By PWE_BranFlakes @ January 28, 2013 at 11:00am
Greetings, and Happy New Year Star Trek Online!
As STO expands into its fourth year, let’s celebrate by reflecting on the accomplishments of the last year and by looking forward to the exciting expansion of the game approaching on the horizon.
As Executive Producer, it is my personal joy to share with you the successes of this last year, and my responsibility to acknowledge where we have improved and where we still have need of improvement. Every year has brought its own triumphs and challenges for the game and the development staff, but the continued devotion from fans and the steady achievements made by the team have yielded another year of Star Trek Online that is better than the last.
After 3 Years, Star Trek Online continues to deliver new missions, new features, and strange new worlds. Together as developers, players, and Foundry authors, we are expanding and enriching the Star Trek experience. With a robust player-to-player economy and a game design that empathizes alternative ways to earn premium items through gameplay, we are proud that industry game sites like Massively and Gamespy have recently recognized Star Trek Online as one of the most player friendly free-to-play games. We were also honored that the MMORPG Center acknowledged Star Trek Online as the Best Free MMORPG of the year.
Thanks to your support, the game continues to grow. You may have noticed that more than 2 million Captains are continuing their voyages in Star Trek Online. With sustained increases in daily participation, the game is richer and more alive than ever before. All of the development, advancement, and improvements over the last year are once again thanks to the feedback you provide and the tireless staff that pour their life into this work. What started as a labor of love with improbable deadlines grew into a passion that has yielded remarkable results.
Here are some of our favorite moments of the last year:
- Converting what was once a subscription-only game into a hybrid game that allows both subscribers and free players the opportunity to experience everything in the game.
- Appearing for the first time as a panel at the Official Star Trek convention in Las Vegas, Nevada.
- Building relationships and sharing stories with the official Star Trek website and Star Trek Magazine.
- Unveiling the fan designed Odyssey Class starship by Adam Ilhe, winner of the Design the Next Enterprise contest. This included introducing the new crew of the U.S.S. Enterprise, 1701-F.
- Answering the question of what happened to the Dominion Fleet in “The 2800” Feature Episode series. This included new zones like Bajor, a maximum security prison, and the Gamma Quadrant.
- Allowing captains to don EV Suits and perform missions in the vacuum of space or in hostile environments.
- Celebrating First Contact Day and opening up the Utopia Planetia starship facilities to visitors for the first time.
- Creating our first small-craft event in the Vault and implementing a way to select a “default” small craft for missions like these.
- Adding more mini-games, like Dilithium Mining or the Radiation Scan.
- Adding more Klingon faction enhancements like the Bortasqu’ War Cruiser, unique Klingon Starbase designs, and the “Alpha” Episode.
- Introduction of the Tholians, along with their secret bases at Nukara and the Azure Nebula.
- Our first major update for Fleets, allowing them to have advancement and the ability to construct Starbase and Embassy holdings where missions and rewards can be earned.
- Finally unveiling the Borg Queen in the Borg STF finale, “Into the Hive.”
- All the new Events, like “Starbase Incursion,” “Colony Rescue,” “Azure Nebula Rescue,” and many others that provide fun, multiplayer gameplay challenges to max-level captains.
- The Reputation system, which allows max-level players the ability to earn and choose new power and abilities for their Captains.
- The massive New Romulus adventure zone and the new Tau Dewa sector, in addition to the way that the story on the planet evolves as players progress relations with these new allies.
- The return of Q and the improvement he made to the Winter Event with all the holiday joy he could muster.
- The ever growing list of starships, like the Vesta, the Cardassian Galor Class, the Ferengi D’Kora Maurader, the Tholian Orb Weaver, the Breen Chel Grett Warship, and countless other starships that allow players to fly their favorite ship from Star Trek.
- Finally making the Foundry Spotlight Missions officially recognized in game.
- As well as the many little things that aren’t in the list above that also contributed to the great year we had together.
We accomplished a lot, but there’s still a long way to go and many improvements needed and old bugs to squash before we can be satisfied that we’ve built the best Star Trek game ever. We steadily improve and, if anything, our appetite to advance the game has only grown as we move forward into 2013.
In the coming months, we will begin to reveal our vision for the future. We’ll discuss and preview new adventures, new enemies, new events, and even more surprises that will define the roadmap for the years to come. We’ll answer some long standing questions about how we view existing and future factions in the game, and we’ll give details about how we plan to advance the overall storyline and resolve outstanding issues in the game. With the full effort of the development staff cranking it to Warp 9 (even moving to a 6 day work week!) this is poised to be the best year of Star Trek Online yet.
And now, as part of our upcoming anniversary celebration, we are pleased to announce that we’ll be releasing a special Feature Episode this Thursday – we’ll be sharing exciting details about it with you in tomorrow’s Dev Blog. All players who complete the new episode between Jan 31st and Feb 14th will receive a free Ambassador Class (Fed) or Kamarag Class (KDF) starship as a reward. You won’t want to miss out! This is going to be fun.
So, join us in-game and have a good time celebrating 3 Years of Star Trek Online.
May we all Live Long and Prosper,
Star Trek Online