Star Trek Online – State of the Game: 18 Jan
Star Trek Online Executive Producer Craig Zinkievich talks about the current state of Star Trek Online, and what the future holds. Will they reduce the number of instances? Where are ze the Klingons?
The first week of Open Beta has been amazing!
We have seen more signups and players than we ever imagined we could. So very many people have shown interest in Star Trek Online and logged in to play that we’ve actually had to scramble to support everyone. Our core engineers are this very second working like crazed technology wielding madmen to improve performance and stability across the board. We’re also adding a lot more hardware to accommodate our players.
p.s. Sulu is right behind you in Quinn’s office. Right there, behind the other desk.
Stability and Performance
Where the heck did you all come from!?!
Reality has exceeded even our wildest expectations. We looked at numbers from Closed Beta, numbers from games we’ve worked on in the past, and some numbers that float around the games industry. Based on those numbers, we predicted that about 65% of the keys we generated would eventually turn into active players (some keys never get delivered, others are lost in spam boxes, some are never redeemed, etc.). And, we predicted about 1/6 of those redeemed keys would turn into players that game at the same time. It’s what we call our concurrent users or CCU, for short.
The actual numbers crushed our predictions.
So, we tore apart our logs and began doing a lot of extra optimization work even while we stumbled upon some truly bizarre crashes that can only appear with this sort of load. The result? The shard has been steadily improving over the first few days of Open Beta. Given the hardware we’re adding and a couple more fixes we have in the pipe, shard performance and stability should continue to improve over the coming week.
XMMORPG’s Editor Note: During the open beta i saw a lot of improvement with each patch.
Space Combat Alpha Strikes
There appears to be an issue with enemies performing devastating Alpha strikes in space — all ships will target the first player, take him out, and move through the rest of the squadron. This makes space combat, when you’re teamed up, very difficult.
We’re addressing this in the next major patch. For now, flying in a tighter formation with your team will help.
Klingon, Klingon, Klingon
Better stores are coming to Qo’noS. You’ll be able to purchase disruptors, consoles, and all the things a proper warlord needs to improve his starship and clobber his pathetic, cowering enemies.
Your ship’s starter gear is getting an upgrade as well. You won’t be able to sell this to the store for as much as you used to, but it packs a meaner punch out of the gate.
PvP maps and queues are getting a lot of attention. We’re working on all the queue and map issues we’ve seen reported and we’re jamming as many fixes as possible into the game.
XMMORPG’s Editor Note: He doesn’t say that not all the Klingon PVE content is ready, yet.
Starting at Lt. Grade 6, new and sometimes strange recruits from Starfleet and the KDF will periodically ask to be transferred to your starship. Every few Grades, you’ll automatically receive more Bridge Officers.
By popular demand, Bridge Officers can now be immediately renamed and tailor when they join your crew. Sex and species are still off the customization block, but pretty much everything else can be meddled with.
The build you are playing does not feature an enormous amount of work the UI team has done.
For instance, the mini-map, team window, away team controls, and many of the HUD elements have all received an overall look and feel pass. The sector maps are way more useful and the galaxy map now tells you where you are, too. A gigantic number of small fixes have also gone in to tighten up the overall HUD experience.
Klingon UI is also looking great. Icons, buttons, FX and everything else has been re-styled in true Klingon fashion. The next major patch will have you piloting a Bird of Prey using a HUD General Martok would be proud of.
Finally, and most importantly, the crew bar on the space HUD now looks like little people… But it’s so sad when they get depleted!
We’ve fixed many bugs in star cluster missions. We’re finding and crushing them. You target ‘em and we fire the torpedoes. So keep those bugs coming, please.
More alien races and stranger alien races will appear with greater frequency in those clusters now. Some are friendly and in need of assistance… Others, not so much.
It seems they are working on it, it’s a good sign, but the biggest flaw in the game, the instances, seems that wont receive any love as in reducing their number, but at least people will have faster loading times…