Since Star Trek Online recently went free-to-play and it’s the focus of this week’s First Impressions column, I figured it’s a good time to reveal some of the amazing things that they’re doing with the game upcoming for their 2-year anniversary. Undoubtedly this is also designed to draw new players into the game and hopefully keep them.

Cryptic Studios and Perfect World Entertainment have come together to make what was a pretty powerful IP-based franchise game into something that should function fairly effectively as a free-to-play game.

Cryptic outlines how they intend to celebrate their 2-year anniversary in the Season 5 Dev Diary #12 and it looks like it’ll be an event hosted by Q and will allow Federation players to take a new starship for a test drive and keep it (of course Klingon players get a Klingon Defense Force ship.) The Federation ship will be the new Odyssey class cruiser starship available for level 50 characters and the quest can be received from Engineer Kani in Earth Spacedock—for the Klingons it will be the Bortas (Vengence) class ship and those quests will come from Engineer Tum’Era.

While most new players will not be able to use this new cruiser spaceship due to it requiring the highest rank in the game, it will nevertheless stay with them until the appropriate rank is achieved.

After the event closes, these starships will vanish from the game for an indeterminate amount of time making them somewhat unique for a while–so be sure to get yours during the event. After all it’s free.

The anniversary takes place February 2nd, starting at 10 AM PST on Thursday and running through Monday, February 6th ending at about the same time.

As for the mysterious Q, he will be appearing at Earth Spacedock and Qo’noS to hand out gimmick missions for players to receive prizes during the event.

Star Trek Online Free-to-Play Power to the Players

As everyone probably knows by now, Star Trek Online went free-to-play on January 17th and has seen a massive influx of players.

Sector space is a bit crowded nowadays with Miranda class starships, and the fleets (guilds) in game are all seeking new players to give them an edge in the community. In their path-to-free-to-play, Cryptic Studios has revamped a great deal of the content, added UI designs that help people find missions and continue through episodes, and changed how the ships work with the dilithium system.

If you’d like to know more about how the free-to-play freemium works, read the First Impressions article, and there’s an entire section on it.

The calendar is nicely full of events, there’s ways to get into PvP and PvE fleet action directly from the UI, there are events that enhance crafting and collecting (exploration), and a lot of missions from Starfleet asking people to explore unknown space for extra dilithium, fight in PvP matches, and even play through both space and ground PvE matches.

It looks so far that they’re starting off with a bang.

Cheers to Cryptic Studios and Perfect World Entertainment and good luck.