For those of you that didn't know, Cryptic Studios is developing a Star Trek based MMO game; will be out on PC and the XBox360, PS3 being another possibility. Great thing about it, PC players and game console players will be able to play together on the same servers, if they choose. Considering that multitude of ST fans, this game could easily rival World of Warcraft in terms of members/players.
I'm glad it's being set in the later timeline rather than that of the new movie. It hopefully means encounters with all the best bad guys, the Borg, species 8472, the Dominion, the Cardassians. Being confined to the Romulans and Klingons would be too limiting.
Ok, this is the list of details for the game itself:
There will be a lot of references to familiar storylines and characters, and certainly some familiar locations, but mainly this is supposed to be your experience. [CZ1]
At launch, you'll be a member of either Starfleet or the Klingon Defense Force, but other factions may be added later on, such as "the Dominion and the Romulans". [LVWc] Privateering may be possible later on. [JE3]
You might not be able to play a Klingon Starfleet officer or a Human fighting for the Empire, but the character creator will allow you to create something similar. [AC4]
With Starfleet, you start out with a ship of the Miranda configuration.
If your whole party is wiped out while you're doing a mission, you should be able to pick up where you left off. [CZ11] You won't lose your ship when it's destroyed. [CZ10]
You shouldn't have to play for hours on end to be competitive.
You don't have to be a Trek-fan to enjoy this game, but you'll learn a lot about Star Trek in the process. [LVWc]
Where possible, the game will provide non-violent ways to resolve conflicts. [AC2]
Time travel may be in the game, but because each era requires a lot of work, it will be limited. [JE2]
Crafting will be present in the sense that you can tinker with your systems. [JE3]
The game takes place in the classical timeline, not in that of the 2009 movie. [Source]
The game takes place in 2409; roughly 30 years after Star Trek: Nemesis.
The Khitomer Accords are "long past". [LVWc] The Federation and the Klingons are at the verge of war with each other.
Gorn, Nausicaans and Orion are on the Klingon side. [CZ4] Humans, Vulcans, Bajorans, Andorians, Ferengi, and Tellarites are playable Federation races. [GI186]
An ancient threat out of Star Trek canon will reemerge. [GCI08]
On top of being at war with the Federation, the Klingon Empire has annexed Romulan space, reclaiming Khitomer, and apparently entering into hostilities with the Gorn Hegemony.
The Romulan Empire is crumbling, as is the Cardassian Union. Romulus and Remus have been destroyed in an event that also killed the contemporary Praetor along with the ruling council of the Senate.
Bajor is on the way to Federation membership.
The production of mobile emitters and Soong-type androids is being researched into. [Path]
Starship battles are tactical and slow-pace ("like tall ships"); you will be able to give commands such as "Repair a hull breach on deck X" or "Reroute energy from engines to weapons".
Ground-based combat will be more fast-paced, with both melee and ranged attacks. Defensive options like using personal shields and ducking for cover will be available.
Tactics will probably not be just like traditional MMOG tactics, with tanks and buffers and so forth. [LVWc]
You can move around and fight in three dimensions, but often players will just naturally choose to keep fairly "level" during combat. Cryptic doesn't "want it to be a dogfight". [CCMG]
There are familiar races to choose from, but you can also create your own.
You can "mix and match" features from already existing races when creating a new species, but there will also be a lot of original body parts available. [AC4]
The species will be balanced, even when some would argue that canon suggests they should not be. So, for instance, Vulcans won't be just plain superior to Humans in every measurable sense. [AC10]
When you select a faction, you cannot select a species from the other faction (for instance, playing an Orion in Starfleet will not be a pre-defined option). However, you can create that race in the character editor and call it whatever you want, no matter what faction you're with.
The character editor does not only allow you to determine what your species looks like, but also what abilities come with it.
At launch, all characters created will be humanoid.
When you've created the blueprint for a species, you can share it with your friends, so that they can create a character based on your design. [AC9]
The three major careers are Engineering, Science and Tactical. There is a lot of customization within the career. [CZ10]
You will unlock different starship configurations that encompass several ships of similar design (for instance, the Miranda-class and Centaur-type ships have design traits in common that separate them from many other ships). You can modify all the different parts of the ship, and upgrade the various systems, but you will always be able to tell roughly what configuration it is based on (a Miranda-class variant always looks like a Miranda-class variant, as opposed to a modded Defiant). [AC8] Here is a demonstration of this. [CZ13]
There are over a dozen of these configurations.
Your ship configuration determines which of your bridge officers can be active. For instance, an escort-type ship may have more Tactical officers on the bridge than a science ship. [CZ10]
There is additional diversity in ship customization on the Klingon side because the different species' (Klingons, Gorn, Orion, etc.) ships are very different from each other. [CZ10]
You can pick your ship name and registry number. [JE1]
Uniforms can be customized to some extent. [AC3]
In the future, players may get access to more of the tools, allowing them to create missions and the like. [JE3]
Canon vs. Apocrypha:
The shows and films are law.
Non-canon sources - such as novels and comic books - will also be looked to for inspiration.
Every member of the team has to watch an entire series; some are reading the books. [LVWc]
A "vital part"; certainly something they're discussing. [LVWc]
Economy and crafting:
Trade will be flowing within the various factions and between them; the players will be "expediting this".
You will be competing for resources more than outright fighting other players for them. [LVWc]
Exploration and locations:
Space exploration takes place on different scales: Galaxy, sector and system.
On the galactic map, you can see what different sectors you can visit.
Upon selecting a sector, you will be taken to the sector map, where you will see a tactical overview of the sector, with information on the various systems you can visit. Click here for more details on this.
Once you have entered a particular system, you control your ship through 3D space from a third-person point of view. [GI186]
Ship interiors will probably be limited to missions, at start, but hopefully at some point in time you'll be able to bring other players aboard to socialize with them. [CZ3]
The game takes place in outer space, onboard ships and planetside.
"Infinite exploration", with new worlds constantly being created by sophisticated software.
Technology and knowledge acquired through exploration will be "funneled back" to your faction. What faction benefits more from a civilization depends on how much "favor" they have with it.[LVWc]
Travel time will be "semi-realistic". There will be transwarp conduits and wormholes to help you traverse long distances faster. [OFAQ]
You cannot enter warp at a whim within a star system; impulse is the norm. You can warp between planets within a system, however.
In the sector view, you will be able to choose a warp factor based on your Engineer's skills and the quality of your warp engines. [AC8]
The environment will be built to encourage socialization; for instance, some travel routes will be better than others, thus increasing player density through those.
Many planetside environments will be instanced. [JE2]
You can name stars and planets you discover. [JE3]
"With the first link, the chain is forged. The first speech censured... the first thought forbidden... the first freedom denied – chains us all irrevocably."
Within a fleet you can "pull your resources" to create various structures such as mining plants and space stations, enabling you to build better ships to "be handed out to the rest of the fleet".
"Some things can only be accomplished by a lot of people working together." [LVWc]
Although players in Fleets will likely end up establishing some sort of chain of command, there will probably not be game mechanics in place for ordering other players to perform certain tasks. [CZ8]
Fleets will have "basically any of the guild mechanics that you are used to". [IGN2]
Missions and events:
Missions in Star Trek Online will feature a mix of scripted and randomly generated content. [CZ6] These procedurally generated missions are "designed to take you to a number of widely differing environments during a single gameplay session." [EL1]
You can do away missions with your NPC crewmembers or with other players. Your away team will consist of five characters (PCs or NPCs). [IGN1] The Captain is always a part of the away team. [AC10]
You'll receive missions and instructions from central command.
Missions are "fully cooperative"; sometimes you'll have to team up with other players to accomplish your goals.
Select your away team well; you'll be able to make use of the different members' abilities to secure success.
There are "tours of duty", consisting of several missions.
There will be dynamic events (such as Borg invasions and the like) on top of pre-scripted missions. [LVWc]
Starships and crews:
You can keep your old ship when you get a new one. You can keep on upgrading one of your old ships to make it more powerful, but in the end higher-tier ships have greater potential. [AC6]
You will be in control of your own starship, but you will not start out with the rank of Captain.
You will have a fully customizable and partially controllable Bridge Crew, similar to "pets" in many MMOGs.
You will also have tens, even hundreds of lower ranking officers; your "redshirts".
You will receive bonuses depending on your crewmembers' races/species.
Members of the alien races you encounter may join your crew. [LVWc]
You control how your NPCs progress. [CZ6]
No cooperative bridge play, at least not at launch. [GCI08]
While there probably won't be much conversation with your NPC crewmembers, they'll be the ones keeping you up to speed on what's going on around you. [CZ3]
You can transfer power between a ship's various systems, and do things like balance shield power.
There will probably not be a traditional "mana bar" that controls your base abilities (such as firing phasers and photon torpedoes), but rather a number of cool-down timers. More advanced abilities may have something like a mana bar associated with them. [AC8]
There may be occasions when you can commandeer a ship of a different faction than your own, but you won't get to keep it. [AC7]
Yes; definitely. [LVWc]
Open PvP only in designated areas (both space and planetside).[AC3] Consensual PvP in contested areas. [OFAQ] [Dev comment]
PvP is in-between the factions, but there may be wargames/dueling within factions. [JE1]
The Federation-Klingon Neutral Zone will be "static", but areas near it will change affiliation depending on who's winning. [CZ7]
Corporate and technical:
No pricing decisions have been made as of March, 2009. [CZ12]
Atari aims to release the game during or prior to the first quarter of 2010. [GS2] [CPR]
This short development cycle is provided by Cryptic's experience and already existent game engine.
Game shouldn't be too demanding in terms of hardware.
CBS "has been great" working with Cryptic Studios.
Animation will be done manually, not using motion capture.
You wanna be a beta tester? You can't sign up for it yet, but you should join the forum; that's always where they go first!
The number of servers has not been decided, but they'd like to have just one big server.
This should be a game for "children of all ages", although Emmert stresses the importance of parental supervision for younglings.
LINUX and Mac? Not at launch! [LVWc]
The game is being developed for both PCs and consoles. [OFAQ]
The development team will stay on after the game is launched, so as to guarantee that post-release content is of high quality. [CZ8]
With Starfleet, you start out with a ship of the Miranda configuration. [CZ11]
There will be some stealth abilities. Starfleet cloaking? Uncertain, but there will definitely be some stealth abilities.
There are plans to include content related to the Mirror Universe and Section 31. [GCI08]
There will be different types of tricorders, and how you can use them depends on you character's abilities. [CZ2]
Multi-Vector Assault Mode and saucer separation probably won't be in at launch.
Cryptic has been talking to a few "celebrities" [CZ3], as well as with Bad Robot and IDW [CZ5], although nothing further has been disclosed at this point.
There will be collision detection both on the ground and in space, although ships will not take damage from accidentally bumping into each other. There is, however, a ramming skill that you can choose; this allows you to do damage to another ship, and the ability to use self-destruct to deal damage.
There will be a tractor/repulsor beam that you can use. One use of this could be to repel ships that are about to explode, so as not to go down with them. [AC10]
There will be a "Captain's Log" which contains a lot of info about what you've experienced in the game. [AC8]
There will be "all sorts of medals and accolades that you can achieve by exploration."
It does not seem likely that Borg will be playable; definitely not at launch.
Holograms and changeling have been considered as possible crewmembers.
The rank of Admiral will be attainable.
There will probably be some sort of "raid" content, although in exactly what form is a bit uncertain. [CZ8]
There are some very big creatures on the ground, and even larger ones in space. [CZ11]
STARGAZER CLASS (Path narrative, not sure what this looks like yet)
__________ CLASS (gameplay trailer, commonly referred to as "shovelhead")
__________ CLASS (gameplay trailer, commonly referred to as "peace sign")
__________ CLASS "NX-91001" (ships of the line)
__________ CLASS FIGHTER (gameplay trailer, possibly Peregrine Class)
__________ CLASS (FROM NYCC SCREEN SHOT)
MIRANDA CLASS (several screen shots and MSN video)
GALAXY CLASS (gameplay trailer)
CENTAUR CLASS (screen shot)
SABER CLASS (screen shot)
SOVEREIGN CLASS (gameplay trailer)
DEFIANT CLASS (dev mentioned)
NEBULA CLASS (dev mentioned)
PROMETHEUS CLASS (dev mentioned)
LUNA CLASS (path narrative)
OLYMPIC CLASS (path narrative)
AKIRA CLASS (screen shot)
INTREPID CLASS (dev mentioned, per ZInk 3/31 voon chat DEFINATELY IN!)
AMBASSADOR CLASS (gameplay trailer)
OSLO CLASS (ships of the line)
NORWAY CLASS (ships of the line narrative)
ZEPHYR CLASS (ships of the line narrative)
EXCALIBUR CLASS (ships of the line)
__________________ In case we find ourselves starting to believe all the Anti-American sentiment and negativity, we should remember England 's Prime Minister Tony Blair's words during an interview. When asked by one of his Parliament members why he believes so much in America , he said:
"A simple way to take measure of a country is to look at how many want in... And how many want out."