|Star Trek Online|
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Star Trek Online, often abbreviated as STO, is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) developed by Cryptic Studios based on the popular Star Trek series created by Gene Roddenberry, using the Cryptic Engine. The game is set in the 25th century, 30 years after the events of Star Trek Nemesis. Star Trek Online is the first massively multiplayer online role-playing game within the Star Trek franchise and was released on February 2, 2010.
In Star Trek Online, each player acts as the captain of his or her own ship. Players are able to play as a starship, controlling the ship's engineering, tactical and science systems by keyboard/mouse or using an on-screen console. Players can also "beam down" and move around as a player character in various settings with access to weapons and specific support and combat skills relating to their own character's class. The two combat systems are intertwined throughout the game: Away-team missions feature fast paced "run and gun" combat, while Space combat stresses the long-term tactical aspect of combat between capital ships, both are offered in concert with the Star Trek storyline and entails your own positioning, your team's positioning in consideration of flanking damage, and finding various weaknesses to exploit.
Every player is the captain of their own individual ship; The game setting is in a war-time universe in the year 2409 utilizing any and all officers who have access to a ship, which includes your player. In keeping with naval tradition, anyone who commands a ship regardless of his or her actual rank, is considered a de facto "captain". Players can start in Star Trek initially in only one faction as a Federation Captain, but other factions unlock as players level up. Currently the only two factions available are Federation (at the start) and Klingon (upon reaching Level 6). Each ship has a number of crewmen who will all be NPCs, referred to as Bridge Officers. Bridge Officers have a separate progression, including the purchase of skills and equipment, and can be promoted to higher ranks by their ship's captain.
The game features references to several famous storylines, ships, and characters from various Star Trek shows. While the game occurs in the original series timeline (which does not consider the storyline in the recent movie), one confirmed Star Trek film reference was revealed when Zachary Quinto announced at the 2009 Spike TV Video Game Awards that he will be voicing dialog during the game's tutorial. Leonard Nimoy is heard for all of the gameplay and exploration voiceover samples. The LCARS Computer system dialog is voiced by a Majel Roddenberry impersonator.
Genesis system (Exploration missions)
There is a capability to "explore" new star systems in the game. Players will be able to explore inside of uncharted star systems, and might find "anomalies" which opens up new resources and technologies, or uncharted planets offering random diplomatic or combat missions.
The game features a variety of ship classes which can be used by all players. Playable ship classes utilize one of three templates for appearance (additional ones can be unlocked in C-Store and using alternate methods) and can be "kitbashed" together or recolored to make a unique ship. Ship classes are not restricted based on a player's specialty; any class of starship is available using only the player's rank as a prerequisite, however, a player's earned skills often corresponds with one or more ship classes and must be considered carefully before choosing. Re-specialization (Captain Retraining) is available to aid in selecting different abilities, or to change ship classes by spending points on another class. A player can also switch between any of their ships (purchased in-game or earned) at Starbases, even choosing older ships the player no longer uses.
Uniforms can either be created in the character creation phase or via the tailor found on various Starbases. New styles can be used, or depending on which retail copy or C-Store Pack you've purchased, access to uniforms seen on the various TV shows are available. Costume parts are broadly available across all characters, but certain parts have restrictions based on faction played or gender. Player races also mirror TV and Movie choices, granting racial traits that match or correspond to the various races throughout the franchise, or a player can choose "Alien" and create their own species using a selection of two racial traits and all the parts and options earned or purchased thus far.
Players will find new officers as they level up with various special abilities who can be recruited to the players' crew, or used to train their existing crew members with a new ability that your character may not have to offer. New Bridge Officers can be recruited in this manner, or hired/released at an appropriate Starbase. Individual combat successes offer Skill Points and Bridge Officer Skill Points as the main reward. Skill Points are the main "Experience Points", which are spent in a skill tree to improve your player. Skill Points are also used to level up your captain, with each rank requiring your captain to spend a fixed number of points to receive a promotion. Bridge Officer Skill Points are spent separate of Skill Points, affecting your Bridge Officers. A captain needs to spend an amount of Bridge Officer Skill Points and Federation Credits to promote a Bridge Officer to a higher rank, but progression of a Bridge Officer is always limited to one rank beneath yours. Increased Bridge Officer ranks add new abilities for your ship that a player can trigger on command while in space, as well as added automatic skills for your Bridge Officers to use in ground combat missions. Skills your captain and Bridge Officers can gain are organized between both systems, with each skill applying to either space combat or ground combat.
Player economy and rewards
Upon completing missions, players gain Skill Points, Bridge Officer Skill Points, Various Credits (Faction currency, Exploration Badges and Marks, and/or the neutral currency known as Energy Credits) and on most assigned missions, players can choose a single prize from a multitude of reward items related to one of the above mentioned ship or personal equipment categories. Equipment is organized in a similar arrangement to skills, applying to either ground equipment (kits, weapons, personal shields, and body armor) or spaceship parts (consoles, weapons, shields, deflector dishes, ship devices, and engines.) Equipment can be purchased from various NPC's inside of Starbases, through the Exchange (A Silent-buy Player Market) utilizing only Energy Credits, or directly from Equipment Dealers at the Earth Space Dock using only Exploration Badges and Marks (gained from the Genesis System or in Special Task Force missions).
Equipment that is rare or uncommon in value may bind to a character on purchase or upon utilizing or equipping the item to limit resale value once used. Equipment not bound to a player can be resold in the Exchange for Energy Credits with other players without restriction. If bound, equipment can be resold to any vendor for a fraction of what it costs at the market, or simply thrown away. Locked items cannot be sold, and include pre-order bonuses and mission-specific items.
It is possible for players to pool resources together in a number of ways. Quests are issued from Starfleet Command, and players can join together on the ground or in space. Gameplay is fully co-operative and dynamic events serve as one part of the game. Teaming can be done using "Open Teaming" (which automatically joins up with a team running the same mission you are), or through traditional ad-hoc or search methods used in other MMO's. A Fleet is the term for guilds in Star Trek Online, and are formed among a group of players. Fleets allow access to a central Guild Bank, a chat channel, and allow a Guild Insignia to replace their Faction Logo on their starship.
Special Missions are available that require teamwork as a prerequisite to accomplish a larger task. Fleet Actions are available in-game that require the cooperation of a number of players to complete a ground mission together. Special Task Forces are in later levels of the game and allow multiple factions to unite to defeat a common enemy. Deep Space Encounters are spread across all maps and allow players to team up to clear a field of a number of combatants in open-space battle. A neutral zone exists between Federation and Klingon space that allows Player vs. Player combat between factions. Combatants are queued up on a match map in Space and fight the opposing faction to meet a single objective (defeat all, timed match, capture the flag, etc.)
Initially, Perpetual Entertainment developed the game from 2004 to 2008 until its bankruptcy in January 2008. The license to develop the game and art assets were transferred to Cryptic Studios; however, the code remained with Perpetual Entertainment and its Perpetual Game Engine.
Cryptic Studios officially announced the development of Star Trek Online on July 28, 2008, as a countdown timer on Cryptic's web site reached zero and the new official site was launched. A letter was sent out from Jack Emmert, the game's online producer, detailing some aspects of Cryptic's approach.
Cryptic originally announced (and since released) a Windows version of STO. During the Las Vegas conference in August 2008, Cryptic announced that there would be neither Linux nor Mac versions for the original launch, though they did not rule out the possibility of later port releases. Console versions were announced several months before the release, with no specific console platform specified, but Cryptic has since announced that all console versions of their games are on indefinite hold due to difficulties "on the business side of things," largely referring to the fees assesed by Microsoft for their Xbox Gold premium online gaming service and the difficulty in asking a player to pay both that and the Cryptic subscription fee to play a single game.
Star Trek Online was released in North America on February 2, 2010, in Europe on February 5, 2010, and in Australia on February 11, 2010. Customers who ordered the game in advance were able to gain access to the game on January 29, 2010 (before the official release date), via a bonus 'head-start' which was included with pre-order packages. Some pre-order packages included access to the 'open beta' running from January 12th-26th 2010.
Conference in Las Vegas
On August 10, 2008, a conference was held in the Hilton hotel in Las Vegas. Leonard Nimoy and the leader of Cryptic studios revealed the first gameplay trailer, featuring various Federation and Klingon starships in combat with each other and Borg vessels, as well as footage of a Klingon squad boarding a Federation ship's bridge. The release date was not publicly revealed except that it would be less than three years.
Closed beta for Star Trek Online officially began when it was announced on October 22, 2009. Cryptic Studios offered guaranteed beta access to users who bought 6-month and lifetime subscriptions to Champions Online. However, the offer did not explicitly state how early in the beta process the access will be granted.
Updates to the game are called "Seasons" and are issued to current subscribers free of charge. Season releases are versioned, with major releases offering broad changes, and minor versions that add simpler features, "Quality of Life" changes, and bug fixes.
|Season & Title||Release Date||Description||Notes|
|Season 1: Common Ground||March 25, 2010||Season 1 added high-level content known as Special Task Forces, new ships, additional captain skills and re-specialization, an achievement-based accolade system that grants additional experience points and titles, the first crafting system revamp, and UI improvements. Two smaller related updates: Season 1.1 on April 29 and Season 1.2 on June 3.|
|Season 2: Ancient Enemies||July 27, 2010||Season 2 included new factions and sectors, a level-equity system, a level cap increase (to level 50), diplomacy XP and ranks issued for non-combat missions, first contact and diplomacy missions, scanner and Dabo mini-games, retrofit ships for tier five vessels, and ship interiors. The Feature Episodes also started, arranged in series' with five episodes each. A single episode is released each Saturday with a break between each series.|
|Season 3: Genesis||December 9, 2010||Season 3 focused primarily on bug fixes and UI improvements. Sector Space was completely redone, Pi Canis sector block opened to Klingons, new Klingon quests were added, NPC vendors were merged and organized, second crafting revamp was done, and new elite loot sets were added. (This was the final season released with Atari Corporation as the publisher.)|
|Season 4: Crossfire||July 7, 2011||At launch, Season 4 contained the new Ground Combat 'Shooter Mode' and a completely revamped Qo'noS|
|Season 5: Call to Arms|| December 1, 2011 |
January 17, 2012
Season 5 focused primarily on the conversion of Star Trek Online to a free-to-play model. Players who pay for a subscription are now referred to as "Gold" members and those who play for free are "Silver" members. Additionally, the in-game economy was overhauled; emblems, marks, and badges have now been condensed into a single currency, dilithium. Other major changes include a complete revamp of the skill system, faster leveling, the addition of an event calendar and mission journal, a "duty officer" system, and a new ground event. Major changes were also made to the Klingon faction. Klingon play is now unlocked when a Federation character reaches level 25, and the Klingon character will begin at level 21.
|Season 6: Under Siege||July 12, 2012||
Season 6 brings new content and game mechanics for fleets. Fleets become more central part of Star Trek Online, they can develop their own starbases, which they improve and advance with the earning of Fleet Marks. The new game mechanics include Colony Invasion, in which you defend a colony against an invading force and No Win Scenario, in which you defend a defenseless transport against increasing enemy attacks.
|Season 7: New Romulus||November 13, 2012||
Season 7 primarily focused on the expansion of the Romulan storyline after the 2009 Star Trek reboot. A new area in the game, the Tau Dewa Sector Block, was added to the Romulan region of space. The new Romulan homeworld was added to the game along with several new missions and a Fleet Embassy that can be leveled up in the same manner as the Fleet Starbase introduced in Season 6. Season 7 also introduced a "reputation system" intended to expand the advancement of endgame characters. Lastly the season marked the release the final Borg Collective based Special Task Force endgame mission "Into the Hive" and a complete rework of the endgame Special Task force reward system.
|Season 8: The Sphere||November 12, 2013||
Season 8 takes place in a Dyson sphere in the Delta Quadrant. There, allied Federation, Klingon, and Romulan forces battle for control of the sphere against the Voth, who are a new enemy faction. It includes the first space adventure zone, a ground battlezone, a revamped reputation system with a new faction (the Dyson Joint Command) and a Fleet Spire, which is a large structure in the sphere controlled by the player's fleet. It also includes a new Federation Tutorial. The Feature Episode "Sphere of Influence", released October 30, 2013, serves as a prologue for Season 8.
|Season 8.5||January 30, 2014||
Season 8.5 expanded the content from Season 8, alongside several new updates. It contained revamped Federation Story missions, revamped Undine space combat and a revamped Ship Management and Loadout system.
|Season 9: A New Accord||April 22, 2014||
Season 9 continued the story in the Solanae Dyson Sphere, and will focus on the Undine. It included a new Earth Spacedock, a revamped Reputation System with a new faction (8472 Counter-Command), a revamped Undine faction, a Space Battle Zone, a revamped Kit system, a revamped Character Creator, upgrades to raider - type ships, and new and revamped endgame story missions.
|Season 9.5||July 17, 2014||
Season 9.5 expanded upon the content of season 9. It included a completely new and revamped crafting system (R&D), changes to Duty Officers UI, removal of exploration clusters along with Memory Alpha (Old R&D center), and new uniforms for Federation and Klingon characters.
|Season 10: The Iconian War||April 21, 2015||
Season 10 marked the beginning of the Iconian War, which was built up since early in the story. It included a revamped sector space, a new Reputation faction, the "Iconian Resistance", a new ship type; "Pilot Ships", and new enemies, the Iconian Heralds.
|Season 10.5||July 16, 2015|
|Season 11: A New Dawn||October 27, 2015||
Season 11 begins an entirely new story after the end of the Iconian war, focused upon "rebuilding and hope". It includes a new Admiralty System, which allows players to send out their inactive ships on assignments, revamped "Cardassian Struggle" story missions, a new Reputation faction, the "Terran Task Force", a new Space Battlezone, and a "Dry Docking" feature, which allows players to store their unused ships for prolonged periods of time.
|Season 11.5||April 12, 2016||
Season 11.5 expanded upon the content of season 11. It included a new Romulan Republic campaign for the Admiralty System, a new captain specialization; "Strategist", and a Skill System Revamp.
Additional content for Star Trek Online is available through Cryptic Points, which are purchased at the game website in fixed amounts. They are also usable in other Cryptic games including Champions Online. Additional items available for purchase include added TV and Movie costumes, additional ship designs, new player and bridge officer races, pre-order bonus items, and account services.
Cryptic Studios partnered with several retailers for distribution of preorder copies. Each retailer had a version with unique and exclusive content, such as a Borg Bridge Officer (Amazon), a classic Constitution Class starship (Gamestop), Chromodynamic Armor (Steam), 500 bonus skill points (WalMart), Neodymium Deflector Dish(SyFy) or a Tribble/Targ pet (Bestbuy). All versions of the game came with access to the Open Beta and Head Start launch date. These are on a limited basis, but may still be found after launch, depending on stock.
In addition, the code for a "Wrath of Khan" Admiral's uniform is included in the DVD release of "The Best of Star Trek: The Next Generation Volume 2" and the Blu-ray release of "Star Trek: The Original Series -- Season 3."
Also, Cryptic partnered with Del Taco to offer codes with collectible cups (Macho size drinks) that come with a Type 8 Shuttlecraft non-combat "pet", as well as two days of trial time per code that allow a total of 10 days of trial play time when a player uses all four available codes.
Two subscription plans are currently available: Monthly Subscription is available for $14.95 a month with price breaks available for 3, 6 or 12-month payments. Lifetime Subscription was offered during the beta release as a promotion for $249.99 which waives the monthly fee as long as the account is not cancelled. Lifetime Subscriptions also allowed two free character slots and a Liberated Borg Bridge Officer, both of which were not offered to players buying Lifetime Subscriptions after the Beta Test and Head Start access ended. After launch the Lifetime Subscription price rose to $299.99. In Season 1, a number of perks were added to all Lifetime players including primarily access to "The Captain's Table", a private joint-faction starbase exclusive to lifetime and veteran subscribers.
- Price Reductions
On Feb 25th, 2010, Atari announced that they would be reducing the cost of Star Trek Online on their online store by $10 and including an extra sixty days of free game time, as a limited time offer that expired on March 3, 2010. During the release of Season 2, Cryptic announced that the standard edition copy of Star Trek Online is now priced at $19.99, and added a majority of the pre-order items available at launch to the C-Store.
Star Trek Online has received mixed or average reviews, garnering a 65 on Metacritic. GameSpot praised the game's space combat as entertaining, but found the other aspects of the game to be "bland and shallow". An IGN reviewer described the game experience as feeling like "two games" which didn't mesh together well, and although visually it was "quite a gorgeous game", found much of the gameplay to be repetitive in nature.
Before Star Trek Online was even released, there was an active community forming on the developer's official website forum. The development team, including the Lead Online Community Representative and the Executive Producer, also post regularly on Twitter.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Welsh, Oli (November 6, 2009). Star Trek Online out in February. EuroGamer. Retrieved on 2009-11-06.
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 Star Trek Online. Star Trek Online. Retrieved on 2010-02-20.
- ↑ Star Trek Online: FAQ - When does the game take place?. Cryptic Studios (2009-04-27)..
- ↑ Star Trek Online. Star Trek Online. Retrieved on 2010-02-20.
- ↑ Star Trek Online. Star Trek Online. Retrieved on 2010-02-20.
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 Interview with Craig Zinkievich, Cryptic Studios' executive producer, By Staff, GameSpot, Posted Aug 10, 2008 2:00 pm PT. (Star Trek Online Q&A - Overview, New Developer, Early DetailsWe sit down with developer Cryptic Studios to discuss this upcoming massively multiplayer online game based on the classic sci-fi universe.)
- ↑ Star Trek Online official FAQ, at game website.
- ↑ New Enterprise: Online ‘Trek’, by DERRIK J. LANG, Associated Press via Miami Herald, Sunday, August 10, 2008.
- ↑ Newsfactor article Barry Levine, newsfactor.com, Mon Aug 11, via yahoo news.
- ↑ Online 'Star Trek' game coming soon, by DERRIK J. LANG, Conn Post, August 8, 2008.
- ↑ Star Trek Online Unveiled:First gameplay trailer released, by Charles Onyett, ign.com, August 10, 2008.
- ↑ Ask Cryptic article, 9/17/08.
- ↑ Interview with Star Trek Online's Zeke Sparkes (Sr. Game Designer)
- ↑ Star Trek Online: Ask Cryptic, posted by Suzie Ford, cryptic.com, September 17, 2008.
- ↑ Star Trek Online out within three years by Rob Purchese, erogamer.net, August 11, 2008.
- ↑ Cryptic Studios Confirmed For Star Trek Online, Gamasutra news, July 28, 2008.
- ↑ producer's letter, accessed 7/29/08.
- ↑ Magrino, Tom. "Star Trek Online for consoles moved to 'back burner'" http://www.gamespot.com/news/6257079.html?tag=stitialclk%3Bnews Gamespot.com. Posted and Retrieved April 7th, 2010.
- ↑ Gameplay trailer.
- ↑ Closed Beta, Here We Come!. Cryptic Studios (2009-10-22)..
- ↑ Champions Online Special Offer. Cryptic Studios (2009-08-04)..
- ↑ Season One: Common Ground Retrieved 2011-01-29
- ↑ Season Two: Ancient Enemies Retrieved 2011-01-29
- ↑ Season Three: Genesis Retrieved 2011-01-29
- ↑ Season 4: Crossfire Retrieved 2012-01-29
- ↑ Season 5: Call to Arms Retrieved 2012-01-29
- ↑ Season 6: Dev Blog 2 Retrieved 2012-06-10
- ↑ Season 6: Dev Blog 3 Retrieved 2012-06-10
- ↑ Season 6: Dev Blog 4. Startrekonline.com. Retrieved on 2012-10-16.
- ↑ Season 8 to Release November 12 Retrieved 2013-11-02
- ↑ Season 8 Dev Blog #8 Retrieved 2013-11-02
- ↑ Season 8 Dev Blog #9 Retrieved 2013-11-02
- ↑ Season 8 Dev Blog #12 Retrieved 2013-11-02
- ↑ Season 8 Dev Blog #10 Retrieved 2013-11-02
- ↑ Season 8.5 to Release November 12 Retrieved 2014-01-22
- ↑ Season 8 Dev Blog #36 Retrieved 2014-01-22
- ↑ Season 8 Dev Blog #37 Retrieved 2014-01-22
- ↑ Season 8 Dev Blog #38 Retrieved 2014-01-22
- ↑ Season 9 to Release April 2014 Retrieved 2014-04-10
- ↑ Season 9 Dev Blog #1 Retrieved 2014-03-25
- ↑ Season 9 Dev Blog #3 Retrieved 2014-03-25
- ↑ Season 9 Dev Blog #5 Retrieved 2014-03-26
- ↑ Season 9 Dev Blog #12 Retrieved 2014-04-16
- ↑ Season 9 Dev Blog #4 Retrieved 2014-03-25
- ↑ Season 9 Dev Blog #6 Retrieved 2014-03-26
- ↑ Season 9 Dev Blog #7 Retrieved 2014-04-03
- ↑ Season 9 Dev Blog #9 Retrieved 2014-04-03
- ↑ Season 9 Dev Blog #14 Retrieved 2014-04-16
- ↑ Season 9 Dev Blog #16 Retrieved 2014-04-17
- ↑ Season 9.5 to Release July 2014 Retrieved 2014-07-7
- ↑ Season 9 Dev Blog #26 Retrieved 2014-07-07
- ↑ Season 9 Dev Blog #27 Retrieved 2014-07-07
- ↑ Season 9 Dev Blog #28 Retrieved 2014-07-07
- ↑ PWE_LaughingTrendy. Season 9.5 Release Notes. Perfect World Entertainment. Retrieved on 20 July 2014.
- ↑ Season 9 Dev Blog #29 Retrieved 2014-07-07
- ↑ Season 9 Dev Blog #30 Retrieved 2014-07-07
- ↑ Season 10 Coming April 21st! Retrieved 2015-05-6
- ↑ Prelude to the Iconian War Retrieved 2015-05-06
- ↑ Sector Space Revamp Retrieved 2015-05-06
- ↑ Iconian Resistance Reputation Retrieved 2015-05-06
- ↑ Introduction to Pilot Ships Retrieved 2015-05-06
- ↑ Heralds of the Iconians Retrieved 2015-05-06
- ↑ Season 10.5 now live! Retrieved 2015-07-16
- ↑ Delta Fleet holding Retrieved 2015-07-16
- ↑ New Fleet Armada Retrieved 2015-07-16
- ↑ 66.0 66.1 66.2 Season 11 Announcment Retrieved 2015-08-7
- ↑ Season 11 Release Date Retrieved 2015-10-15
- ↑ Cardassian Revamp Retrieved 2015-09-16
- ↑ Terran Task Force Reputation Retrieved 2015-10-09
- ↑ Badlands Battlezone Retrieved 2015-10-09
- ↑ Dry Docking Retrieved 2015-10-23
- ↑ 72.0 72.1 Season 11.5 announcement Retrieved 2016-03-23
- ↑ Star Trek Online. Star Trek Online. Retrieved on 2010-02-20.
- ↑ Wallace, Aaron. The Best of "Star Trek: The Next Generation" Volume 2 DVD Review. UltimateDisney.com. Retrieved on 2010-01-08.
- ↑ "Star Trek Online Del Taco Promotion". Retrieved on 2010-01-24.
- ↑ Atari's STO Game Details..
- ↑ Star Trek Online Reviews. Metacritic. Retrieved on 2010-03-11.
- ↑ VanOrd, Kevin (2010-02-17). "Star Trek Online Review". GameSpot. http://www.gamespot.com/pc/rpg/startrekonline/review.html. Retrieved 2010-03-11.
- ↑ Kolan, Nick (2010-02-17). "Star Trek Online Review". IGN. http://pc.ign.com/articles/106/1069985p1.html. Retrieved 2010-03-11.
- ↑ Star Trek Online Forums. Forums.startrekonline.com. Retrieved on 2010-02-20.
- ↑ , CrypticAwen on Twitter.
- ↑ , CrypticZinc on Twitter