MMO Company Hacked in 2010, Just Found out About it NowCryptic, 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.


PC Gamer
Cryptic, the dev studio behind Champions Online, Star Trek Online and the upcoming MMO Neverwinter, has just released a notice that some of their servers that contain users' personal information were hacked in 2010 and that the encrypted data had been compromised. But the good news is that if you follow good internet practice and have changed your passwords sometime in the last two years, you probably don't have to be worried by the bleak letter that just appeared on Cryptic's website, or the cautionary email you may have just received.

In their letter and the email (which I received because my account was one of those compromised--thanks, hackers!), Cryptic stresses that they only have evidence that account names, handles, and passwords were stolen. They do not believe that billing addresses, email addresses, date of birth, or credit card information was compromised. All affected accounts have had their passwords reset--so that might be why you're having trouble logging in right now.

If you have a Crpytic account, make sure to check your junk mail inbox for a warning to see if your account information was stolen. And even if it wasn't, it's a good idea to change up your passwords--especially if you're still using the same one you did in 2010.
PC Gamer

Star Trek Online's following up on its recent relaunch as a free-to-play MMO with a new episode titled "the 2800," which will start on Saturday. The new season of story quests will kick off with the reappearance of a Dominion fleet of genetically engineered super-soldiers called the Jem'Hadar at Deep Space 9.

The remaining four episodes will be released every Saturday after that until the season finale on March 10, in which the you thought was god turns out to be who can only be stopped using .

You can play Star Trek Online for free by signing up and downloading the client from the Star Trek Online site. As well as the trailer above, there are these four screenshots featuring wormholes and space-walking.

PC Gamer

SWTOR's shiny, soon-to-be-new tweaks may be hogging the spotlight, but it's not the only space-faring MMO gearing up for a change of pace. Starting today, Star Trek Online is boldly going where, well, pretty much every other MMO has gone before: into the realm of free-to-play. The game now employees a two-tier pricing system, with Silver providing a solid (and free) starting point, while Gold adds all sorts of bells and whistles - including user-created content tools, a larger inventory, and more character slots - for a $15 monthly fee.

Cryptic's released the above trailer to celebrate your space piggy bank's new lease on life. Watch it and revel in slight confusion as generic male Shepard from Mass Effect rises through Starfleet ranks. Or maybe it's his twin cousin. Regardless, mankind may have the technology to live among the stars, but has it lost sight of what matters most: distinctive hairstyles?

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.


The Week in Unbelievably Gorgeous ScreenshotsSince running a big, enjoyable feature on Duncan Harris, the "video game photographer" behind the website DeadEndThrills, I've been sharing some of his work each week here.

This week has some great stuff. Here we go!

First up, at top, we've got one of several shots from Star Trek Online, this one titled:

"Harbour Lights."

Woah. Gorgeous shot of a Federation station (correct? I'm not a huge Trek knowledge-haver), the kind of shot you'd expect to see in a Star Trek movie, not a Star Trek MMO. Here, as usual, are Harris' "Tools and Tricks":

Tools and tricks: Cryptic demo recorder, 2160p rendering, free camera, custom FOV, timestop, offline antialiasing.

The Week in Unbelievably Gorgeous Screenshots


A very cool shot of the Starship Enterprise.

Tools and tricks: Cryptic demo recorder, 2160p rendering, free camera, custom FOV, timestop, offline antialiasing.

The Week in Unbelievably Gorgeous Screenshots


Another very nice one.

Tools and tricks: Cryptic demo recorder, 2160p rendering, free camera, custom FOV, timestop, offline antialiasing.

The Week in Unbelievably Gorgeous Screenshots

"Factor 5"


Tools and tricks: Cryptic demo recorder, 2160p rendering, free camera, custom FOV, timestop, offline antialiasing.

The Week in Unbelievably Gorgeous Screenshots

"The Killing Fields"

The first of a series from the online PC hunting game Hunter. I gotta admit, Far Cry 2 junkie that I am, that these shots make me want to play this game a whole lot.

Tools and tricks: 2160p rendering, antialiasing (FXAA injection w/ texture presharpening).

The Week in Unbelievably Gorgeous Screenshots


Very Far Cry 2, this one.

Tools and tricks: 2160p rendering, antialiasing (FXAA injection w/ texture presharpening).

The Week in Unbelievably Gorgeous Screenshots


See what I mean? Doesn't this just make you want to climb up that hill and see what's on the other side? It does me. As Harris puts it, "I could post scenes from The Hunter until the cows come home – but then I'd have to shoot the cows and have them stuffed." He's even put a bunch more of his Hunter shots on Flickr. So there.

Tools and tricks: 2160p rendering, antialiasing (FXAA injection w/ texture presharpening).


Players with a lapsed subscription to Cryptic's Star Trek Online can come back an play the game at no cost today as part of the free-to-play early start program. Everyone else can play for free come January 17.


Star Trek Online, Cryptic Studios' 2010 MMO, joins the freemium gold-rush on 17th January - but current and lapsed subscribers can join the new fleet as of today.

Full details about what you get - and more importantly what you don't get - as part of the new payment model can be found over at Cryptic's comprehensive FAQ.

Eurogamer's Oli Welsh reviewed the game at launch and awarded a 6/10, highlighting the need to develop the game's crafting, looting and Klingon faction.

"It's a unique offering then, in many ways a loveable one, and for Star Trek fans if not MMO gamers it's a great social experience," he concluded.

"It makes its license a blessing, not a burden, but it's a blessing this rickety voyage into the unknown badly needs."

How boldly has the game gone since release? We'll have a re-review of Star Trek Online towards the end of this month.

Shacknews - Xav de Matos

Star Trek Online's 'season five' content has been detailed in a lengthy blog post from executive producer Stephen D'Angelo.

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.

PC Gamer
Star Trek Artemis - team pic
While everyone’s going doo-lally about Star Wars, another licensed sci-fi MMO based on a loved franchise is feeling sadly neglected, like an old dog who’s just had to give up his favourite basket because of a new puppy. Star Trek Online was a bit of a failure on release, but it seems that Cryptic still has faith in the MMO, and the “seasons” (read: updates) have added new content and addressed player’s issues.

The latest “season”, numbered five, has been detailed on the official STO blog, and adds the Borg Invasion of Defera (which we inevitably read as DEFRA), Federation and Klingon Academies, as well as a brand new event calendar. Gameplay improvements include a “Duty Officers” minigame (we bet they get shot a lot), the ability to Transwarp to episodes, and a Dilithium Economy.

The new “season” is available now for current subscribers, and will be released for all when the game goes free-to-play on January 17 2012. Hit the jump to see the full list of new and improved content and gameplay.

New and Improved Content

Borg Invasion of Defera – An all new action ground combat map that features multiple play areas, boxes, and a variety of game play.
Re-envisioned Borg Strategic Task Force (STF) maps – These were cleaned up and streamlined to improve play. Then they were given a “Normal” version so everyone can experience the content, as well as an “Elite” version for some seriously challenging play. And finally, we threw in some great new rewards and elite gear that you can earn.
Federation and Klingon Academy – All new academy maps to explore and do non-combat game play.
Lore Missions – A whole new type of non-combat play. Learn about the Star Trek universe while playing these fun little missions.
Patrol Mission Revamp – The patrol missions got a new feel, now requiring some exploration to discover them. They also got better Skill Point rewards.
Event Calendar – A new event calendar that features nearly a dozen new events that happen around the clock.
Threaded Storyline – The whole storyline for STO has been put together in a cohesive way by threading the Episode content. Now it’s easy to know what to do next, and to play through the core storyline.
Tighter Klingon Storyline – The Klingon game play was tightened up to play starting at level 21, so that the whole experience for Klingon play is improved.

New and Improved Game Play

Duty Officers – This is a whole new game play experience within STO. Collect, trade, and manage your Duty Officers as you send them on assignments. It’s a great down-time activity and really fun!
Space Skills Revamp – The whole set of space skills in STO was taken apart and put together in a way that makes it a lot clearer what you’re getting with your valuable skill points.
Transwarp to Episodes – We’ve made it even easier to get around the galaxy to key content. All of the episodes now feature the ability to transwarp to them.
Faster Leveling – The leveling curve has been adjusted through the game, particularly at the earlier levels.
Dilithium Economy – The game now ties together the various daily missions, Duty Officers, and end game play around a new currency called Dilithium. Dilithium adds value to players at all levels from the early game onward. It replaces many of the narrow use currencies previously in the game, such as Marks, Emblems, Badges, and Merit.
Dilithium Exchange – You can trade Dilithium to other players for Cryptic Points, giving you a way to get your hands on Cryptic Points without spending money.
Mission Journal Upgrade – The mission journal UI got an upgrade to make it faster and easier to find that great content you want to play.

Other Improvements

Social Map Facelift – The key social maps in the game, such as Earth Space Dock and Qo’noS, got a facelift. They are now better organized, better performing on lower end graphics cards, and easier to get around.
Tutorial Facelift – The tutorial mission set got a nice scrub and cleanup to make the experience better.
General Game Polish – Many hundreds of bug fixes across the whole game were rolled in to really improve the overall game experience.