Okay, it’s been a while. Let’s get to it.
Today’s topic: “Victory is Life”, the new expansion announced for June from the developers for Star Trek Online. We knew it was coming, didn’t we? Ever since they sneaked in that little stinger in one of their “new season” videos, and only further confirmed with the last episode “Scylla and Charybdis”, where we not only got to fight it out around Deep Space Nine and Bajor with the newest “big bad”, but we also saw the return of one of the major characters of DS9. And now, we have the official announcement.
Of course, being an announcement, it’s sort of light on details. Here’s what is known.
It will feature about six episodes for a new faction…er, let’s say subfaction, shall we? While it hasn’t been official, it’s basically been basic operating procedure since the Romulans showed up. What I find interesting, however, is that it’s going to be the Jem’Hadar. I’d have figured on something a little more wide ranging, such as “The Dominion”, which would imply the Jem’Hadar plus the Vorta and possibly the Cardassians (they’ve got history), and perhaps a couple other Gamma Quadrant species. But, nope. The Jem’Hadar. This makes it literally the most restrictive faction-er, subfaction-in the game. According to some of what I’ve been reading online, they also won’t be a level 1 experience. They’re be starting at level 60, and will have some “important unlocks” already taken care of-possibly advances in some reputations? Specializations? Dunno. This feels less like a faction-er, subfaction-and more like a “hero class” similar to how World of Warcraft handled Death Knights.
Due to that, as well as the minor detail that the level cap is rising to 65 (no “tier-7” ships are coming with the expansion…yet. Expect it to happen at some point, though, because the denial was specifically worded…), those six unique episodes are probably not restricted to the Jem’Hadar, but are for the ongoing storyline in STO. For a new expansion, that seems horribly inadequate. A new queue is on deck-related to the new Big Bad, one can expect. New “progression systems”…I got nothing on this one. New Gamma Quadrant reputation, maybe? New Gamma Quadrant fleet holding? Your guess is as good as mine. Speaking of level caps rising…is that going to mean anything other than a new specialization point and a change in number? The thing I really had hoped to see-a new exploration system-doesn’t sound like it’s happening. Instead, we’re getting a new “sector battlezone”, which will probably be on the other side of the Bajoran Wormhole.
For fans of the DS9 series, we are supposedly getting ten returning characters from the series, fully voiced. They’ve announced Odo, Quark, and Kira Nerys, and General Martok is back in the mix as well. I’d not be surprised to see Worf back involved, and gee, we’ve seen Nog in a prior mission, so I’d not be shocked if he were there too. According to other sources, we can also expect to see Garak and Julian Bashir pop in. That would leave room for two more characters. Sadly, I have a feeling that we will not be seeing the long-promised return of Benjamin Sisko; of course, he did have a child on the way before the end of the series, and this would sure be a good time to introduce a new Sisko to the game….
So, we could be seeing some good stuff, some iffy stuff. It’s kind of hard to make definitive statements when we just had an announcement. More details will be incoming, though, and I’ll be happy to pick them apart as they start coming through.