STO Update: New Shots + Ranks & Progression Details + Awards + more

After a couple of weeks, it is time to catch up with the latest news on Cryptic’s upcoming MMORPG, Star Trek Online with the latest screenshots, a new ‘path to 2409’ entry, more game details, and even some early awards for the game. We also take a look at the possible computer requirements for the game.


New Screenshots
Six new screenshots have been released which really shows off STO, an even mix of space and land-based.

First, two from the official site (click to enlarge).

And then four more exclusively at (click to see larger versions on that site)

More STO Backstory
Cryptic released two new updates to the path to 2409, covering 2391 and 2392. The first article is concerning a federation operative who is meeting with an exiled Romulan who has found new allies (read it here). The second update is about political turmoil and violence that has erupted in the quadrant, the Federation president decides to step down from office. Klingons and Gorn are attacking each other on sight and the Cardassian and Romulan empires are trying to figure out ways to reestablish their power. (read that one here).

New Game details: Ranks & progression explained – not all via combat
There have been two new updates to STO’s Ask Cryptic. While the past several updates have been about combat these new updates talk about player progression. According to the update the following ranks will be available at launch:

  • Lieutenant
  • Lieutenant Commander
  • Commander
  • Captain
  • Admiral

Each new rank will allow you to have more and more skills. Quoting this section of the article really clarifies the skill style:

When you think of progressing in Star Trek Online, it’s best to picture an inverted triangle. You begin the game with broad skills available to you – the wide part of the triangle – and as you progress in rank, the skills you select become more specialized as the triangle narrows to a point.

Cryptic also explained how you earn you skill points:

They’re primarily rewarded by mission completion and kills, but there are other ways you can gain skills, too. There are “missions” like “Protect the Ambassador” or “Explore this Sector” or “Discover this many systems/special anomalies,” which don’t feel like a traditional MMO mission. So it’s missions, but the missions aren’t just “go here and kill 10 guys” or “go here and clean out this dungeon.” Star Trek missions are about exploration and doing things. You go out and look for things and go on Tours of Duty, which require you to go out and discover things, or explore sectors of space.

While combat will still be a big part of STO this sounds like some individuals will be able to take some time off from blowing up Federation or Klingon cruisers. The entire Ask Cryptic can be found here and here.

PAX Awards & Interview
Star Trek Online took two of ZAM’s PAX awards. STO received Best in Show and Most Innovative Game play. Best presentation went to Star Wars: The Old Republic; Most Original Setting went to The Secret World and the Best New Feature went to Pirates of the Burning Sea – Power and Prestige. The full story can be found at

Also from PAX, here is a good overview interview with STO producer Craig Zinkievich with some clips from the game. CZ says that they have a date picked for the early 2010 release, but they just haven’t announced it yet.


Computer Specs for STO?
Based on comments by readers here at, it could be assumed that this is going to be one of the first MMO for many, and some seem to be already have begun looking for a computer that can handle this game. Cryptic has not released the system specs on STO yet, however they just released a new super-hero game, Champions Online. Both games share some of the same game properties (Movement, design, combat etc), so the requirements may give an insight into the general area where the STO requirements will end up.

Requirements for Champions Online

Minimum System Requirements
• OS: Windows XP SP2/ Windows Vista/Windows 7
• CPU: 2.5GHz Single Core or 1.8GHz Dual Core
• Memory: 1GB RAM
• Video: NVIDIA GeForce 7600 / ATI Radeon X700 or HD / Intel GMA 4
• Sound: DirectX 9.0c Compatible Soundcard
• DirectX: Version 9.0c or Higher
• HDD: 5GB Free Disk Space
• Network: Broadband Required
• Disc: 6X DVD-ROM

Recommended System Configuration
• OS: Windows XP SP2/ Windows Vista/Windows 7 (32 or 64-bit)
• CPU: Intel E8400 Core2Duo or Better
• Memory: 2GB RAM or Better
• Video: NVIDIA GeForce 8800 or Better / ATI Radeon HD 3850 or Better
• Sound: DirectX Compatible Soundcard
• DirectX: Version 9.0c or Higher
• HDD: 5GB Free Disk Space
• Network: Broadband Required
• Disc: 6X DVD-ROM or Better

Please note, these ARE NOT the official requirements for STO, just an idea of what you could be looking to have on your system. Once the system specifications for the game are announced we will have a more in-depth article on what you will need. If you have a newer system (1 to 2 years old) you should be alright but it doesn’t hurt to check out what your computer is packing.

Next time for STO Update
In the next update we plan on talking about some of the in game communities that have already developed around STO. Fleets; commonly known as guilds, have been going strong ever since the game was announced. Next week we will be covering some of guilds that are currently established for each faction.

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Still not impressed. Just cause its Star Trek doesn’t mean its gonna be big. If its lame, only the most hard core Trekkies will play it. And from the looks of the graphics, I’d say you’d need a pretty beefy system to run it ok.

This could be the game that brings me to play my first MMO. Can’t wait, looks great, and hopefully worth the wait.

The exploration focus sounds promising, and outer space looks gorgeous.

The planet’s surface shots look decent, but still not a patch on the starship stuff.

I’m still kind of worried that the Star Wars Old Republic MMO is going to flatten just through sheer force of marketing, though.

No MAC love?

Tragic there’s no mac compatibility, that we know of. (Not saying that will hold a nerd like me back) I just like running stuff native.

Ummmm… Where are the Mac specs?

Mac’s don’t have minimum requirements. They run everything fine.

It’s crappy PCs that have to meet some minimum requirements. ;)

Looking over the new rank listings, the first flaw I saw is

5) Lieutenant
4) Lieutenant Commander
3) Commander
2) Captain
1) Admiral

were is rank 6) Sargent (commands the Red Shirts)
and rank 7) Private (the Red Shirts who die first so you don’t)

and even more…

8) Star Fleet Recruit
9) Civilian
0) Children

All the other missing spots can be robots since the PC group will not let you portray servants/slaves.

Thencomputer wise I’ll have to revive my old AMD 64 with the ATI AIW card because the other two PC have video cards one or two levels below whats needed, namely not enough video ram.

And then how is the game on using joysticks via USB? As you can tell with my typing or errors in typing, keyboard control is hard for me.

And in the future will it let you use the Mind control Joysticks that Atari and other company’s are now selling. Or go as low as voice with mind control.

To make it true VR, how about Glasses as a screen display, surround sound headphones, and a Air pressure physical feedback suit. That would almost be like stepping into your TV aboard a Star Ship 200-400 years in the future.

#9 – what the heck are you talking about???

I just got a Macbook Pro so no mac love, or no Xbox 360 love, then no deal. I do have VMWare Fusion with WinXP so I could try that. May not really matter though, the game’s ground combat looks so bad that I may just forgo the whole game anyway. This thing has been in production so long that I barely even follow it anymore. Wake me when it’s released. ZZzzzzzz


Well it’s cheaper to upgrade a PC than it is to buy a mac :).
For about $600 you can have a rig that’ll run this game at full settings, I know this ’cause I currently have one that a friend built for me.

Anyways, looking forward to this game!


Wtf #9.

Seriously…I think #9 means Ensign and Lt. JG. I would think that would make more sense, no?

I think #9 is just nuts.

No, I’m sure he makes sense really.

Anyway, this game is looking better and better by the minute. Do I really want to pay monthly, though? No.

So, those who are familiar with other mmos, are they strictly multiplayer? Or do they offer a single player campaign as well? I just wanna know if I should start putting money away for the monthly fees right now.

Playing WoW right now for the first time. Early missions seem fine for single player. Later ones need groups it seems.

Don’t know if this will be similar though.

2Gb of RAM recommended?!? Yikes.

And no port for the Mac. Rats. :(

I won’t be playing to play this game. It’s an insult to the fans of star trek to make such a dummed down game. it’s ” click on target & watch the animation play the game ” VERY BORING. I’ve watched all the videos for this game review and i’m completely dissapointed. Star Trek is so much more then starship battles & ground combat. Whats driving the story ? OH.. Klingons and the federation is fighting AGAIN .. How LAME. And to include the BORG is just antother Insult ! The borg are WAY overused in the startrek universe. Why can’t this be about science learning and discovery and exploration. Why must every star trek game be about War ?….. THAT IS STAR WARS ! Not Star Trek !!!!!

Let me tell you what a good star trek game is, Star Trek : Final Unity, Star Trek DS9 The Fallen, Star Trek Bridge Commander. Give me a game based on those 3. If you’ve played those games you would have a clue to what i’m talking about. There real action adventure & combat games.

And instead of going the mmorpg route, Why not try somthing new, A game that runs on the user’s end and eveyone connects to eachother like bit torrent does. So instead of running the game servers. The game servers are hosted on everyone’s computer as part of the grid.

And i still think you guys have the star trek universe totally wrong. I don’t like the space combat at all. it’s again ” target and click and watch the animation play the game ” Scripted moves are BORING ! Star Trek battles are not about who’s got more power to the facing shield, But its’ about your crew. And why do you have to have 5 away team NPC’s with you at all times ? Why can’t i just go explore by myself ????? And do my 5 NPC’s have any real advantage ????


Lieutenant JG
Lt. Commander
Rear Admiral
Vice Admiral
Fleet Admiral

Seems cryptic missed a few, hopefully they’ll be added later

WoW is still the one to beat. Users tend to stick with one MMORPG, and WoW has almost 70% market share last I checked. It also plays on lots of older gear.

This one may have a tough battle ahead. And I hope we can play it for free for several days before taking the plunge.

from the cryptic updates:

“They wore corrugated black armor and masks that partially obscured their faces.

“Welcome to Makar,” T’los bowed when they arrived.

They just stared down at him without saying anything.

“Commander Sela awaits you inside, if you’d please set aside your weapons before entering,” he continued.

The one in the lead narrowed his eyes. “We will not unarm,” he said. “No hunter ever goes without his weapons at the request of prey.””

The Hirogen have reached the Alpha/ Beta Quadrant!

Oooh, nice, the Cheyenne Class! Wolf 359 ships FTW!

So is it a monthly fee? Or is it like other multiplayer games where when there’s new updates available, you can choose to pay to upgrade or expand your copy of the game? I don’t see this question answered on Cryptics’ site.

If STO was ported to Mac (don’t count on it) the required specifications would probably be the same. STO looks okay, but I’m really more interested in TOR. Bioware is awesome.
Also,does that species 8472 in the third picture have only two legs?

24, They have been slightly dodging that question, but I am assuming that it is a monthly fee.

To be honest, this game looks great, but the whole focus on multi-player instead of single player really ruins it for me a little bit.

It was a bit misleading for that video to contain so much of the cutscenes from Star Trek Armada, but the actual game does look pretty good.


You start out as captain of a (small) ship, which is why lt is first rank for players, ltjg and ensign are for your underlings, their ranks advance too as you gain more experience, advance in rank and acquire larger ships


I’m sure species 8472 have limbs aputated from time to time.


2gb RAM has been pretty much mainstream for a while now. New Dell laptops being advertised on TV for instance come with 3gb. My own PC which is a year and a half old has 4gb.

Ram is cheap anyway, you should get it while its so inexpensive.


where’s Fleet Captain?