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Going Klingon - A Star Trek Online Q&A with Zeke Sparkes

Updated Mon, Dec 28, 2009 by B. de la Durantaye

Questions by Benjamin J. de la Durantaye, Executive Editor, Ten Ton Hammer
Answers by
Zeke Sparkes , Star Trek Online (Cryptic Studios)

Klingons have been the hot topic of Star Trek Online for the past couple of weeks and it has sparked a lot of discussion. The recent announcement that Klingons will be PvP centric has the community posting furiously. Some love the idea, some hate it. Ten Ton Hammer wanted to get to the grit of the topic, so we spoke with Zeke Sparkes of Cryptic Studios. If there's one man that knows about Klingons in the game, it's Zeke.



Ten Ton Hammer: In regards to Klingon versus Klingon PvP, will players be able to vie for power in the empire with this type of combat?

Zeke Sparks:  The fiction behind the combat is that there is always inter-house rivalry going on within the Klingon empire.  The player created houses function like fleets do for the Federation.  All of the rising to power, titles, and responsibilities are determined by the players. There are two major reasons (two houses) for the  Klingon versus Klingon PvP, namely House Martok and House Duras due to the current High Chancellor Gempock being backed by house Duras.

When a player jumps into PvP there will be two sides and those sides will be in support of one of the two major houses. There are no long-term ramifications for the sides and the effects on the players but provide the reason for the two sides during this time of war.

Ten Ton Hammer: Will players be able to do content for both of the houses or will they need to pick a side?

Zeke:
There is really no mechanic for picking a side; their position will be more influenced by which side of the PvP conflict is in need of players.

Ten Ton Hammer: Is there any sort of faction rewards for that kind of action?

Zeke:
There is a set of PvP rewards but there are no specific rewards for either of the two houses, you won't be completing quests for House Duras or Martok. Players get ranks and medals for their efforts which are used for rewards.

Ten Ton Hammer: So what would happen to a Klingon if they could get into Federation territory, or can they even get there?

Zeke:
At launch the only place they can co mingle is the Warzone near Eridani Sector Block and that is in Deep Space K7 by Sherman's Planet and where the Klingon's outpost is located. That is where the combat is the heaviest. And while there can be both Klingon and Federation ships, no combat happens in sector space, so challenges would have to be issued or go to the PvP maps for that area to engage each other.

Ten Ton Hammer: Klingons will still have to accept challenges then; they won't be open game?

Zeke:
 Yes, in sector space the combatants will have to issue and accept challenges. There are open world PvP maps where there are fleet actions and it is open PvP.


Melee combat - Klingon style

Ten Ton Hammer: Martial combat is a large part of Klingon tradition. Will we see more melee weapons for Klingons than on the Federation side?

Zeke:
You can bet on seeing Bat'leth at launch and we have other weapons in the game and we're working on players being able to use them. There is a big difference between just putting weapons in the game and incorporating more mechanics. We tend to add more attacks along with weapons which creates something of a combo system. Depending on what order you execute your attacks will determine what powers become available and you'll unlock more moves. The Bat'leth has an entire series of moves, not just the weapon. This is just one example of how it's more complicated than just adding weapons. We want to make sure it's cool and exciting and not just another weapon in your hand.

Ten Ton Hammer: How does a new Klingon start? There has been discussion of no tutorial. Where do they go to begin and what's available to them to start progressing?

Zeke:
There is no tutorial for how the ships fly or the ground combat works, but there is a tutorial of the Klingon gameplay and you get introduced to the backstory and different functional areas of Qo'nos great hall. It's a beautiful and immense hall, and the artist has done a great job with it. Your first mission will require you to prove yourself prior to the people of the hall even speaking with you. Then the people will walk you through the areas and introduce you to the different styles of missions that are available. Some will be deep space incursions for example and then you'll also be introduced into the warzone that we discussed last week.The goal is show you all of the various options.

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