By Erin Prince, Product Owner, Star Trek Timelines
STAR TREK TIMELINES’ biggest update to-date is the v2.0 client update, just released to all players today! It includes an exciting new feature -- the Honor Hall -- plus tons of improvements, many of which were direct requests from you, our players. For those who have been playing in the v1.9 Android beta, our v2.0 client update includes much of what you saw in the beta, but due to the size and scale of the update we have changed the version number to v2.0 to distinguish it from the v1.9 beta.
With improvements also come necessary visual (UI) changes that we recognize can sometimes feel unfamiliar to our seasoned players. That’s why I’d like to provide you with not just a summary of what’s new in v2.0, but an explanation of our thinking behind these changes. Read on…
Honor Hall & Honorable Citations
For many of our players getting Training Programs when dismissing a crew member was unsatisfactory, and it was for us as well! We had always planned to revisit crew dismissal, and with v2.0, we feel like we have made some big improvements. We’ve made a change that we hope will make it easier for you to choose from a variety of options to enhance your play experience. Now, when dismissing crew you will be rewarded with an all-new currency called Honor. As you dismiss unwanted crew, you’ll earn Honor, which can then be spent in the Honor Hall located in the Time Portal. The Honor Hall sells exclusive crew, Replicator Fuel, Training Programs and Honorable Citations.
“What is an Honorable Citation,” you ask? “Uh, just the coolest item ever,” I reply. With the introduction of Honorable Citations you now have a path to fusing your crew (filling in a star) WITHOUT needing duplicate crew. So if you, like me, find yourself dreaming, hoping, begging for the Time Portal to finally serve up a copy of crew you have 3-out-of-4 stars on, you can take control of that situation. Using the Honor you received from dismissing crew, buy some Super Rare Honorable Citations in the Honor Hall. You use these Citations to fuse with your existing character. Buy the Citations, go to your crew quarters to fuse as normal, and you will see there is now a way to use those Honorable Citations instead of duplicate crew.
Why create Honor and Honorable Citations? When we first launched STAR TREK TIMELINES, we had a relatively small number of crew. Players found it difficult, but not impossible, to fully fuse their crew. As more crew have been added to the game, especially limited-time event crew, we needed to create a way for players to improve crew that may not be available in the normal Time Portal packs. We also heard your feedback that crew purchases weren’t as exciting or rewarding as they could be. With the introduction of Honor and the Honor Hall, we hope you’ll find purchasing crew to be both rewarding and exciting - even if you end up dismissing all of your crew. You’ll never be without a path forward for improving your crew to their full potential.
For even more information about the Honor Shop, check out Game Designer Michael Wood’s blog post about the new feature.
Crew Quarters Overhaul
The Crew Quarters layout has been overhauled, featuring a grid-based visual approach that allows players to now see even more crew at once. There is a lot to unpack on this screen, so let me explain why we needed to undertake such a big change.
We wanted to get four very important things into the game that players have been asking for: Crew sorting; the ability to get back accidentally dismissed crew; improved Favoriting; and bringing back the indicators that your items are ready to be built or equipped.
For sorting, we went further than just a drop-down menu and have included sorting by Level, Rarity, Base Skill, Proficiency, and alphabetically. We also kept all of the filters so that you can look at crew by a specific skill. You can sort your crew by their skill according to their base skill, their proficiency (for Gauntlet), and by combined base and Proficiency (for Away Missions). This overhaul also includes the addition of manual search for crew, which will allow you to search by name or trait. Never wonder if you have a Duelist again!
Reenlisting, the new and much discussed crew buy-back feature, is very straightforward. We wanted to create a system where if you change your mind about (or accidentally dismiss!) a crew member, you can get them back up to four hours after you dismiss them. We chose to do this with the Honor System, so you could easily see that whatever you got for dismissing the crew is what you pay to get them back. No penalty, no hassle, just straightforward crew retrieval.
The ability to Favorite a Crew member was added in the last client build (v1.8), and while we are glad you can Favorite someone and sort them to the top of your list, we also wanted to be sure you didn’t accidentally dismiss them. So Favorited crew are now locked and cannot be dismissed (at least until you un-Favorite them).
Along those lines, sometimes you’ll find that Crew can’t be dismissed because they’re in use somewhere else. In v2.0 we’ve added a message that tells you what’s preventing their dismissal for instance, when they’re away on a Shuttle Mission.
Lastly, in v1.8 we planned to make some improvements to the icon and color indicators on your items – specifically to remove some long standing confusion about the colors (blue meant “Rare” quality as well as “You need to get stuff to build this”). We planned to achieve this by using the color orange to indicate when an item is ready to equip, or an item fully ready to build, whether the equipment was locked by level or not. Unfortunately, only a portion of those changes made the transition from in-development to the live game, resulting in confusion for players.
With the release of v2.0, we have rolled out the full set of changes, including the orange coloring, as originally intended. We truly hope this creates more ease of use!
The goal behind all of these changes is to provide a foundation for the continued growth of STAR TREK TIMELINES. Crew management was one of the top issues reported by players on our surveys and on our forums, and accidental dismissals of crew accounted for hundreds of support tickets each month. Better crew management gives our players the tools they need to continue improving their crew for years to come.
Shuttle Bay & Faction Center Improvements
A consistent piece of feedback we’ve received is that it is hard to get to Faction Centers. So, with v2.0 we have added a bar to the top of the Shuttle Bays so you can easily get to any Faction Center, and see your reputation there at a glance. Each Faction is represented with their icon, and displays your overall reputation with each Faction. As your Faction standing improves, the bar will fill; complete your reputation, and you’ll see a star for the Faction. You may also tap the icon to go to that Faction Center.
Lastly, the Faction Center visuals have undergone some changes that improve their layout and style, so they are easier to read on small devices.
Like our Crew Quarters improvements, our goal for the Faction Center and Shuttle Bay improvements is to provide a solid foundation for Faction Mission changes in the future.
Fleet Visuals Overhaul
We have made a number of visual improvements to the Fleet screen to improve the player experience and make it easier for you to view your Fleet. The Join Fleet screen has been updated and streamlined. The In-Fleet screen has been updated. The leader of a Fleet is now called an Admiral and Fleet Member ranks now have unique icons to differentiate them from one another. These are the first steps in some comprehensive Fleet improvements and changes coming in a future build, including new ways for you to work alongside your Fleet members to earn rewards! We hope you engage with the new Fleet screen and enjoy our changes.
Our goal behind these fleet changes is to set the stage for broader improvements and new features planned to come in the next major client build. Fleets have been on our radar for some time, but before we roll out more things to do with your Fleet, we had to improve the Fleet screen itself. Stay tuned for more updates!
Main HUD Visual Improvements
The Main HUD are the graphics that you see when you first login to the game, before digging deeper into Missions or the Map. The main changes here are Fleets moving from the secondary menu to the Main HUD, alongside some visual labeling and distinctions in the HUD. The goal was to not change so much that your normal play flow changes, but to make sure that the things you want to engage in every play session can be accessed easily.
Dabo Wheel Visual Improvements
The Dabo Wheel has moved - to Quark’s Bar! Don’t worry, it’s still in the Time Portal, but it has received a visual refresh. We’ve also added a new themed background and refreshed some of the visuals on the Dabo Wheel screen. Let’s face it, the Dabo was always in Quark’s — it just felt like Rom forgot to turn the lights on. Now you can see your surroundings and won’t bump into Morn.
These are just the biggest changes! The v2.0 update also introduces loads of performance improvements reducing “lag” throughout the game. A complete list of all of the changes will be available on launch day in our v2.0 build notes, which you can find on the Timelines forums.
We are very excited about v2.0. The team spent many hours poring over player feedback, reviewing how our players play the game, and building robust systems that can last for years. We hope you agree that these changes will help build a solid foundation for the future. As for what the future will bring, we know that we want to improve Fleets, and continue to bring STAR TREK TIMELINES to even more players. After that, the universe is infinite - who knows what discoveries lie beyond...
Live Long and Prosper,
STAR TREK TIMELINES