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When 3D MMORPGs were still babies, player-built housing was one of those ideas that got everyone jazzed up about the genre's potential, long before we realised they'd mostly be protracted exercises in killing ten rats. So it's nice to hear Star Trek Online is getting player-built starbases, even if the game is about killing ten tribbles.
Yes, buildable space stations will arrive in the 'Season 6' update, lead artist Jeremy Mattson explained in a blog post. Stations will come in five stages as you build them up, starting with the basic core and building towards a fancy affair bristling with modules and arrays and ships pootling around.
The Season 6 update is vaguely slated for a June launch, with an expanded mission editor, updates for the fleet system, reworked PvP, and other goodies. Star Trek Online, in case you missed the news, went free-to-play in January. You can sign up and play now.
While being forthright with his community about the woeful state of Star Trek Online's player-vs-player combat, a developer at Cryptic Studios also admitted to something of a self-fulfilling prophecy: PvP in the game is so bad, no one's participating in it. Participation is so low, the studio has seriously considered removing PvP altogether.
"Something has to be done, PVP cannot stay the way that it is now. We either have to try to save it, or take it out of the game completely," writes Dan Griffis in the game's official forums, adding that right now, he is the only developer currently working on PvP.
But Griffis is going to give this his best shot, warning the community that, "there are big changes coming to PVP, some I think you are going to like, others not so much because no one likes change.
"Some are not going to make a whole lot of sense at the time because you won't be seeing the whole long term plan I have in store for PVP over the course of the next year or so," he adds. And specific complaints in the near-term may go unaddressed because they'll be made moot by a long-term change that's planned. For example, Klingons having access to gear that Federation players don't. "This isn't going to be a problem in the new system since their will not be any [Federation] vs [Klingon] PVP. All PVP in the new system will be cross faction queues."
Nearly every MMO faces criticism of its PvP, making this one of the more thankless jobs in an industry full of them. At least the guy's being straightforward with his community.
Cryptic, the guys behind Star Trek Online and Champions Online, have found out this week that they've been hacked. User details have been stolen, and some "portion of the passwords" present in a database were even cracked. Which is bad. What's worse is that the hack took place in December 2010.
With Cryptic only finding out about this now, that's a long time for hackers to have had access to user's information, especially when Cryptic concedes "If they did [crack password], the first and last name, e-mail address, date of birth (if provided to Cryptic Studios), billing address, and the first six digits and the last four digits of credit cards registered on the site may have been accessed."
What follows is the usual stuff: there's no guarantee your stuff was stolen, change your passwords anyway, etc etc.
Set your phasers on stupid Trek reference, as Cryptic's Star Trek Online opens its free-to-play docking bay and invites the world inside following a brief subscriber-only period. To see what players get for free, hit up the official Star Trek Online web page.