STO Update: Star Trek Online Producer Gives New Game Details at NYCC

Last weekend Cryptic Studios went to NY Comic Con to preview their upcoming MMO games, Champions Online and Star Trek Online. (see our roundup of news from NYCC). In the last few days a number of NYCC interviews with STO producer Craig Zinkievich have shown up online. Below are links, videos, and highlights on all the new info on STO.


Star Trek Online Producer Talks


MTV Multiplayer: Is the story in “Star Trek Online” part of the official canon?

Zinkievich: What is the official canon is really an argument that anyone can have. For us all the shows and movies are canon. But you can get in an argument with any of the fans about how even some of the shows may have small contradictions in them. We want to make sure that we follow that timeline, and we’re true to that timeline. We see the shows and movies as canon. We’re reading the novels now; the novels are considered soft canon with a lot of more conflicts in there. You can never call yourself “canon,” but we can’t take a 90-degree angle and go it’s all totally different.


MTV Multiplayer: Has there been any involvement with people working on the movie, like J.J. Abrams?

Zinkievich: We’ve talked to [J.J. Abrams’ production company] Bad Robot a little bit. We worked with CBS to make sure anything they’ve been doing matches up with what we’re doing, but there aren’t massive tie-ins. “Star Trek Online” isn’t going to come out with everybody looking exactly like in the movie. It’s not a movie game; it’s really continuing the franchise.

…more at MTV


Moving along to gameplay, we wanted information about space and ground combat. We knew they were on the right track with character customization, but we asked if space combat would be traditional. "When we got the Star Trek license, we sat down and said ‘Alright, what is Star Trek space combat?’ It’s not a dogfighter. Some games have really tried to take the Enterprise and make it do barrel rolls and such. That’s not what Star Trek is about. Star Trek space combat is paced, strategic and positional. It’s about transferring power from different sub systems, balancing your shields, getting to your enemies’ weakest side, knocking their shields down and hitting them with that photon barrage." said Craig.

What about ground combat though? From what we were told, ground combat is more face paced with more action. You beam down with five people no matter what. If you’re soloing, you go down with four of the NPC bridge officers from your ship; whereas if you’re teamed up you beam down with your friends and the remainder, if any, is filled with NPC crew members.

…more at Allakhazam

HF: We understand that the decision was made to have one player per ship in Star Trek Online mainly due to time and software limitations, however is this something we will be able to look forward to in an expansion pack?

CZ: One of the reasons why we made the decision was so that we could really focus on the core game play that a whole lot of people really want to see, which is “I want to be a captain, I want to get in my ship and go to the Klingon frontline and battle, I want to find a brand new star system that no one has seen before”.

We’ve tried to do our best to make sure in the way we are building the game that our options are open to add that game play later on, so we will see what happens when we launch.

One of the cool things about MMOs is that your dev team doesn’t change, you keep developing the game and changing the game and your community is a part of figuring out what you need to do and what you want to do after launch. Maybe once everyone starts playing the game, there is going to be something totally different that folks want instead.

HF: Will players have any ability to interact with their NPC crews and talk to their crew or are they going to be more like traditional MMO pets?

CZ: I think they are more in the capacity of pets where you will tell them what to do and command them, but one of the cool things that we are trying to do is to integrate them into the story so that allot of the alerts and events that happen within the game don’t get communicated to you via the user interface or flashing chat bubble, but instead are communicated through your bridge crew and bridge officers so that they are the ones that are letting you know what’s going on.

Sitting in ten forward and having a conversation with your first officer, probably not going to happen, but trying to make them have a life and be an important part of the ship is what our goal is.

…more at

Video interviews

Ten Ton Hammer

Star Trek Online Various

NoobTube/ (Cryptic Meet and greet)

(more video at

More STO news and links
Here are a couple of other STO updates:

More STO
For more on STO, see our special Star Trek Online category for our most recent articles and also visit the official site.

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I’m getting more excited about this game the more I learn about it. The deciding factor for me will be the cost per month. I’m really hoping it will be like Guild Wars and not have a monthly fee. I seriously doubt that will happen though. As long as it’s under $10 then I can justify it.

I will have to check out this beast if it has a free trial.

This game could either be absolutely awful, or brilliant. Nothing in between.
Obviously I hope it’s great, but I’ll reserve judgment until I give it a playtest.

This’ll be my first MMORPG, so I’m very excited! I am very interested to see how they address the Star Trek Universe and how interaction between players will go.

Looks good so far

Forget free trial sign me up Scotty!!

As an MMO it will be small to medium sized, so I hope their (and their publisher’s) estimates are realistic. I mean.. it won’t even come close to WoW. But it could find a similar audience like LotRO and WAR have, and there’s definitely some elbow room in the scifi MMO genre.

It sounds like they seem to understand their Star Trek pretty good. At least they have realized starship battle is a bit more like naval battle than fighter planes, which is a good start. I think giving everyone his own ship is a better idea than the major-starship-as-town idea of the previous STO. I mean, everyone wants to be a captain, so why would you stop people from being that? “Fun” is an important factor in MMOs, and you want people to have fun as early as possible, and not slug through 20 levels of Ensign Kim before becoming Captain Kirk.

So, you know, as far as ideas and stuff that I’ve read goes, it does sound like a fun game that I will try. I liked the character customization video a lot, I’d never even considered the idea of creating custom aliens. Now of course, we will need some kind of starship designing tool somewhere down the line, right?

I like the aspect of NPCs integrated as messengers for in-game events,
the whole project sounds solid to me, soft canon or else.

I don’t envy the task they’re undertaking, STO has a tremendous of potential but when you think what they have planned and are working on so far: You’re in command, you have your own crew, you are responsible for your command crew’s stats, you will have to manage ship crew to keep your ship operating, missions that are episodic based, then there’s the customization side of it as well, you will get to discover and explore new world content both hand made and those that are procedurally generated, then there’s the PvP and competitive PvE that has meaning in the game world.

Gosh, I hope this game is not full of suck

I’ll admt that the winning planet entry isn’t very, adventurous…I came up with a better idea then that on the loo, didnt submit it tho! Woops! Could of won that!!!!!

Looks good though!!!

I’m too busy watching the DVD’s to have time to play… does look like fun.

Hopefully, Cryptic/Atari will allow us to pay a one-time lifetime membership (limited time offer for 30 days prior to 30 days after game release), such as $200. I’d definitely get two accounts. They pay for themselves after a few months, and the developer receives money up front to handle bugs.

Boy, they sure were right about different people having different interpretations about canon – for example, I don’t consider anything besides TOS to be canon (not even the cheesy movies).

I’m disappointed that this is yet ANOTHER Star Trek game set in the TNG era (post-TNG, but whatever). How many games have “they” made that take place in the TOS era? Zero, that’s how many. That’s unacceptable. Us TOS fans never get a break – we’re always left out of the rain. And when somebody DOES finally make a TOS movie that might be interesting, he (Abrams) has to screw it all up. Of course. Heaven forbid TOS fans get something…

#13 – Actually, there were at least 5-6 TOS games made for different systems (PC, Nintendo, etc.) so you’re wrong.

The reason why “TNG” games became big was mostly due to the success of TNG and then the continuation of DS9 and VOY within the same era really pushed a lot of products to focus on that time frame of Trek…after all, why market a show that was cancelled in the 60’s and not around anymore?

The success of TNG came from it’s great seperation in time from TOS…DS9 was successful in it’s own way but one of the issues with DS9 and VOY was that they were too familiar to viewers because they took place around the same time Picard and crew were out and about…maybe if they had advanced another 80 years it would have been different?

That is what is great about STO. It takes place 30 years after Nemesis…so Iw ould say it isn’t “TNG”…that is like saying TNG is TOS…even though those two shows took place a littler further apart in time. STO can create it’s own universe and situations without infringing on canon because at the point STO will take place, nothing has been set in stone through tv shows or movies about that time period.

Maybe with the success of the upcoming JJ movie (as I too love TOS) we will see a TOS game based on the movie…we are already seeing a huge amount of TOS products which I am sure is only due to the upcoming movie.

“Sitting in ten forward and having a conversation with your first officer, probably not going to happen”

well then i am not going to be playing this.

#15 If I were to program a game where talking to your first officer in Ten Forward is all you could do; would you buy it? ;)

@16 – I am sure thats not the case, but that kind of thing would flesh the game out a bit I think! I mean imagine being in a game, sitting in Ten Foward talking your NPC First Officer (XO) then it goes red alert, and you get called to the bridge…that would be cool!

You’d have to be playing three dimensional chess and smiling a lot…. at least until Kelso makes that call.

@1. Sloan47: Sorry, but this is a modern fully developed MMO. The average monthly rate is $15. Most MMOs offer 6 month or 12 month deals where you pay for all the months up front at a discount that normally brings it down to about $12 or so a month but that is a large sum up front. Its just how a full MMO (which Guilds Wars was not) is priced. It initially does seem to suck to have to pay a fee every month, but if you look at the game time played in Hours vs dollars spent it is actually cheaper than most other recreational activities. One night at the bar or the movies or pool etc and you can blow way more than $15 dollars. Then again those things are more fun than an MMO :)

#15 – If by “TOS games” you’re talking about those ancient games that you played from floppy discs…those hardly count.

Sorry, I meant Poster #14 (Bradley1701).

Well, there was TOS on Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Gameboy and Playstation,

On PC:

Judgment Rites
25th Anniversary
Starfleet Academy (was TMP era, but still…)
Klingon Academy (again…TMP era)

So, I haven’t counted floppy discs at all “Purolator”

Uuugh! I hope there’s at least a free trial… (More than 14 days, plzkthx.) Keep in mind the broke people!

However, it does look really cool. I don’t know if I could shovel out a monthly fee, but I’d do just about anything to get my hands on those incredible-looking graphics…..

Purolator, there is a lot to be said for gameplay and storyline rather than graphics. 25th Anniversary and Judgement Rites were fantastic games for that reason. Maybe we don’t like the same games, I don’t know, but I do know those are some of my favorite games for the PC.

I agree with you completely, WIll! They really captured the spirit of TOS in the writing, music, missions, etc. I also used to really love 25th Anniversary on the Nintendo…

A TOS purist who calls floppy games “ancient”. Irony, anyone?

I’m really looking forward to STO, but I’m concerned about cost, especially since I’m not residing in the States.

Awesome. I can haz Mac Vershun?