Bridge Officer Specialization: Intelligence
The Delta Quadrant is a vast frontier of unexplored space, ripe for exploration and the acquisition of new knowledge and discoveries. Among the primary tenets being outlined by Operation Delta Rising is the need for an increased focus on the gathering and use of any and all available information that could aid in defending against the various aggressors of this untamed region of space. This task has been delegated to the various Intelligence agencies of each of the major Alpha and Beta Quadrant species, bringing these organizations into the forefront of their combined efforts.
Intelligence Specialists have always been present in each of the major factions, but have rarely served aboard starships as permanent fixtures, until now. The techniques and tools of these somewhat clandestine operatives are now being made available to trusted captains via the addition of Intelligence Specialist Bridge Officers. Once serving aboard your vessel, they will use their training to undermine the effectiveness of enemies, while assisting their allies in resisting similar tactics.
Profession vs. Specialization
Before explaining some of the exciting new features of Intelligence Specialists, it’s important to explain some of the terminology behind them. The Intelligence designation in Star Trek Online will be known as a “Specialization,” while the previous categories of Tactical, Engineering and Science are known as the officer’s “Profession.” Bridge Officers will be capable of belonging to both a single Profession and a single Specialization.
In this way, every Intelligence Specialist may sometimes be referred to as a hybrid officer, and their ability options will include the full selection of those available to both their Profession and their Specialization. While Intelligence will be the only Specialization offered with the launch of Delta Rising, the system has been created in such a way as to support introducing additional Bridge Officer Specializations in future updates.
Hybrid Bridge Officer Seats and Ability Restrictions
As detailed in our previous blog, a limited selection of Tier 6 Starships will possess specialized hybrid bridge officer seats at the launch of Delta Rising. An Intelligence Specialist must be seated in one of these hybrid seats in order to be able to utilize their new Intelligence abilities in space combat situatons. However, they may also be seated in traditional Bridge Officer seats that match their Profession, and still make use of all of the abilities traditionally available in those same seats. This allows an Intelligence Specialist to serve aboard any starship, albeit with a limited subset of abilities while in space.
Existing “Universal” seats do not allow for Specialization abilities to be used.
This restriction does not apply to ground combat scenarios, and as such, Intelligence abilities can be used without restriction by any Specialist you have as a member of your away team.
Training and Re-Training
With the release of Delta Rising, Bridge Officer Trainers throughout the galaxy will be updated to include a full selection of Rank I and Rank II Intelligence Specialist abilities. By interacting with these existing NPCs, the abilities currently trained by any Intelligence Specialist can be swapped out at the expense of a small amount of Energy Credits, as well as the Expertise used to train any new abilities up through their available ranks.
This level of customization will allow any Intelligence Specialist to fulfill the exact role you wish them to fill, rather than being constrained to the limitations of a single set of abilities. Want to keep Beam: Overload handy in your Tactical Station, but wish to experiment with the new Intelligence abilities? As long as your ship is equipped with a hybrid Tactical/Intelligence Seat, this option can be easily arranged.
Rank III abilities will be obtainable in-game for Captains that seek the additional customization and effectiveness of these high-end options. Information on unlocking those options will be included in a future Dev Blog.
The abilities used by Intelligence Specialists are thematically focused on undermining the effectiveness of enemies. The use of stealth and control abilities, coupled with a few other risky and inventive maneuvers, gives this specialization a unique feel that complements the existing Professions rather than duplicating or deprecating them.
The following section will give a brief explanation of each of the abilities offered to Intelligence Specialists. Please be aware that the details of each power are subject to change, as we continue to review and tune them based on both internal testing, and player experience and feedback gathered from the Tribble Test Server.
Convince the enemy of your untimely demise by simulating the effects of a being vaporized by incoming fire, similar to the technique employed by Section 31 operative Luther Sloan (DS9 7x16). Masked by this ruse, you will gain an impenetrable short-duration Stealth, increased speed, and an Ambush bonus.
Frictionless Particle Grenade
Lob an explosive that will cover the area in an extremely slippery substance. Enemies hit by the substance will have their damage resistance debuffed, and any foes entering the area have a periodic chance to be knocked prone.
The targeted foe is no longer able to target you for a decent duration. While in effect, the user also generates no threat toward the foe (if an NPC).
By scrambling the target’s neurological inputs, you can force them to fire upon their allies. Any allies they strike will subsequently become confused, thus spreading the chaos.
Neurolytic Hypo Injection
This volatile chemical compound must be injected from melee range, and will completely incapacitate any foe for a short duration. When they emerge from their stupor they will remain confused for some time after. These effects are enhanced if applied from a Flanking position.
Spawn a duplicate in a flanking position near your foe. Nearby NPCs will be taunted into attacking this new target.
Resonant Tachyon Stream
A tachyon carrier beam allows the shield capacity of the targeted enemy to be stolen and applied to your own defenses.
Fire a long-distance tagger that will then initiate a site-to-site transport, bringing your foe to your location. Because of the sudden unexpected transport, they will be disoriented for a very short duration, but damaging them may break this effect.
Sonic Suppression Field
You are able to muffle the sounds generated by your actions, causing you to appear less threatening to nearby combatants to the point that they may ignore you entirely. While active, you will also deal additional damage to enemies you are Flanking.
Subspace Anesthizine Mine
Deploy a stealth mine near your current location, nearly imperceptible to foes. If triggered, it will release a cloud of anesthizine gas, slowing and reducing the damage output of any nearby foes. Those unfortunate enough to be caught in the cloud also have a chance of being thrown into a coughing fit, unable to act or move.
A small drone is deployed toward the targeted foe’s location, whipping out with energy tendrils in all directions as it moves. These have a chance to trip and ensnare any foes they encounter. Upon reaching its destination, or maximum distance, the drone will explode and deal additional kinetic damage.
Electromagnetic Pulse Probe
This slow-moving probe will travel toward your target’s current location. The probe emits a debilitating field as it moves, periodically disabling any foes it comes in contact with. Upon reaching its destination, it will explode in a shockwave of electromagnetic energy, damaging and disabling nearby foes.
Energy Weapons : Surgical Strikes
Activating this ability will cause your beam and cannon weapons to fire more accurately for the duration of the buff, benefit from increased Accuracy and Critical Hit Chance. However, they will also fire more slowly while this is in effect.
Evade Target Lock
The victim of this ability will have their accuracy drastically reduced against the user. Additionally, the ship that uses this ability will be seen as an invalid target for all nearby mines and targetable torpedoes.
Intelligence Team grants the target (or yourself) a short duration Cloak, while simultaneously reducing the amount of threat the target generates against all nearby enemies. It will also remove the "Expose Vulnerability" debuffs that can be inflicted by enemy Intelligence starships.
Create a hazardous cloud at the targeted location. Foes caught in this hazard will have their damage resistance reduced, as well as their movement capabilities. Additionally, lingering in the cloud has a chance to cause affected ships to briefly spin out of control.
Resonate the enemy’s hull, causing them to take greater damage from all kinetic sources. This resonance will also draw in all nearby mines and targetable torpedoes, regardless of their allegiance.
Override Subsystem Safeties
Temporarily increase the maximum power thresholds on all subsystems. The bonuses gained by this ability fade quickly over the duration. Once the effect ends, a random subsystem will be shut down for a short duration. Higher ranks of this ability will reduce the offline time.
Subnucleonic Carrier Wave
This ability is capable of removing beneficial effects from nearby foes and playing havoc with their ability cooldowns. The effects of this power are far weaker than those of Subnucleonic Beam, but it is capable of affecting up to 5 nearby foes simultaneously.
Torpedo : Transport Warhead
Upgrade your next torpedo attack, and beam a warhead directly to the command decks of your targeted foe. After a short fuse timer, the explosion will occur, completely bypassing shields and granting a small chance for a random subsystem to go offline.
Viral Impulse Burst
Multiple nearby foes will receive a speed increase, but their turn rate and throttle controls will be disabled. The culmination of these effects is that foes will end up "running away" from the user, giving them an opportunity to regroup.
Place a beacon at your current location. As long as you remain within a limited distance of this beacon, you may trigger the ability a second time to instantly jump to its location. Activating a jump, or moving more than the maximum distance away, will cause the beacon to expire. Although the beacon is destructible, it has a high stealth value.
Chart of Intelligence Specialist Abilities By Rank
Ability Display Name
Resonant Tachyon Stream I II III
Frictionless Particle Grenade I II III
Harmless I II III
Sonic Suppression Field I II III
Incite Chaos I II III
Photonic Decoy I II III
Site-to-Site Ensnare I II III
Subspace Anesthezine Mine I II III
Neurolytic Hypo Injection I II III
Tripwire Drone I II/III
Feign Disintegration I II/III
Ability Display Name
Viral Impulse Burst I II III
Override Safety I II III
Evade Target Lock I II III
Intelligence Team I II III
Subspace Beacon I II III
Kinetic Magnet I II III
Ionic Turbulence I II III
Electromagnetic Pulse Probe I II III
Subnucleonic Carrier Wave I II III
Transport Warhead I II/III
Surgical Strikes I II/III
Intelligence Specialist Bridge Officers
Alongside the launch of Delta Rising, we will be adding White/Common quality Intelligence Specialists to the existing Bridge Officer Recruitment vendors stationed on major social maps. Players that have reached at least level 50 can freely acquire these specially-trained hybrid officers in various Professions and Species.
We intend to make higher-quality Specialist Bridge Officers available through various in-game methods, but the specific details are still in flux. More precise details will become available as we near the launch date for this expansion.
Q: Can my existing Bridge Officers be trained in this new Specialization?
A: Not at the time of the release of Delta Rising. We are investigating internally if this additional functionality can be added at some point in the future, but cannot commit at this time.
Q: How will an Intelligence Specialist behave in a non-hybrid Bridge Officer seat, if they are currently trained in Intelligence abilities?
A: Any Intelligence abilities will be grayed out in this scenario. You will need to re-train the officer in non-Specialist abilities, in order to field a full complement of Space Abilities while not using a hybrid seat.
Q: Since Intelligence Specialists have access to two sets of abilities (Profession and Specialization) does this mean they can have 16 abilities, instead of 8?
A: Specialist Bridge Officers may still only have a total of 8 active abilities at any point in time – 4 ground, 4 space. The addition of a Specialization allows them to mix and match these abilities as they see fit, but never exceed the number of abilities that are available to other Bridge Officers. Only the number of choices for training is expanded.
Q: I need more details about Intelligence abilities! These blurbs don’t explain their full functionality!
A: This Dev Blog is purposefully designed to be only a high-level review of the concept for each ability, as they are still in the midst of tuning and iteration. Specific details for each can be reviewed on the Tribble Test Server, once this feature is ready for public testing. We will endeavor to respond to feedback regarding each ability, including potential balance concerns, throughout the coming weeks leading up to the launch of Delta Rising.
Jeremy “BorticusCryptic” Randall
Star Trek Online