Welcome to the 17th installment of Ask Cryptic, where we put the questions you ask to our development team. In this issue we discuss Episode Missions. Read more to learn about Star Trek Online!
bassman631: Will our actions in one episode have consequences that carry over into other episodes and content throughout or later on in the game?
In a way. Many of the Episodes in the game are related to one another either directly or indirectly. Some of our Episodes are fun one-offs just like in the shows, but many of them are related to one or more of the major plots and themes that drive the story of our universe. You'll see results of your previous actions and even recurring characters later down the line. But seasons don't have multiple endings based on your actions in individual Episodes.
Nerresand: Do you need to complete the episodes in order to move forward with the plot of the game, or are they sometimes side stories? Do you need to complete episodes before progressing (in rank or other ways)?
Just like in the TV series, you can miss an Episode and still pick up the plot in future stories. Not all of them are related to the main story, and even if they are we try to make sure that they make sense on their own. If you've played through them all you'll notice more of the cool connections but it isn't necessary. There are very few Episodes that are actually pre-requisites for other Episodes and when it happens they are usually back to back like a two-parter.
Captain Bob: What kind of rewards will an Episode completion give, and how is it designed to fit into the rest of the game? In other words, are Episodes the primary source of upgrades, BOs, money, skill points etc, for the game, or might people be able to completely avoid Episodes and progress at a similar rate in the other activities like PVP and exploration?
We have a whole pile of rewards for completing an Episode. You can get Skill Points to improve your own abilities, Officer Skill points to advance your Bridge Officers, items or weapons for yourself or your ship, or even new Bridge Officers to join your crew. Even so, Episodes are just one of the ways to progress in the game. You can gain similar rewards by engaging in PvP or exploring Star Clusters.
Borticus: How frequently does Cryptic envision being able to roll out additional Seasons/Episodes?
One of the great things about making MMOs is that we get to continue supporting and adding to them after launch. Much of what we decide to do for live support will depend on what we find the STO players want more of. Currently we're looking at having additional releases every three or four months.
Thunder Child: About how many of these episodes are made for a single player? How many for multiple players? Or do they scale with the number of people?
All of the missions are built to accommodate single players or teams. When you're on the ground we know you're in a group of five that's either made of your friends or your Away Team so the ground encounters are built around that. In space we scale the encounters to match the size of your team so you should have a challenge alone or grouped.