The Borg's dénouement?
I can hardly believe it myself. It's true! Into the Hive will actually be released with Season Seven in November! The strategic task force mission has been promised-content for well over a year, and its release seemed to hit every possible snag known to MMOdom. Designers left the studio, Cryptic Studios
got sold, the game went free-to-play, another developer left, a new developer inherited the project and finally -- finally
-- the game will see what appears to be the final installment of the enemy known as the Borg.
Frankly, it's about time! Look, don't get me wrong;I like the Borg -- I really do! But they're not enemies who work very well in an MMO. They're supposed to be really, really
scary. In STO
, they're simply not; they can't be. It would be an unwise business move to create enemies who permanently assimilate players who lose a battle to them. Attempts to make the Borg more formidable in the game resulted in the current strategic task force format (STFs are akin to five-man raids). According to the first installment of the Season Seven Dev Blog
, Into the Hive appears to be the mission that actually sends sends the Borg packing. I can't say I'll be sorry to see them go!
Taking on the Queen
Most Star Trek fans will know that the Borg are a collective, a species that shares all thoughts, directives, power, and will. Individuals are assimilated from the species and cultures the Borg overrun. Think of them as really big locusts, only instead of eating your food, they take over your individuality and replace it with automatized functions and a whole lot of cybernetic implants to "enhance" your pathetically weak biological organs. While they are a collective, the Borg utilize a queen as an (albeit ill-defined) center-point, and the Federation knows that, as with bees, you must kill the queen to disperse or kill the hive.
As such, the dev blog reveals that Into the Hive will involve a strike team entering the heart of the Borg Collective, the place known as Unimatrix 01, to undertake the enormous task of taking down the Queen and in turn the rest of the Borg. Like other STF missions, Into the Hive will be available on the PvE queue 24 hours a day but will offer additional rewards if played during the special times listed on the game's event calendar. It will be available in two difficulty levels, normal and elite, and players will have to be at least Vice Admiral for the Federation and Lt. General on the KDF in order to play it.
A whole new sector
It's been well over a year since STO
released a new sector of space to explore, and that sector, Orellius, was released along with the Featured Episode series that involves the Breen. Players were excited to hear that a new sector would be released with Season Seven, but we're just now beginning to hear more details of what can be expected in it as the second dev blog
in the Season Seven series was released late last week.
The picture above is a screenshot of a new creature that can be found in the Tau Dewa sector. It's said to be the image of an "Infant Nanov," and just from looking at it, I'm not sure I want to be running into the parent(s).
The new Tau Dewa sector will be "south" of the Psi Velorum Sector Block and "east" of the Regulus sector block. The big blue line shown bisecting the sector below is the infamous Romulan Neutral Zone, known by some fans as the RNZ. Everything to the left of the line sits in Federation Space; everything to its right is in Romulan space. I'm glad to see this small detail make it into the game!
The new Tau Dewa Sector will include 17 new systems, 13 of which will have missions that involve the Romulans and assumedly the new Reputation system inherent with the release. Tau Dewa will be open only to Vice Admirals and Lt. Generals, and the missions will also be available at all times. Extra rewards will be granted if missions are played during their special times as listed in the game's event calendar. The new systems where Romulans have need of Federation and Klingon assistance are:
Gamma Eridon System
Beta Thoridor System
Nequincia Alpha System
Beta Lankal System
Starbase 234 System
Galorndon Core System
And the remaining systems are:
New Romulus System
Those of you familiar with the Star Trek television shows and films might be as intrigued as I am by some of the names listed above, especially the Suliban system, home to the mysterious species introduced in Star Trek: Enterprise. Also, the dev blog states that the New Romulus System will be home to the game's new "adventure zone," about which we can expect a new dev blog next week!
Again, both the Federation and Klingon factions will need to build up reputation from the Romulans in order to access new rewards, all of which have yet to be clarified by Cryptic, but it looks like we'll be hearing about them in the days leading up to the release of Season Seven in November. 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 email@example.com.