Star Trek Online Beta

Cryptic Studios, the guys developing the Star Trek MMO is taking applications for beta testers. I have already sent in my application. From what I've seen through screenshots and descriptions, I am definitely looking forward to it. It's a huge step away from the fantasy based MMO. From what I've seen, ship to ship combat looks to be something similar to EVE Online, you maneuver your ship directly and the combat is basically "click and fire". A description on the website implies that surface missions will be managed through team leaders that you delegate control to.

There are a few things I believe will solidify this game as a step into a new genre of MMOs:
First, I don't think it should be an "exp/level" based system that's been used to death by MMORPGs. There can be a gear based system, where you can upgrade your ship's equipment using some kind of currency.
Second, I think it would give a more engaging and authentic feel if there was micromanaging involve with the crew and passengers on your ship. I'm not saying it should be turned into "Theme Spaceship", but managing morale, food and medical supplies, and overall satisfaction of the passengers would do the game good. There could even be ferrying missions that involve defending yourself from Ferengi pirates.
Third, I think gear/level impact on combat should be kept to a minimum. There will always be skilled players who decimate the competition, but in place of the gear/level, the void is filled by actual player skill. Deciding which weapon to use, timing, maneuvering, and strategic thinking will fill in the void left by the lack of level and reliance on gear differences. I'm not saying there should be no changes in equipment, of course there should be, but there should be a cap on what kind of weapons can be outfitted on a ship. A cap that most people reach shortly after moving out of the newbie stage. What I mean is that the gear hierarchy should not be vertical, where the next weapon is a full upgrade over the previous one, but horizontal, meaning that each weapon is suited for different situations and learning which weapons to use in different types of combat is how you separate a noob from an elite player.

Anyways, those are my hopes. Judging from what Cryptic has done with Champions Online, it's very possible none of the 3 things I have listed will be implemented and they could ruin a great chance at a new type of MMO.

Here's the link for the Star Trek Beta: Star Trek Online Closed Beta Signups


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