In a never before seen feat, Executive Producer Dan Stahl is delivering over 5,000 words in this month's Ask Cryptic! Be sure to grab your favorite beverage before sitting down to study this one.
Mister Stahl, the floor is all yours!
Q: tobar26th So, the question on all of our lips for some time now is this - when do we get some new content? It feels like an age since we had something new to do in game. The Borg invasions coming up at the end of the month are nice to see, but when are we going to get back on with some featured series and Endgame content?
A: Definitely the most important question to answer, so I’m cutting to the chase and answering this first.
There will be several new types of content available to play over the next few months. Note these dates are estimates and subject to change.
This isn’t a complete list of everything coming, but a good representation of what the team is working on.
STO set a precedence early on that we could release content at a rapid pace. Players have noticed that our previous pace has been interrupted and while I can’t go into details as to why that is, the important thing to take away is that the team that works on this game has been working on content and updates non-stop. The schedule above gives you an idea of what’s coming and what you can look forward to through over the next few months.
Cryptic Studios and more importantly Perfect World, are fully committed to STO and ensuring that we have lots of new content in the works. Anecdotally, we are also now hiring.
Check out the Cryptic Studios career page for job opportunities.
Q: Genxcraig Would you like to share with us some fun statistics about the game to show us just kind of information you are able to data mine ?
A: Here’s some interesting stats:
Top 3 Player Species/Class combos:
Q: Throcky Any details on the 600 Day vet rewards yet?
A: There will be 600 Day veteran rewards available starting September 8th. We have not announced what they will be yet as we are still working out details. We are planning to having veteran rewards every 100 days up through 1000 days.
Q: ElCapitan1701 Are we getting new music into the game?
A: This is a top priority we have with the audio team. In addition to continuing to pursue rights to use existing Star Trek music (which surprisingly, isn’t easy), we have asked for additional scores to be added to STO as soon as possible.
Q: ScottishTimelord Are we ever going to see the level cap increased anytime soon. How about letting us reach the rank of Fleet Admiral and have our own fleet to command (all the other class ships that we own). It would make for some epic battles!
A: The level cap increase to Fleet Admiral will not happen until we feel there is enough content ready to make it worthwhile. We have discussed allowing you to command several other ships similar to having an away team in space. Details on that are all TBD.
Q: SporeLord Any word on how we might be able to earn the Odyssey class ship (Enterprise F) in-game?
A: Current plan is that it will be a mission reward for completing a TBA Fleet Action series.
Q: kjk91 Would it be possible to let the players upgrade lower tier ships so that they could use them at Vice Admiral rank?
A: This question comes up frequently and previously we’ve stated that we feel older era ships should not be competitive with newer high end ships. We are still debating whether some form of crafting related retrofit would be possible. If we did do something like this, it would most like be a Season 5 or beyond feature.
Q: ppumaht Why have there been NO additions to space pvp since launch, only the removal of space assault and Marks of Honor (even though you can still get Marks of Exploration)? Is there any plans to change this?
A: There is no great answer for “why”, but I can say that we do plan to introduce PVP maps as part of our Feature Episode Series moving forward due to continual community requests for more maps. This is being worked into the schedule so that it gets done.
Marks of Honor are part of a global economy update coming out in September which will introduce a singular currency that can be earned across the board where you would previously earn Marks or Badges.
Q: Captain_Samson Are there any plans to release more canon ship interiors (Galaxy, Defiant, Intrepid, Sovereign ext.)?
A: Yes. There is a new replica interior being released with the DS9 Feature Episode Series.
Q: Space_Gunman Can we expect ground vehicles like the Argo or personal propulsion systems such as jet packs or the propulsed boots that ambassador Spok used on the fifth film: The final frontier?
A: Both of those items have come up as possibilities for use as part of future Feature Episode series. I don’t expect you’ll be able to use them outside the missions themselves though, as the game is not currently setup to allow players to drive or fly wherever they want.
Q: Dunzel Give us the ability to block Fleet invites.
A: At some point we had a block Fleet Invite option in the works, so I’ll investigate and find out where that is at. I’d like to see that as an option as well (and thought it already was!)
Q: Suricata Will Fleet action leader boards be re-added to the end of matches? (Since the FA queues were added the leaderboards have been removed). Are there any plans to add a 'raid' interface to the game, so that when fleets do FA's they can see the members of all the groups on their side, instead of just their group.
A: We do have plans to re-add the Leaderboards at some point, but it is not on the near term schedule. I’ve pinged our software engineers to find out when we can expect to see it. Also, having a true “raid” interface is something we’ve talked about doing but need additional software team support to make happen. We do now have the ability for you to see all of the Fleet Action members when you create a private queue, but we haven’t yet extended that tech to the HUD.
Q: Klytemnestra For a long time now, there has been mentions of a V'ger Special task force (STF). In recent months there has been talk of a weekly series. I was wondering: Will this ever be in the game? Will it be like how V'Ger was in Star Trek The Motion Picture (ST:TMP) (My favorite of all the movies).
A: I’m a huge fan of V’Ger myself and have been working with CBS to dig deeper into the possibility of doing an origin or follow up story to the V’Ger ship creators. There is a good chance you may see hints of where this might be headed in upcoming events, but for now we are still working out details.
Q: N.Bridger Can you combine the Tier 5 ship skill tables like they are on the Tier 4 because it is very stupid to reskill all time when you switch to another ship.
A: The systems team has something in the works for this and you can expect a space skill update sometime in late September.
Q: etylerhenry When the sector walls are brought down will the technology be applied to systems for examples having an entire sol system that could be explored.
A: We are discussing creating one large sector space galaxy zone (and you may see this before the end of the year), but that same technology will most likely not be applied to the individual planetary zones as they are build differently and aren’t big enough to contain all the objects that would need to be in the solar system. Currently all the Sol planets are on their own zones.
Q: Drouid I just want to know if the KDf will ever get ship refits like the feds have gotten?
A: Yes. These are in development now. BOP, Raptor, and Battlecruiser variants are being worked on.
Q: zevermoon What happened to adding creatures? Like dirty blue apes that shoot sonic attacks at you.
A: We are awaiting animation support to be able to have all of these creatures move and enter combat as they should. Once we have all the animations completed, then we can start to introduce these various beasts.
Q: Tragamite Can we have system space showing all planets in the system like a mini sector space with plottable courses to each planet. This would be a way to open up the sectors, systems and planet maps. It could also add new locations for foundry authors.
A: We’ve discussed doing something like this and even have a concept picture for how it might look. No eta yet on when we’ll have this fully implemented.
Q: Howtok When will "Into the hive" launch? When will the borg stf's be a challange again?
A: Into the Hive is scheduled to release this Holiday season. The Borg STF updates are scheduled to re-release in September with the new group finder feature.
Q: W-T-Riker The Wedding Dress of Worf and Jadzia Dax whould be nice.
A: This is on our list of costumes to add to the game, so it’s on our radar.
Q: FAZeus Can we please have a Phaser range on Starfleet Academy like in the series maybe a mini game?
A: This is on my list of things that I’d like to see added to both academies along with other Holodeck simulations such as the Kobayashi Maru
Q: SGRvirus When are we (authors) going to see more assets in the foundry like the bajoran orbs?
A: Lots of Bajoran assets will be Foundry enabled during the next DS9 themed feature episode series. I’ve also heard rumor of more Bajoran outfits.
Q: Rhas One of my female captains uses the 7of 9 costume in black to simulate the skin suits featured in David Weber's Honor Harrington novels. So the bridge officers are suited up when on duty (and away missions). Could we have an equivalent costume for males please? If you could also add in fitments a harness and a helmet you would have a futuristic space (vac) suit.
A: Yes, something similar is in the works. Stay tuned as more details will be release with the Re-release of the Borg STFs.
Q: Timelord_Victorious What was the reason for making the Rhode Island that is clearly more powerful than any other ship at that level? Isn't this making the old Nova obsolete for people who are willing to pay to be more powerful and turning everyone else into second class captains? This sounds harsh, but I honestly want to know the reason for it. Maybe there is something you have not told us yet, an important piece of the puzzle?
A: The plans are to add ship variants that have cool and versatile powers at all tiers. “More powerful” is debatable and if the forums are any indication there is not a consensus. We want to add new ships with new abilities across the board and simply making “skins” of ships that only look different, but don’t act different is not a goal. We want new ships to feel like new ships with new abilities. There were similar outcries about the Galaxy Dreadnaught when it first came out, but now that there are plenty more ships, the concerns over that ship are not what they used to be.
That said, we are still evaluating the Rhode Island and have delayed the release for at least a week to discuss the ship and ensure it is balanced for what it is intended to be. Also keep in mind that we intend for all ships to be earnable in game via emblems, so arguments that this is only for people who “pay for it” are unfounded.
Q: 47alphatango In terms of crafting, will we be able to eventually take items we have and break them down into anomalies of the same tier, receiving a quantity, and possibly a rare anomaly depending on the rarity and value of the item?
A: Deconstructing items is on my to-do list for Crafting. I’m awaiting some software tech so that I can properly give you the right amount of anomalies for the item.
Q: piwright42 In space our ships help to smear the line of our captains career, allowing a tac in a fleet escort for example to heal themselves and others a little bit. Has any thought been given to the notion of making kits so they can allow us to hybridize on the ground a little as well?
A: Yes. Late in Season 4 or possibly early in Season 5, we plan to introduce the ability to customize kits so that you can have more control over your captain’s abilities on the ground.
Q: bluegeek Will players ever get the ability to receive new traits, or to improve the ones they have? With current trait limits, there is no way to build a Vulcan character (for example) that is Logical, has Physical Strength, can Mind Meld and use Nerve Pinch, and also has Acute Senses. Spock had all of these things and probably more.
A: That is a great analogy and something I’m discussing with the systems team as a possible bonus when we raise the skill cap to Fleet Admiral.
Q: reanimatedfish So far, I've been blown away by Star Trek Online's incredible progress in the last year and a half. It's almost not the same game, in some respects. We also know about some of the other big changes coming up, like the Doff and First Officer system. But what I want to know, what is it that you want to see added the most to the game? Not necessarily short range, just your own personal dream feature.
A: Completely awesome remake of Exploration so that I can head off into the unknown and run into things I could have never expected to find.
Q: StormyMaverick Keeping in mind Star Trek fans become attached to not just the captain but the crew as well, many STO gamers (who are not rabid MMO gamers) would like to keep their crew intact as most of the series did. Has there been any discussion or thought to allowing our BOFFs to progress in status as well as rank (say, go from white to purple over time) in some manner?
A: This has been discussed since the early days of the game and is in some ways responsible for the skill training system we have in game now. As you point out, this doesn’t address the rarity issue of the bridge officers. There is a possibility we could consider this type of ranking up system. The ability to Alt your bridge officer is also related to these discussions. It is an interesting prospect and one we’ll continue to look into.
Q: Admiral_Drake Will there be a fix for the "captain database" for outside the STO game? And if you are revamping it, will there be a way to see our Biography, rank, diplo rank, etc? And finally can there be a way to access biographies of other characters maybe in our ship interior?
A: I miss the Captain’s Database as well. I’ve pinged the web team to find out when this feature is going to make a comeback and find out what other features we can possibly put in there.
Q: teralkaar About French and German translation of STO: Can we have a wiki/forum dedicated to translation STO where Cryptic post the text to translate of the episodes. once those receive proper translation then they would be integrated in the game?
A: The real question is, where are the FR and DE translations for STO!? Now that we are with Perfect World, this is a big topic of discussion as PW values having top notch localization. We both agree that we either keep the game English or we do an excellent job with the localization of text. Nobody wants to have a “crappy” localization put into the game. Expect movement on this issue in the coming months. I wouldn’t be surprised to see STO localized into more languages.
Q: Cosmic_One Dan, you keep saying more transparency from the Devs is the order of business yet there are very few posts from dev on the forum - especially with the S4 launch. The only way to calm a ranting community is for there to be a Dev presence on the forum regularly. You close down the office for the weekend without telling us why, which leads to rampant speculation, you have no Dev or Moderator presence on the forum all weekend - which leads to more ranting and rampant speculation.
A: The last month has been pretty brutal in terms of vacations, injuries, people OOO for one reason or another, hiring freezes, negotiations that required silence, etc. In addition, we’ve all been very heads down trying to get new content completed so that you can enjoy some fresh new missions and updates.
Now that the announcement has been made and we are beginning our integration with Perfect World, you can expect more communication to flow and for a greater presence from Devs on the Forums.
Q: CaptainWallis Is it possible in the future if we will be able to have a graphic option to "not see player geometry", so I don't get to see other people with Aegis gear and purple glows from the Breen kit flying around sector space. It just does not look Trek?
A: It is possible, but it requires a software update that isn’t complete yet. This is also the same boat for those who want to turn on/off warp trails.
Q: Hightower117 Has any thought been put towards a quick way to change out of armor/kit when on a "friendly" station? Some people put a lot of time into their uniforms and it seems such a shame to have the covered up in social places. And while I know you could remove the armor and remove the kit when you land, then put them both back on before you leave, couldn't that just be automatic or with one click of a button?
A: Right click on your character portrait and you’ll get an option to switch uniforms. Another thing we are discussing is having the costume pieces related to kits be added as unlocks in the character tailor. This way you could use different kits you own to add accessories to your costume without needing to wear any specific kit.
Q: metaQ What about animated antennae for Andorians?
A: On the schedule for later on in Season 4.
Q: Aoav160 Will the KDF be able to obtain the Har’Pengh torpedo, or will another weapon be given to them?
A: They will soon be able to obtain the Har’Pengh torpedo launcher via their own methods.
Q: kekvin85 When will we get any additional dailys? (Ground mainly)
A: There are many new ground dailies added with the Borg Ground Invasion. In addition new lore missions can be complete daily at both Academies. Both of these are coming in September. There will also be new ground dailies in the next Feature Episode series.
Q: MOX Chi As an engineer and flying a cruiser, it’s a pain to have to deselect an enemy to select a friendly target to "buff or heal" them and then re-acquiring your original target. Could there be a way in which we could use "mouse over" style to a similar if not same technique used in World of Warcraft.
A: We are investigating this as a possible option. In a slightly related note, we are also making some improvements to how “Shooter Mode” works with destructible objects.
Q: WHITEVIPER I would like to know why we take the time to report a bug or an issue and Cryptic no loger gives us a reply or lets us know what the resolution of the ticket or problem is. Instead we are give the response that seems to becomeing more and more their natural response......CHECK the Forums!
A: A change was made to the way tickets were reported because it was not being used effectively to track down issues. Now when you submit a bug ticket it goes directly to the QA teams for them to investigate and look into, however the drawback is that you don’t have a status on your tickets anymore. Please make sure it is a bug ticket, as GMs cannot help you with bug reports.
As far as others saying to report it on the Forums, we do have a large number of QA and production staff looking through the forums for other reasons and we do often see bugs here as well. So for now I’d suggest submitting a ticket as we are getting those now. If you want to report it on the forum, feel free to, but it isn’t necessary.
Q: 1701LivesOn Will the ship customization system ever be expanded upon in a way that allows for mixing-and-matching parts from similarly-designed ships at different rank? For example, will the parts of the Vesper be available to the Excelsior, and so on and so forth?
A: We do not plan to allow kit-bashing where you can mix and match parts from different starships as we want to keep the integrity of the ships recognizable as they class they are intended to be. That said, we do plan to introduce new parts and variants to offer more variety for customization within the class of ship.
Q: Seetherius Path to 2410 update?
A: This will most likely be add as new “lore” quests after they are released in September.
Q: Omegadevice We have seen more items been introduced with every new episode. When will we have new powers?
A: Since a goal of the feature episodes is to make them playable at any level, it is difficult to create powers that players could pick up at any level and keep the game balanced. We can add new types of abilities to devices and items, but powers gets risky as there is currently no limit to the number of powers you can obtain, you are only limited by what you are given at each rank up.
Q: alexisnomad Are there plans for dual torpedo launchers, like the ones the Defiant has in DS9?
A: While I don’t know if the dual torps are coming yet, I can say that the Defiant is getting a major IP overhaul for the next feature episode series and that includes the proper rapid fire cannons you remember from the show.
Q: Field_Admiral Like the space map creator in the foundry, will we ever have the option to create custom interior maps? Instead of taking a premade map and adding walls and décor to make it look like our own, we would start with a blank grid then add walls, or premade rooms of different sizes, hallway sections, and/or windows depending if it’s a ship, ground building, or station map. This would give us the tools to give our maps an original look and feel unique to our mission.
A: This is a goal for Season 5 when we plan to release player built and run Starbases. Currently, Neverwinter is pioneering this tech and have the ability for players to create interiors, so we plan to merge that feature into our game as part of our Foundry update in S5.
Q: Stylsy Are there any further updates on streamline the currencies in game?
A: This is happening. It will hit Holodeck in late September.
Q: Zarkonis Any chance of another temporal-type mission where we have to go back in time once again? Either 30-some odd years ago, to help Sisko at DS9, or even further, to help Archer against the Xindi?
A: Since we have plans to put the Ambassador class ship into the game via a future Feature Episode, I’d imagine that would involve some sort of time travel ala Yesterday’s Enterprise.
Q: Captain_Sonda Will the new Enterprise-F have a brand new bridge interior and a new corridor?
A: We are discussing making some modifications to the ship interiors so that it can have a more accurate interior similar to what the Sovereign class should have. It will definitely have its own bridge.
Q: Kingdox Are there any plans to create money sinks to remove the mountains of EC every player seems to have?
A: Yes. This is part of our economy update coming over the next several months.
Q: Rha-Shazad Helmets. A helmet to go with our ground armor. EVA missions would be fun too, or on planets where the atmosphere is less than friendly. Making a few varities of helmet shouldn't be too hard and for me would add to realism and practicality.
A: Helmets are on our wish list too. You may see them sooner than you think! Well actually I’ve already seen them, but soon you’ll be able to see them too.
Q: geofftillman When will we finally be seeing the Tholians?
A: Either Feature Series 5 or 6.
Q: Kirkfat One thing that is considered for future development is "Redesign for Exploration Sectors (and Exploration in general)." Is there any chance that Foundry authors and devs could work together to remaster some of the lackluster exploration and diplomacy grinding?
A: There is definitely a chance for that. One of the concepts we have for improving exploration is to create a dynamic star cluster that allows players to create their own missions and “ship in a bottle” episodes that could be tied to unexplored areas of the game. I’m very keen on this idea and love the suggestion.
Q: ALPHAOMEGA1500 Will we see the Kobayashi Maru Test used in the Starfleet Academy Tutorial as a part of graduation from the academy ? Who is in Charge of Starfleet Academy ?
A: Yes and we are working on a new character to introduce as headmaster at the Academy in a future episode
Q: Tricksterbro Would it be possible to add STF's to the PvE queue?
A: Yes! This feature is in the works and is expected to release with the updated STFs in September. In addition, you’ll be able to create private STFs queues where you can invite KDF and FEDs into the same team for the STF.
Q: Zeo82 Why are diplomatic missions not considered similar to normal missions in the mission journal? I'd like to see my current diplomatic missions in my progress journal please.
A: We are working on a major update to the mission journal and will be certain to include this fix.
Q: Nital-Jaxa Will the entire Academy Campus be opened up, so we can view inside all the buildings. Not just Building 2?
A: Due to the size of the other buildings, we will not be able to model their interiors so that it is seamless with the Academy grounds. We can however add doors that go to Foundry missions as well as to interior maps that represent the interiors of those buildings. We will add these if and when we have missions that require more offices or points of interest at the academy.
Q: Necrion Are there any plans to expand the ground combat "Mouse Button Highlight" system beyond 3 buttons?
A: The new highlight modes that were introduced with Season 4’s “Shooter Mode” are still in their infancy as a feature. We are looking for great feedback such as the thread you mentioned in your post and will continue to look into the ability to add more functionality in future updates. We specifically want to improve bridge officer control using the mouse.
Q: Keppoch Now that the KDF has access to all sector blocks except the Sirius Sector Block, will the KDF be getting a transwarp ship like the Fed's Excelsior? A tier 5 K'tinga might be a good fit for such a power.
A: We’ve discussed this as a power for one of the upcoming KDF ships. We’ve also discussed updating the transwarp power on the Excelsior and in the event we remove all of the sector walls (a definite possibility). If we remove the sector walls then transwarp will need to have a different function and we will consider the KDF when we evaluate updates to this power.
Q: Akalayus Are there any plans on adding android BOFFs?
A: We have been looking to add androids both as playable species and as BOFFs. The concern from CBS is that androids of “Data” caliber are very rare and should not be prevalent in the game. What this means is that we need to come up with something different than a Soong-type android that is not as powerful or reliable as Data. Once we land on android traits that do not interfere with IP or are OP, you can expect us to add androids both as a playable species and BOFFs.
Q: Grantoliver Will there ever be anything like different assimilated species (eg caitian, andorian, vulcan etc) or will there at least be borg fx parts for these species with on c-store or something as costume pieces.
A: We are adding more assimilated NPC species as part of the Borg Invasion content, however we are still trying to determine how to add “Borg” options for the costume tailor that work with or do not interfere with the existing Liberated Borg, so don’t expect these to be a part of Aliengen.
Talk about it in the forums!