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Tropes A to M

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    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!:
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!:
    • Hakeev blows it big time in "Turning Point". He tries to frame the Republic for bombing the conference on Khitomer to make them look untrustworthy. Unfortunately, he's caught redhanded by the Romulan PC and Captain Ja'rod, and then Commander Temer throws himself on the last bomb to save Ambassador Woldan, making the Evil Plan completely backfire.
    • Cooper in "Surface Tension". The Federation, the Klingon Empire, and the Romulan Republic have made a tenuous alliance against the Borg, the Iconians, the Undine, and similar threats—all while the Klingon and Federation are still technically in a state of war. The alliance is about to fall apart violently over who owns the Jenolan Dyson Sphere... and then the Undine, led by Cooper, launch an attack that leads to the Federation, Klingon, and Romulan flagships defending first Earth, then Qo'noS from the Undine. Which instantly leads to a cease fire between both sides and a continuation of the alliance as if no squabble ever happened.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • This line from Neelix in "All That Glitters":
    Neelix: "And so we agreed never to mention it again. At least, not in front of Dexa."
    • Also this from Nog in "Quark's Lucky Seven":
    Nog: "I haven't seen my father this angry since he caught me, well, we don't need to get into that!"
  • 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?"
  • Not the Intended Use: Ramming Speed is an ability you can learn around the mid 20 levels (Commander). It's purpose is to allow a Captain of a ship below 50% Hull to perform a Taking You with Me attack on an enemy, or at least severely damage them. It also greatly boosts the user ship's speed, which, if they are near the max 10km range of weapon fire, or have a nearby asteroid or object to break Line of Sight between them and the enemy, or an ally that charges in and distracts the enemy, can instead be used by a Captain who feels that today is not a good day to die, and run for it, giving extra time to the ship crew to enact repairs, let your other abilities and BOFF abilities recharge, and prepare to return to the fight.
  • Obligatory War Crime Scene: Several, most of them from the Klingons.
    • The Klingon Empire provoked the Federation-Klingon War in the backstory when it tried to forcibly deport civilian populations from multiple planets, which is considered a crime against humanity in Real Life.
    • The Federation player character's captain is taken prisoner and then murdered by a Klingon in the tutorial.
    • The KDF player character tortures a Starfleet captain to death, then blows up his already-disabled ship with his surviving crew still aboard. Not to mention all the things they get to do to POWs in duty officer assignments, like torture, experimenting with assassination techniques, and selling them into slavery. All of which is either glossed over or Played for Laughs as Black Comedy.
    • In the Delta Rising mission "All that Glitters" Gaul establishes his villain credentials when he pretty much randomly guns down a Talaxian who happened to walk into the room after the Player Character rejected his "peace" proposal, then orders the rest of them killed after Neelix tells Gaul he pities him.
    • In "The Renegade's Regret" flashback mission, Admiral Tzen-Terrak scours the planet Atosee of all life with his protomatter weapons, even though the Atosee had already located and transported the Drantzuli eggs off their world onto a barren moon so the Tzenkethi could destroy them without loss of life.
  • Off-Model: You'll more than likely hear players demand that Cryptic fix that damn Galaxy-X model, getting tired of the off-center Spinal Phaser Lance.
    • As of October 5th 2015, this has been done. The new Galaxy and Galaxy-X models are absolutely lovely.
  • Oh, Crap!: At the end of "Uneasy Allies", various Starfleet, KDF and Romulan Republic ships are taking notice of the third Dyson Sphere in Iconian space. They're ready to invade.
  • 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-Handed Shotgun Pump: The grenade launcher on the Klingon Honor Guard and Adapted MACO rifles is cycled in this manner after each shot. Bonus points in that the primary fire of these weapons is an energy weapon equivalent of a pump-action shotgun.
  • 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.
    • It happened again after the March 28th, 2014 patch showing off a new Risa.
  • Orwellian Retcon:
    • After Legacy of Romulus launched Cryptic started going back through the early missions and tweaking them, starting with replacing the Federation tutorial and culminating in season 9's complete rewrite of the Borg and Undine episodes as one arc 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.
    • Cryptic also started replacing many of their original characters with guest stars from the TV shows (including replacing a Vulcan NPC captain in the new Federation tutorial with Captain Nog). Again, most of these were received well, but replacing the Smug Snake racist Cardassian Ambassador Rugan Skyl with Elim Garak didn't go over well, since they didn't rewrite any of Skyl's existing dialogue.
  • 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.
    • Not only do Tellarites love to argue, even if you're another race dealing with them in a diplomatic setting, you are expected to insult them and provoke arguments, and it makes them like you. They get genuinely angry if you attempt to present them with any sort of courtesy.
  • Out of Character: One of the problems with the Star Clusters of the early seasons was 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 fleet admiral for Starfleet and the Romulan Republic, general/Dahar Master (general is the top rank, at 55, Dahar Master is a very prestigious title gotten at level 60) for the KDF, which happens at level 60. 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, 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 theDelta Rising expansion would raise the level cap to 60 led to jokes on the forums that the expansion after next makes you President of the Federation.
    • "Surface Tension" makes their Admiralty rank actually relevant 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.
    • Now averted with the addition of the admiralty system where you can send any ships a character has ever owned on various assignments.
  • 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.
  • Overworld Not to Scale: In sector space ships are huge compared to stars and planets, planets are huge compared to their stars, and everything is huge compared to space itself (the stars ought to be pinpricks compared to each other at the distances given, and nothing else even ought to be visible). Justified in that sector space is indicated to be a depiction of an actual map in your ship's stellar cartography or astrometrics lab, rather than what someone on your ship would actually see out the window as you travel. This was made a bit less severe with the revamping of sector space in Season 10. That said, the scale is off significantly inside star systems as well: planets and moons are far smaller than they ought to be.
  • 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.
  • Perpetual Beta: The Foundry has been basically stalled at v0.8 for years on end. Cryptic Studios still adds new NPCs and NPC costume options to it (eventually) and fixes bugs, but no new features have been added since late 2013 and the Foundry Spotlight program stopped after BranFlakes left the job of community manager.
  • 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. Ended after season 9.
    • 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. The Delta Recruit promotion reveals that the end of the Breen arc was in 2410, around 18 months after the start of the game.
  • Permanently Missable Content:
    • To celebrate the 25th anniversary of Star Trek: The Next Generation in July 2012, players could claim a unique Klingon baldric costume piece. This promotion ran for a week and the item was a per-character unlock, so there was no way for new players who started playing after the event to gain access to the baldric. Not even new characters made after the event by players that took part in it could get it.
    • The Phoenix Prize Pack has partially subverted this trope to a degree, as it allows newer players to gain access to otherwise unobtainable items such as event ships and other limited-time items. The only catch is that the prize pack itself is only available for a limited time and only when Cryptic sees fit to run an in-game promotion including it.
  • Physical God: Q, of course, who spends much of his time hanging around Earth Spacedock during the annual winter and anniversary events, 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 the Vice Admiral- and the Fleet Admiral-tier escorts.
    • 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 of Copyhats
    • In an amusing subset of this trope, in Star Trek: Deep Space Nine the tailor on Deep Space 9 was a certain Cardassian exile named Elim Garak. Come STO, there's a Cardassian tailor in nearly every Federation social zone except, ironically, Deep Space 9.
    • The only Benthan who ever appeared in Star Trek: Voyager was basically a Space FBI Agent. Come Delta Rising, Space Police has become the Benthans' Hat.
  • 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.
    • The massive Dyson Spheres are capable of jumping through space using Omega particles. They can even jump between galaxies!
  • Pleasure Planet: Risa. There was really nothing to do in Risa but hang out and/or party. before the relaunch of the planet, now it's a large event site during summer - but still nothing to do outside the yearly event.
  • 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.
  • Poor Communication Kills: The Tzenkethi go to war with the Alliance by destroying several worlds (inhabited and otherwise) with protomatter bombs for no apparent reason while attacking anyone who tries to stop their genocidal crusade. In fact they are trying to wipe out a species of Big Creepy-Crawlies called the Drantzuli, the caretakers of the ancient Hur'q race. They don't offer any kind of explanation until the Hur'q have awoken, when the head Tzenkethi blames you for interfering as he beams away and flees.
    • The Tzenkethi's refusal to warn the rest of the galaxy makes even less sense considering the Alliance just fought a massive war with another 'extinct' race of Abusive Precursors, and would be even more receptive to their warning than usual.
      • Actually explained during "Victory Is Life", with the revelation that Admiral Tzen-Terrak was really the Female Changeling in disguise, attempting to provoke war between the Alpha Quadrant powers and wipe out the Hur'q all at the same time.
  • Posthumous Narration: A variant. Leonard Nimoy provides narration in-character as Ambassador Spock, describing recent events upon entering a new sector block, and narrating the opening cinematic for Federation player characters. 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.
  • Pre-Mortem One-Liner: Several examples, mostly involving Romulan characters.
    Romulan player-character: "This is less than you deserve." Shoots Hakeev in the head
    Sela: "I guess you better go then." Kicks Taris off a ledge
    Player-character: "You earned this, Farek." blows up Farek's ship with her onboard
  • Press X to Die: The player will eventually learn the "Abandon Ship" skill. Specifically, the crew abandons the ship while the captain sets it to self destruct. The resulting explosion can severely damage nearby enemy ships, while the player's ship is free to respawn afterwards.
    • This ability is only usable if the ship's hull integrity (i.e. health points) is below 25%.
  • Pretext for War: The Klingon Empire used Undine infiltration of the Gorn as an excuse for stepping up their border war with them into a full-scale invasion, and later retroactively try to use the same excuse to justify attacking the Federation (even though they had openly admitted in the backstory that they were just after territory). The Federation seems to pretty much let them get away with the latter in "Surface Tension" because by that point the Undine are a bigger problem than the Klingons.
  • 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. 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 (2009). Hakeev starts letting the borg tech completely take over his flagship. The result is a Narada-style 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 IRW Khnial — 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").
  • 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 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...
    • In the "Breen Invasion" episode the Breen are cast as the Proud Soldier Race variant. Reference this conversation with a Breen POW in "Cold Comfort":
      Player Character: Do you believe that the goal you are attempting to achieve was worth killing civilians?
      Tran: I didn't want to attack this ship.
      There is a nobility to being a soldier. When I enter battle, I know I could be killed. I know that others will die at my hands. But that is what we must do. It is part of being a soldier.
      Civilians are not part of this unspoken agreement. They do not wake up each day and know in their hearts it could be their last. They should be out of bounds as targets for people like you and me. There is no honor in fighting someone who is unprepared to fight back.
      I regret that I had orders to kill these civilians. More than that, I regret that I carried out those orders.
  • Pun-Based Title:
    • The Undine fleet action "Viscous Cycle" (on "vicious cycle").
  • Punched Across the Room: This is the Vaadwaur Overseer's specialty; they can wipe out entire heavily armed squads using nothing but their fists!
  • 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. The original version of the power played it straight since it could be used at any time and increased in damage based on speed. A ship using speed buffs could one-hit kill anything without shields, up to and including the crystalline entity. These days it's borderline useless.
    • In "Surface Tension", Captain Shon saves Qo'noS from the Undine by ramming their doomsday weapon with the USS Aquarius.
    • This is the specialty of one of the Iconians' ships, as they can ram a target and easily repair itself. The ship they hit ends up losing a good deal of its HP at one hit.
  • 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.
    • Also at the end of "Time and Tide", when the player's ship chases the KIS Annorax through a temporal vortex.
  • Randomly Generated Levels: Up until Season 8.5, there were the Exploration Clusters, which allowed you to fly around a large empty area of space, then jump into a random area. However, because of the randomness of it all, you can end up with some strange instances, including blowing away Borgs looking for artifacts from their "third dynasty".
  • Randomly Generated Loot: Equipment that is Uncommon or better has "mods" that grant effects like HP Regeneration, extra damage, or increased critical hit chance. While the Reputation system and certain mission rewards grant items with a fixed set of mods, loot from enemies is randomly generated. In addition, equipment made using the crafting system as of Season 9.5 also receives randomly generates mods, a source of great frustration for players seeking "perfect" gear.
  • Reality Ensues: "Broken Circle". Turns out that frontally attacking a fortified position where the other side outnumbers you thousands to one tends not to be a particularly bright idea.
  • 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.
    • 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. This was later patched to where the support vessel warps out after taking too much damage.
    • 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.
    • The eponymous 2800 of The 2800 mission arc is a time-travel twist on the holdout that hasn't heard the war is over — they are a fleet of 2800 Dominion ships from the height of the Dominion War that entered the Wormhole in 2374 and exit it in 2409, promptly attacking Deep Space 9 in the belief the war is still ongoing.
    • The Tal Shiar and the Romulan Star Empire starts as far more powerful than this, but by the New Romulus reputation the Tal Shiar is a mere shadow of their former power while remaining Imperial loyalists are scattered and weak to the point of irrelevancy (in addition to the Tal Shiar having gone officially rogue).
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent:
    • The Gorn turn it around by finding mammals repulsive.
    • As of Season 8, the Voth.
    • The genocidal Tzenkethi in Season 12.
  • 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.
    • The Romulan Republic, at least at first, could also be considered this
  • 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.
    • The 2015 Summer Event added the Risian Lunarian Caracal to the mix.
  • Ripped from the Headlines: One of the [[http://www.arcgames.com/en/games/star-trek-online/news/detail/9700743-star-trek-online%3A-na'kuhl in-universe blogs]] revolves around a debate about whether the Federation should take in the surviving Na'kuhl after their homeworld is rendered uninhabitable by the Tholians, an obvious parallel to the plight of displaced Syrian refugees happening at the time of writing.
  • Rock Beats Laser: Melee weapons, like the Bat'leth or falchion, almost entirely ignore shields and can knock down enemies. This makes them a threat to most ground enemies in the game. The Borg get a lot less terrifying for the player when you realize they can adapt to energy weapons but not to swords.
  • 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 plausibility 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 (and as of Season 8, a cadet who became acting captain on their midshipman cruise) 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. Given a handwave in The Path to 2409 to the effect that Admiral Quinn authored a policy to fast-track the promotions of promising officers.
  • Running the Blockade: Episode "Cardassian Struggle", mission "Operation Gamma" has the Player Character, flying a shuttle, 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.
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    Tropes S-Z 
  • Sacrificial Planet:
    • In "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.
    • During one of the time-travel missions, another planet killer crashes and explodes on Galorndon Core, rendering the planet uninhabitable.
    • "A Gathering Darkness" has a double-whammy for Omicron Kappa II; not only is the entire planet assimilated by the Borg, but then it gets obliterated by the Undine.
    • The Tuterians/Sphere Builders have exterminated entire alternate universes as part of their experiments with creating Expanses.
  • Sarcastic Clapping: Garak engages in this after Weyoun finally gets his comeuppance in "Tenebris Torquent".
  • 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 following the Victory is Life update (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.
    • 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 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!
  • Schrödinger's Canon: The game is made of this, taking place after the "alternate" universe Star Trek (2009) broke off from the "Prime" universe. Since the odds of new canon stories set in this era of the Prime universe are vanishingly small, the devs take unmitigated glee in yanking anything from any point in Star Trek continuity and mashing it all together.
  • Sci-Fi Writers Have No Sense of Scale/Units Not to 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.
      According to Cryptic this is partly a Rule of Fun thing. They wanted everything to be its canon size but 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 comparison to crowds of player ships that are frequently over half a klick in length (especially after the Romulans were added in Legacy of Romulus). In-game its about five times its canon size simply to keep the station's pedigree.
    • It's been observed that, with the size of the Herald fleet being enough to completely fill a Dyson Sphere of 1 AU radius, as seen in "Uneasy Allies", the Iconians should rightly have enough forces to curbstomp everyone in the entire galaxy put together with sheer weight of numbers. The fact they're being Manipulative Bastards instead has caused players to wonder on the forums if the Iconians have a Complexity Addiction, or are just plain stupid.
  • Screw the Rules, I'm Doing What's Right!: This being Star Trek, it happens.
    • On the Federation side, we have the infamous Section 31 again. They're still playing fast and loose with the rules such as Prime Directive, but led by Franklin Drake, they've gotten a bit better since the DS9 days. Of note, the operations they're involving you in, primarily are against factions and species that have pretty much no intent to ever negotiate with, well bluntly put, anyone else in the Alpha Quadrant (Such as the Undine, or the Devidians)
    • Can be invoked by the players in some cases to a limited extent. Of particular note is at end of the Romulan Mystery arc, where players can choose if they wish to side with Obisek and the Reman Resistance against the Tal Shiar, as payback for their abuses against the Remans, siding with the Iconians, and being the ones behind the Hobus supernova that destroyed Romulus—or if you wish to go by the books and attempt to arrest Obisek for possessing thalaron weapons and preparing to use them. Weapons which Obisek even openly admits he is reluctant to use, and he would rather prefer not to fight you.
    • Dukan'Rex, a Jem'Hadar under Odo's command, does this when Weyoun orders the Jem'Hadar on Havas-Kul to kill the player's group, including Odo.
    Dukan'Rex:' We do not serve you, Vorta! Where this Founder leads, we follow.
  • Screw the War, We're Partying!: The annual summer event on Risa, where everybody takes a break from the conflict du jour to race powerboards, fly around with jetpacks, dance, and build sandcastles. It drew pretty heavy criticism in 2015 for taking place three episodes into the Iconian invasion, which is supposedly a conflict of a scale the galaxy hasn't seen since the Dominion War, with Qo'noS itself under direct invasion in two of the STFs. A conflict that, outside the episodes and STFs, seems to be taking place almost entirely in Cryptic's "Tales of the War" blog posts.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here!: At the Battle of Procyon V, the future Federation is under attack by a grand coalition of time-traveling enemies. Terran Empire forces from the Mirror Universe bug out after the player thwarts a boarding attempt on the Enterprise-J personally led by Admiral Leeta and beats her into the ground.
  • Set Bonus: There are many sets of equipment that give bonuses as you equip more parts. Typically, equipping two pieces grants a passive bonus and adding the third grants an active ability (two- and four-piece sets also exist, but three is most common). Most sets come from the reputation system, C-store ships (typically variations on a theme, such as the Federation Heavy Escort line or the Advanced Dyson destroyer set), or specific missions or mission chains. In addition, the Aegis set can be crafted by players.
  • 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. (Sarcastic Clapping) Way to go, Starfleet.
  • Serial Escalation: "Avatar" customization, as noted above. It isn't just your captain, almost 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.
  • Series Continuity Error:
    • In "The City At The Edge Of Never", it's mentioned that the Gateway Planet had been on lockdown since the day Kirk first discovered this. However, as the mission was made prior to Star Trek: The Animated Series was made officially canon, "Yesteryear" wasn't part of that.
    • "Sphere of Influence" has the Romulan Republic claim territorial jurisdiction over the gateway to the Dyson spheres, but TNG: "The Best of Both Worlds" establishes the Jouret system (the location of the gate) as Federation territory, as does the patrol mission associated with the system. Cryptic presumably simply forgot, having placed the system in (what was until the overworld revamp) the Tau Dewa sector block, which is basically considered the Romulan Republic's home space in-game.
  • Short-Range Shotgun:
    • "Pulsewave assault" weapons are an energy weapon equivalent. They're shorter-ranged than other weapons but their secondary will do serious damage across a wide Area of Effect. Players prefer them against Borg because it's one shot rather than several (meaning a lower chance for the drones to adapt) and because the Borg tend to Zerg Rush and a gun that shoots only one target is usually a liability.
    • The "Zefram Cochrane's Shotgun" by virtue of being a "physical" version of one of the normal weapons. It's essentially a reskinned pulsewave assault weapon that penetrates shields.
  • Shotguns Are Just Better: The special item "Zefram Cochrane's Shotgun" from the November 2014 Mirror Universe Incursion event is this. As many players point out, this is pretty much a cheap alternative to the TR-116B as it pierces shields 100% and its second attack can blow your opponents across the room.
  • 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.
    • In Legacy of Romulus Romulan warbirds' death animation consists of them collapsing into the black hole they use to power the warp core in place of a matter/antimatter reactor. The black hole then explodes. Sounds like Made of Explodium and is really just a justification for the ship's death to damage surrounding ships, but research suggests that real-life black holes really do behave like this.
  • Shows Damage: Starships in space combat will show increasing amounts of battle damage the lower their health gets, including hull breaches, fires, sparking & shorted out warp nacelles, and so on.
  • Similarly Named Works: invokedIn-game. Do not confuse the missions "Revelation" and "Revelations". The former is the mission in the Romulan Republic story where the player discovers that the Tal Shiar blew up Hobus, the latter is in Delta Rising and deals with The Reveal of the Vaadwaur as the Big Bad for the expansion.
  • 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.
    • 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.
    • According to Sela, the Iconians take this trope to the point that it's their greatest weakness.
    • Weyoun, the Vorta 2nd-in-command to the Female Changeling, is still as much of this now as he was in Deep Space Nine.
  • 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 later events). 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.
  • 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)
  • 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. 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 Is Noisy: And how! Practically every type of energy weapon and torpedo has a distinct sound effect when fired, along with many abilities when they're activated. You can also clearly hear the sound of your ship's engines while underway.
  • 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.
    • In the latest expansion Victory is Life, you get to play as a Jem'hadar, a race genetically engineered to be the finest soldiers in the galaxy. They literally do not sleep, eat or engage in recreation. Their only two activities are to stand guard and fight, and they're better at it than the most skilled Klingon Dahar master. They even come with a special trait that increases their base damage, critical hit chance and severity.
  • 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, and came back for the Iconian War.
    • 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, and for several early KDF missions.
    • Delta Rising saw Tim Russ return as Tuvok, along with Jeri Ryan as Seven of Nine, Ethan Phillips as Neelix, Robert Picardo as the Doctor, and Garrett Wang as Harry Kim. They also brought back Kim Rhodes as Lyndsay Ballard/Jhet'laya.
    • The Iconian War arc brought in Robert Duncan McNeill as Tom Paris and Lisa LoCicero as Miral Paris in one mission, and Aron Eisenberg as Nog in another.
    • Matt Winston as Daniels and Chris Doohan as Scotty feature in the new Agents of Yesterday missions, along with a temporal war arc for all players. Walter Koenig comes in as Pavel Chekov towards the end of the temporal arc.
    • Most recently, Tony Todd as Kurn/Rodek, J.G. Hertzler as General Martok, and LeVar Burton as Geordi LaForge.
  • Spider People: The Tholians. They scuttle around sideways like a crab and can wrangle you in by entrapping you in their webbing.
  • Spider Tank: The Vaadwaur use four-legged ones in Delta Rising, as seen in the cinematic that plays the first time you enter the Delta Quadrant.
  • Spiritual Successor:
    • Watching the trailers focusing on tactics and space combat, one might assume the developers had played quite a bit of Star Trek: Starfleet Command or Star Trek: Bridge Commander. There's a fair number of people who don't object to this in the slightest, mind.
    • A few others might describe the overall experience (with the mix of ship and ground action and whatnot) as the old Spectrum Holobyte games, but with the proper level of technology behind it now to pull it off and design gone terribly, wonderfully right, especially in the weekly missions which give you lots of plot and dialogue options on top of the fighting.
  • 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.
  • Sprint Meter: Trying to run while engaged in combat on ground maps will allow you to perform a rapid sprint over a short distance, with a meter that shows how much further you can go before being forced back into the normal walking pace. Interestingly, this is averted when out of combat, as the player can run as long as they want.
  • Stable Time Loop:
    • Episode "Klingon War", missions "City on the Edge of Never" and "Past Imperfect". This is Cryptic's explanation for the part of the prophecy of the Kuvah'magh that says "You will follow in my footsteps before I have made them." Ambassador B'Vat kidnaps Miral Paris and takes her back in time so that he can use her blended human/Klingon DNA to cure the Augment virus afflicting the Klingons and get them their ridges back. This leads to the Klingons becoming War Hawks again, leading to the current war, which leads to B'Vat's shenanigans.
    • The 2015 Delta Recruitment event had any new Player Character get visited during the Justified Tutorial by their future self from 18 months in the future, and told to gather data for the upcoming Iconian War. At the end of the "Breen Invasion" Story Arc, you go back in time to give yourself the message.
    • An extremely dark example in 'Midnight,' where Sela attempting to kill the Iconians the past leads to their grudge against everyone in the present, and motivating T'Ket to ultimately cause the Hobus Supernova to carry out revenge against the Romulans, thereby motivating Sela to do that in the first place. Crosses over with Cycle of Revenge as, if either one had stopped, none of it would've happened.
    • The Temporal Agents led by Daniels appears to specialize in these loops as a means to preserve history. When the Na'khul initiate a large temporal incursion to the past around the time the game starts, Temporal Operations sends agents to the beginning of the game to undo these probes. These agents then perform the missions against the Na'khul that sent the incursion in the first place.
      • Another dark example: new TOS characters created will note that the Na'khul from the future attempted to attack the Tholians in the past. This attack caused the Tholian Assembly to isolate themselves until "Stormbound" where they use a device to destroy the Na'khul sun, causing the Na'khul to seek revenge and send a temporal incursion to the past.
  • 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.
    • While Heralds use a variety of staff-like polearms, the Harbingers are closest to this trope as they are the highest-ranking of the Heralds, subordinate only to the Iconians themselves.
  • 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. As well, there are eleven ship classes: Cruisers, Escorts, Science Vessels, Dreadnoughts, Raiders, Raptors, Warbirds, Destroyers, Battle Cruisers, Carriers and Light Cruiser/Frigates. However, a lot of lines are heavily blurred because of Cryptic's usual MO of allowing players to modify things to suit their needs.
  • Standard Starship Scuffle: Par for the course in space combat, particularly given the limited degree of vertical maneuvering in the game. Ships are more likely to be pulling circles or figure-eights (or variations thereof) making either strafing runs or broadsiding each other like crazy.
  • 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.
    • While they marginally resemble humanoids (two arms, two legs, a head...), the Elachi are quite starfishy. Their legs are digitigrade, their heads look like mushrooms with vertical mouths, and they are literally sentient fungi: they reproduce by growing on and feeding off of humanoid hosts.
    • Also the Hur'q; a race of insectoid aliens composed of germanium capable of devouring literally anything in front of them.
  • Starts Stealthily, Ends Loudly: "House Pegh" starts out with the Player Character infiltrating an Iconian base with the eponymous Klingon black ops unit. Then, mid-mission, Emperor Kahless (who is for some reason the head of Pegh) catches sight of an Iconian and goes running off to challenge it to personal combat. For reference, he's trying to fight something capable of Hand Blasts and Teleport Spam with a sword, so all he succeeds in doing is getting himself killed and blowing the op, forcing the player to blast their way out.
  • The Stateless: One Foundry mission, "Crimes of the Many" by voporak, features a Starfish Alien prisoner at Facility 4028 who was arrested for drug smuggling and had his citizenship revoked by his home nation.
  • Stating the Simple Solution:
    • In "Capture the Flag" Gaius Selan and Narrel propose venting plasma onto a Vaadwaur who seems invincible in order to create a vulnerability. Since you're standing in the transporter room at the time your character suggests just beaming him out into space, but Selan says he tried that already.
    • In "Dust to Dust", it's possible to suggest using transporters to bypass the Kobali temple's security measures in your hunt for Keten/Ensign Kim. Captain Kim remarks that it's a good idea... and then, when trying to set it up, realizes that he can't contact his ship (prompting you to remark that the same seems to be true for your and your ship).
  • Status-Buff Dispel: The science captain power "Subnucleonic Beam", which wipes out any active buffs on the target and also temporarily increases boff power cooldowns, time dependent on your current auxiliary power level.
  • 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: During "Quark's Lucky Seven", Rom passes by an overweight Caitian on the promenade; a literal "fat cat".
  • Still Wearing the Old Colors: The player character can wear uniforms from past Trek eras all the way back to the 22nd century blue jumpsuits. Proper uniform code in the 25th century is nonexistent. Klingons and Romulans can likewise wear older 23rd-century uniforms as seen in the original series if they so choose.
    • At the end of the mission "Home", Nog can be seen wearing the 24th-century grey-shouldered black Starfleet uniform, complete with Lt. JG rank insignia from his final appearance in DS9.
  • 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.
  • Stupidity Is the Only Option: There will be times the game's story sticks you on a Warp Conduit, at Warp 9, to the Bad Decisions Quadrant, causing Trek lore familiar players to cringe at the point in an Episode when the signs of trouble set in.
    • An early Federation side example, is an assignment involving the player being sent on what's supposed to be an easy, and safe VIP transportation of a Vulcan ambassador from Vulcan, to a monastery planet. It's quickly obvious early on in the mission from others familiar with the ambassador, and the ambassador's own actions that something is not right with him, and his (highly irritable) "illogical" behavior such as displaying clear impatience and anger, and refusal to use transporter technology. What's worse, is that a small Klingon scouting fleet flat out warn you upon arrival at P'Jem, your destination planet, that the Ambassador you're carrying is a fraud and really a member of species 8472, aka The Undine. And while it is done while you're staring down the wrong end of a disruptor cannon with some insults thrown your way, the Klingons do inform you clearly the dangers the Undine present to everyone, and that you should hand the "ambassador" over. You immediately presume their lying, and go about destroying them without possibly having anyone of your crew perform a scan on your VIP passenger just on the odd chance they're right. No prizes for guessing how that turns out. On the other hand, this is the second mission after you take over your ship, so performing an idiot mistake like that is plausible. Doesn't help that the Klingon captain in question reacts to your understandable request for some kind of evidence beyond belligerent accusations of "RAR SHAPECHANGER BLAHRGH!" by OPENING FIRE ON YOU AND INVADING A MONASTERY.
  • 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.
  • Stylistic Suck: Starting in 2017, as a joke for April Fools' Day, the devs added a one-day-only replacement of many sound effects in the game with the "Artisanal Sonification System", which consists of the devs imitating the sound effects by scatting. (You can turn it on and off with a button on your HUD.)
  • 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 Aelasans, 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. (The mission featuring them was deleted in the "Romulan Mystery" revamp.)
  • Sword Beam: The Tholian Crystalline Sword players can obtain through the Nukara Strikeforce reputation system has this as a special attack; absorbing incoming energy weapon fire and firing it right back at the enemy.
  • Symbol Swearing: The standard MMO profanity filter.
  • Take a Third Option: Averted due to railroading in "Suspect", which ends with you having to decide whether Franklin Drake or a Starfleet captain is a shapeshifted Undine infiltrator (it's all a Secret Test of Character via a holodeck scenario). The fact there's no option to stun them both and sort it out later was criticized on the forums.
  • 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.
    • Another one in the tutorial towards Star Trek (2009). After the player is made First Officer on their training cruise, they have the option of telling their best friend (and future Number Two) that "the Captain sees greatness in me," directly quoting Pike's comments on Nu!Kirk. Flores' response is call you an egomaniac.
    • The Delta Rising mission "Alliances" has one that combines Take That, Audience! and Self-Deprecation as a member of the Hierarchy refuses a test between your ship and two holographic Borg Probes and decides between your ship and a Voth Bulwark and wants to see how your crew works together, stating that "anyone can throw firepower at a target", most likely a playful jab at players who prefer "pew pew".
  • Taking You with Me: The obviously named Taking You With Me ground trait and the space equivalent, Blaze of Glory, from the Year of Hell Lockbox are designed to allow players to pull this trope off by immediately reviving them for 8 seconds after they're defeated. During this time, they are completely invincible, immune to crowd control, and have a 100% damage boost.
  • Talking Is a Free Action:
    • Averted, surprisingly enough: entering a story dialogue will not stop action in the background. Usually, getting shot will take down the dialogue box.
    • Also averted with Kahless's death: T'Ket kills him when he decides to monologue about honor instead of finishing the seriously wounded T'Ket off.
  • 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.
    • Made even better in Seasons 10 & 11 as the introduction of tier 6 versions of existing canon ship designs (such as the Galaxynote , Intrepid, and Defiant) have included the developers going back and remodeling the original versions to make them look even more faithful to their on-screen appearances. The results have been glorious.
  • Teleport Spam: Klingon Birds of Prey, Herald Baltim raiders, and several types of Elachi ships have the ability to teleport behind the player during combat, and will do so every chance they get. In ground combat, Herald Thralls love using this trope, using small, personal gateways to teleport all over the place, making them difficult to hit and allowing them to get in close enough to melee their victims from behind. The Black Alert ability, available on the Crossfield-class and as an equippable trait for Klingons in the Discovery lockbox, allows you to trigger this trope combined with Macross Missile Massacre.
  • Tempting Fate: At the end of "Time in a Bottle", the Not Quite Dead Krenim allow you to gain access to the infamous Krenim Temporal Warship's blueprints and use it as a weapon against the Iconians.
  • 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.
  • Terrible Pick-Up Lines: The card for the duty officer provides the response, but not the line itself:
    Noratti: Awww, is that your best line?
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: The Kobali have clearly-discernable genders, despite being incapable of sexual reproduction. It might be a result of their method of reproduction involving transforming corpses of species that does use sexual reproduction, or a biological artefact of the days before they did the undetailed unwise thing that forced them into their current method of reproduction
  • 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 Dreadnought Warbirds — all three being swords.
      • This even extends to their tier 6 versions, the Shamshir, Flambard, and Khopesh-class Dreadnought Warbirds.
    • Orion ships are named after different types of criminal; Corsair, Marauder, Slavemaster.
    • Voth starships are named after different types of fortification; Palisade, Bastion, Bulwark, and Citadel.
    • Tholian starships are named after various species of spider such as Tarantula, Orb Weaver, Widow etc.
  • 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 daynote . 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!
    • With "Delta Rising" set to be released, Cryptic decided not to leave the old Tier 5 ships in the dust and gave them the option to turn them into Tier 5-Upgraded, which puts them on equal footing or, in the case of Fleet ships, event ships, Lobi ships and Lockbox ships, superior than the new Tier 6 ships.
  • 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.
    • The trailer announcing Season 11 pretty much made it a foregone conclusion that the allies win the Iconian War (though doesn't exactly state how or at what cost).
  • 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.
  • Trojan Prisoner: The ground portion of Brushfire starts off with this trope with the player and their bridge officers being the "prisoners" and Rodek being the "guard."
  • 20 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.
  • Ultimate Evil: The Iconians. They were teased for more than four years before one finally shows up in "Surface Tension".
  • Unexpected Character: A Xindi representative shows up in "Surface Tension", pointing out that they know how it feels to be manipulated by outside forces.
    • Everyone knew that Harry Kim would return after his actor, Garret Wang, tweeted he was coming in for voice acting. They also figured Miral Paris, Icheb and Naomi Wildman would also be joining them due to their character models being heavily updated. No one expected, though, Seven of Nine, Neelix and the Emergency Medical Hologram Mk I (or "The Doctor") would be joining them
    • The Delta Rising mission "Friends in Unlikely Places" reintroduces us to Hugh, the first Liberated Borg.
  • 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.
    • In the same vein as the KDF, players feel that the Romulan Republic is now feeling the lack of love. While the Romulan Republic has a full level track, the main complaint is that the fact that they essentially "piggyback" on the Federation and the KDF, artificially boosting up their Tier 1-4 ships and making them not a full-fledged faction of their own. This has caused players to demand Cryptic to change this, especially with the events of "Surface Tension".
      • The feeling of "unfavoriteness" towards the KDF and Romulan Republic has gone into full force once more because of a major lack of Science Ships, especially of the T6 variation. It's not uncommon for players to constantly demand for T6 Science ships for these two factions.
    • 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. This was ultimately changed for Season 10 and the release of the Andromeda-class T6 ship.
    • 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. The Aegis finally got its buff with Season 9.5 while the Absolute Zero set finally got theirs with the Upgrade addition to crafting just before the release of Delta Rising.
    • 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 a while, 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. This changed with Season 9.5, but it's immensely YMMV.
  • Unfortunate Names: The class names for T6 light escort three-pack. What do "Valiant", "Kor", and "Malem" have in common? They all died ignominious deaths: USS Valiant tried to pull a Skywalker on a Jem'Hadar battleship and got summarily blown apart, Kor went out on a suicide charge against more Jems when not much time prior he commanded a mission while so senile he thought he was fighting Kirk, and, in the Romulan tutorial, Malem got either shot by Tal Shiar or captured and turned into an Elachi.
  • Ungrateful Bastard: Seeing as you started out as a simple cadet/Bekk/farmer and suddenly, within a year, you're now one of the greatest captains in the universe, quite a few characters will gladly talk down to you, especially if they're the type of person who worked to get where you are.
  • 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 quite a few 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!!!
    • KDF duty officer assignments allow you to torture and experiment on prisoners-of-war, as well as sell them to the Orion Syndicate as slaves. A byproduct of the Romulan alliance system lets KDF-Roms do this, too, despite freedom and liberty being a major aim of the Romulan Republic.
  • Villain Has a Point: The Future Proof arc does this twice. The first is with the Na'khul, where their sun ends up destroyed by actions of the present and future Alliance. They call out the hypocrisy of how these powers flippantly mess with the timeline and see them as temporal dictators. The second is with Noye, who went mad after learning he used to have a wife and an unborn child. Temporal tampering by the alliance gone wrong caused his wife's entire species to be assimilated by the Borg in the new timeline. Noye calls out the Alliance's unwillingness to go back and correct that situation.
  • 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 badass 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' badass 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 into is only a library and some Precursors in cryogenic sleep, not the mighty armory of incredibly powerful weapons he thought would be 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.
  • The War Just Before: The Klingon-Gorn War, an off-and-on conflict that ran from the 2380s to 2403. Undine infiltrators provoked it, the Federation tried to mediate a diplomatic resolution several times, but Klingon hardliners led by J'mpok, who also wanted war with the Federation, nearly started a civil war. Chancellor Martok tried to talk J'mpok down in a closed-door meeting, but three hours later J'mpok emerged saying he had killed Martok in honorable combat. Soon after, the Klingons acquired evidence of the Undine presence in Gorn space and launched a full-scale invasion, and when the Federation didn't believe him J'mpok withdrew from the Khitomer Accords. After conquering the Gorn, he invaded the Federation in 2405, the state of war that exists for a disappointingly brief period at the start of the game.
  • 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. 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.
    • "Uneasy Allies": Sela leads us to a third, much older Dyson Sphere in the Andromeda Galaxy... suddenly millions of Iconian ships (aligned or otherwise) appear out of nowhere, blotting out the light from the Sphere's star. Then it jumps directly to Iconia, within striking range of the Alpha and Beta Quadrants...
    • "Blood of the Ancients": The Iconian War has begun and it has major shades of the Dominion War - Starbase 234 falls, the Iconian Gateway in New Romulus is destroyed and, in a major Kick the Dog moment, the Preservers and the Archive are destroyed.
  • 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.
    • From "Uneasy Allies":
    Iconian:' I SEE YOU.
    • From "Scylla and Charybdis":
    Odo: We need to talk.
  • What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: As observed here, the winter event queue "Cones of Conduct" has the player siding with the cutesy gingerbread people over the monstrous snowmen, even though the gingerbread people admit in exposition that they built their village on land claimed by the snowmen.
  • 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. (Incorrectly, even, due to a Series Continuity Error by Cryptic: the gateway leading to the Delta Quadrant is located in the Jouret system, canonically a Federation territorial possession.)
    • In "Revelations" the Turei give one to Seven of Nine and Tuvok for awakening the Vaadwaur in VOY: "Dragon's Teeth".
    • In the Gamma Quadrant mission "The Search", Kira is NOT happy when she finds out Odo deliberately staged the Hur'q attack on Bajor and Deep Space Nine in order to draw the Alliance into the war on the Dominion's side.
  • What You Are in the Dark: One for the player in "Operation Gamma". A Ferengi agrees to help you contact the Dominion in exchange for help in a salvaging operation, but once you complete the task, she very deliberately agitates the local cosmozoan life forms and warps out, leaving you to fight for your life in a little shuttle against swarms of the enraged creatures. When you catch up to her, she's run into the Dominion, who have disabled her ship and are about to destroy her in punishment for conducting 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".
  • Woobie, Destroyer of Worlds: Of all races, the friggin' Iconians. The player character, Kagran and Sela learn that the Iconians were actually a quite peaceful race, though highly technological and maybe a bit of the arrogant side. Like the Federation, they used something close to the Prime Directive to prevent races from using their technology for war-like means or self destruction. So, those races decided to invade and bomb the hell out of the planet to get that technology. However, when you're trying to get the Iconians out, Sela decides to act on the original plan to Kill ’Em All, crippling L'Miren and setting T'Ket on her path, leading to the destruction of Romulus and Remus.
  • 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 ineffective. 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.
    • The Borg got hit with it yet again in early Delta Rising. Two patrol missions have you turn up in the aftermath of somebody (later revealed as the Vaadwaur) having flattened an entire Borg fleet.
    • Voth Citadel-class dreadnoughts usually take a whole team of player characters to defeat because of their sheer durability. In "A Step Between Stars" the Undine actually destroy one by accident: they used a planet buster to blow open the neutronium exterior door of a Dyson Sphere, and it overpenetrated. Then in Delta Rising the Vaadwaur are introduced in "Revelations" by blasting one out of the sky, causing debris to rain down on the Turei homeworld.
    • Kahless the Unforgettable's clone gets killed by an Iconian in "House of Pegh".
  • Xanatos Gambit: "Sphere of Influence" reveals that a lot of what's happened even before Star Trek (2009) 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 at least two sequels, including "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. Delta Rising adds Commander Ethan Burgess from Starfleet Intelligence.
    • 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. Rivas also plays Eric Cooper and his Undine replacement.
    • Denise Crosby reprises both roles she played in Star Trek: The Next Generation: Natasha Yar and Sela.
    • Lani Minella plays a lot of roles throughout the game, including a number of Romulan military officers both Imperial and Republican. Early ones include 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 were bad, but Season 6 brought the Tholians. On Nukara (in the outside portions) there are so many Tholian Ensigns with ridiculous (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 unfazed). 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.
    • The Borg were bad. The Tholians were worse. The 8th Anniversary gives us the Hur'q. These guys will give you flashbacks to Star Trek Beyond and the fact that they wreck Deep Space Nine in the process just proves how much of a danger they are!
  • 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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