agents of yesterday

Perfect Ten: Time travel in MMORPGs

Over the years, I’ve been fascinated with the concept of time in MMORPGs. It’s one of those things that developers probably don’t want you thinking about too closely, since it could create a crack in the world illusion that they’ve created. But really, how does time work in these games? Are you forever frozen in the same fixed point in history, advancing only to a new era when a patch or expansion releases? Does the timeline advance only as you go through new quests and hit arbitrary milestones?

Even more fascinating is when developers decide to have a little fun with their storytelling by throwing players into the past and future via time travel. It’s not even strictly for science-fiction games, either; plenty of fantasy MMOs work in time travel at one point or the other. It can be a great way of expanding upon the game’s lore and giving players an insight into events that led up to the modern era.

Today we’re going to look at 10 instances of how MMORPGs have used time travel with reckless regard to paradoxes and splintering the world into millions of alternate universes.

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Star Trek Online preps Reckoning update for consolers in April

PWE announced this afternoon that Star Trek Online will drop the Reckoning update on console players next month on April 18th — that’s a pretty quick clip for console players, who just got Agents of Yesterday mid-February. Heck, PC players only just got Reckoning in January. What’s in it? A brand-new-to-you featured episode, the new crafting school, two Tzenkethi-themed space queues, and the new space battlezone.

“Season 12 – Reckoning centers around the new featured episode, Of Signs and Portents. Captains will join the Lukari on a mission to investigate weaponized use of protomatter in a new region of the Alpha Quadrant. Further evidence leads them to the Tzenkethi, a highly intelligent, militant species who plan on using the deadly substance to build a bomb capable of wiping out entire planets. Teaming up with legendary Klingon General Rodek (voiced by actor Tony Todd), the Alliance must find a way to stop the Tzenkethi from enacting a potentially cataclysmic attack. Season 12 also unlocks expansive new content for players to discover, including the Lukari Restoration Reputation, the new Kits and Modules Research School, a full space battlezone and two new space queues, Gravity Kills and The Tzenkethi Front.”

Don’t forget there’s a double experience bonus event running this weekend!

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Star Trek Online brings Agents of Yesterday to consoles

The original Star Trek series has come to consoles with the latest update to Star Trek Online. Sure, you could always stream the original series with Netflix, but why not jump into Agents of Yesterday? The expansion goes live today, giving players who prefer to play from the couch the option of creating a captain from the old-school Federation and trek along in the warp signature of Captain James T. Kirk.

PC players have already gotten to experience this expansion and everything it has to offer, so if you’ve already been playing on your desktop, the experience will be rather familiar. If not, however, you’ve got new missions, a new specialization, new ships, and all sorts of other fun things to explore bridging the past (our future) and the present (also our future, just further in the future). Check out some screenshots down below and get your consoles patching.

Of course, do note that the maintenance is currently being extended for some time, so… don’t be in too much of a rush to get that patching started.

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Star Trek Online’s Season 12 Reckoning is live today ahead of 7th anniversary hoopla

Season 12: Reckoning is live in Star Trek Online today, just a few days ahead of the iconic MMO’s seventh birthday. “To commemorate this achievement, captains can experience a brand-new episode, featuring the debut of General Rodek, voiced by actor Tony Todd,” says PWE. You’ll be churning through new anniversary-themed daily missions, earning the community-designed T6 Lukari ship, playing the new omega particle minigame, take part in a brand-new rep grind, tinkering with a new research-themed crafting school, beating the crap out of the Tzenkethi in a new battlezone, and of course, wandering through the Of Signs and Portents featured episode.

Sorry, consolers; you’re not getting this one for a while, but take heart: You are getting Agents of Yesterday and Artifacts on Valentine’s Day. Mwah.

The brand-new Reckoning trailer and gallery are below!

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Star Trek Online’s Agents of Yesterday expansion debuts on console February 14

Star Trek Online’s Agents of Yesterday, last summer’s nostalgia-drenched expansion, will warp from PC to console on Valentine’s Day, a press release from PWE declares today.

While the original PC release was deemed surprisingly “short” by our own hands-on, the console release will include the mid-expansion update, Artifacts, as well.

“Agents of Yesterday recruits Star Trek Online captains to become temporal agents and save the future by protecting the past. Players will create a captain from Star Trek: The Original Series and fly one of several 23rd Century ships, including the classic Enterprise, Constitution-class starship. As they play through each new episode, they will interact with iconic characters voiced by beloved Star Trek actors, including Chekov (Walter Koenig), Scotty (Chris Doohan, son of James Doohan), Temporal Agent Daniels (Matt Winston), Admiral Leeta (Chase Masterson) and cyborg crewman 0718 (Joseph Gatt). The console update will also feature a new specialization tree, new special task force missions and content from the Artifacts update, including the K-13 Fleet Holding, new weapons and bridge officers.”

The one and only Star Trek MMORPG launched on both Xbox One and PlayStation 4 last September, touting 1.1 million characters rolled by October.

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Perfect Ten: The best MMORPG updates and expansions of 2016 (that aren’t Legion)

Sometimes you have to exclude something from a list. I could, for example, praise World of Warcraft: Legion for being a really good expansion yet again… but I already did that. Heck, we already did that. It won an award and everything. And it deserves that award, but let’s be real, we did not suffer at all from a paucity of updates over the past year. So it’s time to honor some of the other updates that were great this past year that haven’t gotten enough recognition.

Of course, this is my own curated list, so if you’re looking for objectivity combined with a subjective rating like “best,” you may be looking for love in all of the wrong places. Let’s take one last look through 2016 at all of the really cool game updates that made the onslaught of deaths and tragedy at least slightly more pleasant.

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Perfect Ten: The biggest MMORPG stories of 2016

As we start to come to grips with the fact that we will be turning over the calendar into 2017 in one short month, it might just be for the best. In the real world, 2016 was a rocky, unpredictable year, and even among our collective favorite hobby, it featured some highs and lows that very few saw coming.

This will go down as the year that Daybreak broke our hearts, a mobile game erupted into a global phenomenon, drama over an illegal emulator sparked multiple stories, and some of the biggest MMORPG launches came from eastern imports.

So while there might be a few more huge stories left in 2016, let’s spend some time revisiting the major headlines to get a better feel for the shape of the year that we are about to leave behind.

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Star Trek Online rolls out Agents of Yesterday: Artifacts

The Temporal Cold War has wrapped up in Star Trek Online… for now, anyhow. That’s the thing about time travel; it never really ends, exactly. But it’s time for players to move on to other things, and the newest update to Agents of Yesterday centers around exactly that. Players can start up the new storyline centering around the tentative steps of the Lukari into the big galaxy of exploration, with a different award available each week starting with a Nausicaan disruptor array.

If the storyline alone isn’t enough for you, you can also take part in constructing a new fleet holding. And it’s all going to look a lot better, as the various graphical enhancements provided for Star Trek Online on consoles are now available on the desktop as well. So it’s a better-looking galaxy full of strange new worlds to explore, and who could ask for more?


Star Trek Online adds to its Agents of Yesterday expansion

Cryptic isn’t finished with the time travel goodness of Star Trek Online: Agents of Yesterday — not by a long shot. The studio announced today that it has plans extending into 2017 to continue the expansion’s storyline, starting with a major update coming next month.

Star Trek Online’s Artifacts update will requisition a new story arc, the much-ballyhooed lighting upgrades that are already on the console version, and the original series K-13 starbase fleet holding.

“Players will accompany the Lukari on a mission to an alien solar system, where they will discover the joys of exploration, the dangers of unknown space, and begin to unravel a mystery that will have long lasting consequences,” Cryptic teased in its announcement post.


One Shots: Overcompensating

Holy moley, the Massively OP community came out in force to respond to last week’s “giant weapon” screenshot challenge. Most comments that I’ve seen in this column in quite a while! But can we top it?

Reader Tyler gets the honor of showing off his weapon that’s certainly not compensating for anything: “I saw your challenge for the week was giant weapons, and I knew my hour had come. Ever since Wrath of the Lich King I’ve been fond of the ‘fury rogue’ look. These are the weapons I used at the end of that expansion, Liar’s Tongue and the Bone Warden’s Splitter. I couldn’t bring myself to vendor them after Wrath, and from the moment transmog was introduced, they’ve been my go to weapon skins. It just fills my heart with joy to see my rogue whacking at enemies with an axe that’s almost as big as she is.”

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Hands-on: A tour of duty through Star Trek Online: Agents of Yesterday

With Star Trek Online: Agents of Yesterday, Cryptic is obviously looking to rope in as many Star Trek faithful as possible, particularly from two camps that haven’t been serviced by the MMO before: fans of the original Star Trek series (TOS) and the audience from the newer Star Trek movie reboots.

While I have deep reservations about touching upon “JJ-Trek,” as it’s labeled, I think that the concept of this expansion is a great one. Using time travel (a Trek staple) to hop back and forwards and sideways in eras to look at something other than the 25th century is — to borrow a familiar Vulcan’s catchphrase — fascinating.

Since I’m going into this new expansion mostly blind, I thought it’d be noteworthy to jot down my thoughts on the first six missions that are exclusive to newly created 23rd century starship captains. What will a trip back to the time of Kirk be like? I don’t know, but I do love the storytelling in Star Trek Online, so I’m sure to be entertained. Read on!

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Enter to win a Star Trek Online Temporal Agent Starter Pack from Massively OP and PWE

In honor of the launch of Star Trek Online’s Agents of Yesterday expansion this week, PWE has granted Massively OP 50 Temporal Agent Starter Packs to give away to our readers! The packs contain:

  • Tier 1 USS Enterprise –  A legendary 23rd century Starfleet vessel, the Constitution-class Cruiser regularly went where no one had gone before. A durable, versatile ship, it handled a variety of missions, including exploration, first contact, research, and system defense.
  • Tier 6 Temporal Battlecruiser Paladin Class – Drawing inspiration from the 23rd century Ranger-class, the Paladin-class Battlecruiser is very tactically focused. It features a potent weapons platform, and a number of sophisticated maneuver systems make the Paladin a remarkably agile vessel for its class.
  • TOS Torn Uniforms – The classic The Original Series Uniforms worn and torn from battle. This costume unlocks for all TOS and Federation characters on an account.
  • 0718 Bridge Officer – Hailing from the Federation of the “Kelvin Timeline,” 0718 serves as an officer in Science Branch aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise under Captain James T. Kirk. A cyborg with a specialty in computer systems, 0718 was a member of the Enterprise crew as she began her five-year mission
  • Title: Temporal Agent – This title is exclusive to purchasers of the Temporal Agent Pack or Temporal Agent Starter Pack. It unlocks for all TOS and Federation characters on an account.

Read on to enter to win!

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Interview: Cryptic on the launch of Star Trek Online’s Agents of Yesterday

Today, players will get to go back in time in Star Trek Online. Only for your new characters, it’s not actually back in time at all; it’s just the present. Agents of Yesterday celebrates the 50-year history of the Star Trek franchise by heading back to the original series timeline, letting players take command of old-school vessels before catapulting ahead to the modern era once more. It’s an homage, a new way to experience the game, and a continuation of the game’s lore all at once.

We had a chance to sit down and talk with the game’s executive producer, Stephen Ricossa, about the expansion launching today and what it means for the game. And it turns out that the best way to talk about the game really does involve time travel — because it involves a plan two years in the making that stretches through the game’s past several plotlines.

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