Accidentally Accurate: In Legacy of Romulus Romulan warbirds' death animation consists of them collapsing into the black hole they use to power the warp core in place of a matter/antimatter reactor. The black hole then explodes. Sounds like Made of Explodium and is really just a justification for the ship's death to damage surrounding ships, but research suggests that real-life black holes really do behave like this.
During one patch, the space station K-7 was accidentally removed. The in-game Game Masters claimed it was "Cloaked by Klingons" and that "Federation scientists were working to rescue it". Once it was re-added, a group of Security officers could be found interrogating a Klingon about how and why she helped to cloak the station. Similarly, due to all the confused newbies asking "Where's Sulu?", numerous NPCs were changed to be discussing his location, all across Earth Spacedock. This didn't seem to help anyone at all, however, and now you don't need to physically find Sulu anymore. Still, the immortal question lives on in the NPC conversations.
When transporting from the Klingon shipyard, you could sometimes end up back in the shipyard. With the release of Legacy of Romulus, the old transporter officer (a Klingon) has been replaced by a Lethean, and you will no longer transport from the shipyard to the shipyard. You can ask the Lethean where the old transporter officer went, and he'll say, "executed for incompetence," which is one of the duty officer missions KDF captains have available to them. For bonus points this is directly taken from the witty note left by a developer on the release notes when this change was made.
Dueling Games: With Star Wars: The Old Republic, a fellow Free To Play MMO likewise based on a long-running soft science fiction franchise. STO came out first but TOR was in a more complete state at launch, though the gap has long since vanished and both games are profitable. TOR also later added multiplayer space combat, while STO remains the only major MMO to have fully supported both space and ground combat at launch. The Fandom Rivalry of their respective parent franchises is certainly there, though there are large numbers of gamers who unashamedly play both.
Executive Meddling: Popular discussion among the official forums by both the players and developers is that there some things that the developers want to add into the game that they can't do unless they have CBS's permission to do so, because they own the intellectual property rights to the entire Star Trek series. For example, adding Tier 5 refits of lower level ship designs. They kinda need CBS's approval before they can touch any ship class that was shown in the series, like the Constitution or Akira class ships.
After it was discovered that a popular character was most likely going to be killed off via a Facebook post, players discovered that Cryptic had ended up becoming a member of the Screen Actors Guild (Dev TacoFangs says it wasn't recent and probably harks back to obtaining either Michael Dorn or Tim Russ back in Season 8), which limits the usage of non-SAG members. Sadly, that may mean a lot of characters might get dumped.
Among others, KDF players are Klinks or Klanks, spiral wave disruptors are pissbeams, the Caitian Atrox Carrier is the catbus, and the Jem'hadar Attack Ship is the bugship or Jem bug.
"Rainbow boats" or some variation thereof for a Noob mistake of not making your weapon types match up* Tactical consoles that boost a particular energy type provide greater increases than ones that boost a weapon type; and making your weapon types match up makes it more likely you'll be able to score a proc (think Standard Status EffectsIN SPACE!) when attacking., because of the resulting beams being in all colors of the rainbow. As one guy on the forums remarked on one of these who used cannons, "every time he fired it looked like a pack of Skittles exploded."note Season Eight's Fleet Spire Tactical Consoles have made doing this more viable, but it's still looked down upon by most players for being a newbie mistake.
The forums use so much shorthand for builds and abilities it's practically a second language you have to learn.
The new Obelisk carrier has also been dubbed the "Obisek" carrier, noting how close it was to the well-known Reman character of the Romulan storyline.
"Grinderversary", a derogatory name for the fourth anniversary by some because of the fact that the ship released for this event could only be obtained by grinding.
"Fake Majel" to refer to the actress who has replaced Majel Barrett in death as the Computer/Tutorial voice. The actress is Lani Minella, same person who voices Admiral T'nae.
"Tacscorts", a portmanteau of "tactical" and "escort", is exactly what it sounds like: tactical officers flying escorts heavy on tactical boff powers.
"The Great Content Drought", a span of of time from February 2011, when the "Cloaked Intentions" Featured Episodes were dropped, to December 2011, which was the release of Season Five: Call to Arms. During this time, no major content was released due to Atari's mishandling of the game and the uncertainty of PWE's buying.
It also has another nickname - "The Year with No Cups", referring to the fact that when funding to STO was cut, it lead to a point where they couldn't even afford cups in their breakroom, let alone a dev team.
"Dread-Not", "Dreadnot" or other variations refer to the Galaxy-X Dreadnought Cruiser by PVP-based players who put down the ship after its recent updating.
"Bortascrew" has been used as a derogatory term by those who see the Bortasqu'-class as a Tier-Induced Scrappy.
"Spaceball-1" is used for the flyby of the ship during the 2014 First Contact Day/Day of Honor/Republic Day.
"Captain Whiny B*tch of the IKS Whineatyou'" turned up after 90% of Koren's lines in "Surface Tension" consisted of her harping that Starfleet was only able to send two ships (USS Voyager and the Fed player character) to defend Qo'noS from a full-scale Undine assault. This after she was present for much of Starfleet's reserve forces getting trashed defending the Sol system from what the Undine considered a diversion.
"DOH" for the Day of Honor, more used in a hilarious derogatory manner (as in Homer's trademark "annoyed grunt") due to the fact that the Bortasqu''s tactical officer has a Cannon skill and the ship has no cannons.
"Junior Officer Unappreciation Weekend" for a weekend event comprising both a doff XP boost and an "opportunity" to grind for doffs at the respective academies. The former was appreciated, as was the free unique doff (although the fact that there was apparently supposed to be a unique Romulan version for whom the quest target was never added has been thoroughly savaged), but the grind, coming as it did not long after the Mirror Invasion grind and the Grinderversary, has pissed off the forums to no end.
"Veterans", a title used by certain older players, used in the effect to as to why Cryptic shouldn't change X for the new people.
"What's your beef with X?", used by players who want to know why Cryptic "hates" a certain ship/race/etc. Made popular by the long-running "What is your beef with the Galaxy Cryptic?" thread which players have been discussing at great lengths the importance of having the Exploration Cruiser made better BOFF-wise (which eventually happened with the Andromeda-class at Tier 6).
"Slapped in the face", used by players who felt insulted by certain moves by Cryptic (e.g. making the Risian Luxury Cruiser a better ship than the Galaxy-class).
"Gozer the Iconian" is a derogatory one towards the first appearance of an Iconian by detractors.
"Aux2Bat" is the nickname whose ships utilize a build that centers around the BOFF power "Auxiliary to Battery" which, if players time it right, can grant a ship's beam weapons full power without losing power to weapons.
"Aux2Dulmar" is the nickname that uses the Aux2Bat in coordination with the DOFF Marion Frances Dulmur, which increases a player's attack power even more when using a certain skill.
"MUH IMMERSHUN!" is a derogatory name towards the reasoning people hate certain aspects of the game or why a certain thing should or shouldn't happen: ruining one's immersion.
"Craptic", a derogatory term slung at Cryptic itself, mostly when they alter a portion of the game that anger players.
In Delta Rising, "Vaads" for the Vaadwaur, a term that's also used In-Universe among Ten Forward's fan fiction writers as a way of Nicknaming the Enemy. Ditto "Zombies" for the Kobali (who reproduce by converting corpses into more Kobali).
"Plasma Doping", an exploit that allowed players to combine the powers of the Embassy Plasma Consoles (which gave attacks a certain amount of Plasma DOT) with the Vulnerability Locators (which increased the chances for Critical Hits)
"Recluse Nanny", having the Tholian Recluse Carrier essentially "carry" you through a DPS run, artificially boosting your DPS to higher levels.
The "Blog War", mocking Cryptic's seeming inability to make the Iconian invasion more immersive and instead telling much of the story through a series of blog entries. Supposedly the Iconians are kicking everyone's asses, but in-game they really only have one actual battlefield victory,note "Blood of the Ancients", the only Iconian victory the PCs weren't railroaded into handing them on a silver platter for no good reason. and outside the featured episodes and a couple STFs there is zero evidence the war is even going on.
"Ch'Mol'Rihan" has been adopted by a subset of Rihannsu fans as a more grammatically correct name for New Romulus in Romulan. For reference, while ch'Rihan is the Romulan name for Romulus, it means "[homeworld] of the Declared" ("the Declared" being the Romulans themselves), so the canon name "Mol'Rihan" actually means something like "new Romulan" rather than "New Romulus".
After the fiasco in "Broken Circle" where he tried to Zerg Rushthe freaking Herald Sphere, Captain Kagran from the KDF got renamed "Zapp Kagran" after Zapp Brannigan.
God Never Said That: The mocking "Delta Rising is the best expansion EVER and the players LOVE IT!" quote was never said by anyone in Cryptic. The original quote was thanking players for making Delta Rising a financial success.
I Knew It: When Cryptic told fans that the "Sphere of Influence" mission was being held back, fans had assumed they were adding voices. When people took notice that Worf's model had been revamped to look like how he was in the series, but older, people figured that the reason had to do something with Michael Dorn.
Mark "H2Orat" Valentine, a video artist for Cryptic, lost a long-running battle with cancer in September 2013, and the forum agreed there should be some in-game remembrance made (ideas were floated ranging all the way up to a cross-faction Valentine-class playable starship). In the end, Cryptic spotlit Valentine's Foundry mission 'The Rising Phoenix, Part 1' for the second time, and added a memorial with an ever-burning torch to the Starfleet Academy map.
A second memorial was added to Vulcan and New Romulus on March 5, 2015 in remembrance of Leonard Nimoy, who reprised his role as Spock for the Federation narration, as well as a mission on the Federation side. Additionally, plaques were placed on ESD, Qo'noS, and New Romulus Command honoring the passing of other Star Trek cast & crew over the years.
Given the timing of "Delta Flight"'s release, the USS Pratchett seems to be a Shout-Out to author Sir Terry Pratchett, who had died the previous month.
Meme Acknowledgment: Borticus, one of the devs, has as his signature "Kurland here." He's the guy who voiced Capt. Kurland, and admitted later that it wasn't his best work.
Milestone Celebration: The game has done numerous events for each of its anniversaries, beyond giving out rewards:
For the first anniversary, Earth Spacedock was changed to its circular incarnation, while the mission "The Vault", the first part of "Cloaked Intentions", was released.
For the second anniversary, players were given a Fleet-type Odyssey-class or Bortas-class ship after completing a special shakedown mission.
For the third anniversary, the Featured Episode "Temporal Ambassador" was launched, with Denise Crosby reprising her role as Tasha Yar and allowing players to obtain an Ambassador-class, the last of the ships that bore the name Enterprise to appear in-game, or a Kamarang-class ship.
For the fourth anniversary, the Featured Episode "A Step Between Stars" was launched, with Tim Russ reprising his role as Tuvok and allowing players to obtain (unlike the third anniversary's Ambassador, through a time-gated grind) special Dyson Sphere-inspired ships for the Federation, Romulans and Klingons.
For the fifth anniversary, a new Featured Episode dealing with the Kobali will be launched, with Garret Wang reprising his role as Harry Kim. Like last year, a time-gated grind will be used to obtain a Kobali-based ship. As well, the "Cloaked Intentions" Federation Episode line will be revamped to make it more in line with the current canon. It will also introduce a new BOFF system, a new Specialization line and a new addition to the Foundry.
For the sixth anniversary, the Featured Episode "Time and Tide" was released, continuing the Temporal Cold War-based storyline.
Missing Episode: Of the stage variety. Season 8.5 removed "War is Good for Business" due to the fact that the stage was incredibly tedious. Season 9 removed "State of Q" and "A Light in the Dark", replaced "Fluid Dynamics" with a radically different version with a new story and reason behind it, and consolidated "Asset Recovery" and "Collateral Damage" into a single episode ("A Gathering Darkness"). The fifth anniversary update condenses the original Romulan Mystery Arc from eleven missions to four, condensing "By Any Means" and "S'haren's Swords" into "By Any Means", turns "Taris" into a combination of its original version and "Ground Zero", adds two new missions and removes the rest, including the hated "Divide et Impera".
No Export for You: Like any other Perfect World-published game, if you live in the former Soviet Union (say, in Glorious Mother Russia), you cannot play the game. In addition, several East Asian countries such as China, Taiwan, and South Korea are also barred from playing.
Largely averted, mostly because the game's older content was largely unvoiced, but since James Doohan had passed away well before production of the game started, a replacement voice had to be brought in for The Guardian of Forever, and his accent slips through quite often.
When the game does feature VO for established characters, the devs go out of their way to get the old actors back to help. Denise Crosby and Chase Masterson are good examples, and in season 8 Michael Dorn voiced Worf to much acclaim from the fanbase. This has become the rule rather than the exception since then, with Cryptic stating a preference for having the original actors over imitators.
Majel Barrett was ready, willing, and able to provide the voice for various combat notifications and alerts, but she has since passed on, and a replacement, Lani Minella, had to be brought in for the announcements at Prison Facility 4028 during "The 2800" episode. Minella manages to sound almost exactly like Barrett though.
Lieutenant Kyona of the USS Enterprise-F was initially voiced by lead writer Christine "Kestral" Thompson during her appearance in "Facility 4028". From "First Contact Day" on she's played by Adrienne Grady of Priority One Podcast.
Due to Cryptic getting SAG-certified, many voices will be swapped out for new ones. The first confirmed is Lian McIntyre, who will replace Jon St. John as Chancellor J'mpok.
Promoted Fanboy: Kyona's second voice actor Adrienne Grady is the community manager for Priority One Podcast, a fan-run podcast.
Screwed by the Lawyers: Cryptic is allowed to use anything from the TV shows and prime timeline films because CBS owns the licenses to them. However, the JJverse is off-limits (they were allowed to use the story details up until the Jellyfish and Narada left the prime timeline, since they appeared in the Countdown comic series), and anything from the Star Trek Expanded Universe has to be negotiated for. Cryptic also had to negotiate to use the Guardian of Forever at the end of the "Klingon War" storyline, since the rights to that episode belong to a different copyright holder. CBS has also put at least three ships off-limits to be used or given major upgrades, the confirmed ones being the Enterprise-J from Star Trek: Enterprise's Temporal Cold War episodes, the Constitution-refit from the filmsnote While there is a Constitution-refit ship in the game, it's only Tier 2 and CBS refuses to allow them to make a Tier-5/Fleet variant. and the Star Trek: The Original Series Warbirdnote In about the same manner as the Connie refit — the Romulan player actually starts with one, but this is Cryptic's explanation for why there is only a Tier 1 version of it.
This also extends to non-canon ships. While the game does have novelverse ships, including the Vesta-class and the Luna-class, Cryptic has gone out of its way to state that the legal red tape is such a hassle that they'll just be making their own ships once canon ones run out.
In early 2015, as a new featured episode starring Gaius Selan was about to come out, news broke that his actor had been sacked due to PWE and SAG deciding to leave the few non-SAG spots for the game's voice acting cast *strictly* for non-SAG Star Trek actors, essentially writing out all the STO cast members who were not in SAG. As of right now, it is unclear how badly this is gonna go for the cast of STO, but the lawyers definitely screwed the original characters of Star Trek Online.
Talking to Himself: Harry Kim and Keten quite literally in the mission "Dust to Dust", as Keten is the original Harry Kim revived as a Kobali, and both him and Harry are voiced by Garrett Wang, making for some... interesting conversations between the two characters during the mission.
Trolling Creator: The devs are known to be this. From causing Borg invasions during live podcasts in game, making fun of their own bugs and lots of Easter eggs.
One that they had to explain because people were getting angry was about a lockbox on top of a stack of crates in the Starbase Incursion fleet event. Since the mission takes place in your own fleets starbase, the joke was about the fact that everyone had stashes of lockboxes tucked away.
Tumerboy/Tacofangs: The idea for this map had been set, but it's flavor had not been. The visuals for this map went through a few revisions on what it could be (i.e. lab, computer core, etc.), on the drawing board before it was finally decided on storage/cargo bay. Someone said to fill it with crates. With all of the lockbox debates going on, and all of the people declaring that they just collect, but never open any of them, in my mind, this is the storage bay in your starbase where everyone dumps their lockboxes. I figured every crate was filled with lockboxes. It was meant as a little nod, a wink, a joke. Perhaps in poor taste, but that's all it was meant to be. Originally I had the holo-crate in the center be a lockbox, but figured that was too blatant, so I moved it off to the side, out of the way.
For April Fools' Day 2015, Cryptic made a big deal about a Star Trek Online: Rebirth. What actually happened was they brought back the original release build of STO on the Redshirt testing server as a joke.
Troubled Production: It started out being owned by Perpetual Entertainment and was given a set schedule for launch. However, two years into development, they had plenty of pretty conception work, but no actual gameplay and it's been said that Perpetual was only doing this for shadier reasons. Either way, CBS was angry at the waste and gave the license to Atari and Cryptic, who forced the companies to rush out the game (though it was thankful that Cryptic had the easily compatible engine from Champions Online to use). However, even that wasn't enough as the game was bleeding players as Atari used the money the game brought to pay off their massive debts. It wasn't until Perfect World Entertainment bought Cryptic that the game would flourish.
Urban Legend of Zelda: A mysterious Twitter account started posting mysteries and riddles for players to solve (though directed at one of the community posters). Many people suggested that it had to do with the Augment plot that was mostly dealt with in the beginning of the Federation storyline, but no one has come forward about it at this time. PWE and Cryptic said wasn't anyone in their offices and later posts had the Community Managers biting back at them. In the end, it turned out to be a contest with small prizes by STOked.
The Romulan PC was second choice for the Romulan flagship RRW Lleiset. Seriously. The player could have been the Romulan equivalent of Picard! They ultimately decided on the player keeping their ship so they're not bound to do the boring flagship stuff its mandated to do.
Originally, Harry Kim was supposed to be the one leading the charge in "A Step Between Stars", his PTSD being helpful when dealing with the Undine.
Jeri Ryan and the Cryptic devs both tried to get Seven of Nine to wear something that wasn't some sort of catsuit for her reappearance. Didn't stick.
During recent streaming events, Community Manager CaptainSmirk had been giving away codes for freebie items. After he come to find out that the freebie codes were being distributed onto the forums, Twitter accounts and the Reddit /sto/ board, he mentioned that those things will be kept closely guarded more often.
When Delta Rising dropped, players were told that they could play other missions while leveling up to 60. Many players found an exploit that not only allowed them to plow through patrol missions in Tau Dewa to level them up faster, but also could farm dilithium after reaching the ultimate level cap. Cryptic quickly put a stop to that.
This is actually quite a problem with the forums since mid-2014 as players have caused initially-innocent-looking threads to devolve into Cryptic attacks, going so far as to comparing them to Nazis and trying to send out death threats. Popular threads such as "What's your beef with the Galaxy Cryptic?" and "DOOOOOOOOOOOM! The Game is Finished! Everything is Doomed! Thread" were shut down because of these reasons.
For awhile, Cryptic used to have contests involving ships and their designs/names. However, the "Choose the Next Enterprise" contest went massively pear-shaped: There were multiple accusations of plagiarism, and of discrimination by Cryptic since non-US residents were barred from the contest (several entered anyway, including a couple who ended up as front-runners in the polls). And then CBS vetoed the fan-picked winner in favor of a design that wasn't even in the Top 20, the Odyssey-class. The resulting Internet Backdraft pretty much guaranteed that player-submission contests like that would never happen again. (The 2015 Federation carrier contest involved Cryptic-created designs.)
Word of Gay: According to a bio written by Cryptic's lead writer Kestrel in Star Trek Magazine, Commander Samuel Winters, XO of the Enterprise-F, is gay. This never comes up in-game.
Word of God: The dev team often tweets about stuff they intended to come across in-game but that wasn't actually stated, such as Akira Sulu's current (as of Legacy of Romulus) position in Starfleet (he's the actual CO of Earth Spacedock; Admiral Quinn just has his offices there). ThomasTheCat also confirmed something about the Odyssey uniform color scheme that was implied in-game but not actually stated in the color guide he put out, that Starfleet Intelligence personnel have their own divisional color, black.
Written by Cast Member: Inverted to something like Voiced by Writer. Christine "Kestrel" Thompson, the lead writer for the game, also voices Lieutenant Kyona, the Enterprise-F's tactical officer, in "Facility 4028".