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Star Trek Online

Star Trek Online introduces Research & Development packs

Sci-Fi, Patches, Previews, News Items, Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play, Crafting, Subscription

Just put it all in a box.  A crafting box, if you will.
The next major Star Trek Online update is all about new stuff for the crafting system. That means that you're going to need lots of materials, and the designers are making sure that there are even more ways to get them. If you don't want to just harvest, you can also try your luck with the new Research & Development Material Packs.

How do you get the packs? For starters, you can grab these packs as a bonus for PvE queue content. Normal packs contain 20 materials and are awarded from normal queue missions, while Advanced packs contain 25 and are awarded (predictably) from Elite queues. Advanced packs also contain rare materials based on the nature of the particular mission, letting you focus in your efforts if you need something specific. Players can also purchase additional packs from the in-game store for 300 Zen each or 1000 Zen for four. Read the full article for more details on how you can pick up extra packs without harvesting.

Star Trek Online's Tribble patches in Star Clusters, uniforms, and crafting prices

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, Patches, Previews, News Items, Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play, Subscription

If we had just crafted slightly better shields, this could have been avoided.
If you're looking forward to Star Trek Online's big crafting revamp, you've still got a little while longer to wait. But the latest patch notes for the Tribble server makes it clear that it's closer than ever. Prices on Dilithium crafting goods have been lowered to values far closer to their final point (although they're still not quite there), the Aegis set has been fully revamped and brought up to par, and a number of lesser crafting issues have been resolved already.

This patch also sees the addition of Foundry options so that players may use the defunct Star Clusters in missions, although the old versions of these maps remain gone. Players can also enjoy a wider selection of uniforms, as the Odyssey uniforms have been made available to all players, with fleets gaining access to a new set of uniforms at a discounted cost. Read the full patch notes for more details, and jump on the test server if you want to see the changes up close and personal.

Cryptic removes exploration clusters from Star Trek Online

Sci-Fi, Patches, Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play, Dev Diaries, Crafting

If you were particularly attached to Star Trek Online's exploration clusters, you'll probably want a shoulder to cry on for the next sentence. Cryptic has decided to remove them from the game altogether with this month's Season 9.5.

The team explained the rationale behind the decision, saying that while these clusters were created to fill an exploration niche, the end result was too limited and simple. "With the steadily improving quality of mission content available throughout STO as well as our recent efforts to explore more distant parts of the galaxy, exploration clusters have become something we're reluctant to steer new players towards because they are not up to our current standards," Cryptic posted.

With the reworking of the crafting system, exploration clusters are no longer needed as crafting mat havens, and so they have reached the end of their usefulness in the game. However, the team said that Foundry users can still whip up player missions that use exploration cluster settings.

Star Trek Online details the rewards of a new crafting system

Sci-Fi, Patches, News Items, Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play, Crafting, Subscription

Where were you the day you realized you actually wanted to craft in this game?
Star Trek Online has been focused on crafting in a big way for its Season 9.5 update, but thus far we've heard little about what the new crafts will actually produce. I mean, what could convince you to play? Other than, say, heavy cannons with an extra-wide firing arc. Or projectiles that leave behind damage fields. Or all sorts of new rewards with bonus effects that can be accessed only through the updated crafting system by dedicated captains.

There are also new traits unlocked via the crafting system, allowing such bonuses as increased ship performance upon use of skills or creating nigh-invulnerable shields for a moment when healing. And if that alone isn't enough, you can pick up unique modifiers on items that can be obtained only through crafting, such as cooldown reduction on Science consoles or free Beam Overloads on beam weapons. Read the full blog for all of the fascinating bonuses unlocked by masters of the new crafting system soon to hit a live server near you.

Captain's Log: A year of Star Trek Online: Legacy of Romulus

Sci-Fi, Culture, Expansions, Lore, Opinion, Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play, Captain's Log, Subscription

I don't know how Remans got to be so popular when no one actually liked Nemesis, but that's where we are.
The first expansion to Star Trek Online was the expansion everyone expected and yet one that no one really expected. Romulans were the obvious choice, the big gap in the game's factional lineup, the third major power that had been floating around in the darkness like some vast, predatory bird since the original series. But the idea of seeing a new faction after the Klingons had languished for so long seemed like a pipe dream. When it actually happened, I know I was sort of left just staring and disbelieving.

Of course, now we've had the Romulan Republic as a playable sort-of-faction for a year now, and that prompts all sorts of reactions. In many ways, this expansion is better than we could have hoped for, and in other ways it feels as if it kind of falls short. I come here not to praise or to bury Legacy of Romulus but to look at it a year out from launch and perhaps see what lessons could be gleaned for the expansion we're due to receive late this year.

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Star Trek Online lifetime subscription goes on sale

Sci-Fi, Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play, Promotions

Starship captains in the future may not have a need for money, but you do if you want to buy into a lifetime subscription for Star Trek Online. Fortunately, Cryptic has made that option easier for interested parties, lowering the price from $299 to $199 through July 10th.

A lifetime subscription to Star Trek Online includes all gold membership options, a monthly ZEN stipend, all veteran rewards past and future, and priority login.

Star Trek Online Season 9.5 revamps crafting big-time

Sci-Fi, Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play, Dev Diaries, Crafting

Star Trek Online Executive Producer Stephen D'Angelo has just one word for you concerning July's Season 9.5: crafting.

OK, he's got more words than that, but you probably can guess where he's going with it. D'Angelo posted a short dev diary today stating that the team will be focusing on a crafting overhaul for the next big update: "In this release, the STO dev team has completely reworked every element of crafting in the game... Our goal is to have a crafting system that our players enjoy and are excited to use."

D'Angelo said that players will have new ways to earn crafting mats, multiple schools of crafting, and a fresh UI to explore. Duty officers will also be utilized in the revised crafting system.

Star Trek Online opens up Hearts and Minds for one day only

Horror, Sci-Fi, Events (In-Game), News Items, Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play, Subscription

You'll meet an army of me.
It's Friday the 13th today, the most ominous of all day-and-date combinations. (Tuesday the 21st doesn't have a horror film series named after it.) Star Trek Online is celebrating as a result by giving players access to a special mini-episode, Hearts and Minds, an irregularly visited mission that is available to players only until 9 a.m. EDT on June 14th.

Players who choose to take part in the mission are sent to investigate a Vulcan doctor and see just what happens when some unconventional research goes a bit too far. The mission is short and is meant to be creepy rather than gruesome, a quick vignette for any captains above level 10. You can also get a special reward for taking part, although you might feel a bit... unsettled afterward.

Star Trek Online shows off this year's summer festival

Sci-Fi, Galleries, Screenshots, Patches, Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play

Summer fest
Star Trek Online's summer Lohlunat Festival is approaching and we're treated to some new screenshots and details on what to expect this year.

Last year's inaugural event in the Risa System showed off new assignments, missions, NPCs, and accolades for all players to enjoy. These new screenshots, included in the gallery below, show off a few of the more light-hearted aspects of the event, including swimsuit outfits, floaters, sandcastles, powerboards, monkey pets, the Risan Luxury Cruiser, and more.

The Lohlunat Festival will run from June 5th through July 17th this year.

[Source: Perfect World press release]

One Shots: Weather forecast

Screenshots, Lord of the Rings Online, Culture, Star Trek Online, One Shots, Final Fantasy XIV, Miscellaneous, ArcheAge

One Shots
We've got a lot of great player-submitted screenshots revolving around weather and the environment in-game, starting off with this fantastic picture by Star Trek Online player Chris.

"Here is Captain Hannah Welch and the senior staff of the USS Aurora on the surface of an alien world at dusk," Chris writes. "This is one of my favorite screenshots -- it captures what Star Trek has meant to me since I was a kid. A tight group of friends in a universe filled with wonders we've yet to see. One of my favorite quotes from the series (from the pen of Maurice Hurley) comes from Q at the end of the episode that introduces the Borg; 'It's not safe out here. It's wondrous, with treasures to satiate desires both subtle and gross. But it's NOT for the timid.'"

If you're adventurous and without timidity, continue reading to see what our community conjured up for this week's weather forecast One Shots!

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Captain's Log: A look at Star Trek Online's Season 9 to date

Sci-Fi, Game Mechanics, Lore, Patches, Opinion, Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play, Captain's Log, Subscription

Yes, there's a reference in the registry number, if you can read it.
It's strange to be stepping on to an unfamiliar bridge, isn't it? To be in charge when previously you were just an observer, especially when the crew hasn't necessarily changed at all. But you didn't come here to read my metatextual woolgathering; you came here because you want to read about Season 9 of Star Trek Online. Yes, it's been out for about a month now, but that's enough time to get a fairly good sense of it, isn't it?

Season 9 is an odd beast, in some ways; elements of it suffered for its long development, but it moves the game as a whole forward and introduces some interesting shifts all around. Its biggest weakness is in how much of it is based not around content so much as improvements of existing content and systems. But let's not focus on that; let's start at the huge upheaval that came with the featured episode and the overhauls it brought.

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Star Trek Online celebrates New Romulus Weekend

Sci-Fi, Events (In-Game), Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play, Promotions

Star Trek Online is pulling out all the stops for the first anniversary of its Legacy of Romulus expansion with a special weekend event.

New Romulus Weekend will be handing out quadruple Romulan Mark rewards for New Romulus missions from May 22nd through the 27th. Cryptic is also putting both Legacy of Romulus editions on sale during this time, offering the starter pack for 2,000 ZEN and the legacy pack for 12,500 ZEN.

Even after the weekend event is over, Romulan Mark rewards will remain doubled from here on out as a tribute to the expansion and the players' involvement in it.

Star Trek Online kicks off featured episode reruns

Sci-Fi, Events (In-Game), News Items, Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play, Subscription

It's better than a rerun of Enterprise, that's for sure.
Star Trek Online is going to be in reruns on May 16th, and unlike television shows, this is a good thing. The featured episode reruns allow players to pick up special items that aren't obtainable in the game through any other means, including Breen and Reman bridge officers for Federation and Klingon captains and Lobi crystals for everyone.

The event runs from May 16th until May 27th, with each featured episode series (Spectres, Cloaked Intentions, The 2800, and Cold Call) providing a special reward for characters that complete them. Players can also earn 15 Lobi crystals for completing at least one episode per day, making for a total of 180 available for free during the event. So if you haven't gotten the special rewards on a character, you want some crystals, or you just feel like going through some classic Star Trek Online missions, you'll want to jump in on the reruns.

Perfect Ten: Great MMO time travel adventures

World of Warcraft, City of Heroes, EverQuest II, Final Fantasy XI, Guild Wars, Lord of the Rings Online, Opinion, Star Trek Online, RuneScape, The Secret World, RIFT, Perfect Ten, Miscellaneous

Writers and geeks alike can't seem to get enough of time travel, although the ratio of horribly crafted time travel tales to fun and smart ones is pretty lopsided. I've come to realize that MMOs are positively littered with ways that players are invited to jump around the internal timeline of the game, and I wanted to share a few of them in this week's countdown.

When you think about it, the proliferation of time travel quests makes a lot of sense from a developer viewpoint. There is a ton of lore that goes into each one of these virtual worlds, but for the most part the players are affixed to a very specific (and unmoving) point in time. Hopping about in time is a great way to experience other eras and actually see history instead of just reading it in a quest box. Plus, if done right, these quests can be quite memorable.

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Star Trek Online selling ships at a discount

Sci-Fi, News Items, Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play, Promotions, Subscription

Oh, hello there huge coin balace.
It's a boring weekend, a sedate weekend, a weekend in which you're just not sure what you want to do. You could go cruising around in Star Trek Online, but you don't want to do it your busted old ship that looks as close to an El Camino as a futuristic warship capable of moving faster than the speed of light is capable of looking. No, you want a new ride.

Fortunately for you, getting a new ride is fairly easy this weekend, as the game is having a sale on all ships until 1 p.m. EDT on Monday, May 12th. A 20% discount has been applied across the board to everything other than the new Patrol Escort Refit, giving plenty of incentive to pick up some new refits and new ships if you've got money to burn.

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