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commanderxon 01-18-2013 09:28 AM

How to satisfy 'annoying' endgame TOS fans
Bear with me - this is not a Connie fetish post.

I am an Original Series fan. I am also, newly, a Vice Admiral. I want to combine those two facts and command a good endgame ship with a 23rd Century aesthetic.

From a brief read through this board I can see that this isn't a very popular idea among most players, especially those who favour ultra-modern 25th century ergonomics - I can understand why, and I agree that an endgame Constitution class ship wouldn't make very much sense sense. It would be quite annoying to be flying around in an Odyssey class only to have your kills stolen by a ship built when your ship's designer's great-great-grandfather was still in preschool.

Realistically, Starfleet wouldn't be comissioning such vintage ships. But I've always found that you need to suspend your disbelief a little, with STO, when it comes to ship classes, uniforms and many other things. Obviously the available ships in STO are largely based on what Star Trek fans want to fly rather than what the Federation would realistically be using in the 25th Century - I wouldn't enjoy the game at all if the fleet was comprised entirely of sleek, nonspecific, futuristic designs and none of my favourite ships, uniforms, or races from the series and films were available to play. And I don't just mean TOS. The game has to be in a sort of nonspecific limbo between all of the series that fans love, in order to try and satisfy everyone - the actual year doesn't really matter all that much, and as long as there's some meagre attempt at an excuse for why older tech is still in the game then that's enough to satisfy me.

I'm not advocating it - but if Cryptic were to stick an endgame Connie in the game then I'm sure they could think of a good enough excuse for why Starfleet brought the design back. Perhaps the retro analogue duotronic computer technology has proven to be resistent to Borg nanoviruses, perhaps the unpredictable old-style warp drive can be used to create artifical wormholes like the one we see in The Motion Picture, perhaps it's been discovered that retro blue phasers are more effective than modern phasers against giant malovelent purple space energy beings, etc. etc. My point is that even if the reintroduction of such an old ship wouldn't make any sense in a real spacefleet, it could be done convincingly enough for the ship not to stick out like a sore thumb.

But I agree that the line has to be drawn somewhere, and (as much as I love the Connie) I don't want to fly a Tier 5 Constitution class ship.

I do, however, have a few ideas as to what I would like to fly.

I'm a huge fan of the original series, but my main area of enthusiasm for it is actually the extended universe - the really old book and comic book series, some of them written in the 1960s, and the online world that evolved around them, including the community of ship designers and nerds who are as in love with the original, retro aesthetic as I am. Over the years there have been some quite interesting ships depicted which I think - if included in STO - would seem marginally less out-of-place than a full Tier 5 Connnie.

  • 'Constellation' class -

    We know the Constellation class best from TNG, where it's still a fairly sweet-looking ship, but as with many other 'Lost Era' and movie era ships, artists and amateurs have had fun depicting a 'pre-refit' version. A Constellation class with a 2260s aesthetic was featured in a TOS comic and described as the prototype of a top-secret class. Either in it's pre-refit form or looking as it did in 'The Battle', the Constellation class would be a nice addition to the game: if we're looking for a reason why Starfleet has returned the class into service then we need look no further than it's fairly distinctive engines. The same sort of sketchy 'unstable old warp drive means we can do neat things with wormholes or time warps or whatever' logic would apply here too, and the inclusion of the Picard Maneuver would be great. Perhaps the ship could make short warp jumps during space combat, either to get in on the action, to flee from danger, or just to get you to the next mission marker quicker. And as a special ability, temporary invisibility and the ability to leave a ghost-image of your ship to confuse the enemy, allowing you to avoid their fire or easily flank them. If that doesn't seem like a good enough reason for the admiralty to put the ship back in service then perhaps it has been brought back to fill it's old role of long-range exploration - Starfleet's war on various fronts probably means that they can't dedicate as many ships as they'd like to exploratory roles, and so it could be tasked as a long-distance explorer.

  • 'Federation' class -

    Featured in several TOS books and comics as a top-secret, terrifyingly powerful ship - Captain Kirk and a great many ordinary Federation citizens get quite alarmed when they discover that the Starfleet has been building a fully-fledged space battleship with quite so much firepower. Memory Beta has it that 'the original design concept of the dreadnought was to include more capabilities but only a minimal increase in firepower over Constitutions. This was found to be inadequate after other powers began fielding dreadnoughts that reflected a 50% increase in firepower over their respective heavy cruisers. Each late-23rd century Starfleet fleet and Starfleet task force was usually commanded by an admiral in a dreadnought, but during peacetime the dreadnought is usually docked at a starbase because it is too expensive to operate.' The TOS novel 'Dreadnaught' features a Federation class that has been overhauled by a mad admiral to become even more powerful - equipped with a wide variety of secret weapons. Recent comics have hinted that the class was authorised (or at least operated by) flag officers who had connections to Section 31. It was also the basis of the 'All Good Things' Enteprise refit - i.e. a modification of the series' primary vessel with three nacelles and added firepower.

    I've always liked how the ship is depicted as being scarily powerful, and how it is connected with rogue Admirals and secret elements of Starfleet Intelligence. If not just for it's pure firepower (I imagine that an extremley heavily-armed 23rd ship would probably have about the same firepower as a normal 24th century ship, rather than being outclassed by it) then perhaps Starfleet have decided to reinstate the Federation class dreadnaught because they have finally found a just cause to use it's secret arsenal - some sort of terrifying weapon created by Starfleet or Section 31 in the 2260s. The Original Series provides many candidates for this sort of weaponry. Perhaps our universe had it's own version of the Tantalus Field that is depicted in TOS 'Mirror Mirror': as a special ship weapon it could be activated to make entire enemy ships disappear in the blink of an eye (though obviously it would have to have a fairly lengthy recharge period to make up for it!). In Voyager, it is revealed that Starfleet began experimenting with the Omega molecule during the 2260s, and in the books this is also revealed to have been the work of S31. The ability to rend space apart with huge subspace damage like that would also make up for the fact that the ship is getting a little old. I imagine a scaled down version of the sort of firepower that we see in the recent (excellent) fanfilm 'Of Gods and Men', where the AU version of the Federation has got into a habit of blowing up rebellious planets.

    The ship design also includes a through-deck hangar, meaning that the Federation class could easily be a fighter-carrier (in my perfect world they would be TOS-era fighters, or possibly combat troop shuttles, but I won't test my luck).

  • 'Defender' class -

    My favourite Star Trek author, Diane Duane, describes a huge starship class in several of her books which sounds like such a longlasting ship that Starfleet would always be able to find a role for it. It may be unlikely that a ship would be directly put into the game from such an old and obscure source, but the Vesta and Lunar classes have been included from outside the regular canon, so it's always a possibility. Because the ship has never been seen, it would also allow Cryptic to make the design themselves - making it appealing and congruous whilst still looking suitably retro.

    The Defender class is variously called a battlecruiser, a supercuiser, a heavy explorer and a heavy destroyer on different ocassions, and basically seems to be a mobile fleet headquarters mixed with a huge warship.It might, for this reason, make a good Admiral's flagship for if we ever see players commanding small squadrons of ships. The Defender had "a primary hull three times as large and four engine nacelles each twice as long as a Constitution-class starship, and the engineering hull was described as being a mile long and a quarter mile in diameter. The class was also said to carry more power and armament than any three starships combined, and had been built large to carry a lot of people on very long hauls." From it's size, it seems like it would fit in among other T5 ships.

    The main 'Defender' class ship that we encounter seems to have been used mainly as a diplomatic cruiser, and I enjoy the idea of a ship big enough to comfortable house negotiations and peace summits, perhaps with facilities like Class-J Starbases are purported to have in the 'Vanguard' books. This has made me wonder if the ship could be a reward for players who have excelled in the diplomatic core - as sort of ceremonial ship. The original HMS Victory is, after all, still the flagship of the Royal Navy's First Sea Lord. As a special ability, perhaps it could negotiate with enemy ships - apart from the Klingons, Romulans, and main antagonists, and not with enemy ships in misions. It would be nice to be able to do things the way GROD would have wanted it and not have to blow up every single pirate ship we come accross, or the mostly harmless species that you have to fight in some exploration missions.

    Another feature of the Duane books is the concept of 'superphasers' and 'megaphasers', amusingly named but extremley powerful and usually used by Romulan supercruisers. The Defender class seems like a good candidate to have the same armament - perhaps it's entire foreward armament would be a single heavy 'dual beam' version of the retro blue phaser, with a 360 or 180 degree firing arc?

I would love to have the oppurtunity to fly a retro-looking ship that had endgame hull strength and a good number of high-ranking console slots, but wich also made slightly more sense than an endgame Connie. Any of these ships would not have to have the same weapon or hull strength as other Tier 5 ships - they could have some of the stats of T4 ships to compensate for the fact of how old they are, but then make up for it with their retro special abilities.

Just food for thought - I hope even the ultramodernist, model 25th century Starfleet officers will allow a veteran old Star Fleeter like me to indulge my fantasies ;)

deaconltc 01-18-2013 11:29 AM

Well, I don't think your idea is going to receive a warm welcome exactly, but personally I'd love to fly back in the TOS/TMP days. I was an old Starfleet Battles dabbler and that era will always be my favorite.

I have thought a lot about the TOS battle on the forums and can certainly understand both sides.

What I would really love to see is an "Extended Universe" in STO. Dream up some reason to go back in time, perhaps through the Guardian of Forever to right some wrong in the timeline, to the TOS period. From there, develop some endgame missions where ONLY TOS ships can be flown. Sell the TOS ships on the Z Store (money for Cryptic and stupidly easy to kitbash old Franz Joseph designs), minimize somewhat the Connies blasting around in the modern timeline (appeals to timeline purists), and give TOSers (and even TMPers if you want to do multiple timelines) exactly what they have been looking for...the chance to fly the Connie in its heyday.

Seems like it's win/win/win as long as CBS signs off. I would think that the alternate timeline and segregating the ships in to their respective eras would avoid huge continuity gaffes and the whole "traveling back in a modern ship to save the Enterprise" has already been established in the STO timeline.

Wishful thinking I know, but honestly seems like a missed opportunity to make some quick cash, settle a feud, and release fun and relatively easy content all at the same time.


commanderxon 01-18-2013 02:27 PM

I like that - would you allow players to use their TOS ships outside of the TOS missions, or would you completley segregate between past and future?

Of course my own ideal scenario would be if the entire game was set during the 2270s, around the time that the TOS elements were going out and the TMP/TWOK elements were coming in :D But obviously that's not the solution here and I wouldn't want STO to jump several centuries back in time.

Another possibility would be something like the Typhon Expanse in 'Cause and Effect' - but rather than just the Bozeman coming through, a whole TOS-era fleet ends up stuck in the future. That or they were displaced through space several centuries ago and their descendants have only just been found, or just lost in subspace somewhere. Perhaps ships can't pass through the void, requiring you to use older vessels that they have at their disposal. Anyway, bringing them forward means there's far less pollution of the 23rd century timeline. I like the idea of them setting up a little miniature Federation using their 23rd Century tech, meaning you could do missions for them and earn rewards. Then Cryptic could release the ships for C-Store. I've only made two fairly cheap purchases so far (a TMP uniform and the retro Connie, which is sadly completley unusable in endgame) but I'd probably be tempted to splash out a great deal more if there were classic ships on the market.

Anyone at CBS reading this and willing to bring it up in a meeting, just for me? :P

captiandata1 01-18-2013 04:36 PM

it is war time and starfleet and starfleet need a cilvian fleet able to defend the freighter fleet so staffleet calls all federation cilvians that has a that have classic ships tos era, tmp ships, an nx era ships or can blue prints of classis. some federation cilviana are willing to join stafleet directly and the most loyal freighter cews are not willing to join star fleet directly but want to help fight to keep the freight supply lines open and defended but the freighter need more cover defencive fire power then most federarion freighter have. starfleet offerizes that the cilvian to operate to use and build any old starfleet class with limited restrictions to tier weapons and have teir 5 halls.

also have one classic ship from each class be dissplaced into the future from the past. theses crews and starfleet crew on these classic tos/tmp, nx era are good captians and crews but are not up to date with current starfleet rules and regulations of star trek online in 2409 but could be useful freighter defence force and freighter cilvian training ships, builing new classic starships/freighters and even as starfleet for new cadets. while giving the captains and crews to learn curren regulations starfleet.

as the war continues the cilvian freighter and freight defence fleet a long with the class starfleet crew and officer read the war efford reports and therorized that the old duetronic style computer could be adapted to be the borg so they petationed starfleet command to go to the front lines of the war. starfleet said no. so the cilvians upgraded ther class federation an dclassic starfleet ships to tier 5 hall strength with tier 3 weapons and holo emitters to mak the ships blend in to the actural starfleet ships to the front lines. in the battles the holo emitter failed but the newer actual starfleet crew and borg were surprised that all the class freighter defence force ship were there and doing better in the battle then both the borg and newer starfleet ships combined. the borg tried to assimulate the classic starfleet ships but the duetronic computer system proved in battle that they could no be adapted to by the borg. before the borg out right destroyed the lead cilvian class federation classic starship the the starfleet captian beamed all of his crew to other starfleet ships. he then set a ramming course into the borg tactical ship but was destroyed before the ship rammed into the borg ship. with all of the borg tactial ship systems down and major hall damage from the destroyed federation classic starfleet freighter defence force ship combined with the overloaded warp core and impule engines. the rest of the cilvian crews on the cilvian freighter defence force were so loyal to their lost captain and lost cilvian freighter/defence ship that they fired evey thing they had into the damaged borg tactial ship destroying it without the newer starfleet ships help.

captainbmoney 01-18-2013 05:06 PM

I would personally buy John Van Citters a cow and cook it myself to change his mind about the 'No T5 connie' BS he's pulled since STO came out.

edalgo 01-18-2013 06:41 PM

I don't think you could make ANY TOS fan fully happy unless you beamed them up directly and gave them a battlefield commission on the bridge.

age03 01-18-2013 06:46 PM

I like and prefer the ToS and TMP era over all.

helixsunbringer 01-18-2013 08:11 PM


Originally Posted by commanderxon (Post 7535521)
Perhaps the retro analogue duotronic computer technology has proven to be resistent to Borg nanoviruses

Despite whatever else you may have said, this cannot be a plausible reason for bringing the constitution class back. The reason I say this is because the Borg Nanovirus' proved effective against the U.S.S. Enterprise NX-01, as such they would be just as effective when used against the far less advanced (by appearances anyways) computer systems of the Constitution Class Starships from the Original Series. Granted those systems were supposed to be more advanced by a century, but they looked less advanced when you get right down to it.

psycoticvulcan 01-18-2013 08:47 PM


Originally Posted by helixsunbringer (Post 7545201)
Granted those systems were supposed to be more advanced by a century, but they looked less advanced when you get right down to it.

That's like saying this looks more advanced than this.

captainbmoney 01-18-2013 08:53 PM


Originally Posted by psycoticvulcan (Post 7545451)
That's like saying this looks more advanced than this.

Oh look an opinion on the internet over something none-relevant.

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