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
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
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):
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).