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Priority One: A Roddenberry Star Trek Podcast

Apr 10, 2021

This week on Episode 503 of Priority One: We Trek Out some of the big announcements from First Contact Day, with teasers for new seasons of Discovery, Picard and Lower Decks, while Prodigy asks, “Please state the nature of the coffee emergency,” Oberth April Fools perhaps in Star Trek Online, a new study into the nature of lootboxes, and a quick look at Star Trek: Legends!

This week’s Community Questions are:

CQ: With all the new Star Trek updates, what was the biggest surprise for you? Was there anything you were hoping they were going to announce?

CQ: Would a T6 Oberth be the greatest starship in the game, or the GREATEST starship in the game? What would be a fitting trait for such a fine ship?

Let us know on social media like Facebook, Twitter, or by visiting our website!


Star Trek: Discovery Reveals First Look at Season Four!

By Rosko McQueen

“We’re all living in uncertainty”. They are the first words from Discovery’s Captain Michael Burnham in the teaser trailer for season four.  And as is often the case with the series, it looks at the world now and works to provide a reflection back to us through a sci-fi mirror.  

The first noticeable difference is the uniforms have a new splash of colour. The grey Starfleet uniforms of the 32nd century have been upgraded.  We now have tops of command red, science blue and engineering gold along with medical white, offset with a black vertical stripe. So now there is no mistaking which department is which.  

Captain Michael Burnham and the bridge crew of the U.S.S. DiscoveryImage:

In the trailer we hear about, potentially, this season’s universe-threatening problem: a gravitational anomaly five light-years across. Where is it? We don’t know.  Where could it turn up? Not a clue. Who can save us all? We’ll find out later this year, as season four is set to premiere in 2021.   

Star Trek: Picard Returns for Season 2 in 2022

By Elio Lleo

While Discovery focuses on the large-scale event to tie the story together, season two of Star Trek: Picard, coming in 2022, is all the more personal.  

The camera moves slowly towards Château Picard, and we then transition inside the home of the retired Admiral, weaving our way through his study.  On a table in the centre of the room is a Bajoran tablet, cracked and broken, possibly from the lost city of B’Hala.  A painting of the Enterprise-D overhangs the mantle where a bronze sculpture of a farmer and horse-drawn plough rests in the centre.  

Picard’s chair sits behind a desk, draped in a Mintakan tapestry. On the desk we see a model of the USS Stargazer, a teacup and saucer–decaf perhaps?–and a small Kurlan naiskos perched on the edge of the table.  

We pass over a combadge, a Dixon Hill novel and a copy of Paradise Lost. When Picard’s voiceover talks of “what we wish we had done in a crisis,” the shot sits squarely on the hull of the Stargazer.  We then cut to a gaming table upon which sits a deck of cards and a solitary queen of hearts.  The card dissolves before our eyes until all that is left is one corner, and the letter that tells us so much–Q.

Q-ed Up For The Big Reveal

Patrick Stewart spoke with Wil Wheaton about the second season of Picard, teasing the different “times” that we will see that have never been seen onscreen before. John de Lancie then beams in from his boat, expressing his delight at the opportunity to return to the role and his amazing ability to age himself up for the part.  

Sir Patrick also hints at the critical moment Q returns and teases the trauma surrounding it. While De Lancie remarks on the apparent ease he can slip back into character, describing Q as annoying and self-involved.

Lower Decks Season 2 Teaser

By Rosko McQueen

Paramount+ also announced season two of Star Trek: Lower Decks will premiere later this year, and like any episode of Lower Decks, there's a lot of detail in a short amount of time.

Ensigns Rutherford, Tendi, Mariner, and Boimler from Star Trek: Lower DecksImage:

We see the Cerritos, with Mariner, Tendi and Rutherford hanging out. We cut to a Miranda class starship, the USS Macduff, activating evasive maneuvers.  Then out of nowhere, a mugato! Mariner shows off her sweet anbo-jyutsu moves, red suit and all.  Commander Ransom seems to have god-like powers, then–cut to a Pakled phaser party. A group of Cardassians get their butts kicked by Mariner wearing 80’s workout gear–THERE ARE FOUR LIGHTS!!! All hell breaks loose when snakes grow arms and attack Tendi, then we relax with the Lower Deckers in the comfort of the brig.

But where is Boimler, you ask? He’s staring into the void and screaming for all to hear. Captain Riker throws out some more jazz references, but sadly Boimler didn’t get the joke as the Titan moves into some sort of wormhole or spatial distortion while under fire from multiple craft.    

Season two of Lower Decks will premiere on Thursday, August 12, 2021.

Star Trek: Prodigy: More Info!

By Cat Hough

And finally, we received a brief synopsis about the other animated series coming out, Star Trek: Prodigy. Co-creator Dan Hageman confirmed the series is set in the Delta Quadrant in the year 2383. It features a group of young aliens who find a lost Starfleet vessel that happens to be equipped with an EJH–Emergency Janeway Hologram. This training hologram was designed to assist a crew that may have strayed too far off course and is probably programmed to locate coffee in any nearby nebulae. 

The holographic Kathryn Janeway from Star Trek: ProdigyImage:

The animation for the Janeway hologram was also revealed during First Contact Day, with Kate Mulgrew noting that the Hageman brothers insisted on “...making the character so beautiful.”

CQ: With all the new Star Trek updates, what was the biggest surprise for you? Was there anything you were hoping they were going to announce?


April Fools...But Maybe Not?

By Cat Hough

It was a quiet Friday morning at Ambassador Kael’s house. Coffee had been achieved. The toast was buttered. Star Trek Online’s dutiful Community Manager opened up his Twitter feed and spit coffee all over his keyboard. At least, if his post from April 2nd is any indication that’s what happened. “Morning folks! Did anything interesting happen while I was WHAT THE F…

What was all the fuss? Well, it was an 11:59pm April Fool’s Day post to the official STO Twitter account. If it’s not just an April Fool’s prank, then it might spell doom for Kael’s jokingly vocal anti-T6 Oberth crusade. The post in question sported two images of what can only be a 2411 treatment of the Oberth-class. The images were captioned “Kael’s asleep! Post it post it POST IT!

Yes, it was still April Fools. But, consider… someone clearly spent the time to model this 2411 Oberth to what looks like at least late-stage Work-In-Progress. It’s worth remembering that on a recent live stream of his work, Thomas Marrone pointed out that they sometimes have the ship art done well before the systems designers have the ship built. So, perhaps that’s the case here. But in any case, it’s hope for those Oberth fans among you, Captains.

CQ: Would a T6 Oberth be the greatest starship in the game or the GREATEST starship in the game? What would be a fitting trait for such a fine ship?

Delta Recruitment Returns!

By Cat Hough

Announced earlier today, and starting April 15th on PC and May 13th on Xbox and PS4, you can create a new Delta Recruit character. However, this Delta Recruit event has been slightly modified. You’ll still earn extra rewards, and gain special account unlocks, but the devs have removed some out-of-date missions and added new goals with new rewards. 

For example, reputation mark reward boxes have been updated so that you can claim all of the reputation mark options, not just the ones that were around during the first launch of Delta Recruitment. And, there’s now a reward for reaching level 60, which gives you even more marks, Reputation dilithium, as well as salvage. Plus, there’s new rewards for completing your faction’s Admiralty campaign, which features a very special Admiralty card: the U.S.S. Voyager!

Existing Delta Recruits will be able to complete these new goals as well, and if you’ve already finished them, you can claim the rewards immediately. Remember, to become a Delta Recruit and gain access to the rewards, you need to make a new 2409 Starfleet character, a Klingon Defense Force character, or a Romulan Republic character during the event, then you have to complete the tutorial and receive the special Delta Recruit tesseract transceiver device. Once you receive the device, your character is a Delta Recruit and you can complete the goals any time and claim the rewards, even after the event ends.

Image: Cryptic Studios.

Gambling and the Future of Loot Boxes

Written by Elio Lleo

Lock Boxes. A recurring topic of conversation on this show since their introduction into Star Trek Online those many moons–in 2012. Nowadays, they’re so ingrained into gaming ecosystems–not just STO–that most people have accepted their permanence. But does that mean we shouldn’t continue to look at the relationship between STO’s Lock Boxes–and every other video game’s respective lootbox–and gambling? 

No, because as the mechanic continues to become part of the mainstream, it’s important to understand the impact it can have. Even if we have been told it’s not gambling because you get a “reward in every box.”

Image: Cryptic Studios.

In an April 2nd article on Ars Technica, writer Sam Machkovech spotlights new research from four British Universities, commissioned by the gambling-protection advocacy group BeGambleAware. What does the research suggest? “[T]he authors determine that loot box purchasing has a statistically significant tie to problem gambling behaviors.”

So… how can we mitigate the problem? The suggestion is to go cold turkey. “The report leans toward starting with outright bans of paid loot boxes in software—as in, the easily defined practice of ‘any game-related purchase with a chance-based outcome’—or at least requiring more fully transparent ‘odds’ statements about the likelihood of specific in-game items in those loot boxes.”

Potential motivating factors behind lootbox purchase behaviorsImage: BeGambleAware, University of Plymouth, and University of Wolverhampton, via Ars Technica.

The report itself says particular circles of gamers are more susceptible to the lure of loot boxes, stating there are groups which are particularly at risk. ”Those particularly affected include males and younger gamers, with our survey screen of over 14k gamers also suggesting that those with lower educational attainment and lower levels of employment may be disproportionately affected. These factors, however, are unlikely to be limited to loot boxes.”

Fleet Command Charts Its Next Course

By Thomas Reynolds

It’s bedtime for those old scientists in Fleet Command, but Scopely’s already sharing where the rest of 2021 will go. Players have a number of developments to look forward to, including an entirely new Officer Away Teams system. Send your unused characters out on errands–sorry, special assignments, and receive goods should they succeed in their tasks. And if they can’t handle even that, well, you can always send them to Starbase 80.

Cetacean Citation in Timelines

By Thomas Reynolds

George and Gracie are now crew members in Timelines. If this sounds like an April Fool’s prank, I assure you, it isn’t. George and Gracie are now crew members. Complete the three temporary achievement tiers before April 15th, and you can finally staff your ship’s Cetacean Ops facility. Assuming you have the transparent aluminum on hand, of course.

George and Gracie, the humpback whales from Star Trek IVImage: Disruptor Beam.

It’s Time to Re-enter the Nexus with Star Trek: Legends

By Rosko McQueen

Load up your favourite Personal Access Display Device and get set to enter the Nexus. Star Trek: Legends has launched on Apple Arcade this week and we’ve had a brief look at the turn-based game. You are the captain of the U.S.S. Artemis, a ship designed to enter the Nexus and draw on the unique properties of the ethereal energy ribbon. Over the course of the game you build a crew of Trek favourites from across timelines and universes to take on missions, collect resources, and power up your characters.  

The developers explain in a blog post on their decision to base the premise of the game around the Nexus, as opposed to other ways of putting characters in a blender like the holodeck, or using Q or the Talosians. Instead they take the largely unexplored idea of the Nexus and expand upon it, incorporating the idea that it was made by design. In a familiar Ready Player One-type premise, each character has their own utopian reality sphere, which is also infinite. So, there’s lots of room to grow.  

But How Does It Play?

The U.S.S. Artemis from Star Trek: LegendsImage:

The gameplay is straightforward, tap the bad guy to target them. You can use Worf’s battle cry to lower morale (it’s super effective!), and there are your typical character class types; engineering, medical, security, etc.  I’ve only played a few early missions as it guides you through how to assemble your team, battle the bad guys and power up your crew using latinum, protomatter and bio-mimetic gels as some of the in-game currency.  But it’s also a brand new game on the platform, and it shows. I had to force quit a couple of times after the game froze at the same point. 

The artwork and the attention to detail is excellent. The Cardassians look menacing and there are a few costume callbacks to Voyager and Deep Space Nine standalone episodes. So far so good, and I’m looking forward to seeing how the game grows over time.