“Welcome to the future of Star Trek. For the first time,
instead of being spectators from afar, thousands of players will step
inside the experience and go where you’ve never gone before.
To add your own stories to the Star Trek universe. In a new and
exciting way, Star Trek lives.”
These were some of the first words uttered by Leonard Nimoy as he
introduced Cryptic Studios’ chief creative officer Jack Emmert
onto the stage at the at the annual Star Trek convention in Las Vegas.
As many of you have heard, Jack Emmert and his team at Cryptic Studios
have been hard at work on Star
Trek Online, and this year’s annual convention
served as the perfect place to introduce the awaiting public to this
exciting new MMOG.
As Emmert took the stage in Las Vegas to raucous applause, he already
had a presentation in mind, one that would answer many of the questions
that have already been posed by our own guest columnist Chris Higgins
and numerous other Star Trek Online fans. Thanks to the wonder of the
Internet, the whole presentation is available on Cryptic’s
website, but the Ten Ton Hammer crew has collected Emmert’s
eight crucial elements of Star Trek and condensed them here for you to
view. Make sure you check back in with us tomorrow to see the
summarized fan Q&A as well!
You will be the
captain of a ship in Star Trek Online.
1. When is the game set?
According to Emmert, the game takes place in the year 2409.
“That’s about thirty years after Star Trek:
Nemesis,” Emmert said. “You’ll find that
the Star Trek universe has changed a bit. There are many of the
familiar places, all of the familiar races and empires, but some things
have turned around in there. Ancient enemies have arisen, friends have
become enemies and enemies have become friends.”
For those lore fans that have particular interest in this time period,
Emmert and his staff will be updating their website to fill in the
details of the Star Trek universe on a year-by-year basis starting with
the year 2380. This storyline will continue until the day Cryptic
Studios launches the epic space-based game. On top of that, Cryptic is
treating everything that has been written and produced about Star Trek
as absolute canon. They won’t be changing or modifying any of
“All the things you expect in Star Trek, you will
get,” Emmert continued. “We are taking a look at
everything Star Trek and trying to bring it to you guys.”
2. Will you be a captain
of a starship?
Yes. Emmert noted that you will be able to control the ship and its
crew from day one. However, you may not start out at the rank of
captain. “As all of you know,” Emmert said while
addressing the fans, “you don’t necessarily need to
be a captain’s rank [to command a starship]. You’ll
need to earn your way up to it. You’ll start out with a small
ship and a small crew and slowly build your way up.”
According to Emmert, you’ll need many different individuals
and staff members to help you run your starship. Security, engineers,
science and navigation are all feasible members of any starship.
Apparently, the crew of your starship will be split into two groups:
the bridge officers and the general crew.
The bridge officers will act like what common MMOGers refer to as pets.
“They will be player controlled, but AI driven,”
Emmert said. “You’re going to equip them, give them
attributes, level them up, and give them skills. They will be an
extension of you.”
Next Emmert described the general crew, which he depicted as the
“red shirts.” According to Emmert these will be the
“dozen, several dozen, or several hundred individuals
– from all the different races – that will make up
3. Will the game be based
on the ground, in space, or both?
Both. From what Emmert stated, the Cryptic team knew from the very
start that they couldn’t just do a ground game or a space
game. There was too much of both in all of the shows and movies.
“You won’t just be traveling from point A to point
B,” Emmert said. “You’ll be
investigating, exploring; our game encompasses all those
Starship combat will
be strategic and tactical.
4. How will the starships
work? How will ground combat work?
For all intents and purposes it sounds like starships will be
controlled in a normal fashion – camera behind the character
/ ship – but the combat in the game will be much slower and
more tactical than what normal MMOG players are used to.
“You’re going to be able to issue
commands,” Emmert stated. “Send security to deck
five, repair a hull breach on deck six, divert power from engines to
shields. We want to make sure you can do all the things that
you’ve seen in the various shows and movies.”
That said, on the ground things will be kicked up a notch. Emmert was
eager to state that any game with phasers and disruptors going off all
over will need some fast action. There will be personal shields as well
as hand-to-hand combat (especially with the Klingons!).
According to Emmert, whenever you beam down for a particular mission on
a planet, you’ll need to select who you’re going to
be sending into the fray. Sometimes you may want to select only a few
officers, and then other times you’ll be paired up with all
of your real life friends and have a bunch of ship commanders swarming
all over the planet.
5. What kind of
customization options will I have when I create my captain?
In previous Cryptic games, customization was a key element, and STO
won’t be any different. According to Emmert, you’ll
be able to customize everything from the captain’s race to
how fat they are.
“You’ll be able to choose from all of your favorite
races,” Emmert noted. “Vulcans, Andorians,
Tellarites, Ferengi… but you’ll also be able to
create your own races. Something from your imagination.”
And the customization doesn’t end with the player’s
character either. Starships can be customized as well. As you level up,
the ships will be “customized within a certain
range.” From some of the hardware to the colors on the ship
to the decals, all of these things will be adjustable – to a
degree – on your starships.
6. Who do I fight for?
According to Emmert, players will start as one of two factions: the
Klingon Empire or Starfleet. “We will definitely be
adding to that,” Emmert said. “So you can certainly
expect the Dominion or the Romulans to come in the time
While Emmert couldn’t go into a lot of detail about the
relationship between the Klingons and the Federation, but he did
mention that things are nowhere near as friendly as what they used to
be between the two entities. In fact, Emmert noted that player versus
player combat will be in Star Trek Online.
Exploration is a
major part of STO.
7. But what about
Jack Emmert had this to say about exploration: “In Star Trek
Online, you will be discovering new worlds and new civilizations. We
have a system of infinite exploration. We will be creating planets,
solar systems, and civilizations that you will – as players
– be the first to ever see. You could make first contact or
encounter a pre-warp civilization. All of these will be a major part of
your gameplay, not just the fighting.”
“All of these planets and civilizations will offer new
resources, technology, or knowledge, and these will then be funneled
back into the Federation or the Klingon Empire. These new alien races
might also be recruited into your crew. You might end up with
a crew member of a species you helped discover.”
8. How will the economy
work in the game? What about guilds?
As with any culture when they’re pushing the boundaries of
their known limits, there will be a demand on the resources of those
civilizations. According to Emmert, players will help in the galactic
trade of goods between the various cultures and civilizations.
On top of that, Emmert stated that players could band together into
“guilds” called “fleets” that
then can pool resources to build a space station or a mining platform
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Star Trek Online Game Page.