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Star Trek Online

Ask Cryptic: February 2013

By PWE_BranFlakes | Fri 15 Feb 2013 01:00:39 PM PST

Star Trek Online STO MMORPG F2P Sc-Fi MMO game

In this brand-new edition of Ask Cryptic, Executive Producer Daniel Stahl delivers answers to player submitted questions.

These questions were asked last Thursday and Friday (2/7 and 2/8) in this thread, as well as in our French and German forums.

Q: (kirkepsilon1) Will we get an account-wide reputation system or any chance of account wide CXP ranking?

Dstahl: Reputation ranks will remain per character, however we do expect to introduce some account-wide rewards that will unlock based on any of your character’s progress in the Reputation system. Account-wide CXP ranking is a possibility we will consider when we make the next major update to the Duty Officer System. Hypothetically speaking, it would most likely be per faction though, so you’d still have a CXP rank for each faction, but all characters in that faction could share in the progress. .


Q: (mandoknight89) Can we get some more information about the upcoming changes to the character creation system? Will it include new free costumes or a fix to some items that have clipping issues?

Dstahl: The overhaul to character creation is coming in the May update and includes a structural redesign of the Character Creation UI. We are taking the previous workflow of creating a character and condensing it down to Race & Class, Appearance, and Background. That is a specific feature related to how you create a character and is not the same thing as an individual issue with a specific costume clipping. Many players have been emailing me with costume issues and those issues are being forwarded directly to the costume creation lead so that they can be addressed.


Q: (vengefuldjinn) What is being done to improve game stability and the problems moving bank and inventory items?

Dstahl: We’ve had some performance issues during the Three Year Anniversary Event that we addressed and will continue to look out for as we move forward. Even though we had expected a big turnout for the event, we’ve had a larger than expected number of players who haven’t played in a while return over the last two weeks. The game has changed a lot over the last three years and if you haven’t played since the game launched, there are a lot of fixes and updates that need to happen to your character and ships when you log in after so long. It was this large number of returning players that put tremendous stress on our Database. This stress manifests as latency when you attempt to move items between inventory slots or change ships. The engineering team has been monitoring the situation as it naturally corrects itself and putting in code to address this sort of issue so that we can handle even more players and improve performance when we release our next big update in May. We have some fixes in our most recent Holodeck update that are a step towards improving this.


Q: (veldrane2k) Has there been any thought to update the rewards for existing story line missions? While the content is first rate, replaying a mission for an alt is much less rewarding.

Dstahl: We are currently reviewing all mission rewards given in episodes as part of our May update. We are altering some rewards in a few select cases adding new ones. We are also making another pass to smooth out the options for mission replay which will address some of your concern.


Q: (carcharodon1975) “Beneath the Raptor’s Wings” has set people’s hope high on getting a playable Romulan faction in May. My question is… are we getting a playable Romulan faction in May?

Dstahl: We are not ready to begin discussing the details of what is in our May update, however the reference definitely suggests that it is related to Romulans in some way. We will share more news about the update and give a clearer response to your question as we get closer to May.


Q: (steveway) Will there be any additional upcoming benefits for lifetime subscribers?

Dstahl: Yes. The May update will have additional benefits and perks for all subscribers but we are not discussing what those are just yet.


Q: (trygvar13) What happened to the D’Gavama class Bird of Prey? I have the screenshot of when it was released on TRIBBLE but it is still not available.

Dstahl: This ship was removed prior to our Free to Play launch and we expect it to return to the game later this year.


Q: (cratchmaster) Have any plans been made regarding leftover autographed Q pictures? Will these be utilized in the future?

Dstahl: At the very least, Q will be back next winter and they’ll become useful again. In the meantime, we will consider if there are alternative uses for this highly collectible item!


Q: (nayukan) Both the Ambassador and the Kamarag classes are very nice ships, thanks for giving them us as an anniversary gift. However, both ships are "just" plain Tier 5 versions, are there any plans for upgraded versions?

Dstahl: A Fleet variant of both ships is available as yesterday at Tier 3 Fleet Starbase shipyards. Happy Valentine’s Day!


Q: (midniteshadow7) If you could have any Star Trek actor come in for a voice over, who would it be? why that actor? and how would you see using their character within the game?

Dstahl: Personally speaking, it would great to hear Michael Dorn reprise Worf in Star Trek Online. The character is already in game, but could take a much larger role, especially for the Klingon Faction and would add some much needed awesomeness for that faction. It would be great to see Worf play a bigger role in the war.


Q: (johnathan180) Is there any way that we could see the Terran Empire as a playable faction or get more ships?

Dstahl: We have considered the Terran Empire, and more generally the entire Mirror Universe, as a possibility for expanding the game in the future. Before we decide, we would create a Mirror Universe feature episode series and then gauge interest on whether a full expansion into the Mirror Universe would be viable or not. In any event, we will continue to add more Mirror Universe ships and ship designs to the game as time goes on.


Q: (rifter1969) I know there was talk and rumblings a while ago that Betazed is going to be introduced. I'm wondering when that will be. Also more, IMO, when will we see Tellar? Tellarites are founding members of the Federation and their home world isn't at least depicted?

Dstahl: There is a sector to galactic left of Sol where we would like to add an Alpha Quadrant sector devoted to many founding members of the Federation. It also contains interesting species such as the Tzenkethi and we’ve had some ongoing discussions about how other species, like the Ferengi, might be involved in this sector. At this point, it is a ways out on our radar, but we are discussing this sector internally. We have also considered this a possible starting point for a Foundry authored “sector”, where the majority of the missions are akin to “Sector Spotlight” missions, all authored by the community ahead of time. So there is a good chance you’ll see us do something with Betazed, Tellar and the other nearby systems in the years to come.


Q: (starfleetownsall) will there ever be a strategy part to this game like for example like in battlestar galactica where 2 factions take control of a map and territories can be claimed or like in world of tanks fleets could take control a map and fight for individual territories? this could be a really good idea and would make the game more interesting.

Dstahl: It is one of the concepts we are considering as we look at how Star Trek Online may expand onto mobile and tablets via Gateway in the future. Nothing is in the works at this time, but we agree that this is one potential area where it would be a compelling addition to the game.


Q: (khameseenair) Can you please make Lobi Crystals account bound instead of character bound. A lot of the items in the boxes are bound to characters too and that's really annoying. Generally, for those of us with multiple toons, we'll open boxes on multiple toons, but not always want the rewards with them. This makes it impossible to get enough Lobi to purchase the good items from the store.

Dstahl: We are looking to make some general changes and improvements to how lock boxes function later this year. We will be incorporating feedback as well as adding some functionality which will make it easier to manage issues like you describe. Whether that includes making Lobi account bound hasn’t been decided yet, but we appreciate the continued feedback regarding these currencies and we do plan to make improvements.


Q: (robertuso) Any chance of getting Earth pets? Archer had a dog and Data had a cat. The pets dont have to be from alien worlds all the time.

Dstahl: There is a very good chance that you’ll see Earth pets in a future update. We almost had a dog similar to Porthos in last year so it is just a matter of time until this gets added.


Q: (captwillhelm) You said on the last Q&A seesion that there are plans to launch the game on more translations. And the most probable would be portuguese. My question: if this happens, is it more probable to be brazilian portuguese or portugal Portuguese?

Dstahl: The localization team is looking into Brazilian Portuguese, but we have not yet determined if this is happening yet or not. As soon as I hear anything, I’ll make sure it gets into a future Ask Cryptic.


Q: (alvarax) Only Lethean and Sauran can have the efficient trait. Is it possible that you will give this trait to some other races? I’d prefer a team to be a full sexy Orion efficient crew than a full Lethean team as it is now.

Dstahl: We will be expanding and improving the trait system in the May update and there will be a good chance that you’ll be able to reset or obtain rare traits for other species. More details will be shared as we get closer to the release.


Q: (startrek44) Small fleets are still struggling to keep up with all the projects. Will you change the system in some way to make it easier for them?

Dstahl: We continue to review fleet sizes and fleet holding progress and it is true that small Fleets are having a harder time at completing projects. A primary reason is that the Fleet sizes in STO range from 1 member up to 500 members. We considered two options when we created the Fleet Projects. Option A was that fleet size would determine the maximum tier for Fleet Holdings. The larger the Fleet, the higher the Fleet Holding Tiers could achieve. This is how other MMOs have developed Guilds, but we felt that it is artificially limiting to active small fleets. Option B was to allow Fleets of any size to achieve all tiers of Fleet Holdings. The drawback is that because fleet size range so much, we had to find a balance so that large fleets had some challenge, while still allowing small fleets to achieve all tiers, albeit at a much slower pace. So from our perspective we choose the sensible Option B, with the goal of ensuring that our active large Fleets didn’t have a cake-walk. The end result is that smaller Fleets can achieve maximum Starbase sizes, but it is a bit harder. We can empathize with the challenge as the Dev team has a small fleet and has only achieved a Tier 3 Starbase so far. We are entertaining other options that may be useful for smaller fleets in the future (merging fleets, reducing costs based on fleet size, etc.), but for now this is our current design.


Q: (nometa) Will we be able to get a Romulan Warbird or a D’deridex class now that we’re helping the Romulans on New Romulus?

Dstahl: We discussed this opportunity when we were developing Season 7, however we decided that player interest in a Romulan faction is so high that we need to reserve these ships for a future update when we can implement a playable Romulan faction. So until then, these ships will be off limits to the Romulan Reputation System!


Q: (blubsplash) Have you ever thought about implementing a socketing system for gear?

Dstahl: Yes we have and, in fact, we will be implementing a new type of gear for the May update that will use a socketing feature.


Q: (bandit2338) Would you implement the option to activate/deactivate certain visual addons for Fleet Starbases?

Dstahl: This is a great suggestion and something we’ll throw into our stretch goal list for one of the Seasons this year.


Q: (ajowi) Any chance of getting some kind of “visual slot” for ships to display the appearance of a set while having another set equipped?

Dstahl: We have been considering this option for costume unlocks and may extend it to ships as well, but it is currently not in development. We aren’t opposed to the idea, but we would have to rework how the visuals are linked to the equipped items and instead make them options in the Ship Customization screen. It is a blessing to get so many great feature requests because it makes the game better and ensures that our backlist of things to do stays very full.


Q: (sternenforscher) When will we be able to cancel Reputation projects? Also, will there be higher ranks in upcoming Seasons?

Dstahl: The ability to cancel projects is coming soon, but it will not be available for all projects. We will be adding higher level content and ranks in one of the upcoming Seasons.


Q: (ekumulum) There are more and more non-Fed and non-KDF ships in the lock boxes. Don’t you think this is going too much against the Star Trek canon?

Dstahl: This is intentional and something that we worked with CBS to set rules around. Limited time ships, such as those in the lock boxes, are intended to be proportionally rare and difficult to obtain versus Fed and KDF ships which are the default and easiest ships to obtain.


Q: (psycoticvulcan) Would it be possible to redo the KDF tutorial mission where you have to run around Qo’noS?

Dstahl: Yes. We have someone working on changing the KDF tutorial right now. It is scheduled to be released in a future update.


Q: (korithian1) The recent teaser-trailer suggests that there will be Romulans added to the game soon. If this is so, has this given the team a good insight into what it takes to add additional factions to the game and will we see any more such as the Cardassians or Borg?

Dstahl: We have always had a plan for how we wanted to implement additional factions and we have polls dating back to early in the game’s life when we were looking to see which future factions players were most interested in. If and when we release a Romulan faction, you can expect that it would set the stage for how a Cardassian, Borg, or any other faction would be introduced into the game.


Q: (whamhammer1) If it is true that the game’s space combat engine cannot handle more than four weapons per side (front/rear)...

Dstahl: Let me stop you right there. We have a ship coming that breaks this rule, so it is not true.


Q: (mattmiracle) When might we see the opportunity to claim new IDIC tribbles? I have several new captains since it was introduced and I would love to get it on those captains.

Dstahl: That reminds me that we are approaching the time when we can evaluate some of these older rewards and find new ways to get them in game. If possible, we’ll get the IDIC tribble in for the May update. Thanks for the reminder!


Thank you for all of the great questions. Sorry if your question did not get answered, but you can rest assured that I do read the questions and even questions that don’t get answered to get flagged for the internal team to address. Thank you for continuing to make Ask Cryptic a useful feature for the game team.

See you next month!

Daniel Stahl
Executive Producer
Star Trek Online


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