Star Trek Online Catch-All

Apparently the released more Odyssey variants for each type of captain now, only in the C-Store? Saw them advertised there the other night. The Odyssey that we all got for free a few months back was just so ridiculously slow, I couldn't imagine using it.

Quinn@Xeknos should have an invite waiting for them.

Sadly, however, Neutrino@agemyth didn't work. Are you sure that's the correct handle?!

My SSD is working for the time-being. No promises...

ilduce620 wrote:

Quinn@Xeknos should have an invite waiting for them.

Sadly, however, Neutrino@agemyth didn't work. Are you sure that's the correct handle?!

My SSD is working for the time-being. No promises... :-)

Invite received and accepted. Thank you. I raided the fleet bank for a few objects, I hope nobody minds.
As far as my last character, I actually stopped playing as soon as I got to Commander. It feels like I'm doing much better this time around (enough that I bought the Excelsior heavy cruiser off the C-Store because I didn't like any of the Heavy Cruiser ships) and hopefully I'll be able to ride this wave, so to speak, into Captain.

Stele wrote:

Apparently the released more Odyssey variants for each type of captain now, only in the C-Store? Saw them advertised there the other night. The Odyssey that we all got for free a few months back was just so ridiculously slow, I couldn't imagine using it. :(

I have a Captain using it, my Engineer. It's not as bad as the one in the quest was.

My box is up and running again, agemyth, if you ever want to confirm your character's handle for me. We can get you in the Fleet! If you're already in somehow, let me/us know!

They aren't screwing around anymore, are they? Ever since they changed the patrol missions to where each one gives you a separate reward, leveling is outrageously fast now. I just beat the Klingon storyline a few days ago, and I got to Captain 30 between that and the patrol missions. The only pain now is figuring out which systems are patrols and which ones are reserved for storylines.

Hi guys,

Long time lurker, not-quite-first-but-might-as-well-be poster.

I played a bit of STO on launch (no pun intended) and enjoyed it a great deal, but I'm looking to get back into it and would prefer to do so with some like-minded ladies and gentlemen to play alongside. I haven't played for about two years, so I'm pretty much a total newbie to the game again, but if you'd like to say hello, my character is Talana@AngryJedi.

Do I need to do anything fancy to get into the Fleet? Does the Fleet still exist? Do the initiation rites hurt?

Angry Jedi wrote:

Hi guys,

Long time lurker, not-quite-first-but-might-as-well-be poster.

I played a bit of STO on launch (no pun intended) and enjoyed it a great deal, but I'm looking to get back into it and would prefer to do so with some like-minded ladies and gentlemen to play alongside. I haven't played for about two years, so I'm pretty much a total newbie to the game again, but if you'd like to say hello, my character is Talana@AngryJedi.

Do I need to do anything fancy to get into the Fleet? Does the Fleet still exist? Do the initiation rites hurt?

Remember that episode in TNG where they're zapping Worf with the pain sticks? It's like that.

Angry Jedi wrote:

Hi guys,

Long time lurker, not-quite-first-but-might-as-well-be poster.

I played a bit of STO on launch (no pun intended) and enjoyed it a great deal, but I'm looking to get back into it and would prefer to do so with some like-minded ladies and gentlemen to play alongside. I haven't played for about two years, so I'm pretty much a total newbie to the game again, but if you'd like to say hello, my character is Talana@AngryJedi.

Do I need to do anything fancy to get into the Fleet? Does the Fleet still exist? Do the initiation rites hurt?

Pretty sure we don't allow Jedi in Star Trek Online.

Naw, we'll get you in. I can add you later this evening, if I think about it.

We're all playing kinda sporadically, so we don't have a weeknight that we all hop on. I'm playing very infrequently as I am in the middle of Mass Effect 2 and I'd still like to hit up The Witcher 2...and I have a 2-year-old...

But, since I have a fast new SSD, I've been playing more PC games than usual, so I'll be on from time to time. Posting here is the best way to get questions answered, but whenever I log in, I usually see 2-3 other people playing! We all, collectively, could be better at responding to chat requests, though, so please don't feel slighted if no one responds to a chat!

We're nice people: even to Jedi.

ilduce620 wrote:

Pretty sure we don't allow Jedi in Star Trek Online.

Naw, we'll get you in. I can add you later this evening, if I think about it.

We're all playing kinda sporadically, so we don't have a weeknight that we all hop on. I'm playing very infrequently as I am in the middle of Mass Effect 2 and I'd still like to hit up The Witcher 2...and I have a 2-year-old...

But, since I have a fast new SSD, I've been playing more PC games than usual, so I'll be on from time to time. Posting here is the best way to get questions answered, but whenever I log in, I usually see 2-3 other people playing! We all, collectively, could be better at responding to chat requests, though, so please don't feel slighted if no one responds to a chat!

We're nice people: even to Jedi. :-)

Hah. I'm not much of a Jedi -- the username has just stuck for the last (x) number of years. Quite a few now.

Great stuff. I'm online right now at the time of writing, so if someone wants to sent me an invite I'd very gratefully receive it.

Looking forward to actually having someone to talk to!

Angry Jedi wrote:

Hah. I'm not much of a Jedi -- the username has just stuck for the last (x) number of years. Quite a few now.

Great stuff. I'm online right now at the time of writing, so if someone wants to sent me an invite I'd very gratefully receive it.

Looking forward to actually having someone to talk to!

Invite sent! Sorry I missed you earlier. Let me know if you have issues!

Well, related to STO. I don't care about all "issues," necessarily...

ilduce620 wrote:

Invite sent! Sorry I missed you earlier. Let me know if you have issues!

Well, related to STO. I don't care about all "issues," necessarily... ;-)

Damn. I was looking forward to telling you about my constant struggle to trust turnips.

Thanks. Will accept when I log in later.

Angry Jedi wrote:

Damn. I was looking forward to telling you about my constant struggle to trust turnips.

Thanks. Will accept when I log in later. :)

Turnips are not to be trusted. Nor deviled eggs. They are of Satan!

Hey...er...guys...

Fleet Starbases are coming to STO.

You read that headline right: Star Trek Online will be introducing player starbases in its upcoming Season 6. For the first time in the game, fleets will be able to band together to build a virtual home in the icy blackness of space.

No mention of cost in the blurb, but it's got a lengthy description of the design process and where they look to be going with it.

Cool!

Hm... wonder if we have enough people for that?

I'm not a hardcore player, and I'm only a captain, but I'd like to join the fleet for funsies and the fellowship of goodjers. My Main is Vires@Squeegee_Joe.

Squeegee_Joe wrote:

I'm not a hardcore player, and I'm only a captain, but I'd like to join the fleet for funsies and the fellowship of goodjers. My Main is Vires@Squeegee_Joe.

You should have an invite waiting for you! Welcome aboard!

Stele wrote:

Hm... wonder if we have enough people for that?

No clue. I didn't see many details with regards to cost, how many folks are required to get it going, etc.

Honestly, it'd be kinda cool if they could get a Minecraft-like mechanic to work, where Fleets could work together to "mine" materials and upgrades to build your stations, or a single individual could (if they spent a ridiculous amount of time on it).

We'll see!

Thanks for the invite! I threw a few items, including crafting materials in the fleet bank. I just don't craft. If the space and/or ground items end up taking up space, anyone can feel free to discard them in favor of the energy credits.

Squeegee_Joe wrote:

Thanks for the invite! I threw a few items, including crafting materials in the fleet bank. I just don't craft. If the space and/or ground items end up taking up space, anyone can feel free to discard them in favor of the energy credits.

Much appreciated!

Our general policy is that crafting stuff is fair game for everyone. Some people like it, some people don't.

For items, we put Uncommon and Rare items in the bank. When it gets filled up, someone sells them (or most of them) and puts the cash in the bank.

For all we know, we'll need the cash to buy a Fleet Station once Season 6 comes out!

Happy Trekking!

Hey everyone, just returning after taking a bit of a break/fustration with STO...

I did a bit of clean up in the bank of some of the white trash and organized a bit. I did notice we do have a large sum in there - thanks to who did this - looking forward to Fleet Stations!

Loading up Tribble so I can see what it takes for Starbases....

*Crap, not in a fleet on test - been reading up, but not a lot of info yet. Just a bunch of typical blah, blah, blah...

Captain's Log: An exclusive look at STO's Season Six starbases
Posted Jun 4th 2012 11:00AM by Terilynn Shull
Filed under: Sci-fi, Game mechanics, Patches, Previews, Opinion, Star Trek Online, Free-to-play, Captain's Log

So, you wanted to know what to expect with the starbases announced in Season Six of Star Trek Online? Well, aren't you lucky that you read Massively? Today, we've got for you the most up-to-date information Cryptic Studios has released regarding STO's new fleet starbase and fleet advancement system soon to be seen in the highly anticipated Season Six patch! That's right: Massively has the exclusive insight to the new starbases, and there's so much information that it will take two columns to cover!

Beyond the cut, we'll highlight the new fleet advancement system as revealed by Cryptic Studios, and later today, a special supplemental edition of the Captain's Log will feature an exclusive interview with Star Trek Online's Executive Producer, Daniel Stahl, to answer some the questions generated by the announcement.

So order more power to your inertial dampers and grab the rail because here it comes!

Let's begin at the beginning

According to Cryptic, the new fleet advancement system will make fleets "a more central and fundamental part of the Star Trek Online experience and create a new means of fleet advancement, allowing fleet members to collaborate together to overcome new challenges for new top-tier rewards."

Fleet advancement has been designed for fleets of all sizes, although there will exist "advantages and disadvantages depending on the size of [the] fleet's membership." It will "allow fleets to construct a starbase (and possibly other additional holdings in the future) with different degrees of development and sophistication in Military, Engineering and Science areas depending on the focus of the fleet involved."

There will also be new group space and ground challenges, including the active defense of the starbase. In pursuit of this defense, fleets will find that developing starbases will also provide fleet members with new special consumable devices called Operational Assets, which can be only be used in these special challenges. In addition, a whole array of new top-tier rewards, including new starships, new equipment, new duty officers, and new consumable Operational Assets, will be available.

Fleets will be able to "improve their starbase interior with special contacts and functionality such as bank access, ship dock facilities, social spaces, starbase level sickbays and many other additions."

Functionality

Cryptic says that every fleet will have an instanced system map with a starbase exterior that will appear to be under construction. Fleet members will be able to contribute a variety of resources, including rewarded tokens, commodities, duty officers, dilithium, data samples, bridge officer skill points, and other resources to complete various fleet projects, which will garner the fleet experience points in one of three categories: Military, Engineering and Science. In addition to gaining fleet experience points, every fleet project will also grant additional rewards that may include:
New functionality to starbases, such as the ability to repair ships or open transwarp gates to distant sectors
The ability to add new contacts to starbase interiors that allow for useful functions such as additional duty officer assignments, mail, banking, skill respecs, bridge officer training, and many other functions;\
The ability to add limited numbers of new ships or other elite equipment to "fleet stores"
Limited time buffs
Aesthetic improvements to starbases
Fleet Officers will have the ability to assign specific fleet projects they want the fleet to focus on. Some of these "will be gated by the starbase's development in each of the three major categories of Military, Engineering and Science, but others will be available only at certain times with unique rewards for those fleets who are able to complete their strenuous requirements."

Contributing to a fleet project will reward a fleet member with a number of Fleet Merits commensurate to her individual contribution. All fleet stores will accept Fleet Merits for unique new ships, weapons, duty officers and other specialized equipment.

How are the starbases built?

As a fleet gains experience points in each of the three categories, the categories will improve in tier from Tier 0 through Tier V. As a starbase's Military, Engineering and Science categories improve in tier, new Fleet Projects will become available to the Fleet. Improving a starbase in each of the three categories will also improve the defensive capabilities of the starbase, a useful function during new starbase defense challenges.

With each improvement in a category's tier, associated starbase facilities in the same system as the starbase will improve. For example, increasing a starbase's Military tier will develop the system's shipyard facility, while increasing a starbase's Engineering tier will develop the system's Industrial Replicator and increasing the Science tier will affect the system's Communications Array. These will represent strategic vulnerabilities during starbase defenses and will also grant the starbase additional functionality and access to new Fleet Projects.

As a starbase's Military, Engineering, and Science categories improve in tier, the overall starbase will improve, unlocking additional functionality and increasing the size and grandeur of the starbase.

More of the nitty gritty

Just as each category (Military, Engineering and Science) has five tiers of development, so too does the overall starbase.

As the starbase's importance increases, it will face continued challenges and be forced to defend itself against attacks from an increasing selection of enemies. Starbases will also feature unique daily missions available to members for rewards that will further contribute to the development of the starbase.

According to Cryptic, starbase development will involve several steps:

Gather the resources necessary for various Fleet Projects.
Individual members contribute resources to a Fleet Project, gaining individual Fleet Merits commensurate to the individual's contribution.
When a Fleet Project meets the resource requirements, it will begin construction, whereupon the next queued Fleet Project will become available for contributions by fleet members.
When a Fleet Project's build-time completes, the effects of the project will appear. In addition, fleet experience points in the related category may include buffs, limited quantities of unique ships and equipment in fleet stores, new contacts and functionality on the Starbase interior, improved starbase defensive capabilities, and other possible effects.
When enough fleet experience points have been accrued in one of the three categories (Military, Engineering, Science) to attain the next development tier for that category, special upgrade Fleet Projects will become available.
Completing one of the special upgrade projects will advance the associated facility (Shipyard, Industrial Fabricator, Communications Array, or the Starbase itself) to the next tier.
To finish it all off, Cryptic stated that "future holdings in distant sectors in addition to starbases are also planned for the future."

That's not all, folks! As you can imagine, the release of information generated a lot of questions!, so stay tuned becuase later today you will see a special Captain's Log supplemental that will feature an exclusive interview with STO's Executive Producer, Daniel Stahl, to answer some of our questions about what to expect from the new fleet starbases and fleet advancement system.

Until then, 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 [email protected].

Captain's Log Supplemental: An exclusive interview with STO's Daniel Stahl
Posted Jun 4th 2012 12:00PM by Terilynn Shull
Filed under: Sci-fi, Interviews, Patches, Opinion, Star Trek Online, Free-to-play, Massively Interviews, Captain's Log

Following up on our exclusive look at the new fleet starbases and fleet advancement system due to arrive with Season Six of Star Trek Online, we've asked STO's Executive Producer, Daniel Stahl, a few questions about how the starbases will work and how they might affect different kinds of players.

One thing seems certain: Season Six might very well contain the most drastic changes the game has ever seen. So join us as we ask Dan some of the questions that came up after reading about the new system!

Massively: "Making fleets a more central and fundamental part of the Star Trek Online experience" will probably sound a bit foreboding to players who do not currently belong to a fleet or are in a small one. Will this game be turning away from play that will interest them, or will they feel pressured into either joining a fleet or larger fleet just so they can continue to play?

Daniel Stahl: It is not our intention that endgame be based solely around fleets. That said, whether players are in a fleet of one or 500, we hope that they will find something to enjoy about the new fleet system. Some of the missions in Season Six are specifically designed to be played by fleets, but all players will have access to them either through invites or through personal queues. In addition, there are several new missions that are open to all max-level players to play whether they are in a fleet or not. As we move into future seasons, you will see us continue to expand the fleet system while also introducing more gameplay focused on solo gameplay.

Will all assets, including Operational Assets and other required items to build the fleet starbases, be obtainable through gameplay?

Yes. Progressing your fleet and earning rewards will require items and currencies that may be earned through gameplay. For example, you may be asked to donate a variety of existing items such as weapons, energy credits, dilithium, or new items such as Fleet Marks that drop specifically in the new max-level content that is being released with Season Six. As you donate these items, progress is made toward completing projects, which will provide your fleet with both status and rewards. Fleet leaders decide which projects the fleet should be working on next.

The outline states that "as a fleet develops its starbase, it will face continued challenges and be forced to defend it against attack from an increasing selection of enemies as the starbase's importance increases." Will these be game-generated enemies or cross-faction fleets, or will same-faction fleets be forced to fight against one another? If so, do the victors retain spoils of conquest?

The challenges being released this season include an assortment of enemies that will be assaulting your faction's starbases (and in some cases, maybe even your fleet's starbase). While these challenges are not designed to have negative impacts (for example, your base can be temporarily disabled but not destroyed), the challenge comes by needing to perform well in order to earn the most Fleet Marks. Without Fleet Marks, it will be impossible to advance your Fleet's Projects. We are not releasing cross-faction or PvP fleet challenges at this time, but we reserve this as an option for future fleet holdings. Rumor has it that the Tholians will be making their first appearance in Fleet Starbase Challenges.

What sort of losses can occur?

While we discussed at length all sorts of nasty losses that could occur, in general we feel it is more fun to provide a positive challenge to perform well than have fleets lose progress. The only real loss that occurs is when you don't perform well in a challenge and thus earn fewer Fleet Marks for that run.

Is there a limit as to how many fleets will be allowed to build, or can any fleet undertake the process? When fleets turn into themselves to begin building their respective starbases, will the need for the game-wide social zones such as ESD, Academies and DS9 be moot?

Any fleet of any size can participate. All fleets can begin construction of their starbases immediately after Season Six releases. While we do expect that some fleets will use their own starbase for social events, there will be some features and services that are available only at social hubs such as Earth Space Dock. If you imagine a starbase as a cool guild hall, then looking at other games as an example, there will still be a need for large social zones where players can congregate.

What support or tools can a fleet expect to find in order to recruit new members without spamming the general social zones? What advice can you give in this regard?

While we do intend to make some updates to the Fleet UI, there is little we can do to prevent chat spamming other than the checks we currently have in place. One of the nice additions is that fleets will now have a Fleet Level, which will allow prospective fleet recruits some idea of how much progress a fleet has made before they join. Fleet Level will be obtained through completing Fleet Projects. Another cool feature will be the ability for fleet members to invite non-fleet members to their starbase, which may also help with recruiting.

The outline reflects that there will be three categories a fleet must focus on to improve its base development tier. Will the individual player's career path determine what categories she is able to contribute to, or will a tactical officer be able to assist in science category goals, etc.?

While the names of the categories are similar to those of player classes, there is no limitation or benefit to what projects fleet members may contribute to. The fleet categories do correspond to different assets and rewards you can contribute to on your starbase but are generally themed so that there is some symmetry with the types of items that need to be contributed.

With the advent of required defenses for the starbases, many casual-playing fleets will be concerned over their ability to be in-game when potential strikes occur. What assurances can you give to casual fleets that their efforts will not be useless? Will attacks be scaled to the number of fleet member in the instance? Besides building the bases and defending them, will fleets be able to pick up any other type of assignments from the area?

This is another reason we chose not to have negative consequences for Starbase Challenges. In some cases, an alert may pop up asking you to defend your starbase, but if you choose to ignore it (or aren't online), then nothing bad will really happen. You will simply lose out on the ability to earn more Fleet Marks. In most cases, players can choose when they want to play in Fleet Challenges by queuing to participate. Fleet Challenges are set for a specific number of players from five up to 20. There is also a new ground zone that will allow many more players to participate at once in order to earn Fleet Merits together. Once your starbase is established, it will have the opportunity to open up new missions and Duty Officer assignments in the future.

Is there any social aspect between fleets? Will visitors be allowed to enter the fleet instance without being a member of said fleet, or is it a members-only club?

Fleets may invite non-fleet members over for a visit; however, they may not have access to all of the amenities that have been unlocked for Fleet Members only.

So there you have it! Season Six is bearing down on us all, and it looks like starbases will be a great focus for players in both the Federation and Klingon factions. More information about the fleet advancement system and starbases will be found on the STO site and forums in the coming days, so keep your eyes peeled. And many thanks to Dan for chatting with us!

Until next week, live long and prosper!

There are only 2 more weeks left to purchase a Gamma Quadrant Duty Officer Cadre! Before they are discontinued, we are running a promotion that will provide a bonus when opening each pack.

From today until server maintenance during the morning (PDT) of Thursday, June 21st, every Gamma Quadrant Duty Officer Cadre you open also will include either 10 Lobi Crystals or a Jem'Hadar Attack Ship*! If you missed unlocking one of these vessels during the Winter Event, here's your opportunity!

*NOTE: The odds of winning the Jem’Hadar Attack Ship are rare but have been normalized based on the price of the Gamma Quadrant Duty Officer Cadre (220 CP) when compared to the Winter Packages (100 CP) we were selling during the Winter Event.

Here is some information about the Gamma Quadrant Duty Officer Cadre:

The Duty Officer system is expanding with new Assignments, new Duty Officers, new Traits, new Recruitment opportunities, new rewards (including MK XII consoles) and more! Be prepared for whatever comes with a Gamma Quadrant Duty Officer Cadre.

The Gamma Quadrant Duty Officer Cadre contains the following rarities:

o 4 Common Officers
o 2 Uncommon or Better Officers
o 1 Rare or Better Officers

Species available in the Gamma Quadrant Duty Officer Cadre:

o Bajoran (Federation only)
o Karemma (Federation only)
o Pardadan (Federation only)
o Tosk (Federation only)
o Ferasan (Klingon Empire only)
o Wadi (Klingon Empire only)
o Dosi (Klingon Empire only)
o Hunters (Klingon Empire only)
o Cardassian (Both Factions)
o Jem'Hadar (Both Factions)
o Vorta (Both Factions)

http://startrekonline.com/node/3218

Fleet Advancement Introduction

In this brand-new edition of Ask Cryptic, Executive Producer Dan Stahl delivers answers to player submitted questions.

Q: (James_Bailey) What upgrades for the Fleet System are being considered in Season 6.

Dstahl: If you are in a Fleet, one of the first new features that you will see in Season 6 is the new and updated Fleet User Interface. In addition to an updated Home Page, you’ll notice a new Tab for Fleet Holdings which will represent major projects that your Fleet has undertaken. The first of these new Fleet Holdings will be your Fleet Starbase. Once Season 6 goes live, Fleets may immediately travel to a specific system location and begin projects to construct and advance their Starbase. As players complete projects, they will earn Fleet Credits. As projects complete, the Fleet Starbase will undergo a transformation and unlock new rewards that players can spend their Fleet Credit on. In addition, new group focused missions are being added to help supply necessary items needed to advance your Fleet’s Holdings.

Q: (Capt.Rex) What happened to the Engineering Report

Dstahl: We’ve decided to merge the Engineering Report with the old State of the Game reports. Ask Cryptic will be released at the beginning of the month and the new State of the Game/ER will be released at mid-month. So look for the State of the Game in a couple weeks.

Q: (Alastor_Forthright) How will Fleets pay for and support their Fleet Bases? Will it be balanced so that Fleets that are small are not held to a disadvantage to larger Fleets with people constantly on?

Dstahl: Fleets will need to gather existing items as well as earn new items, such as Fleet Marks, in order to contribute towards Fleet Projects. Depending on the project, the mix of items needed can change. Items needed can include physical items such as Weapons or Gear, Commodities, Dilithium, Duty Offices, Fleet Marks, and just about anything else you can find in the game. Once you’ve gathered all the materials and kicked off the project, a standard project construction timer starts. This also means that if you have all the materials, there is only so much progress you can make at any given time, given the time needed for the projects to complete. We have pulled a lot of statistics on what the average, active Fleet size is and we are ensuring that it is not impossible for small Fleets (which are the majority) to have a viable progression path.

Q: (Armsman) What is the final decision regarding production of any future Featured Episode series for STO?

Dstahl: One of the benefits of a MMO versus a traditional “ship it and you’re done” game is that there is no such thing as a “Final Decision”; we can add to the game continuously. We will continue to make awesome story content in Star Trek Online well into the future. While there is no Featured Episode series slated for Season 6 release, we have already started planning on the next chapter in one of the primary stories you’ve been following in the game. Whether we tell this story through Featured Episodes, or something even cooler, will be a mystery that you’ll have to ponder on for a little while longer as we focus on the new Fleet Advancement System and the new Fleet Challenges.

Q: (Tricksterbro) Any new info on what new mission content will be coming our way in the next 6 months – 1 year?

Dstahl: In addition to the new Fleet Challenges and Tholian missions being added in Season 6, we are in the process of scheduling out the details of Season 7 and up through our 3rd Anniversary. Other than saying that Season 7 will be focused on Story, there aren’t any details that we are going to be sharing at this time.

Q: (Commadore_Bob) The community seems to have latched onto the Ferasans. Any chance we will see some more Ferasan-specific additions (Ships, missions, weapons, etc.)?

Dstahl: We are thrilled that so many players enjoyed the new KDF playable species. While we don’t have any specific plans for Ferasan ships or gear at the moment, now that the species is represented in the game, we will have the opportunity for future story-driven content to flesh out their backstory or contributions to the Klingon Empire.

Q: (Maxxina) What is the official launch date of Season 6 on Holodeck?

Dstahl: No official launch date yet. Keep an eye out for announcements about Season 6 going to the public test server (TRIBBLE).

Q: (Roman12291969) Is there any way the Galaxy map can open up, and make that real time? Where fleets can really have a stake in what’s happening, and you can actually fight for key sectors?

Dstahl: The ideas about having a territory control game or one big sector are exciting to the team. This is one of those features on our to-do list, but it’s not on our current schedules. We have several steps in-between planned in order to get us to a place where we could do that. Having Fleet operated Starbases is one of those steps.

Q: (Lord-Ice) Is it possible that we’ll ever be able to assign our Bridge Officers to command our alternate ships as AI Space allies?

Dstahl: We have toyed around with the idea that you could assign your First Officer as Captain of one of your other ships and thus have something that is similar to an away team in space, where your Bridge Officer follows you to assist. We believe that this concept fits best with the eventual release of the Admiral rank and are saving it for consideration at that time.

Q: (KBFLordKrueg) When are we going to get new, non-time gated, not-mandatory 5 man, KDF faction playable missions?

Dstahl: This topic has been discussed quite a bit over the last year, and the current plan is to focus efforts on expanding the game at higher levels for both factions. While Season 6 does have many Fleet oriented missions requiring fleets of more than one player, there are a few solo missions that will be available as part of the release of the new Tholian enemy faction. While we have released solo KDF missions such as Alpha earlier this year, the team will continue to focus on mission based content new to both factions.

Q: (KnightTemplar_99) Is there any future plans for more sectors, particularly in the Alpha Quadrant? … the majority of the Federation is in the Alpha Quadrant, yet the game itself is about 80% Beta Quadrant.

Dstahl: We have plans to add sectors to both the Beta and Alpha Quadrant that will open up as we advance the Romulan/Reman, FED/KDF war, and Iconian plots. By the time we’ve touched on those stories, the galaxy map will be more representative for the factions currently in the game.

Q: (Kingdox) Are there any more shuttle missions, beyond the newest Vault event, being worked on?

Dstahl: Before we add any more shuttle specific missions, we want to add some tech that will allow players to select a default “small craft” for missions. This would allow you to queue for missions like the Vault without needing to swap back and forth between your ships and wait for the queue to fire. Once that is in, we plan to add more gameplay that will take advantage of that.

Q: (Body_Surfer) Who is the target audience for STOs continued development? Long Term players who will make STO their game of choice for years, or short term players who will play for a few months and move on?

Dstahl: There is no target audience other than the people who like to play STO. We will continue to develop this game for the foreseeable future to ensure that all STO players (past or present) have new and exciting challenges awaiting them the next time they log in. The more we can focus the game on Star Trek, the better. Whenever we release a new Season of Star Trek Online, it ushers in a wave of new features and additions to the game. Our team is currently crunching on the release of Season 6, and as soon as that is released, we will immediately begin work on Season 7. In between the Seasonal releases, you will continue to see small updates made to the game in the form of C-Store releases and minor events. When most of your players aren’t paying a dime to play the game, this allows us to maintain our staff and continue to deliver the best Seasonal Updates. Now that we’ve nearly filled all of our open positions, my expectation is that Season 7 will be the biggest single update we’ve made since we launched the game.

Q: (N.Bridger) PWE said Cryptic Studios is their R&D. What does that mean for us the players?

Dstahl: While I only speak for STO, here is my opinion on that paraphrase: Perfect World Entertainment (PWE) is the North American subsidiary of Perfect World Co., Ltd (PW). As a regional office, PWE is responsible for developing and publishing games that work well in the markets they serve. Up until the acquisition of Cryptic Studios, PWE relied on localizing games that had been developed by the PW office or other 3rd Party Studios. By purchasing Cryptic Studios, PWE not only gained a development studio with experience in F2P MMOs, but also gained a studio that is in close proximity to their office. This allows us to meet and collaborate on current and future MMO products that are specifically designed for PWE’s target market of North America and Europe. The fact that Cryptic already brings to the table the F2P MMOs of Champs, STO, and NW is icing on the cake. As a player, this means that PWE is investing Cryptic Studios to not only deliver quality new F2P MMOs built from the ground up for this market (e.g. Neverwinter), but to also develop new products that pursue the future of MMO gaming. It is a great partnership in my opinion.

Q: (Jared1701) Are there still plans to bring crafting, a working shuttle bay, and new mini games to ship interiors and if so when?

Dstahl: These items had shown up in previous Engineering Reports as designs we were discussing and wanting to put in the game, but are not currently being worked on. At this time, we are focused on Starbase interiors. Neverwinter is working on a Foundry addition to build custom interior spaces (room by room). Once this feature is done and ready, we will have the opportunity to import something similar into STO. At that time, we would consider opening up the ability for players to fully customize their own ship interiors room by room and prop by prop. That is a ways off at this point, though.

Q: (LtSmith) Will we see more content involving the Undine? After all, I though the whole background of STO was about the Undine infiltration after reading the novel “The Needs of the Many” and reading about the game back during beta.

Dstahl: There are several stories in STO that are key elements of future updates: the Undine and their relationship to the Iconians (as well as the location of Sela), The FED/KDF war, and the fallout after the destruction of Romulus – will there be a Rom/Rem civil war? So while Season 6 is focused primarily on Fleets and the introduction of the Tholians, future Seasons will begin to address some of these outstanding story elements.

Q: (LightningPromo) FPS styled PVP Ground Maps? (aka Star Trek Voyager Elite Force)

At the moment, our PvP focus is on improving space combat because that is where the majority if PvP is taking place in STO. Once we are happy with improvements being made to Space PVP, we can begin the process of analyzing how to make Ground PvP better and more in line with the match types you see in other MMOs. Due to the server/client nature of MMOs and how players maneuver in the game engine, we do not expect to see true FPS mechanics in STO. The current implementation of Point and Target is the closest STO will get to FPS.

Q: (GT01) What happened to the extra Android BOFF options? We were informed that we’d not only get male and female Androids to choose from, but that we’d also have Tactical and Science branch officers to choose from too.

Dstahl: This question required some investigation to determine what happened. Turns out that at the time there was an issue that prevented those additions from happening. That issue appears to be resolved in Season 6 and so now it boils down to having one of the developers revisit this and put in the options.

Q: (Direphoenix) We never got an update as to the status of the various faction comm badges we were previewed in May. What happened to them?

Dstahl: The Art Team working on STO is awesome. They do a fantastic job of bringing as much Star Trek detail into the game as possible. An artist may see something in Star Trek and have a strong desire to see how that would work in our game. This leads to a lot of pre-production and concept art sitting on the raw game archives. Take the Borg Queen for example. You’ve seen her for over a year and yet she isn’t in game anywhere yet. By having tons of Star Trek props and concepts premade in 3D, the art team is able to brainstorm proof of concepts to convince people like myself that specific items you see in Star Trek could be added to the game. The comm badges that were twittered over a year ago are great examples of some of this pre-production art. They exist on the raw art archive to show that we could add these badges to the game, but as of yet we’ve reserved them for use in the future.

Q: (Kirkfat) Players don’t really get rewards for playing some of the best story missions in the game (via the Foundry). Will this ever change?

Dstahl: As a prolific Foundry author, you bring up a valid point about rewards. The answer is yes, it will change. We have always wanted to find the right way to offer rewards for Foundry missions without leading to abuse of the reward system. Our temporary solution is to start featuring Foundry content similar to what you’ve been seeing in the in-game bulletins as the Foundry Spotlight. Based on the success we’ve had with this low budget form of promoting Foundry missions, we plan to make it a full blown feature in the Mission Journal. By doing so, Foundry Spotlight missions will be setup similar to how Feature Episodes are promoted within the Journal. This will allow us to attach premium rewards to specific player made content that is being featured. This also allows us to prevent abuse of the reward system, while rewarding high quality player-built missions with excellent rewards so that players have even more incentives to play them. There are some technical features required in order to make this happen, but we have already started the ball rolling to get this in shortly after Season 6 releases.

Q: (Q400) When will we see any major changes to the Foundry?

Dstahl: Well that depends on what you define as “major”. In Season 6 we are making a massive overhaul of the underlying code that makes the Foundry work, but my expectation is that players are not going to deem this as a “major” change. The reason we are making this overhaul is because we want to inherit all the cool new Foundry features that have been and are still being made for Neverwinter. Without making this overhaul, the Foundry code between the two games would continue to diverge and make it more unlikely that we would ever be able to include new features such as editing interiors room by room. With the wealth of amazing Foundry content that has been made over the last year, our number one priority for Season 6 is to ensure that existing Foundry missions are safe and secure as we shift around the underlying code. Season 6 will bring some new assets, maps, UI improvements, and minor editing features, but the bulk of what you might consider “major” Foundry changes will not happen until after Neverwinter completes the cool features for their launch build. For any STO Foundry authors who are eager to see what these major features might be, it is in your interest to do whatever you can to get into the Neverwinter Beta (with Foundry) to see what has been added and make suggestions and provide feedback since these are the features that will be making their way to STO once they are ready to ship.

Q: (Gornman47) After the KDF is brought up to par with the Federation, then make the Romulan faction and devote 2 Seasons to developing them please! What are your thoughts on this?

Dstahl: Are we going to go back and make a KDF tutorial? Are we going to add enough content to take a new KDF player from level 1 to 18? Will we ever be able to play a KDF as our first character without having to level up a Fed character first? When can we play a Romulan? These are all great questions and ones that have been discussed frequently in prior Ask Cryptic articles as well as the STO Forums. In the past, I’ve been party to a lot of that speculation by talking about it frequently in both the Engineering Reports and on the forums. It is often fun to discuss open issues like this with the player base to get feedback and see reactions to ideas that are proposed. Unfortunately, it has also led to a lot of frustration and expectations that are skewed and or informed on old discussions.

As we mentioned last month, the current discussion is where best to spend our resources. Based on overwhelming data that suggests nearly all players are max level and wanting new things to do, it makes sense that we are spending most of our effort on building content that both factions can play at max level. These players are also wondering, “what comes next?”

Season 6 will be the first step in answering this question. It will involve a new Fleet Advancement System and new repeatable content that is only accessible by max level players. It introduces Tholians which, to begin with, will only appear in max level content. It also sets the stage for some of the stories we want to tell that will involve both factions as we move past max level.

So where do the Romulans fit in all of this? We’ve been thinking about this for a long time. We have a plan. You’ll just have to wait and see how it plays out. Until then, you’re not going to see me talk much about it or speculate about what could be until it happens.

Q: (Picardalpha2clearance) When will we be able to select the number of Boffs, more than 5 boffs, and bring them down with us no matter what mission we are on? When will we be able to bring our full away team and also team up with up to 5 Captains? When will we be able to bring our away team with us on Fleet Actions, STFS, PVP Ground etc…

Dstahl: As it is now, missions are designed with difficulty scaled for a specific maximum number of bridge officers. We chose five in the early designs of the game because it fit well with IP, and thus the UI is designed for a maximum of 5 characters. This also means that all of the possible enemies that you fight in the game are also designed to scale up to a maximum of 5 characters. So in order for us to increase the maximum number of Boffs beyond 5, it would be a pretty significant undertaking that requires updating a lot of various data all throughout the game. That said, we do often make specific decisions to disallow Boffs on some maps. T is where we will take your questions and feedback, and consider whether or not we would ever allow players to run STFs with their Boffs or not. In some cases it would require changes to how mission logic is written, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility.

Q: (diogene0) We need more Foundry versatility. Why not release something closer to what the current mission builders use? We could make custom interiors, ground maps. Do you fear that players could do a better job than your team?

Dstahl: If you are referring to allowing the ability to “MOD” the game, then it becomes an issue of security and maintaining strict control of our assets. Our goal with the Foundry was not to create a MOD tool, but to allow players to use something very similar to our in game editor to write their own missions using existing assets. This allows missions created by players to exist in the same game world as the live shard. That said, the Foundry teams are working on toolsets that will allow more flexibility in designing interiors and possibly even ground maps. You’ll see some of these features in the Neverwinter Beta with the goal of having those features trickle into STO in the future. Instead of fearing what players can do, we encourage players to spend the time making content that is awesome. By doing this, we have one of the most amazing player driven content communities out there. Our goal is to keep providing tools that will allow players to build even more complex and beautiful missions in the future. It also has led to some job interviews for players who have made some great missions.

Q: (PhyrexianHero) When can we expect to see a Betazed sector? Trill? Ferenginar?

Dstahl: The Alpha Quadrant sector you are referring to is one of the sectors we have on our schedule for a future update. While I can’t go into further details as to when it will be released, we already have a sector map laid out and locations selected. You’ll have to stay tuned for more details in the future.

Q: (Sean2448) Will STF standard gear ever be tradable between characters on your account?

Dstahl: The Omega and MACO rewards are something that have come up recently in our discussions around economies that we want to clean up and reward structures that need to be improved. Not only is it complicated to earn all the tokens necessary for the rewards, but it is cumbersome on your inventory. This is something we plan to overhaul with something very similar to how the new Fleet Advancement system will work. Once that system is live, we can begin development on a way to clean up the STF rewards and how the STF economies work.

Q: (Fleet_Admiral_Joy) Will you ever add archiving into the Foundry so we can save our maps and costumes without having to keep importing?

Dstahl: Your frustration has been heard. While working on the Foundry in Neverwinter, this was one of the top requests that the development team is keenly aware of. While they haven’t promised anything specific, there has been a lot of discussion about libraries and shared assets to simplify the process of sharing and storing work, rather than the need to pass around text files. There is no ETA on when something like this would happen, but the best news I can provide is that it is a very popular feature request with the team.

Q: (DTums) Are there any plans to expand content or rewards for gold members?

Dstahl: We do plan to introduce further Gold member benefits as they make sense. For example, the Account Shared Bank is a C-Store service being released this month and will come with some free bank slots for Gold members past and present (you’ll get the slots even if you are currently Silver but were at one time Gold).

Q: (Cuatela) Do you have plans to update existing costumes like allowing sandals to be worn with the Warrior’s Skirt or add new costume options like bare feet or both FED and KDF?

Dstahl: There are no specific tasks on the Season 6 schedule to do this, but these are great suggestions and I’ll forward them to the character art team. They will often take suggestions like these and other posts made in the Character Art forum and incorporate them into updates we make in the future.

Q: (mindwipecjg) With the upcoming Fleet Starbases can we look forward to an option where you can gain additional duty officer missions?

Dstahl: While we are still finalizing the details of how Duty Officers connect with Fleet Starbases, we can say that Duty Officers will be a requirement for the completion of Fleet Projects. We also expect Duty Officers to be involved in the earning of additional Fleet Marks. There are no specifics on whether that means additional duty officer missions yet. This is the kind of feedback we’ll be looking for when the Fleet Advancement system and Season 6 hit the Tribble Test Servers this month.

Q: (starlazers) Are there any plans to add new STF Space sets to the STF store or even just new space sets to the game with S6 or soon after?

Dstahl: The new Fleet Advancement system has a whole list of projects that need to be completed. Every project and every unlocked tier of your Starbase will open up new rewards. If you want to confirm whether or not this includes a new space set, then you’ll have to check out the system for yourself when it goes to Tribble this month!

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I did want one of those Jem Hadar ships. But I still haven't spent any money on points or whatever for this game. Just don't play enough to make it worth while I think...

Stele wrote:

I did want one of those Jem Hadar ships. But I still haven't spent any money on points or whatever for this game. Just don't play enough to make it worth while I think...

Understand that - F2P is kind of a weird beast. If you have tons of time you can get everything you want by earning Dilithium and exchanging it for CP without spending a dime. However if you are a casual player you will have to spend money on CP to speed things up...

Still I feel STO is one of the better F2P models out there - there is no content gates between free players and subs.