Star Trek Online Interview

Ten Ton Hammer had the opportunity to grill Star Trek Online's Dan Stahl and Joe Harrington about the importance of equipment, item & ship upgrades, and other loot in their upcoming sci-fi MMORPG.
Ten Ton Hammer: When you get bigger and better ships, do they have more slots where you can attach more upgrades?

Joe: Yes, they do. They also introduce some extra characteristics. So the ship you start the game with is pretty vanilla. I hate to use the phrase, but it's probably the most accurate. When you get past your initial beginning and get your first promotion, Starfleet will offer you opportunities to try other ships that have different characteristics.

Dan was talking about his Escort ship earlier. It's sort of like a Defiant in that it's fast, it's aggressive, and it's agile. Maybe a little thin on some of its defenses, but it's definitely of the good offense/good defense type. Then you have a science ship that offers a different type of gameplay where you'll be using different types of powers and things. And then we've got the classic cruiser which is just your stalwart, tough ship. It's flexible, capable, lots of people, and is just a good, tough ship.

Dan: I've found that the different classes of ships, because as you progress you do get more and more slots in your ships, but they're specific to the characteristics of that ship class. For example, in my tier one Escort, I have more slots to put tactical gear in. So I can upgrade my torpedoes, my phasers, and my beam weapons, but I don't have a lot of options for upgrading my shields, engineering, or my science capabilities.

That's kind of an interesting dynamic because I may get some really good gear, but because I'm in an Escort ship, if I get that really awesome science mod, I've only got one slot to use it in. You've got to really pick and choose what you put there.

Joe: The other thing too is the ships also determine the bridge officers you assign, so you'll have more seats for more officers and the more advanced ships open the door for more advanced bridge officers and powers. So if you have a high-ranking science officer, he won't necessarily be as capable in an Escort class ship as he would be in a science vessel. You can also staff more science officers in a science vessel than you can in say an escort.