Star Trek Online first details

Lead designer Glen Dahlgren opens the kimono on Perpetual Entertainment's upcoming MMORPG based in the Star Trek universe.

We recently had a chance to sit down with developer Perpetual Entertainment for a cursory "sneak preview" of some of the features in this upcoming online game. Apparently, the developer has the rights to draw upon content from any of the Star Trek series, including the classic TV show from the 1960s on up to the modern-day shows Deep Space Nine and Enterprise.

The game will have an overarching story that will take place just after the events in the most recent motion picture, Nemesis, and it will feature what lead designer Glen Dahlgren describes as a "world-changing event that will affect all players," though exactly what this event will be and how it will work has not yet been revealed.

The upcoming game will let players choose to work their way up through the ranks of the Federation through five stations: cadet, crewman, command, commission, and armada. Each time your characters advance in rank, they'll actually age physically (the idea being that with further age comes experience).

Players will be able to choose to play as a character from one of seven races (from three major subtypes--analytical, versatile, or aggressive), including the usual suspects, like humans and vulcans. Whereas in other massively multiplayer games you choose a specific profession or character class for your character, in Star Trek Online, you'll choose a departmental specialty. These include flight control, science, medical, engineering, and tactical/security. As part of Federation directives, all cadets are trained for combat, so all characters will be able to take care of themselves.

Much of Star Trek Online's content will focus around space travel in starships. Starships will have two instanced areas, the main bridge and the engineering bay, where players will be able to use their specialties to better navigate the ship under the watchful eye of a captain player, who directs, among other things, the flow of power to the ship's various systems.

Currently, the game is planned to let individual players focus on their own specialties on the bridge (so a player using a flight control officer will actually sit that character at a panel on the bridge)--any gaps in crew will be filled by computer-controlled characters.

Starships will make for four major types of content in the game: social, bridge missions, away missions, and everyone's favorite plot device, the holodeck. All ships will have common social areas where players can walk about in a third-person perspective and play leisurely games of pool or darts when they're off duty.

As Dahlgren explains, the idea behind starships is also to make players feel like an actual crew, rather than a bunch of random players thrown together. The designer suggests that players may essentially approach being part of a crew like being a part of an online game clan. Bridge missions, however, will be far less casual. They'll involve battles to take over enemy ships by first disabling their shields in combat, allowing a team of players to beam aboard the enemy starship with the ultimate goal of disabling that ship's warp core, crippling it. Away missions will take place on terra firma and will actually include first-person shooter content--these missions will take place in instanced areas and play much like a cooperative multiplayer shooter. Finally, the holodeck will let players basically simulate all other content, including mock player-versus-player duels and mock crew-versus-crew bridge missions.

Dahlgren wrapped up the presentation with a brief overview of the game's command structure and the various paths open to players. Ambitious players may attempt to rise all the way to the top of Starfleet's ranks, eventually becoming a ship captain in charge of an entire vessel and its crew, then later becoming an admiral, who deploys player-controlled ships for specific missions.

The designer was quick to explain that becoming a commanding officer won't be for everyone. It will require players to invest a great deal of the experience they accrue in the discipline of command, so other players may simply prefer to become the best medic or technician they can possibly be. Perpetual actually plans to run an online leaderboard to keep track of the most successful crews, so while not everyone can be a Captain Kirk, everyone will have a shot at being the best in the galaxy.

The game is planned to ship with only player-versus-environment, and its planned player-versus-player combat will be added after launch.

Written By

Want the latest news about Star Trek Online: Legacy of Romulus?

Star Trek Online: Legacy of Romulus

Star Trek Online: Legacy of Romulus

Follow

Discussion

37 comments
Nacho47
Nacho47

Dose any one know if this game will have a monthly fee?

Bhemont
Bhemont

I'll be the best in the galaxy, alongside thousands of other players.

tiggerlu
tiggerlu

I really really hope this game pulls it off, without any star trek TV series and a movie in the distant future, the star trek universe desperately needs something half-decent to keep it going! It seems like this game is aiming to do a lot (i.e. ship-ship combat, first person shooter, and all the other stuff)...i hope they don't bite off more than can chew, which has the been the story of a lot of sci fi games.

imanpcc101
imanpcc101

I Hope it will be on the 360, and still have good controls

sirbargearse
sirbargearse

Can you get to be Kirk and shag green aliens? If that's not in the game's coding somewhere... then... it's a failure! LOL "Let Spock handle it!"

Patient32
Patient32

I have faith that Star Trek Online is going to be so good that on the day of it's release the ground will shake as the planet's allign themselves due to STO's awesomeness

Zoomer30
Zoomer30

heheh just replace the words STAR TREK with STAR WARS GALAXIES and you too will get a very strong feeling of de ja vu. I mean they are yapping about this game the same way they yapped up SWG, and that game never got it right.

DrCuttell
DrCuttell

cant wait for this to come out, its about time i can work my way to the top and earn it.

pandapunkrock
pandapunkrock

As a Star Trek fan and a MMORPG gamer, trying this game out will be a definite guarantee...but the quality is what I'll be most worried about. I won't mind paying a monthly fee if its good and most importantly FUN. You hear that Perpetual?

CuriousStevio
CuriousStevio

What can i say! ITS ABOUT TIME. A true full on star trek game.

abw530
abw530

i really hope that this will be a star trek game that actually has a star trek feel to it. it seems that too many times in star trek based games the developers give up too much authenticity to try and make the game more interesting to a wider section of the gaming world. i dont mind new content, just make it believeable in relation to the star trek universe.

Porthols
Porthols

Personally, I think the game is very cool. I am still hoping to see if they put in a few more decks and operational panel where you can override commands when you're being boarded. Or better yet, learn how to operate them (with a manuel of course). Something simple to moderately complex. Number combinations, how to re-route power to the engine or shield that can be done manually or by the AI stationed within the ship. Though, all in all, I am very excited about this game. PS I hope they have some great ships in this game. I am getting annoyed with all those smaller ships. They're not much fun.

zalb
zalb

I'll definitly get this game either when it comes or afterwards when my love for whatever thing I am otherwise currently doing fades.

skasuperhero
skasuperhero

Oh man... I really can't wait for this games to come out! Sure, it'll only further kill my social life, but it died the minute i bought TNG seasons 1-7 on DVD; so I guess I'll be okay with it!

drazhar2000
drazhar2000

this game wont be like WoW with its money and only worring about your self, its a team game that i think will rock all out even if its not as "big" as WoW!

Mikeac90
Mikeac90

This sounds Great in my opinion, I am really hoping they do not mess this up. I am also hoping that the game isn't ruined by moronic gamers. Overall this is a project I am following very closely

Flakor
Flakor

Definatly sounds like a fantastic idea, I wouldnt mind being an Admiral. Its been a while since theres been a game where I had to sit and think about what I was going to have someone do. Im also ratehr interested in this Plot Twist. I want to able to command Soverign Class Ships, that would be preety sweet. The Best part is that since Star Trek is so mature, there will be a lack of immature kids.

Funereal
Funereal

I certainly hope they keep the player-versus-player content to a minimum and focus on the roleplaying aspects of the game. It's time we get a MMORPG that people actually roleplay in.

BoydEMS
BoydEMS

zhamar I agree It would be great to offer an integrated voice chat, but of course there will still need to be the age old text communication as well. Bracket_man You are so right! This game sounds so great that I can't imagine it's not going to get delayed. I would be suprised if beta started summer 2007 as predicted. (Hope I'm wrong.)

Bracket_man
Bracket_man

Once it comes to life in 2011, maybe it'll be worth a shot!

theRunninGamer
theRunninGamer

If this game turns out like the developer describes it, it should be the most awesome MMO ever. My concern is that the developers will oversimplify the game, giving only minor control to ship captains and fleet admirals. You ought to be able to really fly around a Star Trek inspired universe, and not just go to some "command" menu and choose "I want to do such and such a mission now" and then it just happens. If they really strive to make the game as in-depth as possible, I think the flexibility and immersion will tenfold outweigh any potential learning curve caused by making the game as detail-oriented as possible. It's a GREAT idea, and the developer sounds like he's on the right track. Now we can only hope that budget and time constraints don't limit this game from living up to all that it could be.

cskinner
cskinner

yeah - im hopeful.....and I'm a die-hard Star Wars fan.....but since SWG was flushed down the **** tube by SOE, I'll be more than willing to jump up along side fellow sci-fi adventurers for a good time (c'mon give me a decent MMO please!!) Everything I see looks good so far....medic I think I'll be...yesss

perugini
perugini

Yeah DJ, ugh, I've been playing this old boring Star Wars Galaxies for too long now, I'm still using it's vocabulary... 10-Forwards... I know... I know... damn Perugini... shame on me.

zhamar
zhamar

I would like to see voice com used in specific channel so you can actually talk, not just the old boring typing stuff. Also, when you register the game depending your gender that how you play the game, I hate to see too many guys running around pretending to be Real Life chicks jejeje. Other than that, this sounds awesome, I wish I could be a Klingon in the Klingon Armada not just the Federation, Flying my war bird of prey would be awesome. I hope this really live to everyone's expectations.

DJGeki
DJGeki

Perugini, perugini, perugini...it's 10-forward. Not "the cantina" ^_^

perugini
perugini

Just like all of you guys, I just can't believe they're finally making such an awesome game! I mean, I've been dreaming of a game like that since I'm a Trek fan (especially TNG). Being on a ship with your fellow other crew members, managing the vessel, cleaning the deck, chatting in the cantina when you're off-duty, oh man... just imagine all the role-playing possibilities, they better be some role-players playing this game!

DieHardTWB
DieHardTWB

This game is actually looking very good.

mylivingeulogy
mylivingeulogy

Im not TOO much of a star trek fan (only watched and enjoyed voyager and TNG). But i am a big fan of video games, good video games at that. And this has potential to be a great video game.

RazorGR
RazorGR

This sounds really good! And i'm not even a Star trek fan!

Yodax007
Yodax007

YESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!! THIS IS FLIPPEN AWSOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A 13-year old "Next Generation" fan has something to look forward too!!!!!

erceze
erceze

Looks good, Star Trek fans, this be what may be what we been hoping for for years! :)

lordhamster1
lordhamster1

This sounds pretty awesome we can only hope it turns out that way.

ybutton
ybutton

just **** thats all i can say ****! cant wait, this sounds way too good- they better not make a ****ty game.

Seoman_aridan
Seoman_aridan

I may actually stick to an MMO for more than 1 1/2 years now. It's got potential. Looks great so far. I just hope Perpetual dosen't mess it up.

amerus
amerus

I agree with hotstreake, Star trek online got a such unbelivble potential. not that i can spell it right but then again i dont care :P I just hope they will make some changes to the proffesions. Could be nice to have some basic proffesion skills as well as the command skills. and not just one of them. becouse sometimes you might like to just be a crew member and not the commanding one. but hey far from release so can only wait and see :)

hotstreake
hotstreake

i apalogize if i sound like a nerd: Woah....just waoh....i must say..im a treky! and if they can pull all this off with amazing graphics.....Woah....gaming has gone far. just think of the possibilities people. I agree with them when commanding isnt for everyone. because then you'de have a billion commanders running around. this game will be wondeful. if they can recreate a star trek life...i will be amazed.