Ask Cryptic is a regular Q&A between the developers working on Star Trek Online (and Champions Online) and the game community that's formed around the upcoming title(s). This week's Ask Cryptic for Star Trek Online focuses on ship combat, particularly how the damage inflicted upon your vessel affects its performance. Essentially, you'll be able to go all out in combat right up until your demise. That said, focused attacks on your specific subsystems can take them out, and losing crew members will weaken your skills in tasks that the injured or deceased personnel handled.
The Cryptic Studios devs also clarify that solo players will be able to acquire the same ships as those involved in high level group play, although soloists will likely find they're not able to get through some higher level content. Endgame rewards are meant to be a guild-level pursuit, but Cryptic stresses that the best ships will be available to anyone, regardless of play style.
If you're interested in reading more about how Cryptic aims to balance Klingon and Federation tech with the IP Star Trek Online is based on, as well as more info on combat and high end game play, check out this latest Ask Cryptic on the game's official site.