Graduation Day

For then-Lieutentant, now Lieutenant Commander Skronk that is.  Actually it was last week, but I’ve been sufficiently busy in RL that I haven’t had the time to commemorate the event.

I had advanced along nicely with a combination of the story line missions, the patrol missions and a few of the exploration missions where I was finally in striking distance of the elusive “level 11” aka Lieutenant Commander that I had resolved to push through late one Sunday night.

In addition to the rank change and opening the second tier of skills, it also meant that I could qualify to fly the second tier ships.  In my case, I was eyeing a Science Vessel.

After completing a few longer missions– some of them seem quite long, a post for later– I hailed Star Fleet to complete the mission and my expected promotion.  Surprisingly, I was awarded the rewards from my mission which advanced me to Lieutenant rank 11.

Huh?  For those of you scoring at home, STO leveling is divided into 5 “ranks” with 10 “grades” within each rank, i.e. there are 50 levels.  Having completed Lieutentant, grade 10, I fully expected to end up as Lieutenant Commander, grade 1, hence my confusion.

Well, as it turns out, one must actually spend their skill points to a sufficient level to gain passage into the next rank.  In my case, believe I had to have spent 6700 or 6800 skill points in order to qualify for Lt. Comm.  After I dinged Lt. 11, I hadn’t spent my new skill points, hence no advancement.  A bit confusing, but eventually I deployed my points and was awarded my new rank.

Of course, I couldn’t get back to earth spacedock quickly enough to get my new ship.  A brief chat with Admiral Quinn who directed me to Lt. Laurel at the shipyard and I was quickly customizing my new science vessel, the USS Frinault.

Not content with my own accolades, I shared the wealth and promoted my loyal bridge officers to Lt. as well.  Everybody moves up.  Of course, with the new ship, I needed a second science officer to man the second science station.  A quick trip to Personnel and I had a shiny new Bolian ensign on board.

While I had received my new rank and vessel, I was surprised to notice that I had also obtained an optional “Attend Lieutenant Commander Ceremony (Optional)” mission.  I sauntered over to the state room on the earth space dock which was alread abuzz with anticipation as I entered the room.

Ten Hut! Officer on deck!

All the usual attendant sycophants and hangers on there snapped to attention and saluted my new royal badness.  A few choice words at the podium and voila, the ceremony complete.  All in all, a very nice touch.

Anyone ever say you look nothing like Lou Gossett, Jr.?

With new vessel in hand and kitted out, all that was left was to take her out on a shakedown cruise, but first a quick visit to my new useless spacious bridge.

Imagine how hard it is to sit in TWO chairs...
Helm, set a course for adventure, set your mind on a new romance. Make it so.
We play hacky sack in here during Warp.

Certainly more roomy and a distinctly “Next Generation” feel about it.  A few routine checks and it was off to the Argelius system to conduct a routine “safety” inspection of a Ferengi bar…

Captain's log supplemental: Sensors indicate we have beamed on to a stereotype.

Packing serious heat, my away team was more than able to identify workplace hazards and, um, issue a few “citations” to six or ten bar patrons who don’t understand that “Safety is NO Accident.”

Of course, all things in the seedy world of Argelius II seem to revolve around Klingons and green chicks in bikinis, so it was inevitable that we would need to liberate Marta and the information she had obtained about the secret Klingon war plans.

This force field is here for my protection.

Talk about beauty and the beast, she was both.  No wonder the Klingons kept her behind a force field.  Klingon forces subdued, we were able to liberate Marta and deliver the critical information to the Federation.

Although friends and I have yet to connect for an extended period, I must say I’ve finding the main storyline missions to be quite satisfying in a purely Star Trek on TV sort of way.  They have an episodey essence about them and unlike the exploration or patrol missions, I come away with the sense that a plot is unfolding in a coherent way infront of me as I progress.  I think the storyline missions would provide a nice backbone for a dedicated small group experience.

Yes, maybe that feels a little more single playerish rather than true MMO-ish, but its a welcome departure and whats not to love about the ship combat?  Progression does seem to take some time assuming you are not grinding missions 24/7 so I think I will need to pace myself to avoid either burning out or getting bored.  As it stands right now, though I’ve not been able to really give it the time I want, STO in the right measure remains quite enjoyable.

One thought on “Graduation Day”

  1. Nice to know what I have to look forward to. Having just got the game, I’m still exploring and PUGing the patrol missions as a Lt-8. I haven’t found those storyline missions yet, but I am learning more about the environment and the depth of the game as I go. See you in space.

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