Star Trek Online: Season 4’s Borg Invasion

With the release of Star Trek Online’s latest major update, season 4, we’ve seen the Borg receive a few changes; cosmetic updates, the ability to adapt to weapons and even assimilate players in ground combat. Soon the Borg will be invading sectors outside of Gamma Orionis; I was lucky enough to get a forum reply from Dstahl, a developer at Cryptic, detailing the four stage event that will take place across multiple maps and missions within Star Trek Online during season 4. Continue reading


Battlestar Galactica Online Open Beta

“In Battlestar Galactica Online, both the Colonial and Cylon fleets find themselves stranded in an unexplored area of space at the very edge of one of the galactic arms. Heavily damaged and critically low on resources, both fleets race against time to repair and rearm, struggling for control of systems rich in Tylium, metals and water. The Colonial fleet desperately searches for a way to escape and continue the search for Earth before the Cylons gain enough strength to destroy them once and for all”

Check out the game here

Battlestar Galactica Online open beta started today so I thought I’d give it a test flight. The browser based MMO allows you to take sides with either the humans or the Cylons and take part in a story where both fleets have been transported by a mysterious energy wave to an unknown sector of the galaxy. This is still in beta obviously so don’t be surprised to find bugs…and you will find them. I’ve currently given up exploring anymore of the game tonight as I’ve found my game crashing, browser compatibility problems and various in game text looking like it’s been smudged. I did get to test the Cylon faction a little so let’s take a look at what you get to do.

So far, bugs aside, the experiance has been enjoyable. I started off with the tutorial, learning how to fly/enable weapons and fire missles (which have the same awesome sound as the series). Whilst in the flight part of the game you’ll be treated to excerpts from the original score for the series by composer Bear McCreary,I loved hearing the track Black Market from season 2 kick in as I engaged a squadron of Vipers, dodged their weapons fire and pumped them full of Cylon missiles. I then went onto the character creation area. Sadly I encountered a bug where both the text for each customisation option and the 3d avatar itself were slightly blurred meaning I didn’t know what I was truly ending up with until I finished making my toaster. I’m hoping that somewhere down the line I’ll be able to alter the look of my avatar again as I’m not entirely happy with him just yet. What I did find cool was being able to have battle damage to give your Cylon that extra detail.

After grabbing my Cylon I proceeded to explore my Basestar and met a few of the cast of the series. The game currently features 4 of the original 12 Human-Cylon models who provide missions and information. There’s a Six an Eight (Cavil) a One (Sharon) who also handles anything regarding your ship such as selling you ammo, new weapons and repairing, and a two (Leoben). It’s nice to see the cast again and perhaps down the line we’ll get to have missions involving some of these or other human-Cylon models.

Overall I’ve enjoyed my first hour or so on Battlestar Galactica Online, I hope to test it out a bit further during the week and getting a taste of the Colonial fleet…I have to admit however I have ambitions of enslaving the human race so be nice to your toasters…or you might end up with more than burnt toast.

Before the Dark Times, Before the Empire, There were Darker Times

The Old Republic, MMO descendant of Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic won’t be in a galaxy far, far away for too much longer. The game’s set three hundred years after KOTOR itself and features the Sith Empire knocking on the Republic’s door for vengeance. It’s your job to either protect the Republic from the Sith, or impale it on the end of your glowing-red lightsaber.

Having followed the game since its announcement I’ve been picking apart any information I come across, re-watched every cinematic, every documentary and digested as many stories as I can find. It’s about time these recourses came together so I’d like to provide what I’ve found so like me you can get your fix of the Old Republic prior to launch.

The first points of call are the cinematics. We’ve two so far, the first ‘Deceived’ depicts the Sacking of Coruscant where basically Jedi were drawn away on peace talks whilst the Sith invaded the capital Republic system. The second trailer ‘Hope’ gives us an insight into the ongoing battles between the Republic and the Sith Empire throughout the galaxy, this fight in particular taking place on Alderan. Both trailers feature Jedi and Sith clashing lightsabers and scream epic.

They might not be as flashy as the trailers but there are also two series of web comics, Threat of Peace and Blood of the Empire. Each tells a story from the creators of The Old Republic itself spanning several issues available for free on the Old Republic’s website.

Accompanying the pre-release content are a few novels, the first and only available at time of writing being Fatal Alliance which has both the Republic and Sith Empire racing to claim a treasure that will aid their cause. There are more novels on the way such as Deceived which tells a tale featuring the main Sith from the deceived trailer.

If you’re the sort who prefers watching something to reading, or you’re just wanting as much information on The Old Republic as you can get, there are also a series of Galactic Timeline videos voiced by Lance Henriksen (Bishop from Aliens). These are intended to be content of a vast Jedi archive and have a new addition from time to time.

Those interested in the making of the game itself can follow both the Developer Dispatches (video), and the Developer Blogs (written blog). These typically consist of world design and Class creation for various sections of the game.

It seems that these pre-release aspects of the game will continue to grow, I wouldn’t be surprised to find a third cinematic not too far from now too. It certainly gives people something to talk about, The Old Republic has had the floor at many a gaming even such as E3, allowing people to observe the game, test the game and generally crave the game’s release.

I’m glad that the MMO has stuck to the concept of choice as I’m wanting to be as dark as I can be in this game, my first mission is to construct or claim a double-bladed lightsaber (red of course) and learn how to use force lightening to fry my enemies. A famous Sith once said, “Join me and together we can rule the galaxy…”, this galaxy’s about to become mine, and I don’t plan on sharing.

WoW it’s Cataclysmic

World of Warcraft, It’s cataclysmic, literally come December 7th. Waters will rise, cities will fall, and all will burn as Deathwing ravages Azeroth. (the date Dec 7th comes from a blue poststating: ‘The next Arena Season will begin for level-85 players approximately one week after the official launch of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm’. Thanks to MMO Champion for the news.

But before the expansion is released WoW players will be featured to two separate major updates, the first being technical changes (stats, talent tree’s etc) and the second the world of Azeroth itself. Meaning bizarrely anyone without the Cataclysm expansion will be able to explore the land torn to pieces by a giant dragon. As someone who’s played just prior to the last expansion I’m yet again all hyped up about the changes and the ability to yet again level my warlock!

This expansion for WoW doesn’t have my entire attention; I must admit someone else has caught my eye. In fact I’m rather hoping she and I will have something special not too far from now, she’s the Old Republic. Don’t let her age fool you this gal’s full of life and I expect to be busy with her for quite some time if all goes to plan. I feel rather guilty at the prospect of cheating on WoW after all we’ve spent the past few years together and I’ve even got my third level 80.Sure I’ve dabbled with Star Trek Online but I know where my heart lies, The Old Republic however the descendant of one of my favourite games, Knight of the Old Republic and I can’t let that pass, more on The Old Republic soon.

So will the end of Azeroth actually be the end of WoW? The Old Republic’s already been named the WoW killer and I’m not alone in wanting to try her out of course, but I can’t help but wonder if people are really ready to leave behind nearly six years of their lives just yet, the real battle’s still to come when TOR actually releases. Until then, observe the destruction of Azeroth and ponder a Cataclysmic end to the World of Warcraft.