While I was able to interview numerous people while I was there, so much new stuff is coming out that I just can't not go over it here. The new summer event on Risa has already begun, and a big new ship is making her debut in the game. I got a great close-up look at her and her sisters and the inside scoop of what she'll be capable of! So join me past the break as I investigate Star Trek Online's new predator of a ship: the Scimitar!
There is no doubt the devs knew their Star Trek canon when they put this ship together. I can already hear the screams about her being over-powered. However, I think that the Scimitar wouldn't be the Scimitar unless she were just a bit beefier and angrier than her Federation or Klingon counterparts. So here's what I do know:
The Scimitar takes everything from the film Star Trek: The Next Generation Nemesis and shoves it all into the in-game vessel. With the use of consoles, a player will be able to make her Scimitar class ship fire while cloaked, utilize a second layer of shielding, and deploy the murderous Thalaron device. The Scimitar is nimble for her size and mean as hell.
When the Scimitar is released, individual career-focused vessels or a three-ship pack will only be available from the C-Store (ZEN Store). There will be no lockboxes involved. It will not be available in a fleet version. There will be no reason to save Lobi Crystals or EC. This is a ZEN-only affair. She is not a carrier; she's a dreadnought.
Like her counterparts already in the game, the Odyssey and the Bortasqu', the Scimitar will have three ship skin variants including the Falchion and the Tulwar. Each ship will have a slight focus on supporting the tactical, engineering, and science careers. They will do this by being outfitted with five career-focused console slots and one career-focused console. It's the use of the individual consoles that will add the extra abilities to each craft, but I'll get to that in a bit.
Each ship will have five forward weapon slots and three aft weapon slots. She will be able to load cannons, beams, and torpedoes. Each vessel will also come equipped with a single hangar bay from which a player can launch her combat pets.
Now, let's get to those consoles and their capabilities. As I mentioned, each vessel comes with one console, and if a player equips more than one of them in her ship, certain abilities will be granted to her. When activated the tactical console will allow the player to fire her weapons while her ship remains cloaked. The science console will activate secondary shielding around the player's vessel for a limited period of time. The engineering console contains the passive ability to keep the primary shields raised while the ship is in stealth mode.
In addition, if the player equips all three consoles on her vessel and the ship is destroyed in combat, there's a really neat "Great Bloom" effect that remains after the ship implodes. Finally, the Scimitar class will come with a custom bridge interior and a thalaron weapon room.
I have no word on the ship's cost, but there's an assumption it will likely be in the $50 US range as were the Odyssey and Bortasqu'. I personally think this ship will appeal to all Romulan faction players regardless of their career choice as the ships will contain something for everyone. I also happen to think the ship will be good for the Federation and Klingon factions as they adjust their own play-styles and ship-builds to contend with the new enemy vessel. Since only one of the Scimitar's consoles is set for a passive skill, the other two skills' cool-downs should offer a good balance for those trying to defend against it. Opposing vessels will have a few seconds to get out of the way!
Last Thursday Star Trek Online unveiled its first summer event with the Risian Lohlunat Festival. Set on the hedonistic vacation planet Risa, the festival proudly shows off a completely overhauled social map and tons of new activities. The event features the ability for a player to obtain a selection of new off-duty outfits (sorry, no bathing suits were made), including a variation of the adventurer's outfit that was worn by Captain Jean-Luc Picard and the archaeologist Vash in the Star Trek: The Next Generation episode Captain's Holiday.
Players will also be able to partake in a new daily "floater" mission. While the devices look like what we would call jet-packs, the term "floater" was used in a canon episode, and therefore, the new term stuck. A player can rent a floater for a small sum of energy credits (they are on a timer, so it's possible to lose one in mid-flight) or purchase a permanent one with the favors earned for performing other tasks on the planet's resort island.
Word from the devs at Cryptic reveals that the new map will replace the old Risa social map after the festival has ended and the events themselves will be turned off. Don't worry, Foundry authors; the devs realize that many of you have used the old Risa map in your missions. That map will not go away yet, so keep your eyes on the Foundry forums for any plans the team may have for your Foundry missions!
The ship itself is unlike any other currently in the game. She was built solely for speed, agility, and attack using an aft-facing weapon. Essentially, the corvette is built to be opposite of a standard escort and can dip into a battle quickly, turn, and fire a weapon as the player bolts from the scene and gets out of firing range. Another great thing is the fact that the ship has a fantastic pattern and color palette; it's easy to see where there could be as many as 500 different color/pattern possibilities.
There's a lot more to come as I'll be writing about the numerous interviews I had with the devs at Cryptic about Star Trek Online as they discuss its future. 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.