the system at about the same time as a Romulan task force intent on setting up a blockade of their former world.  Attempts to convince the commander of the enemy forces to peacefully withdraw were unsuccessful.  We ended up getting a chance to test out our new weapons systems in a real world setting, and I have to admit that they were just as effective as what we’ve been using on the last ship I commanded.  After engaging and destroying the command ship of the Romulan forces, the remaining ships retreated from the system.  With any luck, we managed to buy the colony enough time to decide what they want to do for themselves.    

Evasive maneuvers

We were next sent to respond to reports the Federation has received from independent miners working in the Terrh system.  The Federation had a contract with the miners to acquire their supply of viterium.  Over the past few weeks, Reman miners in search of new sources of materials to replace the mines lost after the Hobus disaster had started to scout the system.  Initial encounters between the miners and the Remans had been peaceful.  But over the last few days, several attacks on the miner’s operation had taken place.  We were being sent to sweep the system and clear it of any Reman presence.  As much as the Starfleet dislikes violent confrontation, it was hoped that engaging the invading ships in combat would send a message to look elsewhere to acquire resources.  After our first few encounters, I got the impression that the Remans we were facing weren’t simple miners.  I doubt your average miners would have access to a warbird.  In any event, we were able to deal with the Reman threat and allow normal production to resume in the system.   

Testing weapons against the Hirogen

Recent reports from civilian craft passing through the Sienae system have mentioned a number of encounters with ships that Starfleet Command was able to identify as belonging to an alien race known as the Hirogen.  From previous encounters, Starfleet has learned that the Hirogen are a race of trophy hunters that are willing to hunt anything and any one.  Given the increase in encounters with them in the system, Stafleet believed they had established a base in the region.  Worried about the safety of several colony worlds, we received orders from Starfleet command to attempt to drive the Hirogen out of the system.  We didn’t have to wait long after arriving in the system for our first encounter with the Hirogen.  It seems they were eager to test their skills against a Starfleet vessel.  Fortunately for us, we had already encountered a few Hirogen ships in battle before.  With our previous experience and newly upgraded systems, we were able to defend ourselves from the attack very well.  We reported our success back to Starfleet when we were convinced that the Hirogen forces had abandoned the system.   

Out of Character

Some how it figures that the first mission I attempt after putting together a ground force doesn’t contain any ground combat at all.  This is the second time in a row where a sector patrol mission only has three stops, but it keeps with the pattern established for the patrols of having one stop for each of the major players in the region (in his case the Romulans, the Remans, and the Hirogen).  And it also gave me a chance to try out some of the new skills I trained my older officers with.    

I’m loving Scramble Sensors.  When I first read the description about what it did, for some reason I thought it only targeted one ship.  I was pleasantly surprised the first time I noticed two enemy ships attacking each other.  My only complaint would be that there’s been a few times when I’ve switched targets after destroying one enemy, and found I was accidentally attacking the enemy ship that was still friendly to me for a few more seconds.   It would be nice if the game identified enemy ships hit with a Scramble as friendly until the ability wore off.  

Attack Pattern Omega has been fairly useful, but I feel like I need to hold it in reserve.  It’s supposed to buff damage and turn rate, but I really only use it when I get caught in a tractor beam.  It’s the same way I used to use several class abilities in WoW.  I didn’t care that they would boost some random stat;  I used them to break fear effects.  I still think it’s been a good investment of officer skill points.  I just need to learn when it’s safe to use it for the buff instead of keeping it on hand for a hold that won’t be coming.   

I think my best investment into new skills was Reverse Shield Polarity.  I don’t know if I’m “using it right”, but it’s working good enough for me.  The way write ups about the ability sound, it seems like I should be using it like a shield recharge.  I should be activating it when a few of my shield facings have dropped a bit and I could use this to get them back in the blue.  But I’ve found myself using it more like the Brace for Impact ability.   When I see a barrage of fire coming my way, I turn RSP on to negate the impact of the attack.  Honestly, I think it would work pretty well either way.  But as an escort player that frequently has to do head on attack runs to get the most out of their weapons, coming out of a run with a little bit of forward shield power still remaining is awesome.   

Wait a second...

And it just hit me as I was going through the screenshots I took during this mission why I decided on this look for the Tirpitz B.  When I looked at the above shot, I suddenly realized I had somehow built an overgrown runabout.  I’m not complaining.  I just didn’t realize it when I did it.



Teneebia Sector Patrol.

We were contacted by Commander Genstra with new orders.  He’s received a number of reports from various systems in the sector that needed Starfleet’s attention.  Our orders were to investigate  the situation in each system, resolve the problem if we were able to do so on our own, and report back our findings to Starfleet Command.  

Battling Reman raiders

Out first destination was also the most important.  Starfleet has received several reports of raids on Federation storage depots in the Eirhess system.  The depots usually contain a variety of objects, mostly items that Federation colonies and outposts might need in an emergency.  Recent evidence suggested that it was a small group of Remans that were staging the raids.  We were being sent to the Eirhess system to patrol for the Reman ships.  Our patrol was also to coincide with the next scheduled supply delivery.  We were hoping to catch them in the act.  Fortunately, the plan worked.  We encountered three Birds of Prey at first.  After we disabled the first few Reman ships, a couple of escorts joined the fight, attempting to assist their allies.  We took a couple of good hits in the battle, but it wasn’t long before the remaining Reman ships appeared to retreat.  After they left, we performed a thorough scan of the system to insure there weren’t any cloaked ships we had missed still in hiding before we continued to our next destination.  

Scanning the Romulan generators

Reports of unusual energy readings from Elvren IV brought us there to investigate.  When we arrived in orbit of the planet, our sensors picked up a cluster of several unidentified devices on the planet that appeared to be the source of the energy readings.  We sent down an away team to further investigate the devices.  The away team was able to determine that the devices were Romulan power generators.  They were also able to determine that the generators had been recently constructed and activated.  This gave us an opportunity to get some detailed scans and increase our understanding of Romulan technology.  When the away team returned to the ship, we forwarded our findings to Starfleet Command.  I would expect Starfleet to increase patrols of the Elvren system to prevent the Romulans from attempting to set up a research base on the planet.  

Scanning the unusual asteroids

As we were returning from out patrol, we were hailed by the ruling council of an Icari settlement.  They requested our assistance in assessing a threat to their planet.  Their sensors had detected several asteroids that had drifted into orbit above their planet.  They were concerned that the orbit of these asteroids may deteriorate, causing them to crash into the planet.  When we arrived in the system, we picked up a very faint Starfleet transponder signal.  The signal eventually led us to one of the recently arrived asteroids.  Our investigation revealed the remains of the USS Fleming.  The Fleming had been missing for over twenty years.  Our records show that it had been part of a medical convoy to assist the Romulan empire in 2387, after the Hobus supernova.  It was lost and believed destroyed after an encounter with the Romulan mining ship the Narada.  How it ended up inside an asteroid is a bit of a mystery.  We completed our assessment, and let the Icari know that the asteroids should not be a threat to their world.  We also contacted Starfleet Command with our findings, and were informed that they would be sending a recovery crew to retrieve the remains of the Flemming.  

We are currently en route back to starbase.  There’s something troubling me about the Flemming.  I haven’t heard of anything yet that was capable of merging a ship into an asteroid before.  If what happened was part of the Flemming’s battle with the Narada, it would mean that the Romulans may have access to a very dangerous weapon.  If, however, the Flemming ended up in that asteroid because of some unknown device it was carrying…  then I have to wonder why a rescue ship would be equiped with experimental technology.  

Out of Character

This patrol only had three systems to investigate, as opposed to most of the previous sector patrols which had four.  Of course, the previous sector patrols had several different alien species or organizations to cover.  There were times during the first sector patrols where it felt like you’d get one mission for the Gorn, one for the Orions, one for the Naussicans, and one for the Klingons.  So far, I’ve only encountered the Romulans in the Alpha Centauri region, so they devs don’t exactly need several missions to highlight all the different organizations yet. 

The Eirhess system mission attempts to introduce Remans to the game.  The Remans were part of the Romulan empire that was introduced in Star Trek: Nemesis.   Their appearance always made me think of them as “space Nosferatu”.  And I say this mission attempts to introduce them to the game, because in my opinion it doesn’t do all that great of a job.  It’s a space based mission, without any face to face contact between the player and the Remans raiding the system.  And since they use Romulan ships the player has already encountered, the player is basically just fighting enemies they’ve already encountered with just a different name.   

The discovery of the USS Fleming is an interesting twist to the Icari system mission.  After spending many a road trip in my youth playing the Next Generation video game for the original Gameboy (geeze I’m old), as soon as I saw the words “asteroids approaching planet”, I jumped to “evacuate the planet” as what I was going to need to do.  But finding the lost ship reminded me of  a couple of episodes of Next Generation that I hadn’t seen in a while.  In The Next Phase, an accident involving a Romulan ship leaves Geordi and Ensign Ro out of phase with the rest of the world, allowing them to pass through objects.  And in The Pegasus, the Enterprise is sent to retrieve a missing prototype ship that appeared to suffer the same fate as the Fleming in-game.  The reason Ruz is uncertain of what may have happened to the Fleming is really because I’m not sure what’s going to happen.  From the two episodes I’ve described above, what happened to the Fleming could point to either the Romulans or the Federation continuing their research into phasing matter.   

I’m just worried that since this is part a sector patrol mission, that it won’t get expanded upon.  All of the other sector patrol missions I’ve done so far haven’t really been connected to the rest of the game’s storyline.  I think they’ve got a good hook here for something they can explore further here, and I’m worried that this is all it’s going to be.



Mempa Sector Patrol

The surveillance array

 

Commander Sulu has ordered the Tirpitz to the Eriksson system.  The system is home to a large, long-range surveillance array that has been critical in getting advance warning of Klingon fleet movements.  Over the past few days, the array has been reporting some rather strange readings.  We were sent to run a series of diagnostics on the array.  When we arrived, our sensors picked up a number of Klingon ships in the system.  They appeared to be on an intercept course for the  array, probably to damage or destroy our listening post.  We engaged the Klingon task force, which was composed mostly of Birds of Prey.  With the threat eliminated for the time being, we were able to run several tests on the array, and determined that it was functioning normally.  

In Naussican controled space

 

Commander Sulu then ordered us to investigate the array’s findings.  It had picked up some anomalous readings from an asteroid field in the Vesper system.  The Federation’s initial scans of the system had found nothing of any importance or value.  Now, however, the array was detecting several asteroids  with an anomalous elemental composition.  The Vulcan Science Academy wanted us to verify the array’s readings.  The difficulty in this survey was that between the time the Federation had first investigated the system and now, a group of Naussicans pirates had decided to use the asteroid field as their base of operations.  We knew that if the Naussicans detected our presence in their base, they would attack us.  Fortunately, we were able minimize our contact with the Naussican forces.  We managed to successfully scan three of the asteroids before they noticed our presence.  We were able to complete our survey after disabling the Naussican ships.  Regrettably, the readings we had been sent to investigate turned out to be false.  

Running the Klingon blockade

 

It was at that point that were ordered to assist a Federation colony in the Ceron System.  Elements of the Klingon Defense Force’s fifth fleet had set up a blockade of the system.  When the blockade was detected by the colonists, they attempted to start an evacuation.  The first civilian ship that attempted to leave the system was destroyed by the Klingons.  This left the remaining colonists stranded on the planet’s surface, fearfully waiting for Klingon ground forces to invade.  Our orders were to engage the Klingon forces.  We needed to open a hole in the blockade to allow the colonists to evacuate the planet.  When we arrived in the system, we were quickly assaulted by the Klingon ships.  We were able to defend ourselves from the assault successfully, buying time to evacuate the planet.   

Scanning ship wreckage

 

Our next stop was the Lilitu system.  Starfleet Command provided us with a list of ships that had gone missing in the sector.  They suspect that an asteroid field in the Lilitu system  was being used by pirates and raiders as a place to dispose of ships they had captured and destroyed.  While the system was usually empty, a patrol by the USS Parsons had recorded an increase in Orion activity, as well as several new “suspicious” pieces of debris.  The Tirpitz was being sent to carry out the investigation, because we would be better equiped to deal with the Orions if they should choose to attack.  It was a good thing we were sent to handle the situation, because the Orions did choose to attack.  We were able to fight off the Orion attackers and scan the wreckage of several ships.  Our scans did identify several of the wrecks as missing freighters.  

Disabling the Klingon base

 

One of the destroyed ships we scanned had not been reported lost.  After establishing a connection with the ship’s computer core, we determined that the ship had been attacked by Klingon forces in the M’rade system.  We also learned that the attack had occurred recently, and that some of the ship’s crew had attempted to escape using  the ship’s runabout.  We set a course for the M’rade system at maximum warp, in the hopes that we could find and rescue the crew before the Klingons had a chance to finish them off.  When we arrived in the system, we picked up a faint emergency transponder signal from the runabout.  But a Klingon base in the system was jamming local frequencies, making it difficult for us to locate the source of the emergency signal.  We attempted to disrupt the Klingon base’s ability to jam communications, which drew several Klingon ships that attempted to stop us.  After defeating the Klingon forces and disabling the base, we attempted to locate the runabout.  After scanning several false signals, and encountering several more Klingon ships that were also searching for the ship, we made contact.  They had been doing their best to remain hidden from the Klingons, only broadcasting their emergency signal briefly.  To help us locate them, they reactivated the emergency beacon at full power.  Of course, this also drew a Negh’var cruiser out of hiding.  We engaged the cruiser, and were able to disable it long enough to beam the crew of the runabout aboard and warp out of the system.  

Out of Character

After reaching a climax in the conflict with the Klingons, it feels like I didn’t do this patrol at the right time.  From what I’m looking at with the missions that are coming up for me, it seems like I’m going to soon be sent to another sector of space, far from Klingon space.  So if this is the end of the Federation/Klingon war storyline (excluding PVP missions), then it kind of ended with a whimper instead of a bang for me.  And that’s really my fault I guess.  By now I should know that the patrol missions don’t really advance the story in a sector all that much.  So from here out, I think I’ll probably attempt to do patrol missions before I do episode missions of an equal level.  

I’m also beginning to wonder about how I’m going to continue to level.  So far, I’ve just been playing pretty much the same way I’ve been writing up logs here.  Which means that for things like exploration missions, fleet actions, and sector defense missions, I’ve only done enough to complete them once and then wrote about how it went here.  As a side effect, I’ve been running low on missions that are equal level for my captain to do.  I think I’ve found a couple that should bridge the gap for now (assuming I’m able to complete some of them).  But I’m wondering if the way I’ve been keeping this blog is going to hinder my game play eventually.  To acquire some pieces of equipment for a ship, it’s an easy thing to keep doing exploration missions to farm badges.  And by farming the repeatable missions for badges the player ends up grinding out extra experience.  I’m just worried that two or three entries about doing the same exploration mission over and over is going to be as boring to write as it may be to read.



Hromi Sector Patrol

After returning Lieutenant Paris to the USS Kirk, we received orders from Commander Sulu to assist with a patrol of the Hromi Sector.  The sector is along the edge of Federation space, and with the continuing Klingon war, systems that were safe in Federation space one day find themselves behind the enemy lines the next.  The Tirpitz was being sent to check up on several systems, and to provide assistance if needed.  

Dismantling a mine field

 

The Veyga system is home to several mining outposts for the Federation.  The Tirpitz received a distress call from one of those outposts when we arrived in the system.  It seemed the Gorn had modified their ship capture tactics to prevent mining in the system.  By deploying a series of mines around each of the outposts, the miners were unable to gather minerals from the asteroid field or deliver the shipments of minerals they have already processed.  We made a sweep of the system, making sure each of the outposts was clear of explosive mines.  As we made the rounds, we did encounter several Gorn ships that attempted to prevent us from dismantling the mine fields.  In the end, we were successful in restoring order to the system.  

Protecting the USS Bale

 

We set a course for the next system on our patrol route, and we were on our way there when we picked up a distress call from the USS Bale.  The Bale was a Federation science vessel on assignment to catalogue gaseous anomalies in the Kafferi system.  They reported that they had come under attack by a task force of Naussican ships.  We arrived to find the Bale being assaulted by several light cruisers.  We engaged the Naussicans, attempting to draw their fire away from the lightly armored science ship.  It was a long fight, mostly because the Naussicans attacked in waves.  Just as we managed to destroy the last ship that had been attacking, another group of Naussicans would arrive and continue the attack.  At one point a Naussican battleship warped into the system to engage the Bale.  With the amount of damage the Bale had taken over the course of the battle, it wasn’t likely to survive a focused assault from the battleship.  We switched targets, and let the new arrival have it with everything we had.  A lucky phaser blast disabled the battleship’s shields long enough for us to destroy the ship with a barrage of quantum torpedos.  With the Naussicans in retreat, the Bale was able to set a course for a nearby starbase in order to make repairs.  

The Gorn approach the research station

 

We then went to check up on the research station in the Vor System.  Bran Mhat and his science team had been working on several peaceful experiments in the system.  The Gorn however, have repeatedly accused the Federation of performing weapons research on the station.  We hailed the station when we arrived, and they didn’t report any problems.  As we were preparing to leave, long-range sensors picked up a Gorn task force entering the system.  We took up a defensive position in orbit of the station.  The station’s security team joined us in attempting to defend the station using the station’s small shuttle.  Together, we were successful in turning back the first couple of attack waves the Gorn launched.  After defeating a few waves, Mr. Toran started to pick up elevated tachyon levels.  We suspected that a cloaked ship was approaching the station, and it wasn’t long before a Negh’var cruiser appeared and proved our theory correct.  We engaged the Klingons, trying to keep ourselves between the war ship and the station.  After a brief battle, the Negh’var was destroyed and the system was clear of any other Gorn or Klingon ships.  The crew of the research station thanked us for our assistance and we set a course to continue our patrol.  

Fighting Orion Syndicate fighters.

 

We were then contacted by the Federation colony in the Maiewski system.  They reported to us that their mining efforts had recently come under attack by Orion Syndicate raiders.  The colony wasn’t a mining outpost for the Federation.  The colony only mined the asteroid ring around the planet it was on to supply raw materials for the colony’s replicators.  Neither the colony nor the asteroids had anything of any value to the Syndicate.  On the other hand, an attack on the colony’s mining efforts would be the easiest way to disrupt the colony’s ability to sustain itself.  The head of the colony asked for us to patrol the planet’s rings, and to drive off any Orion Syndicate ships.  Most of the Orion ships we encountered were simple fighter craft.  The Orion’s had not expected or wanted a direct confrontation, so they weren’t prepared to deal with a heavily armed starship like the Tirpitz.  After destroying several attack craft that engaged us, most of the Orion forces left the system.  We reported back to the colony, which assured us that they would be capable of restoring the damaged mining equipment on their own.   

Out of Character

It looks like we’ve gotten a new mission type on his patrol.  For the Kafferi and Vor systems, the player is expected to defend a ship or location from several waves of enemy ships.  I find myself torn on my opinion of those missions.  On the plus side, the player just has to stay in one spot and wait for the enemy ships to spawn for the player to deal with them.  Which means they don’t have to go to full impulse to go from one section of a system to the next to find the enemy, and end up throwing their ship’s energy levels out of balance by going to full speed.  I also have to say that I liked that both the Bale and the research station launched at least a fighter to assist in the defense.  I didn’t notice any real benefit to having them around, but it was still a nice addition.  The downside, at least as a player flying around in an escort, is that the enemies seem to spawn in at random locations around the base or ship you’re attempting to defend.  I think both times that I got to the final enemy ship of the assault, the big battle cruisers, they both warped into the system directly behind me.  So for the first few moments of the fight, I’ve only got one phaser that can target the new bad guy.  I would guess that the one problem I had wasn’t quite so bad for players in a cruiser class ship.