style="margin: 20px; width: 270px; float: right;">

href="" target="_blank"> src=""
alt="Death Penalty Button"
style="border: 0px solid ; width: 250px; height: 203px;"

death penalties genuinely add to the risk vs. reward factor? Many STO
players seem to think so.

Trek Online

is not the most difficult game ever created. It is
very accessible, and offers players of all skill level a fairly easy
way to get involved and
level up the different careers without
suffering too severely. Some people feel this is not how things should
be. The thought is that a reward without risk is charity and everyone
should suffer for fun. As you can probably guess, I’m not in
that camp. The development team is working to offer options for players
who would like that extra taste of danger by offering a slider for
difficulty level as well as causing a death penalty. The new changes
are available on the Tribble test server and seem to be getting a
pretty good work out.

Death Penalty, Friend or Foe

The official description of the
death penalty from Crytpic is:


  • If
    a character is
    incapacitated, there is a chance of receiving one injury. If any injury
    occurs, the severity of the injury is determined by chance, modified by
    the existence of any existing injuries on that character. (The chance
    of receiving a Major or Critical Injury are increased if the player has
    already sustained injuries)

  • The
    types of Injuries are:

    1. Minor
      - The negative effect
      of minor injuries is small and only several minor injuries would cause
      a player to notice a difference in performance

    2. Major
      - Major injuries feel
      significant, but the character can continue to function at little
      performance difference. More than one major injury that modified the
      same stat would start to affect performance.

    3. Critical
      - Critical injuries affect
      character performance. A character can continue and succeed with more
      than one critical injury, but each critical injury received is
      ‘costly’ to treat and will put the character a bit
      under the potency curve.

  • Injuries
    are removed by
    visiting contacts in the major social hubs or by using an Injury Pack

  1. Injury
    Packs come in two types;
    Regenerators (ground) and Components (space). Each type of pack has
    three versions, corresponding to the severity of the injury they
    remove; Minor, Major, Critical. Injury Packs are not available in
    replicators, but some are available at stores

Part of me applauds Cryptic for
creating almost a meta-game out of
dying. At least now after a wipe, we can all compare injuries.
“I got a major,” only to be upped by
“bah, I’ve got two criticals.”

Why take a simple concept of
respawn and turn it into an algorithm of
if/then statements? I don’t want to carry injury packs, or
worry about my current tally of Minor or Major injuries. Just send me
back to the door and let me get back into the action. I guess the moral
of this story is, “Don’t die.” Even if I
am lukewarm on this change, I do like the other change coming our way.

Difficulty Schmifficulty

Making changes that are
optional are finding quite a bit of traction in
the games lately. From the traditional holiday hoo-ha that
we’ve seen for years to heroic difficulties in World of
Warcraft dungeons, options are a good thing. Of course I applaud any
change that gives me the power to choose whether or not to adopt it.
That said, I present you with the Difficulty Slider as described by


  • Players
    are now able to set
    their difficulty setting in the options screen or from the episodes tab
    of the journal UI. Your current difficulty level will also be displayed
    in various parts of the UI. (Mission tracker, team window, target

  • The
    available settings are:

    1. Normal
      - STO’s
      default and current setting. If you enjoy STO’s difficulty as
      is continue to play on the Normal difficulty level.

    2. Advanced
      - If you frequently
      play games and are looking for more of a challenge than STO’s
      default setting choose this difficulty level.

    3. Elite
      - If you are a STO
      veteran and you want the bragging rights of going against the hardest
      challenge that STO offers choose this difficulty level.

  • When
    teamed it is the Team
    Leader’s difficulty level that is used to determine the
    difficulty of a map.

  • A
    Difficulty Setting will not affect open maps or persistant maps. (Fleet
    actions, pvp, ipvp, social maps or deepspace encounters)

  • A
    player will only be able
    to modify their difficulty level when they are on static maps, not on
    instanced maps. (social maps, sector space)

  • With
    greater risk come
    greater rewards. Playing on higher difficulty levels will grant more
    rewards from critters than the lower difficulty settings.

only time I see a potential for some grief (or griefing) is that
team leaders will be able to set the difficulty of a mission with no
recourse of the group. This isn’t a big concern, but heck
it’s the only downside I really see to this new system.
I’m sure some people will find the rewards lackluster for the
amount of risk, but that’s how it’s supposed to be
people. Part of the reward is saying that you’ve completed it
on the hardest setting. Getting better loot is nice, but in reality
it’s all about defeating the encounter.

two pending changes are still listed as “In
Development” on the Engineering Report. I’m sure
plenty more comments, forum lashings and fine tuning will happen prior
to the live servers seeing these changes so don’t get too
worked up just yet. At least Cryptic continues their communications and
is listening to the masses. I’ve got a split decision on
these two issues, but I have a full vote of confidence in what Cryptic
is putting together. What do you think? Be sure to let us know in our
Star Trek Online

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

Last Updated: Mar 29, 2016