MMORPG: Season 7 brings a lot to Star Trek players, can you tell us what development of the new expansion was like?
Daniel Stahl: Development for Season 7 has been an exciting experience. Like our fans, the Star Trek Online team at Cryptic is incredibly passionate about the Star Trek universe, so any chance we get to expand on story is welcomed by everyone. We’ve had a lot of fun answering the question, “What happens to the Romulans now that their home world was destroyed?”
In Season 7: New Romulus we give Star Trek fans the chance to participate in the story of rebuilding the Romulan Empire from the perspective of Romulans who’ve found refuge on a strange new planet. This planet and the story behind it allowed us to bring together some of the most talented and creative professionals in the MMO industry to focus on presenting Trek in a new way. We think it turned out great and are eager for players to beam down and begin the process of helping the New Romulans.
MMORPG: Talk about new Romulus as a zone what can players expect?
Daniel Stahl: As the title suggests, much of Season 7’s new content will take place on the new Romulan home world, New Romulus. Located in the new Tau Dewa Sector Block, New Romulus is arguably the largest zone we’ve created for Star Trek Online since the game first launched. It represents a new type of gameplay for us, where players decide how they want to help and proceed.
Shortly after arriving on New Romulus, players will meet with Romulan leader D’Tan – and will be working to assist him and the Romulan refugees as they work towards rebuilding the capital city. In addition, players will encounter strange new life forms on New Romulus and will be introduced to the remnants of an ancient civilization that once dominated the planet before the arrival of the Romulans. The history of this planet and the mystery it holds will prove important as the story progresses in future Seasons.
MMORPG: How will both Federation and Klingon captains be able to work with the Romulans? What is the story for the zone?
Daniel Stahl: New Romulus hosts a wealth of solo quests, group quests, and alerts that will take players on a journey throughout New Romulus, a lush planet full of mystery and danger. For the most part, these new quests and activities will be focused on exploring New Romulus and establishing the Romulan presence there. The Romulans believe this planet to have a significant past to the Romulan people, but may also hold secrets that need to be uncovered.
Both Federation and Klingon fleets should also be interested in a new Fleet Holding, the Romulan Embassy. As fleet members work together to court the Romulans to their cause through their actions on New Romulus, players can watch their fleet’s diplomatic embassy grow and develop over time. Ultimately, the New Romulans will need to decide if they are to remain neutral towards the war or whether they should support one side or the other.
As with the Starbase Fleet Holdings, the rewards for working with your fleet to develop the Romulan Embassy will be substantial.
MMORPG: Can you give us some insight on the new missions? We love the name “Into the Hive.”
Daniel Stahl: “Into the Hive” is the final Special Task Force missions of the Omega Fleet storyline and one of two STFs players can look forward to in Season 7. As the name implies, this five-man ground mission will find players finally facing off against the Borg Queen, which Star Trek fans will remember from the Star Trek: First Contact film.
But before players can get “Into the Hive”, they’ll need to fight their way past the massive defenses in the space surrounding the Unimatrix Hub where the Hive resides. These two STFs represent some of the toughest challenges in the game and are heavily integrated into the new Omega Fleet Reputation system.
MMORPG: What does the new reputation system have for players? How does it differ from the Omega Fleet to the Romulans?
Daniel Stahl: The Reputation System offers level 50 captains a new alternate way to advance their careers. Similar to the Fleet System introduced in Season 6, individual captains will contribute resources and experience to projects in order to unlock new abilities choices and premium gear rewards.
The first two Reputations being introduced in Season 7 are The Omega Fleet, and the New Romulans. Both of these “Reps” offer unique captain abilities as you rank up, as well as distinctive reward options as you rank up within each system. Each “rep” is tied to a specific type of mission content. Players will need to run Borg Special Task Forces in order to gain reputation with the Omega Fleet, whereas the New Romulans will provide reputation as you help them build their colony and defend their area of space.
MMORPG: What are some of your personal favorite parts of Season 7?
Daniel Stahl: Personally, I’m a big fan of story and so it is a lot of fun when we get the chance to expand on themes and plots that make this game feel like Trek. You’ll notice that in Season 7, we’ve made an effort to incorporate characters, locations, and story elements that should be familiar and fun for fans. Whether it is fighting the Borg Queen in “Into the Hive”, helping Obisek defend the Vault against a Tholian Web, or aiding D’Tan as he works to restore the Romulan people, Season 7 feels like Trek at every corner. That is my favorite part of this Season and something I can’t wait to experience with other players. This is going to be a lot of fun!