“Klingon War” Story Arc Update
As part of our mid-season release, we are excited to announce that we have gone back and retouched many of our early episodes in the Federation’s “Klingon War” story arc. These episodes are key to the early gameplay for Federation characters, and they help to establish both how to play the game and what kind of Star Trek stories players should expect. As such, that means that they can benefit from many of the improvements that Star Trek Online has gained over the intervening years since launch – and now they will!
Some of the “Klingon War” stories have already been updated, of course; both “Stranded in Space” and “Diplomatic Orders” were remastered to take advantage of new techniques and new code that improved their quality. Rather than turn one or two more episodes into Feature Episodes, though, we’ve chosen to go through and make noticeable improvements on all of them. The stories remain the same and much of the gameplay is still there, but we’ve tweaked the missions to be faster, more dynamic, and more visually interesting. Here’s a selection of some of the things we’ve done:
- Minicontacts: We’ve added minicontacts – the fly-out messages from your bridge officers (or occasionally, from your enemies!) – to enhance the storytelling of the game. Minicontacts are a great way for us to get across a little bit of dialog, flavor, or explanatory text without taking up an entire contact window or stopping the flow of play, so we’ve taken advantage of these.
- Better Encounter Pacing: Rather than placing several encounters with the same difficulty level all in a row, we’ve paced the encounters so that you’ll face different levels of challenge. Sometimes you’ll surprise a few enemy ensigns or technicians, and you’ll be able to defeat them handily. But when you reach the goal of your mission, you’d better be prepared for a tough enemy captain who’s trying to stop you!
- Removed Extraneous Encounters: To improve the flow of the missions, we’ve removed some encounters that didn’t make sense or weren’t important to the story. This way, you know that when you’re pressed into combat with enemies, it’s because it’s important to your goals.
- Cloak-Friendly: If you play a ship with a cloaking device, like an upgraded Defiant-class vessel or a Federation-allied Romulan ship, you’ll find that many of the missions are much more accommodating for use of your cloaking device. You won’t be decloaked by most simple actions, and sometimes having your cloak active can change how other ships respond to you.
- New Art and Environments: We’ve updated some of our old maps with new art to make them more beautiful, more playable, and more distinctive. You’ll see this on missions such as “Researcher Rescue” and “The Kuvah’magh,” where the outdoor maps have been redone to take advantage of new terrain and vegetation, and in “Hide and Seek” and “Stop the Signal,” where the Klingon listening posts are now much more Klingon-themed. “Task Force Hippocrates” boasts an entirely new interior map for its research hospital, “The Kuvah’magh” has a new map for the Federation embassy on Regulus IV, and the maps for H’atoria in “The Ultimate Klingon” likewise got an update – including all of our latest tricks for the winter cold, where you’ll see the fog of your breath and slip on the black ice!
- Tightened and Improved Dialog: In many places we’ve tightened up the dialog for the mission, so that you can pick up the story with only a page or two of text. Also, we’ve made sure that your captain has a say in how missions progress; instead of being told what to do by your bridge officers, you’re giving orders while they look to you for leadership. Along with this, we’ve snuck in a few cases where your species or career can alter the dialog, and cases where your choice of dialog can affect the outcome of the mission.
- Career-specific Options and Accolades: We’ve added alternative paths for several mission goals based on your career. If you’re not playing a character of the appropriate career, fear not – you can still team up with someone and follow the alternative path, and get credit for the new accolades that are included!
Even if you’ve already played through this story arc in the past, you can easily replay these episodes by entering your Mission Journal (default key ‘J’), selecting the “Klingon War” episodes tab, and choosing to ‘Replay’ them. This way you can experience all of the improved content with your favorite characters, and collect the new accolades. Be sure to try them out!
See you in-game for the release of Season 8.5!
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