Information overload

March 6, 2010

Back from my trip and it seems that the moment my back was turned, all kinds of interesting stuff happened. Here’s a quick run-down of what I’m currently catching up on:

Engineering Reports

A new Engineering Reports section has been added to the official forums, and the first Report has been posted to it. What’s an Engineering Report? It’s explained in detail in this post, but basically an Engineering Report is an overview of what the Star Trek: Online dev team is currently working on and hopes to have ready in the near future – generally within the next month or so.

This is a rather brave thing for the dev team to attempt, as MMO players have a disturbing tendency to read even the most nebulous and vague statements as iron-clad promises, but I think that Cryptic is to be applauded for trying it.

There’s certainly some interesting stuff in the first Report, and dstahl has been doing a superb job of answering many of the questions that have come up in the thread and providing further information and clarification on various issues and concerns. I really hope that this degree of feedback and input from the dev team continues, as it bodes well for the future of STO.

Release Calendar

As if the Engineering Reports weren’t daring enough, Cryptic has also added a new Release Calendar to the official site that features a tentative schedule for new content and updates over the next two months. Again, I think Cryptic is to be applauded for trying to give us more insight into what new content we can expect and roughly when we can expect it, and I really hope that they can both hit their target windows and keep updating the Calendar on a regular basis.

Tribble lives!

Tribble, the public test server, is up and running and open to all players this weekend, complete with the ability to copy characters from the live server (Holodeck).

You can find the details of how to access Tribble and copy characters in the new “Tribble” Public Test Server section of the official forums.

Sneak peek at Update 1

Tribble is currently running an early version of the yet-to-be-named Update 1 (the ’45 day update’), the first major update for Star Trek: Online. Only some of the changes and new features are currently activated on Tribble – you can see the details in this post – but there’s some interesting stuff and I’m looking forward to getting to grips with it if I can find the time.

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Power levels, drain and DPS efficiency

February 21, 2010

If you’re interested in some more details of how your skills affect your ship’s power levels or the impact of power drain on the DPS output of energy weapons, there are a couple of threads on the official forum right now that are worth taking a look at:

  • System Power Guide from Kiala takes a look at the various factors that influence your ship’s power levels, including several tables showing the actual power output of systems at different power levels with various combinations of skills
  • Comprehensive Weapon Energy & Build Testing from Nagorak, on the other hand, looks at how power drain from energy weapons appears to work and presents the results of testing the overall DPS of various different energy weapon load-outs when fired continuously

There’s some interesting and useful stuff in both of these threads, and I’d like to thank their respective authors for the work they’re doing on these aspects of the game system.

Comprehensive Weapon Energy & Build Testing