STO Update: Another ‘Path to 2409’ Entry Ties Into ‘Countdown’ + Screenshots + More

This week brings a lot of news about Star Trek Online. Cryptic has released another one of their ‘path to 2409′ updates, which links into the recent Countdown comic series. There are also four new screenshots (three space, one land) and we have links to a number of new interviews with Cryptic’s Executive Producer Craig Zinkievich, and more.

 

Path to 2409: 2386
In the latest entry for Star Trek’s post Nemesis history, we can now see how Crytpic are trying to tie into the Star Trek Countdown Comic series

[reposted from startrekonline.com]

The new openness on Romulus has made it much easier for the Federation to get news about what is happening on that world, but not all of it is favorable for the long-term stability of the region.

Ambassador Spock reports that the Romulan Mining Guild has finished a multi-year study of Remus and has presented its findings to the Romulan Senate. The guild reports that the planet has been seriously overmined, and recommends that to avoid a Praxis situation that the Reman operations should be shut down and mining operations should be moved to more distant areas of space. The guild spreads their operations across the Empire, settling hundreds of miners and their families on space stations and colonies light years away from Romulus.

The guild further recommends that it be put in charge of all off-world mining, but Colonel Xiomek uses his new position in the Senate to block that request. The conflict between the guild and the Remans sparks a number of skirmishes between guild ships and Remans in distant areas of the Empire.

Xiomek speaks to the Senate after the mining guild presents its report and argues that if the Remans are to be moved off of Remus, that they should be given a continent on Romulus for their new home, a request that is overwhelmingly rejected by the full Senate.

With the backing of Donatra, Rehaek and Praetor Chulan, an alternative plan is reached. The Remans are instead offered the planet of Crateris, in the distant Gamma Crateris system. The site of a failed Romulan colony, the planet has a harsh climate and is beset by almost constant electrical storms but is rich in dilithium, decalithium and heavy metals. Xiomek agrees, because even the harsh climate of Crateris is a significant improvement over Remus. Thousands of Remans board colony ships and make the move to their new home.

On Stardate 63322.55, Rehaek sends a statement to the praetor and the leaders of the Romulan Senate with the conclusions of his investigation into the assassination of Praetor Tal’aura. Rehaek rules that that Tal’aura was killed by agents loyal to a coalition of noble houses angered by her reformation of the Senate. Both Donatra and Sela request to see the evidence that backs up his claims, but Rehaek refuses to divulge his complete findings.

In retaliation for the death of Tal’aura, the Tal Shiar begins a campaign of assaults on the noble houses, arresting dozens of nobles and seizing their assets. Sela pushes back against the persecution of some of her major supporters, and sways the Senate to drastically cut funding to the Tal Shiar. In a speech before the Senate, Sela accuses elements inside the Tal Shiar of knowing about the plot to assassinate Tal’aura but doing nothing to stop it. “Does standing silent make them as culpable as the killers?” Sela asks. “In abandoning their sworn duty to protect the praetor, as a symbol of Romulus itself, they are no better than those who wielded the knives that killed her.”

Donatra refuses to take sides in the conflict between Sela and Rehaek, instead encouraging the praetor to handle the situation. Praetor Chulan appoints a Senate committee to formally investigate the matter, but the committee takes little action.

On Stardate 63446.41, an explosion destroys Rehaek’s home on the outskirts of Ki Baratan. Observers report several visitors to the estate in the hours before the blast, any of whom could have planted the explosives. The remains of Rehaek’s wife and young daughter and several servants are found in the wreckage, but Rehaek is missing. Investigators theorize that the blast was intense enough to have vaporized anyone close to the point of detonation.

Two hours after the explosion, Tal Shiar forces storm Sela’s townhouse in Ki Baratan and take her and her personal guard into custody for the murder of Rehaek. In a secret trial held days later, Sela is sentenced to death for the crime. At the last minute, Donatra intervenes. She argues that the evidence is not overwhelming, and pressures Chulan to allow Sela and her supporters to accept permanent exile instead of death.

Taris maintains a low profile during the troubles, putting many of her responsibilities in the hands of General Tebok. Late in 2386, she informs Donatra that she is going to take her ship to Levaeri V to investigate claims that a blade believed to be the Sword of the Raptor Star has been recovered. The ancient sword, reputed to be one of the swords created by Vulcan swordsmith S’harien and taken into exile by S’task, is a revered artifact of the Sundering.

The Gorn Hegemony is mourning the death of King Xrathis. His son, Crown Prince Slathis, ascends to the throne. One of his first acts is to re-enforce their border with the Klingons. Several skirmishes are reported between the two powers.

The Klingons respond to the buildup by the Gorn by sending more ships of their own to the border. The standoff escalates into open conflict on Stardate 63504.74, when a Klingon fleet bombards the Gorn colony on Gila VI. Klingon troops land on the planet two days later, and after a bloody battle with Gorn defenders they succeed in taking the planet.

Federation diplomats are speaking to both sides trying to work out a peaceful solution, but some analysts predict that a full war will erupt within four years. Worf makes a personal appeal to his friend Chancellor Martok to end hostilities, but he admits that it will be a long process.

All is not work for Worf, though. He weds Grilka in a traditional Klingon ceremony with his family and many of his friends from Starfleet in attendance.

A surprise guest at the wedding of Worf and Grilka is Data. With his upgrades at the Soong Foundation complete, Data requests that his commission in Starfleet be reactivated. While there are some initial questions because the Data persona is in the body once used by B-4, after Jean-Luc Picard, William T. Riker and several other current and former members of the Enterprise crew testify on Data’s behalf, Starfleet Command agrees to reinstate Data. He is promoted to captain and assigned to supervise the completion of the Enterprise-E’s refit.

On Stardate 63894.06, the refit of the Enterprise-E is completed and the ship, helmed by Captain Data, leaves the Utopia Planitia shipyards. "We are introducing a new era of exploration and peace," said Starfleet Command spokesperson Commander Marie Durant.

Another update by Starfleet is its uniforms. Starfleet completes a redesign of the uniform code, and by the end of the year all of its officers are wearing the new designs.

On Ferenginar, protests rock the capital for two days after Grand Nagus Rom uses tax proceeds to start free schools. Many Ferengi see the free education as an assault on traditional values, and the demonstrations continue until Rom charges each protester ten slips of latnium for mass assembly without a proper permit. To get a permit to protest, Rom charges a bar of latnium. Proceeds are used to fund the educational system.

In addition to working to curb the rising hostilities between the Klingons and the Gorn, Federation diplomats are hard at work crafting a new pact between the Federation and the Cardassians. On Stardate 63976.74, the Cardassians sign a new treaty, in which they agree not to field a military or wage war. In exchange, the Federation agrees to provide aid to rebuild Cardassian cities and protection in the event of an invasion of Cardassian space. In response to the landmark agreement, the Bajoran coalition drops its request to prosecute Cardassians for war crimes. Many among the Bajorans and Cardassians hope that someday relations between them will be normalized.

On behalf of the Founders, Odo meets with Lamat’Ukan, First of the Jem’Hadar in the Alpha Quadrant. Odo asks the Jem’Hadar to return to the Gamma Quadrant with him, but Lamat’Ukan rejects Odo as a false god. “You wear the shape of our gods, but you do not have their spirit,” Lamat’Ukan is reported to have said. “You are corrupted by your … taste for the life of a solid. To follow you would be to sacrifice our souls. There would be no victory under your banner. Without victory, there is no life.”

—————

New Screenshots
click on images to see the large versions

 

New Interviews

IGN
Last week Craig Zinkievich and Nicole Hamlett sat down and answered questions asked by fans concerning Star Trek Online. IGN has a full transcript of the chat and you can also download and listen to the audio file or check out some of the highlights with streaming audio.

Ten Ton Hammer
Craig Zinkievich recently set down with Ten Ton Hammer and discussed ship creativity and the importance of the bridge crew with regards to what has been dubbed ‘episodic content’ or questing. These episodes are missions that the player will have to perform for their faction to earn rewards.

Epic Battle Axe
Epic Battle Axe had an interview with Craig Zinkievich and both discussed some of the goals of Star Trek Online as well as some of the game mechanics. Craig also answered user-submitted questions from Epic Battle Axe. Four exclusive screenshots were also released on the website, three of the screenshots are space based while one is land based.

Misc STO Links:

  • At MMORPG.com Christine Thompson, talks about writing for the Star Trek Online experience and describes some of the challanges in writing for the game.
  • Cryptic announced a side project called Star Trek Babies Online. Don’t worry, it was only an April Fools Joke. Nonetheless here is the link.
  • StarTrekOnline.com ‘meet the team’ profile of lead Programmer Stephan D’Angeleo
  • STO official forums Kobayashi Maru Challenge #9

 

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The Gorns shall rise again!

That is some seriously dry, time-to-start skimming, yadda-yadda background material, there. Pretty groovy screenshots, tho’.

mikey_pikey (Ireland)

nice shots, but seriously, lay off the space rocks!!!!

Ian

This game needs to hurry up and just come out already!

MaybeThisGameWontSuck

But I’m not counting on it.

MaybeThisGameWontSuck

The game looks dated before it even comes out. Yay. Great graphics. Great story. *sigh* “Yadda-yadda”? I second that.

Chingatchkook

Regarding ST Online, I’ve never been much into these kinds of games, but I really have a lot of respect for the people who design these kinds of graphic images. I play around with some basic CGI in my spare time as a hobby, it never ceases to amaze me just how far someone with a bit of CGI talent can take these kinds of graphics. I could learn a lot from those people.

Chad N.

I like the story!

The movie is a hit, a new series could potentially be a hit…

…How do you leverage the success of a new film and series to drive folks into the MMO?

With TV and digital entertainment merging can you uses open ended TV series story-lines as game content and let the subscribers participate in events and help determine outcomes?

Can subscribers participate in the creation of Trek canon?

Sci-Fi Channel and Trion World Network are already pushing in that direction for their properties.

SpocksinnerConflict

a Tv Mini-series about Data being re-instated and given command. That way you can have all the old cast members show up to testify on his behalf The series would be Captain Data of the 1701-E refit.

doubting thomas

can’t say i like the idea of data murdering his brother.

T2

Good progress, but I’m worried about STO’s success in regard to the new movie, though I can see some of those upset with the new movie may appeal to a continuation of the 24th Century timeline via this game. Either way, it looks good and I’ll play it, because it’s Star Trek, but I think it may have been more successful if it came out when originally planned back in 2007 or 2008 or whenever it was supposed to be released. Once again, however, I’m curious to see how new generation fans (JJ Trek fans), who would now be new “Star Trek” fans, react to new Trek stories that come almost 2 centuries after JJ’s Trek, like in this game. If the majority of new fans can’t adjust or appeal to the later Trek (From Picard-on), there may be a problem, but if the new fans also get into past Trek, this could work out. I’m sure there are lots of fans, old and new, who may want to play this and there are those who have been waiting since its announcement. I hope the wait is worth it and in the end, I’m rooting for the success of this, which may ultimately be impacted by the release/level of success of “Star Trek” (2009). Looking back, I seem to have jumped around a lot, but I’m sure it’s not the first, nor last time I have to jump back and forth like that with a new branch of Trek fans in the making.

RM10019

the STO shots are ‘ok’, but i do miss the realism of space being mostly very dark with some stars visible and that’s it.

Rainbucket

“Gorn colony on Gila VI” — cute. I assume they called in reinforcements from Delta Iguana.

spockatatic

Gorn? As in Arena Gorn? As in one of the worst fight scenes in existence between Kirk and Gorn?
That’s hilarious.

I love Data. I have always loved Data. But I don’t think bringing him back to life through B-4 is a great idea. In fanfiction, maybe. But here?
No.

Of course, that’s just my opinion.

thereare4lights

Did I have a comment here? Where’d it go?

thereare4lights

Anyway, I was saying sumpin about the graphics being crap. The ships look more like plastic toy models.

GAMECOMINGOUTJULY2010

Game is Coming July 2010. Too long to wait.

IX9000

17.

Were you expecting ILM quality graphics? I’m affraid gameplay graphics are still quite a few years behind the current pre-rendered graphics offered in movies/ video game cutscenes.

Not griping just leveling the playing field.

I’m waiting for…

“On Stardate 63894.06, Captain Benjamin Sisko is found unconscious on the planet of Bajor..”

bob the gorn

I cant wait for star trek babies lol

RetroWarbird

# 14, I had similar thoughts about Gila VI! But it works in that Original Series kind of way …

For having not much clue about the MMO itself, I’ve been pretty impressed with their ongoing storyline, and I find myself liking how Countdown factors in and how they see the politics going post-Nemesis. It’s clear to me at least that there’s still plenty of room for fresh stories in this era, whether it be new enemies, resurgence of old enemies (Gorn), old enemies that just won’t give up (like Jem’Hadar and Remans) … plenty more politics between “allies” like the Klingons and Romulans …

If they threw in Andoria seceding from the Federation it’d be the ultimate playground.

# 11 … I think the moral implications of Data literally erasing his brother and stealing his body are actually pretty incredible and would make for an excellent running storyline – perfect way to bring a guy like Maddox back in for curiosity, and if Lore ever comes back he’d be the guy to basically lay the evil guilt-trip on Data (for his own personal gain, naturally). I mean … just exactly how do you project your own human morals and values onto an Android? As much as he emulates a human and tries to be human, when it comes down to it Data’s a computer, and his brother was a computer with faulty hardware, and Data wanted to save Picard. So ultimately, he traded virtual memory and defunct hardware for Picard’s life. For him it was possibly just a matter of efficient use of resources.

It seems ugly from a human point of view, where we can’t just replicate someone and we have questions about whether or not people have souls and if they’re unique or could be duplicated and if that should even be attempted because it demeans the value of life … but for Data, who so long tried to duplicate Soong’s work (as did humans, they all failed), here is a copy, B-4 had identical hardware, and faulty software. It seems quite logical.

He’s not forced to walk a thin line like Spock did when he imprinted his memories into Bones, because Spock always had the Vulcan faith that his soul would be removed from Bones, and lucked out that he was able to be rejoined with his new, fresh body. You could easily question the dubious nature of Vulcans forcing their katra into hosts – what if the problem is never fixed, and they’ve permanently harmed another lifeform?

Very interesting dichotomies.

Tomaz

Hmmm.. the Land based graphics are so bad i can’t stand them. Im a gamer for over 12 year’s now (for some time semi pro) and they could do it much better considering what is possible today in game graphics( Crysis, Oblivion a MMO, Age of Conan,…).

If u don’t know this games just copy paste to Google and see for your self and then compare them to the land based photo.
not to mention that stills don’t do them justice.

But i all so understand they are aiming at a wide audience with this game so the sistem req. must be lo.

But we need a good Star Trek game there was just one or two in the past 15 years

Someone please make a Star Trek FPS Like Voyager with the Cryengine
so we the Hardcore gamers have all so a Star Trek game to be pride (right word?- have no idea) of.

Not that the gamer scene smiles at Star Trek games and see’s them as pathetic game atempt’s.

Tomaz

@17
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pPi0AhQgrDs&feature=related

game play trailer for Crysis – no pre-rendered scenes just game play and compere the graphics of the land based scren shot and you will realize that this game looks awful compared to crysis.

Crysis is at the moment the top Dog in pc game graphics and gameplay so i can’t compare them directly but this is just an excemple what is possible today.

I am a Trekker but all so a critical gamer with a open mind for new games and new concepts so i hope this new ST Online will be a nice surprise for me.

Tomaz

Sorry the massage was for IX9000

Simon

#24 – Crysis is a FPS, not an MMO. FPS’ are traditionally at the cutting edge of PC graphics. MMOs have to work across a huge variety of systems.

Think WoW.

Daoud

Perhaps Data built a new body on the Soongian model. Then transferred his “katra”bytes over to it. Much like Sargon was going to do in “Return to Tomorrow”, no?

James Heaney - Wowbagger

#23 Tomaz: C’mon, Tomaz. If you were a serious gamer, you’d know the difference between FPS and MMORPG. Heck, casuals know *that* distinction. Hardcores are distinguished by their ability to talk about maximum framerates given different GPU’s and bandwidths.

As a fairly serious gamer who has some idea what he’s talking about, ST:O is looking goooood.

Enjoying the storyline, too, although this Data stuff is… yeah, a mite disturbing.

Hawaiowa

I loved the snippet of Grand Nagus Rom and the educational system. Just like the sports system in the US, where attendees of sporting events are charged twice even though they buy a single ticket…

They protest and are charged a protest fee…which is spent on the cause they are protesting. So Ferengi!

SpocksinnerConflict

I think there are some missing comments.

what up with that?

Sovak

i personally like the backround story that they gave us to let us know more about what happens before the new movie! I,m still wondering when worf left starfleet and join the klingon military force. Also wasnt Grilka the female that had a thing for Quark!
It would be exciting if they did a new television series but i want them to bring back Captain Riker and the crew of the Titan!

SerenityActual

Too bad it wont be out this summer, it would be much better for the game to be released while the iron is hot.

Brian

So, this takes place BEFORE Countdown? Which means that the Romulus is not yet destroyed? I wonder if that huge event will happen after the game is launched. I kind of feel bad for them designing an entire planet only to be told that they have to blow it up to stay in canon. Though they certainly made a major effort to get Sela and the Remans to safety. When Romulus does go we’ll still have Sela and her followers to deal with.

Tomaz

@ 28
Hehe i was talking about the land based screen.
The graphics in space look ok.
Hmmm define the word serious gamer, someone who makes money with it and was training for 6 hours a day or rather someone like you,…
( But i cant judge about you cause i don’t know you and you don’t know me so you can’t judge either. )

I was all so talking about Oblivion(a 1year old game) and Age of Conan witch are at the top of the graphics of MMORPG’s.

Not to mention the X3 series or Eve Online witch take place in space and Eve is all so a space based MMORPG.

I must say STO looks promesing if i look at the space based graphics and consider the nice story.
I just hope there will be lots of different planet’s in STO and not just dry Rocks.

And i’m not troling i just try to be critical and i want to be convinced by the game and his quality ( not by a fanboy ;) a point for me :).

Rath

I’m much preferring the story established in the novels to that estabished by Cryptic.

Matt Etter

The novels basically fit to cryptic’s style of canon so far. At this point in the books(The Destiny Trilogy) it’s only 2382 so what happens next is really as of yet a guess. I like the idea of bringing Data back. His death made Nemesis the second worse of the ten movies.

@ 34 (Tomaz)

for one, Oblivion is a single player RPG with absolutely no online component and not an MMO in the slightest and runs on PS3, 360, and PC Locally so of course its graphics are going to be better than they would for a game that you should be able to play on your mid range computer from bestbuy. also its over 3 years old.

Age of Conan actually has a significantly lower polygon count for all of its assets (Character models, Environments, props, etc) the only thing that gives you a sense of detail is intricate texture work, which again, you would only see on a computer high enough to run the resolution and LOD (level of Detail) necessary. when you take that into account its technologically only on Par with WoW.

With Eve online, if you go away from the official Site screens and look at images of the game actually running in real time then you’ll see that it looks nominally better than Homeworld running on a good machine 8 years ago. again low poly models with intricate textures to add detail (ie tons of windows)

Where STO is concerned I think its graphically at the cutting edge of where actual MMO’s are today. the general trend has been going towards a slightly cartoon approach. if you need anymore proof just look at DC Universe Online for PS3, and Star Wars: The Old Republic for PC, they both share the same graphical style and technical triumphs.

You have to take into account that while Age of Conan and EVE both employ more realistically “aimed” textures, they completely lack any of the technical improvements in gaming over the last 4 years like Specular maps, Normal Mapping, and particle effects (actual particle, not transparent animated textures)

if you look at images on Cryptic’s site you’ll notice images that show worlds with Plants and forests/Jungles in the background. They may not be as dense and engaging as they would be in say Crysis, or even oblivion, But you’ve got to keep in mind that the game engine allows for these worlds to be randomly generated on the fly not static planned creating like all of the other games listed. to get new content and location you can just go to a new planet, not wait for an expansion to allow you to go somewhere.

If you take those things into account I think you’ll see that this Game is technically superior to most MMO’s out now and on Par with the MMO’s coming out this summer and into next year.

Thats not a fanboy statement, its an accredited 4-year degree in making games statment ;)