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Calling All Red-Shirts

Cryptic rescues Star Trek Online from development hell. Set phasers to "cautious optimism."

LFG Kahn run
LFG Kahn run
If you've been following the drama and rumor-mongering around Star Trek Online the last few months, you aren't the least bit surprised that City of Heroes house Cryptic Studios confirmed today it's picking up the project's reins. My first question is whether Cryptic is using any of the art assets and design work already completed by Perpetual, or starting over from scratch. (Not surprisingly, they don't address this in the sparse announcement.) The latter option is probably the better option, though that won't please anybody who wanted to play the game this decade.

The screenshots they released don't really scream "Star Trek" at me. A nice Bird of Prey or Ensign Redshirt in there would've tickled the old nostalgia a little bit better than that one lonely starbase does. The rest of it looks kinda generic sci-fi. I'm ready to believe Cryptic can do a good job with this, though; they definitely proved their MMO chops with City of Heroes, and I think all four of us were pretty impressed with the E3 showing of Champions Online, their other MMO.

I'm curious to see how they design an MMO around a heavily regimented military organization like Starfleet. Does everyone start out as an ensign? Do you have to sit at ops for a few hours to level up? Maybe a starship will function like a guild, with the ship's captain acting as guild leader. Will you be able to play as a Klingon or Romulan? Will Kronos and Romulus be those races' starting zones? Can you go all privateer and get your own ship so you can tool around the galaxy at your leisure? Most importantly, Kahn will be like the final raid boss, right?

Somewhere in my recent past there's an 18-month-long, World of Warcraft-shaped hole where my life was supposed to go, so I'm wary of ever touching an MMO again. But Star Trek, the license, is too close to my heart; I can't resist giving this one a try. Cryptic is saying they'll be showing video and talking more about the game at a big Star Trek convention in a couple weeks, so you intrepid wiki editors can poise yourself to cram all that new info into the Star Trek Online page when the time comes.
Brad Shoemaker on Google+