STO Game Update: New Screenshots + Backstory + more

It has been almost a month since TrekMovie’s last update for  Star Trek Online, the upcoming MMORPG, so we have a bit of ground to cover. This update includes screenshots, an update to Cryptic’s FAQ, and some new story elements, where even though they are in the Prime Timeline, Cryptic is still trying to incorporate elements from the Star Trek movie. 

 
An Unidentified Ship & more links to Star Trek movie
Cryptic has released a few details about a new ship which is currently being described as ‘Unknown’. So far the only information has come within a reconnaissance report from the Klingon empire. It is unknown as to what faction this ship belongs, but due to the description it is possible it is a ‘raid boss’ which is MMO speak for a computer controlled opponent that many individuals will have to come together to defeat (not unlike a big Star Trek battle like the Federation / Borg encounter at Wolf 359). 

This ship also shows more links to the Star Trek movie. The ship is suspected to be Romulan. The ‘recon report ‘sent to Chancellor Martok’ references events from the Star Trek Countdown comic books, including the Hobus star supernova, the Narada, and the Romulan "Forge" research complex.

New Screenshots!
Cryptic has released three new screenshots (two space based and one land based). The first space based screenshot shows a starship being attacked by three Cardassian vessels. The second screenshot shows a Federation starship and a massive explosion; Cryptic’s caption on the screenshot is that the Federation does not always win, however the only ships on screen are Federation ships and it appears that the ship is flying through an explosion rather than exploding. The third screenshot is of an individual getting shot several times by Reman assailants, it is clear that the game will not show mercy of any kind to anyone.

New Q&A reveals customization & More
Cryptic has updated their FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) page releasing information about some of the customization within the game; the update goes into detail about some launch details concerning what players will be able to choose when the game starts. Here are some highlights:

  • Three main ship classes will be available: Escort, Cruiser and Science
  • You can target subsystems (warp, impulse, sensors, etc) in space combat
  • Ships & items will work at full capacity until destroyed, but certain actions will be hampered as you lose crewmembers
  • Federation and Klingon factions will have the same classes (Engineering, science, tactical)
  •  Solo players will be able to get the highest level ships, and won’t need to be in a ‘fleet’

PATH to 2409 – are we there yet?
Another update to the story precluding to the game again describes the tensions that are going on during this time period. The Romulan Empire is gone and with it falling tensions have risen across the quadrant. Fans will know what has been happening to some of the most iconic characters in the series. Also a new adversary may be coming to a space quadrant near you!

Reposted from startrekonline.com

2390
Raids on civilian ships and settlements along the borders of the Klingon Empire and Gorn Hegemony rise dramatically and Starfleet identifies at least eight places near the borders where the Nausicaans are constructing bases hidden in asteroid belts or nebulae.

Starfleet Command does not consider these bases to be a major threat, but the Federation Transport Union, which represents a large number of civilian freighter captains, is demanding that Starfleet increase its patrols in the border regions and offer additional protections for civilian shipping traffic.

This puts Starfleet in a position of having to balance the need for defense with the Federation’s deteriorating relationship with the Klingon Empire. More starships on the border will be seen as a hostile act by the hardliners on the Klingon High Council, and tensions are already high because of the ships that Starfleet is using to reinforce the Romulan border with the Klingon Empire.

The debate on what to do rages for much of the year, and the few Starfleet vessels that are assigned to the region are stretched thin and struggling to deal with the swift raider attacks. By the time a starship can respond to a distress signal, it is often too late to catch the Nausicaan ships.

The best-case scenario for the Federation, analysts agree, is if the Klingon and Gorn find a peaceful solution before the conflict has a chance to engulf nearby worlds. To this end, the Federation offers to mediate talks between the Gorn and the Klingons at a neutral location. Neither party is overeager to accept "human" meddling in a personal dispute and preliminary talks to hash out the details of the peace conference drag on for weeks. The process comes to an abrupt halt when Chancellor Martok announces that the Klingons will not participate unless Starfleet withdraws all of its ships from the Romulan-Klingon border.

While the campaigns against the Romulans and the Gorn are both extremely popular on Qo’noS, projections by the Klingon Defense Force show that the Empire’s resources are being stretched thin by a two-front war. The KDF recommends a rapid increase in ship production, eliminating some of the blocks to non-commissioned soldiers rising to the rank of officer and possibly scaling back the Romulan war in the short term, because the disorganized, displaced Romulans are not an immediate threat. Ultimately, the Klingons decide to slow their advance into Romulan space, but they continue to garrison and defend the territory gained in the 2389 campaign.

The Romulan colony worlds are starting to develop a loose network of alliances and rivalries, but none of the potential Romulan leaders has been able to unify the worlds under one banner. Left to their own devices, some of the worlds are looking to find allies outside the Romulan Star Empire. On Stardate 67620.54, the Romulan colony of Talvath formally requests Federation protection and offers to open talks that could lead to Talvath applying for Federation membership. Some see this as the first step to the dissolution of the Romulan Star Empire.

A bright spot for the Romulans has been Admiral Taris, who has been organizing the remaining ships into a new fleet. In areas with holes in the chains of command, Taris has been approaching each ship captain personally, and outside observers expect her to have the Romulan military fully operational within seven months.

Federation analysts warn that a strong fleet could quickly overwhelm the weak leaders of the colony worlds, and that the Romulans may soon be under military control. For her part, Taris has not publically expressed an interest in governing the civilian population, and has ordered the forces under her control to concentrate on relief efforts and defense of the border regions.

On Cardassia, the Detapa Council spends most of the year mustering support for a slate of reform measures designed to expand personal freedoms and promote business development. While the population enjoys its newfound liberty and the Oralian spiritual movement flourishes, many Cardassians are uncertain about this new direction for their world. The council’s task is complicated by Gul Madred and his followers, who use the expansions in freedom of speech and assembly to organize rallies promoting a return to the "true" ways of the Cardassian Union.

A task force made up of scientists assigned to the U.S.S. Pasteur, commanded by Captain Beverly Crusher, and the Cardassian Ministry of Science announces that it has found a possible cure for Yarmin Fel Syndrome. The compound, synthesized from a rare flower that grows in the most remote areas of Cardassia Prime, cannot be replicated. Because of the limited supply of the drug, it may be several years before the treatment has been fully tested and is ready for public use.

On Earth, the Federation Supreme Court agrees to hear oral arguments from a group of holonovel publishers and programmers who are seeking to block the class-action lawsuit asking for civil rights for holograms. The group hires a retired Starfleet rear admiral, Phillipa Louvois of the Judge Advocate General’s office, to lead their case, and she argues that appearing sentient does not automatically mean a hologram is sentient. Unless the holograms can be determined to be intelligent and self aware, the Acts of Cumberland and the Federation Constitution do not offer them full protection.
The Soong Foundation argues that without full holoemitter technology, it cannot bring witnesses to court to speak in their own defense, and that court rules preclude remote testimony in matters such as this. The justices grant the Soong Foundation a delay.

The U.S.S. Enterprise-E returns from a survey of the McAllister C-5 Nebula. Captain Data reports that the Enterprise found residual signs of multiple quantum singularities in the area of the nebula that correspond to those used by a Delta Quadrant race known as Species 8472 to cross over from fluidic space. Unfortunately, the properties of the protostellar nebula in which the singularities were found make definitive identification impossible. If these singularities were used by Species 8472, it is the first sign of them near Federation space.
 

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Wes

Reman clones?

jas_montreal

I’m guessing theirs a lot of editing required for the game, since Romulus is destroyed in the Prime Timeline. It must have severely ruined their games storyline.

John from Cincinnati

This game is proof there are at least two parallel universes existing at the same time, Prime and Alternate.

NCC-73515

Ruined it? No way… the Path stories alone would make an excellent movie trilogy :D

CAPT KRUNCH

This would be an awesome concept for a new series…including Capt Riker’s Titan and crew!…far enough in the future to change things….
but keep the storyline going…which timeline is this?…i guess the Primetime line!?!??…I get them mixed up now…

Kilo-Three-Zero

Unless i’m mistaken, 2309 is a hundred years PRIOR to STO. Is there a particular reason the article lists that date?

CarlG

@3: I thought that had been established ages ago.

That “unknown” ship looks like the Romulan Valdore from Nemesis.

The space backdrops continue to impress, and the Reman troops look nicely detailed (if a little clone-y), but I’m still not quite sold on the planetary environments. And the guy the Remans are shooting looks kind of blocky.

Ensign Nerd, Esq.

Ugh, they need better writers for the portions of these stories concerning legal matters and the “Federation Supreme Court”.

For one thing, the story says the Court “agree[d] to hear oral argument” in the holo-beings case. Assuming the Court following the same rules of appellate procedure as we have now, there would be no witness testimony from anyone at oral argument, let alone the holo-beings requiring them to testify remotely. Blerg!

Also, the Court wouldn’t “grant a delay”–it would “grant a continuance.”

mscottr

6 — I think it’s meant to read 2390.

Andrew

It is supposed to be 2390.

Moberemk

@3: Actually, there are now three timelines: the movie timeline, the MMO timeline, and the Pocket Books timeline (which is far enough separate from these “Path” stories that it should count as it’s own continuity). Which one is the “True” timeline depends on your opinion: while the movie may be the “official” line, the books are more of a direct continuance of the original series’.

Adam C

hate their catoony look. but it must be the simple fact that they dont have bumpmaps for the ships yet

Adam C

+ elite force 2 looks 10x better then these screenshots.

Loskene

The model in the first screencap looks like a Cardassian freighter. Although I believe the same one was used as a Klingon freighter in DS9, so it would make more sense in that context

cagmar

People, I’m sorry, I’ve never been impressed with screenshots on boxes, even for the most beautiful games …. just like still-frames from cameras can sometimes not capture the beauty of a person in motion. So stop picking at this game’s graphics! They’re actually quite significantly better than the average screenshots. I think the lighting is state of the art.

As I hear more and more about this game, I get increasingly excited. It really makes me want to play, knowing that this universe will connect to the Prime timeline we lost in STXI.

What is it Picard said? That if you travel far enough you’ll find yourself. Well, I say that if you travel far enough here, you might find Bob Orci :P

The TOS Purist aka The Purolator

Nobody is going to buy this crappy game. I can’t speak for everybody else, but I’ve had enough of sh*tty TNG junk. I wish the powers that be would get with the program and make some real TOS stuff FOR ONCE. And don’t get started with “Judgement Rites” and those other TOS “games” – those are so primitive they don’t even count. I mean real games, like the sh*tload of games they made for TNG and the like. What gives?

Randy H.

#16: Um, maybe TNG and the other 24th Century shows have richer graphics, more complex storylines, greater internal continuity, and a larger established universe to play in?

EFFeX

16, You really haven’t been following this game huh?

Spockish

Anyone ever think that the date was put in their wrongfully just to get ideas active in the story lines and with the feedback given will help them select the changes they are not sure of with path to go down.

I’m sure in time we’ll see the answer, but in the mean time their will be some good and some bad feedback.

The big question is who selects the idea paths that get followed. I hope it is not an election, we’ve seen the hassles of this pathway in the las 20 years or so.

Are we forgetting this is an online game…so the graphics won’t necessarily be extemelty advanced will they?

Electron

You should be able to play any game these days at 1600 x 1200 resolution minimum. Most video cards made in the last 2 or 3 years can handle it. So game makers should be producing games with graphics that support these higher resolutions.

CarlG

@16: And how elegantly you state your exquisitely reasoned case.

Well, for starters, we could pick-apart this game all we want but consider this: we are all really very lucky to even have this game in production. Remember back when and “unsaid company” had a massive core-breach and almost wiped out the title?

I for one, am very thankful that Cryptic took over and kept this game alive. With the gaming universe “devoid” of any Star Trek titles being produced, may the wind be at your backs Cryptic and the Great Bird of the Galaxy bless your home planet!

Godspeed!

@ #16

Purolator, do you want them to bring back SFA? Well if you could, which it wouldn’t work anyway due to SFA being an IPX based protocol. Simply put, IPX / RIPX is not routable over a TCP/IP network, which means you would need a client to EVEN make it work, and the game won’t run on later O/S like Vista, so we are SOL on that one, UNLESS someone decides to take that title and REVAMP IT!

NOW, a revamped SFA game would ROCK with new missions and titles. The CORE of SFA worked and it worked well. Too bad it encountered an early death with the demise of HEAT.NET and it never recovered under MPlayer. Then we were left with Klingon Academy, then SFC versions 1,2, and 3, with the only SFC version of Orion Pirates, which is still popular to this day on GameSpy with the modding community.

It is worthy to note that Star Trek Legacy is worth playing if you install the Ultimate Universe Mod, which makes this game very much better IMHO.

But all is not doom and gloom in the Star Trek gaming universe, we have STO coming out in several quarters, which will hopefully, bring back the excitement in the MMO fanbase which dwindled under the NGE in Star Wars Galaxies, which is ANOTHER story in itself.

I will never forget the massive amount of people in-game giving tribute to DeForest Kelly in Starfleet Academy when it was announced he had died. The amount of respect the man garnered ensured a day of ceased hostilities which, for this game, was very unusual.

Sorry, spoilers

As someone who worked for a US game dev studio that “Atari” couldn’t afford to keep open a few years back, I’d say the odds of this game ever being released are close to nil.

Syd Hughes

NX class please :)

William Kirk

@7 That “unknown” ship looks like the Romulan Valdore from Nemesis.

I have the same feeling.

Cant wait sto closed beta