Star Trek Online’s Season 14 and Tzenkethi Lockbox Bring More Functionality to the Game

Posted by | October 7, 2017

Alongside the launch of Star Trek Online Season 14: Emergence on Tuesday, Oct. 3, Cryptic Studio’s also released the Tzenkethi Lockbox. This lockbox includes a few new ships, and additions to the lockbox currency lobi store, and some items and elements that add interesting developments to STO’s functionality.

Most notably the lockbox features a vanity-only shield drop that can only be used in the costume slot of new ships and it introduces a new ship role called the scout ship.

Season 14 also introduces the new captain specialization “Miracle Worker.” This specialization introduces a lot of heavily-engineering focused abilities that bolster defenses as well as intensify firepower, often at the cost of energy levels. It also introduces the concept of critical heals. Many of the ships introduced in the new lockbox also feature stations that can use these new officers.

The proceeding article is an analysis of some of these new additions and how it can be expected to affect STO moving forward.

Introducing: the scout ship

The Tzenkethi lockbox introduces a new ship class to Star Trek Online: the scout ship. It does this with the Lukari N’kaam-class Scout Ship [T5], which is a random drop from the lockbox and currently sells for on average 12 million energy credits on the Exchange.

Cryptic describes scout ships as heavily science-leaning raiders. The vessels will gain access to subsystem targeting, sensor analysis and equip secondary deflectors. They also have raider flanking—increasing damage done when hitting the sides or rear of enemy ships in combat—and a large number of universal bridge officer stations.

This does not quite make them alike to Birds-of-Prey, but it does put them into an interesting role that mixes heavy science capabilities with the raider role. As a result, the ship is also a lot more fragile, with much weaker shields and a lower hull strength than most raiders or science ships of comparable level.

“Raider flanking helps Science’s weak point of weapon damage,” Cynicman, a previous commentator and expert on STO ship releases, told Vox Ex Machina.

He pointed to the line in the blog speaking to scout ship layouts, “these nimble vessels are also similar to a Raider…and have similar weapon slot configurations,” he added that the N’kaam has a classic Science ship 3/3 weapon layout.

Commenting on this, Cynicman added, “but this line seems to indicate there is the chance for at least a 4/2 layout.  Also, the Scout Ship better conceptually fits up with the Klingon and Romulan mindset, which may offer a way around their lean selection of Science vessels.”

As a T5 and also a drop from a lockbox, Cryptic appears to be clearly testing out an idea for future development. Although it is an uncommon drop, being a T5 means that it will be widely distributed and easily afforded from the Exchange by players with less access to large pools of energy credits; but it also means that it is less likely people will fly it regularly in higher content.

Another interesting part of this release is that the N’kaam ship costume itself unlocks for players who also own the Lukari Ho’kuun-class Science Vessel [T6] released during the 7th Year Anniversary Event.

Vanity-only costume shield

The Tzenkethi lockbox also includes an interesting new item that has never been seen in Star Trek Online before: a vanity shield costume called the “Tzenkethi Vanity Shield.” The item has a random chance to drop from the Tzenkethi weapons pack that comes from the lockbox.

This item is not a piece of space equipment such as a normal starship shield in the game, it has no stats and does not act as a shield; instead, it is purely a vanity skin that can be placed into the shield costume slot on a ship.

When equipped in a ship’s vanity shield slot, that ship will take on the characteristic visual look of a Tzenkethi starship.

This is already common to every other special shield in the game, which convey their own shield costumes (and can be installed in the vanity shield slot as well). However, this also represents this first time that STO has released a vanity shield that is itself only a skin.

Captain, I am a “Miracle Worker” after all

With Season 14, Cryptic Studios introduced a new captain specialization and bridge officer skill set called “Miracle Worker.” The specialization for captains adds a lot of healing attributes for space and ground and introduces the idea of “critical heals.” Skill sets added for boffs include a lot of interesting space powers that revolve around “creative engineering” including weapon buffs and heals.

Building up skill points in MW gives captains a scaling passive buff to regeneration, 5 to 50 percent of maximum hit points regenerated per minute. Starting with five percent with one point in the tree all the way up to 50 percent once all the skill points are set. It also provides a starship trait, “Going the Extra Mile,” which allows captains to overheal friends when that captain is already over 90 percent health.

Much of the captain specialization focuses on giving support and healing roles a boost, giving captains a reason to slot into powers that apply heals to themselves or teammates. This is especially significant with the addition of the “critical heal” chance, which has not been part of Star Trek Online before the introduction of MW.

The early parts of the captain specialization tree also cancel or relieve damage over time, shield drains, automatically fix disabled systems in space and automatically repair weapons malfunction on ground. These abilities alone make MW an excellent secondary specialization just to keep on trucking with less fear of hazards and disables.

As for boff abilities, there is a strange mixture of weapon enhancement with support. Space abilities include a radiation damage over time that turns into an area of effect explosion on target death (“Destabilize Warp Core”) and a drain and disable (“Overwhelm Power Regulators”). A skill also appears that immunizes against disable and placate (“Narrow Sensor Bands”) and one that hits foes with disable and placate (“Null Pointer Flood”). Weapons can be enhanced with a buff that works if multiple weapon types are being fired (“Mixed Armaments Synergy”) and a weapon haste enhancement that drains ship power as it runs (“Exceed Rated Limits”).

The skills also add Gravity Well-like capability with “Deploy Gravitic Induction Platform,” which also causes extra shield penetration for targets under its effect.

The weirdest, and possibly most support-amusing, addition to the space skill set is “Torpedoes: Nanite Repair Payload.” This skill not only provides a hull heal when triggered but when a torpedo is fired at an allied ship, it heals them too. Another heal shuts down shields to boost maximum hull points and provide powerful resistance while it’s active (“Reroute Shields to Hull Containment”) and one does AoE shield heals (“Align Shield Frequencies”).

The ground powers in MW act pretty much like their space counterparts including a sacrifice shields for hitpoints (“Generate Ablative Protection”), a healing grenade (“Throw Regenerative Nanite Canister”), and a power that causes enemies to explode when they die (“Technical Mishap”).

The takeaway for MW is that it’s a specialization designed around support-heavy captains looking to aid their team with some extra healing but amid its kit happens to be some new approaches to support (healing torpedoes and grenades) as well as the sadistic debuffs that turn enemies into living bombs.

Image: Perfect World Entertainment

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