Playing the Past in Star Trek Online: Agents of Yesterday

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As a long time player of Star Trek online I am excited about this new expansion.  Star Trek Online is an incredible universe, game, and story.  For Star Trek fans, this will not disappoint.  In celebration of the 50th anniversary of Star Trek, Star Trek Online came out with Agents of Yesterday for season 11.5.  If you already have a character you can do missions as a Temporal Agent.  As a  new player or a player who wants to experience a new chapter in the game the option to create a 23rd Century TOS (The Original Series) Federation character is now available.  I chose to play both to experience the missions of the TOS era and to play out the temporal missions as my Romulan character.

This episode allows palyers to be a TOS era StarFleet officer.
This episode allows players to be a TOS era StarFleet officer.

My TOS Federation character is a Vulcan engineering officer, V’Lar, aboard the USS Caledonian.  When beginning any new character is Star Trek Online the player has a choice of faction, gender, species, career, and name of ship.  The great thing about this game is the amount of customization one can do to their character.  This gives players a unique and personal character.  Great for an MMO where a player will spend a long time with that specific character.  Throughout the game a player spends time leveling up, customizing uniforms,  and creating their skills.  Prior to the availability of the original series Federation faction, a player could choose from a 25th century Federation, Klingon, or Romulan officer.

A Romulan character and crew as seen in Star Trek Online.
A Romulan character and crew as seen in Star Trek Online.

Events of the game follow the original timeline and the aftermath of the destruction of Romulus.  This was shown in the 2009 Star Trek movie. What I enjoy about playing as a Romulan is the building of a new Romulan society  separate from the Romulan Star Empire and the Tal Shiar.  In the Romulan story line the Tal Shiar and Empire are enemies of the new Romulus faction.  The player must ally with either the Klingons or Federation to defeat them.  Of course the Federation faction is quintessential Star Trek.  Playing a Federation character puts you at the helm of iconic Federation ships.  Klingons are worth playing just because they are Klingon.

Commanding starships into space battles is the best part of this MMO, along with the variety of NPCs players interact with throughout the missions.  Ground combat is also well done.  Every world is unique, with different flora and fauna, species, and culture that make those planets unique.  The amount of planets and space stations, including Deep Space 9,  are impressive.  I can spend an entire session just exploring, or hanging out at the different factions’ home bases of Earth Space Dock and StarFleet academy, New Romulus, Qo’nos, or even Risa.

Meeting McCoy and Scotty on Earth Space Dock in Star Trek Online Agents of Yesterday.
Meeting McCoy and Scotty on Earth Space Dock in Star Trek Online Agents of Yesterday.

Each planet has NPCs you can interact with and even quests.  Vulcan has an interesting quest where you learn more about the history of Vulcan and the origins of the Romulans.  During the holidays, Star Trek online has Q’s Winter Wonderland.  This is an event with winter games, prizes, races, snowballs, and crazy snowmen.  New items are also available during this time.  Other celebration events occur throughout on Earth Space dock and New Romulus.  Currently for the summer players can enjoy the summer resort on Risa.  Supplies, character customization, and requisitions can be made on the factions home bases, stations, and other venues.  Throughout the game a player can also purchase items from vendors and the Ferengi, which are everywhere.

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Enemies are numerous and a player can have a battle between the Klingons one time and stop for a distress call to take care of the Borg another time.  The Delta quadrant is a recent addition and there are episodes dealing with the Cardassians and Dominion.  With the temporal agent story line this game brought an even bigger expansion with new locations and exciting missions. Going back in time to the 23rd century has been part of the main story for all factions.    This time instead of finding a temporal anomaly you are sent back by way of temporal agents.

Season 11.5 was launched on July 6, 2016 and with it the new episode Agents of Yesterday.  Agents of Yesterday allows a player to play either as their established character or as a new original series character.  As a fan of Star Trek and the original series the Agents of Yesterday episode has kept true to the series.  Though once the story line is complete the player is taken to the 25th century to begin the standard Federation story. The Romulans and Klingons appear as they did from the original series, and all the ships and décor are original.  The uniforms are also the same.  When beaming out a player uses the old communication devices, and there was a quick joke about red shirts.

The space combat mechanics in this game are fantastic. 23rd Century space battle.
The space combat mechanics in this game are fantastic. 23rd Century space battle.

As with any new character you go through a tutorial phase.  The tutorial is to familiarize your character with the starship, crew, and learn ground combat.  Once the first mission is done you go to Earth Space dock to socialize with personal, acquire new ships and acquisitions,  and receive your first missions. Here is also where players get promoted to captain of their Starship.   Players are still at the rank of Lieutenant afterwards.   New ranks are obtained from completing missions and leveling up.  As a player levels up new spaceships and skills are available.  A player can also customize ships with more powerful weapons and ship components.  The first mission as a 23rd century officer is to lead the away mission to recover researchers from a crashed shuttle.  Following the mission, you run into Klingons that lead up to a space battle assisting the USS Enterprise.  At Earth Space dock the player can interact with the crew of the Enterprise, including Uhura, Scotty, McCoy, and Chekov.  The promotion starts the beginning of the Agents of Yesterday, which might be a brief story line but a good story from the TOS era.

Meeting my Romulan contact for the first mission in Agents of Yesterday.
Meeting my Romulan contact for the first mission in Agents of Yesterday.

Savala is my Romulan Vice Admiral who allied with the Klingons.  Her first mission in Agents of Yesterday is acquired  on the Romulan Flotilla, though first contact by command was on Deep Space 9.

Here Savala meets with Daniels of the 31st Century.  Daniels was a recurring character in Star Trek Enterprise.  He lead Captain Jonathon Archer on missions through time to end the temporal cold war.  I really like having these characters from the TV series appear in the game, it makes this a true Star Trek experience.  The first mission in this episode has Savala traveling back to the 23rd Century to stop a Doomsday device.  To assure success her team has to use holographic disguises to look like members of the Tal Shiar and disguise her ship as a 23rd century Romulan vessel.  I got to interact with a new species the Na’kuhl and ancient Romulans, which was fun but ended in conflict.

Disguised as Tal Shiar in the 23rd Century.
Disguised as Tal Shiar in the 23rd Century.

For the 50th Anniversary of Star Trek I feel that this episode is very appropriate, bringing the new and the old series together.  It was good to see familiar characters from the series and old enemies.  Keeping the environment to the original TOS series produced a sense you were a part of this world.  The developers continue to move the Star Trek story forward and each new season brings something new and different.

Approaching a mission in Agents of Yesterday disguised as a Tal Shiar vessel.
Approaching a mission in Agents of Yesterday disguised as a Tal Shiar vessel.

Every season in Star Trek Online brings new chapters to the story, previous seasons saw the addition of the Romulans, Delta quadrant, Iconian War, and Dyson Sphere. With the Foundry players can create missions for the game and further expand the Star Trek universe.  Star Trek Online is a great MMO and one that allows the player to command a starship and explore the galaxy.  Players can meet iconic characters from all series, and in the new season the TOS era becomes playable.  Play as a Federation officer, Klingon, or Romulan and battle well known enemies from the series and meet new foes.  Relive past times and explore future times in the temporal missions.  Above all else the space battles are fantastic, with customizable ships and new unlocks earned and found throughout the game.  Players can explore planets and stations.  Ground combat is a big part of the game as well as less intense missions of exploration.  Some NPCs are voiced, including the voices of the actors who played them.  You can interact with NPCs via comm or on missions.

Ground combat in Agents of Yesterday and Star Trek Online.
Ground combat in Agents of Yesterday and Star Trek Online.

Star Trek Online is a must play game for any fan of the franchise.  The new release of Agents of Yesterday on July 6th is a great addition and I am looking forward to continuing my missions as a TOS series officer.  I also want to know more about how my character will integrate into the current Star Trek Online narrative.    As for my other characters I still have many more chapters to finish, including Season 11: A New Dawn featuring the Terran Empire.

Space ships arriving at New Romulus
Space ships arriving at New Romulus

When you are in Star Trek Online, don’t miss the memorials throughout the game. These are found on Earth Space Dock, New Romulus, and Qo’nos.  The memorials include the names of people from the Star Trek franchise who have passed away.  They were put in the game following the passing of Leonard Nimoy last year but recently Anton Yelchin’s name was added.

Memorial plaque on New Romulus
Memorial plaque on New Romulus.

 

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