Cold Comfort

This week’s weekly episode in Star Trek Online provided an interesting change of pace from what’s come before.

Following on from last week’s Breen attacks on the Deferi, you retrieve a distress signal from another ship that’s being attacked.  By the time you arrive, the ship has been driven off, and the crew are tending to repairs and injured crew members, not to mention prisoners taken from a Breen boarding party.

And that’s the big difference between this and the previous weekly episodes.  This time, there’s absolutely no combat in the mission, and its much more the format of a diplomatic mission.

There’s two main parts to the adventure, with the first finding you helping out, treating the wounded.  This involves questioning the patients, and then determining the correct drug to administer.  This was great fun, and I loved having to pay attention to what was being said, so as to be sure I picked up the right treatment.

The second patient though leads into the next part of the mission, as you must interrogate the Breen prisoners about an implant you discover in the patient.

Its a pleasant change of pace from the combat of the previous episodes, and serves to drive the plot along in a couple of interesting ways, as you discover the Breen are using the implants to examine the Deferi’s childhood memories, but also that there’s a splinter faction in the Breen that are not happy with the way they’re constantly being driven to attack civilians.

The only real complaint I can make about the mission is that its much too short.  As long as you pay attention, and pick dialogue options carefully, you can work through this mission quite rapidly, and it really feels like the mission could’ve used a third section (perhaps helping to fix the ship).

Also debuting this week was the addition of another mission to the Deferi sector.  There’s now a Breen Patrol added to the map, that if you intercept, you can discover they have Deferi onboard, and you have to figure out the best way to help them escape the Breen.  There’s a few different ways to complete this, but the way I went for felt suitably “Star Trek” to me.  Again this was probably a bit too short, but as a nice extra to the weekly mission, I enjoyed it.

While there are doubtless going to be those players who were unhappy with the lack of combat in this week’s episode, for me it helps highlight how the developers are trying to add to the gameplay mechanics, making the game feel more like the Star Trek TV show we all watched and loved, and add variety into the game.

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