Universal Slots for Federation Cruisers
TL; DR? scroll down to the quote box near the bottom.
Federation cruisers are in danger of becoming irrelevant. With the introduction of increasing numbers of heavy carrier vessels, they're being pushed out of their key role of providing tanking and support, and being put into a position where they simply cannot do anything particularly well. While many complaints regarding the deficiencies of cruisers are also applicable to science vessels or attributable to other aspects of gameplay, this situation is especially critical because the performance of cruisers is equal to or worse than that of carriers.
The point is that, even if changes were to be made to the overall balance of the game, it still won't change the fact that cruisers appear to be getting replaced by ships that are better than them in almost every way possible.
With that in mind, I believe that role of Federation cruisers should be changed. Aside from some revision of their stats (which have not aged well since the game went F2P), they should be given some characteristic that would make them stand out. I propose that the role of Federation cruisers should be revised so that they are a "jack-of-all-trades" rather than the current "master of none".
At VA level, existing cruiser BOff slots would be changed so that:
1 Lt Cmdr and 1 Ens slots are changed to Universal
2 Lt slots are changed to Universal
*Note that this should be adjusted differently for all ranks preceding VA.
Aside from helping Federation cruisers stand out a little more, it makes them a bit more interesting and fun to play with. By opening up cruisers more to abilities from other trees, players are no longer forced into a cookie-cutter tanking build or making bad compromises with Engineering BOff abilities (which to say the least, are rather restrictive in terms of options). This in turn contributes to making cruisers more appealing for all PC classes to use. In addition, the shift towards a multi-mission vessel would be more in line with canon than the current cruiser actually is.
I would also like to suggest an additional 2 points of turn rate for all cruisers (except for the Odysseys) and a Universal Console slot. All this could be done in exchange for a reduction of 1000 hitpoints from the base hull of all cruisers.
To help you visualize the proposed changes:
Cruiser (Lt Cmdr)
Eng Con: 1 | Sci Con: 1 | Tac Con: 1 | Uni Con: 1
Lt: Eng | Ens: Tac | Ens: Sci | Ens: Uni
Exploration Cruiser (Cmdr)
Eng Con: 2 | Sci Con: 2 | Tac Con: 2 | Uni Con: 1
Cmdr: Eng | Lt: Tac | Lt: Sci | Lt: Uni
Assault Cruiser (RA)
Eng Con: 3 | Sci Con: 2 | Tac Con: 3 | Uni Con: 1
Cmdr: Eng | Lt Cmdr: Eng | Lt: Tac | Lt: Uni | Ens: Uni
Adv. Heavy Cruiser Retro. (RA, Store)
Eng Con: 3 | Sci Con: 2 | Tac Con: 3 | Uni Con: 1
Cmdr: Eng | Lt Cmdr: Tac | Lt: Uni | Lt: Uni | Ens: Eng
Fleet Exploration Cruiser Retro. (RA, Fleet)
Eng Con: 4 | Sci Con: 3 | Tac Con: 2 | Uni Con: 1
Cmdr: Eng | Lt Cmdr: Uni | Lt: Tac | Lt: Sci | Ens: Uni
As for the Odysseys, they would get one more Universal Console and Officer slot, adjusted according to their specialization:
Odyssey Tactical Cruiser
Eng Con: 3 | Sci Con: 2 | Tac Con: 3 | Uni Con: 2
Cmdr: Eng | Lt Cmdr: Uni | Lt: Tac | Lt: Uni | Ens: Uni
Odyssey Operations Cruiser
Eng Con: 4 | Sci Con: 2 | Tac Con: 2 | Uni Con: 2
Cmdr: Eng | Lt Cmdr: Uni | Lt: Eng | Lt: Uni | Ens: Uni
Odyssey Science Cruiser
Eng Con: 3 | Sci Con: 3 | Tac Con: 2 | Uni Con: 2
Cmdr: Eng | Lt Cmdr: Uni | Lt: Sci | Lt: Uni | Ens: Uni
Have you considered you might need to just become better at internet spaceships? :P
This reads like "I am bad and need lots of help. Here are my ideas to break the game.".
Here's my 2 cents:
Agreed with all of the above. It would solve the following:
- Allow more build diversity for cruisers
- Reduce the "flying brick" feel of cruisers
Personally, i'd go so far as to say that the Lt. Cmdr slot on ALL ships (Cruisers, Escort, Science) should be made Universal, with the primary BOff slot (Commander) determined by ship "class". I'd also favor making the Ensign slots Universal, as there are often times too many of a specific BOff type, or useless BOff abilities for Ensign (Case in point, Ensign Engineers).
If you believe that this would break the game, please tell me how. While you're at it, I suggest you go onto the wiki and compare Federation cruisers to their counterparts in the KDF, or to all classes of carriers.
I've got a better idea. Since you're the one proposing these changes are an improvement, please provide specific empirical examples to support each of your points with the underlying mathematical reasoning, showing your equations and rationales at each stage.
Your baseline cruiser for comparison should probably be a Galor.
I am fully supporting this idea.
This would make Cruisers in general much more versatile and much more like they "should" be.
In my experience giving some cruisers a Turn rate lower tahn 8 is just evil and has nothing to do with balance anymore. The only point of it is to make those ships unpopular in favour of faster ships.
I could also live with a slight reduction of their hitpoints, if Starfleetr Cruisers would finally become a bit more the "jack of all trades" instead of being completely un-fun and useless (COMPARED to almost all other ships in STO).
There is one little thing i would like to add:
Cryptic should release a universal console for Starfleet Cruisers only, which makes them able to equip dual Cannons. This would make them virtually on par with Klingon Cruisers if the Starfleet Cruiser Captain want his ship to be like that.
Of course that console would occupy one Console Slot to compensate the Hull Hitpoints difference between Starfleet and KDF cruisers.
Additionally there wouldn't be any reason for KDF crusier Captains to feel disadvantaged, since Starfleet Cruisers still would be less maneuverable and still wouldn't have acess to a cloaking device.
If Cryptic would change Cruisers as you suggested and if they would introduce such a console, Dual Cannons would finally have some purpose AND the game would see finally a much wider array of different builds. Flying Cruisers would be
On the other hand Escorts wouldn't be touched by this, they still would be DPS kings, but Cryptic cannot expect that everyone wants to fly THEIR favourite ship, especially in a Star Trek Game.
So in a way, your suggestions would also make STO much more like Star Trek while making it more fun at the same time.
I think it would be a Win - Win for everyone.
You... can't be serious right?
If you want a different Lt Commander slot and ensign slot... there's a cruiser that does that, its the Odyssey. For all others they're the different flavor of cruiser.. The Ambassador for sci, The Regent or Excelsior for Tac, and Galaxy / Galaxy X for Engineering.
Yes it requires that you either be a ship junkie and have all these if you want to switch around or specialize and stick to a ship. Begging like this is like wanting to have your cake an eat it too.
For you see, a long time ago, universal slots only existed on a small bird of prey...
Now they're all up in most new fed ships -p
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