Hello, computer (and players)! As we have explored in past logs, the developers working on Star Trek Online are extremely transparent with the community, and this, surprising to some, is actually by design. Since Dan Stahl took over as Executive Producer a year ago come July, he made it his personal mission to make sure that fans of the game knew where the game was heading at all times and what was currently being developed. Due to the success of this open communication, Cryptic as a whole has made a shift to this philosophy for its other announced projects. New details often emerge through several different official sources: the monthly Ask Cryptic and Engineering Report as well as a plethora of interviews.
While the previously listed outlets are often marketed and widely known about, there are several channels that I would like to bring to light, ones that seem to fall under the radar. As Twitter is one of the biggest social media crazes, developers are using it to get information and work-in-progress screenshots out to the public. Also, some devs seem to be sacrificing sleep, as we will often wake up to posts in the STO forums that were posted near the midnight hour of Cryptic's time zone. Many feel that the most interesting and drool-worthy information is found in these "leaks," so I would like to share some of them with you.
Ensign, warp 10! You might want to grab a towel to wipe up your mouth...
Dan Stahl can be followed on Twitter at @Cryptic_dStahl. The majority of his recent tweets have been work-in-progress (WIP) photos of areas and items that will be making it in-game in the near future. Most recently, as pictured below, Dan made Engineering Captains faint when he finally announced that drones were getting a revamp. For anyone who plays an Engineering Captain, there has always been a complaint about how non Trek-like the drones were. This update, while simply cosmetic, is a welcome change. Props do need to be given to STO artist Thomas Marrone (@thomasthecat), as he designed them.
STO Community Manager Wishstone (@Cryptic_Wishy) is also a great resource to follow for those interested in the workings of the community. She will often tweet about upcoming forum changes, major announcements, and answers to questions sent to her. Game Designer Dan Griffis (@Cryptic_Gozer) is also a must-follow -- he is the legend behind some of the game's best missions as well as the Borg STFs. His current projects include remastering existing missions, remastering the STFs, and creating some of the featured episodes; you will not want to miss his tweets, as they are often juicy and revealing. Other notable accounts that you should follow include @Cryptic_Zinc (CEO), @trekonlinegame (STO's official account), @CrypticEQAH (QA), @Cryptic_Stormy (Community), @Cryptic_Matt (Lead Character Artist), and @Cryptic_Kestrel (Writer).
Lastly, any STO fan caught not following the Dev Tracker (@sto_devtrack) should be pushed out the nearest airlock. This account is the unofficial bot that reposts from the STO Dev Tracker forum. Anytime a dev makes a post in the forums, the bot automatically publishes a new tweet with a link and pushes it to your feed. This has really worked great for many of us wanting to stay in the know with everything going on. Even though this feed captures those late-night posts, many players often miss them. So what have you probably missed? I'm glad you've asked!
More often than not, even if you are subscribed to the Dev Tracker Twitter account, dev posts in the wee hours of the morning (PDT) are often missed. As I looked back on some of the past twilight posts, I noticed that almost the entire upcoming Duty Officer (DOFF) system was described in detail by Heretic, the dev making the system; most of the posts were between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. I hope he doesn't have to work at 9 a.m. the next morning, else my DOFFs may not be of the highest Starfleet caliber! The upcoming DOFF system is going to be truly amazing. While I don't expect you to stay up late to check it out, I do encourage you all to take a look at what you may have missed.
JHeinig made a midnight post recently about an upcoming fix to a space ability, Fire at Will (FAW). FAW is a pseudo-AoE-attack that allows beam-boats to hit many targets at one time. The dev mentioned that he is working on a fix to the accuracy problem that it currently is facing. Since I do have two characters that run beams, I am interested to see how this gets addressed and ultimately fixed. Now, while I did not expect you to stay up late, I will be making myself a cup of coffee and camping out at my desk... OK, just kidding. Or am I?
If you are a fan of the characters you roll or what you are dressed in, I can guarantee you will not be let down either (or maybe you will be if you are missing a button due to mhighison's lack of sleep). Matt (@Cryptic_Matt mentioned above) is often up late and talking about the future of uniforms and upcoming changes to species. He recently gave us some insight into the possibility of having open versions of the Jupiter-style of uniforms that came with the 500-day veteran rewards. Matt is also responsible for the updated Gorn species that will make its debut in Season 4.
Well, Captains, we have come to the end of this week's log entry. If you have not seen it yet, make sure to check out this month's Ask Cryptic, wherein Dan answered some questions that the community has been asking for the last couple of weeks. He also was interviewed this week by Priority One; he answered even more questions and dropped some exclusive, juicy details, so make sure to check it out tomorrow (Friday) morning over at The Quantum Cafe. Also, I hope you all join me this week yet again for a very exciting STO Livestream -- this Sunday evening I will be running through another remastered mission as I take on the dreaded Doomsday Device. Until next time, have your engineer check on the replicators as the supply of coffee will be crucial.
Computer, terminate recording.
Boldly going where no one has gone before, Brandon Felczer transmits Captain's Log through Subspace right to your PADD every Thursday. Join him as he discusses the latest news, gossip, and dev interviews about Star Trek Online. Hailing frequencies are always open to his bridge through firstname.lastname@example.org.