Star Trek Online is, what else, an MMO based in the Star Trek universe. You fly a space ship, look at other space ships, blow them up, beam down and shoot people.
New expansion coming in October
Level cap to 60 but sort of not really
The level cap is being increased to 60, but the skill cap is staying where it is currently. Instead, each level up you get one skill point to use in an entirely new specialization tree, whatever that means.
Tier 6 ships
A total of eight new tier 6 ships have been released, and holy cow are some of them ugly.
Just look at that shit.
Tier 6 ships have 13 bridge officer powers (up from 12 at tier 5), and 10 console slots (up from tier 9 or 10 for tier 5)
Tier 5U ships
Most tier 5 ships upgrade to something like tier 6. Upgraded ships gain +1 console slot, are increased to the equivalent of tier 6 hit points and shields (fleet and lockbox ships keep their bonus), but don't gain a bridge officer power. This means that fleet or lockbox ships have more consoles and better hp than the new tier 6 ships thanks to their +10% bonus, but have one less power slot.
For lockbox ships, this is supposed to be free. For other ships, it sounds like this is a zen thing.
A new type of bridge officer. Intelligence officers are not a new department, but a sub-class. Some Tactical, Engineering, and Science officers are specialized as Intelligence officers, meaning they can learn Intelligence powers in addition to their department powers. There's a wrinkle here, though. When slotted on ships, they must be in special bridge officer stations to use intelligence powers. For example, you have a Tactical Intelligence officer, and your ship has a commander tactical station. Your officer can use all his tactical powers, but his intelligence powers are locked out. You'll need a ship with a Tactical Intelligence station to use his intelligence powers.
Gear Upgrade System
The same way tier 5 ships upgrade to tier 5, most equipment also upgrades to mk XIII and XIV. In fact, by appearances this seems to be the main way players get the top end gear, as reputations and fleet holdings are still providing mk XII end products. This system involves Upgrade Kits, which can be crafted or obtained from various means (some of which will surely be zen based because of course they will).
This is a less randomized version of the common upgrade system seen in free to play MMOs. Each upgrade kit provides a certain amount of tech points and research points. TP is a "level bar" for the item, moving it up as far as mk XIV. RP is a separate value for the item that progressively improves the critical chance of an upgrade, which allows items to be upgraded from their original quality level as high as Epic (gold), a new quality level above Ultra-Rare (the violet color of most fleet items).
Queue missions currently marked as elite are being renamed Advanced, with a new Elite being added above them. All normal queues are level 50, with players playing at their current level. Advanced queues have increased health and damage (just like current elite ones), and reduce all players to level 50 if they are above it. Elite queues are all level 60 and require level 60 to access, and have further increased damage, greatly increased health, and sometimes new enemies or new abilities.
Missions, bad guys, other stuff
So far we know about all kinds of Voyager bad guys that we get to blow up. There'll be a whole campaign set in the Delta Quadrant, and a number of Voyager actors will be reprising their roles, including Tuvok (cool), Seven of Nine (nice), The Doctor (awesome), Harry Kim (uh...), and Neelix (/ragequit)
Wait, you said bad guys?
Yup, wouldn't be an MMO without bad guys. So far, that we know of, the Voth, Borg, Undine, Hirogen, and Elachi are returning as enemies, and the new enemies include the Vaadwaur, Kazon, Maalon, Hazari, Kobali, Automated Personnel Units, Hierarchy, the Bluegills
and somebody called the Octanti (a random unnamed alien-of-the-week that Cryptic slapped a name and backstory onto).
The last time more than one enemy faction was added at once was way back in season 1 when the Fek'ihri and Breen were both added for the Klingon campaign. That's a hell of a lot of kill accolades to fill up, and a hell of a lot of lockbox material.
We don't get to shoot everybody in the Delta Quadrant, though. We also get to be friends with the Benthans, the Borg Cooperative (that society of liberated Borg from Voyager), Kobali (sort of), Ocampa, and Talaxians. No, we don't get to shoot Talaxians. Yes, that is a travesty.
Compared to launch, or even just to the last OP, ships have diversified immensely. The classifications are getting blurrier, there are more sub-types within each, and there's a lot of ships that just defy the system, like massive terror weapons with the bulk of a cruiser and the weapons of an escort.
Cruisers: Big heavy engineering ships, built mainly to fight broadside with beam arrays. Battlecruisers can use heavier forward facing weapons, but many still favor the broadside arrangement. Cruisers have special commands that give them a free "aura" buff to themselves and their nearby allies.
Escorts: Faster tactical ships built for heavy forward facing weapons and either hit and run harassment or just vaporizing targets with huge burst damage.
Destroyers: Despite dev insistence that "destroyers are not escorts" destroyers are just escorts. Some of them are slower and heavier, some are lighter and faster, some are exactly the same, all of them are escorts.
Raiders: Mainly a Klingon thing, raiders are very light escorts with universal bridge stations and the ability to cloak while in combat. Raiders have a flanking mechanic where they do increased damage to the rear arc of targets.
Science Vessels: The name is misleading, but these are vessels built for science. Control, support, healing, and other fancy technomagic effects. If it comes out of a deflector and modulates the tachyons, it's probably a science vessel. Science vessels have been scheduled to get their own special bonus "real soon now" since about February, in the form of a secondary deflector slot which accepts special deflectors with significant bonuses to certain kinds of science powers (either additional effects or percentage increases far beyond what a standard deflector offers through skills).
Carriers: Carriers launch pets. These range from the escort carriers and flight deck cruisers, which combine normal ships with some light fighter or shuttlecraft support, up to monster dreadnoughts like the Vo'quv and Scimitar that actually launch other starships. Many fall into other designations, while some are dedicated "pure carriers" with light weapon loadouts, two hangars, and heavy support abilities. Some carve unique ship types for themselves, like the Scimitar, which combines a weird combination of escort, cruiser, and dedicated carrier aspects into a giant, slow, fragile terror weapon.
Warbirds: Romulan ships with singularity cores and fancy battle cloaks that increase mobility. Warbird is something of an arbitrary designation, since they come in escort, cruiser, science, and carrier flavors, but all Warbirds do share some unique mechanics related to their special warp cores. In combat, your singularity core will charge, enabling you to fire a wide variety of unique powers only available to Warbirds.
Intel Ships: These ships are technically escorts, cruisers, science vessels, and so forth, but their commander stations are intelligence specialized, meaning that intelligence officers slotted there can use both their department powers and any intelligence powers they know. Intel ships are generally faster and more fragile than their non-ingelligence counterparts, but also get bumped one step up the stealth scale - Feds get cloaks, Klingons get battle cloaks, and Romulans get battle cloaks they can fire torpedoes through.
Q:Can I auto shoot on my ship or on ground?
A: Yes! Go to your control settings, and enable auto-attacks on right click. You'll need to do this for space and ground.
After, simply right click on your weapon attack in your ability tray, and a green outline will show around the icon.
Use the attack once and it will begin auto firing after that. To disable, right click again.
Q: How do I go faster in space?
A: Toggle Full Impulse by pressing Shift + R or else click the Up Arrow button on your throttle display. Warning: Going
into full impulse drains all power from shields, weapons, and aux to allow you to go faster. It is unwise to blast straight
into combat from full impulse. A wiser course of action is to drop out of full impulse a short distance outside of combat
range and let your power levels readjust themselves.
Q: How do I make ground combat not be poop from a butt?
A: At this point, you can't. However, you can alleviate this somewhat by turret spamming. Have your away team be 3
engineers and 1 science, for healing. Equip your engineers with as many turret abilities as you can, or want. Then in combat,
sit back and watch, or go make yourself a cup of coffee. Relax. You earned it.
Q: When do I get a promotion and a new ship?
A: You get new ships at levels 10, 20, 30, and 40. This corresponds with your promotion to Lt. Commander, Commander,
Captain, and Rear Admiral. Veterans get a ship at 50, corresponding to Vice Admiral.
It's still unconfirmed how or if we get a tier 6 ship, but if we do it would probably be either level 55 (Admiral) or 60 (Fleet Admiral).
Q: How do I access Fleet controls, PVP Queues, the Bridge, and other options?
A: There is an icon to the right of your mini-map which is a down arrow. Clicking this down arrow will give you a drop-down
menu which has several important features on it. Yeah, its fairly well hidden.
Q: What are all these kinds of PVE maps?
A: Well, first you have your regular episodic missions, those are obvious.
Then you've got patrols, which are missions that pop up the first time you travel near various systems at warp.
Red Alerts pop up in many sectors at random, and if you accept will put you into a timed battle against (usually) Borg.
Then there's queue missions of various types, accessible from the PVP queue button below the minimap. There are all kinds of missions here, ranging from simple "shoot all the things" to more structured "shoot the things while doing things" and "shoot things in order" missions. Some of the more recent ones do weird things like having you sole dialog puzzles and in one case, fight a series of enemy fleets coming down three straight lanes MOBA-style.
Then there are persistent "adventure zones," in which you do your open world missions with other players similar to more traditional MMOs.
Lastly, there are less persistent "battle zones" which keep the shared open world map as adventure zones, but a more structured objective system.
Q: How do I turn-in quests or acquire new ones?
A: On the bottom left of your mini-map is a Starfleet icon. If you click this icon, it opens a window with all of your
available mission contacts. From this window you will be able to turn-in and pick-up new missions. You do not have to fly
back and visit your contact in person between each mission.
Q: How do I adjust my power settings?
A: The button on your power control window that looks like two sheets of paper will bring up a small menu with a 1, 2, and
3 on it. If you click button 3, it will change your window to allow you complete control over your power settings. This is
the only way you can raise your aux.
- These missions offer special rewards. Some are only for a limited time! However, they come back during
the "Featured Episode Re-runs"
Series 1 - The Breen - 5 episodes
PLAY WITH US!
A longtime enemy of the Klingon Empire, the Breen have grown even more aggressive and have taken particular interest in the
planet Defera. It's up to you and your crew to determine what's brought the Breen to Defera and to save the Deferi people.
-The limited time reward was your very own Breen officer! Fancy!
-A few updates ago, a new Breen ship set has been added. This is a permanant reward.
Series 2 - The Devidians - 5 episodes
Thousands of Starfleet officers and KDF warriors have died in the battles in the Neutral Zone. The destruction has drawn
the attention of the Devidians, unseen predators who use chaos as a cover for their kills. This time, however, their plans
involve more than simple survival. You must stop them before they can change the face of the quadrant forever!
-The limited time reward was the Ophidian cane.
Series 3 - Cloaked Intentions - 5 episodes
Battles between former allies threaten to tear the Romulan Star Empire apart. Find the heart of the conflict before it
engulfs the quadrant!
-The limited time reward for this was the Reman officer.
-The Reman Prototype shield from this set is what makes your ship glow green.
Series 4 - Second Wave - 5 episodes
An anti-Borg conference on DS9 is crashed when the wormhole coughs up the Dominion fleet it ate in the episode Sacrifice of Angels.
-Limited time reward: Shard of Possibilities
Since series 4, Feature Episodes have all been one-offs. Most have not had limited time rewards, however Temporal Ambassador did give a free tier 5 Ambassador-class ship. That ship has not returned during rerun events, but has appeared in other promotions. The tier 3 version is still free from the mission, and a fleet version is available from the fleet starbase.
A follow up to the TNG episode Yesterday's Enterprise. While trying to return to the past, the Enterprise-C ends up in the future. Because the Federation still lost the Klingon War, the Dominion swept through and destroyed the quadrant, and now the galaxy we know is divided between the Dominion and the Tholians.
Sphere of Influence
Explore an Iconian Gateway with THE Worf, son of Mogh, leading to a base hidden subspace. Then do something really stupid that will probably doom the galaxy.
Step Between Stars
Join Tuvok exploring a starbase touching the surface of a star inside a Dyson Sphere, and do something else that will probably doom the galaxy.
Following Step Between Stars, Tuvok leads a arranges a peace conference in the Dyson Sphere. This time you don't doom the galaxy, but the galaxy is doomed anyway when the Undine show up,
Penny Arcade has a fleet, the "Arcadian Defense Fleet"
We have a chat channel setup, this is where we Arcadians chat. To join, type the following:
/channel_join "Penny Arcade"
The quotation marks are important, don't forget them.
There is also a PA Klingon Fleet, called the "House of M'rch." Everyone uses the same old Penny Arcade channel no matter
Thanks to Just_Bri_Thanks and Basil for the last two OPs, I've kept much of their work intact.