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I just got started playing Star Trek Online last night. I've now realized that "Season 6" is already on its way. What exactly does this mean?

Are the "Seasons" just milestones in this MMO's life, like major software version numbers? Or do they represent more significant changes in the environment and story?

Most particularly, am I missing anything important to the story or game experience by having not been around for Seasons 1-4 and most of 5? If so, is there any way to "catch up" like one would with a regular TV show?

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up vote 4 down vote accepted

"Updates to the game are called "Seasons" and are issued to current subscribers free of charge. Season releases are versioned, with major releases offering broad changes, and minor versions that add simpler features, "Quality of Life" changes, and bug fixes."

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Star_Trek_Online#Seasons_.28Free_updates.29

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