Star Trek Online Season 13: Escalation Launched

The overarching story of Star Trek Online continues in its Season 13: Escalation, that adds a whole heap of new content. Among it are the new PvE Wargames that have groups of 5 players compete against one another in a gauntlet of minigame challenges. Here's the launch trailer:

And a few paragraphs from the developers:

Season 13 is here, and it’s packed with exciting new content for everyone! Earlier in the year, the Tzenkethi were revealed, and they are making more dangerous plays in the Alpha Quadrant as they devastate planets, seemingly at random. The Alliance needs to continue to explore the space surrounding the Tzenkethi advance to try and determine a pattern to their attacks. With our new featured episode “Mirrors and Smoke,” captains will work with the Lukari as they explore a mysterious nebula and discover the secrets within. The mystery of the Tzenkethi continues in Season 13 while new mysteries of the Lukari are discovered!

On top of this amazing story line, the new Wargame queues will offer players a brand new type of competitive PvE gameplay. Two teams of five players will compete against each other in a gauntlet filled with minigame challenges and enemy NPCs as they race to be the first team to complete all of their challenges. In order to maintain a competitive landscape, we’ve instituted a new Player Performance System that will take player gear and ability into account in order to keep captains matched with captains of similar skills. These types of gameplay and matchmaking improvements are completely unique in the history of STO, and I can’t wait for the community to get their hands on it.

We are also offering some brand new reputation rewards to go with our new Wargame queues, featuring - for the first time - class-specific gear for space. Each of these three sets are themed towards different aspects of the game from offensive capability, to survivability, to general support, and they can all be mixed and matched to create the custom set of gear that fits your style of play best. Of course, a reputation wouldn’t be complete without a new ground armor set, and we are offering three visual styles based on our three factions. Each of these armor sets can be customized with the others, so there are fantastic options for our players to individualize their look on the ground.

In order to ensure our captains are always making good choices when equipping gear or selecting skills, we’ve completed a space rebalance for Season 13. In the same vein as the ground updates from earlier this year, the goal of the space balance changes is to normalize outliers on the top and bottom of the power curve without adjusting too much of the middle that is already working well. These changes were thoroughly tested and regularly iterated on with the help of all of our captains on the test shard, and we believe they will provide a more balanced and exciting experience for everyone.