The world of Star Trek gaming is getting busier lately. Today marks the release of Star Trek DAC on XBox Live Arcade. Plus there have been a lot of updates for Star Trek Online, the upcoming Trek MMORPG, including a new ship, and details on ship customization. All that below in our weekly gaming update.
Star Trek DAC Released
Today Paramount released Star Trek DAC, the multi-player arcade shooter inspired by the new Star Trek movie. It is currently available as a download for $10 at XBOX Live Arcade. If you want to try it out, there is a free demo version available as well.
TrekMovie will have a full review this weekend, but after trying it out for about twenty minutes and although I barely touched it, I’m enjoying it.
Here is the DAC trailer again, if you missed it.
[also at YouTube]
STO UPDATE: New “Ask Cryptic”, New Starship & MORE!
Cyrpic has done another one of their fan Q&A’s, here are some of the more interesting answers on how maps work, Klingons and Federation working together and balancing vulcans. [resposted from startrekonline.com]
It was explained that interstellar flight will basically be a type of “over world” view. Can we get a further clarification on this? Would this mean that gallivanting around the galaxy will be similar to Pirates of the Burning Sea in that when not engaged in combat or other special case scenarios we will be in an over world view that basically is a sped up version of travel time? Will solar systems and planetary orbits be personalized instances or will everyone be able to enter it without an invitation? Will combat with other ships be instanced that others can join in from the “over world” map?
Yes, in some ways it will be similar. We actually have three levels of maps. There’s the sector space map, which you’ll be in when you’re going across the galaxy and traveling from one system to another. It’s not entirely flat, but also not completely 3D. There are dimensions to it. You’ll see sector grids, planets, solar systems, space stations, nebulas, anomalies and all sorts of different points of interest. You’ll see and interact with other players in sector space. You’ll also be doing a lot of your exploration in sector space. For example, you may be traveling across the galaxy when your com officer suddenly says, “Captain, there’s a distress call!” At that point, you get to follow up on that distress call, enter that system and engage in that mission.
That’s the second level of map. When you go into points of interest the game opens up a 3D space map (or system map) where you can engage in combat. Many of these will be instanced just for you. Some of them will be persistent so that you can go in and other people can join you. For example, there will be a persistent Klingon battlefront where the Klingons are fighting the Romulans. Something will always be going on there and anyone can join in. In instances you can go in alone or your team members can join you.
From system space (either persistent or instanced) you can transport to a ground map, like the surface of a planet or the inside of a space station.
Will there be events that will require the Federation and Klingon empire to work together in a common cause? (e.g. a particularly massive Borg invasion.)
Yes. Star Trek is not about black and white. Both in PvE and non PvE, you’ll see a variety of different alliances. There will be times in PvE where you will make alliances with critters because of a particular mission or particular events. There will be plenty of faction-based alliances; for example if you’re Klingon and your friend is Federation and the Borg are attacking, you’re probably going to form an alliance against them. You’re going to see all kinds of weird alliances within the game.
Compared to a human, a Vulcan is superhumanly strong, extremely intelligent, pretty darn fast (according to Sisko), possesses superior stamina and has telepathy powers to boot. How will the various “superhuman” races be balanced against, well … humans?
In the early TOS days of Star Trek, Vulcans got all the love. In addition to the bonuses described above, Vulcans had superior vision, hearing, feign death, mind meld, a nictitating eye membrane, resistance to low oxygen and heat, and the list goes on and on. I don’t think Rodenberry has an MMO in mind when he created Vulcans. But as the shows evolved, I think you started to see the writers downplay the overwhelming physical superiorities of Vulcans quite a bit.
We’re going to have to tone it down and balance it a bit for Vulcans, and some of the other superhuman races, because we need to make sure that the game is fun and playable. We’re going about that a few different ways.
The different races you’ll be able to play or make will all have access to different racial benefits. Both for you, as a playable character, and for your bridge officers. So a Vulcan bridge officer will come with specific abilities or traits. Like advanced logic, which may translate into faster cool down times for their bridge officer powers. Or they may come with some racial traits like the Vulcan nerve pinch or telepathy or they may come with some more common abilities like a bonus to engineering skills or science skills. As a player, you’ll find that different races have different skills. We’re still working on what humans will have. It will probably be something like versatility: jack of all trades, master of none.
No race will ever be particularly better at any profession, because we want crews to have diversity. Vulcan logic isn’t going to make them better as science officers, but it may shorten their cool down times in general, which makes them valuable bridge officers. Andorians may have battle rage, which may mean that you do bonus damage under specific conditions. And so on. Different races will also have weaknesses, to balance it all out.
Starfleet – Type VII Commercial Laboratory Update
Cryptic has released details on the first support class starship for Star Trek Online. In many MMORPG’s (Massive Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) there are different types of character classes. Your ‘tank’ class, which takes most of the damage in a fight as to prevent the less armor heavy characters from taking the massive amounts of damage from a more powerful enemy. The other main classes in MMORPG’s are healers. Cryptic is taking the idea of a healer class but adding more technology to it with the Type VII. This gives players the choice of either being in a combative role or a supportive role. While many players will want to fire every photon torpedo at a Borg cube it is important to remember that someone is going to have to be there to keep you alive.
The vessel described:
Science Vessel; Commissioned 2405
Starfleet is receiving multiple reports of new ships being used by a variety of races, including the Kobheerians, Galadorans, Barolians and Coverians.
It is believed that this class of ship was originally designed by a private Cardassian corporation. The Cardassians frequently contract with the Ferengi to handle sales and distribution of their raw materials and technology, an arrangement that allows the Cardassians to realize a profit on their efforts quickly. However, Ferengi salesmen are more than willing to covertly provide technical specifications or design schematics to anyone, for the right price.
Because this class of space vessel has been copied and modified by so many different races, it is impossible for Starfleet to provide specifics about the capabilities of any particular Type VII vessel.
The Type VII is most often used for scientific purposes, rather than transport or defense. It is equipped with limited weaponry, and upgrading the offensive capabilities of a Type VII ship come at the cost of limiting power for sensors and laboratories. However, that has not stopped some captains from adding additional weapons. Captains are warned not to assume that a Type VII will be ill-equipped for battle.
…more at startrekonline.com
STO Ship customization
Craig Zinkievich, Executive Producer of Star Trek Online sent a letter to Zam.com talking about some of the exciting abilities when it comes to customizing your starship in Star Trek Online. It reads in part:
You will begin the game with a small starship, but as you progress through Star Trek Online you will gain access to many other starship configurations. There are more than a dozen basic types on the Federation side. Within each of these configurations you can customize your ship’s appearance.
You can swap out the saucers, change the pylons, modify the hull structure, or alter the nacelles. You can choose different materials for your ship – you might want something sleek and modern, while your friend loves the look of the ships from the original series. Both are possible. You also can choose the color of your ship (within a range appropriate to your faction), the color of various ship highlights, and what you want your details and trim pattern to be.
ship customization in STO – beware of the ‘sample squadron’
More STO Links
- Koyabashi Maru Volume 11
- Koyabashi Maru Volume 12
- STO “Meet the Team” with art leader for the Environment team Roman Stepanov