STO Update: New Screenshots + First Pre-order + More

Cryptic has released five new screenshots (two land and three space based) as well as explaining the idea of Episodic Content within Star Trek Online, the upcoming Trek MMORPG. Also the first pre-orders for STO are now available, which may be the first reveal of a price and release date for the game.

 

New Screenshots and ‘episodic’ details
Game site Zam.com (formerly allakhazam.com) has some new exclusive screenshots, and also some details on how the episodic content works. It is wroth noting that these shots include the Akira class, which had been spotted briefly in the first STO video trailer shown when the game was first announced. So it seems that the ship class, which first appeared in Star Trek First Contact, will be alive and kicking butt in 2409 (28 years after Nemesis).

click on images to see the large versions at zam.com


Akira class ship escapes as the planetoid explodes.


Another shot of the Akira class starship


The marauding Klingons stand at the ready, waiting for the locals to discover their nefarious sabotage.


Orion Syndicate raiders lie in wait for unprotected ships. Heavily armed Orion battleships in search of plunder.


Every Starfleet officer has to get his hands dirty sometimes

One of the more interesting elements of STO is the episodic content nature of the game. The designers want to avoid the usual MMORPG ‘grind’ giving players a diverse experience during a single gaming session. Cryptic provided Zam.com with a ‘for instance’ some of which is illustrated in the shots above:

For example, you may be assigned to visit a planet within Federation protected space. When you arrive in orbit, you find yourself in a tense standoff with a heavily armed Orion Syndicate battleship. After dealing with the Orions, you send an away team to the planet’s surface and discover that the Orions were providing cover for a Klingon force that has beamed in to break up a diplomatic conference. You stop the Klingons’ sabotage and then go into the embassy, rescue the diplomats and confront the Klingons’ commander, who has information about a second Klingon attack already in progress.
Beam back to your ship and warp to another planet, where you face a Klingon fleet in a climatic space battle. Millions of lives are depending on you — can you avert a galactic tragedy?

First pre-order appears – price & date set?
Retailer Gamestop is now taking pre-orders on Star Trek Online (online and in stores). The release date given is January 26, 2010 and the price is $49.99 (which is typical for a MMORPG). Although most MMORPGs come in both a collectors and standard edition, Gamestop is only listing a single edition. Cryptic have yet to make an official announcement about a date or a price, so it should be assumed that this listing is subject to change. It is possible that Gamestop is jumping the gun (without authorization from Crytpic) to get an edge. Also remember that STO, like almost all MMORPGs, is expected to have an additional monthly fee.

Gamestop also has a description of the game. Again, it is unclear if this is an official marketing blurb, but here it is:

Become part of Star Trek: The Star Trek universe will appear for the first time in a massively multiplayer online game. Everything from the elegant domes of Starfleet Academy to the ancient temples of Vulcan, from the towers of Qo’noS to the Fire Caves of Bajor, from the mysterious Mutara Nebula to the unexplored voids of deep space, all will be represented in stunning 3-D graphics. Immerse yourself in the future of the Trek universe as it moves into the 25th century: a time of shifting alliances and new discoveries.

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

Coming up – interview with STO Producer
Look for Anthony’s exclusive interview with STO Producer Craig Zinkievich, and hopefully some new images as well.

 

TrekMovie’s new game editor Joseph Gunnell is a life-long Star Trek fan and avid Trek gamer. Joe is also a contributor to The Chronicle, the newspaper for The College of Lake County.

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