Star Trek Online takes players where no episode went before: Inside a fan-favorite episode's Dyson Sphere.
Since Star Trek has become such a huge part of pop culture mythology, it's hard to forget how many cool things were created for throwaway episodes. Take Relics, a 1992 episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation; while most fans remember it as "that TNG episode with Scotty in it", the episode also featured a Dyson Sphere, a space vessel large enough to literally contain an entire solar system. Since the Dyson Sphere never returned in future episodes, viewers never found out who built it, what it's capabilities were, and where the inhabitants went to.
With about another century before the Trek reboot universe can answer such questions, Cryptic Studios intends to cut to the chase with Star Trek Online. The upcoming Season 8 content update will provide an explorable Dyson Sphere you can fly ships into, along with missions addressing how the structure came to be.
Based on a theory by physicist Freeman Dyson, Star Trek's Dyson Sphere encompasses an entire star to harness it's solar energy. According to the episode, an highly advanced race once lived within the sphere's surface area, only to abandon it when the unstable star began emitting lethal radiation. Presumably, this issue will be accounted for in Star Trek Online's timeline, allowing players to explore the interior of the sphere and discover its secrets.
"Creating the Dyson Sphere has been one of the most challenging and exciting things we have done on the STO Environment team, as it is unlike anything else we have created in the past," lead environmental artist Samuel Wall writes. "The most challenging aspect was the scale of the Sphere. The theorized Dyson Sphere has a radius of 1 AU, which is the distance from the sun to the earth, and the surface area of that Sphere would be 550 million times that of the earth - the scale is almost incomprehensible!"
Additional details about the Dyson Sphere will be revealed in the coming weeks, but as the attached screenshot shows, players should find a unique environment once inside. Season 8: The Sphere will be the first content update for Star Trek Online since Legacy of Romulus earlier this year.
Source: Star Trek Online