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Star Trek Online Open Beta Starts Today 309

Posted by Soulskill
from the let's-see-what-she's-got dept.
Today Cryptic Studios will begin the open beta of Star Trek Online, opening their test servers to invitees and anyone who has pre-ordered the game. The beta will run through the 26th, and the game will officially launch on February 2nd; head-start players will be allowed in on January 29th. The game is set in the old universe (not the rebooted one from last year's movie), and takes place roughly 30 years after the events in Star Trek: Nemesis. There are two playable factions to start — the Federation and the Klingon Empire — and more may become available later on. There will be conflict between the two factions, but supposedly all PvP will be "optional and consensual." Players will be able to choose from a variety of ships, and they'll see cameos from familiar characters. Eurogamer has a hands-on preview of the game, and fans of the Trek universe will be pleased to hear that "Cryptic is clearly thinking about Star Trek first and MMO convention second." A number of gameplay trailers are available for viewing, and the official forums have a nice collection of facts.
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Star Trek Online Open Beta Starts Today

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  • Time to quit my job full time...

  • by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @02:10PM (#30740294)

    PvP will be "optional and consensual

    Klingon: Sir, I propose that we engage in physical combat--with your consent of course.

    Federation: Why that would be smashing! Gentlemen's rules apply?

    Klingon: Why of course sir, let us stand 5 paces apart and engage in fisticuffs on the count of five.

    Federation: And no hitting in the groin or other sensitive areas?

    Klingon: I wouldn't dream of it, sir.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by TheKidWho (705796)

      What the hell kind of Klingon speaks like that?

    • by MobileTatsu-NJG (946591) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @02:42PM (#30740834)

      Do really nerdy Klingons learn English?

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Tauvix (97917)

        Only if they want to compare Shakespeare from the original Klingon.

    • by Shakrai (717556) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @03:30PM (#30741552) Journal

      Federation: Why that would be smashing! Gentlemen's rules apply?

      I liked Garek's idea of a fair fight:

      Garek: When the Klingons attacked the station, Gul Dukat and I were fighting side by side. At one point, he turned his back to me, and I must admit that for a moment, he made a very tempting target.
      Odo: You'd shoot a man in the back?
      Garek: Well, it's the safest way, isn't it?

      • by elrous0 (869638) * on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @06:08PM (#30743510)
        Garek, what a great character that was. Sometimes the bit characters are the ones who really get to chew the scenery. His warped, but often hilarious, take on politics/morality/ethics/etc. was one of the many things that made DS9 my favorite of all the Trek series. DS9 was the only one of the Trek series to feature characters like Garek and Quark, who pointed out the absurdity and annoying self-righteousness of a goody-two-shoes Federation.
        • by Chris Burke (6130) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @07:27PM (#30744470) Homepage

          DS9 was the only one of the Trek series to feature characters like Garek and Quark, who pointed out the absurdity and annoying self-righteousness of a goody-two-shoes Federation.

          Indeed, both were great characters, and here was one of my favorite exchanges on that subject.

                  [Garak takes a drink of root beer]
                  Quark: What do you think?
                  Elim Garak: It's vile.
                  Quark: I know. It's so bubbly and cloying and happy.
                  Elim Garak: Just like the Federation.
                  Quark: And you know what's really frightening? If you drink enough of it, you begin to like it.
                  Elim Garak: It's insidious.
                  Quark: Just like the Federation.

          Hehe.

    • by neoform (551705)
      Ron Burgundy's rules for fighting were better:

      Let's go over the ground rules. Rule number 1: No touching of the hair or face... AND THAT'S IT!

    • Actually (Score:5, Insightful)

      by SmallFurryCreature (593017) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @05:39PM (#30743096) Journal

      Picard: I want suggestions.

      Worf: Lets kill everyone and everything!

      Picard: Capital idea, make it so.

      The eurogamer preview makes it clear, this MMO is for people that thought Enterprise was a great series, finally space boobies and big battles instead of all the soul searching and boring talking...

      If you want your Star Trek to be "The city on the edge of forever" (If I have to explain, I must kill you) or "The measure of a man", then just forget it. There are no moral questions in this game. No Sci-fi to question the nature of humankind.

      Even adventure trek like "Starship mine" (Picard does "Die hard") which would translate well to a "Deus Ex/Thief/System shock" style gameplay is beyond this game.

      "Yesterday's Enterprise" or even "The inner light", story telling you can forget as well.

      So what is left? Simplistic combat and being overrun by thousands of Wesley's. This has about as much to do with Star Trek as "Star Trek: Elite Force". And at least that was based on an element of Voyager (google "worsed voyager episode" common answer? Every single one of them.)

      If you think the best of Trek was when Janeway tried to do Ripley (badly) then this might be the game for you.

      For non trek fans, you will like this if you liked Champions Online in which case I am suprised you managed to read this far without shortcircuiting your keyboard with your drool.

      For trekkies, it is an amusing romp and a bit of fun to hear and see all those sounds again, but it is like having sex with a hooker, the sex ain't worth the eternal regret and feelings of self-loathing.

      If you do give it a try, make sure you have the best of trek on a playlist ready to sooth your ravaged mind. Just so that you won't think Trek is "blow everything up". I recommend "The measure of a man", not a blaster fired, no ships blowing up, just Star Trek as it was meant to be.

  • No thanks. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kirin Fenrir (1001780) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @02:16PM (#30740396)

    - 18 month development time

    - lackluster character animation

    - PVP-only Klingon "faction"

    - typical tank/dps/healer holy trinity (even in ships for pete's sake)

    - subscription fee AND microtransation store


    This is a half-ass, generic MMO wrapped in the designs and sounds of a franchise we're prone to get nostalgic about. It's a cheap ploy, and I won't support Cryptic and their shitty games.

    Yes, I'm bitter at the terrible mess that was Champions Online. But they have not shown any change as a developer.
    • by Shivetya (243324) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @02:20PM (#30740472) Homepage Journal

      is that IS Champion's Online with Star Trek star ships.

      Away team missions comprise of find the shiny objects (like bombs)

      Though he does like the star ship combat currently (I would not mind a B5 game like the older Star Trek simulator)

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by nschubach (922175)

        Your friend would be right. The only thing they added to the engine for ship to ship combat is vector shields and power settings, but it's still Champions in Space.

    • Re:No thanks. (Score:4, Insightful)

      by IronChef (164482) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @02:28PM (#30740612) Homepage

      I watched a guy at work playing the closed beta. One of his newb missions was to fight the Borg.

      It looked just like a fantasy MMO game where newbs showed up to fight rats, except the rats were Borg. There may have been some crates, too. And lasers.

      I would rather have been blasting Denebian slime devils than the FREAKIN' BORG, who should be too tough for newbs. So their talk about respecting the story is not entirely accurate.

      • by furby076 (1461805) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @03:24PM (#30741460) Homepage

        I would rather have been blasting Denebian slime devils than the FREAKIN' BORG, who should be too tough for newbs. So their talk about respecting the story is not entirely accurate.

        Doing any action, other then running while peeing your pants, when encountering the borg should automatically delete your character, subscription and ban your game key UNLESS you are engaging them with three full-sized armadas. And then you get to keep your account if you still run while peeing your pants.


        ....just sayin

      • by kalirion (728907)

        Well, outside of their ships, the Borg are push-overs until they adapt to the shifting frequency of your phasers. A projectile weapon would take them down easily as long as you aim for the fleshy bits. They're basically slow-moving zombies.

    • Keep an open mind (Score:4, Interesting)

      by flithm (756019) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @02:36PM (#30740716) Homepage

      - It has been in development for almost 5 years, the team is completely different than Champions
      - Character animation looks pretty good to me, but what a minor thing to complain about. It'll get better over time too. I could personally care less if it uses ASCII graphics, as long as the gameplay is solid
      - Klingon faction is currently mostly PVP -- they want to add more content later. Big deal! In fact, some players will like this.
      - There's a lot more going on than just tank / healer / etc. You can equip modules in any way you want to give your ship a versatile configuration. Seam with team members for away missions. It may not be the most revolutionary game around but, it does do something different. I for one look forward to trying out the strategic space combat.
      - It's only microtransaction in the same way that WoW is. You can buy items that don't really affect the gameplay.
      - Initial reviews and impressions are much more positive than with Cryptic's previous offerings.
      .
      Who knows, maybe it will suck, maybe it won't. We don't know yet.

      • by nschubach (922175) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @02:41PM (#30740800) Journal

        - It has been in development for almost 5 years, the team is completely different than Champions

        Yet somehow they both came up with the same game! It must be good!

      • Re:Keep an open mind (Score:5, Informative)

        by FileNotFound (85933) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @02:51PM (#30740956) Homepage Journal

        - It has been in development for almost 5 years, the team is completely different than Champions

        Yes and no. The game WAS in development since 2004, but by a different company who went bankrupt and kept the code.
        Cryptic took over in 2008, without the code but with the license and art.

        - Character animation looks pretty good to me, but what a minor thing to complain about. It'll get better over time too. I could personally care less if it uses ASCII graphics, as long as the gameplay is solid

        The animations are terrible. Even Everquest animation was less ugly. The gameplay is certainly not good enough to make up for the graphics.

        - Klingon faction is currently mostly PVP -- they want to add more content later. Big deal! In fact, some players will like this.

        "more content later" is another way of saying "It's not done and may never be unless we maintain a certain level of subscriptions. Which they will not.

        - There's a lot more going on than just tank / healer / etc. You can equip modules in any way you want to give your ship a versatile configuration. Seam with team members for away missions. It may not be the most revolutionary game around but, it does do something different. I for one look forward to trying out the strategic space combat.

        In short, you can solo. But in a team you're still going to be in a cookie cutter configuration, just like everyone else. Nobody wants a funky ship or a furry speced warrior.

        - It's only microtransaction in the same way that WoW is. You can buy items that don't really affect the gameplay.
        - Initial reviews and impressions are much more positive than with Cryptic's previous offerings. .

        Which isn't saying much really...

        Who knows, maybe it will suck, maybe it won't. We don't know yet.

        No. We don't know yet, but the outlook isn't all that good and the past products do not create much goodwill for the developer.

      • I could personally care less if it uses ASCII graphics

        Yeah, me too, that would be horrible!

      • by rgviza (1303161)

        Correction, it has been a franchise being developed into a game for 5 years. This game is completely different than the one which was originally started, and that one was scrapped 18 months ago, when the original developer went out of business and they scrapped the game, Cryptic bought the franchise and started development on it from square 1.

        The game being released has been in development for 18 months and was started in 2008. http://www.zam.com/story.html?story=20942 [zam.com]

    • Add in the fact that they require you to preorder the game to get into their "open" beta, and I'm inclined to agree.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by FileNotFound (85933)

      Yeah this game is going to be crap. It won't last more than 2 years, and really I don't think they expect it to. There is no high end content and the plans for it are unclear. The pvp is a joke, the pve is dull and repetitive. Space combat may seem fun at first but it gets old fast.

      In fact the ancient Earth and Beyond had space combat that felt more polished and actually looked better.

      The graphics in this game are horrible. I do mean horrible. Now don't get me wrong, a great game can have bad graphics. But

      • by jandrese (485)
        Has any MMO ever launched with the high end content in place?
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by Kirin Fenrir (1001780)

          Has any MMO ever launched with the high end content in place?

          WoW did, actually. Scholomance and UBRS were both 10-mans, and it had a large raid in the form of Molten Core. Not that I'm a big WoW fan anymore, but they had a strong launch.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by WarlockD (623872)

      Been in the closed beta for a bit. You need a proper interface now a days.

      Might play it more now, but the PvP has been a long time coming and I am not sure how fun it will be. I haven't been able to even get high enough to play Klingon with only 3 hour play sessions, twice a week.

      Then its the way its set up. Ok I understand its an MMO, but it doesn't seem like the group abilities or classes are well balanced. Going in its hard to understand how one class helps another and all the ground fights seem to be

  • cool (Score:5, Funny)

    by JeanBaptiste (537955) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @02:20PM (#30740460)

    one side filled with kirk and spock and picard wanna-bes.

    and the other filled with the klingon speakers.

    so, uh, who is gonna run the internets while you all are gone?

  • by RobotRunAmok (595286) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @02:20PM (#30740474)

    "Where possible, the game will provide non-violent ways to resolve conflicts."

    So in other words, this is Picard-style Star Trek. You Kirk-style players can stay logged into Eve.

    • by TheSpoom (715771)

      As long as I can yell "KHAAAAAAAAAAAN!" through the voice chat, I'm happy.

    • Picard Trek conflict resolution:

      1. work it out in holodeck sim which spills into reality
      2. Go Borg and assimilate your enemies
      3. clap hands Q style, and setup your enemies with a show girl on each arm and a cigar in hand

    • by furby076 (1461805)

      "Where possible, the game will provide non-violent ways to resolve conflicts."

      Wait, a player will have weapons and technology of war available to him which makes our most advanced technology seem like a stone tipped spear, and the player is expected to resolve a conflict non-violently? WTH, was this game designed by Quakers?

  • Space. The online frontier. Where everyone will be, all the time.

  • by SighKoPath (956085) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @02:29PM (#30740634)
    If you didn't (or don't want to) preorder, you can get a beta key from fileplanet: http://www.fileplanet.com/promotions/star-trek-online/ [fileplanet.com]
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by spire3661 (1038968)
      Which still requires you to pay money for a fileplanet subscription, which of course they dont tell you until you give them your email address and agree to let fileplanet and cryptic spam you.
      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        by doob (103898)

        Are you assuming or have you actually tried? I got my beta key just now using my free Fileplanet account. Maybe it's cos I've had the account for ages, I only ever use it to get freebies :)

      • by TheKidWho (705796)

        That was for Closed Beta, not Open Beta.

  • by CKW (409971) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @02:33PM (#30740690) Journal

    ..how will you feel when they tell you -- it wasn't a game!

    Or when the old fogey in the space car comes to get you, because you're the best and only you can command the fleet and save the galaxy?

    • by Chris Burke (6130)

      ..how will you feel when they tell you -- it wasn't a game!

      So wait... That Bajoran transvestite I was Britishing with...

  • as a crewmember aboard the starship enterprise, boldly going where no one has gone before, standing at attention and furthering discovery for years and years in my sharp new red uniform.
  • System Requirements

    OS: Windows XP SP2 / Windows Vista / Windows 7 (32 or 64-bit)
    CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo 1.8 Ghz or AMD Athlon X2 3800+
    Memory: 1GB RAM (minimum)
    Video: NVIDIA GeForce 7950 / ATI Radeon X1800 / Intel HD Graphics
    Sound: DirectX 9.0c Compatible Soundcard
    DirectX: Version 9.0c or Higher
    HDD: 8GB Free Disk Space
    Network: Internet Broadband Connection Required
    Disc: 6X DVD-ROM

    Recommended System Configuration

    OS: Windows XP SP2 / Windows Vista / Windows 7 (32 or 64-bit)
    CPU: Intel E8400 Core 2 Duo or AMD Athlon X2 5600+
    Memory: 2GB RAM+
    Video: NVIDIA GeForce 8800 / ATI Radeon HD 3850+
    Sound: DirectX 9.0c Compatible Soundcard
    DirectX: Version 9.0c or Higher
    HDD: 8GB Free Disk Space
    Network: Internet Broadband Connection Required
    Disc: 6X DVD-ROM

    The minimum graphics alone leave my 2 1/2 year old midrange CPU in the dust (it is a NVidia 8600 GT).
    I guess Cryptic is not really interested in reaching a really large audience ;-)

    • by Knara (9377)

      CPU != Video card

      And the 7950's came out in 2006

      So yes, generally, to play new PC games you will need a video card that is less than 4 years old.

      Your 8600 qualifies (released a year after the 7950's).

      What are you complaining about, again?

      • by kalirion (728907)

        I'm pretty sure an 8600, while having more features, is slower than the 7950. Just like an 8800GTX will leave a GT220 in the dust.

    • by Chas (5144)

      GPU. Not CPU.

      And an 8600 is perfectly acceptable. They're not talking about graphics horsepower for the most part (though an 8600 should be fine there too). They're talking about supported APIs.

    • by jandrese (485)
      The 8600 is plenty fast enough to be comparable to a 7950.

      At any rate, the published minimum specs are grossly higher than what the game actually needs according to what a bunch of the closed beta testers said they needed. The only caveat is that ATI cards are more problematic than nVidia cards for some reason.
  • Now there a promising start for a "M"MORPG.
  • by end15 (607595) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @03:11PM (#30741246)
    Every time I turn my PvP status to "on" my shirt turns red... What's the deal?
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by furby076 (1461805)

      Every time I turn my PvP status to "on" my shirt turns red... What's the deal?

      You also forget your first name. No really, try it, and then see if you can remember your first name...ensign pike.

    • by cptnapalm (120276)

      Good news!

      It is time to beam down to the planet.

      You will be an integral part of the away team where you will play a pivotal roll in the exciting conclusion to the mission.

  • by mbstone (457308) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @03:26PM (#30741478)

    From Super Star Trek [berlios.de]

    "The short-range scan gives you a considerable amount of information about the quadrant your starship is in. A short-range scan is best described by an example."


              1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10
              1 * . . . . R . . . . Stardate 2516.3
              2 . . . E . . . . . . Condition RED
              3 . . . . . * . B . . Position 5 - 1, 2 - 4
              4 . . . S . . . . . . Life Support DAMAGED, Reserves=2.30
              5 . . . . . . . K . . Warp Factor 5.0
              6 . K . . . . . * . . Energy 2176.24
              7 . . . . . P . . . . Torpedoes 3
              8 . . . . * . . . . . Shields UP, 42% 1050.0 units
              9 . * . . * . . . C . Klingons Left 12
              10 . . . . . . . . . . Time Left 3.72

    "You may abandon the Enterprise if necessary. If there is still a starbase in the galaxy, you will be sent there and put in charge of a weaker ship, the Faerie Queene.

    The Faerie Queene cannot be abandoned.""

  • My Beta Impressions (Score:5, Informative)

    by gedrin (1423917) on Tuesday January 12, 2010 @06:07PM (#30743494)
    My impressions from playing the game:

    Your Character: You start off as a junior officer in the position of ship's captain. Your character can be Tactical (tank/dps), Engineering(utility) or Science(buff/heal), and this largely determines your ground combat role, but your space captaining is seperate. Standard races are included as packages for character look, but you can do all sorts of things to your appearance and I've seen some strange things/people in spacedock. You also can customize your uniform to a degree. XP are invested in skills, which give you powers.
    Bridge Officers: BO's are pets on a planet, and powers in space. They level up and can be given specific training. You can get new BO's in the same way you can get gear, buy, mission reward and so on. Not all BO's have the same capabilities. They come in three general flavors, Tactical, Engineering, Science, with similar functions to the PC versions. In space, BO’s allow you to do special things with your ship, like fancy photon torpedo spreads and emergency power to shields. BO’s may be equipped with gear just like your main character.
    Your Ship: You can customize your ship’s look a good deal. Depending on your preference you can have a Miranda from WoK, something more TNG, or mix and match because you really just like the way those particular nacelles look. There’s also gear for your ship. You can install that disruptor array on your Fed ship if you like.
    Ground combat: It’s okay, but not great. However, if you’re ST fan the words “phaser rifles” will probably do it for you. The little phaser has a stun attack. Also, the default unarmed attack seems to be that palm-strike-to-nose thing.
    Space Combat: It’s ship combat, not fighter combat. Firing arcs, weapon charge, shield regeneration. Battling a single comparable ship is not intended to be quick in this game. You’re intended to fight an enemy that will try to shelter it’s weak shields and you’re expected to do the same. Many fights are against more numerous small opponents (the Orions deploy fighters), and the management of your weapons and powers is where your time is spent. It’s not about movement, it’s about management. This appeals to me for ship combat of this type.
    Quests: The training mission above is what it is, newb training. I never really felt like I was taking on the Borg, but rather like I was helping out after the fight, then joining the big ships to push them out.
    The other missions seem much more like ST episodes. Travel to a system that's having a labor disptue as the Fed representative. Discover pirates in the system and clear them out. Beam down to resolve the differences. While the diplomatic options are too simplified and need serious work, I think they've done a good job of replicating the ST episode in game. Things begin "Stardate bla...we are escorting so and so to a Vulcan monastery..." and end with the ship warping out of system or the crew beaming off planet.
    It feels like the game will have a story, with missions that are a part of it.
    Kirk vs. Picard: Definitely more Kirk. Myabe you could call it “Enterprise-E Picard”. In the Sol area there are public quests that involve Klingon incursions, and I killed a whole lot of Klingons in that Vulcan monastery. Sure, you’re expected to talk to people. Angry Federation workers are an example of people to whom one is expected to be diplomatic. The pirates in orbit you’re expected to explode. It’s a post-Dominion War post-Wolf 359 Federation.
    GOOD: It’s Star Trek. Travel around. Meet new folks. Talk to some. Blow up Klingons. Uncover strange anomalies. Meet the alien of the week (probably a PC). Beam in, beam out. Go to warp. Cue music. I also like the ship combat.
    BAD: Load screens. Too many load screens. It’s a major failure of the game. Combat pacing and dynamism needs work, but the load screens are a much bigger hurdle. Also, t

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