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The new season of content, dubbed 'Call to Arms', features a new Borg invasion of Defera "action ground combat map," along with additional content.
'Call to Arms' also includes "re-envisioned" Borg Strategic Task Force maps, which have been streamlined to improve the gameplay experience before being given a free-to-play version and an Elite version.
No release was mentioned for the content; however, D'Angelo says that the content has just completed "two months of extensive testing." He also mentioned Tribbles, which is required by law in all conversations pertaining to Star Trek.
A full listing of changes can be found on the official Star Trek Online blog.
After months of testing, beefy Star Trek Online update Season 5: Call to Arms has been released.
In a nutshell, Season 5 brings a Duty Officer System, the story of The Borg Advancement, Klingon gameplay updates, a skills revamp, a mission revamp, lore missions and economy restructuring.
STO executive producer Stephen D'Angelo offered an overview of the changes in a dev blog.
Star Trek Online turns free-to-play on 17th January 2012.
New and Improved Content
New and Improved Game Play
Full Star Trek Online Season 5: Call to Arms patch notes can be found on the STO website.
Star Trek Online will boldly go free-to-play on January 17, 2012, developer Cryptic has announced. "But which stardate is that?" you may ask, feeling a little cheeky and clever. And I won't reply, because you didn't specify The Original Series, The Next Generation, or 2009 reboot stardate format. This is the Internet; there are rules.
As detailed before, the free-to-play STO will let users access all missions, sectors, episodes and so on. However, there will be restrictions on bank and inventory space, character slots, and the like, and you'll need to pay to access features such as the mission editor. Subscribers (monthly or lifetime) will be spared these, and get other bonuses too.
Executive producer Stephen D'Angelo also announced that STO subscribers will start receiving free Cryptic Points, the currency used for microtransactions, every month. Starting in December, on the day of the month when your subscription began, you'll get 400 Points. That's about enough to buy a classic Star Trek costume for your characters and an extra bank slot, for reference.
Star Trek Online will go free-to-play before the end of 2011, developer Cryptic Studios has announced.
Confirming reports that surfaced last week, the MMO will still offer a standard subscription model but players will now be able to jump in without opening their wallets.
While free-to-play users enjoy the same level cap as subscribers and can access all of the game's sectors and missions, they'll have two character slots rather than three, a smaller inventory and credit storage limit.
Access to Create a Fleet is limited and the Foundry Creator is locked off entirely. Free-to-play users will also see restrictions on in-game chat, forums, mail and customer service, and will have to put up with advertisements in In-Game Vivox Voice Chat.
Take a look at the lengthy FAQ over on the game's official site for more details.
"In addition to seeking out new life and exploring strange new civilizations, part of our continuing mission for Star Trek Online is to expand and improve," commented Cryptic CEO Jack Emmert.
"Transitioning to a free-to-play model is a natural way to share all we've built with a broader community of players and we couldn't be more excited."
Late last week it was revealed that Cryptic Studios' massively multiplayer Star Trek Online would be going free-to-play later this year, swapping required subscription fees for an active player base. Today we find out what's free and what'll have players reaching for their gold-pressed latinum.
The free-to-play model being applied to Star Trek Online really isn't all that restricting to free (silver) players, something that might annoy those that plan of shelling out $14.95 a month for gold status. Free players are limited to two character slots instead of three; 48 inventory and bank slots as opposed to 72 and 96 respectively for paying players; and they won't be able to create new missions using the game's Foundry system, though they'll still be able to play player-created content to their hearts' content.
Free players also get limited access to forums, in-game mail, in-game chat, and customer service, are not eligible for priority login or veteran rewards, and have to deal with ad-supported in-game voice chat.
It seems restrictive, but looking over the full list it looks like free players will have access to just about everything Star Trek Online has to offer, without having to drop a dime. That should boldly go a long way to repopulating a universe that's steadily declined since launch.
Star Trek Online Free-to-Play [Official Website]
Perfect World's announcement last week of its plans to take Star Trek Online free-to-play later this year left many unanswered questions. An extensive update to the game's official site now provides an overview of what will be included, a comparison of features for free and paying subscribers, an FAQ, a message board for asking specific questions, and a copy of the press release laying out the upcoming changes. Some highlights follow below but the most important part is that the bulk of the game--all sectors and missions, PVP access, fleet actions, and more--will be playable for free with unlimited access.
"Transitioning to a free-to-play model is a natural way to share all we've built with a broader community of players and we couldn't be more excited," said Star Trek Online developer Cryptic Studios CEO Jack Emmert.
The new system classifies free-to-play players as "Silver Members." They have access to pretty much the entirety of the game, with the two big purchasable items being captain respecs and additional bridge officer slots. Silver Members also have limited in-game chat and email, and access to forums and customer support. They will be able to use Vivox voice chat, but with ads.
Subscribers, including those who bought lifetime memberships, become "Gold Members." In addition to getting those things listed above that Silver Members pay for, they also get unlimited access to guilds, unlimited energy credit storage, veteran rewards, more slots in their bank and inventory, and priority login rights. The cost for the benefits of being a Gold Member will remain at the subscription rate of $14.99 per month.
The only thing left to answer is when the change over will take place. The wait won't be too long, though. The press release states that Star Trek Online will be free-to-play in 2011.