Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Star Trek Online: Hirogen Hunter Heavy Escort?

With Star Trek Online providing a surprising venue to talk about the nature of virtual items—and the fact that I have a job that lets me report on the goings-on in free-to-play MMO games—I decided to try an experiment by having a player in STO who flies one of these ships give me notes to review it by.

The result, this badass virtual item spotlight on GameOgre about the Hirogen Hunter Heavy Escort lockbox ship.

The game mechanics have generated a layered culture of thought about equipment, strategy, and button-press abilities. This means that reviews of these virtual items (the starships) includes a lot of jargon that to an outsider sounds and looks a lot like gibberish—but with a little bit of context quickly makes a lot of sense.

I am especially intrigued by the proliferation of the understanding of the Aux2Bat (referring to an ability called “Auxiliary to Battery”) starship build. A methodology that takes advantage of synergies between STO game mechanics that allow a single ship-equippable ability (on a bridge officer) to significantly lower skill cooldowns. Since the concept of A2B is so popular in starship building it was important not to leave it out of the review of the Hirogen Hunter.

Keeping in mind how STO players relate to ships, builds, and other players when referring to game mechanics will make for better, in-depth, audience-centric reviews. In the past I’ve covered the Catian Atrox Carrier, the Tholian Recluse Carrier, and the Romulan Dreadnought Warbird.

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