Our first Ask Cryptic of 2009 brings you answers about art, ship capabilities, and more. Thanks as always to our development team for taking the time to answer these questions!
How much interaction will be allowable with the NPCs representing new life found on strange new worlds? Will it be a case of clobber everybody then a text message providing a clue to the next step (like CoH/ CoV), a series of dialogue selections (Interplay's Star Trek 25th Anniversary and Judgment Rites), or something completely different.
This is a universe at war, so combat will be a major factor, but there will also be a large component of exploration. You will get to meet new species, some of which you’ll fight against, some of which you’ll protect, and some of which you’ll ally with. There won’t be extensive dialogue trees, but you’ll get to explore and have missions that don’t involve just clobbering everybody.
There has been discussion on the art direction. Can you tell us why you chose to design your characters and environments with bright, solid shade colors (for lack of a better word "Cartoony") rather than a more realism style like say, Oblivion or Age of Conan?
We’re aiming for a fantastical style, not a “cartoony” one. It’s going to look realistic, in terms of planets, environments, and characters, but we want to take it up a notch and make it feel more fantastic. We’re going to give it that sense of wonder and vibrancy that you expect from Star Trek.
What kinds of physics are governing the movement of ships? Will the physics engine be realistic with the "correct" mass and thrust ratios for each ship? I would like to see this as much as your physics tech allows, so we may enjoy authentic movements during space flight.
Turning radiuses, acceleration, deceleration, and general maneuverability will all be dependent on the size of each ship. Smaller fighters will be able to fishtail and maneuver quickly, while larger ships will have gradual turns, slower acceleration, and slower stops.
Will my custom species be one-of-a-kind or will the species be taken and seeded on other planets for other players to encounter?
At Cryptic, we really like including user generated content into our games. This, for example, is a great idea and we’ll look into it.
Is there a way to keep a ship you like and be able to upgrade it to be the equivalent to your avatar's level? For instance, if I want to stay with a Defiant class but my character is at Sovereign class level - is there a way I can get it to match a bigger ship’s capability?
The answer here is yes and no. You’ll start with a Tier 1 ship and you can certainly upgrade it and trick it out so that it’s comparable to a mid-level Tier 2 ship. However, a top of the line Tier 2 ship is going to be much better than even the most tricked out Tier 1. It has to do with growth capacity. There’s just more room for growth built into the higher tier ships. Of course, your skills and the skills of your bridge crew also affect how much you can do with your ship.Talk about it in the forums!
However, you do get to keep your ships. So, if you find yourself in a situation where an earlier ship would be more useful, you can switch back to it for that encounter. For example, you might want to shift back to a smaller and more maneuverable ship for running a blockade.