Updates to Star Trek Online – Xbox

Yesterday there was a massive update to STO on the Xbox. This was a prolonged update lasting 10-12 hours. Not only did they update the game but they also updated the infrastructure. As an ex systems admin for a university I know roughly what they did and will try to explain as well as go through some of the updates to the game itself.

Infrastructure

Everytime you log onto STO on ANY platform you go through a few services, namely ARC, then the account server, then the STO server (Shard) before you see your game. All these services are run on powerful computers called Servers. Now some of these servers for PWC are run by Amazon as they use AWS, the market leader for cloud computing (Cloud computing is anything that you access via a web browser like Facebook, Gmail, etc. All this data is stored in the cloud, not your home PC). Now some of these servers I would suspect PWC will also keep in house as well.

Servers generally only last 2 years of useful life as the components get outdated as technology moves on and as they are on 24/7 ware and tear on the components are also a factor. At a push when I was at the university we had servers for 3 years before we replaced them. I’m sure PWC has the same procedure. Now when they migrate the games to the new servers they have to transfare all the data to the new machines. This can take a long time as imagine how many players are on all the games PWC make, and I can estimate that one toon on STO takes around 2Gb of data (Ships, weapons, loadouts, where you are on reputation etc) that is a lot of data to migrate over.

Then if PWC cares anything about data integrity then this data will get replicated across multiple servers and multiple locations (AWS does this automatically). This takes time that will slow the servers down and the internet connections to the servers down as well.

So please, give the developers a break. They are doing stuff that is needed to be done to keep the game working. You would be moaning a lot if they didn’t do this and the servers slowed down to a halt in a few years after getting overloaded.

New features

As mentioned above they also updated the console versions with some new features, The Nexus, Sompek Arena and a new Weekend Event Store.

The Nexus is a new feature mission that stars Gordie La Forge from TNG Star Trek. What I am really looking forward to is the new prizes that come from this mission, a new Phaser set that includes a 360 phaser. This is only the second one in the game after the crafted one and I use phasers on my main ship so this is so useful for me.

Sompek Arena is coming back. This is a ground map where you get waves of enemies that you have to defeat. This time there is a competition where the team that gets furthest get a prize that I think is a T6 Ship. The last time this came out you also got 500 fleet marks, 250 marks of your choice and 50k of dill ore along with Sompek Lightning Universal kit. I know the Sompek lightning will not be coming back in this due to below but I hope Crypic keeps the other stuff.

There is also a new Weekend Event Store in the game. As the name suggests you will have mini missions where you will get 1 weekend event voucher when you complete the mission to spend in this new store.

To access this store you goto your reputation, under event goto the store button at the botton then you will be presented with the following screen :-

18-10-2017_13-53-15

As you can see, if you have been doing the events for the past 6 months or so (since the last Sompek Arena and Kobayashi Maru event) then you have most of the stuff in the store apart from the 2k of Dilithium Ore. The good thing about this store is you don’t need to spend your voucher that weekend and I hope Crytic will fill this store out with some better prizes.

There is also some bug fixes as detailed here.

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