Cryptic Talk Possible Free To Play Star Trek Online + Romulans As Next Faction

This week Cryptic CEO Jack Emmert addressed the question over whether Star Trek Online will follow Champions Online to the free to play model. Plus STO’s executive producer also talked about the possible addition of the Romulans as a playable faction. Details below.


Star Trek Online could follow Champions to freemium model

Last week we reported that Cryptic recently announced their Champions Online game is going to move from a subscription only model to a choice between subscription or a free-to-playmodel. This week Cryptic CEO Jack Emmert talked to Eurogamer about how this decision may impact Star Trek Online, saying:

Emmert: I’m sure people are wondering whether we’ll do it with Star Trek and the question is really how well it does for Champions. We’re not sold one way or the other with Star Trek yet. If people want Star Trek to go free-to-play then get in and play Champions and help make it a great success, because that would send a strong message.

This new move in the industry towards free-to-play was inspired by publisher Turbine who has seen success with Dungeons & Dragons Online and Lord of the Rings Online. They have found that letting players play the game for free but charging for specific items ends up attracting more players (and doubling their revenue).

Stahl talks Romulans

Another peek into the future of Star Trek Online came from the latest "Ask Cyrptic," where Executive Producer Dan Stahl answered fan questions on various aspects of the game. Most was related to short term stuff, but Stahl was also asked about the future of the Romulans in the game:

Stahl: We are in fact discussing Romulans and how to get more of their story and faction into the game. We have always talked about the next faction we add to the game being Romulan. This would involve them having their own ships and storyline content. It is a big endeavor and as we’ve learned with the KDF, not something we could do in the span of a single update. So our long term plans are working on ways to start tackling this over multiple updates but I’ve no specific dates to give on when you’ll see a Romulan playable faction.

Latest STOked

As usual, a great way to keep up with STO is to watch the vidcast from the guys at STOked. This latest episode discusses news and the most recent Halloween themed episode "What Lies Beneath".

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I tried playing this game… All it does is crash and download megs after megs after megs of patches.. sigh..

#1 you has a crappy comp. :D improve your tech!

what is free to play mode?
Are parts of the game going to be free?

Still waiting for a Mac version before I give it a shot.

I tried playing this game also.
Even if they move to a pay-us-to-play model, I’m still not sure I would play it again.

I played it for a few months but got very bored of it. I’m tempted to try it again but with the new Warcraft Expansion coming out it’s easy to expect this game to suffer horribly.

The one thing I do notice is for the first 6 months after this game came out you saw updates constantly. However, I haven’t seen an update for this game in quite a long time other then this news report.

actually there are constantly updates, a new episode every week, the season 3 update coming on december 4th, the upcoming “foundry” (user generated content-tool), and so on and so on… =)

I hope STO never goes free-to-play. Even though MMOs are staying alive as a free-to-play game, they aren’t any good anymore once they do that. I’d rather see STO die than go free-to-play and degrade into how poor the rest of Star Trek games usually are.

If it stays subscriber based, there is always a chance for them to fix the game. Free-to-play means the only changes are additions to the cash shop.

I have resubscribed to the game after a break- because I wasnt happy with the game at that stage. Cryptic are doing wonders with STO now. Lots of improvements and content.

I run STO on mac with this:

works flawlessly.

What in the name of th Great Bird of Galaxy is free to play?
Does that mean you can play parts of th game for free?

It essentially means you can play the game for free but certain items in the game will be unavailable unless you pay for them.

DAMN?! i bought the lifetime subscription and haven’t touched it in six months!!!!! i wish i didn’t buy it for 300 bucks. :( ugh………………………………..I don’t even use it

Free-to-play means they’ll allow players to access and play the game for free, instead of paying $15 a month. However, most content will only be available for additional fees, and there’s usually an option to pay a similar monthly fee to get better rewards from missions and the like.

Thank you my friend for helping me under stand. Number 12 I feel for your situation. There is nothing beter than making a long term investment in something that you find out later is not for you. You should sell your account on EBay. People use to do that with the ever quest game.

i can’t play online because stupid pay monthly online. i rather like on PS3. also i cant play on pc because cause frozen, crash and lost too….

You’re all forgetting that up until now, STO is at least twice the game it was at launch 9 months ago.

Season 3 content is on track for it’s december release and Season 4 is in the works so the track record speaks for itself, STO is in fact getting better and better…

I do agree, however, that if you’re a harcore player, you will definately get bored at times.

If STO goes free to play, I guarantee you will end up forking out more then 15$ a month to get the same amount of content you’d get with a subscription model.

The Value here is in the package deal!

Furthermore, if one can’t play STO on their computers, you really have an outdated machine, and that’s NOT an exaggeration since this game really isn’t anything too high-end and in fact designed to work on older machines as well….

As for the addition of the Romulan faction, don’t expect to see them in-game any time soon, probably not until late 2011

Yeah, if you can’t play STO on your machine…not sure what you’re running but it’s time to come into the 21st century, lol.

I have STO up as I type…I enjoy the game, the new weeklies are entertaining (latest mission has a guest appearance from one of TOS HOLY TRINITY!), and UGC is going to allow people some pretty nice creative freedom.

What is the holy trinity? Are you talking about Kirk sPock and Mccoy?

If it goes free, I’m totally in.

yes NX01

Star Trek Online just gets better and better. I’ve been a subscriber since launch and I couldn’t be happier with the new content that’s being added to the game on a regular basis. Specifically, the weekly mission series are astonishingly fun to play. If you’re interested in this game, give it a fair chance. It’s worth it.

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so does your mom, but lets stay on topic.

I would play this game if I could actually walk around my Starship.

Also, one time, during demo play, I flew my ship down into a planet’s atmosphere just to see what would happen and my ship banged up against it. Why not just have it burn up and have the option to revive or reset but t have it bang up against it? I know it sounds a bit weird, but when that happened, it destroyed some of the magic for me.

I haven’t read thru this whole post yet but this is from the OFFICIAL site:

“Q: tryulis: As Champions Online is going free 2 play, could this effect the way we pay for this game?

A: We’re very excited to see Champs go F2P but this has no direct impact on Star Trek Online. Our subscription and C-Store model will continue forward without changes.”

IE: No freeplay. Really reaching with an obscure comment for this post.

&, @#25:

You CAN walk around your starship. Go take a look.

Back to playing my game now, see ya………

There are a lot of different variations of the F2P model that you’ll see around. Some games just offer a disguised demo for free and charge if you actually want to progress or do anything interesting. Some give you the vast majority of the subscription content for free and sell handy-but-not-necessary character upgrades, convenience items, and cosmetic items. Some, like LOTRO, also stipulate that you can (in principle) get prettty much all of those things by grinding, if you’re very, very dedicated and very, very broke.

It looks like for Champions Online, Cryptic is following a path similar to what Turbine has done with D&DO and LOTRO. Lifetime members will get to continue on the highest-tier service, which is basically the same as when it was (is) subscription-based. If Star Trek goes F2P, I’d expect the model to be pretty much the same.

Anyone remember the early 1990s Trek online MUD game where you began play on Nimbus III, the Planet of Galactic Peace?

I remember that several cast members dropped by to give online interviews.

My advice for the game developers of STO.

Get rid of the stupid looking cartoon looking box art and replace with a more realistic/sleek graphic, perhaps a collage of starships, planets that suggests more exploration and leveling up and earning quest rewards.

Get rid of the stupid pvp model of fighting each other with phasers lol if people wanted to pvp with guns they would play COD and if people wanted to pvp with starships they would play bridge commander.

Go back to the awe and wonder of exploration strange worlds and allow the gamer to level up and feel like they are really in the Federation/Star Fleet. Have players start out with no starships and at say lvl 40 they can earn a basic starship that is 40% speed, once they reach say lvl 60 they earn a epic starship that is 100% speed and so on.

Have it so that you can create guilds and invite other members to serve on your starship and explore the galaxy together, explore dungeons/worlds, defeat omnipotent monsters/entities, earn rewards like +intellect/+speed items that help questing/raiding, and have leet boss loot and create currency like Latinum where you can use it to repair your starship/character items.

Make STO the World of Warcraft of Sci Fi gaming and you will be successful. You should have offered me a free beta key, when you were giving those away, you wouldn’t be stuck with a shitty product.


Yes, starship interiors are now a part of the game. Log in and feel free to take a stroll to the ready room, engineering, sickbay, the lounge, the transporter room, or your captain’s quarters. (If that doesn’t please you, there are plenty of corridors to wander aimlessly.) Plans to incorporate mini-game content and functional support areas into the ship interiors are in the works.


you’re asking for a completely different game. that’s simply not possible.


Oh wells, I am sure someone will be able to fuse in the elements of Civilization, Star Control 2 and World of Warcraft to make the Ultimate Star Trek mmorpg


You should look up some information on Perpetual and their work on STO before they collapsed. They had some great ideas but nothing to show for it.

#29 You’re an idiot.

I agree with box art though.

If Star Trek Online ends up having a free-to-play version, it should be a mobile version, such as along the lines of the iPhone Star Trek promo game for last year’s film. A slimmed down version of the online game that could interconnect with Apple Game Center and do something that way…

I’d like to see STO go F2P. Cryptic gets all my money in their C-store anyway. As long as they continue putting fun items for sale there, the cash will continue to come in.

The game does not have many options. There are many more species that can be in this game and are not. The ships need improvements, for the Federation you only get to pick from Starfleet ships and 1 Vulcan ship. There should be at least 1-2 ships from the other species in the Federation. Most of the Game is combat, unlike the shows where they did more than just fight. They could have done more with each Species. Let’s take betazoid for example. They should have extra conversation options as they are able to read minds and emotions. I could go on with a book with what could be fixed to make it “Decent.” I’ll just end with it looks like a game they rushed to get people to change over from the other MMOs that have not updated. Dec 20th SWTOR that will be a good game.