Star Trek Online Character Development
In STO players create their own alien races using the Species Creator. Each species can be saved as a template that can be traded to other players and player skills, kits and ships allow each captain to take on a different role.
In STO players can choose from three career paths: Tactical, Engineering and Sciences, or in more familiar terms, DPS, tank and support. Character advancement is skill-based and completion of objectives, missions and episodic content yields rewards in Skill Points, Bridge Officer Points, Energy (the currency of STO) and Starfleet Merit. In order to handle progression players also gain ranks, which are dependent on the number of Skill Points earned. For example, when you reach the rank of Admiral you get access to the final tier of starships.
Skills in STO are attributes that provide enhancement to powers and make players better at using their powers. As players advance, skills get more specific, and they can stack. There are currently 100 skills in the game, and each skill has nine ranks. Some skills are common across all careers, and some will be career-specific.
Powers are similar are abilities your character can use such as the ability to fire a barrage of quantum torpedoes or the martial arts ability of close-combat melee. Powers also come from career-specific kits, though there are many abilities that are common across all careers.
Kits are a separate feature and used by captains only on away or ground missions. Each career has access to three different types of kits, and everyone has access to hypo-syringes, which are used for healing and can be obtained through drops and from vendors.
The Tactical career path has access to Soldier, Security and Special Ops kits, which provide abilities such as team buffs and martial arts, threat management and escort (the ability to beam down other team members), and stealth, respectively.
The Engineering career path has access to Fabrication, Technician and Combat kits, which provide turrets and shields, buff/debuff of equipment, and mines and grenades.
The Sciences career path has access to Medical, Research and Scientist kits, which provide better personal and group heals, direct personal debuffs (such as decreasing speed and health), and crowd control (such as stasis fields).
There are five Starship Captain Ranks: Lieutenant, Lieutenant Commander, Commander, Captain and Admiral. Each rank has 10 levels, yielding a total of 50 levels. Rank is dependent on skills attained, so if you gain a great number of Skill Points but never use them, you can remain a lowly Lieutenant and never be able to promote your crew.
Bridge Officer Points are used to level Bridge Officer Powers. Starfleet Merit is used for promoting bridge officers and acquiring new ships when a player is at the rank to unlock them. Energy is used to equip ships, characters and crews — in customizing looks as well as purchasing and upgrading equipment.