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Video Game: Star Trek Online
An MMO developed by Cryptic, makers of City of Heroes and Champions Online, set in the original Star Trek universe in the year 2409, thirty years after the last appearance of the Next Generation crew in film, and 22 after Romulus was destroyed in the prime timeline as per Star Trek XI. The game was originally being developed by Perpetual, but was auctioned off as the studio was facing severe financial troubles at the time, and actually had to lay off nearly half of the development staff.

The Borg are back, deadlier than ever before, and the galaxy is once more on the edge of war. The Federation and the Klingon Empire are at each other's throats again, and the tattered remains of the Romulan Star Empire post "Countdown" may be scattered, but they remain a credible military threat to both, and to the fledgling Romulan Republic. That's only compounded with a newly democratic Cardassia facing a civil war against True Way rebels helped by Dominion renegades, and the Undine (formerly Species 8472) infiltrating everyone.

In other words, the 25th century Star Trek universe has become a Crapsack World (relatively speaking), and it's up to the player(s) to find a way to make it right.

The game combines space travel with on-foot segments and a healthy dose of combat in both. A proprietary engine was created to randomize missions, star systems, and planetary surfaces, in order to provide new and different experiences every time a player engages in a mission or quest.

And, of course, being a Cryptic game, Character Customization is suitably bonkers and may in fact eclipse every other thing they've done. You have an absolutely astounding number of ways to customize your captain; not only has almost every facial feature from the TV series been included, but Cryptic has included all kinds of inventions of their own. And then they allow you to apply the same level of customization to your entire bridge crew. And then you get to customize the hull of your ship, and then you get to customize your bridge with further interior customization and... well, you get the idea. Oh, and you can create a new custom species for your captain.

The general consensus is that the game is essentially a mix of World of Warcraft IN SPACE! combined with Star Trek: Starfleet Command... and this isn't necessarily that bad a thing at all. Especially with "Featured Episodes", small content updates centered around a fairly lengthy and involved mission, the advent of a pretty good branching dialogue tree on top of the combat, and most recently very solid "themed" patch updates, the game has found a fairly solid set of legs and and a strong following after an admittedly rocky start, and is now Cryptic's best-selling, most profitable product.

When the game started, there were only two playable factions: the Federation and the Klingon Empire. After three years of rumors of more factions being added, the Legacy of Romulus expansion adds Romulans and Remans as playable races, along with iconic ships like the Bird of Prey and the D'deridex Warbird. Additionally, there's been discussion from the devs of a possible future Cardassian faction, but no official confirmation that it's going to happen just yet.

On August 2, 2014, STO's second expansion, Delta Rising, was announced with a release date set for October 2014, adding the first level cap increase in years (to 60 Fleet Admiral/Dahar Master), and returning the players to the Delta Quadrant to explore what happened after Voyager left the area.

The game went Free-To-Play on January 17, 2012, with the standard Subscription option containing boosts such as more wallet space, the ability to create content in the Foundry, a stipend of Zen (their Store Points), and so on, so lifetimers don't have to feel cheated at the game going free. In addition, all players can earn dilithium from end game content to trade in for Zen, allowing players who can't afford to spend real money on the game the opportunity to grind their way towards the store items they want.

Another unique feature of the game is the Foundry, an in-client Level Editor toolset for players to create their own missions that can then be played from a storefront in the main game. As with anything else Sturgeon's Law applies, but the game has an established core of dedicated Foundry authors that gather on the forums and on Starbase UGC.com and produce missions that are often rated as being better than the official outings. A sparsely populated list of work pages for some Foundry missions can be found at Recap.Star Trek Online. Cryptic also ported the editor to STO's sister game Neverwinter.

The game is considered part of the Star Trek Expanded Universe, but is an Alternate Continuity to the Novel Verse (with the big point of diversion being that Star Trek: Destiny just flat-out does not happen).

This game provides examples of:

    open/close all folders 

    Tropes A-C 

  • 2-D Space: While there are three dimensions, the up-down is severely restricted in scope and way smaller than the others. There also is a defined "up" in space, meaning instead of moving freely in all three, you may only move two dimensional with a little height difference. This does not have to be all bad though, since it eases orientation for players.
    • The main problem is that the ships are limited in how much they can pitch up or down (to about 75 degrees relative to the plane of the ecliptic) and are unable to execute any kind of rolling maneuvers other than banking during turns. This is likely to prevent players from getting horribly confused and turned around, but it also does make "vertical" attacks difficult to pull off; this unfortunately makes escorts, with their narrower firing arcs, a bit harder to use than they probably should be.
  • Abnormal Ammo: The winter events held by Q from 2012 onward have introduced a whole line of ground weapons that use snow as ammunition for the snowball fights held therein.
  • Aborted Arc: Cryptic has a bad habit of leaving plot threads to just dangle unresolved.
    • The Federation-Klingon War is almost completely forgotten after the "Klingon War" and "Warzone" arcs and every time the two sides meet after that save one they're engaged in Teeth-Clenched Teamwork. Cryptic finally resolved it in "Surface Tension", with mixed results.
    • The Gorn rebellions mentioned in the background literature barely receive lip service in-game.
    • The Romulan Star Empire remnant under Sela is forgotten completely after "Cutting the Cord", and the True Way really get no resolution in the Cardassian arc (yes, you captured two of their leaders, but come on, they're a terrorist organization).
    • On the KDF end of things, the Fek'Ihri arc ends with a Sequel Hook (technobabble to the effect that they may not have been genuine demons from hell) that is left to dangle.
  • Abusive Precursors: Remember how Picard thought that the Iconians had a bad rep due to their frightening teleportation technology? Thanks to season 7 and the revelations about the Dewans, he was wrong. Very. Very. Wrong.
  • Ace Custom: Your spaceship. Payload, paintjob, engines, shields, the works. The Federation ships have the largest collection of them, though.
  • Actually Four Mooks: Sensor contacts, and selections, overlap at long range. Though you can probably see visually there's more than one ship, or that if there was a single ship the size of that selection box you ought to be able to see it!
  • Adam Smith Hates Your Guts:
    • I have to spend twenty credits to get a drink out of the replicator? What, did my crew bring a bag lunch and never use them? For that matter, I have to pay Starfleet to have better guns mounted on my ship?
    • Trade goods vary in price at different locations, but always sell for a price slightly lower than the cheapest price you can buy them for, so you can't make trade runs across the galaxy with a full load of them, only buy them for missions and research.
    • Also averted in two ways. 1: You don't have to pay a penny to get the stock weapons, shields, etc that come standard on your ship (like the phasers and photon torpedoes that the Enterprise always had; we never saw them trade up for better weapons!). 2: You will get so many loot drops throughout the game that you can sell, so that you will eventually be rolling in Energy Credits (the ingame currency) anyway and can afford the awesome upgrades.
    • Reinforced by the Reputation System where you can earn powerful upgrades to your ship and character, but you have to grind in-game resources for weeks just to unlock them and then you have to pay one of the ingame currencies (that takes FOREVER to grind but you can conveniently buy for real cash) in order to buy most of the items once they have been unlocked.
  • Air Guitar: One of the emotes.
  • Alien Non-Interference Clause: The Prime Directive is still in full effect here, both the normal and the Temporal variant.
  • Allegedly Free Game: Averted. See Bribing Your Way to Victory below. You can get the best ships and things in the game without ever having to spend a penny. You just have to spend more time to earn it.
  • All There in the Manual: The game's backstory is written out in the "Path to 2409" item device, which tells what happened between the events of Star Trek and the game. More information is also written in Star Trek Magazine such as that Data and the Enterprise-E returned to Earth, the E decommissioned and Data retiring to become a teacher.
  • All Your Powers Combined: There are numerous devices, both ground and space, that grants you amazing bonuses when they are connected together on one person. A handful, such as those on the Odyssey-class, Bortasqu'-class and Scimitar-class, can only be used on that certain class, but many others can be used with any.
  • Alpha Strike: This is pretty much the escort's specialty; blitzing a target with massed torpedo and cannon fire to (hopefully) decimate the target before it has a chance to retaliate.
  • Alternate Continuity:
    • Averted, in fact; this is the original Star Trek universe, the one in which TOS, TNG, DS9 et al. happened. Vulcan is fine, while Romulus is a shattered husk of the world it once was. This is evidently going to mean Very Bad Things for just about everyone in the Alpha Quadrant, since the Romulans are all tattooed NewBSG-esque aggressive space gypsies now.
    • Played straight in its relation to the Star Trek Novelverse. The backstory borrows some details and plots from the novelversee.g. , but discards others.e.g. 
    • Played with even further in the Tie-In Novel The Needs of the Many, where a former Temporal Investigations agent remembers events from the game, the Star Trek Novel Verse, and the J.J. Abrams movie, suggesting that any and all continuities can intersect whenever the heck they feel like it.
  • Always a Bigger Fish: The Iconians are fond of this one. The second time they show up, they're wiping out the two Borg Cubes coming after you. The third time, just as you're in a fight for your life with Empress Sela, an Iconian ship shows up, snags her ship and sucks her through a Gateway.
    • It should say something that after everything we went through with the Dominion in Deep Space Nine that for the Dominion's official policy revealed by Eraun in an optional conversation is "Take what you want Mr. Iconian Sir." What the hell are the Iconians doing that made the DOMINION curl up and act like a nerd being picked on by the captain of the football team!?
  • Amazing Technicolor Population: Given the game's practically infinite character customization options, it's not uncommon to see player-characters with practically any skin and hair color you can possibly imagine, from the dull and mundane to shades that will burn your eyes from clear across the room.
  • Ambadassador: S'taass, the Gorn ambassador for the Klingon Empire during the "Second Wave" mission. When DS9 is boarded by the Dominion his first reaction is to leap over the table and tear a Jem'Hadar apart with his claws! His second reaction is taking up the hobby of running up to Jem'Hadar and pummeling them to death with his bare hands and biting their throats out!
    • The Player Characters can become this as well, thanks to a Diplomacy XP system capped by gaining the official status and title of Ambassador, complete with spiffy Dress Uniform.
    • Worf in Sphere of Influence.
  • An Adventurer Is You: Initially played straight with the three main classes of ships: Escorts are best at dealing a lot of damage fast, cruisers are best at soaking up punishment, science vessels are best at healing, buffing and debuffing. The lines start to blur a little at higher levels and with some C-store ships like the Nebula and Excelsior, and there's definitely wiggle room, but by and large each class has its strengths along the lines of the MMO Holy Trinity.
    • Blurs earlier than that. The cruiser, with its high hull rating can be a tank, but with engineering crew can also heal itself and a friendly's shields, making it a buffer too. The science vessel, with its strong shields can be a magic tank, and debuffer with good science personnel. The tactical vessel is a good combo of the blade-master and backstabber with good tactical officers, although an escort with the right skills and load-out is just as much capable of taking damage and dishing it out as well. The real difference between vessel types is not determined by their base stats, but the number of bridge crew and console slots for a particular field and their abilities, which like almost everything else, can be infinitely customized.
    • Further blurred by your captain's career. Since captains can fly any of the ship their abilities and traits are added on top of the ships abilities shifting them towards more damage (Tactical Captains), more survivability (Engineer captains) or more debuffing (Science captains).
  • Ancient Astronauts: At the end of the Breen arc, a planet is found with thousands of living Preservers in stasis, with many choosing to awaken and explore the Galaxy created by the various species in the Trek verse whose worlds they seeded billions of years ago.
  • And I Must Scream: Getting assimilated by the Borg in ground missions will result in a temporary version of this, as the player will no longer be in control of their character, who will proceed to engage any nearby allies just like another drone until they're finally put out of their misery.
    • It's unclear what Sela's fate was, but it's implied after her kidnapping she's facing this as an enemy of the Tal Shiar.
  • And Your Reward Is Clothes: The Vice Admiral overcoat and Ambassador dress uniform awarded to Federation players for reaching those ranks.
  • Anti-Air: During the mission 'Cutting the Cord', the player can use their personal weapons to shoot down a Romulan Scorpion fighter craft.
    • Also the case in 'Sphere of Influence', 'A Step Between Stars', and the ground portion of the Solanae Dyson Sphere where the player shoots down airborne swarmer drones.
  • Anti-Grinding: You can kill enemies again and again to level up, but you earn a lot more experience points doing the missions assigned to you.
    • The Dyson Joint Command reputation system was an attempt at this compared to the other rep systems; it worked so well that the devs decided to overhaul the Romulan, Omega, and Nukara rep systems to match it in Season 9.
  • Apocalyptic Log: Several of the random exploration missions on dead worlds or empty stations. Examples include mind control experiments Gone Horribly Wrong, teleportation experiments Gone Horribly Wrong, and other such things Gone Horribly Wrong.
  • Arbitrary Maximum Range: In space combat, 10 kilometers. Some ships can cross that distance in a handful of seconds. Some turret satellites and the fleet starbase in the PVE missions involving it can engage targets slightly beyond this range however.
  • Arbitrary Minimum Range: The Starfleet Avenger-class battlecruiser's unique console, the Variable Auto-Targeting Armament, cannot be fired if the Avenger is within 2 kilometers of its target. Same with the Romulan Hyper-Plasma Torpedo available through the reputation system. In both cases there's a good reason: they're Area of Effect weapons, and in the case of VATA, the further from your target you fire it, the more submunitions it will have time to fire.
  • Arc Number: 47 has always been an in-joke in Trek productions. STO turns it into this with a subtle and easily missed Wham Line in the Romulan Faction mission "Sleepers." 47 is the Borg Designation for the Iconians.
    • There's also the Borg's Unimatrix 0047 command ships, Club 47 on Earth Spacedock, and the default registry for the Federation's NPC Galaxy-X dreadnought is NCC-170147.
  • Arm Cannon: A standard feature for tactical and higher Borg drones, as well as some classes of Undine troops. Players can also acquire one from the Species 8472 reputation system.
  • Artificial Atmospheric Actions:
    • If a custom title is used, that replaces the Rank when people speak to you. This can lead to some strange results, however.
    Starfleet NPC: Good day, Moist (Player Name).
  • Artificial Stupidity: The Borg seem to ignore any mini-ships you send at them, like the Scorpion Fighters. All you have to do is run outside of combat range while they slowly but surely deal hull damage and eventually destroy them.
  • Art Evolution: Many characters have been modified over the years. Of major note is Empress Sela and Ambassador Worf, both of whom were modified to resemble the actual characters once their actors (Denise Crosby and Michael Dorn, respectively) gave their permission to use their likenesses.
  • Artistic License - Astronomy:
    • You'll be hard pressed to find any area of space outside of Earth that isn't engulfed by millions of miles of stellar gasses, dusts, and nebulae painting the backdrop, and Asteroid Thicket is in full effect here. Later maps are much better about this. Mainly because a lot of people complained. A good example is the revamped Star Trek: Deep Space Nine exterior which ditched the nebula for black space, with a hint of the purple denorios belt that was sometimes seen in the series and a lens flare sun representing the Bajoran star.
    • The name of the "close flyby of the Dyson Sphere's sun" map in "A Step Between Stars" is "Brown Dwarf". A brown dwarf is a star that failed to ignite at all.
      • [1] The Dyson Sphere rep. cutscenes reveals that *something* happened to the star: It wasn't a Brown Dwarf to begin with.
    • Distances in sector space are way off. For example, Wolf 359 is a real star, located 7.8 light-years from Sol. In-game it's more like three, which is closer than Proxima Centauri should be.
  • As Long as It Sounds Foreign: With a Con Lang, no less. The game borrowed bits of the worldbuilding done by Diane Duane for her Rihannsu novel series for the Romulan Republic in the Legacy of Romulus expansion. Unfortunately, Rihan language geeks have noted that "Mol'Rihan", the in-game Romulan translation of "New Romulus", is grammatically incorrect: they just slapped "mol'" ("new", but it's supposed to be a suffix) onto ch'Rihan (Romulus in Romulan, literally "of the Declared"). Among the more more accurate translations would be "ch'Rihan'mol".
  • Ascended Fanon: invoked More accurately, Ascended Licensed-But-Non-Canon Material. The game follows the movie and television canon to the letter. Cryptic does, however, have the option of incorporating "soft canon" like the novels however they please, so they've gone ahead and thrown in a few things like the Luna-class from Star Trek: Titan and Captain Mackenzie Calhoun, and stated that the Titan novels will be part of the game's backstory as Riker's first command (except for the Destiny series where the Borg Collective gets finally destroyed). There isn't yet a comprehensive list of what has or hasn't been put in from soft canon, however.
    • The Vesta-class starships added in Season 7 are a direct reference to the Destiny novels.
      • Ezri Dax's command of the U.S.S. Aventine is also mentioned by Commander Matthias in the 2014 revamp of "First Contact Day".
    • The harness-like designs and special combat functions of many of the away team "kits" (not to mention the big screwoff disruptor-miniguns and the like) suggest that Star Trek: Elite Force may well be continuity with STO as well.
    • The mention of the Starfleet Corps of Engineers and of the U.S.S. DaVinci in a couple of non-story mission suggest that some elements of the S.C.E. novels may be canon now, as well.
    • That whole business about Andorians having four genders is almost completely taken from the books.
    • The Rihannsu novels, which fleshed out the Romulan culture, seem to have been incorporated completely, as well, with Romulan missions making multiple references to what was depicted therein.
    • Some of the Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Relaunch novels are canon, too; certainly the book about Garak (written by Andrew J Robinson no less), as the past religion of Cardassia is in the game. However, it seems the entire series hasn't been incorporated whole-cloth, as The Sisko doesn't seem to have returned yet, among other things. They may be saving that one for an in-game event.
    • Admiral Leonard James Akaar shows up in one mission during the Romulan arc.
    • Elements of the epic Diane Duane novel Spock's World show up in a Diplomacy mission on Vulcan.
    • The Romulan farming colony on Virinat is from the Star Trek Novel Verse.
  • Ascended Meme:
    • During the two-year anniversary event, you could ask Q Junior where Captain Sulu was.explanation  He would complain about your use of an ancient meme.
    • When the Romulan PC is captured and subjected to Tal Shiar brainwashing, they can acquire a pair of accolades ("There Are Four Lights" and "There Are Five Lights", depending on whether they fully resist or fully comply with the brainwashing) inspired by the 2 + Torture = 5 scene between Picard and Gul Madred in TNG: ""Chain of Command, Part II".
  • Asteroid Miners: Players can now strap on their EVA suit and mine for in-game currency on, yep, an asteroid.
  • Asteroid Thicket: Usually as a planet's rings or a debris field. At least in the early missions, though, it's just a bunch of rocks floating in the middle of nowhere, for no reason whatsoever. Worse, the thickets tend to exist just around the mission area. Meaning that if you're not surrounded by asteroids you're likely far from where you should be. Less of a problem with later missions.
  • A-Team Firing: Dual pistols, miniguns, and assault rifles have a spray-and-pray special ability which, fittingly, has a chance to cause Expose. The primary fire is actually very accurate.
    • Also the case with the Cannon: Scatter Volley ability which modifies your ship's cannons and turrets to fire a huge burst in the general direction of the primary target; it's good for firing on a group of enemies, but even then not all of the shots will hit a target.
    • Players will occasionally have instances where they will miss their target repeatedly in space combat due either to low accuracy skill modifiers, bad luck in the game engine's random hit/miss generator, or a combination thereof. Tends to happen most often with small, fast-moving targets such as fighters & shuttles.
  • Attack Its Weak Point:
    • Invoked, as basic offensive tactics are to batter down one shield facing with energy weapons and then finish with torpedoes to the exposed hull, though this blurs considerably in the metagame.
    • The battle against the Doomsday Device requires you to launch Hargh'Peng torpedoes right down its throat. By the way, that's also where it shoots back from.
    • Also the case with the Borg transwarp gates in the Infected & Khitomer space STF's; the gate cannot be damaged until the nanite generators and transformers (in that order, mind you) on either side of it are destroyed.
    • Attacks to the sides or from behind in ground combat deal additional "flanking" damage in addition to the normal damage inflicted (applies to both players and NPC's, so beware).
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The Voth ground forces includes a massive, Tyrannosaurus-like dinosaur as one of the bosses. God help anyone foolish enough to attempt to take it on alone.
    • The 2012 winter event added a giant snowman as the boss for the snowman attacks that took place there (although that is possible to solo).
  • Attack Pattern Alpha: Alpha and it's variants appear as buff skills that provide an edge in battle. Although only Alpha can be used on all types of ships, escorts are capable of patterns Beta, Delta and Omega with tactical officers that have learned them.
  • Attention Deficit... Ooh, Shiny!: Ten of Ten, a Liberated-Borg Caitian duty officer who is obtained through a critical success from the Support B'Tran Cluster Colonization Efforts assignment.
    "My time in the Collective honed me. I am more focused on ... hey, that light is blinking!"
  • Author's Saving Throw: Invoked. Several missions put you in contact with Non Player Characters interested in the Hobus supernova (the one that destroyed Romulus), all of which say things that boil down to "yeah, this doesn't make one damn bit of sense", which it didn't. An arc reveals the supernova and its FTL blast wave were the result of a weapon deployed by Romulan Admiral (then Praetor) Taris at the behest of alien "dark masters", AKA the Iconiansnote . This is a take-off from the new movie's prequel-comic Countdown, and the game also acknowledges that Data is alive and commanded the Enterprise-E after Picard finally retired. Much to the chagrin of players who haven't read Countdown, this information is only displayed in tooltips, and they do not elaborate on how Data survived.
    • It's implied that Data is still around because Data's memories that were transferred to B4 toward the end of Star Trek: Nemesis "activated", essentially restoring Data within B4's body. Confirmed in the Tie-In Novel The Needs of the Many.
    • Cryptic did again after they introduced the Voth. While shooting dinosaurs "with freaking laser beams attached to their heads" was fun, it was controversial at best from a story standpoint. In Season 9, the Voth are defeated in the Dyson Sphere by the Undine, bringing back a popular if underused threat.
  • Awesome Anachronistic Apparel: Who says you can't wear a Tux in the 25th Century? This also extends to anyone who wears the various older uniforms of Starfleet.
    • Played with with the introduction of future uniforms. Obviously anachronistic, presumably awesome in your eyes if you decide to use them — and exactly the opposite of old-fashioned.
  • Awesome, yet Impractical: Antiproton Weaponry. The strongest energy weaponry type in the game, it comes with a natural [CrtlD] tag, meaning it gives 20% extra Critical Damage. However, for the longest time, AP weaponry were only purchasable through the Dilithium store or in Fleet Stores, meaning both were prohibitively expensivenote  to obtain. It wasn't until the Feature Episode "Sphere of Influence" when AP weaponry became widely available, even if its modifier was [Acc]x2
    • Tricobalt torpedoes. They're the strongest of the Torpedo types, cause an AOE damage to those around it and can disable ships and push them. However, they have an ungodly reload time (30 seconds) compared to the other types (6-10 seconds) and can be targeted and destroyed, which is very bad for PVP. The only way to mitigate this problem is if you have DOFFs who have a chance to knock down your Torpedo's cooldown timer.
    • The 2x EXP bonuses the game sometimes gives out. It warps you too fast through the game and if you've just started, then you've missed out on a lot. This is especially painful with the KDF and Romulans as, unlike the Federation, they have to reach a certain misssion to obtain their new ship and by that time, they'd hit Level 20
    • Most Hybrid/Special space weaponry. With the exception of Dominion Polaron, Plasma/Disruptor, Piercing Tetryon, Caustic Plasmanote , Protonic Polaron, Romulan Plasma, and Refracting Tetryonnote , they're all Lockbox-obtainable weapons. However, the box set they come in never specifies what you're gonna get, thus it's a gamble to even check and it's very possible that you'd end up with a ground weapon instead. As well, good luck trying to get them on the Exchange, as they're usually a good 5-6 million each.
  • Badass Cape: One of the clothing options for veteran and Honor Guard KDF players, as well as Romulan players upon reaching the Admiralty ranks.
  • Badass Crew: After the first story arc of the game, the player and their Bridge Bunnies more than qualify for this status. And if you fill your Duty Officer ranks with Uncommon to Very Rare DOFFs, your ship's crew readily qualifies as well.
  • Badass Longcoat: By the time you reach Level 51 (the level cap currently), you are very badass indeed. And what is your reward for all this badassery? A knee-length Vice Admiral's overcoat.
    • With the Uniform updates of Season 9.5, the VA overcoat is outdated. But there are three special longcoats 200 day and lifetime subs gets - the Odyssey Long Jacket, the Bortasqu' Long Jacket and the Romulan Admiral's coat.
  • Badass Long Robe: The content update "Common Ground" added off duty outfits for the players to wear, including a selection of robes.
  • Bad Present / Bad Future: Just as the episode it is a sequel to, technically Temporal Ambassador is the present from the perspective of your character, but in all other respects fits Bad Future better — up to and including being the result of someone from the past ending up in the future.
  • Bait-and-Switch Boss: Inverted in one of the endgame missions, when Q tosses you into battle against three Borg Cubes... and then when they're just outside your weapons range he decides to go easy on you and handwaves two of the Cubes out of existence.
  • Bald of Awesome: One of the customization options for your character is to lose the hair and make like Picard.
  • Bald of Evil:
    • Obisek plays this early on in the Romulan storyline.
    • Hakeev plays it even straighter throughout the entire storyline.
    • Also male Orions when the player is fighting against them.
  • Balkanize Me: The Backstory of how the Romulan Star Empire breaks up and unites repeatedly, strikingly resembles what happened to a certain other franchise's Empire. The first part is borrowed from the Star Trek Novel Verse post-Nemesis, where Senator Tal'aura and Commander Donatra had a falling out and Donatra led part of the military to form the Imperial Romulan State. In the game backstory, the RSE and IRS eventually merged back together ... just in time for Hobus to cut the heart out of the Empire and fragment it beyond belief. Nowadays a large chunk of what's left of the Empire is a military dictatorship under Empress Sela, with the Tal Shiar practically a state unto itself, while several breakaway colonies and the Reman Resistance have united under Proconsul D'Tan (TNG: "Unification" two-parter) to form the Romulan Republic (the player Romulan faction), with Federation and Klingon backing.
  • Bare Your Midriff: One of the premium uniforms is the TOS Mirror Universe Terran uniform. There's also the various Stripperiffic outfits worn by Orion women in the game (both players and NPC's) that leave next to nothing to the imagination.
  • Bayonet Ya: The Klingon Honor Guard disruptor rifles have a wicked-looking blade affixed to them under the barrel. Couple this with the rifle striking melee attack, and you have a nasty surprise for anyone foolish enough to get up close with someone wielding these.
  • Beam Spam: Beam: Fire at Will is the most literal interpretation given that it ends up with your phasers blasting away at anything in sight, but really, any broadside from a beam-laden high-level cruiser qualifies. If we count cannons, Cannon: Scatter Volley is about as spammy as they come.
  • Beard of Evil: Appropriately, this seems omnipresent in the Mirror Universe Terran Empire. At least for the men.
    • Also applies to most male Klingons when the player fights against them.
  • Beehive Barrier:
    • Your away team members can set one up for you to take cover behind. And then you've got ones on a planetary scale.
    • The Engineer gets one automatically around Lieutenant Commander 5 (level 15), bonus points because this uses the same graphic as the Power Armor Block ability in Champions Online.
  • Betting Mini-Game: With the release of Season 2, Dabo is now been introduced in which you can earn Gold Pressed Latinum.
  • BFG: Many of them. Your away team will likely be decked out with these after about three or four hours of gameplay.
  • BFS: The Klingon Bat'leth sword, which can be used by both playable factions. They are also carried by Klingon Swordmasters, and it would be wise to take them down before they can get close enough to use it.
  • Beware the Nice Ones: The Federation has gone to war. Enough said. Also might apply for the peaceful hunter-gatherer Aelasians - see the Superweapon Surprise entry below.
  • Bifurcated Weapon:
    • The Admiral level variant of the Galaxy-class can separate into the Saucer and battle sections, just like in Star Trek: The Next Generation. And then there's the multi-vector attack mode Prometheus-class, which can split into three separate ships.
    • Among the Tactical, Operations, and Science variety Odyssey Class ships, the Operations can do a saucer separation, and Tactical can launch an escort from the back. Sadly, while you can use both consoles on one ship, you can't use both abilities at the same time (splitting into three sections).
    • The Haakona Advanced Warbird available to the Romulan faction can split into two separate vessels. The ship's description mentions that this was developed from technology recovered from the U.S.S. Prometheus that the Romulans attempted to steal in Star Trek: Voyager.
  • Big Bad: STO actually has narrative arcs throughout its main-line story content that feature major antagonists and foils for your crew.
    • On the 'Klingon Front', "Ambassador"/General B'vat, who will do just about anything to keep the Fed/Klink war going so that Klingons don't turn on one another.
    • 'Spectres', the Devidian arc, has their leader, the Shrouded Phantasm, who is responsible for their nefarious plans on Drozana Station.
    • Colonel Hakeev of the Tal Shiar is the main antagonist of the 'Cloaked Intentions' story arc covering the struggle between the Romulans and Remans, as well as of the entire storyline for Romulan players, in which it's revealed that as an Iconian agent, he's the true source of basically all the evil that's befallen their civilisation.
    • 'The Fek'lhri Return', in which The Legions of Hell invade Klingon space, turns out to be the under the orders of, surprise surprise, Fek'lhr. Maybe — the Fek'lhri actually invading Klingon space keep referring Molor's (a legendary tyrant, and another of the bosses you defeat along the way to Fek'lhr) destiny to rule over the Empire and the galaxy, and sensor readings during your counter-invasion of Gre'thor imply the Fek'lhri might have been artificial proxies of some other power
    • In the 'Cardassian Struggle', the antagonists behind mostnote  of the the various goings-on in Cardassian space turn out to be a Big Bad Duumvirate of two rogue Dominion operatives, First Lamat'Ukan of the Jem'Hadar and Laas the Changeling, with Gul Madred, leader of the True Way serving as their front man.
    • 'The 2800' are led by First Kar'ukan, a very stubborn time-displaced Jem'Hadar who hasn't heard of (and isn't much interested in) the peace between his people and the Alpha Quadrant. Along with him is his Vorta, Loriss, but he stops listening to her when she gets convinced the peace is real.
    • 'Cold War' features Thot Trel, a Breen warlord determined to rip apart the Orellius sector in search of its buried treasures.
    • The Borg and the Undine (Species 8472) serve as the end-game big foes, and make brief appearances earlier in the game to set up the threat for later.
    • The true Big Bad of the game, though, is the ancient, lost civilisation of the Iconians, who once ruled the galaxy with an iron fist and feel like coming back for another go. They are The Man Behind the Man for just about everything, including the Hobus supernova, Hakeev's atrocities in Romulan space, the mysterious goings-on in the Tau Dewa sector, the Undine invasion, and maybe even the Klingon Empire's mysterious run-in with the Fek'lhri.
  • Big Damn Heroes:
    • You as a player get a whole bunch of these moments. This is also the entire purpose of the Fleet Support ability, which lets you call in another Federation ship once your hull integrity drops below 50%.
    • You're also on the receiving end of one of these in an early mission: You find out that the ambassador you've been escorting really is an Undine/8472 infiltrator, and he's beamed back to his ship... a Tethys-class dreadnought that you cannot possibly hope to fight under any circumstances. You can only hope to survive by shooting down the plasma torpedos it spews at you... and then help arrives in the form of the USS Kirk, leading a flotilla of warships which open up an incredible can of whoopass on the dreadnought.
    • The U.S.S. Enterprise-F coming to the rescue in Boldly They Rode.
  • Big Dumb Object: The Voth Fortress Ship. 134km long. Easily killable by five players.
  • Bilingual Bonus: The Breen capital ships in the Orellius Sector Block (Snosk, Desna, and Istapp) are respectively named for the Swedish word for "snowshoe"note , the old Slavic word for "right hand", and the Swedish word for "icicle".
  • Blood Knight: B'vat, far beyond even the standards of other Klingons. He is obsessed with keeping the new Fed/Klink war going in perpetuity, because he fears that without a great enemy to fight then the Empire will turn on itself and rip itself to shreds in civil war, just to slake the Klingon thirst for warfare... just like it, uh, did happen in TNG and Klingon Academy. He's willing to slaughter billions, revive terrible weapons and kidnap Miral Paris to make sure the Fed is willing to fight the Empire as long as possible.
    • He's so far gone that when you meet his past self during a Time Travel mission, he asks you to give his future self an honorable death.
    • Amusingly enough, this character (almost to a T) duplicates one from ANOTHER videogame franchise - these are exactly the motivation AND the actions of Admiral Tolwyn from the Wing Commander franchise, as shown in Wing Commander IV.
  • Boarding Party: Besides multiple in-story examples where you're boarding enemies or they're boarding you or friendlies, the "Boarding Party" Engineering skill allows you to launch crewmen in shuttles to board enemy ships and applies a debuff for every shuttle that makes it through their point defense.
  • Bond Villain Stupidity: Played perfectly straight by Hakeev, right down to the Evil Gloating, after cornering you in a cutscene in the "Cloaked Intentions" feature episode series. He spends just long enough gloating that your ship is able to arrive and beam you out right as his men try to execute you by firing squad. The Big "NO!" this gets from him is worth a laugh.
  • Boring, but Practical: If you're looking to create a ship build for the first time once you hit level cap, nothing says basic like picking up common (white) Mk XI gear. The Exchange usually sells these for much less than their normal value, meaning you can set up a ship build for under 200,000 EC if you play your cards right.
    • The Mirror Universe ships are also this. While they tend to just have a different BOFF and Console layout than their normal counterpart and don't come with any neat equipment save for a different ship skin, they are insanely cheap (going for as low as 95k EC) and, especially with the recent releases for the Federation, makes obtaining certain ships easier.
    • In the same vein, the normal Tier V freebie ships you get. They're not as flashy as the C-Store, Lockbox or Lobi ships, but in a pinch, they'll pull you through.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Praetor Taris seems to be this. She's pretty much unflinchingly loyal to her "dread masters", and for a Romulan that is weird.
  • Bribing Your Way to Victory: A whole bunch of things, both gameplay-affecting and cosmetic, can only be obtained using "Zen", which must first be purchased by someone on Perfect World Entertainment's website. Having said that, they can then be sold again in exchange for Dilithium, which any player can get a fair amount of every day. So, while someone has to spend real money eventually, it doesn't have to be you.
    • Of course, you can earn all the Dilithium Ore you want, but it must be refined before you can spend it, and you can only refine 8000 per day. At current ratesnote , that translates to roughly 56 Zen per day. Most items cost 400 Zen or more. Cryptic Studios know what they're doing. Granted, it's 8000 per character, and even free players that refuse to invest a cent into the game get three character slots. Still, you can't transfer unrefined dilithium between characters, so that means you have to spend the time to earn 8000 dilithium per character if you want to reach the full cap.
      • More subtly, many things one can spend money on encourage spending money on other things. Want a screen-accurate Scimitar? You need to buy all three versions for the gear that lets you have the original's resilient shields and the ability to raise them and fire your weapons while cloaked. The Thalaron weapon is the set bonus for having all that gear equipped on one ship.
    • There are also certain ships, non-combat pets, uniforms, and other items that are exclusive to 'veteran' players who purchased paid subscriptions.
  • The Bridge: Players can choose from several different bridge layouts for their ships.
  • Bridge Bunnies: Customizable Bunnies, no less. Yes, if you're a male captain you can have an all-female bridge crew. Yes, if you're a female captain you can have an all-male bridge crew with flattering shirts. They also serve as the cornerstone of your away teams, especially if playing solo or in a small group. Cryptic has stated you can have upwards of twelve of them under your command, as well.
  • Break Out the Museum Piece:
    • The TOS Constitution-class starships, complete with blue phasers, as well as the Connie Refit skin for the Tier 2 cruiser. The Miranda-class are also still going, while a refit Excelsior-class can be bought and is actually considered one of the top four Starfleet DPS cruisers. The NX-class would seem to be this, being over 250 years old at this point, but is actually a replica with modern systems (apparently the Corps of Engineers got bored or something).
    • As of the game's Third Year Anniversary event, the Ambassador-class - the same class as the ill-fated Enterprise-C. A ship that never seemed to be put into large production because of what happened to it, although a few are seen fighting quite effectively during the Dominion War.
    • The Romulan side in Legacy of Romulus plays this far more literally - your starting vessel is the ancient TOS-era T'liss-class warbird your hometown's mayor used to command, and you and Khev take it as it's your only real ticket out of Dodge. Veril comments later that she's amazed it hasn't fallen apart around your ears before she came along, and straight-up calls your singularity core an antique.
  • Breather Episode: "Cold Comfort" in the Breen series. The episode features no combat whatsoever, and only several dialog puzzles.
  • Bus Crash: In episode "Cardassian Struggle", mission "Badlands", you meet Joshua Riker, the son of Thomas Riker, William Riker's accidental clone who was last heard from when he surrendered to the Cardassians in DS9: "Defiant". After the Dominion War resulted in the collapse of the Cardassian Union and the barely averted extinction of the species, the prison camp where he was held was abandoned by the government, and the prisoners turned it into a settlement under Tom Riker's leadership. Tom died of heart failure after rescuing his wife when she fell into a ravine.
  • Buzzing The Deck: Episode "Cardassian Struggle", mission "Rapier". After exiting the Bajoran wormhole you can buzz Ops on Deep Space 9. This grants an accolade titled "That's a Negative Ghost Rider, The Pattern Is Full".
  • Call a Hit Point a "Smeerp": You don't often see a Starfleet captain looting destroyed ships and tacking their disruptors and engine arrays onto their own ship. Of course, in the game you can equip all kinds of weapons you pick up as random drops. Cue fanbase complaining it's not realistic. Janeway did it a few times.
  • Call Back: The future of the Trek verse depicted here is a close, but not quite version of the Bad Future from the Next Gen Finale, All Good Things. However, it appears Picard did slightly alter that future: its still bleak but it has alot more hope in it.
  • Canon Discontinuity: While Cryptic does have the option of incorporating any "soft canon" such as other games or novels as they see fit (see Ascended Fanon below), they've also outright discarded certain soft canon events, such as the entirety of the Star Trek: Destiny novel trilogy and its immediate successors.
    • The Star Trek: Voyager Relaunch novels are a good example, as only some of them are in the bin. A character who was Killed Off for Real there (Janeway) is alive and well here. Having said that, another plot point introduced there (that Miral Paris is the Kuvah'magh, The Chosen One for the Klingon people) is also alive and well here.
    • The wholesale discarding of Destiny likely stems from the fact that the initial plot outlines and whatnot for STO were being drawn up in 2008, and the Cryptic team wasn't included in the discussions of how everything would go down - never mind the fact that a lot of non-novel readers would be constantly asking "when are the Borg going to appear?"
  • The Cavalry: In the ultimate battle for Deep Space 9 in "Boldly They Rode", despite preparing for the battle, the forces to recover Deep Space 9 still find themselves being pushed back. That is until Captain Shon of the Odyssey Class U.S.S. Enterprise-F arrives to help turn the tide of the battle.
  • Captain Ersatz: If you look around, you will find a lot of custom species characters of non-Trek alien species, recreated to varying degrees of accuracy.
    • The Ferasans are essentially this of the Kzinti from Known Space, who were unable to be used for copyright reasons. Their previous appearance in Trek happened with permission of Larry Niven's estate.
    • The new Avenger-class battlecruiser is clearly one of the U.S.S. Vengeance from Star Trek Into Darkness and the Borg Modified Romulan Lockbox ships are this of the Narada from Star Trek (in fact, the storyline ship the Borg Modified Romulan Lockbox ships are based on was originally identified as Narada-class — presumably the fact that technically the Narada is from the Prime Timeline gave them some leeway). Note that Cryptic cannot use anything from the Alternate Timeline Treks.
  • Casual Interstellar Travel: More so than the rest of Star Trek, necessarily due to it being an MMO played in real-time.
  • Cat Folk: The Caitians and the Ferasans.
  • Chainsaw-Grip BFG: Blast assault and assault minigun ground weapons.
  • The Chains of Commanding: The Duty Officer System. Nearly every assignment has a risk to your crew. This means that yes, they can come back on death's door, and yes, they can actually die (though only if they're of "common" rarity). With this knowledge, do you send your crewmates on a risky recon mission? Do you send your medical staff to fight an outbreak of a deadly plague?
  • Character Customization: Just in case we haven't hammered it home yet: Mother. Of. God.
    • While STO comes with an amazing variety of options to customize a character's head and allows for pretty alien looking body proportions, the options for clothing and non-humanoid body parts are far behind those of Champions Online's. This is especially noticable on the Klingon side, where many costume pieces are only available to specific races. Of course, NPCs get no such limitations at all.
    • The Klingons also got the short straw for ship customization, with only two designs per ship instead of the Federation's usual three, and even then it took quite a long time before any of them even got a second appearance or allowed you to customize different parts of the ship such as the hull and nacelles.
    • Certain Bridge Officers you gain through different means avert this. The Breen, Jem'Hadar and Reman BOFFs you gain from their Featured Episodes, the Borg you gain from the STF "Khitomer in Stasis", the Romulan Borg and Photonic Tactical Officer you buy with Lobi and the Voth you rescue at the end of the Dyson Sphere Reputation Line cannot be modified in any way. Not even their names.
  • Chekhov's Gun: In one story mission, an Andorian scientist you've just rescued makes an offhand comment about making progress on a cure for irumodic syndrome. Anyone who has seen The Next Generation's series finale knows the possible note  implications of this.
  • Civil War: According to blogs released by the developers leading up to Season 7, it appears the Romulans are falling into this in an attempt to fill the power vacuum left by Empress Sela's disappearance since the mission "Cutting the Cord". As 'The Path to 2409' makes clear, it wouldn't be the first time in recent decades. Or the fifth. Or the sixth. Once Legacy of Romulus was released, it turned out that it had been slightly misleading — the Romulans already were falling into this before the spoilered event, with the Romulan Republic (supported by the Federation and the Klingon Empire) on one side and the Tal Shiar and Sela's Star Empire on the other.
  • Cliffhanger: The mission "A Step Between Worlds" end with this, as we see Koran, Shon and Kaol walking away from each other after the rediscovery of the Jenolan Dyson Sphere.
  • Clown Car:
    • The Klingon Vo'Quv carriers, Fek'Ihri Kar'Fi battle carriers, Orion battleships, Corsair flight deck cruisers, Federation/Caitian Atrox Carriers and the cross-faction Obelisk Carrier can all carry an almost ridiculous number of fighters, and have no qualms about spitting out squadron upon squadron to take you out. Hell, the Vo'Quv, Kar'Fi, and Jem'Hadar Dreadnought Carrier can each carry frigates.
    • With the Obelisk and its "swarmers", this is even invoked, as the Obelisk is meant to fight by spewing endless numbers of drone fighters at you until you're overwhelmed.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: The experiments done to Captain Shon and the Romulan who went with him in "Sphere of Influence", inflicted by the solangeon-based race seen in TNG. Shon had his left arm and both antennae ripped off, then reattached, as well as injected with various other painful substances. The Romulan had his entire bloodstream replaced with some sort of polymer... luckily you managed to save Shon.
  • Combat Medic: The Federation employs NPC's seen on ground missions that are specifically called this; they have higher health and shields than normal medics, and stronger abilities as well, making them an even higher-priority target when you find yourself fighting against them.
    • The Romulans and Voth have their own versions as well.
  • Combat Tentacles:
    • The Aehallh worms found in the Colliseum aren't exactly tentacles, but they're pretty close.
    • Changelings like to choke your character by the throat and toss you around like a ragdoll by this method.
  • Company Town: The player can be sent to a planet with a Romulan mining town, completely controlled by a Ferengi and a mining company.
  • Competitive Balance: The idea between the three classes and ship types. Players can customize themselves to extend beyond the original class they chose through skill point distribution.
  • The Computer Is a Cheating Bastard: The D'deridex Warbirds used by the Romulans and Remans can fire several heavy plasma torpedoes in a row at you. Player ships are only capable of shooting one of these at a time.
    • Averted in Season 7 with the introduction of the Romulan Hyper Plasma Torpedo launcher obtainable from the Romulan reputation system.
  • Conflict Ball: To people who haven't gotten deep into the STO universe and plotlines (and maybe even to some who have), the whole Federation-Klingon conflict can easily seem to be a contrived reason to have Stuff Blowing Up.
  • Continuity Nod / Call Back: The game is positively dripping with them to the point they could warrant their own page.
    • The Wolf 359 System. Especially with the Federation memorial in the middle (when you get close you start to hear the comm traffic from the battle).
    • Naomi Wildman is the commander of Deep Space K-7. Icheb appears as a mission giver, too.
    • Miral Paris is a plot-centric character whose storyline first introduces you to the Guardian of Forever and the Mirror Universe.
    • Akira Sulu is the Great-Grandson of Mr. Sulu.
    • Admiral Janeway.
    • Among the ships you will hear about will be USS Kirk, USS McCoy, USS Montgomery Scott, USS Archer and USS Tucker, among others.
    • Sela is the Romulan Empress. Not too many people mind any of this, and it's all quite well-explained.
    • The Galaxy-Class bridge set alone has plenty. The side consoles from Generations, the modified tactical console from the future Enterprise-D in "All Good Things", and a large transparent console panel behind the tactical station very similar to the one seen in the TNG seventh season episode "Parallels".
    • One of the engineers over at Memory Alpha is Kirayoshi O'Brien.
    • One of the Starfleet contacts at K-7 is Mackenzie Calhoun.
    • Deep in Cardassian space, you will encounter Joshua Riker, the son of a transporter-created clone of old Will Riker.
    • And then, who should show up from the mirror universe? Captain James O'Brien. Aboard the ISS ''Molly.''
    • Expect to encounter any and all types of food that are ever shown or mentioned throughout any of the series, including Chateau Picard wine. They even have Prune Juice, repeatedly mentioned and referenced as Worf's drink of choice.
    • The entrance to the Preserver archive resembles the Asteroid Deflector from the TOS episode "The Paradise Syndrome"
    • "The 2800" story arc is not only a continuity nod but also a continuation of a story arc from one of the series. A Dominion fleet suddenly emerges from the wormhole, attacking (and taking over) Deep Space 9, and still thinking the Dominion war is still going on despite checking a calendar since then. Starfleet is baffled by where they came from. It's the same fleet that the Prophets had seemingly willed out of existence when Captain Sisko and the Defiant single-handedly headed into the wormhole to confront. Turns out they just kicked the Jemmies 35 years into the future.
    • Gul Madred from the TNG episode "Chain of Command I & II" is the leader of the Cardassian side of the True Way Alliance. Pity, though, that player captains never get the chance to debate with him whether there are four lights or five...
    • Admiral Chakotay was promoted to the head of Starfleet Intelligence in 2406, and thanks to Voyager's encounters with the Undine, he was able to convince Starfleet to start "expecting" them to be among personnel, and start developing technology to help detect Undine Infiltrators.
    • Much like the 2800 story arc, the 3rd Year Anniversary mission is a direct continuation of a series episode, this time from TNG and the episode being Yesterday's Enterprise.
    • Many of the Exploration Missions are directly these, involving the Gorgons, the burial remains of the dead alien race from "Masks", and various other stuff (though it tends to play out Kirk-style).
    • The mission "Sphere of Influence", introduced in the lead-up to the launch of season 8, could be considered a giant collection of callbacks; the commander of the Romulans' new flagship is the daughter of Alidar Jarok from the TNG episode "The Defector", the player sees a couple of planets from episodes of Deep Space Nine and Voyager, and the aliens encountered in the mission are the same ones that abducted and experimented on the crew of the Enterprise-D in the TNG episode "Schisms". And of course the entire mission follows up on the TNG episode Contagion and the DS9 episode To the Death with Iconian gateways.
    • A possible result of getting a critical success on a Temporal Trade assignment (which you can only access with one-use items potentially found in an opened Temporal Lock Box) is to get a very rare (human-looking) duty officer named Isis. Her quote is 'Meow', and her species is marked down as Alien (which STO uses as a general term for anyone that doesn't have a specific species assigned).
    • The Dyson Sphere seen in TNG's Relics makes an appearance in "A Step Between Stars" and "Surface Tension".
  • Convection Schmonvection: An early mission in the Romulan story arc places you on a planet that has active volcanic activity on the surface (along with local plant life that thrives in the lava). You can walk all over it and it won't hurt you.
  • Converging Stream Weapon: Just as seen in Voyager, the Undine's original method of destroying a planet or other large target such as a Borg Unimatrix Command Ship in "Fluid Dynamics" is to have several ships arrange themselves in formation and all divert energy to a ship in the middle which then fires a huge beam at the target, annihilating it in one shot. The Undine Planet Killers seen in "Surface Tension" and onward use this as well, but it's not as impressive as the multi-ship formation.
  • Cool Starship: Many ships from across Trek canon have made their way into the game (Including an old-fashioned Constitution-Class and Miranda Class as starting vessels), and a few have been made especially for it, such as the mighty Odyssey and Bortas end-game ships.
  • Costume Porn: Whilst Cryptic's dedication to character customisation meant there was always a small element of this, the game dived right in with Legacy of Romulus and the elaborate Romulan outfits.
  • CPR (Clean, Pretty, Reliable) / Worst Aid: This was the original way to revive a downed character. It has since been replaced with a quick tricorder scan.
  • Crapsack Only by Comparison: Things have gone downhill compared to the era the shows took place in, but it's still a much better world to live in than say, the settings of Dead Space or Mass Effect 3.
  • Crapsack World: Nimbus III. It was bad in Star Trek V: The Final Frontier. But the Federation pulled out a hundred years ago in game ( and in the Expanded Universe ). Now its home to nothing but raiders, pirates, slavery, prostitution and nightclubs.
  • Crippling Overspecialization: The Federation's Dreadnought Cruiser and the recent Dyson Science Destroyers force a certain energy type (phasers and photon, respectively) that either force you to work a weapon build around it or ignore it completely. The Tactical Escort Refit and the Multi-Mission Explorer ships do the same, but their gimmick weapons can be removed, thus you're not bound to it.
  • Critical Existence Failure: Ships suffer damage and systems can be affected, but until you suffer a warp-core breach (read: death), there's no downward spiral of failing systems, like the shows.
    • Zig-zagged; as your health drops scorch marks will appear, followed by your engines going haywire and multiple decks showing hull breaches and fires.
  • Crystal Spires and Togas: The Deferi come pretty close.
  • Custom Uniform: The developers were able to Handwave the glaring flaw about Starfleet's uniform code by stating in one of the Loading Screen notes that Starfleet relaxed their uniform codes to help its officers feel a little more comfortable, just as long as they still wore their primary color associated with their position. The last part happens pretty much only by playerbase preference and is regularly violated.
  • Cutting the Knot: The "Azure Nebula Rescue" raid provides a game mechanics example. The procedure intended by the devs is to destroy the Tholian ships before releasing tractored Romulan ships from docks built into the side of asteroids. But the way the objectives are codednote  and the Tholians positioned means that it's perfectly possible, if somewhat difficult, to sneak up from the far side of the asteroid and release the pointy-ears without ever even aggro'ing the Tholians.
    Tropes D-G 
  • Darkest Hour: The situation at the end of "A Step Between Stars": With the rediscovery of the Jenolan Dyson Sphere thanks to the actions of the Undine, the alliance between the Federation, Klingons and Romulans are on shaky ground, due to the fact that all three want the Jenolan Sphere - The Federation because they had found it first over 40 years ago, the Romulans because it's connected to the Solenae Dyson Sphere and the Klingons because they want a super weapon, too! It doesn't help that Koran and Shon are Hot-Blooded Jerk Ass people.
  • Death from Above:
    • The various mortar weapons that can be erected by Engineering players & NPC's during ground missions.
    • The swarmer drones in the ground portion of the Solanae Dyson Sphere never miss a chance to take pot shots at players from overhead.
    • The accolade you get in "Cutting the Cord" by marking targets for Orbital Bombardment is literally called "Death from Above".
  • Death Is a Slap on the Wrist: If a player is killed or has their ship destroyed (possibly killing them), they can simply respawn with their ship shiny and new...minus a few Red Shirts. And the dead redshirts will be restored after a short period of time. Presumably Starfleet ships are crewed by Tribbles. Mitigated somewhat by the addition of the difficulty slider, which adds a death penalty at higher levels in the form of injuries, which can be removed at starbases or with items.
    • The top-level escorts explicitly have holographic crews. That would pretty much explain everything, except it's noted as unusual.
  • Death World: Nukara Prime, a Y class "Demon" planet with a surface temperature of 500 degrees Kelvin, a corrosive sulphuric atmosphere, and rivers of acid. Players are REQUIRED to wear environmental suits if they don't want to be immediately engulfed in flames and die a gruesome death by bursting into ashes.
  • Declining Promotion: An odd variant: despite the fact that you become a Vice Admiral/Lt. General at level 50, you're still in command of a single ship where most would be on the sidelines commanding whole fleets of ships.
  • Defeat Equals Explosion: Par for the course with space combat. The initial explosion of a ship can damage you, but a few seconds later the warp core blows up for a second explosion. For ground combat, while most enemies who die from an "exposed" attack get vaporized, Tholians can actually self destruct, causing damage to anything around it. Mechanical devices, such as the various turrets and whatnot also explode when they're destroyed.
  • Defeat Means Playable: The special reward for defeating the Breen during the Deferi story arc? A Breen bridge officer. Repeated with the Romulan/Reman missions, though technically it's the Romulans you're defeating and a Reman bridge officer joining you. It's also repeated in the Jem'Hadar missions.
  • Defector from Decadence: The entire Reman Rebellion is this to what's left of the paranoid Romulan Government. And You in the Legacy of Romulus.
  • Design It Yourself Equipment: The player's ship.
  • Detachment Combat: Several ships can turn parts of themselves into separate, independent craft, increasing their firepower and distracting the enemy. The Galaxy-class can detach its saucer, the Bortasqu' can deploy a heavily-armed escort ship, and the Advanced Odyssey can either detach its saucer or deploy a heavily-armed escort ship. The Prometheus-class escort takes the prize, though - true to the series, it can split itself into three equally-powerful ships, and you can choose which one you want to command the formation from.
  • Development Gag:
    • 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.
  • The Dev Team Thinks of Everything:
    • If a Klingon (not KDF, mind, Klingon species) Player Character or boff tries to activate a tribble, the tribble will squeal and not give them its buff, in accordance with their behavior near Klingons in TOS: "The Trouble with Tribbles".
    • With the Season 6 update, all enemies started using more level appropriate skills to add a little more challenge. Enemies can now use the same skills that players use. Gravity Wells, Ejecting Warp Plasma, various healing abilities, etc. Klingons in particular now use Bio-Neural Warheads. They're a bit like Tricobalt Devices, but exceptionally more powerful and have built-in antiproton blasters to bore a hole in your shields before impact. This invoked a bit of Fridge Logic among the player community. Certain missions involves the player traveling back in time to the 23rd Century, where they interact with with Dr. McCoy, Scottie, Spock, and even save the original Enterprise in battle. Some players think that the Klingons of that era shouldn't have access to these weapons, but the developers wrote into the story that Admiral B'Vat went back in time and shared his new technology with his old self long before the Season 6 patch was even planned.
    • Also leave tribbles in your inventory and some food? Well when you log back in the food is going to be gone and more tribbles will be there. This is used by player to get better tribbles. There is one exception, however: Polygeminus grex canibalis does not eat food in your inventory. They eat other tribbles in your inventory.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: The Fek'lhri arc basically involves carving your way through The Legions of Hell, confronting Klingon Satan, and sticking a bat'leth through his face.
  • Difficult but Awesome: The handful of larger ships that can mount cannons, like smaller and faster-turning escorts. Trying to keep cannons on a target with a cruiser's turn rate would be completely impractical, and requires unorthodox tactics:
    • The Galaxy-X dreadnaught has a cloaking device; a skilled player can use this to sneak up on an unsuspecting ship, de-cloak as close as possible and unload on the target before it has a chance to move out of range. The ship's unique phaser spinal lance does huge damage in a single shot (if it hits; the accuracy is pathetic), and fires twice when triggered; it's more than enough to ensure the first volley is fatal against another player ship in PvP if weapons are fired in the right order, fast enough so the target can't pop any defensive buffs. When the ship is already in combat and can't cloak right away, Tractor and Repulser beams can be used to keep the target in front and a Subspace Jump Console can be used to teleport the Galaxy-X directly behind a target, facing it.
    • The Klingon Bortasqu' comes with a Subspace Snare Console that takes a different approach than the Subspace Jump Console; it teleports the target in front of the ship.
    • The T5 D'deridex-class gets a lot of flak for its (apparent) low turning despite being able to mount dual cannons. This isn't helped by the Romulans' sharply limited ship selection, which results in the free T4 D'deridex coming right after the much zippier Mogai-class. But there are few warbirds with all five singularity powers, the Romulan battle cloak common to all warbirds allows it to turn much faster while cloaked, and having access to lieutenant commander boff powers in all three disciplines is all but unheard-of.
  • Disc One Final Boss: B'vat, Hakeev and Kar'ukan.
  • Do Not Run with a Gun: You cannot run and shoot at the same time in ground missions. Similarly, firing weapons (or taking fire, for that matter) in space missions will drop your ship from full impulse to a slower maneuvering speed. Full impulse will also divert some of your weapon power to the engines as well.
  • Dramatic Space Drifting
  • Driven to Suicide: K'Valk in the Doomsday Machine due to his part in helping the machine being activated. See Heroic Sacrifice below.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?:
    • Beautifully averted. Once you reach the rank of Rear Admiral, just walk into the general vicinity of the auditorium at Earth's starbase, and EVERYONE in the room immediately turns and salutes you, holding that pose until you walk away.
    • But it comes crashing back in shortly thereafter since the game ties Character Level to your player character's military rank in Starfleet, the Klingon Defense Force, or the Romulan Republican Force. This is tolerable up to level 39 (Captain or equivalent and below), but after that, not only are you an admiral running around in a ship instead of commanding a fleet, but by the time you hit the level cap at 50 (Vice Admiral), you actually outrank 90% of the mission givers. And yet they still love to order you around like you're a totally green ensign. On the face of it, the season 8.5 featured episode "A Step Between Stars", where literally nobody in the entire mission except the Player Character ranks higher than Rear Admiral Lower-Half, can seem particularly silly about it.
      • Interestingly, though, A Step Between Stars manages to zig-zag this. Your initial orders come from Joint Command, and while it is headed by a Subcommander (because the Romulan Republic is still small and is low on high ranking officers but are still the only neutral party between the FED-KDF War and this new alliance), he is in command of the Task Force which DOES make him your superior officer despite being of inferior rank, simply because he is the CO (although that doesn't explain why they couldn't have just promoted him). The next time someone ignores your advice is when Tuvok offers to let you shutdown the station (and open an Iconian Gateway at the same time). If the player tells Tuvok no, he'll do it anyway - which is actually still OK, because Tuvok's orders are to shutdown the station at any cost. Orders that didn't come from you. He was only giving you the option because you're of senior rank and have had more experience with this technology. And the last time someone subverts an order from you is if you provoke the captain of your opposing faction (or allied faction for Romulans) into a fire fight. As a Starfleet Admiral, you just proposed opening fire on the Klingons as the war was winding down, which could easily lead to your court martial. As a Klingon General, he's not just telling you to calm down but also Shon as well before things lead to the war going hot again. And as a Romulan Admiral, you're threatening your own government's diplomatic status by instigating both the Klingons and Starfleet into a war that could have the Romulans in the crossfire. Beyond that, your orders are followed (ie. telling Tuvok what to do with Cooper, what defense strategy to take, telling Tuvok to the communicator while you get the Voth explosives), it's when you act like an Insane Admiral that the NPCs tell you eat shit.
    • Averted again in Surface Tension. The player's admiralty rank becomes a PLOT point, with the player taking command of the task force.
  • Dump Stat: For a long time, ground combat skills were a Dump Stat because most players didn't want to waste valuable skillpoints on it when space combat was considered to be much more fun and the primary appeal of the game. This was changed, making it mandatory to invest 20% of one's skillpoints into ground skills, but mercifully added 20% more total skillpoints to allow for this without ruining the builds that veteran players had created. Now the Dump Stat is a matter of playstyle: most players neglect science skills in favor of tactical and engineering (healing and survivability) skills unless they fly science ships. For science ship captains, tactical skills are the least relevant since they have fewer weapons per ship than either escorts or cruisers and they rely more on control and damage abilities in the science skill tree.
  • Dyson Sphere: Season 8 introduces one as a new zone for starships to fly around inside and explore. A related Republic Intelligence debriefing also mentions the Jenolan Dyson Sphere of TNG fame, noting its disappearance as one of the oddities that started happening after you unlocked the entire Iconian gateway network...
    • Ghost Ship: The Dyson Joint Rep Tier 1 and Tier 2 completion cutscenes reveal two things about the Dyson Sphere: that this was made by the Iconians as a means to get away and, mysteriously, it was left abandoned.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Because the 3rd Year Anniversary mission, "Temporal Ambassador", was placed at the end of the Klingon War storyline, new players, especially in the Federation, get to meet Obisek and T'nae before their story takes place.
  • Earth-Shattering Kaboom: The Planet Killer (yes, that Planet Killer) does this to a planet in a cutscene to give the player an idea just what kind of power they're up against.
    • The Dewans apparently did this to themselves when they hooked an Iconian gateway up to a geothermal power system and tried to activate it, wiping themselves out and leaving Dewa III (or New Romulus as it would later be known) uninhabitable for centuries.
      • The Undine do this to Kessek IV in "A Gathering Darkness" after the planet has been entirely assimilated by the Borg. They also intend to do this to Qo'noS in "Surface Tension" and several other worlds in the Alpha and Beta quadrants in the "Undine Assault" PVE mission.
  • Easter Egg:
    • In the Borg front mission "State of Q", players can find one of these in the form of the USS Enterprise-D, seen through one of the hull breaches on the USS Saratoga. Also counts as a bit of an anachronism, as the Enterprise didn't make it to the Battle of Wolf 359 until after the Saratoga and the rest of the fleet had been destroyed.
    • In the Foundry editor, a huge number of the premade NPC costumes have funny captions, apparently because whomever originally cataloged them got bored and started making shit up to keep life interesting. The full list is here, but here's a few samples:
      Breen Lieutenant Male 01: Don't tell the Breen, but this is just a lonely guy who wears the suit to blend in.
      Cardassian Commander Male 03: His mother named him Kira, after her favorite historical figure. The merciless teasing inspired his military career.
      Elachi Lieutenant Scanner 01: EXTERMINATE. EXTERMINATE.
    • The Jem'Hadar ones are the funniest.
  • Eject...Eject...Eject...: An ability all captains get late in the game, your crew evacuates and the ship blows itself up. May or may not be used when said ship is moments away from destruction.
  • Elites Are More Glamorous: The Omega Force, a joint Federation/Klingon task force developed to take on the threat of the Borg, generally gives this impression.
    • Starfleet and the Klingons have this as well in the form of MACO and the Honor Guard, respectively. Both come with fancy armor, weapons, and ship equipment that makes their 'normal' counterparts look pathetic by comparison.
  • Elite Zombie: The Borg have this in the form of the Elite Tactical Drone; almost twice as tall as a normal drone with tons of health as well as an Arm Cannon that drains the players' personal shields and does major damage. They can also deliver a backhand capable of knocking down your entire away team.
  • Epic Fail: The DOFF Assignments have a chance to be failed, especially if you're using Common DOFFs. What reaches this trope is that some missions actually give you a 100% chance at success (such as delivering captured contraband) and you still fail at it (as, despite having 100% success, there's still a minuscule chance of failure).
  • Everything Is Trying to Kill You: Lampshaded. Upon encountering some hostile ice spiders in a cave during the Reman Uprising arc (not too long after fighting off hostile jackals), one of your officers loudly questions why every new species you encounter always wants to kill you.
  • Everything's Squishier with Cephalopods: The Nanovs roaming the Atlai on New Romulus.
  • Evil Is Deathly Cold: The Breen, complete with Human Popsicle grenades and lasers.
  • Evil Counterpart: The Mirror Universe ships. They look the same, however they have things that are vastly different, usually by rearranging BOFF slots and Console slots. Prior to that, the Federation's ships were pretty much "swap skins".
  • Evil Sounds Deep: The voice of the Collective in Borg space missions, coupled with a bit of Voice of the Legion (naturally).
  • Evil Versus Evil: The main reason that the Federation and Klingon Empire haven't been all turned into cyberzombies or wiped from creation is that, even decades after the events of Voyager, the Borg and Undine still hate hate hate each other and gleefully rip one another apart at every opportunity (there's even one instance during a mission where the Borg abruptly break off from fighting the player to go after Undine and will totally ignore the player's ship unless fired on). The Federation and Klingons still ally against the Borg despite having a war on in other sectors.
    • Also, Empress Sela and Praetor Taris. The former has a few less atrocities to her name, but they're both still pretty unpleasant.
  • Expy: The Vesper for the Excelsior Class, and the Excalibur as a 25th century equivalent to the Constitution class. Both the original ship classes can also be bought.
    • The Excelsior is in a different tier than the Vesper. There's a Tier 3 version (the Advanced Heavy Cruiser) and the Tier 5 Retrofit, just like the Galaxy Retro). So it fills a different niche.
    • Frankly, most of the ship variants count. Each Tier contains: 1) a ship from the TV series, and 2) two more ships that look different but are basically cosmetic redesigns. This allows the mix-and-match customization, since the warp nacelles, engineering hull, etc are all in the same position, but the cosmetic redesigns themselves are of variable aesthetic quality.
  • Expansion Pack: Legacy of Romulus, which launched in late May 2013. Included the long-awaited Romulan playable faction as well as huge changes to the rest of the game.
    • Interestingly, in practice it worked just as the previous Season updates (that is, a free and (if you want to play the game) obligatory update to the game that comes with a number of additions to the microtransaction store). It was just a much, much larger update than any of the previous Seasons, which is why they took to calling it an expansion pack instead.
  • Exploding Barrels: Players can find these on the promenade of DS9 in the mission "Boldly They Rode", and can use them to take out some of the Jem'Hadar without having to engage in protracted firefights.
  • Explosive Instrumentation: This is Star Trek. How else do you duty officers get hurt realigning a sensor array or some of the other tasks that have the possibility of injury?
  • Explosive Breeder/Extreme Omnivore: Tribbles. Once per hour, a tribble in your inventory or equipped will eat one food item and produce another type of tribble. There's a huge breeding tree with dozens of varieties, and they can even eat things like ketracel white, which is normally toxic to anyone who isn't a Jem'Hadar.
    • Although what they eat can be dependent on the breed — one particular breed, for instance, refuses food items and other consumables, instead favouring other tribbles.
  • Extra Eyes: All the wildlife on New Romulus have six eyes, presumably due to mutation caused by long-term exposure to the radiation on the planet's surface.
  • Face-Heel Turn: Expository text in the loading screens reveal that Worf had severed all ties to the Federation after they declined assisting the Klingons in fighting the Undine/Species 8472. Of course, given that he was worried about Starfleet Command and the Federal Parliament being shot through with Undine infiltrators and was rebuffed after being told it couldn't happen, exactly who ended up the face and who ended up the heel is a matter of perspective.
  • Face Palm: One of the emotes you can do is a Picard face palm.
  • False Flag Operation: The Undine's attack on the Alpha and Beta Quadrant is because of someone using Iconian tech to mimic Starfleet spaceships and attack Fluidic Space
  • Falling Into The Captain's Chair: This is more or less how the Fed side of the game starts out. Your ship is ambushed and boarded, and while you are helping repel the intruders, the senior staff gets killed, and you, a lowly Ensign, now have to take command of an entire starship... against the Klingons and the Borg. The fact you actually win is why command makes your command position permanent.
    • Given a BIT more justification in the expanded bio.
  • Fake Defector: In the mission "Under the Cover of Night", T'Par is actually a member of Section 31, and capturing her is just part of a ruse to feed the Romulans false information.
  • Fan Disservice: The scantily-clad, hideously ugly Fek'lhri Ravagers.
  • Fanservice:
    • Orion Females play this straight, especially the Player Character ones. This also applies to female toons with the Enterprise-Era and TOS-Era Mirror Uniforms.
    • Special note to Nimbus III's Orion Hideout and Titty Bar, Shangdu. There is fanservice for ANYONE in this nightclub with scantily clad dancers everwhere. This is notable because it's not just the standard hot chick schtick and features as the three main ones a Trill Female in a bikini, a Caitian Female in a tank top and go-go boots, and a Human male in a speedo. The equality of it was actually praised on the forums - especially when you consider that the primary person watching the male dancer is also male, and has atmospheric lines like, "I think I'm in love".
  • Fantastic Ghetto: If you aren't a Klingon noble or a KDF officer, First City isn't that great of a place to live. During a "tour the city" optional mission you find that the southwest side of town is a dingy slum packed full of non-Klingons who came to Qo'noS looking for work and weren't successful.
  • Faster-Than-Light Travel: Par for the course. Thankfully, there is no such thing as a Warp Queue.
  • Fighting Your Friend: Some of the missions (such as the Starbase 234 patrol mission for Fed players) has the player engaging in 'wargames' against their allies to hone their combat skills. This is also the main premise of the same-faction (Fed vs Fed, KDF vs KDF) PvP missions, where players square off against others from their own faction.
  • Fixed Forward-Facing Weapon: The various flavors of dual cannons as well as the phaser spinal lance on the Galaxy-X dreadnought have a very narrow firing arc straight ahead of the ship. Dual beam banks and (most) forward-mounted torpedo launchers also count to a lesser degree, as they can only engage targets within a 90-degree cone off the bow. Normal cannons and the Assault Cruiser Refit's Wide-Angle Quantum Torpedo Launcher as well to an even more lesser degree, as they turn a full 180 degrees
    • Also the thalaron weapon used by the Scimitar dreadnoughts.
  • Flanderization: One of the few things we learned about the Breen in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine is that they wear refrigeration suits because they prefer cold temperatures. The game takes this Up to Eleven by making everything about them relate somehow to cold: they use cryonic grenades, encase their prisoners in ice, and somehow scatter snow across the corridors of enemy ships they're boarding.
  • Fluffy Tamer: The player can become this, with numerous species of animals that can be domesticated and kept as pets, some of which can even be used in combat.
  • Flunky Boss: Just about every elite level boss ship you have to kill (and some battleship-level mobs) will have a squadron of escort ships or fighters buzzing around it.
    • Some high-ranking ground enemies will have the ability to summon low-level grunts as backup.
  • Foreshadowing: During the debriefing following the completion of 'Cutting the Cord', Temek and T'nae each tell the KDF & Fed players that "the return of the Iconians could change everything". Cue 'Surface Tension'...
  • Four-Star Badass: The current maximum rank a player can achieve is Rear Admiral 5 Vice Admiral (Federation & Romulan Republic) and Lt. General (KDF). Rather quickly in universe, one would imagine.
    • The "Delta Rising" expansion will up the cap even further to Fleet Admiral and Dahar Master ranks, making the player a ''five''-star badass.
  • Fragile Speedster/Glass Cannon: On paper, the Escort class ships are supposed to be this: Quick and deadly, but light on defense. Player customization and skill determines if that is true or not.
    • The fighters, runabouts, and shuttlecraft can also also be considered this; small, agile craft good for quick hit and run attacks, but will be slaughtered wholesale by battleships and cruisers that get a clear shot on them.
  • Friendly Fireproof: Other players and friendly NPC's won't be harmed by a stray phaser beam or torpedo during combat.
  • Funny Background Event: In the 20-man FM event Starbase Fleet Defense the freighters you escort for a full minute make rediculous but easily missed comments ranging from Space Is an Ocean to discussing about their romantic encounters with the comm channel over.
  • Future Me Scares Me: Past-B'Vat, complete with TOS Klingon style smooth forehead, is terrified at what he will become in the future, and helps the player in taking down his future self
  • Gameplay and Story Segregation: Of a sort. The Duty Officer system represents your junior officers, and every ship is supposed to have their crew number's worth of Doffs. However, you start at 100 for free, up to a max of 400. However... some ships crew numbers don't fit with this, like the Galaxy with a crew of 1,000, or the Defiant with a crew of 50, or the Runabout class shuttle, which has a maximum crew compliment of 5. Very few ships have Doff numbers close to their crew numbers, while others are either hopelessly understaffed, or unrealistically packed.
    • The New Romulus story introduced in Season 7 has what one can call Story And Story Segregation: continuity-wise it explicitly takes place after and relies on events in the Romulan arc in the Federation story (for instance, the disappearance of Sela is the reason for the civil war that is the reason for the New Romulus exodus, while the Tal Shiar's actions are influenced by the loss of Hakeev), but there's no restriction on doing the New Romulus missions before even beginning the Romulan arc.
      • This is made worse with the addition of the Klingon storyline. While the Romulan early-game storyline starts a couple of weeks before the Federation early-game and chronicles how New Romulus is created, the Klingon storyline takes place after both storylines and yet you're still there dealing with the Tal Shiar long after they were dealt with!
    • More Story and Story Segregation in the Third Anniversary mission, "Temporal Ambassador". Given that the mission guest-stars Tholians and 29th Century Starfleet timeships, the mission should be set somewhere near the Endgame and post-Endgame content. However, the level restriction for "Temporal Ambassador" is level 6 - Lieutenant rank, a far cry from Endgame. When the mission was shuffled into the post-early-game missions, it's at Level 20 and yet you're still dealing with things that you won't deal with for another 30 levels.
  • Gatling Good / More Dakka: One of the options for either yourself or your crew while on foot is essentially the energy-weapon version of a Squad Automatic Weapon. Having one of these around is rather handy. Not the first time we've seen 'em, either.
  • Genre Savvy: During one mission that involved time travel you wind up saving the orignal U.S.S. Enterprise from a ambush that normally they would have survived but was destroyed due to interference. After you do so you immediatly jump out of system to avoid contaiminating the time line. Then at the end while fighting more Klingons the Enterprise jumps in system to help you fight them off. Then Commander Spock sends you a message saying that he's had experience with the Guardian of Forver and recognizes the portal. He then pretty much tells you he understands why you're not talking back and urges you to go back to your time before you cause any damage to the time line.
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar:
    • One of the Duty Officer assignments is 'Retrieve DNA Sample from Romulan Senator', which is easier to accomplish if the officers you assign to it have the 'Seductive' and 'Unscrupulous' traits. Oh my.
    • An Orion female Entertainer doff you can buy with Diplomacy XP has the following line on her doff card:
      Janzea: Sit back and relax. Let me do the work.
    • There's a Gorn with the name "Shit".
  • Gladiator Games: Prominently featured in the Cloaked Intentions episode series.
    • In one mission on Nimbus III, Hassan throws you and your party into one.
  • Glass Cannon: The Escort.
  • God Save Us from the Queen!: As of season 7, the Borg Queen. Empress Sela as well, to a minor extent.
  • Grenade Launcher: The pulsewave assault rifle available as part of the Klingon Honor Guard and Adapted MACO ground sets have one of these built in. Engineering players can also erect automated grenade-launching turrets.
  • Grievous Harm with a Body: One of the weapons the player can get is a severed Borg arm cannon, which makes for a form of Hoist by His Own Petard since it's most often used against other Borg.
  • Guile Hero: You get the chance to be this on occasion, especially during the Drozana Station missions.
  • Guns Akimbo: Klingon Swordmasters and other types of enemies often use twin disruptor pistols, but the Player Character and their Bridge Bunnies can too.
  • Good Old Fisticuffs: Just because you have a Phaser, doesn't mean you always have to use it. Far from being an Emergency Weapon, some enemies just go down faster if the player simply holsters their weapon and hands them their ass. Having the Leg Sweep ability for crowd control makes this even more useful. See also BFS.
  • Green-Skinned Space Babe: The Orion Vixens, complete with confuse-inducing Seduce skill. They're also a popular choice amongst the RP community.
  • Guide Dang It: While not as heavy as most MMOs, STO does have a handful of prizes that people wouldn't know how to obtain.
    Tropes H-M 
  • Hand Wave: Story-wise, the Tutorial shows that your character is merely an ensign who's very first assignment out of the academy takes them to the Vega Colony, where the Borg very specifically kill off all the commanding officers on your ship while you transported over to the U.S.S. Khitomer to help them get their ship back up and running. This technically placed you as the highest ranking officer in the chain of command, and Admiral Quinn decides that you have earned the right to remain as captain of your vessel due to the dire situation all around the Alpha Quadrant, and they need every last ship they can use in service. Players are actually given the choice to skip the Tutorial if they want. If they do, they start the game in Starfleet Academy, and have to go see the Commandant of the academy for graduation. He decides that your academics are so admirably remarkable that he recommends you for a command assignment. That's it. He tells you to go grab some supplies from a nearby locker, select a first officer, and get to work.
    • This has been cleaned up a lot in the new tutorial, introduced in Season 8. The new tutorial has you on your first assignment as a freshly graduated cadet from the Academy acting as First Officer. After the Captain is killed in a Klingon ambush, you receive a field promotion to Lieutenant from another Starfleet Captain. You then get caught up in the initial stages of the Borg invasion. Your actions in evacuating the survivors of the Vega Colony prompt Admiral Quinn to make the promotion official.
    • Undine ships are normally piloted by a single Undine with a strong psychic connection to their vessel. Since no other species can replicate this, captured Undine ships require a traditional crew, thus allowing game mechanics involving crew to function the same as with other ships.
  • Health/Damage Asymmetry: The absolute maximum hitpoints a player ship can have is roughly in the 60k range, however boss ships on elite difficulty have hundreds of thousands to millions of hitpoints. In a subversion, these boss ships often have One-Hit Kill weapons that have to be avoided rather than tanked. Player ships can do some serious damage too, but nothing that can solo kill a boss in one or two hits.
  • Heel-Face Turn: The Remans, and particularly Obisek, who starts off stealing thalaron weapons and siccing fighters on you.
  • Hell-Bent for Leather: Even in the 25th century, the typical Klingon military uniform still looks like something you'd expect to see members of KISS wearing.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • K'Valk does a suicide run into the core of the Doomsday Machine to at least try to disable it. And he does it while singing the Klingon War Song.
    • Admiral D'Vak nearly does one too; sacrificing his ship to draw fire from insanely powerful Borg weapons. He survives, though.
  • Historical Rap Sheet: For a purely fictional example, the player discovers partway through the Starfleet "Romulan Mystery" and Romulan "In Shadows" arcs that the Tal Shiar faction led by Hakeev and Taris triggered the Hobus supernova and the destruction of Romulus.
  • Hit-and-Run Tactics: Ships with Battle Cloak can pull this off, go in, fight, and quickly cloak while in Red Alert and GTFO. The Enhanced Battle Cloak-equipped ships can go even further and torpedo away while hidden.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: The game has this in spades, as there's countless examples of players being able to acquire other factions' weapons, ships, even people and turning them against their original owners. Some missions even have players sabotaging enemy defense systems to attack the enemy on the player's behalf.
  • Humans Are Leaders: The only race with the Leadership skill, which increases subsystem repair and hull regeneration. An entire crew of purple quality Human bridge officers lead by a Human captain will have a very fast regeneration rate and recover from subsystem attacks that temporarily knock them out such as Target Subsystem: Engines.
  • Humans Are White: There's one black guy and maybe three Asians on the entire Federation side, and the rest of the NPCs are 99% white or white near-human aliens. The game's effective mascot, "Handsome Phaser Guy", is likewise a Caucasian male. However, Character Customization and the Foundry editor allow players and authors to avert this at will.
    • The devs are trying to correct it. Captain Koren of the I.K.S. Bortasqu' and Worf's adoptive daughter is very black and even has an african american voice actor. There's also Commander Mesi Achebe (Ambigiously Brown) as well as several racially diverse Foundry contact NPCs hanging out on Social Zones like Commander Futagami or Captain Ford. Also the art team found time to introduce new racial face options for Season 9 (including a new asian face, an eastern european and an african based one). Based on the game's legendary Troubled Production, its really a Downplayed Trope.
  • Humiliation Conga: Hakeev gets put through one once his plans start falling apart. As the Anticlimax Boss entry notes, it doesn't even end with his death.
  • Humongous Mecha: The Voth have some rather formidable mechs that they employ in ground combat which can be rather difficult to defeat without a concerted effort from a team of players and supporting bridge officers.
    • Also the Elachi walkers used in their invasions of various colony worlds in the Romulan Republic story missions and the Rhi Atmosphere PVE, which are a rather blatant shout-out to the Martian tripods from The War of the Worlds.
  • Hurricane of Puns: The Tribble With Klingons, Which gives us such gems as: Wack A Tribble, Tribble Saviour, Tribble Topia, ect. Be warned, this has undergone rapid Memetic Mutation in the player base.
    • The KDF has a lot of this. One of the Klingon Player Versus Environment missions is called "Sulfur My Wrath." Players collectively groaned upon seeing it.
    • The introductions given to each group of opponents in Hassan's fighting pit on Nimbus III are pretty bad as well.
  • Hyperactive Metabolism: we will have this trope in the future.
  • I Am Not Left-Handed: It's easy to play this up with certain ships as they tend to have consoles that many players tend to consider useless and try to dump in order to raise their DPS.
  • I Just Want to Be Normal: Poor Miral Paris. She hates the fact that she is considered the Klingon Messiah. She just wants to be the head of security on the U.S.S. Kirk. Even worse is that the Guardian of Forever confirms the fact that she is the Kuvah'magh.
  • Idiosyncratic Episode Naming: All five missions of the "Breen Invasion" episode include the word "cold" in the title, referring to the planet Breen being very, very wintry.
  • Infinity–1 Sword: Many C-Store ships that come with special weapons usually bear the "Infinity" symbol and come with special modifiers that other weapons don't. What makes them Minus One Swords is that they only really scale up to about Mk XI.
  • Implacable Man: If you don't have a frequency remodulator device, Borg drones can easily become this once they adapt to your weapons. The only way to stop them then is to engage them in melee combat, where you risk possibly being assimilated.
  • Improbable Weapon User: The Gorn equivalent of the Klingon Swordmaster likes to grab a chunk of the ground and throw it at you. Yes, even on a space ship/space station.
    • Orbital Strike for Engineer captains. It doesn't matter where you are—on the surface, underground, on another Federation starship, even back in time.
  • In-Game Novel: The Path to 2409, a 29-volume text which tells the major historical events between the end of Star Trek: Nemesis in 2379 and the game's beginning in 2409.
  • In Memoriam: 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.
  • In Space Everyone Can See Your Face: While most of the environmental suits and helmet-bearing elite armor sets in the game avert this, it's played straight with D'Tan and a Romulan scientist accompanying him in the cutscene at the end of the last Romulan reputation mission.
  • Insurmountable Waist-Height Fence: There is one very prominent example on the Starfleet Academy map. Your character is not able to access the waterfront, even though there's only a literal waist-heigth fence in your way - one that you could jump over under normal circumstances. Many other maps (including player-created Foundry stories) use noticable Invisible Walls. Those are most prominent around the edges of maps, where your character suddenly can't go any further for no apparent reason, although in some maps (e.g. some of the Borg ones), there are energy fields acting as these.
  • Interchangeable Antimatter Key: "Lock Boxes" need to be unlocked using a "Master Key," which costs 125 Zen (or 1125 Zen for a pack of 10 keys). (Even better, the lock boxes themselves drop frequently enough that, unless you use real money, you're likely to have way more of them than keys. Fortunately they're a limited-time promotion. First started with Cardassian lock boxes that gave the possibility of a Galor class ship, and currently there are Ferengi lock boxes that can reward a D'Kora Marauder vessel.)
    • "Limited-time promotion" is a gross underestimation: there are now lock boxes for every major story event (including Tholian and Temporal lock boxes), with the latest being Tal Shiar lock boxes.
    • The currentnote  full list is: Cardassian, Ferengi, Tholian, Temporal, Dominion, Tal Shiar, Elachi, Voth, Hirogen, Undine, Xindi.
  • Interface Screw: Some missions will require you to hide your ship inside a nebula. Inside these nebulae, static interference will obstruct your entire view of everything on the screen save for the UI itself. Your map will also be obstructed by static as well.
    • Getting assimilated by the Borg during ground missions will also implement a fisheye lens-type effect on the camera that lasts until your character is defeated.
    • Being critically low on health in ground combat will cause the screen to grey out.
    • Having your ship boarded by an enemy in space combat will cause the edges of the screen to flash red until the effects of the boarding parties have expired or been neutralized.
  • Interface Spoiler:
    • In a mission where you've secretly been in a Holo-Deck the entire time, your away mission's map shows a yellow grid pattern.
    • An early Romulan mission involves checking three systems — Dewa, Gamma Eridon and Galorndon Core — to see which is the most suitable for colonization to become 'New Romulus'. Thing is, Dewa's name on the sector map was once Dewa III/New Romulus. This was later updated so that the sector name lacks the reference to New Romulus until some time after said mission.
  • An Interior Designer Is You: Sort of; you get to choose what kind of bridge your ship has, and you can now run around your ship's interior. Cryptic has stated outright that they want to expand greatly upon this and eventually give you full control of your ship's interior and possibly even a starbase for player-made fleets.
    • You also get to design the exterior of your ship from several options for each major ship section, natch. It took them a while to add Klingon options, however.
    • Starbases have finally been added, which allow for very limited customization of both exteriors and interiors.
    • Also, the Foundary allows for the creation of custom missions, as well as custom mission maps, including indoor, outdoor and outer space mission arenas.
  • ISO Standard Human Spaceship: The Avenger-class battlecruiser is an ISO Standard riff on the usual Starfleet "flying spoon" design, a blocky, beefy, compact cruiser.
  • Item Crafting:
    • The system has gone through several iterations and is slated for updates including craftable Delta Flyers.
    • Craftable Delta Flyers have now been removed and are only available through the C-Store.
    • This is the only place to obtain the Aegis Space Gear for your ship. Thankfully, it's sellable on the Exchange for those who don't want to work for it.
  • Jack-of-All-Trades: A few starships tend to lean towards this pattern. This is easily shown with Lobi-bought Tal Shiar Adapted Battle Cruiser and the Jem'Hadar Dreadnought Carrier, as both are heavily armored and shielded ships who can utilize systems that can weaken an opponent in some way while dishing out punishment while losing out on certain things that would make them a Game Breaker
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold: While rescuing a Federation ship from a Borg sphere, Q, for seemingly no reason than his own amusement, will get involved and start resetting time, forcing you to rescue the ship against increasingly desperate odds. However, after the third go, he'll then send you and your away team back in time to the battle of Wolf 359, on board the Saratoga, where he reveals the Iconians have opened a small rift, letting a handful of Borg on board, where they will proceed to kill or assimilate Ben Sisko, and throw the entire future into chaos, unless you stop them. After clearing the ship, Q will admit he's moderately impressed, and will helpfully stop time, giving you a chance to get ready for the boss fight (which you will need). He can be an epic jerk about it, but Q seems to be looking out for the human race, and at least giving them a fighting chance against the Iconians' more cosmic level shenanigans.
  • Kill and Replace: Standard M.O. of Undine infiltrators. On three separate occasions in-game they've replaced members of Starfleet or the Federation diplomatic corps, and the Gorn Hegemony leadership in the backstory was infested with them. The infiltration problem was discovered when they tried it on Ja'rod, son of Torg, but underestimated his badassery.
  • Kill It with Fire: Some weapons, particularly plasma-based weapons, will often set targets ablaze when they hit an enemy. Applies to both ground and ship-based versions.
    • The 'four spectres' the player fights in Gre'thor and Fek'Ihr himself will also use this trope to devastating effect. Get caught in the area of one of their flame attacks and you can pretty much kiss your ass goodbye.
    • The fighting pit in Hassan's Shangdu hideout on Nimbus III features trapdoors that drop anyone (player or NPC) unlucky enough to tread on them into flames which are immediate death.
  • Killed Mid-Sentence: During the Breen arc.
    Thot Trel: "...But... I'm... Thot... Tr..."
  • Kinetic Weapons Are Just Better: Played with. Torpedoes are far and away the most damaging weapons in your starship's arsenal, but they kind of suck against shields. That's where phasers and disruptors come in. On the ground, meanwhile, melee weapons have the advantage of ignoring shields and Borg adaptation, guaranteeing a steady damage output if you're willing to risk your skin up close.
    • The TR-116 rifle is a good example of this. While it's only a Mk I level weapon, it can penetrate shields and be shot around corners thanks to that mini-transporter. It can be killer in PVP if used right and very effective against the Borg. The only issue is that they were only available via pre-order from Target and the contract has prevented them from making it in-game via rep system or drop.
  • Klingon Promotion: Not only does the game implement this in the KDF tutorial missions as the main way a lowly Warrior gains command of an entire starship, but fleets (the in-game "guilds") can also implement a non-violent version of this when leaders have been negligent in their duties; if the fleet leader has been inactive for a set period of time (usually several months), junior members can usurp control of the fleet from them.
  • Klingon Scientists Get No Respect:
    • So much so that the Klingons don't actually have dedicated Science Vessels. Instead, they have Birds-Of-Prey, small, ultra-manoeuverable ships that have universal Bridge Officer slots which can be assigned any type rather than being limited to one.
    • Then again, their Carriers have similar capabilities to Science Vessels (less weapons, increased shields, extra Science stations, Auxiliary Power bonus...).
  • Knight of Cerebus: "So you are the heroes of the Milky Way. You have come further than we expected, but still you chase our shadows. We give you a single warning. Do not attract our attention again."
  • Knock Back: There are tons of different weapons and attacks that deal this out, both on the ground and even in space. Hell, some types of personal shields your Captain and away team members can wear have the ability to deal this out to anyone attacking them. Romulan warbirds even do this to other ships hit by the Planar Shockwave of their singularity cores exploding when they're defeated.
  • Lady Not-Appearing-in-This-Game: Some of promo art features a young female Vulcan wearing a Starfleet-styled Custom Uniform of Sexy with plentiful cleavage. She's been dubbed T'Its and variations thereof by the fanbase. In comparison, the young female Romulan wearing a modified Republic-styled uniform that has dominated the promo art since Legacy of Romulus was announced was this for a bit over half a year, but finally showed up for two short appearances in a single mission. Before her name, Commander Tiaru Jarok, was revealed, she went by the "name" So'Hott.
  • Lampshade Hanging: You get an accolade for scanning an anomaly inside the Bajoran wormhole. Its title? "Isn't This All One Big Anomaly?"
  • Large and in Charge:
    • The more important the Breen, the bigger they are. H'ren are a bit shorter than humans, senior officers are One Head Taller, and Thot Trel is an absolute colossus.
    • Exaggerated further with the Fek'lhri, who range from the wast-high Hordelings to the Slave Masters, who are twice your height... and the Horde's senior leadership are even bigger than that.
    • The Gorn seem to be fond of this as well; low-level grunts look like anemic midgets compared to their superiors. One could be forgiven for mistaking a high-level Gorn officer for a T. rex or Godzilla.
    • Kar'ukan, the leader of the Jem'Hadar near the end of the Dominion storyline, is twice as big as the other Jem'Hadar under his command.
    • The Tholians employ this to some degree as well, most noticeably when wearing environmental suits; Ensigns are roughly human-sized, whereas the Captains are almost twice as big!
    • You, as the player can play this straight or even invert it, especially in the case of the "Alien" subclass. It's not unusual to see players running around 3 or 4 feet tall.
    • Also applies to NPC starships too; you have dinky little frigates at one end, then massive, hulking dreadnoughts at the other which are considered to be capitol ships and/or flagships for their respective factions.
  • Large Ham: Colonel Hakeev of the Tal Shiar. To such a degree that he can be hard to take entirely seriously. For instance at Khitomer: "I don't care if you have a hundred Klingon ships. You will NOT stop me." And then there is his Big "NO!" at the end of the Coliseum episode. Coming at the end of a rather hammy monologue as it does. [2]
  • Laser Blade: Yes, in Star Trek. There are Nanopulse Lirpas and Bat'leths (which is by the way based in an ACTUAL canon technobabble) which give off the glow full time. The one that is kinda controversial is the new Tholian Energy Sword which harnesses energy shot at it's wielder and converts it into an energy blade that reflects incoming fire like a lightsaber. the controversy comes from the fact it's so blatant about it and being an Ass Pull of tech. It's still moderately popular simply because of the trope though.
  • The Legions of Hell: The Fek'lhri are a space-faring version of this. They are malicious souls of the damned. Spirits sent to Gre'thor, the Klingon version of Hell. The Klingons have a story arc where you and your crew are sent down to Gre'thor itself, where you must find why and how the Fek'Ihr reappeared. Along your travels you will fight, among other demons, the physical personifications of Treachery, Cowardice, and Dishonor.
  • Let's Get Dangerous: When an Iconian shows up at the end of Surface Tension and casually kills the Klingon High Council, Admiral Quinn points out that they are the reason they should stop this pointless war and work together. Which formally ends the Federation/Klingon War.
  • Let's You and Him Fight: In episode "Allies", mission "Memory Lane", the Tal Shiar leak false information to try and get the Romulan PC and an RRF captain allied with the opposite faction to take each other out. This fails, but not before the Romulan PC kills several of the other captain's squads.
  • Level Editor: The "Foundry" content creation toolset. Even in its initial "beta"-ish release state (as Cryptic calls it), it's quite robust and will only get moreso, and will likely allow STO to carve out a very solid niche for itself. Missions by top authors are often favorably compared to canon TV episodes. See Recap.Star Trek Online for work pages on some of the missions.
  • Level Scaling: In order to maintain some of the challenge, all instances that the player enters into will feature enemies that scale up to your level. This also helps please the fanbase by maintaining that the Klingons, the Orion Syndicate, the Gorn, and all the other races you engage in the low level story arcs are still a viable threat against you at level 50note . Public areas like space conflicts still scale the enemies to their appropriate levels, making it very easy to destroy entire Klingon armadas with only a few phaser shots to drop the shields and a torpedo to finish off the ship.
  • Lightning Bruiser: The Escort class ships. Once you learn and train your tactical officers with the Cannon Rapid Fire ability, you will tear almost any ship's shields to shreds faster than they have time to turn around and start fighting back. Add torpedoes into that mix and they'll be dead in seconds. Defense can be easily enhanced through shielding and skill distribution into science or engineering skills.
  • Lizard Folk: The Gorn, Saurians and Voth.
  • Loads and Loads of Loading: One of the few nearly-universal complaints about the game is that due to the way sector space, solar systems and human-scale stuff is divided, you have to transition between loading screens a lot. Admittedly, because of the way they go from environment to environment in the shows so quickly, there wasn't all that much of a way of escaping scene changes, but on older machines or lower-quality connections the load times can hurt.
  • Lower Deck Episode: played with. You are, of course, The Captain, so it wouldn't make sense for you to be deeply involved in one of these. However, the game does offer "Duty Officers," who are semi-randomly generate and whom you can send on Lower Deck Missions, bringing back small amounts of EXP, EC, dilithium and "Commendation Experience," a second set of levels which give you some new abilities. What's interesting is that Doffs themselves are Serious Business. The cheapest Bridge Officers, the NPCs that form your away team, start at like 100 EC at the exchange. The cheapest Duty Officers start at 30K.
  • Machinima: The "The Veil Of Space" trailers.
  • Macross Missile Massacre:
    • The "High Yield Torpedo" abilities allow a single launcher to fire 2, 3, or 4 torpedoes at a single target, but the prize goes to the "Torpedo Spread" ability that fires 3 (reduced damage) torpedoes each at up to 3 targets (9 total) at lowest level moving up to a theoretical maximum of 9 torpedoes each at up to 9 targets (that's up to 81 total) from a single launcher at the top end.
    • The Borg command ship from the sector invasion events love to use Torpedo Spread on the players. For a ship of it's size, from the player's perspective, it looks like you're getting hit point blank with buckshot from a shotgun. Say goodbye to your shields and 90% of your hull from the initial impact.
    • Plasma Torpedoes launcher don't fire more than torpedo at High Yield (it gets modified into a slower, destructible, but much more damaging torpedo instead), but the Romulan Hyper-Plasma Torpedo fires three High Yield torpedoes as the default mode. Torpedo Spread doesn't have quite the impact it does on other torpedoes (it goes from 2 torpedoes per three targets to 2 torpedoes per 5 targets), but on the other hand, 10 torpedoes is pretty impressive for a single attack by a single ship.
    • The Breen Transphasic Torpedoes have this in spades. The normal ones fire two or three at once, with a normal shot, but when the Torpedo Spread ability is used in tandem with it, it is a real massacre. And then there's the Transphasic CLUSTER Torpedo launcher, this baby fires a single slow torpedo. When that torpedo gets close enough to its target; it instantly splits into TEN mines. What's more those mines don't have the delay that the normal ones have. The only thing that ballences this weapon is its 60 second recharge time, and the fact that the torpedo is all but useless if it hits strong sheilds. However, if these babies hit a target with a downed facing shield; well, the target will fall way below 25% in health even if it was at 100% before the torpedo blew it all to heck.
  • The Man Behind the Man: The Iconians, architects of all the strife sweeping the galaxy. All it took was one Iconian Portal to literally walk into Fluidic Space and mess around with the Undine, a race who simply wants to be left alone, enough times to get them to do all the rest of the work.
    • On a smaller scale, this trope applies to the Romulan Empire. While Empress Sela does in her own right hold a great deal of authority and power, The Tal Shiar have always had their own agenda and goals of operation. They work under their own masters, and don't recognize Sela as the true ruler of the empire.
  • Manipulative Bastard: This is the Iconians' Hat. They're responsible for starting EVERYTHING that has happened. Everything.
  • Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane: During the invasion of Klingon space by the Fek'lhri, nobody is quite sure whether they're up against demons or artificial constructs. It may be a bit of both.
  • Meaningful Name: The R.R.W. Lleiset, to anyone who knows Rhihannsu. Romulan Republic Warbird Freedom.
  • Meaningful Rename: Sort of. While they didn't "choose" to rename themselves, the proper name for the Undine makes sense given that they come from "fluidic" space, and nearly all references to "8472" in-game are replaced with the new name.
  • Medium Awareness: During "The State of Q", Q himself will speak through the yellow text message pop up on screen that says "Intense, isn't it?" These yellow messages are typically reserved for system notices such as when you receive a reward for completing quests, goals, duty officer assignments, and such.
  • Megaton Punch / Touch of Death: It's possible (though very rare) to disintegrate enemy NPCs or other players with hand-to-hand criticals.
  • Mêlée à Trois: Upon arrival at the Preserver outpost world, the player finds several Breen and Jem'Hadar ships fighting for control of whatever's on the surface. The player's crewmates encourage them to attack while both are distracted.
  • Memetic Badass: In universe. The player fully achieves this status, complete with random Starfleet NPCs fawning over the player's character... as early as the first moment you arrive at Earth spacedock. Justified, in that...oh hell, just read this page from top to bottom. Don't even bother looking behind the spoilers.
  • Mighty Glacier:
    • One way to play the cruiser allows significant toughness (though less than the all-out defense build) while maintaining a pretty dangerous offense. You're still slow and won't turn for anything, but when you shoot (especially broadside) - the enemy WILL feel it.
    • The various Carriers. With the exception of the Heavy Escort Carrier, Kar'Fi Battle Carrier and the Ar'Kif Retrofit, Carriers are massive battleships with incredibly high HP and shield levels and able to host a plethora of ships (the Vo'quv and the Jem'Hadar Dreadnought take exceptional mention as they're the only ships that launch actual ships, not shuttles)
  • Mildly Military:
    • As ever for Starfleet. In fact, you can customize the uniform on your captain and on each bridge officer - while they'll still be Starfleet uniforms, they don't even have to match. With TOS, TNG, Deep Space Nine, the various films, and even mirror universe uniforms available, they don't even have to have the "new" look.
    • Averted with regards to the M.A.C.O. marines, who are definitely NOT Mildly Military. The player gets away with the multiple uniforms at higher levels despite being one because they're primarily Starfleet with a dual commission. The STO tie-in novel The Needs of the Many actually shows what being a M.A.C.O. is like and they sounds like any marine you've met in real life. Their uniform doesn't change much, it's based on what Mark equipment your using and how good you are.
  • 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.
  • Military Brat: NPCs in Starfleet include the children, grandchildren, or other descendants of Hikaru Sulu, Mira Romaine, Miles O'Brian, Tom Paris and B'Elanna Torres, and Samantha Wildman. (The latter two were born aboard Voyager during that series' run.) Civilian descendants include those of Harry Mudd and Cyrano Jones.
  • Missing Trailer Scene: The game suffers from this occasionally, as some content seen in trailers for the various seasons is either changed or outright removed from the actual version, such as a scene from the season 6 trailer showing players in EV suits fighting Tholians onboard a damaged starship.
  • Mole in Charge:
    • Undine seem to be good at this, given how the entire Klingon Empire is at war with the Federation because of them.
    • At least two missions ("Diplomatic Orders" and "Divide et Impera") have you escorting someone who turns out to be an Undine imposter.
  • Mook Maker: Klingon Targ Handlers wil spawn an endless legion of creatures to attack you until you take them down. On the other side of the neutral zone, Tactical Player Captains can summon a two man team of NPC redshirts from their ship to fight for them every two minutes. But if you combine that with the Tactical Initiative skill, which instantly recharges all of your abilities...
  • More Dakka: Whereas Cruisers are more into Beam Spam, Escorts' ability to equip considerable numbers of rapid-firing cannons puts them into this trope instead. Especially since most cannon-related abilities involve increasing their rate of fire even further. The current king of dakka is the Federation's Andorian-designed Kumari-class escort, a pure Glass Cannon with an Alpha Strike that looks like something out of a Bullet Hell game.
  • Moveset Clone: The Starfleet Avenger-class and Klingon Mogh-class battlecruisers have the same bridge officer layout, virtually identical stats, and very similar unique consoles that act as Recursive Ammo weapons. Their primary difference is that the Mogh has a built-in cloaking device, whereas the Avenger has to use the cloak console add-on. Justified as the Avenger having been based off of stolen plans for Klingon battlecruisers, and the Mogh being based in turn on the Avenger.
  • Mundane Utility: One duty officer mission has you sabotage a provisions stockpile of the KDF. Do you destroy the food or poison it? Nope you just beam over about three tribbles and let them do it for you.
  • My Greatest Second Chance: In the Klingon mission "Afterlife", you'll find First Officer Doran, who was slain in the Klingon Tutorial Mission. You find out that her death was a one way ticket to Gre'thor, Klingon Hell. Your player convinces her to team up with her husband and give her a clean slate so she can go to Sto'va'kor, Klingon Heaven.
  • My Name Is Not Durwood: A fairly common misspelling of Ferasan is Ferasian. This maybe due to their Captain Ersatz status which causes players not care about them as much.
    Tropes N-R 
  • Negative Space Wedgie: Standard fare for Star Trek, but the higher tier Romulan Warbirds have the short range Singularity Jump ability which takes you out of the path of enemy weapons and, if close enough, leaves a miniature black hole for them to deal with.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero:
    • Combined with a bit of Fridge Brilliance. You manage to defeat B'vat, and save Miral, after entering the Guardian of Forever. The Klingons got the genetic samples they needed from her to cure the Augment Virus, however, and you don't stop them from using it, which means, uh, that you are responsible for the Klingons getting their ridges and infamous over-aggression back, just like B'vat wanted, and it means that you are indirectly responsible for the Fed-Klink war in the 25th century. And since you come from a time when Klingons have ridges and are incredibly warlike, you were always destined to do so. Temporal Investigations is gonna love this one.
    • Played far more straight in "Divide et Impera", an early Romulan-centric story mission: you infiltrate a Romulan starbase and slaughter everyone there under the orders from the Admiral accompanying you, while looking for subspace tear weapons (think Star Trek: Insurrection). However, you discover that the Romulans weren't working on such weapons... they were working on methods of finding Undine infiltrators. And the admiral, surprise, is an Undine, who uses the genetic data of the commander of the base to assume her identity and escape into Romulan space, tricking the Romulans into thinking that it's their foremost expert on finding shapeshifters. So you wrecked up the Alpha Quadrant's best hope of finding Undine infiltrators and put a dangerous one right into the heart of the Romulan Empire. Stonking great job, cap'n.
      • This is made even worse in that you have no option to question the "Admiral" or your orders the way Picard and Riker did in the TNG episode "The Pegasus" and you are literally forced by the mission design to carry the Idiot Ball when many players could easily tell something's not quite right about the situation (as pointed out by your officers repeatedly through it). The only way to avoid being forced into said stupidity is to choose never to do the mission (or drop it partway through) and miss out on the reward. How easy it would have been for you to expose the Undine plot by refusing to kill any more Romulans after gathering enough evidence, and watching the thwarted Undine still sabotage the Romulans' research and escape.
  • No Sidepaths, No Exploration, No Freedom: Many ground missions that take place on a ship or space station will give you very little freedom in the way of completing the mission. You'll have to travel through the area to the designated path, completing various tasks along the way. In "Boldly They Rode", The Founder tells you that you're the best candidate to infiltrate Deep Space 9 to reclaim it from the inside by saying that the Jem'Hadar are designed for assault and not infiltration, while Starfleet training covers space walks and such. Your character lampshades this by saying "Why do I feel like I've just been railroaded?"
  • Old-School Dogfight: Not only do you have massive ships flying around like it's 1941 again, but NPCs often have fighter ships accompanying them. Tiny one or two shots to kill but annoying little fighters.
  • One Bullet Left: When the Player (and several NPC ships, namely the Enterprise-F, Bortasqu', Lleiset, and Voyager) are in a dire situation fighting the Undine to defend Qo'noS from imminent destruction by a new Undine planet killer, Tuvok reveals that Voyager has exactly one Bio-molecular Torpedo left from the last time Voyager fought the Undine. Particularly noteworthy as the last time Voyager fought the Undine was 40 years ago during the show, and it has sat there in the armory all this time patiently waiting for its moment. And then Captain Shon has to go and steal the scene.
  • One-Gender Race:
    • While it is implied that there are female members of the Gorn, Nausicaan, and Lethean races, the fact that one has never shown up in any canonical source (or even described in any of the Extended Universe books) prevents the developers from allowing the female gender of these races to be playable. Strangely averted with a few Federation races though. For example, there's never been any confirmed depiction of a female Tellarite anywhere in the series, and the same for a few other races, yet they all have both genders available to play as.
    • Played even straighter with the Jem'Hadar; since they're all genetically-engineered cloned soldiers, there's no need for two genders for biological reproduction.
    • Possibly justified in regards to the Gorn: Would a female dinosaur/crocodile-person really be feminine by Human standards?
  • One-Hit Kill: Many boss-level NPC ships have weapons that can do this, but the worst offenders are possibly the thalaron weapon of the Scimitar dreadnoughts and the plasma energy bolts of the Borg Unimatrix 0047 command ships in the red alert missions; the torpedoes will vaporize any ship they hit just like the weapons used by V'Ger in Star Trek: The Motion Picture.
  • One-Product Planet: Certain stellar bodies are often noted for being useful for one type of industry. For example, asteroids are usually only inhabited because of their mining qualities. Some planets will describe how it's native races became known due to their huge advancements in agriculture or what-have-you.
  • Orbital Bombardment: Engineers get the Orbital Strike skill, capable of wiping out a large group of enemies in one hit. It also works indoors for some reason. And then you get to "Cutting the Cord" and its optional objective of calling in orbital strikes, and all of a sudden your ship is a veritable Kill Sat, wiping out Romulans and fighters left and right.
  • Orwellian Editor: An out-of-game example. After a patch on August 23rd, 2012, Klingon players started noticing a new ship design flying around while they fought against Starfleet enemies. The ship in question was the Wells-class, the same as the U.S.S. Relativity from Star Trek: Voyager - a Time Ship from the 29th century. Cryptic made sure that no screenshots were allowed to be posted on the forums by diligently deleting any thread where one was posted. Now that the ship has been officially released though, they no longer have to hide anything from the media.
    • They're doing this again after the March 28th, 2014 TRIBBLE patch showing off a new Risa.
  • Orwellian Retcon: After Legacy of Romulus launched Cryptic started going back through the early missions and tweaking them, culminating in season 9's complete rewrite of the Borg and Undine episodes as one episode titled "Borg Advance". While most of the changes were fairly well-thought-of, "Where Angels Fear to Tread" (formerly "The Return") had what was previously an ordinary Romulan Star Navy captain fiddling with Borg tech get retconned to be a Tal Shiar officer who was experimenting on Republic POWs. This made the moral choice (left over from the previous version) of what to do with her and the Borg tech she's experimenting on no actual choice at all.
  • Our Dwarves Are Different: Tellarites, plain and simple. They're short (an average height of 4 feet tall,) usually have epic beards, aesthetically ugly (pig-like facial features and wrinkles,) and LOVE to argue with others just because they can. Add a love of alcohol in there, and you'd have a dwarf by any other name in a more traditional fantasy setting.
  • Out of Character: One of the problems with the Star Clusters is that ground maps randomly spawn a certain group of baddies for a map. Thus, it wasn't uncommon to find the Borg down on some random planet looking for objects from their Third Borg Dynasty (?) or trying to put people into slavery (?!)
  • Overranked Soldier:
    • Character rank is tied to Character Level and caps out at vice admiral for Starfleet and the Romulan Republic, lieutenant general for the KDF, which happens at level 50. But apart from tacs getting the ability to call in another ship to help them out if their hull drops below 50%, there's no real difference from when you hit Captain at level 30. You're still flying just one ship instead of commanding an organization, you regularly get ordered around by NPCs you outrank, and there isn't a single mission available that makes more sense for a flag officer to handle rather than a captain (for that matter some of them actually make more sense for enlisted personnel rather than officers, period). The announcement that the upcoming Delta Rising expansion will raise the level cap to 60, making everybody fleet admiralsnote  has led to jokes on the forums that the expansion after next makes you President of the Federation.
    • "Surface Tension" makes their Admiralty rank actually relevent for once - the player assumes command of the joint task force during the battle as the senior most officer in the fleet and Foreshadowing a promotion to the upper echelon of Admiralty.
  • Overshadowed by Awesome: Many less-interesting ships, especially Fleet versions, tend to go on the wayside for more flashier ships. You're more likely to find a Fleet Avenger than, say, a Fleet Ambassador.
  • Percussive Maintenance: The "basic engineer" at Starbase 39's starship area, on the console linked to the Federation bank, is continually hitting the console with fists, repeatedly.
  • Permastubble: Even if you choose to have your male character clean-shaven, zooming in on his face will still show him to have a 5 o'clock shadow.
  • Perpetually Static:
    • Four years after launch and it's still 2409 in the game universe. In fact, the game conforms to all of the Perpetually Static world and story rules.
    • The Romulan storyline starts off with an exception — by locking you into a version of the Sector Block that isn't quite the same as the one you'll see later for the first arc, it can be capped off with a significant change to the sector (a new planet is colonized, changing the name of the planet/system and creating a new central hub for your faction) and a story-wise major shift in political relations and attitudes (your faction is formally recognised by the Federation and the Klingon Empire, and establishes an alliance with both of them). The storyline after that alludes to major changes occurring off-screen (so to speak), keeping Cryptic from having to change the actual game-world.
    • The devs have made subtle hint in CONTENT that its not 2409 despite arguing that it is. Most notably, the Enterprise-F's dedication plaque made by Thomas Marrone the UI artist (and maker of these things) for the game gives a Stardate that says she was launched "August 30th, 2410."
    • This may be starting to break: the Location Subtitles at the start of the Season 9 Feature Episode, Surface Tension, specify that the mission takes place in 2410.
  • Physical God: Q, of course, who spends much of his time hanging around Earth Spacedock, dispensing boons to passing captains and occasionally turning them into small housepets. It should be noted that this Q is not the rogueish Q we are most accustomed to, nor is it his lover, Q. Nor is it his close friend Q. The Q in question is actually his son, Q, who seems to have grown up much like his father, despite his aunt Kathy's influence.
  • Pintsized Powerhouse:
    • The Defiant-class and its variants, naturally. Made all the more apparent by the fact that lower-tier, weaker escorts (especially the Akira, the class you use before upgrading to the Defiant) are much, much bigger. And then you get to the Vice Admiral-tier retrofit, which (being Vice Admiral-tier) is one of the most powerful ships in the game, and throws in the Federation's only cloaking device to sweeten the deal yet further.
    • Another example is the Aquarius Escort, a tiny bundle of cannons and torpedoes that serves as a very nasty surprise for anyone stupid enough to take on an Odyssey Tactical Cruiser.
  • Pistol-Whipping: One of the melee attacks your character (or your away team members) can use is to smack enemies with the butt of their weapon. Works far better than when Picard tried it though.
  • Planar Shockwave: The game loves these; several weapons and special abilities (as well as the destruction of any ship powered by a singularity core) generate these, which can have effects ranging from temporarily disabling your ship's special abilities, to knocking you back, to possibly delivering a one-hit kill in the case of the revamped Crystalline Entity.
  • Planet Spaceship: The Voth fortress-ship in the PVE raid "The Breach". Starfleet's Odyssey-class has been scaled as roughly a kilometer in length, and this thing probably dwarfs a hundred Oddys end-to-end. Oh, and it carries multiple Citadel-class dreadnoughts within it like fighters, each of them roughly 10 km long.
  • Pleasure Planet: There's really nothing to do in Risa but hang out and/or party.
  • Point Defenseless: You can use your ship's weapons to shoot down fighters, boarding shuttles, mines, and heavy torpedoes, but you can't get a lock on standard torps.
  • Posthumous Narration: A variant. Leonard Nimoy provides narration in-character as Ambassador Spock, describing many recent events. His character was not really killed in his last prime-universe appearance, but everyone in the prime universe would reasonably assume him dead and he was thrown back in time and into an Alternate Universe well before the events that he describes.
  • Power Creep: This is one of the main problems with PVP in the game; with the addition of new ships with varying new special abilities and unique weapons, not to mention the various new skills and abilities from the reputation system, which makes fighting other players about as appealing a prospect as waging war with nuclear weapons.
  • Protagonist-Centered Morality: In several missions you're sent to keep Borg technology out of the hands of your enemies. After all, it's simply too dangerous to meddle with, right? And then you get the Special Task Force rewards. That's right, a full set of Borg technology for your ship.
    • It should be noted that this is expanded on in the Legacy of Romulus expansion. The players use Borg tech to modify their ships but they don't let the Borg stuff start assimilating their vessels like Nero did in Star Trek. Hakeev starts letting the borg tech completely take over his flagship. The result is a Narada-class dreadnought. The moral changes to "using salvaged tech is all right, but don't use it to create a massive planet-eating fleet destroying WMD." Further expanded on just prior to finding out about the Narada-class dreadnaught — salvaging Borg tech is one thing, doing experiments with Borg tech involving implanting it into captives until they become asssimilated is another.
    • It's also possible to be as Ferengi as a Starfleet officer possibly can be in-game (especially if the PC is playing a Ferengi character): In the Duty Officer missions "Confiscate Contraband from Crew", "Inspect Civilian Freighter", and "Investigate Reports of Trafficking in Contraband", your duty as a Starfleet officer is to confiscate contraband items from those who should not possess them (such as Federation civilians, smugglers, your own crew). Normally, you could turn the Contraband over to a Starfleet Tactical officer at a starbase... or you could sell it at the in-game auction house, The Exchange, for obscene amounts of in-game currency ("Energy Credits").
      • Then again, how often did the protagonists of the various Star Trek TV series look the other way when someone obtained illegal Romulan ale, as long as they could partake as well?
  • Privateer: Empress Sela of the Romulan Star Empire starts hiring outsiders as privateers to destroy Republic ships. These include the Cardassian guerrillas known as the True Way.
  • Proud Warrior Race Guy:
    • The archetypical examples are a whole playable faction, and they pick up a few other lesser-known Trek examples under their banner too.
    • Given the mind-blowing freedom the character creation tool gives the player in creating their own alien species, we can expect quite a few running around out there.
    • The Breen are this, according to the first set of Featured Episodes. The Undine consider themselves this as well. The Romulans also have shades of this, with elements of Rihannsu being incorporated into STO's story. And then there's the Cardassians, Jem'Hadar, Terran Empire, Remans, Hirogen...
  • Pun-Based Title:
    • Every mission in the "Breen Invasion" arc has a pun on the word "cold" in the title.
    • The Undine fleet action "Viscous Cycle" (on "vicious cycle").
  • Purple Is Powerful: Very Rare items, BOFFs and DOFFs have their words colored purple and their icons with a purple explosion on the lower right corner. Fleet items, though, are half blue, half purple.
  • Ramming Always Works:
    • The "Ramming Speed" ability throws all the player's power into their engines, allowing them to damage enemy ships by crashing into them. However, since the ability only works when the player's hull integrity is down to 25%, using the maneuver typically destroys the player's ship as well.
    • In "Surface Tension", Captain Shon saves Qo'noS from the Undine by ramming their doomsday weapon with the USS Aquarius.
  • Rail Shooter: The player gets put on one of these at the climax of "Surface Tension", covering Captain Shon's attack run on the Undine planet killer.
  • Recursive Ammo:
    • Cluster torpedoes, which fire like normal torpedoes but split into a medium sized but extremely dense (normal mines deploy 4 in an area about as big as a ship this deploys 20+ in that same area) auto armed mine field (the mines the track in to the target).
    • The Bio-neural Warhead, a large tricobalt torpedo with point-defense turrets.
    • The Variable Auto-Targeting Armament, the unique console of the Starfleet Avenger-class battlecruiser. VATA fires a pair of missiles whose effect and submunition vary by which cruiser command is active on the Avenger. The shield booster command causes the VATA to shoot tachyon beams that damage shields, and do an Area of Effect shield debuff when they hit. The weapon efficiency command makes it shoot quantum torpedoes and hit for pure kinetic damage. The maneuvering booster command turns both into chroniton weapons, which do damage and debuff speed and maneuvering. The Klingon Mogh-class has a similar console.
  • Red Shirt:
    • Of course. If you have less than four Bridge Officers who can beam down on an away mission with you (or you just don't want to bring them), they get replaced with Redshirts. They are in fact nameless, lack personality, and you can even use them for cover, if you so wish.
    • The "death penalty" (as it was supposed to be implemented) for being defeated in space is a loss of part of your Redshirt crew; lose too many and ship functions are impaired and you must return to a starbase for repairs. There is no death penalty for normal difficulty, and you can go from a ship full of corpses to being fully manned by alive crewmen within minutes. On higher difficulty settings, you will accumulate injuries and ship damage that reduce stats and need an item or returning to a starbase to remove.
    • This trope is taken Up to Eleven when you get the Fleet Support ability. You summon a nameless starship to help you in space combat. The ship can be destroyed just like any other. Nobody's gonna care that the nameless science vessel got destroyed. Just a whole crew of redshirts who gave their lives because you ordered them to. On the other hand, you do need to be in moderately serious trouble before you can request a whole other ship to bail you out, so there's that.
    • Many doff assignments have a casualty risk associated with them. Doffs of rarity "uncommon" or higher just have to spend a few hours in sickbay. Common doffs, which all have the rank of crewman, are usually killed.
  • The Remnant: The True Way is a terrorist organization composed of rogue Jem'Hadar and Cardassian military men who want to overthrow the civilian Cardassian government formed post-Deep Space Nine and restart the Dominion War.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent:
    • The Gorn turn it around by finding mammals repulsive.
    • As of Season 8, the Voth.
  • La Résistance:
    • Overlapping somewhat with The Remnant, there are frequent mentions KDF-side of Gorn rebels who reject the Klingon conquest of their species.
    • Obisek leads the Reman Resistance to free his people from slavery under what's left of the Romulan Star Empire.
  • Retirony/What Measure Is a Mook?: Episode "Spectres", mission "Skirmish". You board a True Way Galor-class destroyer and can find a log entry by their chief engineer. He's considering leaving the group and returning to his wife and children on Cardassia Prime. He took a double dose of Retirony: if you hadn't killed him, the Devidians attacking the ship from the inside would have.
  • Reverse Polarity: The skill "Reverse Shield Polarity" which causes energy weapons to increase rather than damage the shields.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter:
    • Tribbles. So cute they restore tons of HP to the player when you give them a cuddle. The Targs are somewhat less adorable.
    • Sehlat cubs have been added to the C-Store. Basically huge kittens. Adult Sehlats are equally adorable, looking like cheetahs with lion manes, except more cuddly.
    • The Epohhs on New Romulus also count. You can even domesticate them and keep them as pets.
  • Role Reprisal:
    • Chase Masterson is back as Leeta...sort of. (Leeta licensed her holographic image to Quark for his dabo tables.)
    • Denise Crosby returned as Natasha Yar for the 3rd Anniversary mission featuring the Enterprise-C, "Temporal Ambassador". She also reprises her role as Sela for her appearances in the Romulan storyline and Romulan-centred Featured Episode series, and is the voice congratulating a Romulan character on being promoted.
    • Michael Dorn is back as Worf for the Featured Episode "Sphere of Influence" and (after a short delay) for his scenes in the early Klingon missions.
    • Tim Russ is back as Tuvok not only for the Feature Episode for the Fourth Anniversary ("A Between Stars"), but also will reprise the role for Season 9.
    • Leonard Nimoy as Mr. Spock who narrates and appears in an early Federation mission.
  • Rookie Red Ranger: Combined with a hefty dose of Ensign Newbie. The player character is given command of a starship at the rank of Ensign. It's somewhat justified, in that these aren't the best times in Federation history, and that Starfleet is grabbing capable commanders from wherever it can find them.
  • Rule of Cool:
    • All over this game, as the demands of MMO players for character customization cause mundane concerns like consistency and believability to take a back seat.
    • The Awesome Anachronistic Apparel (see above), in which characters can choose to mix-and-match pieces of uniforms, going all the way back to the TOS or even Enterprise era. When was the last time the US Army let its soldiers come to work in Civil War or Revolutionary Army uniforms just because the soldiers thought they looked cooler than modern fatigues?
    • Starship armaments and components can be scavenged from the wreckage of enemy spaceships—and Federation ships can field phasers, disruptors, plasma cannons, or whatever the heck their player feels like slapping into them. Likewise, individual officers strip weapons and armor off of corpses and carry whatever armament they feel like, up to and including the equivalent of heavy machine guns. The 25th-century Starfleet seems to be made up of 17th-century buccaneers.
    • Putting Ensigns and Lieutenants in charge of entire starships. True, the Abrams movie did put raw academy graduates on the bridge, too, but at least it ranked them accordingly.
      • well, You did blow up a Borg Sphere as your very first act of command. If Starfleet has enough resources to not only pump out countless ships but tailor them to the CO's whims, then its likely a case of having a surplus of captain's chairs to fill and a need of skilled Captains more than anything.
      • Starfleet Academy is the equivalent of modern-day military officer school, so those ensigns are basically lieutenants as far as training goes. It's actually less realistic that cadets aren't promoted upon graduating or through wartime field promotion, since many are thrown right into the fray.
  • Running The Blockade: Episode "Cardassian Struggle", mission "Operation Gamma" has the Player Character having to break past Jem'Hadar lines at Deep Space 9 and go through the wormhole to contact the Dominion government and get the time-shifted Jem'Hadar to stand down. You're assisted by a diversionary attack.
    Tropes S-Z 
  • Sacrificial Planet: Episode "Klingon War", mission "The Doomsday Device", which is for all intents and purposes an expanded repeat of the TOS episode set 150 years later. Another planet killer half-destroys a small moon ahead of it before the player attacks to prevent Ambassador B'vat from siccing it on the Federation.
  • Scarf of Asskicking: Three were released during the Winter Event. There's also the Tholian Silk Scarf in the Lobi Store.
  • Scenery Porn:
    • Let's take a gander; Earth Spacedock, Deep Space Nine (Complete with the Bajoran Wormhole!), Deep Space K7, the memorials at Wolf 359 and Romulus, good lord. That's not even mentioning the amounts in random and story missions.
    • Space is really pretty.
    • The city of Hathon on Bajor and New Romulus are freaking gorgeous and really shows how the art has evolved since launch. Hathon being our first real look at a Bajoran city (on Deep Space Nine, Bajor was only seen indoors, in monastaries or in remote mountain regions due to budget constraints) and New Romulus being the first open world adventure zone in game featuring everything from cities to rivers and forest and craggy mountains..
    • Virinat (the Romulan starting tutorial zone). OH GOD VIRINAT. People are actually upset it's not a social zone on Tribble (which means it's subject to change).
    • The brand new ESD interior counts as well. It's a mix of design aesthetics from the Citadel (which was partially inspired, according to the devs, by ESD) and the new Origin Interiors. The end result is a very 25th century Crystal Spires and Togas design.
  • Schmuck Bait: How do you get the Borg Science Boff Candidate from the Khitomer in Stasis STF mission? Jump into the Borg instant death machine!
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale:
    • Very nearly everything is out of scale with one another. If you visit the bridge of your ship and travel the corridors, or even visit any place on foot, it looks like the ceiling is a good 10 meters tall, if not higher. The distances between stars are ludicrously small. Example: in game, the distance between Sol and Wolf 359 is roughly 2.6 light years. Wolf 359 is a real star that's 7.8 light years from Sol. Same thing with Vulcan - in game the distance between the two is 6.3 light years, but in canon Vulcan orbits 40 Eridani A, a star that's 16.45 light years away from Sol. And then we get to the Arbitrary Maximum Range of starships - not just weapons like phasers and torpedoes, which was already covered above, but the absurdly small range of ship scanners - I have to be 15 kilometers away from a ship before I can find out what type or level it is? This is supposed to be the 25th century - ships during the Next Generation and Deep Space 9 era had scanners with a much greater range than that, and the technology is supposed to have only gotten more advanced.
    • Weapon Damage works like this, too. A Kirk-era Type 2 Phaser packs more of a punch than a standard 25th Century Type 2 Phaser (and scales with the player's level), even though the 25th Century phaser is supposed to be two centuries more advanced.
    • Also justified for Rule of Fun reasons. One of the problems the devs ran into while designing the game was that they wanted everything to be their canon size. They realized this was going to be a problem when they made Deep Space Nine's map... and DS9 turned out to be so small it looked pathetic and weak. In-game its about FIVE TIMES its canon size simply to keep the station's pedigree.
    • The light years thing is also a case of Rule of Fun. Any low level player will tell you it can take up to 5-10 minutes to cross Sirius Sector Block at their initial warp speeds.
  • Shoot the Dog: The Klingons' pursuit of the Undine has led them to declare war on virtually every Alpha Quadrant power they think may be infiltrated by themnote , even setting aside the actions of Ambassador B'Vat and his followers, the Klingon's are probably guilty of numerous war crimes. Never stopping to think that maybe they're just as heavily infiltrated as they assume everyone else is. Several missions, however, show that there are those in the empire who remember the lessons learned from the Dominion War, and who wish to secure a cease-fire at the very least.
    • What makes it worse is that there's every indication that they're right, but going about it in completely the wrong way.
    • A Step Between Stars reveals not only were the Klingons completely right. Starfleet really is as heavily infiltrated as thought by the Klingons. (Slow Clap) Way to go, Starfleet.
  • Serial Escalation: "Avatar" customization, as noted above. It isn't just your captain, everything involved with your "Gestalt Avatar" in the game (ship, officers, etc) is customizable. This is a massive step up from Cryptic's previous efforts, which already set the bar for character customization in an MMO. And they keep adding more options.
  • Shout-Out: Now with its own page.
  • Shown Their Work: During one of the Franklin Drake missions, you have to help calibrate a "cortical stimulator" based on tricorder readings of affected brain cells. The neuron factoids are basically spot-on.
  • Simulation Game: Of Star Trek in general, from the landing missions to exploration, and oh-so-much Technobabble.
    • Hilariously, though, one of the reasons for so many complaints about the game is that it isn't simulation enough for some, who had envisioned a kind of "player bridge crew" game and a constant bridge-view of combat, ala Bridge Commander (even though that game also had a view outside the hull). Once Cryptic established that everyone would be a captain and that full player crews were not even on the drawing board, the rage from some corners was... palpable.
    • A lot of hardcore fans were/are also hoping and expecting the game to be a lot less Rule of Cool and a lot more serious and canon, and complain about hundred-year-old ships being able to go toe-to-toe with more recent ones, etc. (Of course, good luck getting any group of more than a half-dozen Trek fans to agree on what counts as "canon"...)
  • Sixth Ranger:
    • Players who have preordered their copy get an additional rescued Borg crewmate.
    • This also counts for a few extra Bridge Officers: the Feature Episodes the 2800, Cloaked Intentions and Cold War grants BOFFs from the Jem'Hadar, Remans and Breen (though the Reman and Breen ones are specifically from the FE.)
  • Slippy-Slidey Ice World: Q's Winter Wonderland, complete with a foot race on an ice track. You can even buy boots that reduce your traction and leave you sliding around ridiculously.
  • Small Girl, Big Gun: Occasionally you'll spot height-challenged female player-characters lugging massive weapons such as the Antiproton Assault Minigun.
  • Smash Mook: Gorn ground troops have very large soldiers who attack you by either trying to punch you or throw large boulders at you, with no reliance on energy weapons at all.
  • Smug Snake:
    • Hakeev, Big Bad of the Cloaked Intentions arc. His anticlimactic death only rubs it home.
    • The Hirogen basically have this as their hat. They're an overconfident, cowardly bunch who prefer to pick on crippled, defenceless prey and go on and on about how they're the greatest hunters ever until you send them running off to their Romulan daddies. At one point, they even pull a Wounded Gazelle Gambit to get sympathy from a passing Romulan patrol after their ambush goes horribly wrong.
      • Hirogen are hunters, not warriors. It is logical that they prefer opponents who are weaker than themselves.
    • Another Smug Snake-hatted species is the Breen Confederacy. An encounter with Breen ships will inevitably involve their commander calling you for a round of smarmy taunting, seconds before you blow him and his buddies out of the sky.
    • Franklin Drake gives this impression, especially in the (revamped) early KDF storyline missions where he engages in witty banter while being pursued by members of the Klingon military.
  • Snowball Fight:
    • The 2012 Q's Winter Wonderland event included this as one of the festivities, with animated snowmen as the opponents. The player could even purchase two different guns that fire snowballs to give them an edge over the normal hand-thrown projectiles (with several more added in the 2013 event). The 2013 winter event even added a ground PVE mission which is basically a huge snowball fight with players repelling a snowman invasion of a gingerbread colony.
    • Also one of the winter-themed duty officer assignments available during the winter event.
  • So Long, and Thanks for All the Gear: This can only be invoked by the players themselves, but the game warns you whenever you want to get rid of one of your officers or ships that any gear that's currently equipped on them will be lost as well.
  • Space Clothes: Fully customizable ones, including the uniforms from Star Trek: The Next Generation, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and the latter TNG films, and the tunics from Star Trek: The Original Series and the more naval oriented red uniforms worn in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and onward. The game also provides an array of late 24th/Early 25th century uniforms for the players and crew to wear. It's a space clothes jamboree.
  • Space Elves: Vulcans, Romulans, and Remans all fit the bill. As far as Star Trek goes, they all fit the Elvish archetypes. Vulcans are a straight Type 2 example. Romulans border between type 2 and type 3 due to their mistrust of others (especially after what happened to their homeworld), and Remans are unfairly categorized as a type 3 due to their physical appearance and how their whole race has been treated as 2nd class citizens by the Romulans. There are a few other races who have at least pointed ears including the Preservers, who definitely qualify as a type 2.
  • Space-Filling Path: A few ground maps are like this. "The Cure" is one such map, of the ping-pong path variety.
  • Space Is an Ocean: Oh so very much, it's Trek afterall.
    • Actually ''discussed'' in the 20-man Fleet Event by one of the freighters.
      "You know, Space really is like an ocean."
    • Fluidic Space, the Undine's home, is so very much this. To the point where the waves will knock your ship around when you're in it.
  • Space Marine:
    • Starfleet/KDF Tactical Officers are essentially this, focusing on weapons buffs and squad command/support tactics. Starfleet Security also, naturally, as they've been like this since Star Trek: Deep Space Nine at the very least.
    • There's also the MACOs, Omega Force and the Klingon Honor Guard. Their job? Killing Borg. And the player joins them at Level 45.
  • Special Guest:
    • Not only do you have Leonard Nimoy taking up his role as Spock from TOS, but Denise Crosby makes an appearance as Tasha Yar in the 3rd anniversary mission, and then goes on to voice Sela during substantial portions of the Legacy of Romulus content.
    • Don't forget Zachary Quinto as an EMH during the tutorial mission and Chase Masterson reprising her role as a (holographic representation of) Leeta from Deep Space Nine.
    • Michael Dorn lent his talents to Worf for the mission "Sphere of Influence" which led up to the launch of season 8.
  • Spider People: The Tholians. They scuttle around sideways like a crab and can wrangle you in by entrapping you in their webbing.
  • Spiritual Successor:
  • Sorting Algorithm of Evil: Every enemy faction you encounter has a hierarchy of mooks of varying degrees of "ability to kick the players ass". For instance, the Klingon's mook hierarchy seems to be:
    Warrior
    Officer
    Munitions Officer, Targ Handler
    Swordmaster
    Boss Character (Klingon Captain or what have you)
  • Splash Damage: Most slow-moving projectiles such as tricobalt torpedoes cause area of effect damage, which means you can harm yourself if you're too close when it detonates. The gigantic plasma balls that Borg Unimatrix units shoot at you is actually the best way to destroy them. They are One-Hit Kill weapons, so unless you roll an extremely lucky roll to dodge the plasma ball, you will be vaporized in the process, but if you've taken down the Unimatrix's shields first, then one shot will knock it down by about 40% of it's life. They fire them frequently enough that you'll have it dead before too long. It's also quite satisfying to see the entire unimatrix be vaporized in the same manner that happens to your ship.
  • Staff of Authority:
    • The Shrouded Phantasm, the 'leader' of the Devidians invading Drozana Station, carries one of these.
    • Players can also get one of their own when the Devidian featured episode is running.
  • Starfish Aliens: The Horta from the Original Series make a return as an NPC 'pet' the player can acquire. There's several variations, some of which the player can use in combat to attack enemies. The Undine and Tholians both meet enough of the requirements cited on the page to count as well.
  • Standard Sci-Fi Fleet: Par for the course with this trope. Whenever you see a fleet of ships entering into the area, they all swarm in without all that much distance set between each other.
  • Stealth in Space:
    • Various Klingon ships have the ability to cloak, the Bird Of Prey having a Battle Cloak that allows the small ships to perform hit and run attacks. The Federation didn't...until the inclusion of an Admiral level variant of the Defiant equipped with a cloaking device. Let the games begin...
    • There is also the Galaxy-X dreadnought and Avenger battlecruiser; which can cloak (although the Avenger doesn't come with this standard; you have to cannibalize it from the aforementioned Defiant or Galaxy-X).
    • There are exactly two Romulan-specific ships that can't cloak — the Lockbox/Lobi Temporal Vessels, and that's only because Cryptic decided, after considering options for a while, not to give the Romulans a special case with those two ships (the Federation and Klingon counterparts have the same stats as the other). To make it even better, Romulans (as in the species) have a trait that makes them better at cloaking, and Battle Cloaks are the default on their ships (their shuttles have to make do with ordinary cloaks).
  • Stealth Pun:
  • Stone Wall: The Cruiser class ships are huge and turn at a snail's pace, but are supposed to have the best defenses in the game if you play them right.
  • Stupid Question Bait: The Foundry mission "Bait and Switch" has a mission briefing scene. The admiral finishes her briefing and asks for questions. One of the dialogue options has the Player Character ask where they got the name "Operation Blue Friday" for the mission.
  • Suicidal Overconfidence: "Do you think you can withstand the might of the (insert name of randomly generated alien race here)? Ha! I laugh at your arrogance!"
  • Super Prototype: The game allows you to bear the NX prefix, which usually means that your spaceship is actually a prototype. It's more of a cosmetic addition, so there's no added effect to them.
  • Superweapon Surprise: The reason everyone treads lightly around the Aelasians, a one-shot race in the Romulan arc, who used to be the mightiest empire in the galaxy before they forsook their warlike ways. Nobody's quite sure if they have any 'just in case' stuff left over from their glory days, and nobody wants to find out firsthand.
  • Symbol Swearing: The standard MMO profanity filter.
  • Take That: A subtle one to Star Trek Into Darkness. In the Federation tutorial, one of the graduates says mid-conversation, "That's not how cold fusion works." In Into Darkness, the device Spock uses to freeze the volcano was referred to as a "cold fusion device", whereas in reality cold fusion has nothing to do with lowering ambient temperatures.
  • Technobabble: Naturally. Science-type vessels and officers literally specialize in technobabble-based powers, to buff you or your friends or debuff your enemies.
  • Technology Porn: Your very own customizable starship. The graphics are optimized to make her look as sexy as possible.
  • 10-Minute Retirement: Executive Producer Dan Stahl, who left in late 2011 to work for Zynga, and later returned to Cryptic to work with the Foundry, before finally resuming his post as Executive Producer in mid February 2012.
  • Theme Naming:
    • The Undine, formerly Species 8472, who are now named after the water elemental of German myth. Their ships follow a similar naming convention, such as Tethys and Dahut.
    • On a less spoilery note, the Scimitar-class Dreadnaught Warbird's two Cryptic-designed sister ships are the Falchion and Tulwar-class Dreadnaught Warbirds — all three being swords.
  • They Don't Make Them Like They Used To: The Galaxy-class is a 60 year old design by the game's timeframe, yet you'll be hard-pressed to find a tougher nut to crack. Many other top level cruisers are more offensively capable, but "The Big G" is one of the few ships that can survive the special One-Hit Kill attack from an elite Borg tactical cube that would turn any other ship into a rapidly expanding vapor.
  • Time Skip: Surface Tension FINALLY sends players into the year 2410 after four years and 8 seasons in 2409.
  • Timey-Wimey Ball: How Natasha Yar from Yesterday's Enterprise returns in the 3rd Aniversary Mission.
    • Tholians apparently have a non-linear time empire consisting of territory from multiple timelines and dimensions. This is only referenced ONCE in the entire STO Continuity and its via Word of God no less.
  • To Hell and Back: One of the PVE Klingon missions involves your captain storming the gates of Gre'thor and killing Molor and his Legions of Hell.
  • Too Awesome to Use: Dilithium. While there are plenty of ways to obtain Dilithium in-game, players can only refine 8,000 a day. And with the best gear requiring Dilithium and fleets having their own reputation that requires Dilithium as well, you'll have players hoarding Dilithium for the sake of having enough for their gear.
  • Too Fast to Stop: Quite a few examples:
    • The Snow boots you get from Q's Winter Wonderland increase your speed, but they cause you to easily slip and slide and kill your breaks, causing you to slide until it decides you stop. Or you Jump.
    • The Borg, Omega, M.A.C.O. and Honor Guard space sets come with Impulse Engines whose speed is increased by your Coil Driver skill. Combine that with Warp Drives that do you same and you get ships with ungodly speed but, unless you're an Escort, cause you to easily power slide.
  • Took a Level in Badass: No question the Borg have done this since their repeated worfing on Voyager, now easily holding their own against the Undine who so easily tore them apart before. The real surprise though comes from the Tholians, who in TOS needed their enemies to stand still for an hour while they formed a web around them, to now being able to ensnare you instantly, having capital ships and technology than can go toe-to-toe with Borg Cubes, and generally messing around with the entire space-time continuum.
    • The Federation has done this as well. While it's argued that it takes the game further from Gene's peaceful future, there is something of serendipity in the fact the Feds finally have an officially desiginated battle cruiser (the Defiant was always officially an "escort") and took advantage of the fact that with the Romulan Star Empire's collapse and replacement with the Romulan Republic that they can now start openly using Cloaking Devices. And they're still pushing for diplomatic solutions to the wars while kicking ass.
    • The Romulan Republic is this for the Romulans as a whole. Specifically, the Romulan civilian population. After spending who knows how long under the oppressive Star Empire, the Romulans under the Reunificationists have finally bit back at the Tal Shiar and started their own democractic nation. Even better, they might overtake STARFLEET as the Science Hero group in Star Trek by the virtue of having tough as nails science tech stolen from the Tal Shiar (including Borg-Modified ships), Singularity Cores, oh and they fixed a freaking ICONIAN GATEWAY. Hard to believe only a few years ago these people were farming space grapes!
  • Trailers Always Spoil: Or rather "E-Mail Notices Always Spoil" as the e-mail notification about Season 9's release date revealed a humongous chunk of ESD being blown out.
  • Trash the Set: Surface Tension has the Undine wrecking Earth Spacedock, giving the reasoning for the new and improved ESD.
  • Tron Lines: Not too long after TRON: Legacy came out, a new equipment set included these for ships. Especially the Maelstrom class fleet escort. With a dark hull, it looks like it could have come right from the movie.
  • Twenty Bear Asses: Some of the missions on Nimbus III and the Defera invasion zone fall into this, requiring you to gather a number of items from slain enemies (satellite access codes on Nimbus III, Borg cortical arrays on Defera).
  • 24-Hour Armor: Players can wear combat armor permanently as their character costume if they wish. This includes extremely tough looking elite endgame armor complete with helmets that hide the face.
  • Two-Keyed Lock: Make that Three Keyed Lock in Infected. And there are five of them.
  • The Turret Master: The Engineer 'Away Team Kit', including NPC Bridge Officers.
    • Can also be done in space by any player who has the Heavy Satellite Turret device equipped on their ship (though it can only be used a limited number of times before being completely expended).
  • The Unintelligible: As per their depiction in Deep Space 9, the Breen still speak in a series of metallic, electronic sounds, though the text still shows what they're saying; most of the time it's typical Evil Gloating.
  • Turns Red: Back when the Crystalline Entity was a boss you could fight with a group of up to 20 players, it sent out small crystal shards to impact player ships and was a relatively easy to kill Damage-Sponge Boss. Those shards would then return to the main entity to heal it. The shards were easy to run away from or shoot down, so the fight was well balanced. Then the devs decided to make the fight more difficult: they changed it so that once you got the entity down to 30% health (which took a good while, even with 19 other guys helping), it would erupt shards at every player and One-Hit Kill almost everyone too slow to evade. This allowed the entity to heal itself back to to 100% in seconds, making it nearly impossible to defeat. Eventually, the boss would be removed from the game, not because the playerbase had raged over how they left the encounter untouched for over a year, but because the in-game event calendar was filling up with so many new and different events that it just wasn't practical to keep a near-impossible boss in the lineup.
  • Unexpected Character: A Xindi representative shows up in "Surface Tension", pointing out that they know how it feels to be manipulated by outside forces.
  • The Unfavorite: This used to be true of the KDF in general. They have less than a quarter of the content of the Federation, an even smaller proportion of the game's famed character and ship customization, and a good chunk of the content they do have is copy/pasted from the Federation version to the point that it's not unheard of for the mission journal to list the objective "Hail Starfleet." They were also locked out of completing the accolades for the new Borg invasion because the Federation can access the Klingons' home sector but not vice versa, and tucked away in the free-to-play announcement was the minor note that fully half of the levels would be removed for KDF play in the future. Cryptic has also been remastering lower-level Federation missions with cinematics and voice acting while the KDF still had a whopping eight missions across thirty levels that weren't copy-pasted.
    • By the time Legacy of Romulus rolled out, however, these issues had by and large been dealt with, as Lo R gave the KDF a full level track as a banner feature alongside the new Romulan track, and the cosmetic issues had been addressed bit by bit beforehand.
    • Many players see the Exploration Cruiser Retrofit, its Fleet variant and the Dreadnought Cruiser as this, due to the fact that it is demonstrably weaker than almost every other endgame cruiser. The Exploration Cruiser Refit and the Fleet version has a major leaning towards Engineering like their counterparts in tactical and science, the Tactical Escort Retrofit and Long-Range Science Vehicle Retrofit respectively. However this kills any type of offensive capability, making them good at not dying and nothing else. This was made even worse with the arrival of new cruiser classes like the Avenger which is essentially a powerhouse mixture of offense and defense to the point that it tanks as well as every other cruiser and outdamages most Escorts which are the traditional damage dealers of the game.

      This got worse when the Galaxy Revamp dropped. Even though the Exploration Cruiser Retrofit now had a special two-part Console bonus, nothing was changed about it. Even worse, even though the Dreadnought Cruiser could also benefit from it (gaining the ability to remove its saucer for the first time) and gained a Fleet version, it's BOFF layout change only meant that people were going to still use the same layout.
    • As of Season 9, the Aegis and Absolute Zero space sets can be seen as this. While they are absolutely loved by the players, especially due to the designs they add to the ships, they have been left in the dust by all the other space sets. The Absolute Zero is the only mission-based space set that does not come with a Mk XII counterpartnote  while the Aegis, once the premier space set, has never been modified to catch up with everyone else.
    • PVP in general. Though this has been part of the game for quite awhile, Cryptic rarely touches this portion of the game despite many players clamoring to do so. The end of Season 8 and the start of Season 9 saw the inclusion of a Shuttle PVP and the conversion of the Federation vs KDF battles into Red vs Blue, many players still refuse to touch it, mostly due to the fact that many of the players who populate it have their ships maxed out for easy killings. This has gotten worse due to a recent patch that put PVP dilithium missions on a 20-hour cooldown.
    • For awhile, this was the feeling about Crafting as well. Beyond creating the Hargh'peng Torpedoes for the Klingons (despite that, it can be obtained by DOFF missions) and the Aegis space set, there was really no reason TO utilize Crafting. However, this seems to be changing with Season 9.5.
  • Unnecessary Combat Roll: Just watch your Bridge Officers in a ground fight scenario... You can do these too, if you so wish.
    • Of course, it could well be taken as a homage to The Original Series. Intentional or not.
    • The roll wasn't originally in the game, but enough players requested that the "Kirk Roll" be included.
  • Unnecessarily Large Vessel: Nearly every playable Romulan Warbird is enormous and far larger than either their Federation or Klingon counterpart ships, yet their actual combat capability is relatively equal to the other factions' ships.
    • The Voth take this Up to Eleven with their fortress ship, a massive fleet transport 134 kilometers long.
  • Unwinnable by Mistake: Featured Episode "A Step Between Stars". Early in the mission there's a point at which the captain of Tuvok's ship is supposed to get killed by the Voth. If you manage to save him, you break the mission progression.
  • Unwinnable Training Simulation: The PVE match "No-Win Situation" brings the beloved Kobayashi Maru scenario and takes it Up to Eleven: five players against an unrelenting horde of foes. Most get to Level 5 before the shuttle is destroyed. Good players can get to level 8 or 9. But, only the best can truly say that they "Don't Believe In A No-Win Situation", to the point where every other player gets a popup across their screen that "<name> doesn't believe in a no-win scenario." (in fact, even getting to 8 or 9 before failing gives every other player a popup across the screen informing them of the fact)
  • Unwitting Pawn:
    • A savvy player might expect to go up against some clever schemes when going into Romulan territory... but you probably wouldn't guess just how often your own people are the ones pulling the gambits on you. First, you are tricked by an Undine posing as an admiral into wrecking the Romulan effort to out Undine infiltrators, and you end up inadvertently enabling the Undine to infiltrate the Romulans and cripple their chances of ever discovering infiltrators; then, immediately afterward, you get sent to intercept a diplomat who seems to be selling secrets to the Romulans. You intercept the dude, manage to catch him, but the Romulans get away with the info... and then you find out that the "diplomat" is a Section 31 agent who fed the Romulans false information, and you were the sucker sent to make the agent look genuine. By the time you find this out, even your normally somewhat passive bridge officers are complaining about how everyone you meet seems to have several agendas at once.
    • Poor Tuvok in "A Step Between Stars"...
  • Urban Warfare: The ground phase of "Cutting the Cord" has the player engaging in this; assaulting a Tal Shiar base in a city on Brea IV.
  • Useless Useful Spell:
    • Used to be a straight example, now an aversion. Science Team and Engineering Team are decent heals in isolation, but they shared a cooldown with Tactical Team, which is so useful that most top builds have two of it. This shared cooldown was removed in the March 6, 2014 patch.
    • Anything involving Threat Generation, including the "Attract Fire" cruiser command. Thanks to power creep, putting a tank in a PVE instance just wastes a team slot that could be used for offensive sci or more DPS.
  • Video Game Caring Potential: The Tholians have captured federation and Klingon officers on Nukara Prime. Freeing the prisoners from your own alliance can result in them giving you a component needed to shut down the spacial rifts that the Tholians are entering in from (though you can earn these just by killing the Tholians as well.) In fact: the mission associated with freeing the prisoners is called Rescuing Redshirts.
  • Video Game Cruelty Potential: The game does in fact track player position and ranged attacks get interrupted by moving behind other objects. "Other objects" that provide cover include your own bridge officers or redshirts.
    • And then you have some players preferred method of getting rid of Tribbles dominating their inventory: feeding them into the replicator, or leaving them in your bank with a Cannibal Tribble.
      • And that is even exploited in the game: one Klingon Duty Officer mission allows you to turn in 10 Tribble Carcasses (what is left of a Tribble after a Cannibal Tribble eats it) for a ridiculous amount of Gold Pressed Latinum. This has led players to leaving tribbles with food in order to breed them to then be eaten by the Cannibal Tribbles. However, there is a chance that your Duty Officer could actually end up in the brig if they are accused of breeding tribbles for profit!!!
  • Villain Pedigree: Multiple interviews have stated that the developers want to try and refurbish this for the Borg, after all the decay they suffered during Voyager; the Borg are intended to be a big, scary endgame threat, and visually and narratively Cryptic is taking steps to make them seem legitimate. It worked, too - most of the uber-powerful endgame weaponry is designed for killing Borg, and boy, will you need it.
    • Villain Decay: But... then they make players fight Borg in the tutorial who don't adapt to weapons and damaged cubes that can be killed by Miranda light cruisers. Justified in that one of the NPCs you talk to makes it clear there is something wrong with the drones, and the cube is nearly-dead. You can take on full-strength Borg ships very early on though in the Sector Defense Scenes, and it will become clear very quickly that your Miranda, limited to Lieutenant grade equipment, is no match whatsoever for even a Borg Sphere at that point. Even if by some miracle you and the other ships manage to beat four cubes in the time allowed... the Borg call in a Unimatrix, which is basically an expy of V'Ger from the first movie. At that point, the most useful thing you can do is throw yourself on a Plasma Torpedo so it doesn't hit anyone else.
    • Species 8472 is also getting this treatment in a big way after one of the episodes of Voyager similarly de-fanged them (after, ironically enough, introducing them). They're one of the BigBads of early Fed content, and are once again committed to their campaign of subterfuge and genocide in the name of paranoid self-preservation, with several tangles with their Tethys dreadnoughts in the early stages of the game... just to drive home the point that you can't hope to beat anything larger than their scoutships without a ton of help.
    • The game also restores the pedigree of the Klingons, as well; one of the first things you encounter them doing once the "real" game starts? Engaging in the full-blown sacking of a starbase. And it only gets worse, evidently.
      • On the other hand, you kill more Klingons yourself in that mission than Kirk did in his entire career. That can't be good for their Bad Ass reputation.
      • One of the early story arcs for Klingon players is a full-scale strike on a Federation shipyard orbiting Mars...the planet right next to the one housing Starfleet Headquarters. The very next arc sees you and four guys invading Gre'thor, a.k.a KLINGON HELL, just so you can get a crack at killing Fek'lhr, a.k.a. KLINGON SATAN, for so much as looking at Klingon space with intent to invade it. If you need any further proof of the Klingons' Bad Ass credentials...
  • Villainous Breakdown: Thot Trel has one once he finds out that the Precursor archive that's he's gone through hell and back to get is only a library and some Precursors in cryogenic sleep. Not the weapons he thought he thought was there.
    • Also Karukan in "Facility 4028", when the Female Changeling blames him for failing to arrive in the Alpha Quadrant in time to win the war. May be justified, considering it wasn't his fault at all.
  • Violence is the Only Option:
    • The game has been accused of making The Federation into the Klingon Empire. This is despite the fact that the Federation is currently fighting a major war on several fronts, and has been infiltrated by the Undine. That said, the fairly linear nature of the missions can result in a few instances where it seems like you don't act like too much of a Starfleet officer; see the Unwitting Pawn and You Can't Thwart Stage One examples below.
    • For a more specific example, the patrol mission in the Acamar system has you attempting to mediate a dispute between two Acamarian clans. Screw up the negotiations and they attack you. Talk the two sides down, and the Tal Shiar agents whose covert manipulation started the dispute warp in and attack you.
  • Virtual Paper Doll: Aye, yi, yi! The customization on this thing is amazing. Various costumes throughout Star Trek's 40 years, different starship models, the works. Sadly, it's not as expansive as Champions Online, as CBS doesn't want things to be altered too much. For example, players used to be able to alter the color of their energy weaponry at one time.
  • Waistcoat of Style: In keeping with the Republic's retro-futuristic aesthetic, Romulan characters have access to a wide variety of fancy waistcoats and waistcoat-like garments.
  • War Memorial: Players can travel to the battle memorial of Wolf-359. Found in the center of all the wreckage still floating in space is a giant holographic Starfleet symbol emitting from a projector on the monument. As you approach closer to memorial, you hear the ghostly comm chatter from the battle. Over in Romulan space, a holographic memorial is placed for the billions of Romulans who died when Romulus itself was destroyed by the Hobus supernova.
  • Wave Motion Gun: The Galaxy-class dreadnought has the phaser spinal lance, but the biggest wave motion gun in the game likely belongs to the Romulan Scimitar-class warbirds, which can open their wing foils and fire off a massive area-effect thalaron attack capable of vaping weak ships in a second. And they can do it mere seconds after decloaking. The Multi-Mission Reconnaissance Explorer ship has a weapon called the Quantum Field Focus Phaser, which turns your deflector dish into a high-powered phaser gun. The M.A.C.O. Space set and the Klingon counterpart, Adapted Honor Guard space set, gives you the Heavy Graviton Beam, which does the same thing, except it's a high powered shot more dealing with smashing through shieldless facings.
  • Weaponized Exhaust: the Eject Warp Plasma ability.
  • Wham Episode: Sphere Of Influence. Players came in expecting to be taken to the Dyson's Sphere of Season 8. Instead they end up in the Iconian Gateway Control Center and learn about their plans, which include A) watching every major race in the galaxy, intent on enslaving or exterminating everyone; B) there are over 10,000 gateways hidden in subspace; and C) their reach extends beyond the Milky Way Galaxy, for now including Andromeda and the Kelvans.
    • Then it gets worse: The entire Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Dominion War was an attempt to get the Alpha & Beta Quadrants to fight the Iconians.
    • And then at the end, all of the gateways are unlocked, and it's a lucky break at best. They will be coming. The Dyson Sphere was merely a side effect of this one mission.
    • The cutscene from the Dyson Sphere Reputation Tier I completion, which reveals that the Obelisk Carrier was given to us from a Voth who got sick and tired of the Voth's insistence that they were first and warns the Federation, Klingon and Romulan groups that the Iconians may be on board the Sphere.
    • Surface Tension: The Federation/Klingon War is over, but we've pissed someone off — an Iconian, who shows up and kills the Klingon High Council in one fell swoop.
  • Wham Line: Also from Sphere of Influence. Members from the Federation, Klingon Empire and Romulan Republic are trying to decide the fate of an Iconian gateway when...
    Commander Winters: Enterprise to Captain Shon. Sir, we've been scanning the gateway
    Captain Shon: What did you find?
    Commander Winters: The terminus is at a fixed point now. We could determine that. But... I don't know what we picked up, but the monitors on the bridge are all showing an Omega, we're locked out of the computer and the engines are off-line. We... we need you back on the Enterprise, sir.
    Captain Shon: I see. This changes things significantly.
  • What the Hell, Hero?: The Feds and Klingons in "A Step Between Stars" have this reaction when Tiaru Jarok all but plants the Romulan flag on the Jenolan Dyson sphere, inciting an argument that nearly brings the alliance crashing down around them; the Feds cite the sphere's discovery by the USS Jenolan and mapping by the Enterprise-D as proof of a prior Federation claim, the Klingons don't want to be excluded from controlling something as powerful as a Dyson sphere, and the Romulans claim the gateways leading to both spheres as their property.
  • What You Are in the Dark: One for the player in "Operation Gamma" A Ferengi agrees to help you contact the Dominion, but when you do, she angers the local Cosmozoan life forms, and warps out, leaving you to fight for your life in a little shuttle. When you catch up to her, she ran into the Dominion, who disabled her, and are about to destroy her ship for illegal activities in their space. In exchange for the Dominion's help, they ask you to carry out the sentence against the Ferengi. You can either destroy her, or let her go back through the wormhole. The only people who will know are your loyal crew on your little shuttle, and the Dominion, who will see it as simply a legal matter being settled as it should be. You have to make a choice...
    • Similarly, after defeating Hassan the Undying's dreadnought over Nimbus III, the player has the choice whether to take Hassan prisoner or kill him, and the only witnesses to your decision are your bridge crew and a bunch of pirates, neither of which would bat an eye should he happen to meet an unfortunate end...
  • Whole Plot Reference: The last two Breen Featured Episodes to The Next Generation episode "The Chase".
    • The Third Anniversary mission "Temporal Ambassador" refers to another The Next Generation episode, "Yesterday's Enterprise".
  • The Worf Barrage: As a player, facing down stronger opponents like the Jem'Hadar Dreadnought Carrier, the Voth Bulwark Dreadnought Carrier or Borg ships bigger than a sphere will make your attacks seem inefficient. This is why many players absolutely hate AFKers in PVE matches, as they need every bit of help and that one person is just sitting off at the edge, refusing to participate and just wanting their prizes.
  • The Worf Effect:
    • For the game's two-year anniversary, Cryptic included the launch of the brand-new Odyssey-class cruisers, including the Enterprise-F. Eight months later and the Odyssey-class USS Houston shows up in the Special Task Force mission "Hive Onslaught", for the sole purpose of getting one-shotted by the weapons of the Borg Unimatrix ships. To make this example truly complete, the Houston is under the command of Worf's grandson, Admiral D'Vak.
    • You, as the player, can invoke this when dealing with powerful opponents like the Borg. You might have the best ship in the fleet and armed with the best weapons money can buy, but a foe like the Borg will take it like a champ and hit you something fierce.
    • And then there's the Tholians. The daily mission "Tholian Red Alert" has you respond to a Borg invasion prompt, only to arrive in the Azure Nebula to find that a Tholian armada got there first and wiped the floor with them.
  • Xanatos Gambit: "Sphere of Influence" reveals that a lot of what's happened even before Star Trek was the Iconians' fault, planting agents all over the place to set things in their favor so they can take over all four Quadrants and restore Iconia. Only certain Spanner in the Works moments from players prevent them from actually achieving their goal. It was almost as if David Xanatos gave a few pointers!
  • You All Look Familiar: Most of the NPC's you see during ground missions or when visiting starships or space stations will pretty much be clones of each other, which is amusing given how adamantly cloning is abhorred in the storylines it comes up in.
  • You Are Too Late: Implied in Season 8's rep system. At Tier 1 a Voth Scientist sneaks a comm to the Joint Task force. The message? The Iconians are in the sphere NOW.
    • This is even more implied during one of the Ion Storm attacks as Iconian Probes will strike out at you.
  • You Can't Thwart Stage One: Despite the numerous hints as "Divide et Impera" goes on that something is terribly wrong, you cannot out the Undine masquerading as Admiral Zelle early and you'll end up helping it infiltrate the Romulans no matter what you do.
    • This one is especially grating for some people, as one of TNG's best episodes had the message of "the first duty of a Starfleet officer is to the truth." Yeah, that's great, so could the game please let us pursue the truth before we have to slaughter dozens (more like hundreds, considering that those warbirds you scrap in orbit don't launch any escape craft) of innocent Romulans?
      • This mission seems to be intentionally this as it marks a change in what the player's options are and how they are treated by NPCs. Section 31 basically uses an Undine infiltrator simulation to recruit them and when the same situation arises in Terradome, the PC tells Undine!Sulu to piss off and goes in anyways to fix it. The player even brings up the situation with Zelle later on in the Romulan arc during "The Vault". It seems it was more intended to be My Greatest Failure for the player. Christine Thompson (STO's head writer) revealed that it was supposed to be the first part of a three part series... that never came to fruition. And Cryptic hates that it never got finished. Fortunately the Foundry community stepped in and wrote a sequel, "Divide ut Regnes", which uses Time Travel and Undine Psychic Powers to explain both the railroading and why Zelle continues to stand motionless in T'nae's office after "Divide et Impera".
  • You Sound Familiar:
    • Jon St. John voices both Chancellor J'mpok and Ambassador B'vat.
    • Marc Biagi voices K'valk and Alexander Rozhenko.
    • Funny one: Dave Rivas voices Va'Kel Shon and Hakeev. That's right, the only Complete Monster in STO has the same voice as the captain of the Enterprise.
    • Denise Crosby reprises both roles she played in TNG: Natasha Yar and Sela.
    • Lani Minella voices Admiral T'nae and, following Majel Barrett's death, the Federation Computer Voice. She's actually earned a number of compliments for the last one, as she gets very close to Mrs. Barrett in tone and delivery.
  • Young and in Charge: You in the Fed Storyline as every single officer on your ship got killed except for you.
    • The new Klingon storyline does this by way of (natch) Klingon Promotion, and the Romulan storyline does it by way of the player character and their friend "borrowing" a light warbird during the the escape from their Doomed Hometown.
  • Zerg Rush: Very much the case for some of the Borg-based Special Task Forces. Yes, there are a lot of Borg. Yes, they are in every room. Yes, they will all jump you unless you manage your aggro very carefully. And yes, they do spawn more and they do adapt to energy weapon attacks.
    • The borg where bad, but Season 6 brought the Tholians. On Nukara (in the outside portions) there are so many Tholian Ensigns with rediculous (10 second) respawn timers with super advanced detection AI (they can see you THROUGH WALLS) and will chase players across the map until they beam to a new location. While do a degree this fits canon (the Tholians are notorious xenophobes), it adds a degree of difficulty for doing the exterior missions solo (though any science officer with healing abilities will be practically unphased). The Interior missions are a little bit easier to manage when fighting the Tholians, but take longer to complete due to the size and layout of the maps.
  • Zettai Ryouiki: The TOS uniforms for the ladies are rocking some serious grade B goodness if you go with the skirt and thigh-high boots. Grades C and D are also represented.

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