Star Trek Online

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An MMO developed by Cryptic, makers of City of Heroes and Champions Online, set in the original Star Trek universe in the year 2409, thirty years after the last appearance of the Next Generation crew in film, and 22 after Romulus was destroyed in the prime timeline as per Star Trek XI. The game was originally being developed by Perpetual, but was auctioned off as the studio was facing severe financial troubles at the time, and actually had to lay off nearly half of the development staff.

The Borg are back, deadlier than ever before, and the galaxy is once more on the edge of war. The Federation and The Klingon Empire are at each other's throats again, and the tattered remains of the Romulan empire post "Countdown" may be scattered, but they remain a credible military threat to both. That's only compounded with a newly democratic Cardassia facing a civil war against True Way rebels helped by Dominion renegades, and the Undine (formerly Species 8472) infiltrating everyone.

In other words, the 25th century Star Trek universe has become a Crapsack World (relatively speaking), and it's up to the player(s) to find a way make it right.

The game combines space travel with on-foot segments and a healthy dose of combat in both. A proprietary engine was created to randomize missions, star systems, and planetary surfaces, in order to provide new and different experiences every time a player engages in a mission or quest.

And, of course, being a Cryptic game, Character Customization is suitably bonkers and may in fact eclipse every other thing they've done. You have an absolutely astounding number of ways to customize your captain; not only has every facial feature from the TV series been included, but Cryptic has included all kinds of inventions of their own. And then they allow you to apply the same level of customization to your entire bridge crew. And then you get to customize the hull of your ship, and then you get to customize your bridge and more interior customization is coming and... well, you get the idea. Oh, and you can create a new custom species for your captain.

The consensus so far is that the game is essentially a mix of World of Warcraft IN SPACE! combined with Star Trek Starfleet Command... and that this isn't necessarily that bad a thing at all. Especially with the new weekly "Featured Episodes", small content updates centered around a fairly lengthy and involved mission, and the advent of a pretty good branching dialogue tree on top of the combat, the game is finding a fairly solid set of legs and and a strong following after a admittedly rocky start. Additions like the "Foundry" content generation tools may allow the game to carve out an even larger niche for itself, as well.

Originally there were only two playable factions: the Federation and Klingons. The Romulans were eventually added later on.

As of January 17th, 2012 the game has gone Free-To-Play with the standard Subscription option containing boosts such as more wallet space, the ability to create content in the Foundry, a stipend of their Store Points, and so on, so lifetimers don't have to feel gypped at the game going free.

Tropes used in Star Trek Online include:
  • 2-D Space: There's a z-axis, but missions rarely use it, and shields only care about the four directs, even if you are directly above or under your target.
  • Abusive Precursors: Remember how Picard thought that the Iconians had a bad rap due to their frightening teleportation technology? He was wrong. Very. Very. Wrong.
  • Actor Existence Limbo: having quests without voiced dialog isn't weird, being an MMO and all, but one arc of time travel quests had cameos of the The Original Series's cast over different missions. This means McCoy and Scotty (who were played by now dead actors) are placed in missions without voice acting, but Spock (Leonard Nimoy was alive at the time of production) is not.
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts:
    • I have to spend twenty credits to get a drink out of the replicator? What, did my crew bring a bag lunch and never use them? For that matter, I have to pay Starfleet to have better guns mounted on my ship?
    • Trade goods vary in price at different locations, but always sell for a price slightly lower than the cheapest price you can buy them for, so you can't make trade runs across the galaxy with a full load of them, only buy them for missions and research.
    • Also averted in two ways. 1: You don't have to pay a penny to get the stock weapons, shields, etc that come standard on your ship (like the phasers and photon torpedoes that the Enterprise always had; we never saw them trade up for better weapons!). 2: You will get so many loot drops throughout the game that you can sell, so that you will eventually be rolling in Energy Credits (the in-game currency) anyway and can afford the awesome upgrades.
    • Reinforced by the Mk XII M.A.C.O. and Omega Force gear, which is only available by getting Prototype Borg Technologies in Elite Special Task Force mission (Borg raids essentially) but they drop so rarely there people who have been playing since launch and not received a single one. Did I mention that there are two sets (Ground and Space) of each?
  • An Adventurer Is You: Initially played straight with the three main classes of ships: Escorts are best at dealing a lot of damage fast, cruisers are best at soaking up punishment, science vessels are best at healing, buffing and debuffing. The lines start to blur a little at higher levels and with some C-store ships like the Nebula and Excelsior, and there's definitely wiggle room, but by and large each class has its strengths along the lines of the MMO Holy Trinity.
    • Blurs earlier than that. The cruiser, with its high hull rating can be a tank, but with engineering crew can also heal itself and a friendly's shields, making it a buffer too. The science vessel, with its strong shields can be a magic tank, and debuffer with good science personnel. The tactical vessel is a good combo of the blade-master and backstabber with good tactical officers. The real difference though isn't their base stats, but the number of bridge crew slots for a particular field and their abilities, which like almost everything else, can be infinitely customized.
  • Air Guitar: One of the emotes.
  • All Your Powers Combined: The Federation and Klingons' ultimate ships, the Advanced Odyssey and Bortasqu', actually come in three varieties, each tailored to a different career type, and each with a unique console appropriate to that career. There's nothing stopping you from loading all three consoles on one ship if you have them, though, and you even get a handy set bonus for it (not to mention some useful synergies, like using the Subspace Snare on your Bortasqu' to teleport some poor sap in front of your Disruptor Autocannon).
    • This has become standard for all ship sets with a Tactical, Science, and Engineering version. The Scorpion dreadnought variants, for instance, comes with consoles that let you pull off moves it has from the movie, such as firing while cloaked and using the Thalaron pulse.
  • Alternate Continuity: Averted, in fact; this is the original Star Trek universe, the one in which Star Trek, The Next Generation, Deep Space Nine et al happened. Vulcan is fine, while Romulus is a shattered husk of the world it once was. This is evidently going to mean Very Bad Things for just about everyone in the Alpha Quadrant, since the Romulans are all tattooed NewBSG-esque aggressive space gypsies now.
    • Played with even further in "The Needs of The Many," where a former Temporal Investigations agent remembers events from the game, the Star Trek Novel Verse, and the J.J. Abrams movie, suggesting that any and all continuities can intersect whenever the heck they feel like it.
    • Note, however, that the game is still non-canon. Paramount's official policy is that only the movies and TV series (including TAS) count.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: The Iconians are fond of this one. The second time they show up, they're wiping out the two Borg Cubes coming after you. The third time, just as you're in a fight for your life with Empress Sela, an Iconian ship shows up, snags her ship and sucks her through a Gateway.
  • Ambadassador: S'taass the Gorn ambassador for the Klingon Empire during the "Second Wave" mission. When DS9 is boarded by the Dominion his first reaction is to leap over the table and tear a Jem'Hadar apart with his claws! His second reaction is taking up the hobby of running up to Jem'Hadar and pummeling them to death with his bare hands!
    • The Player Characters can become this as well, thanks to a Diplomacy XP system capped by gaining the official status and title of Ambassador, complete with spiffy Dress Uniform.
  • Ancient Astronauts: At the end of the Breen arc, a planet is found with thousands of living Preservers in stasis, with many choosing to awaken and explore the Galaxy created by the various species in the Trek verse whose worlds they seeded billions of years ago.
  • Anticlimax Boss: If the party is even moderately prepared, meaning the player has at least given them some decent weapons and spare armor, Ambassador B'Vat goes down in a matter of seconds.
    • Hakeev, meanwhile, is a quite intentional example - his undignified, anticlimactic death is the absolute worst nightmare for an arrogant, theatrical Smug Snake like him. To add insult to injury, it's not even the end of the mission - you then get treated to a spectacular boss battle against Empress Sela, his employer and Unwitting Pawn, who had nothing whatsoever to do with the story-arc that he was the Big Bad of.
    • Molor goes down like a putz, too. Maybe it's just something about Klingons? On the plus side, you then get to battle Fek'lhr himself, and he is definitely not an Anticlimax Boss.
  • Apocalyptic Log: Several of the random exploration missions on dead worlds or empty stations. Examples include mind control experiments Gone Horribly Wrong, teleportation experiments Gone Horribly Wrong, and other such things Gone Horribly Wrong.
  • Arbitrary Maximum Range: 10 kilometers. Some ships can cross that distance in a handful of seconds.
  • Artificial Atmospheric Actions:
    • If a custom title is used, that replaces the Rank when people speak to you. This can lead to some strange results, however.

Starfleet NPC: Good day, Moist (Player Name).

  • Artificial Stupidity: The Borg seem to ignore any mini-ships you send at them, like the Scorpion Fighters. All you have to do is run outside of combat range while they slowly but surely deal hull damage and eventually destroy them.
    • No longer true. Try this now and the Borg will first destroy the combat pets (very easily) and then voke on you, because it counts as launching an attack on them.
  • Asteroid Miners: Players can now strap on their EVA suit and mine for in-game currency on, yep, an asteroid.
  • Asteroid Thicket: Usually as a planet's rings or a debris field. At least in the early missions, though, it's just a bunch of rocks floating in the middle of nowhere, for no reason whatsoever. Worse, the thickets tend to exist just around the mission area. Meaning that if you're not surrounded by asteroids you're likely far from where you should be. Less of a problem with more recent missions.
  • A-Team Firing: Dual pistols and assault rifles have a spray-and-pray special ability which, fittingly, has a chance to cause Expose. The primary fire is actually very accurate.
  • Author's Saving Throw: Several missions put you in contact with NPCs interested in the Hobus supernova (the one that destroyed Romulus), all of which say things that boil down to "yeah, this doesn't make one damn bit of sense", which it didn't. An arc in the Lieutenant Commander levels reveals the supernova and its FTL blast wave were the result of a weapon deployed by Romulan Admiral (then Praetor) Taris at the behest of alien "dark masters", AKA the Iconians. This is a take-off from the new movie's prequel-comic Countdown, and the game also acknowledges that Data is alive and commanded the Enterprise-E after Picard finally retired. Much to the chagrin of players who haven't read Countdown, this information is only displayed in tooltips, and they do not elaborate on how Data survived.
  • Awesome but Impractical:
    • The Federation Dreadnought Cruiser, aka the "Galaxy-X" or the refitted USS Enterprise-D from "All Good Things," the last episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation. It looks impressive, has a cloaking device and massive phaser cannon built in, and is the only cruiser that can mount Dual and Dual Heavy Cannons as standard armament... but it turns like the Tier 4 cruiser, making it almost impossible to hold those cannons on target long enough for them to count.
      • This is actually a problem for any cannon-toting ship that has a wide turning circle, like the larger Klingon cruisers. The Bortasqu' has an elegantly simple solution, though - its Subspace Snare console teleports the enemy in front of its main guns.
    • "Boarding Party" a lower level Bridge officer space ability sends, you guessed it, a boarding party onto the target ship. However they don't do much and tend to get killed quite easily (even though your ship sends three shuttles at once) and beyond that the logic makes it even worse. What if you lose all three shuttle craft? About 30 crew members are "dead" yet you can do the whole thing again in about 90 seconds...
  • Awesome Yet Practical: The Prometheus-class Tier 5 retrofit's Multi-Vector Attack Mode. Being able to turn one ship into three near-equally powerful ones with the click of a button is exactly as visually impressive and gloriously overpowered as one would imagine.
    • It might seem insane to bring a bat'leth or lirpa to a gun-fight, but 50% of their damage can go right through personal shields, and a lunge attack can knock several enemies down if they're close enough together, leaving them exposed. Especially useful against Hirogen, who like to beam into the midst of your group.
    • One of the mirror universe events rewarded Mirror Universe Zephram Cochrane's Shotgun. It's... a shotgun. It uses conventional ammunition, does less damage the further away its target is, and absolutely murders Borg because it's a shield-penetrating physical attack and they can't adapt to it.
  • Badass Crew: After the first story arc of the game, the player and their Bridge Bunnies more than qualify for this status. And if you fill your Duty Officer ranks with Uncommon to Very Rare DOFFs, your ship's crew readily quailfies as well.
  • Badass Longcoat: By the time you reach Level 51 (the level cap currently), you are very badass indeed. And what is your reward for all this badassery? A knee-length Vice Admiral's overcoat.
  • Badass Long Robe: The content update "Common Ground" added off duty outfits for the players to wear, including a selection of Robes.
  • Bait and Switch Boss: Inverted in one of the endgame missions, when Q tosses you into battle against three Borg Cubes... and then when they're just outside your weapons range he decides to go easy on you and handwaves two of the Cubes out of existence.
  • Bare Your Midriff: One of the premium uniforms is the TOS Mirror Universe Terran uniform.
  • Beam-O-War: The Split-Beam Rifles have a focus fire attack that splits the energy beam and hit up to 3 targets at once while doing the same amount of damage per beam. It'll vaporize multiple Exposed enemies!
    • Not a beam, but Heavy Plasma Torpedoes can be shot down or repelled by a tractor beam. Bonus points if you destroy one with another heavy plasma torpedo.
  • Beam Spam: Beam: Fire at Will is the most literal interpretation given that it ends up with your phasers blasting away at anything in sight, but really, any broadside from a beam-laden high-level cruiser qualifies. If we count cannons, Cannon: Scatter Volley is about as spammy as they come. The playstyle for cruisers is to keep a side to the enemy so all your beams can attack a target at once.
  • Beehive Barrier: Your away team members can set one up for you to take cover behind. And then you've got ones on a planetary scale.
    • The Engineer gets one automatically around Lieutenant Commander 5 (level 15), bonus points because this uses the same graphic as the Power Armor Block ability in Champions Online.
  • Betting Minigame: With the release of Season 2, Dabo is now been introduced in which you can earn Gold Pressed Latiumn. Due to the mechanics it mainly functions as a method of converting mostly Energy Credits into Latiumn that can be used to buy some cosmetic items.
  • BFG: Many of them. Your away team will likely be decked out with these after about three or four hours of gameplay.
  • BFS: The Klingon Bat'leth sword, which can be used by both playable factions. They are also carried by Klingon Swordmasters, and it would be wise to take them down before they can get close enough to use it.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: The Federation has gone to war. Enough said. Also might apply for the peaceful hunter-gatherer Aelasians - see the Superweapon Surprise entry below.
  • Bifurcated Weapon: The Admiral level variant of the Galaxy-class can separate into the Saucer and battle sections, just like in Star Trek: The Next Generation. And then there's the multi-vector attack mode Prometheus-class, which can split into three separate ships.
    • Among the Tactical, Operations, and Science variety Odyssey Class ships, the Operations can do a saucer separation, and Tactical can launch an escort from the back. Sadly, while you can use both consoles on one ship, you can't use both abilities at the same time (splitting into three sections).
  • Big Bad: STO actually has narrative arcs throughout its main-line story content that feature major antagonists and foils for your crew.
    • In the late Lieutenant and for most of the Lt. Commander levels, "Ambassador"/General B'vat, who will do just about anything to keep the Fed/Klink war going so that Klingons don't turn on one another.
    • While Romulan space lacks one specific Big Bad, Praetor Taris ultimately ends up being the source of quite a few of the problems you have to face in that section of the game - not to mention the fact that she's responsible for the deaths of billions in more than one continuity.
    • The Borg and the Undine (Species 8472) serve as the end-game big foes, and make brief appearances earlier in the game to set up the threat for later.
      • Neither race is going to serve as the Big Bad of the game, however; there are hints in the Commander levels that at least one of the ultimate authors of all the ills the Alpha Quadrant currently faces are the Iconians, the ancient civilization first featured in TNG which was apparently bombed out of existence by someone(s). STO will evidently demonstrate why people wanted them dead back then.
        • The Admiral Upper Half Undine missions and the latest feature episodes basically confirms the Iconians are the true Big Bads in the galaxy, and have manipulated EVERYONE, including the Undine into total war so the Iconians have a softer target for conquest. Shame that now EVERYONE knows now, and are mighty pissed. Ooops.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • You as a player get a whole bunch of these moments. This is also the entire purpose of the Fleet Support ability, which lets you call in another Federation ship once your hull integrity drops below 50%.
    • You're also on the receiving end of one of these in an early mission: You find out that the ambassador you've been escorting really is an Undine/8472 infiltrator, and he's beamed back to his ship... a Tethys-class dreadnought that you cannot possibly hope to fight under any circumstances. You can only hope to survive by shooting down the plasma torpedos it spews at you... and then help arrives in the form of the USS Kirk, leading a flotilla of warships which open up an incredible can of whoopass on the dreadnought.
  • Blood Knight: B'vat, far beyond even the standards of other Klingons. He is obsessed with keeping the new Fed/Klink war going in perpetuity, because he fears that without a great enemy to fight then the Empire will turn on itself and rip itself to shreds in civil war, just to slake the Klingon thirst for warfare... just like it, uh, did happen in TNG and Klingon Academy. He's willing to slaughter billions, revive terrible weapons and kidnap Miral Paris to make sure the Fed is willing to fight the Empire as long as possible, perhaps taking him into Complete Monster territory.
    • He's so far gone that when you meet his past self during a Time Travel mission, he asks you to give his future self an honorable death.
    • Amusingly enough, this character (almost to a T) duplicates one from ANOTHER videogame franchise - these are exactly the motivation AND the actions of Admiral Tolwyn from the Wing Commander franchise, as shown in Wing Commander IV.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Played perfectly straight by Hakeev - right down to the Evil Gloating - after cornering you in a cutscene in the Cloaked Intentions feature episode series.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Praetor Taris seems to be this. She's pretty much unflinchingly loyal to her "dread masters", and for a Romulan that is weird.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: A whole bunch of things, both gameplay-affecting and cosmetic, can only be obtained using "Cryptic Points," which must be purchased by someone. Having said that, they can then be sold again in exchange for Dilithium, which any player can get a fair amount of every day. So, while someone has to spend real money eventually, it doesn't have to be you.
  • The Bridge: Players can choose from several different bridge layouts for their ships.
  • Bridge Bunnies: Customizable Bunnies, no less. Yes, if you're a male captain you can have an all-female bridge crew. Yes, if you're a female captain you can have an all-male bridge crew with flattering shirts. You can even be a female captain with the other female members of your crew dressed in tiny miniskirts. They also serve as the cornerstone of your away teams, especially if playing solo or in a small group. You can have up to 54, though free to play players will need 8 days of drops to afford more than the bare minimum needed to fill all stations.
  • Break Out the Museum Piece: The TOS Constitution Class starships, complete with blue phasers. The Miranda class are also still going, while a refit Excelsior class can be bought. The NX class would seem to be this, being over 250 years old at this point, but is actually a replica with modern systems.
    • As mentioned above, Zefram Cochrane's shotgun from the Mirror Universe. It's essentially the weapon with which the Terran Empire was founded... most people probably have it sitting in their banks waiting for a Borg mission.
  • Breather Episode: "Cold Comfort" in the Breen series. The episode features no combat whatsoever, and only several dialog puzzles.
  • But Thou Must: No matter how much of a straight-laced, by-the-book, moral paragon you may imagine (and occasionally make the offered in-game choices) for your Captain to be, you will still end up working for Section 31 at some points of the storyline. (Or Imperial Intelligence if you're a Klingon, but they're more of a state fixture, so.) Not even being manipulated into doing it, just out-and-out accepting missions from them. It's at least somewhat implied that Section 31 isn't quite the batch of genocidal secrecy-psychos they used to be and are more of an "open secret" in Starfleet, but it's still a bit jarring for the game to just assume you'll go along with them with nothing more than some token grumbling.
  • Call a Hit Point a Smeerp: You don't often see a Starfleet captain looting destroyed ships and tacking their disruptors and engine arrays onto their own ship. Of course, in the game you can equip all kinds of weapons you pick up as random drops. Cue fanbase complaining it's not realistic.
    • Janeway did it a few times.
      • And Starfleet looted Jem'hadar ships like mad during the Dominion War.
  • The Cavalry: In the ultimate battle for Deep Space 9 in "Boldly They Rode", despite preparing for the battle, the forces to recover Deep Space 9 still find themselves being pushed back. That is until Captain Shon of the U.S.S. Enterprise-F {Odyssey Class} arrives to help turn the tide of the battle.
  • Captain Ersatz: If you look around, you will find a lot of custom species characters of non-Trek alien species, recreated to varying degrees of accuracy.
  • Casual Interstellar Travel: More so than the rest of Star Trek, necessarily due to it being an MMO played in real-time. As there is no actual interactivity needed once you set your destination, you can walk away and do whatever while your ship flies unguided.
  • The Chains of Commanding: The Duty Officer System. Nearly every assignment has a risk to your crew. This means that yes, they can come back on death's door, and yes, they can actually die. With this knowledge, do you send your crewmates on a risky recon mission? Do you send your medical staff to fight an outbreak of a deadly plague?
  • Character Customization: Just in case we haven't hammered it home yet: Mother. Of. God.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In one story mission, an Andorian scientist you've just rescued makes an offhand comment about making progress on a cure for irumodic syndrome. Anyone who has seen The Next Generation's series finale knows the possible [2] implications of this.
  • Continuity Nod / Call Back: The game is positively dripping with them to the point they could warrant their own page.
    • The Wolf 359 System. Especially with the Federation memorial in the middle (when you get close you start to hear the comm traffic from the battle).
    • Naomi Wildman is the commander of Deep Space K-7. Icheb appears as a mission giver, too.
    • Miral Paris is a plot-centric character whose storyline first introduces you to the Guardian of Forever and the Mirror Universe.
    • Akira Sulu is the Great-Grandson of Mr. Sulu.
    • Admiral Janeway.
    • Among the ships you will hear about will be USS Kirk, USS McCoy, USS Montgomery Scott, USS Archer and USS Tucker, among others.
      • Notable for following this tradition but breaking from the pattern is the USS Opaka.
    • Sela is the Romulan Empress. Not too many people mind any of this, and it's all quite well-explained.
    • The Galaxy-Class bridge set alone has plenty. The side consoles from Generations, the modified tactical console from the future Enterprise-D in "All Good Things", and a large transparent console panel behind the tactical station very similar to the one seen in the TNG seventh season episode "Parallels".
    • One of the engineers over at Memory Alpha is Kirayoshi O'Brien.
    • One of the Starfleet contacts at K-7 is Mackenzie Calhoun.
    • Deep in Cardassian space, you will encounter Joshua Riker, the son of a transporter-created clone of old Will Riker.
    • And then, who should show up from the mirror universe? Captain James O'Brien. Aboard the ISS Molly.
    • Expect to encounter any and all types of food that are ever shown or mentioned throughout any of the series, including Chateau Picard wine. They even have Prune Juice, repeatedly mentioned and referenced as Worf's drink of choice.
    • The entrance to the Preserver archive resembles the Asteroid Deflector from the TOS episode "The Paradise Syndrome"
    • "The 2800" story arc is not only a continuity nod but also a continuation of a story arc from one of the series. A Dominion fleet suddenly emerges from the wormhole, attacking (and taking over) Deep Space 9, and still thinking the Dominion war is still going on despite checking a calendar since then. Starfleet is baffled by where they came from. It's the same fleet that the Prophets had willed out of existence when Captain Sisko and the Defiant single-handedly headed into the wormhole to confront.
  • Convection, Schmonvection: An early mission in the Romulan story arc places you on a planet that has active volcanic activity on the surface (along with local plant life that thrives in the lava). You can walk all over it and it won't hurt you.
    • Of course you can also take a disruptor blast to the face and not disintegrate. Personal shields are a wonderful thing.
  • Cool Starship: Many ships from across Trek canon have made their way into the game (Including an old-fashioned Constitution-Class and Miranda Class as starting vessels), and a few have been made especially for it, such as the mighty Odyssey and Bortas end-game ships.
  • Combat Tentacles:
    • The Aehallh worms found in the Colliseum aren't exactly tentacles, but they're pretty close.
    • Changelings like to choke your character by the throat and toss you around like a ragdoll by this method.
  • Competitive Balance: The idea between the three classes and ship types. Players can customize themselves to extend beyond the original class they chose through skill point distribution.
  • CPR: Clean, Pretty, Reliable / Worst Aid: This was the original way to revive a downed character. It has since been replaced with a quick tricorder scan. This is slightly justified, though. Things such as revive spells and whatnot, that one would encounter in other MMOs, would be out of place in the Star Trek universe.
  • Crapsack World: The 25th Century. Then again, Federation-Klingon relations have been going back and forth since early on in Star Trek: The Next Generation, and the various shows have been dropping hints that something like this would happen in this time period for years now. The Romulans, on the other hand, are supposedly pissed about losing their homeworld, and have become a bit trigger happy as a result. Oh, and now the Borg are starting to come out of the woodwork. And then you start getting hints that the Undine (AKA Species 8472) might be at least partially to blame for orchestrating all of this chaos, to make the purging of our galaxy easier.
    • It's also only "crapsack" in relative terms - Earth isn't a smoking ruin or anything, for example. But it's definitely not as peaceful and idealistic as the franchise was during the early TNG days. The game has a feeling closest to the latter seasons of Deep Space Nine and the more action-oriented movies.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Ships suffer damage and systems can be affected, but until you suffer a warp-core breach (read: death), there's no downward spiral of failing systems, like the shows.
  • Crystal Spires and Togas: The Deferi come pretty close.
  • Custom Uniform: The developers were able to Hand Wave the glaring flaw about Star Fleet's uniform code by stating in one of the Loading Screen notes that Star Fleet relaxed their uniform codes to help it's officers feel a little more comfortable, just as long as they still wore their primary color associated with their position. The player can customize the outfits of their underlings freely, meaning it's perfectly possible to make all female officers wear TINY MINISKIRTS as a mere lieutenant.
  • Death From Above: Engineers get the Orbital Strike skill, capable of wiping out a large group of enemies in one hit. It also works indoors for some reason. And then you get to "Cutting the Cord" and its optional objective of calling in orbital strikes, and all of a sudden your ship is a veritable Kill Sat, wiping out Romulans and fighters left and right.
  • Death Is a Slap on The Wrist: If a player is killed or has their ship destroyed (possibly killing them), they can simply respawn with their ship shiny and new...minus a few Red Shirts. And the dead redshirts will be restored after a short period of time. Presumably Starfleet ships are crewed by Tribbles. Mitigated somewhat by the addition of the difficulty slider, which adds a death penalty at higher levels in the form of injuries, which can be removed at starbases or with items.
    • The top-level escorts explicitly have holographic crews. That would pretty much explain everything, except it's noted as unusual.
  • Defeat Means Playable: The special reward for defeating the Breen during the Deferi story arc? A Breen bridge officer. Repeated with the Romulan/Reman missions, though technically it's the Romulans you're defeating and a Reman bridge officer joining you.
  • Design-It-Yourself Equipment: The player's ship.
  • Detachment Combat: Several ships can turn parts of themselves into separate, independent craft, increasing their firepower and distracting the enemy. The Galaxy-class can detach its saucer, the Bortasqu' can deploy a heavily-armed escort ship, and the Advanced Odyssey can either detach its saucer or deploy a heavily-armed escort ship. The Prometheus-class escort takes the prize, though - true to the series, it can split itself into three equally-powerful ships, and you can choose which one you want to command the formation from.
  • Development Gag: During one patch, the space station K-7 was accidentally removed. The in-game Game Masters claimed it was "Cloaked by Klingons" and that "Federation scientists were working to rescue it". Once it was re-added, a group of Security officers could be found interrogating a Klingon about how and why she helped to cloak the station. Similarly, due to all the confused newbies asking "Where's Sulu?", numerous NPCs were changed to be discussing his location, all across Sol Station. This didn't seem to help anyone at all, however, and now you don't need to physically find Sulu anymore. Still, the immortal question lives on in the NPC conversations.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: The Fek'lhri arc basically involves carving your way through The Legions of Hell, confronting Klingon Satan, and sticking a bat'leth through his face.
  • Dramatic Space Drifting
  • Driven to Suicide: K'Valk in the Doomsday Machine due to his part in helping the machine being activated. See Heroic Sacrifice below.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Beautifully averted. Once you reach the rank of Rear Admiral, just walk into the general vicinity of the auditorium at Earth's starbase, and EVERYONE in the room immediately turns and salutes you, holding that pose until you walk away.
  • Eject! Eject! Eject!: An ability all captains get late in the game, your crew evacuates and the ship blows itself up. May or may not be used when said ship is moments away from destruction.
  • The Engineer: One of the playable classes.
  • Everything Is Trying to Kill You: Lampshaded. Upon encountering some hostile ice spiders in a cave during the Reman Uprising arc (not too long after fighting off hostile jackals), one of your officers loudly questions why every new species you encounter always wants to kill you.
  • Evil Is Deathly Cold: The Breen, complete with Human Popsicle grenades and lasers.
  • Evil Sounds Deep: The voice of the Collective in Borg space missions, coupled with a bit of Voice of the Legion (naturally).
  • Evil Versus Evil: The main reason that the Federation and Klingon Empire haven't been all turned into cyberzombies or wiped from creation is that, even decades after the events of Voyager, the Borg and Undine still hate hate hate each other and gleefully rip one another apart at every opportunity. The Federation and Klingons still ally against the Borg despite having a war on in other sectors.
    • Also, Empress Sela and Praetor Taris. The former has a few less atrocities to her name, but they're both still pretty unpleasant.
    • In the last massive space battle of the Iconian War, Sela brings in the Dominion to fight the Iconians.
  • Expy: The Vesper for the Excelsior Class, and the Excalibur as a 25th century equivalent to the Constitution class. Both the original ship classes can also be bought.
    • The Excelsior is in a different tier than the Vesper. There's a Tier 3 version (the Advanced Heavy Cruiser) and the Tier 5 Retrofit, just like the Galaxy Retro). So it fills a different niche.
    • Frankly, most of the ship variants count. Each Tier contains: 1) a ship from the TV series, and 2) two more ships that look different but are basically cosmetic redesigns. This allows the mix-and-match customization, since the warp nacelles, engineering hull, etc are all in the same position, but the cosmetic redesigns themselves are of variable aesthetic quality.
  • Executive Meddling: Popular discussion among the official forums by both the players and developers is that there some things that the developers want to add into the game that they can't do unless they have CBS's permission to do so, because they own the intellectual property rights to the entire Star Trek series. For example, adding Tier 5 refits of lower level ship designs. They kinda need CBS's approval before they can touch any ship class that was shown in the series, like the Constitution or Akira class ships.
  • Explosive Instrumentation: This is Star Trek. How else do you duty officers get hurt realigning a sensor array or some of the other tasks that have the possibility of injury?
  • Face Heel Turn: Expository text in the loading screens reveal that Worf had severed all ties to the Federation after they declined assisting the Klingons in fighting the Undine/Species 8472. Of course, given that he was worried about Starfleet Command and the Federal Parliament being shot through with Undine infiltrators and was rebuffed after being told it couldn't happen, exactly who ended up the face and who ended up the heel is a matter of perspective.
  • Face Palm: One of the emotes you can do is a Picard face palm.
  • Falling Into The Captain's Chair: This is more or less how the Fed side of the game starts out. You're beamed to a damaged ship to help out, and while you are away, the senior staff of the ship you started on gets blown to smithereens, and you, a lowly ensign, now have to take command of an entire starship... against the Borg. The fact you actually win is why command makes your command position permanent.
    • The redesigned intro has a little less of this, and is much more of a plot Shout Out to the Star Trek movie reboot.
  • Fake Defector: In the mission "Under the Cover of Night", Frankin Drake is actually a member of Section 31, and recapturing him is just part of a ruse to feed the Romulans false information.
  • Fan Disservice: The scantily-clad, hideously ugly Fek'lhri Ravagers.
  • Faster-Than-Light Travel: Par for the course. Thankfully, there is no such thing as a Warp Queue.
  • Fighting for Survival: The Iconian War becomes this, far more than any other war the Alpha/Beta Quadrant has faced up to that point. The Klingon head of the timeship taskforce explicitly calls this on Captain Shon when Shon protests the idea of going back in time and making sure no Iconians escape the assault on their homeworld.

"You speak of words such as duty. Principle. Honor. But words is all they will be if we lose this battle. There will be none of us left to give them meaning. When we survive the day, we can again begin to discuss what was right or wrong."

  • Four-Star Badass: The current maximum rank a player can achieve is Rear Admiral 5 Vice Admiral. Rather quickly in universe, one would imagine.
  • Fragile Speedster/Glass Cannon: On paper, the Escort class ships are supposed to be this: Quick and deadly, but light on defense. Player customization and skill determines if that is true or not.
  • Future Me Scares Me: Past-B'Vat, complete with TOS Klingon style smooth forehead, is terrified at what he will become in the future, and helps the player in taking down his future self
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Of a sort. The Duty Officer system represents your junior officers, and every ship is supposed to have their crew number's worth of Doffs. However, you start at 100 for free, up to a max of 400. However... some ships crew numbers don't fit with this, like the Galaxy with a crew of 1,000, or the Defiant with a crew of 50, or the Runabout class shuttle, which has a maximum crew compliment of 5. Very few ships have Doff numbers close to their crew numbers, while others are either hopelessly understaffed, or unrealistically packed.
    • Since it likely would have been a pain to create and maintain an entire different method of out-of-combat healing for each faction (as well as forcing players to have to learn two entirely different breeding tables), your Klingon characters are just as happy to give their tribbles a cuddle as anyone else (and the tribbles seem fine with it too).
    • Enemy drops are entirely random based on level (which, most of the time, is scaled to your). As a result century old ships in time travel missions, which are non-threats to your modern one if they don't outnumber you by at least a dozen, will drop the same ship parts any other enemy of the same level will which will make it roughly equal to your current stuff at worst.
  • Gatling Good / More Dakka: One of the options for either yourself or your crew while on foot is essentially the energy-weapon version of a Squad Automatic Weapon. Having one of these around is rather handy. Not the first time we've seen 'em, either.
  • Genre Savvy: During one mission that involved time travel you wind up saving the orignal U.S.S. Enterprise from a ambush that normally they would have survived but was destroyed due to interference. After you do so you immediatly jump out of system to avoid contaiminating the time line. Then at the end while fighting more Klingons the Enterprise jumps in system to help you fight them off. Then Commander Spock sends you a message saying that he's had experience with the Guardian of Forver and recognizes the portal. He then pretty much tells you he understands why you're not talking back and urges you to go back to your time before you cause any damage to the time line.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: One of the Duty Officer assignments is 'Retrieve DNA Sample from Romulan Senator', which is easier to accomplish if the officers you assign to it have the 'Seductive' and 'Unscrupulous' traits. Oh my.
  • Gladiator Games: Prominently featured in the Cloaked Intentions episode series.
  • Glass Cannon: The Escort.
  • Godzilla Threshold: Towards the end of the Iconian War, Sela calls in the Dominion to take part in the final battle, rationalizing that allowing ships full of Changelings and Jem'hadar into the heart of the Alpha/Beta Quadrant could not possibly make things worse at that point.
  • Guile Hero: You get the chance to be this on occasion, especially during the Drozana Station missions.
  • Guns Akimbo: Klingon Swordmasters and other types of enemies often use twin disruptor pistols, but the Player Character and their Bridge Bunnies can too. Somewhat justified, in that these are energy weapons, and thus would have nonexistent kickback.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Just because you have a Phaser, doesn't mean you always have to use it. Far from being an Emergency Weapon, some enemies just go down faster if the player simply holsters their weapon and hands them their ass. Having the Leg Sweep ability for crowd control makes this even more useful. See also BFS.
  • Green-Skinned Space Babe: The Orion Vixens, complete with confuse-inducing Seduce skill. They're also a popular choice amongst the RP community.
  • Heel Face Turn: The Remans, and particularly Obisek, who starts off stealing thalaron weapons and siccing fighters on you.
  • Heroic Sacrifice: In the Federation tutorial, the player's captive Captain puts the ensign player in command of the ship then orders the crew to fire on his tracking signature. He's shot before the ship can fire so nobody has to hesitate or suffer guilt from killing him.
    • K'Valk does a suicide run into the core of the Doomsday Machine to at least try to disable it. And he does it while singing the Klingon War Song.
  • Humiliation Conga: Hakeev gets put through one once his plans start falling apart. As the Anticlimax Boss entry notes, it doesn't even end with his death.
  • Hurricane of Puns: The Tribble With Klingons, Which gives us such gems as: Wack A Tribble, Tribble Saviour, Tribble Topia, ect. Be warned, this has undergone rapid Memetic Mutation in the player base.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: we will have this trope in the future.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Poor Miral Paris. She hates the fact that she is considered the Klingon Messiah. She just wants to be the head of security on the U.S.S. Kirk.
    • Even worse is that the Guardian of Forever confirms the fact that she is the Kuvah'magh.
  • Improbable Weapon User: The Gorn equivalent of the Klingon Swordmaster likes to grab a chunk of the ground and throw it at you. Yes, even on a space ship/space station.
    • Orbital Strike for Engineer captains. It doesn't matter where you are--on the surface, underground, on another Federation starship, even back in time.
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: There is one very prominent example on the Starfleet Academy map. Your character is not able to access the waterfront, even though there's only a literal waist-heigth fence in your way - one that you could jump over under normal circumstances. Many other maps (including player-created Foundry stories) use noticable Invisible Walls. Those are most prominent around the edges of maps, where your character suddenly can't go any further for no apparent reason, although in some maps (e.g. some of the Borg ones), there are energy fields acting as these.
  • Interchangeable Antimatter Key: "Lock Boxes" need to be unlocked using a "Master Key," which costs 100 CP. (Even better, the lock boxes themselves drop frequently enough that, unless you use real money, you're likely to have way more of them than keys. Fortunately they're a limited-time promotion. First started with Cardassian lock boxes that gave the possibility of a Galor class ship, and currently there are Ferengi lock boxes that can reward a D'Kora Marauder vessel.)
  • Interface Screw: Some missions will require you to hide your ship inside a nebula. Inside these nebulae, static interference will obstruct your entire view of everything on the screen save for the UI itself. Your map will also be obstructed by static as well.
  • Interface Spoiler: In a mission where you've secretly been in a Holo-Deck the entire time, your away mission's map shows a yellow grid pattern.
  • An Interior Designer Is You: Sort of; you get to choose what kind of bridge your ship has, and you can now run around your ship's interior. Cryptic has stated outright that they want to expand greatly upon this and eventually give you full control of your ship's interior and possibly even a starbase for player-made fleets.
    • You also get to design the exterior of your ship from several options for each major ship section, natch. It took them a while to add Klingon options, however.
  • Item Crafting: The system has gone through several iterations and is slated for updates including craftable Delta Flyers.
    • Craftable Delta Flyers have now been removed and are only available through the C-Store.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: During the Breen arc.

Thot Trel: "...But... I'm... Thot... Tr..."

  • Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: Played with. Torpedoes are far and away the most damaging weapons in your starship's arsenal, but they kind of suck against shields. That's where phasers and disruptors come in. On the ground, meanwhile, melee weapons have the advantage of ignoring shields and Borg adaptation, guaranteeing a steady damage output if you're willing to risk your skin up close.
    • Kinetic ranged weapons such as the T-116 and Zefram Cochrane's Shotgun also have the benefits of shield penetration and avoiding adaptation. They output less damage overall, but if you're dealing with heavily shielded enemies (or Borg) they're still good choices.
  • Klingon Scientists Get No Respect: So much so that the Klingons don't actually have dedicated Science Vessels. Instead, they have Birds-Of-Prey, small, ultra-manoeuverable ships that have universal Bridge Officer slots which can be assigned any type rather than being limited to one.
    • Then again, their Carriers have similar capabilities to Science Vessels (less weapons, increased shields, extra Science stations, Auxiliary Power bonus...).
  • Large and In Charge: The more important the Breen, the bigger they are. H'ren are a bit shorter than humans, senior officers are One Head Taller, and Thot Trel is an absolute colossus.
    • Exaggerated further with the Fek'lhri, who range from the wast-high Hordelings to the Slave Masters, who are twice your height... and the Horde's senior leadership are even bigger than that.
  • The Legions of Hell: The Fek'lhri are a space-faring version of this. They are malicious souls of the damned. Spirits sent to Gre'thor, the Klingon version of Hell. The Klingons have a story arc where you and your crew are sent down to Gre'thor itself, where you must find why and how the Fek'Ihr reappeared. Along your travels you will fight, among other demons, the physical personifications of Treachery, Cowardice, and Dishonor.
  • Level Editor: The "Foundry" content creation toolset. Even in its initial "beta"-ish release state (as Cryptic calls it), it's quite robust and will only get moreso, and will likely allow STO to carve out a very solid niche for itself.
  • Level Scaling: In order to maintain some of the challenge, all instances that the player enters into will feature enemies that scale up to your level. This also helps please the fanbase by maintaining that the Klingons, the Orion Syndicate, the Gorn, and all the other races you engage in the low level story arcs are still a viable threat against you at level 50[3]. Public areas like space conflicts still scale the enemies to their appropriate levels, making it very easy to destroy entire Klingon armadas with only a few phaser shots to drop the shields and a torpedo to finish off the ship.
  • Lightning Bruiser: The Escort class ships. Once you learn and train your tactical officers with the Cannon Rapid Fire ability, you will tear almost any ship's shields to shreds faster than they have time to turn around and start fighting back. Add torpedoes into that mix and they'll be dead in seconds. Defense can be easily enhanced through shielding and skill distribution into science or engineering skills.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: One of the few nearly-universal complaints about the game is that due to the way sector space, solar systems and human-scale stuff is divided, you have to transition between loading screens a lot. Admittedly, because of the way they go from environment to environment in the shows so quickly, there wasn't all that much of a way of escaping scene changes, but on older machines or lower-quality connections the load times can hurt.
  • Lower Deck Episode: played with. You are, of course, The Captain, so it wouldn't make sense for you to be deeply involved in one of these. However, the game does offer "Duty Officers," who are semi-randomly generate and whom you can send on Lower Deck Missions, bringing back small amounts of EXP, EC, dilithium and "Commendation Experience," a second set of levels which give you some new abilities. What's interesting is that Doffs themselves are Serious Business. The cheapest Bridge Officers, the NPCs that form your away team, start at like 100 EC at the exchange. The cheapest Duty Officers start at 10K.
  • Machinima: The "The Veil Of Space" trailers.
  • Macross Missile Massacre: The "High Yield Torpedo" abilities allow a single launcher to fire 2, 3, or 4 torpedoes at a single target, but the prize goes to the "Torpedo Spread" ability that fires 3 (reduced damage) torpedoes each at up to 3 targets (9 total) at lowest level moving up to a theoretical maximum of 9 torpedoes each at up to 9 targets (that's up to 81 total) from a single launcher at the top end.
    • The Borg command ship from the sector invasion events love to use Torpedo Spread on the players. For a ship of it's size, from the player's perspective, it looks like you're getting hit point blank with buckshot from a shotgun. Say goodbye to your shields and 90% of your hull from the initial impact.
  • The Man Behind the Man: The Iconians, architects of most, if not all, of the strife sweeping the galaxy.
    • On a smaller scale, this trope applies to the Romulan Empire. While Empress Sela does in her own right hold a great deal of authority and power, The Tal Shiar have always had their own agenda and goals of operation. They work under their own masters, and don't recognize Sela as the true ruler of the empire.
  • Manipulative Bastard: Looking increasingly like this is the Undine/8472's hat.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: During the invasion of Klingon space by the Fek'lhri, nobody is quite sure whether they're up against demons or artificial constructs. It may be a bit of both.
  • Medium Awareness: During "The State of Q", Q himself will speak through the yellow text message pop up on screen that says "Intense, isn't it?" These yellow messages are typically reserved for system noticer such as when you receive a reward for completing quests, goals, duty officer assignments, and such.

Intense, isn't it?

  • Megaton Punch / Touch of Death: It's possible (though very rare) to disintegrate enemy NPCs or other players with hand-to-hand criticals.
  • Melee a Trois: Upon arrival at the Preserver outpost world, the player finds several Breen and Jem'Hadar ships fighting for control of whatever's on the surface. The player's crewmates encourage them to attack while both are distracted.
  • Memetic Badass: In universe. The player fully achieves this status, complete with random Starfleet NPCs fawning over the player's character... as early as the first moment you arrive at Earth spacedock. Justified, in that...oh hell, just read this page from top to bottom. Don't even bother looking behind the spoilers.
  • Mildly Military: As ever for Starfleet. In fact, you can customize the uniform on your captain and on each bridge officer - while they'll still be Starfleet uniforms, they don't even have to match. With TOS, TNG, Deep Space Nine, the various films, and even mirror universe uniforms available, they don't even have to have the "new" look.
  • Mole in Charge: Undine seem to be good at this, given how the entire Klingon Empire is at war with the Federation because of them.
    • At least two missions ("Diplomatic Orders" and "Divide et Impera") have you escorting someone who turns out to be an Undine imposter.
  • Mook Maker: Klingon Targ Handlers wil spawn an endless legion of creatures to attack you until you take them down. On the other side of the neutral zone, Tactical Player Captains can summon a two man team of NPC redshirts from their ship to fight for them every two minutes. But if you combine that with the Tactical Initiative skill, which instantly recharges all of your abilities...
  • More Dakka: Whereas Cruisers are more into Beam Spam, Escorts' ability to equip considerable numbers of rapid-firing cannons puts them into this trope instead. Especially since most cannon-related abilities involve increasing their rate of fire even further.
  • Mythology Gag: When Garret Wang attended a live event where it was announced he'd be joining the voice cast of the game, the developers presented him with a black collar pip, officially (and finally) promoting Harry Kim to Lieutenant Junior Grade. (In the actual game, Harry is actually a Captain.)
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero: Combined with a bit of Fridge Brilliance. You manage to defeat B'vat, and save Miral, after entering the Guardian of Forever. The Klingons got the genetic samples they needed from her to cure the Augment Virus, however, and you don't stop them from using it, which means, uh, that you are responsible for the Klingons getting their ridges and infamous over-aggression back, just like B'vat wanted, and it means that you are indirectly responsible for the Fed-Klink war in the 25th century. And since you come from a time when Klingons have ridges and are incredibly warlike, you were always destined to do so. Temporal Investigations is gonna love this one.
    • Played far more straight in "Divide et Impera", an early Romulan-centric story mission: you infiltrate a Romulan starbase and slaughter everyone there under the orders from the Admiral accompanying you, while looking for subspace tear weapons (think Star Trek: Insurrection). However, you discover that the Romulans weren't working on such weapons... they were working on methods of finding Undine infiltrators. And the admiral, surprise, is an Undine, who uses the genetic data of the commander of the base to assume her identity and escape into Romulan space, tricking the Romulans into thinking that it's their foremost expert on finding shapeshifters. So you wrecked up the Alpha Quadrant's best hope of finding Undine infiltrators and put a dangerous one right into the heart of the Romulan Empire. Stonking great job, cap'n.
      • This is made even worse in that you have no option to question the "Admiral" or your orders the way Picard and Riker did in the TNG episode "The Pegasus" and you are literally forced by the mission design to carry the Idiot Ball when many players could easily tell something's not quite right about the situation (as pointed out by your officers repeatedly through it). The only way to avoid being forced into said stupidity is to choose never to do the mission (or drop it partway through) and miss out on the reward. How easy it would have been for you to expose the Undine plot by refusing to kill any more Romulans after gathering enough evidence, and watching the thwarted Undine still sabotage the Romulans' research and escape. Thanks Cryptic, your script writers are morons.
  • No Sidepaths, No Exploration, No Freedom: Many ground missions that take place on a ship or space station will give you very little freedom in the way of completing the mission. You'll have to travel through the area to the designated path, completing various tasks along the way. In "Boldly They Rode", The Founder tells you that you're the best candidate to infiltrate Deep Space 9 to reclaim it from the inside by saying that the Jem'Hadar are designed for assault and not infiltration, while Starfleet training covers space walks and such. Your character lampshades this by saying "Why do I feel like I've just been railroaded?"
  • Old School Dogfighting: Not only do you have massive ships flying around like it's 1941 again, but NPCs often have fighter ships accompanying them. Tiny one or two shots to kill but annoying little fighters.
  • One-Gender Race: While it is implied that there are female members of the Gorn, Nausicaan, and Lethean races, the fact that one has never shown up in any canonical source (or even described in any of the Extended Universe books) prevents the developers from allowing the female gender of these races to be playable. Strangely averted with a few federation races though. For example, there's never been any confirmed depiction of a female Tellarite anywhere in the series, and the same for a few other races, yet they all have both genders available to play as.
  • One Product Planet: Certain stellar bodies are often noted for being useful for one type of industry. For example, asteroids are usually only inhabited because of their mining qualities. Some planets will describe how it's native races became known due to their huge advancements in agriculture or what-have-you.
  • Our Dwarves Are Different: Tellarites, plain and simple. They're short (an average height of 4 feet tall,) usually have epic beards, aesthetically ugly (pig-like facial features and wrinkles,) and LOVE to argue with others just because they can. Add a love of alcohol in there, and you'd have a dwarf by any other name in a more traditional fantasy setting.
  • The Other Darrin: Largely averted, mostly because the game is largely un-voiced, but since James Doohan had passed away well before production of the game started, a replacement voice had to be brought in for The Guardian of Forever, and his accent slips through quite often.
    • Majel Barret was ready, willing, and able to provide the voice for various combat notifications and alerts, but she has since passed on, and a replacement had to be brought in for the announcements at Prison Facility 4028 during "The 2800" episode. Her replacement manages to sound almost exactly like her though.
  • Percussive Maintenance: The "basic engineer" at Starbase 39's starship area, on the console linked to the Federation bank, is continually hitting the console with fists, repeatedly.
  • Post-Scarcity Economies: The most basic (and largely worthless) currency is "energy credits", a representation of how much replicator use you are owed. Actually important stuff is ultimately paid for with dilithium, which replicators can't create (or require more dilithium to create than it produces. The mythos never clarifies).
  • Physical God: Q, of course, who spends much of his time hanging around Earth Spacedock, dispensing boons to passing captains and occasionally turning them into small housepets.
    • It should be noted that the above mentioned Q is not the rogueish Q we are most accustomed to, nor is it his lover, Q. Nor is it his close friend Q. The Q in question is actually his son, Q, who seems to have grown up much like his father, despite his aunt Kathy's influence.
      • Well, he is much more of a Trickster Mentor than his father was... much of his meddling with Starfleet captains is either subtly or blatantly beneficial, or just plain fun, with the worst he ever really gets being "disruptive".
  • Pint-Sized Powerhouse: The Defiant-class and its variants, naturally. Made all the more apparent by the fact that lower-tier, weaker escorts (especially the Akira, the class you use before upgrading to the Defiant) are much, much bigger. And then you get to the Vice Admiral-tier retrofit, which (being Vice Admiral-tier) is one of the most powerful ships in the game, and throws in the Federation's only cloaking device to sweeten the deal yet further.
    • Another example is the Aquarius Escort, a tiny bundle of cannons and torpedoes that serves as a very nasty surprise for anyone stupid enough to take on an Odyssey Tactical Cruiser.
  • Pleasure Planet: There's really nothing to do in Risa but hang out and/or party.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: In several missions you're sent to keep Borg technology out of the hands of your enemies. After all, it's simply too dangerous to meddle with, right? And then you get the Special Task Force rewards. That's right, a full set of Borg technology for your ship.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy: The archetypical examples are a whole playable faction, and they pick up a few other lesser-known Trek examples under their banner too.
    • Given the mind-blowing freedom the character creation tool gives the player in creating their own alien species, we can expect quite a few running around out there.
    • The Breen are this, according to the first set of Featured Episodes. The Undine consider themselves this as well. The Romulans also have shades of this, with elements of Rihannsu being incorporated into STO's story. And then there's the Cardassians, Jem'Hadar, Terran Empire, Remans, Hirogen...
  • Recursive Ammo: Cluster torpedoes. Each one produces more than a dozen homing mines.
  • Red Shirts: Of course. If you have less than four Bridge Officers who can beam down on an away mission with you (or you just don't want to bring them), they get replaced with Redshirts. They are in fact nameless, lack personality, and you can even use them for cover, if you so wish.
    • The "death penalty" (as it was supposed to be implemented) for being defeated in space is a loss of part of your Redshirt crew; lose too many and ship functions are impaired and you must return to a starbase for repairs. There is no death penalty for normal difficulty, and you can go from a ship full of corpses to being fully manned by alive crewmen within minutes. On higher difficulty settings, you will accumulate injuries and ship damage that reduce stats and need an item or returning to a starbase to remove.
    • This trope is taken Up to Eleven when you get the Fleet Support ability. You summon a nameless starship to help you in space combat. The ship can be destroyed just like any other. Nobody's gonna care that the nameless science vessel got destroyed. Just a whole crew of redshirts who gave their lives because you ordered them to. On the other hand, you do need to be in moderately serious trouble before you can request a whole other ship to bail you out, so there's that.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: The Gorn, somewhat. As semi-willing[4] members of the Klingon Empire's crusade to wipe out the Undine, they veer rather into Anti-Villain territory. They're often presented as the most well-spoken and level-headed portion of the new, wider Klingon Empire, in great contrast to their hissing introduction in TOS (though the hissing still remains. You can always hear a faint series of hisses, grunts, and gurgles emerging through the universal translator when they talk.) Their ships even fill the "science vessel" niche in the playable ship line-up of the Klingons.
    • Averted with the Saurians, a Federation playable race. Player-created races can go either way, naturally.
  • The Remnant: The Romulan Star Empire, after Romulus gets destroyed (as seen in the 2009 Star Trek). The Backstory of how they break up and unite repeatedly, strikingly resembles what happened to a certain other franchise's Empire.
  • La Résistance: The Remans, to the Tal Shiar and their "Dark Masters".
  • Reverse Polarity: The skill "Reverse Shield Polarity" which causes energy weapons to increase rather than damage the shields.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Tribbles. So cute they restore tons of HP to the player when you give them a cuddle. The Targs are somewhat less adorable.
    • Sehlat cubs have been added to the C-Store. Basically huge kittens.
  • Rookie Red Ranger: Combined with a hefty dose of Ensign Newbie. The player character is given command of a starship at the rank of Ensign. It's somewhat justified, in that these aren't the best times in Federation history, and that Starfleet is grabbing capable commanders from wherever it can find them.
  • Scenery Porn: Let's take a gander; Earth Spacedock, Deep Space Nine (Complete with the Bajoran Wormhole!), Deep Space K7, the memorials at Wolf 359 and Romulus, good lord. That's not even mentioning the amounts in random and story missions.
  • Rubber Forehead Aliens: Engine limitations restrict mean you'll never see an Edosian
  • Rule of Cool: All over this game, as the demands of MMO players for character customization cause mundane concerns like consistency and believability to take a back seat.
    • The Awesome Anachronistic Apparel (see above), in which characters can choose to mix-and-match pieces of uniforms, going all the way back to the TOS or even Enterprise era. When was the last time the US Army let its soldiers come to work in Civil War or Revolutionary Army uniforms just because the soldiers thought they looked cooler than modern fatigues?
    • Starship armaments and components can be scavenged from the wreckage of enemy spaceships--and Federation ships can field phasers, disruptors, plasma cannons, or whatever the heck their player feels like slapping into them. Likewise, individual officers strip weapons and armor off of corpses and carry whatever armament they feel like, up to and including the equivalent of heavy machine guns. The 25th-century Starfleet seems to be made up of 17th-century buccaneers.
    • Putting Ensigns and Lieutenants in charge of entire starships. True, the Abrams movie did put raw academy graduates on the bridge, too, but at least it ranked them accordingly.
      • well, You did blow up a Borg Sphere as your very first act of command. If Starfleet has enough resources to not only pump out countless ships but tailor them to the CO's whims, then its likely a case of having a surplus of captain's chairs to fill and a need of skilled Captains more than anything.
  • Shoot the Dog: The Klingons' pursuit of the Undine has led them to declare war on virtually every Alpha Quadrant power they think may be infiltrated by them[5], even setting aside the actions of Ambassador B'Vat and his followers, the Klingon's are probably guilty of numerous war crimes. Never stopping to think that maybe they're just as heavily infiltrated as they assume everyone else is. Several missions, however, show that there are those in the empire who remember the lessons learned from the Dominion War, and who wish to secure a cease-fire at the very least.
    • What makes it worse is that there's every indication that they're right, but going about it in completely the wrong way.
  • Serial Escalation: "Avatar" customization, as noted above. It isn't just your captain, everything involved with your "Gestalt Avatar" in the game (ship, officers, etc) is customizable. This is a massive step up from Cryptic's previous efforts, which already set the bar for character customization in an MMO. And they keep adding more options.
  • Shout-Out: With the release of the Excelsior comes a Transwarp drive. Activating it starts a countdown: 5, 4, 3, 2--- *clunk* (Although the player is lucky -- that only happens sometimes....)
    • In one of the Breen Featured Episodes, the player must interrogate several Breen prisoners to find a way to remove a Breen neural implant that is driving one of the Deferi mad. One of them happens to be a Breen Combat Medic named Tran.
    • Not to mention that nearly all the place- and ship-names in the Romulan storyline are references to Diane Duane's noncanon-but-popular Rihannsu novels.
    • The "Frozen" featured mission is a one big shout out to The Empire Strikes Back, as it features a rebel base inside an Ice cave, and...

The Tal Shiar have entered the base!

  • Shown Their Work: during one of the Franklin Drake missions, you have to help calibrate a "cortical stimulator" based on tricorder readings of affected brain cells. The neuron factoids are basically spot-on.
  • Simulation Game: Of Star Trek in general, from the landing missions to exploration, and oh-so-much Techno Babble.
    • Hilariously, though, one of the reasons for so many complaints about the game is that it isn't simulation enough for some, who had envisioned a kind of "player bridge crew" game and a constant bridge-view of combat, ala Bridge Commander (even though that game also had a view outside the hull). Once Cryptic established that everyone would be a captain and that full player crews were not even on the drawing board, the rage from some corners was... palpable.
    • A lot of hardcore fans were/are also hoping and expecting the game to be a lot less Rule of Cool and a lot more serious and canon, and complain about hundred-year-old ships being able to go toe-to-toe with more recent ones, etc. (Of course, good luck getting any group of more than a half-dozen Trek fans to agree on what counts as "canon"...)
  • Sixth Ranger: Players who have preordered their copy get an additional rescued Borg crewmate.
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Q's Winter Wonderland, complete with a foot race on an ice track. You can even buy boots that reduce your traction and leave you sliding around ridiculously.
  • Smug Snake: Hakeev, Big Bad of the Cloaked Intentions arc. His anticlimactic death only rubs it home.
    • The Hirogen basically have this as their hat. They're an overconfident, cowardly bunch who prefer to pick on crippled, defenceless prey and go on and on about how they're the greatest hunters ever until you send them running off to their Romulan daddies. At one point, they even pull a Wounded Gazelle Gambit to get sympathy from a passing Romulan patrol after their ambush goes horribly wrong.
  • So Long and Thanks For All the Gear: This can only be invoked by the players themselves, but the game warns you whenever you want to get rid of one of your officers or ships that any gear that's currently equipped on them will be lost as well.
  • Space Clothes: Fully customizable ones, including the uniforms from Star Trek: The Next Generation, from Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and the latter TNG films, and the tunics from Star Trek: The Original Series and the more naval oriented red uniforms worn in Star Trek II the Wrath of Khan and onward. The game also provides an array of late 24th/Early 25th century uniforms for the players and crew to wear. It's a space clothes jamboree.
  • Space Elves: Vulcans, Romulans, and Remans all fit the bill. As far as Star Trek goes, they all fit the Elvish archetypes. Vulcans are a straight Type 2 example. Romulans border between type 2 and type 3 due to their mistrust of others (especially after what happened to their homeworld), and Remans are unfairly categorized as a type 3 due to their physical appearance and how their whole race has been treated as 2nd class citizens by the Romulans. There are a few other races who have at least pointed ears including the Preservers, who definitely qualify as a type 2.
  • Space Is an Ocean: Oh so very much, it's Trek afterall.
  • Space Marine: Starfleet/KDF Tactical Officers are essentially this, focusing on weapons buffs and squad command/support tactics. Starfleet Security also, naturally, as they've been like this since Star Trek: Deep Space Nine at the very least.
  • Spiritual Successor: Watching the trailers focusing on tactics and space combat, one might assume the developers had played quite a bit of Star Trek Starfleet Command or Star Trek: Bridge Commander. There's a fair number of people who don't object to this in the slightest, mind.
    • A few others might describe the overall experience (with the mix of ship and ground action and whatnot) as the old Spectrum Holobyte games, but with the proper level of technology behind it now to pull it off and design gone terribly, wonderfully right, especially in the recent weekly missions which give you lots of plot and dialogue options on top of the fighting.
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Every enemy faction you encounter has a hierarchy of Mooks of varying degrees of "ability to kick the players ass". For instance, the Klingon's mook hierarchy seems to be:

Munitions Officer, Targ Handler
Boss Character (Klingon Captain or what have you)

  • Stealth Pun: the most recent (as of may 2012) addition to the Federation Fleet is the Atrox Carrier, a Vice Admiral level starship designed by the Caitians, a race of humanoid felines. its a Cat Carrier.
  • Stone Wall: The Cruiser class ships are huge and turn at a snail's pace, but are supposed to have the best defenses in the game if you play them right.
    • Mighty Glacier: Another way to play the cruiser allows significant toughness (though less than the all-out defense build) while maintaining a pretty dangerous offense. You're still slow and won't turn for anything, but when you shoot (especially broadside) - the enemy WILL feel it.
  • Stealth in Space: Various Klingon ships have the ability to cloak, the Bird Of Prey having a Battle Cloak that allows the small ships to perform hit and run attacks. The Federation didn't...until the inclusion of an Admiral level variant of the Defiant equipped with a cloaking device. Let the games begin...
    • There is also the Galaxy-X; which can cloak.
  • Superweapon Surprise: The reason everyone treads lightly around the Aelasians, a one-shot race in the Romulan arc, who used to be the mightiest empire in the galaxy before they forsook their warlike ways. Nobody's quite sure if they have any 'just in case' stuff left over from their glory days, and nobody wants to find out firsthand.
  • Sure Why Not: The game follows the movie and television canon to the letter. Cryptic does, however, have the option of incorporating "soft canon" like the novels however they please, so they've gone ahead and thrown in a few things like the Luna-class from Star Trek: Titan and Captain Mackenzie Calhoun, and stated that the Titan novels will be part of the game's backstory as Riker's first command (except for the Destiny series where The Borg Collective gets finally destroyed). There isn't yet a comprehensive list of what has or hasn't been put in from soft canon, however.
    • The harness-like designs and special combat functions of many of the away team "kits" (not to mention the big screwoff disruptor-miniguns and the like) suggest that Star Trek Elite Force may well be continuity with STO as well.
    • The mention of the Starfleet Corps of Engineers and of the U.S.S. DaVinci in a couple of non-story mission suggest that some elements of the S.C.E. novels may be canon now, as well.
    • That whole business about Andorians having four genders is almost completely taken from the books.
    • The Rihannsu novels, which fleshed out the Romulan culture, seem to have been incorporated completely, as well, with Romulan missions making multiple references to what was depicted therein.
    • Some of the Star Trek Deep Space Nine Relaunch novels are canon, too; certainly the book about Garak (written by Andrew J Robinson no less), as the past religion of Cardassia is in the game. However, it seems the entire series hasn't been incorporated whole-cloth, as The Sisko doesn't seem to have returned yet, among other things. They may be saving that one for an in-game event.
    • Admiral Leonard James Akaar shows up in one mission during the Romulan arc.
  • Techno Babble: Naturally. Science-type vessels and officers literally specialize in technobabble-based powers, to buff you or your friends or debuff your enemies.
  • Technology Porn: Your very own customizable starship. The graphics are optimized to make her look as sexy as possible.
  • Ten-Minute Retirement: Executive Producer Dan Stahl, who left in late 2011 to work for Zynga, and later returned to Cryptic to work with the Foundry, before finally resuming his post as Executive Producer in mid February 2012.
  • Theme Naming: The Undine, formerly Species 8472, who are now named after the water elemental of German myth. Their ships follow a similar naming convention, such as Tethys and Dahut.
  • To Hell and Back: One of the PVE Klingon missions involves your captain storming the gates of Gre'thor and killing Molor and his Legions of Hell.
  • Tron Lines: Not too long after Tron: Legacy came out, a new equipment set included these for ships. Especially the Maelstrom class fleet escort. With a dark hull, it looks like it could have come right from the movie.
    • Several years later, we have the Iconian Resistance armor set, which has slowly pulsing red lines all over it.
  • Two-Keyed Lock: Make that Three Keyed Lock in Infected. And there are five of them.
  • The Turret Master: The Engineer 'Away Team Kit', including NPC Bridge Officers.
  • Vaporware: People thought for a long time that this would happen to the version of the game being developed by Perpetual, who never seemed to make any headway (and who are rumored to have taken on the project for less than savory purposes), and then the project was transferred to Cryptic. It was six years between announcement and release.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: The game does in fact track player position and ranged attacks get interrupted by moving behind other objects. "Other objects" that provide cover include your own bridge officers or redshirts.
  • Video Game Designers Have No Sense Of Scale: Very nearly everything is out of scale with one another. If you visit the bridge of your ship and travel the corridors, or even visit any place on foot, it looks like the ceiling is a good 10 meters tall, if not higher. The distances between stars are ludicrously small. Example: in game, the distance between Sol and Wolf 359 is roughly 2.6 light years. Wolf 359 is a real star that's 7.8 light years from Sol. Same thing with Vulcan - in game the distance between the two is 6.3 light years, but in canon Vulcan orbits 40 Eridani A, a star that's 16.45 light years away from Sol. And then we get to the Arbitrary Maximum Range of starships - not just weapons like phasers and torpedoes, which was already covered above, but the absurdly small range of ship scanners - I have to be 15 kilometers away from a ship before I can find out what type or level it is? This is supposed to be the 25th century - ships during the Next Generation and Deep Space 9 era had scanners with a much greater range than that, and the technology is supposed to have only gotten more advanced.
    • Weapons Ranges is possibly justified by everyone having also improved their Electronic Countermeasures, allowing them to spoof sensors at anything beyond close range.
  • Villain Pedigree: Multiple interviews have stated that the developers want to try and refurbish this for the Borg, after all the decay they suffered during Voyager; the Borg are intended to be a big, scary endgame threat, and visually and narratively Cryptic is taking steps to make them seem legitimate. It worked, too - most of the uber-powerful endgame weaponry is designed for killing Borg, and boy, will you need it.
    • Villain Decay: But... then they make players fight Borg in the tutorial who don't adapt to weapons and damaged cubes that can be killed by Miranda light cruisers.
      • Subverted in that one of the NPCs you talk to makes it clear there is something wrong with the drones, and the cube is nearly-dead. You can take on full-strength Borg ships very early on though in the Sector Defense Scenes, and it will become clear very quickly that your Miranda, limited to Lieutenant grade equipment, is no match whatsoever for even a Borg Sphere at that point. Even if by some miracle you and the other ships manage to beat four cubes in the time allowed... the Borg call in a Unimatrix, which is basically an expy of V'Ger from the first movie.
    • Species 8472 is also getting this treatment in a big way after one of the episodes of Voyager similarly de-fanged them (after, ironically enough, introducing them). They're one of the BigBads of early Fed content, and are once again committed to their campaign of subterfuge and genocide in the name of paranoid self-preservation, with several tangles with their Tethys dreadnoughts in the early stages of the game... just to drive home the point that you can't hope to beat anything larger than their scoutships without a ton of help.
    • The game also restores the pedigree of the Klingons, as well; one of the first things you encounter them doing once the "real" game starts? Engaging in the full-blown sacking of a starbase. And it only gets worse, evidently.
      • On the other hand, you kill more Klingons yourself in that mission than Kirk did in his entire career. That can't be good for their Badass reputation.
  • Violence Is the Only Option: The game has been accused of making The Federation into The Klingon Empire. This is despite the fact that the Federation is currently fighting a major war on several fronts, and has been infiltrated by the Undine. It should also be pointed out that the only films in the franchise where violence wasn't an option were Star Trek: The Motion Picture and Star Trek IV the Voyage Home, and that Star Trek II the Wrath of Khan, easily one of the most violent, is one of the most well recieved films in the franchise. In fact between Wrath of Khan, Star Trek: First Contact, and the 2009 film, the majority of the highest grossing entries in the film franchise involve the protagonists kicking ass and the game clearly attempts to channel that same mojo.
  • Unnecessary Combat Roll: Just watch your Bridge Officers in a ground fight scenario... You can do these too, if you so wish.
    • Of course, it could well be taken as a homage to The Original Series. Intentional or not.
    • The roll wasn't originally in the game, but enough players requested that the "Kirk Roll" be included.
  • Unwitting Pawn: A savvy player might expect to go up against some clever schemes when going into Romulan territory... but you probably wouldn't guess just how often your own people are the ones pulling the gambits on you. First, you are tricked by an Undine posing as an admiral into wrecking the Romulan effort to out Undine infiltrators, and you end up inadvertently enabling the Undine to infiltrate the Romulans and cripple their chances of ever discovering infiltrators; then, immediately afterward, you get sent to intercept a diplomat who seems to be selling secrets to the Romulans. You intercept the dude, manage to catch him, but the Romulans get away with the info... and then you find out that the "diplomat" is a Section 31 agent who fed the Romulans false information, and you were the sucker sent to make the agent look genuine. By the time you find this out, even your normally somewhat passive bridge officers are complaining about how everyone you meet seems to have several agendas at once.
  • Wave Motion Gun: The Galaxy-class dreadnought has the phaser spinal lance, but the biggest wave motion gun in the game likely belongs to the Romulan Scimitar-class warbirds, which can open their wing foils and fire off a massive area-effect thalaron attack capable of vaping weak ships in a second. And they can do it mere seconds after decloaking.
  • Weaponized Exhaust: the Eject Warp Plasma ability.
  • What You Are in the Dark: One for the player in "Operation Gamma" A Ferengi agrees to help you contact the Dominion, but when you do, she angers the local Cosmozoan life forms, and warps out, leaving you to fight for your life in a little shuttle. When you catch up to her, she ran into the Dominion, who disabled her, and are about to destroy her ship for illegal activities in their space. In exchange for the Dominion's help, they ask you to carry out the sentence against the Ferengi. You can either destroy her, or let her go back through the wormhole. The only people who will know are your loyal crew on your little shuttle, and the Dominion, who will see it as simply a legal matter being settled as it should be. You have to make a choice...
  • Whole-Plot Reference: The last two Breen Featured Episodes to The Next Generation episode "The Chase".
  • [[You Are in Command Now|]: Used to explain why the player has control of a ship almost immediately out of the academy.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: Despite the numerous hints as the mission goes on that something is terribly wrong, you cannot out the Undine masquerading as Admiral Zelle early and you'll end up helping it infiltrate the Romulans no matter what you do.
    • This one is especially grating for some people, as one of TNG's best episodes had the message of "the first duty of a Starfleet officer is to the truth"; yeah, that's great, so could the game please let us pursue the truth before we have to slaughter dozens (more like hundreds, considering that those warbirds you scrap in orbit don't launch any escape craft) of innocent Romulans?
  • Zerg Rush: Very much the case for some of the Borg-based Special Task Forces. Yes, there are a lot of Borg. Yes, they are in every room. Yes, they will all jump you unless you manage your aggro very carefully. And yes, they do spawn more and they do adapt to energy weapon attacks.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: The TOS uniforms for the ladies are rocking some serious grade B goodness if you go with the skirt and thigh-high boots. Grades C and D are also represented.
  1. 223 dilithium to 1 CP; Feb 14 2012
  2. and potentially awesome
  3. and that while an assault cruiser (e.g. Sovereign class) is still clearly significantly more powerful than a light cruiser (e.g. Centaur class), it is not by several orders of magnitude as happens when comparing two players with a 40-level difference
  4. The Klingons took over their homeworld and keep it under martial law
  5. such as the highest levels of power of the Federation, according to Starfleet Intelligence