STO Update: Vegas Demo + New Ship, Details, Screenshot + more

As things get closer and closer to the beta test starting later this year, things seem to be moving at a faster pace with Star Trek Online. This week we have a report from Cryptic’s demo at the Las Vegas Con, plus more game details, a new ship, a new screenshot and the latest ‘path to 2409’ backstory, and more.

 

Star Trek Online Demo at Vegas Con

(submitted by Anthony Pascale)

Cryptic held a meet and greet at the Las Vegas Star Trek convention last weekend, and game producer Craig Zinkievich had a surprise by showing a real game demo. Photos and video were not allowed. The demo showed off an ‘episode mission’ which is the way ‘quests’ will be handled in STO, and you can see how they do try and fit it into the TV episode format, with a crisis on a planet that you are sent out to solve. The mission they showed had Klingons attacking a monestary so first you had to battle the Klingons in orbit, and then beam a landing party down and deal with the Klingons on the ground. The graphics were pretty good for an MMO and the space combat was a 2D/3D hybrid where you ships and objects are rendered in 3D, but are restricted to a 2D plane for movement (not unlike the Starfleet Command series of games). As with Star Trek on TV and film, the objectives were to wear down opponents shields with phasers and then
fire torpedoes to finish them off. On defense you need to protect your shields and transfer power, just like on the show. One thing that became clear is that your virtual crew of non player characters are very important. They are always popping up and giving you information or making recommendations, and what you can do in the game varies based on their abilities (for example you can only use a tractor beam in combat if one of your officers has that ability).

Ground combat was similar to other MMO. Landing parties are limited to five characters. If you are grouped up with other players, they will beam down with you, otherwise the landing party will fill up with your bridge crew and/or ‘redshirts’. Your bridge crew can’t be killed but can be removed from combat. But you can lose other members of your crew. Even though we were playing on the Federation side, which in the TV shows and movies has faily standardized weapons, the game allows for a lot of mods, and even allows you to carry non standard hand weapons (even Bat’leths). Characters can also fight hand to hand, which varies based on what skills you have learned.

All in all it was impressive for something this early in the development (beta doesn’t start for many months and release is at least 7 months away). However, for now the game looks like a standard MMO with a Star Trek skin on it. I look forward to seeing (and hearing) more of the game to get a sense of how it ‘feels’ like it really is the next step in Star Trek’s history.

 

 
STAR TREK ONLINE NEWS
Compiled by Joseph Gunnell

New Federation Ship: Vigilant class
Cryptic has released details on a new Federation ship; past Federation updates show the ability for player’s to be combative as well as to explore, the Vigilant class displays the raw power of the Federation. This is by far one of the most heavily armed ships the Federation will have commissioned in 2409. With the ability to target several vessels at once this will surely turn the tides of combat in any PVP (Player vs. Player combat) or PVE (Player vs. Environment) scenario. This is not going to be the ship that you will be using to boldly go and explore brave new worlds.
The full update can be read at startrekonline.com/ships/vigilant


 
Various views of Vigilant Class (click to enlarge)

More backstory with history of 2391
Cryptic has added another chapter in their backstory for Star Trek Online covering events each year from Star Trek Nemesis (2379) to the setting of the game (2409). The latest covers the events of the year 2391 and brings in the Nausicans (who will eventually become part of the Klingon Empire faction) and elements of the Star Trek novels (like Federation President Bacco). It all hints at how eventually the Federation and the Klingons will be at war again, setting the stage for the game.

Raids by Nausicaan pirates continue to disrupt shipping lines on the edges of Federation space. Angry at what they perceive as a lack of response by Starfleet and the Federation government, the Federation Transport Union recommends that its members refuse any official cargos without adequate protection.

This causes a crisis for the Federation government. With so many Starfleet vessels assigned to Romulan and Cardassian relief efforts, the government has been relying heavily on civilian ships for routine deliveries to Federation worlds and protectorates. But the union’s action threatens everything from shipments of replicators to Alpha Centauri to emergency medical supplies destined for Rutia IV.

Read the rest at startrekonline.com/2391

New Screenshot
A new ground screenshot was released showing an encounter between the Borg and the Federation. From this screenshot it appears that flanking enemies will be very beneficial within the game. (click images to embiggen):


Flanking the Borg

More details on ground combat
Cryptic has released a new ‘Ask Cryptic’ installment, again focusing on Ground Combat.

  • When beaming to a planet players can only beam to areas concerning the ‘episode’. Players will not be able to beam to a completely random mountain range or to the shore of a lake.
  • Away teams will always consist of five members however for some missions you will be able to team up with other members of your faction to have a larger ground force. Certain objectives may need to be completed simultaneously on opposite sides of the map; most likely utilized for fleet specific missions.
  • Transporters can only be used out of combat for ground missions, players cannot beam up at the first hint of trouble during combat. To get beamed back up to the ship they must end combat; either by winning or running away and hiding until they are taken out of combat.

The full Ask Cryptic article can be read at startrekonline.com

PC Gamer article – w/ 4 collectible covers
Finally, Star Trek Online is the subject of the cover story in October issue of PC Gamer, which go on sale August 18th. The magazine article includes new images and insights into the game and you get a ‘huge star trek poster’ in the issue. More info at pcgamer.com

UPDATE: More covers
The above cover is just one of 3 newsstand covers for PC Gamer, and apparently there is a fourth cover for subscribers. Here are the other two newsstand covers (courtesy of PC Gamer TwitPics).

 

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Brian

Wow… That magazine cover sure is… Special.

Atlantis1471

This game looks to be good.

Eli

Starfleet Command – like starship combat?

I can really get behind that!

God I hope this game turns out to be good!

Unfortunately at the rate it’s taking in development, I might have to trade in computers again by the time it actually comes out for sale. Not sure if I’ll be around or have money for that…

Blake Powers

Crossing fingers… PLEASE DON”T SUCK!!!…Uncrossing fingers.

Brett Campbell

#1 — Looks like a special “double” issue! ;-)

spock

Kirk would be all over that vulcan lol must be a relative of tpol lol

Pork And Beans

5 gets you 10 there will be no provision for Mac users :-(

Jon

LMAO at the magazine cover… why didnt we see officers wandering around like that in the show?!

Another Q

Huhh uh good googly moogly!
Great Trek uniform –
That’s all I’m gonna say.

I hate it when gaming mags turn TREK into a sexual thing! Myabe it’s a guy thing? But then I hated the catsuits that Seven of Nine and T’Pol wore too.

AND I can’t these gaming folks come up with an original looking ship? This is just a souped up 1956 Ford-ized version of the Defiant.

Govt Thugs wont scare us away

Well, if Vulcan females dressed like that, and looked like her, it would prove they hate human males and seek to taunt and torment us.

The whole ‘every 7 years’ thing would really be tough to adhere to.
Unless she is Romulan, then thats another story.

Spocko

I sure hope that’s a Romulan.

…and they claimed B&B liked to turn females characters into eye candy.

HotStove

#11 – Vulcans only have to “mate” every 7 years. Nothing prohibits them from a little slap-and-tickle in the meantime.

AJ

This is looking fine, though I’m wondering if Trek fans would go for these “new” ships. If I could command, and then, soup up, my own Starship, or Galaxy Class, vessel, I’m a happy camper.

old

love it !

Loskene

wow, Cryptic are quite bad at designing starships. Their designs just embody everything I hoped a post-nemesis universe would not be. The reason I liked Star Trek designs is that they are simple yet still somehow complex designs, and that you could point at any random thing on the ship and it would have some purpose or another, from the old E-nil to the 1701-E. But these random pointy bits and plagiarized designs of existing ships with random bits thrown on them just don’t cut it for me

William Kirk

Wow… That magazine cover would be a wonderful poster… :-) Is there a hi-res cover? I want a prime universe movie! :-)

17 – so true. I can’t believe they keep putting these perversions of beautiful ships into the games.

The cover on the other hand…

William Kirk

# 15 I like the STO starship design, especially the Excalibur class. And the others are not bad. I never liked pure John Eaves design, but after the new movie, I changed my mind, because I don´t like JJ-design and STO reminds me THE Trek. I never noticed here any aversion against the STO ships (but honestly, I don´t read everything :-))

Christine

I think the featured uniform design is kind of sleazy. What is this, the ’60’s? Hrmph.

The Vigilant Class looks really good. Kind of a thinner, sleeker version of the Defiant, per se. :D

Holger

Yeah, she must be Romulan. This posture and outfit is too un-Vulcan.

Khan was framed!

No Mac? :(

Get with the times Cryptic; Vista has killed the PC!

Enterprise

PC Gamer is still around?

richpit

I like giant boobs as much as the next guy, but really…in what universe would that be a Starfleet uniform? Seriously, it’s just stupid.

WVTreker

#7 Sadly I’ll bet you’re correct.

MarkT

Did they ever actually say that all Vulcans have the 7 year rule? Maybe its just for the guys. Could explain how they became such an ‘advanced’ race.

“You guys straighten up and get some stuff done around here and maybe in 7 years…”

Spectre_7

#24
That’s just for the maxim-esque cover. No such cleavage has been seen in any screenshot with female SF officers but as usual, gamers always love to see big tits they’ve never touched before!

Capt. of the USS Anduril

#26 I believe that it’s not just every 7 years they can mate. I believe that the pon farr every 7 years of the adult life is when the Vulcans are driven to mate or die.

fanboy B

it’s nice to see Star Trek on the cover of PC Magazine, but I do not appreciate the use of sexual innuendo…
I am a guy, and I love the female body… but sex does not always sell, and I personally find this extremely distasteful and degrading

AJ

20:

William Kirk:

I would be happy in the original Starship (Constitution) Class or Galaxy Class because of all the years I spent ‘at home’ on those ships.

If I can refit my Galaxy Class to hold 4000 troops a la “Yesterday’s Enterprise,” I am bad ass enough to have the Defiant in my shuttlebay and kick major buttocks where it’s due.

Sarah S

Good grief, that magazine cover is offensive. Zip up her shirt, for crying out loud. I have enough to roll my eyes about, already!

BOOZBA

Look at those big beautiful vulcan eyes!!!!!!!!!

CmdrR

Nice cover… raises more than my shields.

Robert H.

Vigilant class. Also known as pimp my Defiant.

CynicalTrekkie

Ugh, just another bastardization of what made Trek great. All these changes that people thought were needed… what a shame.

FULLLLLLLLLLL

This looks like a perfectly cromulent video game.

captain philips

If you take close up look at the cover you’ll notice that magazine is making fun of it’s own cover with caption that reads this outfit is illogical lol

ProperTrekkieUK

One think I want to know is this, is the ground combat going to be traditional MMO style where you press 1 to fire your phaser on stun, press 2 to fire phaser on kill, press 3 to punch etc etc oooor more FPS point and click/fire…which would be 100000000 times better?

Also, why can I not convince my girlfriend to dress like that for me!?

Jesse

The Vigilant class looks extremely familiar. Possibly too familiar.
Also, I’m not sure that’s a regulation uniform. Leather?! Seriously?!

Ashley

hehe, I like the cover pic ;) …and I find it amusing that the guys are probably more offended by it xD

hate the Vigilante though…ugh…it’s like they didn’t even try at ALL…I was they had gone with something like Eaves’ ‘USS Ramjet’ design, but oh well…hopefully it’s customizable enough so I can make it look decent.. >.>

My only comment on the cover is that the blurb promising a free, huge, poster of something at first registered as “FREE HUGS.”

Brett Campbell

39 – Ashley, you’re all right!

Eli

I’m still hoping for era-specific expansion packs in the following years after the game is originally released so we can have all the constitution class or Galaxy class goodieness we want…

tamgors

Ummm your statment, “the space combat was a 2D/3D hybrid where you ships and objects are rendered in 3D, but are restricted to a 2D plane for movement ” is totally false.

The distinction is that you can’t do loops or roll 360 degrees. Did you watch the demo? There were many instances that the ships were on very different planes (had Z axis distance, along with X and Y, between them, hence 3D).

There are 4 shield facings so the Z axis doesn’t matter quite as much, but it still plays a crucial role when you’re hiding behind asteroids and working in tandem with other ships.

I’m sorry, but this movement thing is something that seems to be greatly missunderstood, and sadly you are just perpetuating that…

But anyway, other than that your review was solid. I was there as well, and the game looks AWESOME. I just hope they have player driven aspects (like player made missions, player built structures, player controlled territories, etc.) that make MMOs great and give them longevity.

Wow – from the looks of things, all it took was a little skin (and not even actual skin) on the PC Gamer cover to get a rise out of the the same (if not same, close enough) gallery of fans who were ready to torch Anthony P over his “Trek After Dark” feature some time ago. I personally, was all for it – but was honestly taken aback at the vitrol spewed by some of the fan base over their discomfort with, not only sexual content in general, but the idea that Star Trek could AT ALL be a vehicle for ANY kind of sexual expression. I found it strange then; I find it strange now.

Anywhoo, without turning my deluge into an episode of Dr. Drew – I’d hope to cool a little of the dissension early on in the thread in the hopes that it doesn’t become a puritan vs. sybaritic kind of fan clash all the Trek cynics LOVE to see us dance.

I encourage the sleaze squeamish to take in the PC Gamer cover with a teaspoon of salt with the reminder that PC Gamer has, in no way whatsoever, anything to do with the dramatic direction of Star Trek (sexually or otherwise) as a whole – that power is in different hands for the time being – and to allow (even begrudgingly) for the work done by the cover artist to stand on its own.

Star Trek fan art has been around for a long time and has depicted everything from sexually explicit images, to fantasy pin-up girls (as above), to character portraits and so on – and as Star Trek is different things to different people, it should not surprise that extra-curricular Trek expressions by fans (or professional artists) reflect this.

From the looks of it, PC Gamer simply needed a cover with a hook in order to bolster issue sales within the Trek fan market segment – plain and simple. Yes, the PC Gamer cover artist might have taken some liberties with the source material, but if we can’t have a little fun with Trek every now and again – why be fans?

I’ll be picking up my copy ASAP!

– 24thCRS!

(ps – sexy vulcan babe rules!)

#44: “Anywhoo, without turning my deluge into an episode of Dr. Drew – I’d hope to cool a little of the dissension early on in the thread in the hopes that it doesn’t become a puritan vs. sybaritic kind of fan clash […]”

If it happens, though, I have my Sybarite T-shirt ready :)

Brett Campbell

49 – “I have my Sybarite T-shirt ready :)”

Is it cut to expose ample cleavage?