By Jessica Sliwinski, Lead Narrative Designer
Now that you’ve learned how to improve your crew by equipping them with items and where to find or build that equipment, it’s time to talk about what you can do with them: complete missions.
Though there are many places to visit in the Alpha Quadrant, a Starfleet officer must always remain focused on their primary duties: keeping the Federation stable, exploring a strange, drastically altered galaxy, and solving the mystery of the temporal anomaly crisis. These duties are at the heart of every Episode in Star Trek Timelines.
Two Types, One Story
Every Episode in Star Trek Timelines is part of a larger linear story. At first, this story involves a lot of firefighting; the temporal anomaly crisis has sent the entire galaxy spinning into chaos, and unless you want all-out war on your hands, each chaotic situation must be dealt with in turn.
Each episode will take you to a new region of the Alpha Quadrant.
As you get a better sense of the new galactic landscape created by these anomalies, you get more time to investigate the anomalies themselves. What caused the temporal anomaly crisis? Can it be reversed or stopped? Would there be unforeseen consequences to doing so? Starfleet officers are explorers and scientists first, and when the fate of the galaxy is at stake, they can leave nothing to chance.
There are currently two types of Episodes: Dispute Episodes, and Story Episodes. Each tell part of the larger story, but function in different ways.
Dispute Episodes are comprised of a series of missions focused around a dispute between two or more factions. Sometimes these disputes are of a visceral and bloody nature, as with the Klingons and the Augments. Other times they are more political than physical, each side fighting to win the galaxy over to their way of thinking, as with the Ferengi Alliance and the Ferengi Traditionalists.
When you begin a Dispute Episode, Q helps to set the scene, describing points of contention between the factions as only Q could.
Q approaches all disputes with sensitivity and tact.
You will also notice that one or more systems are “in dispute,” marked so on your map with a question mark instead of a faction insignia for ownership and a glowing red aura.
Who will end up controlling the Valo System? You decide!
The Dispute Episode home screen displays factions involved in the dispute, the special reward you will get if you choose to side with that faction, and a timeline of missions involved in the dispute. The shuttle icon (1) is also a quick link to faction missions for that faction. Though completing faction missions has no effect on a Dispute Episode, you can only get certain faction missions while a Dispute Episode is unlocked and not yet resolved.
Siding with a particular faction at the end of a Dispute Episode is sometimes the only way in the entire game to get the associated reward. Choose wisely!
Each mission in a dispute is made up of narrative interludes, away team missions, and ship battles. Away team missions and ship battles are complex enough to warrant their own future Captain’s Guides, but narrative interludes are simple enough to be explained in full here.
Each narrative interlude is a conversation between you, the Player, and characters involved in that mission. You will frequently have the opportunity to choose a response to what a character says. In a Dispute Episode, each response is favored by a particular faction. You are provided with a paraphrase of your character’s full response as well as which faction favors the response to help you make your decision.
Will you defer to the Emissary, or make your political views known?
After completing all missions that are part of the Dispute Episode, you face a critical decision: which faction will win? When the Dispute Episode is ready for resolution, it will be indicated to you on the galaxy map via a “Victory Available!” label.
Are you ready to change the balance of power in the universe forever?
You may choose any faction, regardless of the responses you chose during the narrative interludes, but your decision is final; though you can replay all away team missions and ship battles that were part of a Dispute Episode, you cannot redo your decision on who won. Select a victor by tapping the “Select FACTION Victory” button.
What will be your answer to that question mark?
Once you’ve chosen the victor of a Dispute Episode, you will play through a final resolution mission to help that faction secure their dominance over the other factions. The narrative interludes in the resolution missions do not have paraphrases or a faction reaction because the opinions of the other factions no longer matter once you have chosen a victor.
The First Kai might not know her future, but you do....
The Dispute Episode ends upon completion of the resolution mission. Your chosen faction has won!
Every faction will thank you for your support with valuable rewards.
You will also notice the systems previously “in dispute” are now owned by the victorious faction. The red aura surrounding them disappears, and that faction’s insignia now appears over the system.
Another system for the Bajorans!
Story Episodes do not involve a dispute between factions, but rather advance the overall story of Star Trek Timelines. Thus, the Story Episode home screen displays only a description of the Episode and the timeline of missions involved.
What strange new life will you encounter in this Episode?
Instead of several thematically related missions, Story Episodes are one long mission. Like all missions, it is comprised of narrative interludes, away team missions, and ship battles. Since the opinions of each faction do not come into play here, your responses are presented in full without paraphrases or a faction reaction.
Build relationships with Starfleet’s most famous officers.
You will not choose a victor at the end of a Story Episode. Instead, completing a Story Episode will unlock the next Episode, allowing you to continue advancing through the story of Star Trek Timelines.
We hope you found this installment of Captain’s Guide helpful in your continuing mission to save the galaxy. To provide feedback or ask questions, interact with the Timelines team and other players through our social channels:
And, as always, thanks for reading!