This week Cryptic has some new released information for their upcoming Star Trek Online massive multiplayer game. In a new Q&A they answer some burning questions, plus they have released two new in-game screenshots. TrekMovie also has some thoughts on dates and how this game set in the 25th century may still (kind of) tie in to the new Star Trek movie.
Cryptic’s answers on design, exploration, customization and more
In a new ‘Ask Cryptic’ the game designers answered some interesting questions about the balance of combat and exploration, the approach to the art direction, and how your customized characters could work into the game:
Q: How much interaction will be allowable with the NPCs representing new life found on strange new worlds? Will it be a case of clobber everybody then a text message providing a clue to the next step (like CoH/ CoV), a series of dialogue selections (Interplay’s Star Trek 25th Anniversary and Judgment Rites), or something completely different.
A: This is a universe at war, so combat will be a major factor, but there will also be a large component of exploration. You will get to meet new species, some of which you’ll fight against, some of which you’ll protect, and some of which you’ll ally with. There won’t be extensive dialogue trees, but you’ll get to explore and have missions that don’t involve just clobbering everybody.
Q: There has been discussion on the art direction. Can you tell us why you chose to design your characters and environments with bright, solid shade colors (for lack of a better word "Cartoony") rather than a more realism style like say, Oblivion or Age of Conan?
A: We’re aiming for a fantastical style, not a “cartoony” one. It’s going to look realistic, in terms of planets, environments, and characters, but we want to take it up a notch and make it feel more fantastic. We’re going to give it that sense of wonder and vibrancy that you expect from Star Trek.
Q: Will my custom species be one-of-a-kind or will the species be taken and seeded on other planets for other players to encounter?
A: At Cryptic, we really like including user generated content into our games. This, for example, is a great idea and we’ll look into it.
…more Q&A at startrekonline.com
A thought on dates, STO, and the Star Trek movie
[minor spoilers for Star Trek movie]
In recent updates on this game TrekMovie has advocated for there to be some kind of tie-in to the Star Trek movie and the IDW comic books. Cyrptic has been putting out updates to the back story of Star Trek Online in their ‘Path to 2409‘ series of and Cryptic has told TrekMovie they have been talking to IDW and JJ Abrams Bad Robot. Cryptic’s latest ‘Path’ update covered the year 2383, which is four years after Star Trek Nemesis and two years after the latest Star Trek novels from Pocket Books (with the latest STO updates ignoring the events of the recent Destiny novel series). Yesterday IDW released their 5-page preview for "Star Trek Countdown," the prequel comic for the new Star Trek movie. These comics kick off around the year 2387 (converting the Stardate). So there is still time for us to see a future STO update that could tie into these comics and new movie (or at least the part of it that takes place in the post-Nemesis timeframe). We look forward to the next ‘path’ update.