Awen posted the latest Star Trek Online "Ask Cryptic" today over on the official site. The topics for this update are ship combat, Klingons, and high end game play!
Lt.Goranov: Can we target, different parts of the ship? Like the warp core or the impulse engines, or warp nacells?
You’ll be able to target subsystems and disable certain devices, and people will be able to repair them and get them back online. But right now we’ve just begun working on this system, so it’s still in the “making it fun” stage.
Certain weapons are better at taking out subsystems. For instance, phasers are very precise, so they will be able to hit subsystems rather easily. Disruptors aren’t precise; you can still take out a subsystem with a disruptor, but it won’t work as reliably as a high-accuracy weapon. And explosive devices, like photon torpedoes, have poor subsystem accuracy. They’re blunt instruments and are more effective at taking out large areas of a ship, like its hull.
Tamgros: How will partially damaged ships be handled in STO (ie: 1/2 hull dexterity)? Will it be like a typical MMO where everything works great until dexterity goes zero, or will you get debuffs/systems going off line?
Your ship and your items will not underperform as they get damaged. Your ship has hull integrity – or hull hit points – and your items, your subsystems, have durability. They’ll continue to work at full capacity until they’re destroyed. We don’t want to force people into a downward spiral in combat where you just keep getting worse and worse. Your shields get weaker, but performance doesn’t degrade until something goes offline.
There is another axis to this, though: You have crew on your ship. We lovingly refer to them as your redshirts. Different ships have different crew complements. The Defiant class staffs 50 people, and the Galaxy class staffs 1,000 people. Your crew help keep your ship running, and will do things like affect the repair rate of your ship and affect certain actions you perform, such as assembling boarding parties, repair teams or medical teams.
In combat, crew can die or get injured. As you lose crew from explosive devices like photon torpedoes, those abilities will weaken. So you may be less effective at repairing your hull, or launching boarding parties. You can revive some crew based on how good your medical skills and medical officers are, but inevitably, you will need to replace some of them.
marscentral: We know it's Science, Tactical and Engineer for Starfleet types, but what about the Klingons?
The simple answer is they’re exactly the same. No one ever said Klingons don’t have scientists or engineers; somebody built those ships. Klingons will probably have a few distinctions in skills and certain other areas, but the classes will be the same.
Manx: Will there be ways for solo players to get the high end ships, or will they be strictly for fleet members only?
Solo players will be able to access highest-end ships in the game. Everyone will be able to fly a Sovereign class ship or a Prometheus class ship once their skills and rank allow them to do so. That’s not to say there won’t be endgame rewards and things only guilds can do. But ships will remain available to everyone.
MagnusTyrel: We know the Klingons and Federation will be the Primary playable Factions and the Romulans will be one of the Main villans in the game, how exactly have you come about balancing the Federation ships with the Klingons giving that most Federation ships seem to be like flying Fortresses and are usualy seen disabling Klingon ships in a couple of easy shots, I know ofcourse that most of this is due to the Hero Ship/Crew factor but looking at online sources for ship specifications its seems the Federation has a large advantage... Any Information on this would be Appreciated.
First and foremost, we’re trying to build a balanced game. We are trying as hard as possible to remain accurate to the IP, but when it’s not fun and balanced, we take liberties. We have to. It’s the same as a question we had a couple weeks ago about Vulcans having what amounted to super powers in the series – we have to balance that, and we’ll do the same thing here.
Without going into too much detail, we know that Federation ships will be able to choose between escorts, science vessels and cruisers. Those three different paths represent the different shows. Escorts represent warships like the Defiant in DS9, science vessels will feel more like the science ships in Voyager, and the cruisers will represent the Enterprise-like ships from TOS and TNG. Klingon ships will be distinct and each will feel entirely different. You can expect to see your favorites like the Bird of Prey, Vor’cha, Negh’Var, and more, plus maybe a few surprises.
But the bottom line is there will be balance. There will be ships that are tougher than other ships. That will exist on both sides. Federation and Klingons will have different specialties that’ll counter each other.