Lead character artist Matt Highison explains how the Borg have been recreated for Star Trek: Online.
With Star Trek: Online being set approximately thirty years after canon Trek, it’s much easier to write stories without running into problems. “…it allows us to use all of the rich history of the franchise that leads up to this point in the story while also respecting what has come before,” explained Highison. “No jumping into the middle of the established Star Trek timeline and mucking with things.”
“The second advantage of having Star Trek: Online set in 2409 is that it allows us to evolve and expand the franchise beyond what was possible on TV or in the films,” said Highison.
In the case of the Borg on the televised series, “The costume designers did an awesome job with what they had to work with,” said Highison. “And yet due to the constraints of the show at the time, all this control and mechanical enhancement was still just portrayed as a guy in a suit. Picard could be rescued from the Borg with little physical damage; Seven of Nine looked like she just got back from a decade-long spa treatment.”
In Star Trek: Online, once assimilated, always assimilated. “we wanted to be sure our new Borg had evolved and adapted from their war with the Federation,” said Highison. “When you see a new Borg drone in Star Trek: Online, it will be obvious there is no coming back from assimilation. Instead of adding a gun attachment to an arm, they have removed the whole limb and replaced it with an enhanced synthetic weapon. Much of the torso has been converted to a more efficient cybernetic construct. Why would a drone need a stomach if it gets all its energy from regeneration cycles in a Borg alcove? Our awesome concept art team and our art director, Lee Dotson, helped push the concepts of ‘no-return’ and ‘machine fully integrated into flesh.’ Jeremy Mattson, one of our principal character artists, brought this alternate vision of the Borg to life. They really are scary to go up against!”