starfleet

Star Trek Online Details Revealed

startrekonline We have finally seen Star Trek Online, and while they shared a lot of good information, I don’t think they showed nearly enough gameplay footage. Before we get into the details, I have to say that I am encouraged by the amount of knowledge Cryptic showed about setting and types of stories that are told in the Star Trek series, but the arrogance of the team and the fact that they brought up the nerfing of characters in their first release of gameplay footage worries me.  Grant it, the comments where made in jest, but I am uncomfortable with any developer talking about who to blame for messing up a game while that game is still in development.  I can only hope they will stay true to the vision they laid out and not sacrifice the setting and the story in a vain grasp for popular appeal.

Game Development

Developers Must Watch Series

Cryptic made it mandatory for all of the developers to watch at least one entire series of Star Trek.  They are mining the series and the books to provide detail to the setting as well as inspiration to guide gameplay systems.

Built on the Champions Engine

Star Trek Online is being built on the Champions Online (available in April) game engine.  As soon as they got the license, they began building content and in-game systems.  Once Champions Online comes out we will have a better idea whether this is a blessing or a curse.

Game Takes place Post Star Trek Nemesis

Star Trek Online will take place after the events of Star Trek Nemesis.  Relations with the Klingons are breaking down, and the Federation is in a state of turmoil.  The developers are using the books and series for setting information, especially for information regarding the state of the galaxy after the film.  The films and series are considered hard canon, while the books are considered soft canon.

Windows Only on Release

Cryptic will not have a Linux or Mac version on first release , but left the window open for future version.  They are planning to release the game in less than three years.

Graphics and Requirements

The animations in the game are going to be hand drawn rather than relying on motion capture.  Having played City of Heroes/City of Villains, I am encourage by this.  Any company that can make superheroes look and act naturally in the setting should not have much trouble with aliens and starships.

The game will be playable on as may  computers as possible so, like World of Warcraft, it will be playable on laptops as well as towers without requiring an expensive overhaul of your gaming system.

Gameplay

startrekonline_planet Character and Ship

Every player will be the captain of their own ship.

Play as one of the classic races or create your own with what was described as a City of Heroes style character designer which will give the player many customizable features.

Captains will have a specialty: science, tactical, navigation, diplomacy, or medical.

Gameplay will be squad based.  Each captain will recruit NPC staff they will bring with them on away missions with their own skills and talents.  They will effect away missions, and possibly even the ships stats.  Control over the away teams will be more like City of Villains than City of Heroes where the captain will be able to issue orders and have them carried out.  Players will be able to recruit staff from the races they encounter.

Star Trek Online will not be a level based MMO.  The abilities will be determined by the crew and new ships will be earned as a character gains renown.

The exteriors and interiors of Ships will be customizable.  Within the parameters of the ships class, each vessel will be customizable.   Even the bridge, engineering sections, medical, and holodecks.  I wish they would have said more about the holodecks.

Missions and Tours of Duty

Star Fleet or the Klingon High Council will issued players tours of duty.  In the way this was described, it sounds like you might also receive random distress calls as well as making first contact with randomly generated races.

The Borg or the Tholians will randomly invade. I presume this will be handled like a Rikti in City of Heroes.

Cryptic is planning several style of mission for varied gameplay:

  • Combat
  • Exploration
  • Science
  • Diplomatic

I hope they do not make these noncombat missions into nothing more than running  around clicking on things.  The possibilities are endless if they take advantage of them.

Groups and Guilds

Players can team up in task forces to work on missions together.  They can also band together into fleets.  Fleets are required to have:

  • Star Bases
  • Ship Yards
  • Resource Gathering.

Player v Player

Star Trek Online will not be a PVP centric game.  At launch, PVP will be between the Klingons and the Federation.

Servers

Cryptic hopes have the game take place on a single server so everyone will play in the same world.

I hope to get into the beta, and I wonder if we should start recruiting for the fleet now.

Star Trek XI: the final sell out?

I love Star Trek, and I always will. I pray that it will one day be freed from the purgatory it has found itself. So, this is a hard subject for me, but I can't stay quiet anymore about the upcoming Star Trek film. Let's start from the beginning: 4.21.06

J.J. Abrams, producer of hit shows Lost and Alias, as well as director of the upcoming Paramount film "Mission: Impossible III," is slated to produce and possibly direct the next Star Trek feature...it will be the eleventh in the franchise. (Until a title is selected, we will usually refer to the project as simply "Star Trek XI.")... it is a confirmed project under development with a 2008 release date targeted... According to Variety, the proposed story will focus on the early days of James T. Kirk and Spock, including their first meeting at Starfleet Academy and their first mission in space. UPDATE 04.27.06: Abrams has since indicated this may not be the case; see this article [below] for his recent comments... Rick Berman... is not involved in this project (Star Trek.com).

The afore mentioned update:
Fans around the world whooped for joy... at news that the Star Trek franchise was being resuscitated with M:I:3 director JJ Abrams... News that it would adopt the long-mooted concept of Kirk and Spock's youthful adventures at Starfleet Academy provoked a more mixed reaction... "The whole thing was reported entirely without our cooperation," says the director with a hint of regret. "People learned that I was producing a Star Trek film, that I had an option to direct it, they hear rumours of what the thing was going to be and ran with a story that is not entirely accurate."...Abrams... is a confirmed Original Series fan so don't be surprised if his take on the series does indeed take place around the era of Kirk and co, or if some of the established characters do make a reappearance. "Those characters are so spectacular. I just think that… you know, they could live again (Empire Online.com)."

I didn't whoop for joy. I bit my nails and hoped that the worst would not happen, but Abrams' words did make me feel better... and then...

Matt Damon told SCI FI Wire that he's open to assuming the role of Capt. James T. Kirk in the proposed 11th Star Trek movie, but denied previous rumors that he is already in line for the iconic role, which was originated by William Shatner. "If the script was good, I'd do it," Damon said in an interview while promoting his latest film, The Good Shepherd. "But, yeah, I heard that [rumor]. I think J.J. Abrams or somebody said that at [a] press junket or something, and it got picked up [by the media and Star Trek fans] (SciFi Wire)."

And let me guess, Ben Affleck will play Spock?

Ok, it is all just rumors right now anyway, but I am getting really nervous about all this. At least if they hire Damon, he is too old to play an academy Kirk. That's it. I have played in the rumor mill. I'm out.