STO Update: Exec Producer Zinkievich Leaving Cryptic + Season 2 Promises Diplomacy + more

Today Craig Zinkievich, executive producer of Star Trek Online, surprised the STO community by announcing he is stepping down. More details on that and his replacement below, plus some welcome details on the upcoming Season 2 update and the latest STO links and community videos.


Zinkievich beams out – Stahl beams in

Today Star Trek Online’s Executive Producer Craig Zinkievich surprised the community by announcing that he is stepping aside. In a post on the official site titled "What you leave behind" Craig said he is "taking a break" after working at Cryptic for seven years. Craig, who has overseen the development of Star Trek Online over the last two years, says he plans to spend more time with his family, and it isn’t clear if or when he will be returning to Cryptic. Zinkievich also announced that "production superstar" Daniel Stahl will be taking over, tasked with "taking the MMO through the next phases of its life."

Season 2 promises diplomacy and more non-combat missions

In two weeks Cryptic is planning on rolling out "Season 2: Ancient Enemies" of Star Trek Online. This new update promises a lot of upgrades, such as ship interiors, but will also include something that many Star Trek fans have hoped for, which is expanded non-combat missions. In an interview with ZAM, Craig Zinkievich expanded on the plans:

ZAM: Let’s talk about Season Two. In our last Q&A, we learned that July’s update will introduce many of the often-requested "exploration and diplomacy" features that ‘Trek fans love, as well as "anthropology"-oriented missions. Since then, we’ve heard about the upcoming "Federation Diplomatic Corps;" is this the "gateway" or launching pad for all the diplomatic, exploration and anthropology missions we’ve been hearing about?

Zinkievich: Exactly. We’ve added a bunch more non-combat Episodes to STO, as well as the much asked for "First Contact" experience. The Federation Diplomatic Corps is the way to track your diplomatic "level" and to earn abilities and rewards based on how much of the non-combat content you’ve completed.

Go to to read the rest of the interview.

And here is a new screenshot from Season 2:

Season 2 preview image


STOked: Community news & picking the right deflector dish

This week’s episode of the STOked video podcast takes a look latest news from the STO community, including Cryptic buying out a fan’s ideas for mini-games, plus they give tips on your deflector dish.

Hitchhiker’s Guide to STO: Khitomer Accord

Another good regular series of community videos about STO comes from the SancTuarY Wanderhome Guild with their regular "Hitchhiker’s Guide" series. The latest provides and overview and tips for the Khitimer Accord mission, which is useful for players and gives non-players and idea of what a complex STO mission is like. 

More STO links

Free Demo

If you want to give Star Trek Online a go without buying it, you can play a demo of the game for an unlimited amount of time (with some restrictions) and includes the “Stranded in Space” mission. More info and demo download at

Start Playing 

If you want to get into the 25th century and play Star Trek Online it is available at Amazon discounted currently for less than $27 (or $50 for the collectors edition), and that includes a one month subscription.


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He’s leaving? We barely got to know the guy?

And why is the promo still another Borg pic? The Borg can’t be reasoned with. I hope there aren’t any diplomatic missions involving them!

I’m “ThomastheCat” mentioned in the STOked video. Nice to see that posted on here. Been following Trek movie since its inception. Keep up the great work, guys. :)

@ #2 Thomas Marrone:

Congratulations on having your great ideas bought by Cryptic! I REALLY hope they put them in the game soon!

I’m not real jazzed about Zinc leaving, though. Lots of people who have worked on STO have been leaving recently. I think it’s a bad sign, but maybe I’m just reading into it too much?

Also, I’m excited for Season 2. I don’t currently have an active subscription, but if the exploration and diplomacy aspect of the game is deep enough, it’ll get me back into the game.

Diplomacy, exploration, etc. sounds great! Perhaps it’ll evoke the classic Star Trek adventure games of the early 90s.


Yeah, my subscription expired as well. I’m eager to see the forum’s response to the exploration/diplomacy content, then maybe I’ll jump back in.

good, that guy always kinda bugged me. he had the “corporate tagline” written all over his face, ALWAYS.

I’d try out the demo if they’d bother making a Mac install of the game. Seems like for the extra people they’d get by doing that they’d be smart to, but oh well, guess not.


So would I, esp. since Steam came to Mac there’s even less reason for me to deal with the hassle of Boot Camp. The good games for PC come to Mac nowadays with less of a delay, so STO isn’t worth the extra money.

If the exploration and diplomacy stuff pans out, I just might sign back up. Anthropological missions? Cool!

I heard months ago from the devs that the excelsior class, the second best class ship ever designed, would be put into STO. Well, its nearly four months later and yet no movement. Not even a speck of dirt of information on the subject. I was hoping there would be something in this article about Season Two, but I guess not. Also, please stop with the ceaseless photos of the Borg, its getting kind of boring and annoying.

The first impression they got from me was really bad. Man, this game was buggy. From what I’ve heard, they havent bothered to go back and fix things.

@ 11. Jordan
They have addressed a lot of the bug issues and polished the game up with the patches.
Unfortunately, for me, it’s still a very repetitive experience.

I haven’t even given this game a thought in almost 2 months. I am real disappointed they didn’t make a better game. Maybe in another six months or so I’ll give it another shot and see how it is.

i guess Zinc just didn’t “get it”.

“Craig said he is “taking a break” after working at Cryptic for seven years. Craig, who has overseen the development of Star Trek Online over the last two years, says he plans to spend more time with his family”

Wish I could quit my job just to bum around with my family

Must be nice to be independantly wealthy


I guess I’m one of the few fans who plays video games for the action, not pre-programmed multiple-choice interactions with NPC’s.

Seriously, that stuff is less fun than “Ask Eliza.”


Still waiting for an expansion pack, so that i can play as other species !

I played the game since closed beta and yeah it was really buggy, to be fair to Cryptic they did address lots of issues and they have listened to the fans. I cancelled my membership due to the repetitiveness of the missions. The ground combat was horrible as well in my opinion. I’m not saying STO is a bad game, far from it, i just think it needs time to grow before I’m happy to continue to spend my money on it each month. I’m thinking bout going back to it however, Lord of the Rings goes free play in autumn so i might start back up then.

Re Zinc leaving, all the best to the guy, it certainly wasn’t his fault the game was rushed out the door by Atari :)


Well, in the world of politics at least, leaving to “spend more time with your family” is code speak for “things really went downhill and I’m pretty much fired, so I’ll just quit now”. Could mean the same thing here, given the relative flop the game has seemed to turn out to be.

Also, getting independently wealthy should be something everyone strives for. Not many of us will actually achieve it, but if you’re not at least trying/planning for it, you’re doing it wrong.

When Zinc shows up at Lucas for the Star Wars MMO…