The other night Cryptic put out a major patch for Star Trek Online. Along with the bug fixes and added voice overs are cosmetic changes to the interface and loading screens. The game is coming along nicely. I decided to check out the Klingon side of the game.
You need to level a Federation character to level six before you can create a Klingon character. This wasn’t an issue for me but I know some people weren’t thrilled about this. They wanted to start off playing the game as a Klingon. After creating a Klingon, I see why Cryptic did it this way. There is no tutorial on the Klingon side. You get your ship and bridge officers almost immediately then you are off to defend the empire. You will be level seven by the time you beam up to your ship.
The Klingon side of the game is geared towards PvP. If you just want to engage in epic ship and ground battles against the Federation, you will not be disappointed. The queues on the Klingon side have a shorter wait time than the Federation. In part, this is due to a population imbalance. There are more people playing Federation than Klingon. I imagine the queue times on both sides will even out a bit at higher levels. The scenarions and PvP missions will be your primary means of leveling up. You will be able to level up as fast as the Federation with the skill points from missions and scenarios.
There is very little PvE content for the Klingons. You have access to one repeatable mission. The rewards for completing the mission are good but it might be a little frustrating for newer captains who try to complete it solo. You could level up using this mission but it will get old very fast. I usually run the mission while I wait for a ground or space battle scenario to pop. Hoefully, there will be more missions and pve content available at higher levels.
EDIT: I found some more PvE content. There are two two low level fleet actions for the Klingon side. One involves clearing a Federation mind field. The Federation has the same version of this Fleet action. They play virtually the same. In my opinion, this is the longest and most annoying fleet action in the game so far. The number of enemies and their positioning make this fleet action difficult and time consuming. The cloaking device made the fleet action will help you avoid some of the densely packed enemies to accomplish your mission but there was a lot of time spent getting blown up and flying back to regroup with the other players in the action. I didn’t find the experience fun.
Until the patch, it was a little difficult outfitting your character, ship and bridge officers. The lack of PvE content translated to a lack of loot and drops. Any equipment had to be gained from vendors using your honor, merits and credits. Some equipment, like ship consoles weren’t sold on the vendors until the patch. With the new vendors and improved the starting equipment for Klingons, they are on a more equal footing with the Federation equipment-wise.
In space combat, the Klingon ships have a different feel than the Federation ships. They require different tactics to use effectively. The cloaking device adds a new dimension to play. You can use it to execute devastating sneak attacks. Some ships come with a combat cloak allowing you to sometimes escape a bad situation. As you gain access to higher tier ships, the Klingon vessels become more versatile. The bird of prey has universal bridge consoles. This makes it easy to change the role of your ship fairly easily between battles. You could be outfitted as raw dps one mission then change it to be more of a support ship for the next one.
Overall, the Klingon side of the game is a lot of fun especially if you like PvP. If you’re into PvE, the Klingons won’t be fun for you. I do think the Klingon side of the game could use some more fleshing out. The missions and episodes on the Federation side play out like you’re watching Star Trek on tv. The Klingon side doesn’t have the same feel. It’s a little one dimensional for my tastes.
Edit: As we get closer to release, I wonder how the pre-order items and exclusives will work for the Klingons. The pre-order faqs don’t mention anything about the Klingon side. Some seem easy to implement for the Klingons while others much more difficult. It’s just one more thing to consider when the game goes live. The pre-order items all seem very useful at low levels. Hopefully, Klingon players will have access to them.
For those of you looking for stats and guides, here are some links that I found helpful: Beginner’s Guide, Suricata’s Ship Tier Charts, Player Abilities, Space Bridge Officer Abilities, and Ground Bridge Officer / Kit Abilities.