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Join Date: Jun 2012
10-24-2012, 09:45 AM
It's important to note that the T3 version is the 'classic' Excelsior design, while the T5 is a complete retrofit of the original (which was capable enough to be Starfleet's standard line cruiser in TNG timeline) with modern systems and up-to-date systems that equal any on the ships being built in the shipyards. Indeed, the T5 is a newly built ship that uses the classic Lakota/Enterprise-B design for layout and hull to hold the systems all modern ships use.
In that light, it is not at all surprising or unfitting the T5 version would exceed the classic Galaxy-class, and equal the Dreadnaught refit of that class. The ship was ahead of its time when it was sent off the slipways, and built as much a warship as exploration ship (the Federation was facing the real possibility of war with the Klingon Empire, unlike when the Galaxy-class were laid down). That the class remains the only one in the galaxy capable of utilizing the full transwarp drive system says volumes about how unique it remains in design and flexibility.
However, all that said, the fact is that the ship remains a very limited-production ship. The Assault Cruiser pretty much replaced the Excelsior in tactical missions while using standard systems, while the Exploration class filled in as the workhorse of the fleet. This is illustrated by the availability of these classes to all commanders, with upgraded versions available, while no Excelsior is brought into service without alot of resources (those transwarp engines are not cheap, nor in general supply). Also, many commanders and engineers don't like the different construction philosophies of the ship, and so they will always be looked at as odd birds in the fleet. Useful as fast-reaction ships and very capable cruisers, but not favored by Admirals who like all of the ships in their fleet to use the same spare parts and familiar capabilities.
If you don't like the role-play reasons why the T5 Excelsior was more capable than the Galaxy, then from a game perspective, the devs decided they needed one cruiser with unique capabilities for combat, and the Galaxy was already established as a very large ship with an emphasis on tanking (Galaxy standard) or upgraded for PVP (the Dreadnaught) or PVE (Galaxy-Refit). Giving the Excelsior the better manueverability filled that niche in the combat spectrum until the AC-R came in. That players considered agility superior to firepower or tanking in the game is what the Devs didn't consider when making it a sub-VA ship, and if the crew system worked as advertised, the Galaxy class(es) would have been much more competative in comparison.
Ultimately, everyone has their own opinions. A Galaxy-R or Galaxy-DN can stand in any PVE fight an Excelsior can, and each has combat abilities that the Excelsior lacks. The value of those abilities is subjective, but that they do give advantages are not debatable.