Once upon a time, Star Trek Online was released. This was of course for me as a Trek fan, a rather big thing. The ability to experience the ships and plots, the spieces and the locations was a rather interesting one.
At launch, however it all came to sodding hell. The Beta was buggy, and two weeks before launch there was no hint at fixes. Futhermore, the game itself was somewhat dull, and not very polished. It was a decent MMO, but it was too grindtastic to be allowed to live. So I went back to World of WarCraft and cancelled my pre-order.
About a year later, I purchased Star Trek Online off Gamersgate and ventured around the galaxy for about two weeks. The ground combat had not changed, and was still as terrible as a vomiting terrier, but the Space Combat and ship custumization had improved and was really, really fun. I did not stick around to pay for another month, however and my officer was left in the transporter buffer.
It was however with joy I heard that Star Trek Online was made a free to play title. You see, I consider it a decent game, just not decent enough for me to pay to actually play it. Ground Combat have been revamped and is feeling less of a chore, space combat is no longer the grindtastic issue it once was, and the things you lose for not paying is actually a rather small affair. The main issue is that you no longer will gain free upgrades on ships above a certain rank, but for me, that is quite the non-issue as the currency used for ships is somewhat easy to come by. You can also pay your way out by buying a special payware ship in the C-Store.
So, as a former Captain, I was invited for F2P earlier then most. Its set to launch at the 17th, so what is my recommendation about Star Trek Online F2p? I would want any person with an interest in Star Trek or Space Combat in general to try out this title. It´s not like you risk anything other then time and disc space.
I have to mention the music as well. The music is a decent mix of the shows themes, and themes from some of the games (unfortunately some tunes from Legacy...), and a march reminding oneself of Bridge Commander and Klingon Academy. Overall, its a good composition that does its job. The sound effects are what you could expect, but nothing brilliant.
However, there are a few things that are rather imperative to mention. The Episodes are key to the entire experience. They contain decent to bloody exellent plots, a interesting experience and are sometimes long, spanning over several levels. They also contain some voice acting, and give hefty chunks of experience. So when the Tutorial is over, the "Hail" button is there for you to start an episode and hopefully enjoy what is of it.
While it cannot compete with the storytelling of The Old Republic, it certainly feels alot like more an MMO then The Old Republic does. The Space around you is filled with ships from both factions, and its rather fun just to sit and watch ship names and customizations for a while.
Speaking of the latter, they are one of the most fun parts. At each new rank, you can choose between three ships. Crusier (Tank), Escort (DPS), or Science (Healer). Of these ships, you get three models who are somewhat similar to each other in design, and one is usually a classic vessel from the shows or movies. So, you can mix the parts with each other, give the vessel a different finish or just enjoy creating your own vessel.
All in all, if you like Star Trek, you cant go much wrong with Star Trek Online. Its worth trying out.