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Star Trek Online

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Amidst the blaring siren of a new Star Wars MMO (The Old Republic), you could be forgiven for overlooking the emergence of the first details of Star Trek Online. Cryptic Studios, of City of Heroes fame, helm this highly anticipated stellar venture, which means that at the very least we’ll be able to fiddle with a Play-Doh Klingon’s face until it looks just the way we want it.

In fact, the character customization will go beyond anything City of Heroes offers, seemingly approaching Spore levels of creative possibility. Stick a Klingon fanny-forehead on a Bajoran face and give it Vulcan ears if you like, as you’re not restricted by Star Trek’s canonical species at all. You can customize your ship too, from the livery of the runaround you’re given on starting, to your epic Voyager-class vessels. Aping Spore yet again, you’ll be positioning nacelles and saucers to your tastes.

The game itself sees the Federation and the Klingons up to their old tricks, with a failed peace agreement leading to your typical Alliance/Horde separation. The Gorn, Orions and Naussicans have sided with the Klingons, while the Bajorans, Ferengi and Vulcans show up on the Federation’s roster. So far what the other races are up to remains a mystery.

Starbases will form the game’s social areas, allowing players to wander the corridors of Deep Space Nine-style complexes, shopping for items, recruiting crew members and building larger ships. The crews themselves will function as extensions of your own character, carrying out your orders during space combat. Power can be diverted to various ship components (say, to bolster your shields), turning combat into a slow, tactical event, much like a sea battle.

Your chief engineer will have specific talents (such as messing about with the warp core for extra speed), and as such he and the rest of your staff will function much like World of Warcraft’s pets. You can hire and fire crewmen as you meet better and more talented people, though exactly where you’ll find these people isn’t clear. Perhaps an auction-house style careers bulletin board? For explorers there will be a procedurally generated galaxy to explore. You’ll happen upon virgin star systems and undiscovered trade routes, assisting or ignoring distress calls like some hyperactive Patrick Stewart.

The game content, interestingly, will be released in episodes (obviously a nod to the various TV series) each with about an hour’s worth of content. The unique selling point is still the fact that this is an MMO set in the Star Trek universe, some of the most fanatically revered fiction in the world. We’re excited, though we’re waiting until we see more before we place our bets. How will the combat function? Where’s the PvP? Classes, races, talents and abilities? As soon as we’ve more detailed details, we’ll pepper your brain with them.

Nov 13, 2008

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4 comments

  • Karakkan - November 16, 2008 5:18 a.m.

    I just wonder how they would do the episodic content. Would we have to pay for each and every hour of content? Maybe 2+ content patches per whatever dollar? monthy fee like WoW and many others?
  • lordkemo - November 14, 2008 10:57 p.m.

    I'm acutally look forward to this. Star wars is exciting, but i hope this lives up to the Star Trek name
  • Akiira - November 16, 2008 6:11 a.m.

    im looking forwards to this because i love naval ship combat in space
  • magicwalnuts0 - November 14, 2008 11:08 p.m.

    I'm really excited about this, hopefully they can maintain that "Star Trek" feel. I'm also excited about the KOTOR MMO as well, but they're different entities to me. Plus Star Wars has gotten tired even though Star Trek has pretty much died as a franchise, I'd like to see a little bit of a revival with this game

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