Thursday, April 8, 2010

Star Trek Online Looks Ahead to the Future

Star Trek Online is just about two months old now, and Cryptic has just released a major content update in Season One: Common Ground. Now the team is looking ahead to Seasons 2 and 3, which they called a "moving target."

"Obviously, what's in store is a moving target, since we're doing our best to engage our community to determine what they'd like to see and when they'd like to see it. That collaborative effort has been exceptionally helpful to us thus far," Star Trek Online executive producer Craig Zinkievich told 1UP in a recent interview.

Current priorities include releasing episodic content for Klingon players, continuing to expand the scope of the missions and revamping the death penalty. Zinkievich didn't go into detail on the latter point, but he did say that Cryptic is planning on testing out some changes on the public test server next month. At the moment, the players who die in Star Trek Online can quickly respawn and run right back into battle.

Talking about the challenge of designing large-scale endgame content, Zinkievich said, "How do you optimize graphical elements so it's not a slideshow? How do you keep lag from becoming a problem? From a design side, how do you create a 40-person choke point? How to create a Star Trek adversary powerful enough to be a threat to that many people? Do you instead create a lot of different adversaries? Then it goes back to a technical question."

He continued, "That said, we're constantly getting more out of our engine, and even now we're able to do tons more than what we were capable of at launch. We want to create maps and missions designed for multiple teams in mind. It's just a matter of time."

Cryptic's released the Season 1 content patch last week, which included PvP maps that pit Federation players against one another, a new ship for the Klingons and new customization options. They also recently released a variety of large-scale missions for high-level players based on the Borg.

Cryptic is promising the Season 2 and 3 content patches for this year. At some point, it will also be possible to walk around the interior of the starships.

We'll keep you up to date on future updates. Look for the full interview over on The Grind later today.