Star Trek Online Pre-Order Choices

Cryptic is making me crazy already.

I am going to play Star Trek Online.  On this we are decided.

Potshot seems to be sharing my enthusiasm on the subject, so it looks like we might have makings of a bridge crew or flotilla or squadron or whatever the group mechanic is for the game.

And if we’re going to play, we might as well pre-order and reap the benefits of that, such that they are.

But the pre-order bennies haven’t been exactly clear up to this point.

In the absence of information, I went to the default, which is to order from Amazon.com.  I’ve been ordering from them for 12 years now and they have always been good to me.

Amazon.com showed a borg bridge officer as the special pre-order item.

I knew 7 of 9, and you're no 7 of 9

Fine, I put in the order.

Then I saw that GameStop had something different.  A “bonus starship” as part of their pre-order package.

On the surface, a bonus starship might be lame.  But when I went to the site to look into it, the ship turned out to be a Constitution class starship from the original series.  For those not up on the lore, that would be the same class as the Enterprise.

To Boldly Go...

Okay, cancel my order at Amazon.com (sorry guys!) and head over to GameStop.

Only at about this point, the gaming press starts reporting on this situation in detail, since Cryptic finally put out a press release on the subject.

NEW YORK, Dec. 7 /PRNewswire/ — Atari, Inc., one of the world’s most recognized videogame publishers, and acclaimed MMO developers Cryptic Studios(TM), are pleased to announce several pre-order programs for the highly anticipated Star Trek Online for PC. Based on the world renowned sci-fi series, Star Trek Online gives gamers and fans of the fiction a chance to boldly explore the Star Trek universe for the first time on a truly massive scale. Star Trek Online is available at retailers in North America on February 2, 2010.

All Star Trek Online pre-orders receive guaranteed access to the Star Trek Online Open Beta test from January 12th to January 26th, 2010. In addition, Star Trek Online also offers an exclusive Early Start Program with pre-orders at all participating retailers that runs January 29, 2010 through launch on February 2. The Early Start Program allows players to get a leg up on other interstellar explorers and access the Star Trek universe the weekend prior to the game’s launch. Unlike beta play, all in-game progress made during the Early Start Program will carry over to the live adventure.

All customers who pre-order Star Trek Online receive access to the Open Beta and Early Start Program. Details on exclusive pre-order content for Star Trek Online include:

GameStop

GameStop customers receive the ability to command the exclusive and always classic USS Enterprise from Star Trek The Original Series.

Best Buy

Best Buy is offering their customers a fun in-game pet. As a Federation Captain, players own a famed Tribble of Star Trek lore that will accompany them on their travels into the final frontier. As a Klingon commander, players control the boar-like Targ, a beast found on the Klingon home world of Qo’noS.

Amazon

Amazon is offering an exclusive “Liberated Borg” Bridge Officer. This bridge officer, who comes with unique nanotechnology augmentations, assists in missions and gains experience as the player does.

Wal-Mart

With the Wal-Mart Bonus Skill Points package, receive addition skill points that enable players to improve their characters quickly.

Target

Target customers who pre-order Star Trek Online receive a unique ground weapon — a TR-116. This rare projectile weapon is used in dampening fields and other challenging environments; it is also modified with a micro-transporter which beams the fired projectiles to targets at close range so that a user can fire without a direct line of site.

Direct2Drive

Direct2Drive customers receive an exclusive Multi-Spatial Personal Shield. This advanced personal shield system is based on Borg technology, which constantly regenerates itself and the health of its wearer.

STEAM

STEAM is offering customers Chromodynamic Armor. This armor is based on technology brought back from the Delta Quadrant by USS Voyager improves the damage and critical hits of energy weapons.

In Star Trek Online, players will visit iconic locations from the popular Star Trek fiction, travel to unexplored star systems, and contact new alien species. Every moment spent playing Star Trek Online will feel like a new Star Trek episode in which you are the hero. Immerse yourself in the future of the Trek universe as it moves into the 25th century: a time of shifting alliances and new discoveries. As the Captain of your very own ship, it’s up to you to lead your crew on missions that span the galaxy.

For more information, please log onto www.startrekonline.com

So many choices.

Of course, the real die-hards on the forums want to know if they can buy some or all and combine them on a single account.

I am only buying a single copy, so I had to take a deep breath and think on this a bit.

A pre-order bonus cannot… or at least should not… give you any sort of huge advantage in game.  Every pre-order or collector’s edition item that I can recall has generally outlived its actual usefulness pretty quickly.

And if usefulness is going to be set aside, then style is really the way to go.  And for style, you have your tribble or you have your Constitution class starship.  But that still leaves a choice.


Decisions, decisions!  I’m leaning towards the starship.  I’m already humming the incidental music from the episode “The Doomsday Machine” in my head.  But a tribble…

27 thoughts on “Star Trek Online Pre-Order Choices

  1. Scott

    Seems Gamestop and Amazon scored the most “must have” pre-order bonuses. I was planning on pre-ordering but only via digital download so I could have it ready on release such as using Steam. Then Cryptic messes it up with exclusives to brick ‘n mortar stores that Direct2Drive and Steam don’t even match up too. I would’ve preferred they didn’t stoop to this level, and I’d be pretty ticked off as a player if it does turn out the Constitution class ship was only available from the pre-order later on.

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  2. Esri

    Well, as a player and a “pre-orderer” (that’s not a word,but what the heck), I’d be pretty ticked off if I found out my “exclusive” wasn’t exclusive.

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  3. Rieger

    I should justify my answer of “None of them”. While I am a sci-fi geek I have an overwhelming hatred of all things Star Trek. Movies, TV shows, games I hate it all. So I think that even if Star Trek was the last MMO running I would be sitting at home watching paint dry before I would be logging onto it.

    That is not to say that people who like Star Trek are wrong in any way, I just am not one of those people.

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  4. SynCaine

    That is, hands down, the most confusing pre-order setup ever.

    And deep down I’m hoping one of those pre-order items is grossly OP come launch, which then starts a firestorm, and gets said item nerfed into the ground, which then starts another firestorm. Because one can never have enough MMO-related drama, amirite?

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  5. Armagon

    I’d absolutely hate this scheme for my MMO (and Star Trek is near 100% not mine ;)) – but it was a hard enough decision already whether to get the WoW Collector’s Edition for TBC and WotLK – and it’s also not so much more than an ingame pet.

    Too many choices, and what if I wanted two of those? No sorry, I’d love to have small perks not at the price of having to buy different boxes. I’d prefer a single pre-order goodie or none at all (10 days more free play time like with WAR is actually perfect, thanks)

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  6. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    @SynCaine – Indeed, this pre-order bennie program seems to exceed all previous parameters for confusion.

    Usually we just grouse about the fact that Europe gets something different than North America. Now North America has *7* different items and I haven’t heard what is going on in Europe yet.

    We’re probably going to find out that every 13 year old in the game got their mom to buy the pre-order for them at Wal-Mart and that the skill points boost will turn out to be the munchkin pre-order of choice, leading to chaos and more blog posts.

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  7. P@tsh@t

    As predicted, we will be a constellation starship and tribble household. No contest. I only hate that I have to give money to two less preferred vendors.

    I completly agree that nothing on offer can be unbalancing. Cape of Style or Ring of Mediocrity, functionally they can’t matter. Therefore, bring on the shatner girdle and fill the hold with quadrotriticale.

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  8. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    @Potshot – At least tell me that you had to look up the word “quadrotriticale” in the episode guide.

    One of my favorite Deep Space Nine episodes is the one where they go back in time (I know, time travel in a Star Trek episode? How original!) to the Trouble with Tribbles episode, and not merely for Worf’s response to the question about the change in how Klingons look.

    Can you stream Deep Space Nine from Netflix yet?

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  9. Magson

    I am not actually planning on pre-ordering or even necessarily playing this game — not at launch, anyway. The budget for the next few months won’t really allow it. . . . .

    That said, if I were doing it — skill points all the way. To me, that sounds like it would have the farthest reaching bonus. The Borg officer sounds good too, but the skill points probably will give a boost from the beginning that won’t ever really go away. Ships weapons, armor, pets — those will all be superseded in game, methinks, but a skill point boost never dies!

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  10. kkodachi

    I made preorder through Gamestop today. Constellation ship all the way baby. Its all about the ships for me. :)

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  11. Dangwiggums

    Taking into account that no pre-order item should give any overpowering advantage to the pre-order customers, it then comes down, for me, to what I think is going to be longest with me in game. I have narrowed it down to the two I like most, which like most others out there is the TOS Constitution, and the Borg BO.
    If the ship is chosen, even given the fact that it is upgradeable, it still limmits my shoice in my career path to only be what that ship will allow. On the other hand, if I get a Borg BO, the borg already come with a vast knowledge base. The nano Tech allows for quick assimilation of info. Assuming that you get to train your BO’s from start to end game, I think the Borg BO has the possibility to start me out nicely, and stay with me to end game. My end choice: Borg BO.

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  12. Graktar

    The pre-order scheme Cryptic is using here is pretty bad. If you read the detailed info about the various items, they’re extremely gameplay oriented. The starship is *better* than other ships in it’s class. The borg officer is *better* than normal bridge officer. The personal shield is *unique* and sounds quite powerful. One of the pre-order perks is extra skill points! The tribble . . . yeah, ok, cosmetic pet vs. combat bonuses. :p

    I prefered it when games offered cosmetic pre-order bonuses, like costumes or special effects. I can’t wait for the day you start hearing in game chat “lfm fleet action blah blah blah. Must have constitution class or borg officer”.

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  13. HarbingerZero

    I’d say be careful toating that “constitution class” around – it actually says specifically “to command the…USS Enterprise” – I don’t know about you all, but it will kill the buzz of having the ship if I run into 34 of them all identical on opening day. Wonder if it will have to be the Enterprise or if it can be renamed, etc.

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  14. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    Yeah, I took that from the Massively article, but you’re right, the press release says Enterprise. I could live with that. I might call it something else, but I’ll manage.

    As for seeing dozens of them in one location… well, screen shot for a post right there… but I get the feeling that the combo of how big space is (or should be… EVE is the prime example) and how Cryptic has done their games in the past, I suspect that I will have to work to join up with a fleet of more than a few classic Enterprises.

    At least that is my theory.

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  15. Jonathan

    Not that it makes my brain pound any less, but one good thing was that STO dev Stormshade did confirm that the preorders could be stacked:
    —-
    “This is true. Pre-Order Bonuses will stack where applicable. Obviously, you can only get one guaranteed Open Beta Slot. However, you can pre-order from several different retailers to get all the pre-order bonuses you want.
    You will also need to purchase the game from each retailer. The Pre-order code will show you as eligible for those specific bonuses, the code in the box will confirm and unlock them.
    So, if you want the bonuses from the Atari Deluxe Digital Download, Gamestop, and Best Buy, you can pre-order from all 3, apply the codes, and then, once you have the “retail” copy, you can apply all 3 keys to your account to get all the different bonuses.”
    ——-
    One might argue why one would purchase more than one copy of the game for multiple preorders. I was one of those who thought that… until I caught myself thinking about how cool it would be to have the ship AND the Borg member. My embarrassment did not prevent me from saying that out loud just now. I hope thats a good sign.

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  16. Nikodas

    Don’t forget the Digital Delux Download that Atari is now offering. You get to play as a joined trill for a bonus to 5 skills, and you get a passive 360 degree weapon, that fires even if you’re not sitting at your computer.

    Not to meantion the two unique emotes and the extra uniforms. That’s the way I’m going. Atari all the way.

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  19. Riamus

    According to Cryptic, the Constitution class starship (aka Enterprise) will be used for only about 20 hours of gameplay. Considering this is a MMO, you’ll have hundreds or even thousands of hours of gameplay in before you stop playing if you like the game. So 20 hours is not much at all. It’s not really much more than the tutorial section of the game… okay, the tutorial area (starter area) shouldn’t take 20 hours, but it will feel like it’s only useful for that short amount of time. Cryptic also stated that the other bonuses are similarly only useful in the beginning. That means you will find better weapons and armor that will make using all of the weapon and armor bonuses pointless. That cuts it down to only a couple of choices…

    The Borg BOff… if nothing else, it works as good as any other bridge officer, so you should be able to use it the entire time you play. The bonuses it has, though, aren’t likely to make any real difference after around that first 20 hour mark. So it’s just a different bridge officer than you’d normally have.

    A pet? Okay, that’s nice in some games, but I could care less about having a hairball for a pet and I probably will mostly play starfleet, so won’t have the targ.

    And skill points. These really help you get a “quick start” in the game, allowing you to get going more easily and quickly. However, they aren’t really that much use or that critical when it comes right down to it.

    Of those, I’m thinking the borg, though I really am not impressed with how she looks. I originally wanted the borg until I saw that picture. Then I decided on the ship until I found out the short use of it. Then I went to the skill points, but realized they weren’t all that useful in the end. So here I am back with the borg.

    Beyond that, there’s the collector’s edition to decide on. Not much there to recommend it. The communicator badge is nice, but not really worth the cost. The uniforms are probably the only thing all that important in the decision. You’ll already have TOS uniforms available and I’m sure other types of uniforms. And I really don’t care about the DS9 uniforms, but TNG was my favorite of the different series, and I wouldn’t mind having those uniforms. But for that, I’m not really interested in paying the extra money.

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  20. dave

    Something i thought was interesting is that a UK retail has a shuttle craft for pre order :]

    i’m buying two copies, the collectors from amazon for borg and collectors exclusives, and digital deluxe copy from steam for their armor, but most importantly the digital deluxe is the only copy that has TOS uniforms, and a few other exclusives like the collectors.

    The deluxe digital TOS uniforms INCLUDE MINISKIRT!!!!!
    This is the only way to get TOS uniforms unless they add them in micro transaction store later on.

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