STO Game Update: Release Date + Screenshots + ST09 Aftermath + more

It has been a few weeks since our last update on the upcoming Star Trek Online massive multiplayer game, but there has actually been a bit of news to cover, including a possible release date, a new ship design, more backstory (tied to the events of the Star Trek movie), and a new ship which hearkens back to TOS. [note: article contains movie spoilers]

 

STO target release date: March 2010?
Atari (Cryptic’s new parent) recently announced a possible release date for Star Trek Online. The news was comes from a corporate press release detailing Atari’s fiscal year 2008/2009 fiscal earnings, which states:

Indicative expected release later this fiscal year / early next year. Star Trek Online: with customizable ships and characters from the Klingon Empire and United Federation of Planets, ground, space and shipboard gameplay and unique options for player generated content set in the Star Trek universe, Star Trek Online is the MMOG that allows gamers to boldly go where no one has gone before. This game is expected to benefit from the success of the newest Star Trek film (release for the video game expected by the end of this fiscal year).

Gaming websites have therefore predicted the games release to March of 2010 which follows the end of Atari’s fiscal year.

New Screenshots – w/ Romulans!
Cryptic released three new screenshots (two space based and one land based). The first of the space screenshots shows a D’deridex warbird piloting around an exploded planetoid. Could it be Romulus? The second space shot shows a Romulan Bird of Prey navigating through an asteroid field. Finally the last screenshot is of a Federation away team. These new screenshots show that despite the destruction of Romulus, there will still be a Romulan threat within the game.


A Federation Away Team Prepares for a Mission


A Romulan Bird of Prey Navigates Through an Asteroid Field


Romulan D’deridex Flys By An Exploded Planetoid

Excalibur Class – a new Constitution class?
Cryptic has also released details on a new starship that bears a familiar resemblance to the TOS Constitution class. The Excalibur is said to not be combat-oriented and is another ship that would fall under the ‘support’ idea, but fans of the original Star Trek should be pleased that the starship that started it all is still going boldly and exploring strange new worlds in the 25th century. This ship shows that STO will have non-combat moments. Many of the entries have talked about the cargo storage, and it could be deduced that STO may feature trading or mining. Performing these out of combat tasks will allow individuals to explore the content of the game while not being forced to rush into combat constantly. However, this ship does has its benefits for those who plan on working in groups to attack enemies (also known as Raiding). When one of the more weapon focused ships is in need the Excalibur class should be close
behind ready to beam over engineers or boost an allies shield strength.

Excalibur details:

Class Specifications
Dimensions:
Overall Length: 350 meters
Overall Draft: 72 meters
Overall Beam: 128 meters
Displacement: 990,000 metric tons
Defensive Systems:
Advanced Deflector Shield Generators
Reinforced Tritanium Alloy Hull
Velocity:
Cruising: Warp Factor 7
Maximum: Warp Factor 9.6
Offensive Systems:
Fore and Aft Type X Phaser Arrays
Fore and Aft Photon Torpedo Launchers

Cruiser; Commissioned 2391
Updating the iconic profile of the Constitution class, the Excalibur is the first of a group of new, state-of-the-art cruisers intended to fill a variety of roles for Starfleet.
Designed with the modular construction favored by the Starfleet Corps of Engineers, the Excalibur can tackle almost any task. Its expanded cargo capacity and advanced warp core make it an ideal solo exploration vessel, but it also performs well as a support ship during fleet actions.

…more at StarTrekOnline

More STO backstory history
There are two new entries to Cryptics Path to 2409 which talks about the events that follow the Romulus disaster. The updates talk about the power struggle that occurs within the Romulan Empire and the friction that has developed between the Romulans, the Federation and the Klingon Empire.

first entry

Path to 2409 – 2387 Supplemental Log
Commander Suran, once captain of the warbird Soterus, now lives as a gentleman farmer on the planet Talvath. Talvath has recently petitioned for Federation protection, which is what brings me here to interview him. He is the highest ranking military officer on the planet, and has indeed become something of an elder statesman. His intimate knowledge of Romulan politics, and involvement within definitive political events dating back to the conflict with Praetor Shinzon, makes him an even more important source of information. He smiles at me, offering me a glass of water as we sit on the porch of his sprawling ranch.

…more at StarTrekOnline

second entry

The Path to 2409: 2388
Fallout from the destruction of the Romulan system dominates interstellar events in 2388.

The Romulan colony worlds reel from the loss of their homeworld and a vacuum in leadership. With the death of Praetor Chulan and the disappearance of Donatra, there is no one who has the authority to call the worlds to order or organize a new government. The leadership council of Rator III declares itself to be the new Romulan Senate and Rator III as the new capital of the Romulan Star Empire, but it is quickly challenged by the leaders of Achenar Prime and Abraxas V, who make similar claims.

One person many look toward to pull the Romulan people back together is Admiral Taris. She concentrates on evaluating what military forces remain, and issues a call for all remaining ships, even deep exploration vessels, to return to Romulan space.

Internal squabbling and politics hinder the Federation’s relief efforts in Romulan space.

The Federation Council dispatches a fleet of ships to provide food and aid to refugees and to help the displaced survivors of the disaster find new homes, but Starfleet finds it must negotiate with each of the colony worlds. What one world welcomes, another sees as false friendship, or even an act of war. The fight between the three "capital" worlds further complicates issues, because any assistance given to one of them must be granted to all to avoid accusations of favoring one faction or attempting to interfere with the Romulans’ internal affairs.

Most of the Federation’s allies agree to send ships and supplies to supplement the Romulan relief effort. Even the Cardassians, who are still struggling to rebuild their homeworld, agree to a token contribution. But the Federation’s appeal to the Klingon Empire to join the relief convoys is harshly rejected.

"The Klingons will offer no treaty, no aid, and no hand that is not holding a blade," Chancellor Martok responds.

Hardliners on the Klingon High Council, led by Councilor J’mpok, demand that both the Romulans and the Federation be made to pay for the destruction of the fleet led into Romulan space by Worf. Some argue that because Martok handed command of the fleet to his friend Worf, a Federation ambassador, rather than a general of the Klingon Defense Force, that the entire affair may have been a trick to weaken the empire. And that even if it was not a plot, the fact remains that hundreds of warriors died under the command of a Federation official. In some Klingon minds, that makes the Federation responsible for their deaths.

Martok rejects insinuations that Worf was part of a "cowardly Federation trick" and issues a standing challenge to anyone who dares to insult the honor of a member of the House of Martok. And, despite heavy pressure from hardliners on the Council, the chancellor ultimately refuses calls to retaliate against the Federation.

Although a diplomatic crisis is averted, this is yet another strain on an alliance that has already been tested by the retaking of Khitomer and the Klingons conflict with the Gorn. Analysts report that Federation-Klingon relations are at their weakest point since the Klingons briefly withdrew from the Khitomer Accords in 2372.

Also occupying Martok’s time this year is a possible treaty with the Orions. Realizing that their homeworld in the Rigel system is beset with pollution and is almost completely depleted of natural resources and that Starfleet crackdowns on criminal activity are becoming a serious problem for Syndicate operations, a delegation of Orions led by Melani D’ian opens talks with both the Klingons and the Breen for possible assistance. Melani dangles the promise of Orion support and stockpiles of ancient knowledge and treasures, but refuses to commit to either side until they detail what they could offer the Orions in return.

For his part, Worf remains on Qo’noS, recuperating from his injuries and fulfilling his duties as Federation ambassador to the Klingon Empire. On Stardate 65548.43, he is present for the birth of his second son, K’Dhan.

On Stardate 65776.64, the Federation News Network breaks a story that reports that the Vulcan Science Academy knew of the threat to Romulus but refused to take action to assist the Romulans before the destruction of their homeworld.

The outcry is immediate. The Vulcans decision is condemned by dozens of politicians and analysts. Seventeen independent planets recall the ambassadors to Vulcan in protest, as do Federation members Pacifica and Zaran II. Two days later, the Federation Council votes to open an investigation into the Vulcans refusal to help the Romulans, as well as the implications of the academy’s work in red matter manipulation.

The Federation president makes a public appeal in an address to the Federation Council for the member worlds to remain calm and not ostracize Vulcan or anyone involved. "In this time of strife we need to remain united," President Nanietta Bacco says. "Assigning blame does not heal the injured, soothe the stricken or comfort the grieving."

 

More STO
So it looks like Star Trek Online could be the biggest event of 2010. Now that much of hoopla of the Star Trek film is behind us, TrekMovie will be providing more updates for this exciting Trek MMORPG in our future.

 

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The Lensman

Well if we can’t have Connie’s, I guess the Excalibur will have to do….

TrekTwenty

Looks like it’s shaping up. This may be the game that brings me back into the MMO crowd. Goddamn you Cryptic.

Will

Romulus has colonies, but what about the rest of the empire.?
They are an empire so they must have planets either under complete occupation or as vassal states won’t they try to break away to gain their freedom or be under threat from another power ?

Why is it so hard for people to spell “Achernar?” This says “Achenar,” and that recent IDW comic called it “Archernar.” Maybe they don’t realize it’s a real star whose spelling they can look up.

Lt. Ricky

Is it just me, or (apologies in advance for the analogy) did the explosion of the Hobus Star and the destruction of Romulus and Remus become the 9/11 of the Star Trek universe? It was Nero’s main motivation for his Vulcan genocide in ST09 and the apparent (impending, possibly) dismantling of the major Federation alliances. I’d also make an analogy regarding Nero and the fall of Rome (Romulus), but someone here will make it for me.

In other news, I’ve never been one for MMORPGs but this one is getting more and more interesting…

Ahhh isn’t she beautiful!

Finally a very nice looking new ship!

Thanks for the Enterprise-F ahhh i meant Excalibur class :D

Tony Whitehead

4 Christopher L. Bennett

A little off topic, but I just recently purchased your novel “Ex Machina” and am very much looking forward to reading it.

It’s great to have an opportunity to exchange pleasantries with so many talented folks such as yourself involved professionally with Trek. Thanks Trekmovie.com for providing a forum for fans to interact with all sorts of creative professionals.

SciFiMetalGirl

I’m sure that I’ll be playing, but, ummm… that is a lot of backstory!

Prologic9

That Excalibur looks like the one amazing thing this game has to offer. TY!!!

Will_H

that bop looks exactly the same as the ones from ENT and it doesnt make sense that the Empire would use ships that are 250 years old…

Jordan

Excalibur is SEXY

#7: You will love Bennett’s “Ex Machina!” It is an awesome story; he has a great grasp of the TREK universe (all periods). I highly recommend it and some of his other TREK novels as well.

--Mandalore--

@10
Well when your home planet gets destroyed and your Empire has nearly crumbled, I’m sure you’d probably use any ship you could find. Even something that’s old, for all we know it may merely resemble the old one.

Just a thought

–M–

Spock with a Crowbar

It’s such a friendly looking ship :)

Spockish

I was wondering when Atari was going to buy STO, been seeing screen caps for more than a month that had the Atari label. Guess it is now official. I started with an Atari 2600 game machine in 1977 for Christmas, moved up to an Atari 800 computer in 1980. Loved playing the Star Raiders 3D space combat game. You had plasma torpedoes to fight ships that resembled a Klingon D7 and a Tie Fighter along with a Cylon Base Star. The 3D space simulation only used 4K of code. Now days a spaceship image data can use that amount of data space. But that was in the days of 8-bits and 64K was not your cache size it was the max memory size and 16K memory chips cost $5.00.

Antone still using a 8080 or Z-80, maybe a 6502 that Atari and Apple used.

Magic_Al

Reading of events in the Prime timeline that take place after Nero and Spock left for the past seems weird because it’s not consistent with the usual Star Trek time travel premise which was that your universe can vanish if someone else travels into the past and changes things.

We roll with it I guess.

I don’t understand the last part of the story – didn’t Spock go directly to the Romulans telling them that their planet was in danger?

What’s with this nonsense of accusing the Vulcans of not telling the Rumulans and the Feds launching an investigation against them?..

sherlockfreak

I think it’s more that individuals (ie: Spock and Nero) appealed to the Vulcans for help and they refused. So it can be seen as the Vulcans knowing that Romulus was in danger and not doing anything (at least until it was already too late). I dunno… but the backstory is building and so are tensions!

I have never gotten into a MMORPG before, and I REALLYhope this one is good. (and not too expensive… I still balk at the idea of paying more than once to play a game I already bought)

And I LOVELOVELOVE the Excalibur Class! The classic Constitution Class is still my favorite ship design, so I am really liking this. :)

Yum. I LOVE these updates. The “in-world” interviews? So awesome.

Loved the use of Jake Sisko. You people at Cryptic *really* know your stuff! This is going to be a terrific game, I’m sure!

Daoud

#4 Well…. it’s really Akhir an-Nahr ;) (Matches the pronunciation I learned as a kid: “AHKKKH-uh-nahr”.) Since that literally means “end of the river”, as in the River Eridanus, I say if you’re writing something, call it “Riverend” instead.

Turns out though that both Achernar (linguistically less accurate, but more frequent) and Achenar (better transliteration, but less common) are in star literature of the past few centuries. Wikipedia lists both too: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Achernar

Checking there I see it was used as Achenar in Myst. Might have influenced them to use that spelling.

As to the “Archernar” of the comic… don’t know what they were smoking, but I think you’d have to pronounce that as [Jonathan] “Archer” -nahr. Maybe it was first encountered by the NX-01, hence the name…

@16. Magic_Al: “it’s not consistent with the usual Star Trek time travel premise which was that your universe can vanish if someone else travels into the past and changes things.”

When Spock and Nero travelled back in time, they also went into another reality so that anything that’s changed in their timeline will not affect the one timeline we’re accustomed to.

William Kirk

The Excalibur Class is really beautiful. I totally agree – that is a new Constitution :-) First I was very skeptical about the game, but now, it´s more Trek for me than the Abrams movie.

Sean

Kinda disappointing to see that the release date is most likely going to be next year at the earliest. Cryptic kept saying the game will be out “sooner than you think”, which is a total load of bull because I thought the game would be out late 2009.

Since the game starts in 2409, it made people believe 2009 was the release date.

Ashley

Glad to see the Constitution-class configuration is alive and well in the 25th century. :) Hopefully there’s more pics floating around somewhere. I’d like to see how long it looks since it’s about the same width as the TOS Connie but over 50m longer…

21. “When Spock and Nero travelled back in time, they also went into another reality so that anything that’s changed in their timeline will not affect the one timeline we’re accustomed to.”

Hmm, perhaps the parallel universe was actually created after the prime universe, and maybe it’s 23rd century is occuring at the same time as the prime universe’s 24th? Ooh actually, if that’s the case, and it’s just another parallel universe like in TNG’s “Parallels”, then that solves pretty much every issue! Why’s the Kelvin more advanced? Parallel universe. Why do the characters look different? Parallel universe. ‘Gra! They’re erasing the prime timeline oh noes!’ Nope. Parallel universe. ;) And not just an offshoot of the prime-line as a result of time-travel hijinks.

I suppose that would’ve been harder to explain to the general audience though. But really, that would’ve stayed perfectly consistent with previous alternate universe scenarios as already depicted in previous series. And it would’ve avoided time-travel altogether, and perhaps ultimately been more acceptable to most fans.

But then why the time-differential of 25 years between Nero and Spocks’s arrival?

Allenburch

This game has potential to be the most populated SciFi MMORPG, (more peeps than SWG and EVE), perhaps more than EQ (I & II); LOTRO, and maybe even on par with WoW.

The “Crew” (pet) and “Fleet” (specialized gear) concepts coupled with the expansive variety of episodic content, planet & space-based combat/exploration gameplay all is rich in all Star Trek lore, including the Fire Caves of Bajor, make this game possibly the most immersive gaming experience option upon release.

Hope it lives up to expectations.

CarlG

Oooh, the Excalibur is nice. :)

And the space backdrops are pure eye candy — keep ’em coming!

Just one thing: so far, we keep seeing new Federation ship designs. Are they doing new designs for other races, too? I really hope so.

Mike Ten

#23 SEAN, the way things are going you might have to wait till 2409 for the game to be released.

Spock

Where did my hilarious comment go?

ExGAYabur. That’s the new ship design.

Odkin

I have said all along that it is a huge mistake to set this game in the boring minutae of the unpopular and exhausted TNG_VOY_DS9 universe. The public (maybe not the nerd brigade) is dying to relive the excitement of Trek’s early days when everything was new, exciting, ACCESSIBLE and easily understood. This game seems like the complete opposite of that.

On the other hand, I think the Excalibur ship is the best design of any post-TOS ship, including the TMP refit and the JJprise. Kudos to the designer.

Capt. of the USS Anduril

Whew…the revelation of the Vulcan’s refusal to help Romulus is gonna screw up EVERYTHING. O.O

Mawazitus

29: That’s your comment? Seriously? I suppose you’re from yet another alternate timeline in which Spock is a complete ass.

Sid

If there is an NX-class, I will play it. I don’t care if I have to limp around everywhere at TOS Warp 5, I don’t care if I have to buy it as a microtransaction or whatever, if there’s gonna be an ENT Bird Of Prey there’d better be an NX!

Mike

I do some graphic design work. I don’t mean to be negative, but I really think the art design, at least for the ships, is horribly awful.

CarlG

@34: Well, as long as you’re not trying to be negative or anything.

Spock

32. Come on Moskowitz, I was just kidding …. it was phrased better before they deleted it!

Fetch me some potato pancakes!

Locutus De La Borg

So….in Star Trek IV when they brought back the whales and saved the Earth, that created an alternate timeline. In the timeline they departed from, Earth was destroyed by the alien probe?

Each time you change the past and come back to the future, you’re only ever coming back to an alternate reality like those shown in TNG’s Parallels. Changing the past then “returning” to the future is more like moving between alternate realities.

Discuss ;-)

StalwartUK

30: Up your shaft.

steve2

Romulan D’deridex Flys By An Exploded Planetoid

That design has always been a fave of mine. Anyone know who the ST Production Designer was for this ship?

captblsisko

The new Excalibur class looks like the new Enterprise-JJ (or JJprise) from that one view (that’s not a good thing). The Connie-refit is my favorite (though the original Matt Jefferies design is a timeless beauty), let’s hope they do her proud (Ryan Church did not).

Anyway, I don’t understand why people continue to insist that the 24th/25th Century era is “played”. There are plenty of great stories to tell, we just haven’t had good people in charge of the Franchise for a long while. Pocket Books has made it clear that there are lots more adventures in store for Picard’s, Sisko’s, Riker’s and Calhoun’s crews.

Also, it’s fun to see a unified Expanded Universe timeline. If Star Wars can do it, I don’t understand why Star Trek cannot. Don’t stop telling stories that don’t fit in (kinda how McCoy’s future differs in the Shatnerverse and in the Crucible books by David R. George III), that’s what parallel universes/elsewords/the multiverse/hypertime is for.

T-II

-..a romulan warbird ..?!?..i love that ship….

CarlG

@39: Andrew Probert was the original designer of Warbird, during the early seasons of TNG.