Star Trek Online

Star Trek Online (
-   The Art of Star Trek Online (
-   -   Steamrunner Alternate Appearance (

kirahitomi 12-18-2012 03:58 PM

Steamrunner Alternate Appearance
So it seems to me that the Steamrunner could use some visual options that go beyond to unmodifiable design as it currently stands and I would like to make the case for at the very least the option of picking an overall alternate appearance.

The current design was created with what I can only assume was an effort to preserve its iconic look as best as possible. Despite the difficulties of taking a ship that was primarily only ever a background ship and putting it into the foreground for us to use and marvel at, I'd say the art and design teams did one hell of a job. The ingame model seems to fit almost every reference picture readily available from the various episodes and sources to which it has made an appearance. The only significantly glaring issues being brought up by many of us players are the incorrect placement of the impulse engines, "barcode" windows on one texture skin and the lack of registry/ship name lighting (though admittidly no registry lighting is ever seen and can be accepted as cannon even though many of us would prefer it had it anyways).

There are many similarities between the Steamrunner design and some of the Fleet Escorts that at least on the surface it seems like there would be the possibility of some part option crossovers (nascels and saucer sections most specifically). Though those options would be a nice addition I don't believe it would fit the spirit of the Steamrunner as a whole which is why I would like to put forward a completely alternate appearance which fits the more modern starships available. The alternate appearance I would suggest and put forward is the Steamrunner Revamp Concept designed for, but not used in, First Contact by Alex Jaeger the designer of the original Steamrunner.

Researching as much cannon*ish material as I can find on the Steamrunner I have been able to find that production on the Steamrunner class began between 2350 and 2365 (some believe as late as 2369 but there are a few references to Steamrunners being in service several years before that). Giving those dates and the current year being 2409+ puts the Steamrunner (giving normal starship operational service times being right around 50 years) 44-59+ years into service with regular refits/upgrades at 5-6 year intervals. This means that the Steamrunners are at the end of, or well past, their operational runtimes (yes I realize several others are as well but I'm only addressing the Steamrunner :P ).

I beleive this would require not just a refit but a complete updating and redesign of the hull using modern starship building techniques to which the Revamp Concept fits well especially for the higher tier Retrofit. The new placement of the deflector dish as well as the new/modified positions of the nascels and pylons seem to fit well in regards to reducing subspace eddies that can damage subspace (which was also taken into account on the new Oddy design). The streamlined, reinforced hull fits well with the idea of the Blockade Runner's speed and heavy armor/armaments and keeps with the mordern, clean lines of current starships.

As stated before this is a proposal for a new skin/design not a whole new ship/layout and meant to get the mind rolling on updating the Steamrunner with some cannon*ish info to help back the idea. ;)

wunjee 12-18-2012 04:40 PM

The thing about dating the Steamrunner is that it has Sovereign-style lifeboats. No ship that we know of that pre-dates the Sovereign has Sovereign-style lifeboats. Ships prior to the Sovereign have the Galaxy-style "box" lifeboats. Even Voyager has the older style "box" lifeboats, and Voyager was a new ship, and a new class (She was in the initial Intrepid run) in 2371.. The Sovereign's "triangle" lifeboats appear to be relatively new, and both Steamrunner and Akira have them.

So just off the lifeboats alone, I'd estimate Steamrunner and Akira to be around Soveriegn-era. They definitely don't pre-date the Galaxy. Definitely the late-2360s-early 2370s.

kirahitomi 12-18-2012 05:52 PM

Oh I agree that dating her is hard and the life boats are of interest, but as to the dating I was going off the fact at least 6 Steamrunner class starships were lost during the Battle of Sector 001 which took place in year 2373, given the time it takes for a starship to go from development to production I think my range is variable but accurate.

Lets take the Galaxy class you mentioned, the Galaxy project was approved in 2343 with 3 ships planned at the time, the USS Galaxy, USS Yamato and USS Enterprise. The USS Galaxy didn't leave spacedock till 2356 and wasn't officially commissioned till the following year. The Enterprise didn't leave spacedock till 2358 and wasn't officially commissioned till 2363. Looking at the Galaxy alone puts development to production time at around 14yrs for the first ship with another 5-6yrs build time per additional ship. Now if we consider the Steamrunner is smaller and less advanced then a full Galaxy class cruiser then its reasonable to consider around a 10yr development to production time with another 3-4yrs build time per additional ship, which does not place the Steamrunner development/production before, but definitely around/during the same time as the Galaxy.

Either way its only a difference of 5-10yrs if we go by the life boat argument, it still places the Steamrunner towards the end of her operational runtime which is still valid to my original argument. Besides who says the Steamrunner class wasn't the hull used as the test bed for that particular life boat system? ;) I love starship design debates so lets see if we can't get the Steamrunner some design love :)

wunjee 12-18-2012 06:12 PM


Originally Posted by kirahitomi (Post 7147301)
Oh I agree that dating her is hard and the life boats are of interest, but as to the dating I was going off the fact at least 6 Steamrunner class starships were lost during the Battle of Sector 001 which took place in year 2373, given the time it takes for a starship to go from development to production I think my range is variable but accurate.

Enterprise-E was present at 001 and was launched in 2371. The only reason she wasn't part of the initial attack was because Starfleet Command didn't have confidence in her captain. Jordy stated that she'd been "out in space for nearly a year". So by the time the battle at 001 rolled around, even Enterprise-E was nearly a year in commission.

So Steamrunners and Akiras built in 2370/2371 could've been about the same age and well ready by 2373.

If we had Steamrunners coming online in the 2370s (Which makes sense, since Starfleet seemed to be undergoing a major modernization in the 2370s. We see new ships like Intrepid, Nova, Sovereign, Akira, Steamrunner and Norway all popping up about the same time), and we give her a 50 year hull-life (Which is on the low-end since we have Federation ships still in service that're 100+ years old..), then in 2409, which is the year STO is currently in, Steamrunners built in 2370s would still be in their prime.

kirahitomi 12-18-2012 06:24 PM

Lol, ok so we'll say there on the the later half of middle age. ;) Would you agree that the Steamrunner could use additional options/visuals in addition to fixing her current ones? We seem to have strayed from the original topic. :)

wunjee 12-18-2012 06:26 PM

Personally, I'd keep her just like she is. Maybe there could be some options or a new class added to the Heavy Escort that resemble the "updated" ship you posted, because that is cool-looking. I certainly wouldn't mind seeing it in the game.

molikor 12-18-2012 06:32 PM

Yes. WHile I do very much love the work done on the current model, I'd love to have that updated vesion that you linked. It might also be nice for some parts being swappable, but not too much.

kirahitomi 12-18-2012 07:16 PM

Awesome, we get enough supporters maybe we'll even get a pop in by a Cryptic. ;)

dauren8484 12-19-2012 09:42 PM

I agree. One of the aspects of STO that I always loved was th ability to change the physical appearance of a starship so I could have a unique loking ship if I wanted it. I do understand the Oddy not having an alternate look as it is the Federation flagship. But surely Cryptic could create at least one alternate look for each other starship of the Federation in the game. And since they have a reference information it isn't like they are creating a brand new look from scratch.

On a technical note the Akira and Steamrunner were both comissioned in the year 2368-2369 as a result of Starfleet losing the Battle of Wolf 359. This battle showed Starfleet that they couldn't rely on their older tried and proven starships designs when fighting the Borg. The Defiant was also in this group but wouldn't see service until 2370 shortly before the skirmish battles that eventually led to the Dominion War.

ssargon 12-19-2012 11:10 PM

Honestly, if they put the impulse engines on the saucer I can almost see it working in the Miranda and/or Hermes lines. They'd have to change up a few weapon hardpoints either way but I think they could make it work, heck I've gotten my Patrol's nacelles to sit on its saucer much like the Steam's would.

...Actually they really should just shove the design into the Patrol Escort. Any excuse to have a "none" option for that bloody centre pylon.

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:14 AM.