stephen ricossa

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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Star Trek Online is launching on consoles this fall

The big announcements for Star Trek Online keep arriving. Last week it was the reveal of the Agents of Yesterday expansion; this week it’s the news that Cryptic is bringing the game to consoles in fall 2016.

The sci-fi title will release simultaneously on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4. Cryptic has enjoyed significant success with Neverwinter’s transition to the console world, so it makes sense to bring Star Trek Online along for the ride. The studio said that to make this happen, it’s had to streamline the HUD and rewrite the UI (think “radial menus”) to work with controllers. Other changes coming for all versions, including the PC, are lighting improvements and better episodic flow and player progression.

“We invested heavily in our engine and added several modern lighting technologies that significantly improved the visual quality of the game,” said Executive Producer Stephen Ricossa. “These technologies, and the skilled artists that bring them to bear, create an experience that is not only more immersive, but simply put, more beautiful.”

You can watch the console announcement trailer after the break!

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Star Trek Online announces its final Iconian War episode

Star Trek Online has announced the final episode of its Iconian War arc. The Iconians have been a constant threat for more than five years, writes STO executive producer Stephen Ricossa. “With their backs against the wall and the temporal prime directive in mind, the alliance is poised to make an unthinkable decision,” he says. “These are dark times filled with tough choices and personal sacrifice, the future can be bright again but it’s always darkest before the dawn.”

The post doesn’t specify when the final episode — titled Iconian War: Midnight — will be released.

Source: Final episode; thanks Grand Nagus!

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Star Trek Online changes executive producers

Star Trek Online has a new captain helming its ship, as Stephen D’Angelo has stepped down as executive producer and long-time STO dev Stephen Ricossa has filled the vacancy. D’Angelo will now be Cryptic’s chief technology officer in charge of overseeing “several internal projects.”

Ricossa introduced himself as a life-long Star Trek fan and teased one big upcoming change to the game: Sector walls will be coming down in Season 10, leaving a single map per quadrant instead of several segmented ones.

In other STO news, the team unveiled its work on Tier 6 command battlecruisers that will be coming “soon” to the game store. These battlecruisers will not only have a commander engineering/command hybrid specialist bridge officer seat but access to a new inspiration mechanic. An inspiration meter is filled by using bridge officer abilities, and once it’s full, captains can activate one of three powerful abilities for their entire group.

[Source: A change in command, Tier 6 command ships]

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