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Archived Post 05-30-2011 06:55 AM

The History Of The Klingon Empire With Cryptic Studios
 
As the memory of launch day fades into history I've started to see more and more misinformation being posted about the Empire, its past, and things that were supposedly said. In an effort to set the record straight, and see that it remains that way, I present this timeline of the Klingon Empire during its time with Cryptic Studios.


Pre-Launch - The Mesospeculative Era

July 28th, 2008 - Cryptic officially announces Star Trek Online

August 10th, 2008 - At Gen Con Jack Emmert says: "Starfleet and Klingon. Yeah. So two factions, full PvE content."
Between that statement by Jack Emmert on August 10th, 2008, and his announcement on December 15th, 2009 that Klingons were a PvP oriented faction, there was nothing that led us to believe they weren't going to have "full PvE content."

August 25th, 2008 - ASK CRYPTIC: Zinc: "The universe of Star Trek Online is shaped and changed by the actions of the players. The Federation and the Klingon Empire will be competing for influence and resources throughout the galaxy and players can influence the results through PvP battles and a system we're calling Competitive PvE."
Still waiting for that competitive PvE by the way.

September 16th, 2008 - In an interview in Game Informer Magazine Craig Zinkievich said that no matter which faction you're in, you don't have to "go and get owned by somebody else", i.e. PvP.
While it's been quoted in several places, the text of this interview was never put online by Game Informer Magazine to my knowledge.

April 30th, 2009 - ASK CRYPTIC: "...for example if youíre Klingon and your friend is Federation and the Borg are attacking, youíre probably going to form an alliance against them. Youíre going to see all kinds of weird alliances within the game."
Weird alliances huh? Yep. I'm really looking forward to that.

May 30th, 2009 - Craig Zinkievich (Zinc), STO's Executive Producer posts: "There will be PvP in STO. PvP will be consensual. If you don't want to do it, you will never have to."
Nothing to indicate that Klingons are PvP oriented.

June 23rd, 2009 - ASK CRYPTIC: "In general, thereís more PvP involvement on the Klingon side of the game."
Notice how he did not say - Klingons are PvP only. He said Klingons have "more PvP involvement." Implying that there's at least some PvE. This still doesn't invalidate Jack Emmert's "full PvE" comment.

July 21st, 2009 - ASK CRYPTIC: "No one ever said Klingons donít have scientists or engineers; somebody built those ships. Klingons will probably have a few distinctions in skills and certain other areas, but the classes will be the same."
Still nothing to indicate that Klingons are PvP only.

In September of 2009, barely five months before game launch, we started getting some hints that Klingons would be 'PvP focused.' This was finally confirmed in this interview with Eurogamer.

October 9th, 2009 - Craig Zinkievich: "Yes! We plan on shipping with the ability to play as Federation and play on the Klingon side. The Klingon game play is going to be drastically different to the Federation game play. It's going to be a lot more focused on PvP; their advancement is a little bit different - it is not a full-on story-driven game like the Federation."
He then went on to assure us that; "It's a lot more than Monster Play." Later that same day, in response to a thread about that interview, is when we first found out that the KDF wouldn't have a tutorial at launch.

October 9th 2009 - Rekhan: "We opted to create a single tutorial due to time constraints."

October 22nd, 2009 - CLOSED BETA officially announced, and some people were a bit worried because Klingons weren't in it. Towards the end there were quite a few threads demanding the devs release detailed info on the KDF, most ended up getting locked and/or deleted.

Nov 9th, 2009 - Klingon testing - The Grand Nagus: "Seeing as its now official the game will be launching in less than 3 months, maybe its time we start testing the Klingon faction?"

Nov 18th, 2009 - The devs still refused to say anything. IRC Chat: <Cryptic_Stormshade> "More info on Klingons and PvP is coming very soon."

Nov 30th, 2009 - So, About Those Klingons - If only Trent Solace had known how right on the money his prediction was going to be.

December 1st, 2009 - It's confirmed that we were supposed to get Klingon info in December when StormShade posts; "You'll be hearing lots of Klingon info this month."

Decemeber 7th, 2009 - ASK CRYPTIC: "Even so, Episodes are just one of the ways to progress in the game. You can gain similar rewards by engaging in PvP or exploring Star Clusters."
A mere week before Jack Emmert broke the news to us and no mention of Klingons being 'PvP only' or 'PvP oriented' or 'PvP focused.'

December 15th, 2009 - Jack Emmert posted; "Believe it or not, December was supposed to "klingon" month. I have zero clue why it's Dec. 15th and still nothing, but I can tell you this WILL change (I just saw the threads yesterday)."
It wasn't until two days later that we finally got the Ask Cryptic that informed us that the KDF was going to launch with no PvE content.

December 15th, 2009 - Dstahl posts on the Closed Beta forums that the ability to test Klingon characters will be added on the December 17th patch

December 17th, 2009 - ASK CRYPTIC: "Your Klingon Captain can be a Science, Engineering or Tactical officer. However, they must advance through PvP, as they will not have access to the same amount of player-vs.-environment content as Federation players at launch."
That one page there comprised all of the info that we received during 'Klingon Month.'

December 17th, 2009 - Jack Emmert speaks to MMORPG.com about why Klingons are 'PvP-centric' at launch

January 11th, 2010 - CLOSED BETA ENDS

January 12th, 2010 - OPEN BETA - until January 26th, 2010

January 29th, 2010 - HEADSTART - until February 2nd, 2010


February 2nd, 2010 - GAME LAUNCH
  • The Klingon Empire has no storyline PvE missions - only some "Empire Defense" space PvE madlibs
  • No Joined Trill (that we paid extra for and were told would work KDF side)
  • No personal armor visuals
  • No kit visuals
  • No tricorders
  • No ship customization
  • No buff pets (like the Federation Tribbles)
  • No crafting
  • Incomplete TOS uniform, not that it mattered because we never got to see our bridge officers anyway
  • Half our bridge officer races are male only
  • Computer audio and transporter visuals are Starfleet ones, not KDF
  • I'm sure there's some more "no's" that I'm forgetting, but it's not monster play!

Archived Post 05-30-2011 06:57 AM

Post-Launch - The Golden Age

February 5th, 2010 - Romulan "Empire Defense" missions added

February 11th, 2010 - The Borg Return: "level 43+ Klingon players now have access to repeatable Borg related Klingon Defense missions."

February 13th, 2010 - Jack Emmert posts; "Yes, there are definitely things on the table for Klingons. I'm a die hard Klingon player and I wanted them in no matter what. Believe me, we'll get more in. Otherwise, I'm going postal."

March 4th, 2010 - Infected goes live and the KDF is now able to enter Gamma Orionis

March 25th, 2010 - SEASON 1 - The 45 day patch!
  • KíTanco Battle Cruiser added.
  • Some minor customization for some Birds of Prey & Raptors added.
  • KDF can now play Crystalline Entity, Big Dig, Breaking the Planet and The Cure
  • KDF exploration missions added.
  • Bat'leths made available to Federation characters at Battle group Omega.
  • Shanty Town ground PvP map added
  • Fed vs. Fed PvP (Wargames) was added, which reduced available PvP matches for Klingon characters.
There was a lot of forum flamage after this patch went live, because players had gotten the impression that the "Mythical 45 Day Patch" was going to fix all of the KDF's problems. It's important to note that the developers never actually said that this patch would be adding anything to the Klingon Faction. During the height of the rage-fest, Jack Emmert made this post:

March 30th, 2010 - Jack Emmert posts: "Trust me, we'll continue to add PvE. I'm a die hard Klingon player and I'm constantly on the EP to add more."

April 13th, 2010 - Khitomer Accord goes live

April 29th, 2010 - SEASON 1.1 - Death Penalty!
  • Joined Trill (that we paid extra for) finally join the Klingon Faction
  • Klingon ship replicators work now (Feds always had them)
  • Klingons get ground auto-fire (Feds worked earlier)

May 13th, 2010 - Terradome goes live

June 3rd, 2010 - SEASON 1.2 - Accolades & Squad Support!
Major space powers revamp and a ton of bugs added to the game.

July 1st, 2010 - Executive Producer Craig Zinkievich (Zinc) leaves Cryptic Studios. Producer Daniel Stahl (dstahl) is promoted to Executive Producer.

July 27th, 2010 - SEASON 2 - Level cap increased to 51
  • KaríFi Battle Carrier added
  • Feds get Tactical Escort Retrofit, so now they have a cloaking device.
  • Federation Diplomatic Corps added - so Feds can now get Orion Slavegirls.
  • 200 Day Veteran Rewards include a Fed only jacket, nothing for KDF.
  • 8 New Klingon-only missions are available!
  • Some uniform customization options added and bugs fixed
  • Females now allowed to wear the MALE TOS Klingon shirt
  • "Congratulations, Captain!" audio finally added to Klingon side
  • Klingon game UI finally has the remaining Starfleet icons and symbols removed

August 1st, 2010 - KDF players are now able to get Efficient Impulse Engines - not listed in any of the patch notes
Federation players have been able to get this special reward since launch.

August 5th, 2010 - Several Orion and Klingon costume pieces added

August 17th, 2010 - Cryptic announces that Bill Roper has left the building

August 26th, 2010 - Dstahl posts about where he sees the KDF in 5 months

August 28th, 2010 - First "Weekly Episodes" later renamed to "Featured Episodes" - Cold Call goes live

September 7th, 2010 - Dstahl posts no Kzinti for the KDF

September 15th, 2010 - State of the Game - dstahl discusses the state of the KDF

October 15th, 2010 - KDF ship wings now move and Starfleet gets the Nebula class, which has a Universal Bridge Officer Slot.
The Federation now has access to all of the formerly unique Empire items, except for carriers. The Empire no longer has anything unique to offer to players.

October 22nd, 2010 - The Empire gets a Tier 5 Vorícha

November 12th, 2010 - The Empire receives three new ships - the Varanus Fleet Support Vessel (Gorn), the Maurauder Patrol Cruiser (Orion), and the B'rel Bird-of-Prey Retrofit (Klingon)
Multiple threads explaining how the Varanus doesn't work as a science ship because of the low turn speed are ignored by Cryptic.

November 17th, 2010 - Dstahl posts about the KDF 200 Veteran reward that; "gets better over time."
Except that it doesn't.

November 17th, 2010 - Dstahl posts; "We are instead looking into other Feline species that might be allied with the KDF."
Because there couldn't possibly be any Caitians in the Empire?

December 9th, 2010 - SEASON 3 - Sector Space Fixed! (finally) and Episode Replay
  • Klingons get stolen Federation tricorders which actually work now
  • The KDF can now get anomalys
  • Klingons can now craft, still no buff bets though
  • Sortie missions in Pi Canis added - buggy and broken
  • The KDF finally gets the 200 Day Veteran Reward shoulder pads

December 23rd, 2010 - The Guramba Siege Destroyer hits the C-Store

Archived Post 05-30-2011 06:59 AM

Anniversary - The Silver Age

January 7th, 2011 - Dstahl is getting tired of the all the KDF complaints and posts; "If you don't like the speed at which the car is moving - your options are to jump out or watch the DVD in the back seat and eat some cheerios." AND: "Overnight armchair quarterbacks aside, the dev team is constantly improving the KDF for the 12% of our player base who play them."

January 27th, 2011 - Cryptic_Gozer posts; "The community ASSUMED that meant that both factions would have full PVE content."
He's immediately corrected, and never again mentions his attempt to rewrite history.

January 28th, 2011 - To be fair though, dstahl did discuss Gozer's comments

January 28th, 2011 - Vulcan D'Kyr Science Vessel, an exact copy of the Gorn Varanus in all but looks (the ship's shipyard data entry even says Varanus instead of D'Kyr), is released to Tribble for testing.

January 29th, 2011 - Cryptic has ignored issues KDF players have with the Varanus for over 3 months. But when Federation players request an increase in the turn rate for the Vulcan D'Kyr, for the exact same reasons that Klingon players wanted an increase in the Varanus' turn rate, a developer responds with 24 hours of it hitting the test server saying they'll increase the turn rate of the D'Kyr.

January 30th, 2011 - In an interview with Computer Ed, Dan Stahl says; "The Klingon faction ... first it was going to be PvE then it became PvP..."
This PROVES that it was originally their intent to make the Empire a full PvE faction just like the Federation. From the mouth of the executive producer himself.

February 2nd, 2011 - One Year Anniversary! Earth Space Dock has received an overhaul to its interior. We're told that Qo'noS will get an update too, sometime in the future.

February 3rd, 2011 - Four Foundry missions are ported from Tribble (test server) to Holodeck (live server). Despite multiple KDF missions being suggested in StormShade's official thread, and in other threads, they decide to port 3 Starfleet and only 1 KDF mission to Holodeck.

February 24th, 2011 - Dstahl posts; "As far as Kerrat and KDF content in general, the big update is coming with the launch of Season 4."
So the belief that Season 4 will be big for the Empire isn't something that just came from rumors and rampant speculation.

March 25th, 2011 - Starfleet captains can now craft their own Delta Flyers! The KDF doesn't get anything to craft of course.

March 25th, 2011 - Dstahl posts: "More than half of the team is working on Klingon content for Season 4 at the moment, so I can assure that I remain committed to improving the KDF faction and have done so with every release."
Once again the executive producer saying that Season 4 will be big for the Empire.

March 28th, 2011 - The Foundry goes live on Holodeck

April 8th, 2011 - Dan Stahl posts: "The team continues to release Klingon improvements with every major update, and Season 4 will be no different. KDF costume customization options, new Gorn, new KDF tutorial, Start as a KDF with your first toon, KDF Duty Officer Assignments, releveleved KDF PVE content, opening up more KDF sectors - its all in the works.

As I've said in numerous interviews - don't take me at my word - just look at my track record for making the improvements that I said we would with the KDF and judge by that."

That sounds pretty concrete to me.

May 13th, 2011 - S_Wall posts: KDF tutorial - postponed, Klingon Academy - postponed, Updated Qo'noS - in Season 4, Qo'noS side missions - postponed
Wow. That's a sudden change from dstahl's posts on April 8th, March 25th, and February 24th.

May 14th, 2011 - Captain_Geko states in an interview on STOked, that Qo'noS "is not likely to go into Season 4 at this time."

May 16th, 2011 - Dstahl posts that Gorn Customization and a reworked Qo'noS will be in Season 4
So those two things are in, but after reading that engineering report it's looking less and less likely that Season 4 will be big for the Empire.

May 21st, 2011 - Salami_Inferno announces that, as part of the remastered missions, Starfleet will get a special mission reward that lets them summon a bank in sector space. Only after KDF players start asking about it does he announce that the Empire will get one as well, but it won't be in game until Season 4. However, it turns out that they were able to get it done and in game at the same time Starfleet gets the Azura Com after all.

May 23rd, 2011 - Mhighison posts that the devs aren't even planning on making the Swordmaster Greatcoat available to players

May 26th, 2011 - Mhighison posts; "The skirts and badges I've mentioned here are indeed Fed only, because they are Fed Uniform parts. Getting a Klingon faction skirt is on my list of extras I want to squeeze in before for Season 4."
Starfleet, which already has a wide selection of comm badges and skirt options, is getting a bunch more. The KDF, which has none, might get some squeezed in for Season 4.

May 27th, 2011 - The Remastered Doomsday Machine episode goes to Holodeck - Starfleet players are able to wear the KDF Swordmaster Greatcoat and get a KDF Harg'Peng torpedo. KDF players do not get either of these things.

July 7th, 2011 - SEASON 4 - Season of the Empire (supposedly)


The Federation has far more content and options (as well as far less bugs) than the Empire does. red_shirt_ started a great thread that has some numbers that show just how great the disparity is.

At launch the KDF had several things that Starfleet did not: Bat'leths, Cloaking Devices, Universal Bridge Officer Slots, Orion Slave Chicks, and later Carriers. Starfleet has acquired all of these things, except for Carriers, but they did get other space pets in the form of separated saucers and MVAM.

This has removed everything unique about the Empire and means that the Klingon Faction has nothing to offer a player that they can't get far more of (and with less bugs) Federation side.

Archived Post 05-30-2011 07:29 AM

Great thread, and bloody bleak reading.

Archived Post 05-30-2011 08:00 AM

Great post, really shows how badly the KDF have been treated and shows perfectly that the dev team constantly fails to live up to the promises that they want the KDF to improve, the devs consistantly talk a good game when it comes to the KDF but when its time to deliver we either get broken and buggy content or content that gets delayed for months and then still gets released in a broken and buggy state.

It really is no surprise to me that more of the player base don't want to play KDF, why would they when its treated in such a shabby way? The only way that the player base for the KDF will improve is for cryptic to improve the game expierience for KDF players but as has been shown time after time they have no real ambition to do that....if they really want the population to grow they need to make it attractive to the fed playerbase and that means more unique KDF missions and more customization options for both characters and ships. They seem to think that the weekly series missions are the way to go to help with KDF leveling but those will not get people to play the KDF, fed players have more than likely already played those missions several times and the prospect of having to play them many more times or to have to grind the explore missions will not get poeple over to the KDF.

If Cryptic truely want the KDF faction to grow and improve they really need to take a good long look at how they can do this and change tactics because if they continue as they have for the last 16 months or so its only a matter of time before the faction will be truely dead and that will not be good for the game or for any future factions they want to add.

Archived Post 05-30-2011 08:21 AM

Hmmm...
 
I truly agree with everything that everyone has said. I'll be honest that I have fewer KDF toons than Fed toons and that they're all Commander grade or lower. However, there are a lot of things and differences that I like playing the KDF side for in balance with the Fed side. I'll admit that it's a shame that people who really love the KDF side have hardly gotten half of what they wanted or deserved. In defense of the devs though, they do work very hard and have a great passion for the game. It looks like there are a lot of great things on the table for the KDF coming up, but it also seems that those who mainly play the KDF side will have to have more patience than those who mainly play the Fed side. Is this fair? Absolutely not.

In fact, as someone who mainly plays Fed, but thoroughly enjoys the KDF, I'd actually be really happy and fully support to see Dstahl and the crew take a full season update and devote it completely to the KDF. That would be a season update with absolutely ZERO Fed content. I wouldn't mind and I'd be happy for the KDF players that really have a passion for their content. As it is, the Fed side already has more than enough content to keep everyone who plays it busy for quite a while.

Archived Post 05-30-2011 08:52 AM

Peregrine, awesome thread and good research work to dig these quotes out. For me, the major issues is at start right even before this game hit launch. From there, it was like climbing the Everest to bring KDF to level.

I really have nothing against Dstahl, Gozer and the rest of the team. They have produced a great game i DO enjoy to play. I also understand the major frustration of people willing to simply play a fun and engaging PvE Klingon Faction. Will it take time... we understand that fact. I can't imagine Season 4 will fix all and close the gap.

I guess the combination of a dev team on a tight schedule and a frustrated Klingon player base has been a hot mix since game start...

Archived Post 05-30-2011 09:21 AM

(cry)
 
thanks for this. it really hit home as i and many others where playing STO when most of these where comeing out.

the anger i felt when reading this was the anger i felt when they first came out:mad:. i think this is how people felt about it :eek::(:mad:.

Archived Post 05-30-2011 09:32 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Dan_H
In fact, as someone who mainly plays Fed, but thoroughly enjoys the KDF, I'd actually be really happy and fully support to see Dstahl and the crew take a full season update and devote it completely to the KDF. That would be a season update with absolutely ZERO Fed content. I wouldn't mind and I'd be happy for the KDF players that really have a passion for their content. As it is, the Fed side already has more than enough content to keep everyone who plays it busy for quite a while.

Every single time something like that gets suggested, there's a small clique of federation zealots on the forums that band together and shoot that idea down in flames. Because, Oh-Em-Gee, nothing can get in the way of the dev team from releasing the latest uniform update (Section 31) or ship (Oberth). Putting any monkeywrenches in those plans and making them wait for maybe half the time people waited for KDF shoulderpads or a revamped Gorn, would obviously kill the game.

;)

I think the changes to the D'Kyr that PFalcon points out pretty much highlight exactly what is wrong with the development of the Klingon faction.

Archived Post 05-30-2011 10:08 AM

Sadly a honest fully fledged klink faction will never be.

At this point I say they should just focus there effort (no its not plural) on the Klink tutorial. At the end of said mission, our new klink warrior should warp to the Sol Sector and begin the Azure Mission.

Perhaps the Tutorial release can announce the end of the Klingon Federation War... and they can just open each and every fed mission to our new klinker.

Remove the FvK ques... replace them with a simple Arena / Cap and Hold... game. Allow inter mixing and teaming. (honestly FvK is almost dead anyway... FvF all but killed Klink PvP anyway) Ker Rat can work like Nvak and just auto assign sides.

As much as I hate to say it this is pretty much the only way I would suggest to anyone that was really honestly new to the game at this point to play. I mean really would anyone playing klink now suggest to a friend that just got here to role a klink ?

Anyway, nice post Peregrine_Falcon.

PS anyone thinking they are honestly working a Romulan Faction at this point.... lol


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