One of the things that impressed STO players, especially the die-hard Trekkies, when the game was initially released was the feeling that we were finally getting "new" Star Trek. The game is set in what is considered to be the Prime Universe (the main universe where the television shows took place, not the universe created by the 2009 film directed by J.J. Abrams), and the tales were set approximately 30 years after the time reflected in the film Star Trek: Nemesis.
When asked by a fan at the recent Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas about potential plans for a new television series, CBS VP of Consumer Products John VanCitters told audience members that their best bet for new Star Trek stories in the near future is Star Trek Online. He reiterated that like the official novels, the game is great source for an evolving Star Trek story in the Prime Universe.
All of this brings me to the recent news that STO Lead Writer Christine Thompson has once again seen her fiction featured in the official publication Star Trek Magazine. The most recent issue also features a short interview with the writer who is the only writer and text editor the game has ever had.
The short original piece of fiction is titled Shakedown and features the new crew members as they deal with their positions on the new flagship. I remain hopeful that we will get to see more of the heart of the STO characters actually in the game in the future, but until then, I will remain happy that at least I subscribe to the magazine. Still, it just seems so unfair to those who play the game to have to go to an unrelated source to get the stories behind the characters they see in the game.
The user-generated content tool known as The Foundry was down for a few weeks after the release of Season Six. The delay was mostly meant to protect the integrity of the code of the tool and all of the 60,000+ player-made missions to date. While Cryptic's QA personnel worked on assuring the stability of the tool, players were not only unable to create new missions but also unable to play any missions. The delay rendered the fairly new Foundry Spotlight dead until the tool could be repaired.
Well, it's back. Every Friday, Cryptic now features one player-made mission on its site and in the in-game bulletin. Every week, the featured faction flips between Federation and Klingon. There have been some rumors, mostly generated by Cryptic itself, that in the future there will be an in-game reward for playing the Foundry Spotlight mission, but I have not received any confirmation on what the reward may be or when it might be implemented.
Last week, the game featured a Klingon mission called Krios Falling, written and created by Alien_de_jour. To undertake the mission, players must have a Klingon-faction character of level 30 or above. The mission summary is as follows:
In 2386, the Empire was forced to abandon Krios. Before leaving, the Klingon governor vowed the Empire would return and rule Krios again. Now, General Kern is asking you to help fulfill his ancestor's oath.It appears to be a singular mission, meaning it's not a part of a series of missions.
To play Spawn of Medusa, you'll need a Federation character of any level. The mission summary description states:
You have been ordered to the Pi Canis sector immediately to rendezvous with Admiral Fedrikson on the U.S.S. Crazy Horse in the Seedea System. A Klingon acquaintance of yours has requested Federation assistance in a serious matter that could affect the quadrant.Please note that this mission is actually the first mission of a five-mission story arc!
One of the things I adore most about the Foundry is its ability to be an amazing resource for continued Star Trek storytelling -- stories we haven't been able to get from television or films for years. But what I like best about STO and the Foundry is their ability to make players the lead role in every single one of those tales, something television and films will never do.
Next week, I hope to have a better understanding about the limitations of new character creation under my belt and begin a series of columns that will focus on what it's like to be a new player to STO. Until next week, live long and prosper!
Incoming communique from Starfleet Headquarters: Captain's Log is now transmitting direct from Terilynn Shull every Monday, providing news, rumors, and dev interviews about Star Trek Online. Beam communications to firstname.lastname@example.org.