Second -- and arguably much more exciting to specific fans -- is the reveal of Klingon gameplay. Klingons are PvP only, meaning their progression contains no PvE questing of any kind. Just how much information are we talking about here? Well, pretty much all of it. In fact, we're kind of wondering why you're still reading this and not looking below the cut, where vast amounts of Klingon gameplay treasure awaits.
by Cryptic Studios
Klingon gameplay is one of Star Trek Online's most unique features. It exists as an additional advancement path for players, and offers different gameplay options to players more interested in player-vs.-player combat.
Klingon Captains have the same number of skills available as their Federation counterparts, including the same professions. Your Klingon Captain can be a Science, Engineering or Tactical officer. However, they must advance through PvP, as they will not have access to robust player-vs.-environment content at launch.
Players will be able to create a Klingon character after they unlock the first sector block of Federation content, about five hours into the game. Their Klingon character will begin at a rank approximately equal to the Federation character that unlocked the content.
That's not to say Klingons won't be a robust faction. While they are PvP-focused, PvP in Star Trek Online is something we designed from the ground up to be a viable advancement path, meaning both Klingon and Federation players can reach a rank of Admiral solely through PvP. Players can engage in team vs. team, Federation vs. Klingon, Klingon vs. Klingon and Federation vs. Federation combat. What's more, certain PvP maps will have PvE objectives over which opposing players can struggle.
There are a number of different types of PvP scenarios available:
Challenges allow two teams to square off in a private instance created for them on-the-fly.
Arena maps are team-vs.-team matchups in instances, played either by teams that challenge one another, or by randomly-assigned teams created via a global queue system.
Scenarios feature objective-oriented gameplay like Assault and Area Control. The Assault scenario is straightforward: Move forces from your area to the opponents', inflicting more casualties than you suffer. The Area Control scenario is more subtle: Capture key objectives and hold them longer than your opponents to win the day.
War Zone maps are static maps that are always open for players to join. Both factions may enter this map, which has Open Mission-style PvE objectives to achieve, with the twist that members of opposing factions can hinder each other's progress via PvP.
Klingons also progress through their ships in their own way. Rather than gaining access to a standard Cruiser, Escort or Science vessel, Klingons receive special variants of ships as they progress. As players achieve new ranks, new ships become available to them, like so:
B'rel Bird of Prey – capable of cloaking in combat.
Bird of Prey Mk. 1 – capable of cloaking in combat.
Bird of Prey Mk. 2 – capable of cloaking in combat.
Raptor Mk. 1 – similar to Federation Escorts.
Bird of Prey Mk. 3 – capable of cloaking in combat.
Raptor Mk. 2.
Battle Cruiser Mk. 1 – similar to Federation Cruisers, but feature more forward-facing guns.
Bird of Prey Mk. 4 – capable of cloaking in combat.
Raptor Mk. 3.
Battle Cruiser Mk. 2.
Bird of Prey Mk. 5 – capable of cloaking in combat.
Raptor Mk. 4.
Battle Cruiser Mk. 3
Carrier – a massive ship with multiple hangar bays capable of launching several smaller fighters.
In general, Klingon ships have more forward-facing weaponry than their Federation counterparts, and boast greater maneuverability. What's more, Bridge Officer stations aren't restricted by class, meaning Captains will be able to put any Bridge Officer they like into any station, regardless of their profession. In terms of ship customization, players will be able to alter the ship's color and use several varying skins to change a ship's look.