If you were in the STO beta a year ago, you will remember that Sector Space was constantly going through visual revisions. The version that we launched with was functional and distinct, but I've always felt we could do much better. The artists have gone to town and come back with a visual update that captures the beauty of traveling through the Galaxy while retaining functional elements.
You now have the option of selecting between two visual styles while traveling through the Galaxy by toggling Astrometric View on or off. When traveling with Astrometrics on, subdued map-like elements will help guide you to locations. Traveling with Astrometrics off, nearly all the UI will drop away and you'll be in the deep dark of space with the twinkle of stars to guide you. Hovering over a major star system will bring up some basic info on that system.
When you fly close to a major star system, you will notice it get slowly larger as you approach and planets will become visible. An information panel can also be toggled on or off to display some data about the location.
See something interesting in the distance? Fly up to it and see what's there! We think you'll find some nice surprises out there.
You now have access to replay most storyline missions you have already completed. You can replay missions for fun or maybe you want to go back and finish that accolade you missed or get a different reward this time around. So how does this work?
In order to replay a mission, you must be in Sector Space and move to your Bridge (use the little arrow drop-down in the mini-map HUD). You'll find a computer console in your Ready Room that will display any mission you have already completed. Select the mission to replay, and complete it as normal. Note that mission enemies and rewards will remain at their original level, so if you're a Vice Admiral going back to replay Kassae – expect to mop up the Gorn. In addition, several missions now offer unique rewards for replaying them and more of these rewards will be added in the future.
Memory Alpha Research Update (Crafting)
The Research and Development crafting system is receiving an update in Season 3 and I wanted to give some details as to what has changed and what to expect in the upcoming update. There have been a ton of great suggestions on how to improve Memory Alpha, and many ideas such as choosing your own bonuses are features that will come in time, but first we need to take another baby step and improve the usefulness of the System.
First off we've taken care of an obvious problem by allowing the KDF complete access to the R&D Crafting Stations and have set some up in Qo'nos for the KDF to use. In addition, we're opening up the Pi Canis sector and adding new patrol missions to allow KDF players to gather data in a more Empire-like way. We're also starting to turn on anomalies in systems and missions so that eventually all accessible maps have equal access to crafting resources. In addition, the FED and KDF research trees are slightly different in that the KDF has a focus on Disruptor technology while the Feds have a focus on Phasers. But that is only a minor issue compared to making R&D more useful.
Previously, Memory Alpha only allowed the crafting of a few uncommon and rare items up to Mark 10. This made crafting an interesting hobby but paled in comparison to other loot that could be found in game through other means. We also noted that there was a small arbitrary sample of available items. Most of the time as you played you ended up feeling behind the curve in that by the time you could make Mk II items, you were already using Mk IV. As part of Season 3, we are making some significant improvements to address the issues above.
In addition to adding over 400 more items, a big change you'll notice when you log in is that General Research now has a maximum level of 1650 and contains all recipes that were previously in Energy Fields, Physical Sciences, and Tech R&D (plus the Advanced versions of the latter 3). Increasing the skill to 1650 allowed us to add in Rare and Very Rare Mark XI items.
WHAT HAPPENED TO MY RESEARCH SKILLS?
Any previous experience you had gained in regular or advanced Energy Fields, Physical Science, and Tech R&D has been converted to the new General Research skill up to a maximum of 1500 points. 1500 skill in General Research will allow the crafting of any items up to Very Rare Mark 10 (which is more than what player's could previously craft in the old system). This conversion errs on the side of being generous and most players should now be able to craft far more items than they previously could.
Now that all items use General Research, we have also re-labeled the UI so that you can Filter and Select the type of item you are trying to make. The tab filter categories are Personal Equipment, Starship Weapons, and Starship Components. They all use General Research skill.
One of the other cumbersome aspects of R&D was the need to purchase a base level item in order to craft a new one. This has been changed. Instead of having to purchase a copy of an item, you can now craft Schematics (there is a new tab for these) with basic resources which can be used as a component when fabricating any Mk level of the item. So for example, to craft a Mk IV torpedo launcher, you need a Schematic: Torpedo Launcher and the appropriate amount of data to make a Mk IV torpedo launcher. It is a subtle difference but one that allows us to do some interesting things with schematics in the future. We've also streamlined how many anomalies of any given type you needed to make an item. Each crafted item now uses X number of a single type of anomaly at each tier with the exception that very rare items also now require a specific Particle Trace (you get these from randomly from completing the scan mini-game). Here's how the anomaly samples break down by crafted item tier:
Mk II – Radiation Samples
Mk II – Mineral Samples
Mk II – Alien Artifact
Mk IV – Antimatter Samples
Mk IV – Biological Samples
Mk IV – Unknown Alloy
Mk VI – Tetryon Particles
Mk VI – Plasma Sample
Mk VI – Encoded Data
Mk VIII – Methogenic Particles
MK VIII – DNA Sequence
Mk VIII – Genetic Sequence
Mk X – Tachyon Wave Signatures
Mk X – Photonic Technology
MK X – Exobiological Data
MK XI – Unidentified Substance
MK XI – Chronometric Wave Signatures
MK XI – Technical Schematic
To further simply, the amount of each particle needed to make any particular item has been standardized. Common quality is 10 samples, Uncommon, 20 Samples, Rare 30 Samples, and Very Rare 30 samples + a varying amount of Unique Particles.
Since this changes how many anomalies each item requires to make, there has also been a change to how much each recipe will grant in Research Skill. This too has been standardized. Making common items grants 10 skill, uncommon – 20 skill, rare – 30 skill, and very rare – 50 skill. The slower skill gains are compensated for by the fact that all recipes require schematics which will always grant 10 skill.
To help with gathering resources, we've also taken a closer look at what levels anomalies are given out at. We've adjusted each star cluster to ensure that the anomalies that are prevalent are more likely to be closer to the level of the Sector. For example B'Tran Lvl 51 will now primarily give Mk X and Mk XI sample data (whereas previously it would give as low as MK VIII)
You can also now re-size the crafting window.
We consider this update a small step towards the future of crafting in STO, but a much needed step. You can look forward to more Crafting updates in the future as we begin to dig deeper into the system and provide more exciting opportunities for those who enjoy crafting to be able to make unique and interesting items. The first of these, our special Ship Component Set is scheduled to go live shortly after the release of Season 3 – so start leveling up that Research Skill and stay tuned!
If you are looking for anomlies, here's a quick list of where you can go to find them
MK 2: Radiation Samples, Mineral Samples, Alien Artifacts
Hint: Since Episode Replay allows you to replay missions at their original level, you can use the above guide to find replay missions that might have the anomalies you are looking for!
Klingon Patrols in Pi Canis
The Pi Canis Sector Block has been opened up to Klingon Defense Force characters and now contain repeatable, any level, "sortie" missions that focus on allowing the KDF to raid Federation stockpiles for research data (used in crafting). In addition a new daily - "Path of the Warrior" – can be completed by finishing the optional objectives on each of the Sorties. These missions also grant Marks and Emblems depending on your rank. For a more detailed description, you can read Gozer's post here.