Guest BLOG: STO Fleet Advancement Introduction

By Geoff "Heretic" Tuffli - June 06, 2012

Senior Systems Designer Geoff “Heretic” Tuffli shares introductory details about the upcoming Fleet Advancement system in this entry of the Star Trek Online Season 6 News Dev Blog series.

I wanted to share some initial details about the Fleet Advancement system that is being introduced in Season 6 with you all. Before we delve into the topic, let’s first take a look at the highlights of Fleet Starbases:

-    Fleets will be a more central and fundamental part of the Star Trek Online experience, with particular focus on End-Game.

-    Every Fleet will start with its own instanced system map with a Starbase exterior under construction. The Starbase interior and exterior will grow in appearance and functionality as you contribute to your fleet.

-    Fleets are an entirely new advancement system, allowing Fleet members to collaborate together to overcome new challenges for new top-tier rewards.  Fleet advancement is designed for Fleets of all sizes and styles of play.

-    Fleets can develop their Starbase how they like – focusing on Military, Engineering and Science depending on the direction of the Fleet leaders.

-    Having a Fleet grants you access to new group space and ground challenges, including the active defense of your Starbase. In pursuit of this defense, developing your Starbase will also provide you with new hyper-powerful consumable devices called Operational Assets that can be only be used in these special challenges.

-    Fleets member can gain access to a whole array of new top-tier rewards including new starships, new equipment, costume options, new consumable Operational Assets, and more.

-    Fleets can improve their Starbase interior with special contacts and functionality such as bank access, ship dock facilities, Sickbays, contacts, cosmetic upgrades, and many other additions.

Now, let’s take a look at how this all works. Fleet members will contribute a variety of resources including Fleet Marks, commodities, duty officers, Dilithium, data samples, Bridge Officer skill points and other resources to complete various Fleet Projects. Completing a Fleet Project gains the Fleet experience points in one of three categories: Military, Engineering and Science. In addition to gaining Fleet experience points, every Fleet Project will also grant additional rewards that may include:

-    Adding new functionality to your Starbase such as the ability to repair ships or open Transwarp gates to distant sectors.

-    Adding new contacts to your Starbase interior that allow for useful functions such as additional duty officer assignments, mail, banking, skill respec, bridge officer training and many other functions.

-    Add limited numbers of new ships or other elite equipment to Fleet stores.

-    Limited time buffs.

-    Aesthetic improvements to your Starbase.

Fleet Officers will assign the specific Fleet Projects that they want the Fleet to focus on.  Some of these will be gated by the Starbase’s development in each of the three major categories (Military, Engineering and Science), but others will be available only at certain times with unique rewards for those Fleets who are able to complete their strenuous requirements.

Contributing to a Fleet Project will reward the Fleet member an amount of Fleet Credits commensurate to the contribution.  All Fleet stores will accept Fleet Credits for new unique ships, weapons, duty officers and other specialized equipment.

As a Fleet’s Fleet experience points in each of the three categories grow, the categories will improve in tier from Tier 0 through Tier V.  As a Starbase’s Military, Engineering and Science categories improve in tier, new Fleet Projects will become available to the Fleet.

Improving a Starbase in each of these three categories will also improve the defensive capabilities of the Starbase, a useful function during the new Starbase defense challenges.  With each improvement in a category’s tier, associated Starbase facilities in the same system as the Starbase will improve. For example: increasing a Starbase’s Military tier will develop the system’s Shipyard facility; increasing a Starbase’s Engineering tier will develop the system’s Industrial Replicator; and increasing a Starbase’s Science tier will the system’s Communications Array.  These facilities both represent strategic vulnerabilities during Starbase defenses, but also grant the Starbase additional functionality and access to new Fleet Projects.

As a Starbase’s Military, Engineering and Science categories improve in tier, the Starbase overall will improve, unlocking additional Starbase functionality and increasing the size and grandeur of the Starbase itself.  Just like each category (e.g.  Military, Engineering and Science) having five tiers of development, so too does the overall Starbase development range through five additional tiers of development.

As a Fleet develops its Starbase, its importance increases and it will face continued challenges and be forced to defend it against attack from an increasing selection of enemies. Starbases will also feature unique daily missions available to their members for rewards that will further contribute to the development of the Starbase.

Starbase development involves several steps:

1.    Gather the resources necessary for various Fleet Projects.

2.    Individual members contribute resources to a Fleet Project, gaining individual Fleet Credit commensurate to the individual’s contribution.

3.    When a Fleet Project meets the resource requirements, it will begin building, whereupon the next queued Fleet Project will become available for contributions.

4.    When a Fleet Project’s build time completes, the effects of the Fleet Project will appear; in addition to Fleet experience points in the related category, these effects may include buffs, limited quantities of unique ships and equipment in Fleet stores, new contacts and functionality on the Starbase interior, improved Starbase defensive capabilities, and other possible effects.

5.    When enough Fleet experience points have been accrued in one of the three categories (Military, Engineering, Science) to attain the next development tier for that category, special upgrade Fleet Projects will become available.

6.    Completing one of the special upgrade Fleet Projects will advance the associated facility (Shipyard, Industrial Fabricator, Communications Array, or the Starbase itself) to the  next tier.

In addition to your Starbase, other Fleet holdings are also planned for the future.

We hope you are as excited for this new system as we are, and we look forward to sharing it with you in Season 6: Under Siege.

 

Geoff “Heretic” Tuffli

Senior Systems Designer

Star Trek Online

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