Star Trek Online: Agents of Yesterday
Perfect World Entertainment
A new expansion to the MMORPG Star Trek Online, focusing on the Original Series, the Kelvin Timeline, and concluding the 'Future Proof' story arc.
10 new missions, with stories and plots based around the Original Series, a new 23rd century faction, and new ships and rewards.
Microsoft Windows PC
5 - 6 hours of new content
July 6th, 2016
- Original Series Trek goodness
- 10 new missions to play through
- Redesigned ships based on the Original Series
- A new mission based on the new Star Trek movies
- Star Trek voice actors reprising their character roles
- Fun new visual effects and TOS environments
- Account-wide rewards for progress made with a new 23rd century character
- Lots of nostalgia
- Not as much content as other expansions
- Spelling mistakes everywhere and new bugs
- Lockboxes drop like candy
- Story quickly transitions away from TOS
- Obscure storyline based off the Temporal Cold War
Over the past week I’ve been hitting Star Trek Online pretty hard. Ever since the developers announced that they were creating regular content that resembled and was based on episodic Trek content and blessed by CBS, I’ve been a fan. It makes the stories created by Cryptic not exactly canon, but close enough for the inclined fan. Agents of Yesterday launched on July 6th, and is the latest batch of Trek added to Star Trek Online, based loosely on the Original Series. In the end, it ends up being an interesting romp through original Trek, the new Kelvin Timeline Trek, and all Trek in-between. Okay, maybe not the animated series, but, really, the animated series? C’mon.
A little, maybe obvious, warning: Some Mild Spoilers Ahead. Overall, although Star Trek Online is officially calling their new content an “expansion”, I’m not completely sure it lives up to that description. Agents of Yesterday overall added 10 new missions, a handful of new queues (multi-player “dungeons”), and a new early 23rd century “faction”, which is really just the Federation faction with a few added UI elements, some extra loot, some flavor text, and a new introduction. Half of the new missions can only be performed by starting a new character from this faction. So, as far as an overall content drop, it really doesn’t hold a candle to the other expansions Star Trek Online has offered over the years. Legacy of Romulus added a new zone, faction, and new missions for every faction. Delta Rising added a whole new space map, zone, and level cap for everybody. Agents of Yesterday an expansion? Not so much.
That’s not to say the missions themselves weren’t really enjoyable, though. The attention to detail given to the level of cheese the Original Series had is top notch. In all of the missions taking place in the 23rd century, a soft filter was added to the background of every mission to replicate that old TV rabbit-ear style. It was so effective that I saw some complaining that they thought something was wrong with their video cards.
Time Travel? Again?
However, if anyone was expecting the expansion to be completely about the Original Series, as the name sort-of suggests, well, sorry. It only takes about 3 missions in before they start with the *real* meat of the expansion: time travel. Yeah, time travel is one of the oldest and misued tropes in fiction. Star Trek has used it time and time again, and the quality has stretched from the odd Mark Twain shenanigans during Next Generation to the excellent Trials and Tribble-ations of Deep Space Nine. Mostly one or two-off episode arcs.
The time travel used in Agents of Yesterday, though, focuses mostly on one of the most obscure and confusing time travel arcs in all of Star Trek, Enterprise‘s Temporal Cold War. A storyline not for the casual Trekkie, which makes it an odd combination, especially when one is expecting the schmooze of original Trek and the everyman of Kirk. It does conclude one of Star Trek Online‘s more obscure story arcs as well, Future Proof, which, sadly, didn’t quite have the same story punch as the recent Iconian War or Delta Rising.
The Kelvin Timeline Strikes Back
And finally, somewhere in there, they also include a relatively shoe-horned feeling mission in the Kelvin Timeline! The Kelvin Timeline, by the way, is now the official name that has recently been given to the universe shown in the series of movies created by J.J. Abrams and others, named for the fated ship, the USS Kelvin. The Kelvin was destroyed at the point of universe fracture, when the Romulan mining vessel, the Narada, entered the split-universe via black hole and attacked. The legitimacy of the universe within the Trek community has been rather contentious since the 2009 Star Trek movie released, but mostly the contention has been coming from the Trek purists who aren’t as big a fan of lens flare as Abrams thought they were.
That, and although the timelines are completely different, they destroyed Romulus! To say the Prime universe’s canon wasn’t hugely affected would be overlooking a major race’s entire home world. Plus, there’s already the Mirror Universe, which is very canon. Like it or not, the different timelines are inexorably intertwined. It’s been officially named, it’s been legitimized, and it’s here for good. If the new upcoming CBS Star Trek series doesn’t acknowledge Romulus’s destruction in the first few episodes, I’ll be shocked (but technically, citizens of the Prime universe shouldn’t know the *name*, like they do the Mirror Universe, as the Prime’s USS Kelvin wouldn’t have been a part of the incident… but that’s a minor detail).
The mission feels shoe-horned, though, because it’s a one-off mission that doesn’t even really give a good reason as to how your ship even gets to the Kelvin timeline or a big reason why, aside from the timey-whimey shenanigans of Trek’s local Time Lord, Daniels. I don’t blame the developers at all for trying to capitalize on the new movies, though. In fact I enjoy it when, say, Marvel Heroes brings in any of the fun stuff from the plethera of Marvel movies and comics out there. A bit of “trans-media synergy” adds that extra layer for fans, which isn’t bad. However, although it’s just one mission that was added, they also dropped a special themed Kelvin Lockbox to go along with it. It contains on its loot table a bevy of costumes, weapons, and abilities or even ships for the very lucky or wallet-heavy (0.33% chance of acquiring the movie Enterprise or any ship, last I checked. 0.33%, don’t overlook that decimal). The trade of one mission for one lockbox, when they could’ve really opened up a whole arc of Kelvin Timeline stories, seems a little underwhelming. Now that they’ve opened the can of worms, hopefully they add to it more in the future.
Right, But How Was It?
Overall, though, I’ve liked the expansion. Those first few missions in the Original Series timeline, though a little awkward in their use of sound bites, are really quite fun. The use of voice actors related to the series like Walter Koenig, the late Leonard Nemoy, Christopher Doohan, and Joseph Gatt is also not to be overlooked if you’re a fan. It may not have as much bulk or heft as previous expansions, or really offer anything truly game-changing, though, but it is still entertaining. Enough to convince me to start up a new character and replay all of Star Trek Online‘s already fantastic story, but with the bonus of figuring out what those pesky Na’Khul are up to.
So, if you’re a new player looking to get into Star Trek Online, Agents of Yesterday at least offers a new path to do so, one that tugs oh-so-affectionately at the nostalgia strings. And if you’re a current player, I highly suggest making a new 23rd century character, at least to try out the TOS missions.