Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Summer Event

Of course, there's more to the STO Summer Event than Flying High to get your ship. There are also games to earn favors, which is the Event currency to buy costumes, kit modules, floaters and powerboards.

What are powerboards? They're like surfboards with an engine. You use them to race around a river course, and when you reach the end, you grab a flag. There are four flags-First gives you 12 monkey tags and 75 favors, Second gives you 6 tags and 50 favors, Third gives you 3 tags and 25 favors. Finish gives you 2 tags and 15 favors. If you weren't able to grab any of the place flags, then you get the Finish. So, everyone is guaranteed at least 2 tags, which are used to raise baby feather monkeys. The monkeys can be kept as vanity pets, or traded in for marks for the various reputation systems in the game. There are three monkeys-blue, green and red. You need six tags to start a monkey project and the color you get is random. If the monkey crits during any phase of raising it, it will then acquire a tiki mask. These tiki-masked monkeys get you more marks with a trade-in.

There is also a game called the Horga'hn hunt. If you watched TNG, then you know these are fertility statues. Every hour, for fifteen minutes, you fly around on your floaters and find ten to turn in. There are any number of favors 'inside' the statues, ranging from 2-5. You may also find an 'abandoned' bird egg. You can take this egg and hatch it and get one of six types of tropical birds to raise, also to trade in for marks. If the bird crits during raising, it will gain long feather tufts and be worth more marks. If you keep any of the tufted birds, only raise them to adult, as they become even more brighter-colored, usually much different from their original colors.

Then there is the Dance Party. Every hour you spend about ten minutes doing dances that the dance instructor calls out (which are found by pinning your chat emote list and scrolling to the dances). Once you have completed 38 dances, you earn 100 favors.

Many players put stacks (999) of favors on the exchange, which is the ingame market, which gets them ingame currency (energy credits). I prefer to earn mine, since it's part of playing the event. I farm them during the hunt, and doing other activities. All the activities get you favors. Just some people don't want to spend the time farming them, they want their shinies *now*.

Anyway, speaking of the Summer Event, it's time to get out there.

Star Trek Online

I think I've posted about this game once, at least, like Oblivion or Skyrim. Unlike Oblivion or Skyrim, Star Trek Online is...Online, of course. It's a MMORPG, or massively multiplayer online role playing game.

You play the part of a captain of a starship set in the Star Trek universe. Once you get past the tutorial, you can play the game as you see fit, that's the role-playing part. It's free to play, but you will need money anyway, to get their best stuff. You can play the game on the free stuff and free ships that are given away during 'Events'. The Summer Event is going on right now and the giveaway ship is a Vorgon heavy escort. It's a funny-looking ship, but it seems to be fit for tactical captains. The good new is, since last year, only one captain in your lineup has to play to get the ship, which is then unlocked in the reclaim store for any others. So my other captains can claim one and fly it to get its trait unlocked to use on the ship they prefer to fly.

I've picked up a number of these ships, ranging from T5-U to T6. The T6 is the top-tier ships for end game content. Many players, especially those who can afford to pay the fee to access more stuff, ridicule the ships, but play to get them anyway, also for their traits. Of course, many FTPers (free to play) also ridicule them. I don't. The devs went to the trouble of designing them and then give them away, so I appreciate any and all of them. I always pick up any free ships they give away, whether it's during a promotion or an Event.

The Summer Event is fun, you strap on a floater (similar to a jet pack), and pick up the mission Flying High from the Event Coordinator on Risa. Then you fly through three of four courses set up around the island in a set amount of time, which is very generous and more than enough for even someone with a slow floater to get through. You then earn 40 ship vouchers, which you must return to the coordinator to get. Then you slot the ship project and add the vouchers. You do this 25 times, every 20 hours (or daily about the same time each day). At the end of the 25 days, you will have earned 1000 vouchers and the ship. The event runs for about 40 days, so there's plenty of wiggle room to miss a few days, which I've done on my captain. Her mission got pushed to night time because I forgot to turn it in one day until later at night. So I got agitated one evening and signed off before doing it. No problem, it just means I get my ship a day later than most.

I've also downloaded and installed several other games on the Arc client, The Arc client is like Steam, if you know what I mean. You can use it to download and install Perfect World Entertainment games, just like you use Steam to download their games. However, Arc now has what's called Arc Quests. It's basically 'sign into Arc on X number of days' to earn experience points. Earn enough points and you earn zen, which is their in game currency you have to buy with real money, or trade dilithium for (and the dilithium exchange rates have become outrageous at around 415dil/1zen or more.). For every 1000 experience points, you get 500 zen, which usually costs about $5 of real money. So yeah, I'm doing these quests. You get three different ones, of which you can delete one of them every day. So, if you get one that says 'play X game for Y number of days', and you don't have that game, or it will cost you money to install it, you can click it off and hope you get one that you can use. I've installed a number of PWI games over the last week, all of them are FTP, or free to play. Therefore, if I get a quest to play one of those games, I can simply load their launcher and get the credit. I know, that's not exactly in the spirit of the quests, but I intend to eventually at least try them out through their tutorial phase, but I'm trying to earn zen for STO. I have 500 points so far, and when I fill up this next bar, that will be another 600 experience, so I will have earned my first 500 zen, if I choose to redeem the points. However, I'm going to try to earn more points first. I have several captains who need extra banking and inventory space, so I want to earn enough for that, plus maybe a stack of keys for the many, many lockboxes I've accumulated.

The games I've installed all sound like they might be interesting or fun to play, but I doubt I can earn zen enough to support all of them. So right now all my zen earnings will go to my favorite one, which is Star Trek Online. The other games are simply a means to earn that zen faster. If I play them at all, it will not be with zen, unless I have a way to earn it ingame that doesn't involve the zen market, unless the zen market in those games, if they have one, is more reasonably priced. What's a more reasonable price? Someone on the STO forums suggested about 250/1, which I think is actually reasonable.

I know the people who trade their zen on the game markets pay for their zen with real money and want to get the best value for the trade, but hell, can't we get a good value as well? We spend time ingame, farming the currency needed to trade for their zen. That time is worth something, right? It's like a real-life gold miner spending time mining gold from wherever so they can sell it for money. With the prices that are being asked, buying a lifetime subscription to the game is looking more and more appealing. At least then I'd get a stipend of 500 zen per month, which I can save up, if I'm patient enough, until it builds up to where I can get some of the more expensive packages from the zen store. Personally, I think a lot of LTS players are using that stipend to buy dilithium, so therefore they're pretty much getting free dilithium