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Archived Post 06-26-2009 05:00 PM

Dev Chat: June 30
Next Tuesday, June 30, at 11:30 a.m. Pacific time (weíre GMT -7 right now), weíll be holding a developerís chat in the official Star Trek Online IRC chat!

This chatís focus will be on bridge crews, so be ready to submit your questions to the team. The chat is scheduled to last 30 minutes. If you canít make it due to time constraints, weíll be posting a transcript of the chat on the forums.

If youíd like to join us, point your IRC program of choice toward #STO on, or click right here for a Flash client. And if you canít make it, just reply with your question in this postís comment thread. Weíll be selecting questions from the thread to put to the developers.

Archived Post 06-26-2009 05:02 PM

Here is some Official Info (already answered questions) about BRIDGE PETS:


GS: We understand that taking an away-team to the surface of new planets will be an important part of the game. Will the away-team be made of other players? Or will there be customizable away-teams featuring computer-controlled characters...or something else entirely?

CZ: Star Trek is not just about the captain and ship--it's about the crew too. One of the elements I'm really excited about is your "bridge crew." Throughout your career, you'll gain access to a number of player-controlled-but-AI-driven characters to name, outfit, customize, and level up. Your bridge crew helps drive the storylines you're on, gives your ship extra capabilities, and goes on away-missions with you.

When you're teamed up with other players, you'll definitely be going down to the surface along with them.


Allakhazam : So, is there anything a Tricorder can't do? Within the confines of the game, of course...
Craig : There will be several different tricorders, and various classes will use them in different ways. A medical officer will be able to do things with a tricorder that an engineer canít, and vice versa. Your skills, and those of your Bridge Crew, will determine what you can do with a tricorder.

HF: Will players have any ability to interact with their NPC crews and talk to their crew or are they going to be more like traditional MMO pets?

CZ: I think they are more in the capacity of pets where you will tell them what to do and command them, but one of the cool things that we are trying to do is to integrate them into the story so that allot of the alerts and events that happen within the game donít get communicated to you via the user interface or flashing chat bubble, but instead are communicated through your bridge crew and bridge officers so that they are the ones that are letting you know whatís going on.

Sitting in ten forward and having a conversation with your first officer, probably not going to happen, but trying to make them have a life and be an important part of the ship is what our goal is.

Ten Ton Hammer: With the bridge crew, how large of an influence do they have on the overall abilities of a given ship class? Do they reflect the innate abilities of the ship, or enhance them? How will that relationship work?
Craig Zinkievich: Itís an interesting, parasitic relationship between the ship and the bridge crew. One of the things that the ship configuration defines are how many of what type of bridge officers can be on that ship when youíre in space flying that ship. Youíll have your stable of guys, but which ones are active or which ones are actually on the bridge is specified by the configuration or class of your ship.

Having said that, the coolest powers that are in the game currently for me are bridge officer powers, the things that your bridge officer has. You ask your Worf to line up the photon torpedo spread, you ask your Data to realign your deflector dish to send energy pulses back at the person whoís attacking you. So it feeds upon itself Ė the ship defines what sort of officers you can have on the bridge or what kind of permutations you can have, but then your officers really affect the way that your ship functions.

So if you get a more escort class ship, youíve got more tactical guys, youíve got more pew-pew. If youíve got a science ship you probably have more seats for science officers on the bridge, and so the science guys can actually bring their really cool skills to the ship.
Ten Ton Hammer: Will the bridge crew play a role in effecting repairs on your ship, or will you have to find specific places where you can dock and handle repairs from there?
Craig Zinkievich: Thereís definitely docking stations where youíll do repairs, but also Ė itís not your bridge officers per se, although some of the bridge officers have skills to help you repair your ship and do hull repairs. But itís your ships greater crew that does that, and kind of the makeup of that crew that helps you repair your ship outside of combat.
Ten Ton Hammer: Are the bridge officers another of the customization elements that players will acquire throughout various aspects of normal gameplay?
Craig Zinkievich: Definitely. Youíll pick up different members as you play, or youíll run across unique alien races that have unique, cool skills that you canít get any other way. And whether or not you take one of those guys and recruit him into Starfleet or whether you ask him to train one of your bridge officers in those skills is really up to you. I mean, you donít want to start off with Spock and then have to cut Spock loose just because you found some phat loot. So youíll be able to train up your bridge officers. Some people donít care, but personally I do Ė the attachment to the bridge officers is a big part of the game.

But the skills that they learn, the bridge officers will level up those skills. You get points that youíll spend to say, look with this guy I want this skill to be better. They rank up along with you, so you have to promote them throughout the game. So thereís a lot of advancement for your bridge officers as well as you.
Ten Ton Hammer: It definitely sounds as though thereís a lot of symbiosis between the ships, bridge officers and player characters.
Craig Zinkievich: Yep, it all comes together to really define what role youíre going to play based on all of those things.

Will there be options for non-organic life? For example, androids or rock people? Can these have game play effects, for instance androids don't get sick but they might suffer the effects of energy dampening like with the planet Sisko and O'Brien were trapped on (DS9, Paradise)?
Definitely in the game there will be non-organic life-forms; androids, rock people, Tholians, and so on. In character creation that goes right back to the previous question. You can create a character who looks like an android, or call yourself a hologram, and give that character abilities and traits in keeping with that choice. For example, if youíre an android, you may be able to choose radiation resistance as a characteristic. Additionally, youíll be able to add bridge officers to your staff who may be androids or holograms, or something new, and they would have special abilities appropriate for them.However, you wonít be able to look like a Tholian; youíll have to choose a bipedal humanoid.

Is it possible to leave your captain on the bridge of your ship during a ground mission, making an away team with only your bridge officers?

No. That will not be possible. If youíre on an away team you must go, as your captain. You get to bring four other crewmembers, or players, with you. It could be players, crew members or other playerís crew members (the player must come with you as well Ė you canít just kidnap their crew members without them).

Compared to a human, a Vulcan is superhumanly strong, extremely intelligent, pretty darn fast (according to Sisko), possesses superior stamina and has telepathy powers to boot. How will the various "superhuman" races be balanced against, well ... humans?

In the early TOS days of Star Trek, Vulcans got all the love. In addition to the bonuses described above, Vulcans had superior vision, hearing, feign death, mind meld, a nictitating eye membrane, resistance to low oxygen and heat, and the list goes on and on. I donít think Rodenberry has an MMO in mind when he created Vulcans. But as the shows evolved, I think you started to see the writers downplay the overwhelming physical superiorities of Vulcans quite a bit.

Weíre going to have to tone it down and balance it a bit for Vulcans, and some of the other superhuman races, because we need to make sure that the game is fun and playable. Weíre going about that a few different ways.

The different races youíll be able to play or make will all have access to different racial benefits. Both for you, as a playable character, and for your bridge officers. So a Vulcan bridge officer will come with specific abilities or traits. Like advanced logic, which may translate into faster cool down times for their bridge officer powers. Or they may come with some racial traits like the Vulcan nerve pinch or telepathy or they may come with some more common abilities like a bonus to engineering skills or science skills. As a player, youíll find that different races have different skills. Weíre still working on what humans will have. It will probably be something like versatility: jack of all trades, master of none.

No race will ever be particularly better at any profession, because we want crews to have diversity. Vulcan logic isnít going to make them better as science officers, but it may shorten their cool down times in general, which makes them valuable bridge officers. Andorians may have battle rage, which may mean that you do bonus damage under specific conditions. And so on. Different races will also have weaknesses, to balance it all out.

Archived Post 06-26-2009 05:03 PM

I haven't really paid too much attention to how the bridge crew will work, so if some of these have been answered let me know!

What are the different ways that we will gain access to new crew members? Through missions, "loot", etc?
Along that same vein of questioning, are there any "rare" crew members? How will we obtain them?

What is the max number of "bridge crew" that we will be "in control of"(essentially)? Will different classes of ships(or items) effect how many we can have "active" at any given time, or is it a static number regardless? Example: A galaxy can have 8, an Orbeth can have 6.

What do we need to do to "switch" the crew around. Is there a quick swap function[(akin to a duty shift)maybe create a pallet of 2-3 "shifts" that we can interchange between when not under fire], or will we have to return to a starbase to change?

How do you "advance" your bridge crew? Is it possible to "de-advance" them by performing actions they don't like?
Can you provide an example of the differences between a "fully developed" member, compared to a new one?

Archived Post 06-26-2009 05:06 PM


Originally Posted by Rekhan
And if you canít make it, just reply with your question in this postís comment thread. Weíll be selecting questions from the thread to put to the developers.

Questions here are just fine :)

Archived Post 06-26-2009 05:18 PM

My Fleet 151
can i use Star Ship Creator to make my Ship and down loud it in to Star trek online ?and my 2nd question for the xbox360 ther s an new thing for the 360 wich yr body is an contoler can i talk to my Fleet members as well?

Archived Post 06-26-2009 05:20 PM

I have 2 questions in one actually, but they pertain to the same topic: crew size

part1: will our crew "stable" vary in size depending on our rank?

part2: will the bridge of a given ship have a set number of "slots" (stations), say a defiant will have a max of 5 seats and a sov can accommodate 10 people on the bridge. And will the seats can only welcome a max number of crew mates per specialization. Like crewing the 10 seats on a sov bridge with 10 science officers (even if it's not the smartest strategy).

Thanks for offering another chat with the dev session!

Archived Post 06-26-2009 05:21 PM


Originally Posted by Adm.Doug151
can i use Star Ship Creator to make my Ship and down loud it in to Star trek online ?and my 2nd question for the xbox360 ther s an new thing for the 360 wich yr body is an contoler can i talk to my Fleet members as well?


This chatís focus will be on bridge crews
Please adjust your questions accordingly.

Archived Post 06-26-2009 05:51 PM

Will my bridge crew all advance at the same rate?

With Bridge interiors not at launch, will landing parties and instanced missions be the only time we can interact with our crew?

Archived Post 06-26-2009 05:53 PM

With the bridge crew playing an integral part of how well our starship performs, is there a way that we can "show them off"? Or for others to view them in anyway, a scan or something of the sort?

Archived Post 06-26-2009 06:21 PM

Someone should ask about ranks. Will it be more harshly controlled like with DS9 and VOY (1 captain, 1 commander, etc etc a very clear line in ranks) or mid-range like TNG (3 freakin' commanders), or crazy like TOS Movies (tons of Admirals and Captains everywhere! A ship full of them! :p).

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