A Case for Retrofit of Tier 2 Modern Vessels
A Case for Retrofit of Tier 2 Modern Vessels
I have taken it upon myself to do some research regarding differences between ships within STO and the canon of Star Trek, and what I feel are fundamental flaws in how some lower tier ships are presented. Flaws, which I might add, prevent these ships from having a Retrofit counterpart at Tier 5.
The ships I wish to address specifically are the Nova class and the Sabre class, and thereby, indirectly, the Excalibur / Vesper class.
For my analysis, I will be examining 4 ships built within a 2-3 year span of Trek canon, which have all been seen on screen. The ships are:
- Sovereign (2372)
- Intrepid (2370)
- Nova (2370)
- Defiant (2371)
All these ships were considered "state of the art" during the timeframe of 2370-2375, as noted in the launch dates above.
First, I will be analyzing weapon loadouts based on web available blueprints, as well as canon information available.
Sovereign (Blueprints) - 15 Phaser Strip Emitters, 3 Torpedo Launchers (2 Fore, 1 Aft)
(Canon) - 16 Phaser Strip Emitters, 10 Torpedo Launchers
Intrepid (Blueprints) - 13 Phaser Strip Emitters, 4 Torpedo Launchers (2 Fore, 2 Aft)
(Canon) - 14 Phaser Strip Emitters, 5 Torpedo Launchers (2 Fore, 2 Aft, 1 Dorsal)
Nova (Blueprints) - 11 Phaser Strip Emitters, 2 Torpedo Launchers (2 Fore)
(Canon) - 11 Phaser Strip Emitters, 3 Torpedo Launchers (2 Fore, 1 Aft)
Defiant (Blueprints) - 4 Pulse Phasers, 4 Torpedo Launchers (2 Fore, 2 Aft)
(Canon) - 4 Pulse Phasers, 3 Phaser Strip Emitters, 6 Torpedo Launchers (4 Fore, 2 Aft)
As we can see from the breakdown, there is very little difference in the general armament of these 4 ships. Certainly, the Nova is slightly less armed, as is the Defiant, but that is very understandable considering the size of the vessel. Vessel size determines phaser count, as the phasers are installed to provide coverage of the vessel's firing arcs, rather than to provide sheer weapon power. Torpedo tube counts are also comparable, although the Sovereign has a substantially higher number, though for what reason, we don't know. We rarely, if ever, saw multiple tubes utilized.
That being said, looking at the 4 ships in STO, it seems reasonable that the Sovereign, Intrepid and Defiant occupy Tiers 4 and 5 in game, with 6-8 weapon slots, based on the game mechanics.
However, having the Nova with only 4 weapon slots, seems contradictory. We see in both the blueprints and canon that the Intrepid and Nova classes are nearly identically armed. The Nova has only 2 fewer strips, and 1-2 fewer torpedo tubes, but as we established above, torpedo tubes were rarely if ever seen fired simultaneously.
We should also look at the T5 B'Rel in the KDF, which sets a precedent for upgrading a lower tier ship to an upper tier configuration, in that the T1 B'Rel hosts a mere 3 weapon slots, but it's T5 counterpart hosts 6 weapon slots, with no increase in size and no decrease in hull, or turn rate.
I believe, based on this analysis, that the case can be made for the Nova to recieve at the minimum, 1 additional weapon slot, located Fore, if not 2 additional weapon slots, 1 Fore and 1 Aft. This would bring the Nova's combat ability close to par with the Intrepid, as it appears to be in canon.
Now, looking at the other tangible items of "combat effectiveness" in STO, we should be examining Consoles and BOFF Stations.
As the Intrepid and the Nova are the most closely tied in combat armaments, we'll stick with them for the comparison.
While the Intrepid is certainly a larger ship than the Nova, STO has set a precedent for size having no effect on console alotment. This precedent can be seen in both the Intrepid Retrofit and the Defiant Retrofit, which both recieved increased consoles when moving from T4 to T5, without any penalty added to the ship in terms of size increase, turn speed decrease, etc.
Using that precedent, and the exact number of consoles increased on the Defiant-R and Intrepid-R, the conclusion is that the Nova could have it's consoles increased by at least 1 to 3 consoles, without a penalty on size and effectiveness. Addtionally, the T5 B'Rel has it's console count increased from 3 to 9 between T1 and T5, with no impact on size or turnrate.
With consoles and weapons covered, we now turn to Bridge Officers.
Here, we will look at the Intrepid and Nova again. The crew count of the USS Voyager was 150. The crew count for the USS Equinox was 80. Both ships were commanded by a Captain, both had a Commander as an XO, and the remaining command staff consisted of at minimum, Lieutenants.
That being said, I see no reason why the Nova would be incapable of hosting a similar accoutrement of officers as the Intrepid hosts. That being said, I understand that BOFF slots in STO are meant to reflect the capabilites of the ship, however, in a buff or retrofit to the Nova class, it is reasonable to assume that at the very least, the Nova could host a compliment of the following:
Lt. Cmdr. Sci
and still be within the parameters of being a "less capable" ship than the Intrepid, even though the Intrepid and the Nova have very few differences in terms of armaments, crew, etc.
All this being said, similar justification can be made for retrofit of the Sabre class to match the Defiant's spec. Both ships were designed at the same time period, both were designed in the efforts to "combat the Borg", both ships are comparable in size, and yet, the Defiant has a sizeable gap between it at Tier 4, and the Sabre at Tier 2.
The problem child in looking at Tier 2 vessels for Retrofit, is the Cruiser line. This is a problem because the Cruiser line seems to grow in size, exponentially from Tier 2 onward, while the Escort and Science lines remain similar in size and scope. Additionally, the Tier 2 Excalibur and Vesper, are inexplicably tied to the Constitution Refit, even though the Excalibur and Vesper were designed in the 2400's, and their only similarity with the Constitution Refit, is in the ship siloutte.
Based on the analysis I have conducted, I have reached the following conclusions:
1. There is no justifiable reason in either canon, or in STO, as to why the Nova couldn't have a T5 Retrofit, under the caveat that the T5 version would be less effective of a ship, in the vein of the T5 B'Rel.
2. There is no justifiable reason in either canon, or in STO, as to why the Sabre is locked to Tier 2, while the Defiant is at Tier 4 and 5, even though the ships are virtually identical, in size, shape, mission profile and age. The Sabre could be Retrofit to Tier 5 just as well as the Defiant.
3. If both the Nova and Sabre can be retrofit to Tier 5, based on the above analysis and conclusions, the Excalibur and Vesper could be retrofit to Tier 5 as well, with the caveat that they would not be serving in a Cruiser capacity at Tier 5 like their Galaxy and Sovereign successors, but rather as a smaller jack of all trades ship, like the T5 B'Rel. I would note however, that it is only because I feel the Excalibur and the Vesper are technologically more advanced that they should be considered for Retrofit, and should a T5 Retrofit be made, the Constitution Refit skin should not be available, reflecting their newer age and capability, rather than hindering them based on an aged and outdated vessel.
I would ask that Cryptic consider this analysis, and in evaluating the evidence, consider offering T5 Retrofits of the Tier 2 ships, in the manner suggested here, which would not only give them additional revenue, offering the ships via the C-Store, but would also give the players something that has been asked for during the majority of the time STO has been Live.
Thank you for your time,
This. I think this would do the job nicely. ;)
However, it also involves a complete re-write of how ships and ship gear works in STO.
Since I highly doubt Cryptic is itching to undertake such a massive task, it would seem prudent to look at alternatives which are feasible within the existing game systems, in the event Cryptic ignores Suricata's idea.
That is the purpose of my original post. To provide analytical justification, based on canon and STO, for retrofit of Tier 2 vessels.
I'd certainly be curious and interested in seeing a dialogue about this topic. I think there are some legitimate claims here, especially with regards to ships such as the Excalibur and the Sabre. Obviously a T5 Connie is out of the queestion, but a T5 Excalibur shouldn't be.
Part of the problem, though, is that 'T5' implies not only 'more modern' ships but mostly 'just plain better.' Which is rather curious when seeing the Connie be the (rough) equivalent of the Nova, though that's more of an issue of the costumes.
I'm wondering if there's not another way to go about this, in which people can play their favorite ship to the end of PvE -- missions scaled to some combination of tier of ship and level of character? so an Excalibur isn't facing the same enemies a Sovereign is and beating them (but then it gets difficult with mixed-tier teams) -- and yet also keep PvP balanced, though that's much harder and might have to be forgotten about.
One thing is for certain, the tier system is broken and needs an overhaul. Yes, I know: Resources, resources, resources. Which is why I don't think we'll be seeing a renovation to the tier system ever, and why proposals like this should be discussed.
If the Sabre were given a retrofit that matched it's stats to the Tier 4 Defiant, I could easily see the Nova being given a similar treatment, to match the Tier 4 Intrepid.
What this accomplishes is to give players an "upper level" version of the Sabre and Nova, but, keeping them respectfully behind the Defiant and Intrepid, which have Tier 5 counterparts.
So, that would leave the question of the Excalibur, and one that I think could easily be answered.
Excalibur becomes the Fed player's version of the T5 B'rel.
The reason I come to this conclusion is because the B'Rel was a sort of "adversary" to the Connie Refit. However, in the T5 Version, the B'Rel is upgraded, right? So, give the B'Rel it's new natural adversary, in the upgraded Excalibur.
The main thing with the B'Rel is it's battle cloak counters it's weak hull. So, a T5 Excalibur might have a slightly buffed hull (25,000 range or so) which still leaves it well below the other T5 cruisers, but is an upgrade from the T2 Excalibur.
And yes, I'd give it Universal BOFF slots, and essentially call the Excalibur, Starfleet's "fill em up and send them out" ships. Configure it how you want, play it how you want, and it would still be reasonable within the parameters of the game.
Essentially STO's version of the US Navy Destroyer or Frigate.
Apologies for repeating a post I made elsewhere on this board, but I recently pulled her out of mothballs, stuck mkX antiproton beam arrays on her, a mkXI quantum torpdeo launcher forward and a mxXI rapidfire transphasic launcher aft, my Ageis set (with visuals off) and took her into Cure, Infected and Khitomer Space. Only received one snide remark about my Nova (refit) flying alongside Oddy's, Dreadnoughts etc etc. Anyway - was very pleasantly surprised - granted, I went bang a few times, but kitted out the way she was, she was surprsingly effective, especially when using the sub-system targeting. Certainly, in Cure Space I was quite a problem for the assimilated BOP's, and was generally able to make a nuisance of myself toward larger enemy ships, targeting their shields so that escorts etc could slam torpedoes into their hulls.
I usually fly a Science Odyssey, but it was really refreshing to fly my old Rhode-Island refit again - gorgeous handling - I'll be using her again in PvE and STO's regardless of what the other players may think.
Definitely agree with what you say, both in the quoted post and the opening post, and I for one would definitely purchase an an "upper level" version of the Nova - I may fly an Odyssey, but the Nova is still my favorite class.
An imbued Bronze Sword is still just a Bronze Sword.
Darn I was hoping this was a T5 Connie Refit thread... ;)
No matter how well thought out the plan, idea or suggestion is... if they don't already have it in their head to do it's just not going to happen. And unfortunately once something gets in their collective noggins to do, they're gonna do it no matter how much the player base disapproves of it.
It just is what it is... but for the record I wish the dev team would put in as much thought into things as the OP did, nice work and great research!
There's a few things I'd point out, weapons slots, and weapons mounted are not equal to the weapons displayed on the ship. If I mount three dual heavy cannons, they don't fire from 3 pairs on the wings, the same two fire more often. The same is true of torpedo tubes etc. Think of it more of enhancing the recharge/reload rate rather than anything else. Now, with that in mind, do you think a Nova's dinky little warpcore could recharge phasers as rapidly as an Intrepid's?
Another point to consider, if we assume a Nova can be dragged up to that standard, the same technology would be applicable to the Intrepid as well, bear in mind the Intrepid's not more advanced, it's just got more of what's there, as they're roughly contemorary. Thus if you improve the Nova by 50% to reach Intrepid standard (arbitary number), you could improve the rather larger Intrepid by the same ammount, logically, the disparity between the two would likely remain the same. This applies more to small ships than ships past a certain size, since I think past a point you can fit anything into a ship.
The B'rel is anomolous and there was no real explaination for it's existance, I will admit this freely. However, the Bird of Prey has been many, many different strengths and sizes in it's long career and is possibly the least consistant ship in all of Star Trek, as such, it's also impossible to do "wrong" so to speak. I'll also point out that unless anyone has hoarded their tier 1 B'rel from way back in the day, they no longer exist in game due to the KDF starting at commander, so in essense, the whole "it's the same ship as the tier 1 B'rel" has been effectively retconned out of the game.
I do think the tier system's a littler arbitary however. I also understand the frustration of not having your favourite ship as one of the one's available at endgame. In my case, it's the K't'inga, but I've learned to live with it, and all in all, flying it at LG is more or less how a K't'inga would probably perform in the 25th century anyhow.
One of the biggest problems is we all have ships we like, but there has to be "hero" ships and "red shirt" ships, and nobody wants their's being the one that generally fills the big CGI battles up and explodes quickly while the Galaxy's and Vor'cha's do the "big" things.
And Reyan, queueing for STFs in a tier 2 ship? Some tier 5 cruisers feel almost like deadweight, a tier 2 science ship could easily be considered griefing.:eek:
As daft as it may sound, I almost feel as if I'm more effective in my Nova Refit than I am in my Science Oddy. I don't see why STF's should be a Tier-5 only club.
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