A Cryptic Studios representative has confirmed that you will only be able to play as a Klingon in the PvP sections of Star Trek Online.
Today, Jack Emmert confirmed on the Star Trek: Online forums that yes, indeed, you will only be able to advance your character as a Klingon when undergoing PvP missions. The news on Klingons was first brought to light during a STOked podcast interview with Daniel Stahl, producer of Star Trek: Online.
"Yes, Klingon gameplay is almost entirely PvP," said Emmert, the chief creative officer of Cryptic Studios in a stickied announcement. "We are trying to get some PvE in (there's already a tad bit). And, if the players demand it, we'll add more content (like episodes). I want us to be agile as a company and respond to what the customers want."
Emmert added that MMOGs are not just the game they are at launch and pledges to add more PvE Klilngon content if that is what players want.
The podcast interview with Stahl gives a little bit more detail on Klingon PvP (around 36:00 in the video linked above.) Players will be able to level up a Klingon character in the same way as a Federation character with similar skill trees and talents. The difference is that most of the missions a Klingon character will undertake involve attacking Federation players. "You can't just tell a Klingon that your objective is to go explore the galaxy and, you know, meet new cultures. [laughs] They have a completely different objective system," Stahl said. "You have to shoot things in order to level up as a Klingon."
Stahl said that STO is handling PvP much differently then LOTRO's Monster Play as the Klingons are full characters. "It's just as robust a power tree system," said Stahl and the only real difference is the content at which you are pointed.
The entire podcast covers a lot of information (and is quite long) but if you're getting excited about STO as much as I am, then it's worth a listen. Or watch, I guess. Looking at 3 fat dudes talking into microphones about aliens and ships gets a little old.