Newbie Guide to Tribble Testing
The Trouble with Tribble: A Guide to Testing on Tribble
This guide was created with the intention of making it easier for new players (and newcomers to Tribble) to learn about the joys of testing new content on Tribble. I'm going to reserve the next few posts for updates. I also wanted to open this up to other veteran testers to offer their insight, which I will add to the original posts as I get them.
Vocabulary/AbbreviationsDevs - Developers (of the game)
Doff - Duty Officer
DS9 - Deep Space Nine
Holodeck - The live (and primary) server for playing STO
Rep - Reputation (system, marks, etc.)
Redshirt - The sometimes-used secondary test server
Shards - Multiple structurally identical "worlds" of the game; STO has 3: Holodeck, Tribble, and Redshirt
STF - Special Task Force missions
STO - Star Trek Online
Tribble - STO's primary public test server, not to be confused with...
Tribbles - Puffy fur-balls that sit in your bank and inventory and drive Klingons crazy
We're Not in Kansas Anymore: What is Tribble?
Tribble is STO's primary public test server. Test servers are places where the devs allow players to test new and upcoming content before it hits the live server, Holodeck. The point of Tribble is not to create a place where you get to see everything everyone else sees it (although that is pretty fun), but to create a place where you can test for bugs in the programming, graphics, etc. and report those bugs to the devs so that they can fix them before everybody starts complaining after the latest patch to Holodeck about how their heads disappear when they put on EV suits. Testing is both an opportunity and a responsibility. You get to see new content, but you should also be ready to report bugs when you see them.
Sometimes when testing for a new season is going on, the devs add the Redshirt testing shard to the playable shards. When this happens, Tribble becomes the shard for testing the new season update stuff, while Redshirt becomes the shard for testing the updates that will get ported to Holodeck at the end of the week (normally just minor tweaks and bug fixes).
This Isn't Your Holodeck's Star Trek [Online]: Differences between Servers
Before you even hit Tribble to start testing, you should be aware of some of the major differences between Tribble and Holodeck.
1. Capacity - Tribble can hold far fewer players at one time than Holodeck can; as a result, on heavy testing days (often on Tribble Test Weekends [see below]), you may find queues to get in and test. This is normal.
2. The Zen Store - For the most part, the Zen Store is disabled on Tribble (there are some things in it, but it hasn't been updated in a while). You also cannot transfer Zen to Tribble, and the dilithium exchange is disabled.
3. Free Things - As Tribble is designed for you to test things, the devs will give you free access to rep powers, ships, consoles, etc. that you normally couldn't get for free or without grinding out a lot of rep marks. The consoles to gain access to these things are located on Drozana station in the main bar area (just run around until you see "Testing Console" or something along those lines).
4. Things That Don't Carry Over - One way to test Tribble, is to transfer a copy of your character over to Tribble. If you do this, you should note that any earned rep levels, any items in your account bank, and some of your uniforms/ships will not carry over with the transfer. Fleets also do not carry over. There are separate Tribble fleets.
5. Things That Do - Your EC, dilithium, rep marks, etc. will carry over to Tribble if you transfer your character. Any veteran rewards earned from actual subscribed time (not life time subscription instant access to all veteran rewards) carry over as well.
6. Rougher and Wilder - Tribble will have more bugs and glitches. Don't expect the build to be perfect; you are there to catch those bugs so the devs can fix them.
Mirror Universes: How to Start Your Testing Journey
You're just itching to try out Tribble and to see what's coming to Holodeck in the near future, but how do you become a tester? There are 2 ways you can do this.
Create a New Character in Tribble
1. When you launch the STO launcher/patcher, you'll notice a second option next to the "Live (Holodeck)" Shard option called "Public Test (Tribble)." Click on this and it will begin patching Tribble. Note: Tribble is essentially another version of the game on your computer. It will be a large, multiple GB patch (make sure you have the space, or you will not get to the final frontier of Tribble!).
2. You should then be taken into the character creation page.
3. If you do not see the Tribble option on the patcher, follow the second method and try again.
Transfer a Character to Tribble
1. Go to this page.
2. Log into the ARC window as prompted (you will be directed to a log in page).
3. Scroll down to the bottom of the page.
4. Select the character from the drop down menu you want to transfer.
5. Select which test server (Tribble most of the time; only rarely Redshirt) to transfer too.
6. Wait a few minutes (it can take up to an hour).
7. Log into the patcher and select "Tribble". Wait for it to patch.
8. Get to the character menu, and voila! You've transferred your character.
We're Givin' Her All She's Got, Captain: How to Test Successfully
The first part to testing successfully is to do simply that - TEST! Play anything and everything you fancy in the world of STO. Go catch up with Commander Roxy in her retirement, play a few PvE missions (if you can find anyone in the queues), or go challenge your buddy to a PvP match. The most important thing to test, though, will be the new content, which you can check by looking at the Tribble patch notes in the Tribble Announcements sub-forum (at the bottom of the forum home page). As you play, look for bugs. These could be anything from typos to "OMG! My face disappeared when I put on my EV suit." When you find a bug, you should do 2 things:
1. Submit a bug report by using the "Submit a Bug Report" option under the "?" icon on your mini-map
2. Submit the bug to the "Tribble Bug Report" sub-forum.
Of course you can offer more feedback than just bug reports. If you like or dislike something, let the devs know by posting in the "Tribble Feedback" sub-forum.
One other thing to note, is that you can test new rep items (currently Nukara rep) by going to DS9 to the old STF store (near the entrance to the shipyard area) where one of the NPC's labeled "Reputation Vendor" will sell you the gear and powers (in the form of consoles) from the new rep system for free. You can also test two new Romulan ships at a new test console on Drozana station across from the bank and exchange consoles (in the room with the dabo tables).
Gotta Catch 'Em All: Tribble Test Weekends
Before a new season is released on Holodeck, it goes to Tribble with more and more of the season hitting Tribble in the weeks leading up to the Holodeck release. Generally, 1-2 weeks before it goes to Holodeck, there is a Tribble Test Weekend. During this weekend (Friday-Monday), players can log on and test the new stuff for a reward if they meet certain requirements. These requirements will be laid out in a dev blog announcing the test weekend (normally it's to play for an hour on Tribble). The reward is generally a special Tribble that is an account unlock for Holodeck characters. Past examples include Tribble of Borg (now in the Z-Store), Crossfire Tribble, Mol Ri'han Tribble (gives 1 Romulan mark an hour), and Fleet Tribble (gives 1 fleet mark an hour). Doffs, titles, and pets have also been awarded in the past. Just a little extra something for helping to test new stuff.
What Happens In Tribble, Stays In Tribble
You've done all this great testing, picked up some cool new items, and are super pumped to see it all go on Holodeck. At this point, one of the most frequently asked questions I see on the forums and on Tribble is: "Can I transfer this character back to Holodeck with all his cool stuff?" Unfortunately, the answer to this is NO. You get access to a lot of cool stuff in Tribble, but it wouldn't be fair to let you take all that stuff back to Holodeck (sorry, but the Rep system wouldn't work if you could just pull all the rep items over from Tribble). Character transfers to Tribble are a one way deal.
The First Rule of Fight Club: Ship Focus Testing
First, a caveat - I have not focus tested any ships on Tribble (despite vocally wanting to every time), so I cannot speak from experience (most of this is paraphrased from BranFlakes' posts on Tribble Ship Focus Testing). Basically, the devs from time to time wish to test out new ships in a small select group (picked on past feedback and testing options - not sure what else beyond that because way more people meet that criterion than get to test ships). I gather that you will have to sign a Non-disclosure Agreement (NDA) while testing these ships. In other words, the first rule of focus testing club is don't talk about focus testing club. Past ship tests included the Vesta the Scimitar.
Recently, the devs returned the ship testing console in a new location (it had been removed when Legacy of Romulus went live). You can test two Romulan warbirds (you need a level 30 Romulan captain to test them). The console is located on Drozana station across from the bank and exchange consoles (the room with the dabo table).
Can Tribbles Fly?: FAQ's
I'm going to use this space to answer some frequently asked questions about Tribble.
Q: I don't see the Tribble shard available in my launcher. How can I test?
A: Try following the steps for "Transferring a Character to Tribble" above and see if the "Tribble" shard option shows up.
Q: I can get into Tribble, but it says "the server is unavailable at this time." What gives?
A: The devs take down Tribble for regular updates, just like they do for Holodeck. The only difference is that public test shard statuses are not put up on the website. If it says it's down, then they are probably doing server maitenance.
Q: I'm an old tester, but I can't find my old characters anywhere. What gives?
A: The devs periodically wipe Tribble to eliminate old, unused accounts and to free up space for an anticipated spike in the server load (the most recent one occurred around Legacy Romulus testing). You'll need to create a new character or transfer one over again.
Q: I'd like to join a fleet in Tribble to test new fleet holdings. How can I do that?
A: Look through listings in the Fleets on your social menu like normal. The biggest fleet tends to be the official Cryptic testing fleet (currently called Cryptic Tribbles Reborn). To get an invite, simply ask for one in the public channel "TTS" (type: "/channel_join TTS" without the quotation marks into your chat bar). If someone is on, they will invite you (everyone is recruit rank with permission to donate, buy, and invite). Of course, just like every public channel, beware of trolls. ;)
Q: Are there any ships I can test that aren't just for focus testing?
A: Yes! Recently the devs put up two new Romulan ships for Tribble testers to test. You can access them by going to a terminal on Drozana station (in the room with the dabo tables; across from the bank and exchange consoles).
The Undiscovered Country: Go Forth and Test
That's it for now. I'll continue to update this as more feedback and advice (hopefully) pours in. This should be a primer to get you off the ground and ready to test. Who knows, maybe it'll even merit a sticky from BranFlakes. So now that you have been primed, in the words of Kirk, head "out there, thatta way" and start testing!
Excellent job with this.
Nice Guide!, Perhaps Cryptic should link it somewhere.
Thanks for the feedback so far; as always, if anyone sees something they think should be added to the guide, post away, and I'll try to get it added to the original posts.
Updated the OP to reflect what I know about current focus testing on Tribble (admittedly, not much). Also, PublicEliteSTF channel gets a sticky within one day and this has yet to get one? Guess the Tribble forums need some more traffic. :P
A sticky would be nice :)
(Nice guide! Thanks for making it :))
EDIT: One thing I would suggest adding: "What happens on Tribble, stays on Tribble" (can't transfer a character from Tribble to Holodeck)
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