Well, my computer is finally working close to normal and I owe it all to the ability/skill 'Jury Rig'. If you are running any sort of modern to futuristic milieu and you don't have this talent available to the Player Characters and NPCs of your game...fix that oversight but soon.
The timing couldn't be better either, for in addition to the artwork and related things I really need to do, the ultimate fanboy, time-wasting, keep-my-sanity-so-I-don't-freak-from-the-pressures-of-life computer game is about to land on good ol' Terra Firma. On February 2nd, 2010, we mere mortals are to behold the pinnacle of PC gaming cool. I speak of none other than Star Trek Online.
So, after all that hype...is it any good? Y'know, it really is.
I was able to play through the open beta and found myself instantly drawn to it, less as a gamer and more as a Star Trek fan. I think fans of Trek that are not gamers by nature (I'm sure there are a fair number in that category) will find this game not only interesting from a story point of view and definitely visually intriguing but also incredibly easy to get into mechanically. Things are very intuitive and it actually helps if you know what a phaser is, what shields do or whether a quantum torpedo is better than a photon one. A good friend of mine had a tad more trouble getting used to the controls and functions because, while she is a better MMO player than I am, I am the bigger Trek fan. While this aspect of the game may not appeal to the hard core MMO fan, it definitely appeals to me.
In fact, I found the background story so interesting and the MMO so inspiring I switch gears and pulled the following magic rabbit out of my butt at the last second...
I decided to run a tabletop Star Trek RPG adventure set in the Star Trek Online universe. Star Trek Outbound - Online roughly follows the plot of the game with a few changes made to accommodate the fact that dice are involved and not all the players are familiar with the MMO. Also, I altered some of the visuals for consistency (in the MMO you can custom design your own uniform, I picked a uniform and made character portraits using the character designer.).
The game is not being run with my usual group but instead a bunch of other friends who were nice enough to show up when all I told them was, "I've got an idea for a new Sci-Fi campaign. Its a surprise!" The end result was awesome. We played for nearly eight hours and got to learn about Andorians with alternative lifestyles, catch up on paperwork, be playfully chided by our Vulcan Captain (a Vulcan with a dry sense of humor!), spy on Romulans, fight the Borg, loose our captain, save sixty fellow officers whose ship was virtually dead in space, destroy a Borg Cube and prepare ourselves to mount a boarding party to the downed Cube to retrieve our captain.
All in all its been a good week to be a Star Trek fan. Hopefully with a fully functioning computer and new campaigns for 2010, I'll have a lot more to ramble about.
Live Long and Prosper...and kick ass,