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.
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.
Overall Length: 350 meters
Overall Draft: 72 meters
Overall Beam: 128 meters
Displacement: 990,000 metric tons
Advanced Deflector Shield Generators
Reinforced Tritanium Alloy Hull
Cruising: Warp Factor 7
Maximum: Warp Factor 9.6
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.
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
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."
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.