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    STO coming to XboxOne and PS4


    Commander Air Group

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    Name: Nathan "Lastline" Merano

    STO coming to XboxOne and PS4

    Post by Lastline on Thu May 12, 2016 11:02 am

    Star Trek Online is well into its sixth year and showing no signs of stopping. Over our storied history we’ve seen a new faction, two level cap increases, more episodes than any 5 seasons of any Star Trek series, the creation of over 100,000 player generated missions, and celebrity voice work from every era of Star Trek. With all of those accomplishments there is still another frontier yet to explore, the console space.

    This fall, Star Trek Online will be launching simultaneously on Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles. Our goal is to deliver the same high quality Star Trek experience to players on these consoles, with some additional upgrades to make the transition to the console space a smooth and natural experience.

    Our first major task was to convert a PC game that takes nearly an entire keyboard to play into a game that plays well with a 12 button controller. We focused on getting the controls right before we began work in earnest on this project, because we knew the game had to be as tactical, fun, and accessible as the PC game that preceded it. A combination of radial menus and streamlining of some HUD elements created a game that is easily understood, instantly accessible, and incredibly fun to play.

    Next up, we invested heavily in our engine and added several modern lighting technologies that significantly improved the visual quality of the game. Deferred lighting, light probes, and improvements to our High Dynamic Range lighting system combine to provide more realistic lighting that feels like a true refresh to the game. These technologies, and the skilled artists that bring them to bear, create an experience that is not only more immersive, but simply put, more beautiful. To the community that has been with us for over half a decade, I want you to know that these lighting improvements will be coming to the PC version of the game later this year as well.

    Alongside the lighting system, we decided the entire UI needed not only a complete graphical overhaul but to have its entire back-end rewritten. The goal here was to create a UI that was incredibly streamlined on the back-end to ensure the best game performance possible, while also creating a brand new experience purposely built for the controller. We’re really proud of how this looks and how well it performs, and I’m excited for everyone to see it in action.

    In addition to all of these exciting changes, we’ve also made some improvements to episodic flow and player progression that will really improve the experience for everyone.

    As a lifelong console player, I couldn’t be more excited to bring Star Trek Online onto the consoles. Keep your hailing frequencies open for regular blogs giving you deeper insight into all of the features I’ve mentioned here and much, much more!

    Stephen Ricossa
    Executive Producer
    Star Trek Online


    Commander Air Group

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    Location : The Second Chance
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    Name: Nathan "Lastline" Merano

    Re: STO coming to XboxOne and PS4

    Post by Lastline on Fri May 13, 2016 3:20 pm

    With Star Trek Online coming to console this fall, we're adding in a host of new lighting technologies significantly improving the visual quality of the game. Our deferred lighting, light probes, and improvements to our High Dynamic Range system help provide a more realistic lighting. With these new changes coming, every week we will post a before and after shot showcasing an area of the game so that you can see the progress that the team is making in updating the game’s graphics and lighting.

    This week we have an Elachi outpost. Notice how the updated lighting adds a new level of form and depth to both the characters and their eerie environment. The ominous effects give our Elachi outpost a new and unsettling atmosphere.

    Stay tuned to next week for even more screenshots!


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    Re: STO coming to XboxOne and PS4

    Post by Pyriel32 on Wed May 18, 2016 5:53 pm

    Bringing STO to Xbox One and PlayStation 4 is super exciting for the team and it also gives us a great opportunity to make some graphical updates to the game that we’ve wanted to make for a while now. STO has been in development for over 7 years and during that time graphics technology has changed by leaps and bounds. Behind the scenes we’ve been doing a lot of work on the Cryptic Engine’s graphics capabilities. However, those updates had not been ported over to STO… yet.

    On the art team we had two top priorities -

    1) Picking the features that would make the game look as good as possible in the time we had.

    2) Making sure that the changes we make wouldn’t adversely affect the game for players with older PCs.

    So we had to take a look at each potential feature and decide how much impact it would have on the graphics or whether it was even feasible to bring it to STO at all.

    There are a lot of elements that go into a game’s “graphics”. But when you boil it down to simplest terms the main three are: geometry, materials and lighting.

    Geometry is the 3D objects, made of polygons that everything in the game is made of. The world, the characters, the ships and the particles that make up the FX are all made of hundreds or thousands of polygons that give the objects their overall shape.

    Materials give the geometry finer details and surface properties. For instance, there are rock materials, hull plating materials and Andorian face materials.

    Lighting is what ties it all together and gives form and value to the scene. It sets the mood and helps to create the atmosphere.

    When all three of these things are working well together you get art that looks very convincing. STO has pretty solid geometry and materials. The team is constantly upping the bar with every new release, going back and refreshing older art assets to keep STO not only looking good but looking consistent. The lighting system, on the other hand, was way out of date. It was pretty obvious that updating the lighting would have the biggest impact, not only to the look of the game but on the lives of the artists that are developing it! They have to jump through a lot of technical hoops to get the lighting to look good by today’s standards. So we decided that the best features to add would be lighting-based: deferred shading and light probes as well as some updates to our HDR lighting and post processing.

    With STO’s old lighting model, artists would only be able to use a few lights in any given scene so they had to be very creative to make a scene look convincing. With this update, we moved STO to deferred shading. It basically means the artists can use as many lights as they need to light their scenes. They have to be careful not to go overboard because it can affect performance but it gives them a ton of freedom to light things they wouldn’t have been able to in the past. Every computer screen, streetlight and fire can now be a light source! Correct lighting adds an incredible amount of realism to the game and makes everything feel much more immersive.

    Light probes are a very cool technology that allows the artists to place small objects called probes into the scene that analyze the lighting and compute bounced and reflected light. There are two types of probes: diffuse and specular. Diffuse probes create bounced light and specular probes create reflections. The end result is that the game has a much more realistic look, with objects feeling grounded in the scene with much more accurate reflections.

    The updates to high dynamic range (HDR) lighting give us the ability to create more realistic lighting scenarios with bright sunlit areas and deep dark shadows. Light adaptation changes the camera’s exposure dynamically as the player moves from one lighting situation to another. It lets the artist create a dark interior that leads to a brightly lit mid-day exterior scene both with more realistic lighting values. We’ve also improved the quality of STO’s bloom which helps things that should appear to glow (like fire, ship nacelles and special fx) to really pop.

    We’re put a lot of work into updating STO’s graphics for the console, basically re-lighting the entire game. It’s been both challenging and rewarding at the same time. The results create changes that are drastic improvements in some places and more subtle in others. Overall, the changes we’re making have added a new level of realism that created a much more immersive feel. I can’t wait to see what the talented team does with these new tools in the future! I hope you enjoy exploring our strange newly lit worlds!

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    Re: STO coming to XboxOne and PS4

    Post by Sponsored content Today at 2:01 am

      Current date/time is Sat Oct 22, 2016 2:01 am