The fifth dev log for Star Trek Online has been posted and features brand new concept art as well as the very first screenshot for the MMO.
Over the past few DevLogs we've primarily focused on a sampling of the low-level processes of STO development, taking a peek at terrain generation, object design, and version testing, among other things.
Today we'd like to seriously shift gears, and start revealing a little bit about the actual game systems themselves. We'll start with a deceptively simple game mechanic that's deucedly difficult to nail down: the Interaction System.
What's the Interaction System you ask? In a nutshell, the Interaction System controls every non-combat, player-to-NPC interaction in the game. If you want to talk to a Ferengi shopkeeper, it goes through the Interaction System. Need to get some additional phaser training at the local Starfleet Academy? That's the Interaction System. Want to beam down to a planet? Interaction System. Responding to a distress call from a crippled starship? That's the Interaction System, too. In fact, when one is done tallying up the mission givers, trainers, vendors, Transwarp Terminal operators, Dahar Masters, helpful cadets and informative colonists, you'll find that there are just about as many peaceful interactions in Star Trek Online as the phasers-and-bat'leths variety. Put plainly, the Interaction System is the glue that holds all the other systems of STO together, transforming a bunch of disconnected (though spectacularly well designed and balanced) phaser fights into an actual game, so it's vitally important that we get it "just right."
Why not head over to the Star Trek Online site and check it out?