Star Trek Online
lives, and it’s coming to us in at least three years time, if
not sooner. That information is according to Jack Emmert, Cryptic
Studios’ chief creative officer, who delivered a thorough
Q&A session with fans after his presentation at the annual Star
Trek convention in Las Vegas. The fans at the show asked a huge
assortment of questions – everything from the age
restrictions of the game to whether there will be PvP – and
Emmert fired away at all the questions, resulting in an incredibly
informative display. If you haven’t seen the href="" target="_blank">top
gameplay details or the href="" target="_blank">official
gameplay trailer, make sure you go
check them out!

style="margin: 10px; border-collapse: collapse; float: right; width: 148px; height: 185px;"

href=""> src="/image/view/40930/preview" width="200">

Cryptic is adamant
about staying true to the Star Trek "feel".

1. Jack are you as
arrogant as everyone says you are online?

Jack Emmert:
Yes. *laughs*

2. Are you going to stay
true to the feel of Star Trek and give players the feeling of really
being in the Star Trek universe of just put a Star Trek skin on it?

Obviously we’re going to stay very true to the Star Trek
universe. It is very important that we don’t just make this a
typical MMORPG and wrap this into the IP. We’d probably sell
units that way, but that’s why we’re including
things like exploration as a major part of the gameplay.
We’re pretty obsessed about it.

In fact, my whole team has assignments. Every single member of my team
has to watch an entire series. I’ve already watched the
series, so I’m reading the books. If you have any suggestions
for books, feel free to grab me.

3. Since Star Trek Online
is set in the Star Trek future, will it be difficult to develop all the
new story, environments, and devices in addition to creating the actual

We’re actually hiring a Star Trek writer now to help us with
this, but to be honest I’ve done a ton of research to help us
come up with storylines that reflect the background of Star Trek but
also moves it into the future. CBS has been great with us on this.

4. Will the game be
tedious to play on a computer that doesn’t have top of the
line hardware, like laptops and older desktops?

Jack: I can
tell you that one of the lessons we learned at Cryptic was that World
of Warcraft was an amazing game, and one of the amazing features of it
was that it could run on just about anything. To make a game accessible
to as many people as possible is an explicit goal that we have. The
engine that we’re using for Champions Online is set to go
live next April, and we’re using the same technology for Star
Trek Online. So if Star Trek releases after that, you can rest assured
that if it ran on a lot of computers for Champions it will run on a lot
of stuff for Star Trek.

5. How effective will
holograms be in the game?

Jack: I view
them as possible members of your bridge crew. Rather than choosing a
race – like Andorian – you could choose a hologram
to be your science officer. So yes, they can be playable with some

6. Can you explore inside
your ship, and will there be a holodeck?

Jack: We
plan for every ship to have decks, have a layout, have the medical
facilities, engine room, holodeck… we want to have all of
those things in each of your ships, and we’d like to allow
players to customize them to some degree.

7. How will you be
handling player death?

We’ll probably be doing perma-death and we’ll be
charging your credit card extra. [Editor’s Note: He was
obviously kidding.] *laughs*

We haven’t really gotten to that aspect yet. It will probably
be something fairly minimal, if only because the days of outrageous
death penalties are long past us, and I think we’ve evolved
to the point of “Hey, can I just have fun?”
That’s our mindset going in.

8. How do you get
assignments and/or missions?

Jack: The
computer – your central command – will issue you
tours of duty. These will be a series of missions – some very
specific, some not – and that will be your assignment. We
don’t plan on doing a “level-based”

style="margin: 10px; border-collapse: collapse; float: left; width: 148px; height: 185px;"

href=""> src="/image/view/40929/preview" width="200">

All the animations in
STO are hand-drawn.

9. Are you going to use
motion capture or hand-drawn animation?

Hand-drawn. We’re not going to be using motion capture. Our
animators, we feel, are among the best in the business.

10. What are you doing to
make sure the game remains fun and competitive without it being a
grindfest? And what is the ETA on the game?

Jack: I
can’t really say when. I can tell you that it’s
going to be less than four years. It’ll be less than three

How to make it fun: We believe that an MMORPG has to be inherently fun.
We did this for City of Heroes and we’re doing the same thing
with Champions.

All of us play. We play at work. We play at home. If the game
isn’t entertaining to us, we’re not going to
release it. It’s that simple. People aren’t going
to stand in line forever. People will stay online if the game is just
fun. That’s the best promise I can give you.

11. Will there be dynamic
events? Or is it all going to be pre-scripted?

Jack: Yes
there will be dynamic events. In fact, we were just talking about the
Borg coming and invading certain sectors and then having to come
through and clean the Borg back out.

Events are definitely something that we want to do, definitely events
where players actions are taking a part of the whole situation.

12. Will you have PvP?

Jack: Yes
– definitely. We’ve got Klingons and
we’ve got Starfleet, so it’s a ready made
combustible element.

13. Will players be able
to team up to do missions and assignments?

Jack: Yes.
Everything is fully cooperative. You can team up with other people and
some things you will need to team up with others and form a
“task force” – a temporary team up
– or you can join with your guild mates, your

14. Will players that use
strategy and tactics win out over a 15-year old who has simply spent 80
hours a week upgrading their character?

Clearly I can’t compete with a 15-year old either. Developers
classically developer video games that they want to play. I’m
in my late thirties – almost 40 – and
I’ve got two kids. I can’t play for hours on end. I
want to be able to get in, play a game, and enjoy it. I don’t
want it to be work. I don’t want to feel like I have to get
on there. I don’t want to feel like a 15-year old punk can
get on there and own me any time they want. We’re going to be
making the game with that in mind.

style="margin: 10px; border-collapse: collapse; float: right; width: 148px; height: 185px;"

href=""> src="/image/view/40928/preview" width="200">

Classic MMO tactics
won't be used in spaceship combat.

15. Most classic MMOGs
have a class-based system. How are you going to differentiate that in
your game, since we’re all going to be captains? Will there
be a class-based system for captains that want to lean more towards
medical or scientific pursuits?

It’s already in the IP. As you know, Janeway is a scientist.
Picard is a diplomat / archeaologist. So we already know that command
is something that’s ancillary to your career path. Remember,
Troy had to go through the holodeck training to get on the command

We’re approaching it like that, you as a captain have a
specialty that’s either science or engineering or security or
navigation. Those will be possibilities for you to specialize in, in
addition to the fact that you’re in command.

Whether we’ll use traditional MMO tactics, not exactly.
Certainly not for starship combat and probably not for ground combat

16. Will there be one
huge server or many small servers?

Jack: We
really haven’t decided that yet. To be honest, I think
I’d prefer one large server so everyone could play together.
Our technology can do that. However, it’s just a matter of
what platforms we’re on and what agreements we have. It
really depends on what’s best for the game.

Certainly we have the technology for one big server, so you
wouldn’t have to worry about your friends being somewhere
else or having to transfer characters. We’d like to avoid

17. You’ve
talked about exploration and combat, but what about diplomacy? Is that
going to be a big part of the game?

Jack: I
actually had another question about that yesterday, and it’s
a good one. That’s something we have talked about, to make
fun and make interesting. Diplomacy is a vital part of [Star Trek]. How
many diplomatic missions were there in Next Gen? There were a ton. How
many times did Sisko have a party for visiting diplomats? I
can’t really reveal any details about that, but that is
certainly something we discuss.

18. Do you think MMO
gamers will get into Star Trek through this game?

Jack: Yeah,
I think that’s a good way to do it. There are people that
like the MMO medium, and they’ll just play MMOs. If he likes
MMOs, he’ll learn a lot about Star Trek from playing this

19. How old do you have
to be to play Star Trek Online? [Editor’s Note: This question
was asked by an adorable little girl that must have been 4-5 years old.
She was a cutey.]

Obviously, I think you should play with your parents’
permission. If you don’t have their permission, you should
take their credit cards while they’re asleep. *laughs*

Here’s what I believe, and this is what we used in City of
Heroes. We like to make games for children of all ages. I would like to
make a game that I could play with my kids. I have two kids, one
who’s 2 ½ and the other is a year old. With your
parent’s permission, you could certainly sit down and play
with them. Any time you play an online game, parents should carefully
supervise your children.

20. Will Star Trek Online
run on Linux?

Jack: Not in
its first release. Same thing with Macs.

style="margin: 10px; border-collapse: collapse; float: left; width: 148px; height: 185px;"

href=""> src="/image/view/40927/preview" width="200">

STO won't run on
Linux or Macs.

21. What will the player
run fleets be like? Will they be like the player corporations in EVE
Online? And how will you handle griefing?

Jack: EVE
Online is a much different game than what Star Trek Online is going to
be. Obviously this is set in the Star Trek universe, and while economy
is an important part of the game, so is exploration and combat. I
don’t think we’re trying to make our fleets
identical to EVE Online corporations, but certainly the level of
cooperation and organization in EVE is something that’s super

For those of you that play EVE Online, it is very PvP-centric and
that’s not exactly what we’re going for.
We’re looking at a galactic economy where people are
competing for resources but not necessarily outright fighting for them.

22. To what extent are
you keeping track of the Star Trek books published by Pocket Books?
There has been a bit of fiction published in the post- Nemesis
timeline. Can you comment on how much you’re looking at that?

Basically I bought all the books that are post-Nemesis and
I’m reading through them. Luckily they aren’t
coming out at a pace that I can’t keep up with. Essentially
it’s me and another person that are covering the novels, and
other people are covering the series and the movies to make sure we
really mine them, so essentially that’s what I’m
doing. If you have any suggestions for books feel free to post them on
the forums or PM me. I’d love to see any suggestions of books
that are particularly relevant.

23. How are you going to
have the space-based section of the game interact with the ground-based
section? Will players be able to board someone else’s ship
and take it from them?

Jack: Yeah,
definitely. We’re planning on allowing you to go on other
people’s ships, but not necessarily make that a part of the
gameplay element.

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Star Trek Online Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016