STO: Klingons and PvP Q&A with Cryptic Studios - Page 2

Updated Mon, Dec 21, 2009 by Dalmarus

Ten Ton Hammer: If Klingons can only be played after you reach a certain level within the Federation gameplay, and Klingons are primarily geared for PvP, are there any concerns about having a healthy Klingon population? Do you foresee players wanting to PvP primarily with their Starfleet characters since that's where they'll probably spend most of their time since it has the most content?

Zeke: I think what we've tried to do is make sure that the Klingon play captures that sort of element like the conflict and direct engagement. Do I think we'll have a healthy Klingon population? Absolutely. We think that the Klingon play is geared towards that kind of a population and we don't think we're going to have a hard time captivating that subset of players.

And just to be clear when you say you have to unlock the Klingons through Federation gameplay, it happens fairly early on. It happens within about the first five hours or so of gameplay that you're able to unlock and play Klingons. So it's not like you have to advance deep into the Federation storyline in order to get to play a Klingon.

Since Klingon gameplay is PvP-focused and that's more demanding skill wise than PvE, we wanted to make sure that players are comfortable with how ships, space combat, and ground combat work before jumping straight into the really PvP-focused gameplay. I think it's a really attractive style of gameplay and that we're going to have a plenty-big Klingon population.

Ten Ton Hammer: Are there any sorts of special perks or rewards in PvP, apart from playing as a Klingon?

Zeke: Oh yeah. Absolutely. They have their own set of perks. There's a lot of overlap with the Federation perks, but there are Klingon-specific perks as well.

Ten Ton Hammer: Going into the story a little bit, what's the Klingon motivation? Can they capture areas and pursue objectives other than hunting Federation players?

Zeke: Yeah. The entire universe has several stories that run through it and towards the higher end, Klingon players are involved in those stories. The Romulans are right on their border and reeling from having just lost their home planet and are becoming more aggressive. There's also the Cardassian area where the Dominion is trying to reestablish a presence. Some of the True Way Cardassians [a Cardassian terrorist group – Ed.] are trying to sign up with the Dominion to sort of take back their territory, so they're getting more aggressive as well. The Klingons can wind up getting involved in those things as well.

But again, the primary focus of the Klingon play is definitely the PvP and the Klingon versus Klingon play or the Klingon versus Federation play focuses that. So most of what Klingons will be doing is engaging other Federation or Klingon players in PvP combat. The other story elements do touch what's happening in the Klingon Empire, but the focus of the advancement is definitely on the war with the Federation.

Ten Ton Hammer: So will other races be able to join the Klingon faction, or is it a Klingon-only club?

Zeke: The Klingons are actually allied with several other races and as always, we love our character creator so you'll be able to make your own aliens that can join the Klingons. You won't be locked into just playing a Klingon. They're allied with the Gorn, the Nausicans, and the Orions as well. So when you make a Klingon, you have multiple preset options for species that you can pick as well as the "build-your-own" option.

Ten Ton Hammer: So when you make a Klingon, you're not necessarily making a Klingon? You can make one of the other races?

: Yeah, you're making a character in the Klingon Empire. There's a big story involved in it. They sort of bore down on the Gorn and brought them into their fold more or less forcibly and there's kind of a story with how they wound up getting all of the allies they have.

Ten Ton Hammer: How will PvP affect PvE balance and vice versa?

Zeke: We always try very hard to balance the game with PvP in mind from the beginning. The powers are meant to work the same way in PvP as they do in PvE. As a player, you wind up wanting to focus more on certain powers because they're more useful in PvP than PvE. PvE is kind of a safer environment because you're opponent is not as smart. So there are definitely powers that are more advantageous in PvP than they are in PvE and vice versa. But we built it so it operates the same. So you don't have powers that function differently on your enemies depending on what style of gameplay you're choosing.

Ten Ton Hammer: What else can you tell us about the PvP in Star Trek Online?

Zeke: One of the things we want to make sure people realize is that PvP is open from the get-go, rather than being an end-game feature like in some other games. It's rank-banded throughout. It's some thing that you can do at any time. It's a full advancement track on its own, so if that's the style of gameplay you like, we really tried to make sure that you could play that way.

We've got different kinds of maps depending on what it specifically is about PvP that you like. There are different options for you. We've got arena maps, which are just kind of the one side versus one-side battles where all you really care about are kills.

We have our war zone maps. They're actually kind of competitive PvE environments where when you get in, it's a static map and there's an objective that is mostly PvE focused. You're trying to finish the objective and get more points than the other team but it's on a map where PvP is enabled. So if you decide that the best way for your team to finish before they do is to start PvPing with them, that's a perfectly viable strategy. That's kind of a nice step for people who aren't hardcore PvPers but are interested in getting a look at what it's like. It gives them a map where even if no opponents show up, there's still something for them to do. They can still complete it. And when the opponents are there, it's not necessarily a full-on PvP battle. It just kind of depends on the attitude of the players and the map.

And then we have full-on scenario PvP maps where there are certain objectives you're trying to go after. You're mostly going against other players although there are some computer mobs on the map as well. They're more direct conflict oriented than the PvE maps.

We've got an assault map where you've got to take forces from your side and deliver them deep into the enemy side. The further into the enemy location you go, the more points you get for delivering them.

We've got an area control map where you are trying to lock down key locations for your side. It's sort of a ticket runoff system where each side has a score at the beginning and when one side is controlling more of the locations than the other side, they're removing points from the other team. So you're trying to get the other team down to zero for control of the game.

Those are the two big ones that objective based, but really PvP-focused. And then we're also working on bigger and more epic fleet action sized maps for our launch. So what we get in at launch isn't the end of PvP. It's sort of leading up to a bigger and more grandiose map for the next patch.


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