Eurogamer: I see! And forgive my ignorance, but can I be a Klingon?
Craig Zinkievich: Yes! We plan on shipping with the ability to play as Federation and play on the Klingon side. The Klingon gameplay is going to be drastically different to the Federation gameplay. It's going to be a lot more focused on PvP; their advancement is a little bit different - it is not a full-on story-driven game like the Federation.
Eurogamer: You mentioned unlock earlier - are the Klingons going to be available from the start?
Craig Zinkievich: The Klingon gameplay will unlock, but not deep in the game - it will take several hours to unlock the ability to create a Klingon player.
Eurogamer: It sounds like Monster Play from Lord of the Rings Online, which unlocks at 10 and provides a 'nasty' faction for the good guys to fight in PvP - at the appropriate levels. Is that what you're doing?
Craig Zinkievich: No, we'll be offering full-on character advancement: you will create a Klingon player, you will have his ship, he will level up. The content that they will be experiencing is a lot more focused on PvP - fighting the Federation, fighting House versus House within the Klingon empire. So it is a full-on character with advancement, with items, with bridge officers as well. So it's a lot more than the Monster Play.
Eurogamer: Are there any other big factions joining the fray? The trendy thing to do these days is sling a third contender into the ring.
Craig Zinkievich: At launch there will only be two playable factions.
Eurogamer: And more to follow?
Craig Zinkievich: Oh yeah, definitely. As we developed the game we made a list of all the races, all the different factions people want to play: the Romulan Star Empire, the Cardassians will come back - there's a huge number who want to play as them, but not within the Star Fleet, not within the Federation. So, plenty of different factions that can be and will be added after launch.
Eurogamer: Talking about "after launch" - how much planning has gone into that already? Is there A Plan?
Craig Zinkievich: We definitely have a, er, sketch for the first year after launch. But one of the things we did learn with City of Heroes was that the more detailed you get with the plan, the more useless it is. Ha.
The really cool thing is launching the game and then all of a sudden you don't have a team of 50 developers trying to figure out what to do, you have hundreds of thousands of players saying, "This is what we want!" So you definitely have to make sure you're flexible and that you really pay attention to what your audience ends up wanting.
Eurogamer: How much can we read into how City of Heroes expanded to how Star Trek Online will?
Craig Zinkievich: User-generated content is something that is really, really exciting and has a whole lot of potential - you can see how amazing that would be for something like Star Trek Online. But if we are doing anything like that then we haven't made any announcements! Ha ha.