According to Cryptic chief creative officer Jack Emmert, players will begin their voyage as the captain of a small Starfleet or Klingon Empire ship, able to customize their characters as previously existing Star Trek species or create entirely new races. As with the sci-fi series, exploration and scientific discovery remains a prominent focus.
"You'll venture through space exploring new civilizations and life-forms," Emmert told the Associated Press. "You'll also beam down to planets and have adventures inside your ship. It's a galactic-wide game. There's going to be tons of space to investigate. We have a great system for exploration, which will allow for almost infinite possibilities."
While familiar locales such as Vulcan and Bajor will be accessible, the time period of Star Trek Online—set "a few generations" after the Next Generation era—strikes the possibility of encountering familiar characters from the series.
"There might be a ship called Enterprise flying around, but it's probably not the same ship anymore," said Emmert. "Most of the characters will have either retired or passed on, but you'll definitely be going to all the places you know and love from Star Trek."
Cryptic is currently preparing to debut the first gameplay footage of Star Trek Online at this year's Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas this Sunday, August 10.
"You're going to see the actual game working and functioning. This isn't renders. This isn't concept art," Emmert asserted. "Everything that people will see on Sunday is going to be taken right from 'Star Trek Online' as it stands today, so hardened people should know that a release date might be closer than they think."