The players posting in the game's forums have turned to wild speculation as to what the patch will include and whether or not the devs' obvious absence from the forums spells doom for the game.
It's been like this with every previous release, why should Season Six be any different? A better question might be: What we can do to keep ourselves occupied while we all wait to find out the truth?
The good news is, a few leaks have come out and will allow players to get a sneak peek at a bit of the forthcoming content and may provide some entertainment, but will definitely generate a plethora of questions that will likely remain unanswered until the patch pushes to the test server in June.
Well, sort of. Last week, Massively was given an exclusive first look into the artwork being created for STO's new Federation faction fleet starbases. The news sent the player base, so desperate for any news, straight into a tail-spin.
Yes, the pictures were lovely, beautiful even, but all the artwork seemed to do was create more questions among the players than answers about what we could expect. Only small bits of information were provided by the company, namely that starbases would be able to be collaboratively built by fleets and each starbase would have a total of five tiers, but not much else was revealed.
The forums exploded with questions: What would be required to build them? Would small, casual fleets be unable to participate? Once built, is there any risk of losing them? Will Klingons get equal treatment? What sort of system will be used? What can be done with them once they are built? Will there be interiors? And how much will it cost an average fleet?
One of the involved artists (Tumerboy) posted a quick note on the forums stating, "Have no fear, the Klingons are getting the same five tiers (but a very different style obviously). The reason they weren't in the article is that I didn't get going on them until last week or maybe the week before, after the article had been written. I'm working on them now. And no, they aren't being left for last; I personally was slated to build both. I couldn't do both at once, so we started with the Feds ..."
To say the least, this note came as a great relief to many who play the Klingon Faction. As for other questions, however, we are once again left to speculate while we wait.
While we all wait (impatiently as that may be) for the release of Season Six and answer some of the questions posited above, it's a great time to stop and take another look at the Klingon faction.
The KDF (Klingon Defense Force) has suffered from content inequalities since the day the game first went live in 2010. This is not to say that the faction is lacking in fun. In my opinion, it's quite the contrary, containing some of the game's best-written missions and most beautiful environments.
Recently, members of the community dramatic podcast, Gates of Sto'Vo'Kor, were enlisted to write a guest dev blog for the STO website that was simultaneously posted at StarTrek.com. The blog is an unabashedly positive spin on the KDF faction, but to be honest, it's a spin that needs to get out there.
Players on the KDF faction are obviously outnumbered by the Feds in factors of multiples. It's assumed by many players that the reason for this imbalance lies in the fact that a new player cannot even access the KDF faction until she first invests the time (and possibly money) into a Federation character first. Once her Federation character reaches level 25, Klingon play is unlocked. However, I think it's pretty fair to assume that once a player has invested so much time into a Federation character, she's not likely going to seek out Klingon play until she knows more about it.
This is why even a little publicity can help and why the guest dev blog couldn't have come at a better time.
With the advent of the information that the Klingon faction will also be able to access and build their own starbases as well as the inclusion of the Ferasans as a new playable species, there are some new reasons for players to jump over to the KDF to give them a try. Sure, the faction still needs to be "filled out" in order to make a it a full faction, but the recent attention being given to them raises some hope that they are not the lost cause that so many were kissing them off to be.
Last week we were all informed via Twitter and in the game forum that a large patch for the game's test server, Tribble, had been released. Of note, this patch contained two new five-captain events that were available at all times on Tribble's PvE queue.
Although I have tried to jump into Tribble when I had the time to try them out, unfortunately, there were so few players in game and on the test server at the time, I was unable to experience them first hand. However fleet mates have had the opportunity to test out both features and have tried to relay as much information as they could, limited as that is.
The first of these missions is a space-battle event called No Win Scenario. It is an event loosely based on the Star Trek lore of the Kobayashi Maru, or the no-win scenario test, that Starfleet Academy students seeking command-track careers must endure. The test is not meant to be won, but rather to reflect how the potential commander deals with extreme pressure, death, and defeat.
According to my fellow players, this new mission is nothing more than a pew-pew fest. Wave after wave of enemy ships attack the team trying to defend another vessel. The moment one wave is dealt with, the next wave rolls through that's bigger and tougher. This continues until the team is unable to defeat the next wave. The object is to survive as many waves as possible.
The second event is a ground-based fight called Colony Invasion. Fleet mates described this event as a challenging and fun mission that contains several side-objectives that are unlocked if the main objectives are completed within the assigned time limits. Upon completion of the event, players were awarded with "points" for their efforts.
Since these two missions are currently on the test server, it's likely that the rewards and even some of the objectives of the missions will change significantly before they are pushed to the main (Holodeck) server.
It should also be noted that while these missions are open at all times on the Tribble PvE queue, it is also possible they are actually destined to be time-gated events on Holodeck. I can only voice an opinion that I would be sorely disappointed if that should happen, but I must acknowledge the possibility. I am looking forward to playing them on Tribble.
I will also remain hopeful that additional and relevant information will come out over the next week so the wait for Season Six will seem less interminable.
For all of our American readers I wish you a peaceful Memorial Day and for everyone, until next week, live long and prosper!
Incoming communique from Starfleet Headquarters: Captain's Log is now transmitting direct from Terilynn Shull every Monday, providing news, rumors, and dev interviews about Star Trek Online. Beam communications to firstname.lastname@example.org.