My son and I have been playing Star Trek Online now for about a month. We started out in beta and went ahead and purchased the game to continue trying things out.
Some folks have already maxed out their characters and then complained that there was nothing for them to do but that pretty much serves them right for racing to the end of the game when it was already known that there was no endgame content yet.
We created first our Federation characters since you have no other choice but to start out on the federation side. We went ahead and leveled our federation characters to level 6 which then unlocks the ability to create Klingon characters. The klingon play is focused mainly around PvP. There really isn’t any quests like on the federation side where you could go explore worlds or systems and have PvE missions to do. Klingons had a few space battle PvE missions but that was pretty much it as the only other action was PvP against the federation or against other Klingons.
A brand new Klingon character gets a bird of prey which isn’t too shabby and decked out pretty well with decent gear. You get the cloaking ability which gives the Klingons a slight advantage in the begin levels of PvP for levels 6-10. At level 11 the Federation then get’s science vessels and cruisers which gives them a little more survivability. In fact most Klingons believe that the federation actually has the upper hand in PvP for levels 11-20 (also known as Lt Cmdr or Tier 2). Klingons still win a lot of the PvP matches since most of their combat they encounter is only PvP type encounters while the Federation plays a lot of PvE missions for leveling, quests and loot. The computer AI in the missions are not that challenging and many of your abilities work very well on them. When the federation then faces seasoned Klingons in combat they get a rude awaking. I started to think that perhaps Klingons were the overpowered ones and I got my group of friends to then level up their Federation characters to level 11. I picked up a science vessel, my son an escort and another friend picked up his cruiser. The three of us could actually work pretty well together in 5v5 combat. The cruiser would focus on healing, the escort would focus on DPS and I would focus on disabling subsystems such as shields, engines and help do some damage.
I think if nothing else we proved that teamwork trumps gear and ships. It helps when you are using a chat program like ventrilo and are able to coordinate your attacks and pick out your targets instead of having to type them. You are also able to call out for help as well.
The thing that I’m unhappy with right now with Star Trek Online is the fact that if you make a mistake in picking out skills in their hard to understand skill tree you have hurt your character since there is no way of changing out skill points. They still haven’t discussed how they are going to do this and are being real vague about it along with many other things such as the future of Klingons in the game. Klingon play seems to have been slapped on at the last minute and most of the design of the game is based around Federation so if you want to experience more go Federation. If you only care about PvP and don’t want to do quests you may enjoy Klingons more as you will find more seasoned players there. If you want a good challenge though try some Federation PvP but make sure you find a good group.