Wednesday 26 May 2021

Star Trek Online ends Year of the Klingon with House United, and adds loads of 32nd century Discovery stuff to the game

Star Trek Online have revealed their latest major update, the conclusion to their long running Year of the Klingon series of content releases. They've also introduced lots of new 32nd century content from Discovery, and other new ships. Continue below to check out the latest from the video game.

Year of the Klingon is coming to a conclusion in House United, which brings back Mary Chieffo (L'Rell), J.G. Hertzler (Martok), Robert O'Reilly (Gowron/Aakar), and Rekha Sharma (Adet'pa, but better known on-screen as Landry). Here's how STO describe the new content:

L'Rell, as played by Mary Chieffo, is back from the dead, and leading an army to retake the Empire from the Mad Emperor, J'mpok. Whether you are a loyal Klingon Warrior, or one of the other factions taking part in the world of 2411, you've been along for the ride, experiencing the destruction of New Khitomer, clearing your name, and the shattering of the Klingon Empire. Now, you, Martok (J.G. Hertzler from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine) and J'ula must stand against J'mpok to reunite and restore honor to the Klingon people.

This battle will take you around the empire, in the mission "Leap of Faith," and to Qo'nos itself in the mission "Warriors of the Empire," and the Task Force Operation, "Remain Klingon." For the first time in a long time, the story of the final battle will be told in both the mission and the TFO, giving you a chance to experience both the ground and space battles for the Klingon homeworld. Participating in these, and new patrols based off of "Leap of Faith," will progress you in the "Only Qo'nos Endures" special event. Completing that event grants you the powerful Imperial Assault ground set. And finally, the Discovery: Far from Home Lock Box lets you obtain the technology of the 32nd Century, as seen in Star Trek: Discovery Season 3. 

STO have released a trailer and some key images showing off the major characters:

As mentioned, as part of this latest release, there is a new lockbox featuring 32nd century content from Discovery season three. The Discovery: Far From Home lockbox gives you the chance to win various bits and bobs, with the highlight being the USS Discovery-A, the "Crossfield Science Spearhead Refit".

Here's how STO describe it:
Detached nacelles, programmable matter interfaces, improved central processor, nanogel circuitry, a state-of-the-art cloaking device, and much more – this upgraded refit of the original Crossfield-class has been given the makeover of the millennia, and is prepared to defend the Federation and its allies in any time period. True to its original lineage, the refit retains a measure of versatility and durability that places it among the best that the fleet has to offer when it comes to approaching the unknown with a sense of wonder, rather than fear.

ZE Films have released this video showing off the new ship:

Among it's features is of the ship is a "Kwejian Assault Craft" console, to deploy Book's ship in battle:
By activating this console, a Kwejian Assault Craft may be launched from the ship's aft shuttle bay to come to your aid in combat. The ship is built to damage and harass foes, and is extremely mobile. It will remain in combat until recalled or disabled. If disabled, it will automatically recall itself, and place the console on recharge.

Upon launch, the Kwejian Assault Craft will follow your targeting to the best of its abilities, damaging and harassing whichever foe you are currently targeting. This agile and fast vessel is equipped with multiple phaser weapons, photon torpedoes...

You can read full stats of the ship on the STO website, and the Hero Collector blog has also posted with some behind the scenes information on the practicalities of bringing the ship to the game. On Twitter STO's Thomas Marrone also offered some specifics about how Crossfield skins work in the game: If you get the refit, it will unlock the refit look on existing Crossfield ships, but they will not have floating nacelles. Conversely you can also apply the classic Crossfield look to your refit ship, which will then give you a version of the classic Crossfield with detached nacelles!

The lockbox can also win you various other ability and kit, including 32nd century Starfleet uniforms, DOT-23 "pets" (in many colours), various weapons, and a "Randomly Transporting Saurian", who might randomly turn up when you need him - See the STO website for the full listing of what is available.

Separately from the Crossfield class, you can also get hold of Book's ship, aka the "Kwejian Pilot Frigate" as a stand-alone ship via the Infinity lockbox.

Here's how they describe it:
Few ship designs so perfectly marry high maneuverability with sturdy defenses as this Frigate. While ships of this class are most frequently used by privateer pilots, smugglers, and other fringe types who most frequently look to run from a fight, the overall design is more than capable of standing toe-to-toe with other modern ships of the line, and has an edge in combat against larger bulkier capital vessels. Its integrated 'morphing' technology only adds to its flexibility and versatility, making this ship truly a joy to pilot, and an exceedingly difficult fly to swat. This Frigate definiteely holds a grudge.

The ship has all the elaborate animations you'd expect, included as part of it's "morph" ability, which is:
...massive power draw from this maneuver will briefly disable your Weapons and Auxiliary Subsystems, but you will benefit from increased Critical Chance and Critical Severity for several seconds after it is completed
The morphing technology is also part of a console ability called the Smasher Assembly:
The morphing tech employed by some 32nd century vessels allows for unique geometric hull configurations that can dramatically reduce, or even eliminate, the damage that can be caused by hull-to-hull impacts. This assembly leverages this technology to turn the ship into a projectile, allowing extremely high-speed ramming maneuvers that leave the ship unscathed.

While transformed into this mode, the ship can repeatedly execute a maneuver dubbed a “Superluminal Smash” which deals heavy kinetic damage to foes in a cylindrical area of effect while sending the ship approximately 5km forward with each successive jump. This maneuver may be executed multiple times with a short recharge, as long as the Smasher Assembly is active. The strain this causes to other ship subsystems means it can only be deployed for a limited amount of time, however.

STO have released their own video of the ship in action, and you can read the full stats on the STO website.

Also available via the Infinity lockbox is the Jovian Raider, from the episode People of Earth:

These versatile and scrappy starships originally comprised the entirety of the fleet of a small survivalist outfit of resource pirates found in the Sol System of the 32nd century, who made a habit of raiding the United Earth's outbound resource convoys. The ships are outfitted especially well for their specific purposes, having been adapted for the roles of scrapping and salvaging resources. These same modifications allow the ship to also serve as a capable Raider in standard fleet battles, employing hit-and-run tactics meant to debilitate the foes, and utilizing the harvested resources to perform improvised field improvements to their own capabilities.

STO and the Ship Talking podcast have released lots of images of this unique ship: 

Among this ship's abilities is the "Harvester Mode" console, which makes interesting use of tractor beams, and also animates the ship:
By outfitting a ship with specialized micro-emitters, alongside integrated scanning and targeting technology, standard-issue tractor beams have been combined with energy transfer technology to act as a suite of aggressive salvage systems. When engaged, these emitters will automatically target nearby enemy ships, stripping power and materials from them. This results in reducing their power levels, dealing kinetic damage, and slowing them down. Once the emitters have been spent on harvesting enemy ships in this way, all gained resources are then automatically applied to the host vessel in a myriad of ways, improving nearly every aspect of ship performance, as well as temporarily augmenting the firing capabilities of its energy weapons. The benefits reaped by your ship will grow with the amount of harvested materials that were successfully gathered.

STO have released a video for this ship in action too (including a better look at that unusual animation), and you can find full stats on their website.

Finally, looking ahead a bit, STO's Thomas Marrone has recently been working on remastered versions of the Andromeda and Sutherland variants of the Galaxy and Nebula classes. They are coming to the game in the future, and Marrone is clearly enjoying working on them, as he has shared lots of images of both ships in a series of Tweets.

For more Star Trek Online coverage, check back through my STO tag, and for articles looking at starships in all forms, see my ships tag.

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