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Star Trek Online

The Section 31 Lock Box

By Ambassador Kael | Thu 09 May 2019 09:00:00 AM PDT

Section 31. The Tal Shiar. The Obsidian Order.

Intelligence services like ours have always been shrouded in mystery and the allure of power. One day, it will likely be known that the Romulan Star Empire was manipulated into war with the Dominion. When that day comes, it will brush aside the other legacies of Captain Benjamin Sisko like footnotes for all but Bajor’s faithful.

Stories of secret intelligence service have resonated with us throughout the ages. The means they use (and the ends which justify them) cast a long and deadly shadow, shrouding the victors in a heavy moral gray. Folk scarcely notice the extra wrinkles on their leader’s face as they stand among the ruins of a town sacrificed to keep a secret.

From the tiny spec that listens in the right room to the ultimate prize of a compromised head of state, intelligence services are a heavy burden and powerful tool for any nation. Star Trek, and more specifically Starfleet, has a special challenge here: how can an idealized state reconcile the clandestine service? In a future ruled by science and peer-reviewed morality, who watches the watchmen? With Section 31’s capabilities come its responsibilities. As you step into the shadows and find these decisions in your own hands, you will come back changed, we hope for the better.

The Lobi Consortium claims to have gained access to a cache of advanced intelligence gear. Sophisticated equipment and even entire ships have appeared for sale to the highest bidder.

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The Section 31 Lock Box contains unregulated tech, often secret prototypes that never saw full production, advanced technology waiting for wider adoption, and sometimes stranger things still—even “borrowed” Terran or alien technology. The less Starfleet science required, the more plausible the deniability.

This offering includes a ship, space weapons, personal traits, and an unusually large variety of universal consoles, starship traits and kit modules. Each box also contains a Faulty Section 31 Holo-Disguise which breaks upon entering combat, apparently some sort of economic inducement. Typical.

The Section 31 Lock Box contains two highly advanced Grand Prizes: the Section 31 Intel Science Destroyer [T6] and the Na’Qjej Intel Battlecruiser [T6]. More details about both ships will be available in a future blog post. 

Certain facets of the Section 31 Intel Science Destroyer [T6]’s engineering rule out all known shipyards, but the technology is clearly, primarily, Starfleet… primarily. With classified systems and additional procurement discretion, this ship is more than meets the eye, if anything meets the eye at all. For times where its stealth capabilities are insufficient or undesirable, its firepower rises to meet the challenge.

The Section 31 Intel Science Destroyer comes equipped with the Enhanced Tractor Drones Universal Console. When activated, this console locks onto the target with an Enhanced Tractor Drone, dealing them kinetic damage, significantly decreasing their maneuverability, and pulling them slightly towards you. Locking onto the target with multiple Enhanced Tractor Drones will increase the damage dealt by each. Tractor Drones are regained every several seconds, and up to 3 can be stored at a time.

This console also provides a passive boost to starship particle generators and weapon accuracy. It can be equipped in any console slot, on any ship. You may only equip one of these consoles.

After achieving level 5 in the Section 31 Intel Science Destroyer Starship Mastery, you will unlock the Exitus Acta Probat Starship Trait. While this trait is slotted, activating any Intelligence Ability or Jam Sensors will increase your stealth, control expertise, and weapon damage for a short duration. 

 

Unlike the Federation’s use of disguise to run away, the Klingon Empire uses stealth technology to go forth and fight, and few ships show that as well as the Na’Qjej Intel Battlecruiser [T6]. A brutal ship with its share of past glory, the Na’Qjej has been retrofitted and is the perfect vessel for anyone looking to find their place in the ranks of the glorious Klingon Empire. Powerful stealth technology lets you choose the right moment to strike, and the ship’s strengthened hull and aggressive weapons layout will ensure that today is a good day to die indeed, for anyone in your way.

The Na’Qjej Intel Battlecruiser comes equipped with the Glorious Charge Universal Console. When activated, your starship engages in glorious combat with your target, significantly increasing your kinetic damage resistance and breaking their puny starship across your hull.

This console also provides a passive boost to Torpedo Damage and Flight Speed. It can be equipped in any console slot, on any ship. You may only equip one of these consoles.

After achieving level 5 in the Na’Qjej Intel Battlecruiser Starship Mastery, you will unlock the Ceaseless Momentum starship trait. While this trait is slotted, firing any torpedo will grant you a significant boost to Kinetic Damage and Kinetic Damage Resistance for a short duration. This stacks up to five times.

(Additional information on the above starships will be contained in a separate Developer Blog.)

Two special consoles can be acquired from the Section 31 Lock Box as well: The Boronite Laced Weaponry Universal Console and the Computer-Assisted Flight Algorithms Universal Console.

The Computer-Assisted Flight Algorithms console allows your ship to perform Flanking maneuvers in space, dealing additional damage to the enemy’s rear arc and improving your turn and flight speed. When active, attacks to the enemy’s front increase the maneuverability bonuses and provide Damage Resistance, while attacks to the enemy’s rear deal even greater bonus damage and reduce the console’s own cooldown.

The Boronite Laced Weaponry console infuses your ship’s weapons with specially prepared boronite, causing your weapon attacks to tear open rifts in subspace near your primary target and draw all existing rifts to that location. Rifts deal kinetic damage over time to nearby hulls.  

Two new Starship Traits are also available in the Section 31 Lock Box: Need-to-Know Basis and The Exercise of Vital Powers.

Need-to-Know Basis is an ace up your sleeve, charged by activated Ensign Bridge Officer Abilities. Using 10 of these causes a Section 31 Intel Science Destroyer to appear and fight alongside you for 31 seconds, dealing significant area of effect damage with its abilities and opening up a full salvo with its weapons suite.

Nano-infestation is a formidable spaceborn affliction built with nano-scale blueprints recovered from Section 31 archives. It infects the target ship when you activate a Control Bridge Officer ability, causing its replicators to make copies of itself. After an incubation period, it spreads to all nearby enemy ships, infecting them with the same damage over time. 

Additionally, the Section 31 Lock Box has new Space weapons within the Section 31 Weapon Pack. Covert weaponry optimized for discretion, these Phasers are available as either cannon or beams. These weapons generate half as much Threat as normal weapons, and replace the traditional Phaser proc with a boost to flight speed and turn rate. Rarely, weapon packs contain the Section 31 Shield, providing the aesthetics of the Section 31 Intel Science Destroyer to a ship that equips it in its vanity shield slot. 

Captains may also find Section 31 Kit Module packs. These Kit Modules are universal, and can be used by any class.

 

  • Weaponized Dark Matter
    • A concept “borrowed” from Gabriel Lorca of the Terran Empire, these spheres of dark matter deal physical damage over time to any enemy they strike, eventually disintegrating them in spectacular fashion. The damage continues as long as the target lives.

  • Stasis Bubble
    • This device places the enemy in a non-fragile Hold, capturing them and levitating them in a bubble shield. When the shield falls so do they, dropping unceremoniously to the ground, suffering physical damage. The disorientation reduces their Damage Resistance for several seconds.

  • Covert Assault Drone
    • A piece of Terran technology, this Assault Drone hovers over the shoulder of its user, firing its phaser at the target whenever the user deals damage from a weapon attack. Agent Philippa Georgiou graciously provided the schematics in exchange for certain considerations.

  • Agonizer Brain Scramble
    • The dark confluence of Section 31 brain scan technology and Terran agonizer tech, this device ruins the mind of an enemy. It confuses them, placates them toward the user’s allies, and sends them into a berserk melee frenzy. Agonizer energy radiates off of them, damaging them and any other foes nearby.

  • Decloak Mine Trap
    • Forward-deployed mines creep about the battlefield only to be revealed at the critical moment in a ring around the target. Especially large targets are likely to set off the mines as soon as they arm, as are crowds of the target’s allies who stand too near.

 

New Captain’s Traits are also available within the Section 31 Lock Box. They are universal and available to all species.

  • Ground: Dangers to the Alliance
    • Periodically Exposes the highest rank nearby enemy as a danger to the alliance. (Certain attacks Exploit enemies who are Exposed, dealing massive damage)
  • Ground: Ambush Fighter
    • Dealing flanking damage with a Weapon Attack temporarily grants guaranteed Critical Chance.
  • Ground: Unconventional Gear
    • Using Control Kit Modules reduces the cooldown of all Universal Kit Modules.
  • Space: Threat Assessment Algorithms
    • Periodically launches an interstellar torpedo at the highest rank enemy. The torpedo warps to the enemy’s last known location.
  • Space: Holographic Mirage Decoys
    • The first time any of your Torpedoes, Hangar Pets, or Mines would take damage, they instead become briefly invulnerable.
  • Space: Unconventional Systems
    • Using Control Bridge Officer Abilities reduces the cooldown of all Universal Consoles.

 

There are many other prizes within the Section 31 Lock Box for players to acquire, such as R&D Packs, Boosts, and other assorted items. Each box also contains a Faulty Section 31 Holo-Disguise, which breaks upon entering combat.

The Lobi Store also has two new items available for purchase: 

  • Section 31 Phaser Pistol
    • This stealthy phaser is the favored weapon of Section 31 field agents. Like the space covert weapons, it generates half as much Threat as normal and replaces the phaser’s standard proc with a boost to speed. It additionally improves Expose duration and Expose chance, can Exploit with its primary attack, and its Expose-capable wide fire mode has dramatically lower cooldown than a traditional weapon.
  • Covert Minelayer Suite
    • The finest in A2/AD warfare, this console dramatically improves mine performance. Specifically, it increases Mine damage, decreases Mine global cooldown, and adds ‘creep’ functionality to all Mines. Any mines that find themselves too far away from enemy ships will slowly move toward the closest enemy ship within sensor range. This creep can be disabled by activating the Console and toggled freely.

Captains will also be able to purchase the distinct, black, Section 31 comm badge in the Lobi Store.

 

Bringing the spy tech of Section 31 to the masses is bound to cause waves. It generated a clandestine revenue stream for Section 31, drawing echoes of certain covert arms sale affairs from earth history, and the proliferation of tools makes deniability all the more plausible. Step into the pale moonlight with the Section 31 Lock Box, as well as the additional Lobi Store entries, coming to PC on May 14th, 2019.

Jon “20thCenturyFaux” Herlache
Systems Designer
Star Trek Online

 

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