Hello, computer (and players)! For the past several weeks, Star Trek Online players have been checking out the latest F2P beta builds on the Tribble test server. While there have been a few patches on other days, more for stability fixes and minor tweaking, Thursdays seem to be the designated day for us to receive the largest pushes of new content. The latest round of updates has brought further economy changes, new events and ships, and even more heated debates. Since we seem to be a ways out from the seeing the updates ported to the Holodeck live server, there is still plenty of time to check it all out and provide your feedback to the devs.
I would like to dedicate this entry to those who are helping test the changes. This week's Captain's Log serves as a checklist of sorts on what new content you can test and where you can provide feedback about it. As you read through, I suggest that you read a particular section, jump into game to check out the particular change, formulate an opinion, and head to the linked forum where you can leave your feedback. No matter what you think, it's important to let the devs know -- they will make changes based upon a collective opinion.
Ensign, warp 10! It's time to create our own party rock anthem...
While the majority of the patch notes focus on the topics below, there have been some awesome updates that are classified as "general." The most notable update is the Klingon Academy, which has been delayed for a few months, but soon KDF players can enter and roam the grounds of the Klingon training area. This new map, like Starfleet Academy, provides an area where players can participate in lore missions and daily events. While the daily event, which is said to be "analogous to the Starfleet Academy event," will be available in a future content push, many players have found surveying the area gratifying.
Other notable "general" updates include the new interact effect, a few UI updates, and an update to the Tour the Galaxy daily event. After checking out these and the Klingon Academy, make sure to post your feedback.
One of the most thought-provoking changes that came with the latest Tribble patch revolved around the crafting system. For a while on the test server, players could only craft odd-mark gear. The dev team told us that we were only seeing part of the change and that the even-mark gear would be returning. Well, it definitely has, and in a big way. While we can once again craft MkII, IV, VI, VIII, X and XI gear, it comes with an even larger price tag as Dilithium has been added to the recipes. We've been told that "the dilithium cost is a percentage of the cost to flat out buy the item from the dilithium store" and that "the dilithium cost percentage increases with the rank of the item you're crafting." Very rare (purple) gear is only available at the odd ranks and has had Dilithium added to its cost as well.
Now, in all honesty, this change has easily become one of the most debated topics on the forums ever. As we reported last week, Acting Executive Producer Stephen D'Angelo posted a dev blog about the changes; the forum post for that blog now stretches beyond 60 pages with over 600 replies. Since Dilithium is not tradable between players, many are upset that these changes are going to bring about the demise of fleet crafting systems. I know that within my own fleet, we would lose everything we have worked so hard to create; our fleet crafting group maintains an online store where fleeties can donate energy credits for items to be crafted. Your voice counts, so make sure to post your opinions.
Duty Officer (DOFF) system
The DOFF system has been further updated with more UI functions and infrastructure tweaks. In addition to the new icon art, an assignment risk meter, more assignments, more tooltips and multiple fixes have been added. One of the most noticeable changes is the introduction of a settings tab. While the tab is more of a placeholder and is not completely operational at this time, players can set which Bridge Officer (BO) is their First Officer and which BOs are the department heads. While more functionality will be added to this after the F2P launch, for now the First Officer will actually provide recommendations on which DOFFs should be sent on each particular assignment. Heretic, lead developer for the DOFF system, would love to hear what you have to say about it.
STFs have been further tweaked. Gozer, content designer and STF architect, has been listening to feedback and making changes each week based on what the players are saying. One of the biggest changes that has affected the space portion of each STF is the more linear process to solving the puzzles. While details can be found in the patch notes, many players who have never been a fan of these pseudo-raids are actually enjoying teaming up with others to defeat the Borg threat. The current build only contains the normal versions of the STFs; we should expect to see the elite incarnations within the next couple of weeks. After checking them out for yourself, leave your feedback for the devs!
Another enormous update included in this most recent patch bolstered many of the in-game ships. Over a dozen new ships and skins have been added for testing, and over a dozen more existing ships have been updated. Since the introduction of new ships to the C-Store, each of them (sans a few exceptions) has come with a special ability or power that was unique and only available to that ship. In recent months, Cryptic has changed its philosophy in that these powers are now tied to an equippable console. While some consoles can be slotted on any ship, others are only available to particular classes. Read all about the changes in the patch notes and tell the devs what you think.
Well, Captains, we have come to the end of this week's log entry. Since crafting seems to be the hot topic this week and some forum posters don't believe the devs are listening to their cries, StormShade, Community Management Specialist for STO, stated, "Let us formulate a plan, implement it, show it to you, and then make changes based on your actual feedback." So keep posting that feedback -- it won't go unnoticed. Next week, I am going to be livestreaming STO on Thursday, November 3rd, at 10 p.m. EDT. Tune into our Livestream channel as I check out some of the updates listed above! Lastly, a "thank you" to Mike K. for submitting the header image.
Until next time, let me know your own thoughts on the latest round of updates by commenting below or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com.