Last week, we announced the upcoming Skill System Revamp that will be available in Star Trek Online's next update. As with any new system and updates going to Tribble, we received a ton of questions from our players regarding the details of the system and how you would interact with it. Jeremy Randall, the designer behind the Skill System Revamp, took some time to answer the most frequently asked questions below.
Q: Why is the Skill System receiving a Revamp?
A: Time and again, we have received feedback from our players that the Skill System is unusually difficult to understand, and has done a poor job at helping players master the combat mechanics involved in Star Trek Online. In fact, even a basic level of understanding required a good amount of research and “tribal knowledge” that was difficult for players to obtain through game experience alone. For both the benefit of existing players, and to lessen the barrier to entry for new players starting their Star Trek Online experience, we felt it was necessary to simplify the system, improve the leveling experience, and de-mystify many of the underlying combat mechanics.
Q: When the Revamp hits Holodeck, will players have to re-spend their Skill Points, or will they be automatically updated?
A: All characters will have the entirety of their purchased skills refunded automatically, and will need to spend their new Space Points and Ground Points to purchase skills under the new system.
Q: What will happen to any unspent Skill Respec Tokens that I currently own?
A: Nothing! They will still be available for use under the new System.
Q: Will the existing pricing of Skill Respec Tokens remain unchanged?
A: To help celebrate the launch of Season 11.5 and the Skill Revamp, we will be holding a promotional sale at that time to reduce the price of Skill Respec Tokens. The exact pricing will be announced at a later date.
Q: Will I be able to replicate my existing build under the new system?
A: As much as possible, we have taken pains to ensure that players will be capable of replicating existing skill layouts in the new system. There are going to be edge cases where a new build isn’t quite what it was before, but we’re doing as much as possible to minimize those.
The one place this will not be true for most players will be Training Manual availability – it’s probable that not all characters will have the same access to Training Manuals that they had under the old system.
Q: I currently have an [Item, Trait, Set Bonus, etc.] which improves one of my Skills. What is happening to that with this Revamp?
A: The vast majority of these are being translated 1:1 over to new Skills with no change in their functionality. For example, if you have an item that currently improves your Graviton Generators skill, that item will be automatically updated to improve Control Expertise, which serves the same purpose(s) in the new Skill System. There are very few bonuses currently available to players that cannot be translated directly, and even in those few cases we will instead translate the bonuses to something that remains relevant under the new system.
Q: Will this affect our Specializations in any way, and if so how?
A: This revamp does not include any alterations to how existing Specializations function. Any abilities you have purchased/unlocked from Specializations will remain yours, and any unspent Specialization Points will also be untouched.
There is a UI adjustment being made to where your Specializations are now located. Instead of having their own tab across the top of your Status Window, they are now a sub-tab located within the Skills System. In this way, we hope to reinforce the fact that both are progression systems used to improve your character as they level up (and in the case of Specializations, far beyond level cap).
Q: Did I hear something about “Crew” being removed? What happened to my Crew?
A: This is a mechanic that never worked well in Star Trek Online, and needlessly confused some systems (such as Hull Regeneration). Rather than try and improve a system that added complexity to an already complex game, we decided it was time to retire the mechanic as a whole. As a result, you will no longer see a Crew meter in the HUD, and all existing mechanics that relied upon Crew have been changed so that they behave at all times as if you had 100% of your available Crew.
- Any items/traits/etc. that improved Crew Regeneration have been changed to improve Hull Regeneration.
- Any items/traits/etc. that improved Crew Resistance have been changed to improve resistance to Subsystem Offline Durations.
Q: What is this new “Threatening Stance” ability? Where did “Abandon Ship” go?
A: We have abandoned “Abandon Ship” – this ability was never very useful, and primarily only utilized to grief other players. We decided to remove it entirely, and replace it with the new ability: “Threatening Stance”
By toggling on this new ability, the player may choose at any time to begin causing additional Threat to any enemies they are in combat with. Threat is what determines how an NPC foe chooses their target – the more you generate, the more likely they are to attack you.
Q: I am a Science Captain. Can I purchase Tactical and/or Engineering skills?
A: Absolutely! Just as it is true with Skills currently, any character can purchase any of the same skills as any other Captain. This did not used to be true of the Ground Skills, but these have been standardized with the new Skill Revamp so that all characters have access to the same Ground Skills.
Q: I heard mention of an “Unlock Path” – what is that?
A: Every time you spend a Space Point to purchase a Skill, you will also earn progress on the Unlock Path associated with the Skill you just purchased – Engineering, Science or Tactical. After earning specific amounts of progress on an Unlock Path, additional bonuses will be made available to you. Many of these will present you with a choice, and you will able to decide how you would like to further customize your character’s progression.
All Ground Points spent earn progress on the same Unlock Path for all characters, but every node on the Ground Unlock Path is a choice.
Q: How will I earn access to new Training Manuals in the revamped system?
A: Training Manuals are no longer directly tied to Skills, but are instead now one of the many types of bonuses that can be earned via progress on the new Unlock Paths.
Q: When will the Skill Revamp arrive on Holodeck?
A: This feature is planned to be part of our upcoming Season 11.5 release. The release date for that update has not yet been announced. Keep an eye out here for more details in that regard!