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Star Trek Online

Al Rivera discusses his role in Star Trek Online on Reddit

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

There's always a nebula.  Or an anomaly.  Or a distortion.
Who is Captain Geko? It was a fairly innocent question posed on Reddit earlier in the week by a user who happened to group with someone using that name in Star Trek Online. The answer is that it's the usual screen name of lead designer Al Rivera, who took the opportunity to respond to the question with a larger discussion of what makes the game what it is and how the game's microtransaction model is set up.

Rivera discusses his experience with the franchise and being a longtime fan from the age of 10, as well as the fact that the game's microtransactions are decided upon chiefly based on what will keep the lights on and keep the game fundamentally free-to-play. While he states clearly that not every decision comes down to him, at the end of the day he's proud of what the team has accomplished and the state of the game. If you want a look behind the curtain at one of the people in charge of Star Trek Online, take the time to read Rivera's full answer.

[Thanks to Lootcritter for the tip!]

STO Producer's letter hints at anniversary celebration and story to come in 2015

Sci-Fi, News Items, Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play, Dev Diaries, Anniversaries

Star Trek Online's first producer's letter of the new year hailed 2014 as a fantastic year and suggested that 2015 may be even better. After recounting many of the additions to the game over the past 12 months and summing up the story arc thus far, Stephen D'Angelo stated that the past year was just setting the stage for what's to come! The continuation of this arc includes some challenges that even the grand alliance may not be able to handle. The next step in the story, along with the first of the new captain and bridge officer specializations, will release with the anniversary update in that's just over three weeks away.

Just what kind of events and celebrations can players expect for this fifth anniversary? D'Angelo didn't share, but he did say that the details on that -- as well as the future content -- will be forthcoming piece by piece in dev blogs starting in the next few days.

Star Trek Online revamps bridge officers

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

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Your loyal Star Trek Online crew deserves some recognition for its tireless work at raking you in XP, don't you think? Well, even if you don't agree, Cryptic is planning to give some major love to bridge officers in an upcoming patch.

The team posted a dev diary today outlining the revamp to players' faithful companions: "From a high-level standpoint, the updated bridge officer training system is focused on allowing players to invest in their bridge officers by training them in any of their class and specialization abilities, which can then be easily swapped in and out on the fly."

These changes will allow for a more flexible and customizable crew that can cross-train in intelligence and other potential specializations. The dev diary goes on to detail how officers will be trained going forward and what benefits players will get from these buffed-up buddies.

One Shots: Today is a good day to fly

Screenshots, Culture, Star Trek Online, One Shots, Miscellaneous

sto
Klingons have long been the second-class citizens of Star Trek Online, although as of recent expansions they've come into their own in both content and culture. Reader Sean sends us in his wicked-looking avatar to be our final One Shots of 2014. See you all on the flip side!

"Behold, my alter-ego, Shia'Tor of House Breknar, who is busy making plans aboard the IKS Heart of Praxis," he wrote. "There are plenty of Federation carebears to troll -- I mean, hunt."

Want to be featured in a future edition of One Shots? Send your favorite MMO screenshots to oneshots@massively.com, and don't forget to include your name, the name of the game, and a description of the scene. Large, colorful, UI-free shots that tell a story and really show off the game make for the best images. Look ma, we brought back One Shots!

One Shots: Cruising for Borg

Screenshots, Culture, Star Trek Online, One Shots, Miscellaneous

sto
We're kicking off our two-week series of daily One Shots with this picture of a pair of Star Trek Online starships getting ready for some serious action.

Reader Chris sets the scene: "Futures passing in the night. A Galaxy-X dreadnought from the TNG finale All Good Things dangles in space with a heavily Borg-modified Galaxy-class ship in the background. Borgified Galaxy cruisers always remind me of the chilling moment at the end of the episode Parallels where Riker exclaims, 'You don't know what it's like in our universe. The Federation's gone! The Borg is everywhere! We're one of the last ships left...'"

Want to be featured in a future edition of One Shots? Send your favorite MMO screenshots to oneshots@massively.com, and don't forget to include your name, the name of the game, and a description of the scene. Large, colorful, UI-free shots that tell a story and really show off the game make for the best images. Look ma, we brought back One Shots!

Captain's Log: Why Star Trek Online is kind of a mess right now

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

A little messy and incoherent despite... hmm.  Commentary.
I haven't had nearly as much time to play Star Trek Online lately as I would have liked; I've had other projects to work on, other games to play, and a lot of holiday stuff going on. So my main captain, who's been trekkin' around since launch, is still woefully underleveled. I accept entirely that this is my own fault, but I haven't been stressing out over it; I have no need to rush up to the cap.

That attitude is helped substantially by the fact that the people who are rushing up to the cap or already did rush up are awash with complaints. The speed of leveling. The speed of upgrade mechanics. How the Tier 5 and Tier 6 ships interact. The price of items. The amount of mission content. Gaining new specialization points at the cap. Sure, some of it is pretty normal complaining, but there's a general sense of discontent with the game at the moment. And I'm honestly not surprised because this problem was always going to crop up, and it could have been managed so much better.

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The Game Archaeologist: Perpetual's Star Trek Online

Sci-Fi, Culture, MMO Industry, Star Trek Online, Legal, The Game Archaeologist

sto
If you're among the legions of Trekkies, then you are almost certainly aware of Cryptic Studios' Star Trek Online. Since early 2010, players have boldly gone where no one has gone before in this MMO that blends spaceship battles, ground combat, and faithful tie-ins to the long-running franchise. Star Trek Online appears to be thriving following a free-to-play adaptation and two expansions, and some see it as the only official continuation of the TV series right now.

But what players encounter in Star Trek Online is not what it originally started out as. You may or may not know that STO began development under Perpetual Entertainment, which handled the game for several years until it went bankrupt and passed the license and art assets to Cryptic.

It's another tantalizing historical "what if?" scenario to think about what this game would look like if Perpetual had taken it to launch and beyond. But what did this version of Star Trek Online look like? Let's investigate.

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Star Trek Online releases a Delta Rising bonus epilogue

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

Oh, right.  All of the problems.  We forgot about the problems.
Maybe you haven't quite finished the storyline for Star Trek Online's second expansion, Delta Rising, but you can probably guess that it ends with the Delta Quadrant in better shape than when you arrived. You are the triumphant heroes! Except... nothing is ever really that easy, is it? Nothing ever ends perfectly. And sometimes there's just a little more going on than you think from the surface, which is exactly what's hinted in the bonus epilogue episode releasing today.

The epilogue, What's Left Behind, features the voice talent of Robert Picardo and Denise Crosby capping off the existing story of Delta Rising and resolving some last-minute unanswered questions. It also raises a few new ones along the way because why not? Just because you could handle one threat doesn't mean you're prepared for another this soon. The episode is beaming on to the live servers today, so set your course and engage promptly.

One Shots: Snowblind

Screenshots, Culture, Star Trek Online, One Shots, Champions Online, RIFT, Final Fantasy XIV, Miscellaneous

Water comes in many forms: gas, liquid, squirt gun, and cheaper beverage option to Olive Garden's wine menu. It can also be frozen in a variety of ways, which makes it perfect for an aquatic-themed expansion as seen in our first screenshot for the week.

"Here's a picture from RIFT's expansion, Nightmare Tide," reader Bill sent in. "This is from the glacier area above the main city. The main city is deep underwater and is protected by a blue 'bubble' that extends just above the water line. To reach the upper areas, you use a bouncer (near portals) that shoots you up and into the water."

Caution: Do not look at this screenshot for too long, lest you be robbed of your sight by the blinding glare.

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Star Trek Online posts lore on a mystery object

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

Oh, yeah, it'll all turn out great.  No worries.
So let's get this straight. While exploring Star Trek Online's Delta Quadrant, the USS Voyager comes across a mysterious object. The ship's crew immediately brings it aboard and tries to figure out what in the world it's supposed to be, coming to a lot of conclusions about what it isn't while being unable to find many answers beyond "it's probably a communication device of some kind." It also doesn't quite match any of the technology seen from the obvious sources of technologically enhanced mystery objects like the Solanae Dyson Sphere.

And yet everyone thinks keeping this on a ship is a good idea? There are a lot of episodes arguing against that.

All joking aside, there's a fair bit of lore to be found in the latest official dispatch from Star Trek Online, hinting rather solidly toward potential new encounters for players in the future. What it all means remains to be seen, but you can take a look at the lore and puzzle over what Voyager found.

Star Trek Online restores players flagged for exploits

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

Cryptic Studios: Not the Vaadwaur.
Star Trek Online recently launched a new expansion with a level cap bump, and unfortunately some people decided to quickly exploit the mechanics to race up to the renewed level cap via exploits. Unfortunate, but not totally surprising. Cryptic Studios, needless to say, rolled back the gains made by those players. Unfortunately, as can happen, a few innocent players were caught in the crossfire, but what can you do about that?

Well, in this case you can re-examine players who were erroneously rolled back and restore their points. Producer Stephen D'Angelo made a post on the official forums stating that instead of trying to make another adjustment, all players will have the points that were removed restored to them. So it's back to how things were before, and if you lost out on points through no real fault of your own, you have them back. Or even if it was through direct fault of your own.

[Thanks to Some_Guy for the tip!]

Star Trek Online introduces playable Talaxians, discounts lifetime sub

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

sto
Big things are afoot in the Delta Quadrant, as Star Trek Online has not only added the Talaxians as a playable race but thrown them into the lifetime subscription package and then discounted that sub by $100 for a limited time.

From now through November 20th, the Star Trek Online lifetime sub can be bought for $199. This marks the player as an eternal gold member, with the Talaxian race, a ship upgrade token for Delta Rising, a monthly ZEN allowance, and other veteran rewards.

As for the Talaxians, players who pick one as a captain will not only have the honor of looking like Voyager's resident space hedgehog but also get access to two unique traits: salvage specialist and loyalty.

Star Trek Online tackles power-leveling exploit

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

sto
Star Trek Online Executive Producer Stephen D'Angelo has given players a rare explanation about a power-leveling exploit that some players had been using and the difficulty the team had in dealing with it.

The exploit took place on certain maps and allowed players to advance 17 times faster than normal. D'Angelo said that only around 250 players were engaging in these actions and that "intensive data analysis" was used by the team to determine who was abusing the exploit on purpose and who had accidentally triggered it.

"I'm certain that at least some of the players feel they were acting in the right," D'Angelo wrote, "that errors the dev team makes should be fair game. There are likely some others who feel that I drew the line in the wrong place, either too high or too low. It is challenging to walk the line between protecting the playe base that wants the game to be fair, and allowing players to be efficient and 'game the game.'"

Have any PWE ZEN left? Better spend it soon [Updated]

Business Models, News Items, Star Trek Online, Champions Online, Miscellaneous, Neverwinter, Swordsman

PWE
If you happen to have any ZEN currency sitting around in your Perfect World Entertainment ARC Wallet, now is apparently the time to spend it. Players with unused currency were sent an email yesterday informing them that the ARC Wallet is being discontinued and that leftover currency must be transferred to one of PWE's games.
We've noticed that you still have ZEN sitting in your Arc Wallet. The Arc Wallet system will be going away soon, but we'll have more details on that later. In the meantime, don't let your hard earned money go to waste. There are tons of amazing items available. Log in and transfer your ZEN to one of your favorite games today!
PWE's more popular western games include Star Trek Online, Neverwinter, Swordsman, and Champions Online. We've asked PWE for clarification and will update this post when we have it.

[Thanks, Omedon!]

[Update: askray1 in our comments pointed us to a post on the PWI forums that helps clarify the situation: "You may have gotten a recent email from us regarding the transferring of your ZEN. This is a legitimate email, and in no ways does it mean you need to actually spend your ZEN. We are removing the wallet function and working on a more Arc integrated system, which means that you will need to transfer your ZEN from your wallet, to a game of your choice to avoid any potential delays. The wallet will go away, but your funds will still be available. We're simply sending this message out so you do not experience any delays in using the contents of your wallet when it does. By moving it over now, you should not experience any delays when this change goes live. I can't say for certain when or how long, even if there will be delays when the wallet goes away, but this will help those that do not want deal with that when it happens."]

Star Trek Online's Delta Rising cinematic has... arisen

Sci-Fi, Galleries, Screenshots, Video, Expansions, Game Mechanics, Patches, News Items, Star Trek Online, Free-to-Play

STO
Star Trek Online's Delta Rising expansion technically went live yesterday, but today's the official launch, and that means a brand-new cinematic and fresh screenshots. The update bumps the character level cap to 60, ushers in a partial Voyager cast, and adds a new tier of ships, gear, and officers to the roster. Enjoy the trailer and pics!

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