We didn't think there could be any news more exciting than a brand-new faction coming to STO, but Season One might just top it with a heap of new goodies. In addition, Cryptic's Craig Zinkievich released a new State of the Game report to address player concerns and the course STO is heading for over the next few months. There's even a new video entitled "Expanding Universe, Part I" that gives players a sneak peek into this brave new patch.
Engage thrusters, mister, and we'll break it down for you after the jump.
State of the Game: Yellow Alert
Zinkievich assuredly is not short of good news to share in this article. He's proud to report that the first task force, Infected, has gone live, along with the new public test shard (cheekily called "Tribble"). As for bugs and fixes, he urges players to open a channel to their Engineering Report to see how these pesky issues are being addressed.
Similar to the promise that the Champions Online team made for better communication and more transparency, Zinkievich assures players that they'll be in the loop as to developing content and ideas that are being worked on by the STO crew.
"Best I can tell, this is a pretty unique strategy, as far as MMOs go," he said. "'Telling the customers what we're working on well beforehand so they know where their game is going.' So darn crazy it just ... might ... work!"
As part of that improved communication, they posted the results of a recent player survey that was filled out by more than 40,000 people. The results are loaded with telling answers, from the most desired gameplay feature (Ship Interiors - 18%), most desired Star Trek feature (Bridge Combat - 29%) and the least-liked content (Crafting/Memory Alpha - 34%).
Season One: Set Your TiVos To "Record"
While the State of the Game address is certainly "fascinating," to quote a certain green-blooded Vulcan, the announcement of Season One: Common Ground unloads so much new information that we may just have to sit quietly in a corner for a while until our heads stop spinning.
Whether you're into PvP or decorative fluff, there's a little something for everybody here. Players who adore customizing every aspect of their game will appreciate the addition of "off duty clothing" for a little R&R at Deep Space 9. A new Federation vs. Klingon ground assault map ("Shanty Town") will do nothing for the diplomatic relations between the two factions, but should be fun nonetheless. Season One also will bring new fleet actions, new skills, and even a new Klingon ship -- the K'Tanco Battle Cruiser (or, if you will, the "Del'Taco Battle Cruiser").
Respecs for skill points are finally heading into the game, attainable in-game or as a C-Store purchase. Speaking of Cryptic's infamous item shop, the C-Store is expanding its wares considerably. New bridge and ship variants will be placed on sale, along with three new races (Tellarite, Pakled and Rigelian), more character slots and the ability to rename your character.
STO players have a lot to look forward to, indeed, and Cryptic hints at even more goodness coming with Seasons Two and Three.