Among those tweaks is a new look to the game's user interface, a revamp to the trait system, and an overhaul to the Tholian zone on Nukara Prime, which will be converted into a reputation faction similar to the systems already in place for Task Force Omega and New Romulus. Hit the jump to catch a glimpse of what I was able to glean from the Star Trek Online's Tribble test server!
If there's one word that can describe STO's current UI, it's "monochrome." The Federation faction's UI has always been in-your-face-blue, and the Klingon Defense Force's has always had oppressive amounts of red. They were so blue and so red they were actually very easy to get tired of. Even worse, the members of the KDF found the UI especially hard on the eyes because so many of their missions take place in Klingon-inspired interiors which are, not surprisingly, red. So when I heard that there was going to be an overhaul to the UI, I was happy. A bit wary, yes, but still happy.
I jumped over to STO's test server, Tribble, to take a look at the UI work in progress. I have to say, so far I really like what I see.
The new UI will first appear in the default color scheme. It has a sharper, more streamlined look to it. While some players do not approve of the "flatter" appearance of the selection buttons, I am finding them easier to read, especially in my chosen color scheme. What's a "chosen color scheme," you ask? Well, the options menu will now give a player the option to pick from one of several different color schemes, each named after the group or era that inspired the palette. A player will be able to select from Orion, Gorn, Klingon, Federation, TNG (The Next Generation), Voyager, Romulan, and Reman themes. The Orion theme is shown above.
Released last week, Cryptic's expansion dev blog #4 outlined the anticipated overhaul to the Tholian missions in the game and how they will be integrated into the new Nukara Strikeforce.
Like the two reputation systems that precede it, the Nukara Strikeforce reputation faction will encompass the existing missions currently playable in the Nukara ground adventure zone. Players from the Klingon and Federation will be able to access it (as well as their associated Romulan counterparts). Also, the dev blog states that other missions involving the Tholian threat will also be included as part of the Nukara Strikeforce system; however, a complete list of the affiliated missions has not yet been finalized.
As such, players undertaking the missions assigned by the strikeforce will no longer earn Tholian Equipment Requisition packs. Instead, the Tholian-themed missions will grant Nukara Marks. The remainder of the system seems identical to the others; players will earn Nukara Marks and use them in conjunction with other provisions and commodities to complete reputation projects. As projects are completed, the player levels up, thereby unlocking new rewards, gear, and weapons at each new level.
One of the things I did not expect when I signed on to the test server was the notice that I would have to assign traits to my character. This is not to be confused with "specing." A new "Traits" tab has been added to the character information page (it appears when the letter "U" is pressed on the keyboard). These traits are similar to the traits assigned to the character when it's first created. The current iteration of the trait tree allows for a total of four traits, and depending on the species chosen, as many as three of those traits are pre-assigned. (i.e., Pakled automatically have "dumb luck", etc.).
From what I can gather in the new system, species-specific traits are already inherent. The new system will grant a player the ability to add a new trait to her character as she levels until a maximum of eight have been selected. Each trait carries a space or ground buff that can add one of a number of different capabilities, from increased increase shield integrity to hull heal capabilities or an increase in critical hit percentage.
I'm looking forward to all of the new stuff coming out. The revamped Crystalline Entity mission is back for a short stint in the game and I have yet to try it out. The only problem is I doubt nine other people will tolerate my insistent search for a diplomatic solution! Until next week, live long and prosper!
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