This week, Cryptic's popular free-to-play MMO Star Trek Online (STO) celebrated its third year running. It signed off its 3rd Anniversary Spotlight video, which looks back at how the year 2012 was for the game, with a teaser to what STO players and Trekkies in general are speculating to be the introduction of the game's third playable faction, New Romulans. Whatever it is, Cryptic plans to release it this summer.
Those familiar with the movies, TV shows, and canonical novels will recognize Romulan Star Empire as being one of the Federation's biggest adversaries, but their role in the 25th century Star Trek universe (at least as you advance through STO's episodes) changes to a more benign race that's rebuilding from the loss of its homeworld to the Hobus Supernova, and civil war with Remans; in a part of the galaxy classified by the Federation as Tau Dewa sector block, homing New Romulus, introduced in 2012 by Cryptic. Level 50 players get access to a ton of new missions staged around these reconstruction efforts. Needless to say, the developers of STO could be seeing the success of New Romulus as prelude to a new faction.
With the franchise getting a brutal reboot back to the Kirk era (or a parallel timeline), STO took it upon itself to advance the canonical timeline, is based in the early 25th century, and follows the events of the Hobus supernova that causes crazed miner Nero to travel back in time, to avenge the Vulcans' inaction to stop the incident, creating a parallel timeline.
STO currently has two playable factions, the Federation (United Federation of Planets), and the Klingon Empire, which are at war once again. One has to advance to level 25 playing a Federation character before being able to play for the Klingon faction, and the developers admitted it was because there wasn't enough content and development for the Klingon faction.
Will you be able to explore the galaxy in the iconic D'deridex Warbirds (pictured above) and Scimitar carriers? Wait until May to find out.