Today Cryptic Studios will begin the open beta of Star Trek Online, opening their test servers to invitees and anyone who has pre-ordered the game. The beta will run through the 26th, and the game will officially launch on February 2nd; head-start players will be allowed in on January 29th. The game is set in the old universe (not the rebooted one from last year's movie), and takes place roughly 30 years after the events in Star Trek: Nemesis. There are two playable factions to start — the Federation and the Klingon Empire — and more may become available later on. There will be conflict between the two factions, but supposedly all PvP will be "optional and consensual." Players will be able to choose from a variety of ships, and they'll see cameos from familiar characters. Eurogamer has a hands-on preview of the game, and fans of the Trek universe will be pleased to hear that "Cryptic is clearly thinking about Star Trek first and MMO convention second." A number of gameplay trailers are available for viewing, and the official forums have a nice collection of facts.