As part of the new level increase in Delta Rising, we’re bringing up the Mark of the gear available in Star Trek Online. Your captain will now be able to use Mark 13 and 14 gear, and the best part is, you’ll be able to do this by upgrading your existing gear to make it better.
Going Past the Mark 11 Blues
With the Upgrade system, you can take any gear that has a Mark and improve it. If you have a favorite weapon from a mission, but it’s not up to the quality that you need, or if you have an old version of gear that isn’t up to the best Mark that your character can use, you can now make that gear better. The Upgrade system will let you take those Breen shields, caustic plasma beams, and old Mark 10 MACO armor and improve them to Mark 12 – and beyond! Fleet gear upgrades work the same way! The gear will keep its current mods, go up in mark, and can potentially become epic (gold) quality gear.
Technology is the Key
To upgrade your gear, you’ll apply new Tech Upgrade items. Tech Upgrades will initially come in three grades – Basic, Improved, and Superior. Each Tech Upgrade works on a specific type of items. You can purchase Basic Tech Upgrades from vendors on Earth Spacedock and Qo’noS, but you’ll need to craft Improved or Superior Tech Upgrades, or purchase them from the exchange or from a friend with a high level of R&D skill. Tech Upgrades don’t require dilithium to purchase or craft, but applying a Tech Upgrade package does cost dilithium. The better Tech Upgrades provide more tech points and are more efficient with your dilithium investment.
Each time you apply a Tech Upgrade, your item gains tech points. When the item earns enough tech points, it is eligible to upgrade. The number of tech points required to upgrade varies by the type of item, the quality of the item, and the Mark of the item. For example, a green Mark 4 ground weapon and a blue Mark 11 space shield will require different numbers of tech points before they are eligible to upgrade.
Choosing to Upgrade the item puts it in one of your special Upgrade slots as the new, improved technology is brought on-line. After enough time has passed – a few minutes for a low-Mark item, a few hours for a top-tier item – you will be able to claim the item from your Upgrade slot and use it at its new, higher Mark. (if you’re in a real hurry, you can use a little dilithium to speed up the process, just like crafting an item with Research & Development.)
While adding tech upgrades, you’ll also add research points, which can give the item a quality improvement. There’s a small chance that your item will go to the next better quality: from common to uncommon, uncommon to rare, or rare to very rare. You can even reach ultra-rare (ultraviolet) or epic (gold) quality with upgrades, even on gear that normally doesn’t come in that quality!
The more research points you add to an item, the greater your chance for a quality improvement. Once an item is ready to upgrade to the next Mark, you’ll see the final chance for a quality improvement.
Once you’ve reached the maximum Mark for your gear, you can keep applying upgrades for a chance to get a quality improvement. Each time you apply enough tech points, you can attempt an upgrade again. If you don’t get the quality improvement on an item at the maximum Mark, you can keep trying, and your chance will continue to increase until you succeed.
R&D Deploys Upgrades
Though you can purchase Basic Tech Upgrade packages, these are most useful for upgrading low-Mark items. Having Research & Development skills will allow you to make your own Tech Upgrades. Each school includes recipes for making Tech Upgrades for items of its type. At level 5 in an R&D school, you can make Basic Tech Upgrades; at level 10, you can make Improved Tech Upgrades; at level 15, you can make Superior Tech Upgrades. These Tech Upgrade packages don’t cost you any dilithium to craft, and you can trade or sell them at your discretion.
Just like R&D, Tech Upgrades come in groups related to the seven schools: Beam weapons and consoles, Cannon weapons and consoles, Engineering for engines and engineering consoles, Science for deflectors and science consoles, Shields for all ground and space shields, Ground Gear for ground weapons and armor, and Projectiles for space torpedoes and related consoles. When you craft a Tech Upgrade, you’ll make one based on your choice of school, usable for upgrading items of that type.
To improve the Upgrade process, you can also acquire Upgrade Accelerators. These items are used in conjunction with a Tech Upgrade to give more tech points or improve the chance of a quality improvement. Upgrade Accelerators come in three grades: minor, standard, and major; these grades exist for both tech point Accelerators and research point Accelerators. The higher the grade, the more it improves your Tech Upgrade. Applying a major accelerator to a superior Tech Upgrade will give you a lot more tech points or a much better chance for a quality improvement!
You can pick up accelerators from crafting packs purchased from the C-Store or from certain special missions.
You can try the system now on Tribble with the standard disclaimer that all numbers are subject to change as a result of testing. Also note that we are still determining whether or not some items will become upgradable, so not all items are available at this time.
Click here to learn more about Delta Rising, our free-to-play expansion for Star Trek Online. Explore the Delta Quadrant & rediscover the allies & the enemies the Voyager crew made during their exodus from distant space back to Earth & the Federation. Prepare yourself & your crew with an Delta Operations Pack now available for purchase! Click on the logo below to learn more about it.