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Star Trek Online

Captain Specializations

By LaughingTrendy
Tue 23 Sep 2014 12:00:00 PM PDT

Introduction

Delta Rising will offer players in Star Trek Online the opportunity to fly a powerful new tier of starship, improve their gear to higher echelons of effectiveness, and advance to the ranks of Fleet Admiral or Dahar Master, all while exploring the mysteries and intrigues of an entirely new region of our galaxy.

But the opportunities for personal advancement do not end at gaining 10 new levels.

We are proud to introduce the Captain Specialization system as an additional avenue all level 50+ players will now have to advance the capabilities of their Captain, even long after they have stopped earning additional levels.

Overview

Captain Specializations are a new tier of advancement in which players will progress by earning and spending Specialization Points.

Each time the Captain’s Skill Point bar is filled, one Specialization Point will be added to the character, which can then be spent in any of their various Specializations. Although you will no longer be able to spend Skill Points in existing skills once you have reached level 50, all captains will keep earning them even after the character has reached level 60, allowing players to continue feeling a sense of progression long after they have stopped leveling up. Each time you fill the Skill Point Bar, you will earn another Specialization Point, which can then be spent to gain access to exciting new abilities and effects.

If an extremely dedicated Captain ever reaches the point where they would earn another Specialization Point, but have already purchased every Specialization Ability available to them, these surplus points will be automatically converted into Dilithium Ore.

In this way, earning Skill Points by defeating enemies and completing missions is no longer a pursuit intended only for players that haven’t yet reached the level cap. With the introduction of Captain Specializations, they will always remain valuable and rewarding.

Spend your Specialization Points wisely! Even though there is no limit to the number of Abilities you purchase within the various Specializations, allowing dedicated captains to potentially earn everything there is to offer, every choice made within this system is permanent. No options will be given to refund spent points, or remove an Ability that has already been purchased.

Terminology and Structure

All Specializations are comprised of a number of new components. In order to adequately explain the system, it’s important to understand the terms being used to describe each, and how they fit together.

Specializations belong to one of two classifications – Primary or Secondary.

  • At any point in time, a Captain may only set one Primary and one Secondary to active status.
  • Primary Specializations consist of a total of 30 Abilities, and have many Unlocks to earn.
  • Secondary Specializations consist of only 15 Abilities, and offer far fewer Unlocks.

     

Specializations are comprised of a combination of Abilities and Unlocks.

  • Abilities must be actively purchased one at a time, at the cost of one Specialization Point each.
  • Abilities that have been purchased will only remain available while the Specialization is active.
  • Unlocks are earned automatically, based on the number of Abilities you have purchased within their associated Specialization.
  • Unlocks are available regardless of the active/inactive status of their associated Specialization.

     

At the time of launch for Delta Rising, we are introducing three Captain Specializations – one Primary and two Secondary.

 


Primary Tree: Intelligence Officer

Officers trained in this specialization are especially skilled at locating and undermining weaknesses in their foes, while simultaneously covering their own susceptibilities from enemy detection. They also specialize in Stealth tactics, and anticipating and exploiting tactical opportunities.

Purchasing the Abilities available in this Specialization will offer the following Unlocks:

  • Can Equip Intelligence Kit Modules (unlocked and purchased through the Delta Reputation)
  • Ability to train Intelligence Specialist Bridge Officers in Rank III Abilities
  • Starship Trait: 
    Predictive Algorithms
    • Activating any Weapon Enhancement Ability (such as Torpedo Spread or Beam Overload) will remove one Debuff from self, and grant a short-duration Accuracy boost.

       

The type of Abilities earned by Intelligence Officers tend to favor improving existing mechanics such as Flanking and Stealth, while also offering defenses against those same tactics. Any Captains that invest heavily in this Specialization will find themselves far more capable at blind-siding their opponents in both Ground and Space combat.

Here are just a few examples of the Abilities available in this Specialization:

  • Adaptive Target (Space): 
    Each time your attacks miss their target, you gain a stacking Accuracy boost.
  • Obliterate Defenses (Ground): 
    Chance to drastically reduce the Damage Resistance for several seconds of any foe you successfully Flank.
  • Opportunistic (Space+Ground): 
    10% Cooldown Reduction for all Captain abilities

     

Secondary Tree: Pilot

Although skilled conn officers are not uncommon, it is only an elite few that can truly be considered expert starship Pilots. These daredevils and thrill-seekers are known to push the upper limits of maneuverability for even the largest and most unwieldy of starships.

Purchasing the Abilities available in this Specialization will the following Unlock:

  • Starship Trait: 
    Pedal to the Metal
    • Gain a stacking damage bonus for each second you remain at high speed. All stacks are lost if your speed drops for any reason.


Pilots specialize in improving the Turn Rate, Flight Speed and Defense of their starships. Captains following in the footsteps of famous Pilots such as William Riker and Tom Paris will be able to choose from many Abilities (all Space), which include the following examples:

  • Attack Pattern Expertise: 
    Activating any Attack Pattern grants Temporary Hull which absorbs a fixed amount of all incoming hull damage, until depleted.
  • Desperate Flight: 
    Once below 80% Hull, Flight Speed and Turn Rate gradually increase as your hull is further depleted. This bonus caps out at 20% Hull.
  • Rock and Roll: 
    Your ship performs an animated roll maneuver, preventing all incoming damage for a short duration.

     

Secondary Tree: Commando

Warrior traditions, ceremonial martial arts and years of armed conflicts have all played their part in honing the capabilities of skilled personal combatants. Brave and unflinching ground troops are frequently the deciding factor in planetary conflicts, even if they sometimes end up overlooked in this age of massive space battles and galaxy-spanning wars.

Purchasing the Abilities available in this Specialization will the following Unlock:

  • Starship Trait: 
    Demolition Teams
    • While within short range of an enemy starship, periodically beam over clusters of explosives to their interior. After several charges are placed, they will be automatically detonated, dealing kinetic damage that bypasses shields.


The Commando Specialization offers Abilities that improve nearly every aspect of a Captain’s ground combat capabilities, ranging from weapon efficiency to improved survivability and maneuverability. Captains yearning for the glory of personal combat can earn Abilities (all Ground) that include:

  • Resilient Power Cells: 
    Reduce the cooldown on all weapon Secondary Firing Modes
  • Headshot: 
    Gain additional Critical Hit Chance while in Aim mode
  • Juggernaut Shielding: 
    Increased Shield Hardness and Max Shield Capacity


The Future of Captain Specializations

As mentioned earlier, we look forward to putting out additional Specializations alongside future updates. Our hope with this system is to revitalize the high-end content of the game by introducing new progression options for all players that can continue to feel rewarding long after levels have stopped being earned. We hope that this newfound sense of endless progression can simultaneously grant each player the opportunity to explore different choices as they continue to earn progress.

Although only a single Primary Specialization will be included with Delta Rising, we have already begun laying the ground work for an additional Primary Specialization to be released with an upcoming update. Future updates may also result in the conversion of an existing Secondary Specialization into a Primary Specialization, expanded to include additional progression options within that specialization.

The potential scope of this feature is immense. The opportunities for inventive designs, as well as the benefits it grants to players seeking out additional progression choices, are opening the doors to entirely new options of play styles. Future expansion of the system will only serve to enhance both of these aspects, as players continue to progress in the system long after the completion of their leveling process.

** All of the above details, especially those listed for Abilities, are subject to change prior to launch.

 

Jeremy “BorticusCryptic” Randall
Systems Designer
Star Trek Online

Discuss in the forums

 

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.

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