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Jack Emmert Talks Klingons

Dana Massey Posted:
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And again, on the theme of player feedback, Emmert hopes that their next step with Klingons comes from the community. Will there be an advanced territory control PvP game with the Federation? Will they have full “episodes” of PvE content? He wants the players to tell them once they’ve tried the game.

Klingon space will be divided into two core sectors. The first is an area only for Klingons where they are free to fight each other. The second is an area, the neutral zone, where Federation and Klingon space overlap. Both will have a lot of content.

“When you go into that system it will spawn a PvP arena map and then you fight it out,” Emmert explained.

All PvP in Star Trek Online, initially, will take place in instances. This, for one, eliminates the problems of population imbalance, which could really get out of control in a single shard game.

Curiously, Emmert himself mentioned Dark Age of Camelot’s use of three factions as a specific example of faction based PvP done right. Star Trek will initially only have two factions, but as the conflict is limited to instances, he doesn’t foresee possible imbalances in population and possibly skill (given you would assume most hardcore PvPers will role Klingons) as being a game breaking problem.

“Am I concerned that there might be imbalances? I guess it’s possible, but that’s why there’s Klingon vs. Klingon,” he added. If the Starfleet side tends to shy away from PvP, the PvP race obviously has something to do.

The current largest encounter is 10 vs. 10, and at launch they will have 10 different maps for players to use (four ground, six space), as well as a variety of generated maps.

PvP content comes in four brands, which we learned about in a touch more detail than their official release today:

  • Challenges: This is when two players or groups simply want to fight. Unlike Champions Online, which has this fight in the public areas, the two are sent off into an instance. These are available in space and in avatar form. They will use the generated instances.
  • Arenas: These are in pre-fabricated maps. Players go into space and enter the queues, which then assigns them to teams and matches them against like-skilled opponents.
  • Scenarios: Unlike Arenas, which are just about fighting it out, these have specific goals. Think of Battlefield area control as a pretty good analogy.
  • War Zone: These are static areas players can explore from both factions. They have PvE objectives, but also run the risk of running into PvP enemies.

With all this PvP though, I wondered how players got loot. Cryptic traditionally doesn’t believe in heavy death penalties, and this hasn’t changed. You won’t lose your stuff when you die in PvP.

Loot will come about in three core ways: PvE encounters, rewards for PvP encounters (the game tells you the reward for, say, an Arena and you can win it) and also loot within PvP combat. They are not sure on the exact mechanic yet, Beta will determine this, but there will be loot for people to get. For example, it is possible that when you destroy another player ship it will drop something, even though the player them self didn’t actually lose anything.

The Klingon faction also has its own list of ships, which Cryptic outlined in its release today. There is no overlap, and the highlights are that Klingon birds can cloak, are a bit more maneuverable and tend to be more head on.

One big difference in ships is the Carrier. This is unlike any Starfleet ship and Emmert sounded positively giddy about it. It is in the highest tier of ships and is the only one in the game capable of launching fighters at the enemy.

So, for launch, this is what the Klingon faction will really be all about. It no doubt won’t please every player, but Emmert is convinced that it is better than the alternative of not having them at all. It’s something he pushed for and mandated for launch. Now it’s there for everyone and rolling into the Closed Beta this week.

Is it enough? Would you rather they waited and did more with it? Let us know.

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Dana Massey