Today's Story of the Day is really a twofold one starting with yesterday's news that Executive Producer Dan Stahl had left Star Trek Online and is now moving on to a "new and exciting" project at Cryptic Studios.
The move came as a surprise to some, while others were less surprised and somewhat relieved that Stahl was not leaving Cryptic but was merely moving on to a new position. As yet we don't know if he will be working on a new project or with one of Cryptic's other games, Neverwinter and Champions Online.
Stephen D'Angelo has returned to Star Trek Online and takes the reins as the new Executive Producer. In his introductory letter, D'Angelo said:
I am a long time Star Trek fan who watched The Original Series as a child and watched all of ST: TNG and ST: DS9 as they aired. I originally joined the Star Trek Online team almost exactly 5 years ago, when STO transitioned from pre-production into production, and I was one of the Dev leads that helped shape and create the game we launched with. I went on to serve other roles at Cryptic and then was STO’s Executive Producer for 6 months starting in September 2011, when Daniel took a break from working on the game. Those were some of the most challenging and rewarding months of my career.
Lucky for him, D'Angelo got to lay out today's preview of Season 8.5, new content set to arrive at the end of January and that will help usher in the game's fourth anniversary.
The preview letter also let loose the news that a "mystery" Star Trek actor, previously unseen in the game, would be joining up with 8.5. According to D'Angelo, all will be revealed within the coming week.
What makes these two stories of keen interest to our staff and to the larger STO and MMO communities is seeing a good game becoming great. STO is approaching its fourth birthday, something many never would have predicted. Yet Cryptic has persevered through the rough launch and often harsh criticism to bring a lot of interesting game play elements and lore into Star Trek Online. While not a complete remake ala Final Fantasy XIV, STO has shown steady upward progress and has become a game that continues to hold onto its players and, at the same time, bring in new players.
Players have a lot to look forward to in 8.5 with the addition of the mystery actor, a new ship for participating in Q's anniversary fete, twelve updated early Federation mission arcs and much more.
From our perspective, STO is doing a great job forging its way through the Final Frontier. May it live long and prosper!