Hello, computer (and players)! They're mean, they're green(ish), and they are of a collective mind... they are the Borg, and resistance is futile. As most of you know, the Federation's most feared enemy plays a major part in Star Trek Online, and while the Borg are the current endgame "baddie," players find themselves on a daily basis in situations that force them to avoid assimilation. Be they in Deep Space Encounters (DSEs), Special Task Forces (STFs), or random explore missions, the Borg are out there and planning an invasion into the Alpha Quadrant. Bad news, Captains -- their plans are about to come to realization.
Later this month, the Borg Fleet Intercepts are scheduled to commence, and as the Borg take up their offensive stance, players of all ranks are going to be called to the front lines. Since this is the first "global combat event" the game has ever had (not including one during beta), players are excited to see what is in store and what they're up against. Luckily, being a member of Section 31, I was able to gain access to some secret intelligence that contains the Borg's plans, and Captain's Log is about to let you in on them so you know how to organize your counterattack.
Ensign, warp 10! Let's prepare our readers for the impending invasion...
As it is currently planned, the Borg invasion will occur in four stages over an unknown period of time.
Stage one: Deep Space Encounters
During this stage, random DSE groups will emerge in sector space across the entire galaxy. When entering a sector under attack by the Borg, players will be alerted through Priority One communications from Starfleet or the Klingon Defense Force and will have only a short amount of time to join in on the event. These encounters will be leveled by sector so that all players, no matter what rank they are, will have an opportunity to participate. If you enter an event of a lower or higher rank, you will automatically be set to the rank of the instance.
Once you're inside the open-map encounter, objectives will be revealed. For example, players will be required to destroy a certain amount of enemies. Those who are also interested in earning accolades can expect these encounters to be in an area they will want to explore. The individual encounter will end when all objectives are complete; players will then return to Sector Space, where they can search for the next encounter.
At this point in time, stage two is planned as a weekly occurrence, one that will involve multiple missions in which we'll see 25 to 50 Federation Captains and Klingon Warriors per zone working to defeat the Borg's attempts to assimilate the entire planet of a single species. As with the encounters, there will be different level-scaled instances, and players of all ranks will be able to team up with their friends and fleet members.
It is awesome to note that this zone will be an entirely new area of the game and will have been built from the ground up. Cryptic's systems and costume devs are creating new props for the mission to give it a unique look and ensure that players are experiencing completely new content. While many players speculate that the Gorn or Orion homeworld will be the victim of this stage, nothing has been confirmed.
Stage three: Remastered STFs released
Everything you knew, every strategy you had, and every play you memorized is about to change -- the Borg have adapted. As the STF remastering process nears its completion, players are going to be in for the fight of their lives. Gozer, Cryptic's Content Developer infamous for his remastered missions and the original incarnations of the STFs, has been hard at work going through each of the individual raids. If you have not yet, subscribe to his Twitter feed to stay up-to-date on all of the incoming changes.
Along with the STF changes, a new game-feature is going to be implemented: the STF queue. This "group finder" is going to allow players to queue up for STFs to find other players who want to run as a pick-up group. The best part about the implementation of this technology is that cross-faction teaming, one of the most frequently requested features, is going to be introduced. While this may call for a temporary ceasefire among the game's opposing factions, I predict this will server as the foundation for an alliance between the Federation and Klingon Empire.
The final stage of the Borg's invasion will include players confronting the Borg Queen directly. This has been in the works for the last year, and it is exciting that we are finally going to get the chance to experience it. While not much is known about what this encounter will entail, I expect us to see the Unimatrix Complex, the Queen's Tactical Cube or Diamond, and the Queen's Throne. Like the remastered STFs, this raid will have extra-special rewards for completing it. And it is important to note that the STFs, including Into the Hive, are only going to be playable by Captains of the highest ranks.
Well, Captains, we have come to the end of this week's log entry. As you can see, the Borg are coming, and there is nowhere to hide. To make it a great experience for you, your friends, and your fleetmates, start planning some events that you can all do together when the invasion begins. Also, if you didn't read earlier in the week, the Star Trek Las Vegas convention is coming up this weekend! Many of the STO devs, as well as yours truly, will be in attendance and will be meeting up with players -- check out the full details here. I hope to meet many of you!
Until next time, let me know how you are planning on defeating the Borg by commenting below or sending me an email to email@example.com.
Computer, terminate recording.
Boldly going where no one has gone before, Brandon Felczer transmits Captain's Log through Subspace right to your PADD every Thursday. Join him as he discusses the latest news, gossip, and dev interviews about Star Trek Online. Hailing frequencies are always open to his bridge through firstname.lastname@example.org.