I’ve heard that Valentine’s Day is called by some disgruntled lonely-types “National Singles Awareness Day” and I still laugh at it. Even though I’ve been that single guy with nothing to do on February 14th before, I still chuckle. Now that I’m approaching 30, am happily in a nerdy relationship, and have a little one on the way (a girl no less) I approach V-Day with a bit more sentiment than jealousy and have found myself in a pseudo-Christmas spirit by sending cards to my adopted sisters and sneaking a naughty-yet-funny card in the house which I’ll give to Lizi. Sentiments that I express to “my girls” every time I talk to them and to my Empress every morning we wake up together (which isn’t often), but this year I felt the need to actually send cards and write little notes to those important people in my life. All was well in the Imperial Household until I jumped on TeamSpeak and logged into STO.
And Cupid went from shooting arrows to quantum torpedoes.
I don’t know about any of you out there but I’ve just about given up on the STO community outside of my circle of friends and the Sword of Kahless crew. I’ve thrown my hands up at trying to rationalize the whining, to explain the frustration, and to understand why people just can’t accept things as they are. I’ve spent the last day or so trying to prep for my Valentine’s Day broadcast of The Klingon Invasion and have come to the conclusion that I talking about STO is just not apropos. For a community that embraced this game with open arms, I’ve heard more closed-minded responses to gameplay than I’ve heard whining in Call of Duty 4. I make it a priority to take everything in, analyze the different points of view, and come up with reasonable and rational commentary about the game on my show and in my blogs. Of course I have to take shots at certain things that bug me, because I am Klingon after all and in no way shall I water down my response to make it palatable for everyone. To do so is just not very Kahless. So, instead of generating more blogs about the QQ Battalion I have a simple solution to all of STO’s community ills this Valentine’s Day.
Why don’t we all just sit back, relax, and enjoy the fact that we have a Star Trek game that wasn’t Legacy? How about we relish in the fact that someone out there besides Activision had the willingness to enter into the Trek universe at all? You know Blizzard would have screwed this game to high heaven and made it definitely not Trek. Oh you say that STO isn’t Star Trek? Shame on you for your short-sightedness. Gene Roddenberry would be tossing in his grave had he not been cremated and sent into space. That’s not very tolerant, now is it? I remember the same thing being said about J.J.’s interpretation of TOS in the new movie…boy I tried hard to hold my tongue there too. “This is not Star Trek! This is too militant, too violent, too divergent from Roddenberry’s intended theme of egalitarianism and tolerance.”
I’ve been fan of Trek since childhood, but as an enlightened mind I find that the series is far too ethnocentric at times; it focuses way too much on the Human side of the story which is far from perfection as we learn in the many wars the UFP fights. As Azetbur aptly stated during the dinner scene in Star Trek VI, the Federation is nothing more than “a homosapiens-only club.” She prefaces that by challenging Chekov’s statement that the Federation believes that all races should be able to exercise certain “inalienable human rights” by not-so-subtlety calling his phraseology racist. (By the way, Trek writers scripted things this way on purpose!). In DS9 during the Dominion War, Quark notes to his eager nephew Nog that “Hew-mans” are only happy when their bellies are full and their holosuites are running. But as soon as all of that goes away, they turn as violent as the worst Klingon can be. And yes even the omnipresent and omni-annoying Q still challenges at the end of TNG that humanity has not evolved much beyond it’s own savagery and has yet to scratch the surface of its potential as a species. A sobering prospect that despite all of Humanity’s proposed advancement in the 24th Century, we will be no more perfect then than we are now. And we were supposed to be living like the Jetsons already.
So, Trek community, we are not perfect. We will never be perfect. And neither is Star Trek Online. Cryptic has worked painstakingly hard to make the STO experience as dynamic and fluid as possible and yet there are many who just can’t seem to understand that very notion. The game is going to change, as all MMOs do. What is in season now will not be in 3 months. The Fedball will go away as a turtling tactic and the Starfleeters will grown a brain and some balls by developing new tactics and overcoming their imperfections and shortcomings through ingenuity (just like Kirk, Picard, Sisko, Janeway and yes Archer). The Klingons will still have the bigger guns, more agile ships, and the cloak (and of course me), but will find new and more devastating ways to destroy things. And yes, we hope the Romulans show up to screw up everything. So I say again: You could be playing Legacy. You could be modding Bridge Commander for the 1,000,000th time. You could be using the same boring rush tactics in Armada 2. But you aren’t. You’re playing STO…
So shut up and play.