Star Trek Online Going Free To Play (What do you get?)

Star Trek Online

When Star Trek Online came out I was among the first to give it a try.  I wanted to like it, I really did but the excessive greed displayed by Cryptic was quick to turn me off from the game (price for the game + monthly fee + item mall). Now that ST:O is going free to play I’ll be willing to give it another chance.  Luckily, if you’ve played and enjoyed the game you’ll still get to experience most of what you enjoyed completely free.

For $14.95 a month gold members will still have every feature available prior to free to play along with any new content.  However, with the silver (free) account you’ll be limited by the following:

  • Guild Creation will be unavailable
  • Energy Credit Storage Limit
  • Additional bridge officer slots are only available through an add-on purchase
  • Only 2 character slots
  • Player/Bank inventory set at a maximum of 48
  • Captain retraining token only available by purchase
  • Foundry creator access and project slots are locked
  • Veteran awards and priority login is disabled
  • In game chat and mail is limited along with customer service
  • Voice chat is ad-support
  • Gold members receive a stipend of 400 promo points, silver members do not

Overall silver membership doesn’t seem to greatly restrict gameplay but it remains to be seen if items from the c-store will greatly tip the balance in the gold members / paying players favor.

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Star Trek TV Shows Coming to Netflix

Star Trek

In late February, 2011, Netflix announced by way of their official blog that select TV shows from CBS will begin via their streaming service. For fans of sci-fi this meant the ability in the future to watch all generations throughout the rich legacy of live-action Star Trek.

The initial announcement stated the episodes would begin in early April but according to TrekMovie.com the shows will be available for streaming on July 1st, 2011. This includes Star Trek Voyager, Enterprise, The Next Generation, TOS & DS9. However, DS9 will launch on October 1st with TOS & Enterprise availability in HD. Additionally, subscribers will be able to view another sci-fi favorite: The Twilight Zone.

“This deal recognizes the increasing value of our content in today’s marketplace,” said Scott Koondel, President of Distribution, CBS Television Distribution. “More and more, people want to be able to access our programming on a wide variety of platforms. We are very pleased that the titles offered through this deal will now also be made available to a whole new community through the terrific and convenient service that Netflix offers. We will continue to pursue additional non-exclusive distribution partners that are additive to our overall business.”

Netflix will now be the only online premium subscription service to offer shows from all four of the major broadcast networks.

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Funny Defacement of the Star Trek Wikipedia Page

Funny screenshot I snapped while reading the Star Trek Wikipedia page.

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Star Trek – The Animated Series Review

Sticks & Stones…

Despite what Wikipedia has to say about Star Trek it is not a homosexual show/series/franchise/IP; unless you count the episode in The Next Generation entitled “The Outcast” when Riker makes sweet sweet galactic love with a transgendered species.

The Box / Cover / Art – Score: 8

However, what’s sweet is the packaging you will find after picking up the Star Trek – The Animated Series.  The box is shaped like a bar of soap, with sleek lines & a smooth surface.  On the cover you will see Star Trek: The Animated Series beveled in orange with a window in the shape of the Federation symbol that has the crew of the original series peeping through.

Sorry, the inside case is upside down…

The inside of the box contains a paper/plastic folding case that you typically find with audio CD box sets.  This design is fine & practical but unfortunately the box contains plastic braces on the inside that cut into the paper cover of the foldout case.  Aside from that the front & back covers are cleanly designed with a similar look as the box but containing the episode names on the back (as opposed to the inner bevel of the Federation symbol on the back of the box).

Clean & clear

Enjoy the complete episode list

The Content – Score: 6

I’ll start of with the positive aspect from ST:TAS; it has voice acting from many of the cast members in the original series.  Also, the plot (although not considered canonical until 2007) is in fact solid; likely because it was written by many of the original series writers.

Now for the ugly! Of the bad, the worst is the absurd amount of instances were you will hear the same sounds & see the exact same scenes.  Additionally, the sound or more specifically the voice acting is lower quality in some instances than that of the original series (despite having almost the exact same cast).

Overall, The Animated Series box set is an easy buy at only $30 for 22 episodes of Star Trek goodness.  I give it 7 Borg cubes!

The Mo’ Tribbles, The Mo’ Problems

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3 Ways to Play Star Trek Online Pre-Release

Star Trek Online is set to release on February 2nd 2010 but for as a Trekkie such as myself you might not want to wait. This post is dedicated to helping you get your hands on the STO MMORPG before it hits store shelves… I’ll shut up and get to it.

1.) Pre-order from companies who partnered with Cryptic Studios

This will allow you to receive bonus features pre & post release… The go-to options for this is either Steam or Gamestop.

Check out the Star Trek Online Gamestop Pre-order Page.

Check out the Steam software where you can digitally download via Steam early if you preorder.

What do you get?

According to Gamestop’s page…

- Reserve Star Trek Online and receive a GameStop exclusive in-game Starfleet Constitution Class Starship. This unique, upgradable starship comes equipped with blue phasers and an extra engineering station mod slot.

- Reserve Star Trek Online and receive beta access, and 2-day early head-start access. Beta begins January 12, 2010 and runs through January 26, 2010. Early head start will begin on January 29, 2010.

2.) Apply for Beta Access

You can apply for beta access in two ways.  First, through the official STO website or by finding a website that Cryptic Studios partnered with.

- Take a look at the official Star Trek Online beta sign-up page

- Take a look at the MMORPG.com beta entry contest page


3.) Land a Career with Cryptic Studios

This is certainly the least plausible solution but it is a possibility.  Cryptic Studios is currently hiring for several positions…

…including…

- Graphic Designer – Cryptic Studios is currently seeking a full-time Graphic Designer. The graphic designer will be responsible for creating stunning visuals for Cryptic Studios’ web sites and corporate communications. We are continually pushing the envelope with our games, and our web products must be innovative and creative as well. The ideal candidate will be a team player who can consistently turn out excellent work in any given style while adhering to budget and deadline constraints.

- Lead Engineer – The Lead Engineer of Atari Online Publishing Platform is responsible for leading a cross functional team of engineers working on a variety of projects supporting Atari and Cryptic’s online publishing and operating platform.

- Web Programmer – We are currently looking for a full time Web Programmer. The Web Programmer will be a key member of the team, developing features and functionality for Cryptic Studios’ web sites, including the corporate web site, future game web sites and individual promotional sites. The Programmer will work closely with the Online Community Relations group to develop content and community tools and will also work with the Game Programming team to integrate data from the game servers for our future projects into the web sites.

If any other options arise I will let you know..

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