Star Trek Online Taking Beta Apps Now

Ready to boldy beta where no one's beta'd before? Have a look at Star Trek Online aka STO to see about getting into their closed beta signup: Applications are available now. Developed by Cryptic Studios, the guys responsible for the City of Heroes/Villains massively multiplayer online games, STO picks up 30 years after Star Trek: Nemesis (and also, therefore, after the preliminary events in the recent Star Trek "reboot").

Like CCP's EVE Online, each player will captain his or her own ship, but the specifics of interior vessel exploration or the latitude you'll have to poke around planet-side are scarce. The Federation's a playable shoe-in, as are Klingons, and you'll even apparently be able to gin up your own race, though I'm not sure how allowing potentially millions of players to dilute the mechanics of race-based individuation and turn the precepts of evolution (and Francis Drake's stab at an intergalactic estimate of intelligent life) on its head amounts to a functional design feature.

But then I'm probably over-thinking the premise. It's Star Trek. The ship counselor the Next Generation series had psychic abilities. Explosions make sounds in space. Transporters reassemble molecules sequentially, unaffected by gravity or wind (never mind the question of how this might disrupt consciousness). Sure, you're not expecting flying monkeys with circus jackets and fezzes or flaming reptilian eyes hovering over desolate ebony towers, but protest too much and you might as well demand the ballistic performance of infantry and armor in World in Conflict be the equal of a military-grade simulation.

According to STO's news page, if you've already bought a six-month or lifetime subscription to Champions Online, you've already been accepted into the Star Trek Online beta, so no need to reapply.

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