Star Trek Online Preview - Page Two

Welcome to page two of our Star Trek Online Preview.

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Co-operative play is a big part, allowing you to form teams and take on missions together. Battles in space between numerous player and NPC craft. Excitingly, when crafting an away mission you can hand pick your team that contains other players. Beaming down to a planet or onto an enemy ship is surely a recipe for fun. There will also be DS9-like areas to meet up communally and enjoy various social features at various locations, hubs and for various events to bring people together.

PvP (player versus player) has been confirmed which will feature a faction vs. faction ruleset as well as plans for competitive PvE (player versus environment) mechanics. PvP play will be restricted to far reaching, pre-designated areas of space in unclaimed territory and all PvP, Role Playing and PvE rulesets will take place in the same server, making for what should be a positively bustling universe. The Neutral Zone will allow for consensual PvP and PvE play, with competition for resources and territory fuelling these battles. There will be no single-player as such; you will at least need an Internet connection to be able to play.

Exploring strange new worlds.

Probably the most challenging aspect is appeasing Trek fans with realism (at least in the context of the series). Travel time through space is one of the more difficult things to get right, but Cryptic say they are looking to make it semi-realistic. Not so long that it's boring, but obviously space is a vast area. Transwarp conduit technology and wormholes will let you move around the galaxy quickly. No decision has yet been made on pricing, though you can be sure Trek fans would be willing to subscribe, but console gamers are notoriously reluctant. It will certainly be interesting; we would love to see micro-transactions replace subscriptions in MMOs as it really limits the audience otherwise.

Cryptic are looking forward to the challenge of getting PC and console players on the same servers which would be great, as console MMOs can always end up a bit empty after not too long. They say there is nothing technologically keeping them from doing it, though Microsoft may have something to say about that.

- Mike Hazleton

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