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Like many MMORPGs before it, Star Trek Online is offering retailer-specific in-game bonuses depending on where you purchase the game. Unlike many of its predecessors, though, Star Trek Online offers seven separate retailer incentives.
While the offerings for most major games typically consist of a minimally-diverse bonus (different color schemes for the same power in City of Heroes, for example) the upcoming deep space MMO has separate offerings so different from one another that gamers may find themselves investing a fair amount of thought into where they should buy the Star Trek Online, rather than just automatically seeking out their favorite local store.
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Players who begin their five-year mission at Best Buy will receive an exclusive in-game pet. Federation captains will be accompanied by a Tribble (made famous in The Original Series and later revisited in Deep Space Nine), while their Klingon counterparts will set sail with a boar-like Targ at their side.
Just be sure to keep your Tribble separate from any other members of its species you may encounter, as they are known to reproduce very quickly.
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Gamers who choose to download Star Trek Online directly from Direct2Drive will receive the exclusive "Multi-Spatial Personal Shield."
This shield, presumably to be used in the game's "away team" missions, is based on Borg technology and will constantly regenerate itself as well as the health of the player who wears it.
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Customers who buy their game from the nation's largest video game retailer will receive an appropriately awesome reward: a constitution-class starship similar to the original USS Enterprise, made famous in Star Trek: The Original Series.
The exclusive ship comes equipped with blue phasers and has an extra engineering station mod slot.
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Steam customers will find themselves well protected when they venture out into the final frontier. They will receive "Chromodynamic Armor," which is based on technology discovered by the USS Voyager during their trip through the Delta Quadrant.
Chromodynamic Armor powers up your character by improving the damage and critical hit chance of their energy weapons.
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Target is a relative newcomer to the exclusive bonus gamee, but their incentive is no less awesome because of it. Those who buy the game at the retail giant will receive a unique away team weapon, the TR-116.
This projectile weapon is equipped with a mini transporter, enabling it to beam fired projectiles into close proximity of targets, enabling users to fire around corners and from behind cover. The weapon's projectile-firing nature also makes it more effective in situations where energy weapons are unusable.
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If you're a power gamer interested in improving your character as quickly as possible, then Wal Mart may be the place you will want to pick up STO. Wal Mart customers will receive a 500 bonus skill points, enabling them to power up their beginning skills faster than their peers.
The truly amazing thing about these wholly diverse bonuses is that each is appealing it it's own way, making deciding a difficult proposition. There is no clear-cut choice here, though I'm sure many will jump at the bonus skill points offered by Wal Mart. There is, however, a certain appeal to finding yourself at the helm of the original Enterprise.
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Star Trek Online Digital Deluxe Edition
Also of interest to those thinking of buying Star Trek Online is the Digital Deluxe Edition, which is only available at certain online retailers. This awesome edition will run you ten dollars more, but the exclusive bonuses associated with it make the money seem insignificant. Plus, the DDE bonuses stack with retailer-exclusive purchase bonuses, enabling you to get both.
Check out the full details on it all the associated bonuses in our full Star Trek Online Digital Deluxe Edition article.