Questions by Benjamin J. de la
Durantaye, Executive Editor, Ten Ton Hammer
Answers by Al Rivera, Star
Trek Online (Cryptic Studios)
To many players, crafting in a MMOG is just as important as any other
component and Star Trek Online is no different. This week Ten Ton
Hammer had a nice lengthy chat with Al Rivera from Cryptic Studios who
revealed all about tradeskills in STO. The crafting is quite unique,
going where no MMOG has gone before. We know, that catchphrase is old,
but it's true! Read on to hear all about how STO has added new ideas
for a fresh crafting system.
Ten Ton Hammer: What sort of
tradeskills are available in Star Trek Online?
Al Rivera: Crafting isn't
exactly conventional in STO. There are really two forms of
crafting that fulfill the crafting. There is essentially bridge
officer crafting. The trade skills are really your skills that you are
skilling up throughout the game. If you skill up in Photon Torpedo for
instance, as you get to the end of that tier, you get the abilitiy to
train bridge officers in Photon Torpedo Salvo or Spread or whatever
skill it happens to be. If you are a Captain that is a
tactical officer you are going to be able to be the best tactical
bridge officer trainer and it you are science officer, you can
train the best in science bridge officer trainer and then you'll be
able to trade those skills. In order for you to get the best tactical
bridge officer skills anywhere in the game you will have to learn those
from the player trainer who is a good tactical trainer. The
tradeskills are your own personal skills that will unlock abilities to
improve your bridge officers.
Bridge officers start off the game with a certain number of skills.
You'll find new bridge officers along the way to learn skills, however
the best trainers in the game will be players. The idea is that you
will be collecting all of these skills, and trying to make the best
build, or craft the best bridge officer you can. That is one of the
major forms of crafting is the building of bridge officers almost like
commodities and you will trade them among other players.
The second form of crafting is more traditional, and that is Memory
Alpha. If you are familiar with the IP, Memory Alpha is a planet, or
computer, that contains all of the essential core knowledge of
Starfleet. So we have that planet in the game. It is a hub of knowldege
in the universe. Throughout the universe as you are travelling you'll
find harvesting nodes. You'll find space anamolies,
pick up some mineral samples, alien artifacts and not unlike you see in
other games. You'll scan for these and then collect them. You can bring
these back to Memory Alpha and you can use those bits of knowledge to
unlock recipes. If you have the right components then you
can build a super tachian rifle with whatever stats you need to put
onto that rifle. First you'll have to invest in a Tachian Rifle, the
samples, and some energy and you'll be able to craft that item. As you
craft more items at Memory Alpha you'll unlock more recipes and be able
to craft more advanced and exotic items.
Ten Ton Hammer: So there won't
any levels or skill level of crafting?
Al: There are no skill points
levels involved with crafting at Memory Alpha. The levels are simply
recipes available to you. The more samples you bring, you'll gain
access to better recipes. After you bring enough samples in, you may
gain access to something advanced or exotic such as an advanced Science
Officer for a reward for your gathering efforts. Or they may send
you to find something and reward you with a crafting recipe. Through
these techniques you are unlocking more and more recipes.
Ten Ton Hammer: Going back to player
trainers, they will be able to train other players, will they be able
to train them up to their skill or beyond?
Al: I can clarify that a bit.
Players can't train other players, they can only train other bridge
officers. A player can not have a bridge officer that is a higher rank
than the player. So if the player is a Commander, the bridge officers
can only be Lt. Commanders or below in rank. If you happen to be a
Captain and you have a Commander for a bridge officer I could only
train him in skills that are lower than me that would make sense for a
bridge officer that I have.
Ten Ton Hammer: Is gathering
and harvesting separated into different kinds
of things such as weapons, ship upgrades and that type of thing?
Al: Yes, there are all types
of things you can craft such as ground weapons, space weapons, ship
upgrades, as well as resources you can collect, such as scientific,
artifact, biological samples, different components. You could equate
those to gold, skins, or flowers or herbs. Those will unlock the
different paths such as ship upgrades, weapons, or armors or things
like that. There are different paths you can choose and unlock.
Depending on whether or not you are doing things more technological or
biological then those will unlock different items that you can create.
Ten Ton Hammer: If someone were
super eager would they be able to unlock all of the recipes or are they
constrained to just a specific type such as ship upgrades or weapons?
Al: You'll be able to unlock
all of the recipes, they are not mutually exlusive.
Ten Ton Hammer: What
about the quality
of the crafted items, are they going to be among the best in the game?
Al: They will be on par with
the top items in the game. They are not necessarily better but they are
unique. You won't be able to get these items except through Memory
Alpha. They are not better than something you may get from a PvE raid
or PvP encounter. They may be the same quality but they are unique.
They are mutually exclusive, and you'll never find the top end rewards
that are the same from Memory Alpha, PvE raids and PvP encounters.
Ten Ton Hammer: Along
lines, what about the solo player, would their rewards be better from
crafting or solo missions?
Al: Again, the rewards may not
be better but they would be unique. In some cases you'll get the best
armor for a specific stat from Memory Alpha and for another stat from a
mission. We never want to make it so that everyone has to do everything
to keep from falling behind the curve. However, we do want everyone to
try the different styles of gameplay because you will get different
rewards from the different types of game play. You'll still be
able to get rare drop purples. In the end game we really want to give
players options whether it's crafting, or PvP or PvE.
Ten Ton Hammer: Players can opt to be
just be crafters then? Can players craft right from the start?
Al: You won't be able to train
bridge officers right off the bat because you won't have enough skills.
Harvesting and collecting though, you will be able to do right from the
start (after you find Memory Alpha which is right around the corner
Ten Ton Hammer: To harvest the
materials, are they relatively simple to get or are the harder tier
items in tougher areas?
Al: Yes, there are several
different areas and they are kind of overlapped. Some of them are in
deeper, much scarier regions. If you are around Earth you will
find lots of common nodes and samples and you'll be able to bring those
back the Memory Alpha. As you go to new hubs and locations you'll find
more exotic harvesting nodes. You'll then bring those back to Memory
Alpha and be able to make more exotic items.
Ten Ton Hammer: Speaking a bit more
about Memory Alpha, does it have different work stations
for crafting the different items, like say, a gun?
Al: Yes, they are basically
broken up into science, engineering and tactical stations. For science
you'll be looking to harvest biological samples or space anomolies. For
the tactical you'll be looking for weapon crystals, or an alien
artifact gun. There is overlap though, so certain harvested items are
required for all paths. Essentially you'll collect everything, however
certain items will be required at different rates depending on the
Ten Ton Hammer: Will both the
Starfleet Federation and the Klingons be crafting at Memory Alpha?
Al: The Klingons will be doing
the exact same thing within the Klingon Empire and not at Memory Alpha.
There may be Federation specific items like a Federatin Gun at Memory
Alpha versus Klingon specific items in their area like a disruptor. The
Klingons like disruptors; the Federation like lasers.
Ten Ton Hammer: Getting down to the
nitty gritty. Can you walk us through how to craft an item? style="font-weight: bold;">
Al: It's fairly straight
forward. You'll bring the components with you to the different
stations. Nothing is limited, if you are a science officer you can
still go to the other stations. It's a social enviornment and you go to
the kiosk. Clicking on it brings up a list of your components as
well as the recipes that we are researching currently. If you want to
make a special deflector shield, it will show you that you need various
components and a certain amount of energy to craft. It's close to a
store, there is no chance of failure and there is no real time
involved. Once you choose to create an item, boom it's created. After
you create more and more of those items, you will unlock more and
Ten Ton Hammer: Are all the harvesting
nodes found in space?
Al: Both space and ground, they
will be in places such as asteroids or a nebula and everywhere.
They will be indoors such as an alien artifact in a lab.
Ten Ton Hammer: I take it there is no
harvesting skill involved?
Al: Nope, there is no
Ten Ton Hammer: Are there any rares
for powerful weapons, for instance?
Al: There are several
different levels of rares. Remember each environment will have
different components such as Romulan or Borg environments so there will
be different rares available it each of those territories. Within those
territories some components will be more rare than others as well.
Ten Ton Hammer: Is there anything else
you'd like to tell readers as far as crafting?
Al: The bridge officers follow
the same rule of rares. Any given skill will also have levels of
rarity. Let's take Photon Torpedo Spread--it will have three
different versions, Photon Torpedo Spread 1, 2 and 3. Version 1 will be
fairly easy to find on a bridge officer but version 2 you'll have to
find a fairly exotic bridge officer with that version. Version 3 only
comes from a player so you'll have to find a player who has trainded
that skill if you want it. So there are rarities in the bridge officer
skill as well.
Ten Ton Hammer thanks Al Rivera and
Cryptic Studios for their time in sharing this information with us.
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Star Trek Online Game Page.