Monday, November 8, 2010

Bridge Officers

One of the interesting features of Star Trek Online is the Bridge Officers.  They are a cross between companions/pets and your character.  Since I recently started up playing again, I was really at a loss on how they worked.  This post will cover some of what I learned.

The initial question which lead to this journey was, "What makes a Bridge Officer rare?"  Much like items in any other MMO, Bridge Officers can be common, rare and so on.  Since they are much more complicated than a typical item, I really had no idea what I should be looking for when deciding whether to keep a BO or not. 

Let's take a look at one of my officers.  I am still only a Lieutenant, so this officer is very basic.

He is a Bolian Engineer, currently ranked Ensign.  Each Officer comes with 8 skills, 4 for space and 4 for ground operations.  Skills have ranks, the higher the better (up to III).  I have 5 points in Emergency Power to Shields, which will boost my shields.

The second import aspect of Bridge Officers is their passives.  These traits are used predominantly in ground combat.  There are a couple examples of traits which affect the space side of the game.  If someone or something bites my Bolian, they will get a DoT. 

The passives which apply to space combat are very sought after.  Efficient is one example.  With my pre-order, I received a Borg Bridge Officer who happened to come with that passive and a number of other interesting skills.

While completing a mission for Starfleet, I was rewarded with a new officer.   Now I need to figure out what to do with this Vulcan Engineer.  Vulcans... Elves in space.  That alone would be enough to disqualify him, but Starfleet frowns upon discrimination.

Since this guy lacks rank 3 skills, I don't really have to worry too much about them.  Rank 1 and 2 skills can be trained by this officer or by the npc trainer.  That really just leaves the Passives, all of which are ground traits.  I don't really have a personal strategy when it comes to the ground game yet,  so I'm just looking for interesting traits.

All of my officers use ranged weapons, so Physical Strength is not very useful to me.  Logical could be interesting, but I have no idea how many enemies I'll face which use Placate, Confuse or Psionic powers.  Limited Telepathy and Basic Acute Senses do not look especially useful either.

It looks like I will be passing over this candidate.  There are a lot of traits, so the gameplay possibilities are pretty interesting.  I look forward to figuring out how it all works a bit better.